AUR#842 May 14 Western Ukraine Tourism Project; Ukraine Ranks 78th In Travel & Tourism Index; Political Pop Parade; Seven Wonders Of Ukraine

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

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

 
        THE BUSINESS OF TRAVEL & TOURISM
    UKRAINE RANKS 78TH IN WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM’S
    FIRST TRAVEL & TOURISM COMPETITIVENESS REPORT
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 842
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., MONDAY, MAY 14, 2007 

               –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
            Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
   Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.              “ENJOY UKRAINE” TOUR OF WESTERN UKRAINE
             Western Ukraine Tourism Development Project, A “Pilot” Tour
                              Enjoy Ukraine from a native’s perspective
                                Friday, July 6 to Sunday, July 15, 2007
By Charlotte Siggins, Western Ukraine Tourism Development Project
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #842, Article 1
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, May 14, 2007
 
2.    UKRAINE RANKS 78TH IN WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM’S FIRST
                 TRAVEL & TOURISM COMPETITIVENESS REPORT
The Ukrainian Times, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 5, 2007

3.    UKRAINE PRES DECLARES 2008 YEAR OF TOURISM & RESORTS
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, February 22, 2007

4.   ALL ROOMS RESERVED AT LVIV HOTELS PERIOD OF EURO-2012

Interfax-Ukraine, Lviv, Ukraine, Wednesday, April 25, 2007

5.        SERBIA’S “PRAYER” WINS EUROVISION SONG CONTEST
                 Ukrainian drag queen Verka Serduchka and his bombastic
               techno-dance tune “Dancing Lasha Tumbai,” finished second
By Kim McLaughlin, Reuters, Helsinki, Finland, Saturday, May 12, 2007

6.                   EUROVISION 2007: POLITICAL POP PARADE
COMMENTARY: By Lidia A. Wolanskyj
Wordsmith.com, Western Ukraine, Sunday, May 13, 2007

7.                          “SEVEN WONDERS OF UKRAINE”
          Seven most unique places in Ukraine to be announced on July 7
By Oksana MYKOLIUK, The Day Weekly Digest

Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 3, 2007

8.         TOURIST SEASON LAUNCHED IN KAMIANETS-PODILSKY 
By Mykhailo VASYLEVSKY, The Day Weekly Digest

Photos by Ihor KOSTYK, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 3, 2007

9.                   REBUILDING MUSEUM TOURISM IN CRIMEA
By Mykyta KASIANENKO, The Day Weekly Digest
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 17, 2007

10.       TERNOPIL REGION TO SET UP REGIONAL INFORMATION
                                  AND TOURISM CENTER IN 2007 
Oles Rudyk, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, March 27, 2007

11.      UKRAINE: BABYN YAR MEMORIAL COMPLEX PUT UNDER

                 CONTROL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM MINISTRY
            Over 100,000 Kyivans and war prisoners of different nationalities
                       and religions were shot in Babyn Yar during WWII
Olena Honcharenko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, March 2, 2007

12.      TRAVEL GUIDE REFLECTS REVIVAL IN EASTERN EUROPE
      “National Geographic Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe”
By Dinah Spritzer, JTA News Service
The Florida Jewish News, South Florida, Friday, 04 May 2007

13.  UKRAINE: CABINET URGES PARLIAMENT TO ENDORSE LIST OF
1,500 CULTURAL HERITAGE OBJECTS THAT CANNOT BE PRIVATIZED

Ukrainian News Service, Kyiv, Ukraine, February 16, 2007

14.                                 UNDISCOVERED UKRAINE
                              National tourism promised breakthrough
By Oksana MYKOLIUK, The Day Weekly Digest

Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 20, 2007

15PROFITABLE INTEREST: HOW TO ATTRACT TOURISTS TO KYIV
By Vladyslav PAVLOV, The Day Weekly Digest

Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 3, 2007

16.   BUILDING ‘A NEW COUNTRY’ FOR SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS
              “Within five years we will build a new country,” Ukraine soccer
                federation president Hrihoriy Surkis said Wednesday after the
                 joint bid won the right to host the tournament. “We won’t have
                                       a better opportunity to do so.”
Associated Press, Cardiff, Wales, Friday, April 20, 2007

17.      SLOVAK, UKRAINIAN BORDER REGIONS WANT EASIER

                 TRAVELLING, SPECIAL BORDER REGIME ZONE
Czech News Agency (CTK) , Prague, Czech Republic, Sat, May 12, 2007

18.       UKRAINIAN ENVOY TO EU SAYS VISA PROBLEMS HARM
        UKRAINIAN TRUCKING COMPANIES ON EUROPEAN MARKET

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1535 gmt 8 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, May 08, 2007

19.           ENGLE EUROPE TO BUILD $90 MILLION KIEV MALL
                               Company’s sixth project in Ukraine.
Uri Shuster, Globes Online, Rishon Le-Zion, Israel, Sun, 13 May 13, 2007

20.      DEVELOPERS DIVERSIFIED PLANS TO PUT UP MALLS IN

By STAN BULLARD, Crane’s Cleveland Business Online
Cleveland, Ohio, Monday, May 7, 2007
 
21UKRAINE: ISRAELI BUSINESSMAN TO BUILD 16,000 HOUSING UNITS 
                 Adi Keizman of ADO Group enters Ukrainian real estate market
Ofer Petersburg, Ynetnews.com, Tel Aviv, Israel, Thu, May 10, 2007
22. POLISH MEAT PRODUCER ACQUIRES 3RD UKRAINIAN COMPANY
Interfax, Warsaw, Poland, Monday, May 7, 2007
 
23.                                IMPLEMENTING SIX SIGMA
      Training Conference and Management Institute, Sterling Business School
                  Wednesday – Thursday, May 23-24, Donetsk, Ukraine
Reno Domenico, President and Executive Director
Sterling Business School Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, May 2007
 
24. UKRAINE: COMPETITION “MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART”
               Exhibition of the Finalists in Kiev, Opening on Friday, May 18
By Kathrin Singer-Zaharieva, Executive Director, Art Foundation “EIDOS”
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #842, Article 24
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, May 14, 2007
 
Chris Ford, Tutor in Trade Union Studies,
Workers Educational Association London
London, United Kingdom, Friday, May 11, 2007
 
26.               RUSSIA CRITICIZES LVIV, UKRAINE FOR PLAN
        TO DISMANTLE MONUMENTS & SYMBOLS OF SOVIET PAST 
Interfax news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1040 gmt 12 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service – United Kingdom, Saturday May 12, 2007
 
27.  SENIOR RUSSIAN LAWMAKER: POLAND SHOULD CAREFULLY
               CONSIDER BILL ABOUT REMOVAL OF MONUMENTS
RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 7, 2007
 
28.              A WAR OF WORDS OVER RUSSIAN LANGUAGE
                           Former Soviet republics limit use of language
By Erika Niedowski, Sun Foreign Reporter
Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, Maryland, Saturday, May 12, 2007
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1
     “ENJOY UKRAINE” TOUR OF WESTERN UKRAINE
             Western Ukraine Tourism Development Project, A “Pilot” Tour
                          Enjoy Ukraine from a native’s perspective
                           Friday, July 6 to Sunday, July 15, 2007

By Charlotte Siggins, Western Ukraine Tourism Development Project
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #842, Article 1
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, May 14, 2007

KYIV – In September, 2006, several U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers serving

in the Ivano-Frankivsk region of Western Ukraine, formed a Tourism Task
Force to work towards developing the tourism industry in Western Ukraine.

