Monthly Archives: April 2007

AUR#836 Apr 30 Poisonous Fruits Of Hatred; 60th Year Of Infamous Operation Wisla; WWII Monument Moved, Russia Furious; Chornobly Tragedy 21

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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       

 
 POISONOUS FRUITS OF HATRED
     April 28, 2007 marks the 60th anniversary of the infamous “Akcja Wisla”,
       which was the deportation by the Polish government of Ukrainians from
       their ancestral lands in what is now Eastern Poland.

      Ukrainians living in the Lemko, Boyko, Nadsiannia, Kholm and Podlasie
      regions were sent to the so-called “Recovered Territories” of the post-war
      Polish state in the north and west of the country.

      This operation completed the deportation of the entire – almost one
      million – Ukrainian ethnic population from “Zakerzonnia” and became

      one of the most tragic events in the modern history of the Ukrainian people.
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 836
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., MONDAY, APRIL 30, 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 POISONOUS FRUITS OF HATRED
                   “Population exchange” in the mirror of historical facts
By Mykola LYTVYN, Doctor of History, Department Chair, I. Krypiakevych
Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
The Day Weekly Digest, #36, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 21 December 2004

Interfax-Ukraine, Lviv, Ukraine, Friday, April 27, 2007
                    MEMORY OF VICTIMS OF OPERATION WISLA
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, April 27, 2007

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, April 27, 2007
6. DECLARATION: ON THE OCCASION OF THE 60TH ANNIVERSARY
                    OF THE  WISLA OPERATION (“AKCJA WISLA”)
DECLARATION: Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Tuesday, April 24, 2007

7.      ESTONIA MOVES SOVIET WAR MONUMENT FROM CENTER
             OF TALLINN, SPARKING FURIOUS RUSSIAN RESPONSE
Agence France Presse (AFP), Tallinn, Estonia, Friday, April 27, 2007

8 STATUE’S REMOVAL SPARKS VIOLENT PROTESTS IN ESTONIA
                 Russia Angry Over Dismantling of Soviet WWII Memorial
By Peter Finn, Washington Post Foreign Service
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.
Saturday, April 28, 2007; Page A12

9.    WORK TO BEGIN SUNDAY ON MOVING DISPUTED ESTONIAN
                    WWII MONUMENT TO A MILITARY CEMETERY

EUX.TV, Brussels, Belgium, Saturday, April 28, 2007
EUX.TV, Brussels, Belgium, Friday, April 27, 2007
11.          RED ARMY MONUMENT REMOVED FROM TALLINN
                          AMID MOSCOW-ENCOURAGED RIOTS
               Moscow objects to removal of Bronze Soldier in Tallinn
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Vladimir Socor
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 83
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash DC, Friday, April 27, 2007
 
12.                         CHORNOBYL: WE MUST REMEMBER
STATEMENT: Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA)
Washington, D.C., Friday, April 20, 2007

13.    RADA DIRECTS CABINET TO IMPROVE SOCIAL WELFARE OF
                      CHORNOBYL NUCLEAR ACCIDENT VICTIMS

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, April 20, 2007 

14. UKRAINIAN MINISTER & EBRD’S PRESIDENT DISCUSS PROJECT
              IMPLEMENTATION AT CHORNOBYL POWER STATION
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 24, 2007

15 CONSTRUCTION OF NEW SHIELD AT CHORNOBYL TO START

Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, April 25, 2007

                  SPARE NO EFFORT TO REVIVE CHORNOBYL ZONE
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, April 26, 2007

17.   UN SECRETARY GENERAL CALLS ON GLOBAL COMMUNITY TO

HELP REVIVAL OF REGIONS SUFFERED FROM CHORNOBYL DISASTER
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, April 26, 2007

18. NUCLEAR INDUSTRY SEEKS TO ESCAPE CHORNOBYL’S SHADOW
By Breffni O’Rourke, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, April 25, 2007

19.          INNER RADIATION ON THE RISE AROUND CHORNOBYL 
Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, April 26, 2007

20.       EFFECTS OF CHORNOBYL CONTINUE TO DIVIDE EXPERTS
INTERVIEW: With Thomas Tenfordee, President
U.S.-based National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements
BY: Heather Mayer, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Washington, D.C., Thursday, April 26, 2007

 
21.    ON THE 21ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHORNOBYL TRAGEDY
STATEMENT: Ukrainian Canadian Congress
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Thursday, April 26, 2007
 
22.                      REACHING THROUGH THE BLACK CLOUD
     College Student Mission Trip to Aid Post-Chornobyl Orphanages in Ukraine.
By Hieromonk Daniel (Zelinsky), Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
South Bound Brook, New Jersey, Thursday, April 26, 2007
 
23.          UAOC COMMEMORATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY
Bishop Paul Peter Jesep, By Appointment of His Beatitude Metropolitan
Myfodii of Kyiv and All Ukraine, Director of Public Affairs in the United
States, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church,
Kyiv Patriarchate, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, 13 April 2007
 
24U.S. HOUSE URGES QUICK ACTION BY EUROPEAN COUNTRIES
                                TO OPEN VAST NAZI ARCHIVES
Desmond Butler, AP Worldstream, Washington, D.C. Wed, Apr 25, 2007
 
25U.S. CONGRESS WEIGHS ARMENIAN GENOCIDE RESOLUTIONS
By Karoun Demirjian, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, Tue, Apr 24, 2007
 
26.    EUROPEAN UNION PLANS TO OUTLAW HOLOCAUST DENIAL
        Baltic Countries & Poland holding out for inclusion of “Stalinist crimes”
By Tobias Buck in Brussels, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Wednesday, April 18 2007
 
               INCITEMENT TO RACIAL HATRED AND XENOPHOBIA      
Turkish Daily News, Istanbul, Turkey, Saturday, Apr 21, 2007

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1
     THE POISONOUS FRUITS OF HATRED
                    “Population exchange” in the mirror of historical facts

By Mykola Lytvyn, Doctor of History, Department Chair, I. Krypiakevych

Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
The Day Weekly Digest, #36, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 21 December 2004

A historian is neither a judge nor a prosecutor, just a biased chronicler of
the past. Yet professional documented chronicles can and must serve to
restore historical memory and help governments and honest politicians pursue
a constructive policy.

This is precisely what the half a million Ukrainians whom the totalitarian
regimes of the USSR and Poland forcibly deported from Poland to Soviet
Ukraine in 1944-1951 are demanding today.

The new architects of postwar Europe were very well aware of the Ukrainian
national liberation movement or, to use their notorious term, Ukrainian
separatism.

Oddly enough, the geopolitical situation in Central and Eastern Europe in
1944 was such that deportation of socially active Western Ukrainians was to
the benefit of both the London-based Polish government in exile and the
USSR, with its communist client-state in Poland.

The Mykolajczyk government in exile sought to restore the Second
Rzeczpospolita within the borders that had existed between the two World
Wars.

The pro-Soviet Polish National Liberation Committee, formed in July 1944 in
Moscow with Stalin’s approval and ‘educated’ in the Moscow suburb of
Barvikha, viewed the deportation of Western Ukrainians as a tool to ensure
stability for a new monoethnic state.
                   US & BRITISH GOVERNMENTS AGREED
Unfortunately, the US and British governments agreed to the “exchange of
populations,” including the transfer of Ukrainians and Poles, because they
still considered Poland a sphere of their geopolitical interests.

The Kremlin in turn tried to suppress, by way of deportations, a powerful
bulwark of Ukrainian national liberation movement in the Carpathians,
spearheaded by the exhausted but unvanquished Ukrainian Insurgent Army,

the UPA.

To execute this sinister plan, Stalin attempted to use the obedient Poles.
On July 27, 1944, while the Red Army was stationed on the banks of the Sian
River, the leader of the Polish National Liberation Committee signed a
secret agreement in Moscow about the Soviet-Polish border along the

“Curzon line.”

The Poles even managed to cajole the dictator into ceding them quite a

large territory east of this line, including the erstwhile princely cities of
Peremyshl (Przemysl), Yaroslav (Jaroslaw), and Kholm (Chelm).

As early as September 9 this same Polish committee signed an agreement in
Lublin with Soviet Ukraine’s government on evacuating the Ukrainian
population from the territory of Poland, and Polish nationals from Ukraine.

Clearly, this accord was signed under the Kremlin’s watchful eye. The
contracting parties undertook to evacuate from October 15, 1944, until
February 1, 1945, “all ethnic Ukrainians, Belarusians, Russians, and
Ruthenians residing in the Chelm, Hrubieszow, Lubaczow, Jaroslaw, Przemysl,
Liskow, Zamosc, Krasnystaw, Bilgoraj, Wlodawa districts and other areas of
Poland.”

This was followed by the cynical statement, “The evacuation being voluntary,
no direct or indirect coercion shall be applied. The evacuees are free to
express their wish both orally and in writing.”

Yet the harsh reality of the so-called evacuation eclipsed the “voluntary
nature” of the action and entailed mass-scale compulsory deportations of
Ukrainians from such ancient Ukrainian lands as the Sian, Kholm and Lemko
regions.

Eastern Halychyna and Volyn Poles were also forcibly resettled to German
ethnic territories. Today, researchers single out several stages of the
1944-1951 deportations.
   SEVERAL STATES OF THE 1944-1951 DEPORTATIONS
[1] During the first stage (October 15-December 31, 1944), the resettlement
of a small number of exhausted people bore some semblance of voluntariness.

Yet the oncoming winter practically put an end to departure requests from
northern Zakerzonnia (“beyond the Curzon line”), while the southern
districts ignored the action altogether.

Then, in response to Polish underground terror and by force of military
circumstances and abuses on the part of the Polish authorities, who would
close Ukrainian schools and transfer churches to the Roman Catholics, 28,589
people left for Ukraine.

The then leader of Soviet Ukraine, Nikita Khrushchev, failed to implement
the idea of establishing a separate Kholm oblast in Ukraine. As is known,
many requests of Ukrainians who were living beyond the Sian to incorporate
their lands into Ukraine have been preserved in archives.
                         SECOND STAGE OF DEPORTATIONS
[2] The second stage of the deportations (January 1-August 31, 1945) was
timed to coincide with the advance of the Red Army, which occupied the Sian
and Lemko regions.

This time, the people slated to leave were the Ukrainians whose houses and
property had been destroyed during the hostilities against the Germans in
the Lupkow and Duplian passes and as a result of forays by the Polish
underground. Nevertheless, requests for resettlement in Soviet Ukraine
practically came to a halt in the summer of 1945.

Desperate people fled to the woods and re-formed guerrilla units, while many
youths were mobilized into the Red Army. Some families sought help from
Roman Catholic churchmen and the administration of the Polish schools that
their children were forced to attend.

Many people lodged protests at the time, for example, the residents of the
village of Glomcza: “…Our homeland is here, and we are not going to leave.
We think the Ukrainian border should extend as far as Krynica.” There were
also other cries of desperation from Lemko residents: “If the Soviet Union
does not want our land, then it does not want us, so leave us alone.”

As these Ukrainian acts of protest were foiling the evacuation plans, the
3rd, 8th, and 9th Infantry Divisions of the Polish Army marched into the
Liskow, Przemysl, Lubaczow and Jaroslaw districts to help the local
authorities clear the frontier of so- called “Ukrainian nationalists.”
                          THIRD STAGE OF DEPORTATIONS
[3] Thus, the use of Polish troops signaled the third stage of deportations
(81,806 people) which lasted, by and large, from September 1 to March 1946.
The Polish troops in conjunction with some NKVD units deported most of the
Ukrainians from Nadsiannia. The slow pace of deportations in the Liskow,
Lubaczow and Sianoc districts triggered reprisals by UPA-West.

The Ukrainian insurgents destroyed communications, fomented protests against
the resettlement, and hampered the work of the evacuation commissions.  To
prevent Polish repatriates from settling in the depopulated Ukrainian
villages, the UPA often burned these villages down.

Among those who courageously defended the frontier from the terror of the
authorities and troops were the companies of Burlaka, Hromenko, Krylach and
Lastivka, mostly manned by local residents. Attempts were also made, without
apparent success, to make peace with the Armia Krajowa command.
              FOURTH AND FINAL STATE OF DEPORTATIONS
[4] At the fourth and final stage, the deportation of Ukrainians to Soviet
Ukraine assumed the nature of ethnic cleansing, a fact that Polish officials
still do not always accept.

In the second half of 1945 and also in 1946, the Communist government of
Poland had no scruples about organizing a new “pacification,” burning dozens
of Ukrainian villages and terrorizing peaceful residents on the principle of
collective responsibility.

This forced desperate peasants to leave behind their property and cross the
Polish-Soviet border en masse – illegally, without documents. Many fled to
Slovakia and then to Germany or into Poland’s hinterland.

The fourth stage saw 154,000 people deported to the east. On the whole, the
Polish totalitarian government deported about 482,000 Ukrainians in
1944-1946. Apart from ordinary citizens, about 300 priests were also
forcibly deported to Soviet Ukraine.

The Polish government interpreted the arrest and deportation to the USSR of
Przemysl bishop Josaphat Kotsylovsky as the abolition of the Przemysl
Diocese.

By 1947 there was not a single Greek Catholic church left in Przemysl. In
1947-1949 the state nationalized the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church’s
property, with many premises being leased out to the Roman Catholic Church.

The overwhelming majority of deportees settled in the western regions, and a
third of them were moved to the eastern and southern parts of Soviet
Ukraine.

However, secret documents of the Soviet security forces say that the flight
of “those from behind the Curzon line” from the east to the west of Poland,
where individual farming prevailed, was of a hasty and mass- scale nature.

This is why the Council of People’s Commissars of Soviet Ukraine resolved on
October 16, 1945, to ban resettlement in Ukraine’s western regions. Yet the
deportees continued to be settled without permission in Ternopil, Drohobych,
Lviv and Volyn oblasts.
            OPERATION VISTULA (AKCJA WISLA) IN 1947
Finally, the Polish government’s Operation Vistula (Akcja Wisla) in 1947,
when at least 150,000 Ukrainians were deported to northern Poland, concluded
ethnic cleansing in the eastern frontier. In the course of pre- planned
ethnic cleansing of the frontier, the two totalitarian regimes repeatedly
revised the interstate border.

For instance, during the new demarcations of the Polish-Ukrainian border in
1945-1948, Soviet Ukraine and Poland obtained 18.9 sq. km. and 20.5 sq. km.,
respectively. Under the Soviet-Polish treaty of February 15, 1951, Poland
received another 480 sq. km. of Drohobych oblast and Ukraine, a same-sized
area of Lublin voivodship.

Clearly, the repressions against and the deportations of the Ukrainians
exposed the anti-people nature of the totalitarian regimes of Communist
Poland and the USSR. The Soviet government failed to fulfill its commitments
to provide the deportees with logistical support.

Only 56% of resettled households were compensated for the property they left
behind in Poland. Sadly, the plans of Warsaw and Moscow reflected the
interests of the government, not the people.

  SOCIALLY UNPROTECTED & PSYCHOLOGICALLY VULNERABLE
For decades the deported Ukrainians remained a socially unprotected and
psychologically vulnerable part of postwar Soviet society.

Today the settlers hope that the government of the new Ukraine, and in the
long run of post-Communist Poland, will fully share the pain and tragedy of
the hundreds of Ukrainians who were born in the western-most Ukrainian lands
and are now advocating the current cause of Ukraine by word and deed.

Victims of the totalitarian regime are demanding a political appraisal of
these past shameful misdeeds as well as material compensation for the damage
done to their families.                             -30–

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FOOTNOTE: Subheadings inserted editorially by the Action Ukraine
Report (AUR).
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2.        UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT MEETS POLISH LEADER SIGNS
     STATEMENT ON 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF OPERATION WISLA

Press Office of the President of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fri, Apr 27, 2007

Victor Yushchenko and Lech Kaczynski of Poland met in Warsaw on
Friday to sign a Joint Statement on the 60th Anniversary of Operation
Wisla and a 2007-2008 Ukrainian-Polish Cooperation Agreement.

The joint statement was signed “with the aim of furthering bilateral
cooperation in the spirit of strategic partnership and continuing the
reconciliation between the two nations.”

“Unfortunately, our countries have had such sad events in history as
Operation Wisla. However, my visit today shows that Poland’s president and
I share the formula of historic reconciliation, which is important to both
nations,” he said, thanking Poland and its people for the opportunity to
honor those tragic events of the 1940s.

Yushchenko described the two countries as “strategic political partners.”
“Not only do we respect and look into our past but we also care about our
strategic future,” he said.

He said the ‘road map’ agreement contained lots of projects whose
implementation would help develop Ukraine’s ties with Poland, Euro 2012
being high on the bilateral agenda.

Kaczynski said Ukraine and Poland showed how “two friendly European states
should cooperate, even though one of them is in the EU and the other is
 not.”

“However, I would like to stress that we spare no effort to ensure Ukraine
becomes an EU member as soon as possible,” he said, adding that the signed
cooperation agreement was aimed at developing cooperation between the two
countries, particularly in the energy sector.                     -30-

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3. PRES YUSHCHENKO BLAMES COMMUNIST REGIME FOR ITS
                  CRIMES ESPECIALLY FOR OPERATION WISLA

Interfax-Ukraine, Lviv, Ukraine, Friday, April 27, 2007
 
LVIV- Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko blames the communist regime
for its crimes, in particular the Wisla Operation.  Yuschenko said this on Friday
while attending a memorial concert in Lviv’s opera theatre to mark the 60th
anniversary of Operation Wisla.

“There is no doubt that this day is the day of sadness and the day of our
pain. Today, Ukraine is commemorating the 60th anniversary of the black
event which has penetrated our being,” he said, adding that 150,000
Ukrainians had been forcibly resettled to the so-called recovered
territories in the 1940s.

He accused the totalitarian communist regime of that tragedy. “This crime
must be punished and condemned by Ukraine, Poland and the whole world,”

he said.

Yuschenko said he had signed a decree to mark the 60th anniversary of
Operation Wisla by making lists of the deported Ukrainians and collecting
eyewitness accounts. Ukraine’s six western regions are restoring the graves
of those Ukrainians in Poland, he added.

The Ukrainian leader said Ukraine and Poland were consistently and
tolerantly restoring historical justice and added that the past must not
chain the two nations.

“Only great nations can forgive. Deep and brotherly reconciliation is the
sole way to a new life both nations are creating,” he said, characterizing
strategic relations between Ukraine and Poland as one of our biggest
historical victories.

Yuschenko reassured Ukrainian diaspora in Poland, which he called an
“integral and vital part of our big family,” his government would spare no
effort to protect their minority rights, create cultural centers and open
Ukrainian schools.

The Operation Wisla was the code name for the 1947 deportation of
southeastern Poland’s Ukrainians, Boyko and Lemko populations, carried out
by the Polish Army in order to suppress the Ukrainian Insurgent Army.

Over 140,000 people, mostly of Ukrainian ethnicity, residing in southeastern
Poland were, often forcibly, resettled to the “Recovered Territories” in the
north and west of the country. The operation was named after Poland’s Wisla
River.                                                -30

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4.   PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO& PRESIDENT KACZYNSKI HONOR
                  MEMORY OF VICTIMS OF OPERATION WISLA
 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, April 27, 2007
 
President Viktor Yuschenko and Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski have
honored the memory of the victims of Operation Wisla, which was conducted
in 1947. Yuschenko and Kaczynski signed a joint declaration in Warsaw
(Poland) on Friday.

‘Unfortunately, history has left many issues for us, and today’s event,
today’s visit confirm the fact President Kaczynski and I deeply share the
formula for historical mutual understanding and historical reconciliation,
which is extremely important to the Ukrainian and Polish peoples,’ Yuschenko
said.

He thanked Poland for the opportunity to honor the memory of the victims

of these events during his current visit.

‘Today, I am thankful to the Polish side, the President of Poland, the
citizens of Poland for the opportunity to remember those sad events of the
1940s. It is pleasant for me to be in Poland today and demonstrate deep
respect for our history and our present day together with the Polish
president, together with the Ukrainian community,’ Yuschenko said.

He added that he and Kaczynski would attend a joint Ecumenical prayer in
honor of the victims of these events after the document’s signing ceremony.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Yuschenko traveled to Poland on Friday
morning for a one-day visit.

Operation Wisla involved forcible removal of over 150,000 Ukrainians from
the southeast of Poland, where Ukrainians had lived for many centuries, to
the lands that Poland received after WWII. In turn, the local German
population was removed from these lands and deported to the Soviet Union.

The operation was performed by the regular army of Poland in 1947 with the
agreement of the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia.             -30-
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5. YUSHCHENKO CONSIDERS IT NECESSARY TO SEEK HISTORICAL
        OBJECTIVITY & LEARN LESSONS FROM OPERATION WISLA
 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, April 27, 2007
President Viktor Yuschenko believes it is necessary to seek historical
objectivity and learn joint lessons from Operation Wisla, under which
thousands of Ukrainians were forcibly removed from southeast Poland in
1947. Yuschenko announced this to journalists in Warsaw (Poland) on
Friday.

“We need more historical knowledge and information about the true history.
I, primarily as a citizen, would not like the people involved in the
establishment of historical fact, historical moments, to exploit the issue
of liters of blood, the number of thousands of souls, victims of both sides.

It is very important to end the discussion regarding the role of the
Ukrainian Insurgent Army or the Policy Regional Army in the events of that
time,” Yuschenko said.

He considers it necessary to conduct the most object study of this history.
Yuschenko also considers it necessary to provide a joint assessment of these
events.

“It is necessary to provide a joint assessment of those events, assessments
that would provide an opportunity to leave this problem in the past,”
Yuschenko said. According to him, the first task is historical while the
second is political.

Yuschenko also expressed the belief that it will only remain to outline the
lessons that should be learnt from this history if these two steps are
taken.

“If we take the first and the second steps, then one mandatory step will
remain: to come out with lessons so that we can say that we can put a full
stop to these events,” Yuschenko said.

According to him, Ukraine and Poland hold similar positions on how to assess
these historical events and believe that can be done through mutual
forgiveness and historical reconciliation.

Yuschenko traveled to Poland on Friday morning for a one-day working visit.
During the visit, Yuschenko and Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski honored
the memory of the victims of Operation Wisla.                  -30-

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6. DECLARATION: ON THE OCCASION OF THE 60TH ANNIVERSARY
                  OF THE  WISLA OPERATION (“AKCJA WISLA”)

DECLARATION: Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Tuesday, April 24, 2007

April 28, 2007 marks the 60th anniversary of the infamous “Akcja Wisla”,
which was the deportation by the Polish government of Ukrainians from their
ancestral lands in what is now Eastern Poland.

Ukrainians living in the Lemko, Boyko, Nadsiannia, Kholm and Podlasie
regions were sent to the so-called “Recovered Territories” of the post-war
Polish state in the north and west of the country.

This operation completed the deportation of the entire – almost one
million – Ukrainian ethnic population from “Zakerzonnia” and became one

of the most tragic events in the modern history of the Ukrainian people.

This preplanned military operation to deport over 150,000 Ukrainians was the
final act of the abolition of Ukrainian ethnic territory within the borders
of Poland and was followed by the takeover of all Ukrainian property by the
Polish state along with the intentional forced assimilation of the Ukrainian
population through its dispersal among the Polish majority.

The fostering the Ukrainian language, culture and faith was prohibited.
Later this process was completed by erasing traces of Ukrainian culture in
the “Zakerzonnia” region, including the destruction of churches, cemeteries,
and the substitution of Ukrainian place names with Polish ones.

This unlawfull and inhuman widescale military operation was an offence to
the dignity of the Ukrainian population, while the forceful and humiliating
imprisonment of over four thousand Ukrainians (including women and

children) at the Jaworzno concentration camp was an abuse of human rights.

The Wisla operation and the Central Labour Camp in Jaworzno led to
dehumanization of each person incarcerated there and the entire Ukrainian
community of “Zakerzonnia”.

This tragic history calls for a fair evaluation and for the redressing of
wrongs.  However, to date, the Polish Sejm (Parliament), the highest
representative body of Poland, had not followed the example of the Polish
Senate, and has failed to condemn the “Akcja Wisla”. Such an action would
exhibit a mature and honest attitude towards the past and at the same time
would symbolize a radical break with past prejudices.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress appeals to the Polish Sejm and the
Government of Poland to condemn the “Akcja Wisla” and to redress the
injustices caused by it by compensating the victims and their descendants
for their losses and suffering.

UCC appeals to Ukrainian institutions, organizations and churches in Canada
to commemorate the 60th anniversary of “Akcja Wisla” and with requiems,
church services and other commemorative events to place the names of the
victims of the ethnic cleansing of “Zakerzonnia” into Ukrainian history and
the collective memory of our people.                    -30-
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7. ESTONIA MOVES SOVIET WAR MONUMENT FROM CENTER
        OF TALLINN, SPARKING FURIOUS RUSSIAN RESPONSE

Agence France Presse (AFP), Tallinn, Estonia, Friday, April 27, 2007

TALLINN – Estonian authorities removed a Soviet war memorial from the

centre of Tallinn under the cover of darkness Friday after riots left one dead,
triggering a furious response from Moscow.

The Russian Senate called for diplomatic relations with Estonia to be broken
off, while the Russian foreign ministry called the movement of the memorial
“blasphemous” and said relations would be examined.

Around 1,000 people — mainly pro-Russian protesters opposed to the statue’s
removal but also ethnic Estonians — had gathered late Thursday in the
square in central Tallinn where the authorities had cordoned off the
monument to Soviet Red Army soldiers.

The demonstration turned into a six-hour riot and looting spree after police
used water cannons, rubber batons and flash grenades to disperse the crowd
and prevent youths from forcing their way through a security cordon.

A 20-year-old named only as Dimitri died after being stabbed, as looters,
many of them drunken teenagers, rampaged through the capital, officials
said.

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves roundly condemned the “looting, brawling and
robbery”, calling participants criminals. “This was a crime and those who
participated in it are criminals,” Ilves said on national television.

“The criminals who struck last night were not united by nationality but by
the wish to riot, demolish and rob. “This had nothing to do with the peace
of a burial place or preserving the memory of those who fell in World War
II,” he said.

More than 300 people, both ethnic Russians and Estonians, were detained
following the riots, which were the worst since the Baltic state regained
independence from Moscow in 1991.

Police quelled the violence at around 3:00 am (0000 GMT), and the statue was
moved under cover of darkness to a secret location shortly afterwards “to
prevent further similar gross violations of public order, which pose a real
threat to citizens’ health and property,” the government said in a
statement.

“We wanted to move the statue in an open and decent way but unfortunately
failed to do so because of vandalism and violence,” Prime Minister Andrus
Ansip told reporters Friday morning.

Excavation work to determine if any World War II soldiers lie buried beneath
the spot where the Bronze Soldier statue stood for decades has been
indefinitely postponed, the government said.

Ethnic Estonians see the statue of the Bronze Soldier as a symbol of 50
years of Soviet occupation, while Russia considers it a symbol of the fight
against Nazism in World War II.

Earlier this year, Ilves called the statue an insult to Estonians and “a
monument to mass murder”. “In our minds, this soldier stands for
deportations and murders, the destruction of our country, not liberation,”
he said in an interview with the BBC in February.

Relations between Estonia and Russia have been tense since the Baltic state
regained independence from Moscow in 1991 as the Soviet Union crumbled.

Moscow has repeatedly accused Tallinn of abusing the rights of Estonia’s
large ethnic Russian minority, and said the Estonians’ insistence that the
statue of the Bronze Soldier be moved was an attempt to glorify fascism.

The Russian senate on Friday approved a non-binding resolution calling for
diplomatic relations with Estonia to be broken off.

A spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry, Mikhail Kamynin, called the
Estonian government’s action “blasphemous” and “inhuman”, and said Russia
would re-examine its relations with the ex-Soviet Baltic state.

The head of the international affairs committee in the lower house of the
Russian parliament, Konstantin Kosachyov, called for “the toughest possible
reaction to what is happening in Estonia.” “It’s barbaric, blasphemous,”
Kosachyov said.

Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, whose country lies across the Gulf of
Finland from Estonia, deplored the violence in Tallinn but insisted it was
an “internal Estonian affair.”

Latvia, which like Estonia was a Soviet republic and still has a large
Russian minority, stressed that decisions concerning the Bronze Soldier
monument fall under “the exclusive competence of the Estonian government”.
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8. STATUE’S REMOVAL SPARKS VIOLENT PROTESTS IN ESTONIA
                  Russia Angry Over Dismantling of Soviet WWII Memorial

By Peter Finn, Washington Post Foreign Service
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.
Saturday, April 28, 2007; Page A12

MOSCOW, April 27 — The already tense relations between Russia and its

tiny neighbor Estonia threatened to unravel Friday after authorities in the
Baltic state removed a Soviet World War II memorial that has become the
rallying symbol of two radically different versions of history.

Violence erupted in Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, late Thursday, leaving one
man dead and dozens of police officers and protesters injured, in the hours
before the bronze statue of a Red Army soldier was removed from its location
in the city center and taken to an unknown place.

Three hundred people, many of them members of the country’s ethnic Russian
minority, were arrested as police fought running battles with demonstrators
in the city’s picturesque Old Town.

Rioting continued Friday as police fired rubber bullets and a water cannon
at hundreds of protesters, the Associated Press reported. As some people
waved Russian flags, others threw bottles and rocks for several hours.

Estonian officials continued to examine ground beneath the statue, where as
many as 14 Soviet soldiers may be buried. They said the bodies of the dead
will be removed and reinterred at a military cemetery, where the statue will
be preserved.

Russia angrily condemned the removal of the statue, which was erected in
1947, as a grievous insult to Soviet soldiers who fought Nazi Germany.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that “we must take
serious measures that will show our real attitude to this inhuman act.” The
upper house of the Russian parliament passed a resolution Friday calling on
the government to sever diplomatic ties with Estonia.

“The war against fascism did not end on May 9, 1945,” said Mikhail Margelov,
head of the foreign relations committee in the upper house, referring to the
day that Russia marks as the end of the war in Europe.

“This fight goes on, and it will continue as long as there are gravediggers
who are ready to throw out from the graves those who defeated fascism.” He
was speaking on Russian television.

For many Estonians, however, the Red Army was an occupation force that first
entered their country in 1940 as part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between
Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union that carved up Eastern Europe.

The Soviets promptly annexed Estonia. The Nazis seized the country in 1941
but were driven out in 1944 by the Soviets, who remained in control until
independence in 1991.

The dispute over the six-foot statue, modest in size by the standards of
other Soviet war memorials in Europe, including Berlin, has been brewing for
a long time.

The original inscription on the monument read: “To the Soviet liberators
fallen during the Great Patriotic War.” In 1995, that was changed to read:
“To the fallen of the Second World War.” An eternal flame was also

removed in 1995.

Estonian officials said the statue had become a flash point for clashes
between Estonian nationalists and ethnic Russians, who make up about 25
percent of the country’s 1.3 million people. The government said in a
statement Friday that it was now clear that the protesters’ “real goal was
to riot, destroy, break and loot.”

A government spokesman said one man was stabbed to death and 12 police
officers and 44 protesters were injured in the worst street violence since
the country became independent in 1991.

“These actions confirm that they have nothing to do with respecting and
protecting the memories of those who fell during World War II,” the
statement continued.

But there is also little doubt that the Estonian government was intent on
expunging any glorification of the Soviet past. It accuses the country’s
larger neighbor of continuing to defend the worst actions of a totalitarian
system.

“It is beyond my comprehension why Russia, which calls itself a democracy,
is unable to face squarely the history of the Soviet Union,” Estonian
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said in an interview last month with the
Russian government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta. “Russia, unfortunately,
is still playing blindman’s bluff with the past.”

Estonian officials have pointed out that war memorials have been demolished
in Russia and generated little of the indignation directed at Estonia.

This month in the Moscow suburb of Khimki, authorities removed the graves
and headstones of six World War II pilots as part of what they said was a
necessary road-widening project. Officials also later said the site had
become a gathering point for prostitutes who desecrated the site.

Communist legislators said that local officials were little better than
vandals and that it was hypocritical to loudly condemn Estonia while
remaining silent on similar actions at home. Young communists who protested
the exhumation were reportedly beaten by police on a suburban train after a
demonstration against the exhumation.

Local officials say the remains of the pilots will be reburied on the
upcoming May 9 anniversary.                               -30-
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/27/AR2007042702434.html

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9. WORK TO BEGIN SUNDAY ON MOVING DISPUTED ESTONIAN
                  WWII MONUMENT TO A MILITARY CEMETERY
 
EUX.TV, Brussels, Belgium, Saturday, April 28, 2007

TALLINN (dpa) – The Estonian government pledged on Sunday morning to
relocate a Soviet war memorial to a military cemetery in Tallinn, 48 hours
after its removal sparked the worst riots in a century.

“The Estonian government will begin preparatory work to relocate the grave
marker (Bronze Soldier) on Sunday, 29 April, at the military cemetery in
central Tallinn,” a foreign office press release announced.

On Saturday night, after several days of riots that left one person dead, a
heavy police presence remained in Tallinn but there were no reports of
serious incidents and the city appeared largely calm.

On Thursday morning, police in Tallinn began fencing off the memorial site,
which consists of a seven-foot bronze statue overlooking an unknown number
of graves, in preparation for its government-ordered removal.

The nationalist government said that forensic experts would examine the
graves and identify the remains before any move would be made to lift the
statue from its plinth.

Estonian nationalists see the monument as a reminder of their country’s
illegal occupation by the Soviet Union, but ethnic Russians see it as a
memorial to Russians’ sacrifice in the battle against Nazism.

The move to isolate the memorial site triggered mass rioting among Estonia’s
ethnic-Russian minority. In two nights of street battles, one man was
killed, close on 200 were injured, and shops across the city centre were
attacked and looted.

At the height of the rioting on Thursday night, government ministers took
the decision to have the statue removed instantly and in secret.

Rumours quickly surfaced that it had been cut to pieces or melted down for
scrap. The government announcement, made soon after midnight, appears to
come in response to those rumours.

Ministers are under pressure to have the statue erected in its new home
before 9 May, the day on which Russians traditionally celebrate Soviet
victory in World War II by taking flowers to the statue.            -30-

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LINK: http://www.eux.tv/article.aspx?articleId=7312
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10.    MAYOR OF KHARKIV, UKRAINE OFFERS HOME TO 
    DISMANTLED ESTONIAN WWII SOVIET WAR MEMORIAL
 
 
EUX.TV, Brussels, Belgium, Friday, April 27, 2007

KIEV – (dpa) – The mayor of Ukraine’s third-largest city on Friday offered
to give a home to a war memorial responsible for deadly street violence in
Estonia.

One man was killed and dozens were injured on the night of Thursday to
Friday after opponents to the dismantlement of a bronze memorial to Soviet
troops clashed with police in the Estonian capital Tallinn.

Myahilo Dobkhin, mayor of Kharkiv, offered his city as a new home for the
statue, now that Estonian authorities have torn it down.


“I would like to suggest to you the transfer of the ‘bronze statue’ … to
the city Kharkiv,” Dobkin wrote in a letter sent Friday to Estonian
authorities, according to the Interfax news agency.

Kharkiv’s city government would also be prepared to build a cemetery for the
remains of Soviet soldiers still buried at the Estonian monument, Dobkin
said. “We would give them the most honourable site in our city,” he said.

Russian government officials and average citizens alike have reacted angrily
to the Estonian decision to remove the monument – a move seen by many
Russians as deliberately insulting to Soviet troops who fought to liberate
Estonia from German rule during World War Two.

Estonian nationalists however have long seen the Tallinn war monument as an
unpleasant symbol of Soviet conquest of the Baltic republic, which was an
independent nation prior to Soviet invasion.

The question of whether Soviet wartime operations were good or bad for
regions adjacent to Russia is also sensitive in Ukraine – a former Soviet
republic divided roughly equally between Russian speakers living in the East
and South, and Ukrainian speakers living in the North and West of the
country.

Traditionally, the Russian speakers believe the Red Army recapture of
Ukraine during 1943 and 1944 to have been a positive event, while the
Ukrainian speakers see it as conquest by a foreign power. Kharkiv is

located in the heart of Ukraine’s Russian-speaking east.

Street fighting in Estonia in the wake of the monument removal left 44
civilians and 12 police injured, 99 buildings vandalized and over 300 people
arrested in the worst civil violence the Estonian capital has ever seen.

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11.   RED ARMY MONUMENT REMOVED FROM TALLINN
                    AMID MOSCOW-ENCOURAGED RIOTS
                Moscow objects to removal of Bronze Soldier in Tallinn

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Vladimir Socor
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 83
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash DC, Friday, April 27, 2007

At 5 am on Friday, April 27, the Soviet-Russian occupation of Estonia ended
in a symbolic sense with the removal of the Red Army monument known as the
Bronze Soldier from downtown Tallinn.

The expected event triggered riots by young local Russian hooligans and
drunks of irrelevant ethnicity during the night preceding the removal.

Excavation at the presumed war graves site around the Bronze Soldier was
scheduled to begin with an inter-denominational religious ceremony at 10 am
on Friday.

However, with violent rioting in full swing downtown, the government decided
at 3 am during an emergency session to have the monument removed
immediately, so as to defuse the potential for more trouble.

Some 1,500 people, mostly local Russians, some of them mobilized by the
Nochnoy Dozor (Night Watch) red-brown group, had gathered around the

Bronze Soldier in the pre-midnight hours. Some tried unsuccessfully to break
through police lines, while most of them rampaged on shopping and
residential streets downtown.

The rioting received a second wind after the looting of liquor from bars on
Tatari Street. Scores were injured, many of them by glass from vandalized
shops. One death was reported in a stabbing incident. Thirteen policemen
received injuries requiring hospitalization. Some 300 rioters were arrested
throughout the night.

The Estonian government had decided in January to relocate the Bronze
Soldier as well as any remains of Red Army soldiers that might be found at
the site from downtown Tallinn to a military cemetery outside the city.

During the intervening months, Russia’s government and television channels
instigated local Russians to protest in anticipation of this event. Kremlin
and Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials as well as Russian parliamentary
leaders accused Estonia of reviving “fascism” and offending Russia as well
as local Russians through the intention to remove the Bronze Soldier and,
more generally, through the interpretation of World War II and Soviet rule
in the Baltics.

In Moscow, the pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi threatened to send

scores of its members into Estonia to guard the Bronze Soldier.

Clearly, Moscow calculated that “anti-fascist” protests in Estonia would fit
well into Russia’s overall political campaign against the Baltic states on
the international level as well as in Russia itself. However, the spree of
drunken vandalism that actually ensued in Tallinn will not easily be
ennobled by Moscow as “political protest.”

A few remains of Red Army soldiers might be buried at the site where the
Bronze Soldier stood until today. The site was not treated as a war grave
during the occupation era; indeed, it was and is located at a busy traffic
intersection downtown.

More recently, Soviet nostalgics sought to re-define the site as a war grave
in hopes of staving off its relocation and that of the monument. Indicative
of Soviet Russian authorities’ disdain for the lives of their troops, the
possible military grave around the monument was not certified or

documented.

Estonian authorities offer to treat the Bronze Soldier’s site according to
international legal standards by attempting to identify any remains of
troops there and re-burying them with honors at the Estonian Defense
Ministry’s military cemetery, located on the outskirts of Tallinn.

Should any remains of Soviet soldiers be found at the Bronze Soldier’s site
(or anywhere else in Tallinn), they would not have died in combat against
German troops, but rather against a few Estonian paramilitaries desperately
resisting the occupation. The Red Army entered Tallinn three days after the
last German troops had withdrawn.

During those three days, an Estonian government legally continuous with the
pre-war Republic of Estonia exercised authority in Tallinn.

On April 18, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs chief spokesman Mikhail
Kamynin announced that a protest note had been handed over to the Estonian
Embassy in Moscow, warning of “serious consequences for relations between
Russia and Estonia” if the Bronze Soldier is relocated from Tallinn.

In the evening of April 26, Russia’s Ambassador in Tallinn, Nikolai Uspenski
appeared uninvited at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to announce
that he was “categorically refusing” an earlier Estonian invitation to
delegate an embassy observer to the excavation of the site around the Bronze
Soldier.

Russian authorities overreacted again on the morrow of the Bronze Soldier’s
relocation. High-level officials in Moscow used inflammatory language
describing the Estonian authorities’ procedure as “blasphemous” and

“mocking the dead.”

On April 27, the Federation Council passed unanimously a resolution asking
President Vladimir Putin to consider breaking diplomatic relations with
Estonia.

The Duma International Affairs Committee’s chairman, Konstantin Kosachev,
alluded to possible economic sanctions: he is “awaiting decisions by the
executive branch, in the first place from those responsible for trade and
the economy.” Ultimately, however, Moscow’s reaction is likely to remain
confined to rhetoric.                                          -30-
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(BNS, Interfax, April 26, 27) http://www.jamestown.org

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12.        CHORNOBYL: WE MUST REMEMBER

STATEMENT: Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA)
Washington, D.C., Friday, April 20, 2007

April 26, 2007, will mark the 21st anniversary of the Chornobyl tragedy, the
worst peacetime nuclear disaster in human history.

On the advent of this day, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America
(UCCA), the principal representative body of the Ukrainian American
community, urges all Ukrainians in the United States to solemnly commemorate
this tragic anniversary.

It is the prerogative of the world to remember this dreadful event in order
to prevent the recurrence of similar disasters.  The explosion at the
Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant changed the life of the entire planet and

many still continue to live with its horrific consequences to this day.

Tens of thousands of victims in Ukraine and other countries, whose
territories were polluted by the radioactive fallout, have suffered
immeasurable ecological, medical, economic, and social consequences.

Unfortunately, twenty-one years after the tragedy, the international
community is beginning to forget that the effects of the Chornobyl
catastrophe are long-term and Ukraine requires assistance in neutralizing
the radioactive waste produced by the accident.

Future generations will continue to experience the consequences of this
disaster and constant attention to the medical and other issues will help
guarantee the successful resolution of these problems. Ukraine’s national
treasury, by itself, is incapable of meeting the needs of the clean-up.

The UCCA urges the Ukrainian American community to hold commemorative

events on April 26th, the date of this tragic anniversary. We have a duty to
inform the wider public about the current situation in Chornobyl and the many
problems that still require resolution.

It is necessary to continue helping the victims of the Chornobyl tragedy and
work toward neutralizing its consequences by involving the international
community. Only by doing so will we be able to ensure eternal memory of this
tragic chapter in human history and prevent similar accidents from occurring
in the future.

On behalf of the UCCA Executive Board,

Michael Sawkiw, Jr., President
Marie Duplak, Executive Secretary

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13.   RADA DIRECTS CABINET TO IMPROVE SOCIAL WELFARE
                 OF CHORNOBYL NUCLEAR ACCIDENT VICTIMS
 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, April 20, 2007 

KYIV – The parliament has directed the Cabinet of Ministers to improve

the social welfare of victims of the Chornobyl nuclear accident.
The relevant parliamentary resolution (No. 3396-D), which was registered in
the parliament on March 27, was approved by 250 votes. Only 226 votes were
required for its approval.

In particular, the resolution provides for indexing the pensions of
Chornobyl victims, establishing the average cost of their tickets for group
tours in order to pay them compensation for the 2005-2006 period, increasing
the expenditures on treatment of Chornobyl victims in 2007, and drafting a
program for providing them with housing in the 2008-2012 period.

Moreover, the parliament directed the government to draft a program for
comprehensive economic development of territories contaminated by radiation
and submit the program to the parliament for approval and increase subsidies
to the town of Slavutych and increase expenditures on support for
maintaining the shelter over the Chornobyl nuclear power plant’s destroyed
reactor in a safe state.

The resolution also directs the Cabinet of Ministers to take measures to
launch operation of the first stage of the Vektor complex and a factory for
processing liquid radioactive waste in 2007, construct barriers aimed at
localizing radioactive waste, and complete pre-contract negotiations on
construction of a new, safe confinement.

The resolution also directs the government to take measures to sign a
contract for construction of the confinement and start designing and
constructing it.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, 12 disabled people involved in the
clean-up operations after the accident at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant
went on a hunger strike in Donetsk from March 20 to 29 to demand an

increase in their pensions.

The participants in the hunger strike said that they would end the hunger
strike after a review of their pensions in accordance with the amendments to
the Law of Ukraine No. 796 of October 10, 2006 and the law No. 231-V on
recalculation of pensions to disabled liquidators of the accident at the
Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

The Cabinet of Ministers approved a national program for decommissioning the
Chornobyl nuclear power plant and transforming the shelter over the plant’s
destroyed reactor into an ecologically safe facility in March 2006.

The explosion of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant’s fourth reactor in 1986
is the worst man-made accident in history.                   -30-

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14. UKRAINIAN MINISTER & EBRD’S PRESIDENT DISCUSS PROJECT
              IMPLEMENTATION AT CHORNOBYL POWER STATION

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 24, 2007

KYIV – Ukraine’s Emergency Situations Minister Nestor Shufrych and the
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s President Jean Lemierre
have discussed the projects that are being implemented at the Chornobyl
nuclear power station under programs administered by the EBRD.

The press service of the Kyiv office of the EBRD announced this in a
statement, citing a meeting between Shufrych and Lemierre in London.
Lemierre stressed the importance of close cooperation between the EBRD

and the government of Ukraine on this issue.

‘Our obligations to the international community of donor-nations that are
financing these projects lie in effective and rational work with the
Ukrainian side with the aim of transforming Chornobyl into a safe and
environmentally stable system’ he said.

Shufrych agreed with Lemierre, saying that the recent conclusion of
stabilization work on the shelter over the Chornobyl nuclear power plant’s
destroyed reactor was an example of the results that could be achieved
through joint efforts.

He stressed that this complicated project, which involves performance of
work outside and inside the Chornobyl sarcophagus, was implemented on
schedule and without a budget overrun.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Shufrych said in December 2006 that the
main stage of the stabilization work on the shelter over the destroyed
reactor had been completed, as a result of which 50% of the load on it had
been shifted to a new structure.
Ukraine expects to complete construction of the new shelter over the
destroyed reactor by the year 2011.

The explosion of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant’s fourth reactor in 1986
was the world’s worst man-made accident.                    -30-
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15.  CONSTRUCTION OF NEW SHIELD AT CHORNOBYL TO START

              IN SUMMER OF 2007, PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO SAYS
 
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, April 25, 2007
KYIV – The installation of a new shield over the reactor of the destroyed
Chornobyl nuclear power plant will start this summer, Ukrainian President
Viktor Yuschenko has said.

“Five years ago, we reached an agreement with our partners in the world to
launch a new project for the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, which is called
Shelter. These are arch coverings, the erection of which will start in
several months,” Yuschenko said in Maryanivka in the Kyiv region on
Wednesday.

The project has been estimated at $800 million, and “all projects related to
the cleanup of the aftermath of the Chornobyl disaster will cost Ukraine
$1.2 billion,” he said.

The project’s implementation will take several years, Yuschenko said. “The
purpose of the Shelter project is to dismantle the obstructions that
appeared there after the explosion at Chornobyl, evacuate and bury them,

and then dismantle all the installations, including the shelter itself, and
leave in fact green grass there,” he said.

April 26 will be the 21st anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster.    -30-
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16.  UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT URGES GOVERNMENT, SOCIETY TO

              SPARE NO EFFORT TO REVIVE CHORNOBYL ZONE

Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, April 26, 2007

KYIV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko has urged Ukraine’s

government and society to spare no effort to revive the Chornobyl zone,
the presidential press service reported on Thursday.

“As head of state, I insist that all executive bodies make it their priority
to develop the contaminated territories, rehabilitate those affected by the
accident and create favorable conditions for their activity,” he said in an
address marking the 21st anniversary of the Chornobyl catastrophe.

Yuschenko said it was vital to introduce healthcare and economic reforms in
that area and attract investment to revitalize it. “Chornobyl’s . revival
has been and will be our paramount goal,” he said. “Our common obligation

is to take care of the people affected by the sorrow of Chornobyl.”

Lots of things have been done in the past decade but many more things still
have to be done, he added, and thanked the country’s international partners
for their assistance in dealing with the aftereffects of the blast.

“We are deeply grateful for this support. We hope all the obligations
assumed by the international community will be fulfilled,” he said. “I am
convinced we will succeed and see Ukraine prosper if we unite, particularly
to resolve our Chornobyl problems. This is our obligation and our
responsibility for posterity.”                          -30-

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17. UN SECRETARY GENERAL CALLS ON GLOBAL COMMUNITY TO
HELP REVIVAL OF REGIONS SUFFERED FROM CHORNOBYL DISASTER

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, April 26, 2007

KYIV- Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon calls on global
community to help revival of regions that suffered from the Chornobyl
disaster.

This follows from the UN Secretary-General address on occasion of the 21th
anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster, a copy of which Ukrainian News has
obtained.

The statement tells that although the world should never forget the loss and
pain caused by the tragic incident, it is imperative to move forward.

The Secretary-General underlines that, after two decades, a return to normal
life is a realistic prospect for people living in the Chornobyl-affected
regions.

To achieve this aim, what these areas need most now is sustainable social
and economic development, new jobs, fresh investment and the restoration of
a sense of community self-sufficiency. “Great progress has been achieved,
but international assistance remains essential,” Ban thinks.

The statement stresses that the people affected by Chernobyl have shown
great resilience in coping with a disaster of tremendous magnitude.

“The Secretary-General calls on the international community to do its part
in helping them to bring a region so rich in history and potential fully
back to life,” reads the statement.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, President Viktor Yuschenko calls for
rehabilitation of territories polluted due to Chornobyl nuclear power plant
disaster.

The Chornobyl reactor explosion in 1986 polluted the territories of Ukraine,
Belarus Russia and less polluted territories of a number of European
countries. As of January 1, 2004, there were 2.9 million registered victims
of the disaster.                                      -30-

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18. NUCLEAR INDUSTRY SEEKS TO ESCAPE CHORNOBYL’S SHADOW

By Breffni O’Rourke, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, April 25, 2007

PRAGUE – The explosion and fire at the Chornobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine
happened in the early hours of April 26, 1986, and the world would never be
quite the same again.

At first, the Soviet authorities said nothing, and the first clear
indication that something was wrong came when monitoring devices in Sweden
began registering alarming increases in background radiation.

Deep unease quickly spread across Western Europe as people realized a huge
cloud of radioactivity was drifting toward them.
              EXTENT OF DISASTER SLOWLY REVEALED
In the Soviet Union and in Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe, people had still
not been told of the danger.

Finally, on April 28, Soviet television carried a short announcement that
gave no indication of the magnitude of the disaster: “There has been an
accident at the Chornobyl nuclear power station.

One of the atomic reactors has been damaged. Measures are being taken to
eliminate the consequences of the accident. Assistance is being given to the
injured and a government commission has been set up.”

That simple message did not convey the drama going on at Chornobyl. U.S.
satellite images showed that a reactor block at the nuclear power plant was
blown apart and burned out.

Teams of men were fighting to stabilize the site, with each extra minute of
exposure to the intense radiation sealing also their own fate.

It was not until two weeks later that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev
recognized the unprecedented scale of the accident. In a speech on May 14,
he expressed sympathy for the victims.

“All of you know that we have been struck by a misfortune recently — the
accident at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant,” Gorbachev said. “It has
painfully affected the Soviet people and troubled the international
community. We have, for the first time, confronted in reality the dreadful
force of nuclear energy that got out of control.”
                        NUCLEAR ENERGY NOW GREEN?
The accident plunged the civil nuclear power industry around the world into
crisis, as the public turned away from the possibility of more such
environmental disasters. And so the matter might have rested, but for a new
perceived danger: global warming, thought to be caused mainly by fossil-fuel
use.

Iran’s Bushehr power plant is one of many in construction around the world
(epa file photo) The nuclear industry has begun the fight back. Ian
Hoare-Lacy, a spokesman for an industry group, the World Nuclear
Association, says that nuclear power makes sense.

“It’s hard to see how we’re going to grapple with lowering carbon emissions
without [nuclear energy] worldwide; nuclear energy is the main technology
ready to be deployed on a much wider scale for generating electricity
without carbon emissions,” Hoare-Lacy says.

He notes there are 440 reactors now online in the world, with some 30 new
plants under construction. And if nuclear energy is going to contribute
meaningfully to carbon-emission reductions, then there could in future be a
fourfold increase in this number of reactors. Modern reactor design, he
says, removes the possibility of another catastrophe like Chornobyl.
               …OR STILL ENVIRONMENTAL THREAT?
Environmental activists disagree, and continue to regard nuclear power as
fatally flawed.

“Nuclear power could be part of the solution to global warming, but it
produces toxic waste that stays dangerously radioactive for tens of
thousands of years, it’s intimately associated with nuclear weapons, and can
be very expensive; as a result we believe there are better solutions than
nuclear power to the problem of global warming,” says Roger Higman of the
Friends of the Earth organization.

Higman lists all the alternatives, from solar and wind power to tidal power,
to efficiency improvements and electricity-saving programs. However, many
people are not convinced these “green” alternatives would be sufficient to
power the heavily industrialized world.

He also points to the issue of nuclear weapons proliferation — a potential
problem when it comes to nuclear power.

“The technologies that are used — enrichment technologies, reprocessing
technologies — can all be used to make materials for bombs, so there is an
intense suspicion of countries like Iran, North Korea, when they develop
their nuclear-power programs,” Higman says.

“That’s a big impediment to fighting global warming, because we have to be
confident that any solution we use, we are happy for other countries, other
parts of the world to use also, because global warming is an international
problem,” he adds.

Meanwhile, Chornobyl’s seething mass of radioactive debris waits. The
concrete sarcophagus built around the ruins of the shattered reactor in the
months following the fire is rotting, weakened by intense radioactivity.

A U.S.-European consortium is building a new billion-dollar containment
building, which should be ready by next year. But that won’t be the end of
the Chornobyl story by a long way.                       -30-
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http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2007/04/1ec57428-306e-4758-9295-f6eb7cc1ced4.html

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19.  INNER RADIATION ON THE RISE AROUND CHORNOBYL 

Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, April 26, 2007

MOSCOW – Lands surrounding the Chornobyl nuclear power plant will

remain dangerous for thousands of years, Greens faction member Alexei
Yablokov told Interfax. The Greens are a component of the Yabloko Party.

It will be impossible to live even 50 kilometers away from Chornobyl,
because of plutonium pollution. Plutonium requires 300,000 years to totally
decompose, he said.

The size of the polluted area will shrink with time, but vast territories
outside the 50-kilometer radius will remain hazardous for another 180-200
years, he said.

Today, about 5 million people live on these lands in Russia, Ukraine and
Belarus, Yablokov said. The inner radiation of these people constantly grows
because of the radionuclides absorbed with radioactive food.

“After more than 20 years, the amount of radionuclides has fallen. But the
inner radiation is increasing and that will last for several years, maybe, a
decade,” the expert said. Radioactive food is responsible for 40% of
radioactive contamination of lands close to Chornobyl, he said.

“According to demographers, the death rate on these lands is 3.5-4% higher
because of Chornobyl. About 300,000 people have died due to contamination
within the past 15 years,” he said.

More than 200,000 Russian citizens took part in the Chornobyl cleanup, the
Russian Chornobyl Union said. Nearly three million Russians were affected by
the nuclear accident.

Chornobyl cleanup veterans are now suffering from endocrine, blood, mental,
nervous, osseous and intestinal disorders. More than 70,000 people have
become incapacitated, and nearly 30,000 Chornobyl cleanup veterans have
died.                                                  -30-

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20. EFFECTS OF CHORNOBYL CONTINUE TO DIVIDE EXPERTS

INTERVIEW: With Thomas Tenfordee, President
U.S.-based National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements
BY: Heather Mayer, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Washington, D.C., Thursday, April 26, 2007

WASHINGTON -Twenty-one  years after the terrible accident at the Chornobyl
nuclear plant, now in present-day Ukraine, there continues to be
disagreement over how seriously humans and the environment have been
affected.

RFE/RL’s Heather Mayer spoke to Thomas Tenfordee, the president of the
U.S.-based National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements.

RFE/RL: Greenpeace says reports from the World Health Organization (WHO)
and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have downplayed and even
deliberately reduced the number of cancers that have occurred as a result of
the accident at Chornobyl. How do you respond?

Thomas Tenfordee: The information I have is that they documented about 4,000
thyroid cases among the exposed population, but nearly all of them were
successfully treated. More than 99 percent of them were treated and have
survived.

So the number of fatalities was small, even though the incidence was quite
high compared to what you would normally expect for a population of that
size, with the age distribution they have.

I think they’ve done a good job in containing the problem. I don’t believe
there’s been any effort to conceal information. I think it’s available in
the “Chornobyl Forum” [report, from the United Nations] and a variety of
other publications.

The question that is being examined now is are there other types of disease
that may have been related to radiation exposure and people are looking to
see if there’s any evidence for an increase in leukemia or breast cancer, or
other types of noncancer thyroid diseases.

Right now the jury is still out in terms of whether there is a statistically
significant increase in those cancers among the most highly exposed
individuals.

Right now, there’s maybe hints of a little excess in breast cancer and
leukemia in the most highly exposed people but as I say, the jury is still
out on that, so it will be very important to continue watching and
monitoring that population and see what might develop over the coming years.

RFE/RL: A report by the IAEA has recommended that the governments in
affected areas put more effort into easing what it calls the “psychological
burden” of the population affected by the accident — people who have been
displaced from their homes, etc.

Greenpeace says this is an attempt to divert attention from serious
illnesses that are occurring. Is the IAEA right to worry about people’s
stress levels?

Tenfordee: That is, I think, well established. There was great anxiety and I
think there was an elevated rate of abortions among pregnant women who were
exposed or potentially exposed in the Belarus or Ukrainian areas that were
affected.

Dr. Evelyn Bromet at Brookhaven National Laboratory is an expert in that
area and has studied the psychological stress and trauma suffered by some of
the population and I don’t believe there’s any debate about whether there
was a lot of psychological stress and trauma. I believe that’s pretty well
established and accepted by everyone.

RFE/RL: Greenpeace also says that UN agencies like WHO and the IAEA have
signed a memorandum of understanding that essentially says they agree not to
say bad things about nuclear energy. Because of this memo, Greenpeace says
the effects of Chornobyl have been “whitewashed.” How do you answer that
criticism?

Tenfordee: I know there is great concern about the public response to any
nuclear accident. You’re fully aware of the rather overblown response in the
United States to Three Mile Island, [the 1979 accident at the Three Mile
Island nuclear power plant in New York state] which really released so
little radiation in the public domain that you’d be hard-pressed to say
there was any excess cancer at all.

Of course, Chornobyl was a much different story, that was a much more major
event that released a lot of potentially harmful radiation and the reaction
worldwide was very strong.

And so those who feel that the nuclear option is an alternative to
carbon-based fuels that are polluting the atmosphere and possibly causing
global warming — in fact, very likely causing global warming — I think
there’s a tendency to try, I don’t know what the right word is, maybe
downplay the effort or the significance [of Chornobyl].

The nuclear industry is really working hard, I’m quite familiar with what
they’re doing to improve the safety of nuclear power reactors.

The new generation of reactors will have some marvelous safety features that
the older reactors didn’t have and, of course, operationally there’s a new
awareness of the need to proceed in a proper and cautious manner in any
reactor operation. And when you have people doing experiments that were
inappropriate, under the wrong conditions, you invite accidents like
Chornobyl.

And that was just a very tragic, misguided effort by some operators at the
Chornobyl No. 4 reactor that should never have happened.

So I guess the point that probably is being made, and I haven’t heard this
directly myself but I can imagine that the attitude is look, the nuclear
industry is trying very hard to be safe because it is a viable option for
expanding our power-production capabilities and the fact that there were a
few people who did some very stupid things that led to some tragic outcomes
should not reflect on the entire nuclear industry.

RFE/RL: If you were living in one of the affected regions, how would you go
about finding objective and truthful information about, for example, whether
it’s safe to eat food produced in the contaminated region, or to move back
to one of the evacuated areas?

Tenfordee: Well, if you’re talking about people in the former Soviet Union,
there are some very credible and honest scientists at the Russian Academy of
Sciences.

And there are other institutes near Kyiv and I would advise them to seek
advice and counsel from the scientists at these institutes because they have
studied and published widely on the sciences and health consequences and I
have found them to be very honest, credible people.

And one thing that’s important that I think people don’t realize is that
radioisotopes like iodine-131 decay pretty fast, in other words, iodine-131
loses half of its radioactivity level in eight days. So here we are many
years past the Chornobyl events, so the iodine-131 has all decayed into
harmless daughter products.

So levels of radiation are orders and orders less than they were immediately
after the accident. So people tend not to understand that, and think, if
it’s radioactive today it will be radioactive forever. Well that’s not
actually true with nearly all types of radioactivity.

There are some very long-life radio isotopes and some of those were released
but they were in minor quantities compared to iodine-131 and even
cesium-137, another major byproduct. That has about a 30-year half-life, so
we’re only halfway decayed down and that’s still a major contaminant.

But I recommend that they seek the advice and guidance of the scientists at
the Russian Academy of Sciences and I would think their local medical
services should be able to provide them with answers to their questions.

Those are not unreasonable questions, the public asks that all the time, and
they have a right to know and a right to get the correct information.

So the answer is, yes there’s still contamination, but it’s already much
less than it was immediately after the accident, and there’s been a major
effort to try to clean up the contaminated areas.

And the Ukrainian government in particular has really gone to some great
lengths to try and ensure the safety of the land and the food products and
the water, as best they can.                                  -30-

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21. ON THE 21ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHORNOBYL TRAGEDY

STATEMENT: Ukrainian Canadian Congress
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Thursday, April 26, 2007

April 26, 1986 is a tragic date in world history. On this day the worst
nuclear explosion in the history of mankind occurred at the Fourth reactor
of the Chornobyl nuclear power station in Ukraine, changing the lives of
millions of people forever and causing great suffering to many others.

The global scale of this tragedy shocked the world. A United Nations 1995
Report estimated that a total of 9 million people were directly or
indirectly affected by the Chornobyl disaster and that 3-4 million of those
affected were children. The people of Chornobyl were exposed to radiation
300 times greater than that from the Hiroshima bomb.

An area the size of England, Wales and Northern Ireland combined – over
160,000 square kilometres – is estimated to have been contaminated by the
disaster.

On the 21st Anniversary of Chornobyl, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress
appeals to the entire Ukrainian Canadian community along with other
countries and people of Ukraine to commemorate victims of this catastrophe
by taking part in church services and other commemorative events,
remembering the liquidators and firemen who contained the disaster of the
Chornobyl nuclear power station and saved the world from an even greater
disaster, and by praying for those whose suffering from the consequences of
the accident.

This day is also a good opportunity to reflect on what has been done and
what needs to still be done. The government of Canada, along with the
Ukrainian Canadian community, has made significant contributions to Ukraine
by participating in international programs in the areas of health, the
environment, the economy and the social sphere all of which are aimed at
neutralizing the consequences of this accident.

Canada is a major contributor to the building of the so-called sarcophagus
around the crippled reactor, which acts to contain radioactive debris
emitting from the site.

UCC will continue to work together with the Government so that the most
effective and timely means are used to nullify the effects of the accident
on the population of Ukraine and to avoid such tragedies in the future. -30-
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Ostap Skrypnyk, Ex Dir, Ukrainian Canadian Congress, 204 942 4627;

Cell 204 229 6577; www.ucc.ca; E-mail: ostap.skrypnyk@ucc.ca
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22.            REACHING THROUGH THE BLACK CLOUD:
   College Student Mission Trip to Aid Post-Chornobyl Orphanages in Ukraine.

By Hieromonk Daniel (Zelinsky), Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
South Bound Brook, New Jersey, Thursday, April 26, 2007

At exactly 1:23AM on April 26, 2007 the world marks the 21st anniversary of
the Chornobyl Nuclear disaster in Ukraine, but the tragedy lingers in
heartbreaking ways.

Twenty one years ago, a nuclear power plant in the former Soviet Ukraine
exploded not once, but twice, soaking the atmosphere with 100 times more
radiation than the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August
1945.

His Excellency Kenzo Oshima, appointed Under-Secretary for Humanitarian
Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator took the issue of Chronobyl to
heart, being a Hiroshima survivor.

In his capacity as United Nations Coordinator of International Cooperation
on Chornobyl , he launched the report “The Human Consequences of the
Chornobyl Nuclear Accident: A Strategy for Recovery”, in which he wrote:
“This accident at Chornobyl is much more than the worst technological
disaster in the history of the nuclear age – it is also a grave and
continuing humanitarian tragedy.”

The Nuclear plant is located on the border area between Ukraine and Belarus.
At the time of the accident, about 7 million people lived in the now
contaminated territories, including 3 million children.

Over 5 million people, including more than a million children, still live in
contaminated zones, according to the Chernobyl Children’s Project
International (CCPI), a Not-For-Profit organization based in New York, New
York.

The institution provides community-level programs, and humanitarian and
medical aid programs, designed to offer hope to the youngest and most
vulnerable victims of the Chornobyl disaster – the children.

The disaster struck just as Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Secretary General of
USSR (1985-1991), who was elected as the first Communist party leader born
after the revolution in Russian in 1917, was beginning his perestroika
campaign to modernize and reform the Soviet system.

Fred Weir In These Times writes that Gorbachev won short-term political
advantage by publicly hammering his bureaucratic enemies who, true to form,
had clammed up and for 10 days refused to tell the world what was happening
at Chornobyl. The Soviet model of economic development was exposed as
wasteful, hazard-ridden and out-of-control.

Millions of people, brought up to believe in the system, irreversibly lost
faith as they floundered in that terrifying 10-day information vacuum,
wondering whether they and their children were being slowly poisoned by
invisible clouds of radiation.

Decades later, radioactive elements are spread through dust particles
deposited in the earth by rainfall or enter the food chain through plants
and animals, according to the CCPI. Millions continue to be exposed to these
low doses of radiation, and their children are showing the tragic results.
Many of them are born with disabilities so severe their parents either do
not want them or cannot help them.

Research indicates that as a result of the radiation buildup in their
system, the children face many serious health problems, including trouble
with their teeth, heart, thyroid, and ears, as well as an increased risk for
nutritional deficiency, heavy metal poisoning, and cancer.
WORDS AS POOR, ORPHAN, WIDOW BECAUSE A SOBER REALITY
Suddenly, such words as poor, orphan, widow became a sober reality to over
52 million Ukrainians (in 1986) and millions of people across the globe. In
months to follow the Tragedy, thousands of charitable institutions and world
governments reacted to this tragedy by offering their assistance and
humanitarian aid to those who suffered the consequences of the nuclear
explosion.

Christianity demands that care for the poor and orphans is fundamental to
God’s plan and we must actively engage in identifying and implementing the
best ways to provide this care. God’s promise of care for the poor, the
orphans, and the widows has always been a tremendous source of hope during
times of severe difficulty.

 he college-age youth of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA have
admirably taken on the challenge of orphan care and advocacy in the
post-Chornobyl orphanage environment in Ukraine. In 1996 His Eminence
Archbishop Antony, announced that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the

USA was about to take on a new major humanitarian effort in Ukraine.

Thus, begun the Church’s long-term relationship with the Children of
Chornobyl Relief and Development Fund (In November of 1989, in response to
an urgent appeal from a Deputy of the Ukrainian Parliament, (Volodymyr
Yavorivsky) during his visit to the US Congress and the National Press Club,
Dr. and Mrs. Zenon and Nadia Matkiwsky organize a committee to provide an
emergency shipment of antibiotics to children’s hospitals in Ukraine.
               CHILDREN OF CHORNOBYL RELIEF FUND
That committee eventually becomes the Children of Chornobyl Relief Fund. At
he 10th anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster the Church and the CCRDF
raised over $150,000 to establish two Neo-natal intensive care units in
Chernihiv and Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine.  The most successful effort with the
CCRDF however, has been an Orphanage Adoption Program (OAP).

It began when two sisters in California donated $40,000 for orphan care in
Ukraine. The CCRDF identified two orphanages with 120 children each, poorly
managed, deteriorated facilities, understaffed and under funded.

The Consistory of the UOC of the USA committed to a five year plan to adopt
the two orphanages in Ukraine: Znamianka, a small city in Kirovohrad
province – right in the center of Ukraine – and Zaluchya, a village in the
foothills of the Carpathian Mountains (Ivano-Fankivsk province).

Four years later, the Church sends the first College Age Youth Mission Team
to both orphanages in order to build relationships between the Ukrainian
orphans and Christians of the UOC of the USA, and by doing so to bring
Mission Team members closer to Christ through a ministry of service.
                                 FIVE SPECIFIC GOALS
The Church begins to fulfill this purpose by pursuing five specific goals:

     1) sending clothing and diapers to the orphanages,
     2) obtaining special needs school supplies for the orphanages,
     3) providing wheelchairs and required medical assistance for the
         orphans,
     4) raising financial assistance for projects in the orphanages, and
     5) establishing a specific prayer relationship between the Mission Team
         members and orphans so that through that ministry the students may
         “be Christ” and reaffirm the Holy Orthodox Faith among the orphans
        they care for and the people of Ukraine.

Dictionaries often define orphan as “a child whose parents are dead.”
However, very often the word “orphan” can be used interchangeably with
“outcast.” Outcast is a person excluded from a society or system. This
certainly describes many orphaned children.

Even though many orphans, or outcasts, have living parents or family, they
have been left on their own, whether children or adults, and they come in
many different shapes, sizes, ages, and races.

Charity is a multiaspect human activity, a social, psychological and
economical phenomenon which has ancient traditions throughout history.

Giving alms to poor was the original form of charity in the most remote past
and no passage in the Bible is more clear on this point than our Lord’s
words in Matthew 25: 31-46: “Whatever you did for the least of these
brothers of mine, you did for me…”
                 MERCY IS BASIS OF RELIGIOUS MORALS
Mercy is the basis of religious morals and serves as the foundation for
various kinds of charity. Institutional childcare has a long history.
Records show that the first institutions of this kind date back to Byzantine
Empire in 335 AD and later developed throughout the Middle Ages. In Kyivan
Rus a social system of care for the needy began its formation with adoption
of Christianity.

Dr. Fedor Stupak of the National Museum of Medicine of Ukraine explains that
by his statute of 996 Kyiv Prince Volodymyr officially imposed the duty of
supporting for charity on clergy, when allotted a tithe for maintenance of
monasteries, churches, charity houses and hospitals.

For many ages the church and monasteries remained centers of social aid to
the old, crippled and sick. Prince Volodymyr himself served a model of
compassion for his people and was “true father for the poor”.
                  DO NOT LEAVE THE SICK WITHOUT HELP
Other princes followed him. Volodymyr Monomakh stated the prince’s duties in
respect to the poor is such a way: “Be fathers for orphans, do not allow the
powers to ruin the weak; do not leave the sick without help”.

Our compassion, charity, expose the depth of our faith. A pure and undefiled
characteristic of Christianity is this: to care for orphans, widows and poor
in their distress. No passage is clearer on this point than Matthew 25:
31-46, which describes our Lord’s judgment of mankind.

He distinguishes those who have true faith from those who do not by
examining the fruit they produce in their concern for the orphans, widows,
the poor, homeless and the sick.

A sensitive social conscience and a life poured out in deeds of mercy to the
needy is the inevitable outcome and sign of true faith. God can judge from
such deeds whether ours is true love or simply lip service.

The overall goal of the Church’s efforts has been to utilize the Mission
Trips of the UOC of the USA to Ukrainian orphanages to minister to orphans
and to have positive influence on the entire Church membership through the
witness of those participating in these Mission Trips.

Hopefully such witness will foster a deeper understanding of social outreach
programs as a dimension of the Orthodox Faith and encourage the
establishment of other ministry programs based on that understanding.

Upon His Eminence Archbishop Antony’s return back from Ukraine in 2001 with
about 50 pilgrims of the UOC of the USA, the Archbishop encouraged faithful
of the Church to act upon their desire to assist newly independent country
Ukraine.

However, his call for assistance was not one of financial aid to political
and questionable religious organizations, but to the places like orphanages,
hospitals and schools.

In other words – directly places where the aid would make an immediate
difference in the lives of people. The response was that thousands of
faithful of the Church heard the call and responded to.

Parishes as well as individual parishioners began to ship containers of
clothing to both orphanages. At the same time parishes organized fund
raising events in order to benefit Church’s Orphanage Adoption Program.

It was a sudden revival of spirit in most of the parishes, because the
images of suffering and hungry children remained on the pages of Ukrainian
Orthodox Word, the official publication of the UOC of the USA, for months
appealing for donations, relating personal accounts of missionaries about
their experiences and projects accomplished.

