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

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Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer

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

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

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

                        BUT COULD THE EU HAVE DONE MORE?
European Parliament, Strasbourg, France, Wed, April 25, 2007

                   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

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

                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

                     Yushchenko and Tymoshenko factions quit parliament
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 77
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash DC, Thursday, April 19, 2007

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

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


               Likely to remain solely a supplier of raw material to Europe
ANALYSIS: Pavel Polityuk, Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Mon, Apr 23, 2007


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

Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, April 24,2007 

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

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


                                        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
The Washington Times, Washington, D.C., Thursday, April 26, 2007

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1522 gmt 23 Apr 07
BBC Monitoring Service,United Kingdom, Wed, April 23, 2007

                 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
                    Hammer and Sickle will stay on the “Victory Banner”
By Christian Lowe, Reuters, Moscow, Russia, Friday, April 20, 2007
Oxford University Press, UK, Thu, 19 Apr 2007
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
            “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

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

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-

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

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

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

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

“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

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

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-

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

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

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.
Press Service of the CVU, Committee of Voters of Ukraine
P.B. 181, Kyiv-133, 01133  tel./fax: (044) 492-27-67
E- mail:,

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

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

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”.
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

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-

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


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.

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

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

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

(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

(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
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

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

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,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. (
(Ukrayinska pravda, April 7-18, Zerkalo Tyzhnia, April 14-20)
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


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

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

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

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

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


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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If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.
              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

“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.
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

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

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-

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

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
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.

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

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

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

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

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,

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

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

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

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.
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     You are welcome to send us names for the AUR distribution list.
18.                  YANUKOVICH’S LUST FOR POWER

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

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

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

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
Q&A after the film with filmmaker and Ukraine political analyst Taras Kuzio.

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.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
       Please contact us if you no longer wish to receive the AUR    
                 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

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

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

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

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
Oxford Press, Natalie TAYLOR,

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

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.

                              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

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.” 
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

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

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

“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.”

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

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

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
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
24.                LET’S UNEARTH THE TRUTH
                 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
           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:

      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.”


     “We eagerly await a positive response from Armenia, agreeing to establish
      this joint commission and declaring its readiness to accept its

      …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.”

               For more information, please visit

       Paid for by the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey, Washington, D.C.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

           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

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

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

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

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IT work in Ukraine. Contact: Yuriy Sivitsky, Vice President, Marketing,
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Financial Officer, Chicago, IL;
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Lives, Five Countries,” ‘Her life’s journey begins with the 1932-1933
genocidal famine in Ukraine.’ Hollywood, CA,
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A program of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, Washington, D.C.
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                          PUBLISHER AND EDITOR – AUR
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs
Washington Office, SigmaBleyzer, The Bleyzer Foundation

Emerging Markets Private Equity Investment Group;
President, U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, Washington;
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P.O. Box 2607, Washington, D.C. 20013, Tel: 202 437 4707;
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