The Task Force, together with local Business Centers in the region, have now
created the Western Ukraine Tourism Project and are offering a “pilot” tour
to showcase the beauty of the countryside of Western Ukraine.

Whereas, the cities such as Kyiv and Lviv get their fair share of tourists,
the countryside is virtually unknown to Westerners from the United States
and Canada, and probably even Western Europe.

The goal is not only to bring tourism to Western Ukraine, but also to train
local businessmen/women how to cope with the tourists once they come—-

and, keep them coming.

Such trainings include customer service training, workshops on strategic
planning, tour guide training. All necessary components for successful
building of the tourism industry.
                  YOU ARE INVITED TO ENJOY UKRAINE
We, the members of the Task Force, invite you to enjoy the beauty of the
countryside, the charm of village life, the excitement of the city, the
magic of local festivals..and, many other secrets of why life is wonderful in
Ukraine.

ARRIVE: In Lviv, Friday, July 6th. You will be met at the airport and for
the next 8 days will experience the warmth and hospitality of the Ukrainian
people as they show you the country of which they are so proud.

TOUR COST: Single US $1,125, Double US $1,875. Price includes hotel
rooms, meals, local transportation, events and entertainment, translation
and guides. (Excluding airfare)
DEADLINE: for registration: Friday, June 1st, 2007
INFORMATION: For further information and registration:
Western Ukraine Tourism Development Project
mbarnhil@aol.com or furda@business.if.ua.

          “ENJOY UKRAINE” TOURISM TOUR ITINERARY
“Enjoy Ukraine” Tourism Tour Itinerary (Subject to Change)
JULY 6th Arrival at L’viv airport
Motor coach transport to Ivano-Frankivsk
Check in Auscoprut Hotel http://www.auscoprut.if.ua
JULY 7th Welcome Breakfast at hotel
Open Day – City tours, St. John’s holiday events (City Park and Lake)
Dinner at Arkan Restaurant
JULY 8th Day trip to Halych/ Breakfast at hotel
Tour of Halych castle/churches/monuments – Lunch at local cafe,

Water rafting trip – BBQ with Ukrainian music/entertainment
JULY 9th Day trip to Dolyna/ Breakfast at hotel
Visit Hoshiv Monastery; Tour/hiking at Park Dovbush Rocks
Lunch at Park, Tram train ride into Carpathian Mountains
BBQ in the countryside
JULY 10th Check out of Auscoprut Hotel/Breakfast at hotel
Depart for Nadvirna – Museum of KGB and Pniv Fortress – Travel to
Yaremche – Water fall, souvenir market – Lunch at Grazhda Restaurant
Travel to Kolomyia and Check in “On the Corner” Bed and Breakfast
Dinner – “On the Corner” http://onthecorner.karpaty.info
JULY 11th Open Day in Kolomyia/Breakfast at “On the Corner”
Day hike excursions, museums, bazaar/Lunch at Zgarda Restaurant
Dinner – “On the Corner”
JULY 12th Day Trip to Kosiv/Breakfast at “On the Corner”
Tour of local artist studios; Lunch – café
Afternoon/evening excursion to experience Hutsul traditions/customs
Traditional Hutsul dinner in Sheshory
JULY 13th Green Tourism Day/Breakfast at “On the Corner”/BBQ lunch
at cottage Silver Lake Cottage http://silver-lake.karpaty.info fishing,
hiking, horses, Dinner- Traditional Hutsul wedding celebration
JULY 14th Check out “On the Corner” and depart for L’viv/Breakfast
“On the Corner”, Coffee break in Rohatyn, Lunch – box lunch on motor
coach Check in Grand Hotel in L’viv http://ghgroup.com.ua
Open afternoon/evening (tour L’viv)
JULY 15th Check out Grand Hotel
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NOTE FROM AUR: For further information regarding the tour or the
Western Ukraine Tourism Development Project, contact Charlotte
Siggins at dcsiggins@yahoo.com.
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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2. UKRAINE RANKS 78TH IN WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM’S FIRST
              TRAVEL & TOURISM COMPETITIVENESS REPORT

The Ukrainian Times, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 5, 2007

GENEVA – Geneva – Switzerland, Austria and Germany have the most
attractive environments for developing the travel and tourism industry,
according to the very first ranking of its kind in the Travel & Tourism
Competitiveness Report 2007, released by the World Economic Forum.

Iceland, the United States, Hong Kong, Canada, Singapore, Luxembourg
and the United Kingdom complete the top ten list, while Ukraine ranked
78th [out of the 124 counties covered].

“Our study is not a ‘beauty contest’, or a statement about the
attractiveness of a country. On the contrary, we aim to measure the factors
that make it attractive to develop the travel and tourism industry of
individual countries.

The top rankings of Switzerland, Austria and Germany, Hong Kong and
Singapore demonstrate the importance of supportive business and regulatory
frameworks, coupled with world-class transport and tourism infrastructure
and a focus on nurturing human and natural resources, for fostering an
environment that is attractive for developing the travel & tourism (T&T)
sector,” said Jennifer Blanket, Senior Economist of the World Economic
Forum’s Global Competitiveness Network.

The rankings are based on the first-ever Travel & Tourism Competitiveness
Index (TTCI) covering 124 countries around the world.

The TTCI uses a combination of data from publicly available sources,
international T&T institutions and T&T experts, as well as the results of
the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by
the World Economic Forum, together with its network of Partner Institutes
(leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries
covered by the Report.

The Survey provides unique data on many qualitative institutional and
business environment issues.

Further, for the purposes of this study and this specific report, a number
of new questions related to T&T competitiveness were added to the Survey
on issues such as the quality of destination marketing and the government’s
prioritization of the T&T industry. These questions provide entirely new
data related to T&T competitiveness.

        PILLARS OF TRAVEL AND TOURISM COMPETITIVENESS
The TTCI measures the factors and policies that make it attractive to
develop the T&T sector in different countries. It is composed of a number
of “pillars” of travel and tourism competitiveness, of which there are 13 in
all. These are:
     1. Policy rules and regulations.
     2. Environmental regulation
     3. Safety and security.
     4. Health and hygiene.
     5. Prioritization of travel and tourism.
     6. Air transport infrastructure.
     7. Ground transport infrastructure.
     8. Tourism infrastructure.
     9. Information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure.
     10. Price competitiveness.
     11. Human capital.
     12. National tourism perception.
     13. Natural and cultural resources.