Dr. Ihor Mahlay, a deacon in the UOC of the USA and director of the
Consistory Office of Missions and Christian Charity of the UOC of the USA,
as well as a member of OCMC (Orthodox Christian Missions Center) board of
trustees and a member of Zoe for Life, and Orthodox organizations to assist
young women dealing with pregnancy issues, and a dentist by profession in
the USA, visiting the orphanage in 2005 treated all 120 children with basic
dental hygiene.

We were told that since then there was no dental care provided, which means
that most of these children have damaged (rotted) teeth. Our supplies for a
doctor’s office included pain medicine, tooth paste and brushes for children
as well as other basic medical items.

The second goal of the Orphanage program to provide needed supplies for
the educators in both orphanages is being fulfilled through generous
donations of individuals and parishes throughout the USA.

Beyond the missionary team’s delivery of school supplies many more boxes of
educational toys, books, notepads, pens, pencils, video and audio supplies
are sent to the orphanages on a monthly basis. Letters of gratitude and
receipts from shipping companies continue to arrive witnessing to the fact
that our aid is on its way.

While at the orphanages, it has been our experience that it is very
difficult to transport children manually from one location to another.
Whether it is a physical therapy session or massage therapy, children must
be brought from the second floor of the building to the first floor using an
old staircase.

CCRDF through its numerous charitable channels in Ukraine was able to
encourage Swiss humanitarian aid company to construct an oversize elevator
for the orphanage that transports about 35 children at the same time in
their chairs or beds. However, that still does not solve an issue of easier
mobility of children.

As of August 2005, there were only 2 operational wheel chairs and 4
tricycles available at the Zaluchia orphanage.  In addition, there were no
wheel chair accessible ramps constructed. Through the CCRDF’s intervention
and Church’s financial support the back yard play ground is being restored
and ramps are built.

The Church’s Mission Trip is a time for spiritual renewal of each of its
participants (including the leadership), as well time for reflection on who
we are as Orthodox Christians, people who claim to follow in the footsteps
of our Lord.

Each day begins and ends with a prayer. While staying at Znamianka orphanage
in Central Ukraine we lived in the orphanage building itself, which enabled
us to have children participate with us in daily prayers.

Tanay Tschaikowska reflects on her spiritual journey while at the orphanage:
“Then, while in Zaluchya, after another moving service of Holy Unction
performed by Father Daniel, I had another pivotal moment.

Each of the children was anointed, and was given an icon card of the Virgin
Mary.  All of the kids loved the gifts, and I saw many kissing the icons,
and many more asked us to kiss them.

I was sitting with Ulyana, a brilliant girl who has learned to write and
paint by grasping instruments in her teeth,  and Vasyl, a quiet, patient
little boy who has little use of his legs, and I was holding Alina, a very
young girl with Down’s Syndrome in my lap.

Ulyana turned to me and asked me to read to her what was written on the back
of the icon card.  I hadn’t really paid attention to the back until this
point.

There, written in Ukrainian, were the Beatitudes.  I started reading them to
the kids, and by the time I had reached the end, I was in tears.  I realized
that these children truly are blessed.  They are poor, meek, they mourn;
they are all of these things.

I was crying tears of joy because I realized that though they may face great
hardships in their lives on earth, ‘great will be their reward in heaven.”

A number of children in both orphanages were not baptized. Therefore, we
baptized dozens of kids with our team members becoming Godparents.

My only hope that the team members remain true to their calling to be true
God parents for those kids. We also conducted Holy Unction services,
anointing children with the blessed oil for the healing of their souls and
bodies.

As a Team we prayed every day for the orphans but we also knew  that we were
prayed for. Prior to our Trip, His Eminence Archbishop Antony led a
Commissioning of Missionaries prayer service at which he challenged us with
the words: “Do not be afraid.”
                      BE NOT AFRAID TO TOUCH, LOVE, HUG
Be not afraid to touch, love, hug; be not afraid of being touched. How
prophetic his words were, we did not only touch the lives of those children
we were touched by Christ ourselves.

These are the reflections of Laryssa Tschaikowska and Eric Senedak, both
members of the Mission Team: “At first it was shocking to see some of the
orphans’ conditions.  Some were severely physically and mentally handicap
and found it hard to communicate.

However, when we placed our hand on there faces or held there hands, you
knew that that child felt your presence.  This was the greatest feeling for
me on the mission trip.  Our original mission was to bring God to these
kids, yet it turned out that these kids brought God to me.

It was understood from the beginning that it was our mission to bring aid
and comfort to the orphans in Znamyanka and Zaluchya. We were to spend time
in each orphanage playing with the children and hoped that by our actions we
would show the face of Christ to them.

It was my duty to bring these children closer to Christ but they ended up
bringing me closer to Him. They taught me acceptance, patience, tolerance,
and most importantly love in its purest form. They taught me the true
meaning of being created in the image of Christ.”

These reflections testify to the fact that through the OAP and her mission
efforts, the Church assists her youth to recognize and develop its spiritual
potential and its ability to be true witnesses of Christ in our society.

These are several of the main goals that were achieved as this project came
into existence. It does not mean, however, that it is limited only to these
efforts. There are number of other factors that will be taken into
consideration as this project progresses in the years to come.

With the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Constantine, the project is
headed now by two co-chairs, directors of the Consistory Offices of Youth
and Young Adult Ministry Natalie Kapeluch-Nixon and Missions and Christian
Charity Fr. Dn. Dr. Ihor Mahlay.

This mission trip to the Ukrainian orphanages is not simply a nice tourist
journey at the end of summer sponsored by the Church in order to reward a
group of people either for their dedication to or work in the Church. This
mission experience can significantly alter and enhance the kind of ministry
that takes place in a local parish family or greater community.

The number of college age students involved in these mission trips grows
each year and the Youth Ministry of the Church is enhanced as the program
develops an increased emphasis on ministerial social outreach and
discipleship.

The Orthodox communities in the 20th century had a lot of strengths,
including a stress on the importance of Faith or an emphasis on communal and
personal piety. However, a key element that was often missing was the
recognition that social action must be important part of the Church’s
ministry.
                  LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF
The time has come in the 21st century to respond faithfully to Christ’s
commandment to “make disciples of all nations” (Mt. 28: 19) and to “love
your neighbor as yourself” (Mt. 22:39).

A strong commitment to the importance and urgency of Evangelism is vitally
important both to the health of the Church and to the spiritual vitality of
individual believers.

At the same time, individuals and parishes must remember that exhibiting a
concern for the physical well-being of people enhances our witness and
follows the example of our Lord.

There are those who understand the love of Christ because they are told
about it with words. There are many others who only understand the love of
Christ because someone takes the time to show them through actions.

There are many young people who have bought into the message of the culture
around them that one will find happiness when one acquires more money, more
possessions and more power. All these can bring happiness for a time, but it
is soon discovered that they are not sufficient – one always wants more and
we strive for something “greater”.

The Church’s Orphanage Mission project seeks to provide opportunities for
college age students to experience ministry in a variety of settings so that
they can experience the joy that comes from serving others.

While the effects of the Mission Trip experience could be described with
such words as extraordinary, moving and spiritually uplifting for the team
members it is also important to reflect upon the impact that these trips
have had on the UOC of the USA. Parishes of the UOC of the USA throughout
the country have been reenergized by the spirit of 10-17 young people
traveling to Ukrainian orphanages.

At the latest Clergy Conference of the UOC of the USA, pastors of parish
communities from all over the county stated that unless our parishes begin
reaching out to the lost and searching in our own neighborhoods, here in the
USA, our efforts to assist those in other countries will fall short of
success.

The parishes with a strong outward thrust more easily communicate the
missionary responsibility of the Church than those communities that are
content with status quo.

I am sure that the Church’s Orphanage Adoption Program in Ukraine is a
primary impetus behind the enthusiasm and change in attitude toward
community outreach throughout the UOC of the USA.

The Church as the Body of Christ is, in faith and action, the embodiment of
God’s commandment to “love one another as I have loved you,” calling us to
“hunger and thirst for justice” and to be peacemakers in a world of
injustice, oppression and poverty.

As the Body of Christ, we must reach out into our communities to serve the
“least among us” — the poor and the vulnerable. This is the work of the
community oriented parish’s outreach ministry.

As we mark the 21st anniversary of the tragic explosion, we must realize
that only with the passage of time and additional research will we
understand the full extent of the impact of the Chernobyl disaster on the
health of those in the affected regions.

Experts disagree on how many of the following problems are specifically
caused by radiation, and also recognize that poverty, poor diet, lifestyles,
and even fear of radiation, are contributing factors to the health problems
seen in Chornobyl affected regions.

However, since Christianity is not a private lifestyle choice, although some
in society would like to confine it to this, Christian living and Christian
values have public benefits and consequences.

                               CALL TO EVERY PERSON
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA calls on each person to maintain
and improve the decencies of public life and to provide sustained Christian
reflection on the principles that should animate and govern political,
economic, and social arrangements in a good society.

If you are interested in participating in a Mission Trip or make a voluntary
donation to the Orphanage Fund, contact the Office of Public Relations of
the UOC of the USA at (732) 356-0090 or ConsistoryOPR@aol.com
——————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.uocofusa.org/news/Reaching_Through_Cloud.shtml,
includes several photographs.  Subheading inserted editorially by the

Action Ukraine Report (AUR). 
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
23.  UAOC COMMEMORATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY

Bishop Paul Peter Jesep, By Appointment of His Beatitude Metropolitan
Myfodii of Kyiv and All Ukraine, Director of Public Affairs in the United
States, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church,
Kyiv Patriarchate, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, 13 April 2007

The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) issued its annual
statement regarding Holocaust Memorial Day, Sunday, 15 April 2007.

It called on God’s children, regardless of faith or denomination, to reflect
on one of the most tragic and gruesome events in human history. UAOC

Church leaders directed its priests, bishops and faithful throughout the
Diaspora to remember the victims in prayers over the weekend.

“Jewish sisters and brothers were abused, tortured and murdered during the
Nazi Holocaust,” said Bishop Paul Peter Jesep, Director of Public Affairs in
the United States, who serves as spokesperson by Appointment of His
Beatitude Metropolitan Myfodii of Kyiv and All Ukraine for the Ukrainian
Autocephalous Orthodox Church, Ukraine’s third largest Orthodox Church.

“This crime against humanity is one of history’s darkest periods,” Bishop
Jesep said. “Those murdered must be remembered in our prayers, in our

hearts and in our consciences as part of the universal family to which we all
belong.”

Bishop Jesep said, “Other family members like Gypsies, Communists, the
disabled, Slavic gentiles, political mavericks, gays and lesbians, Christian
pastors and priests, and uncategorized souls who thought outside the social,
cultural and political box were calculatingly and maliciously murdered in
the camps as well.”

“Holocaust Memorial Day is about one family under the same God,” Bishop
Jesep said. “Sadly, after the fall of Nazism the world still experienced
atrocities in Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda and Cambodia.

And in Ukraine we remember the artificial-famine of the Holodomor. As one,
united family we must fight bigotry and racism. An attack against one member
is an attack against all of us. It is one of the timeless reminders of
Holocaust Memorial Day.”

“President Viktor Yushchenko should especially be applauded for his efforts
to criminalize those who deny the genocide of the Holocaust and Holodomor,”
he added. “This weekend is a time of reflection as to what it means to be
part of God’s family.”                                -30-
————————————————————————————————-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
24. U.S. HOUSE URGES QUICK ACTION BY EUROPEAN COUNTRIES
                            TO OPEN VAST NAZI ARCHIVES

Desmond Butler, AP Worldstream, Washington, D.C.,  Wed, Apr 25, 2007

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives is urging five countries

to speed up the opening of a secret Nazi archive that documents the lives and
deaths of millions of World War II concentration camp inmates.

In a resolution passed with bipartisan support Wednesday, the House urged
the international commission that controls access to the archives ratify
changes in a 1955 international agreement on the management of the files to
make them public. The U.S. Senate passed a similar resolution earlier this
month.

Until recently the archives held in Bad Arolsen, Germany, had been kept in
secrecy. The documents’ importance became clearer in recent months after The
Associated Press obtained extensive access to the material on condition that
victims not be identified fully.

At its meeting last month, the 11-member commission set in motion a process
to open the records by the end of this year after all 11 had ratified the
decision. Britain, Israel, Netherlands, Poland, Germany and the United
States have ratified; Belgium, France, Greece, Italy and Luxembourg have not.

The House resolution, introduced by Democrat Alcee Hastings and Republican
Mark Kirk urged the commission to “consider the short time left to Holocaust
survivors and unanimously consent to open” the archives, if the remaining
five countries to not ratify the changes by May.

“It is beyond shameful that for 62 years, Holocaust survivors, their
families and historians continue to be denied immediate access to Nazi
archives,” Hastings said in a statement.

The House resolution also urged the countries that have not ratified the
opening to follow through and do it. The Bad Arolsen archives contain 30
million to 50 million pages of documents that record the individual fates of
more than 17 million victims of Nazi persecution, the resolution says.

The files have been used since the 1950s to help determine the fate of
people who disappeared during the Third Reich and, later, to validate claims
for compensation.                                 -30-

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========================================================
25.  U.S. CONGRESS WEIGHS ARMENIAN GENOCIDE RESOLUTIONS

By Karoun Demirjian, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, Tue, Apr 24, 2007

WASHINGTON — Every April 24, U.S. presidents commemorate the official day
of remembrance of the Armenian genocide with a speech or statement carefully
crafted to avoid use of the word “genocide.”

U.S. officials have avoided the word because Turkey, a key ally, strongly
opposes the characterization to describe the early 20th Century deaths of an
estimated 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks.

In the past, members of the House and Senate have proposed resolutions
calling on the president to utter the phrase “Armenian genocide,” but the
efforts have run aground in the face of political concerns voiced by both
Democratic and Republican administrations.

In the past year, however, the struggle over the word “genocide” has
received international attention through a series of high-profile news
events, commencing with the passage of a bill in the lower house of the
French parliament criminalizing denial of the Armenian genocide and
extending to the political murder of a prominent Turkish-Armenian
journalist.

The issue has caught the attention of many U.S. lawmakers, and with House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sympathetic to the cause, advocates are
hopeful that by next year’s commemoration survivors and their descendants
will find closure to a 92-year struggle to gain official recognition for the
mass killings that took place in the Ottoman Empire in World War I.

Aram Hamparian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of
America, a Washington-based lobbying group, said that if the resolutions
came to a vote in the full House and Senate, they would pass. “It’s time to
let public policy catch up with the truth,” he said.

The House version is co-sponsored by 190 lawmakers, with 29 senators
supporting the nearly identical Senate version presented by Sen. Dick Durbin
(D-Ill.).

Should the measures reach the floor, it would be the first time since 2000,
when then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) responded to a request from
the Clinton administration by pulling a resolution on the use of the word
“genocide” only minutes before a scheduled vote.

The bill’s advocates had hoped that Pelosi, a longtime advocate for
recognition of the Armenian genocide, would bring the bill to a floor vote
by Tuesday. Yet the bill still is lingering in the House Foreign Affairs
Committee, where it has not been scheduled for a vote.

As a member of NATO and a key transit link for oil, Turkey has long been an
important U.S. ally, and officials at the highest levels of the Bush
administration are wary of straining that relationship.

In a letter to Pelosi and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom
Lantos (D-Calif.) last month, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and
Defense Secretary Robert Gates wrote that Turkey — which borders Syria,
Iraq and Iran — is “a linchpin in the transshipment of vital cargo and
fuel” to U.S. troops in the Middle East.

A negative reaction from Turkey to a resolution on the Armenian genocide
“could harm American troops in the field, constrain our ability to supply
our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and significantly damage our efforts to
promote reconciliation between Armenia and Turkey,” Rice and Gates wrote.

Daniel Fried, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian
affairs, added to the alarm in March when he told Lantos’ committee that
Turkey could respond to a genocide bill by blocking U.S. access to Incirlik
air base, a transit point in southeastern Turkey for nearly three-quarters
of all military cargo headed for Iraq.

But some legislators see the administration’s warnings as misapplied
fear-mongering. “You can essentially sum up the argument against recognition
in one word: expediency,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who is author of
the House resolution and represents a district with the largest ethnic
Armenian population in the country.

“I don’t see how we can speak with moral authority on the genocide in Darfur
if we’re unwilling to speak with clarity about the genocide against the
Armenians,” Schiff said. “It cannot be our policy that we’ll recognize
genocide when it’s committed by the politically weak, as in Sudan, but not
the politically strong, as in Turkey.”

Advocates of the bill add that a negative reaction from Turkey would not be
crippling. “Each time we discuss this, Turkey has predicted the end of the
world, or threatened to cut off all ties,” Hamparian said.

But since Turkey refused to let the U.S. use its territory as an entry point
into Iraq during the 2003 invasion, he said, American dependence on Turkey
has waned.

“Turkey has relationships with the U.S. because it makes sense for Turkey,”
Hamparian said. “So these doomsday threats are really just threats to punish
themselves.”

Turkey vehemently rejects the assertion that Armenian deaths during World
War I constituted genocide, maintaining instead that those killed — which
it numbers at 300,000 — were the unfortunate casualties of widespread war.

Genocide — or lack thereof — is a contentious issue within Turkey. Tension
spiked in January with the murder of Hrant Dink, a prominent
Turkish-Armenian journalist who had been sentenced to jail under Article 301
of the Turkish penal code, which makes it a crime to insult “Turkishness.”

Turkish officials have invoked his death — publicly mourned by Armenians
and Turks alike — as a rallying point to call for more academic and
historical dialogue between the two ethnic groups. That same call is being
echoed by those attempting to stymie debate over the genocide issue in
Congress.

But Schiff questioned calls for dialogue from a country that he says is
still campaigning to censor parts of the debate. “There’s really no denying
that the murder of a million and half Armenians constituted genocide,” he
said.

“Iran is in the business of hosting conferences denying the Holocaust. We
shouldn’t be in the business of supporting conferences to debate undeniable
facts of genocide.”                                    -30-

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
26. EUROPEAN UNION PLANS TO OUTLAW HOLOCAUST DENIAL
         Baltic Countries & Poland holding out for inclusion of “Stalinist crimes”

By Tobias Buck in Brussels, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Wednesday, April 18 2007

Laws that make denying or trivialising the Holocaust a criminal offence
punishable by jail sentences will be introduced across the European Union
under a proposal expected to win backing from ministers tomorrow.

The proposed legislation will also apply to inciting violence against
ethnic, religious or national groups with offenders facing up to three years
in jail.

Diplomats in Brussels voiced confidence yesterday that the plan, which has
been the subject of heated debate for six years, will be endorsed by member
states.

However, the Baltic countries and Poland are holding out for an inclusion of
“Stalinist crimes” alongside the Holocaust in the text – a move that is
being resisted by the majority of other European countries.

The latest draft, seen by the Financial Times, will make it mandatory for
all EU member states to punish public incitement “to violence or hatred
directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by
reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin”.

They will also have to criminalise “publicly condoning, denying or grossly
trivialising crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes”
provided such statements incite hatred or violence against minorities.

Diplomats stressed the provision had been carefully worded to tackle only
the denial of the Holocaust – the Nazi extermination of Jews during world
war two – and the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

They stressed that the wording was designed to avoid criminalising plays or
films about the Holocaust, such as Roberto Benigni’s prize-winning Life is
Beautiful or the musical The Producers. The text expressly upholds
countries’ constitutional traditions relating to the freedom of expression.

Holocaust denial is a criminal offence in several European countries
including Germany and Austria. It is not a specific crime in Britain, though
UK officials said it could be tackled under existing legislation.

In an attempt to assuage Turkish fears, several EU diplomats said the
provisions would not penalise the denial of mass killing of Armenians in the
aftermath of the 1915 collapse of the Ottoman empire. Turkey strongly
rejects claims that this episode amounted to genocide.

The proposal draws what is likely to be a contentious distinction between
inciting violence against racial or ethnic groups and against religious
groups. Attacks against Muslims, Jews or other faiths will only be penalised
if they form a “pretext” for incitement against ethnic or racial groups.

This will mean that the proposal will criminalise appeals to kill or
persecute, for example, all Germans or blacks but not a similar incitement
to violence against Jews or Muslims.                     -30-

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
27.     MANY PARTIES ACROSS EUROPE DISSATISFIED WITH EU 
                JUSTICE MINISTER’S AGREEMENT TO CRIMINALIZE
                INCITEMENT TO RACIAL HATRED AND XENOPHOBIA 
      
Turkish Daily News, Istanbul, Turkey, Saturday, Apr 21, 2007

The EU justice ministers’ agreement to criminalize incitement to racial
hatred and xenophobia on Thursday in Luxembourg after long and fractious
negotiations, which took nearly six years left many parties across Europe
dissatisfied with the outcome and shed light on major differences between
member states, wrote the Guardian and Financial Times

According to the British daily Guardian, anti-racism campaigners, Jewish
groups and the EU term president Germany were disappointed with the fact
that the law does not ban Holocaust denial and Nazi symbols as such.

The European Jewish Congress expressed its uneasiness about the law by
emphasizing Europe’s special historic responsibility to combat
anti-Semitism, which was not included in the final version of the draft.

The draft has also made apparent the difference between European countries
such as Germany, Austria and France, which already have laws banning denial
of the Holocaust and Britain, Ireland and the Nordic countries that resisted
such a measure in the past so as not to compromise academic or artistic
freedom unless it specifically incites racial hatred

The business daily Financial Times reported on the other hand that the
Armenians were also displeased with the law since the events of 1915 in the
Ottoman Empire during World War One, which Armenians insist should be
recognized as genocide were not included in the text of the law.

Laurent Leylekian, the executive director of the European Armenian
Federation expressed fierce criticism and said the law showed “a great
amount of hypocrisy”. “Excluding Armenia’s suffering would be a moral
failure,” he said

According to the FT, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as the eastern
European states were also unhappy with the ultimate wording of the law that
does not contain any special reference to the Stalin and communist era
crimes.                                                -30-

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AUR#835 Apr 26 Parlimentary Elections Delayed Until June 24; Shell Brand Name; WTO Membership In Trouble/Delayed?; Holodomor Cross Erected In Village

=========================================================
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 835
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 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.     UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO DELAYS ELECTIONS
            “I am signing a decree to call an early election for June 24, 2007.”
Official Website of President of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, April 25, 2007

2. DEFIANT UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT CALLS EARLY POLL FOR JUNE 24
by Stephen Boykewich, AFP, Kiev, Ukraine, Wed Apr 25, 2007

 
3STATEMENT: ON SOCIAL AND POLITICAL SITUATION IN UKRAINE
Committee of Voters of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday April 25, 2007

4.           UKRAINE URGED TO SOLVE ITS CRISIS PEACEFULLY,
                        BUT COULD THE EU HAVE DONE MORE?
European Parliament, Strasbourg, France, Wed, April 25, 2007

5US CONGRESS UKRAINE RESOLUTION/STATEMENT INTRODUCED
                   Urging all sides to the current political crisis in Ukraine
         to act responsibly and use dialogue to resolve the crisis and ensure a
     free and transparent democratic system in Ukraine based on the rule of law.
U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., Tue, April 17, 2007

6.UKRAINIAN PM SAYS NEW ELECTION DECREE UNCONSTITUTIONAL
Reuters, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, April 26, 2007

7THERE IS NO NEOCON CONSPIRACY BEHIND CRISIS IN UKRAINE
                This power struggle is a matter of domestic politics to be
                        resolved by fresh elections, says Nat Copsey
COMMENTARY: By Nat Copsey, The Guardian
London, United Kingdom, Thursday April 26, 2007

8. OUR UKRAINE & VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO REVIVE THEIR FORTUNES
                     Yushchenko and Tymoshenko factions quit parliament
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Taras Kuzio
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 77
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash DC, Thursday, April 19, 2007

9.              UKRAINE: THE COSTS OF POLITICAL INSTABILITY
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Tom Coupe
Director of the Kyiv School of Economics and
Academic Director of the Kyiv Economics Institute
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Apr 25 2007

10.                                           FILL THE RADA
                     In practice, the parliament is empty most of the time
EDITORIAL: Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Apr 25 2007

11.                   SHELL: USING BRAND CAPITAL IN UKRAINE
By Anne Marie Davis, Energy Business Review Online
London, UK, Tuesday, 24th April 2007

12.        ANALYSTS SEE LIMITED BIOFUEL FUTURE IN UKRAINE

        BECAUSE IT IS SHORT OF CASH TO SUPPORT PRODUCTION 
               Likely to remain solely a supplier of raw material to Europe
ANALYSIS: Pavel Polityuk, Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Mon, Apr 23, 2007

13LARGEST RAPE PRODUCER IN UKRAINE RENTS 70,000 HECTARES 

AgriMarketInfo, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, April 25, 2007

14.      UKRAINE MUST WORK MIRACLES TO JOIN WTO THIS YEAR
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, April 24,2007 

15.      ECONOMY MINISTER SAYS WTO DEAL COULD BE DELAYED
By John Marone, Kyiv Post News Editor
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine,Wednesday, Apr 25 2007

16POLAND & UKRAINE DISCUSS AIRLINE MARKET LIBERALISATION 
Polish News Bulletin, Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, April 24, 2007

17.              EUROPEAN UNION TRADE CHIEF ISSUES WARNING 

                                        ON EU-RUSSIA MISTRUST
             Russia tends to see Europe’s engagement in former Soviet countries
               such as Ukraine “not as the concern of a friendly partner, but the
                               encroachment of a self-interested neighbour”.
By George Parker in Brussels, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Friday, April 20 2007

18.                           YANUKOVICH’S LUST FOR POWER
LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Taras Kuzio
The Washington Times, Washington, D.C., Thursday, April 26, 2007

19.       UKRAINIAN TV CHANNEL, NEWS AGENCY SUSPEND LIVE
                   NEWS CONFERENCES TO AVOID MANIPULATION 
UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1522 gmt 23 Apr 07
BBC Monitoring Service,United Kingdom, Wed, April 23, 2007

20 THE ORANGE CHRONICLES – A DOCUMENTARY ON UKRAINE
                 Showing Friday, April 27th, 6-8 pm, Washington, D.C. A

                          Also classical concert on Sunday, April 29th
The Washington Group, Washington, D.C., Thursday, April 26, 2007
 
21.    RUSSIA’S PUTIN SAVES HAMMER AND SICKLE AFTER ROW
                    Hammer and Sickle will stay on the “Victory Banner”
By Christian Lowe, Reuters, Moscow, Russia, Friday, April 20, 2007
 
22    NEW BOOK: “SEVEN YEARS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD:
             PERESTROIKA IN PERSPECTIVE” BY ARCHIE BROWN
Oxford University Press, UK, Thu, 19 Apr 2007
 
         1932-1933 HOLODOMOR VICTIMS IN VILLAGE OF MYRIVKA
The Day Weekly Digest, #13, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 24 April 2007
 
24.                                LET’S UNEARTH THE TRUTH
                     ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN 1915 TOGETHER
                 Turkey Invites Armenia To Study Historical Facts Together
Full-Page Advertisement: The Washington Times
Washington, D.C. Monday, April 23, 2007, Page A5
 
           A once-secret bunker, located 60 meters beneath central Moscow,
  opens to the public and may soon contain a museum devoted to the Cold War.
By Anna Malpas, Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia, April 20-26, 2007
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1
        PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO DELAYS ELECTIONS
            “I am signing a decree to call an early election for June 24, 2007.”

Official Website of President of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Victor Yushchenko has signed a decree to delay early elections. In a
televised address to the nation, he said:

Dear fellow citizens,

On April 2, I issued a decree to dissolve the Verkhovna Rada. As I explained
at that time, the motive behind my decision was clear and simple – Ukraine’s
parliamentary coalition had been formed through unconstitutional means.
Mandates of lawmakers were manipulated on the basis of political corruption,
which led to the manipulation of your votes and your choice.

This was, in fact, a revision of the political results of the elections and
a brutal violation of the fundamental principles of the constitution. The
ruling coalition was deliberately expanding its majority to make its rule
uncontrollable, posing a threat to the nation’s sovereignty and Ukraine’s
constitutional order.

On July 11, 2006, the rules of coalition formation were violated too, when
individual deputies joined it, but all the participants of the political
process, including me, Ukraine’s president, thought it was an episode. We
thought it was necessary to pass this episode, for the country needed
political stability after the two election campaigns.

However, in the March of 2007, the practice of luring opposition lawmakers
into the majority became widespread and common. This led to massive
violations of the constitution. You, your choice, our freedom and our
country, its sovereignty and unity were in grave danger.

As guarantor of Ukraine’s supreme law and the observance of your rights

and freedoms, I stopped this assault and had to interfere in the situation in
Ukraine’s parliament by disbanding it.

I fulfilled my obligation as Ukraine’s president. I protected the national
constitution, and, in fact, I fulfilled my oath of office.

So today I want to state firmly: there will be an early parliamentary
election in Ukraine. This is the only way to vaccinate Ukrainian politicians
with the sense of responsibility for each of you, because you are a real
power.

You rule the state and form the source of government and the country’s
government. My position is uncompromising: I firmly demand the snap poll
must be well prepared and held.

I would like to say that I heeded a statement by the Central Election
Commission, which had been made two days ago, that it had no quorum,
creating very serious obstacles and making it impossible to hold the
election on May 27, 2007.

These impediments were also enumerated in yesterday’s ruling by the Supreme
Administrative Court of Ukraine. I expressed my concerns to Ukraine’s prime
minister over the refusal of the cabinet of ministers to finance your vote.
This action is criminal.

At the same time, one month has passed since the Verkhovna Rada re-formatted
the coalition unconstitutionally. Now the president of Ukraine can fully
exercise his right to dissolve parliament according to article 90 of Ukraine’s
constitution.

I am confident in the legality and political expediency of such a decision.
I am convinced Ukrainian society will understand it, as well as all
responsible Ukrainian politicians.

So we will have the election. We will hold it peacefully, fairly and in a
democratic manner, as it should be done in a democratic state. In order to
conduct it without problems to democratically resolve problems in the
country’s life and guided by article 5 of Ukraine’s constitution, I am
signing a decree to call an early election for June 24, 2007.

My step is sober and reflects constructive political will. Ukraine needs
changes. The people of Ukraine deserve a better fate and better politics. I
am determined and eager to achieve this.

Thank you for your attention.                             -30-
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2. DEFIANT UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT CALLS EARLY POLL FOR JUNE 24

by Stephen Boykewich, AFP, Kiev, Ukraine, Wed Apr 25, 2007

KIEV  – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Wednesday postponed early
parliamentary elections to June 24, a month later than the date he set in a
decree that sparked a political crisis here.

“In order to hold elections as soon as possible and find a democratic,
political resolution to the problems in Ukraine… I am signing an order to
hold early elections for Ukraine’s parliament on June 24,” Yushchenko said
in a televised address.

Speaking to a small group of Western journalists earlier, a defiant
Yushchenko accused his pro-Russian opponents Wednesday of corruption and
violating the constitution, expressing confidence he would win a bitter
stand-off.

Yushchenko also said early parliamentary elections would be held on June 24,
a month later than the date he set when he dissolved parliament earlier this
month, sparking a paralysing feud with arch-rival Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych.

The Western-leaning president on April 2 called for early elections, saying
the pro-Russian ruling coalition led by Yanukovych had been illegally
poaching deputies in the parliament.

Reacting to the president’s announcement Yanukovych, just arrived in
Uzbekistan Wednesday, decided to cut short his visit and return to Ukraine.

“The president’s decision is to say the least astonishing given that talks
to find a way out of the crisis started Wednesday,” said a spokesman for
Yanukovych.

“It’s unreal, it’s crazy, it’s agonising,” said Vassyl Kisseliov, a leading
member of Yanukovych’s Party of the Regions, told the Interfax agency.

Yanukovych’s coalition can currently muster about 250 votes in the
legislature, 50 short of a threshold of 300 needed to make changes to the
constitution and possibly oust Yushchenko.

The deputy poaching was “a grave violation of the spirit and letter of the
constitution,” Yushchenko told the journalists.

“I’m convinced that Ukrainian society today clearly understands the need to
hold new elections. Only new elections can lead to a new acceptance of the
legislative branch of power.”

He added that three-quarters of Ukraine’s population was ready to vote in
new elections. “The constitution was violated. The parliament needs to take
responsibility.”

In a televised address later Thursday, he set the date of June 24 “in order
to hold elections as soon as possible and find a democratic, political
resolution to the problems in Ukraine.”

The date he initially set, May 27, was impractical because of problems with
the make-up of the country’s electoral commission, he said.

In the interview, Yushchenko cast the crisis as “a test for democracy, to
see whether we can respond with democratic methods or with conflicts and
clashes.”

But signs of weariness among ordinary Ukrainians were visible throughout the
city after more than three weeks of political deadlock.

Pedestrians strolled past a stage on the city’s Independence Square,
oblivious to the giant screens and loudspeakers relaying speeches by members
of the ruling coalition.

In a small tent city set up by coalition supporters across the street,
sunburned young men had laid down their banners to kick a football around.

The streets were livelier around the country’s top court, where thousands of
protestors gathered in rival camps during hearings on whether the
president’s order to dissolve parliament was constitutional.

The hearings ended Wednesday after a chaotic eight days marked by political
sparring and judges’ claims of intimidation.

It was unclear when the court would rule, though the president planned to
consult with judges on Friday on the course of their deliberations, an
official at the presidential administration said.

The stand-off is being closely watched by outside powers anxious about the
political course of this country of 47 million people, located between the
European Union and NATO to the west and Russia to the east.   -30-
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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3. STATEMENT: SOCIAL AND POLITICAL SITUATION IN UKRAINE

Committee of Voters of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday April 25, 2007

Political crisis in Ukraine came to a boil. Controversies between political
forces are so deep that any further escalation would bring about disastrous
consequences for the Ukrainian nation.

At the same time, the majority of decision-makers have realized that the
only way to overcome the political crisis is to hold snap election of
national deputies in 2007. Ukrainian people are of the same mind.

According to survey of the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, about
80 per cent of Ukrainians are going to take part in the early election – the
figure is unique even for regular elections.

At the same time, the CVU believes that a campaign arranged in a rush, lack
of funding and poor organizational efforts, violation of principles of
transparency and openness would only exacerbate a crisis, let lone solving
the conflict. Voters will be able to form their opinion about political
forces if perfect and democratic election process is organized.

The Committee of Voters of Ukraine initiates following measures to be taken
for improvement of the election process and rising responsibility of the
elected persons before voters:

Political forces should reach a compromise and cancel their inconsistent and
contradictory resolutions. Terms of compromise and obligations of parties
should be set forth in an open document.

Compromise should include an agreement on holding the snap parliamentary
election in October 2007 upon voluntary dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada

of Ukraine of the 5th convocation.

At that, term of campaign should be four months. All counterparts should
observe procedures established for regularly election.

Prior to declaring the snap election, the MPs should renew their activities
and make amendments to the Law on Election. They should establish the
proportional election system with “open lists” of candidates for national
deputies. The CVU believes that “open regional lists” would be the best
option for Ukraine.

If the “closed lists” are preserved, the VR should amend the Law on Election
and the Law on Political Parties. Such acts should secure secret rating
voting of party congresses for priority of candidates in a party’s list.

Parties and blocks, which have already nominated their candidates for a snap
election, should publish data on their candidates on official web sites of
such parties.

As the unified register of voters can not be formed at a tight schedule,
working groups for forming lists of voters should renew their activities as
soon as possible.

In order to enforce responsibility of national deputies before their
constituency, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine should pass the Law On Rules

of Procedure of the VR immediately after unblocking their activities.

In particular, the Law should impose a ban on faction switching, require
personal voting of MPs (no handing over MP cards) and implement mechanisms
for cooperation of national deputies with their voters (monthly reports
etc).

The Law should provide for various penalties for violation of such norms, up
to termination of a MP’s office. CVU expects political parties to waive
their personal claims and reach a consensus while taking into account
opinions of non-affiliated Ukrainian NGOs.
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Press Service of the CVU, Committee of Voters of Ukraine
P.B. 181, Kyiv-133, 01133  tel./fax: (044) 492-27-67
E- mail: press@cvu.kiev.ua, http://cvu.org.ua

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4.  UKRAINE URGED TO SOLVE ITS CRISIS PEACEFULLY,
                  BUT COULD THE EU HAVE DONE MORE?

European Parliament, Strasbourg, France, Wed, April 25, 2007

With the political crisis in Ukraine continuing, MEPs discussed the
situation with the Council and Commission. While Ukraine is seen as a vital
interest of the EU, there was a consensus that the country’s politicians
must find a solution themselves without outside interference. Some speakers,
however, suggested that the EU might have played a more active role in
Ukraine’s recent political development.

                                 COUNCIL AND COMMISSION
Opening for the Council, Germany’s Federal Minister of State Günther Gloser
welcomed this opportunity to debate developments in Ukraine, adding that
their importance could not be overstated.

Ukraine’s 2004 “Orange Revolution” had set an example for other states in
the region, he said, but the wrangling required to form a government
thereafter had proven very difficult.

In April 2007, President Viktor Yushchenko had sought to dissolve
Parliament, which had refused. The case was now before the constitutional
court and the Council was in close contact with all the protagonists
continued Mr Gloser. I

f the court could settle the constitutionality issue, then well and good,
but political compromises would still be needed, he continued, adding that
he welcomed assurances from both sides that violence would not be used to
settle disputes.

Free and fair elections and a free press are essential to the democratic
process and would always have the EU’s support, he concluded.

For the Commission, Vladimir Spidla reminded MEPs that negotiations for an
expanded co-operation agreement with Ukraine had begun on 5 March and
stressed that a solution to the current difficulties must be found.

The Commission was especially concerned at the apparent hardening of
differences between President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych, he added.

“Stability is vital for Ukraine and its future in Europe”, he continued,
reiterating Commission President José Barroso’s statement the previous week
that “there is no political problem to which a solution can’t be found”.

The non-violence of street demonstrations in Ukraine demonstrates that its
citizens understand the need to abide by democratic principles and the rule
of law – including the independence of the constitutional court – and the
Ukraine appears to be developing a “new style of compromise”, including
“controls on the political system”.

“It is not the role of the EU to intervene” in these developments, said the
Commissioner, but “we should call on all political forces to work together
for compromise […] we have confidence that Ukraine’s young democracy will
pass this test”.

Since the Orange Revolution and the adoption of the EU/Ukraine action plan,
political dialogue and co-operation have intensified, said the Commissioner,
citing Euro 120 million in support under the new European neighbourhood
policy, an agreement on visa regulations, and moves to free up trade.

Work on the expanded agreement, to which Ukraine is strongly committed,
opens up new prospects for co-operation on energy, he added. “Ukraine is a
key partner for the EU, and we are entirely resolved to enhance our
relations” concluded Commissioner Spidla.
                             POLITICAL GROUP SPEAKERS
On behalf of the EPP-ED group, Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Jacek
Saryusz-Wolski (PL) told the House that the crisis in Ukraine is a “matter
of concern” to all those who followed the country’s progress since the
Orange Revolution.

It is “vital”, he added, “that today’s situation be resolved in line with
the rule of law”.  As he then went on to say, the EU “could have done more
to stop this crisis from developing” — namely, with financial aid and more
political support.

The Union, he argued, must encourage democratic gains in Kiev, particularly
by way of a new enhanced agreement with Ukraine. The present crisis, he
added, “is a challenge for the Union” to step up its engagement in Ukraine.
It is “high time to do more”, he concluded. “Let’s support Ukraine’s
European choice”.

For the Socialist group, Jan Marinus Wiersma (NL), stressed that the Orange
Revolution had led to greater democracy in Ukraine but that it had also
given rise to the current conflict, which was “an expression of the
divisions in the country”.  The problem was one of “balance between the
institutions and the various political players in the country”.

It was not up to the EU to “take sides”. If the political players would not
compromise, constitutional solutions would not work. The challenge was “to
overcome internal conflict so that they can undertake the necessary reforms
to have closer ties with us”.

On behalf of the Liberals, István Szent-Iványi (HU) said the situation since
the Orange Revolution had become “more complicated than we had hoped”.
However, the crisis was of a “domestic political nature” and the EU could
only help by remaining neutral – though it obviously had “an interest in a
stable democratic Ukraine”.

Responsibility ultimately lay with the country’s politicians and the current
negotiations between the EU and Ukraine on a new-generation cooperation
cooperation agreement would only succeed “if Ukraine gets back on course”.

Guntars Krasts (LV), speaking for the UEN group, reminded the house that
“democratic processes are quite successful in the Ukraine” and therefore we
cannot exclude the possibility of Ukraine as a candidate for EU membership
in the mid-term. The integration of the Ukraine into the world economy, Mr
Krasts added, is “a good precondition for solving in a peaceful way the
present crisis.”

A crisis which, Mr Krasts continued, “should be considered a test for
maturity.” The role of the EU should be “to facilitate a compromise between
the militant parties.” Mr Krasts concluded by stating that “At the end of
the day it is the people of the Ukraine who have to decide how to run their
country.”

On behalf of the Greens/EFA, Rebecca Harms (DE), said that “despite the
confusion”, the conditions in Ukraine are “so much more stable than we could
have hoped for four years ago.” Such conditions are important for the EU,
which has “so much interest in ensuring a stable development in Ukraine.”

The new elections in the Ukraine are “essential” but it is necessary that
“all of the parties must respect the outcome of the elections.” The parties
must also “do a lot more to make sure that the constitutional reforms
finally occur.”

Mrs Harms ended with a reference to Poland as “the most important advocate
of the Ukraine in the EU”, with the hope that Poland can “pass on the
European approach to the Ukraine.”

German MEP Helmut Markov, for the GUE/NGL group, underlined that “when a
president dissolves a parliament, this obviously needs to be in line with
the rule of the constitution of the given country.” Hence, the question of
whether President Yushchenko’s decision was in line or not was a legal
matter rather than a political, Markov added.

Parliament had the tendency to “put parties into neat little boxes”,
considering Yushchenko on the one hand as a partner for the European Union
and Prime Minister Yanukovych “as the Russian protégé.” Instead, Parliament
should acknowledge that, even though there were two different nationalities
involved, “they are both citizens of the Ukraine, they both represent the
interests of that country”.

On behalf of the IND/DEM group, Bastiaan Belder (NL) expressed the firm
belief that “the future of the EU and the future of Ukraine are closely
interlinked”, since “the EU-27 will have to extend its borders” and “Ukraine
will be taken on board one day”.

This prospect was also a good incentive for “the powers in the Ukraine that
want to bring about a reform”, Mr Belder stated. He insisted that “Council
and Commission cannot ignore what is happening there” and that the EU
should “have to look at the overall crisis situation, but also at our
European neighbourhood policy”, which “could be useful in trying to bring

about stability.”
                                              BRITISH MEP
Charles Tannock (EPP-ED, UK) said he had observed the 2006 Ukrainian
parliamentary elections, which had been “held in exemplary fashion” but
“regrettably the outcome then produced neither a stable government nor a
climate of financial probity amongst many of the RADA MPs who had little
interest in politics and really only a vested interest to protect their
business interests or avoid prosecution by acquiring parliamentary
immunity”.

He believed the EU Council “missed a trick in not granting Ukraine in the
heady days of the Orange Revolution the same status as western Balkan
countries like Albania of being called a potential candidate for eventual EU
accession. This would have been a great carrot to westernising democratic
reformist forces.”

He welcomed EU plans for a deep free-trade and visa facilitation travel area
after Ukraine joins the WTO.  Above all, “Ukrainians must be brought closer
to the European Union where they rightfully belong”.
                  COUNCIL AND COMMISSION RESPONSES
Responding to the debate for the Council, Mr Gloser said that on many points
there was agreement between Parliament and Council. It was, he said, for
those with political responsibility in Ukraine to decide from themselves on
how to proceed.  “The EU cannot act as a broker, it is a domestic matter.
The President and Prime Minister of Ukraine need to come together to find a
solution.”

Javier Solana had been in close contact with both groups, he said, the EU
was not keeping out of the situation, but was being neutral. It was
necessary for people in Ukraine to decide what to do.

For the Commission, Mr Spidla said his institution agreed with much of
Parliament’s assessment. “We will follow the development of the crisis and
try to make a contribution, encouraging those with positions of
responsibility in Ukraine to think of the good of their country and seek a
compromise,” he said, adding that the Commission stood by the EU’s
agreements with Ukraine and recognised Ukraine as one of the EU’s key
partners.                                             -30-

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5. US CONGRESS UKRAINE RESOLUTION/STATEMENT INTRODUCED
                   Urging all sides to the current political crisis in Ukraine
         to act responsibly and use dialogue to resolve the crisis and ensure a
     free and transparent democratic system in Ukraine based on the rule of law.

U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., Tue, April 17, 2007

The following resolution was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives
by Helsinki Commission Chairman  Rep. Alcee L Hastings (D-FL).  Cosponsors:
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH); Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI); Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA);
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY); Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL); Rep. Mike McIntyre
(D-NC)

110TH CONGRESS. 1ST SESSION H. CON. RES.

Urging all sides to the current political crisis in Ukraine to act
responsibly and use dialogue to resolve the crisis and ensure a free and
transparent democratic system in Ukraine based on the rule of law.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mr. HASTINGS of Florida (for himself, Ms. Kaptur, Mr. Levin) submitted the
following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on
Foreign Affairs

                               CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
Urging all sides to the current political crisis in Ukraine to act
responsibly and use dialogue to resolve the crisis and ensure a free and
transparent democratic system in Ukraine based on the rule of law.

Whereas the Ukrainian people, most dramatically during the 2004 Orange
Revolution, clearly proved their ability to resolve political differences
through nonviolent protest and in a manner consistent with democratic
principles;

Whereas Ukraine currently faces a political crisis, rooted in hastily
conceived constitutional reforms, that could jeopardize that country’s
hard-fought and substantial democratic gains;

Whereas on April 2, 2007, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko issued a
decree dissolving the Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) and calling for early
parliamentary elections, asserting that the government of Prime Minister
Viktor Yanukovich has ”exceeded its mandate and is attempting to monopolize
political power”;

Whereas the Verkhovna Rada subsequently passed a resolution alleging that
the presidential decree was unconstitutional and has refused to comply;

Whereas Ukraine’s Constitutional Court has been asked to rule on whether
President Yushchenko’s decree violates the Ukrainian Constitution;

Whereas several Constitutional Court judges have stated that political
pressure and threats were preventing their efforts to end Ukraine’s
political deadlock;

Whereas demonstrations by supporters of all sides to the crisis are being
held in the streets of Kyiv; and
Whereas the United States Congress has consistently demonstrated strong
bipartisan support for an independent, democratic Ukraine:

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate 1 concurring), That
Congress

(1) acknowledges and welcomes the strong relationship formed between the
United States and Ukraine since the restoration of Ukraine’s independence in
1991;

(2) urges all sides to the current political crisis in Ukraine to act
responsibly and use dialogue to resolve the crisis;

(3) urges all sides to adhere to the rule of law and resolve disputes in a
peaceful manner consistent with Ukraine’s democratic values and national
interest, in keeping with its commitments as a member of the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE);

(4) expresses strong and continuing support for the efforts of the Ukrainian
people to establish a full democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human
rights;

(5) pledges its continued assistance to the strengthening of a free and
transparent democratic system in Ukraine based on the rule of law and the
continued development of a free market economy in Ukraine; and

(6) reaffirms its commitment to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and
territorial integrity, and assumption of Ukraine’s rightful place as a full
member of the international community of democracies.

Statement in the House of Representatives
INTRODUCTION OF RESOLUTION ON UKRAINE POLITICAL CRISIS
Rep. Alcee L. Hastings

Madam Speaker.  I rise to introduce a concurrent resolution which addresses
the current political crisis in Ukraine, a country of strategic importance
to the United States.

My resolution urges all sides to the ongoing impasse to act responsibly and
use dialogue to resolve the crisis and ensure a free and democratic system
in Ukraine based on the rule of law.  I am pleased that Rep. Kaptur and Rep.
Levin, co-chairs of the Ukrainian American Caucus, have joined me as
original cosponsors.

Ukraine’s current political conflict is the result of the ongoing power
struggle that President Victor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Victor
Yanukovich have now been engaged in since Yanukovich became Prime
Minister last August.

This power struggle, rooted in hastily conceived constitutional reforms,
threatens to undermine Ukraine’s hard-fought and substantial democratic
gains, especially those won since the 2004 Orange Revolution.

Two weeks ago, President Yushchenko issued a decree dissolving parliament,
asserting that the Prime Minister was attempting to monopolize power, and
called for new parliamentary elections for May 27.  Parliament has refused
to disband and questions the legality of the presidential decree.

Ukraine’s Constitutional Court is to rule on the legality of the decree and
both sides have agreed to abide by the Court’s decision.  Unfortunately,
some of the Court’s judges have already complained of threats and pressure,
especially from Yanukovich’s supporters.   Clearly, this is unacceptable and
steps have been taken to protect the judges.

Madam Speaker. It is important to note that Ukraine has made substantial
democratic gains since the Orange Revolution. A year ago, as President of
the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, I had the privilege of leading the OSCE-led
International Election Observation Mission to Ukraine’s parliamentary
elections and the pleasure and profound satisfaction of pronouncing them
free and fair.

Also, in contrast to the first 13 years of its independence, Ukraine in now
designated by Freedom House as a “free” country, and not merely “partly
free.”  Nevertheless, despite the progress, there have been missed
opportunities and some of the promises of that historic revolution have gone
unfulfilled.

Democratic institutions and the rule of law in Ukraine are still emerging
and fragile and lacking in their ability to safeguard democratic gains, and
it is this weakness that has made it possible for this power struggle to
ripen into a full-blown political crisis.

First and foremost, my resolution calls for the crisis to be resolved in a
manner that adheres to the rule of law consistent with Ukraine’s democratic
values and national security, in keeping with its OSCE commitments.

It is also essential that the dispute is resolved in a peaceful manner.  I
am encouraged that demonstrations in Kyiv have been peaceful and that all
sides to the dispute appear to recognize that any kind of violent conflict
would have very negative consequences for Ukraine.

Madam Speaker.  Prolonged instability is clearly not in Ukraine’s interests
and that nation’s political leaders need to find a transparent way out of
the current impasse that all parties will abide by.

I hope that responsible dialogue consistent with the rule of law leads to a
positive outcome for the Ukrainian people and the democratic path they have
chosen.

As this resolution underscores, Congress has been a staunch supporter of the
development of democracy and respect for human rights and the rule of law in
Ukraine since the restoration of that nation’s independence in 1991.

The consolidation of democracy and the rule of law in Ukraine will further
strengthen that country’s independence and sovereignty, enhancing Ukraine’s
aspirations for full integration with the West.

I urge my colleagues to support this timely resolution as a demonstration of
Congress’ interest, concern, and support for the Ukrainian people. -30-
————————————————————————————————
Contact:  Orest Deychakiwsky, Helsinki Commission,
orest.deychak@mail.house.gov
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6. UKRAINIAN PM SAYS NEW ELECTION DECREE UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Reuters, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, April 26, 2007

MOSCOW – Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich considers President
Viktor Yushchenko’s decree calling a parliamentary election for June 24
unconstitutional, RIA reported on Thursday, citing the premier’s chief of
staff.

Yushchenko, Yanukovich’s arch-rival, signed a decree on Wednesday to put
back a parliamentary election to June 24, overriding an earlier decree
setting a snap vote for May 27.

“The previous decree dissolving parliament and the decree which the
Ukrainian president published on April 26 are unconstitutional,” RIA news
agency quoted Sergei Levochkin as saying.

Yushchenko, who wants closer ties with the European Union and the NATO
military alliance, is locked in a struggle for power with opponents who have
a majority in parliament.

Yanukovich, the president’s more Moscow-friendly rival from the 2004 “Orange
Revolution,” has already challenged Yushchenko’s original decree, which was
signed on April 2.
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7. THERE IS NO NEOCON CONSPIRACY BEHIND CRISIS IN UKRAINE
                  This power struggle is a matter of domestic politics to be
                           resolved by fresh elections, says Nat Copsey

COMMENTARY: By Nat Copsey, The Guardian
London, United Kingdom, Thursday April 26, 2007

I can find no basis for Adam Swain’s claim that the decree by the Ukrainian
president, Viktor Yushchenko, to dissolve parliament and call early
elections is an “attempted coup d’etat … aided and abetted by western
powers” (A western-backed coup, April 17).

Ukraine’s political crisis may have some international ramifications, but it
is purely domestic in origin.

The problem at its simplest is the inability of president and parliament to
work together constructively to deliver key reforms in public services,
state bureaucracy and the judiciary.

Swain’s implication that the president is the pawn of [unspecified] “western
backers” is a little fanciful. The crisis is certainly not the result of a
neocon conspiracy.

Ukraine – like many other post-Soviet states – is suffering from the absence
of constitutional precedent, which has made it impossible for all sides to
agree on the balance of powers between president, parliament and
legislature. Instead there has been a power struggle between Yushchenko and
the prime minister, Viktor Yanukovich.

The latter has recently gained the upper hand, after apparently “persuading”
11 deputies from the pro-presidential Our Ukraine party to join his ruling
coalition (led by the Party of the Regions), thus bringing its majority
close to the level needed to overrule any presidential decree.

While it may be that Yushchenko’s decision to dissolve parliament is
unconstitutional in the strictest sense, it is also unconstitutional and
undemocratic for deputies to defect from one faction to another – a point
neglected by Swain.

All Ukrainian deputies are elected on a party-list basis only, thus the
party and not the deputy has received the democratic mandate.

A further difficulty lies in the neutrality of the constitutional court and
thus its legitimacy to rule in this dispute. Some of its members have
requested protection after alleged intimidation from Yanukovich supporters;
others are believed to have accepted bribes.

Such a crisis cannot be readily resolved through negotiations. Therefore
Yushchenko’s decision to dissolve parliament and call early elections is a
step intended to provide a fresh mandate for a new government.

Ukraine’s crisis is not, as Swain argues, part of a wider struggle between
Moscow and Washington or Brussels, but a matter of domestic politics for the
Ukrainians themselves to resolve democratically.

Ukraine, again in common with many other post-Soviet states, suffers from
the weakness, incompetence and venality of its political class.

Yushchenko has made many serious miscalculations over the past two years,
but his credentials as a democrat are not in dispute. The same cannot be
said for Yanukovich, who tried to rig the 2004 presidential elections.

As Ukraine is a neighbour of the EU, we need its cooperation in combating
terrorism, organised crime and illegal migration, and we want to see a
stable, prosperous and democratic nation.

Fresh elections appear to be the only way out of the current impasse, so the
Ukrainian people deserve international support to ensure that they are free
and fair.                                                  -30-
————————————————————————————————-
NOTE: Nat Copsey is a research fellow at the European Research Institute of
the University of Birmingham, and is writing a book on Ukraine’s foreign
policy (n.copsey@bham.ac.uk)

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LINK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2065452,00.html
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8. OUR UKRAINE & VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO REVIVE THEIR FORTUNES
                     Yushchenko and Tymoshenko factions quit parliament

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Taras Kuzio
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 77
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash DC, Thursday, April 19, 2007

On April 18, the opposition Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT) and Our Ukraine blocs
permanently withdrew their deputies from Ukraine’s parliament. Together, the
factions account for 202 of the Rada’s 450 deputies.

With no constitutional majority, the parliament — which was disbanded by
presidential decree on April 2 — has no legal standing. A minimum of 300
deputies is required for parliament to constitutionally operate.

This move is the culmination of eight months of political fighting between
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and his government and the disunited and
partially discredited opposition.

But now the opposition has transformed into an energized political force.
Reflecting this growing confidence, President Viktor Yushchenko, Our
Ukraine, and Yuriy Lutsenko’s People’s Self-Defense movement no longer
oppose early elections.

Opposition unity was made possible by a shift in the balance of power within
Our Ukraine and an effort to reach out to the Tymoshenko bloc. BYuT had
always been in opposition to the Anti-Crisis Coalition (ACC) and had never
supported a grand coalition with Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.

Following the 2004 Orange Revolution, the “Liubi Druzi” (business cronies or
“Dear Friends”) wing of Our Ukraine had dominated, and then-prime minister
Yuriy Yekhanurov disastrously led it during the 2006 parliamentary
elections.

The “Liubi Druzi” supported a grand coalition — and opposed Yulia
Tymoshenko — while the national-democratic wing backed an Orange coalition.
Both coalition variants were negotiated simultaneously from April-June 2006
but neither succeeded, and the ACC was established following the defection
of the Socialist Party.

In August 2006 all parliamentary forces except BYuT signed a “Universal
Agreement” that created a still-larger grand coalition, now including the
Communists. Two months later Our Ukraine pulled out and declared itself in
opposition to the ACC.

It took another four months before Our Ukraine signed an opposition alliance
with BYuT. The alliance reflected the new dominance of Our Ukraine’s
national-democratic wing.

The  “Liubi Druzi” opposed the opposition alliance and, together with
inducements such as government positions, prompted defections to the ACC the
following month, led by Anatoliy Kinakh’s Party of Industrialists and
Entrepreneurs (PPPU).

A second echelon of defectors came from “Liubi Druzi” closer to President
Yushchenko’s inner circle. Petro Poroshenko was offered the position of
minister of finance and was reportedly considering defecting. Poroshenko had
been a founding organizer of the Party of Regions in 2000-2001 until moving
to Our Ukraine in 2002.

Yushchenko had called for Our Ukraine to be “radically overhauled.” The
withdrawal of Kinakh’s PPPU has been followed by the marginalization of
“Liubi Druzi” such as Poroshenko, and the culling of other unpopular parties
and discredited members.

Two of Our Ukraine’s remaining four parties have joined the Ukrainian
Rightists bloc, while another has joined People’s Self-Defense.

The fourth party, the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, was not invited to
join any bloc because its leader, former Naftohaz CEO Oleksiy Ivchenko, was
discredited two years ago when it was revealed that he had purchased a
$225,000 Mercedes car with Naftohaz Ukrainy state funds.

Yushchenko’s decision to dissolve parliament served as a pre-emptive strike
against further defections that threatened to lead to a constitutional
majority.

Yushchenko, Our Ukraine, and the People’s Self-Defense embraced BYuT’s call
for early elections after Kinakh’s defections and the police raids on
Lutsenko’s apartment and offices. People’s Self-Defense was established by
Our Ukraine businessmen, such as Davyd Zhvannia, who had become discontented
by the “Liubi Druzi.”

On March 31, the Our Ukraine congress elected Vyacheslav Kyrylenko as its
head. This confirmed a national-democratic takeover, as Kyrylenko is a
former member of Yuriy Kostenko’s Ukrainian People’s Party (UNP), one of
three offshoots of the pre-1999 Rukh movement.

This development was matched by the change in leadership of the presidential
secretariat. Viktor Baloha is the third secretariat head since Yushchenko’s
election and the first with managerial skills. Baloha, like Kyrylenko, is a
national democrat and closer to BYuT.

The two ousted secretariat heads (Oleksandr Zinchenko, Oleh Rybachuk) and
former Our Ukraine head (Yekhanurov) are aligned with the “Liubi Druzi.”

Kyrylenko has ruled out any grand coalition after the elections. “We are
strong members of the united opposition and are going into elections
practically as one front, and, I think, that democracy will again flourish,”
he said.

Yushchenko has called for the creation of a mega center-right
“pro-presidential bloc.” Baloha is seeking to unite the disparate
center-right into such a bloc.

Currently the center-right is divided among Our Ukraine, the Ukrainian
Rightists (Rukh, UNP, and the Republican Party ‘sobor”) and Lutsenko’s bloc
(People’s Self-Defense, Christian-Democratic Union, European Platform, and
Forward Ukraine!).  Center-right unity would facilitate a two-pronged
right-left opposition with BYuT representing the center-left wing.

The opposition more closely resembles that found in the 2002 and 2004,
rather than the 2006, elections. However, in the 2002 and 2004 elections the
opposition still had moderate (Our Ukraine) and radical (BYuT, SPU) wings.
Now, Our Ukraine has moved from a moderate to a BYuT radical stance for the
first time in its six-year history.

These developments explain both President Yushchenko’s radicalized stance
and the unity of the opposition. The Party of Regions has been taken aback
by this new opposition energy and unity and remains in a state of denial
that Our Ukraine and Yushchenko have the same stance as BYuT.

“Inside Our Ukraine and BYuT there are principled differences on tactics
that its leaders are proposing,” Party of Regions faction leader Raisa
Bohatiorova believes.

The ACC has sought to appease Yushchenko by dealing with many of the issues
that provoked him to act and support BYuT’s call for early elections, hoping
to again divide Our Ukraine and BYuT.

After parliament was disbanded the ACC voted to eject deputies who had
defected to it, and it has agreed to support the imperative mandate and
transforming the 2006 Universal into law.

Yushchenko’s handling of the crisis, the revamped Our Ukraine, and
opposition unity have ramifications for the 2009 elections, which is far
enough in the future to rebuild Yushchenko’s popularity. In the last month,
Yushchenko’s ratings have increased nearly two-fold from 11% to 18%.

Although Yushchenko’s ratings remain half those of Yanukovych (35%) he now
has pulled even with Tymoshenko, and together the two Orange candidates have
35%. With the same ratings as Tymoshenko, Yushchenko can now argue that he
should be the Orange candidate, something he could not plausibly do before
the crisis. (http://www.jamestown.org)
—————————————————————————————————-
(Ukrayinska pravda, April 7-18, Zerkalo Tyzhnia, April 14-20)
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

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9.    UKRAINE: THE COSTS OF POLITICAL INSTABILITY

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Tom Coupe
Director of the Kyiv School of Economics and
Academic Director of the Kyiv Economics Institute
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Apr 25 2007

Ministerial changes have become a routine event in Ukrainian politics. In
August 2006, the Viktor Yanukovich cabinet counted 23 ministers (including
himself as premier).

Eight months later, eight of these ministers are no longer on the job. In
other words, more than a third of the original ministers survived less than
eight months at their post.

Governments in Ukraine change regularly – since 1991, the country has had 13
cabinets. As a rule, changes in government typically mean several ministers
are replaced. It is clear that a Ukrainian minister who starts his career
(female ministers are extremely rare) should not hope to stay on the job for
very long.

Political decision makers all over the world change jobs quickly, but
Ukrainian politicians seems to be particularly proficient. A study for
Russia, for instance, found that the average length of a Russian minister’s
career is less than two years, compared to three years for US cabinet
members and 4.6 years for Western European ministers. In Soviet times,
ministers held their post on average for more than eight years.

While cabinet shuffles obviously provide stories for journalists and
materials for researchers, it’s less clear how  affects the ‘real’ world.

Changing ministers and cabinets can be good for a country. Indeed, replacing
a poorly performing minister is a good thing – in the UK, the resignation of
a minister typically increases the popularity of a government. Similarly, a
bad government that is overturned makes room for a new, potentially better
one.

New ministers or governments can also introduce new ideas. Some researchers
have argued that governments that stay in power for too long are more likely
to become beholden to special interest groups and are more likely to become
corrupt.

On the other hand, frequent ministerial turnover can be harmful. Every time
a minister’s career comes to an end, a new minister has to learn the job.
Consequently, valuable experience is lost.

The short duration of a typical ministerial career also means a minister has
few incentives to think about long-term policies, and can lead to a focus on
policies that bring short-run benefits.

If a politician knows that he will not be re-elected then he may be tempted
to spend recklessly while in office and leave his successor with a debt to
repay.

In addition, changing ministers often goes together with changing policies –
precisely the kind of instability that is not liked by investors, both local
and foreign.

Taking both effects into account, the ideal situation seems to lie somewhere
in the middle – a country is best served by governments and ministers who
think they have a fair chance to be re-elected if they perform well. They
should neither be sure they will be re-elected, nor convinced that they
won’t be re-elected.

The economic costs of too little or too much political stability are
difficult to estimate. Ukraine has lived with instability ever since
Independence and has experienced periods of decline as well as growth,
seemingly indicating that political instability and growth are unrelated.
International experience, however, shows that political instability and low
economic growth typically do go hand-in-hand.

Other factors that influence economic growth often dominate the relationship
between the two variables. It is not really clear whether there is a
relationship between low growth and instability.

Does political instability cause low economic growth or does low economic
growth cause political instability? Most likely, it’s a combination of both.

Looking at the situation in Ukraine, it doesn’t seem that the primary reason
to fire ministers is their bad performance. And, so far, new governments
haven’t been able to convincingly show that they are better than the
previous ones. In Ukraine, it also doesn’t seem to take long for a
government to become beholden to special interest groups.

At the same time, short-term populist policies seem to be very popular and
declared policies change frequently (admittedly much faster than policies
that are actually implemented). Taking this and the above mentioned
statistics into account, it would seem that Ukraine would benefit from some
more political stability.    (LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/oped/)
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10.                              FILL THE RADA
                      In practice, the parliament is empty most of the time

EDITORIAL: Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Apr 25 2007

Parliament has been half empty in recent weeks as the two opposition parties
who recognize the dissolution of the legislature have boycotted lawmaking
activities. Yet not much has changed: In practice, the parliament is empty
most of the time.

Legislative voting practices reinforce the stereotype that parliament is
irresponsible. Except for major votes, the session hall is primarily empty.

A fraction of loquacious legislators stay behind to actually debate laws.
They are joined by a handful of hapless card-jockeys who run across rows
of seats to ensure every vote is cast.

For in Ukraine, an elected member need not be present to vote. All it takes
is for their cards to be in the hands of a few trusted individuals.

Where do all the other legislators go? In theory, they are engaged in
activities befitting an elected official: writing legislation, meeting
voters, resolving issues for communities. In practice, they are meeting in
the backrooms, organizing civil disobedience or taking care of commercial
business.

This should not be the case. In mature democracies, legislators seldom leave
parliament when it is in session. Lawmakers from the governing coalitions
will not travel abroad without a member of the opposition. Parity is
achieved because an equal number of votes are absent from each side.

As the nation’s leaders seek to improve Ukrainian law in the wake of the
current crisis, they should make it clear that legislators must be
physically present to cast their votes. This convention will discourage
people who are not interested in legislative work from running in elections.

Theoretically, this should lead to lawmakers – not businessmen – vying for
seats in parliament. This cause will also be furthered by doing away with
immunity from prosecution for elected officials.

Fewer individuals whose activities are primarily business-oriented or border
on the criminal will seek seats as the only means to avoid facing justice.
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LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/editorial/26538/
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11.         SHELL: USING BRAND CAPITAL IN UKRAINE

By Anne Marie Davis, Energy Business Review Online
London, UK, Tuesday, 24th April 2007

Shell has entered into a joint venture with Alliance that will see 150 fuel
stations rebranded.

Shell has signed a joint venture agreement with Alliance Group in Ukraine
that continues the company’s recent strategy of investing in high-growth
retail markets through partnerships.

This policy allows Shell to capitalize on its brand while minimizing
investment; a prudent move should these growth markets experience the same
competitive pressures currently affecting Shell in its western markets.

‘Content The deal with Alliance gives Shell a 51% stake in the Russian
firm’s network of 150 stations, all of which will be rebranded with the
Shell name. Shell’s key competitors in the Ukranian market are now Lukoil,
WOG, Alfa-Nafta, OKKO and Ukrnafta, as well as TNK-BP, which supplies
some 1,200 dealer sites.

Faced with margin decline in the West, Shell is using its strong brand to
establish a retail position in growing markets. New competitive pressures,
such as low-cost supermarkets and a more astute customer base, have
compromised margins in the company’s most developed retail markets,
including France, the UK and the US.

As a result, Shell has withdrawn from some western markets and has
rationalized its site network in others. Meanwhile, in markets such as Spain
and Ireland, where Shell has sold its sites to a third party, the Shell
brand has often been retained.

Entering into JVs with companies such as Alliance is one of several
strategies adopted by Shell in light of this western margin predicament.

Other partnership markets include China, where Shell entered into a JV with
Sinpoec and other national oil companies, and Turkey, where, in June 2006,
the company signed an agreement with Turcas involving 1,200 stations.

Despite having setbacks in its maturing western markets, Shell is
understandably keen to exploit growth potential in the East, where car
ownership and motor fuel consumption are predicted to grow.

Market maturity can come round quickly, however, and relatively buoyant
markets such as Poland and the Czech Republic will be in a similar position
to the UK within approximately five years, with markets such as Ukraine
following suit.

As a result of impending market maturity, and Shell’s overriding objective
to alleviate its relatively high levels of downstream exposure, the company
appears reluctant to make huge investments on its own.

Shell’s internationally recognized brand is allowing the company to enter
growth markets in partnership with domestic oil companies, thus minimizing
its capital commitments. As a result, Shell will be in a much better
position to exit these markets should margins slip.          -30-

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http://www.energy-business-review.com/article_feature.asp?guid=E7C0CFC7-F987-4E20-B6A0-ACD238F63493
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12.      ANALYSTS SEE LIMITED BIOFUEL FUTURE IN UKRAINE
      BECAUSE IT IS SHORT OF CASH TO SUPPORT PRODUCTION 
              Likely to remain solely a supplier of raw material to Europe

ANALYSIS: Pavel Polityuk, Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Mon, Apr 23, 2007

KIEV – Ukraine, rich in the various raw commodities needed to produce
biofuel but short of cash to support its own production, is likely to remain
solely a supplier of raw material to Europe, analysts and producers said.

The government last year adopted measures to boost biofuel production with
the objective of reaching 623,000 tons annually by 2010 and increase the
rapeseed harvest at the same time to 7.5 million tons.

It said Ukraine, which harvested 654,000 tons of rapeseed in 2006 and plans
to increase output to 1.7 million in 2007, should build at least 20 plants
to process the crop.

But producers say the high pace of rapeseed exports, caused by increased
foreign demands, will leave future producers without sufficient raw
material.

“We harvested about 650,000 tons of rapeseed in 2006 and have already
exported about 480,000 so far this season,” said Stepan Kapshuk from the
Ukrainian vegetable oil producers’ association Ukroliyaprom.

“Biodiesel production is not profitable for Ukraine at the present time. We
are producing some rapeoil for exports to Europe.

There is no reason to talk about biodiesel production in Ukraine without
export restrictions for rapeseed.”

Analysts and producers say local firms already operate dozens of small
biodiesel plants but all of the produced fuel is uncertified and used
strictly for their own needs.

“It looks like an amateurish industry — the fuel is produced from its own
raw materials at their own facilities and for their own needs,” said
Yelizaveta Malyshko from UkrAgroConsult agriculture consultancy.

The consultancy said biodiesel production in Ukraine’s 40 plants could total
up to 32,000 tons in the 2006/07 season. Ukraine consumes 15 million tons of
diesel fuel annually.
                                              ETHANOL
Ukrainian and foreign firms have announced several projects to build
bioethanol plants, which could produce 800,000 tons of fuel per year, but
analysts say a lack of demand and government support have delayed their
implementation.

The government has said Ukraine will build 23 bioethanol plants by 2010
which could cost about $1.4 billion, but does not plan to invest budget
funds into the projects.

Analysts have said Ukraine could produce bioethanol from grains and sugar
beet, but they noted that even the current high cost of the fuel was likely
to rise due to a future increase in demand for either commodity.

“The energetic value of bioethanol is 30 percent lower than the energy used
to produce this biofuel. The increase in grain area to cover biothanol needs
will boost energy supply to the grain planting and could boost grain
prices,” ProAgro consultancy said in statement.

The consultancy said Ukraine, which consumes 27 million tons of petrol and
diesel per year, could compensate with bioethanol, but only for up to 5-10
percent of needs.  ..

Analysts from the Biomassa research center said liquid biofuel could cover
no more than 1 percent of total energy needs.

“There is a powerful oil lobby in Ukraine which makes it best to avoid using
alternative fuels. We can see a developing conflict between Ukraine’s fuel
and agriculture ministries,” said Serhiy Sapehin from Psikheya research
company.

Ukrainian legislation, unlike most European countries, does not oblige oil
refineries to use ethanol as an additive in fuel further diminishing
prospects for the biofuel industry.                                -30-

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http://www.reuters.com/article/reutersEdge/idUSL2311512220070424?pageNumber=2
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13. LARGEST RAPE PRODUCER IN UKRAINE RENTS 70,000 HECTARES 
 
AgriMarketInfo, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Agricultural companies belonging to plant growing holding “Ukrzernoprom
Agro” completed sowing campaign of spring rape on 1.500 ha area. Taking into
account 6.000 ha of winter rape acreage oilseeds were sowed on 7.500 ha area
by holding the current year, it is the highest index for Ukrainian
companies, informed holding press-service.

“Ukrzernoprom Agro” works with hybrid of German and French rape selection
and always harvests oilseeds crops good for food consumption purposes. In
autumn company is to sow 15.000 ha area under winter rapeseeds which will
help to lead it out in Europe as a producer of this oilseeds.

“Ukrzernoprom Agro” Ltd belongs to CJSE “Ukrzernoprom”, unifies 16 firms

of agriculture in 10 regions of Ukraine. Total volume of lands in rent exceeds
70.000 ha. (Link: http://www.agrimarket.info/showart.php?id=45239)
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14.  UKRAINE MUST WORK MIRACLES TO JOIN WTO THIS YEAR

Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, April 24,2007 

The World Trade Organization is dissatisfied with Ukraine’s report on its
accession. The WTO has made a number of new demands to Kyiv without
which Ukraine cannot claim membership.

An anonymous source of Delo newspaper in the Economy Ministry said: “We
have sent a draft report on Ukraine’s readiness to enter the WTO to the
working
group. It has been analysing the document for 70 days and asked to clear up
some aspects in order to avoid serious problems.”

Economy Minister Anatoliy Kinakh stated the need to adopt a package of nine
laws. They are to regulate issues regarding production of genetically
modified products, agriculture taxation, standardization and certification.

Director of the Economy Ministry Department in charge of collaboration with
the WTO Vyacheslav Tsymbal though does not think those nine laws will settle
the problem completely.

“There will surely be a pressing need to adopt some more acts as the
negotiation process is still underway.”

Mr. Tsymbal is certain Kyiv will clear up main issues at the sitting of the
WTO working group scheduled for May. “Ukraine may enter the WTO by
 the end of 2007 if the negotiations are successful.”

Meanwhile the Foreign Ministry is a bit sceptical about Ukraine’s quick WTO
membership. “If Ukraine joins the WTO it will be a miracle,” said Foreign
Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
                                       -30-

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FOOTNOTE:  Ukrainian Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk arrives in
Washington this weekend to pay his first visit to Washington as the new
Minister of Foreign Affairs.  He will make the usual rounds visiting with
top officials in the Administration and in the Congress. Minister Yatsenyuk
will also have meetings at CSIS, Carnegie Endowment and will meet with 
members of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council.  AUR Editor
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LINK: http://www2.pravda.com.ua/en/news/2007/4/24/7558.htm
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15.  ECONOMY MINISTER SAYS WTO DEAL COULD BE DELAYED

By John Marone, Kyiv Post News Editor
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine,Wednesday, Apr 25 2007

Last year, Ukraine looked all but ready to join the World Trade
Organization, at least until Viktor Yanukovych regained his position as
premier. Now the government is hinting that membership might be delayed
until as late as 2008.

“Serious matters remain to be completed and they depend on joint action by
the government and parliament,” Economy Minister Anatoliy Kinakh told a

news conference on April 20.

“There are about nine bills to be passed. This is a pre-condition for
joining the WTO. We would then still have a chance of joining by the end of
the year.” Kinakh said the outstanding bills included genetically modified
foods, farm sector taxation and standardization issues.

The parliament announced triumphantly on Dec. 13 that it had passed the last
of some 20 legislative packages to bring Ukraine’s laws in line with
requirements of the WTO.

The legislation was supported by lawmakers from the majority as well as the
opposition, which had been accusing the Yanukovych governing coalition of
dragging its feet on WTO membership efforts.

President Viktor Yushchenko came to power on the crest of the country’s
Orange Revolution with promises of Western integration, including membership
in the WTO, the NATO military alliance and the European Union.

The pro-Western president had set a deadline of late 2006 for WTO entry.
Yanukovych, who has called for a slower approach to Western integration,
used to forecast WTO membership by early 2007.

However, during a recent joint press conference in Warsaw with his Polish
counterpart Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the Ukrainian premier seemed less sure about
a deadline. “For Ukraine, joining the WTO will be an important event in
2007.”

Kinakh, who recently became economy minister after ditching the president’s
camp for Yanukovych’s team, intimated that the country’s ongoing political
standoff between Yanukovych and Yushchenko might hold up the passing of
final WTO-related legislation.

“The bills are not very long and if parliament remains able to work, we
intend to spend no more than a month on examining and passing them,” he
said.

Despite Yushchenko’s dismissal of the parliament on April 2, the
government-controlled majority has continued to hold sessions and pass
legislation.

The dismissal of the parliament was the climax in a long-running power
struggle between the president and Yanukovych, his political nemesis, since
the latter returned as premier last summer.

Of the parliament’s five factions, only the Communists and Socialists, both
members of the governing coalition, have opposed WTO membership.

Ukraine has been negotiating WTO entry for 13 years. But the country’s
prospects only began to look realistic under Yushchenko’s presidency.

Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine faction and the opposition Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc
have in the past accused the Yanukovych government of playing into the
interests of the Kremlin by holding up WTO entry. Moscow, which also has its
bid pending, has called upon Kyiv to “synchronize” WTO membership efforts.

According to WTO rules, if Ukraine were to get in first, Moscow would have
to get Kyiv’s approval for its bid. US officials have said that Russia is
already prepared to join the WTO.

US Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez announced in Moscow April 2 that
Russia would join the WTO, which currently boasts around 150 members,
 “soon.”

Ukraine’s own bid is dependent on approval from another former Soviet
republic, Kyrgyzstan. But observers have said that WTO officials could
approve the country’s bid even if talks with Kyrgyzstan fail to produce an
agreement.

According to Oleg Riabokon, the managing partner of Kyiv-based law firm
Magister & Partners and a specialist on international trade issues, “there
is no objective reason why Ukraine shouldn’t already be in the WTO.”

Riabokon said WTO entry, which would improve FDI inflows, industry, trade
and the economy as a whole, is just a matter of political will. “If there is
political will, all the issues at hand can easily be resolved through
negotiations,” he added. (Link: http://www.kyivpost.com/nation/26527/)
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16. POLAND & UKRAINE DISCUSS AIRLINE MARKET LIBERALISATION 

Polish News Bulletin, Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, April 24, 2007

WARSAW – In the middle of May officials will return to negotiations, which
should please football fans and businessmen. The magical power of Euro

2012 is beginning to work. All of a sudden ventures previously considered
difficult or unprofitable, are becoming a reality.

This is what may happen with flights from Poland to Ukraine. Since Poland
still does not have a motorway connecting it with Ukraine, air travel seems
the obvious alternative.

Therefore the Civic Aviation Office (ULC) has returned to talks on
liberalisation of the airline market. Authorities from both countries are to
meet on 16 and 17 of May.

As a result, additional connections and new routes are to be created. So far
the only connections were between Warsaw and Kiev and Lvov, and amounted

to just 1-1.5 percent of Polish air traffic. Today airlines such as LOT,
SkyEurope, Sky Express and WizzAir are interested in opening connections
to Ukraine.                                                   -30-
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17.        EUROPEAN UNION TRADE CHIEF ISSUES WARNING
                                   ON EU-RUSSIA MISTRUST
       Russia tends to see Europe’s engagement in former Soviet countries
         such as Ukraine “not as the concern of a friendly partner, but the
                           encroachment of a self-interested neighbour”.

By George Parker in Brussels, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Friday, April 20 2007

Europe-Russia relations have plumbed depths unseen since the cold war, with
mistrust and lack of respect widespread on both sides, according to Peter
Mandelson, European Union trade chief.

Mr Mandelson will use a speech in Bologna today to warn of the danger of the
relationship degenerating further, hurting efforts to build closer trade
links between Moscow and the 27-member bloc.

He will say that bilateral relations contained “a level of misunderstanding
or even mistrust we have not seen since the end of the cold war” with both
sides believing the other was using energy as a political weapon. “Neither
thinks they enjoy the respect and goodwill from the other they are entitled
to expect,” he says.

Mr Mandelson’s comments come ahead of an EU-Russia summit next month

which will focus on efforts to open talks on a new long-term partnership
agreement, covering issues such as energy, trade and regulation.

Those talks have been put on ice because Moscow refuses to accept Polish
meat imports on food safety grounds, leading to Warsaw vetoing the start of
talks.

Officials in Moscow downplayed hopes in Brussels that the dispute could be
settled on Saturday during talks in Cyprus between Markos Kyprianou, EU
health commissioner, and Alexei Gordeyev, Russian agriculture minister.

Mr Mandelson will warn that Russia and European countries must try to
understand each other more. “Unless we comprehend our different perceptions
of the landscape left behind by the last century, we risk getting the
EU-Russia relationship badly wrong.”

He will say Russia tends to see Europe’s engagement in former Soviet
countries such as Ukraine “not as the concern of a friendly partner, but the
encroachment of a self-interested neighbour”.

He will suggest that European lectures to Moscow on issues such as pluralism
and the rule of law can be counterproductive. “Effective engagement is
surely as much about understanding how you will be perceived as choosing
what to say.”

The addition of eight former Soviet bloc countries to the European Union in
2004 has heightened divisions within the EU on how to deal with Moscow,
ranging from a hostile stance in Warsaw to the acceptance by Gerhard
Schröder, former German chancellor, of a job on the Gazprom payroll.
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========================================================
18.                  YANUKOVICH’S LUST FOR POWER

LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Taras Kuzio
The Washington Times, Washington, D.C., Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ukrainian Premier Viktor Yanukovich points the blame at President Viktor
Yushchenko for violating the constitution when he disbanded parliament
(“Ukrainian premier outlines plans for the future,” Op-Ed, Monday). Mr.
Yanukovich’s record of adhering to the constitution and rule of law is as
bad, if not worse.

The Council of Europe ruled that the constitutional reforms were adopted
illegally, but Mr. Yanukovich ignored its recommendations.

After Mr. Yushchenko was elected, Mr. Yanukovich’s Party of Regions
paralyzed the constitutional court by blocking the allocation of judges by
parliament. More recently, Mr. Yanukovich’s coalition refused to join the
president’s constitutional commission.

Both sides, especially Mr. Yanukovich, should learn to abide by the rule of
law and constitution and not attempt to monopolize power by upsetting the
balance of power. Mr. Yanukovich’s greed for power has led ultimately to the
president’s decree, and an early election is the only way out of the crisis.
————————————————————————————————
TARAS KUZIO, Assistant professorial lecturer, Institute for European,
Russian and Eurasian Studies Elliott School of International Affairs,
George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
————————————————————————————————
The Washington Times, www.washingtontimes.com
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19.   UKRAINIAN TV CHANNEL, NEWS AGENCY SUSPEND LIVE
              NEWS CONFERENCES TO AVOID MANIPULATION 

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1522 gmt 23 Apr 07
BBC Monitoring Service,United Kingdom, Wed, April 23, 2007

KIEV – The UNIAN news agency and 5 Kanal [private Ukrainian TV channel]

are declaring the suspension of the joint project “Live news conferences”.

The news agency and the TV channel took the decision because as the
political situation is worsening some politicians are trying to take
advantage of live TV broadcasts for political manipulation, mutual offences
and tactless remarks about their political opponents’ activities.

As journalists, we are responsible for the information we deliver live to
viewers and readers and we disagree to politicians’ using news conferences,
where journalists and guests communicate lively, for blatant acts of
provocation, manipulation and score-settling with political opponents.

We are asking politicians to respect the journalists’ work, put no obstacles
to our professional activities, not to confuse communication between you and
us with political debates and rallies and to demonstrate greater
responsibility and high political culture.

Our joint project will be suspended for several weeks for this format not to
be used for political manipulation. Being aware that the mass media are
highly responsible for the formation of public opinion, we are declaring
that the agency and the TV channel will continue doing their best to provide
unbiased coverage of the country’s political life and present all points of view.
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20. THE ORANGE CHRONICLES – A DOCUMENTARY ON UKRAINE
                 Showing Friday, April 27th, 6-8 pm, Washington, D.C.

                        Also classical concert on Sunday, April 29
The Washington Group, Washington, D.C., Thursday, April 26, 2007
 
WASHINGTON –  The Washington Group is proud to co-sponsor a showing
of the recently- completed film “The Orange Chronicles – A Documentary on
Ukraine” directed by Damian Kolodiy, Independent Filmmaker.

The Orange Revolution was a unique event in human history that transformed
Ukrainian society forever. “The Orange Chronicles” focuses on the passionate
people who filled the frozen streets of Kyiv during the Presidential
Elections of 2004 to protest an unjust election and the corrupt government
that created it.

 
Narrated by the filmmaker, Damian Kolodiy, who volunteered
as a UCCA International Election Observer, the documentary captures the
revolution from the vantage point of the people, and in the process of
documenting the revolution, Kolodiy rediscovers his own modern Ukrainian
identity.

Amid the Ukrainian landscape, he sees firsthand the continuation of his
grandparent’s struggle for a free and independent country. Kolodiy captures
the erection of Tent City, the blockading of government buildings and
interviews many of the people who had come to Kyiv to demand their voice

be heard.
 
Follow Kolodiy as he joins a caravan traveling through censored
Ukrainian regions delivering news of the Orange Revolution before the new
elections. Along the film’s journey, Kolodiy rediscovers the roots of
Ukraine’s tragic history that has left the country divided. In the end he is
able to weave the narrative together with his personal family history in
Ukraine.

The Orange Revolution was a time of hope, a time of passion, a time of
faith, one of the Ukrainian people’s finest moments on the world stage.

“The Orange Chronicles” acknowledges the continued struggle for democracy
in Ukraine, as well as the timeless affects of the Orange Revolution, both
for the filmmaker and Ukraine. The Orange Chronicles is the definitive
documentary of what it was like to be on the ground in Ukraine during this
time. It’s an incredible educational tool, already integrated into the
academic world. The film plans to tour the US and Canada in 2007.
The film’s running time: 96 minutes.

                                       Friday, April 27th, 6-8 pm
                                  SAIS/Johns Hopkins University
                             Rome Auditorium, The Rome Building
             1619 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036

                                  (Red Line Metro to Dupont Circle)

A trailer for the film can be viewed at http://www.OrangeChronicles.com
Q&A after the film with filmmaker and Ukraine political analyst Taras Kuzio.
www.TheWashingtonGroup.org

————————————————————————————————–                                   
       SUNDAY CONCERT SERIES, APRIL 29
The Washington Group Cultural Fund, under the patronage of the Embassy
of Ukraine, invites the public to a “Sunday Music Series” concert: “Igor
Leschshin and Friends”
 
Mr. Leschishin, the principle oboe of the Washington National Opera, will
be joined by five of his musician friends (viola, violin, cello, piano and
basson) who will perform a program of Mozart,
Poulenc and Kalliwoda.

Where: The Lyceum, 201 S. Washington St., Old Town, Alexandria.
When: Sunday,  April 29 at 3 pm., Unreserved seating, Suggested

donation: $20. For more information please call 202-244-8836.
———————————————————————————————–
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========================================================
21. RUSSIA’S PUTIN SAVES HAMMER AND SICKLE AFTER ROW
                 Hammer and Sickle will stay on the “Victory Banner”

By Christian Lowe, Reuters, Moscow, Russia, Friday, April 20, 2007

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin intervened on Friday to
stop his own supporters removing the Communist hammer and
sickle from one of the most hallowed relics of the country’s history.

A draft law passed by the pro-Kremlin lower house of parliament and
put on Putin’s desk for approval stripped the hammer and sickle device
from copies of the “Victory Banner”.

The banner was the flag that Soviet troops raised over Berlin’s Reichstag
building on May 1, 1945, official histories say, an act caught in an
iconic photograph and which came to define the victory over Nazi
Germany.

Those wanting to remove the hammer and sickle from the flags that
festoon Russian towns for May 9 Victory Day celebrations said it was out
of date. “It does not belong among the symbols of modern Russia,” said
United Russia MP Franz Klintsevich.

His party did not expect the storm of protest that resulted.

Angered by the law, war veterans took to the streets with placards reading
“Hands off the Victory Banner!” and the normally docile media accused
parliament’s lower house of desecrating the memory of millions of war dead.

Lower house speaker Boris Gryzlov, whose pro-Kremlin United Russia
party initiated the law, met Putin and veterans’ representatives and
announced a climbdown: the hammer and sickle would stay.

“The point was raised that for the veterans this (removing the hammer and
sickle) is not acceptable and the president supported that,” deputy Kremlin
spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters.

The Kremlin later said Putin formally vetoed the bill and sent it back to
parliament.

“Appeals from veterans organisations concerning this draft law show that
it requires additional consultations,” Putin’s letter to parliament
published by his press office said.

Putin, a former KGB spy who described the 1991 collapse of the Soviet
Union as “the greatest geo-political catastrophe of the 20th century” has
shown a soft spot for attributes of the Soviet past.

A year after taking office he reinstated the stirring melody of the Soviet
national anthem, which his predecessor Boris Yeltsin had scrapped, and
it was set to new words.

The victory banner in the famous Reichstag photograph was, it later emerged,
made from a tablecloth by the photographer who recreated the scene after
the real banner had been planted. The original is in the Central Museum of
the Armed Forces in Moscow.                            -30-
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22.   NEW BOOK: “SEVEN YEARS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD:
           PERESTROIKA IN PERSPECTIVE” BY ARCHIE BROWN

Oxford University Press, UK, Thu, 19 Apr 2007

Oxford University Press are pleased to announced the publication this
week of an important new book by Archie Brown, “Seven Years that
Changed the World: Perestroika in Perspective.” Its publication in the
UK on 19th April  will be followed by publication in the United States
by OUP (New York) at the end of May.

In the decade separating publication of his prize-winning “The Gorbachev
Factor” from this new work, Archie Brown has had access to new archival
material, including an unpublished book manuscript by Mikhail Gorbachev
completed in 1989, two years after the publication of his book,
“Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World,” and going far

beyond Gorbachev’s earlier volume. Professor Brown has also made ample
use of minutes of Politburo meetings and of other formerly top secret Soviet
documents.

Four of the ten chapters were written during perestroika ­ journal articles
published by Achie Brown in the second half of the 1980s ­which capture
both the excitement of the times and the essence of the changes. The other
six chapters, including the longest ones, provide an up-to-date
interpretation of the transformation of the Soviet system, the disintegration

of the Soviet state, the end of the Cold War, and the role of political leadership
in these dramatic events.

Archie Brown takes issue with a number of popular interpretations of
perestroika and of the end of the Cold War, including the idea that the
Soviet Union could not have survived economically and politically into the

present century, the belief that perestroika flowed from a prior development
of  civil society, the notions that the break-up of the Soviet Union and the end of
the Cold War were mainly brought about by the Reagan administration, the idea
that Gorbachev was a Leninist, and the widespread misconception that
Yeltsin’s rule was a continuation of perestroika in a more democratic form.

For further information on this rigorously argued, well-documented, and
clearly-written book, see http://www.oup.com/uk/catalogue/?ci=9780199282159
—————————————————————————————————
Oxford Press, Natalie TAYLOR, natalie.taylor@oup.com
————————————————————————————————

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23.    COSSACK STONE CROSS ERECTED IN MEMORY OF
1932-1933 HOLODOMOR VICTIMS IN VILLAGE OF MYRIVKA

The Day Weekly Digest, #13, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 24 April 2007

A cross in memory of victims of the 1932-33 Holodomor was recently
unveiled and consecrated on Remembrance Sunday in the village of
Myrivka, Kaharlyk district, in Kyiv oblast.

One-third of all the villagers (257 people, including 107 children) died in
those evil times. (Data collected as of April 1, 2007.)

This is an unprecedented event because the monument was erected on the
initiative of the 32-year-old Kyivan activist Oleh Pluhatarenko whose
great-grandfather starved to death in 1933; his maternal grandmother also
came from this village.

“My late grandmother Paraska Baliasna told me that in 1932 she saved the
life of my mother Odarka Rohoza by pulling her on a sled all the way to
Kyiv – that’s more than 70 kilometers,” he told The Day. “She wanted to go
back for her own father, but she got sick.

Instead, she sent some food. After she recovered, she went to see his grave
and found out that he never received her parcel, a common occurrence at the
time. So I wanted to honor all those who never received any parcels, and
there were quite a few villagers.”

Oleh paid for almost everything: the sandstone, the sculptor’s fee, and
other things. His friends also helped him: Adam Sauer from Poland, Tim Boese
from Germany, and Roberto Privitera from Italy. All of them attended the
unveiling. The transportation and installation expenses were borne by the
Myrivka village council.
     ENTRANCE TO CEMETERY WERE THOSE STARVED

                              TO DEATH WERE BURIED
The cross stands at the entrance to the new cemetery, right in front of the
old graveyard where villagers who had starved to death during the famine
were buried. There are only a few name plates, and the rest of the cemetery
is filled with nameless mass graves.

The center of the traditional Cossack cross features a millstone that has a
passing resemblance to the sun, as well as a broken ear of grain, and the
horrifying number 1933.

“This millstone is a multidimensional symbol,” says the head of the project,
Mykola Malyshko, who also sculpted the tombstones on the graves of Ivan
Honchar and Vasyl Stus.

“I know its significance during the famine, as well as that of the ears that
I used to pick surreptitiously on the collective farm field when I was a
child.

I was born and raised in the village of Znamenka, Novomoskovsk district, in
Dnipropetrovsk oblast, where thousands of people, including my two brothers,
died in those terrible years. This theme is consonant with my feelings.”

People, especially the elderly, carry Easter breads and eggs, sweets, and
candles, items that are usually placed on the graves of family members and
friends, to the symbolic grave. Their dreams and hopes are buried here. An
old woman is taking sweets out of her pocket, one by one, and carefully
laying them out.

Eighty-year-old Dunia Savchenko lost her father, mother, brother, and sister
in the Holodomor. “My father Yakiv Salii died on April 5 and my mother

Maria died the next day,” she says.

“They left behind three children: I was eight years old, my brother Mark was
five, and my sister Olia was three. They also died very soon. There was
nothing to eat, not even a blade of grass.

As soon as weeds cropped up, they would be instantly eaten. There were no
dogs or cats around – they had all been eaten. There were bloated bodies
lying about. Although I was only a child, I will forever remember the story
of my fellow villager Fedko Vakulenko.

He was going to bury a woman, when another woman came to him, knelt down,
and implored him to put her little boy into the same pit. So he put both of
them in and barely covered them up with soil – everybody was very weak in
those days.”

I shuddered when I heard this. Granny Dunia (that’s what she tells people to
call her) suggests going to the old cemetery, where her family is buried.

“Look out, these humps are mass graves,” she warns. I jerk back and stand
still for a minute, looking at the mounds covered with periwinkle. “There
was a huge pit here, where all the dead were brought,” she goes on.

“A man named Dementii would go around picking up corpses and bring them
here; for his work the Soviets rewarded him with half a kilo of bran. Once a
woman begged him: ‘Dementii, don’t take me, I’m not dead yet.’ ‘You’ll die
before evening, so why should I come back for you again?’ He loaded her on
his wagon and continued on his way.” 
          SHE STILL SEES IMAGES OF THOSE HORRORS 
The old woman remembers every detail. She still sees images of those
horrors. “That ‘red broom’ swept everything away from the people. When my
parents were still alive, father hid two buckets of millet in the well, but
they still found his stash and took it away. Mother told us, children, to
sit on some small bags filled with beans, but they ransacked everything and
took the beans.”

We arrived. Here, beneath a modest stone cross, her father rests next to the
grave of her mother and sister. The woman placed the Easter breads and
sweets on the graves, leaned on her father’s cross and whispered something
quietly. Bidding me farewell, she held me tightly by the hand and said,
“Daughter, you should always have an extra supply of groats, flour, and
sugar. Do you?”

This was a demonstration of love, a warning. This woman will live in fear of
famine until the end of her life. This fear exists on a subconscious and
instinctive level, rather than a rational and conscious one. Clearly, the
generation that lived through those evil years will never be free of this
fear.

Often, this fear is passed to the members of the next generation that has
lived in the same villages with theirs fathers and grandfathers. This was
recognized by James Mace, the distinguished American academic, who
researched the Ukrainian Holodomor and became a great Ukrainian. Mace

was the first to clearly define our society as post-genocidal.

Psychologists use the term “archetypes,” deep-rooted symbols that relate to
both everyday human life and national existence, such as fire, earth, sun,
and water. Today another archetype is famine. The horror of Ukrainian
history is that the Holodomor has also become such an archetype because it
is deeply imprinted in our subconsciousness.

When you hear Holodomor eyewitness accounts, you can see

that you are crossing the threshold of pain. Below are a few
recollections of those tragic days.

Maria MAZEPA , 83:
“I was 11 years old in those days, and I remember everything perfectly.
Those people in the Verkhovna Rada should not talk about crop failure! There
was a good crop of potatoes, carrots, beets, and wheat. But the Reds robbed
us of everything.

My mother would hide millet on the oven: she would cover it with a blanket
and the children would lie on top. And what do you think? They came into our
house, dragged us down, and walked off with that millet. I wonder why they
left the cow alone. We managed to survive thanks to the cow.

“A woman lived nearby. The villagers called her Tabulchykha. She ate her
husband and children. She and her elder son cut them up one by one and
cooked them. Then a Soviet court sentenced her to a 10-year term.

Word has it that she returned to another village after serving the sentence.
It was like that: first they reduced people to cannibals and then convicted
them. Poor things! Those people were no longer part of this world; they were
ghosts.”

Maria SOKUR, 80:
“In the 1930s my father was deported to Siberia and shot. Why? Because he
and his brother had six hectares of land, a cow, horse, and an apiary. In
other words, he was a real farmer.

But did that Red rabble know what it meant to be a real farmer? So they
threw my mother and her two daughters out of our house, and we lived with
some good people, literally clinging to them.

In order to feed her children, mother used to walk every day to Vasylkiv, 40
kilometers away. She would go off, help somebody, earn a penny or two, and
buy something to eat.

People mostly ate weeds, lamb’s-quarters, frozen potatoes, and they were
bloated with hunger. In 1937 we regained part of our vegetable garden.

Somehow we managed to build a small wooden house. I remember lying down,
bloated, and my sister hitting me so that I would get up and do some work in
the garden. I still wonder how I survived.”

Hanna SIABRO, 81:
“My parents, brothers, and sisters survived, but my aunt died. So did our
neighbors. Mother would go to the collective farm field on her bloated legs
to weed beets. For this she was given a thin gruel made of flour and water.

She never ate it, but took it home for us. I also went to the collective
field to pick beet waste. I would gather a bucketful and get a piece of
bread for this. I did not eat it but brought it to my younger brothers and
sisters.

“After some time, the potatoes and rye began to ripen. We began to grind,
thresh, and boil rye ears, and that’s how we survived. Otherwise, we would
have died.”

   NAMES OF ALL 257 PEOPLE WHO DIED WERE READ
After the cross was blessed, the names of all 257 people from the village of
Myrivka who starved to death in the Holodomor were read out. This is not a
final figure. After this sad list was read out, many people went to the
village council to give the names of their relatives and acquaintances who
had starved to death.

“I was utterly stunned to see an elderly woman asking that the names of her
dead relatives be added,” says political scientist Tim Boese from Germany.

“She seemed to be speaking about this for the first time in public. On the
one hand, this shows that memories are still fresh and, on the other, the
ghost of this tragedy has not yet been laid to rest.”

The Day also asked Oleh’s other two friends, who had paid their own way to
attend this uncommon event, to share their impressions. “I am moved,” says
Polish lawyer Adam Sauer. “Undoubtedly, it is very important to support
national memory at the governmental level.

After all, the Ukrainian Holodomor is a global issue, and the UN should
recognize it as an act of genocide. But in my view, supporting national
memory ‘from below,’ so to speak, in the small village of Myrivka, is by far
the most important factor because the initiative is coming from the people
who live there. This means they are not indifferent.”

“When we, Oleh’s friends, found out about his plans, we decided to make our
own modest contribution,” adds lawyer Roberto Privitera from Italy. “The
truth is I first heard about the Ukrainian famine in the 1990s, when I was
at the lyceum (Roberto is half- Polish and graduated from a lyceum in
Poland – Ed.).

I think the fact that Oleh, who is a typical representative of the Ukrainian
middle class, spent a certain amount (not so small) on the monument and
devoted himself to this important common cause, is a noticeable touch to the
portrait of Ukrainian society, even though people, like Pluhatarenko, are an
exception.”

Pluhatarenko rallied his foreign friends and the residents of Myrivka to his
initiative. Someone like him can serve as a role model for the younger
generation, because we will not always be a post- genocidal society.

The Day asked Pluhatarenko what else Ukrainians should do about the history
of the Holodomor. “In reality, the damage that the Holodomor inflicted is
still being felt,” he muses, “and has affected us both on the quantitative
and qualitative levels.

The most terrible thing is that the Stalinist system implanted a virus of
fear into Ukrainians, especially fear of resistance. Naturally, we are
recovering slowly but steadily.

So the Ukrainian famine, its causes and effects, should be the subject of a
frank and fearless debate so that we can eradicate the viruses of lying and
wrongdoing. To a certain extent we are still living in a ‘stolen history.’
This will inspire an unquenchable thirst for justice, especially in young
people.”
(LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/180491/)

———————————————————————————————
FOOTNOTE: I met with Mykola Malyshko and his brother Petro
during my recent trip to Ukraine in March.  Mykola showed me his
drawings and plans for the Holodomor monument.  Our special
congratulations to Myhkola for his outstanding work and service to
Ukraine and his work to commemorate the millions of victims of the
Holodomor in 1932-1933. Morgan Williams, AUR Editor
————————————————————————————————-
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24.                LET’S UNEARTH THE TRUTH
                ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN 1915 TOGETHER
                 Turkey Invites Armenia To Study Historical Facts Together

Full-Page Advertisement: The Washington Times
Washington, D.C. Monday, April 23, 2007, Page A5

                                  LET’S UNEARTH THE TRUTH
                  ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN 1915 TOGETHER
              Turkey Invites Armenia To Study Historical Facts Together

          To this end, Turkey proposed to Armenia the establishment of a
                           JOINT COMMISSION OF HISTORIANS
                               which will also be open to third parties
         TURKEY ENSURES FULL ACCESS TO ALL ITS ARCHIVES
 
           We look to a future of freedom, peace, and prosperity in Armenia
         and Turkey and hope that Prime Minister Erdogan’s recent proposal
   for a joint Turkish-Armenian commission can help advance these processes.
                                        President Geroge W. Bush

               I fully understand how strongly both Turkey and Armenia
                     feel about this issue.  Ultimately, this painful matter
           can only be resolved by both sides examining the past together
                                           President Bill Clinton

       These historical circumstances require a very detailed and sober look
    from historians.  And what we’ve encouraged the Turks and the Armenians
         to do is to have joint historical commissions that can look at this, to
           have efforts to examine their past and, in examining their past, to get
                                                  over their past.
                                 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

            The proper platform to discuss this subject can only be a forum
            composed of Turkish and Armenian historians, under conditions
                                           of equality and freedom.
                                 Turkish Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II

                     WE CAN FACE THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR PAST:
              WE CALL UPON THE ARMENIANS TO DO THE SAME
 

      On April 10, 2005, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked
            Armenian President Robert Kocharian and the People of Armenia:

            “….to establish a joint group consisting of historians and
             other experts from our two countries to study the developments
             and events of 1915 not only in the archives of Turkey and
            Armenia but also in the archives of all relevant third countries
            and to share their findings with the international public.”

            “As leaders of our countries, our primary duty is to leave to our
            future generations a peaceful and friendly environment in which
                             tolerance and mutual respect shall prevail.”

      ON MARCH 28, 2007, TURKISH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND
     FOREIGN MINISTER ABDULLAH GUL REAFFIRMED THIS OFFER:

     “We eagerly await a positive response from Armenia, agreeing to establish
      this joint commission and declaring its readiness to accept its
      conclusions.

      …I hereby extend an invitation to any third country, including the
      United States, to contribute to this commission by appointing scholars
      who will earnestly work to shed light on these tragic events and open
      ways for us to come together.”

      SUPPORT EFFORTS TO EXAMINE HISTORY, NOT LEGISLATE IT.
               For more information, please visit www.turkishembassy.org.

       Paid for by the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey, Washington, D.C.
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
25. UNDERGROUND MARVELS: MUSEUM DEVOTED TO COLD WAR

           A once-secret bunker, located 60 meters beneath central Moscow,
  opens to the public and may soon contain a museum devoted to the Cold War.
 
By Anna Malpas, Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia, April 20-26, 2007

The entrance to the Tagansky Protected Command Point is concealed in an
unassuming 19th-century building a few minutes’ walk from a busy
intersection.

Given a paper pass by the guard, visitors take a high-speed elevator down to
the formerly secret headquarters located 60 meters — almost the height of a
20-story building — underground. At that depth, conversation is drowned out
every few minutes by the roar of metro trains passing overhead.

Sold off in an auction last year, the bunker now belongs to a private
company that plans to turn it into an entertainment complex with a museum
about the Cold War, a restaurant and even a spa.

But it is already possible to book excursions around the 600-meter-long
network of bare, cavernous tunnels.

The bunker’s director, Olga Arkharova, gave a tour of the complex Tuesday,
leading the way confidently around the dusty tunnels. When a company called
Novik-Serviz bought the bunker in 2006, she said, almost nothing remained of
its original interior.

“The tunnel used to be covered up; there are still some panels,” she said,
pointing at a corroded metal object. “There used to be carpets and parquet
floors, and people in white coats working here.”

Arkharova said the bunker was built from 1952 to 1956 as a communications
headquarters for the country’s leadership and military top brass. It could
also be used as a bomb shelter.

Up to 3,000 people could live and work there for 90 days without assistance
from the outside world, thanks to stores of food and medicine, an air
recycling system and diesel generators.

Still visible on the walls are terse stenciled commands such as “On the
territory of the site, the walkways in the passages are narrow, be careful.”
A dusty portrait of Karl Marx lies on an abandoned television in a hallway.

Stacked against a wall is a poster showing diagrams of rifle parts. In one
tunnel, wagons used for the construction of the complex still stand on
rails.

The bunker was under the aegis of the State Central Telegraph agency,
although both civilians and military personnel worked there, Arkharova said.
The agency began modernizing the bunker in the 1980s, but when money ran out
in the ’90s it was stripped bare and given only basic maintenance.

“Everything more or less valuable or interesting was taken out of here, and
we got the site in an horrific, neglected state. It was just a dump,” the
bunker director said.

On Tuesday, workmen were laying a concrete floor in a section of the complex
where the owners plan to open a permanent exhibition about the bunker’s
history, to be called the Cold War Museum. Another tunnel contained old
telephones, typewriters and a device for measuring radiation.

“Some of these things we were given, some things we bought, some things we
found,” Arkharova said. “We cleaned them up and they will be put into the
exhibition.”

Some secrets remain around the complex. There are a total of three
entrances, Arkharova said, including one that leads to the Taganskaya metro
station. She declined to show the metro entrance, but said that workers used
to commute to the complex on special metro trains that ran at night.

If the new owners’ plans come to fruition, the bunker will be transformed
into a leisure complex with a Cold War theme. Arkharova talked about
recreating the main command center — complete with a map of the world,
James Bond style — and opening a retro cafeteria offering shots of vodka
and tea from samovars.

“Here we plan to put in a recreation center,” Arkharova said, standing in
one of the four interconnected 150-meter tunnels. “The next tunnel will be a
nightclub, a restaurant and a spa center. Those are our big plans.”

The entrance to the Tagansky Protected Command Point is located at 11 5th
Kotelnichesky Pereulok, underneath the camouflage netting. Metro Taganskaya.
Excursions can be arranged by calling Olga Arkharova at 500-4641/2 or
8-903-746-1676. For more information, see www.info4.ru/cwm.html

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AUR#834 Apr 25 Boris Yeltsin, Played A Role In Emergence of An Independent Ukraine; Canadians Honour Mulroney For Recognition of Ukrainian Independence

=========================================================
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       

 
              Boris Nikolaevich Yeltsin
                             Born February 1 1931; Died April 23 2007
 
     The sight of him standing heroically against the attempted coup of August
     1991 is unforgettable. It was the end of a ghastly era of human history, in
           which despotism went almost beyond the limits of the imagination.
 
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 834
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 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.                               RUSSIA’S AGENT OF CHANGE
                 For All His Flaws, Boris Yeltsin Started Something Big
By Anne Applebaum, Columnist, The Washington Post
Washington, D.C. Tuesday, April 24, 2007; Page A21

2MIKHAIL GORBACHEV PAYS TRIBUTE TO LATE RUSSIAN LEADER
                     Without Russia, Ukraine and Belarus the Soviet Union

                             could not be the same. It was a break-up.
Ekho Moskvy radio, Moscow, in Russian 1426 gmt 23 Apr 07
BBC Monitoring Service – United Kingdom, Monday, Apr 23, 2007

3.                   YELTSIN’S DEATH – WHAT THE MEDIA SAID

BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Apr 24, 2007

4.                         THE MAN WHO BEAT COMMUNISM
Commentary By Mary Dejevsky, The Independent

                      PAPERS DIVIDED OVER YELTSIN’S LEGACY
Guardian Unlimited, London, UK, Tuesday, Apr 24, 2007

8.     HOW RUSSIA SLIPPED ON THE ROAD TO YELTSIN’S NEW ERA
COMMENTARY: By Martin Wolf, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Tuesday, April 24 2007
         
9.                                    BORIS YELTSIN, 1931-2007
Remembering the first democratically elected president of the Russian Federation.
PERSONAL COMMENTARY: by Reuben F. Johnson
Weekly Standard, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 24, 2007

10.   PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO PAYS TRIBUTE TO BORIS YELTSIN
Press office of President Victor Yushchenko, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, 24 Apr 2007

11.                                         BORIS YELTSIN
                 His legacy is mixed, but his stand for freedom is indelible.
EDITORIAL, The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 24, 2007; Page A20

12.                       THE LIFE OF YELTSIN: BYE-BYE BORIS
                                  Boris Yeltsin, a flawed hero, has died
From Economist.com, London, UK, Monday, April 23, 2007

13.   TWO CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS CHRETIEN, MULRONEY
              SHARE MEMORIES OF LARGER-THAN-LIFE YELTSIN
Alexander Panetta, Canadian Press

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Tueesday, April 24, 2007

14CANADIANS HONOUR FORMER PRIME MINISTER MULRONEY
       FOR HIS 1991 RECOGNITION OF UKRAINIAN INDEPENDENCE
Alexander Panetta, Canadian Press,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Thursday, April 19, 2007

15.       UKRAINIAN CANADIAN CONGRESS (UCC) JOINS WITH

                    UKRAINE IN HONOURING BRIAN MULRONEY
Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Tuesday, April 24, 2007

16.     CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER HARPER CONGRATULATES

                FORMER PRIME MINISTER BRIAN MULRONEY ON
                      AWARD AT UKRAINIAN TRIBUTE DINNER
Office of the Prime Minister, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Wed, 18 Apr 2007
========================================================
1
             RUSSIA’S AGENT OF CHANGE
                 For All His Flaws, Boris Yeltsin Started Something Big

By Anne Applebaum, Columnist
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007; Page A21

It was October 1987, three weeks before the 70th anniversary of the
Bolshevik Revolution. The Soviet elite had gathered in Moscow to mark the
occasion. After the customarily lengthy speech by Communist Party General
Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, the chairman asked whether anyone wanted to
respond.

Unexpectedly, Boris Yeltsin, then the Moscow party boss, went up to the
rostrum. He spoke for a mere 10 minutes — and in that 10 minutes changed
Russian history.

Reading that speech now, it’s hard to see what the fuss was all about.
Yeltsin complained that the party lacked “revolutionary spirit” and that the
Soviet people suffered from “disillusionment.” The language was that of a
party functionary, which is, of course, what Yeltsin was.

But then, unexpectedly, he resigned. And with that extraordinarily canny
decision, he won instant notoriety. Never had a communist leader set
himself up as a popular alternative to the Communist Party.

Within days, half a dozen versions of Yeltsin’s speech were being sold on
the streets of Moscow, their authors variously speculating that Yeltsin had
condemned communism, had supported democracy, had attacked the
privileges of the Communist Party leadership.

Every person who felt dissatisfied — and there were many — believed that
Yeltsin shared his views. Two decades later, in a far more cynical Russia,
this mood is hard to remember. But in the late 1980s, Yeltsin was wildly
popular. When the first presidential election was held in Russia in 1991, it
was inevitable that he would win.

That euphoria launched an extraordinary period in Russian history, and a
presidential career best described as manic-depressive. Over the next eight
years, Yeltsin had enormous bursts of creative energy, alternating with long
periods of illness, alcoholism and retreat.

He could rouse himself to rally the country and would then vanish, leaving
the government in the hands of his corrupt cronies. He was capable of
speaking eloquently about freedom, yet he had an autocratic streak and
brooked no criticism.

He talked about economic reform but transferred his country’s industry to a
small group of oligarchs. He ended the Cold War but started a new and
terrible war in Chechnya.

During that time, Western perceptions of Yeltsin fluctuated no less
schizophrenically. In the beginning, he was considered a dangerous upstart.

The elder President George Bush openly refused to meet him. Then he stood on
a tank in the center of Moscow, told cheering crowds to resist an attempted
putsch — and the West turned 180 degrees, called him a hero and embraced
him, sometimes literally.

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl exchanged bear hugs with Yeltsin. Bill Clinton
campaigned for Yeltsin’s reelection. The International Monetary Fund created
new types of loans for Russia, just to be able to give Yeltsin money with no
strings attached.

Yet even while he and Clinton were enjoying those long, heavily televised
walks through the woods, it was clear that Yeltsin was planting some of the
seeds of the retrenchment we see in Russia today.

During his administration, that IMF money vanished into secret bank
accounts. Yeltsin first abolished the KGB, then quietly revived it to keep
tabs on his enemies.

Despite the rhetoric of the Yeltsin era, Russia still does not have what
most of us would recognize as a free-market economy. Though we hailed him
as a democrat, Yeltsin did not leave behind anything resembling a functional
democracy. And he knew, at some level, that he had failed.

When he resigned from the presidency, on New Year’s Eve of the millennium —
the second momentous resignation speech of his career — he wiped away a
tear and apologized to the Russian people for “your dreams that never came
true.”

It has become fashionable to turn another 180 degrees and to condemn Yeltsin
for corruption and autocracy just as thoroughly as the West once supported
him. This is tempting, especially for those who disliked the lionization of
Yeltsin as much as I did.

But now that he is dead, perhaps it makes more sense not to classify him as
a liberal or an autocrat, as friend or foe. For in the longer historical
perspective, it is clear that Yeltsin, unlike his predecessor Gorbachev, was
a genuine man of transition.

He knew things had to change, but he had neither the ideas nor the tools to
change them. He had some of the instincts of a populist democrat but all the
habits of a lifetime Communist Party apparatchik. He admired Western
abundance but never understood how Western societies actually work.

In truth, he belonged neither to the Soviet Union, which Gorbachev had
hoped to revive, nor to the West, which Putin now rejects.

Had we ever been realistic about him, we would have understood his
limitations from the beginning — and appreciated his strengths. And had we
not embraced him uncritically, we would have been less disappointed when
things turned out differently from what we, too, had hoped.
———————————————————————————————–
Anne Applebaum: applebaumanne@yahoo.com
———————————————————————————————–
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/23/AR2007042301452.html
—————————————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

========================================================
2. MIKHAIL GORBACHEV PAYS TRIBUTE TO LATE RUSSIAN LEADER
                     Without Russia, Ukraine and Belarus the Soviet Union
                              could not be the same. It was a break-up.

Ekho Moskvy radio, Moscow, in Russian 1426 gmt 23 Apr 07
BBC Monitoring Service – United Kingdom, Apr 23, 2007

MOSCOW – [Presenter] Just now, literally two minutes ago, we have recorded

a message of condolence from the president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail
Gorbachev. This is what he said.

[Gorbachev] The news [the death of Russian President Boris Yeltsin] took me,
probably just as everyone else, by surprise. Despite being ill he had been
active recently. This is very sad. I have already offered my deep
condolences to Naina Iosifovna [Boris Yeltsin’s wife] and the family.

Our paths had crossed. While occupying important posts, we had to together
address issues relating to the democratic changes under way in the country.
We managed to do quite a lot. This is important.

However, there were differences of opinion, major differences, which the
forces opposed to perestroika and change used to their advantage. This
complicated the situation and eventually led to a major divergence in
politics and paved the way for the putschists.

While during the putsch, during his hour of glory, he courageously and
boldly defended democracy and democratic changes, subsequently his passion
for power undermined joint efforts to overcome the deep crisis at the time
when there was hope that this could be done.

He thought that it would be easier for Russia to carry out reforms if it
unloaded other republics. What did unloading other republics mean? It meant
the dissolution of the country. And he went down this path. Without Russia,
Ukraine and Belarus the Soviet Union could not be the same. It was a
break-up.

I think however that both he and I thought of one thing, to do more for the
people. Our approach to this task was different. I was against shock
therapies. I thought that we had to do it step by step. To be fair, the
nation supported him at the time. This is history.          -30-
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
3.            YELTSIN’S DEATH – WHAT THE MEDIA SAID
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Apr 24, 2007

The death of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin on 23 April has sparked
a wave of media coverage as commentators grapple with the legacy of a man
who played a key role in the demise of the Soviet Union.

Described frequently as a figure of contradictions, Yeltsin is portrayed as
a colourful politician with a “bulldozer of a character”, a man who
attracted both love and hate as he presided over a period of change and
transition.
                                                 RUSSIA
Russian TV coverage has been dominated by the news of Yeltsin’s death, with
the correspondent on state TV channel Rossiya’s evening news bulletin on 23
April saying Yeltsin would remain forever “one of the most prominent and
colourful Russian politicians of the 20th century”.

The correspondent said many people still blamed Yeltsin for the break-up of
the Soviet Union, but that all Yeltsin, former Ukrainian President Leonid
Kravchuk and former Belarusian President Stanislaw Shushkevich did was
simply remove “the flag and the name-plate from a building that had already
collapsed.”

On state-controlled Channel One TV’s main news bulletin, the presenter said
“Yeltsin may have been a complex figure, but he was definitely a great one”.
The channel’s correspondent said “someone like Yeltsin, with his bulldozer
of a character” had been precisely what Russia needed.

Gazprom-owned NTV’s news presenter said Yeltsin was for Russians “a symbol
of the struggle against the Soviet system for democracy and freedom”. The
presenter added that Yeltsin was someone who “provoked the most conflicting
feelings among Russians”.

Privately-owned TV channel Ren TV’s news correspondent commented that
“no-one knows what country we would now be living in if Yeltsin hadn’t led
public resistance against the putsch.”

Popular Moscow radio station Ekho Moskvy’s commentator Anton Orekh

remarked that Yeltsin “did something that no-one had ever done before him…
he buried communism as the ruling idea in Russia”.

The Russian papers agreed that Yeltsin was an extraordinary figure, with
Gazeta highlighting what it saw as the contradictions in his character, “By
his beliefs he was a communist but a liberal; by style of rule – an
authoritarian leader but a democrat”.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta said that Yeltsin did not receive due recognition in his
lifetime, while Vedomosti hailed him as “the politician who brought the
country back on the path of civilized development”.

Moskovskiy Komsomolets had praise for Yeltsin’s treatment of the press and
said it was only the war in Chechnya and privatization that had ruined his
authority.

Kommersant, however, hinted that Yeltsin may have secretly agreed with the
opposition in their assertion that his biggest mistake was in his choice of
Vladimir Putin as his successor.

Novyye Izvestiya summed up Yeltsin’s legacy as “the hope that he gave all of
us” and said he should “be remembered for a long time and with gratitude”.

                                 FORMER SOVIET UNION
In Ukraine and Belarus, commentators reflected on Boris Yeltsin’s career and
his legacy, with the private independent Ukrainian ICTV station pointing out
that he “played a role in the emergence of an independent Ukraine”.

Both Belarusian TV and Ukrainian state-owned UT1 TV reminded their viewers
that many people still cannot forgive Yeltsin for putting an end to the
Soviet Union, but Moscow-leaning Ukrayina TV believed he would “go down

in history as the only Russian leader to step down voluntarily”.

Private independent Inter TV summed up the contrasting views. “The world
will remember Yeltsin as a Russian bear – careless, formidable and at the
same time awkward,” it said, adding, however, that “few know that he was a
poet”.

Most Ukrainian dailies gave front-page prominence to reports on Yeltsin’s
death. The pro-government Segodnya said: “the president who wanted

Russians to think about Ukraine every morning has died”.

The daily Den in an article headlined “The death of a giant” pointed out
that it was Russia that first announced its independence thanks to “the
personal will and persistence of Boris Yeltsin as the leader of the
democratic opposition”. “We should thank Boris Nikolayevich for our
independence,” the paper said.

Belarusian TV said everyone agreed that Boris Yeltsin was “a political
heavyweight and a man of iron will” and “although he quit politics, he
became an embodiment of Russia’s modern history”.

The Belarusian presidential administration’s newspaper Sovetskaya
Belorussiya described Yeltsin as having “an astonishing gift for
unpredictable actions”, but it went on to describe him as “a friend of
Belarus.”

The parliamentary newspaper Narodnaya Hazeta said “Yeltsin is a politician
who embodies the contradictions and difficulties of our epoch”.
                                  REST OF THE WORLD
Boris Yeltsin’s death was widely reported in the Chinese-language papers,
which praised him for developing Sino-Russian relations. Beijing’s Zhongguo
Wang said “he finally realized that China is Russia’s most important
strategic partner.”

The China Daily also described Yeltsin as having “a special fate with
China.” The papers also looked at his legacy, with Zhongguo Wang saying “the
Yeltsin era set the tone of Sino-Russian relations.”

One commentator in the China Daily suggested that “Yeltsin left historical
regret, but he also brought long-lasting hope for Russia”.

The papers also described Yeltsin as a “figure full of contradictions”,
however. “From reform to the break-up of the former Soviet Union, from shock
therapy to an oligarchy, from welcoming the West to strong nationalism,”
evaluating the former Russian president “remains as difficult as before”,
one commentator in the China Daily said.

“Yeltsin was a lonely reformer” was the theme of a commentary in the
Chongqing Chenbao which focused on what it saw as Yeltsin’s failed policies.
“Yeltsin and his chosen road of reform faced the fate of being adjusted and
then abandoned. This was Yeltsin’s and also Russia’s tragedy.”

Beijing’s Zhongguo Wang web portal also suggested that Yeltsin’s death
marked “the complete end of Russia’s honeymoon period with the West and
heralds the arrival of a new era”.

In Japan, the media praised Yeltsin’s efforts to resolve the territorial
dispute between Tokyo and Moscow that has kept the two countries from
concluding a formal peace treaty since the end of World War II. Asahi
Shimbun, the country’s second-largest daily, described him as “a big-hearted
man”.

Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei), Japan’s leading business daily, cited
government officials, who praised Yeltsin’s achievements and said his name
would “go down in history”.

Yeltsin’s death also hit the headlines across Europe. Germany’s Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung described Yeltsin as a “president of transition”, but Die
Welt painted a more colourful picture calling him a “Siberian hotspur”.

Commentators in Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung said “No Russian since Lenin
has turned the giant realm upside down in such a brutal manner… or lived
through innumerable political and personal crises”.

A French La Chaine Info journalist painted a portrait of Yeltsin as a
“popular and powerful orator”. France Info radio, however, said Yeltsin left
“mixed feelings among the Russians, for whom his presidency recalls the most
unstable years of the country’s recent history.”

La Chaine Info international affairs editor Vincent Hervouet said that “for
better or for worse, Boris Yeltsin remains in fact linked to a period in
which Russia was reborn and in which it discovered that, under the rubble of
the Soviet Union, it was not quite so easy to create a state governed by the
rule of law and to create a kind of capitalism without rules, and that all
this was very painful.”

The Hungarian papers detailed Yeltsin’s political career and achievements.
Magyar Nemzet described his legacy as “controversial,” while Nepszabadsag
said he lived long enough to see his successor leading Russia back to the
world of “order” and “censored speech”.

Nepszava said that he did a great service to Russian democracy. The papers
also highlighted that Yeltsin apologized to Hungary for the Soviet
intervention in 1956.

In the Balkans, Yeltsin’s death was met with mixed emotions. Croatian TV
said the former Russian president had “led his country to democracy, but
also to economic collapse, plunder by new Russian oligarchs and corruption”.

The Croatian centrist daily Vjesnik also placed the blame for the Chechen
war on Yeltsin’s shoulders and centre-left Novi List described him as
“anything but a democrat.”

The Serbian daily Danas gave Yeltsin’s career a mixed review, calling him ”
an inconsistent reformer” and Politika was similarly critical, saying that
his rule would “be remembered as the most traumatic period in the recent
history of the biggest country on Earth”.

Montenegrin TV also reflected back over Yeltsin’s career and included a
commentary on the rise of the oligarchs, who it notes took over the economy
during the Yeltsin years “reducing millions of ordinary Russians to
poverty”.

In Slovenia, the daily Vecer looked at the history and state of democracy in
Russia, and commented that the future seems pretty grim.

The daily said people would remember Yeltsin as a “vodka lover” and someone
who had “one hand on the rocket launch button and the other on the backside
of a secretary or translator”.

The daily Delo said that while being a contradictory figure he would go down
in history as a politician who managed to bring democracy to Russia.  -30-
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4.          THE MAN WHO BEAT COMMUNISM

Commentary By Mary Dejevsky, The Independent
London, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Apr 24, 2007

It is the classic historian’s question: do individuals or impersonal forces
move nations? Anyone who saw Boris Yeltsin, as I did, descend the steps from
the Russian parliament and clamber on to the tank to address a message of
defiance to the small crowd of Muscovites below, will retain not a sliver of
doubt.

Individuals move nations – brave, foolhardy, strangely guileless individuals,

such as Boris Nikolaevich Yeltsin.

That scene from 19 August 1991 is preserved in slow motion in my memory, as
it must be in the memory of everyone who was there. That morning, Moscow
seemed a zone of timeless uncertainty. A state of emergency had been
declared before dawn.

According to a clumsily formulaic announcement, the Soviet President,
Mikhail Gorbachev, had been removed from power due to ill health. A
committee had taken over and a state of emergency declared.

Tanks had rolled into Moscow amid the Monday morning rush-hour traffic and
converged on strategic locations: the Kremlin, the KGB headquarters, the
defence ministry and the White House, the cavernous building of the Russian
parliament. Anticipating the paraphernalia of military coups, ID checks,
barred roads, I decided for no particular reason, to make for the White
House.

Armoured vehicles were positioned around the building. Diplomatic cars,
whose arrival apparently predated the tanks, filled the car park. Then
suddenly there was movement: a small group started to come down the steps.
Yeltsin was in the centre; aides on either side seemed to be trying to
dissuade him.

He walked slowly and very deliberately, towards the tanks. A few
pleasantries with the guards, and he was on the top, reading from a scrap of
paper. “I do not accept this coup,” was the crucial sentiment I remember
now.

Until the world allowed itself to be diverted by the drunken buffoonery of
Yeltsin’s last years in office, this was the image that defined him. It is
also his rightful legacy.

Without Yeltsin’s challenge, the coup against the Soviet President might
have succeeded, the Soviet Union might have staggered on, with an
increasingly fearful, and repressive, Politburo in charge.

Yeltsin called the plotters’ bluff. He rallied the nation. He anathematised
the Communist Party and pro-nounced it summarily dissolved.

The bizarrely incompetent coup still had two full days and two agonisingly
tense nights to come, but one man in Russia had refused to accept it. At the
emergency committee’s embarrassing press conference that afternoon, a few
brave young Russian journalists followed suit.

The sparse crowd outside the White House grew through the rainy evening, as
people came after work intent on seeing the night through. Young men offered
themselves to fight, swearing allegiance to Russia and its President on a
Bible. Those were truly the days Soviet Communism was smashed. They were
also the days when Russia was reborn.

Boris Yeltsin was from that point on the unchallenged ruler of Russia. Gone
was the awkward duopoly of rival Soviet and Russian power, which had been
made all the more unpredictable by the clashing personalities of the
bull-headed Yeltsin and the smoothly calculating Gorbachev. Yeltsin held the
advantage.

He brought Gorbachev back from his Crimean captivity, but he was ruthless in
chopping the power from under him. He taunted him before the Russian
parliament. He endorsed the independence declarations of the Baltic states.
Through the autumn, he allowed pillar after pillar of Soviet hegemony to
fall.

Russia, Ukraine and Belarus renounced the treaty that founded the Soviet
Union. The gold reserves (and foreign debt) passed into Russia’s control.
The KGB lost its sway; one by one, small, scared agents defected (including
the British ambassador’s driver).

The centralised supply system broke down. The West prepared for famine, the
collapse of all communal services and waves of refugees trying to escape
across the Finnish border.

Gorbachev resigned on 25 December 1991. His departure was elegant, and sad.
He bequeathed the Kremlin, and Russia, with evident reluctance to a man he
neither trusted nor liked.

Yeltsin, true to form, did himself no favours on his big day. Gorbachev and
his staff had to wait around for several hours before Yeltsin was found. The
strain of his imminent new responsibilities had, it was said, driven him to
seek out his usual solace.

In the Russia of those tense post-Soviet days and weeks, however, it was
Yeltsin’s strengths, not his weaknesses, that prevailed.

That the West’s elaborate precautions, whether for refugees, civil war or
famine, were mostly unnecessary is in large part because Yeltsin was
embraced by Russians as the father of their newly revived Russian state.

There was a special bond that linked Yeltsin and “his” Russia. He and they
spoke a common language, they had common priorities; this bombastic,
bear-like leader suited his people and the times.

That relationship was to sour. Yeltsin won re-election in 1996 against the
odds, and largely thanks to a media campaign that was expensive in every
sense of the word. His health was failing, although his multiple heart
by-pass eventually gave him a second lease on life.

To the despair of his diplomats, he was unreliable abroad. Russians might
have laughed with the rest of us, but they felt embarrassed that the West so
easily forgave his drunken antics, as if this was only to be expected of a
Russian.

Boris Yeltsin will be remembered by most Russians who lived through the
Eighties and Nineties, with much affection and, yes, with not a little
respect. He was a unique character, a tough Siberian, a Russian through and
through, and a leader who obeyed instinct, not design.

A man of action, he did not plot and plan. He did not have anything that
could be described as a philosophy – either of life or of Russia’s destiny.
Nor was he a dissident as the term is generally understood.

He did not start out as an opponent of the Soviet regime; he ended up in
opposition as a frustrated regional leader who chafed at the rigidities that
prevented what he saw as common-sense reforms. And in truth his legacy was
mixed. He presided over enormous freedom, but also over chaos, crime and
economic collapse.

Yeltsin’s years in power have been assessed and reassessed several times
already. But there is a risk now, in the light of what many see as the
retreat from individual freedoms under Vladimir Putin, that Yeltsin will be
remembered for the wrong things and in the wrong way.

Contrary to the myth that some have cultivated, he was not a democrat as
most people would understand the word, nor was he a principled pro-ponent

of free speech or the free market. Nor, though, was he the drunken
exhibitionist of the televised clips that were aired time and again last
night.

He was a man of the heart, not the head. When he came to power, he did what
he thought was good for Russia. And in the crucial decisions – on personal
freedoms, for instance – he was more often right than wrong.

Having slain the dragon of Soviet communism, his next great merit was to
have left an enervated Russia largely to its own devices.

How much of a choice he actually had in those extraordinary and volatile
years will be for the next generation to judge. But I doubt that I was the
only one to have raised a glass in fond memory last night.

Mikhail Gorbachev
FORMER SOVIET PRESIDENT
“I express the very deepest condolences to the family of the deceased, on
whose shoulders rest major events for the good of the country and serious
mistakes. A tragic fate.”

Vladimir Putin
RUSSIAN PRESIDENT
“The President today phoned Naina Yeltsin and expressed the deepest
condolences to her and those close to the first president of Russia,” a
Kremlin spokesman said.

Tony Blair
BRITISH PRIME MINISTER
“Former president Yeltsin was a remarkable man who saw the need for
democratic and economic reform and in defending it played a vital role at a
crucial time in Russia’s history.”

Boris Berezovsky
EXILED RUSSIAN MULTIMILLIONAIRE
“Russia has a lost a brilliant reformer. No one has done as much for Russia
as Yeltsin. He was unique and absolutely Russian in his soul, in his
impulsiveness and in his intellect.”

Baroness Thatcher
FORMER TORY PRIME MINISTER
“Without Boris Yeltsin, Russia would have remained in the grip of Communism
and the Baltic states would not be free. He deserves to be honoured as a
patriot and liberator.”

George Bush
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
“Yeltsin was a historic figure who served during a period of momentous
change. He played a key role as the Soviet Union dissolved, helped lay the
foundations of freedom in Russia.”

Angela Merkel
GERMAN CHANCELLOR
“Boris Yeltsin was a large personality in Russian and international
politics, a courageous fighter for democracy and freedom and a true friend
of Germany.”

Chechen separatists
CHECHEN SEPARATIST WEBSITE
“We would like to remind people that the government of the Chechen

Republic of Ichkeria included Yeltsin in its list of war criminals. He is
wanted for crimes against humanity.”                  -30-
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5.                                 BORIS YELTSIN 

Guardian Unlimited, London, UK, Monday, Apr 23, 2007

Boris Yeltsin, who has died aged 76, was the most controversial figure in
recent Russian history, provoking even stronger emotions in his compatriots
than Mikhail Gorbachev, the man he replaced in the Kremlin.

While Gorbachev presided over the decline of the Communist party and the

end of the Soviet empire in eastern Europe, it was Yeltsin, Russia’s first
elected president, who buried the Soviet Union itself. For that he earned
euphoric admiration from some of his fellow-citizens and raging hatred from
others.

Yeltsin’s second outstanding claim to fame was his decision to launch Russia
towards market reforms via the route known as “shock therapy”, again
covering himself with an avalanche of praise and fury.

Then, in October 1993, in a bizarre episode for an emerging democracy, he
ordered tanks to assault the seat of the Russian parliament in the climax of
an 18-month struggle with elected deputies.

Finally, just over a year later, he ordered Russian troops, most of them
conscripts, to try to put down a rebellion in Chechnya that has remained a
key issue ever since. The rash move sent more Russian citizens to their
deaths than the 10-year-war, which the Soviet Union waged in Afghanistan
till 1989.

Any of these actions would have ensured Yeltsin a place in the catalogue of
strong Russian leaders from Ivan the Terrible onwards. The four together
create an extraordinary record for a man who was virtually unknown in
Russia, let alone abroad, until the age of 56.

Yeltsin’s name is indelibly linked with Russia’s faltering experience in
trying to create democracy in a country which had known centuries of
authoritarianism. He was given strong support by western governments who
feared a return to communist rule but confused personality with process.

They frequently overlooked Yeltsin’s mistakes and encouraged him to bring in
a constitution that concentrated massive power in the presidency rather than
achieving a reliable system of checks and balances.

But western support did at least prevent backsliding, and in spite of hints
that he might cancel the presidential elections of 1996, when opinion polls
suggested he would lose massively, or indeed the parliamentary elections of
1999, Yeltsin reluctantly honoured the system.

Yeltsin was born to a peasant family in the village of Butko in the Urals.
When the family’s only cow died, Yeltsin’s father moved to Perm to work

as a labourer on a building site. The family of five lived in one room of a
communal hut for 10 years.

As a mischievous child, Yeltsin lost his thumb and index finger while
playing with a stolen grenade. Undistinguished at school, Yeltsin worked as
a construction engineer for 14 years until he joined the Communist party’s
city committee in Sverdlovsk (the former Yekaterinburg) as a full-time
official.

The party ladder was the only path to upward mobility available to an
ambitious, but not outstanding, young man. The intellectually brilliant
could aspire to a scientific career and membership of the Academy of
Sciences, where party membership was advisable but by no means essential.
For the less talented, the Communist party was the best avenue to
advancement.

In the rough-and-ready postwar environment of the industrial Urals that were
earmarked for rapid development by Moscow’s planners, Yeltsin’s skills and
energy helped him advance. He became the first secretary of the Sverdlovsk
party in 1976.

In the monolithic system of Communist party rule, being head of a regional
branch was equivalent to being a kind of colonial administrator. The
Communist party was almost a military structure.

Regional bosses took orders from the men above, and passed them on to the
lower echelons. There was no need to negotiate with competing power
structures or political leaders with different views, since there were none.

The extent of a regional party secretary’s room for manoeuvre was to lobby
the central authorities for extra funds for his area, to build new
factories, roads, or schools. A party secretary showed his worth by his
efficiency in getting things done.

Yeltsin was a loyal servant of the centre. When he was ordered in 1977 by
the Politburo to demolish the house where the last tsar, Nicholas II, and
his family were murdered in July 1918, he complied readily. The house was
becoming a focal point for low-key demonstrations and Moscow wanted it
removed.

After Gorbachev came to power in March 1985 and started his perestroika
reforms, Yeltsin was invited to join the Politburo as a non-voting member.
His dynamism made him seem a good man. He was put in charge of running
Moscow. Although he launched himself into the new job with energy and
created a populist image with well-publicised trips on buses and trams, he
began to lose patience when he ran into opposition from entrenched
bureaucrats.

By the summer of 1987 he was anxious to move. At a spectacular session of
the Central Committee in October, which was meant to concentrate exclusively
on Gorbachev’s draft speech celebrating the 60th anniversary of the
Revolution, Yeltsin criticised Gorbachev and announced he would resign from
the Politburo. His action started a rift between the two men that was never
healed.

The immediate crisis was hushed up, but after the anniversary celebrations
Yeltsin was summoned to a meeting of the Moscow branch of the party where

he was sacked as city leader. But instead of being removed from the scene
altogether, as would have happened under earlier Soviet leaders, Yeltsin was
given a second chance.

Gorbachev made him deputy minister in charge of construction. The job was a
demotion, but Gorbachev wanted to present himself as a leader with a softer
and more consensual style of government than his predecessors. In the past
top men who fell out of favour had lost everything.

As preparations developed in 1989 for the country’s first contested
elections for more than 60 years, Yeltsin – down but far from out – saw the
opportunity for a comeback. Projecting himself as a martyr, and making
strong criticism of perestroika’s failure to improve people’s standard of
living, Yeltsin won a landslide victory to the Congress of People’s
Deputies.

In the new parliament he joined the radical wing of perestroika’s critics. A
year later he was elected to the new Russian parliament, making it clear he
hoped to become its chairman. He probably did not yet see the job as a base
from which to oust Gorbachev altogether, but he clearly wanted to reduce the
Soviet leader’s power.

As the drive for independence developed in the Baltics, the notion of
“sovereignty” – even for the other republics that did not want to leave the
Soviet Union – became attractive. Yeltsin argued for a new treaty to
transform the Soviet Union, not to abolish it.

By mid-1990 the Communist party’s monolithic rule was being openly
challenged. The party had agreed to change the constitution to allow for
other parties to emerge, but Gorbachev’s efforts to remove the conservatives
from influence in the Communist party were meeting growing resistance.
Yeltsin decided to abandon the party completely. At its congress in July
1990 he stunned fellow delegates by announcing his resignation and walking
out of the hall.

During the crisis over the Baltic republics’ moves towards independence,
when Soviet forces seized the television headquarters in Lithuania in
January 1991 in support of a mysterious Committee of National Salvation that
wanted to overthrow the elected government, Yeltsin rushed to the area to
show solidarity with the independence movements.

He called on Soviet troops not to obey illegal orders. It was a bold move
that undoubtedly helped to split the Soviet establishment and prevent the
coup attempts going further. Gorbachev, meanwhile, kept silent for 10 days,
apparently unwilling to confront the hardliners in the KGB and the military.

The Lithuanian crisis led many radicals to conclude that Gorbachev himself
had become an obstacle to change. Yeltsin took the same view, calling
publicly for Gorbachev’s resignation in February 1991. Meanwhile, he
strengthened his own power base by persuading a majority of deputies in the
Russian parliament to amend the constitution and establish an executive
presidency for Russia, to be chosen by direct national ballot.

Yeltsin went on to win the election handsomely. He now had an alternative
power base from which to challenge Gorbachev, as well as the legitimacy of
victory in national elections – a position that Gorbachev never achieved.

The hardliners, led by the head of the KGB, the defence minister, and the
interior minister, took Gorbachev hostage while he was on holiday in the
Crimea two months later. They set up an emergency junta to run the country
with the aim of reversing the reforms, reimposing central rule, and halting
the republics’ drive to independence.

As elected president of Russia, Yeltsin was in an unparalleled position to
oppose them. With energy and flair he led the resistance, calling on
ordinary people to defend the White House, the seat of the Russian
parliament. The image of him standing on a tank and inviting the army to
break from the coup was the high point of his career. The army split, with
the officers of the units on the streets of Moscow crucially throwing their
weight behind the elected Russian president rather than an unconstitutional
junta.

The failed coup exposed the political bankruptcy of the Communist party,
which did nothing to rally support for Gorbachev, its leader, held hostage
in the Crimea. Fear of the hardliners alarmed those republics that wanted
looser control from Moscow, or outright independence. Taking advantage of
the vacuum of power in Soviet institutions, Yeltsin started his own economic
reforms in Russia.

Increasingly he ignored Soviet law, as he decreed the suspension of the
Russian Communist party and withheld Russian taxes from the central budget.

 
        MET LEADERS OF BYELORUSSIA AND UKRAINE
FORMALLY ANNOUNCED THE SOVIET UNION WAS DEAD
In December he met the leaders of Byelorussia and Ukraine at a hunting lodge
in a forest near the Polish border, where they formally announced the Soviet
Union was dead. Gorbachev accepted he was finished, and resigned on
December 25.

Yeltsin was now the supreme master of Russia. He agreed to plans by his
radical economic advisers for an end to price subsidies in an effort to spur
the economy towards the market. “Everyone will find life harder for
approximately six months, then prices will fall,” he told parliament.

It was an unfortunate prediction, as inflation rose in 1993 by 2,000%.
Millions of Russians saw their savings wiped out. Others found themselves
forced to reduce their diet because of high prices of food.

For the next two years the botched economic reform became a battleground
between Yeltsin and the parliament. A majority of MPS had given the
president special powers in October 1991 to bring in a reform, but when they
saw the results, their support flagged.

By character and instinct, and with his long background as a party
apparatchik, Yeltsin was never a man disposed to compromise or negotiation.
He tried to outflank the parliament by demanding a renewal of his special
powers and holding a referendum calling for early parliamentary elections.

He won the referendum in April 1993 but not by a big enough vote to make it
binding. He then sought to change the constitution unilaterally to give the
president the power to dissolve parliament. Most MPs, meanwhile, had turned
against the president. The battle lines were hardening on both sides.

In September 1993 Yeltsin’s patience ran out. He ordered the dissolution of
parliament and sacked his vice-president, Alexander Rutskoi, even though he
had no constitutional right to do either. Scores of MPs decided to stay in
the building and resist eviction.

There were strange ironies in that Yeltsin was now the man putting pressure
on the same building and the same MPs that he had been defending only two
years earlier during the 1991 coup.

Ten days after the siege started a pro-parliamentary demonstration broke
through police lines several hundred yards away from the building.
Inexplicably, the main police cordon round the White House was lifted as the
marchers approached.

In the excitement of apparent “liberation” Rutskoi and Ruslan Khasbulatov,
the leader of parliament, urged their supporters to seize the mayor’s
office, the main state television station, and the Kremlin.

A number of armed paramilitaries, representing extreme nationalist and
pro-Soviet revanchists, had camped round the White House to help to “defend”
it. Many of them stormed the mayor’s office and moved on towards the
television station. The police held them away from the TV headquarters, and
according to Pavel Grachev, the defence minister, the threat only lasted 10
minutes.

Yeltsin nevertheless decided to order an assault on the White House. The
army commanders hesitated for several hours, but on the morning of October 4
the decision was taken to bring tanks to the building.

Firing went on all day, and Rutskoi and Khasbulatov were arrested and
imprisoned. It appeared that Yeltsin had achieved what he had wanted.
Parliament was closed. The army had stayed loyal. The president was free to
rewrite the constitution.

But the seeds of disappointment were already there. The assault on
parliament shocked most Russians and when elections were held for a new
parliament and to endorse the new constitution two months later Yeltsin was
rebuffed. The Central Election Commission, whose chairman was a Yeltsin
appointee, declared the constitution had passed but there were strong
suspicions that they were fudging the figures.

In the parliamentary poll Yeltsin’s strongest supporters, the block known as
Russia’s Choice, won barely 15 per cent of the vote. An extreme nationalist
party, led by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, which strongly criticised the economic
reform programme, came first with 23 per cent. The communists made a strong
comeback.