“Showing the full economic impact of the sector in the Index will enhance
travel & tourism’s relevance for policy-makers.

The Index makes clear that, although industrialized states currently
dominate, poorer countries have a massive potential to be the leading force
in international tourism,” said Geoffrey Lipan, Assistant Secretary General
of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

“The Index will encourage governments to understand the importance of travel
& tourism and create an economic environment, which will help this economic
activity to create entrepreneurs, jobs and careers.

It will also stimulate the public and private sectors to play leading roles
in the issues the world is facing in terms of environmental, social and
cultural challenges,” said Jean-Claude Baumgartner, President of the World
Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

“The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2007 is designed for any
executive looking to grow in global markets – with a specific focus on
emerging markets. Learning’s from this report will allow industry too
effectively and efficiently engage governments in creating blueprints for
sustainable and viable travel & tourism industry development,” said Thee
Cheese, Head of Aviation, Travel and Tourism at the World Economic Forum.

“The World Economic Forum has been actively engaged in studying issues
related to national competitiveness for nearly three decades. Given the
importance of the travel and tourism industry to the world economy, the
objective of the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2007 is to explore
the factors driving travel and tourism competitiveness worldwide.

The World Economic Forum has engaged a number of industry and thought
leaders, through its Industry Partnership Programmed, with the goal of
constructing a platform for multistakeholder dialogue to ensure the
development of strong and sustainable national travel and tourism industries
capable of contributing effectively to international economic development,”
noted Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

The report also features a number of essays on key T&T issues, ranging from
an analysis of how air transport connectivity boosts national productivity
and economic growth to the role of electronic payments and destination
marketing in driving T&T competitiveness.

The last part of the report contains detailed country profiles for the 124
economies featured in the study, providing a comprehensive summary of the
overall position in the Index rankings as well as a guide to what are
considered to be the most prominent T&T competitive advantages and
disadvantages of each. Also included is an extensive section of data tables
including each indicator used in the Index’s computation.

The report was produced by the World Economic Forum in close collaboration
with its Strategic Design Partner, Booz Allen Hamilton, and its Data
Partners: the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the World
Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Travel & Tourism Council
(WTTC).

The World Economic Forum has also received important feedback from a
number of key companies that are industry partners in the effort, such as
Bombardier, Carlson and Emirates Group. Several thought leaders from these
companies and organizations have also contributed insightful papers
addressing various aspects of travel & tourism competitiveness.   -30-
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World Economic Forum Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report:
http://www.weforum.org/en/initiatives/gcp/TravelandTourismReport/index.htm
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UKRAINE PROFILE : http://www.weforum.org/pdf/tourism/Ukraine.pdf
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COMPETITIVE INDEX, RANKING OF COUNTRIES
http://www.weforum.org/en/initiatives/gcp/TravelandTourismReport/CompetitivenessIndex/index.htm

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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3. UKRAINE PRES DECLARES 2008 YEAR OF TOURISM & RESORTS

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, February 22, 2007

KYIV – President Viktor Yuschenko has declared 2008 the Year of Tourism

and Resorts. Ukrainian News learned this from his decree No.136/2007 of
February 21.

The president gave the Cabinet of Ministers time until the end of 2007 to
develop and approve under the established procedure a strategy for stable
development of tourism and resorts in Ukraine.

Additionally, he ordered Cabinet to:
     [1] take measures for development of touring business and encourage
     tourism among children and youth;
     [2] take measures for strengthening the positive image of Ukraine as a
     tourist country on international market;
     [3] draft a bill amending the law on state awards by way of
     establishing the honorary title of Honorable Worker of Tourism

     Industry and submit it to the Verkhovna Rada for consideration;
     [4] earmark financing in the 2008 national budget and next years’
     budgets for implementation of the stable tourism development strategy.

Yuschenko gave corresponding instructions to the Council of Ministers of
Crimea, and state administrations of the regions, the cities of Kyiv and
Sevastopol.

The State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting is tasked to
provide broad coverage of the events set out in the presidential decree.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Yuschenko declared 2006 the Year of
Protection of Children’s Rights. He intended to declare 2007 the Year of
Ukrainian Book.                                         -30-

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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4. ALL ROOMS RESERVED AT LVIV HOTELS PERIOD OF EURO-2012
 
Interfax-Ukraine, Lviv, Ukraine, Wednesday, April 25, 2007
 
LVIV – All rooms have already been reserved at Lviv’s hotels for the time of
the European Football Championship, which is to be hosted by Ukraine and
Poland in 2012, Andrian Klish of Lviv regional state administration has said.
“All rooms in [Lviv’s] hotels have been reserved,” he said at a briefing in
Lviv on Wednesday.

He said there were no vacant rooms both in existing hotels and hotels that
are being built or just being designed.
Andriy Matseliukh, the director of Lviv association for development of
tourism, said in turn that there were only rooms for 3,000 people in
existing hotels in Lviv.

Klish said the Lviv city authorities had plans to build 20 new hotels by
2012. A new stadium will be also built until 2012 and the airport will be
reconstructed, he said.                               -30-
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5. SERBIA’S “PRAYER” WINS EUROVISION SONG CONTEST
               Ukrainian drag queen Verka Serduchka and his bombastic
              techno-dance tune “Dancing Lasha Tumbai,” finished second

By Kim McLaughlin, Reuters, Helsinki, Finland, Saturday, May 12, 2007

HELSINKI – Serbia’s Marija Serifovic won the Eurovision Song Contest on
Saturday, beating competitors from 23 other countries in a three-hour
televised mishmash of power ballads, ethnic rhythms, and bubble-gum pop.

Serifovic, 22, scored 268 points from telephone voters in 42 countries with
her potent but simply staged ballad “Molitva,” or “Prayer.”

“I honestly think that a new chapter has opened for Serbia and not only in
music. I’m proud,” Serifovic told a news conference after the contest,
broadcast live across Europe to an estimated 100 million viewers.

Serbia spent the 1990s embroiled in Balkan wars and largely isolated
internationally under Slobodan Milosevic, and its transition to democracy
has been marked by failed elections and political assassinations.

It was Serbia’s first solo appearance in the contest, held this year in the
Finnish capital Helsinki after monster-masked rockers Lordi secured
Finland’s first win last year.

The contest is a live showcase for pop music talent selected by each nation
in preliminary rounds.

An elegant black-tie event throughout the 1950s, the flagship of the
European Broadcasting Union’s light entertainment programming is now

widely derided in Western Europe for often trite and lightweight
performances.
                           EASTERN EUROPE INTEREST
But it has drawn increasing interest from viewers in Eastern Europe and
thousands of fans and journalists travel to the host country.