Worse was to come for Yeltsin. In almost its first act, the new parliament
passed an amnesty for the October detainees, releasing Rutskoi and
Khasbulatov from prison. Six months after dissolving the previous
parliament, Yeltsin found himself no stronger politically than before. It
was the first reverse he had suffered since his expulsion from the Politburo
in 1987. It seemed that his luck had run out.

The setback appeared to affect Yeltsin’s morale. He frequently disappeared
from Moscow for unexplained reasons. His health was known to be poor and he
drank heavily, but no official bulletins were published. The weakness of the
president exacerbated the tensions within his administration, as different
groups battled for influence.

The economy was nominally under the control of Viktor Chernomyrdin, the
prime minister, but pro-western monetarists like Anatoly Chubais, the
privatisation minister, tried to steer it in a different direction by
playing on Yeltsin’s wish to be well-perceived in Washington. Meanwhile, the
real influence over Yeltsin was his old tennis partner and the head of his
bodyguard, Alexander Korzhakov.

Korzhakov allied with Pavel Grachev, the defence minister, to convince
Yeltsin to launch a military attack on the separatist Chechen leader, Zhokar
Dudayev, in December 1994. The move caused a major rift with the liberals in
Yeltsin’s camp, many of whom resigned or publicly denounced the president.
Yeltsin’s only support came from the maverick nationalist, Vladimir
Zhirinovsky.

The futility of the attack and its ham-fisted implementation, as Russian
tanks and artillery pulverised villages, killing hundreds of civilians and
turning thousands of others into refugees, caused a new decline in Yeltsin’s
morale as well as his public support. For much of 1995 the president
appeared not to be in control of the country.

The December 1995 parliamentary elections dealt him a new blow. Viktor
Chernomyrdin’s party, the only one identified clearly with Yeltsin, won less
than ten per cent of the vote. It looked as though Yeltsin’s presidency was
going to end in disaster.

Yet even at this late hour Yeltsin showed he could fight his way out of
depression. Emboldened by his advisers, who feared their own demise if their
boss’s regime came to an end, Yeltsin decided to run for re-election.

By now the main opposition was no longer the ultra-nationalists like
Zhirinovsky. The baton had been picked up by the communists, who won the
largest share of votes in the December 1995 elections.

The communists had made themselves leaders of the “patriotic popular block”,
an eclectic combination that favoured a greater role for the government in
running the economy and a foreign policy less sympathetic to Western views.

The block’s main electoral strength was widespread opposition to Yeltsin’s
market reforms and anger over the non-payment of wages in hundreds of firms,
whether they had been privatised or not.

The Kremlin turned the communists’ strength to its own advantage. The
government already controlled the two state-owned television channels.

By using the intellectuals’ fear that a communist comeback was knocking at
the door, Yeltsin’s advisers persuaded the third television channel, the
privately owned NTV, to join their camp. This monopoly of the main
broadcasting media became the decisive factor in Yeltsin’s victorious
election campaign.

Instead of having a referendum on five years of Yeltsin’s rule, his advisers
managed to turn the election into a referendum on the abuses and atrocities
of the communist past. When Yeltsin had been elected president in 1991, the
two national TV channels were divided. One supported him. One opposed him.

The fact that five years later, voters were subjected to a less open
democratic process was a sad reflection on Yeltsin’s failure to build on the
foundations that Gorbachev had left for him.

Yeltsin had suffered a heart attack between the two rounds of the 1996
election. The controlled media and Yeltsin’s press spokesmen concealed the
fact. With victory secure, the truth of his health problems could no longer
be concealed. Yeltsin virtually dropped out of action until he was given a
quintuple heart bypass operation in November 1996.

His major achievement was to accept the peace plan for Chechnya negotiated
by Alexander Lebed, one of his defeated rivals for the presidency, who
briefly served as secretary of the security council.

The basis of Yeltsin’s second-term government was a group of
multimillionaire businessmen who had done well out of privatisation. These
were the oligarchs, whose activities are still a key facto in Russian
politics. Then they called the shots and ran the main media, although
inevitably rivalries developed amongst them.

Alexander Korzhakov, who had been Yeltsin’s main drinking companion and
adviser for several years was embroiled in the factional struggles and broke
with the president. Yeltsin’s excessive drinking on foreign trips became an
increasing embarrassment both for Russians and his western hosts.

Power in the Kremlin revolved around what Russian analysts called the
“family”. Most prominent was Yeltsin’s younger daughter, Tatyana Dyachenko,
who was the only person considered able to talk to the president frankly.

Others included Boris Berezovsky, the billionaire businessman now in London
exile, and Anatoly Chubais, who remained the architect of Yeltsin’s economic
policies. Yeltsin had a succession of different chiefs of staff and press
secretaries but relied heavily on the “family”.

He took the final decisions himself, which explained the capriciousness of
his moves in 1998 and 1999 when he sacked and appointed five prime ministers
in thirteen months. There seemed no point in some of the moves, except that
the president was jealous of anyone stealing his limelight.

In spite of Yeltsin’s erratic behaviour, western governments continued to
support him on the grounds that he was leading a process of economic
“reform”. But the reform was highly flawed. Income inequalities grew.
Homelessness and poverty increased as the government failed to pay pensions
or the wages of workers in the state sector.

Manufacturing output continued to slump. Financial crime and corruption
flourished with impunity. The country became even more dependent on its raw
material sector than it had been in the communist years while the consumers
of its wealth became more concentrated on Moscow. This created the paradox
of an affluent-looking capital city and increasingly desperate provinces.

In 1998 the economy for the first time began to register a mild upswing, but
it was based largely on massive loans from the International Monetary Fund
and a budget deficit financed by the sale of government bonds with absurdly
high rates of interest. In the summer the bubble burst. The government
defaulted on its loan repayments and the rouble lost three-quarters of its
value.

Yeltsin’s legacy on the economic front looked in tatters. The fruits of
privatisation had been hijacked by asset-strippers who sent their profits
abroad rather than investing in Russia. Tens of thousands of small
businesses had come to life in the decade since communism but living
standards for Russians were precarious.

Facing new parliamentary elections in December 1999 and a presidential poll
in 2000 (in which he could not go for a third term), Yeltsin and the
“family” were desperate to find a way of ensuring that the succession should
not pass out of their hands with the risk they could be charged with abuse
of power.

Thanks to an increase in the world price of oil, Russia’s economy began to
revive in 1999 but not enough to revive the president’s popularity. Yevgeni
Primakov, a former prime minister, seemed to have a strong chance of winning
the presidency on an anti-corruption ticket with a centre-left programme.
For the first time since 1991 there was a credible challenger who did not
represent the Communist party.

Yeltsin’s team felt they had to divert attention from their economic
failures. A new issue had to be found. In August 1999 Yeltsin changed prime
ministers again, appointing an unknown former KGB officer, Vladimir Putin,
who promptly ordered the army into Chechnya after a small group of
fundamentalists from Chechnya invaded the neighbouring republic of Dagestan.

It seemed a bizarre and highly risky decision but the Kremlin’s efforts were
helped by a series of unexplained terrorist bombings in Moscow and other
cities, which left around 400 Russians dead.

The state-controlled TV stations manipulated popular anger against Chechens,
limited news of Russian casualties on the battlefield, and, as it had done
in 1996, denied the opposition fair coverage in the December elections. As a
result a new party supporting Putin did unexpectedly well, gaining 23% of
the vote to 13% for the party led by Primakov.

The first stage of Yeltsin’s bold but unprincipled strategy had worked. With
the opposition still reeling, he then took the second step. On December 31
1999 he resigned. Putin became acting president and in his first move
granted Yeltsin amnesty and immunity from prosecution.

With the advantage of incumbency and control over state TV, he entered the
presidential election with a massive headstart. Primakov decided not to run.
Within less than six months Yeltsin and his cronies had thus brilliantly
ensured that power would remain in safe hands.

The manner of his departure from power fully confirmed the description of
Yeltsin which had been given some years earlier by Pavel Voshchanov, his
first press secretary. Voshchanov called him “a battering-ram”. In the days
when destruction was on the agenda he performed a powerful role, undermining
the Communist party and defeating the August 1991 coup. In government, he
was less impressive.

He did not have the political skills to reconcile opposing views or search
for consensus. He was not a dictator, but he was authoritarian. He accepted
the broad rules of democracy, provided that he could manipulate them
sufficiently to remain on top.

He tolerated widespread corruption, and though he frequently sacked
ministers, it was never because of their dishonesty or because of their ties
to the new economic oligarchs. He left complex issues to his experts,
preferring to remain above the battle while confining himself to shuffling
and re-shuffling the ambitious men in his team.

In retirement he virtually disappeared from public view, not attempting to
be an elder statesman or travelling on the international circuit. His health
was fragile and he was apparently nervous of the image he would strike, once
he was devoid of power.

Yeltsin presided over Russia’s first decade of post-communism.

The fact that it did not lead to a more stable form of democracy cannot be
blamed on him alone, but he bears a large measure of responsibility for the
disappointment.

Russia needed a more sensitive and intelligent leader during the transition
from the politics of one-party control and repression to the politics of
negotiation and compromise. Yeltsin, unfortunately, was not the man. He is
survived by his wife Naina and two daughters.

Boris Nikolyaevich Yeltsin, politician, born February 1 1931; died April 23
2007

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6.  HISTORY UNLIKELY TO LOOK KINDLY ON YELTSIN’S TENURE 

Irish Times, Ireland, Tuesday, Apr 24, 2007

The man credited with smashing the communist system also impoverished his
people by his handling of the transition to capitalism.

Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin who died yesterday aged 76 was among the most
controversial of world political leaders. He was seen by his supporters as
the man who smashed Russia’s communist system and bravely fought for
democracy against the coup plotters of August 1991 and a rebellious
parliament in 1993.

Critics take a different view.

To them he was no democrat but a power-grabbing autocrat schooled as a
Communist Party boss and member of the Politburo; a president so prone to
debauchery that he embarrassed his country consistently on the international
stage, and a leader who oversaw Russia’s economic collapse as well as two
brutal wars in Chechnya. There have also been strong allegations of
corruption in his immediate entourage and family.

Born in the remote village of Butka in the Sverdlovsk region of the Urals,
Yeltsin graduated as a civil engineer in 1950 and went on to make a career
in the local communist party, eventually becoming city boss in Sverdlovsk
(now Yekaterinburg) in 1976. His drive and success, particularly in
providing housing, attracted nationwide attention.

He was also responsible for the demolition of Ipatiev House in Sverdlovsk to
prevent it becoming a monarchist symbol. Tsar Nicholas II and his family
were executed in the house in 1918.

At the invitation of Mikhail Gorbachev he moved to Moscow where he became a
head of the construction department of the Communist Party of the Soviet
Union, a member of the Supreme Soviet and later a member of the Politburo.

Differences with President Gorbachev over the pace of reform saw him removed
from the Politburo and instead he advanced through the power structures of
the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (RSFSR), the largest
constituent republic of the USSR.

During the crisis over the Baltics in January 1991, when Soviet forces
seized the television headquarters in Lithuania in support of a mysterious
Committee of National Salvation which wanted to overthrow the elected
government, Yeltsin rushed to the area to show solidarity with the
independence movements.

He called on Soviet troops not to obey illegal orders. It was a bold move
which helped to split the Soviet establishment and prevent the coup attempts
going further. Gorbachev, meanwhile, kept silent for 10 days, apparently
unwilling to confront the hardliners in the KGB and the military.

The crisis led many radical democrats to conclude that Gorbachev was an
obstacle to change. Yeltsin took the same view, calling publicly for
Gorbachev’s resignation in February 1991.

Meanwhile, he strengthened his own power base by persuading a majority of
deputies in parliament to amend the constitution and establish an executive
presidency for Russia, to be chosen by direct national ballot. Yeltsin won
the election handsomely.

The hardliners, led by the head of the KGB, the defence minister and the
interior minister, took Gorbachev hostage while he was on holiday in the
Crimea two months later. They set up an emergency junta to run the country
with the aim of reversing the reforms, reimposing central rule and reversing
the republic’s drive to independence.

As elected president, Yeltsin was in an unparalleled position to oppose
them. With enormous energy and flair he led the resistance, calling on
ordinary people to defend the White House, the seat of the Russian
parliament.

The image of him standing on a tank and inviting the army to break from the
coup was the high point of his career. Faced with two potential leaders, the
army split, throwing their weight behind the elected president rather than
an unconstitutional junta.

The coup hastened the collapse of the Soviet Union and spurred Yeltsin to
start his economic reforms. Increasingly, he ignored Soviet law, as he
decreed the suspension of the Communist Party and withheld Russian taxes
from the central budget.

In December he met the leaders of Byelorussia and Ukraine at a hunting lodge
in a forest near the Polish border, where they formally announced the death
of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev accepted he was finished, and resigned on
December 25th.

Yeltsin was now the supreme master of Russia. He agreed to plans by his
radical economic advisers for an end to price subsidies to spur the economy
towards the market. “Everyone will find life harder for approximately six
months, then prices will fall,” he told parliament. It was an unfortunate
prediction, as inflation rose in 1993 by 2,000 per cent.

Millions of Russians saw their savings wiped out. Others found themselves
forced to reduce their diet because of the high prices of food. For the next
two years the botched economic reform became a battleground between Yeltsin
and the parliament.

Initially extremely popular, Yeltsin’s hold over Russia’s electorate
dwindled as the economy weakened, Russia’s position as a major power
evaporated and average living standards declined. Increasingly authoritarian
in his views, the list of close associates fired from their jobs when it
became politically expedient is too long to be given here.

Some of his associates, notably vice-president Alexander Rutskoi and
parliament speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov, became bitter enemies and were in the
parliament building when Yeltsin sent in tanks to shell its rebellious
members in October 1993.

A general election in December of that year returned a Duma which was even
more anti-Yeltsin than the demolished parliament but a referendum giving
unprecedented powers to the president was passed.

Under the new constitution Yeltsin virtually ruled by decree and his
behaviour became more and more eccentric. He spontaneously conducted a
military band in Berlin, while simultaneously singing a tune different from
the one the band was playing; while under the influence of drink he failed
to leave his aircraft at Shannon for a scheduled meeting with then taoiseach
Albert Reynolds. Back in Moscow he said: “I feel excellent. I can tell you
honestly, I just overslept.”

World leaders beat a path to the door of his Kremlin office only to find he
was “not at home”. Not surprisingly, his health began to fail and in the
summer of 1996 he suffered a major heart attack just a week before the
second round of the presidential election in which he defeated the communist
party leader Gennady Zyuganov. An official Kremlin statement announced he
had a sore throat. His absence from meetings was concealed by the supine
Russian media.

Yet, though full of bluster, he revealed more of his personal life and
private doubts than any previous Russian leader had.

“The debilitating bouts of depression, the grave second thoughts, the
insomnia and headaches in the middle of the night, the tears and despair . .
. the hurt from people close to me who did not support me at the last
minute, who didn’t hold up, who deceived me – I have had to bear all of
this,” he wrote in his 1994 memoir, The Struggle For Russia.

Later in 1996 Yeltsin underwent a quintuple heart-bypass operation and since
then his health has been fragile. Nevertheless he continued to rebound from
periods of bad health and continued to keep his colleagues on their toes by
ensuring that their futures were less than secure.

In the space of just over a year Viktor Chernomyrdin, Sergei Kiriyenko,
Yevgeny Primakov and Sergei Stepashin lost their jobs as prime minister.

Others such as Gen Alexander Korzhakov found themselves suddenly excluded
from the Yeltsin inner circle in which they had found themselves ever since
the coup of 1991. Gen Korzhakov, a former KGB officer who headed the corps
of presidential guards, gained revenge in print at every available
opportunity since then.

Increasingly Yeltsin’s entourage included people of unsavoury and sinister
reputation. The most prominent of these has been multimillionaire Boris
Berezovsky who has been described as Russia’s modern Rasputin.

Berezovsky, who made a fortune from the assets sell-off and was granted
political asylum in Britain after fleeing the current Kremlin regime, said
in a statement yesterday: “I have lost my mentor and Russia has lost the
greatest reformer in all its history.”

Allegations of massive corruption in the Kremlin were countered by the
dismissal of the general prosecutor, Yuri Skuratov. When prime minister
Primakov appeared to back Skuratov’s line of investigation, he too was
dismissed.

Reports of payments to Yeltsin and his daughters by a Swiss company which
had won a series of Kremlin contracts have not been satisfactorily rebutted.
At the end of his career instability in Russia had reached the stage where
capital flight was estimated to have reached US$2.9 billion a month.

In the course of the Yeltsin era, per capita income fell about 75 per cent,
and the nation’s population fell by more than 2 million, due largely to the
steep decline in public health.

While the highlight of his career was his resistance to the attempted coup
in 1991, many would argue that this was more than outweighed by the economic
collapse of 1998 and the first Chechen war which raged from 1994 to 1996 and
which cost the lives of tens of thousands of innocent civilians.

Yeltsin frequently made announcements that the war had ended when it had
not. Finally, he drafted in Gen Alexander Lebed to end the conflict. The
general did so and was then ditched by Yeltsin when it was expedient to do
so.

History is unlikely to look kindly on Yeltsin’s period in office. His
anti-communism was far from democratic and his management of the economic
transition to capitalism succeeded in impoverishing his people while
enormously enriching a few oligarchs. And he presided, after all, over the
violent deaths of more of his fellow citizens than did any other Kremlin
leader since Stalin.

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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7.                       TO RUSSIA, WITH A LITTLE LOVE
               PAPERS DIVIDED OVER YELTSIN’S LEGACY

Guardian Unlimited, London, UK, Tuesday, Apr 24, 2007
                
For all his failings/strengths, Boris Yeltsin was ultimately a force for
good/bad in Russia.

The verdict on the late president tips both ways in today’s papers. A
grateful Telegraph praises the “flair” that enabled him to “destroy Soviet
tyranny”; the Guardian, less indulgent, says his legacy “proved to be a
bitter pill, from which Russia is still suffering”.

Yeltsin was a “vigorous, no-nonsense mayor who, in the dying days of
communism, showed in practice how Gorbachev’s calls for glasnost and
perestroika could be translated into better government”, writes an admiring
Michael Binyon in the Times.

If only he had drunk less and not succumbed to a heart attack at the height
of his powers in 1996: “As Yeltsin’s grip weakened, so the challenges grew:
Chechnya, Russia’s tricky relations with its former empire, the breakdown of
public health and education, and rampant inflation. Russians felt battered
and bewildered and yearned for the old certainties and stability instead of
this chaotic new freedom.”

Richard Beeston recalls watching Yeltsin’s encounter with a disaffected
babushka. Harangued for failing to pay her pension on time, Yeltsin “took
the granny by the hand and told her to calm down. The woman’s anger
subsided, then turned to tears. Yeltsin embraced her in a customary bear
hug.

“An aide was summoned to take down her complaint and make sure that she

went away with a generous presidential gift. I was told she was given the keys
to a new shiny Lada. It was a trick he was to repeat again on the campaign
trail.”

“If Yeltsin cast himself as the founding father of post-communist Russia, a
Thomas Jefferson he was not,” says the Guardian.

“A meeting at which the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus plotted
the downfall of the union ended in a drunken brawl.

Russia’s democratic dawn lasted for only two years, until the new president
ordered the tanks in against the same parliament that he had used to bring
down the Soviet system. Now blood was being shed in the name of liberal
democracy.”

But the FT’s former Moscow bureau chief says Yeltsin’s great achievements
were to permit a “more or less free media, more or less free travel and more
or less free politics”, and that he left Vladimir Putin the basis of a
market economy and a constitution.

“A man of the people, he rose far above them, appeared often indifferent to
them – but probably always wished to improve their lot and broaden their
horizons. And he probably did.”                       -30-
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8. HOW RUSSIA SLIPPED ON THE ROAD TO YELTIN’S NEW ERA

COMMENTARY: By Martin Wolf, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Tuesday, April 24 2007

“A man has died thanks to whom a whole new era began. A new democratic
Russia was born: a free state open to the world in which power really does
belong to the people.” Thus did Vladimir Putin laud Boris Yeltsin, the man
who chose him for the presidency of his country.

Mr Putin was both right and wrong. Yeltsin was the most democratic ruler
Russia has ever possessed. Yet what is emerging under his successor is not
the vibrant democracy that many hoped for. Yeltsin’s legacy is as mixed as
was his turbulent nature.

Yeltsin was among a small number of leaders who have transformed the world.
His name will ever be linked to that of Mikhail Gorbachev, the last general
secretary of the Communist party of the Soviet Union, an organisation that
played so catastrophic a part in the history of the 20th century. Yeltsin’s
courage and charisma brought to an end both the party and the Soviet Union
itself.

His enemies will never forgive him for his role in ending the party, the
state and the Russian empire in 1991. But those who lived most of their
lives in the shadow of the cold war will always be grateful to him.

The sight of him standing heroically against the attempted coup of August
1991 is unforgettable. It was the end of a ghastly era of human history, in
which despotism went almost beyond the limits of the imagination.

Yeltsin’s courage was partly born of calculation. He was, after all, an
apparatchik, versed in the tortuous politics of the Soviet system. He had
already staked out his position as the spokesman of radical reform in the
politburo and then as the first democratically elected president of Russia.

By 1991 he had to oppose the coup. But these were also the correct choices:
he was on the right side of history. He recognised that the Soviet Union had
become an empty shell and had the effrontery to break it.

Inevitably, Yeltsin did not know what to do with the power he had gained.
This is hardly surprising. He was ill-equipped to cope with the political,
social, economic and psychological challenges he confronted. Nobody could
have been.

Inevitably, reform of Russia, whose people felt they had suffered defeat,
proved far more difficult than reform in the former empire, most of whose
people were enjoying liberation.

Moreover, if Yeltsin had not been the stereotypically turbulent (nay,
drunken) Russian that he was, he would not have had the courage to take on
the system and win. He never fully understood what a democracy or a market
economy was. How could he have done so?

But, to his eternal credit, he did tolerate free speech, he did allow the
former republics of the Soviet Union to go their own way, he did give
sporadic support to the reformers, he did go ahead with the presidential
election in 1996 and, not least, he did leave office peacefully.

Moreover, notwithstanding all the mistakes he made, he did begin the move to
the market. He was neither a civilised intellectual nor a sophisticated
statesman, but, by Russia’s dreadful standards, he was little short of a
miracle.

History will, I believe, judge that he made three huge mistakes:

     [1] the war on Chechnya, which brought the security services into the
          heart of government;
     [2] the “loans for shares” programme of 1995, which transferred a vast
          part of the natural wealth of Russia into a tiny number of private
          hands; and
     [3] the selection of Mr Putin as his successor.

These three errors, together, led to a reversal of the move towards a more
democratic, liberal and open Russia.

But these errors are at least understandable:

     [1] the first because Russians feared the dissolution of their country;
     [2] the second, because return of the communists to power seemed
          a real risk; and
     [3] the third, because Mr Putin appeared both reliable and untainted.

These mistakes were not Yeltsin’s alone. The west also made big errors. It
gave too little assistance at the beginning, when it might have made a
difference, and too much later on, when it postponed the financial crisis of
1998, for which Yeltsin and the west were both duly blamed.

Behind Yeltsin’s mistakes was a still bigger failure: his infirm grip over
government itself. Under his rule, Russian government was more corrupt,
incompetent and feeble. A backlash was inevitable.

The backlash has taken on traditionally Russian characteristics, through the
rebirth of a strong arbitrary state, unchecked by parliamentary or legal
restraints presiding over a cowed civil society.

Yeltsin’s remarkable story may then be seen as at best a partial success and
at worst a gross failure. I would regard it as closer to the former than the
latter. The Russia of today is not one a European – or indeed Russian –
liberal hoped for. But it is surely far better than the Russia of three
decades ago. For that Yeltsin deserves much credit.

The story of the ups and downs of Russian reform over the past two decades
is not just about political leadership and political ideas, important though
they have been. It is also about the impact of the world price of energy on
an economy that Stalinist socialism had rendered desperately inefficient.

Economic reform began under Mr Gorbachev, in the old Soviet Union, shortly
after the collapse in the price of oil in 1985. It continued through the era
of Yeltsin and Mr Putin’s first term.

It died, as the oil price soared and so export revenue, the current account,
foreign exchange reserves and the fiscal position were transformed. The
economic boom that resulted has made everything easier for Mr Putin (see
chart).

Between 2002 and 2005, for example, gross domestic product rose by an
impressive 22 per cent. But, as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development notes in its latest economic survey of Russia, “command
GDP”, which adds the additional benefits of the massive recent rise in Russia’s
terms of trade (the relative prices of exports to imports), rose by 38 per
cent.

Russia today is a politically centralised and corrupt petro-state. As long
as this continues, reform will remain stalled and the political system
centralised and oppressive. That is the lesson not just of Russian, but of
worldwide, experience.

The price of oil rose too soon in the process of reform, with sad longer-
term results. The collapse in oil prices in the 1980s made the reforms
necessary, but their current rise makes Mr Putin’s regime stable. When (or
if) prices fall again, a new leader may dare to complete Yeltsin’s task of
turning Russia into a modern liberal democracy.

We should hope for this outcome, above all for the sake of the Russian
people themselves. Then at last we will also be able to say with confidence
that, under Yeltsin, a new democratic Russia was born.        -30-
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LINK: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/3536797a-f285-11db-a454-000b5df10621.html
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9.                    BORIS YELTSIN, 1931-2007
Remembering the first democratically elected president of the Russian Federation.

PERSONAL COMMENTARY: by Reuben F. Johnson
Weekly Standard, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I WILL NEVER FORGET the first time I saw Boris Yeltsin in person. It was
in Dallas in September 1989–slightly less than two years after he was fired
from his job as Moscow’s chief Communist Party boss and lost his seat on
the old Soviet-era Politburo.

His political revival had begun earlier that year with his election to the
Congress of People’s Deputies, and he was touring the United States as the
“comeback kid” of Soviet politics.

His one-time patron-turned political adversary, Mikhail Gorbachev, had
called the Congress as an attempt to create a popularly elected
semi-legislative body that could push through the reforms he had been
unsuccessful in forcing through the notoriously regressive Communist Party
apparatus.

It was supposed to be Gorbachev’s pedestal that he would use to vault over
his political opponents. Instead it made–or rather, relaunched–Yeltsin’s
career.

Gorbachev’s humiliation and political demise would come two years later in
August 1991 when a hapless crew of Communist functionaries attempted to
remove him and reinstate a hard-line, Stalinist-style regime.

As the coup collapsed, Yeltsin became the hero of the day as he climbed atop
a tank near the Russian Republic parliament building (called the “Beliy Dom”
or “White House” at the time) and it was clear that the old Soviet empire
was dead.

On that September day in Dallas Yeltsin was very much the man the world
would see on top of that tank two years later. He was the larger-than-life
politician we would come to know later as the first democratically elected
president of the Russian Federation during the final days of the Soviet
period, and then later as the leader of the new, independent Russian state

that was formed after the liquidation of the USSR.

He was bombastic, uncompromising, and full of hyperbolic criticisms against
and solutions for the removal of the Communist Party regime.

At one point he told the crowd assembled by the Dallas Council on World
Affairs that “some of the party functionaries need to be punched out of
their positions of power and luxurious privileges like a pilot being ejected
from a jet fighter aircraft. Just give me the button to press.”

Most of his political life Yeltsin was–as one of his biographies described
him–a man going against the grain of the ruling order. His tenure as
Russia’s president was tempestuous.

His regime saw the collapse of the old USSR’s command economy, several
rounds of hyperinflation that wiped out the savings of many Russians,
suppression of a would-be rebellion in 1993 by military force, and numerous
other political and economic upheavals.

Looking back, it is hard to believe that Russia made it through the 1990s
without collapsing in some cataclysm. The people of Russia (as well as the
rest of the world) were exceedingly fortunate that Yeltsin never let the
many forces whirling about him reach the point where Russia itself would
spin out of control.

I lived in Moscow for most of the 1990s and witnessed a lot of this
first-hand. Being in Russia in those days was almost like living through
another revolutionary period.

One never knew what the world would look like each morning, a surprise
middle-of-the-night dismissal of the entire government happened more than
once, and at times you held your breath waiting for what might be coming
next.

Despite his flaws, Yeltsin was a man who defied all of his opponents and
critics. His political death certificate was written several times–only to
see him rise against the odds and stay in the game. Physically, few expected
him to survive to reach a second term.

A friend of mine working for one of the major U.S. news bureaus in Moscow
told me one day in 1996 that their assignment for the weekend was to write
Yeltsin’s obituary.

Everyone was sure he would succumb to his heart illness at any moment; the
bureau chief wanted to have the file footage and script in the can ready for
broadcast when the time came. As usual, he fooled them all and stayed alive
for another 11 years until his heart finally gave out this week.

None of Yeltsin’s historic achievements made the Russian population regard
his tenure with any sense or respect or fondness. He is reviled by many as
having presided over Russia’s precipitous decline in international prestige.

He is resented for having let much of Russia’s state-owned wealth (i.e. oil
companies, aluminum plants, etc.) fall into private hands for a fraction of
its true value.

His most powerful supporters, such as Boris Berezovskiy, were not only
distrusted by the regime of Vladimir Putin who succeeded Yeltsin, but were
either thrown into prison (like Yukos president Mikhail Khordokovskiy) or
forced into exile.

All of which demonstrates that Russians have both short memories and an odd
sense of what makes a “great leader.” As a Communist

Party official Yeltsin was the quintessential populist. He rode the public
transport in Moscow to work to see how well it did (or did not) work. He
stood in line with ordinary citizens in the shops and berated the staff when
he saw signs of shoddy service.

He turned down the luxurious country house, or dacha as they are called,
that was one of the perks of his position as Moscow city party boss.

None of this principled leadership is likely ever to be seen with the
current government in Moscow. Putin and his senior aides travel in a phalanx
of security guards and armored Mercedes limousines fitted with electronic
jammers designed to defeat roadside bombs and blank out mobile phone
signals.

Every step possible is taken to insulate them from the general public. A
Moscow colleague said recently “one has to go all the way back to the Stalin
years to find anything resembling the level of power and paranoia that now
characterizes their public appearances.”

Under Yeltsin there was an open, if sometimes chaotic political dialogue.
Newspapers, television networks, radio stations and other outlets were more
or less free to say what they wanted.

In Putin’s Russia the state’s control and/or intimidation of most of the
media has almost completely eliminated anything resembling public debate.

Programs like Viktor Shenderovich’s Kukly (“Puppets”), which ran from 1994
to 2003, were merciless in satirizing the ups and downs of the Yeltsin
years, but the marionette comedy was abruptly taken off the air when Putin
took offense at the manner in which he was portrayed in one week’s segment.

During the Yeltsin period, as is the common complaint, Russia was the “wild
east.” Corruption was rampant and the people needed a strong hand to restore
order. But order cannot be restored when there is no accountability in
government and the press is muzzled.

According to last autumn’s Transparency International survey, Russia’s
Corruptions Perception index is a lowly 2.4 on a scale of 0 to 10–the same
score that the country earned in the last year of Yeltsin’s rule.

The Russia ruled by Putin’s “dictatorship of the law” is now in the same
corruption bracket as Albania. The neighboring nations of Belarus and
Ukraine–not famous for their incorruptibility–have better scores than the
regime in Moscow.

Yeltsin’s government saw a number of high-profile murders, but almost all
were the result of business disputes or of one organized crime syndicate
attempting to move in on another’s operations. The murders have continued
under Putin, but the victims are no longer oil barons or casino managers.

They are the ex-secret policeman’s political critics like journalists Anna
Politkovskaya and Ivan Safranov, or Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko,
who barely survived a pre-election poisoning attempt by forces allied with
his then-campaign opponent, Viktor Yanukovich, who was actively supported by
Putin.

Most notably, under Yeltsin no one ever pilfered millions of dollars worth
of exotic nuclear materials and carried them onto a British Airways aircraft
(leaving a trail of radioactivity in their wake) so that they could provide
one of the Russian government’s critics in exile with a particularly
gruesome death.

Again, one has to return to the Stalin years to find the full assets of the
state being used to terrorize anyone and everyone living in any country that
has a bad word to say about the regime.

The main difference in the two leaders is that Yeltsin was possessed of a
visceral desire to eradicate the undemocratic nature of the old regime.
Stanislav Shushkevich, the man who steered Belarus into independence in
1991, told the press this week that the breakup of the USSR “would not have
been bloodless if Russia had been led by someone else.”

Given today’s interference by Moscow in the internal affairs of Ukraine as
the fledging democracy tries to break away from Russia and form ties with
NATO and the E.U. one wonders if this conflict will end without bloodshed.

This week Renaissance Capital, the Moscow-based investment bank that is one
of Putin’s biggest cheerleaders, released a survey of 1,600 Russian citizens
across 46 regions in which 80 percent of the respondents favored Putin
staying in office for a third term.

Private banks are usually not in the polling business, but in this case
another four years of Putin means the money keeps coming in. That’s how the
money men in Russia like things–neat, tidy and predictable, not messy.

And that in the end is the biggest difference between Yeltsin and his
successor. Earlier in the year Igor Malashenko, one of the founders of the
once-independent NTV, was quoted as saying that Yeltsin “loved the mess” of
democracy. Democracy is, by its very nature, unruly.

Yeltsin understood and gloried in this fact. It is a pity–if not a
tragedy–that Russia’s government now seems to have sold its population on
idolizing a regime that represents everything Boris Yeltsin tried to
eradicate from Russia’s political system.                     -30-
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Reuben F. Johnson writes on defense and aerospace for THE WEEKLY

STANDARD and several U.S. and European defense publications.
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http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/013/569gevwt.asp
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10.  PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO PAYS TRIBUTE TO BORIS YELTSIN

Press office of President Victor Yushchenko, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, 24 Apr 2007

KYIV – Victor Yushchenko visited the Russian embassy in Kyiv on Tuesday
to pay tribute to former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who had died
yesterday aged 76.

“On behalf of the Ukrainian nation, I would like to express sincere
condolences over the passing of Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, the Russian
Federation’s eminent statesman and first president.

The great democrat, builder of the renewed Russia and inspired advocate

of freedom passed into eternity. [.]. Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin will forever
remain in our hearts as Ukraine’s close friend, our reliable partner and
committed supporter of a new strategic partnership between Ukraine and
Russia,” he wrote in a condolence book.

The Ukrainian leader later told reporters, “Speaking about Boris
Nikolayevich, we understand how difficult it was for him to rebuild Russia
when he was its first president.

We realize that he was a remarkable leader and great personality who made a
great, qualitative contribution to the development of bilateral relations
between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. We remember and appreciate all
these achievements and all these good actions.”

Yushchenko thanked the Yeltsin family and Russia for having “such a historic
figure” and for what Yeltsin had done to be always remembered in Ukraine.

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LINK: http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/1_15263.html
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11.                              BORIS YELTSIN
              His legacy is mixed, but his stand for freedom is indelible.

EDITORIAL, The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 24, 2007; Page A20

BORIS YELTSIN was a man of great contradictions who nevertheless will be
remembered, first and foremost, for a single image: his defiant stand upon a
T-72 tank in front of the Russian parliament in August 1991 against a coup
by defenders of the dying Soviet Union.

That is the right place to begin any assessment of the first democratic
leader in Russia’s history — especially as he may be the last for some time
to come.

On that day and for a year or two before and after it, Mr. Yeltsin fought
for a Russia that would be ruled by the free market, free speech and a
vibrant civil society.

He led a nation that appeared prepared to leave behind centuries of
imperialism and live peacefully and cooperatively with its immediate
neighbors and the rest of the world.

Though Mikhail Gorbachev began the dismantlement of Soviet-style
communism, it was Mr. Yeltsin who ensured that the process led, albeit
temporarily, to democracy and liberal capitalism.

He was also the chief protagonist of the Soviet Union’s peaceful breakup,
which has allowed 14 nations besides Russia to pursue their own destinies,
including three that are now members of the European Union and NATO.

Had Mr. Gorbachev, or Russia’s current leader, Vladimir Putin, had his way,
neither of these extraordinarily positive changes would have happened.
Tragically, Mr. Yeltsin ended up destroying much of what he had achieved.

In 1993 he ordered the army to attack the same parliament building he had
defended; though the political reactionaries inside were the first to take
up arms, Mr. Yeltsin’s response was brutal.

Even more so was his invasion the next year of Chechnya, which, while
failing to crush an independence movement, destroyed the republic, killed
tens of thousands and set the stage for an even bloodier war by Mr. Putin.

In 1996, Mr. Yeltsin won a second free election for president, but only
after striking a corrupt deal with a group of businessmen who financed his
campaign in exchange for being allowed to take control of some of Russia’s
biggest companies.

Often ill or seemingly drunk, he allowed corruption and disorder to flourish
in and outside of government and embarrassed Russians with his pratfalls.

Mr. Yeltsin’s final sin was to hand the presidency in December 1999 to Mr.
Putin, a product of the same KGB that had attempted the coup of 1991.

It may be that Mr. Yeltsin, exhausted and besieged by opponents, had little
choice; the move may have spared him and his family from impeachment and
prosecution.

But in the following seven years Mr. Putin has extinguished most of the
liberal reforms his predecessor battled for. Once again elections in Russia
are a Potemkin fraud, almost all the media follow government orders and
dissidents are beaten in the streets, or worse.

Moscow again has imperial pretensions. Mr. Putin has tried to annex Belarus
and force other neighbors to become Kremlin satellites.

A cynic might ask whether today’s Russia is much different from what it
would have been had Mr. Yeltsin not mounted his tank and the 1991 coup had
succeeded.

Yet some of his achievements are surely irreversible — the freedom of the
Baltic states, the creation of a Russian business class that lives by
entrepreneurship.

There is, too, the memory of the unfettered society Mr. Yeltsin presided
over — a time of chaos and misery for many, but also of free speech, free
association and free elections.

For now most Russians seem to approve of Mr. Putin’s authoritarian remedy
for the chaos. In time, they may embrace the aspirations for freedom that
Mr. Yeltsin embodied at his best.                               -30-
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/23/AR2007042301488.html
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12.                  THE LIFE OF YELTSIN: BYE-BYE BORIS
                                  Boris Yeltsin, a flawed hero, has died

From Economist.com, London, UK, Monday, April 23, 2007

BORIS NIKOLAYEVICH YELTSIN helped to destroy the Soviet Union and

did much to bring Russia’s democracy into existence. The former construction
engineer was not a great builder of institutions; the democracy was flawed. But
he had the right instincts.

For liberating Russians from the yoke of the one-party state and the planned
economy, he deserves immense gratitude. Yet his nepotistic and capricious
rule spawned colossal lawlessness and corruption, paving the way for his
authoritarian successor, Vladimir Putin.

Born in 1931, Mr Yeltsin was a loyal provincial Communist, bulldozing the
Ipatiev house in Sverdlovsk (now, again, Yekaterinburg) where the last tsar’s
family was murdered.

Promoted to Moscow party chief under Mikhail Gorbachev, he showed a
revolutionary popular touch. Communist chieftains shunned the people. Mr
Yeltsin mixed with them, sharing their fury about the shortages and
indignities of daily life.

In 1987 Mr Gorbachev fired him, after an outburst that included direct
criticism of the Soviet leader’s wife, Raisa: even in the burgeoning
atmosphere of glasnost [openness], that was still taboo. Mr Yeltsin
retreated to the shadows, only to return in 1990 as president of the Russian
Federation.

Russia’s statehood had been as nominal as those of other Soviet Socialist
Republics such as Ukraine or Kazakhstan. But as the Baltic republics started
galloping towards freedom, with Mr Yeltsin’s enthusiastic support, that
changed. Could the Russian Federation too one day become a proper country?

It soon did. When bumbling Communist party hardliners mounted a coup against
the Soviet leadership in 1991, it was Mr Yeltsin, denouncing the putschists
while perched on a tank, who symbolised the successful democratic
resistance.

When Mr Gorbachev returned to Moscow from his seaside captivity, he found

Mr Yeltsin in charge. The Russian leader humiliatingly gave his former boss a
decree to read out acknowledging the new order.

As the other 14 Soviet republics digested their independence, Mr Yeltsin
appointed a short-lived government of young reformers, led by Yegor Gaidar,
who unleashed breakneck economic reform on the ruined country. It was

deeply unpopular: price liberalisation made evident the destruction of savings
under Soviet inflation.

Privatisation meant a field day for robber barons. The institutions needed
for a properly functioning market economy were pitifully lacking. It was in
the Yeltsin era that the world learnt the term “oligarch”, to describe the
overmighty tycoons who fused political and economic power.

Yet those reforms worked. Russia has a booming consumer-goods market.

The robber barons were a lot better than the “red directors” they replaced,
whose thinking and loyalties were still rooted in the Communist-run planned
economy.

If the economic reforms now look better than they seemed at the time, his
political failures look worse. Shelling Russia’s parliament in 1993,
supposedly to dislodge Communist and other hardline deputies who had seized
control there, reintroduced the virus of violence into Russian political
life.

So did the shameful Chechen war of 1994-96, which unleashed the might of the
Russian war machine on the small breakaway republic. His rigged victory over
the Communist Gennady Zyuganov in the 1996 presidential election spawned a
habit of official vote-rigging that has largely destroyed the credibility of
Russian elections.

His mistakes were greatest when prompted by his family and their cronies.
While keeping the old man topped up with vodka, they hijacked Russia’s
political and economic destiny, enriching themselves and discrediting both
democracy and capitalism in the eyes of millions of outraged and
contemptuous citizens.

All the same, Mr Yeltsin stood for three fundamental principles.

     [1] He believed in freedom of speech, including freedom of the press,
          no matter what.
     [2] He wanted Russia to be friends with the west.
     [3] And he despised the Communist party and everything it stood
          for-particularly the KGB. It was a tragedy that he did not dissolve
          it fully in 1991, when he had the chance.

It was an irony that the candidate his family chose as a safe successor, the
cautious, little-known ex-KGB man, Mr Putin, should have done so much to
reverse his legacy, blaming so many of Russia’s ills on what he calls the
“chaos” of the 1990s.

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13.  TWO CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS CHRETIEN, MULRONEY
             SHARE MEMORIES OF LARGER-THAN-LIFE YELTSIN

Alexander Panetta, Canadian Press, Ottawa, Tuesday, April 24, 2007

OTTAWA  – Two Canadian prime ministers remember Boris Yeltsin as a
larger-than-life figure – with a booming character, big dreams, and a
bone-rattling handshake.

To Jean Chretien and Brian Mulroney, he was not only the man who hastened
the death of Soviet communism by climbing aboard a tank in a historic act of
defiance.

He was also the hard-partying Russian colleague who guzzled copious
quantities of bubbly during a birthday party at 24 Sussex, and who engaged
in public arm-twisting contests with fellow world leaders.

Chretien saluted his bravery during the 1991 coup attempt when he met
hardline communist forces outside the Russian parliament and strode onto one
of their tanks.

“He must have been minutes away from dying,” Chretien told The Canadian
Press. “That will be remembered as a great moment for democracy in my
judgment.”

Mulroney described his former colleague as a powerful figure who – unlike
his predecessor, Mikhail Gorbachev – believed strongly that the only way
forward for Russia was a complete break with communism.

He also recalled a Yeltsin visit to Ottawa in 1992 which happened to
coincide with his birthday. Mila Mulroney made a birthday cake and served

up a profusion of champagne.

“Let me just tell you that he celebrated his birthday in fine, fine fashion.
He knew how to do it, too,” Mulroney said outside his Montreal office.  “He
enjoyed his own birthday more than I can tell you.”

That larger-than-life quality extended to the power of his handshake.
Chretien described how impressed he was by the massive paw of the man

once described by Bill Clinton as a polar bear.

Even as he struggled with the effects of alcoholism, and amid reports he was
ailing, Yeltsin arrived at a G8 meeting in 1999 and fared well against
Chretien in a playful tug-of-war.

“I’m in reasonably good shape for a guy of my age. But for a guy who was
supposed to be sick, it was impressive to see the physical strength of the
guy at that moment,” Chretien said.

He recalled how then-U.S. president Bill Clinton looked on and joked: “Look,
the two polar bears are fighting down there.”

Chretien proudly described how he invited Yeltsin to participate in a G7
meeting in Halifax in 1995, before Russia formally joined the group of the
world’s most powerful democracies.

Chretien said he’s disappointed by the slow progress of Russian democracy,
as evidenced by recent crackdowns on opponents of President Vladimir Putin.

“They’re not going as fast to establish what we call Western standards of
democracy as I wish they would. But they’ve made a lot of progress,” he
said.

“I think it’s slower than we were hoping, but I always said to be the
president of Russia is probably the toughest political job in the world.”
Harder than being prime minister of Canada? Chretien laughs at the question.

Seated in the giant corner office of his law firm – one decorated with Inuit
carvings, family photos, and a framed picture of him golfing with Clinton –
Chretien gestures toward an old sandstone building a block away.

He waves his hand toward the Prime Minister’s Office and says its occupant
has it easy compared to Russia’s president.

“Oh, no match. Easy,” he says, motioning toward his old office. “Here it’s
nothing compared to (Russia’s) problems.”

Mulroney agreed that introducing democracy to Russia is no easy task and
avoided criticizing the country’s current leadership.

“Russia has no tradition of democratic freedoms. For a thousand years it was
governed by autocrats and czars – so freedom, liberty and democracy are
concepts they are just starting to get familiar with,” Mulroney said in a
telephone interview.

“In that perspective I feel that Putin, who followed in Yeltsin’s footsteps,
who followed in Gorbachev’s, have done extremely well.”

Chretien recalled the personal relationship between his wife Aline, and
Yeltsin’s spouse, Naina. He said the women shared a tearful embrace on two
occasions – once during a Second World War memorial, and once while
listening to a traditional French-Canadian song at an Acadian festival.

Chretien recalled shooting pool with Yeltsin at his home in Russia in 2004,
once both had retired from politics, noting that Yeltsin looked better after
having given up his well-publicized vodka habit.

Both prime ministers cited their own blue-collar origins as a source of
common kinship with their Russian colleague. Mulroney described how he once
went hunting and fishing with Yeltsin outside his country retreat and ate a
meal in a forest – one the Russian leader cooked himself in an in-ground
barbecue.

“He was a generous host – funny and entertaining, and free with his comments
about world leaders whom he liked, and some he didn’t,” Mulroney said. He
said someone who grew up in a Quebec mining town like he did would instantly
feel comfortable with Yeltsin.

Chretien – who also grew up in a small, working-class Quebec town – had a
similar view. “He started at the bottom, and worked his way to the top. He
was no aristocrat,” he said with a smile.  “I believe people said the same
about me.”                                                  -30-

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http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=deecfae0-8082-4785-984a-5010f1a5b1ad&k=77239&p=1
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14.   CANADIANS HONOUR FORMER PRIME MINISTER MULRONEY
         FOR HIS 1991 RECOGNITION OF UKRAINIAN INDEPENDENCE

Alexander Panetta, Canadian Press,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Thursday, April 19, 2007

OTTAWA –  Stephen Harper lavished praise on a predecessor who
was once a bitter rival but who now serves as his political inspiration:
Brian Mulroney.

The current prime minister paid tribute Wednesday to the former at

an event honouring Mulroney for his 1991 recognition of Ukrainian
independence.

In those days, Harper had just bolted from Mulroney’s Conservative party to
help spearhead the Reform movement.

Today, he hopes to emulate Mulroney’s political success by leading the newly
formed Conservatives back to the hallowed land of majority government.

Harper described his predecessor as a visionary who is only now being
recognized for successes that once went ignored.

He cited free trade, the environment, and the fight against communism as
areas where Mulroney showed historic leadership.

“That’s the way it is with real, effective leaders,” Harper told 400 guests
in a hotel ballroom. “While in office, they set clear goals.

“Then they (see) them through against attacks motivated by misunderstanding,
misinformation or just plain old political opportunism. “And, in due time,
they are recognized and rewarded. So it is with Brian Mulroney.”

Harper drew parallels between Mulroney’s government and his own.
The prime minister said Canada is showing leadership in the world by
fighting terrorists in Afghanistan, and by becoming the first country to
strip funding from the Hamas-led Palestinian government.

He compared that to the days following Ukraine’s declaration of independence
from the Soviet Union in August 1991.

Harper said at the time, some around Mulroney’s cabinet table suggested
Canada should take a cautious approach and wait to see what other countries
did.

“(But) Brian Mulroney disagreed. Under his leadership Canada took a stand,”
Harper said. “We stood against oppression. We stood for freedom. . .

“You can rest assured . . . that Canada’s new government will uphold this
tradition.”

Harper mentioned Mulroney in the same breath as Ronald Reagan, Margaret
Thatcher and the late pope John Paul as world leaders in the fight against
communism.

Mulroney gave a stirring speech that called immigration – from Ukraine and
around the world – the source of energy and creativity that makes Canada a
great nation.

He described a conversation with Soviet leader Mikhael Gorbachev in 1991,
where he explained why he would proceed with recognizing Ukraine even
before the U.S. did. He said he owed it to Ukrainians in Canada, and to
those struggling for freedom in their homeland.

“I told (Gorbachev) directly and bluntly that the forces of freedom were
burning in Ukraine,” Mulroney said.

“And I was going to encourage them, not extinguish them. . . We did what

we believed was right, and I believe history may prove that we were.”

On domestic politics, Mulroney alluded to Harper’s ambitions. In the same
breath he took a dig at the only other living Conservative who was elected
as prime minister: Joe Clark.

Mulroney began with a reference to the length of his own term in office.
“Nine years . . . That’s not a bad thing, Stephen. It’s a nice, round
number. It beats the hell out of nine months,” Mulroney said.

Clark – who was a leadership rival to Mulroney and who does not support the
new Conservative party under Harper – saw his minority government collapse
in 1979 after only nine months.

Harper’s praise of Mulroney was a far cry from 1991. Back then, Harper had
been an office assistant to a Progressive Conservative MP from Alberta and
defected in order to run against his former boss under the upstart Reform
party banner.

Harper and other new Reformers considered the old Tories as too liberal, too
Quebec-obsessed, and too indifferent to the economic challenges facing
Canada.

There was an ironic and visual reminder at Wednesday’s event of the 15-year
split in the Conservative movement.

In a downstairs ballroom at the Chateau Laurier hotel, Mulroney was awarded
the Order of Kniaz Yaroslav the Wise – the highest honour Ukraine’s
government can bestow on a foreigner.

While Harper was toasting his new political role model downstairs, his old
political ally was at a separate event in the same building.

Reform founder Preston Manning was attending a gala for the small-c
conservative think tank named after him. Harper made a brief visit to the
Manning event. The two men posed for pictures with their wives, and the
prime minister moved on to the gala in the downstairs ballroom.

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15. UKRAINIAN CANADIAN CONGRESS (UCC) JOINS WITH
              UKRAINE IN HONOURING BRIAN MULRONEY
          
Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Tuesday, April 24, 2007

At an April 18, 2007 banquet organized by the Ukrainian Canadian
Congress and with the patronage of the Ukrainian Embassy Canada’s 18th
Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney was honoured with the highest
award that can be bestowed by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, the
“Shevchenko Medal:” and the highest honour Ukraine can extend to a
foreign citizen, the prestigious  “Order of Kniaz Yaroslav the Wise.”

These special awards – presented in the presence of current Prime
Minister Stephen Harper and 14 of his cabinet colleagues as well as
numerous parliamentarians, Ambassador Ihor Ostash, former Premier of
Saskatchewan Roy Romanow, Archbishop Yurij of the Ukrainian Orthodox
Church of Canada, Bishop Stephen Chmilar of the Ukrainian Catholic
Church – were made to commemorate the decision of Brian

Mulroney’s government to make Canada the first western government
and only the second in the world to recognize the independence of
Ukraine in December 1991.

Additionally, Ukrainian Canadians remember that Brian Mulroney appointed
the first Ukrainian Canadian, John Sopinka, to the Supreme Court of
Canada and it was under his government that the first Ukrainian
Canadian, Ramon Hnatyshyn became the Head of State as Governor
General.

Mr. Mulroney called two Ukrainian Canadians from the Province of
Saskatchewan to the Senate of Canada, David Tkachuk and Raynell
Andreychuk.

Over 400 guests gathered at Ottawa’s Cha^teau Laurier Hotel witnessed
UCC President Orysia Sushko presented the award to Mr. Mulroney.
Earlier, the Ukrainian Ambassador Ihor Ostash had awarded him the
prestigious Order of Kniaz Yaroslav the Wise on behalf of the President
of Ukraine.

The importance of Mr. Mulroney recognizing Ukraine is very much
understood and appreciated in Ukraine. The ceremony was reported on
Ukrainian television the following day. Visit the UCC website to see the
footage from 5 Kanal.

The fact that such a large and important gathering of Ottawa decision
makers was present at this event shows the importance that Canada places
in its relationship with Ukraine and the acknowledgement that Canadians
of Ukrainian descent have played and will continue to play a significant
role in Canada’s development.

There was a large turn out of national media at the banquet, impressing
even long-time observers of the political scene in Ottawa. Indeed, it is
doubtful if in the entire history of the Ukrainian community in Canada there
has ever been such a high-powered assembly of politicians and journalists
at a UCC sponsored gathering.

UCC Board member Bob Onyschuk related to the assembled audience how
Mr. Mulroney while in Kyiv in 1989 made a point of making a gesture of
moral support to the emerging Ukrainian national liberation movement by
meeting with pro-Independence protestors in front of the Taras
Shevchenko monument.

In his acceptance remarks, Mr. Mulroney cited the contribution of
Canadians of Ukrainian descent to the development of Canada and the
importance that his government put to supporting democracy and national
self-determination of the people of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

Money raised at the banquet will go to support the “Children’s Hospital
of the Future” project in Kyiv, Ukraine. This is an undertaking of the
Ukraina 3000 Foundation. Senator Raynell Andreychuk and Northland Power
President James Temerty served as Masters of Ceremony for the event.
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Ostap Skrypnyk, Executive Director, Ukrainian Canadian Congress
ostap.skrypnyk@ucc.ca, www.ucc.ca
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16.     CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER HARPER CONGRATULATES

                FORMER PRIME MINISTER BRIAN MULRONEY ON
                      AWARD AT UKRAINIAN TRIBUTE DINNER

Office of the Prime Minister, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Wed, 18 Apr 2007

Prime Minister Stephen Harper celebrated the historic ties between Canada
and Ukraine at a tribute dinner for the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney,
hosted by the Ukrainian Embassy and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

No western country has closer ties to Ukraine than Canada, Prime Minister
Harper said. A century ago, when settlers from all over the world were
arriving into the Canadian prairies, Ukrainians were one of the largest
immigrant groups.

There are over a million Canadians of Ukrainian heritage today, and they
have made their mark in every part of Canada, in every field of endeavour.

Prime Minister Harper applauded Ukraine President Victor Yushchenko for
awarding the Order of King Yaroslav the Wise to Mr. Mulroney.

The award recognizes the former Prime Ministers role in supporting Ukraines
Declaration of Independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and in fostering
positive Canada-Ukraine relations.

Under Mr. Mulroneys leadership Canada was the first country to recognize
Ukrainian independence. Our country stood with the brave people of Ukraine,
of the Baltic republics and the other captive nations of central and eastern
Europe, Prime Minister Harper said. Today they are free people living in
free nations. And they are grateful to the strong western leaders who stood
firm against the Communists and their apologists.

Ukrainians can rest assured, the Prime Minister concluded, that Canadas New
Government will continue to support Ukraines right to determine her own
destiny.                                                      -30-
————————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.news.gc.ca/cfmx/view/en/index.jsp?articleid=293389
————————————————————————————————–

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AUR#833 Apr 24 Plans For The Future By Viktor Yanukovych, I Support A Pro-Western Course; U.S. Spin-Doctors On Yanukovych’s Service, Parts 1, 2 & 3

========================================================
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 833
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 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.       UKRAINIAN PREMIER OUTLINES PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
           The Washington Times’ exclusive interview with Viktor Yanukovich
TODAY’S COLUMNIST: By Rachel Ehrenfeld
The Washington Times, Washington, D.C., April 23, 2007

2.           YANUKOVICH: I SUPPORT A PRO-WESTERN COURSE
By Simon Bell in Kiev, Sunday Telegraph, London, UK, Sun, Apr 22, 2007

3.                            UKRAINE: YANUKOVYCH PRO EU?
LETTER-TO-THE EDITOR: By Stephen Velychenko
Sent to the London TELEGRAPH in response to

Mr. Yanukovych’s article, “I Support a Pro-Western Course”
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 3
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 24, 2007

4.                           PRE-TERM ELECTIONS IN UKRAINE
LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By William Zuzak

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 4
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 24, 2007

5.        AMERICAN SPIN-DOCTORS ON YANUKOVYCH’S SERVICE
PART I By Mustafa Nayem for Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian)

Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 19, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 5, (in English)
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 23, 2007

6.                HOW REGIONS LAWMAKERS WERE SCHOOLED

                                       BY US SPIN-DOCTORS
PART II By Mustafa Nayem for Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian)
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 22, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 6, (in English)
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 23, 2007

7.     WHO ARE TRUE BOSSES OF US SPIN-DOCTORS IN UKRAINE
PART III By Mustafa Nayem for Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian)

Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 7, (in English)
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 23, 2007

8.              UKRAINE HAS BEEN GIVEN ANOTHER FIVE YEARS
                  Ukraine & Poland granted the right to host the Euro-2012

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Serhii RAKHMANIN
Mirror-Weekly, #15 (644) Kyiv, Ukraine, 21-27 April 2007
9                      THEY’RE ASKING IF WE HAVE CULTURE!
PRESENTATION: By Oksana Zabuzhko (in Ukrainian)
At the Conference “New Ukraine in New Europe”
Translated by Sofiya Skachko, Ukrayins’ka Pravda On-line
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, April 15, 2007

10. CHRONICLE: RECENT DEVELOPMENTS UKRAINIAN LEGISLATION
                                              February-March 2007
Dr. Irina Paliashvili, President, Russian-Ukrainian Legal Group, P.A.
Kiev, Ukraine; Washington, D.C., USA, April 20, 2007

11.                  “IMPROVISATION IS ONLY GOOD IN JAZZ”
               Ukrainian foreign minister made serious blunders in Moscow
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Volodymyr Kravchenko
Zerkalo Nedeli, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 21 Apr 07, p 4
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Saturday, April 21, 2007

12.                          UKRAINE: WORKING WITH RUSSIA

OxfordBusinessGroup, London, UK, Thursday, 19 April 2007
 
13UKRAINE NEEDS MORE LEGISLATION TO JOIN WTO THIS YEAR
Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, April 20, 2007

14.       UKRAINE’S LEADING LADY ISSUES WARNING TO RUSSIA
By Adrian Blomfield, Telegraph, London, UK, Monday, April 16, 2007

15.THE SHOW MUST GO ON?” NEW DVD RELEASE CAPTURES MAGIC,
        COLOUR & ENERGY OF UKRAINIAN FOLK ENSEMBLE VOLYN
Orest Dorosh, Creative Director, Oxygen Media and Design
Mississauga, Canada, Friday, April 20, 2007

16STATUE IN ESTONIA SYMBOLIZES GRUDGES AGAINST RUSSIA
                          Battle of symbols and memories is being waged
By Gary Peach, Associated Press, Tallinn, Estonia, Sun, Apr 22, 2007
========================================================
1
 UKRAINIAN PREMIER OUTLINES PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
        The Washington Times’ exclusive interview with Viktor Yanukovich

TODAY’S COLUMNIST: By Rachel Ehrenfeld
The Washington Times, Washington, D.C., April 23, 2007

The April 2 decree of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to dissolve
the parliament and hold new legislative elections generated a political
crisis that is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. Reminiscent of the social
unrest during the 2004 Orange Revolution, demonstrators are again filling
Kiev’s main squares.

This crisis originated with the constitutional reforms adopted by the
Ukrainian parliament in December 2004, which led to the election of Victor
Yushchenko as president in January 2005.

The new constitution after January 2006 introduced a parliamentary-

presidential system. The failure of Mr. Yushchenko to hold his government
together led to the March 2006 dissolution of parliament and new elections.

In January 2007 a new government headed by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich
adopted further constitutional reforms, limiting the president’s power,
allowing the parliament to appoint new ministers and the prime minister to
veto presidential decrees.

So many members of parliament began defecting that Mr. Yushchenko faced
the possibility of 300 or more of them overriding his veto. Thus he issued
the controversial April 2 decree.

In Kiev, the prime minister, in an exclusive April 18 interview, argued that
the political crisis can be resolved by a Constitutional Court ruling “on
the legality of President Yushchenko’s decree to dissolve the Ukrainian
Parliament. Whatever the decision is, it must be accepted by all parties
without exception.

The Constitution should be the law for everybody if we want to create a
law-based country.” Meanwhile, the president stands accused of pressuring
the judges.

The premier does not oppose new elections: “There is no hidden danger in
holding an election in and of itself, but there is danger in establishing a
precedent of violating the constitution.”

Implementing Mr. Yushchenko’s decree, he says, “could establish a
precedent of allowing illegal early dissolution of [a] legitimately elected
parliament.

 
First and foremost this would be an assault on the inviolability of
democratic procedures and a threat to the authority of the ‘rule of law’
in Ukraine. Who can say what violation of the constitution would come next
if we accept an unconstitutional dissolution of the [parliament] today?”

Mr. Yanukovich warns that allowing the president to unconstitutionally call
for early elections, until satisfied with the results, would throw Ukraine
into permanent political crisis.

Moreover, “Article 90 of the Principal Law establishes the provisions
governing legal elections,” says the premier. But the president’s call for
new elections does not comply with the constitution, and a parliamentary
majority objects to his action. “So, let the Constitutional Court…
established to deal with such of cases, deliver its ruling.”

The premier is willing to negotiate a compromise. “It’s not too late,” he
says. But holding early elections would be possible only if the
Constitutional Court ruled the presidential decree constitutional, and the
parliament introduced new legislation concerning early elections, which
current Ukrainian law does not adequately address.

Otherwise, early elections would be possible if the Constitutional Court
decided the presidential decree was unconstitutional, and all political
parties and the president agreed on new elections anyway.

Given Ukraine’s recent economic growth and development, Mr. Yanukovich
believes he would receive an even larger voter mandate if the elections were
held soon.

The premier raises serious concerns about attempts to influence and
interfere with the independence of the Constitutional Court. Attempts to
exert undue influence can damage the court and delay its deliberations. He
explains that such attempts to discredit the judges are “old-school politics
and should be emphatically discouraged.”

Mr. Yanukovich concludes: “This is a very dangerous game.” He believes
that discrediting both the judiciary and legislative branch will undermine
confidence in law and justice. Such activities are intended to destroy
Ukraine’s young democracy.

“Our Government, the Parliamentary Coalition and I, personally, will accept
any decision by the Constitutional Court. We expect the same from all
participants in the political process,” he emphasized.

The prime minister points out that the presidential decree ignored Article
90 of Ukraine’s Constitution. His call for the dissolution of the parliament
met none of the specific conditions under which it may be dismissed.

 
The premier outlined the provision’s three requirements for the president
to legally dissolve the parliament:

     [1] First, it may be dissolved within a month of an election if the
          premier is unable to form a majority coalition;
     [2] Second, if the prime minister cannot form a new cabinet within
          60 days after the cabinet resigns;
     [3] Third, if a full new parliamentary session cannot convene within
          30 days of adjournment of the previous regular assembly of
          parliament.

As for the parliamentary request for international mediation, the premier
believes it may be necessary if the neither the Constitutional Court nor
political negotiations resolve the crisis. In that case, international
intervention would help prevent violent civil confrontation.

To prevent the worst-case scenario, he said, “we have submitted a request
for mediation to Austria — a neutral European Union member country…
[and] would be happy with other international participation.”

On April 10, President Bush signed into law the expansion of NATO, to
include Ukraine along with four other countries. Mr. Yanukovich notes:
“Ukraine has proven its efficiency and reliability in participating in
peacekeeping operations and remains an active participant in joint world
efforts in this sphere.”

Nevertheless, the he recognizes that only 20 per cent of population supports
joining NATO, adding that “this issue must be resolved by national
referendum.” He notes that Sweden, similarly, did not join the alliance
because only 55 percent of public supports it.

Besides, to carry its weight in the alliance, Ukraine must first complete
election-law reforms as well as changes in judicial, civil and
administrative procedures.

U.S. plans to deploy an anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic
concern Mr. Yanukovich only insofar as they sow discord between “our two
strategic partners and security guarantors.” To succeed, they must minimize
the risk of nuclear confrontation.

The premier remarks: “We are aware of Russia’s negative reaction, which
currently perceives it as a potential threat… [and] that there is no
common opinion in this regard among European countries… [even] President
Yushchenko has said that he is concerned about this issue.”

Mr. Yanukovich adds that Ukraine has “something to offer,” including “space
observation systems and experts who could significantly help in establishing
such a global system.”

Mr. Yanukovich considers Ukraine’s potential membership in the World Trade
Organization as “one of the top priorities of foreign economic policy of
Ukraine.” Indeed, under his government, the parliamentary coalition has
passed all the necessary legislation.

However, the current domestic political turmoil threatens Ukraine’s efforts
to join the WTO.

Ultimately, the prime minister hopes that WTO membership “will foster deeper
integration of Ukraine into the European space, promote cooperation in the
energy sphere, and international transportation, trade and industrial
cooperation.” He added that Ukraine would like it if Russia could join at
the same time.                                    -30-
————————————————————————————————–
Rachel Ehrenfeld is the director of American Center for Democracy and
a member of the Committee on the Present Danger.
—————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20070422-110533-1436r.htm
—————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
2.   YANUKOVICH: I SUPPORT A PRO-WESTERN COURSE

By Simon Bell in Kiev, Sunday Telegraph, London, UK, Sun, Apr 22, 2007

The pro-Moscow leader who was prevented from becoming president
of Ukraine by the “Orange Revolution” is attempting to reinvent himself
as a Western-leaning conciliator who defends democracy.

Viktor Yanukovich, who has been the country’s prime minister since last
August, has declared that he supports “gradual integration” with the West.

“Ukraine is not Russia,” he said last week, in what many will see as a
U-turn from his position three years ago when Viktor Yushchenko leapfrogged
over him to become president after his supporters forced a rerun of the
disputed vote.

Talking exclusively to The Sunday Telegraph as Ukrainians faced political
chaos over President Yushchenko’s attempt to dissolve parliament and force
new elections, Mr Yanukovich seemed keen to show that his strength now goes
hand in hand with a spirit of conciliation.

In 2004, when Ukraine’s future seemed to hang in the balance between Western
democracy and Russian vassal state, he twice received President Vladimir
Putin in Kiev to show that he believed Ukraine’s interests lay with Russia,
across its eastern border.

His tactic failed, as Ukrainians demonstrated their wish to lessen Russia’s
influence and elected Mr Yushchenko president instead. Now Mr Yanukovich –
who is of Russian stock, from the industrialised east of Ukraine – seems to
have learned from this mistake.

“I support a pro-Western course, which means building a democratic, wealthy
and socially healthy society,” he said. “The difference between my position
and that of my opponents is that they are trying to go Western as soon as
possible.

“Their leaders even talk about turning Ukraine into the key element of a
cordon sanitaire against Russia. Is Europe interested in such a
confrontation? I’m sure it isn’t. I support gradual integration into the
West.”

In the aftermath of the Orange Revolution, many of Mr Yushchenko’s
supporters have become disillusioned with the factional in-fighting between
him and Yulia Timoshenko, his ambitious erstwhile ally who became his first
prime minister.

In parliamentary elections last year, Mr Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions
topped the poll and, after the previously pro-Yushchenko Socialists switched
sides, he assembled a big enough coalition of MPs to take over as prime
minister, a powerful move that prompted Mr Yushchenko to call for fresh
elections on May 27.

Mr Yanukovich, a former weightlifter and one-time racing driver, is
challenging the attempt to dissolve parliament once more as
“unconstitutional”, and believes he can rally Ukrainians behind him.

Speaking in the soft baritone that accompanies his deceptively mild manner,
he said: “The Ukrainian people have an old democratic tradition. They have
repeatedly proved that they can realise their civic potential.”

He has appealed to the country’s supreme court to strike down Mr
Yushchenko’s order, and MPs have refused to leave the country’s
parliamentary buildings or begin election campaigning until the court has
ruled. The white and blue flags of his supporters have taken over
Independence Square, which was filled with Mr Yushchenko’s orange
during the 2004 revolution.

Mr Yanukovich speaks with a permanent frown, as if choosing his words
carefully. He was talking in the cabinet ministers’ residence in Kiev’s
Grushevsky Street, a stark building from the Stalin era, which made his
conciliatory words about the West – and Ukraine’s heated national debate
over whether it should join Nato, which Moscow vehemently opposes –
seem all the more surprising.

“Under my prime ministerial tenure, Ukraine-Nato relations have been based
on a deepening cooperation with the alliance,” he said.

“Our North Atlantic partners constantly point to the significant
contributions our state makes to world security, in peacekeeping operations
and so on. Nevertheless, it is too early to talk about joining the alliance.
Only 20 per cent of the population supports this idea.”

Extraordinarily, Mr Yanukovich even had praise for the Orange Revolution.
“I would call 2004 the year our society became purified,” he says.

“We laid the foundation of a new political model, a
parliamentary-presidential one. But the old system is putting up a fight, it
doesn’t want to give up, and it looks for ways to stay in power.”

He described as “unacceptable” President Yushchenko’s order to dissolve
parliament, adding: “I think that international mediators would prevent the
political conflict from escalating to where violent methods might be sought
to resolve it.”                                        -30-
——————————————————————————————————-
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/04/22/wyanu22.xml
——————————————————————————————————-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
3.                     UKRAINE: YANUKOVYCH PRO EU?

LETTER-TO-THE EDITOR: By Stephen Velychenko
Sent to the London TELEGRAPH in response to
Mr. Yanukovych’s article, “I Support a pro-Western Course”
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 3
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 24, 2007

SIR.

Yanukovych’s opinions about the country he rules should not be viewed in
isolation by anyone interested in Ukraine or the EU. First and foremost it
must be stressed that his  neo-soviet Party of Regions is not a “normal”
political party in a “normal” state.

It is a restorationist party that seeks to prevent the democratization of a
de facto “post-colonial” state, and to keep it subordinated to its former
ruler. Should it succeed the EU would have to face the prospect of an
unstable eastern border.

While the party formally supports “eurointegration” – just like Putin
supports the eurointegration of Russia – it has not explicitly stated that
it is for  “EU membership for Ukraine.” Mr. Ianukovych’s public statements
to the contrary in various EU countries, therefore, cannot be taken
seriously until this commitment is clearly stated in his party’s program.

Given this omission there is every reason to believe that as soon as they
manage to get a majority by dubious methods in the Rada, they will first
incorporate Ukraine into Russia’s  Single Economic Space and only then, via
Russia, “integrate into Europe”  — presumably just like Belorus.

Ukrainians reemerged on Europe’s political map in 1991 after more than 200
years of direct foreign political rule imposed by military might.  Between
1709 and 1711, then between 1918 and 1921, and again between 1944 and 1950
Russian armies  invaded Ukraine three times in a series of bloody wars that
tied Ukraine to the tsarist and then Soviet empires.

Under Russian rule Ukrainians got Russian-style serfdom,  Siberian exile,
governmental prohibition of publishing and teaching in the native language,
terror, and famine-genocide. When in 1991 Ukraine emerged as an independent
state there was no “liberation war.” Consequently the  imperial or “old
regime” elites were not exiled or executed.

They remained in power until 2004 and since then have retained positions
influence to such a degree that they can keep their own out of jail.  Their
constituency, meanwhile, is the product of Soviet migration policies that
directed Russians into and Ukrainians out of Ukraine.

This immigration and “ethnic dilution”, combined with deportations and
millions of unnatural Ukrainian deaths between 1917 and 1947, created large
Russian-speaking urban enclaves in the country’s four easternmost provinces.

In addition, educational and media policies, channeled upwardly mobile
non-Russian rural migrants into Russian-speaking culture and allowed urban
Russians to live work and satisfy their cultural/spiritual needs without
having to use or learn Ukrainian.

Second and third generation urban Russian immigrants and assimilated
migrants spoke in Russian, lived in a Russian public-sphere  and were
Moscow- oriented culturally and intellectually.  After 1991 most of the
urban population accepted  Ukrainian independence, but few changed their
Russian language-use or intellectual/cultural orientation.

Since 1991 an increasing percentage of Russians and Russian-speakers see
Ukraine as their native country. However, in 2005, whereas only 6% of
Ukrainians still saw themselves as “soviet citizens,” the percentage for
Russians was 18%,  and  while 2% of Ukrainians still did not regard Ukraine
as their native country, 9% of Russians in Ukraine  did not.