Serbian fans were delighted at Serifovic’s victory. “She has a great voice,
and it was a great performance. Finally a great song won the … contest,”
said Aleksandar Miscevic, a 22-year-old airline steward.

“Serbia had a great song, we really showed Europe what we can do. It was

the best song, and she is one of the best singers anywhere,” he said.

While most Eurovision winners quickly, and perhaps deservedly, fade back
into obscurity, the contest helped launch the careers of ABBA and Celine
Dion.

Serifovic’s somber performance was in stark contrast to Ukrainian drag queen
Verka Serduchka and his bombastic techno-dance tune “Dancing Lasha

Tumbai,” which finished second with 235 points. Russian pop trio Serebro
finished  third with 207 points.
In 2004, Ukraine won and Serbia and Montenegro came second.

Lordi reprised last year’s winning song “Hard Rock Hallelujah”
pyrotechnic-filled opening number in front of an audience of 10,000 in
Helsinki’s Hartwall arena. Nearly 25,000 fans watched the show on giant
screens in the city’s central square.

All countries in this year’s contest avoided the dreaded “nul points.”
Ireland, which has won seven times, was last with five points.
Britain and France jointly finished in the next spot up from Ireland with 19
points. Eighteen countries were eliminated in semi-finals on Thursday.
(Additional reporting by Sakari Suoninen)
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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6.            EUROVISION 2007: POLITICAL POP PARADE

COMMENTARY: By Lidia A. Wolanskyj
Wordsmith.com, Western Ukraine, Sunday, May 13, 2007

Once again Europe’s middle-aged (52) singing contest hit millions of screens
around the world on May 12. Being somewhere in that range myself and
curious, as always, what would be the fate of the Ukrainian entry, I tuned
in.

The truth is that, other than ABBA, no one’s really launched a musical
career through this slightly silly, generally uneven and politically driven
(vote-wise) competition. Yet it’s up to 42 countries now, with a growing
audience and viewership, and some oldies (like Austria) have even returned
to the fold.

Moreover, in terms of the voting, I suspect many a minor eastern European
country is smugly pleased at the way it and its equally minor neighbors are
swaying the vote against the historic European behemoths and in favor of
their friends.

Countries with large immigrant populations elsewhere in the region (like
Turkey) also do well, whereas a country like Britain, whose former colonies
(other than Malta) have no part in this “European” event, can do very badly
indeed, even when their entries, like this year’s Scooch, are both good,
experienced singers and put on an amusing act.

Actually, I had watched a little last weekend, when the finalists, 10 lucky
songsters out of a field of 28, were selected. According to Eurovision
rules, the Top Ten from the previous year and the Big Four (England, France,
Germany and Spain, tellingly out of the winning for years now) get an
automatic pass.

This year, both Ukraine and Russia qualified, so they did not have to
undergo a public dress rehearsal and could instead enjoy wandering around
chilly Helsinki and indulging fans.

The semi-final, what I saw of it, was a relative yawn and I was glad to see
many of the singers passed over when I tuned in for the final.

No one’s more surprised than I am, now, to admit that Eurovision 2007
was-rather impressive.

Having watched the contest for several years now, ever since Ukraine began
participating-as a Canadian, I had, of course, never heard of it before
that-, I was prepared for an over-long evening of similar-sounding pop
songs, at least one Ruslana imitation, a couple of ultra camp numbers-and
any number of singers out of tune. But the range of music coupled with more
real talent than usual actually made it hard for me to decide who would get
my #1 vote.

Of course, there were at least four ABBA wannabes: Spain’s disco number,
Finland’s rockish version, Britain’s parody, and Russia’s dynamic quartet of
schoolgirls. Yet the rock guitars raised Finland above musical soup, while
Britain’s aging Scooch did a fun spoof of disco boobs, managing to make the
safety announcements on an airplane sound positively salacious.

Speaking of salacious, Russia’s undemure damsels in their black-and-white
school uniforms with thigh-high woolen stockings packed such a professional
punch that I would even have put down a three-hryvnia vote on them. That is,
had I seen the call-in number more than once on the screen!

While Moldova did a blatant, unsatisfying Ruslana imitation, complete with a
high yell at the end, Slovenia’s young lady was a tolerable Sarah Brightman
in the making, flashing a light across her face and creating what I would
call a Titanic effect-drowning in blue water.

Georgia also opted for a moderate Ruslana effect, although the singer in her
red Nicole Kidman gown did not quite mesh with four leaping, sword-wielding
Georgians in traditional gear (black voluminous coats with high collars,
black trousers and black boots) swirling in the background. I did like the
Katya Chilly-like qualities of her voice, but the parts never quite made a
whole.

Macedonia tried to go in that direction, too, but the young lady in green
warbling up front while dancers in sporty gear did strange balletic
maneuvers behind her back didn’t work for me, either. What did appeal to me
was Bulgaria’s entry.

The young singer had not only a fabulous voice in the style of the famed
Bulgarian women’s chorus with a Katya Chilly-like edginess, but also a group
of impressive drummers backing her up-and pounded the skins tolerably well
herself.

At the other end, there was Ireland’s lame folkish band barely singing in
tune, Bosnia with its girls in long flowery dresses warbling up a storm,
Greece’s girlish boy doing a disco number called “Yasni Maria” while four
real McCoys (girls) in bras and skorts vamped him up. Total yawns.

Turkey’s kitschy singer was another throwback to the disco era who managed
to get quite high marks, though Cyprus cold-shouldered him completely
(maybe that side of the island doesn’t have phones or TVs???).

Romania’s sextet leaping and hoe-downing “Love ya” in six languages was an
unabashed effort to gain votes from the Big Countries…and I guess it
worked: Spain gave them a 12 if I remember correctly!

Belarus’s Kozlowski-like singer, backed up by more of the same in black, did
surprisingly well in the votes as well, reaping the benefit of a political
chill between Ukraine and Russia, who traditionally give each other top
marks.

The number excellent performances and their wide range of musical genres was
what surprised me the most this year. Hungary’s Malgorsza in her working
class undershirt, blue jeans and ratty little suitcase singing
“Unsubstantial Blues” proved one of the most substantial talents at the show
and I would have given a couple of three-hryvnia votes for her.

Germany’s Roger Cicero (couldn’t miss the name, lit up like “All That Jazz”
in the background), as the offspring of a well-known musician from the
seventies, had a solid jazz number, although the refrain in English (“Guess
who rules the world”) was much better than in the original German (“Women
rule the world”). Then again, maybe there was a nuance in there for the
international Eurovision camp.

Lithuania’s mellow jazz-blues number was worth a vote, too. As were any
number of the other groups, even if they were ABBA, Ruslana or very camp.
Armenia’s low ranking politically was probably a major reason why its
handsome young crooner, with his great, romantic voice and uncluttered style
did not make the top five.

But Eurovision art is ever-more imitating Eurovision life, meaning its most
active fans, with a growing number of overtly gay and cross-dressing
performers. France had its pink punk fags, Sweden had its black-and-white
Ozzie Ozborne-like metal fags, and Latvia had its top-hats doing a campish
but talented Il Divo imitation.

Ukraine, of course, had everybody’s favorite middle-aged queen in silver
shine, Virka Serdiuchka, shaking and shimmying and strutting her boobs,
surrounded by a pack of silvery toy boys, and (!) patting the bums of two
toy girls (the genuine articles) in the background.

New to this year’s Vision was a butch young lady from Serbia singing
“Molytva” or “The Prayer,” backed by a quartet of women, all dressed in male
evening dress. Her voice really was worth a vote, although I thought the
number would prove too dramatic, even mournful, for Eurovision fans.

But we all know Eurovision’s not just about singing talent. It helps to have
a bunch of tiny neighbors whose 50,000 votes can cancel out millions of
votes in Germany, Spain and Italy.

Which is why Serbia came first with about 20 points more than runner-up
Ukraine, who, in turn, left somewhat gap to third-place Russia.

I honestly thought Serdiuchka/Danylko’s song was one of the lamest I’d ever
heard him sing, a sort of Teutonic-Slavic disco-mechano-rap blend and I
wouldn’t have spent even a penny voting for him, even if he is from Ukraine.
Musically, his song was probably one of the worst at Eurovision 2007.

But popularity being such an elusive and illusive thing-Danylko was so
popular in Finland that he was asked to model a line of clothes and was
mobbed by fans everywhere s/he went-and ethnic politics being what they
are, Ukraine handsomely beat out Russia for second place behind Serbia.

Imagine that-without even having any empire to vote for its star!   -30-
—————————————————————————————————
NOTE:  Lidia A. Wolanskyj has 20 years’ experience as a professional
editor, writer and translator. 10 years as editor-in-chief of Eastern
Economist, an English-language weekly in Ukraine, Dining out in Kyiv

(3 editions), and other publications under the Matlid Publications brand.

Over 10 prizes and honors for poetry and fiction in Canada, the US and UK.
Poems and fiction have appeared in The Antigonish Review, Arc, The English
Quarterly, Green’s Magazine, Pierian Spring, Poetry Canada Review, Potlatch,
Quarry, Room of One’s Own, Ukrainian News, and Zest.
—————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://wordsmith.org.ua. Second site: http://www.dorianky.org.ua

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7.         “SEVEN WONDERS OF UKRAINE”
         Seven most unique places in Ukraine to be announced on July 7

By Oksana MYKOLIUK, The Day Weekly Digest
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Recently the Internet site Ukrainska Pravda (Ukrainian Truth,
www2.pravda.com.ua) published the writer Oksana Zabuzhko’s cry of

the heart, an article in which she deplores the fact that Ukraine is not a
highly-cultured country because it is not doing anything to promote its
cultural brands, which would make us recognizable worldwide.

Not a single state official is even contemplating something like this and no
one understands the need for this.

It is hard to disagree with the author, but the announcement of a recent
cultural event inspires hope that things are finally getting off the ground.
                           “SEVEN WONDERS OF UKRAINE”
A few days ago the national campaign “Seven Wonders of Ukraine” was

launched on the initiative of the Verkhovna Rada’s Deputy Speaker Mykola
Tomenko, who is also heading the campaign jury.

Among the jury members are the head of the State Tourism and Resorts Service
Anatolii Pakhlia, acting head of the Parliamentary Committee on Family,
Youth Policy, Sports, and Tourism Oleksandr Volkov, Rector of Ostroh

Academy National University Ihor Pasichnyk, and People’s Artist Natalia
Sumska-15 people in all, as well as the heads of 27 regional organization
committees.

Their task is to select from among Ukraine’s dozens or even hundreds of
historic and cultural monuments the seven most unique, interesting, and
mysterious ones that would be on par with world historic monuments and
boldly confirm their status as Ukraine’s wonder.

Tomenko said that it was a matter of principle for him to have this campaign
run concurrently with the world campaign, which has to determine seven
wonders of the world (not to be confused with the Seven Wonders of the
ancient world).

“We are synchronizing our campaign with its worldwide counterpart, and on
July 7, 2007, when the global campaign ‘Seven Wonders of the World’ reaches
the finals, we will make the announcement about Ukraine’s seven
wonders-during the live televised broadcast of the traditional cultural
event, the ‘Kupala Games in Gogol’s Native Land.’
                         SELECT WONDER OF WONDERS
On Ukrainian Independence Day, Aug. 24, we will select Ukraine’s wonder of
wonders-one main attraction out of seven. I am sure that Ukraine’s seven
wonders will become new symbols of the state and its regions.

We are proposing that regional committees select their candidates from their
historic and cultural heritage, but we don’t want to limit anyone’s
initiatives.

Ukraine is extremely rich in unique sites, so natural wonders can be named.
For example, Kherson oblast has the largest desert in Europe,” said Tomenko.

The organizers of the “Seven Wonders of Ukraine” campaign are hoping that it
will make our tourist map more understandable and provide tips to Ukrainian
and foreign tourists about where to go and what to see.

According to Tomenko, an important moment is the break with the traditional
itinerary Lviv-Kyiv- Crimea because other regions of Ukraine have historic
monuments that are no less unique.
      NATIONAL CAMPAIGN: “GET TO KNOW UKRAINE!”
This national campaign is the continuation of the series “Get to Know
Ukraine!” aimed at helping people get acquainted with their own country, its
history, and rich tourism and recreational potential.

Informational and tourism events have already taken place in Poltava oblast
(“Kupala Games in Gogol’s Native Land”), Chernihiv oblast (“A Starry Night
in Kachanivka”), Zaporizhia (“Discovering the Island of Khortytsia”), and
the Bukovyna region (“Shrovetide in Bukovyna”).

On Friday, March 30, a campaign called “Amber Legends of Rivne Region”

was launched in Volyn.

Tomenko is hoping that the July announcement to the world of Ukraine’s
wonders will not be the end of the work but only the beginning. The
organizers admit that the campaign does not require much financing.

However, once a historic monument is been included among the seven wonders,
the surrounding infrastructure will need to be developed, the monument
preserved, and transport connections improved.

This is where financing from the State Tourism and Resorts Service will be
needed, and legislators will have to remember their promises to support the
campaign and improve existing laws in order to foster the development of
domestic tourism.