This means that  a percentage of  the population in Ukraine today, of whom
most are Russian, support foreign rule over the territory in which they
live – much as did once  the French in Algeria, the Germans in Bohemia and
Poland, the Portuguese in Angola, and  the English in Ireland.

This anomie and nostalgia for empire of some Russian speakers would be
harmless if not for  Ukraine’s entrenched neo- soviet political leaders who
exploit it to maintain their by-gone imperial -era power.

Both would be manageable if leaders in Russia, the former imperial power,
were able to resign themselves to the loss of their empire, and like the
British, help the new national democratic Orange coalition rather than its

imperial era collaborators.

Putin is no DeGaulle –who realized in the end that French settlers had to
leave Algeria.

Ukraine’s neo-soviet leaders are organized in four major  groups with
varying degrees of support covert and overt from Russia and its government –
whose ambassador in Kyiv is not know ever to have made a speech in
Ukrainian. Ukraine’s communists and  Natalia Vitrenko’s “Bloc” openly
advocate the abrogation of Ukraine’s independence and its reincorporation
into a revamped imperial Russian dominated USSR.

The Russian Orthodox church, which claims an estimated 50% of Ukraine’s
Orthodox,  is not only led by a  Patriarch  in Moscow, a foreign country,
that sits in Putin’s government, but is dominated by its chauvinist,
anti-Semitic fringe. This church does not recognize Ukrainians as a distinct
nationality, it publicly supports Ukraine’s communists, and fielded priests
to run in elections.

In  June 2003 the Russian Patriarch gave the leader of Ukraine’s Communist
Party its “Order of Prince Vladimir.” No more than  8% of Ukraine’s voters
back these old communist party leaders.

The more serious threat to Ukrainian independence is posed by its fourth
major neo-soviet group; the Party of Regions. Although 2004 and 2006

election results suggest approximately one-third of all voters in 2006
supported the Party of Regions, these returns are dubious.

[1] First they are a product of documented coercion, intimidation and covert
operations-albeit smaller in scope and scale than was the case in 2004.

[2] Second, they are based on ‘machine politics’ in Ukraine’s eastern

provinces where, in control of the local administration and manufacturing,
the party can offer people fearing poverty and insecurity short-term material
incentives in return for votes.

[3] Third they are based on a lingering soviet-style cradle to grave
enterprise-paternalism, still stronger in eastern than western Ukraine, that
allows managers and owners to politically blackmail  their  employees– much
as “company-town” owners did in  nineteenth- century western Europe and
America.

How strong the party  would be in Ukraine’s east,  without the dirty-tricks,
machine-politics and neo-feudal enterprise-paternalist based intimidation
is difficult to determine.  But it would  have less than one-third of the
seats in the country’s parliament.

The party ostensibly supports Ukrainian independence in as much as its
leaders regard Ukraine as a territory that they should control as  a
“black-mail state” — just as they controlled it up to 2004. 

 
Yet, its anti-constitutional advocacy of Russian as a “second language” for
example, shows it wants to keep Ukraine within the Russian-language
communications sphere and out of the English-language communications
sphere – which includes now the EU.

While the Canadian and Polish ambassadors  can learn Ukrainian before their
appointments  well enough to use it publicly, some Party of Region leaders
have the unmitigated gall to speak in Russian in parliament. A number of
their leaders, like ex deputy-prime minister Azarov, have not managed to

learn Ukrainian after fifteen years of independence.

But then how many French in Algeria learned Arab? How many English in
Ireland learned Gaelic? How many whites in Africa  knew Swahili or Bantu?

How many Japanese learned Chinese or Korean? How  many Germans in
Breslau learned Polish? Its leaders, additionally, engage in symbolic
colonial-homage type acts that pander to imperial  Russian nostalgia and
compromise Ukraine’s status as independent country.

In November 2005 in  Krasnoiarsk, for example, Ianukovych  publicly  gave
the speaker of the Russian Duma  a bulava – the symbol of Ukrainian
statehood.

Party of Region   leaders learned their politics under the soviet regime

and since then failed to learn any other kind. They  ran  Kuchma’s
“black-mail state,” and employ criminal Bolshevik-style electioneering
practices.

Not the least of which is advertising in the press for “supporters”
to their current demonstrations – whom they pay at a set rate at the end of
the day. They publicly belittle Ukrainian independence, are in constant
contact with Russian extremists like Zhirinovsky, Zatulin, and Luchkov.

Foreign observers must ask themselves how a  Party of Regions led
Kuchma-like “black-mail state” is supposed to fit into the EU?

How can such a Ukraine be “stable” if it is dependent on Russia, a
resource-based autocracy, at a time when resource-based autocracy’s

everywhere else in the world are notoriously unstable?           -30-
————————————————————————————————-
NOTE: Stephen Velychenko is a Resident Fellow, CERES Research
Fellow, Chair of Ukrainian Studies Munk Center at the University of
Toronto, Toronto, Canada. E-mail: velychen@chass.utoronto.ca
————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
4.                       PRE-TERM ELECTIONS IN UKRAINE

LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By William Zuzak
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 4
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dear Morgan Williams:

Since President Viktor Yushchenko issued his decree on 02Apr2007
dismissing the Verkhovna Rada and setting pre-term elections for
27May2007, a myriad of strange and contradictory articles have
appeared in the Ukrainian and world press. Some of these have been
reproduced in the Action Ukraine Report. It is not clear if these are
creations of serious scholars, paid shills, provocateurs or
disinformation artists.

A prime example is the 16Apr2007 interview of Oleksandr Volkov
(AUR#830, 19Apr2007), who claims to have supported the Orange
Revolution, but has since switched his allegiance to the Party of
Regions. Name-dropping that he and his buddies are good friends with
Boris Berezovsky (the Jewish Russian billionaire in English exile), he
then goes on to smear both Mr. Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko

with gossipy tidbits impossible to verify. Whatever the veracity of his
rantings, Mr Volkov does illustrate the illegitimacy of the political
order in Ukraine.

In a Letter to Yulia Tymoshenko, 25Jul2006 [1], I wrote that the
so-called constitutional “reform” concocted during the Orange crisis
of the Nov-Dec 2004 Presidential elections is illegitimate, because
(a) it was negotiated by politicians under duress, (b) it is
inoperable and (c) it was drafted by politicians without consulting
the people of Ukraine and without their ratification via a referendum.

The Constitutional Court has been inoperable since the Presidential
elections in 2004. It is certainly not an independent body and,
judging by the number of individual meetings with various politicians,
the necessity of police protection and the mass demonstrations in
front of its doors, it is certainly deliberating under severe duress.
On what basis can it possibly make a rational decision on the
constitutionality of the President’s decree?

My advice to the learned judges would be to avoid making a direct
ruling, but instead to “recommend” that pre-term elections be held at
a given date subject to specific stipulations. This recommendation
would be based upon the provisions that the judges expect to be
incorporated in the new constitution that the Ukrainian people must
formulate and adopt over the next several years. That constitution
would presumably enshrine the principle that, indeed, the Office of
the President has the right and duty (under certain conditions) to
dismiss the government and call for pre-term elections.

Pre-term elections are utilized by many countries around the world as
a safety valve to solve intractable conflicts and avoid violence and
social upheaval. It is a perfectly legitimate and useful exercise —
especially for Ukraine at this moment.

I find the political mentality within Ukraine particularly worrisome.
The politicians simply do not accept the concept that they are
servants of the Ukrainian people and not its masters. I am convinced
that the illegitimate constitutional changes in 2004 and the January
2007 law on “Cabinet of Ministers” were imposed in bad faith by the
Party of Regions. These changes remove all checks and balances upon
the puppeteers controlling the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada.

The parallel of these mechanations with the rise to power of the
Bolshevik Party following the 1917 Revolution is frightening. At that
time, the modus operandi was “kto, kovo?” — who [will destroy]

whom?
And this was not just political destruction, but physical
destruction — leading to the death of millions. Once again, this is
the nightmare scenario facing the Ukrainian people. Instead of
“dictatorship of the proletariat”, they will now be subjected to the
“dictatorship of the Oligarchs”.

There must be checks and balances on politicians — and not just
during election time. Appropriate checks and balances on governments,
politicians and bureaucrats is lacking in many countries around the
world. There is virtually nothing an ordinary citizen can do to
reverse unreasonable decisions. For example, the governments of the
United States, Britian and Canada are involved in the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan despite the opposition of the majority of the populace.
Ukraine is no exception.

In my report on the 26Mar2006 parliamentary elections [2], I stated
that “although the election procedures were fair and legitimate, the
legitimacy of the politicians ranked in the “party lists” of the
various Parties is questionable.” I also stated that I was not
impressed with the proportional representation system and even
speculated on how the electorate could have an influence on the
rankings in the various party lists.

These concerns are even more urgent today. It is crucial that the
future constitution define appropriate election mechanisms and
appropriate checks and balances on the composition of the Verkhovna
Rada.

I expect that pre-term elections will, indeed, take place within the
next several months. Hopefully, the constitutional question will be
the main focus of the electoral discussions. In my opinion, it would
not be appropriate for the President of Ukraine to participate
directly in the electioneering, except as to express his views on the
constitutional question. The two divisory issues of NATO and
Ukrainian-Russian language must not be used to further fragment
Ukrainian society. I expect to expound on these issues in later
articles.

Respectfully yours
William Zuzak, Ph.D., P. Eng. (retired); 2007.04.23
Edmonton, Canada (mozuz@telusplanet.net)

————————————————————————————————
The two references above are archived at
http://www.telusplanet.net/public/mozuz/
in the centre column under Will Zuzak Letters:
[1] Letter to Yulia Tymoshenko, e-POSHTA, Jul. 25, 2006
[2] Zuzak Ukraine Political Report; Part II, Jun. 02, 2006
————————————————————————————————
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========================================================
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5. AMERICAN SPIN-DOCTORS ON YANUKOVYCH’S SERVICE

By Mustafa Nayem for Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian) PART I
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 19, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 5, (in English)
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 23, 2007

American spin-doctors hired by Viktor Yanukovych have long become

part of the Party of Regions’ and its leader’s profile.

The Regions are typically associated by Ukrainian voters with Russia as any
cooperation with Americans has been kept out of the public eye. In
off-the-record comments, however, both supporters and opponents of the
Regions willingly demonize the spin-doctors and their techniques.

Meanwhile, it is not difficult to find the Kyiv office of the American PR
companies that counseled the Regions in the run-up to the parliamentary
elections. The office is located in 4, Sofiyivska square  – across the
street from trolley-bus routes #16 and 18 stops and the Golden Telecom
office.

The shutters on the windows of the secretive office are drawn all day. Where
one could expect to see a massive signboard, only a small blue notice titled
PAM Ukraine shows. There is no reaction to our repeated ringing the
doorbell.

To enter the office, you have to wait for someone leaving it. Near the
entrance, we are met by a plain-looking office employee. To get past him,
you only need to declare solemnly that Mr Philip Griffin is waiting for you.

However, you’ll never go farther than a smallish room where they will ask
you to introduce yourself and tell the purpose of your visit.  On hearing
that you are a journalist, they will politely tell you to leave the office
and never come back again. Asking for Paul Manafort’s whereabouts will

cause much the same reaction.

After lengthy negotiations, the office manager agreed to go and fetch
someone authorized to deal with the media. When he was gone, we had a

good chance to look around the office.

We saw an empty bookcase in the corridor, a chair near a table on which we
saw scattered sheets and files. We also saw a mini automatic telephone
switchboard. Next to one of its buttons there was a sticker with red
hand-written letters on it reading Davis-Manafort.

After some time, the office manager returned, followed by a young man
wearing a well-tailored suit and tie. He told us that Mr Griffin was away
for a vacation in the United States.

To get some detailed information, we had to engage in lengthy persuasions
again. Finally, we learned that the office was staffed by 6 to 8 persons,
all of them Ukrainian residents. “We are presently working with Manafort,
but formally our boss is Griffin,” the young man said.

“We do not work with the Regions at present. After the end of the election
campaign, Mr Griffin is apparently rendering some services to the Regions,
on a personal basis. But we have no relationship with the Regions now.”

In the course of our conversation, the young man mentioned the
Davis-Manafort company several times, most probably, meaning either
Davis-Manafort or Davis, Manafort & Stone. According to our sources, this
company is not registered in Ukraine and, therefore, has no official right
to hire personnel and lease an office.

The young man from the Sofiyivska square office asked us to call in 10 days,
promising to relay our request for an interview to Mr Griffin. However, when
the deadline passed the American was still outside Ukraine, with no one in
the office bothering to answer Ukrayinska pravda’s official request for an
interview.

This kind of conduct has been followed by Paul Manafort and his partners
long enough. Shunning cameras and mikes, they are rubbing shoulders with
Ukraine’s richest man who, in his turn, calls them his friends.

Paul Manafort, who has become a legend in two years of his work in Ukraine,
was last seen in the company of the Region’s leader at a lunch in Davos
thrown in by Viktor Pinchuk [Pres. Kuchma’s son-in-law and tycoon –
Transl.].

After a feeble effort to keep away from the camera, the American said that
he was not a public person and refrained from comment. It is beyond doubt,
that the American was Viktor Yanukovych’s, not Rinat Akhmetov’s, eyes and
ears at the forum in Davos.

Mr Manafort is not and has not been involved with the System Capital
Management [Akhmetov’s flagship company – Transl.] since he started his work
for the Regions,” Akhmetov admitted, speaking to The Ukrayinska Pravda.
Meanwhile, the activities of Paul Manafort and his partners over the past
two years may indicate that their relationships with the Regions is part of
a major business project, directly or indirectly benefiting big Ukrainian
businessmen, primarily Rinat Akhmetov.

Originally, a group of American spin-doctors came to Ukraine long before the
2006 parliamentary elections. According to our information, Rinat Akhmetov,
while in self-imposed exile in mid 2005 [fearing arrest by the Orange
government – Transl.], had a number of meetings with several US PR
consultants, including Paul Manafort.

The meetings focused on consultations to prepare SCM for the placement of
its shares on Western stock exchanges. It was the start of cooperation
between Rinat Akhmetov and the Americans.

Says Akhmetov, “In 2005 SCM decided to work out communication corporate
strategy. To this effect, the company invited four experts, including Mr
Manafort. Besides, the team of consultants also included world-known
Burson-Marstellar and Europe’s MMD firms.”

However, some sources in the Regions claim that Paul Manafort’s first visit
to Donetsk took place between Dec. 10 to 20, 2004, that is, between rounds 2
and 3 of the presidential elections. “SCM became the topic of negotiations
much later, in early 2005, while Paul Manafort had been invited to prepare
our candidate for round 3 of the election.

However, Paul Manafort openly stated that he could not influence the course
of the campaign as there was only two weeks left before voting day,” one of
Yanukovych staffers said.

According to Rinat Akhmetov, Paul Manafort had been recommended to him by
some US law firm. To go by another version, Manafort was introduced to
Akhmetov by Russia’s tycoon Oleh Derypaska.

Manafort is linked to several companies involved in lobbyism and political
counseling. Manafort was founder of such entities as Davis, Manafort &
Freeman, Inc., Davis, Manafort & Stone and Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly.

As admitted by our source, SCM signed a contract with Black, Manafort, Stone
& Kelly, a company specializing in counseling on economic lobbyism. In
business circles, this company is known as an exclusive consultant for
Phillip Morris.

Manafort worked with the Regions via another company, Davis, Manafort &
Freeman, Inc. It is still not known whether the US company operated under a
direct contract with the Regions or via go-betweens.

Manafort’s heyday came in early 1980s on the back of his counseling for
political campaigns in third world countries. Companies and spin-doctors
working now with Yanukovych have earlier advised the governments of Kenya,
Somali, Angola, Nigeria and Congo.

Manafort is said to have contributed personally to the success of the
presidential election campaign by the Philippines dictator Marcos in 1981.
At the start of his campaign and worried by the growing international
isolation of his country, Marcos lifted the state of emergency and declared
a general election which was later dubbed by the Western media one of the
dirtiest in the country’s history. “The election was smeared by massive
falsifications, voter coercion, fraudulent voter lists and dubious
 counting,” media comments ran.

Paul Manafort began his career in the team of the 38th US Republican
President Gerald Ford. Ford was the only US president who entered the
highest office in the wake of a scandal, not through election. While vice-
president, he was sworn in as president when Pres Richard Nixon had to
resign after the notorious Watergate scandal.

After 1974, Manafort’s name figured on campaign staffs of almost all
Republican presidents. Manafort was spin-doctoring Ronald Reagan’s campaigns
in 1980 and 1984 and George Bush, Senior in 1988. “This guy is the
Republican party’s business card. He opens doors with his foot in Washington
and in the offices of Bush insiders.

For the first time in 50 years the Republicans control the whole government.
All you need is the GOP master key: Manafort is just the guy you need,”
writes Charles Lewis, author of Selling the 2004 President.

True, the only time when Paul Manafort suffered a fiasco was when he was
acting as a top strategist for presidential candidate Bob Dole in 1996 who
was beaten into second place by Bill Clinton. Later on, Bob Dole came under
Republican fire for the lack of a clear-cut strategy during his campaign.

Currently, Akhmetov does not deny he initiated cooperation of the Regions
with Paul Manafort and his partners. “At a certain moment, due to Mr
Manafort’s new experience, he was recommended to the Regions as an expert
who could help the party’s election campaign. When the Regions betted on
Manafort, SCM scrapped its cooperation with him,” Ukrayinska Pravda quotes
Akhmetov as saying.

Interestingly, Akhmetov denies footing the bill for Manafort’s services to
the Regions. “SCM paid to Mr Manafort only for his services to the company.
SCM did not pay for any political counseling done by Mr Manafort for the
Regions,” the wealthiest Ukrainian said.

Meanwhile, Akhmetov’s business partner and a close friend, Anton Pryhodsky,
claimed that the Americans had been paid exclusively from the war chest.

However, the total amount coughed up by the Regions for the services of US
spin-doctors remains a closely guarded secret, with some lawmakers setting
it at between 2 to 20 million dollars for the whole election campaign. By
contrast, in the United States such information about the cost of PR and
lobbying services to political structures is open to public.

Participation of American spin-doctors in the election campaign caused
frictions and conflicts of interest amid Viktor Yanukovych and Rinat
Akhmetov teams. On July 3, 2005, Yanukovych named Vasyl Khara, a loyal
representative of the Regions hardcore nomenklatura, his campaign chief. At
this time, Akhmetov was holding intensive talks with Black, Manafort, Stone
& Kelly.

Yanukovych’s acquaintance with Paul Manafort and his partners took place in
the late summer of 2005 in Karlovy Vary. At that time, the rumor was thick
in the party that Rinat Akhmetov and his supporters opposed cooperation with
radical Russian spin-doctors, like Gleb Pavlovsky.

Probably, Yanukovych was himself aware of the need for a new strategy in the
coming parliamentary elections, but Akhmetov’s proposal was taken as a
direct shot at winning influence in the party.

Finally, the change of spin-doctors was agreed upon. The only thing left was
the official introduction of Paul Manafort and his colleagues to campaign
staff leaders. At this moment, Vasyl Khara opposed the project.

“I didn’t like the Americans. I tried to convince the Regions leaders  that
prior to hiring them we need to get acquainted with their strategies. Still,
as far as I know, no one has ever received any strategy proposals from the
Americans,” Khara told the Ukrainska Pravda.

Yanukovych did everything for his protégé to continue to run the campaign
staff. The final attempt to talk Khara out of resigning was made in early
October, 2005. Khara was invited to Moscow where in a closely guarded house
he faced Yanukovych and his friend and colleague Anton Pryhodsky. Their talk
lasted over an hour.

Trying to persuade Khara to continue in office, they told him about the
successful track record of the Americans in the European countries, without
even mentioning Congo or Angola. “Paul with his partners also had to come to
the meeting.

We hoped that Khara would get acquainted with the Americans, they would come
to terms and start joint work. But Khara didn’t wait for the Americans. He
refused pointblank to meet them, leaving before they arrived,” a source in
the Regions confided.

A few days after the Moscow meeting, Khara handed in his resignation from
the post of Regions campaign staff chief. “When I realized that the
decisions will be made by them and I will be merely a front man, I made up
my mind to resign,” Khara said.

In the early November, former first deputy Donetsk governor Vasyl Dzharty
was appointed by one of the Regions secret conventions a new campaign chief.
It was declared by some Regions politicians a tactical mistake as Dzharty,
unlike heavyweight Khara, was more vulnerable to criticism from political
opponents.

At the same time, Dzharty has been viewed as Rinat Akhmetov’s insider,
something sources in the tycoon’s immediate entourage deny. Still, the
appointment of a new campaign chief indicated, to a certain degree, a
victory for Akhmetov in his efforts to gain control of the election
campaign, with at least 50 of his supporters figuring of the Regions slate.

The Americans started on their project as soon as the memorandum between the
authorities and the opposition was signed on Sept. 23, 2005. “Paul Manafort
picked his team personally,” Borys Kolesnykov [prominent Regions politician,
former mayor of Donetsk – Transl.] recalled.

With no forthcoming elections in the United States, Manafort managed to
enroll quite a few professionals, both Republicans and Democrats. On a
permanent basis, the team included Philip Griffin, Richard H. Davis, Rick
Ahearn – Pres Ronald Reagan’s representative and Alex Kiselyov, head of the
PR firm Aleksei Kiselev, friend of Eduard Prutnik.

On an off and on basis, head of Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly (Saint
Petersburg branch) Leonid Avrashov and Manafort’s American partners Brian
Kristiansson and Robert Dole were hired to do odd jobs. (PART I)  -30-
————————————————————————————————-
Link: http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2007/3/19/55966.htm
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================      
6.     HOW REGIONS LAWMAKERS WERE SCHOOLED
                                    BY US SPIN-DOCTORS
 
By Mustafa Nayem for Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian) PART II
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 22, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 6, (in English)
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 23, 2007

American spin-doctors hired by the Regions had a twin task: 1) to counsel on
the Regions election campaign and 2) to sell its leader Viktor Yanukovych to
voters, with US-born Paul Manafort in supreme command.

“With the arrival of the Americans, there’s been a major overhaul of our
tactics – already in the first days of their presence,” says lawmaker Vasyl
Khara who resigned as campaign chief when Manafort took the reigns. The
scope of campaigning by campaign workers was reduced manifold, and

the main emphasis was placed on the leader and the events he attended.

Following a reduction in their number, public performance of campaign
workers was optimized. A clear hierarchy for campaigners was established.

“It resembled a multi-level pyramid, with each layer represented by
spokespersons with the authority to comment on only a specified part of the
party’s agenda and activities,” says a chief of one campaign workers team,
speaking on condition of anonymity. “The higher the level which a campaigner
was covering, the more free hand he had to improvise.

This pattern made it possible to quickly vary the party’s stand depending on
how the situation developed: in the course of the campaign higher level
spokespersons could correct their lower level
colleagues.

Incidentally, the Party of Regions was the first to use VIP-campaigners, a
new twist in the Ukrainian or Russian politics. Numbering about 60 persons,
Regions VIP-campaigners represented the bulk of Regions faction in the past
legislature. They were divided into groups, with group leaders receiving
instructions and being regularly briefed on the party’s overall performance.

In addition, VIP-campaigners were once a week issued a list of declarations
they had to air in their public appearances. The list was issued on a
regular A4 piece of paper bearing no signatures or dates. Just 3-5 proposals
drawn up by the party’s top leaders in close association with the Americans.

These declarations, which the Americans called messages, covered only a
specific period of time during which they had to be relayed to the audience.

“Generally speaking, the strategy of the US spin-doctors was rather simple:
one and the same idea had to be hammered into heads of voters,” one of 2006
campaign leaders says. “We could say whatever we wanted but the messages

had to be declared.

Very often, the messages were the reaction to a PR attack of our opponents.
Sometimes we got the impression that presentation of these mandatory
declarations was not as important as the frequency with which they were
made.

The Regions claim that similar tactics were employed by the orange parties
ahead of the 2004 presidential election. “I am not sure who their
spin-doctors were, but their practice was to come up with several slogans
that those with orange scarves had to chant,” Regions lawmaker Anton
Pryhodsky recalls. “Including such slogans as “Bandits must go to prisons”,
“We are many, they will not defeat us.” I really do not know who their PR
advisors were, but it looks as if the tactics were the same.”

According to some sources, the Americans authored one of Regions key
campaign slogans “Better life today.” Most of the lawmakers mouthed the
messages obediently, but some opposed them strongly. “We realized that it
was pure spin without any ideology attached. Some called campaign messages
crowd-pleasers, but they had to go to the streets and mouth them.

I remember how Taras Chornovil, on getting yet another list of messages on
the status of the Russian language and NATO, tore up the list in front of
his group leader, refusing to speak on the topics. Chornovil’s colleagues
say that this incident may have cost him his career in the party. Some admit
that he even lost his status of a VIP campaigner.

True, some campaign projects by the Americans were cold-shouldered by the
Regions. Some were brushed off, like the idea to use for campaigning
specially equipped busses to be shipped from abroad. Hanna Herman was

even heard saying the project involved black-skinned drivers for the busses.

“It was a 100% American proposal: a double-decker bus with all conveniences
like a toilet, a shower, etc.,” 2006 campaign chief Vasyl Dzharty says. “The
Americans proposed to bus campaign workers all over Ukraine. Frankly
speaking, I didn’t like the idea. It runs counter to our ways.”

As confirmed by our sources, the idea was finally rejected by Viktor
Yanukovych in Crimea when he saw one of the campaign busses equipped
specifically for him. The cost of such bus amounted to $700,000-800,000.

“Victor Yanukovych made a wry face, he was talked into entering the bus,”
one of his insider tells. “He got into the bus, took a look around and said
it was too much for him. He continued his campaign tour in his minibus.”

What happened to the busses delivered by the Americans is anyone’s guess,
but some lawmakers insist they saw the double-deckers at the funeral of
Yevhen Kushnaryov.

The election staff was also involved in reaching out to the media. This work
was done by Eduard Prutnyk, owner of the NTN TV channel, assisted by the
former Inter TV channel PR department head Ihor Chaban.

Following the 2006 elections, Prutnyk was appointed by the anti-crisis
coalition head of the State committee for TV and radio broadcasting. Chaban
resigned from his official position and became Prutnyk’s deputy.

For the record, in 2005-2006, both Prutnyk and Chaban mapped out and
monitored the Regions media campaign. Prutnyk was in charge of general
organizational issues, including cooperation with TV channels, advertising
agencies, while Chaban was involved in working out the party’s media
strategy. Both of them are staying in touch with the Americans.

“They often cooperated with Paul Manafort, discussed and coordinated their
actions,” says former staff member and currently a lawmaker Vitaly
Zablotsky.

“The Americans were not involved in issuing short-term instructions, it was
the business of Vasyl Dzharty. The Americans came up only with strategic
guidelines. Among other things, they strongly recommended to quit regional
press and TV channels and move over to national TV channels.

Interestingly, Chaban flatly denies ever to have dealt with the Americans.
He says he was in the dark about their role in the election staff. It is
known, however, that Chaban has repeatedly advised some key party leaders

on their public appearances.

In the night following the voting day on March 26, the Ukrayinska Pravda
reporter became an eye-witness to such episode. Immediately after Yanukovych’s
chief-of-staff went on the air at the Inter TV channel announcing the
Regions victory in the elections and their intent to form a government
coalition, Dzharty climbed the stairs to the second floor of the Regions HQ
where offices are located.

There he talked through an interpreter to Paul Manafort in the presence of
Chaban, saying, “I have told everything you recommended.” Chaban enrolled
his former colleagues from Inter TV to advise on the Regions media campaign.

Incidentally, these same colleagues were involved in schooling Regions top
five politicians for their televised debates on the 5 TV Kanal on March 19,
2006.

According to participants of this group training, Pual Manafort and Philip
Griffin were present in the room. To prepare Mykola Azarov, Rayisa
Bohatyryova, Borys Kolesnykov, Yevhen Kushnaryov and Taras Chornovil, a
special team role-play was conducted.

“They gave us a ball; we had to throw it to whoever we wanted to speak. It
did not matter what we spoke about – it could be any absurd idea. What
mattered was our readiness to react to any attacks by our opponents.

The training was supervised by a lady, a colleague of Chaban. In addition to
verbal battles, participants were trained to show proper emotions on their
faces.

“Azarov was bad news. He is very reserved, although a high-octane person
emotionally. When asked to mime a specific emotion, he would ignore the
instructions or even become slightly angry. But in general, the spirit in
the class was very friendly. We discussed even minor details, like what to
wear for the debates.

The deceased Yevhen Kuchmaryov proposed to put on jeans and sweaters.

After several hours of training, the Regions politicians could pretty easily
engage in debates and the intervals between their answers considerably
reduced.”

Interestingly, ordinary campaign workers didn’t have a chance to communicate
with the American spin-doctors: “Heads of campaign groups frequently
referred to the Americans, but unlike the Russians, the Americans didn’t run
any seminars or workshops for ordinary campaigners,” one of the lawmakers
says. The majority of deputies, including even VIP-campaigners, had never
seen the Americans, he adds.

“This is another proof that the Americans were not directly involved in
running the election campaign,” Anton Pryhodsky says jokingly. “Otherwise,
they would have seen the Americans. You have seen the main headquarters,
VIP-campaigners, regional staffs, but you haven’t seen any American
spin-doctors.

Although the advice by Americans had a substantial impact on election
campaigning, they didn’t take part in day-to-day management. We are quite
satisfied with the contribution they made to the party performance. They
introduced theoretical and practical transparency in our approaches to
campaign strategies. (PART II)
——————————————————————————————-
Link: http://pravda.com.ua/news/2007/3/22/56160.htm

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
7. WHO ARE TRUE BOSSES OF US SPIN-DOCTORS IN UKRAINE
 
By Mustafa Nayem for Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian) PART III
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 7, (in English)
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 23, 2007

It is definitely not easy to assess the true impact the American
spin-doctors had on the Regions 2006 election campaign. Especially since

the role they played in the party is far from clear.

Their recommendations on how to run the campaign clearly indicate that Paul
Manafort and his partners became cat’s paws in the Regions internal
wrangling between two centers of influence – Rinat Akhmetov and Viktor
Yanukovych, who are involved in a so far mild confrontation with each other.

Surprisingly, the Americans threw their weight behind the party strategy
line drawn by Rinat Akhmetov. The Donbas tycoon was opposed to joining the
Socialists and Communists to form the Viktor Yanukovych Bloc to run in the
2006 elections, despite the arguments by political analysts and Regions
opponents at the start of the campaign that the bloc would be a good
bargain.

Akhmetov, however, was well aware that creating a personalized bloc would
dent his clout in the party. Accordingly, the Americans and campaign chief
Vasyl Dzharty went out of their way to hype the party’s profile, basing
their strategies on combining Viktor Yanukovych’s image with this of the
party.

Until late October 2006, the Regions were actively promoting a united
Regions-based opposition bloc, with the openly pro-Russian Natalya Vitrenko
Bloc and marginalized pro-Kuchma SDPU (united).

According to some sources, the plans to set up a united opposition spurred
SDPU(u) into creating the Ne Tak bloc that had to play a major role in the
proposed united opposition. Ne Tak’s agenda was actually a replica of Region’s
election platform.

While Vitrenko was cold-shouldered in late summer of 2005 by Yanukovych,
talks with SDPU(u) went on till late October, with the Regions’ leader
noticeably patting the back of SDPU(u) and Ne Tak.

Meanwhile, Rinat Akhmetov’s insiders indicated that he was strongly opposed
to cooperation with SDPU(u). Akhmetov allegedly said that entering in a
coalition with SDPU(u) would mean that the Regions would have to share power
and posts with people who cannot be trusted.

Akhmetov is convinced that he is the opposite of Hryhory Surkis [a big
businessman and SDPU(u) heavyweight – Transl]. “In private conversations
Akhmetov openly praises his relationships with the owners of the Industrial
Union of Donbas Vitaly Hajduk and Serhy Taruta, saying they were fair and
honest.

On the contrary, his relationships with Pinchuk, Surkis and Hryhoryshyn
[Ukrainian tycoons – Transl.] were very unsatisfactory,” an Akhmetov insider
claimed.

This time, the advice of Paul Manafort and Philip Griffin again surprisingly
echoed Akhmetov’s vision. “They pooh-poohed entering in a coalition with any
parties, insisting the SDPU(u) be kept at arm’s length.”

 “I don’t know who was behind it, Akhmetov or Kolesnykov, but Manafort came
up with a very appealing and seemingly valid scenario. I was witness to a
conversation between Manafort and Yanukovych with the former trying to bring
it home to Yanukovych that in the West he is associated with Kuchma and that
if now he  joined forces with Medvedchuk and Surkis it would bring a total
failure,” a source close to the Region’s leader told me.

At the same time, campaign staff leaders didn’t even bother to get any
public opinion polls on the likely performance of a united opposition bloc
in the elections, some 2006 election campaign members admitted.

Early November, Viktor Yanukovych was forced to backtrack, declaring at the
Region’s so-called technical convention that the party will go it alone in
the elections. The Americans openly sided with Rinat Akhmetov in the wake of
the parliamentary elections.

In June 2006, when the talks on the creation of the Orange coalition came to
a stalemate, the likely wedding between the Regions and Our Ukraine was
actively supported by Rayisa Bohatyryova, one of Akhmetov’s most trusted
insiders. Indicating his moderate stand, Akhmetov spoke approvingly of
Yushchenko in his private comments.

He praised the propriety of a union with OU openly during the festivities to
mark his soccer team’s 70 anniversary. Meanwhile, Viktor Yanukovych and his
team were neutral and openly reluctant to comment on the likelihood of the
proposed coalition

Again, the American spin-doctors found themselves on the same side of the
fence with Akhmetov. According to some lawmakers, the Americans believed

the union with OU would be the most optimum decision for the party, viewing
talks with the Socialists and Communists as a stand-by arrangement.

The contract with Davis, Manafort & Freeman was extended by the Regions
after the 2006 elections. The bulk of the American team stayed in Ukraine
for a month and a half in the wake of the election, then their number was
reduced, with only a few left to counsel the Regions till the end of 2006.
And only in late February an 8-strong team of spin-doctors that worked for
the party in 2006 came back.

After Yanukovych had assumed office, the main efforts of his spin-doctors
were focused on creating a positive image for him in the USA and Europe.
According to some sources, the Americans played a leading role in preparing
Yanukovych interviews in foreign publications.

Paul Manafort and his partners definitely deserve credit for significantly
sugarcoating Yanukovych’s rhetoric as regards cooperation of Ukraine with
NATO and EU. The Ukrainian premier now frequently refers to his country

as a bridge between the West and East.

Whereas Viktor Yanukovych has earlier argued that Ukraine’s entry into NATO
was premature, now he does not evade the topic. He even speaks about
enhanced cooperation with the alliance.

According to our sources, Manafort had drawn up a list of topics recommended
for discussion during Yanukovych’s visit to the USA late 2006. Regarding his
relationships with Yushchenko, the Americans advised him to keep saying at
every opportunity,”

“I’m no opponent or rival of Yushchenko. I do not intend to humiliate or
hurt Yushchenko, we are playing each other softly. We cannot, however,
demand that the president do things he cannot do. My objective is to cover
Yushchenko’s weak spots.

I want the US government to persuade Yushchenko that the Americans are
interested in a dialog between the Ukrainian president and premier. I’ll
spare no efforts to have Our Ukraine in the government coalition.”

In addition, the spin-doctors recommended Yanukovych to emphasize, while in
the US, his vision of Ukraine-NATO relations, saying “Ukraine is currently
cooperating with NATO, maintaining an enhanced dialog. At the same time,
Ukraine is not after immediate entry in the alliance. When Ukraine gets an
invitation to join, the people will have the final say in a referendum.”

In fact, such position is a clear manipulation on the part of the
spin-doctors, because a country gets an invitation to access NATO only after
it has embarked on an action membership plan. It was precisely Yanukovych
who had refused to accept the membership plan in the fall of 2006 during his
Brussels visit.

It is also clear that, given the specifics of Davis, Manafort & Freeman,
Inc., its experts are actively lobbying for the present government in
business circles in the USA and EU. Nowadays, Western politicians are more
willing to meet with the Ukrainian premier than three years ago.

Then, the second wave of Yanukovych face-lifting was launched in the West’s
media focusing on democratic reforms in Ukraine, with an accent almost in
every planted article on radical changes involving the former presidential
candidate Viktor Yanukovych and his Regions party.

Over the past year, under watchful eyes of his American advisors, the
profiles of Yanukovych and Regions have acquired a new and unquestionably
positive shine. It cannot be ruled out that Ukraine’s democratic reforms and
economic growth will be soon associated by West’s politicians and
businessmen with the Regions and its leaders.

At first glance, it looks improbable due to high popularity of Orange
leaders in Europe and the USA. But it should be taken into account that
Ukraine is now much more represented in the West by the government, not

the presidential administration or opposition.

Such scenario suits best the Regions big business, primarily the owner of
the System Capital Management Rinat Akhmetov.

As the American spin-doctors have originally counseled SCM Holdings on
preparations for the placement of their shares on West’s stock exchanges, it
can well be that Davis, Manafort & Freeman are part of a bigger business
project.

P.S. The Regions refused to comment on the facts presented in this article.
Their representative responded by saying “It is unethical to ask about the
cost of US spin-doctors’ services when the country is in turmoil.” For the
record, the information on any party war chest expenditure must be open,

the law says. (PART III)
————————————————————————————————–
Link: http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2007/3/28/56432.htm
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
    NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
========================================================
8.    UKRAINE HAS BEEN GIVEN ANOTHER FIVE YEARS
                Ukraine & Poland granted the right to host the Euro-2012
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Serhii RAKHMANIN
Mirror-Weekly, #15 (644) Kyiv, Ukraine, 21-27 April 2007

Ukraine has yet another chance (maybe the last) — a unique opportunity to
show its consistency to the world. It has five years to cope with a
multitude of problems that have been weighing heavily for the last fifteen
years. In all these years, the cleverest Ukrainian brains have been unable
to work out a consistent strategy for uniting the nation.

This country still lives without its Ukrainian dream. By far, politicians
have only offered remedies for dissention that have only aggravated this
disease. It looks like the strategy and the dream began to take shape on
April 18 in Cardiff, Wales.

Last Wednesday, eight of eleven members of the UEFA executive board created
a sensation: they granted Ukraine and Poland the right to host the Euro-2012
finals.

In the summer of 2012, Kyiv, Warsaw, Donetsk, Wroclaw, Lviv, Poznan,
Dnipropetrovsk, and Gdansk will receive millions of fans from all corners of
the continent and the rest of the world.

In a long and hard marathon competition, the two Slavic countries went ahead
of Azerbaijan, Greece, Romania, Russia, and Turkey, and in the final round
they bested Italy and the Hungary/Croatia tandem.

Italy was seen as the favorite, although its chances were seriously
undermined by the recent corruption scandal and fan clashes.

It is no small wonder the Coriere della Sera gave a reserved comment,
calling the UEFA boards decision somewhat unexpected. UEFA President

Michel Platini called Ukraine and Poland’s success a great victory of Eastern
Europe, saying they won by right. Figaro warned, however, that the hardest
part for the eastern nations is only just beginning.

The newspaper reminded the hosts of the Euro-2012 soccer finals,Poland and
Ukraine have to renovate four stadiums each, reconstruct their road
infrastructure, expand their hotel chains, and start a lot of construction
from scratch. These are tremendous tasks.

It should be noted that these tasks are even more difficult for the
Ukrainians than the Poles, which will rely on a more stable economy and can
count on some backup from the European Union.

The news came to Ukraine as a big surprise: most soccer fans had not even
dreamed of watching the great sport event live! They are even happier,
knowing that the Ukraine national team will play in the finals as the host,
without having to go through the qualification ordeals.

Not only are fans happy at least because this is a rare opportunity to be
proud of the much degraded country. The news inspired optimism in those

who still believed in an idea that could reconcile leaders and mend the
dissented nation together.

The organization and conducting of a good continental championship is a

task that takes a lot of joint efforts. Residents of all parts of Ukraine,
supporters and opponents of the government, and all leaders regardless of
political colors are equally eager to host such a prestigious forum.

This is any host natural desire – to rise to the occasion. There are purely
pragmatic reasons. This is the last lucky chance for Ukraine to regain
Europe’s interest and attention after it squandered the great opportunities
opened by the Orange Revolution.

This is a chance to convince disillusioned European politicians that we can
live up to promises if we build and rebuild what we pledged to build and
rebuild by 2012.

We still can convince disillusioned European businessmen that it is possible
to do civilized business in Ukraine, that our government can create an
agreeable and safe investment environment, that Ukrainian entrepreneurs can
be reliable partners, and that Ukrainian officials can make do without
bribes.

This is a fantastic opportunity to have a hand in a large-scale
international business project as a partner of an EU member country. No
lobbying could have helped. Football did. There were many factors behind
Ukraine’s victory in this competition, but one is undeniable: colossal
personal efforts exerted by Football Federation President Grigory Surkis.

It was his zeal and his fanatical desire to make Ukraine the Euro-2012 host
that overcame the skepticism of European football officials.

Probably, he was the only one who believed, and even those who disliked him
before (not without reason) give credit where credit is due. And if
Euro-2012 does become a turning point in Ukraine history, many might temper
justice with mercy and gratitude to him.

There are good reasons to expect improvements in this country. National
Olympic Committee President Sergey Bubka noted justly that the UEFs historic
decision would not only make Ukraine more authoritative in the sports world,
but would also spur its political and economic development. His phrase,in
five years we will achieve what we should have achieved in fifteen years,
was quoted by all leading news agencies.

Yes, Bubka is right: within five years Ukraine has to do what it has hardly
been able to do since independence in 1991. Otherwise, it is sure to lose
the trust of the European community for good.

Ukrainian political leaders and moneybags are now bound to do for their own
international reputation what they have been reluctant to do for their own
people.

So far, Ukraine’s economic development has been like the hurdles. Year after
year, private business has been carving its way through the high walls built
by bureaucrats indolence, obtuseness, and greediness. In sectors where
authorities keep business under total control, Ukraine lags decades behind
free economies.

The simplest and obvious example is transportation problems. Many residents
of Kyiv say,I just can’t believe we’re going to host a European championship
And I can’t believe we’re ever going to have good roads

Even Kyiv roads that leave much to be desired, seem like autobahns for
residents of other Ukrainian cities. There is so much to build: modern
airports, road junctions, tunnels, overpasses and underpasses, and thousands
of parking lots.

Ukrainian authorities must be aware of the transportation problem to which
they have turned a blind eye so far. They do need to look at this country
from the eyes of Europeans. However, they are hardly able to see the real
scope of this problem.

Here is an example. German roads are reputed as the best in the world.
Nevertheless, in preparation for the 2006 World Cup finals, the German
government spent 4.15 billion to improve the transportation system!

There is another incentive money. Soccer championships are like a big
lottery in which the odds of grabbing the jackpot are directly proportional
to the number of tickets bought.

A European championship is the best way to draw investment, a perfect
stimulus for expanding the advertising market, and a strong impetus for
developing various businesses, especially tourism, hotels, and catering
services.

Here are some more figures, reflecting the scale of financial input into the
2006 World Cup finals in Germany. Twelve stadiums were built or
reconstructed. The Munich stadium alone cost as much as 300M. All-in-all,
1.5 billion was spent on building, reconstructing, and renovating sports
facilities.

The sum spent on improving the water supply system amounted to millions of
euros. (Doesn’t this figure send shivers down the spines of Ukrainian city
mayors? Especially the mayor of Lviv where the water supply system is badly
dilapidated. Are they ready to cope with such a tremendous job in five
years?)

Every sixth German company saw a substantial increase in net profit. The
highest profits flowed into the pockets of owners of cafes, restaurants,
bars, hotels, and souvenir shops where tourists left more than 900M.

The World Cup finals gave Germany 40,000 jobs. Six national and fifteen
international sponsors gave the country more than 750M. German companies
paid 13M to pose as exclusive sponsors and foreign companies paid 45M.

Ad placement prices soared: TV companies charged up to 32,000 for a
30-second spot during a live broadcast (whereas the standard price is
between 6,000 and 7,000).

According to expert estimates, total financial input into Germany’s economy
exceeded 10 billion, and it is going to feel the positive effects of the
2006 championship for the next fifteen years.

Of course, Ukraine is not Germany and a European championship is not a world
championship, but the above figures give a clear picture of the input/profit
ratios.

Is Ukraine ready to bear this brunt? There are at least two favorable
circumstances. Firstly, almost all Ukrainian billionaires except Viktor
Pinchuk are presidents of football clubs.

Rinat Akhmetov, Sergey Taruta, Igor Kolomoysky, and Alexander Yaroslavsky
know what has to be done, possess enough financial resources, and are
willing to invest them. Secondly, all the topmost officials are very
enthusiastic about this excellent opportunity, which can encourage them to
act TOGETHER, at least on this job.

The most evident problem stadiums looks quite soluble. The government has
already allocated funds for the reconstruction of the Olympic Stadium in
Kyiv. Akhmetov is building a modern stadium in Donetsk (worth approximately
$250M).

At Kolomoyskys initiative, another modern stadium is under construction in
Dnipropetrovsk. Next year, reconstruction is going to start on the Ukraina
stadium in Lviv.

Yaroslavsky has invested in the reconstruction and re-equipment of the
Metallist stadium in Kharkiv. Funds are being raised for renovating the
football arena in Odesa.

Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky made a surprising statement, promising to
outstrip Akhmetov with a brand new $200M stadium in the capital city and
making experts wonder whether Ukrainian moneybags understand what exactly
they should do and how.

Experts are sure that the costs could be a lot lower. They can build
stadiums with marble walls, but what difference will it make to a
Portuguese, Dutch, or Italian tourist if he has rusty water in his hotel
room or has to roam the city for hours, looking for a place to park his car?

The list of problems Ukraine has to handle would take pages and they demand
quick and cost-effective solutions. Sergey Taruta, the owner of Donetsk
Metallurgy, has a rational suggestion. He proposes to involve experienced
Western companies that would:

– conduct audits;
– help with drawing up tentative budgets and setting quality criteria;
– control the quality of operations;
– pose as credit grantors.

   Such a model would:
– make future tenders transparent;
– ensure proper quality standards;
– minimize interference from authorities, protectionism, and lobbyism;
– practically eliminate embezzlement.

Taruta is convinced that only national companies should act as contractors.
For example, it is possible to create a powerful private company. With the
help of investors, support from the government, and supervision of Western
specialists, it would build quality roads for Euro-2012.

After the championship the company would continue to build quality roads
across Ukraine. One might call this project utopian, but didn’t the idea of
hosting Euro-2012 seem utopian?

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s top leaders are already calculating their future
profits. President Yushchenko expects about $3 billion. The government
specifies $3.2 billion, of which one-fifth will go to the national budget in
VAT deductions.

Net profit is expected to exceed $800M and each of the 400,000 tourists is
expected to spend $400 in three weeks during the championship events.

At the same time, planned expenditures announced by the government look
unsubstantiated. According to a tentative estimate published by the Justice
Ministry, an equivalent of $240M will be provided by the government and
$3,960M will come from extra-budgetary sources.

Some experts say unofficially that these figures are spun out of thin air.
Others say that the estimate was drawn up by old Soviet methods, without
considering the experience of the recent continental and world
championships.

The document leaves too many open questions. How much will be spent on
renovating the transportation and communication infrastructures? How much
will be spent on transitions for travel agencies?

How much will be spent on retraining hotel personnel and teaching police
officers foreign languages? How does the government plan to develop the
hotel business?

Some officials have announced plans to build a dozen five-star hotels, but
where are they going to accommodate hundreds of thousands of other

tourists? In refurbished suburban hostels and sanatoria?

There are serious apprehensions about the disgraceful repetition of
Eurovision 2005 in Kyiv, when guests had to live in tarpaulin tents and use
wooden johns or go in the bushes. With such an approach, Ukraine is in

for a global scandal.

Ukrainian authorities will not only have to change roads and sewers. They
will have to change their way of thinking. They have too little time – just
five years, and they must know that there will never be another chance.
————————————————————————————————

LINK: http://www.mw.ua/1000/1030/56490/
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
9.            THEY’RE ASKING IF WE HAVE CULTURE!

PRESENTATION: By Oksana Zabuzhko (in Ukrainian)
At the Conference “New Ukraine in New Europe”
Translated by Sofiya Skachko, Ukrayins’ka Pravda On-line
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, April 15, 2007

The pain and frustration expressed by the author in this article is very
real.  However, when the day comes that Ukraine has a Holodomor monument
(for its millions who died) anything like the Vimy Ridge monument erected by
Canada (for its 3,598 soldiers who died April 9 – 12, 1917) is when the
world will begin to fully understand why Ukraine does not have the “culture”
which the author seeks.

Ukraine has nothing to be ashamed of.  No country in Europe, if not the
world, has gone through what Ukraine has gone through.  Ukraine is brave
and she is a miracle.

My deepest conviction is that numerous Ukrainian problems, connected with
the indeterminate status we have at the international level, are caused by
one very sad fact: contemporary Ukraine has no culture.

Fifteen years of independence haven’t been enough for the Ukrainian state to
grasp why a state needs a culture, and what sort of whim compels even the
poorer countries to ‘turn out their pockets’ only to invest in cultural
development.  Why on earth would they do it?

However, the answer lies on the surface. The ‘trademark’ of any country is
not its political order, nor the faces of its leaders, nor even, however
paradoxical this may sound, its economic prosperity and well-being.

Bah, I have to say that even its sports achievements ain’t it, even though
they are an excellent tool to win fans’ dedication.

The trademark of any country that has the most direct and intimate influence
on the foreign audience, touching them on the most personal and subconscious
level, is its national culture.

Chopin has always been and still remains the trademark of Poland in the
world, Finland has Sibelius, Sweden has Pippi Longstocking  and Carlson That
Lives on the Roof. These examples are taken at random, since every “mature”
country, no matter how big or small, has its “cultural passports.”

These are the most delicate and subtle  – and oh how powerful! – “first call
signs”, that a country sends out into the world, bringing about sometimes
barely conscious attraction and trust towards itself.  They prepare the
ground in the mind of every and any foreigner for an a priori positive image
of a country.

As long as Ukraine fails to send these cultural call signs, it will always
be a dark horse for the international community, who will remain weary about
what to expect from it.

One can endlessly visit all kinds of summits and symposia, wear Armani and
Brioni, memorize the names of the delegates in order to avoid mispronouncing
them at the negotiation table, and assure everyone that we are nice and
honest, and we should be received everywhere –  however, if we don’t have
these recognizable trademarks as our herald, it’s difficult to be perceived
in a positive light.

Let’s not forget: over a hundred years Tolstoy and Dostoevsky have been
Russia’s trademark, and to a large extent all of the Bolshevik revolution
was mediated in the consciousness of western political and intellectual
elite through Tolstoy and Dostoevsky as the “guides” to the “mysterious
Russian soul”.

Lenin, Bolsheviks, even Chekists headed by Dzerzhinsky were perceived
from behind the iron curtain not as political criminals, who were
liquidating every living soul, including the “Russian” one, but as heroes

from Russian classics, anxious to “save the world” – and this had the most
direct impact on the international success of Stalinist politics.

It’s that level of influence that allowed NKVD to recruit the Cambridge Five
headed by Tim Philby only based on their romantic motivation, rather than
mercenary interest.

I pass in silence over the whole army of duped Frenchmen, including Sartre &
Co. that for decades were providing USSR with a rosy free publicity.

The Dostoevsky-syndrom in the choice of western affiliations towards Soviet
Union was always present.  There is a plethora of literature on the subject,
which is, unfortunately, barely known in Ukraine.

Alas, for lack of knowledge of these things makes it hard to estimate
realistically the meaning of country’s cultural image in the world and how
well it works even in the most pragmatic and cynical contexts.

Those, who in the recent times took a Polish airlines transatlantic flight,
should remember a 10-minute TV presentation of Poland.

Poland begins with Chopin, the sounds of his music accompanies the changing
images on the screen: faces of eminent Poles, Nobel laureates, including
Maria  Sklodowska-Curie, Czeslaw Milosz, Wislawa Szymborska; wonderfully
montaged landscapes, and in between you are unobtrusively told about the
modern achievements in the spheres of education, science, technology and
economics.

Chopin’s music remains the emotional background, playing the role of the
emotional “greeting” the country sends to the world, and owing to which the
world enthusiastically cognizes and recognizes the country.

When in 1991 Ukraine appeared on the world map, it had no recognizable
signposts of the kind, so the reaction of the international community was
legitimate – quoting Mayakovsky: “Where are they from, and what are these
geographical novelties?” [1]

I’ll make a wild guess and say if at the time Lesya Ukrainka and Mykhailo
Kotsiubynskyi had been known in the world to the extent Tolstoy and
Dostoevsky are, our country needn’t have given up its nuclear weapons. And
this is not just a metaphor.

I will never forget one conversation I had with the editor of the Wall
Street Journal Europe. That man had a chance to see the exhibition of works
by the Boichukisty group at the Metropolitan, or rather what’s left of them.

After that for the period of two months his whole family were struck by the
deep sadness, caused by a shocking discovery: that such an astounding
avant-garde school, which in fact was way ahead the work of David Alfaro
Siqueiros, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, all this bunch that would later become
the trademark of Mexico, was completely annihilated – not only were the
artists shot, but their works had been destroyed as well.

This very editor was ready to grant Ukraine forgiveness for all its future
errors in domestic and foreign policy, and offer all Ukrainians his
understanding and sympathy, for their being a strategic victim of the XXth
century totalitarianism.

One single episode from our cultural history was enough for him to see
Ukraine through different eyes. One can cite a large number of such stories.

I have to state the sad fact that the Ukrainian state has not taken
advantage of the opportunities to present its culture in this most effective
way on the institutional level, as its landmark.

And it has had enough of these opportunities, especially following the
events of the Orange revolution, when the whole world took a serious
interest in Ukraine, when it opened all the doors leading to the world
cultural mainstream and shouted “Welcome!”

There was a chance to make Ukraine a guest country at the Frankfurt Book
Fair in 2008, there was a similar invitation from Leipzig Book Fair in 2006,
which our state institutions pooh-poohed in the most careless way, just like
other similar occasions, only because the responsible officials (responsible
to who? what for?) simply did not understand what this “export of culture”
is and what to serve it with.

They failed to understand that it is the clever politics of cultural export
that integrates a country into European information space much faster and
much more efficiently than all the round table talks.

Every breakthrough of the Ukrainian culture into European space has been
carried out by the use of guerrilla tactics – by-passing all the state
authorities.

I myself belong to this guerrilla group of those who have successfully
“integrated into Europe” within the limits of an individual creative
biography, who have made a name for themselves, and personally I ask for
one single thing from the Ukrainian state – to just let me be.  But it
continuously jumps at me from behind like a devil from a box, and each time
it puts me to shame.

They translate, publish and stage your works, they give you awards, you go
to presentations, meet the readers, journalists, give interviews, start
telling about the bulk of culture behind you, what tradition you represent,
who were your literary predecessors and what contribution they made into the
treasury of human creation – and you see how the eyes of your interlocutors
widen and widen.

Finally, I can only quote one Swedish journalist, that told me during one
interview:  “I’m really sorry, but if I’m not mistaken, your country seems
to say very little about itself, it provides little information about what’s
interesting about it.”

And I, humbly lowering my eyes, mumble: you’re right, but you know,
unfortunately, no experience, a young country only starting to learn… How
long does it need to learn, I wonder?

Here is another telling example. My Czech translator, working on the book
“Oh Sister, My Sister,” revealed in the novel “The Alien Woman”  hidden
allusions to Lesya Ukrainka’s drama “Cassandra”. The translator came to
Ukraine on a research trip, went to a book-store and asked for “Cassandra”
by Lesya Ukrainka.

She was told at this point that she must have confused something, for they
have heard in the book-store who Lesya Ukrainka is, but this Kalandra is an
unheard-of person.

It’s hard to imagine the cultural shock of a European person, who comes to
Ukraine, to its capital, which has almost a European look to it, there are
more expensive cars in the streets than in any capital of a European
country, the cafes are crowded, at a first glance everything looks decent,
even quite glamorous – but then you enter a book store and it turns out that
an “almost European” country simply does not have national classics on sale.

The effect is almost the same as if a person opened the front door of
Radisson hotel and slumped down into a cesspit. One big Potemkin village.

I support wholeheartedly the pathos of the statement that Ukraine is part of
Europe. Provided we know our history, our achievements, then no doubt, based
on its origins, its legacy and its psychological matrix our country is a
part of European cultural continent.

However, Ukraine itself does not know about this. An average Ukrainian
citizen, a “layperson”, knows poorly his or her history, and practically
knows nothing about Ukrainian cultural heritage.

It’s very difficult to “integrate” anywhere, if we ourselves are not
culturally “integrated”. The entity that is deprived of historical memory,
lacks self-understanding and has only a vague idea of the point of reference
or criteria for comparison, is difficult to “integrate”.

The incident with my translator concluded with me presenting her with my own
little volume with Lesya Ukrainka’s “Cassandra.” Recently I got a note that
she is finishing the translation of this drama and leading the negotiations
with the Prague theater, which has expressed eagerness to create a stage
production of “Cassandra.”

I really hope that afterwards – at least in the city quarter, where
“Cassandra” is played on stage – the announcements on the doors of some
houses saying something in the vein of “dogs and Ukrainians not wanted” will
disappear.

After all the image of Ukraine in Europe should not be shaped only by
Ostarbeiter and female sex workers, but also by the realization that this
country had high culture  in the past and is capable of exporting it.

Sometimes it seems to me we’re back in 1920s, in the times sarcastically
described by Tychyna: “For God’s sake, pull up your cuffs, tell them
something: they’re asking if we have culture!” [2]

Indeed “they” ask, but it’s “we” who have the task. The completion of this
task depends on how we can answer “them”, and if we can take on this
challenge.

Without exaggeration it’s the question of our country’s survival in the
foreseeable future, – if we really want to integrate into Europe and become
a part of the civilized world.                          -30-
————————————————————————————————-
                                                  FOOTNOTES:
[1] Mayakovsky Vladimir “Soviet Passport,” translated into English by
Herbert Marshall;
http://www.marxists.org/subject/art/literature/mayakovsky/1929/my-soviet-passport.htm
[2] Tychyna Pavlo “A Test”, translated into English by Michael M. Naydan
/The Complete Early Poetry Collections of Pavlo Tychyna, Litopys Publishers,
2000, p.251                                                      -30-
————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
10. CHRONICLE: RECENT DEVELOPMENTS UKRAINIAN LEGISLATION
                                              February-March 2007

Dr. Irina Paliashvili, President, Russian-Ukrainian Legal Group, P.A.
Kiev, Ukraine; Washington, D.C., USA, April 20, 2007

The “Chronicle of Recent Developments in Ukrainian Legislation” is a monthly
summary of the most important legislative developments in Ukraine in the
area of business and corporate law, and is prepared, published and
distributed by the Russian-Ukrainian Legal Group as a free service. .

The Chronicle is distributed only via e-mail, in English and Russian, by the
middle of each month, and will summarize the legislative developments of the
previous month.

The Chronicle is prepared in an effort to capture news of greatest interest
to the widest cross-section of our firm’s clientele, without restating all
legislation published and drowning our readers in too much information.

Due to the winnowing process necessary when preparing the Chronicle, we
cannot and do not guarantee that it contains a comprehensive list of all
Ukrainian legislation relevant to your business.

Finally, please bear in mind that this summary does not constitute legal
advice; it is an informational service only.  Should you wish to receive
further information or actual legal advice, please do not hesitate email us
at chronicle@rulg.com.

CHRONICLE OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN UKRAINIAN LEGISLATION
                                              February-March 2007
                                                    BANKING
1) National Bank of Ukraine Resolution No 31 “On Approving the Procedure for
Building up Reserves for Securities Operations at Ukrainian Banks” dated 2
February 2007. The Procedure gives the terms and conditions for calculating
and building up securities reserves. The Procedure took effect on 16 March
2007.

In addition to the Procedure, the NBU approved amendments to the
“Instruction on the Procedure for Regulating Banking Activities in Ukraine”
pertaining to the size of a bank’s capital required by law. These amendments
shall take effect on 5 May 2007.

2) Decision of the Fund for Guaranteeing the Deposits of Individuals No. 1
“On Increasing the Amount of Compensation for Deposits” dated 14 February
2007.

This Decision increases the amount of individuals’ deposits, including
interests on them, guaranteed by the government against a bank’s default.
Deposits are now guaranteed up to 25,000 UAH in value.

The Decision also covers depositors of JSCB Rostok Bank, JSB Allonzh, JSCB
Premierbank, JSCB Intercontinentbank, OJSC Joint-Stock Commercial Bank
Garant and LLC Kiev Universal Bank, each of which is currently undergoing
liquidation. The Decision took effect on its publication date.
                                               INSURANCE
3) State Commission for Regulation of the Financial Services Markets
Ordinance No. 6817 “On Approving the Procedure for Insurers Publicizing
Information about Insurance Contracts Effected within the System of
Non-governmental Pension Insurance” dated 15 February 2007.

This Ordinance establishes the procedure for insurers to publish information
about life pension insurance contracts, disability, and death benefits
insurance contracts of participants in non-governmental insurance funds
effected within the system of non-governmental pension insurance.

The Procedure also requires that such information be published annually by 1
June of the year following the accounting year, as part of the insurers’
annual financial reporting. This information may be either published in
periodicals, distributed as a separate printed publication, or posted on the
insurer’s website (if available). The Procedure shall take effect on 1
January 2008.
                                              LICENSING
4) Ministry of Finance Order No. 292 “On Adopting the Procedure for Approval
of Issuance of Export Licenses for Goods Specified in Schedule 1 to Cabinet
of Ministers of Ukraine Resolution No. 1852 dated 29 December 2006″ dated 28
February 2007.

The Order establishes the procedure for issuing licenses for the export of
precious metals, waste and scrap, as well as for precious and semiprecious
stones. The Procedure took effect on 27 March 2007.
                   NON-BANKING FINANCIAL SERVICES
5) State Commission for Regulation of the Financial Services Markets
Ordinance No. 6882 “On Approving Amendments to the Regulations on
Financial Rules for the Activities of Credit Unions and Joint Credit Unions”
dated 1 March 2007.

The amendments concern the refunding of fees and dues, paid by credit union
members, upon termination of membership, as well as for the build-up of
credit union capital.

The amendments also require that separate rules for financial activities
shall be established for each management regime group into which credit
unions are divided, depending on the risk inherent in their activities, the
volume and the nature of transactions, and the existence of separate
subdivisions. The Ordinance shall take effect on 1 January 2008.

6) Ministry of Finance of Ukraine Order No. 255 “On Adopting the Forms for
Documents Used to Grant Medium-Term Interest-Free Loans” dated 23
February 2007.

This Order approves a model Medium-Term Interest-Free Loan Contract,
Medium-Term Interest-Free Loan Application Form, Medium-Term Interest-Free
Loan Sum Registration Form, and Medium-Term Interest-Free Loan Order to the
State Treasury of Ukraine. The Order took effect on 3 April 2007.

7) State Commission for Regulation of the Financial Services Markets
Ordinance No. 6793 “On Approving the Procedure for Confirmation by
Reinsurance Brokers of Reinsurance Conducted by a Non-Resident Ceding
Insurer, the Financial Reliability (Stability) Rating of which Meets the
Established Requirements” dated 1 February 2007.

The Ordinance applies to reinsurance brokers, including permanent
representative offices of non-resident brokers, through which or through an
intermediary of which resident insurers enter into agreements with
non-resident reinsurers.

Reinsurance brokers must submit information about reinsurance conducted

by non-resident reinsurers, the financial reliability (stability) of which
meets the Requirements for rating the financial reliability (stability) of
non-resident insurers and reinsurers. The Ordinance took effect on 27
February 2007.

8) State Commission for Regulation of the Financial Services Markets
Ordinance No. 6832 “On Approving the Procedure for Preparing and Submitting
Reports by Credit Institutions to the State Commission for Regulation of the
Financial Services Markets of Ukraine” dated 19 February 2007.

The Ordinance establishes the Procedure for credit institutions, including
state-owned financial institutions[RHS1] , to prepare and submit reports, as
well as the general requirements for filling out accounting data forms and
the terms for their submission. The Procedure took effect on 27 March 2007.
                                                 TAXES
9) Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Resolution No. 454 “On Introducing
Amendments to the List of Products for Medical Purposes, Transactions
Involving the Sale of Which are Exempt from VAT” dated 14 March 2007.
The Resolution’s title is self-explanatory. The amendments took effect on 15
March 2007 [RHS2] .

10) State Tax Administration of Ukraine (“STA”) Letter No. 2131/7/16 – 1417
“On Considering a Letter” dated 5 February 2007. The Letter addresses
certain issues with respect to VAT calculation and payment, in particular,
the origin of the right to a tax credit.

11) STA Letter No. 2230/7/16 – 1517 “On Providing Explanations” dated 6
February 2007. The Letter explains the use of treasury bills by taxpayers
when importing goods into the customs territory of Ukraine.

12) Supreme Rada of Ukraine Committee on Finance and Banking Activities
Letter No. 06-10/10-38 “On Taxation of Individuals’ Income” dated 12
February 2007. The Letter interprets the rights of individual income
taxpayers to tax credits when paying interest on a mortgage.

13) STA Order No. 50 “On Approval of a Tax Clarification Reflecting on the
Application of Provisions of Article 43 of the Law of Ukraine “On the 2007
State Budget of Ukraine” dated 5 February 2007. The Order explains how to
apply Article 43 of the Law of Ukraine “On the 2007 State Budget of Ukraine”.

Ordinarily, when the legal address of a taxpaying business changes, certain
mandatory taxes and levies payable upon registration shall continue to be
paid at the place of previous registration till the end of the then-current
budget period.

The budget period is defined as a calendar year starting on 1 January of
each year and finishing on 31 December of the same year. The clarification
lists certain categories of taxpayers to which Article 43 of the Law does
not apply.                                             -30-
====================================================
The Chronicle of Recent Developments in Ukrainian Legislation, is a
 monthly summary of the most important legislative developments in Ukraine
in the areas of business and corporate law.  We greatly appreciate your
interest in the Chronicle and welcome any comments or suggestions you might

have.All messages should be sent via e-mail to chronicle@rulg.com, Website:
www.rulg.com
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
11.           “IMPROVISATION IS ONLY GOOD IN JAZZ”
               Ukrainian foreign minister made serious blunders in Moscow

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Volodymyr Kravchenko
Zerkalo Nedeli, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 21 Apr 07, p 4
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ukraine’s new and inexperienced foreign minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk
committed a serious error while on an official visit to Moscow, a well-
respected weekly has written.

His proposal to review the “big treaty” on Ukrainian-Russian friendship was
clearly inappropriate and could entail serious problems if not corrected, as
it contains clauses which Russia would probably prefer to omit in a future
“upgrade”, the paper said.

The timing was extremely poor for Ukraine as it is in the midst of political
infighting at home and is weak on the international arena.

The following is the text of a report by Volodymyr Kravchenko, entitled
“Improvisation is only good in jazz”, published in the Ukrainian newspaper
Zerkalo Nedeli on 21 April, subheadings have been inserted editorially:

Leaving for his first working visit to Moscow in the most democratic
manner – economy class on a numbered flight – banker, economist and now
diplomat Arseniy Yatsenyuk opened his Moscow season. Observers in Kiev
note that Yatsenyuk “looked very, very good during his first round”.

In the opinion of our sources, the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry
held negotiations on a decent level with heavyweight Russian diplomats –
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Security Council
Secretary Igor Ivanov.

Yatsenyuk was able to make a good presentation of Kiev’s positions in the
diplomatic sparring on such issues as demarcation of the Ukrainian-Russian
land border, economic cooperation, the Single Economic Space [of Russia,
Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus], NATO, the Dniester region and Kosovo.

Indicative is the fact that the sides practically agreed to begin
demarcation of the land-based border in the first half of this year. But the
main Ukrainian diplomat “was a bit uncertain” on the topic of the Russian
Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol.

Yatsenyuk said in Moscow that the use of Russian state symbols in Sevastopol
“is one of the last links in the chain of issues which need to be resolved
on the Black Sea Fleet”. One could feel that the topic was new for him and
that he was not yet acquainted with all the nuances.
                                       SERIOUS BLUNDER
And that would not really be a big deal, if the foreign minister of Ukraine
had not voiced an unexpected proposal to his Russian counterpart – to renew
the big Ukrainian-Russian treaty.

To put it mildly, this initiative perplexed many of us journalists at
Zerkalo Nedeli, as it did many experts and people within the Ukrainian
diplomatic corps.

Earlier, Zerkalo Nedeli made the decision to not expound on a number of
blunders and diplomatic errors committed by Mr Yatsenyuk during his first
visit to Brussels.

If only because the trip to Brussels took place mere days after he was
appointed head of the Foreign Ministry. And not being a career diplomat, Mr
Yatsenyuk had a very weak understanding of the nuances of the Ukrainian
position on a number of issues.

But his get-acquainted visit to Moscow took place four weeks after being
appointed foreign minister and in this time one could have drawn some
conclusions. In particular, that improvisation is only good in jazz.

In diplomacy it is fraught with serious consequences, since the words of the
foreign minister carry special weight, and reflect the position of the
state.

After all, the president, prime minister and head of the foreign ministry
are those persons who, according to the Venice Convention, represent a
country’s official position. And that means that our partners examine what
is said at negotiations under a microscope and will not fail to take
advantage of mistakes.
                          POOR TIMING, WEAK POSITION
The potential danger for our country that was created by Yatsenyuk’s ill
considered offer to renew the “big treaty” does not lie in the idea itself.
There is no sin in giving the treaty more substance and making it more
modern.

But agreements are meant to be reviewed at the proper time. And not at times
when the position of the state on the international arena is weakened by a
permanent internal political crisis and the minister of foreign affairs is
drowning in the nuances of the issue of Ukrainian-Russian relations.

Otherwise, we will get results which are opposite to what we expect: the
experienced Russian diplomatic corps will make full use of the indeterminate
situation in our country as a lever of influence and taking into
consideration Ukrainians’ interest in making an agreement, will negotiate
concessions advantageous to the Kremlin.

It is possible that Arseniy Yatsenyuk does not know this, but Russian MPs
and politicians have recently tried several times to make the treaty a card
to play in its games with Kiev.

The last time was last summer, when the [Russian] State Duma [parliament]
asked its government for information on steps to return Crimea to Russia,
since in 2007, the 10-year time frame of the treaty comes to an end.

Without doubt, the current big treaty is not perfect. But there are a number
of clauses in it which remain of fundamental importance to our country.

For example, Ukraine and Russia recognizing the territorial integrity of
each other’s states and the inviolability of borders (Articles 2 and 3), as
well as the inadmissibility of using “force or the threat of force,
including economic and other methods of pressure” (Article 3).

These clauses on their own make the document a “holy cow” for Kiev. For
the basis of the political agreement is a framework document in which the
countries fix not simply declarations, but specific obligations.

And some Ukrainian experts suppose that in light of Russia’s current foreign
policy, there are clauses in the treaty to which Russian diplomats would not
likely agree today. Today the Russians would probably try to change the
emphasis in favour of processes of integration.

What we have written means that Kiev does not at all intend to initiate an
“up-date” of the base treaty between Ukraine and Russia. Especially since
the 10-year period of its effect has not ended and it has not been extended.

(Under Article 39, the treaty on friendship, cooperation and partnership
between Ukraine and Russia, signed in May 1997, comes into force the day
ratification papers are exchanged. And the protocol on exchanging these
documents was only signed on 1 April 1999.

Article 40 reads that the agreement is automatically extended if neither of
the sides states at least six months before the end of the treaty in writing
that it desires to end the effect of the document.) And Yatsenyuk’s proposal
is his own impromptu, initiated without consulting with experts.
                                  ERROR MUST BE FIXED
Unfortunately, in Moscow the inexperienced minister’s colleagues did not
point out to him that his idea was inappropriate. And Yatsenyuk managed to
repeat the topic he became enamoured of “on the expediency of updating the
big treaty”: first in negotiations with Lavrov and later at the
news-conference.

There was enough time between these two events for the Ukrainian ambassador
or another high-ranking Ukrainian diplomat to drop his boss a hint that such
an offer was inappropriate.

By the way, the Ukrainian minister’s words provoked unhidden surprise on

the part of the Russians. Some of our sources say – pleasant surprise.