Whether this project comes to fruition will depend primarily on the efforts
and willingness of the central and local authorities. It would be very
objectionable to acknowledge, discuss, and praise Ukraine’s wonders with
great pomp only to find numerous reasons to abandon them.
                 FROM THE EDITORS: SHARE YOUR IDEAS
Dear readers:
Which cultural and historic monument would you call Ukraine’s wonder? Share
your ideas on the pages of The Day. Write us at vul. Marshala Tymoshenka,
2L, Kyiv 04212, Ukraine. E-mail: master@day.kiev.ua, subject: Ukraine’s
wonder.                                                   -30-

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8.  TOURIST SEASON LAUNCHED IN KAMIANETS-PODILSKY 

By Mykhailo VASYLEVSKY, The Day Weekly Digest
Photos by Ihor KOSTYK, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The city of Kamianets-Podilsky is an ancient Podillian city of stone on the
high banks of the Smotrych River. It is famous throughout Ukraine for its
beautiful natural surroundings and the talented building skills of our
unforgettable ancestors.

“Our cherished dream is for travelers to visit Kamianets-Podilsky and leave
their money here,” Mayor Oleksandr Mazurchak says, describing the city
authorities’ pragmatic approach to 174 preserved or scrupulously restored
historic monuments.

The city fathers recently took another step on the way to the golden dream
by organizing a large-scale project to mark the opening of the 2007 tourist
season. This is information on what is on offer to tourists visiting
Kamianets-Podilsky: hotels, restaurants, entertainment centers, and
educational tours.

Over the past few years the city has seen an impressive rise in the volume
of tourism. In 2001 the city welcomed 95,000 tourists, 125,000 in 2002,

132,000 in 2003, 166,000 in 2004, and 200,000 in 2005.

Repeat visitors to Kamianets- Podilsky, who come two or three years after
their first visit, credit citizens’ private initiative, especially local residents,

for the rise in tourism. At last, tourists know where to find accommodations.

There are several hotels with different price ranges to suit every pocket:
the well-heeled can snag a room for 1,100 hryvnias a night, while
budget-minded tourists can find economy-class apartments for 214 hryvnias

a night.

Tourists will return home with unforgettable impressions of hotel interiors
and high standards of restaurant service. No one will miss an opportunity to
enjoy the view of the old and contemporary city from their hotel’s
observation deck. 

                       SEE THE OLD FORTRESS’S WALLS                         
From there you can see the walls of the Old Fortress’s walls, the Old
Castle. One of the castle towers, built in 1503-13, used to be called the
Pope’s Tower because the money for its construction was donated by popes
Julius the Second and Leo X.

In 19th century, when the fortress was turned into a prison, the famous
Podillian opryshok (brigand) Ustym Karmaliuk was jailed there. In 1823
Karmaliuk organized his escape from the Pope’s Tower, later renamed
Karmaliuk’s Tower.

A walk around the old city brings visitors to the Polish Market Square,
above which towers the City Council building. Beyond Castle Bridge are the
Triumphal Arch and SS. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Cathedral.

After this bird’s eye view of these and other city monuments, visitors will
definitely be inspired to examine them more closely and plunge into history,
while listening to the tour guide’s narration.

You will hear that the oldest chronicle of the Old Fortress dates back to
1494, and that you could reach the castle from the city through the gate
guarded from the tower.

                      FIVE-SIDED NEW EASTERN TOWER
The five-sided New Eastern Tower extends beyond the edge of the walls. A
plaque on one of its walls bears the inscription: “1544, To God Alone Be the
Glory. Ion Pretvych, architect.”

During the ceremony to launch the opening of the 2007 tourist season
listeners were acquainted with the city’s tourism infrastructure. They heard
from budding hotel owners and their more seasoned competitors, some of whom
boasted about the visit to their establishment of Viktor Yushchenko on the
eve of his presidency. Others recounted the impression that their hotel
produced on a foreign diplomat.

A female hotel owner mentioned a feature film that was shot in her
establishment, in which she played the leading role. Restaurateurs recounted
what some celebrities drank and ate.

But everyone had nothing but praise for the city fathers for fulfilling
point after point of the plan to boost tourism, which is aimed at
transforming Kamianets-Podilsky with its historic heritage into a tourist
mecca.

Representatives from the Polish cities of Zawercze, Przemysl (Peremyshl),
and Czestochowa, Villasana de Mena (Spain,) and Ponte Lambro (Italy) took
part in the launch.

In their speeches at the scientific-practical conference on “Castles and
Fortresses as Tourism Objects: Practice, Experience, and Perspectives” they
talked about their historical heritage and the way business is organized in
their cities.

“An analysis of foreign practices has convinced us that Poland’s experience
is the most accessible and acceptable for Kamianets-Podilsky. Like us, they
are starting out, although they are a step ahead,” said Deputy Mayor Oleh
Demchuk.

                            “EVENING WITH GHOSTS”                           
Kamianets-Podilsky is applying its neighbors’ experience in a creative way.
One popular event is an “Evening with Ghosts” – nocturnal visits guided by
flaming torches to the castle ruins.

There was a presentation of one nocturnal excursion to the Old Castle, a
version of a Polish tourism product in the Kamianets-Podilsky style. The
next phase of borrowings will set the stage for organizing excursions
through historical eras and various themed events.

A professional approach has put an end to the days of amateurism. The mayor
of Ponte Lambro, Andrea Cattaneo, told the audience that in his city an
association takes care of tourism development. Its analogue in Kamianets-

Podilsky is the Ratusha Festival Agency. Eight candidates competed
for the director’s post, and the city authorities chose Dmytro Nazarenko.

Among the association’s first projects was the signing of an agreement on
volunteer exchanges. This summer 20 representatives from the city on the
Smotrych River will travel to Spain, where they will learn how to organize
festivals.

Video festivals devoted to auto rallies, barbeques, gliding, and Terra
Heroica take place in Spain, the US, Poland, and Italy. Such large-scale
projects have already been held in Kamianets-Podilsky, and new ones beckon.

A Stone-Age technopark is opening in April 2007, which is being organized

in concert with the city’s twelfth twin-city, Zawercze. The signing of the
agreement with Zawercze took place during the launch of the 2007 tourist
season.

Kamianets-Podilsky’s historical heritage is working in favor of the city.
“Entrepreneurs are catering to tourists, creating jobs, and deducting
 taxes,” said Mayor Oleksandr Mazurchak.

This is the logic of organizing life in an ancient city, where at one time
the giants of socio-industry are resting in eternal sleep. Small- and
medium-sized businesses are generating more than one-third of the city’s
income.

There is a certain downside, however. When business people equip their
establishments according to European standards, they do not always take into
consideration what is going on outside their star hotels, restaurants, and
bed-and- breakfast spots. 

                  STILL SPOT TRACES OF SOVIET-ERA
Unfortunately, here and there you can still spot traces of Soviet-era
Kamianets-Podilsky in the potholes, uneven borders, dusty sidewalks, untidy
neighboring buildings, and bent fences. After investing a large amount of
money into their establishments, they should pay more attention to the
surroundings. There would definitely be benefits.