It is easy to understand the Russian diplomats: the Ukrainian foreign
minister presented a gift which they were not expecting at all. It is not
surprising that they agreed to discuss this issue at future negotiations.

And here one recalls one of Oleksiy Ivchenko’s first visits to Moscow as
head of Naftohaz Ukrayiny, when he suggested reviewing the terms of
supplying Russian gas to Ukraine.

At that time, the Russians could hardly believe their luck and called Kiev
for three days trying to figure out what those “cunning Ukies” had dreamed
up. We are all acutely aware of how Mr Ivchenko’s proposal affected our
country in January 2006.

Of course, Mr Yatsenyuk made a serious error, one which as far as we know,
the minister has already become aware of himself and one about which he has
drawn certain conclusions.

Fortunately, this mistake can be corrected. Diplomatic experience shows that
after such sensational statements are made, diplomats’ behind-the-scenes
work begins: the other side tries to find out what exactly this or that
representative of the other state meant when he made the unexpected
statement.

Is it worth taking seriously, or were these words a show of incompetence?
World practice shows that in such situations, the side which initiated the
issue either tries to forget it or puts on the brakes.

For example in our case, offering to prepare an agreement meant to develop
the current treaty on friendship, cooperation and partnership between
Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

Perhaps that exit will satisfy Moscow: difficult and strenuous work on
preparing a new basic agreement would take more than one year. And the
Russians have a presidential election looming.

So why put a mine under a bilateral agreement when there are plenty of other
problems that need to be addressed as soon as possible?          -30-
———————————————————————————————–
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========================================================

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========================================================
12.                       UKRAINE: WORKING WITH RUSSIA


OxfordBusinessGroup, London, UK, Thursday, 19 April 2007

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Arseniy Yetsenyuk proposed renewing the 1997

Big Treaty with Russia, and urged for a plan of action to improve dialogue
between the two countries.

The Big Treaty refers to an agreement on friendship, cooperation and
partnership signed in 1997 for a ten-year period, which came into effect in
1999.

The statement followed a meeting between Yetsenyuk and his Russian
counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, at a time of political uncertainty in Ukraine,
due in part to the question of Ukraine’s relationship with its northern
neighbour.

Kiev is in the middle of a familiar stand-off between President Viktor
Yuschenko, whom many consider ‘pro-Western’, and the parliament under

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who is widely labeled ‘pro-Russian’.

Bilateral relations have often been stormy in the years following the
break-up of the Soviet Union. Certain political factions in Ukraine have
consistently called for a deliberate weakening of ties with Russia, adopting
Western-oriented policies and neo-liberal principles.

For some Ukrainians, integration of their country into Western institutions
such as the EU and the NATO are as important for their symbolic value as
statements of independence as for their actual economic or security
benefits.

Although ‘pro-Russian’ sentiment in Ukraine is difficult to define, ranging
from those seeking a return to rule from Moscow to those who are wary of
perceived Western meddling, there is a widespread resentment in Moscow of
Ukrainian calls for greater independence.

Russia maintains a lingering sentiment that it not only helped foster
Ukraine’s development by providing heavy industrial assets to Ukraine during
Soviet times, but that the country continues to subsidise Ukraine with cheap
energy resources.

Indeed, the question of energy is one of the most politically fraught. The
relationship reached a low-ebb in January 2006, when the two neighbours

were embroiled in a dispute over gas.

Russia accused Ukraine of siphoning off natural gas bound for Europe, in
response to Moscow’s halt of deliveries to Ukraine. The cut-off stemmed

from Ukraine’s unwillingness to pay higher tariffs.

Many, at the time, including Yuschenko, accused Russia of using energy
prices as a political tool to influence parliamentary elections in March of
that year. Though direct Russian influence was not apparent in the 2006
polls, detractors argue that the gas crisis was nonetheless beneficial to
pro-Russian parties from the East of Ukraine.

Another politically charged issue is the continued Russian naval presence in
the port of Sevastopol in Crimea. Under the 1997 agreement, the Russia’s
Black Sea fleet is allowed to remain in the port until 2017.

In the wake of the gas crisis, Ukraine abruptly raised the rent charged to
the Russian government for usage of the port. In response, the Russian
government banned the import of Ukrainian dairy and meat products, claiming
food safety concerns.

Having said that, the relationship between Russia and Ukraine appears to
have evolved significantly since the 2006 dispute, as evidenced by the
decreased Russian ‘presence’ in the current stand-off.

Though some hard-line neo-imperialists in the Russian media and Russia’s
parliament the Duma have been vocal on behalf of the Yanukovych government,
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who was publicly supportive of Yanukovych
during the 2004’s ‘Orange Revolution,’ has maintained a low public profile
this time around.

Meanwhile, Lavrov recently made an appeal for calm in the current stalemate
and indicated that Russia was prepared to intervene in the political crisis
only if requested.

Yanukovych himself seems to have tempered his pro-Russian stance. He has
discussed the possibility of a Western mediation of the crisis, or
potentially an East-West mediation involving countries like Austria, Poland
and Russia to help resolve the crisis.

Political turbulence aside, economic relations continue to look robust.
Yetsenyuk reassured Russian investors that their investments in Ukraine were
not in danger despite the ongoing stand off, and described the current
situation as temporary political turbulence.

“The Ukrainian economy is open to Russian capital in whatever currency, we
offer guarantees,” he said.

Yetsenyuk went on to add that Ukraine was interested in a common economic
space with Russia and called for wider cooperation on energy issues, which
are particularly important given Ukraine’s position as a transit country for
Russian gas.

Russia remains Ukraine’s most important trading partner. In 2005 the country
absorbed 22.1% of Ukrainian exports, and supplied 35.5% of its imports.

According to Ukraine’s State Statistics Committee, 42% of Ukraine’s
investment abroad in 2006 went to the Russian Federation, and the volume of
Russian investment in Ukraine in 2006 was around $980m.

According to the WTO, from 1995-2005, Ukraine was Russia’s third largest
destination for exports, after the EU and China, and the second largest
source of imports.

Former Minister of Economy Volodymyr Makhuka told OBG that over the

last year and a half, improved relations with Russia has been a “major
breakthrough” in spite of confusion and misunderstandings.

We have resumed effective political and economic dialogue, resolved the
issue of energy supply, and are coming to an understanding on several trade
disputes.                                             -30-
———————————————————————————————–
CONTACT US: mail@oxfordbusinessgroup.com;

Editorial Enquiries: cmartin@oxfordbusinessgroup.com
————————————————————————————————-
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========================================================
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========================================================
13. UKRAINE NEEDS MORE LEGISLATION TO JOIN WTO THIS YEAR

Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, April 20, 2007

KIEV – Ukraine must pass nine pieces of legislation within the next month to
keep alive any chance of joining the World Trade Organisation this year, the
country’s finance minister said on Friday.

“Serious matters remain to be completed and they depend on joint action by
the government and parliament,” Anatoly Kinakh told a news conference.

“There are about nine bills to be passed. This is pre-condition for joining
the WTO. We would then still have a chance of joining by the end of the
year.”

The remaining legislation marked the “final stage” before former Soviet
republic could join the WTO after more than 13 years of negotiations, he
said.

Pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko, who was swept to power in 2004 by
“Orange Revolution” mass protests, had hoped to win admission to the WTO in
his first year of office as part of his drive to move Ukraine closer to the
West.

Government ministers at the end of 2006 had said all necessary legislation
had been passed and Ukraine was on course for WTO membership in the first
six months of this year.

Kinakh said the outstanding bills dealt with health guarantees linked to
genetically modified foods as well as farm sector taxation, standardisation
and certification issues.

He said he hoped Ukraine’s political crisis, provoked by a presidential
decree dissolving a hostile parliament and calling a snap election, would
not impede the passage of the bills.

“The bills are not very long and if parliament remains able to work, we
intend to spend no more than a month on examining and passing them,” he
said.

Parliament has continued to hold regular sessions in defiance of the
dissolution order and has challenged the decree in Ukraine’s Constitutional
Court.                                                     -30-

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========================================================
14. UKRAINE’S LEADING LADY ISSUES WARNING TO RUSSIA

By Adrian Blomfield, Telegraph, London, UK, Monday, April 16, 2007

Ukraine’s opposition leader has vowed to end Russia’s influence over her
country once and for all. Yulia Tymoshenko may soon be able to act on her
promise if she becomes prime minister once more after elections scheduled
for next month.

Mrs Tymoshenko, named the world’s third most powerful woman by Forbes
magazine, is perhaps the one politician to have emerged stronger from
Ukraine’s latest political crisis, sparked by a presidential order to
dissolve parliament earlier this month. The Kremlin will be quivering at the
prospect of Mrs Tymoshenko being granted a fresh mandate.

She served as President Viktor Yushchenko’s prime minister in 2005. She
promised to act swiftly to end Russia’s recent attempts to pull Ukraine back
into its sphere of influence.

“Our leaders have been too mentally dependent on Russia,” she said. “We

have behaved like vassals from day one of our independence. I want friendly
relations with Russia but they must be to our mutual benefit.”

Along with the president, Mrs Tymoshenko led the pro-Western Orange
Revolution of 2004 that ended a power grab by Moscow’s favoured candidate,
Viktor Yanukovich.

After 14 years as a Russian quasi-colony, Ukraine suddenly had a new
president expressing a desire for membership of the EU and Nato. But the
Orange coalition rapidly fell apart amid accusations of corruption.

In 2005, the president sacked Mrs Tymoshenko. Russia’s influence began to
grow again when Mr Yanukovich, once discredited as an electoral cheat,
became prime minister last summer.

And so, faced with a collapse of his power, the president is turning once
more to Mrs Tymoshenko.

To take on Russia, she says she must take on Mr Yanukovich’s Party of the
Regions and the oligarchs in the industrial heartlands of eastern Ukraine.

“The Party of the Regions is a vast corporation that runs Ukraine as though
it were a limited company,” she said. “Yanukovich is not an independent
politician. He’s a double marionette of Russian elites and clan managers.”
————————————————————————————————-

LINK: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main
————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
15. THE SHOW MUST GO ON?” NEW DVD RELEASE CAPTURES MAGIC,
        COLOUR & ENERGY OF UKRAINIAN FOLK ENSEMBLE VOLYN

Orest Dorosh, Creative Director, Oxygen Media and Design
Mississauga, Canada, Friday, April 20, 2007

Last summer the Volyn Ukrainian Song & Dance Company disappointed
Ukrainian folklore fans across Canada by limiting its 2006 Canadian tour to
eastern Canada. But they left behind a gift for those who missed seeing them
on stage – and for those who caught the  spectacle and want more.

The Show Must Go On! captures the vivid colour and boundless  energy of the
Volyn Ukrainian Song & Dance Company, filmed live at London Ontario’s
Grand Theatre on June 20, 2006.

Now audiences anywhere can experience the energy and excitement of Volyn –
gravity-defying leaps and frenetic footwork against a backdrop of swirling
colours and harmonious melodies.  And they can enjoy it as often as they
like – on DVD.

Both music and choreography reflect Ukrainian rituals and traditions of the
annual cycle and of family life, as well as representations from Ukrainian
history.

Volyn’s repertoire includes more than 150 songs and dances, including
original contemporary works by renowned composers of Volyn Oblast
(province).

The music ranges from rip-roaring depictions of daredevil Cossacks to
humorous songs, reflective ballads, and tender love songs, as well as works
from world folk classics.

The company’s Artistic Director is Oleksander Stadyk, the recipient of the
National Art Activist Award and the Lutsk Province’s Stravinsky Prize.

Under the genius of Stadnyk’s arrangements, traditional Ukrainian folk music
takes on an element of modernity without losing its essence. Volyn’s music
is so appealing that other performing ensembles across Ukraine, as well as
North America, are using it.

The Volyn Ukrainian Song & Dance Company was founded in 1978 in Lutsk
(Volyn Oblast) as the Volyn State Academic Ukrainian Folk Choir, in
affiliation with the Volyn Provincial Philharmonic.

Of the 80 choir members, most are professionally-trained and include five
recipients of the National Artist of Ukraine Award, and one recipient of the
National Art Activist Award.

The Volyn Ukrainian Song & Dance Company has consistently performed to
critical acclaim around the world and has won numerous national and
international awards.

The ensemble has presented nearly 3200 concerts in Ukraine as well as the
US, Canada, Italy, Holland, Austria, Greece, Poland, Russia, Belarus,
Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

To date, Volyn has released three albums of folk and contemporary songs,
including one of Christmas carols and New Years songs (koliady and
shchedrivky). Volyn is presently preparing a new program to celebrate its
30th anniversary in 2008.

Produced by NorthStreams, The Show Must Go On! is the first ever
Ukrainian High Definition DVD release. It retails for just $35.00USD and is
now available across Canada wherever Ukrainian cultural products are sold.

It can also be purchased direct from www.VolynLive.com. For a limited time
the DVD also contains a BONUS CD of the latest recordings from Volyn.

For more information on the Volyn Ukrainian Song & Dance Company, their
CDs and The Show Must Go On! DVD, contact NorthStreams at 416.620.6933
or email info@volynLive.com. Website: www.volynlive.com

Youtube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=T-8FMmB7mkI
                http://youtube.com/watch?v=_uTPmLNDTcE
—————————————————————————————————-
Orest Dorosh, Creative Director, Oxygen Media and Design
Mississauga, Canada, orest.dorosh@gmail.com
—————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
16. STATUE IN ESTONIA SYMBOLIZES GRUDGES AGAINST RUSSIA
                       Battle of symbols and memories is being waged

By Gary Peach, Associated Press, Tallinn, Estonia, Sun, Apr 22, 2007

TALLINN, Estonia — The life-size statue of a Red Army soldier stands at a
crossroads in this Baltic capital, fist clenched and head bowed, marking the
spot where Soviet war dead are buried.

But the statue is engulfed in bitter debate over the Soviet army’s place in
European history, which could come to a head this week if the Estonian
government goes ahead with plans to dig up the tomb and move the statue

to a park outside Tallinn.

Russians are appalled, and the Kremlin has warned of “irreversible
consequences” for relations with Estonia.

Estonia is not alone. These days, throughout formerly Soviet-controlled
eastern Europe, a battle of symbols and memories is being waged — over
statues, street names, the hammer and sickle, even Auschwitz.

Now firmly entrenched in the West through NATO and European Union
membership, many countries are showing renewed eagerness to erase the more
visible vestiges of communism.

The dispute underscores the opposing views of the Soviet legacy in Russia
and its former satellites. Russia’s resurgent patriotism under President
Vladimir Putin has only widened the gap as countries from the Baltics to the
Balkans seek to shed the last vestiges of communism.

Russia views the Soviet troops as heroes who rescued the three Baltic states
from a racist Nazi regime. Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians say the
Soviet regime that held sway over them for 45 years after World War II was
even more repressive.

“This is not a monument to the victors of the war but a monument to the
destruction of the Estonian Republic,” said lawmaker Mart Laar.

The problem, says Eugeniusz Smolar, head of the Center for International
Relations, a Polish think tank, is that “Russia has never come to terms with
its history.”

Russians continue to see themselves only as victims of World War II, he
said, and ignore the dictatorial systems they imposed on the countries they
liberated from the Germans.

Opposing interpretations of history clashed earlier this month in Auschwitz,
where Polish curators of a museum at the former death camp refused to let
Russia to open its exhibit.

Russia claimed that hundreds of thousands of “Soviet citizens” died in the
Holocaust. The Poles vehemently rejected this, saying those victims, mostly
Jews, were from territories occupied by the Soviet Union in league with the
Nazis between 1939 and 1941.

Sergei Mironov, a senior Russian lawmaker, called the Polish decision
“sacrilegious,” and its reasoning “stupid.”

After regaining independence, the communist bloc nations tore down statues
of Lenin, Stalin and the idealized socialist laborer. But respect for the
Soviet role in defeating Hitler was not entirely erased. In Hungary and
Lithuania, many of those statues now stand in parks and are major tourist
draws.

In Estonia, there are scores of Soviet monuments that stir no anger — 
one-third of the population is ethnic Russian — but the Bronze Soldier
stands out because it has become a popular staging point for pro-Russian
rallies.

Poland’s governing Law and Justice party has called for changing street
names that have a communist taint. Romania has issued a 650-page report
detailing and condemning communist atrocities.

In 2005 members of the European Parliament from former communist countries
demanded that communist symbols be banned along with the swastika, citing
the death toll inflicted by communist dictatorships. The initiative was
rejected.

Estonian lawmakers are pushing for a ban on the hammer and sickle, while
Latvian lawmakers have drafted legislation making it a crime to deny the
Soviet occupation.

In Hungary, a right-wing fringe group has gathered 200,000 signatures
calling for a referendum on removing a prominent Soviet war memorial in
Budapest.

However, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany is opposed. “We are not the only
ones who have national feelings,” he told parliament. “Stirring up this
issue would bring Hungary more harm than good.”

But in Tallinn, the atmosphere is heating up. The government is determined
to remove the Bronze Soldier, while Estonia’s Russians, who make up
approximately one-third the country’s population, will try to prevent it.

A large pro-Kremlin youth group in Russia, Nashi, has promised to send

young people to stand guard over the monument.

Sergei Ivanov, Russia’s first deputy prime minister and possible successor
to President Vladimir Putin, called on Russians to stop buying Estonian
products and vacationing in the Baltic country.

Vladimir Velman, a member of Estonia’s parliament and a native Russian,
warns: “There’s going to be trouble as soon as the shovel touches the
ground.”                                         -30-
———————————————————————————————–
Associated Press correspondents Pablo Gorondi in Budapest, Vanessa

Gera in Warsaw, Jari Tanner in Tallinn and Alexandru Alexe in Bucharest
contributed to this report.
———————————————————————————————–
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AUR#833 Apr 24 Plans For The Future By Viktor Yanukovych, I Support A Pro-Western Course; U.S. Spin-Doctors On Yanukovych’s Service, Parts 1, 2 & 3

========================================================
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 833
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 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.       UKRAINIAN PREMIER OUTLINES PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
           The Washington Times’ exclusive interview with Viktor Yanukovich
TODAY’S COLUMNIST: By Rachel Ehrenfeld
The Washington Times, Washington, D.C., April 23, 2007

2.           YANUKOVICH: I SUPPORT A PRO-WESTERN COURSE
By Simon Bell in Kiev, Sunday Telegraph, London, UK, Sun, Apr 22, 2007

3.                            UKRAINE: YANUKOVYCH PRO EU?
LETTER-TO-THE EDITOR: By Stephen Velychenko
Sent to the London TELEGRAPH in response to

Mr. Yanukovych’s article, “I Support a Pro-Western Course”
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 3
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 24, 2007

4.                           PRE-TERM ELECTIONS IN UKRAINE
LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By William Zuzak

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 4
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 24, 2007

5.        AMERICAN SPIN-DOCTORS ON YANUKOVYCH’S SERVICE
PART I By Mustafa Nayem for Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian)

Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 19, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 5, (in English)
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 23, 2007

6.                HOW REGIONS LAWMAKERS WERE SCHOOLED

                                       BY US SPIN-DOCTORS
PART II By Mustafa Nayem for Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian)
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 22, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 6, (in English)
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 23, 2007

7.     WHO ARE TRUE BOSSES OF US SPIN-DOCTORS IN UKRAINE
PART III By Mustafa Nayem for Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian)

Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 7, (in English)
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 23, 2007

8.              UKRAINE HAS BEEN GIVEN ANOTHER FIVE YEARS
                  Ukraine & Poland granted the right to host the Euro-2012

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Serhii RAKHMANIN
Mirror-Weekly, #15 (644) Kyiv, Ukraine, 21-27 April 2007
9                      THEY’RE ASKING IF WE HAVE CULTURE!
PRESENTATION: By Oksana Zabuzhko (in Ukrainian)
At the Conference “New Ukraine in New Europe”
Translated by Sofiya Skachko, Ukrayins’ka Pravda On-line
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, April 15, 2007

10. CHRONICLE: RECENT DEVELOPMENTS UKRAINIAN LEGISLATION
                                              February-March 2007
Dr. Irina Paliashvili, President, Russian-Ukrainian Legal Group, P.A.
Kiev, Ukraine; Washington, D.C., USA, April 20, 2007

11.                  “IMPROVISATION IS ONLY GOOD IN JAZZ”
               Ukrainian foreign minister made serious blunders in Moscow
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Volodymyr Kravchenko
Zerkalo Nedeli, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 21 Apr 07, p 4
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Saturday, April 21, 2007

12.                          UKRAINE: WORKING WITH RUSSIA

OxfordBusinessGroup, London, UK, Thursday, 19 April 2007
 
13UKRAINE NEEDS MORE LEGISLATION TO JOIN WTO THIS YEAR
Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, April 20, 2007

14.       UKRAINE’S LEADING LADY ISSUES WARNING TO RUSSIA
By Adrian Blomfield, Telegraph, London, UK, Monday, April 16, 2007

15.THE SHOW MUST GO ON?” NEW DVD RELEASE CAPTURES MAGIC,
        COLOUR & ENERGY OF UKRAINIAN FOLK ENSEMBLE VOLYN
Orest Dorosh, Creative Director, Oxygen Media and Design
Mississauga, Canada, Friday, April 20, 2007

16STATUE IN ESTONIA SYMBOLIZES GRUDGES AGAINST RUSSIA
                          Battle of symbols and memories is being waged
By Gary Peach, Associated Press, Tallinn, Estonia, Sun, Apr 22, 2007
========================================================
1
 UKRAINIAN PREMIER OUTLINES PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
        The Washington Times’ exclusive interview with Viktor Yanukovich

TODAY’S COLUMNIST: By Rachel Ehrenfeld
The Washington Times, Washington, D.C., April 23, 2007

The April 2 decree of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to dissolve
the parliament and hold new legislative elections generated a political
crisis that is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. Reminiscent of the social
unrest during the 2004 Orange Revolution, demonstrators are again filling
Kiev’s main squares.

This crisis originated with the constitutional reforms adopted by the
Ukrainian parliament in December 2004, which led to the election of Victor
Yushchenko as president in January 2005.

The new constitution after January 2006 introduced a parliamentary-

presidential system. The failure of Mr. Yushchenko to hold his government
together led to the March 2006 dissolution of parliament and new elections.

In January 2007 a new government headed by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich
adopted further constitutional reforms, limiting the president’s power,
allowing the parliament to appoint new ministers and the prime minister to
veto presidential decrees.

So many members of parliament began defecting that Mr. Yushchenko faced
the possibility of 300 or more of them overriding his veto. Thus he issued
the controversial April 2 decree.

In Kiev, the prime minister, in an exclusive April 18 interview, argued that
the political crisis can be resolved by a Constitutional Court ruling “on
the legality of President Yushchenko’s decree to dissolve the Ukrainian
Parliament. Whatever the decision is, it must be accepted by all parties
without exception.

The Constitution should be the law for everybody if we want to create a
law-based country.” Meanwhile, the president stands accused of pressuring
the judges.

The premier does not oppose new elections: “There is no hidden danger in
holding an election in and of itself, but there is danger in establishing a
precedent of violating the constitution.”

Implementing Mr. Yushchenko’s decree, he says, “could establish a
precedent of allowing illegal early dissolution of [a] legitimately elected
parliament.

 
First and foremost this would be an assault on the inviolability of
democratic procedures and a threat to the authority of the ‘rule of law’
in Ukraine. Who can say what violation of the constitution would come next
if we accept an unconstitutional dissolution of the [parliament] today?”

Mr. Yanukovich warns that allowing the president to unconstitutionally call
for early elections, until satisfied with the results, would throw Ukraine
into permanent political crisis.

Moreover, “Article 90 of the Principal Law establishes the provisions
governing legal elections,” says the premier. But the president’s call for
new elections does not comply with the constitution, and a parliamentary
majority objects to his action. “So, let the Constitutional Court…
established to deal with such of cases, deliver its ruling.”

The premier is willing to negotiate a compromise. “It’s not too late,” he
says. But holding early elections would be possible only if the
Constitutional Court ruled the presidential decree constitutional, and the
parliament introduced new legislation concerning early elections, which
current Ukrainian law does not adequately address.

Otherwise, early elections would be possible if the Constitutional Court
decided the presidential decree was unconstitutional, and all political
parties and the president agreed on new elections anyway.

Given Ukraine’s recent economic growth and development, Mr. Yanukovich
believes he would receive an even larger voter mandate if the elections were
held soon.

The premier raises serious concerns about attempts to influence and
interfere with the independence of the Constitutional Court. Attempts to
exert undue influence can damage the court and delay its deliberations. He
explains that such attempts to discredit the judges are “old-school politics
and should be emphatically discouraged.”

Mr. Yanukovich concludes: “This is a very dangerous game.” He believes
that discrediting both the judiciary and legislative branch will undermine
confidence in law and justice. Such activities are intended to destroy
Ukraine’s young democracy.

“Our Government, the Parliamentary Coalition and I, personally, will accept
any decision by the Constitutional Court. We expect the same from all
participants in the political process,” he emphasized.

The prime minister points out that the presidential decree ignored Article
90 of Ukraine’s Constitution. His call for the dissolution of the parliament
met none of the specific conditions under which it may be dismissed.

 
The premier outlined the provision’s three requirements for the president
to legally dissolve the parliament:

     [1] First, it may be dissolved within a month of an election if the
          premier is unable to form a majority coalition;
     [2] Second, if the prime minister cannot form a new cabinet within
          60 days after the cabinet resigns;
     [3] Third, if a full new parliamentary session cannot convene within
          30 days of adjournment of the previous regular assembly of
          parliament.

As for the parliamentary request for international mediation, the premier
believes it may be necessary if the neither the Constitutional Court nor
political negotiations resolve the crisis. In that case, international
intervention would help prevent violent civil confrontation.

To prevent the worst-case scenario, he said, “we have submitted a request
for mediation to Austria — a neutral European Union member country…
[and] would be happy with other international participation.”

On April 10, President Bush signed into law the expansion of NATO, to
include Ukraine along with four other countries. Mr. Yanukovich notes:
“Ukraine has proven its efficiency and reliability in participating in
peacekeeping operations and remains an active participant in joint world
efforts in this sphere.”

Nevertheless, the he recognizes that only 20 per cent of population supports
joining NATO, adding that “this issue must be resolved by national
referendum.” He notes that Sweden, similarly, did not join the alliance
because only 55 percent of public supports it.

Besides, to carry its weight in the alliance, Ukraine must first complete
election-law reforms as well as changes in judicial, civil and
administrative procedures.

U.S. plans to deploy an anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic
concern Mr. Yanukovich only insofar as they sow discord between “our two
strategic partners and security guarantors.” To succeed, they must minimize
the risk of nuclear confrontation.

The premier remarks: “We are aware of Russia’s negative reaction, which
currently perceives it as a potential threat… [and] that there is no
common opinion in this regard among European countries… [even] President
Yushchenko has said that he is concerned about this issue.”

Mr. Yanukovich adds that Ukraine has “something to offer,” including “space
observation systems and experts who could significantly help in establishing
such a global system.”

Mr. Yanukovich considers Ukraine’s potential membership in the World Trade
Organization as “one of the top priorities of foreign economic policy of
Ukraine.” Indeed, under his government, the parliamentary coalition has
passed all the necessary legislation.

However, the current domestic political turmoil threatens Ukraine’s efforts
to join the WTO.

Ultimately, the prime minister hopes that WTO membership “will foster deeper
integration of Ukraine into the European space, promote cooperation in the
energy sphere, and international transportation, trade and industrial
cooperation.” He added that Ukraine would like it if Russia could join at
the same time.                                    -30-
————————————————————————————————–
Rachel Ehrenfeld is the director of American Center for Democracy and
a member of the Committee on the Present Danger.
—————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20070422-110533-1436r.htm
—————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
2.   YANUKOVICH: I SUPPORT A PRO-WESTERN COURSE

By Simon Bell in Kiev, Sunday Telegraph, London, UK, Sun, Apr 22, 2007

The pro-Moscow leader who was prevented from becoming president
of Ukraine by the “Orange Revolution” is attempting to reinvent himself
as a Western-leaning conciliator who defends democracy.

Viktor Yanukovich, who has been the country’s prime minister since last
August, has declared that he supports “gradual integration” with the West.

“Ukraine is not Russia,” he said last week, in what many will see as a
U-turn from his position three years ago when Viktor Yushchenko leapfrogged
over him to become president after his supporters forced a rerun of the
disputed vote.

Talking exclusively to The Sunday Telegraph as Ukrainians faced political
chaos over President Yushchenko’s attempt to dissolve parliament and force
new elections, Mr Yanukovich seemed keen to show that his strength now goes
hand in hand with a spirit of conciliation.

In 2004, when Ukraine’s future seemed to hang in the balance between Western
democracy and Russian vassal state, he twice received President Vladimir
Putin in Kiev to show that he believed Ukraine’s interests lay with Russia,
across its eastern border.

His tactic failed, as Ukrainians demonstrated their wish to lessen Russia’s
influence and elected Mr Yushchenko president instead. Now Mr Yanukovich –
who is of Russian stock, from the industrialised east of Ukraine – seems to
have learned from this mistake.

“I support a pro-Western course, which means building a democratic, wealthy
and socially healthy society,” he said. “The difference between my position
and that of my opponents is that they are trying to go Western as soon as
possible.

“Their leaders even talk about turning Ukraine into the key element of a
cordon sanitaire against Russia. Is Europe interested in such a
confrontation? I’m sure it isn’t. I support gradual integration into the
West.”

In the aftermath of the Orange Revolution, many of Mr Yushchenko’s
supporters have become disillusioned with the factional in-fighting between
him and Yulia Timoshenko, his ambitious erstwhile ally who became his first
prime minister.

In parliamentary elections last year, Mr Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions
topped the poll and, after the previously pro-Yushchenko Socialists switched
sides, he assembled a big enough coalition of MPs to take over as prime
minister, a powerful move that prompted Mr Yushchenko to call for fresh
elections on May 27.

Mr Yanukovich, a former weightlifter and one-time racing driver, is
challenging the attempt to dissolve parliament once more as
“unconstitutional”, and believes he can rally Ukrainians behind him.

Speaking in the soft baritone that accompanies his deceptively mild manner,
he said: “The Ukrainian people have an old democratic tradition. They have
repeatedly proved that they can realise their civic potential.”

He has appealed to the country’s supreme court to strike down Mr
Yushchenko’s order, and MPs have refused to leave the country’s
parliamentary buildings or begin election campaigning until the court has
ruled. The white and blue flags of his supporters have taken over
Independence Square, which was filled with Mr Yushchenko’s orange
during the 2004 revolution.

Mr Yanukovich speaks with a permanent frown, as if choosing his words
carefully. He was talking in the cabinet ministers’ residence in Kiev’s
Grushevsky Street, a stark building from the Stalin era, which made his
conciliatory words about the West – and Ukraine’s heated national debate
over whether it should join Nato, which Moscow vehemently opposes –
seem all the more surprising.

“Under my prime ministerial tenure, Ukraine-Nato relations have been based
on a deepening cooperation with the alliance,” he said.

“Our North Atlantic partners constantly point to the significant
contributions our state makes to world security, in peacekeeping operations
and so on. Nevertheless, it is too early to talk about joining the alliance.
Only 20 per cent of the population supports this idea.”

Extraordinarily, Mr Yanukovich even had praise for the Orange Revolution.
“I would call 2004 the year our society became purified,” he says.

“We laid the foundation of a new political model, a
parliamentary-presidential one. But the old system is putting up a fight, it
doesn’t want to give up, and it looks for ways to stay in power.”

He described as “unacceptable” President Yushchenko’s order to dissolve
parliament, adding: “I think that international mediators would prevent the
political conflict from escalating to where violent methods might be sought
to resolve it.”                                        -30-
——————————————————————————————————-
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/04/22/wyanu22.xml
——————————————————————————————————-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
3.                     UKRAINE: YANUKOVYCH PRO EU?

LETTER-TO-THE EDITOR: By Stephen Velychenko
Sent to the London TELEGRAPH in response to
Mr. Yanukovych’s article, “I Support a pro-Western Course”
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 3
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 24, 2007

SIR.

Yanukovych’s opinions about the country he rules should not be viewed in
isolation by anyone interested in Ukraine or the EU. First and foremost it
must be stressed that his  neo-soviet Party of Regions is not a “normal”
political party in a “normal” state.

It is a restorationist party that seeks to prevent the democratization of a
de facto “post-colonial” state, and to keep it subordinated to its former
ruler. Should it succeed the EU would have to face the prospect of an
unstable eastern border.

While the party formally supports “eurointegration” – just like Putin
supports the eurointegration of Russia – it has not explicitly stated that
it is for  “EU membership for Ukraine.” Mr. Ianukovych’s public statements
to the contrary in various EU countries, therefore, cannot be taken
seriously until this commitment is clearly stated in his party’s program.

Given this omission there is every reason to believe that as soon as they
manage to get a majority by dubious methods in the Rada, they will first
incorporate Ukraine into Russia’s  Single Economic Space and only then, via
Russia, “integrate into Europe”  — presumably just like Belorus.

Ukrainians reemerged on Europe’s political map in 1991 after more than 200
years of direct foreign political rule imposed by military might.  Between
1709 and 1711, then between 1918 and 1921, and again between 1944 and 1950
Russian armies  invaded Ukraine three times in a series of bloody wars that
tied Ukraine to the tsarist and then Soviet empires.

Under Russian rule Ukrainians got Russian-style serfdom,  Siberian exile,
governmental prohibition of publishing and teaching in the native language,
terror, and famine-genocide. When in 1991 Ukraine emerged as an independent
state there was no “liberation war.” Consequently the  imperial or “old
regime” elites were not exiled or executed.

They remained in power until 2004 and since then have retained positions
influence to such a degree that they can keep their own out of jail.  Their
constituency, meanwhile, is the product of Soviet migration policies that
directed Russians into and Ukrainians out of Ukraine.

This immigration and “ethnic dilution”, combined with deportations and
millions of unnatural Ukrainian deaths between 1917 and 1947, created large
Russian-speaking urban enclaves in the country’s four easternmost provinces.

In addition, educational and media policies, channeled upwardly mobile
non-Russian rural migrants into Russian-speaking culture and allowed urban
Russians to live work and satisfy their cultural/spiritual needs without
having to use or learn Ukrainian.

Second and third generation urban Russian immigrants and assimilated
migrants spoke in Russian, lived in a Russian public-sphere  and were
Moscow- oriented culturally and intellectually.  After 1991 most of the
urban population accepted  Ukrainian independence, but few changed their
Russian language-use or intellectual/cultural orientation.

Since 1991 an increasing percentage of Russians and Russian-speakers see
Ukraine as their native country. However, in 2005, whereas only 6% of
Ukrainians still saw themselves as “soviet citizens,” the percentage for
Russians was 18%,  and  while 2% of Ukrainians still did not regard Ukraine
as their native country, 9% of Russians in Ukraine  did not.

This means that  a percentage of  the population in Ukraine today, of whom
most are Russian, support foreign rule over the territory in which they
live – much as did once  the French in Algeria, the Germans in Bohemia and
Poland, the Portuguese in Angola, and  the English in Ireland.

This anomie and nostalgia for empire of some Russian speakers would be
harmless if not for  Ukraine’s entrenched neo- soviet political leaders who
exploit it to maintain their by-gone imperial -era power.

Both would be manageable if leaders in Russia, the former imperial power,
were able to resign themselves to the loss of their empire, and like the
British, help the new national democratic Orange coalition rather than its

imperial era collaborators.

Putin is no DeGaulle –who realized in the end that French settlers had to
leave Algeria.

Ukraine’s neo-soviet leaders are organized in four major  groups with
varying degrees of support covert and overt from Russia and its government –
whose ambassador in Kyiv is not know ever to have made a speech in
Ukrainian. Ukraine’s communists and  Natalia Vitrenko’s “Bloc” openly
advocate the abrogation of Ukraine’s independence and its reincorporation
into a revamped imperial Russian dominated USSR.

The Russian Orthodox church, which claims an estimated 50% of Ukraine’s
Orthodox,  is not only led by a  Patriarch  in Moscow, a foreign country,
that sits in Putin’s government, but is dominated by its chauvinist,
anti-Semitic fringe. This church does not recognize Ukrainians as a distinct
nationality, it publicly supports Ukraine’s communists, and fielded priests
to run in elections.

In  June 2003 the Russian Patriarch gave the leader of Ukraine’s Communist
Party its “Order of Prince Vladimir.” No more than  8% of Ukraine’s voters
back these old communist party leaders.

The more serious threat to Ukrainian independence is posed by its fourth
major neo-soviet group; the Party of Regions. Although 2004 and 2006

election results suggest approximately one-third of all voters in 2006
supported the Party of Regions, these returns are dubious.

[1] First they are a product of documented coercion, intimidation and covert
operations-albeit smaller in scope and scale than was the case in 2004.

[2] Second, they are based on ‘machine politics’ in Ukraine’s eastern

provinces where, in control of the local administration and manufacturing,
the party can offer people fearing poverty and insecurity short-term material
incentives in return for votes.

[3] Third they are based on a lingering soviet-style cradle to grave
enterprise-paternalism, still stronger in eastern than western Ukraine, that
allows managers and owners to politically blackmail  their  employees– much
as “company-town” owners did in  nineteenth- century western Europe and
America.

How strong the party  would be in Ukraine’s east,  without the dirty-tricks,
machine-politics and neo-feudal enterprise-paternalist based intimidation
is difficult to determine.  But it would  have less than one-third of the
seats in the country’s parliament.

The party ostensibly supports Ukrainian independence in as much as its
leaders regard Ukraine as a territory that they should control as  a
“black-mail state” — just as they controlled it up to 2004. 

 
Yet, its anti-constitutional advocacy of Russian as a “second language” for
example, shows it wants to keep Ukraine within the Russian-language
communications sphere and out of the English-language communications
sphere – which includes now the EU.

While the Canadian and Polish ambassadors  can learn Ukrainian before their
appointments  well enough to use it publicly, some Party of Region leaders
have the unmitigated gall to speak in Russian in parliament. A number of
their leaders, like ex deputy-prime minister Azarov, have not managed to

learn Ukrainian after fifteen years of independence.

But then how many French in Algeria learned Arab? How many English in
Ireland learned Gaelic? How many whites in Africa  knew Swahili or Bantu?

How many Japanese learned Chinese or Korean? How  many Germans in
Breslau learned Polish? Its leaders, additionally, engage in symbolic
colonial-homage type acts that pander to imperial  Russian nostalgia and
compromise Ukraine’s status as independent country.

In November 2005 in  Krasnoiarsk, for example, Ianukovych  publicly  gave
the speaker of the Russian Duma  a bulava – the symbol of Ukrainian
statehood.

Party of Region   leaders learned their politics under the soviet regime

and since then failed to learn any other kind. They  ran  Kuchma’s
“black-mail state,” and employ criminal Bolshevik-style electioneering
practices.

Not the least of which is advertising in the press for “supporters”
to their current demonstrations – whom they pay at a set rate at the end of
the day. They publicly belittle Ukrainian independence, are in constant
contact with Russian extremists like Zhirinovsky, Zatulin, and Luchkov.

Foreign observers must ask themselves how a  Party of Regions led
Kuchma-like “black-mail state” is supposed to fit into the EU?

How can such a Ukraine be “stable” if it is dependent on Russia, a
resource-based autocracy, at a time when resource-based autocracy’s

everywhere else in the world are notoriously unstable?           -30-
————————————————————————————————-
NOTE: Stephen Velychenko is a Resident Fellow, CERES Research
Fellow, Chair of Ukrainian Studies Munk Center at the University of
Toronto, Toronto, Canada. E-mail: velychen@chass.utoronto.ca
————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
4.                       PRE-TERM ELECTIONS IN UKRAINE

LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By William Zuzak
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 4
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dear Morgan Williams:

Since President Viktor Yushchenko issued his decree on 02Apr2007
dismissing the Verkhovna Rada and setting pre-term elections for
27May2007, a myriad of strange and contradictory articles have
appeared in the Ukrainian and world press. Some of these have been
reproduced in the Action Ukraine Report. It is not clear if these are
creations of serious scholars, paid shills, provocateurs or
disinformation artists.

A prime example is the 16Apr2007 interview of Oleksandr Volkov
(AUR#830, 19Apr2007), who claims to have supported the Orange
Revolution, but has since switched his allegiance to the Party of
Regions. Name-dropping that he and his buddies are good friends with
Boris Berezovsky (the Jewish Russian billionaire in English exile), he
then goes on to smear both Mr. Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko

with gossipy tidbits impossible to verify. Whatever the veracity of his
rantings, Mr Volkov does illustrate the illegitimacy of the political
order in Ukraine.

In a Letter to Yulia Tymoshenko, 25Jul2006 [1], I wrote that the
so-called constitutional “reform” concocted during the Orange crisis
of the Nov-Dec 2004 Presidential elections is illegitimate, because
(a) it was negotiated by politicians under duress, (b) it is
inoperable and (c) it was drafted by politicians without consulting
the people of Ukraine and without their ratification via a referendum.

The Constitutional Court has been inoperable since the Presidential
elections in 2004. It is certainly not an independent body and,
judging by the number of individual meetings with various politicians,
the necessity of police protection and the mass demonstrations in
front of its doors, it is certainly deliberating under severe duress.
On what basis can it possibly make a rational decision on the
constitutionality of the President’s decree?

My advice to the learned judges would be to avoid making a direct
ruling, but instead to “recommend” that pre-term elections be held at
a given date subject to specific stipulations. This recommendation
would be based upon the provisions that the judges expect to be
incorporated in the new constitution that the Ukrainian people must
formulate and adopt over the next several years. That constitution
would presumably enshrine the principle that, indeed, the Office of
the President has the right and duty (under certain conditions) to
dismiss the government and call for pre-term elections.

Pre-term elections are utilized by many countries around the world as
a safety valve to solve intractable conflicts and avoid violence and
social upheaval. It is a perfectly legitimate and useful exercise —
especially for Ukraine at this moment.

I find the political mentality within Ukraine particularly worrisome.
The politicians simply do not accept the concept that they are
servants of the Ukrainian people and not its masters. I am convinced
that the illegitimate constitutional changes in 2004 and the January
2007 law on “Cabinet of Ministers” were imposed in bad faith by the
Party of Regions. These changes remove all checks and balances upon
the puppeteers controlling the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada.

The parallel of these mechanations with the rise to power of the
Bolshevik Party following the 1917 Revolution is frightening. At that
time, the modus operandi was “kto, kovo?” — who [will destroy]

whom?
And this was not just political destruction, but physical
destruction — leading to the death of millions. Once again, this is
the nightmare scenario facing the Ukrainian people. Instead of
“dictatorship of the proletariat”, they will now be subjected to the
“dictatorship of the Oligarchs”.

There must be checks and balances on politicians — and not just
during election time. Appropriate checks and balances on governments,
politicians and bureaucrats is lacking in many countries around the
world. There is virtually nothing an ordinary citizen can do to
reverse unreasonable decisions. For example, the governments of the
United States, Britian and Canada are involved in the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan despite the opposition of the majority of the populace.
Ukraine is no exception.

In my report on the 26Mar2006 parliamentary elections [2], I stated
that “although the election procedures were fair and legitimate, the
legitimacy of the politicians ranked in the “party lists” of the
various Parties is questionable.” I also stated that I was not
impressed with the proportional representation system and even
speculated on how the electorate could have an influence on the
rankings in the various party lists.

These concerns are even more urgent today. It is crucial that the
future constitution define appropriate election mechanisms and
appropriate checks and balances on the composition of the Verkhovna
Rada.

I expect that pre-term elections will, indeed, take place within the
next several months. Hopefully, the constitutional question will be
the main focus of the electoral discussions. In my opinion, it would
not be appropriate for the President of Ukraine to participate
directly in the electioneering, except as to express his views on the
constitutional question. The two divisory issues of NATO and
Ukrainian-Russian language must not be used to further fragment
Ukrainian society. I expect to expound on these issues in later
articles.

Respectfully yours
William Zuzak, Ph.D., P. Eng. (retired); 2007.04.23
Edmonton, Canada (mozuz@telusplanet.net)

————————————————————————————————
The two references above are archived at
http://www.telusplanet.net/public/mozuz/
in the centre column under Will Zuzak Letters:
[1] Letter to Yulia Tymoshenko, e-POSHTA, Jul. 25, 2006
[2] Zuzak Ukraine Political Report; Part II, Jun. 02, 2006
————————————————————————————————
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========================================================
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========================================================
5. AMERICAN SPIN-DOCTORS ON YANUKOVYCH’S SERVICE

By Mustafa Nayem for Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian) PART I
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 19, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 5, (in English)
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 23, 2007

American spin-doctors hired by Viktor Yanukovych have long become

part of the Party of Regions’ and its leader’s profile.

The Regions are typically associated by Ukrainian voters with Russia as any
cooperation with Americans has been kept out of the public eye. In
off-the-record comments, however, both supporters and opponents of the
Regions willingly demonize the spin-doctors and their techniques.

Meanwhile, it is not difficult to find the Kyiv office of the American PR
companies that counseled the Regions in the run-up to the parliamentary
elections. The office is located in 4, Sofiyivska square  – across the
street from trolley-bus routes #16 and 18 stops and the Golden Telecom
office.

The shutters on the windows of the secretive office are drawn all day. Where
one could expect to see a massive signboard, only a small blue notice titled
PAM Ukraine shows. There is no reaction to our repeated ringing the
doorbell.

To enter the office, you have to wait for someone leaving it. Near the
entrance, we are met by a plain-looking office employee. To get past him,
you only need to declare solemnly that Mr Philip Griffin is waiting for you.

However, you’ll never go farther than a smallish room where they will ask
you to introduce yourself and tell the purpose of your visit.  On hearing
that you are a journalist, they will politely tell you to leave the office
and never come back again. Asking for Paul Manafort’s whereabouts will

cause much the same reaction.

After lengthy negotiations, the office manager agreed to go and fetch
someone authorized to deal with the media. When he was gone, we had a

good chance to look around the office.

We saw an empty bookcase in the corridor, a chair near a table on which we
saw scattered sheets and files. We also saw a mini automatic telephone
switchboard. Next to one of its buttons there was a sticker with red
hand-written letters on it reading Davis-Manafort.

After some time, the office manager returned, followed by a young man
wearing a well-tailored suit and tie. He told us that Mr Griffin was away
for a vacation in the United States.

To get some detailed information, we had to engage in lengthy persuasions
again. Finally, we learned that the office was staffed by 6 to 8 persons,
all of them Ukrainian residents. “We are presently working with Manafort,
but formally our boss is Griffin,” the young man said.

“We do not work with the Regions at present. After the end of the election
campaign, Mr Griffin is apparently rendering some services to the Regions,
on a personal basis. But we have no relationship with the Regions now.”

In the course of our conversation, the young man mentioned the
Davis-Manafort company several times, most probably, meaning either
Davis-Manafort or Davis, Manafort & Stone. According to our sources, this
company is not registered in Ukraine and, therefore, has no official right
to hire personnel and lease an office.

The young man from the Sofiyivska square office asked us to call in 10 days,
promising to relay our request for an interview to Mr Griffin. However, when
the deadline passed the American was still outside Ukraine, with no one in
the office bothering to answer Ukrayinska pravda’s official request for an
interview.

This kind of conduct has been followed by Paul Manafort and his partners
long enough. Shunning cameras and mikes, they are rubbing shoulders with
Ukraine’s richest man who, in his turn, calls them his friends.

Paul Manafort, who has become a legend in two years of his work in Ukraine,
was last seen in the company of the Region’s leader at a lunch in Davos
thrown in by Viktor Pinchuk [Pres. Kuchma’s son-in-law and tycoon –
Transl.].

After a feeble effort to keep away from the camera, the American said that
he was not a public person and refrained from comment. It is beyond doubt,
that the American was Viktor Yanukovych’s, not Rinat Akhmetov’s, eyes and
ears at the forum in Davos.

Mr Manafort is not and has not been involved with the System Capital
Management [Akhmetov’s flagship company – Transl.] since he started his work
for the Regions,” Akhmetov admitted, speaking to The Ukrayinska Pravda.
Meanwhile, the activities of Paul Manafort and his partners over the past
two years may indicate that their relationships with the Regions is part of
a major business project, directly or indirectly benefiting big Ukrainian
businessmen, primarily Rinat Akhmetov.

Originally, a group of American spin-doctors came to Ukraine long before the
2006 parliamentary elections. According to our information, Rinat Akhmetov,
while in self-imposed exile in mid 2005 [fearing arrest by the Orange
government – Transl.], had a number of meetings with several US PR
consultants, including Paul Manafort.

The meetings focused on consultations to prepare SCM for the placement of
its shares on Western stock exchanges. It was the start of cooperation
between Rinat Akhmetov and the Americans.

Says Akhmetov, “In 2005 SCM decided to work out communication corporate
strategy. To this effect, the company invited four experts, including Mr
Manafort. Besides, the team of consultants also included world-known
Burson-Marstellar and Europe’s MMD firms.”

However, some sources in the Regions claim that Paul Manafort’s first visit
to Donetsk took place between Dec. 10 to 20, 2004, that is, between rounds 2
and 3 of the presidential elections. “SCM became the topic of negotiations
much later, in early 2005, while Paul Manafort had been invited to prepare
our candidate for round 3 of the election.

However, Paul Manafort openly stated that he could not influence the course
of the campaign as there was only two weeks left before voting day,” one of
Yanukovych staffers said.

According to Rinat Akhmetov, Paul Manafort had been recommended to him by
some US law firm. To go by another version, Manafort was introduced to
Akhmetov by Russia’s tycoon Oleh Derypaska.

Manafort is linked to several companies involved in lobbyism and political
counseling. Manafort was founder of such entities as Davis, Manafort &
Freeman, Inc., Davis, Manafort & Stone and Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly.

As admitted by our source, SCM signed a contract with Black, Manafort, Stone
& Kelly, a company specializing in counseling on economic lobbyism. In
business circles, this company is known as an exclusive consultant for
Phillip Morris.

Manafort worked with the Regions via another company, Davis, Manafort &
Freeman, Inc. It is still not known whether the US company operated under a
direct contract with the Regions or via go-betweens.

Manafort’s heyday came in early 1980s on the back of his counseling for
political campaigns in third world countries. Companies and spin-doctors
working now with Yanukovych have earlier advised the governments of Kenya,
Somali, Angola, Nigeria and Congo.

Manafort is said to have contributed personally to the success of the
presidential election campaign by the Philippines dictator Marcos in 1981.
At the start of his campaign and worried by the growing international
isolation of his country, Marcos lifted the state of emergency and declared
a general election which was later dubbed by the Western media one of the
dirtiest in the country’s history. “The election was smeared by massive
falsifications, voter coercion, fraudulent voter lists and dubious
 counting,” media comments ran.

Paul Manafort began his career in the team of the 38th US Republican
President Gerald Ford. Ford was the only US president who entered the
highest office in the wake of a scandal, not through election. While vice-
president, he was sworn in as president when Pres Richard Nixon had to
resign after the notorious Watergate scandal.

After 1974, Manafort’s name figured on campaign staffs of almost all
Republican presidents. Manafort was spin-doctoring Ronald Reagan’s campaigns
in 1980 and 1984 and George Bush, Senior in 1988. “This guy is the
Republican party’s business card. He opens doors with his foot in Washington
and in the offices of Bush insiders.

For the first time in 50 years the Republicans control the whole government.
All you need is the GOP master key: Manafort is just the guy you need,”
writes Charles Lewis, author of Selling the 2004 President.

True, the only time when Paul Manafort suffered a fiasco was when he was
acting as a top strategist for presidential candidate Bob Dole in 1996 who
was beaten into second place by Bill Clinton. Later on, Bob Dole came under
Republican fire for the lack of a clear-cut strategy during his campaign.

Currently, Akhmetov does not deny he initiated cooperation of the Regions
with Paul Manafort and his partners. “At a certain moment, due to Mr
Manafort’s new experience, he was recommended to the Regions as an expert
who could help the party’s election campaign. When the Regions betted on
Manafort, SCM scrapped its cooperation with him,” Ukrayinska Pravda quotes
Akhmetov as saying.

Interestingly, Akhmetov denies footing the bill for Manafort’s services to
the Regions. “SCM paid to Mr Manafort only for his services to the company.
SCM did not pay for any political counseling done by Mr Manafort for the
Regions,” the wealthiest Ukrainian said.

Meanwhile, Akhmetov’s business partner and a close friend, Anton Pryhodsky,
claimed that the Americans had been paid exclusively from the war chest.

However, the total amount coughed up by the Regions for the services of US
spin-doctors remains a closely guarded secret, with some lawmakers setting
it at between 2 to 20 million dollars for the whole election campaign. By
contrast, in the United States such information about the cost of PR and
lobbying services to political structures is open to public.

Participation of American spin-doctors in the election campaign caused
frictions and conflicts of interest amid Viktor Yanukovych and Rinat
Akhmetov teams. On July 3, 2005, Yanukovych named Vasyl Khara, a loyal
representative of the Regions hardcore nomenklatura, his campaign chief. At
this time, Akhmetov was holding intensive talks with Black, Manafort, Stone
& Kelly.

Yanukovych’s acquaintance with Paul Manafort and his partners took place in
the late summer of 2005 in Karlovy Vary. At that time, the rumor was thick
in the party that Rinat Akhmetov and his supporters opposed cooperation with
radical Russian spin-doctors, like Gleb Pavlovsky.

Probably, Yanukovych was himself aware of the need for a new strategy in the
coming parliamentary elections, but Akhmetov’s proposal was taken as a
direct shot at winning influence in the party.

Finally, the change of spin-doctors was agreed upon. The only thing left was
the official introduction of Paul Manafort and his colleagues to campaign
staff leaders. At this moment, Vasyl Khara opposed the project.

“I didn’t like the Americans. I tried to convince the Regions leaders  that
prior to hiring them we need to get acquainted with their strategies. Still,
as far as I know, no one has ever received any strategy proposals from the
Americans,” Khara told the Ukrainska Pravda.

Yanukovych did everything for his protégé to continue to run the campaign
staff. The final attempt to talk Khara out of resigning was made in early
October, 2005. Khara was invited to Moscow where in a closely guarded house
he faced Yanukovych and his friend and colleague Anton Pryhodsky. Their talk
lasted over an hour.

Trying to persuade Khara to continue in office, they told him about the
successful track record of the Americans in the European countries, without
even mentioning Congo or Angola. “Paul with his partners also had to come to
the meeting.

We hoped that Khara would get acquainted with the Americans, they would come
to terms and start joint work. But Khara didn’t wait for the Americans. He
refused pointblank to meet them, leaving before they arrived,” a source in
the Regions confided.

A few days after the Moscow meeting, Khara handed in his resignation from
the post of Regions campaign staff chief. “When I realized that the
decisions will be made by them and I will be merely a front man, I made up
my mind to resign,” Khara said.

In the early November, former first deputy Donetsk governor Vasyl Dzharty
was appointed by one of the Regions secret conventions a new campaign chief.
It was declared by some Regions politicians a tactical mistake as Dzharty,
unlike heavyweight Khara, was more vulnerable to criticism from political
opponents.

At the same time, Dzharty has been viewed as Rinat Akhmetov’s insider,
something sources in the tycoon’s immediate entourage deny. Still, the
appointment of a new campaign chief indicated, to a certain degree, a
victory for Akhmetov in his efforts to gain control of the election
campaign, with at least 50 of his supporters figuring of the Regions slate.

The Americans started on their project as soon as the memorandum between the
authorities and the opposition was signed on Sept. 23, 2005. “Paul Manafort
picked his team personally,” Borys Kolesnykov [prominent Regions politician,
former mayor of Donetsk – Transl.] recalled.

With no forthcoming elections in the United States, Manafort managed to
enroll quite a few professionals, both Republicans and Democrats. On a
permanent basis, the team included Philip Griffin, Richard H. Davis, Rick
Ahearn – Pres Ronald Reagan’s representative and Alex Kiselyov, head of the
PR firm Aleksei Kiselev, friend of Eduard Prutnik.

On an off and on basis, head of Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly (Saint
Petersburg branch) Leonid Avrashov and Manafort’s American partners Brian
Kristiansson and Robert Dole were hired to do odd jobs. (PART I)  -30-
————————————————————————————————-
Link: http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2007/3/19/55966.htm
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================      
6.     HOW REGIONS LAWMAKERS WERE SCHOOLED
                                    BY US SPIN-DOCTORS
 
By Mustafa Nayem for Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian) PART II
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 22, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 6, (in English)
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 23, 2007

American spin-doctors hired by the Regions had a twin task: 1) to counsel on
the Regions election campaign and 2) to sell its leader Viktor Yanukovych to
voters, with US-born Paul Manafort in supreme command.

“With the arrival of the Americans, there’s been a major overhaul of our
tactics – already in the first days of their presence,” says lawmaker Vasyl
Khara who resigned as campaign chief when Manafort took the reigns. The
scope of campaigning by campaign workers was reduced manifold, and

the main emphasis was placed on the leader and the events he attended.

Following a reduction in their number, public performance of campaign
workers was optimized. A clear hierarchy for campaigners was established.

“It resembled a multi-level pyramid, with each layer represented by
spokespersons with the authority to comment on only a specified part of the
party’s agenda and activities,” says a chief of one campaign workers team,
speaking on condition of anonymity. “The higher the level which a campaigner
was covering, the more free hand he had to improvise.

This pattern made it possible to quickly vary the party’s stand depending on
how the situation developed: in the course of the campaign higher level
spokespersons could correct their lower level
colleagues.

Incidentally, the Party of Regions was the first to use VIP-campaigners, a
new twist in the Ukrainian or Russian politics. Numbering about 60 persons,
Regions VIP-campaigners represented the bulk of Regions faction in the past
legislature. They were divided into groups, with group leaders receiving
instructions and being regularly briefed on the party’s overall performance.

In addition, VIP-campaigners were once a week issued a list of declarations
they had to air in their public appearances. The list was issued on a
regular A4 piece of paper bearing no signatures or dates. Just 3-5 proposals
drawn up by the party’s top leaders in close association with the Americans.

These declarations, which the Americans called messages, covered only a
specific period of time during which they had to be relayed to the audience.

“Generally speaking, the strategy of the US spin-doctors was rather simple:
one and the same idea had to be hammered into heads of voters,” one of 2006
campaign leaders says. “We could say whatever we wanted but the messages

had to be declared.

Very often, the messages were the reaction to a PR attack of our opponents.
Sometimes we got the impression that presentation of these mandatory
declarations was not as important as the frequency with which they were
made.

The Regions claim that similar tactics were employed by the orange parties
ahead of the 2004 presidential election. “I am not sure who their
spin-doctors were, but their practice was to come up with several slogans
that those with orange scarves had to chant,” Regions lawmaker Anton
Pryhodsky recalls. “Including such slogans as “Bandits must go to prisons”,
“We are many, they will not defeat us.” I really do not know who their PR
advisors were, but it looks as if the tactics were the same.”

According to some sources, the Americans authored one of Regions key
campaign slogans “Better life today.” Most of the lawmakers mouthed the
messages obediently, but some opposed them strongly. “We realized that it
was pure spin without any ideology attached. Some called campaign messages
crowd-pleasers, but they had to go to the streets and mouth them.

I remember how Taras Chornovil, on getting yet another list of messages on
the status of the Russian language and NATO, tore up the list in front of
his group leader, refusing to speak on the topics. Chornovil’s colleagues
say that this incident may have cost him his career in the party. Some admit
that he even lost his status of a VIP campaigner.

True, some campaign projects by the Americans were cold-shouldered by the
Regions. Some were brushed off, like the idea to use for campaigning
specially equipped busses to be shipped from abroad. Hanna Herman was

even heard saying the project involved black-skinned drivers for the busses.

“It was a 100% American proposal: a double-decker bus with all conveniences
like a toilet, a shower, etc.,” 2006 campaign chief Vasyl Dzharty says. “The
Americans proposed to bus campaign workers all over Ukraine. Frankly
speaking, I didn’t like the idea. It runs counter to our ways.”

As confirmed by our sources, the idea was finally rejected by Viktor
Yanukovych in Crimea when he saw one of the campaign busses equipped
specifically for him. The cost of such bus amounted to $700,000-800,000.

“Victor Yanukovych made a wry face, he was talked into entering the bus,”
one of his insider tells. “He got into the bus, took a look around and said
it was too much for him. He continued his campaign tour in his minibus.”

What happened to the busses delivered by the Americans is anyone’s guess,
but some lawmakers insist they saw the double-deckers at the funeral of
Yevhen Kushnaryov.

The election staff was also involved in reaching out to the media. This work
was done by Eduard Prutnyk, owner of the NTN TV channel, assisted by the
former Inter TV channel PR department head Ihor Chaban.

Following the 2006 elections, Prutnyk was appointed by the anti-crisis
coalition head of the State committee for TV and radio broadcasting. Chaban
resigned from his official position and became Prutnyk’s deputy.

For the record, in 2005-2006, both Prutnyk and Chaban mapped out and
monitored the Regions media campaign. Prutnyk was in charge of general
organizational issues, including cooperation with TV channels, advertising
agencies, while Chaban was involved in working out the party’s media
strategy. Both of them are staying in touch with the Americans.

“They often cooperated with Paul Manafort, discussed and coordinated their
actions,” says former staff member and currently a lawmaker Vitaly
Zablotsky.

“The Americans were not involved in issuing short-term instructions, it was
the business of Vasyl Dzharty. The Americans came up only with strategic
guidelines. Among other things, they strongly recommended to quit regional
press and TV channels and move over to national TV channels.

Interestingly, Chaban flatly denies ever to have dealt with the Americans.
He says he was in the dark about their role in the election staff. It is
known, however, that Chaban has repeatedly advised some key party leaders

on their public appearances.

In the night following the voting day on March 26, the Ukrayinska Pravda
reporter became an eye-witness to such episode. Immediately after Yanukovych’s
chief-of-staff went on the air at the Inter TV channel announcing the
Regions victory in the elections and their intent to form a government
coalition, Dzharty climbed the stairs to the second floor of the Regions HQ
where offices are located.

There he talked through an interpreter to Paul Manafort in the presence of
Chaban, saying, “I have told everything you recommended.” Chaban enrolled
his former colleagues from Inter TV to advise on the Regions media campaign.

Incidentally, these same colleagues were involved in schooling Regions top
five politicians for their televised debates on the 5 TV Kanal on March 19,
2006.

According to participants of this group training, Pual Manafort and Philip
Griffin were present in the room. To prepare Mykola Azarov, Rayisa
Bohatyryova, Borys Kolesnykov, Yevhen Kushnaryov and Taras Chornovil, a
special team role-play was conducted.

“They gave us a ball; we had to throw it to whoever we wanted to speak. It
did not matter what we spoke about – it could be any absurd idea. What
mattered was our readiness to react to any attacks by our opponents.

The training was supervised by a lady, a colleague of Chaban. In addition to
verbal battles, participants were trained to show proper emotions on their
faces.

“Azarov was bad news. He is very reserved, although a high-octane person
emotionally. When asked to mime a specific emotion, he would ignore the
instructions or even become slightly angry. But in general, the spirit in
the class was very friendly. We discussed even minor details, like what to
wear for the debates.

The deceased Yevhen Kuchmaryov proposed to put on jeans and sweaters.

After several hours of training, the Regions politicians could pretty easily
engage in debates and the intervals between their answers considerably
reduced.”

Interestingly, ordinary campaign workers didn’t have a chance to communicate
with the American spin-doctors: “Heads of campaign groups frequently
referred to the Americans, but unlike the Russians, the Americans didn’t run
any seminars or workshops for ordinary campaigners,” one of the lawmakers
says. The majority of deputies, including even VIP-campaigners, had never
seen the Americans, he adds.

“This is another proof that the Americans were not directly involved in
running the election campaign,” Anton Pryhodsky says jokingly. “Otherwise,
they would have seen the Americans. You have seen the main headquarters,
VIP-campaigners, regional staffs, but you haven’t seen any American
spin-doctors.

Although the advice by Americans had a substantial impact on election
campaigning, they didn’t take part in day-to-day management. We are quite
satisfied with the contribution they made to the party performance. They
introduced theoretical and practical transparency in our approaches to
campaign strategies. (PART II)
——————————————————————————————-
Link: http://pravda.com.ua/news/2007/3/22/56160.htm

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
7. WHO ARE TRUE BOSSES OF US SPIN-DOCTORS IN UKRAINE
 
By Mustafa Nayem for Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian) PART III
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #833, Article 7, (in English)
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 23, 2007

It is definitely not easy to assess the true impact the American
spin-doctors had on the Regions 2006 election campaign. Especially since

the role they played in the party is far from clear.

Their recommendations on how to run the campaign clearly indicate that Paul
Manafort and his partners became cat’s paws in the Regions internal
wrangling between two centers of influence – Rinat Akhmetov and Viktor
Yanukovych, who are involved in a so far mild confrontation with each other.

Surprisingly, the Americans threw their weight behind the party strategy
line drawn by Rinat Akhmetov. The Donbas tycoon was opposed to joining the
Socialists and Communists to form the Viktor Yanukovych Bloc to run in the
2006 elections, despite the arguments by political analysts and Regions
opponents at the start of the campaign that the bloc would be a good
bargain.

Akhmetov, however, was well aware that creating a personalized bloc would
dent his clout in the party. Accordingly, the Americans and campaign chief
Vasyl Dzharty went out of their way to hype the party’s profile, basing
their strategies on combining Viktor Yanukovych’s image with this of the
party.

Until late October 2006, the Regions were actively promoting a united
Regions-based opposition bloc, with the openly pro-Russian Natalya Vitrenko
Bloc and marginalized pro-Kuchma SDPU (united).

According to some sources, the plans to set up a united opposition spurred
SDPU(u) into creating the Ne Tak bloc that had to play a major role in the
proposed united opposition. Ne Tak’s agenda was actually a replica of Region’s
election platform.

While Vitrenko was cold-shouldered in late summer of 2005 by Yanukovych,
talks with SDPU(u) went on till late October, with the Regions’ leader
noticeably patting the back of SDPU(u) and Ne Tak.

Meanwhile, Rinat Akhmetov’s insiders indicated that he was strongly opposed
to cooperation with SDPU(u). Akhmetov allegedly said that entering in a
coalition with SDPU(u) would mean that the Regions would have to share power
and posts with people who cannot be trusted.

Akhmetov is convinced that he is the opposite of Hryhory Surkis [a big
businessman and SDPU(u) heavyweight – Transl]. “In private conversations
Akhmetov openly praises his relationships with the owners of the Industrial
Union of Donbas Vitaly Hajduk and Serhy Taruta, saying they were fair and
honest.

On the contrary, his relationships with Pinchuk, Surkis and Hryhoryshyn
[Ukrainian tycoons – Transl.] were very unsatisfactory,” an Akhmetov insider
claimed.

This time, the advice of Paul Manafort and Philip Griffin again surprisingly
echoed Akhmetov’s vision. “They pooh-poohed entering in a coalition with any
parties, insisting the SDPU(u) be kept at arm’s length.”

 “I don’t know who was behind it, Akhmetov or Kolesnykov, but Manafort came
up with a very appealing and seemingly valid scenario. I was witness to a
conversation between Manafort and Yanukovych with the former trying to bring
it home to Yanukovych that in the West he is associated with Kuchma and that
if now he  joined forces with Medvedchuk and Surkis it would bring a total
failure,” a source close to the Region’s leader told me.

At the same time, campaign staff leaders didn’t even bother to get any
public opinion polls on the likely performance of a united opposition bloc
in the elections, some 2006 election campaign members admitted.

Early November, Viktor Yanukovych was forced to backtrack, declaring at the
Region’s so-called technical convention that the party will go it alone in
the elections. The Americans openly sided with Rinat Akhmetov in the wake of
the parliamentary elections.

In June 2006, when the talks on the creation of the Orange coalition came to
a stalemate, the likely wedding between the Regions and Our Ukraine was
actively supported by Rayisa Bohatyryova, one of Akhmetov’s most trusted
insiders. Indicating his moderate stand, Akhmetov spoke approvingly of
Yushchenko in his private comments.

He praised the propriety of a union with OU openly during the festivities to
mark his soccer team’s 70 anniversary. Meanwhile, Viktor Yanukovych and his
team were neutral and openly reluctant to comment on the likelihood of the
proposed coalition

Again, the American spin-doctors found themselves on the same side of the
fence with Akhmetov. According to some lawmakers, the Americans believed

the union with OU would be the most optimum decision for the party, viewing
talks with the Socialists and Communists as a stand-by arrangement.

The contract with Davis, Manafort & Freeman was extended by the Regions
after the 2006 elections. The bulk of the American team stayed in Ukraine
for a month and a half in the wake of the election, then their number was
reduced, with only a few left to counsel the Regions till the end of 2006.
And only in late February an 8-strong team of spin-doctors that worked for
the party in 2006 came back.

After Yanukovych had assumed office, the main efforts of his spin-doctors
were focused on creating a positive image for him in the USA and Europe.
According to some sources, the Americans played a leading role in preparing
Yanukovych interviews in foreign publications.

Paul Manafort and his partners definitely deserve credit for significantly
sugarcoating Yanukovych’s rhetoric as regards cooperation of Ukraine with
NATO and EU. The Ukrainian premier now frequently refers to his country

as a bridge between the West and East.

Whereas Viktor Yanukovych has earlier argued that Ukraine’s entry into NATO
was premature, now he does not evade the topic. He even speaks about
enhanced cooperation with the alliance.

According to our sources, Manafort had drawn up a list of topics recommended
for discussion during Yanukovych’s visit to the USA late 2006. Regarding his
relationships with Yushchenko, the Americans advised him to keep saying at
every opportunity,”

“I’m no opponent or rival of Yushchenko. I do not intend to humiliate or
hurt Yushchenko, we are playing each other softly. We cannot, however,
demand that the president do things he cannot do. My objective is to cover
Yushchenko’s weak spots.

I want the US government to persuade Yushchenko that the Americans are
interested in a dialog between the Ukrainian president and premier. I’ll
spare no efforts to have Our Ukraine in the government coalition.”

In addition, the spin-doctors recommended Yanukovych to emphasize, while in
the US, his vision of Ukraine-NATO relations, saying “Ukraine is currently
cooperating with NATO, maintaining an enhanced dialog. At the same time,
Ukraine is not after immediate entry in the alliance. When Ukraine gets an
invitation to join, the people will have the final say in a referendum.”

In fact, such position is a clear manipulation on the part of the
spin-doctors, because a country gets an invitation to access NATO only after
it has embarked on an action membership plan. It was precisely Yanukovych
who had refused to accept the membership plan in the fall of 2006 during his
Brussels visit.

It is also clear that, given the specifics of Davis, Manafort & Freeman,
Inc., its experts are actively lobbying for the present government in
business circles in the USA and EU. Nowadays, Western politicians are more
willing to meet with the Ukrainian premier than three years ago.

Then, the second wave of Yanukovych face-lifting was launched in the West’s
media focusing on democratic reforms in Ukraine, with an accent almost in
every planted article on radical changes involving the former presidential
candidate Viktor Yanukovych and his Regions party.

Over the past year, under watchful eyes of his American advisors, the
profiles of Yanukovych and Regions have acquired a new and unquestionably
positive shine. It cannot be ruled out that Ukraine’s democratic reforms and
economic growth will be soon associated by West’s politicians and
businessmen with the Regions and its leaders.

At first glance, it looks improbable due to high popularity of Orange
leaders in Europe and the USA. But it should be taken into account that
Ukraine is now much more represented in the West by the government, not

the presidential administration or opposition.

Such scenario suits best the Regions big business, primarily the owner of
the System Capital Management Rinat Akhmetov.

As the American spin-doctors have originally counseled SCM Holdings on
preparations for the placement of their shares on West’s stock exchanges, it
can well be that Davis, Manafort & Freeman are part of a bigger business
project.

P.S. The Regions refused to comment on the facts presented in this article.
Their representative responded by saying “It is unethical to ask about the
cost of US spin-doctors’ services when the country is in turmoil.” For the
record, the information on any party war chest expenditure must be open,

the law says. (PART III)
————————————————————————————————–
Link: http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2007/3/28/56432.htm
————————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
    NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
========================================================
8.    UKRAINE HAS BEEN GIVEN ANOTHER FIVE YEARS
                Ukraine & Poland granted the right to host the Euro-2012
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Serhii RAKHMANIN
Mirror-Weekly, #15 (644) Kyiv, Ukraine, 21-27 April 2007

Ukraine has yet another chance (maybe the last) — a unique opportunity to
show its consistency to the world. It has five years to cope with a
multitude of problems that have been weighing heavily for the last fifteen
years. In all these years, the cleverest Ukrainian brains have been unable
to work out a consistent strategy for uniting the nation.