But these growing pains are par for the course. Today more has been
accomplished than not.                                   -30-

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9.              REBUILDING MUSEUM TOURISM IN CRIMEA

By Mykyta KASIANENKO, The Day Weekly Digest
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 17, 2007

SYMFEROPOL – The Supreme Council of the Crimea has adopted an action plan
for 2007-08 to commemorate the 650th anniversary of the Armenian monastery
complex of Surb-Khach (Holy Cross) located near the large village of Staryi
Krym.

The central budget has allocated two million hryvnias for its reconstruction
and renovation. Built in 1358, Surb-Khach Monastery is a medieval Armenian
architectural site, one of the oldest on the peninsula.

During the Middle Ages the Feodosia region of the Crimea was mostly
populated by Armenians. In the 14th-15th centuries the town of Solkhat
(Staryi Krym) was home to four Armenian monasteries and nine churches.

All of them operated schools and workshops, and many manuscripts were
created there. Unique handwritten books originating from Solkhat are stored
at the Matenadarani Institute of Ancient Manuscripts in Yerevan.
ARMENIAN MONASTERY COMPLEX SURB-KHACH 1358
Surb-Khach, one of the four monasteries that existed on this territory is an
architectural ensemble comprising structures that were built in different
periods. For a number of centuries the monastery was a cultural center
revered by the Armenian populace, and thus attracted many pilgrims.

It had a particular significance for Armenian spiritual unity, because the
Armenian colonies never had territorial borders, a centralized
administration, or administrative ties with the mother country.

All this was substituted by their church, which served to spiritually unite
the Armenians, thanks to which they were able to preserve their mother
tongue, traditions, literature, and faith.

A number of Armenian cultural figures lived and worked at Surb-Khach in
different periods. Experts believe that this architectural complex has been
spared most of the ravages of time.

It has been sustained for many years by the local Armenian community, and
excursions, research, and cultural projects are carried out there.

The complex is in dire need of restoration and renovations. These works are
scheduled for the summer of 2007. In addition, the road leading to the
monastery does not meet resort area standards.

After carrying out a series of coordinated preparatory works, the Supreme
Council of the Crimea plans to adopt a number of historic measures,
including organizing major events, such as international conferences
commemorating the 650th anniversary of Surb-Khach.
                         DEVELOPING MUSEUM TOURISM
Developing museum tourism has a special meaning for the Crimea, with its
outstanding historical and cultural heritage. Museums, preserves,
monasteries, and palace/park complexes are a guarantee that the peninsula’s
cultural wealth will be preserved for future generations. They add to the
Crimea’s inimitable cultural landscape, help popularize it throughout the
world, and develop tourism.

“The effective implementation by museum workers of these research and
educational tasks guarantees the preservation for our posterity of all the
wealth of the national and world cultural heritage,” reads a resolution
recently adopted by the Crimean Supreme Council on the practice of observing
the requirements of the Law of Ukraine “On Museums and Museum Tourism” on
the peninsula.
MAKSYMILIIAN VOLOSHYN MUSEUM, 130TH ANNIVERSARY
Renovations of the Maksymiliian Voloshyn Museum in Koktebel are practically
completed. There are serious reasons for carrying out this particular
project. This year the international community will mark the 130th
anniversary of the poet’s birth, and Koktebel, the poet’s hometown, will be
the center of festivities.

Liudmyla Benzik, head of the Crimean parliament’s press service, told The
Day late last week that the town held a meeting attended by Crimean Speaker
Anatolii Hrytsenko, Deputy Prime Minister Tetiana Umrikhyna, and Minister of
Culture and Art Oleksandr Yermachkov. The meeting adopted the calendar of
festivities.

Hrytsenko announced that a number of cultural events are scheduled for
May-September 2007 in Koktebel, Sudak, Staryi Krym, and Symferopol, and

that parliament and the Ukrainian government will make every effort to finance
them fully.

In addition to the celebrations marking Voloshyn’s 130th anniversary, the
festivities include the launch of the restored House Museum on June 12,
2007, and a number of scholarly and practical conferences, poetry festivals,
and open-air exhibits.

Throughout the year copies of Maksymyliian Voloshyn’s literary works and
paintings will be published, along with publications dealing with regional
history and art. Journalists will have an opportunity to take part in a
competition for the best work on the topic “Maksymyliian Voloshyn and the
Poet’s Home.”

“Implementing the Law of Ukraine ‘On Museums and Museum Tourism’ is a
priority direction for the Ministry of Culture and Art,” Crimea’s Minister
of Culture Oleksandr Yermachkov told The Day.

“Culturally significant historical structures are part of the Museum Fund of
Ukraine, and are protected and used in keeping with current legislation.
There are many cultural riches.

The museum fund, comprising 1,057,175 items, continues to expand. In the
first half of 2006 the main collection was enriched by 1,850 items. Visits
to Crimean museums and their revenues have been on a steady upward curve
over the past several years, thanks to an increase in the number of tours
available for vacationers and guests to the Crimea.”
            REPUBLICAN REGIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM
The minister went on to say that the museum system in the Crimea faces a
number of problems primarily linked to inadequate funding. His ministry is
implementing measures to finally repair the facade of the Republican
Regional History Museum, the main one on the peninsula. At least 300,000
hryvnias must be found for this work.

Since the museum premises are occupied by a large number of organizations,
many of which are independent museums, like the Illia Selvinsky
House-Museum, as well as the Republican Committee for the Protection of the
Crimean Cultural Heritage, State Valuables Transfer Service, and others, the
republican museum still has not been able to organize its own permanent
exhibits.

The museum thus appears to be made up of separate exhibits. The Crimean
budget only provides for the salaries of museum staff, security guards, and
utility bills. The Supreme Council resolution envisages changes to the
procedures of funding cultural projects.

This will make it possible to locate funding for the development of museums.
In addition, the Crimean parliament has advised local self-government
authorities to resolve the issue of allowing museums to own the land on
which they are located.
                     CRIMEAN ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM
The Crimea is proud of the fact that Symferopil is home to one of Ukraine’s
most interesting museums, the Crimean Ethnographic Museum, the only one of
its kind in southern Ukraine. The trouble is that it is still formally part
of the Crimean Republican Regional History Museum, so the ministry is now
seeking to register it officially as a separate legal entity.

Also, the Crimean budget must part with 450,000 hryvnias to complete the
preparations for the exhibition “The Golden Treasury” plus 240,000 hryvnias
to complete the restoration work and install burglar alarm systems at the
Illia Selvinsky Literary Museum, currently squeezed into two rooms at the
Republican Regional History Museum.
    SYMFEROPIL ART MUSEUM NEEDS MAJOR REPAIRS
The building of the Symferopil Art Museum, which is also an architectural
monument of the 20th century, badly needs restoration and major repairs. The
roof has to be replaced, because the structure’s current state is
endangering the items on display. Fire safety measures at the museum are
also inadequate.