This country still lives without its Ukrainian dream. By far, politicians
have only offered remedies for dissention that have only aggravated this
disease. It looks like the strategy and the dream began to take shape on
April 18 in Cardiff, Wales.

Last Wednesday, eight of eleven members of the UEFA executive board created
a sensation: they granted Ukraine and Poland the right to host the Euro-2012
finals.

In the summer of 2012, Kyiv, Warsaw, Donetsk, Wroclaw, Lviv, Poznan,
Dnipropetrovsk, and Gdansk will receive millions of fans from all corners of
the continent and the rest of the world.

In a long and hard marathon competition, the two Slavic countries went ahead
of Azerbaijan, Greece, Romania, Russia, and Turkey, and in the final round
they bested Italy and the Hungary/Croatia tandem.

Italy was seen as the favorite, although its chances were seriously
undermined by the recent corruption scandal and fan clashes.

It is no small wonder the Coriere della Sera gave a reserved comment,
calling the UEFA boards decision somewhat unexpected. UEFA President

Michel Platini called Ukraine and Poland’s success a great victory of Eastern
Europe, saying they won by right. Figaro warned, however, that the hardest
part for the eastern nations is only just beginning.

The newspaper reminded the hosts of the Euro-2012 soccer finals,Poland and
Ukraine have to renovate four stadiums each, reconstruct their road
infrastructure, expand their hotel chains, and start a lot of construction
from scratch. These are tremendous tasks.

It should be noted that these tasks are even more difficult for the
Ukrainians than the Poles, which will rely on a more stable economy and can
count on some backup from the European Union.

The news came to Ukraine as a big surprise: most soccer fans had not even
dreamed of watching the great sport event live! They are even happier,
knowing that the Ukraine national team will play in the finals as the host,
without having to go through the qualification ordeals.

Not only are fans happy at least because this is a rare opportunity to be
proud of the much degraded country. The news inspired optimism in those

who still believed in an idea that could reconcile leaders and mend the
dissented nation together.

The organization and conducting of a good continental championship is a

task that takes a lot of joint efforts. Residents of all parts of Ukraine,
supporters and opponents of the government, and all leaders regardless of
political colors are equally eager to host such a prestigious forum.

This is any host natural desire – to rise to the occasion. There are purely
pragmatic reasons. This is the last lucky chance for Ukraine to regain
Europe’s interest and attention after it squandered the great opportunities
opened by the Orange Revolution.

This is a chance to convince disillusioned European politicians that we can
live up to promises if we build and rebuild what we pledged to build and
rebuild by 2012.

We still can convince disillusioned European businessmen that it is possible
to do civilized business in Ukraine, that our government can create an
agreeable and safe investment environment, that Ukrainian entrepreneurs can
be reliable partners, and that Ukrainian officials can make do without
bribes.

This is a fantastic opportunity to have a hand in a large-scale
international business project as a partner of an EU member country. No
lobbying could have helped. Football did. There were many factors behind
Ukraine’s victory in this competition, but one is undeniable: colossal
personal efforts exerted by Football Federation President Grigory Surkis.

It was his zeal and his fanatical desire to make Ukraine the Euro-2012 host
that overcame the skepticism of European football officials.

Probably, he was the only one who believed, and even those who disliked him
before (not without reason) give credit where credit is due. And if
Euro-2012 does become a turning point in Ukraine history, many might temper
justice with mercy and gratitude to him.

There are good reasons to expect improvements in this country. National
Olympic Committee President Sergey Bubka noted justly that the UEFs historic
decision would not only make Ukraine more authoritative in the sports world,
but would also spur its political and economic development. His phrase,in
five years we will achieve what we should have achieved in fifteen years,
was quoted by all leading news agencies.

Yes, Bubka is right: within five years Ukraine has to do what it has hardly
been able to do since independence in 1991. Otherwise, it is sure to lose
the trust of the European community for good.

Ukrainian political leaders and moneybags are now bound to do for their own
international reputation what they have been reluctant to do for their own
people.

So far, Ukraine’s economic development has been like the hurdles. Year after
year, private business has been carving its way through the high walls built
by bureaucrats indolence, obtuseness, and greediness. In sectors where
authorities keep business under total control, Ukraine lags decades behind
free economies.

The simplest and obvious example is transportation problems. Many residents
of Kyiv say,I just can’t believe we’re going to host a European championship
And I can’t believe we’re ever going to have good roads

Even Kyiv roads that leave much to be desired, seem like autobahns for
residents of other Ukrainian cities. There is so much to build: modern
airports, road junctions, tunnels, overpasses and underpasses, and thousands
of parking lots.

Ukrainian authorities must be aware of the transportation problem to which
they have turned a blind eye so far. They do need to look at this country
from the eyes of Europeans. However, they are hardly able to see the real
scope of this problem.

Here is an example. German roads are reputed as the best in the world.
Nevertheless, in preparation for the 2006 World Cup finals, the German
government spent 4.15 billion to improve the transportation system!

There is another incentive money. Soccer championships are like a big
lottery in which the odds of grabbing the jackpot are directly proportional
to the number of tickets bought.

A European championship is the best way to draw investment, a perfect
stimulus for expanding the advertising market, and a strong impetus for
developing various businesses, especially tourism, hotels, and catering
services.

Here are some more figures, reflecting the scale of financial input into the
2006 World Cup finals in Germany. Twelve stadiums were built or
reconstructed. The Munich stadium alone cost as much as 300M. All-in-all,
1.5 billion was spent on building, reconstructing, and renovating sports
facilities.

The sum spent on improving the water supply system amounted to millions of
euros. (Doesn’t this figure send shivers down the spines of Ukrainian city
mayors? Especially the mayor of Lviv where the water supply system is badly
dilapidated. Are they ready to cope with such a tremendous job in five
years?)

Every sixth German company saw a substantial increase in net profit. The
highest profits flowed into the pockets of owners of cafes, restaurants,
bars, hotels, and souvenir shops where tourists left more than 900M.

The World Cup finals gave Germany 40,000 jobs. Six national and fifteen
international sponsors gave the country more than 750M. German companies
paid 13M to pose as exclusive sponsors and foreign companies paid 45M.

Ad placement prices soared: TV companies charged up to 32,000 for a
30-second spot during a live broadcast (whereas the standard price is
between 6,000 and 7,000).

According to expert estimates, total financial input into Germany’s economy
exceeded 10 billion, and it is going to feel the positive effects of the
2006 championship for the next fifteen years.

Of course, Ukraine is not Germany and a European championship is not a world
championship, but the above figures give a clear picture of the input/profit
ratios.

Is Ukraine ready to bear this brunt? There are at least two favorable
circumstances. Firstly, almost all Ukrainian billionaires except Viktor
Pinchuk are presidents of football clubs.

Rinat Akhmetov, Sergey Taruta, Igor Kolomoysky, and Alexander Yaroslavsky
know what has to be done, possess enough financial resources, and are
willing to invest them. Secondly, all the topmost officials are very
enthusiastic about this excellent opportunity, which can encourage them to
act TOGETHER, at least on this job.

The most evident problem stadiums looks quite soluble. The government has
already allocated funds for the reconstruction of the Olympic Stadium in
Kyiv. Akhmetov is building a modern stadium in Donetsk (worth approximately
$250M).

At Kolomoyskys initiative, another modern stadium is under construction in
Dnipropetrovsk. Next year, reconstruction is going to start on the Ukraina
stadium in Lviv.

Yaroslavsky has invested in the reconstruction and re-equipment of the
Metallist stadium in Kharkiv. Funds are being raised for renovating the
football arena in Odesa.

Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky made a surprising statement, promising to
outstrip Akhmetov with a brand new $200M stadium in the capital city and
making experts wonder whether Ukrainian moneybags understand what exactly
they should do and how.

Experts are sure that the costs could be a lot lower. They can build
stadiums with marble walls, but what difference will it make to a
Portuguese, Dutch, or Italian tourist if he has rusty water in his hotel
room or has to roam the city for hours, looking for a place to park his car?

The list of problems Ukraine has to handle would take pages and they demand
quick and cost-effective solutions. Sergey Taruta, the owner of Donetsk
Metallurgy, has a rational suggestion. He proposes to involve experienced
Western companies that would:

– conduct audits;
– help with drawing up tentative budgets and setting quality criteria;
– control the quality of operations;
– pose as credit grantors.

   Such a model would:
– make future tenders transparent;
– ensure proper quality standards;
– minimize interference from authorities, protectionism, and lobbyism;
– practically eliminate embezzlement.

Taruta is convinced that only national companies should act as contractors.
For example, it is possible to create a powerful private company. With the
help of investors, support from the government, and supervision of Western
specialists, it would build quality roads for Euro-2012.

After the championship the company would continue to build quality roads
across Ukraine. One might call this project utopian, but didn’t the idea of
hosting Euro-2012 seem utopian?

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s top leaders are already calculating their future
profits. President Yushchenko expects about $3 billion. The government
specifies $3.2 billion, of which one-fifth will go to the national budget in
VAT deductions.

Net profit is expected to exceed $800M and each of the 400,000 tourists is
expected to spend $400 in three weeks during the championship events.

At the same time, planned expenditures announced by the government look
unsubstantiated. According to a tentative estimate published by the Justice
Ministry, an equivalent of $240M will be provided by the government and
$3,960M will come from extra-budgetary sources.

Some experts say unofficially that these figures are spun out of thin air.
Others say that the estimate was drawn up by old Soviet methods, without
considering the experience of the recent continental and world
championships.

The document leaves too many open questions. How much will be spent on
renovating the transportation and communication infrastructures? How much
will be spent on transitions for travel agencies?

How much will be spent on retraining hotel personnel and teaching police
officers foreign languages? How does the government plan to develop the
hotel business?

Some officials have announced plans to build a dozen five-star hotels, but
where are they going to accommodate hundreds of thousands of other

tourists? In refurbished suburban hostels and sanatoria?

There are serious apprehensions about the disgraceful repetition of
Eurovision 2005 in Kyiv, when guests had to live in tarpaulin tents and use
wooden johns or go in the bushes. With such an approach, Ukraine is in

for a global scandal.

Ukrainian authorities will not only have to change roads and sewers. They
will have to change their way of thinking. They have too little time – just
five years, and they must know that there will never be another chance.
————————————————————————————————

LINK: http://www.mw.ua/1000/1030/56490/
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
9.            THEY’RE ASKING IF WE HAVE CULTURE!

PRESENTATION: By Oksana Zabuzhko (in Ukrainian)
At the Conference “New Ukraine in New Europe”
Translated by Sofiya Skachko, Ukrayins’ka Pravda On-line
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, April 15, 2007

The pain and frustration expressed by the author in this article is very
real.  However, when the day comes that Ukraine has a Holodomor monument
(for its millions who died) anything like the Vimy Ridge monument erected by
Canada (for its 3,598 soldiers who died April 9 – 12, 1917) is when the
world will begin to fully understand why Ukraine does not have the “culture”
which the author seeks.

Ukraine has nothing to be ashamed of.  No country in Europe, if not the
world, has gone through what Ukraine has gone through.  Ukraine is brave
and she is a miracle.

My deepest conviction is that numerous Ukrainian problems, connected with
the indeterminate status we have at the international level, are caused by
one very sad fact: contemporary Ukraine has no culture.

Fifteen years of independence haven’t been enough for the Ukrainian state to
grasp why a state needs a culture, and what sort of whim compels even the
poorer countries to ‘turn out their pockets’ only to invest in cultural
development.  Why on earth would they do it?

However, the answer lies on the surface. The ‘trademark’ of any country is
not its political order, nor the faces of its leaders, nor even, however
paradoxical this may sound, its economic prosperity and well-being.

Bah, I have to say that even its sports achievements ain’t it, even though
they are an excellent tool to win fans’ dedication.

The trademark of any country that has the most direct and intimate influence
on the foreign audience, touching them on the most personal and subconscious
level, is its national culture.

Chopin has always been and still remains the trademark of Poland in the
world, Finland has Sibelius, Sweden has Pippi Longstocking  and Carlson That
Lives on the Roof. These examples are taken at random, since every “mature”
country, no matter how big or small, has its “cultural passports.”

These are the most delicate and subtle  – and oh how powerful! – “first call
signs”, that a country sends out into the world, bringing about sometimes
barely conscious attraction and trust towards itself.  They prepare the
ground in the mind of every and any foreigner for an a priori positive image
of a country.

As long as Ukraine fails to send these cultural call signs, it will always
be a dark horse for the international community, who will remain weary about
what to expect from it.

One can endlessly visit all kinds of summits and symposia, wear Armani and
Brioni, memorize the names of the delegates in order to avoid mispronouncing
them at the negotiation table, and assure everyone that we are nice and
honest, and we should be received everywhere –  however, if we don’t have
these recognizable trademarks as our herald, it’s difficult to be perceived
in a positive light.

Let’s not forget: over a hundred years Tolstoy and Dostoevsky have been
Russia’s trademark, and to a large extent all of the Bolshevik revolution
was mediated in the consciousness of western political and intellectual
elite through Tolstoy and Dostoevsky as the “guides” to the “mysterious
Russian soul”.

Lenin, Bolsheviks, even Chekists headed by Dzerzhinsky were perceived
from behind the iron curtain not as political criminals, who were
liquidating every living soul, including the “Russian” one, but as heroes

from Russian classics, anxious to “save the world” – and this had the most
direct impact on the international success of Stalinist politics.

It’s that level of influence that allowed NKVD to recruit the Cambridge Five
headed by Tim Philby only based on their romantic motivation, rather than
mercenary interest.

I pass in silence over the whole army of duped Frenchmen, including Sartre &
Co. that for decades were providing USSR with a rosy free publicity.

The Dostoevsky-syndrom in the choice of western affiliations towards Soviet
Union was always present.  There is a plethora of literature on the subject,
which is, unfortunately, barely known in Ukraine.

Alas, for lack of knowledge of these things makes it hard to estimate
realistically the meaning of country’s cultural image in the world and how
well it works even in the most pragmatic and cynical contexts.

Those, who in the recent times took a Polish airlines transatlantic flight,
should remember a 10-minute TV presentation of Poland.

Poland begins with Chopin, the sounds of his music accompanies the changing
images on the screen: faces of eminent Poles, Nobel laureates, including
Maria  Sklodowska-Curie, Czeslaw Milosz, Wislawa Szymborska; wonderfully
montaged landscapes, and in between you are unobtrusively told about the
modern achievements in the spheres of education, science, technology and
economics.

Chopin’s music remains the emotional background, playing the role of the
emotional “greeting” the country sends to the world, and owing to which the
world enthusiastically cognizes and recognizes the country.

When in 1991 Ukraine appeared on the world map, it had no recognizable
signposts of the kind, so the reaction of the international community was
legitimate – quoting Mayakovsky: “Where are they from, and what are these
geographical novelties?” [1]

I’ll make a wild guess and say if at the time Lesya Ukrainka and Mykhailo
Kotsiubynskyi had been known in the world to the extent Tolstoy and
Dostoevsky are, our country needn’t have given up its nuclear weapons. And
this is not just a metaphor.

I will never forget one conversation I had with the editor of the Wall
Street Journal Europe. That man had a chance to see the exhibition of works
by the Boichukisty group at the Metropolitan, or rather what’s left of them.

After that for the period of two months his whole family were struck by the
deep sadness, caused by a shocking discovery: that such an astounding
avant-garde school, which in fact was way ahead the work of David Alfaro
Siqueiros, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, all this bunch that would later become
the trademark of Mexico, was completely annihilated – not only were the
artists shot, but their works had been destroyed as well.

This very editor was ready to grant Ukraine forgiveness for all its future
errors in domestic and foreign policy, and offer all Ukrainians his
understanding and sympathy, for their being a strategic victim of the XXth
century totalitarianism.

One single episode from our cultural history was enough for him to see
Ukraine through different eyes. One can cite a large number of such stories.

I have to state the sad fact that the Ukrainian state has not taken
advantage of the opportunities to present its culture in this most effective
way on the institutional level, as its landmark.

And it has had enough of these opportunities, especially following the
events of the Orange revolution, when the whole world took a serious
interest in Ukraine, when it opened all the doors leading to the world
cultural mainstream and shouted “Welcome!”

There was a chance to make Ukraine a guest country at the Frankfurt Book
Fair in 2008, there was a similar invitation from Leipzig Book Fair in 2006,
which our state institutions pooh-poohed in the most careless way, just like
other similar occasions, only because the responsible officials (responsible
to who? what for?) simply did not understand what this “export of culture”
is and what to serve it with.

They failed to understand that it is the clever politics of cultural export
that integrates a country into European information space much faster and
much more efficiently than all the round table talks.

Every breakthrough of the Ukrainian culture into European space has been
carried out by the use of guerrilla tactics – by-passing all the state
authorities.

I myself belong to this guerrilla group of those who have successfully
“integrated into Europe” within the limits of an individual creative
biography, who have made a name for themselves, and personally I ask for
one single thing from the Ukrainian state – to just let me be.  But it
continuously jumps at me from behind like a devil from a box, and each time
it puts me to shame.

They translate, publish and stage your works, they give you awards, you go
to presentations, meet the readers, journalists, give interviews, start
telling about the bulk of culture behind you, what tradition you represent,
who were your literary predecessors and what contribution they made into the
treasury of human creation – and you see how the eyes of your interlocutors
widen and widen.

Finally, I can only quote one Swedish journalist, that told me during one
interview:  “I’m really sorry, but if I’m not mistaken, your country seems
to say very little about itself, it provides little information about what’s
interesting about it.”

And I, humbly lowering my eyes, mumble: you’re right, but you know,
unfortunately, no experience, a young country only starting to learn… How
long does it need to learn, I wonder?

Here is another telling example. My Czech translator, working on the book
“Oh Sister, My Sister,” revealed in the novel “The Alien Woman”  hidden
allusions to Lesya Ukrainka’s drama “Cassandra”. The translator came to
Ukraine on a research trip, went to a book-store and asked for “Cassandra”
by Lesya Ukrainka.

She was told at this point that she must have confused something, for they
have heard in the book-store who Lesya Ukrainka is, but this Kalandra is an
unheard-of person.

It’s hard to imagine the cultural shock of a European person, who comes to
Ukraine, to its capital, which has almost a European look to it, there are
more expensive cars in the streets than in any capital of a European
country, the cafes are crowded, at a first glance everything looks decent,
even quite glamorous – but then you enter a book store and it turns out that
an “almost European” country simply does not have national classics on sale.

The effect is almost the same as if a person opened the front door of
Radisson hotel and slumped down into a cesspit. One big Potemkin village.

I support wholeheartedly the pathos of the statement that Ukraine is part of
Europe. Provided we know our history, our achievements, then no doubt, based
on its origins, its legacy and its psychological matrix our country is a
part of European cultural continent.

However, Ukraine itself does not know about this. An average Ukrainian
citizen, a “layperson”, knows poorly his or her history, and practically
knows nothing about Ukrainian cultural heritage.

It’s very difficult to “integrate” anywhere, if we ourselves are not
culturally “integrated”. The entity that is deprived of historical memory,
lacks self-understanding and has only a vague idea of the point of reference
or criteria for comparison, is difficult to “integrate”.

The incident with my translator concluded with me presenting her with my own
little volume with Lesya Ukrainka’s “Cassandra.” Recently I got a note that
she is finishing the translation of this drama and leading the negotiations
with the Prague theater, which has expressed eagerness to create a stage
production of “Cassandra.”

I really hope that afterwards – at least in the city quarter, where
“Cassandra” is played on stage – the announcements on the doors of some
houses saying something in the vein of “dogs and Ukrainians not wanted” will
disappear.

After all the image of Ukraine in Europe should not be shaped only by
Ostarbeiter and female sex workers, but also by the realization that this
country had high culture  in the past and is capable of exporting it.

Sometimes it seems to me we’re back in 1920s, in the times sarcastically
described by Tychyna: “For God’s sake, pull up your cuffs, tell them
something: they’re asking if we have culture!” [2]

Indeed “they” ask, but it’s “we” who have the task. The completion of this
task depends on how we can answer “them”, and if we can take on this
challenge.

Without exaggeration it’s the question of our country’s survival in the
foreseeable future, – if we really want to integrate into Europe and become
a part of the civilized world.                          -30-
————————————————————————————————-
                                                  FOOTNOTES:
[1] Mayakovsky Vladimir “Soviet Passport,” translated into English by
Herbert Marshall;
http://www.marxists.org/subject/art/literature/mayakovsky/1929/my-soviet-passport.htm
[2] Tychyna Pavlo “A Test”, translated into English by Michael M. Naydan
/The Complete Early Poetry Collections of Pavlo Tychyna, Litopys Publishers,
2000, p.251                                                      -30-
————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
10. CHRONICLE: RECENT DEVELOPMENTS UKRAINIAN LEGISLATION
                                              February-March 2007

Dr. Irina Paliashvili, President, Russian-Ukrainian Legal Group, P.A.
Kiev, Ukraine; Washington, D.C., USA, April 20, 2007

The “Chronicle of Recent Developments in Ukrainian Legislation” is a monthly
summary of the most important legislative developments in Ukraine in the
area of business and corporate law, and is prepared, published and
distributed by the Russian-Ukrainian Legal Group as a free service. .

The Chronicle is distributed only via e-mail, in English and Russian, by the
middle of each month, and will summarize the legislative developments of the
previous month.

The Chronicle is prepared in an effort to capture news of greatest interest
to the widest cross-section of our firm’s clientele, without restating all
legislation published and drowning our readers in too much information.

Due to the winnowing process necessary when preparing the Chronicle, we
cannot and do not guarantee that it contains a comprehensive list of all
Ukrainian legislation relevant to your business.

Finally, please bear in mind that this summary does not constitute legal
advice; it is an informational service only.  Should you wish to receive
further information or actual legal advice, please do not hesitate email us
at chronicle@rulg.com.

CHRONICLE OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN UKRAINIAN LEGISLATION
                                              February-March 2007
                                                    BANKING
1) National Bank of Ukraine Resolution No 31 “On Approving the Procedure for
Building up Reserves for Securities Operations at Ukrainian Banks” dated 2
February 2007. The Procedure gives the terms and conditions for calculating
and building up securities reserves. The Procedure took effect on 16 March
2007.

In addition to the Procedure, the NBU approved amendments to the
“Instruction on the Procedure for Regulating Banking Activities in Ukraine”
pertaining to the size of a bank’s capital required by law. These amendments
shall take effect on 5 May 2007.

2) Decision of the Fund for Guaranteeing the Deposits of Individuals No. 1
“On Increasing the Amount of Compensation for Deposits” dated 14 February
2007.

This Decision increases the amount of individuals’ deposits, including
interests on them, guaranteed by the government against a bank’s default.
Deposits are now guaranteed up to 25,000 UAH in value.

The Decision also covers depositors of JSCB Rostok Bank, JSB Allonzh, JSCB
Premierbank, JSCB Intercontinentbank, OJSC Joint-Stock Commercial Bank
Garant and LLC Kiev Universal Bank, each of which is currently undergoing
liquidation. The Decision took effect on its publication date.
                                               INSURANCE
3) State Commission for Regulation of the Financial Services Markets
Ordinance No. 6817 “On Approving the Procedure for Insurers Publicizing
Information about Insurance Contracts Effected within the System of
Non-governmental Pension Insurance” dated 15 February 2007.

This Ordinance establishes the procedure for insurers to publish information
about life pension insurance contracts, disability, and death benefits
insurance contracts of participants in non-governmental insurance funds
effected within the system of non-governmental pension insurance.

The Procedure also requires that such information be published annually by 1
June of the year following the accounting year, as part of the insurers’
annual financial reporting. This information may be either published in
periodicals, distributed as a separate printed publication, or posted on the
insurer’s website (if available). The Procedure shall take effect on 1
January 2008.
                                              LICENSING
4) Ministry of Finance Order No. 292 “On Adopting the Procedure for Approval
of Issuance of Export Licenses for Goods Specified in Schedule 1 to Cabinet
of Ministers of Ukraine Resolution No. 1852 dated 29 December 2006″ dated 28
February 2007.

The Order establishes the procedure for issuing licenses for the export of
precious metals, waste and scrap, as well as for precious and semiprecious
stones. The Procedure took effect on 27 March 2007.
                   NON-BANKING FINANCIAL SERVICES
5) State Commission for Regulation of the Financial Services Markets
Ordinance No. 6882 “On Approving Amendments to the Regulations on
Financial Rules for the Activities of Credit Unions and Joint Credit Unions”
dated 1 March 2007.

The amendments concern the refunding of fees and dues, paid by credit union
members, upon termination of membership, as well as for the build-up of
credit union capital.

The amendments also require that separate rules for financial activities
shall be established for each management regime group into which credit
unions are divided, depending on the risk inherent in their activities, the
volume and the nature of transactions, and the existence of separate
subdivisions. The Ordinance shall take effect on 1 January 2008.

6) Ministry of Finance of Ukraine Order No. 255 “On Adopting the Forms for
Documents Used to Grant Medium-Term Interest-Free Loans” dated 23
February 2007.

This Order approves a model Medium-Term Interest-Free Loan Contract,
Medium-Term Interest-Free Loan Application Form, Medium-Term Interest-Free
Loan Sum Registration Form, and Medium-Term Interest-Free Loan Order to the
State Treasury of Ukraine. The Order took effect on 3 April 2007.

7) State Commission for Regulation of the Financial Services Markets
Ordinance No. 6793 “On Approving the Procedure for Confirmation by
Reinsurance Brokers of Reinsurance Conducted by a Non-Resident Ceding
Insurer, the Financial Reliability (Stability) Rating of which Meets the
Established Requirements” dated 1 February 2007.

The Ordinance applies to reinsurance brokers, including permanent
representative offices of non-resident brokers, through which or through an
intermediary of which resident insurers enter into agreements with
non-resident reinsurers.

Reinsurance brokers must submit information about reinsurance conducted

by non-resident reinsurers, the financial reliability (stability) of which
meets the Requirements for rating the financial reliability (stability) of
non-resident insurers and reinsurers. The Ordinance took effect on 27
February 2007.

8) State Commission for Regulation of the Financial Services Markets
Ordinance No. 6832 “On Approving the Procedure for Preparing and Submitting
Reports by Credit Institutions to the State Commission for Regulation of the
Financial Services Markets of Ukraine” dated 19 February 2007.

The Ordinance establishes the Procedure for credit institutions, including
state-owned financial institutions[RHS1] , to prepare and submit reports, as
well as the general requirements for filling out accounting data forms and
the terms for their submission. The Procedure took effect on 27 March 2007.
                                                 TAXES
9) Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Resolution No. 454 “On Introducing
Amendments to the List of Products for Medical Purposes, Transactions
Involving the Sale of Which are Exempt from VAT” dated 14 March 2007.
The Resolution’s title is self-explanatory. The amendments took effect on 15
March 2007 [RHS2] .

10) State Tax Administration of Ukraine (“STA”) Letter No. 2131/7/16 – 1417
“On Considering a Letter” dated 5 February 2007. The Letter addresses
certain issues with respect to VAT calculation and payment, in particular,
the origin of the right to a tax credit.

11) STA Letter No. 2230/7/16 – 1517 “On Providing Explanations” dated 6
February 2007. The Letter explains the use of treasury bills by taxpayers
when importing goods into the customs territory of Ukraine.

12) Supreme Rada of Ukraine Committee on Finance and Banking Activities
Letter No. 06-10/10-38 “On Taxation of Individuals’ Income” dated 12
February 2007. The Letter interprets the rights of individual income
taxpayers to tax credits when paying interest on a mortgage.

13) STA Order No. 50 “On Approval of a Tax Clarification Reflecting on the
Application of Provisions of Article 43 of the Law of Ukraine “On the 2007
State Budget of Ukraine” dated 5 February 2007. The Order explains how to
apply Article 43 of the Law of Ukraine “On the 2007 State Budget of Ukraine”.

Ordinarily, when the legal address of a taxpaying business changes, certain
mandatory taxes and levies payable upon registration shall continue to be
paid at the place of previous registration till the end of the then-current
budget period.

The budget period is defined as a calendar year starting on 1 January of
each year and finishing on 31 December of the same year. The clarification
lists certain categories of taxpayers to which Article 43 of the Law does
not apply.                                             -30-
====================================================
The Chronicle of Recent Developments in Ukrainian Legislation, is a
 monthly summary of the most important legislative developments in Ukraine
in the areas of business and corporate law.  We greatly appreciate your
interest in the Chronicle and welcome any comments or suggestions you might

have.All messages should be sent via e-mail to chronicle@rulg.com, Website:
www.rulg.com
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
11.           “IMPROVISATION IS ONLY GOOD IN JAZZ”
               Ukrainian foreign minister made serious blunders in Moscow

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Volodymyr Kravchenko
Zerkalo Nedeli, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 21 Apr 07, p 4
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ukraine’s new and inexperienced foreign minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk
committed a serious error while on an official visit to Moscow, a well-
respected weekly has written.

His proposal to review the “big treaty” on Ukrainian-Russian friendship was
clearly inappropriate and could entail serious problems if not corrected, as
it contains clauses which Russia would probably prefer to omit in a future
“upgrade”, the paper said.

The timing was extremely poor for Ukraine as it is in the midst of political
infighting at home and is weak on the international arena.

The following is the text of a report by Volodymyr Kravchenko, entitled
“Improvisation is only good in jazz”, published in the Ukrainian newspaper
Zerkalo Nedeli on 21 April, subheadings have been inserted editorially:

Leaving for his first working visit to Moscow in the most democratic
manner – economy class on a numbered flight – banker, economist and now
diplomat Arseniy Yatsenyuk opened his Moscow season. Observers in Kiev
note that Yatsenyuk “looked very, very good during his first round”.

In the opinion of our sources, the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry
held negotiations on a decent level with heavyweight Russian diplomats –
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Security Council
Secretary Igor Ivanov.

Yatsenyuk was able to make a good presentation of Kiev’s positions in the
diplomatic sparring on such issues as demarcation of the Ukrainian-Russian
land border, economic cooperation, the Single Economic Space [of Russia,
Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus], NATO, the Dniester region and Kosovo.

Indicative is the fact that the sides practically agreed to begin
demarcation of the land-based border in the first half of this year. But the
main Ukrainian diplomat “was a bit uncertain” on the topic of the Russian
Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol.

Yatsenyuk said in Moscow that the use of Russian state symbols in Sevastopol
“is one of the last links in the chain of issues which need to be resolved
on the Black Sea Fleet”. One could feel that the topic was new for him and
that he was not yet acquainted with all the nuances.
                                       SERIOUS BLUNDER
And that would not really be a big deal, if the foreign minister of Ukraine
had not voiced an unexpected proposal to his Russian counterpart – to renew
the big Ukrainian-Russian treaty.

To put it mildly, this initiative perplexed many of us journalists at
Zerkalo Nedeli, as it did many experts and people within the Ukrainian
diplomatic corps.

Earlier, Zerkalo Nedeli made the decision to not expound on a number of
blunders and diplomatic errors committed by Mr Yatsenyuk during his first
visit to Brussels.

If only because the trip to Brussels took place mere days after he was
appointed head of the Foreign Ministry. And not being a career diplomat, Mr
Yatsenyuk had a very weak understanding of the nuances of the Ukrainian
position on a number of issues.

But his get-acquainted visit to Moscow took place four weeks after being
appointed foreign minister and in this time one could have drawn some
conclusions. In particular, that improvisation is only good in jazz.

In diplomacy it is fraught with serious consequences, since the words of the
foreign minister carry special weight, and reflect the position of the
state.

After all, the president, prime minister and head of the foreign ministry
are those persons who, according to the Venice Convention, represent a
country’s official position. And that means that our partners examine what
is said at negotiations under a microscope and will not fail to take
advantage of mistakes.
                          POOR TIMING, WEAK POSITION
The potential danger for our country that was created by Yatsenyuk’s ill
considered offer to renew the “big treaty” does not lie in the idea itself.
There is no sin in giving the treaty more substance and making it more
modern.

But agreements are meant to be reviewed at the proper time. And not at times
when the position of the state on the international arena is weakened by a
permanent internal political crisis and the minister of foreign affairs is
drowning in the nuances of the issue of Ukrainian-Russian relations.

Otherwise, we will get results which are opposite to what we expect: the
experienced Russian diplomatic corps will make full use of the indeterminate
situation in our country as a lever of influence and taking into
consideration Ukrainians’ interest in making an agreement, will negotiate
concessions advantageous to the Kremlin.

It is possible that Arseniy Yatsenyuk does not know this, but Russian MPs
and politicians have recently tried several times to make the treaty a card
to play in its games with Kiev.

The last time was last summer, when the [Russian] State Duma [parliament]
asked its government for information on steps to return Crimea to Russia,
since in 2007, the 10-year time frame of the treaty comes to an end.

Without doubt, the current big treaty is not perfect. But there are a number
of clauses in it which remain of fundamental importance to our country.

For example, Ukraine and Russia recognizing the territorial integrity of
each other’s states and the inviolability of borders (Articles 2 and 3), as
well as the inadmissibility of using “force or the threat of force,
including economic and other methods of pressure” (Article 3).

These clauses on their own make the document a “holy cow” for Kiev. For
the basis of the political agreement is a framework document in which the
countries fix not simply declarations, but specific obligations.

And some Ukrainian experts suppose that in light of Russia’s current foreign
policy, there are clauses in the treaty to which Russian diplomats would not
likely agree today. Today the Russians would probably try to change the
emphasis in favour of processes of integration.

What we have written means that Kiev does not at all intend to initiate an
“up-date” of the base treaty between Ukraine and Russia. Especially since
the 10-year period of its effect has not ended and it has not been extended.

(Under Article 39, the treaty on friendship, cooperation and partnership
between Ukraine and Russia, signed in May 1997, comes into force the day
ratification papers are exchanged. And the protocol on exchanging these
documents was only signed on 1 April 1999.

Article 40 reads that the agreement is automatically extended if neither of
the sides states at least six months before the end of the treaty in writing
that it desires to end the effect of the document.) And Yatsenyuk’s proposal
is his own impromptu, initiated without consulting with experts.
                                  ERROR MUST BE FIXED
Unfortunately, in Moscow the inexperienced minister’s colleagues did not
point out to him that his idea was inappropriate. And Yatsenyuk managed to
repeat the topic he became enamoured of “on the expediency of updating the
big treaty”: first in negotiations with Lavrov and later at the
news-conference.

There was enough time between these two events for the Ukrainian ambassador
or another high-ranking Ukrainian diplomat to drop his boss a hint that such
an offer was inappropriate.

By the way, the Ukrainian minister’s words provoked unhidden surprise on

the part of the Russians. Some of our sources say – pleasant surprise.

It is easy to understand the Russian diplomats: the Ukrainian foreign
minister presented a gift which they were not expecting at all. It is not
surprising that they agreed to discuss this issue at future negotiations.

And here one recalls one of Oleksiy Ivchenko’s first visits to Moscow as
head of Naftohaz Ukrayiny, when he suggested reviewing the terms of
supplying Russian gas to Ukraine.

At that time, the Russians could hardly believe their luck and called Kiev
for three days trying to figure out what those “cunning Ukies” had dreamed
up. We are all acutely aware of how Mr Ivchenko’s proposal affected our
country in January 2006.

Of course, Mr Yatsenyuk made a serious error, one which as far as we know,
the minister has already become aware of himself and one about which he has
drawn certain conclusions.

Fortunately, this mistake can be corrected. Diplomatic experience shows that
after such sensational statements are made, diplomats’ behind-the-scenes
work begins: the other side tries to find out what exactly this or that
representative of the other state meant when he made the unexpected
statement.

Is it worth taking seriously, or were these words a show of incompetence?
World practice shows that in such situations, the side which initiated the
issue either tries to forget it or puts on the brakes.

For example in our case, offering to prepare an agreement meant to develop
the current treaty on friendship, cooperation and partnership between
Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

Perhaps that exit will satisfy Moscow: difficult and strenuous work on
preparing a new basic agreement would take more than one year. And the
Russians have a presidential election looming.

So why put a mine under a bilateral agreement when there are plenty of other
problems that need to be addressed as soon as possible?          -30-
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================

If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.
========================================================
12.                       UKRAINE: WORKING WITH RUSSIA


OxfordBusinessGroup, London, UK, Thursday, 19 April 2007

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Arseniy Yetsenyuk proposed renewing the 1997

Big Treaty with Russia, and urged for a plan of action to improve dialogue
between the two countries.

The Big Treaty refers to an agreement on friendship, cooperation and
partnership signed in 1997 for a ten-year period, which came into effect in
1999.

The statement followed a meeting between Yetsenyuk and his Russian
counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, at a time of political uncertainty in Ukraine,
due in part to the question of Ukraine’s relationship with its northern
neighbour.

Kiev is in the middle of a familiar stand-off between President Viktor
Yuschenko, whom many consider ‘pro-Western’, and the parliament under

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who is widely labeled ‘pro-Russian’.

Bilateral relations have often been stormy in the years following the
break-up of the Soviet Union. Certain political factions in Ukraine have
consistently called for a deliberate weakening of ties with Russia, adopting
Western-oriented policies and neo-liberal principles.

For some Ukrainians, integration of their country into Western institutions
such as the EU and the NATO are as important for their symbolic value as
statements of independence as for their actual economic or security
benefits.

Although ‘pro-Russian’ sentiment in Ukraine is difficult to define, ranging
from those seeking a return to rule from Moscow to those who are wary of
perceived Western meddling, there is a widespread resentment in Moscow of
Ukrainian calls for greater independence.

Russia maintains a lingering sentiment that it not only helped foster
Ukraine’s development by providing heavy industrial assets to Ukraine during
Soviet times, but that the country continues to subsidise Ukraine with cheap
energy resources.

Indeed, the question of energy is one of the most politically fraught. The
relationship reached a low-ebb in January 2006, when the two neighbours

were embroiled in a dispute over gas.

Russia accused Ukraine of siphoning off natural gas bound for Europe, in
response to Moscow’s halt of deliveries to Ukraine. The cut-off stemmed

from Ukraine’s unwillingness to pay higher tariffs.

Many, at the time, including Yuschenko, accused Russia of using energy
prices as a political tool to influence parliamentary elections in March of
that year. Though direct Russian influence was not apparent in the 2006
polls, detractors argue that the gas crisis was nonetheless beneficial to
pro-Russian parties from the East of Ukraine.

Another politically charged issue is the continued Russian naval presence in
the port of Sevastopol in Crimea. Under the 1997 agreement, the Russia’s
Black Sea fleet is allowed to remain in the port until 2017.

In the wake of the gas crisis, Ukraine abruptly raised the rent charged to
the Russian government for usage of the port. In response, the Russian
government banned the import of Ukrainian dairy and meat products, claiming
food safety concerns.

Having said that, the relationship between Russia and Ukraine appears to
have evolved significantly since the 2006 dispute, as evidenced by the
decreased Russian ‘presence’ in the current stand-off.

Though some hard-line neo-imperialists in the Russian media and Russia’s
parliament the Duma have been vocal on behalf of the Yanukovych government,
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who was publicly supportive of Yanukovych
during the 2004’s ‘Orange Revolution,’ has maintained a low public profile
this time around.

Meanwhile, Lavrov recently made an appeal for calm in the current stalemate
and indicated that Russia was prepared to intervene in the political crisis
only if requested.

Yanukovych himself seems to have tempered his pro-Russian stance. He has
discussed the possibility of a Western mediation of the crisis, or
potentially an East-West mediation involving countries like Austria, Poland
and Russia to help resolve the crisis.

Political turbulence aside, economic relations continue to look robust.
Yetsenyuk reassured Russian investors that their investments in Ukraine were
not in danger despite the ongoing stand off, and described the current
situation as temporary political turbulence.

“The Ukrainian economy is open to Russian capital in whatever currency, we
offer guarantees,” he said.

Yetsenyuk went on to add that Ukraine was interested in a common economic
space with Russia and called for wider cooperation on energy issues, which
are particularly important given Ukraine’s position as a transit country for
Russian gas.

Russia remains Ukraine’s most important trading partner. In 2005 the country
absorbed 22.1% of Ukrainian exports, and supplied 35.5% of its imports.

According to Ukraine’s State Statistics Committee, 42% of Ukraine’s
investment abroad in 2006 went to the Russian Federation, and the volume of
Russian investment in Ukraine in 2006 was around $980m.

According to the WTO, from 1995-2005, Ukraine was Russia’s third largest
destination for exports, after the EU and China, and the second largest
source of imports.

Former Minister of Economy Volodymyr Makhuka told OBG that over the

last year and a half, improved relations with Russia has been a “major
breakthrough” in spite of confusion and misunderstandings.

We have resumed effective political and economic dialogue, resolved the
issue of energy supply, and are coming to an understanding on several trade
disputes.                                             -30-
———————————————————————————————–
CONTACT US: mail@oxfordbusinessgroup.com;

Editorial Enquiries: cmartin@oxfordbusinessgroup.com
————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
         Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
========================================================
13. UKRAINE NEEDS MORE LEGISLATION TO JOIN WTO THIS YEAR

Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, April 20, 2007

KIEV – Ukraine must pass nine pieces of legislation within the next month to
keep alive any chance of joining the World Trade Organisation this year, the
country’s finance minister said on Friday.

“Serious matters remain to be completed and they depend on joint action by
the government and parliament,” Anatoly Kinakh told a news conference.

“There are about nine bills to be passed. This is pre-condition for joining
the WTO. We would then still have a chance of joining by the end of the
year.”

The remaining legislation marked the “final stage” before former Soviet
republic could join the WTO after more than 13 years of negotiations, he
said.

Pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko, who was swept to power in 2004 by
“Orange Revolution” mass protests, had hoped to win admission to the WTO in
his first year of office as part of his drive to move Ukraine closer to the
West.

Government ministers at the end of 2006 had said all necessary legislation
had been passed and Ukraine was on course for WTO membership in the first
six months of this year.

Kinakh said the outstanding bills dealt with health guarantees linked to
genetically modified foods as well as farm sector taxation, standardisation
and certification issues.

He said he hoped Ukraine’s political crisis, provoked by a presidential
decree dissolving a hostile parliament and calling a snap election, would
not impede the passage of the bills.

“The bills are not very long and if parliament remains able to work, we
intend to spend no more than a month on examining and passing them,” he
said.

Parliament has continued to hold regular sessions in defiance of the
dissolution order and has challenged the decree in Ukraine’s Constitutional
Court.                                                     -30-

———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
14. UKRAINE’S LEADING LADY ISSUES WARNING TO RUSSIA

By Adrian Blomfield, Telegraph, London, UK, Monday, April 16, 2007

Ukraine’s opposition leader has vowed to end Russia’s influence over her
country once and for all. Yulia Tymoshenko may soon be able to act on her
promise if she becomes prime minister once more after elections scheduled
for next month.

Mrs Tymoshenko, named the world’s third most powerful woman by Forbes
magazine, is perhaps the one politician to have emerged stronger from
Ukraine’s latest political crisis, sparked by a presidential order to
dissolve parliament earlier this month. The Kremlin will be quivering at the
prospect of Mrs Tymoshenko being granted a fresh mandate.

She served as President Viktor Yushchenko’s prime minister in 2005. She
promised to act swiftly to end Russia’s recent attempts to pull Ukraine back
into its sphere of influence.

“Our leaders have been too mentally dependent on Russia,” she said. “We

have behaved like vassals from day one of our independence. I want friendly
relations with Russia but they must be to our mutual benefit.”

Along with the president, Mrs Tymoshenko led the pro-Western Orange
Revolution of 2004 that ended a power grab by Moscow’s favoured candidate,
Viktor Yanukovich.

After 14 years as a Russian quasi-colony, Ukraine suddenly had a new
president expressing a desire for membership of the EU and Nato. But the
Orange coalition rapidly fell apart amid accusations of corruption.

In 2005, the president sacked Mrs Tymoshenko. Russia’s influence began to
grow again when Mr Yanukovich, once discredited as an electoral cheat,
became prime minister last summer.

And so, faced with a collapse of his power, the president is turning once
more to Mrs Tymoshenko.

To take on Russia, she says she must take on Mr Yanukovich’s Party of the
Regions and the oligarchs in the industrial heartlands of eastern Ukraine.

“The Party of the Regions is a vast corporation that runs Ukraine as though
it were a limited company,” she said. “Yanukovich is not an independent
politician. He’s a double marionette of Russian elites and clan managers.”
————————————————————————————————-

LINK: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main
————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
15. THE SHOW MUST GO ON?” NEW DVD RELEASE CAPTURES MAGIC,
        COLOUR & ENERGY OF UKRAINIAN FOLK ENSEMBLE VOLYN

Orest Dorosh, Creative Director, Oxygen Media and Design
Mississauga, Canada, Friday, April 20, 2007

Last summer the Volyn Ukrainian Song & Dance Company disappointed
Ukrainian folklore fans across Canada by limiting its 2006 Canadian tour to
eastern Canada. But they left behind a gift for those who missed seeing them
on stage – and for those who caught the  spectacle and want more.

The Show Must Go On! captures the vivid colour and boundless  energy of the
Volyn Ukrainian Song & Dance Company, filmed live at London Ontario’s
Grand Theatre on June 20, 2006.

Now audiences anywhere can experience the energy and excitement of Volyn –
gravity-defying leaps and frenetic footwork against a backdrop of swirling
colours and harmonious melodies.  And they can enjoy it as often as they
like – on DVD.

Both music and choreography reflect Ukrainian rituals and traditions of the
annual cycle and of family life, as well as representations from Ukrainian
history.

Volyn’s repertoire includes more than 150 songs and dances, including
original contemporary works by renowned composers of Volyn Oblast
(province).

The music ranges from rip-roaring depictions of daredevil Cossacks to
humorous songs, reflective ballads, and tender love songs, as well as works
from world folk classics.

The company’s Artistic Director is Oleksander Stadyk, the recipient of the
National Art Activist Award and the Lutsk Province’s Stravinsky Prize.

Under the genius of Stadnyk’s arrangements, traditional Ukrainian folk music
takes on an element of modernity without losing its essence. Volyn’s music
is so appealing that other performing ensembles across Ukraine, as well as
North America, are using it.

The Volyn Ukrainian Song & Dance Company was founded in 1978 in Lutsk
(Volyn Oblast) as the Volyn State Academic Ukrainian Folk Choir, in
affiliation with the Volyn Provincial Philharmonic.

Of the 80 choir members, most are professionally-trained and include five
recipients of the National Artist of Ukraine Award, and one recipient of the
National Art Activist Award.

The Volyn Ukrainian Song & Dance Company has consistently performed to
critical acclaim around the world and has won numerous national and
international awards.

The ensemble has presented nearly 3200 concerts in Ukraine as well as the
US, Canada, Italy, Holland, Austria, Greece, Poland, Russia, Belarus,
Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

To date, Volyn has released three albums of folk and contemporary songs,
including one of Christmas carols and New Years songs (koliady and
shchedrivky). Volyn is presently preparing a new program to celebrate its
30th anniversary in 2008.

Produced by NorthStreams, The Show Must Go On! is the first ever
Ukrainian High Definition DVD release. It retails for just $35.00USD and is
now available across Canada wherever Ukrainian cultural products are sold.

It can also be purchased direct from www.VolynLive.com. For a limited time
the DVD also contains a BONUS CD of the latest recordings from Volyn.

For more information on the Volyn Ukrainian Song & Dance Company, their
CDs and The Show Must Go On! DVD, contact NorthStreams at 416.620.6933
or email info@volynLive.com. Website: www.volynlive.com

Youtube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=T-8FMmB7mkI
                http://youtube.com/watch?v=_uTPmLNDTcE
—————————————————————————————————-
Orest Dorosh, Creative Director, Oxygen Media and Design
Mississauga, Canada, orest.dorosh@gmail.com
—————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
16. STATUE IN ESTONIA SYMBOLIZES GRUDGES AGAINST RUSSIA
                       Battle of symbols and memories is being waged

By Gary Peach, Associated Press, Tallinn, Estonia, Sun, Apr 22, 2007

TALLINN, Estonia — The life-size statue of a Red Army soldier stands at a
crossroads in this Baltic capital, fist clenched and head bowed, marking the
spot where Soviet war dead are buried.

But the statue is engulfed in bitter debate over the Soviet army’s place in
European history, which could come to a head this week if the Estonian
government goes ahead with plans to dig up the tomb and move the statue

to a park outside Tallinn.

Russians are appalled, and the Kremlin has warned of “irreversible
consequences” for relations with Estonia.

Estonia is not alone. These days, throughout formerly Soviet-controlled
eastern Europe, a battle of symbols and memories is being waged — over
statues, street names, the hammer and sickle, even Auschwitz.

Now firmly entrenched in the West through NATO and European Union
membership, many countries are showing renewed eagerness to erase the more
visible vestiges of communism.

The dispute underscores the opposing views of the Soviet legacy in Russia
and its former satellites. Russia’s resurgent patriotism under President
Vladimir Putin has only widened the gap as countries from the Baltics to the
Balkans seek to shed the last vestiges of communism.

Russia views the Soviet troops as heroes who rescued the three Baltic states
from a racist Nazi regime. Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians say the
Soviet regime that held sway over them for 45 years after World War II was
even more repressive.

“This is not a monument to the victors of the war but a monument to the
destruction of the Estonian Republic,” said lawmaker Mart Laar.

The problem, says Eugeniusz Smolar, head of the Center for International
Relations, a Polish think tank, is that “Russia has never come to terms with
its history.”

Russians continue to see themselves only as victims of World War II, he
said, and ignore the dictatorial systems they imposed on the countries they
liberated from the Germans.

Opposing interpretations of history clashed earlier this month in Auschwitz,
where Polish curators of a museum at the former death camp refused to let
Russia to open its exhibit.

Russia claimed that hundreds of thousands of “Soviet citizens” died in the
Holocaust. The Poles vehemently rejected this, saying those victims, mostly
Jews, were from territories occupied by the Soviet Union in league with the
Nazis between 1939 and 1941.

Sergei Mironov, a senior Russian lawmaker, called the Polish decision
“sacrilegious,” and its reasoning “stupid.”

After regaining independence, the communist bloc nations tore down statues
of Lenin, Stalin and the idealized socialist laborer. But respect for the
Soviet role in defeating Hitler was not entirely erased. In Hungary and
Lithuania, many of those statues now stand in parks and are major tourist
draws.

In Estonia, there are scores of Soviet monuments that stir no anger — 
one-third of the population is ethnic Russian — but the Bronze Soldier
stands out because it has become a popular staging point for pro-Russian
rallies.

Poland’s governing Law and Justice party has called for changing street
names that have a communist taint. Romania has issued a 650-page report
detailing and condemning communist atrocities.

In 2005 members of the European Parliament from former communist countries
demanded that communist symbols be banned along with the swastika, citing
the death toll inflicted by communist dictatorships. The initiative was
rejected.

Estonian lawmakers are pushing for a ban on the hammer and sickle, while
Latvian lawmakers have drafted legislation making it a crime to deny the
Soviet occupation.

In Hungary, a right-wing fringe group has gathered 200,000 signatures
calling for a referendum on removing a prominent Soviet war memorial in
Budapest.

However, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany is opposed. “We are not the only
ones who have national feelings,” he told parliament. “Stirring up this
issue would bring Hungary more harm than good.”

But in Tallinn, the atmosphere is heating up. The government is determined
to remove the Bronze Soldier, while Estonia’s Russians, who make up
approximately one-third the country’s population, will try to prevent it.

A large pro-Kremlin youth group in Russia, Nashi, has promised to send

young people to stand guard over the monument.

Sergei Ivanov, Russia’s first deputy prime minister and possible successor
to President Vladimir Putin, called on Russians to stop buying Estonian
products and vacationing in the Baltic country.

Vladimir Velman, a member of Estonia’s parliament and a native Russian,
warns: “There’s going to be trouble as soon as the shovel touches the
ground.”                                         -30-
———————————————————————————————–
Associated Press correspondents Pablo Gorondi in Budapest, Vanessa

Gera in Warsaw, Jari Tanner in Tallinn and Alexandru Alexe in Bucharest
contributed to this report.
———————————————————————————————–
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AUR#832 Apr 22 Stalin’s Great Terror 70 Years Ago; In Ukraine 123,329 People Were Shot To Death; 68,823 Sent To Labor Camps; Russian Holodomor Archives

=========================================================
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   

 
    STALIN’S GREAT TERROR 70 YEARS AGO    
              In Ukraine there were 265,669 arrests and 198,918 cases were
            committed for trial. Sixty-two percent (123,329 people) were shot
             to death, 34.7 percent (68,823) sent to labor camps, 2.1 percent
                          (4,124) imprisoned, 0.5 percent (1,067) exiled,
                            and 0.3 percent (658) released. (Article One)
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 832
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 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.                  STALIN’S GIFT TO THE SOVIET ELECTORATE
                                    70 years after the Great Terror
By Stanislav Kulchytsky, Professor and Historian
The Day Weekly Digest #12, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 17 April 2007

2UKRAINE: CONCERNING THE EVENTS TO COMMEMORATE THE
          75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HOLODOMOR IN 1932-1933
Presidential Decree #250/2007 (in Ukrainian)
President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 2

In English, Washington, D.C., Sunday, April 22, 2007

3UKRAINE, PRESIDENTIAL DECREE: “ON COORDINATING COUNCIL
             TO PREPARE FOR COMMEMORATING EVENTS ON THE
                   OCCASION OF THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE
                               1932-1933 HOLODOMOR IN UKRAINE”
Decree by the President of Ukraine #207/2007 (in Ukrainian)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 3, (In English)
Washington, D. C., Sunday, April 22, 2007

4PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO SPEAKS TO HOLODOMOR COUNCIL
Official Website of President of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Mar 19, 2007

5.    UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT MEETS HOLODOMOR COMMITTEE
Press Office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 19, 2007

6RUSSIAN FEDERAL SECURTIY SERVICE (FSB) ARCHIVES TO OFFER
     REAL PICTURE OF 1929-1932 FAMINE SAYS UNIVERSITY RECTOR
                   “It was not only a Ukrainian tragedy, it was the tragedy for
                        the whole Soviet peasantry,” he said. Over 3.5 million
                   people died outside Ukraine during the Holodomor, he said.
Interfax, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, April 17, 2007

7.            TO ALL THOSE WHO NEVER LIVED TO SEE A PARCEL
Memorial cross to Holodomor victims unveiled in Myrivka village, Kyiv oblast
INTERVIEW: With Mr. Pluhatarenko,
Interviewed by Nadia TYSIACHNA, The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine April 3, 2007

8YUSHCHENKO CALLS ON UKRAINIANS TO ACTIVELY COLLECT
                  MATERIALS ABOUT 1932-1933 GREAT FAMINE 
Zoya Zhminko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Mar 29, 2007

9YUSHCHENKO CALLS ON PARLIAMENTS OF ALL COUNTRIES TO
   DECLARE FAMINE OF 1932-1933 GENOCIDE AGAINST UKRAINIANS
Ruslan Kyrylenko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Apr 12, 2007

10.     CITY OF KYIV DECREE ON DESIGNING & CONSTRUCTING
              THE MEMORIAL COMPLEX TO THE VICTIMS OF THE
                                    HOLODOMORS IN UKRAINE
KYIV CITY STATE ADMINISTRATION, DECREE No. 315 [In Ukrainian]
The City of Kyiv, Friday, March 23, 2007

11.         KYIV PUTS OFF CONSTRUCTION OF FAMINE VICTIMS
                                     MEMORIAL TO 2007-2009
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 27, 2007

12KYIV MAYOR CHERNOVETSKY STALLING THE CONSTRUCTION
        OF THE MEMORIAL TO THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLODOMOR
Channel 5 TV, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, March 28, 2007

13.  UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT WANTS HOLODOMOR & HOLOCAUST
                           DENIAL TO BE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE
The Day Weekly Digest #11, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 3, 2007

14SPEAKER MOROZ SEES NO PERSPECTIVES FOR BILL MAKING

Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, March 24, 2007
           Thanked deputies of the European Parliament for the initiative on
              drawing out a written declaration for recognizing Holodomor
              of 1932-1933 an act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation.
Oksana Torop, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, March 27, 20007

16. YATSENIUK INCLUDES EX-MINISTERS ZLENKO, UDOVENKO,

               Discussed holding of 75th Commemoration of Holodomor                
Daria Hluschenko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mar 24, 2007

17.      YATSENIUK, BRITISH AMBASSADOR BARROW DISCUSS
                          POLITICAL SITUATION IN UKRAINE 
              75th Anniversary of the Holodomor (the famine of 1932-1933)
Olha Volkovetska, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Apr 12, 2007

18.    SPECIAL HOLODOMOR DOUBLE ISSUE OF THE CANADIAN
          AMERICAN SLAVIC JOURNAL TO BE PUBLISHED IN 2008 

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 18
Washington, D.C., Sunday, April 22, 2007
 
19FT WEEKEND MAGAZINE – BOOKS ESSAY: GREAT DICTATORS
                                 The Cambridge History of Russia
BOOK REVIEW: By Tony Barber, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Saturday, Jan 27, 2007

20REMEMBRANCE DAY FOR VICTIMS OF HOLODOMOR & POLITICAL
          REPRESSIONS, ADDRESS BY METROPOLITIAN VOLODYMYR
ADDRESS: by Metropolitan Volodymyr on the Remembrance
Day for the Victims of Holodomor and Political Repressions
Website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (in Ukrainian), 2006
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 20 (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, April 22, 2007

 
21.                             ESSAY: THE IRON ARCHIVES
            Access to Russian historical archives has eroded, ‘re-secretization’
ESSAY: By Rachael Donadio, The New York Times,
New York, New York, Sunday, April 22, 2007
========================================================
1
          STALIN’S GIFT TO THE SOVIET ELECTORATE
                                    70 years after the Great Terror

By Stanislav Kulchytsky, Professor and Historian
The Day Weekly Digest #12, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 17 April 2007

In March 1937 a series of repressions erupted in the USSR, which came to

be known as the Great Terror after the publication of the eponymous book
by Robert Conquest. Stalin declared that the subversive activities of
saboteurs, spies, and fifth columnists the country were endangering the
country.

Seventy years is the average life expectancy. Today there are no more people
who remember Stalin’s campaign, but the events of the cruel year of 1937
imprinted themselves on people’s subconsciousness.

For Ukraine this was another year of unspeakable horror after 1933.

Scholars are still at a loss as to why it all happened.

1. THE GREAT TERROR
The Great Terror does not fit smoothly into the 1937 calendar year. The
starting point for Stalin’s action was March 1937, but it was only on July 2
that Stalin signed the decision of the Central Committee of the All-Union
Communist Party (Bolshevik) (CC VKP(B)) based on which was issued
operations instruction #00447 for the Soviet NKVD (People’s Commissariat
of Internal Affairs).

This was the first in a long series of descriptions of “enemies of the
people,” according to which 269,000 persons were to be exposed and
repressed.

The Great Terror came to an end in November 1938, when NKVD head Nikolai
Yezhov was removed from office. He was shot after being indicted on the
basis of a standard charge: “espionage on behalf of foreign intelligence
services.”

In 1963 a commission set up by the Central Committee of the Communist Party
of the Soviet Union (CC CPSU) found that 1,372,392 people were arrested in
the USSR in 1937-38, of which 681,692 were shot.

            IN UKRAINE THERE WERE 265,669 ARRESTS,

                          123,329 WERE SHOT TO DEATH                
 
In Ukraine there were 265,669 arrests and 198,918 cases were committed for
trial. Sixty-two percent (123,329 people) were shot to death, 34.7 percent
(68,823) sent to labor camps, 2.1 percent (4,124) imprisoned, 0.5 percent
(1,067) exiled, and 0.3 percent (658) released.

What distinguished the Great Terror from the Holodomor was not only the
nature of the repressions but also the absence of a distinct national
coloring. The Holodomor was the result of a Cheka-run all-out food
confiscation campaign in January 1933.

It took place when famine was spreading in the grain-producing regions of
the USSR, including Ukraine, and was caused by the confiscation of the 1932
harvest.

This grain procurement operation was in essence a terrorist activity, as it
led to tens and hundreds of thousands of deaths, but it cannot be called a
purposeful extermination campaign.

Unlike the famine of 1932-33, the Great Terror in the USSR was, from
beginning to end, a Cheka operation aimed at destroying people. After the

Holodomor and the accompanying decimation of the Ukrainian intelligentsia
in 1933, there was no need to target Ukraine specifically.

However, the long-suffering republic again found itself at the epicenter of
repressions. Stalin’s enhanced attention to Ukrainian affairs manifested
itself in 1937 perhaps only in the fact that the top leadership of the
republic was being destroyed especially methodically.

Ten out of eleven members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party
(Bolshevik) of Ukraine (CC KP(B)U) were executed. It was purely by accident
that the “all-Ukrainian headman,” Hryhorii Petrovsky, survived-thanks to the
temporary chaos reigning supreme in the state government, which was caused
by the repressions.

The all-Union census, conducted several months prior to the terror, allows
us to compare the statistical contribution of each nationality to Ukraine’s
population and arrested people.

In 1937-38 Ukrainians comprised 78.2 percent of the country’s population

and 53.2 percent of the arrested. Poles made up 1.5 and 18.9 percent,
respectively, and Germans, 1.4 and 10.2 percent.

These disproportionate figures were due to the special orders guiding Cheka
officers: order No. 00439 of July 25, 1937, on the German operation and
order No. 00485 of Aug. 11, 1937, on the Polish operation.

These orders were a continuation of the Kremlin’s repressive policy, which
began in 1935 with the deportations of Germans and Poles from Ukraine’s
border districts.

I often have occasion to debate with Russian scholars who fail to
distinguish between the Ukrainian Holodomor and the all-Union famine of
1932-33. They argue that the Stalinist repressions were class-rather than
nationally-oriented.

However, facts attest to the existence of both class-based and national
repressions. There were special operations during the Great Terror, which
targeted Poles, Germans, Latvians, Greeks, and other nationalities. Neither
did the Kremlin overlook Russians, who comprised 58.3 percent of all those
arrested in the period from October 1936 to July 1938.

In 2004 the Institute of Ukrainian History at the National Academy of
Sciences organized a workshop on the collective work, The 1932-1933
Famine in Ukraine: Causes and Consequences.

The late Viktor Danylov presented me with an unpublished table showing the
national distribution of arrests made during the Great Terror. The figure in
the paragraph above was taken from this table.

It offers convincing proof that Stalin did not have an ethnic bias or ethnic
preferences. However, it does not argue the absence of the ethnic component
in Stalin’s terror.

I believe that we will be able to find a common language with Russian
historians if we clearly distinguish the Kremlin from Moscow and the regime
from the country.

Even the Communist Party of the time was not responsible for the actions of
Stalin’s clique. Let me use the arguments presented in Danylov’s last
publication, The Soviet Village in the Years of the Great Terror.

On April 14, 1937, the Politburo of the CC VKP(B) set up a permanent
commission in order to prepare and resolve secret issues (secret from the
Politburo!). This five-man commission, consisting of Stalin, Molotov,
Kaganovich, Voroshilov, and Yezhov, dealt primarily with issues related to
the terror.

In 1937- 38 Yezhov was in Stalin’s office 278 times and spent a total of 833
hours there. Only Molotov, the head of the Council of People’s Commissars
(Radnarkom), communicated with the secretary general more frequently. This
shows who the true spearheads of the terror campaign were.

In 1997 a fundamental study entitled The Black Book of Communism was
published in Paris. It was written by an international group of authors;
translations into many languages soon followed. The chapter on “The Great
Terror” was penned by the well-known historian Nicolas Werth.

He argued that the repressions of 1937-38 pursued two objectives: first, to
subject the provincial bureaucracy to the center and second, to destroy all
suspects who figured in Cheka dossiers-members of other political parties,
opposition members from the VKP(B), and members of the privileged classes.
Werth was right but the terror did not target only the elite.

                 WHY THE EVENTS OF 1937 HAPPENED?
Hundreds of thousands of absolutely ordinary people died in the inferno of
repressions. Still unanswered is a question that was first formulated by the
Moscow-based dissident historian Mikhail Gefter in the popular Gorbachev-era
journal The 20th Century and the World (1990, no. 9):

     “I am a historian, but can I understand why the events of 1937
happened? I have not found a single example in world history  when at the
peak of a country’s success millions of its absolutely loyal citizens were
being destroyed.”

Nonetheless, an answer to this question does exist. If we reject all
speculations (e.g., that Stalin was paranoid), what remains is one
indisputable fact: the procedure of forming Soviet government bodies
underwent a radical change.

2. GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION UNDER THE

DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT
In November 1917 the Bolsheviks established what is known as the
dictatorship of the proletariat. The proletarian masses were proclaimed the
sovereign subject of power, and councils (soviets) consisted of
representatives of workers and peasants.

In the periods between congresses the legislative, executive, and judicial
power was in the hands of executive committees-bodies elected by councils.
These committees passed laws and were a day-to-day governing body that lent
an ear to the electorate’s commands.

Lenin discerned that this government organization offered his party colossal
opportunities for securing invisible dictatorship.

The formulation of electors’ orders, the nomination of candidates to
congresses of councils and making sure that these candidates were
successfully elected, supervision over the activities of deputies and, if
need be, their recall from office-all these functions were to be performed
by a structure placed outside the bounds of the constitution.

The Bolshevik party apparatus governed social life indirectly – through
Soviet government agencies. This indirect approach was deemed advantageous,
as it enabled the party to resolve key issues without taking upon itself
direct responsibility for the current state of affairs.

The power invested in Soviet government bodies was secondary in nature but
nevertheless real. The dictatorship of party committees was not reflected in
constitutions and thus did not mar the constitutional image of the councils.
Power was usurped by committees on the personal level rather than the
institutional one.

Decisions adopted by party committees were implemented precisely because
plenipotentiary representatives of the Soviet government were members of
this party and abided by its iron party discipline.

The usurpation of the power with which the councils were constitutionally
invested had to be repeated every time elections were held. That is why
elections to Soviet government bodies were always an extremely important
matter for party committees, from the lowest ones all the way to the Central
Committee.

In order to maintain its control over the country, the state party
elaborated election procedures that ensured the desired composition of
government bodies according to all parameters: class origins, party
membership, demographic features, and personal traits.

The “party-soviet” dictatorship system was based not only on coercion but on
propaganda. The system’s immediate connection with citizens enabled the
rallying of millions of people to carry out top-priority tasks earmarked by
the party leadership.

The councils employed hundreds of thousands of deputies and became an
efficient conveyor belt stretching from the state party administration to
the entire population. The same conveyor-belt function was performed by the
multimillion-strong “external” body of the party, as well as by trade
unions, the Komsomol, Pioneers, and Octobrists.

To ease the burden of orchestrating elections to the councils, the idea of
equal representation was abandoned. The Constitution of the Soviet Union
stipulated that workers had a five-time greater share of votes than
peasants.

The non-labor class was completely stripped of the right to vote. Up to 10
percent of the population belonged to this category of non-voters.

Enterprises, organizations, and educational institutions were selected as
electoral districts. Candidates were nominated on behalf of party and trade
union organizations. They were typically voted in merely with a show of
hands. Electors who disagreed with nominations were immediately subjected to
administrative influence.

Direct elections were held only to local councils. Delegates to all
congresses – from the raion to the all-Union level- were deputies from local
government bodies.

Appropriate party committees scrutinized the lists of congress delegates and
members of councils’ executive committees, from the bottom to the All-Union
Central Executive Committee.

Electioneering techniques were above criticism. Anyone who ventured any
critical remarks was immediately charged with anti-Soviet conduct and
repressed. Therefore, dissenting voices were anonymous.

A flier that was circulated in January 1929 by the Socialist Revolutionaries
(so-called SRs) in Dnipropetrovsk stated: “The Bolsheviks imposed on us
open voting in council elections. Can’t we elect freely when we elect
openly?

Who, being watched by the party cell kingpin, will have the courage to vote
for an honest non-party candidate or raise his hand in a vote against a
wicked communist if he is nominated by the party cell?”

3. THE THREAT OF FREE ELECTIONS
Committee members who specialized in organizing council elections were
shocked to read a brief notice in newspapers about the decision passed by
the February 1935 Plenum of the CC VKP(B).

The Plenum suggested that the next All-Union Congress of Soviets consider
the issue of amending the Soviet Constitution as part of its agenda. It
emphasized the need to democratize the electoral system by replacing unequal
representation with an equal one and multilevel open elections with direct
and closed ones.

In February 1935, the 7th All-Union Council of Soviets set up a
constitutional commission headed by Stalin. On June 12, 1936, the commission
published the draft of the new constitution and a nearly six- month
discussion ensued.

In Ukraine 13 million people took part in it – a record high for the
organizational and mass propaganda activities of the party and government
apparatus. On Dec. 5, 1936, the 8th Extraordinary Congress of Soviets
adopted a new constitution. The constitution proclaimed that in the Soviet
Union the construction of socialism was complete.

In this connection and according to the still valid 1919 program of the
Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) (RKP(B), the class criterion was to be
abandoned both in the distribution of voting rights and the formation of
government bodies. Therefore, multilevel elections were replaced by direct
ones and secret balloting was introduced.

Peasants were given the same rights as workers in electing and running for
election to all government bodies. Electoral districts in cities had to
reflect the residential distribution of electors rather than being tied to
production facilities (factories, institutions, etc.).

Congresses of councils on different levels were replaced by sessional
meetings of local and republican councils and the Union’s Supreme Soviet.
New councils were beginning to exhibit the features of the parliamentary
system.

The fundamental changes to constitutional norms did not alter the real
government system one iota. Councils were not an independent branch of power
prior to that and were unable to become one in the parliamentary system.
Party committees maintained their control over state and society.

However, their dictatorship was officially denied and hidden behind the
empty phrase, “the dictatorship of the proletariat.” The Constitution of the
Soviet Union declared that the Communist Party was the governing nucleus of
all public and state organizations, but this declaration was legally void.

Numerous documents have already been published, which confirm the growing
discontent of the party and government staff with Stalin’s dictatorship.

Apparatchiks were dissatisfied with another power hierarchy that he had
built-the one in the system of state security agencies. A protest against
the terrorist methods of governance was spreading throughout the entire
society.

Stalin could not be a dictator by relying only on the GPU-NKVD (State
Political Directorate-People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs). He needed
strong support from the party and government apparatus. In order to secure
this support the secretary general made bureaucrats face the danger of free
elections.

Wielding control over state security bodies, Stalin was the only one who
could avert the threat of new people appearing on all the rungs of the
Soviet administrative ladder.

Cognizant of this, Soviet apparatchiks had to rally around the secretary
general to jointly counter the threat posed by Stalin’s constitution –
without a hint of irony, the most democratic constitution in the world.

Everyone understood that in helping to hold democratic elections state
security agencies could employ the usual Cheka methods of state terror. In
this way, the party and government apparatus gave Stalin carte blanche to
carry out repressions on any kind of scale.

In the situation engineered by the secretary general, those who refused to
follow orders mechanically were to perish in the inferno of terror. There
was no shortage of eager successors.

4. “FREE ELECTIONS” ACCORDING TO STALIN’S

CONSTITUTION
Embodied in the 1919 program of the RKP(B) was a plan that the party chiefs
had for carrying out communist reforms. This program, with its violent
trial-and-error implementation, was considered valid until Khrushchev’s day.
Some elements were successful, while others had to be temporarily shelved or
permanently abandoned.

Since the 1938 publication of the Brief History of the VKP(B), which glossed
over the party’s failures and emphasized its achievements, the history of
the USSR unfolded as a succession of tasks set by the prescient leadership
for the people and fulfilled by the heroic efforts of the latter.

Only on one occasion did the gift of foresight fail the leadership – on June
22, 1941. The suddenness of the attack was used as an excuse for all the
failures that the Red Army experienced over the next 18 months.

The above implies that what Stalin had in mind was a certain sequence of
actions stipulated by the party program. The proclamation about the
successful construction of socialism would by necessity entail certain
actions on his part and these he calculated well in advance.

The proof is found in the changes that were introduced in the criminal
procedure codes of the Union republics after Kirov’s assassination in
December 1934. Technically, they provided for mass terror, even though
for a certain period of time they were not implemented.

On the day Stalin’s constitution was adopted, an announcement was issued
about scheduling the elections to the USSR’s Supreme Soviet at “an early
date.” However, they were delayed for an entire year, until Dec. 12, 1937.

Instead of the election, in February-March 1937 Stalin organized a plenum of
the CC VKP(B), which set the Great Terror in motion. The delay was
necessary in order to prepare the electorate properly.

The unfolding terror put an end to any talk of alternative nominations –
such as took place during the discussion of the draft constitution.
Electoral commissions pledged to register only one candidate for each
deputy’s office – the candidate nominated by the “bloc of communists

and non-party citizens.”

Proposals of alternative nominations were viewed as anti-Soviet
manifestations. However, in keeping with world practice, the ballots bore
the following inscription: “Leave the name of the one candidate you are
voting for and cross out the rest.”

Even when ballots contained only one name, in free elections voters were
supposed to express their opinion in writing, i.e., by crossing out one word
in the pair “agree-disagree.” Nevertheless, the organizers of the first and
all subsequent Soviet elections by secret vote introduced a treacherous
simplification of the ballot: it mentioned only the candidate’s name and the
first nominating organization.

This way, a positive vote did not require a written mark. A negative vote,
on the contrary, would make it necessary to cross out the candidate’s name
on the ballot. Thus, only those voters who intended to cast a nay vote had
to go into one of the voting booths. The booths became a testing ground for
loyalty.

Voters were at the disposition of a huge army of agitators, who were
recruited according to the industrial feature of their milieu. An agitator
was personally responsible for ensuring that all his voters went to the
polls. But agitators were not responsible for ensuring that they voted as
they should. Here, the key role in creating a proper atmosphere was played
by the state security organs.

During the terrorist operations that came one after another, hundreds of
thousands of people were physically exterminated, and millions were
destroyed morally by being coerced into cooperating with the security
agencies, public denouncements of so-called “enemies of the people,” and
false testimonies against work colleagues, acquaintances, and even family
members. People were entrusted with ballots only after they had been
terrorized into a desirable condition.

5. RETURNING TO THE HOLODOMOR
This article began with a reference to the Holodomor, and I would like to
end it on the same painful topic.

More precisely, I would like to share my thoughts on possible ways of
persuading scholars, the general public, and the government of the Russian
Federation, as well as all Ukrainian citizens who identify with us, that
Stalin’s terror had all three components – social-class, national, and
individual.

The Russian government cannot be accused of defending Stalin. They have a
pragmatic fear that Ukraine will demand financial compensation from Russia
for the death of millions of Ukrainian citizens. This anxiety is shared by
Ukrainian political figures, who are afraid of spoiling our relations with
Russia.

Recently I had a conversation with a high-ranking official in the “corridors
of power.” He claimed that rather than genocide, what happened in 1933 was
sociocide, which affected his non-Ukrainian relatives, among others.

The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
Genocide does not include sociocide in its classification of crimes. This is
precisely the reason why he used the term “sociocide,” despite the fact that
several years earlier, and in a different political situation, he had spoken
with complete confidence about the fact of genocide.

Politicians must apply measures in order to convince their Russian
colleagues that Ukraine does not intend to place the burden of
responsibility for Stalin’s terror on Russia. Unfortunately, these
intentions are occasionally declared by political extremists. But extremists
are in ample supply everywhere, including Russia.

Our scholars and journalists should aim at restoring the historical memory
of the Ukrainian nation, which endured both physical and moral sufferings
caused by Stalin’s terror. Isn’t it humiliating for us to pigeonhole the
deaths of our family members: genocide goes here and sociocide goes there?

The Great Terror, just like the Great Famine, proves that the Stalinist
repressions were omnivorous. They were an instrument of state policy. During
the collectivization campaign peasants suffered from repressions, and this
type of terror may be called sociocide.

This is also another kind of genocide, but it does not appear in the UN
Convention on genocide adopted on Dec. 9, 1948, only because Soviet
representatives at the UN knew the history of their country all too well.
Collectivization and the grain procurement policy led to the 1932-33 famine,
which had an especially pronounced adverse impact on Ukrainian peasants.

There is a political reason behind this fact as well: Stalin wanted to
engineer a severe famine in the Ukrainian SSR and Kuban in order to prevent
a social explosion that was emerging as a result of the destructive grain
procurement policy.

During the Great Terror, Cheka officers were proportionally the largest
victim category because Stalin needed to shift the blame for the mass
persecutions onto others.

An instrument of state policy until the early 1950s, mass terror in Ukraine
had two spikes – in 1933 and 1937. In both cases they hit the target. This
can easily be checked against the experience of the oldest or even the
middle of today’s three generations.

People older than 40 can be asked two questions: why didn’t you make any
public mention of the famine in Ukraine, which at the time was common
knowledge but officially silenced? Why did you vote in favor of the single
candidate by avoiding the voting booth?

One should bear in mind that this state of affairs lasted from 1953 to 1987,
i.e., over three and a half decades-without mass terror, only facilitated,
if necessary, by preventive conversations in KGB offices.
 STALIN’S TERROR STILL HAS ITS STRANGLEHOLD ON US
Stalin’s terror still has its stranglehold on us: we do not feel humiliated
by the fact that we live in cities or walk down streets that bear the names
of Cheka officers and their bosses.                         -30-
——————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/180519/

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2. UKRAINE: CONCERNING THE EVENTS TO COMMEMORATE THE
          75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HOLODOMOR IN 1932-1933

Presidential Decree #250/2007 (in Ukrainian)
President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 2

In English, Washington, D.C., Sunday, April 22, 2007

Kyiv, Ukraine

Concerning the events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Holodomor in
1932-1933

To ensure the commemoration of Holodomor victims and in support of the
initiatives by the Coordinating Council to prepare for the 75th anniversary
of Holodomor in 1932-1933 I rule:

1. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, jointly with members of the
Coordinating Council to prepare for the 75th anniversary of Holodomor, is to
draw up within 30 days an agreed draft plan of events for 2006-2007 to
commemorate the 75th anniversary of Holodomor in 1932-1933 which ensures:

– events to publicize and explain the law “On Holodomor in 1932-1933 in
Ukraine”;

– creation of the National Book of Memory and its regional  variants and
formation of a unified roster of genocide victims;

– erection of Holodomor monuments and commemorative plaques in Famine-hit
areas;

– erection in Kyiv of a monument to James Mace, a prominent Holodomor
researcher;

– holding a campaign for international recognition by the world community,
specifically by the United Nations and European Parliament, of the 1932-1933
Holodomor as genocide of the Ukrainian people;

– assistance to Ukrainian diaspora in organizing and running an
international contest by Oct. 1, 2007 for the best project for a monument to
the Holodomor victims to be erected in Washington, USA;

– assessment of the possibility to erect similar Holodomor monuments and
commemorative plaques  in other foreign countries;

– cooperation with the International [Holodomor] Coordinating Committee of
the World Ukrainian Congress on planning the commemorative 75th anniversary
Holodomor events;

– staging in Kyiv in 2008 of an international forum on the 75th anniversary
of Holodomor;

-launching grants for Holodomor researchers;

– formation of a uniform roster of Holodomor documents and restitution  of
Holodomor period documents from other countries to Ukraine;

– staging in Ukraine of tours on Holodomor by artistic companies and
individuals;

– staging foreign tours by artistic groups to spread credible information
about Holodomor in 1932-1933 in the world and Holodomor exhibitions in
foreign parliaments and government institutions;

– staging in Ukraine of permanent exhibitions of archive materials,
photographs, books, and paintings related to the Holodomor of the Ukrainian
nation as well as updating Holodomor exhibitions in local lore museums;

– shooting a feature film and documentary films on the 1932-1933 Holodomor;

– holding competitions for the best book, painting, musical piece to
commemorate the victims of genocide in 1932-1933;

– publication, re-publication and dissemination of research, feature and
documentary books, collections of documents and materials on Holodomor as
well as their translations into foreign languages for dissemination in other
countries;

– conducting Holodomor lessons and lectures in educational institutions and
military units;

– ensuring enhanced study of the causes and consequences of Holodomor in
secondary and higher education establishments;

– staging among school children, students and faculty an all-Ukrainian
contest titled “Holodomor in 1932-1933: Ukraine Remembers!” for the best
epic material on Holodomor;

– initiating an annual tradition for Ukrainian school children of laying
ears of wheat on the monuments of genocide victims;

– issuing a stamp and envelop to commemorate the 75th anniversary of
Holodomor;

2.The Cabinet of Ministers and the Kyiv state administration are to ensure
the completion by Oct. 1, 2008 in Kyiv of the construction of a memorial
complex to the victims of Holodomor, as envisaged by subunit 3 of unit 2 of
article 5 of the Final Provisions of the law “On Holodomor in 1932-1933.”

 3. The Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, oblast
and Kyiv and Sevastopol city administrations are to:

– create within 30 days coordinating councils including members of the
public to ensure the organization and staging of events to mark the 75th
anniversary of Holodomor in Ukraine in accordance to approved plans of
events;

– give maximum support to NGOs, charity funds, and individuals in their
activities aimed at commemorating the Holodomor victims and running of
research and educational programs related to Holodomor;

– ensure the collection in Ukraine of evidence on Holodomor with
participation of individual researchers and NGOs;

– make proposals (within 3 months) on awarding by the state of individuals
who made significant contributions to the study of Holodomor and spreading
the truth about this tragedy in Ukraine and worldwide;

-prepare by late 2007 local rosters of Holodomor victims and ensure proper
upkeep of their graves;

-initiate dismantling of monuments and commemorative plaques to persons
implicated in organizing and conducting the genocide and political
repressions against Ukrainians as well as renaming of streets, parks,
squares named after Holodomor perpetrators;

4. The State Committee for TV and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine, the
National TV Company, the National Radio Company are to ensure wide coverage
of events related to commemorating the 75th anniversary of Holodomor and to
produce information, TV and radio programs on Holodomor in Ukraine.

President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko
March 28, 2007
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3. UKRAINE, PRESIDENTIAL DECREE: “ON COORDINATING COUNCIL
             TO PREPARE FOR COMMEMORATING EVENTS ON THE
                   OCCASION OF THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE
                               1932-1933 HOLODOMOR IN UKRAINE”

Decree by the President of Ukraine #207/2007 (in Ukrainian)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 3, (In English)
Washington, D. C., Sunday, April 22, 2007

To ensure due organization and presentation of events to commemorate
the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor in Ukraine and in support of the
initiatives voiced by the Ukrainian and world public I rule:

1. To create under the president of Ukraine the Coordinating council to
prepare for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the 1932-1933
Holodomor.

2. The Coordinating council’s main objective is to prepare proposals for
coordinating the events to be staged by the executive, scientific and public
institutions in commemoration of the Holodomor victims and on the
occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932-
1933.

3. The Coordinating council consists of its Head, Secretary and other
members. The CC is headed by the president of Ukraine. The list of CC
members is to be approved by the president. (The list is enclosed).

4. To prepare and conduct the events in commemoration of the 1932-1933
Holodomor in Ukraine, the Coordinating council may hold joint sessions
with the Organizing committee which was set up by the cabinet resolution
#561-p of Dec. 23, 2005.

                             LIST OF MEMBERS:
[1] Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine, Head of the
Coordinating Council.
[2] Serhij Bilokin, leading researcher of the Institute of Ukrainian
History at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU).
[3] Oleh Bilorus, member of parliament (given his acceptance).
[4] Olena Bondarenko, member of parliament (given her acceptance).
[5] Valentyna Borysenko, Professor, Kyiv Shevchenko national
university (given her acceptance).

[6] Leonid Chernovetsky, Mayor of Kyiv.
[7] Yevhen Cholij, deputy chair, Ukrainian World Congress, Canada
(given his acceptance).
[8] Ivan Dziuba, writer, NASU Academician (given his acceptance).
[9] Ivan Drach, writer, head of Ukrayina-Svit society for links with
Ukrainian diaspora (given his acceptance).
[10] Oleksandr Feldman, member of parliament (given his acceptance).

[11] Anatolij Hajdamaka, Corresponding Member of the Academy
of Arts of Ukraine (given his acceptance).
[12] lha Herasymiuk, member of parliament (given her acceptance).
[13] Yevhen Hirnyk, member of parliament (given his acceptance).
[14] Serhij Holovatyj, member of parliament (given his acceptance).
[15] Liliya Hryhorovych, member of parliament (given her acceptance).

[16] Yaroslava Khortyani, President of the European Congress of
Ukrainians,head of the Ukrainian Cultural Society in Hungary, the
Hungarian Republic, (given her acceptance).
[17] Oleksij Kopytko, coordinator of the “Yesterday” project under
“Ukrayina  3000” international charity foundation (given his acceptance).
[18] Roman Krutsyk, acting head of the Ukrainian Institute of the
National Memory, head of Vasyl Stus Memorial society, Kyiv branch.
[19] Stanislav Kulchytskyj, deputy head of the Institute of Ukrainian
History, NASU.
[20] Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, member of parliament (given his acceptance).

[21] Askold Lozinski, President of the Ukrainian World Congress,
USA.
[22] Volodymyr Lozytskyj, head of the Central state archive of public
organizations (given his acceptance).
[23] Levko Lukyanenko, member of parliament (given his acceptance).
[24] Vasyl Marochko, leading researcher of the Institute of Ukrainian
History at NASU, head of the Genocide Research Center.
[25] Yurij Mytsyk, lecturer, Kyiv-Mohyla National University (given his
acceptance).

[26] Olha Movchan, researcher at the Institute of Ukrainian History,
NASU.
[27] Pavlo Movchan, head of “Prosvita” all-Ukrainian society (given
his acceptance).
[28] Valentyn Nalyvajchenko, first deputy head of the State Security
Service, head of the SSS anti-terrorist center.
[29] Hryhorij Nemyrya, member of parliament (given his acceptance).
[30] Volodymyr Ohryzko, acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine.

[31] Borys Olijnyk, NASU Academician, chair of the Ukrainian
Cultural Fund board (given his acceptance).
[32] Borys Paton, President of the National Academy of Sciences
of Ukraine.
[33] Dmytro Pavlychko, writer, head of the Ukrainian World
Coordinating Council.
[34] Ruslan Pyrih, leading researcher at the NASU  Institute of
Ukrainian History.
[35] Stefan Romaniw, President of the International Coordinating
Committee to prepare to commemorate the 75th Holodomor
anniversary, head of the Union of Ukrainian Organizations in
Australia.

[36] Mykhailo Sawkiw, head of the Ukrainian Congress Committee
of America, USA. 
[37] Anna Semeniuk, head of the board, Organization of Ukrainian
Patriots (given her acceptance).
[38] Volodymyr Serhijchuk, director, center of Ukrainian studies at
Kyiv Shevchenko National University (given his acceptance).
[39] Yurij Shapoval, head of NASU center for historical and political
research at the Institute of Political, Ethnic and National Studies.
[40] Hanna Skrypnyk, Director, Rylsky Institute of Art, Folklore and
Ethnicity Studies, NASU; head of the Congress of Ukrainian
Intellectuals.

[41] Mykhailo Skuratovsky, ad hoc Ambassador, foreign ministry
department on cultural and humanitarian cooperation.
[42] Valerij Smolij, Academician, director, NASU Institute of
Ukrainian History.
[43] Nataliya Sukhodolska, executive director, Association of
Holodomor Researchers of Ukraine (given her acceptance).
[44] Orysia Sushko, head of Canada’s Congress of Ukrainians,
Canada. 
[45] Mykola Syadrystyj, art expert (given his acceptance).

[46] Arkadij Sydoruk, journalist, The Ukrayina moloda (given his
acceptance).
[47] Les Taniuk, member of parliament (given his acceptance).
[48] Hennady Udovenko, member of parliament (given his acceptance).
[49] Volodymyr Ulyanych, member of the Association of Holodonor
Researchers in Ukraine (given his acceptance).
[50] Volodynmyr Vasylenko, Ukraine’s representative in the UN
commission on human rights, consultant of the secretariat department
at the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine (given his acceptance).

[51] Ivan Vasiunyk, first deputy head of the presidential administration,
secretary of the Coordinating council.
[52] Vladyslav Verstiuk, head of the department at NASU Institute of
Ukrainian History.
[53] Oleksandra Veselova, senior researcher at NASU Institute of
Ukrainian History.
[54] Vasyl Vovkun, art manager of “Ukrayina” State Concert
Company (given his acceptance).
[55] Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs, Washington
Office, SigmaBleyzer, Researcher of the 1932-1933 Holodomor in
Ukraine, USA 

[56] Volodymyr Yavorivskyj, member of parliament, Secretary of
the Writers’ Union of Ukraine (given his acceptance)
[57] Ihor Yukhnovskyj, acting head of the Ukrainian Institute of
National Memory.
[58] Petro Yushchenko, member of parliament (given his acceptance).
[59] Mykola Zhulynskyj, presidential advisor, Director of Shevchenko
Institute of Literature at NASU.

V. Baloha,
Head of the presidential secretariat
March 14, 2007
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Link: http://www.president.gov.ua/documents/5874.html
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NOTE: The presidential decree was translated from Ukrainian to English

for the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) by Volodymyr Hrytsutenko, Lviv,
Ukraine.  The translated decree can be republished with the normal credits
to the Action Ukraine Report (AUR), Morgan Williams, Publisher,
Washington, morganw@patriot.net.                      
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4. PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO SPEAKS TO HOLODOMOR COUNCIL

Official Website of President of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Mar 19, 2007

Victor Yushchenko insists that those who deny the Holodomor and
Holocaust be punished as criminals.

“I insist that such a practice be introduced. I ask the Verkhovna Rada of
Ukraine to pass a bill on criminal responsibility for genocide denial.

This will be our contribution to the global cause of fighting disrespect for
human life, totalitarianism and national intolerance,” he said, adding that
similar laws had been enforced in many European countries, among them
Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, and Romania.

In his speech to the Holodomor Council in charge of holding events to
mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet-era famine, the President outlined
strategic goals, both national and international, to commemorate the
anniversary.

He described the Great Famine of 1932-1933 as a “page in the history of the
world, not only Ukraine’s tragedy” and so said it was important to persuade
the European Union, the European Parliament and the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe to recognize it as genocide against the
Ukrainian nation.

He added that two thirds of the country’s population approved and
welcomed last year’s parliamentary resolution on the Holodomor.

He said the Ukrainian diaspora abroad played and would continue to play an
important role in honoring the victims of the tragedy and asked the Foreign
Ministry of Ukraine and Ukrainian diplomats to actively inform the
international community about that period.

He said he would soon ask world leaders to declare the great famine as an
act of genocide and thanked the World Congress of Ukrainians for their
efforts.

The President said a few members of the European Parliament had recently
proposed a Holodomor declaration and added that leaders of the European
People’s Party, one of the leading parties in the European Parliament, had
reassured him in Brussels they would support it.

He also welcomed plans by the U.S. Congress to erect a monument honoring
the Holodomor victims in Washington. [The U.S. Congress is not going to
erect a Holodomor monument in Washington. The U.S. Congress passed
legislation approving the Government of Ukraine to build a monument on
federal land in Washington. AUR Editor.]

Mr. Yushchenko said the commemoration of the tragedy should include art
projects. (One of them is a requiem concert that will soon be performed
worldwide. Ukraine 3000, the international charitable foundation led by
Ukraine’s First Lady, will open a Holodomor exhibition in the European
Parliament next week.)

Mr. Yushchenko said it was important to create a Nationwide Memory Book
with the names of those who died from hunger and the list of the villages
and towns affected by the famine. (The National Memory Institute is overseeing
this project, which will be discussed at a next meeting of the Holodomor
Council.)

The President asked the country’s local governments to register and
inventory all the documents associated with the Great Famine by the end of
2007.

He then asked the Security Service of Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry and the
State Archive Committee to bring such documents back to Ukraine, and
called on Ukraine’s young to help them collect Holodmor materials and data.

Mr. Yushchenko said a Holodomor Memorial Complex in Kyiv would be
another “important step” and urged the government and Kyiv’s officials to
ensure that it is built by the fall of 2008. He called on regional
authorities to erect similar monuments and memorials in their regions.

The President insisted that the Education Ministry make pupils study the
causes and aftereffects of the tragedy and requested Education Minister
Stanislav Nikolayenko to hold a national contest of Holodomor research
papers among school pupils.

He said our ultimate goal was to make “Ukraine remember and the world
recognize” the Great Famine.

Mr. Yushchenko asked those present to formulate plans to mark the event
and promised to issue a decree based on their suggestions.

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NOTE: The international members of the President’s Coordinating
Council to prepare for the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary
of the 1932-1933 Holodomor who attended the first meeting of the
Council in Kyiv were: 
[1] Stefan Romaniw, Union of Ukrainian Organizations in Australia
[2] Michael Sawkiw, Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (USA);
[3] Orysia Sushko, Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC)
[4] Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Group (USA).

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5.   UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT MEETS HOLODOMOR COMMITTEE

Press Office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 19, 2007

KYIV – Victor Yushchenko has met with members of the Ukrainian World
Congress Committee for the Observances of the 75th Anniversary of the
1932-1933 Great Famine.

They spoke about how to mark the Holodomor anniversary and agreed
that it was necessary to inform the international community about this
tragedy by holding various cultural events.

They also discussed plans to erect a Holodomor monument in Washington
and build a Holodomor memorial in Kyiv. The head of the UWC Committee,
Stefan Romaniw, said it had been established to coordinate all these
efforts.

The President said Ukraine was interested in enhancing cooperation with the
diaspora. He suggested publishing a book on Holodomor to distribute it
throughout Ukraine, particularly in schools.              -30-
———————————————————————————————-
NOTE: Members of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) International
Holodomor Committee (IHC), 75th Commemoration of the Ukrainian
Genocide 1932-1933, who met with President Victor Yushchenko were:
[1] Stefan Romaniw, Union of Ukrainian Organizations in Australia
[2] Bohdan Futey, Judge, U.S. Court of Federal Claims (USA)
[3] Michael Hamilij, Ekonomika (Germany)
[4] Marta Kolomayets, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (Ukraine)
[5] Michael Sawkiw, Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (USA);
[6] Orysia Sushko, Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC)
[7] Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Group (USA).
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/1_14371.html
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6. RUSSIAN FEDERAL SECURITY SERVICE (FSB) ARCHIVES TO OFFER
      REAL PICTURE OF 1929-1932 FAMINE SAYS UNIVERSITY RECTOR
                   “It was not only a Ukrainian tragedy, it was the tragedy for
                        the whole Soviet peasantry,” he said. Over 3.5 million
                   people died outside Ukraine during the Holodomor, he said.

Interfax, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, April 17, 2007

MOSCOW – A collection of documents taken from the archives of Federal
Security Service (FSB) concerned with the famine in the USSR in 1929-1932
will soon be prepared for presentation, head of the domestic history
department at the Penza State Pedagogic University Victor Kondrashin said

Speaking at a roundtable entitled “Problems in the publication of sources in
20th century Russian history”, he said that “a tendency has emerged whereby
people attempt to ‘get even’ in history in the issue of the Holodomor.

Ukraine has adopted a law on genocide in this connection. This is dancing on
the bones of the victims.” “Attempts to profiteer from history for political
goals are unacceptable,” he said.

The FSB archives will make it possible to show the truth about happened in
rural Russia in the 1930s. “It was not only a Ukrainian tragedy, it was the
tragedy for the whole Soviet peasantry,” he said. Over 3.5 million people
died outside Ukraine during the Holodomor, he said.

On the basis of FSB archives, a collection of documents will be prepared and
they will show that “the situation was not only a problem in Ukraine, and
therefore it is not possible to speak about a Ukrainian genocide,” he said.
The Holodomor during the 1930s was a tragedy that “ought to unite, not
divide, our peoples,” he said.                           -30-
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7.  TO ALL THOSE WHO NEVER LIVED TO SEE A PARCEL
 Memorial cross to Holodomor victims unveiled in Myrivka village, Kyiv oblast

INTERVIEW: With Mr. Pluhatarenko,
Interviewed by Nadia TYSIACHNA, The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine April 3, 2007

[The Day] Mr. Pluhatarenko, please tell me a few words about yourself.

“I am 32. I was trained to be an economist. I live and work in Kyiv. In my
spare time I go on trips around Ukraine’s historic sites. Most of all I like
Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Cherkasy oblasts, probably because my family comes

from central Ukraine.”
 
[The Day] Have you studied your family tree?

“Until 2004, while my granny was still alive, I didn’t. Subconsciously I
regarded her as the person from whom our family sprang. I never even thought
twice about the possibility that she would die some day. When she died, I
realized I had not asked her about a lot of people. Then I decided to do
some research in the archives.

My minimum task was to establish my great-grandparents’ dates of birth (for
starters, I decided to install nameplates on their graves).

Every Saturday – which is my only day off when the Central State Historical
Archives are open – my wife and I hit the church and confessional books.
After a painstaking search we found entries of my great-grandparents’ birth.

Interestingly, they turned out to be younger. I assume that during the
Revolution and the Civil War my ancestors had to “age” – maybe they were
evading the draft and repressions.

I also found an entry of my granny’s birth. It is hard to put into words
what I felt at that moment. I must have felt that I had discovered extremely
important information that strengthened my bonds with her.

Incidentally, at her baptism she was named Pelaheia, not Paraskeva. I don’t
know why she decided (or had to) to change her name.

I only know that in the 1930s, when granny had to move to Kyiv, in the
village she was issued a certificate serving as a passport, in which she was
named Paraska Omelkivna. I also discovered information about some distant
relatives.

Fortunately, most of Myrivka’s church books have been preserved, and we

were able to trace my mother’s relatives to great-great-great-great-grandfather
Hryhorii Hryhorovych Rohoza (1753-1841) in the male line and to
great-great-great-great-great-grandfather in the female line.”

[The Day] When did you find out that your grandfather starved to death in
1933?

“First, I was told that my granddad, Omelian Sydorovych Rohoza (1870-

1933) starved to death because of a bad harvest. Later I learned that he
died because of the Holodomor that took place in Ukraine.

“My late grandmother, Paraska Omelianivna Baliasna (1912-2004), recalled how
she saved her mother, Odarka Makarivna Rohoza (1870-1933), in 1932. She was
21 at the time. She pulled her mother on a sled from Myrivka to Kyiv,
covering a distance of over 70 kilometers.

But she became sick and could not go back for her father; she only sent him
a parcel of food. He did not receive the parcel (at the time no parcels were
reaching the villages). When grandma got well and went back to Myrivka, she
found his grave.

“HE DID NOT GET THE PARCEL AND STARVED TO DEATH”
I was mostly struck by granny’s words: ‘He did not get the parcel and
starved to death.’ That is why I wanted to erect a monument to all those who
never lived to see a parcel. There are a lot of unknown graves in the
village cemetery, which have no crosses.

When my friends from abroad learned about my idea to organize and erect a
memorial cross, they expressed a fervent desire to contribute to this cause.

“I have invited journalists from The Day and other publications to Myrivka
on April 15 with the sole purpose of informing as many people about this
event as possible; to show the residents of Myrivka that a local event can
be of national importance and that the history of one village can be of
interest to people living thousands of miles away.”       -30-
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8. YUSHCHENKO CALLS ON UKRAINIANS TO ACTIVELY COLLECT
                  MATERIALS ABOUT 1932-1933 GREAT FAMINE 

Zoya Zhminko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Mar 29, 2007

KYIV – President Viktor Yuschenko calls on Ukrainians to actively collect
materials about the 1932-1933 Great Famine. Ukrainian News learned this

from the presidential press service.

When unveiling a memorial sign to the famine victims in Luhansk, the
President asked the citizens to take active part in the collection of data
about this tragedy, find the lost burial sites and take care of them.

Yuschenko set a task before the leadership of Luhansk region to create
necessary conditions for proper commemoration of the famine victims by
erecting memorial signs, compiling registers of documents, renaming the
streets and squares named after people involved in the crimes of 1932-1933.

The President pointed to the importance of restoring the full and authentic
picture of the Ukrainian history of those times.

“I am sure that we are responsible with our own lives, our families, our
children, and we have to make everything we can today to make the Ukrainian
history of 1932-1933 part of our consciousness,” Yuschenko declared. He
reminded that Luhansk region lost one-fourth of its population in the
famine.

Yuschenko also reminded that the Institute of National Remembrance is
implementing a large-scale project to create a national book of remembrance,
and called on the public, on young and business people above all, to joint
this effort.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Yuschenko proposed that the parliament
impose fines equal to 100-300 minimum nontaxable incomes or a jail term of
up to two years for public denial of the 1932-1933 Famine in Ukraine or
Holocaust against the Jewish people.

The Verkhovna Rada declared the 1932-1933 Famine in Ukraine an act of
genocide against the Ukrainian people. According to various estimates,
between 3 million and 7 million people died in the 1932-1933 Famine in
Ukraine.                                          -30-
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9. YUSHCHENKO CALLS ON PARLIAMENTS OF ALL COUNTRIES TO
   DECLARE FAMINE OF 1932-1933 GENOCIDE AGAINST UKRAINIANS

Ruslan Kyrylenko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Apr 12, 2007

KYIV – President Viktor Yuschenko calls on parliaments of all countries to
declare the Famine of 1932-1933 an act of genocide against the Ukrainian
people. The call is stated in his Appeal to the Heads of State of the World.

“As the President of Ukraine, I call to support the adoption of UN
resolution that would condemn the Famine in Ukraine, and I call on
parliamentarians of all countries worldwide to join the effort of
recognizing the Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine as an act of genocide

against the Ukrainian people,” the appeal reads.

Yuschenko said that it is going to be one more step toward prevention and
eradication of such a shameful phenomenon as genocide, provided there is
support from international community and mutual support among good will
people.

The president thanked the parliaments of those countries that have already
declared the Famine an act of genocide.

“Our state is thankful to the nations and parliaments of Australia, Georgia,
Estonia, Canada, Lithuania, Poland, the United States of America whose
legislative bodies made statements about the genocide-Famine,” the appeal
reads.

The Ukrainian leader reminds that today Ukrainian and foreign scientists
have found compelling evidences that the tragedy was engineered by
authorities then in power to kill the Ukrainian people.

“Not only grain was seized from them, but all foodstuffs. No food was
allowed to be taken to Ukrainian villages. The starving Ukraine was isolated
from other regions of the USSR, free movement of the population to the
regions that did not suffer from famine was prohibited.

These actions of the totalitarian regime have all signs of genocide under
the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

of December 9, 1948,” the President said.

He said the world community must condemn mass killings committed by
totalitarian regimes in the past in order to prevent them in the future.

Yuschenko reminds that the Verkhovna Rada passed the Law on the 1932-1933
Famine in Ukraine on November 28, 2006, by which it declared that the famine
was genocide against Ukrainians.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Yuschenko has recently urged the
Verkhovna Rada to introduce fines for public denial of the Holocaust and the
1932-1933 Famine in the amount ranging from 100 to 300 tax-exempt minimum
personal incomes or a prison term of up two years.

According to various estimates, between 3 million and 7 million people died
in the 1932-1933 Famine in Ukraine.                       -30-

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10.   CITY OF KYIV DECREE ON DESIGNING & CONSTRUCTING
             THE MEMORIAL COMPLEX TO THE VICTIMS OF THE
                                   HOLODOMORS IN UKRAINE

KYIV CITY STATE ADMINISTRATION
DECREE No. 315 [In Ukrainian]

March 23, 2007
The city of Kyiv

On designing and constructing
the Memorial Complex
to the victims of the Holodomors in Ukraine

According to the Law of Ukraine “On Local Government in Ukraine”, the

Law of Ukraine “On Principles of Urban Planning”, following Decrees of
the President of Ukraine “On the Commemoration of the Victims of the
Holodomors in Ukraine” of November 4, 2004, No. 1544/2005, and “On
2006 Celebration of the Day of the Commemoration of the Victims of
Holodomors and Political Repressions” of October 12, 2006, No. 868/2006,
and with the purpose to immortalize the memory of the victims of
Holodomors in Ukraine:

To design and construct, during 2007-2009, the Memorial Complex to the
victims of the Holodomors in Ukraine (hereinafter, the Memorial Complex) on
the land allotment bounded by the Dniprovs’kyiy Uzviz, the Park Road, the
territory of the Park of Eternal Glory and the walls of the National
Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Sanctuary in the city of Kyiv.

The customer of the works indicated in Paragraph 1 of this Decree shall be
the municipal enterprise “The Board for Restoration and Renewal Works”.

The customer, i.e. the municipal enterprise “The Board for Restoration and
Renewal Works”, shall:

3.1.  Receive the architectural and planning assignment from the Main
Department of Urban Planning, Architecture and Design at the executive

body of the Kyiv City Council (Kyiv City State Administration).

3.2.  Ensure, in accordance with established procedure, the development and
approval of the design estimates for the creation of the Memorial Complex.

3.3.  Identify, on a tender basis, the general design organization and
general contractors for the completion of the works indicated in Paragraph 1
of this Decree.

3.4.  Settle land issues in accordance with established procedure.

3.5.  Receive permits from the central executive body in the sphere of
protection of cultural heritage, i.e. the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of
Ukraine, the Main Department for the Protection of Cultural Heritage at the
executive body of the Kyiv City Council (Kyiv City State Administration) for
the performance of the works indicated.

3.6.  Receive, after the fulfilment of Subparagraphs 3.1-3.5 of this Decree
and in accordance with established procedure, the permit for the completion
of the construction works from the Department of the State Architectural and
Construction Control at the executive body of the Kyiv City Council (Kyiv
City State Administration) and the order from the Main Department of Kyiv
City Improvement and External Design Control at the executive body of the
Kyiv City Council (Kyiv City State Administration).

Taking into consideration that according to Decree of the President of
Ukraine of October 12, 2006, No. 868/2006, the works that are indicated in
Paragraph 1 of this Decree will be financed from the state budget of
Ukraine.

To declare invalid the Decree of the Kyiv City State Administration of
January 12, 2004 No. 17 “On the State Historical and Memorial Complex to the
Victims of the Holodomor, Political Repressions and Forced Deportations” and
the Decree of the Kyiv City State Administration of August 4, 2005, No. 1445
“On Events to Commemorate the Victims of Political Repressions and
Holodomors in Ukraine”.

For Denys Y. Bass, First Deputy Head of the Kyiv City State Administration,
to pass a decision regarding the media coverage of the contents of this
Decree.

Control for the execution of this Decree shall be vested in the deputy heads
of the Kyiv City State Administration according to their division of
responsibilities.

Head Leonid Chernovetskyi –

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NOTE:  Decree translated from Ukrainian to English by the Action
Ukraine Report (AUR). 
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11.        KYIV PUTS OFF CONSTRUCTION OF FAMINE
                        VICTIMS MEMORIAL TO 2007-2009

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 27, 2007

KYIV – The Kyiv city state administration has postponed to 2007 – 2009
the construction of a memorial complex to famine victims, instead of the
previously set term of 2005 – 2006. Ukrainian News learned this from a
press release of the Kyiv city state administration.

Particularly, the administration voided its orders of 2004 and 2005 on the
construction of a complex in memory of the victims of famines and political
reprisals in 2005 – 2006.

Under the new order, the memorial will be built on the land lot bordered by
Dniprovskyi Downhill, Park Alley, the Eternal Glory Park and the Kyiv
Pechersk national history and culture reserve in Kyiv’s Pecherskyi district.

The municipal administration called municipal enterprise Directorate of
Restoration Efforts the customer of design and construction work. The
order says that the construction of the memorial will be financed from the
national budget.

As Ukrainian News reported, in January the Kyiv city council transferred a
land plot of 0.77 hectares at 15A Sichnevoho Povstannia Street (Pecherskyi
district) to the Directorate for the construction of a memorial to famine
victims.

In October 2006, President Viktor Yuschenko asked Kyiv Mayor Leonid
Chernovetskyi to speed up allocation of the land plot for construction of
the memorial.

The construction of the memorial in Kyiv is foreseen by the presidential
order of December 2002 and two decrees, of November 2005 and October
2006.

The Kyiv administration decided in 2005 to build a memorial to the victims
of political repressions and great famines before the year of 2007. The
memorial was to consist of a monument, a museum and a park called
Kalynovyi Hai (Snowball Tree Grove).

On November 25, Ukraine commemorates the victims of famines and
political repressions. The Ukrainian famine of 1932-1933, also known
as Holodomor, took from 3 million to 7 million lives according to various
estimates. Apart from this, according to some sources, Ukraine also had
famines in 1921 – 1923 and in 1946 – 1947.                    -30-
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12. KYIV MAYOR CHERNOVETSKY STALLING THE CONSTRUCTION
        OF THE MEMORIAL TO THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLODOMOR

Channel 5 TV, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, March 28, 2007

KYIV – The memorial to the victims of the Holodomor won’t be completed by
November 25 – the day of memory of political repressions and the Holodomor.

Notwithstanding calls by President Yushchenko to speed up the process of
creating the Memorial Complex, the Kyiv government reneged.  It annulled
the decrees by former Kyiv Mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko, recognizing them
as out of date.

According to the new resolution by Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky, the term for
completion of the museum is being moved to 2009.

It will be built between the Dniprovsky Uzviz, the Park Road, Park of Glory
and Lavra.  It will consist of a monument, museum and Guelder Rose Grove
Park

We remind you that the President has already ordered that a memorial be
erected in Kyiv three times.                              -30-
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LINK: http://5tv.com.ua/newsline/198//38949

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13. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT WANTS HOLODOMOR & HOLOCAUST
                           DENIAL TO BE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE

The Day Weekly Digest #11, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 3, 2007

President Viktor Yushchenko has submitted a bill to the Verkhovna Rada,
introducing criminal liability for denying the Holodomor and the Holocaust.

Ukraine’s head of state said this is an urgent document that should be
discussed by parliament ahead of schedule, the president’s press service
reported last Wednesday.

The draft law “On Changes to the Criminal and Procedural Codes of Ukraine”
introduces criminal liability for denying the 1932-33 Holodomor in Ukraine
as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people and the Holocaust as an
act of genocide against the Jewish people.

The president is convinced that the passage of this law will spur Ukrainians
as well as Ukrainian citizens of all ethnic origins to rally around the idea
that society must not tolerate any manifestations of violence, should
respect life and the rights and liberties of citizens, and strengthen
interethnic harmony and civil peace in Ukraine.

“Passing this law will comply with European democratic standards and further
promote Ukraine’s prestige in the world,” the report says.

One argument in favor of this law is that a number of states have officially
recognized the 1932-33 Holodomor as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian
people and introduced criminal liability for publicly denying the Holocaust.

The report says that more than 10 European states, including France,
Switzerland, Belgium, and Poland, have made it a criminal offense to deny
the Holocaust.

In Austria, Romania, and the Czech Republic this offense carries a term of
imprisonment from 6 months to 10 years, and in Germany and Israel – up to 5
years. Romania has instituted a special punishment for civil servants – up
to five years in prison.

President Yushchenko has also instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to draw
up, in a month’s time, a number of measures to mark the 75th anniversary of
the Holodomor. The president signed a decree to this effect last Wednesday,
his press service reports.

The president says it is necessary to draw up a comprehensive list of
Holodomor victims, create a National Memorial Book and similar regional
memorial books, form a single register of Holodomor-related documents and
materials, produce a feature film and a documentary on the events of 1932-33
in Ukraine, and issue a commemorative postage stamp and envelope.

Other suggested events include the unveiling of monuments and commemorative
plaques in populated areas affected by the Holodomor, as well as additional
measures aimed at convincing the UN General Assembly and the European
Parliament to recognize the Holodomor as an act of genocide against the
Ukrainian people.

The president has also suggested measures to involve the Ukrainian community
abroad in organizing by Oct. 1, 2007 an international competition for the
best design of a monument honoring the victims of the Holodomor.

The president has also issued instructions to dismantle monuments and
commemorative signs to individuals implicated in the 1932-33 manmade famine
and political repressions, as well as to rename streets, squares, avenues,
and parks named after these individuals.

President Yushchenko has also proposed that an international forum be held
in Kyiv to mark the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor.

The president also said it is crucial to make the causes and results of this
Ukrainian tragedy an essential part of high school and university curricula.
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LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/179841/

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14. SPEAKER MOROZ SEES NO PERSPECTIVES FOR BILL MAKING
              PUBLIC DENIAL OF FAMINE, HOLOCAUST A CRIME
 

Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukrainek, Saturday, March 24, 2007
 
KYIV – Verkhovna Rada Chairman Oleksandr Moroz sees no perspectives
for the presidential draft bill making public denial of Famine of 1932-1933
and Holocaust a crime to be supported by the Ukrainian
parliament.

“I don’t think there are prospects,” he said at a press conference in
Zhytomyr on Saturday.

Moroz noted that he supported the law recognizing the Famine as an act of
genocide. However, the endorsement of the presidential draft bill would
introduce, in Moroz’s opinion, persecution for opinion.
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15. FOREIGN MINISTER, LEADERS OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
                DISCUSS INTERNAL SITUATION IN UKRAINE

         Thanked deputies of the European Parliament for the initiative on
             drawing out a written declaration for recognizing Holodomor
             of 1932-1933 an act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation.
 
Oksana Torop, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, March 27, 20007

KYIV – On March 26 Minister of Foreign Affairs Arsenii Yatseniuk, and

leaders of the European Parliament discussed internal situation in Ukraine.
Ukrainian News learned this from the foreign ministry’s press service.

According to the statement, Yatseniuk met Vice President of the European
Parliament Marek Sivec and heads of the European Parliament delegation for
relations with Ukraine.

At the meeting they discussed internal situation in Ukraine, preparations
for signing a new Ukraine-EU agreement, which has been negotiated since
March 5.

Yatseniuk noted that this agreement should become a document which will
promote development of relations between Ukraine and the EU from the
principles of cooperation to the principles of political association and
economic integration.
RECOGNIZING THE HOLODOMOR AS GENOCIDE & EXHIBITION
Head of the foreign ministry also thanked deputies of the European
Parliament for the initiative on drawing out a written declaration for
recognizing Holodomor of 1932-1933 an act of genocide against the

Ukrainian nation and also for arranging an exhibition, which takes place
on March 16-30, devoted to this event.

As Ukrainian News reported before, in the morning of March 26 Yatseniuk
left for Brussels (Belgium) for meeting leadership of the European Parliament.
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16.  YATSENIUK INCLUDES EX-MINISTERS ZLENKO, UDOVENKO,
  HRYSCHENKO, TARASIUK INTO FOREIGN MINISTRY COLLEGIUM 
               Discussed holding of 75th Commemoration of Holodomor
                
Daria Hluschenko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mar 24, 2007
KYIV – Minister of foreign affairs Arsenii Yatseniuk has included ex-heads
of the foreign ministry Anatolii Zlenko, Hennadii Udovenko, Kostiantyn
Hryschenko and Borys Tarasiuk into the foreign ministry collegium. Ukrainian
News learned this from the foreign ministry’s press service.

“In order to ensure consecutive operation of the external policy department
and raise efficiency of the collegium work they decided to include former
ministers of foreign affairs Anatolii Zlenko, Hennadii Udovenko, Kostiantyn
Hryschenko and Borys Tarasiuk into the collegium,” reads the statement.

       HOLDING 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF HOLODOMOR
At the March 23 collegium session they discussed process of negotiations
with the European Union on making the new basic agreement and holding

75th anniversary of Holodomor.

The collegium was attended by the chairman of the parliamentary committee
for foreign affairs Vitalii Shybko and members of this committee and
participants of the Ukrainian delegation for the negotiations with the EU on
this agreement.

As Ukrainian News reported previously, on March 21 Yatseniuk became head

of the foreign ministry.

Hryschenko was foreign minister in September 2003-February 2005; Zlenko had
occupied this post before him. Now both of them are working as advisors to
the Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Yatseniuk’s predecessor Borys Tarasiuk was minister from February 2005 till
January 30, 2007 and in April 1998-September 2000. Before him Udovenko was
minister of foreign affairs in 1994-1998.                        -30-
———————————————————————————————–

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17.     YATSENIUK, BRITISH AMBASSADOR BARROW DISCUSS
                          POLITICAL SITUATION IN UKRAINE 
            75th Anniversary of the Holodomor (the famine of 1932-1933)

Olha Volkovetska, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Apr 12, 2007

KYIV – Foreign Affairs Minister Arsenii Yatseniuk and British Ambassador to
Ukraine Timothy Barrow have discussed the political situation in Ukraine.
This follows from a statement by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, a copy of
which was made available to Ukrainian News. According to the message, the
meeting took place on the ambassador’s initiative.

During the meeting, the sides also discussed Ukrainian-British bilateral
cooperation, development of trade and economic cooperation, cooperation in
energy sector, as well as the 75th anniversary of Holodomor (the famine of
1932-1933).

Special attention was paid to the drafting of the enhanced agreement between
Ukraine and the European Union.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, President Viktor Yuschenko issued the
decree on dissolution of the parliament and organization of early
parliamentary elections on April 2.

The parliament refused to abide by this presidential decree and filed a
petition with the Constitutional Court to question its constitutionality.
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18. SPECIAL HOLODOMOR DOUBLE ISSUE OF THE CANADIAN
        AMERICAN SLAVIC JOURNAL TO BE PUBLISHED IN 2008 

 
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 18
Washington, D.C., Sunday, April 22, 2007
 
WASHINGTON, DC – The publisher of the Canadian American
Slavic Studies Journal, Charles Schlacks, plans to publish a special
Holodomor Double Issue of the Canadian American Slavic Studies
Journal to mark the 75th Commemoration in 2008.
 
Schlacks published an excellent special issue in of the Journal in the
fall of 2003 entitled “Holodomor, The Ukrainian Genocide, 1932-
1933.
 
Contributions are needed for the special issue. Mr. Schlacks would
like to publish as many documents as possible with brief commentaries.
He can publish articles in Ukrainian, Russian and German as well as
English and French.

Please contact the publisher at: Charles Schlacks, P.O. Box 1256
Idyllwild, CA 92549-1256, USA, schlacks.slavic@greencafe.com
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19. FT WEEKEND MAGAZINE – BOOKS ESSAY: GREAT DICTATORS
                               The Cambridge History of Russia

BOOK REVIEW: By Tony Barber, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Saturday, Jan 27, 2007

The Cambridge History of Russia
edited by Maureen Perrie
Cambridge University Press
(three volumes) £270, 2,412 pages

Like the double-headed eagle that was the symbol of the tsarist autocracy
overthrown in 1917 – and which was restored as the nation’s coat of arms
after communism fell – Russia looks simultaneously east and west.

For Peter the Great, Alexander II, the Bolsheviks and their post- communist
successors, Russia was and is a European power, but a relatively backward
one. Its world status has depended on catching up with its neighbours to the
west.

At the same time, Russia’s Christian and European identity has been
indelibly marked by the presence on its territory, from the 1552 annexation
of the khanate of Kazan, of a vast and varied world of non-Slav Muslims,
Buddhists and animists to the east.

In the heyday of the tsarist empire, and even in Soviet times, some Russians
saw themselves as a people with the “civilising” mission of extending
European values beyond the Ural mountains into Siberia, central Asia and the
far east. Fyodor Dostoevsky put it with characteristic acerbity: “In Europe
we are hangers-on and slaves, but in Asia we are masters.”

Geographically and culturally, Russia is both European and not European:
ruled for centuries by despots and cruel ideologues, yet often a beacon to
the world in literature, music, religion and science; usually unfree, yet
touched by genius amid unspeakable man-made hardships; the place that
produced Ivan the Terrible and Joseph Stalin, but also Anton Chekhov and
Andrei Sakharov.

Since the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, the study of Russian history has
undergone profound and beneficent change. Russian scholars no longer need

to dress up history in the ill-fitting clothes of state-supported Marxist
theory, or fear punishment for not complying with the party line.

Western scholars no longer waste time attacking Soviet versions of history
in academic battles. For Russians and westerners, the official falsification
and suppression of historical facts, a massive impediment to scholarship,
are things of the past.

True, some sensitive archives for the Soviet period have never been opened.
They almost certainly won’t be as long as Vladimir Putin, the former KGB
agent, is Russia’s president.

But once-unthinkable possibilities have opened up over the past 15 years –
for free travel, academic exchanges, research and access to hitherto secret
files.

The torrent of original source material and specialist studies that has
poured out since 1991 has enriched our knowledge of the Russian and Soviet
past. And it is heartwarming to see Russian historians free to make
contributions worthy of their talents.
                     CAMBRIDGE HISTORY OF RUSSIA
This three-volume Cambridge History of Russia, the first such
English-language reference work of its kind, is based on up-to-date research
and is admirably detailed and reliable in its judgments.

Its nearest equivalent, the seven-volume Longman History of Russia, was a
collection of individually authored works that appeared in the 1980s and
1990s; those dealing with the 19th and 20th centuries look particularly
dated.

By contrast, The Cambridge History of Russia draws on the scholarship of
dozens of historians, all experts in their fields, be they cultural, legal,
military, political or social.

The chapters are arranged chronologically and thematically. Although few
readers will devour all three volumes from cover to cover, some
contributions are of such outstanding quality that they deserved to be fully
read and savoured.

[1] In the first volume, a sketch of medieval Novgorod by Valentin Yanin,
the world’s leading authority on that city’s birch-bark documents,
underlines what an advanced and literate society it was, not unlike the
Venetian republic.

[2] In the second volume, Alexander Martin looks at Russia’s defeat of
Napoleon Bonaparte’s 1812 invasion and draws telling comparisons with other
turning points in Russian history.

After 1812, as after the triumph over Nazi Germany in 1945, or during the
collapse of communism in 1989-91, the oppressed Russian people felt a rare
surge of hope that the future would bring a better life.

They also sensed that Russia’s social order might be in danger – and in all
three cases, from Alexander I to Stalin to Putin, the rulers played on those
fears to restore central controls and curb freedom.

[3] The third volume, on the 20th century, is full of nuggets mined from
previously unavailable or unknown archives. Such long-sealed documents,
cited in Donald Raleigh’s chapter on the 1917-21 civil war, leave no doubt
about the willingness of Vladimir Lenin, founder of the Soviet state, to
resort to mass repression against his opponents or even ordinary civilians.

It is a tribute to the impact of Soviet methods of indoctrination that, as
late as 1999, opinion surveys showed that Russians regarded Lenin as the
second greatest person in world history after Peter the Great. Perhaps one
should be grateful he didn’t come first, as he did in 1989.

  KEY FEATURES OF STALINISM WERE EMBEDDED IN
                 RUSSIAN LIFE DURING LENIN’S RULE

Key features of Stalinism were embedded in Russian life during Lenin’s rule:

     [1] suppression of political opposition,
     [2] denial of representative government,
     [3] the communist party’s dictatorship,
     [4] the establishment of a secret police,
     [5] propaganda and lies as the highest forms of state communication,
     [6] ruthless economic centralisation,
     [7] nationalisation of industry,
     [8] forced requisitioning of grain from the peasantry,
     [9] famine, shootings and terror.

Some of these practices drew, in turn, on Russia’s tradition of autocracy,
with its total absence of national representative institutions, low level of
popular participation in political life, and official cult of the ruler.

The strict regulation of work and private life was a feature of tsarist
rule, too. Peter the Great (in power from 1689-1725) imposed western

dress on town-dwellers and ordered men’s beards to be cut off. Catherine
the Great (1762-96) decreed hours of work, even the length of meal breaks
for apprentices.

Historians still debate the extent to which the autocratic tradition was
shaped by the Mongol conquest of ancient Russia, the land known as Rus’,

in 1237-40. Even before the Mongols came, however, Russians were
different from their western neighbours.

Russia’s national consciousness developed out of its 10th-century conversion
to Christianity, but unlike the Poles, Germans and other Europeans, the
Russians were eastern Orthodox rather than Roman Catholic or Protestant.

Until the 17th century, Russia was almost entirely cut off from the
cultural, scientific and commercial advances of western Europe. Universities
were unknown, virtually everything in print was a sacred Orthodox text, and
portrait painting scarcely existed. As late as 1797, Russia’s literacy rate
was a mere 6.9 per cent.

But in one area crucial to its self-perception, Russia stood out. The fall
of Byzantine Constantinople to the Ottoman empire in 1453 meant that
Muscovy, later Russia, was the only Orthodox state left on earth.

It was therefore, in its own eyes, the guardian of true Christianity.
Russia’s tsar saw himself as the embodiment and enforcer of God’s will,
ruling a country that was God’s chosen state.

The temptation is strong to see parallels with the Bolsheviks’ messianic
vision of Russia blazing a trail on mankind’s behalf to the blessed eternity
of communism.

Richard Hellie, discussing the evolution of Russian law before Peter the
Great, writes: “Muscovy was the perfect ancestor of the Soviet Union, a
radical political organisation with a programme of social change it was
constantly trying to enact.” Such analogies must not be overdrawn.

             STALIN’S FORCED COLLECTIVISATION

                              OF FARMS IN 1928-1933
               Millions of peasants were murdered, sent into exile or
                                  made to die from famine
Still, it is striking how closely the tsarist institution of serfdom
resembles the state of servitude into which Soviet peasants were cast by
Stalin’s forced collectivisation of farms in 1928-33.

Of course, under the tsars, millions of peasants were not murdered, sent
into exile or made to die from famine, as under Stalin.

Stalin, Georgian-born but a skilled manipulator of Russian national feeling,
promoted a cult of Ivan the Terrible (who ruled 1533-84) as a statesman who
fought courageous battles against domestic traitors. After Stalin’s death in
1953, his successors condemned these travesties of Ivan’s reign as
allegorical apologias for Stalinism.

The Soviet victory over the Nazis became a touchstone of Russian culture,
because after the horrors of Stalin’s tyranny, not to mention the bloody
divisions of the revolution and civil war, it was the main unifying
experience of post-1917 history for Russians.

Stalin’s suspicion of western culture was so deep that, after 1945, the
famous western Stagecoach was shown to Soviet audiences with its title
changed to The Journey Will Be Dangerous. The official guidance was that it
was “an epic about the struggle of Indians against White imperialists on the
frontier”.

Nikita Khrushchev, Stalin’s successor, earned the gratitude of millions by
opening labour camps and denouncing some aspects of Stalinism.

Yet, as he lamented to Fidel Castro in 1963, there was something maddeningly
stodgy about Russia: “No matter what changes I propose and carry out,
everything stays the same. Russia’s like a tub of dough, you put your hand
in, down to the bottom, and you think you’re master of the situation.

When you first pull out your hand, a little hole remains, but then, before
your eyes, the dough expands into a spongy, puffy mass. That’s what Russia
is like!”

Under Leonid Brezhnev, who ruled from 1964 to 1982, repression remained a
tool of state policy, but fear largely disappeared from daily life. Young
people, in particular, found the regime’s propaganda embarrassing and its
promises empty.

But contacts with the western world were broadening. Even after the 1979
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the subsequent freeze in US-Soviet
relations, the atmosphere in cities such as Leningrad (now renamed St
Petersburg) remained relaxed enough for visiting western students to sell
jeans and have sex with Soviet students – some of the latter KGB informers.

Brezhnev’s reign was known under the reformist Mikhail Gorbachev as the era
of zastoi (stagnation), but Archie Brown argues that, when Gorbachev took
over in 1985, there was no reason why the Soviet Union should not have
survived into the 21st century. Gorbachev’s rule, he says, “was not so much
a case of crisis forcing radical reform as of radical reform generating
crisis”.

This it did. By December 1991, the Soviet Union had fallen apart.
Ultimately, it was a victim of its own illegitimacy (since, in January 1918,
the Bolsheviks dissolved Russia’s freely elected Constituent Assembly after
just one 13-hour session).

It was also a victim of its own murderousness and incompetence in power. As
Martin Malia put it in his 1994 book The Soviet Tragedy: “There is no such
thing as socialism, and the Soviet Union built it.”

Yet Gorbachev contributed to the Soviet Union’s demise with three mistakes.
In declining to seek direct election as Soviet president, he lost ground to
his rival Boris Yeltsin, who in 1991 was elected president of the Russian
republic. Gorbachev was also a flop as an economic reformer.

Lastly, he made a disastrous tactical mistake in the winter of 1990-91 by
accommodating the hardliners who were to launch the coup against him in
August 1991. It was the failure of this coup that doomed the Soviet Union.

If it is too early to pass judgement on postcommunist Russia, one thing is
clear: democracy, the rule of law and free market economics are frail
flowers in a garden full of the weeds of state- sponsored violence (as in
Chechnya), private lawlessness, insider privatisation and other blatant
corruption.

Even in the generally free elections of 1993-96, there was widespread
support for anti-reform forces and very little for politicians identifiable
as western-style liberals.

What is the lesson? Like that of all Russian history, it is that whatever
dreams foreigners may wish to impose on Russia, the country is so big,
proud, inert and visionary that, for better or worse, it will in the end
decide its own destiny.                                  -30-
———————————————————————————————–
Tony Barber is a former Reuters correspondent in Russia and currently

the FT’s Rome bureau chief.
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20. REMEMBRANCE DAY FOR VICTIMS OF HOLODOMOR & POLITICAL
          REPRESSIONS, ADDRESS BY METROPOLITAN VOLODYMYR

ADDRESS: by Metropolitan Volodymyr on the Remembrance
Day for the Victims of Holodomor and Political Repressions
Website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (in Ukrainian), 2006
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 20 (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Ukrainian people survived one of the most horrendous tragedies in its
history, the Holodomor. Ukraine, a recognized world’s granary, was afflicted
with a massive famine. The Holodomor led to numerous deaths and caused

a lot of grief.

The Holodomor had its objective and subjective causes and consequences.

The manmade famine in 1932-1933 was induced by the Bolsheviks to speed
up forceful collectivization, liquidate well-off peasants as class, and
exterminate political opponents of the Soviet regime.

However, there exist a factor that is common for this social cataclysm and
other repressions launched by the totalitarian Soviet regime. It is a
radical revolution in ideology: renunciation of Christ and Christian morals
and their replacement with anti-Christ.

The followers of this new belief had declared as their aim to build a
paradise on earth without God. What they believed was light was, in fact,
darkness.

Their ideology was based on eternal darkness, as only God is the source of
light. Instead of goodness, their ideology brought evil, as only the God is
creator of any goodness.

Where paradise is built without God, hell comes. Instead of a promised
heavenly life, the people, intoxicated with Soviet propaganda, had to accept
the torments of hell.

Ukraine has had its share of hard times. Natural calamities, wars, social
and political upheavals ended in various crises, including “extermination,
the sword of the famine” (Job. 51,19).

  IT WAS A CYNICAL, TARGETED, MERCILESS ANNIHILATION
For the first time in its history, Ukraine was afflicted in the 1930s with
manmade famine, massive extermination of millions of its citizens. It was a
cynical, targeted and merciless annihilation.

Such a crime could happen only in a society based on hate for the God and
the man. Millions died in the country that has the richest black soil on
earth.

This genocide was an attempt to destroy the soul of the people and reduce
the nation to absolute spiritual slavery. The genocide was devil’s reprisal
for the regime’s inability to destroy the belief in God and love for the
creator in the minds of Ukrainians.

Such belief could have been destroyed only by physical liquidation of
believers. That is why on the back of spiritual famine induced by the regime
came physical famine.

The authorities took away food from the population, like they had tried
earlier to take away spiritual food. Due to the fertile land, the crop was
good as usual.

But all grain that was hard won by peasants’ work, was confiscated. The
authorities took away everything that could be eaten, till the last seed.

      THOSE WHO GATHERED SPIKELETS WERE SHOT
Those starving who gathered spikelets in the fields were shot. The agony of
the famine was really hellish. Ukrainians were dying at such a rate they
couldn’t be buried.

Many exhausted by starvation were buried alive in common graves. Children
suffered the most. The Moloch of Communism devoured innocent souls with
diabolical callousness.

Ukraine lost millions of her sons who died in tortures and sufferings. Those
who survived will remember the Communist “paradise on earth” with no place
for God.

Seventy-five years have passed since that time. Time heals spiritual wounds,
but this wound in the heart of Ukraine cannot be healed. It will remain an
ever-present non-healing reminder of the time when the devil ruled in
Ukraine and other countries of the Soviet empire.

   MY MOTHER RECALLED THE EVENTS, CRYING BITTERLY                

My family also suffered in the Holodomor. I remember how my mother
recalled the 1932-1933 events, crying bitterly. One of my brothers was
born at the  time.

My mother exchanged several old silver spoons for a measure of millets. It
was the food that could have fed my brother for several days.

Then, Red Army soldiers broke into our home searching for food. Having

found nothing, they grabbed the baby by his leg and threw him out of his
cradle.
They took away millets which my mother had hidden under the baby,
something that no human being could have done.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church deeply grieves the victims of the

Holodomor and other repressions by the Soviet totalitarian regime.
SOVIET REGIME WAGED A BLOODY WAR AGAINST OWN PEOPLE
We pray for tens of millions of them, executed, tortured to death in jails,
exterminated by spiritual and physical violence, dead from starvation. No
war can claim the same number of victims. In reality, the Soviet regime
waged a bloody war against its own people.

The UOC has condemned the factors that led to this tragedy. The perpetrators
cannot be justified, and history has already passed its verdict.

No repressions could save the system based on sin, hate of God, neglect of
basic moral principles of people – belief, hope and love. “Woe shall befall
those who breed lawlessness”(Mich. 2,1).

The UOC has denounced the erroneous and cruel ideology that made this
tragedy possible and called for those blinded to confess and revoke
opposition to God in all its forms.

The UOC is calling for stopping extremist actions, intolerance, revenge,
hatred, division into friend and enemies. God has no enemies. The time has
come for spiritual unification of Ukrainians and return to age-old spiritual
values. History has amply proven what renunciation of Christian values can
lead to.

Only the sacred belief, unshakable hope, and all-winning love can help build
a worthy future and save from the mistakes of the past. The church reveals
the eternal life of the martyrs of the Holodomor.

As a loving Mother, the sacred Ukrainian Orthodox Church is praying for
their life in heaven. May their memory live forever.

Their souls will reemerge in good deeds. And the memory of them will be
remembered by generations and generations.                -30-
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://orthodox.org.ua/uk/node/865
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21.                         ESSAY: THE IRON ARCHIVES
        Access to Russian historical archives has eroded, ‘re-secretization’

ESSAY: By Rachael Donadio, The New York Times,

New York, New York, Sunday, April 22, 2007

Since the end of the cold war, historians have mined the Russian archives
for insights into the nature of the Soviet empire and its global reach.

New documents have shed light on such matters as the Alger Hiss and
Rosenberg spy cases and also illuminated the relationships between Moscow
and revolutionary movements in other countries – sometimes fueling old
debates more than settling them.

But after a golden age in the early 1990s, archival access eroded. Today,
conversations with nearly two dozen historians point to a worrisome
tightening that has kept key archives closed and subjected others to
unpredictable “re-secretization.”

Freighted with symbolic import and subject to political pressures, access to
archives is a barometer of any government’s commitment to transparency. (In
the United States, the House and Senate passed bills last month to counter
what Democrats and Republicans alike see as an erosion of the Freedom of
Information Act.) But the political changes in post-Soviet Russia make it a
particularly fraught issue.

Boris Yeltsin threw open some archives to help discredit the just-toppled
Communist regime. But by the mid-1990s many of those archives had closed,
while others – including the foreign and military intelligence archives and
the defense ministry archive – were never open to most researchers in the
first place.

Today’s uncertainty seems to bear out the old joke: In Russia, how can
anyone predict the future when it’s so hard to predict the past?

Under Vladimir Putin – a former K.G.B. agent who has been consolidating
power since becoming president in 2000 – “the preoccupation with secrecy
only increased,” Ilya Gaiduk, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Sciences in
Moscow and an expert on Soviet policy in Asia, said in an e-mail message.

“Every archival official knows that he or she would be safer” erring on the
side of “denying access to documents.” The problems are both bureaucratic
and political.

The slow-moving federal committee in charge of declassifiying state archive
material has been renamed the Commission on State Secrets, and it sees its
mandate as protecting them, scholars say. And it has little jurisdiction
over some key agencies or ministries, which operate according to their own
rules.

Kyrill Anderson, the director of the Russian State Archive of Social and
Political History (formerly the Communist Party archive), acknowledged in a
telephone interview that declassification is not going as quickly as many
would like. But the picture isn’t entirely negative.

Last year, Anderson said, his archive declassified 20,000 documents, while
the archive of the Communist International is partly available on the
Internet.

In the past five years, other scholars say, significant new material has
become available, including documents about Stalin-era Politburo meetings,
Khrushchev-era Presidium meetings, Central Committee plenum transcripts and
associated documents from 1967 through 1990, and the complete Communist
Party Congress records.

This spring, Yale University Press and the Hoover Institution at Stanford
hope to finalize an arrangement to digitize and publish rarely seen material
from Stalin’s personal archive, including correspondence about the purges of
the ’30s and the immediate postwar period.

“It’s like the Dead Sea Scrolls for the Stalin period,” said Jonathan Brent,
the editorial director of Yale University Press, who is negotiating the
arrangement, as he has many others for Yale’s Annals of American Communism
series, which has published some of the most important recent books drawing
on Russian archives. The new material, Brent says, provides “a sense of
Stalin the individual, his psychology, his growth as a leader.”

The British historian Simon Sebag Montefiore was granted access to some of
that material for his book “Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar” (2004) and
the forthcoming “Young Stalin.” But like so much else in Russia, that was a
matter of connections.

After his “Prince of Princes: The Life of Potemkin” (2001) appeared,
Montefiore said, a Putin adviser invited him for a drink in a London hotel
to discuss whether Potemkin, as “an authoritarian but enlightened ruler,”
might make a good model for Putin.

“After that, I got the green light to have access to Stalin’s papers,”
Montefiore said. “The whole of Russian life is as patronage- and
personality-based as it was in Catherine the Great’s time.”

Indeed, since the fall of the Soviet Union, archives, like natural
resources, have often been at the center of complicated multinational deals.

Andrew Meier, author of “Black Earth: A Journey Through Russia After the
Fall” and a forthcoming biography of an American spy for the Soviets,
recalled a conversation with an archivist who pointed at a locked safe and
asked, “Why should we sell crude oil when we can refine our own oil and sell
it abroad?”

To some, collaborations between Western publishers and Russian archives aren’t
necessarily signs of a broader openness. “There’s no notion that there’s a
public domain,” said Vlad Zubok, a cold war historian at Temple University.

Material often becomes the “property of the archivists,” he said. “They sit
on this and wait for some people who can come offer them some combination

of good money and attractive trips abroad.”

In 1992, Crown signed a deal with the K.G.B. to publish a series of books
co-written by Western historians and Russian authors. (Crown’s parent
company, Random House, reportedly paid $1 million in advances and
contributed to a fund for retired K.G.B. agents.)

For “The Haunted Wood” (1998), about Soviet espionage in America during

the Stalin era, Allen Weinstein, now the national archivist of the United
States, was one of the few people granted access to Russian military
intelligence archives. His co-author, Alexander Vassiliev, a former K.G.B.
agent, did the legwork and “provided the inside research,” Weinstein said.

But few scholars can retrace their steps, since the intelligence archives
were subsequently resealed. So were some materials made available to the
historians Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes for “The Secret World of
American Communism” (1995), another book that emerged from the Crown

deal (and was eventually published by Yale).

Aided by their co-author, Fridrikh Firsov, a Comintern expert at the former
Party archive, they relied on security communications about the recruitment
of American agents.

“Now you can’t get access even though we had access and published them,”
Klehr said. “Even then … every time somebody found something significant
and embarrassing, the screws tightened.”

Others scholars offer tales of more recent closures. Mark Kramer, the
director of cold war studies at Harvard, cites the abrupt closing, in
September 2003, of material on Stalin’s postwar foreign policy that had been
available since the early ’90s.

“One day I was able to order files … and a couple of days later I was told
that the whole opis” – or batch of material – “had been sealed and would
need to be re-declassified,” Kramer said in an e-mail message.

“I was no longer permitted to see even the files I had pored over in the
past.” Similarly, James Person, an associate at the Cold War International
History Project, which publishes material from former Communist countries,
said that five years ago he consulted documents from 1956 concerning the
Soviet relationship with North Korea; when he returned in March 2006, they
had been reclassified.

But many researchers find imaginative side doors. “You don’t give up because
you can’t get into the presidential archive in Moscow, which is still the
holy of holies,” James Hershberg, a historian at George Washington
University, said of the former Politburo archive that contains the most
sensitive material.

Documents off limits in Moscow, he said, can often be found in the archives
of former Warsaw Pact allies. According to Christian Ostermann, the director
of the Cold War International History Project, “China is starting to catch
up if not surpass Moscow in terms of archival access.”

But for the most part, historians say there’s no going back to the bad old
days. Constantine Pleshakov, a military historian at Mount Holyoke College,
recalls requesting material in the ’80s on the meeting between Kennedy and
Khrushchev. “What I got was a list of furniture of the Soviet Embassy in
Vienna,” Pleshakov said. “I’m not kidding.”

“There’s a drive of sorts toward the truth,” said Robert Conquest, the
venerable cold warrior and author of “The Great Terror.” “After all, they
didn’t really manage to totally suppress it the whole Soviet period, in
spite of destroying the intelligentsia and ruining the country.”  -30-
————————————————————————————————
Rachel Donadio is a writer and editor at the Book Review.

————————————————————————————————
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/books/review/Donadio.t.html?ref=books
————————————————————————————————
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AUR#832 Apr 22 Stalin’s Great Terror 70 Years Ago; In Ukraine 123,329 People Were Shot To Death; 68,823 Sent To Labor Camps; Russian Holodomor Archives

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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   

 
    STALIN’S GREAT TERROR 70 YEARS AGO    
              In Ukraine there were 265,669 arrests and 198,918 cases were
            committed for trial. Sixty-two percent (123,329 people) were shot
             to death, 34.7 percent (68,823) sent to labor camps, 2.1 percent
                          (4,124) imprisoned, 0.5 percent (1,067) exiled,
                            and 0.3 percent (658) released. (Article One)
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 832
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 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.                  STALIN’S GIFT TO THE SOVIET ELECTORATE
                                    70 years after the Great Terror
By Stanislav Kulchytsky, Professor and Historian
The Day Weekly Digest #12, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 17 April 2007

2UKRAINE: CONCERNING THE EVENTS TO COMMEMORATE THE
          75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HOLODOMOR IN 1932-1933
Presidential Decree #250/2007 (in Ukrainian)
President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 2

In English, Washington, D.C., Sunday, April 22, 2007

3UKRAINE, PRESIDENTIAL DECREE: “ON COORDINATING COUNCIL
             TO PREPARE FOR COMMEMORATING EVENTS ON THE
                   OCCASION OF THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE
                               1932-1933 HOLODOMOR IN UKRAINE”
Decree by the President of Ukraine #207/2007 (in Ukrainian)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #832, Article 3, (In English)
Washington, D. C., Sunday, April 22, 2007

4PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO SPEAKS TO HOLODOMOR COUNCIL
Official Website of President of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Mar 19, 2007

5.    UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT MEETS HOLODOMOR COMMITTEE
Press Office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 19, 2007

6RUSSIAN FEDERAL SECURTIY SERVICE (FSB) ARCHIVES TO OFFER
     REAL PICTURE OF 1929-1932 FAMINE SAYS UNIVERSITY RECTOR
                   “It was not only a Ukrainian tragedy, it was the tragedy for
                        the whole Soviet peasantry,” he said. Over 3.5 million
                   people died outside Ukraine during the Holodomor, he said.
Interfax, Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, April 17, 2007

7.            TO ALL THOSE WHO NEVER LIVED TO SEE A PARCEL
Memorial cross to Holodomor victims unveiled in Myrivka village, Kyiv oblast
INTERVIEW: With Mr. Pluhatarenko,
Interviewed by Nadia TYSIACHNA, The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine April 3, 2007

8YUSHCHENKO CALLS ON UKRAINIANS TO ACTIVELY COLLECT
                  MATERIALS ABOUT 1932-1933 GREAT FAMINE 
Zoya Zhminko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Mar 29, 2007

9YUSHCHENKO CALLS ON PARLIAMENTS OF ALL COUNTRIES TO
   DECLARE FAMINE OF 1932-1933 GENOCIDE AGAINST UKRAINIANS
Ruslan Kyrylenko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Apr 12, 2007

10.     CITY OF KYIV DECREE ON DESIGNING & CONSTRUCTING
              THE MEMORIAL COMPLEX TO THE VICTIMS OF THE
                                    HOLODOMORS IN UKRAINE
KYIV CITY STATE ADMINISTRATION, DECREE No. 315 [In Ukrainian]
The City of Kyiv, Friday, March 23, 2007

11.         KYIV PUTS OFF CONSTRUCTION OF FAMINE VICTIMS
                                     MEMORIAL TO 2007-2009
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 27, 2007

12KYIV MAYOR CHERNOVETSKY STALLING THE CONSTRUCTION
        OF THE MEMORIAL TO THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLODOMOR
Channel 5 TV, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, March 28,