Last year, the Ministry of Culture and the Standing Commission on Culture of
the Supreme Council of the Crimea drafted measures to carry out repairs at
the Anton Chekhov House-Museum. The electrical wiring, autonomous heating
and hydraulic insulation systems had to be replaced.

The local authorities were instructed to supervise the project in
collaboration with the Association of Crimean Museums and Preserves, as well
as other interested organizations.

The Crimean parliament believes that the current Laws of Ukraine “On the
Protection of the Cultural Heritage” and “On the Protection of the
Archaeological Legacy” run counter to the Ukrainian and Crimean
constitutions.

“They actually prevent the culture authorities of the Autonomous Republic of
the Crimea from participating in resolving matters connected to the issuance
of permits for archaeological prospecting and digging; they are also aimed
at facilitating the monopolization of this right on the part of the central
executive organs in the sphere of protecting the cultural heritage,” says
Crimean MP Yurii Moharychov.

“This deprives the Crimea of its constitutional powers as set forth in
Article 138 of the Constitution of Ukraine and Article 18 of the
Constitution of the Crimea.”

In view of this, the Crimean parliament has asked its members to introduce
amendments in Ukraine’s parliament to these laws, which contain proposals to
institute the right to issue permits to carry out work on historical and
cultural monuments in protected areas.                    -30-

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10.  TERNOPIL REGION TO SET UP REGIONAL INFORMATION
                                AND TOURISM CENTER IN 2007 

Oles Rudyk, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, March 27, 2007

KYIV – Ternopil regional council intends to set up in 2007 municipal
enterprise Ternopil Regional Information and Tourism Center.

Ukrainian News learned this from a representative of the standing commission
of the regional council in charge of the development of tourism, resort and
recreation area.

“The commission meeting considered the question of expediency of creating
such a company, and commission members unanimously recommended that

the regional council session decide on the creation of such a municipal
enterprise,” the commission spokesman said.

The commission believes that the enterprise must engage in effective use of
tourist resources that are sufficient in the region, and render to tourists
the information services required.

“This is especially vital for our region, since tourism is a priority
direction of the Ternopil region development,” said a representative of the
standing commission of the regional council for the development of tourist,

resort and recreation sector. It is planned that such a municipal enterprise will
be set up in 2007.                                           -30-
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11. UKRAINE: BABYN YAR MEMORIAL COMPLEX PUT UNDER
              CONTROL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM MINISTRY
                Over 100,000 Kyivans and war prisoners of different nationalities
                          and religions were shot in Babyn Yar during WWII

Olena Honcharenko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, March 2, 2007

KYIV – The Cabinet of Ministers has transferred the Babyn Yar memorial
complex under control of the Culture and Tourism Ministry. This is disclosed
in the Cabinet of Minister resolution No.308 of March 1.

With its resolution, the Cabinet of Ministers declared the complex as state
historical and memorial reserve and authorized the Culture and Tourism
Ministry to run it.

The Cabinet of Ministers also ruled that the complex is now financed from
funds foreseen by the state budget for the ministry.

The Cabinet of Ministers urged the Culture and Tourism Ministry to endorse
in three months resolution on the reserve and list of facilities it unites.
The ministry was also urged to set borders and protection zones, draft
layout on development of the reserve.

The Cabinet of Ministers also urged the Culture and Tourism Ministry to
jointly with the Kyiv city state administration submit their proposals on
transfer of the memorial complex into the state property.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, in September 2005, President Viktor
Yuschenko initiated creation of the Babyn Yar historical and cultural
reserve in Kyiv.

About 200,000 city dwellers died in Kyiv and 100,000 were withdrawn from

the city during World War II. Over 100,000 Kyivans and war prisoners of
different nationalities and religions were shot in Babyn Yar.         -30-
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12. TRAVEL GUIDE REFLECTS REVIVAL IN EASTERN EUROPE
         “National Geographic Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe”

By Dinah Spritzer, JTA News Service
The Florida Jewish News, South Florida, Friday, 04 May 2007

“National Geographic Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe,”
by Ruth Ellen Gruber, foreword by Michael Wex,
National Geographic Books, $18.95

When she set out to write the first comprehensive Jewish travel guidebook on
the countries of the former Eastern bloc, Ruth Ellen Gruber might as well
have been documenting the secret life of a New Guinea tribe of cannibals.

Seventeen years ago, little was known among mainstream U.S. travelers about
the Jewish heritage of the countries that had just emerged from behind the
Iron Curtain.

Cemeteries had been destroyed or forgotten, synagogues were collapsing
and little information was available at the region’s town halls or tourist
centers about hundreds of years of Jewish history.

Now the fourth edition of Gruber’s guidebook, “National Geographic Jewish
Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe,” reveals a revolution in
monument care and the return of Jewish culture — or a least tributes to
that culture — in areas where it had long been dormant.

Researching the first guidebook, Gruber said she “could go to a town and
they would mention a 17th-century cathedral or 19th-century palace, but
nobody included anything Jewish.”

Gruber, a JTA correspondent, said that among Jews and non-Jews in the United
States and Europe, “there was an assumption that nothing had survived the
Holocaust and there was very little desire to know that there was vestiges
of the pre-Holocaust Jewish world.”

How times have changed.

“I remember in 1990 looking at sites in Czechoslovakia, and we sort of
recognized that if we saw a clump of dirt in a field and a broken wall it
was probably a cemetery,” said Gruber, who has residences in Budapest and
near Rome. “Now all of these places are known and documented.”
  JEWISH HERITAGE TRAVEL INTO THE MAINSTREAM
Jewish heritage travel has made it into the mainstream, according to Gruber,
who has written two other books on the recent revival of Jewish culture in
Central and Eastern Europe.

“It’s extraordinary, and extraordinarily important, that National Geographic
is now publishing” her new guidebook, she said. National Geographic is
“recognized over all the world. It gives an imprimatur of importance to
Jewish sites.”

The book includes everything from directions to little-known heritage sites
to addresses of Jewish communal institutions.
                            INFORMATION FOR UKRAINE
Insider anecdotes and hard-to-find information is presented for Poland,
Lithuania, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania,
Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro
and Bulgaria.

The restoration of so many Jewish monuments in these countries is due to
myriad factors — generous help from the West; decent planning by local
governments, renewed Jewish community pride, non-Jewish devotion to
history and the realization that Jewish sites could attract tourism.
                                      CZECH REPUBLIC
“The Czech Republic is where things have changed the most,” Gruber said.

“Look at the synagogue at Ustek,” said Gruber, who notes in her book that
the 18th-century synagogue, located on a scenic perch, was just a “pile of
rubble” in the early 1990s.

“It’s been restored in a fantastic way,” she said. “In three other towns
near Ustek the Jewish cemeteries were scenes of devastation. Now they are
cleaned up, marked with monuments.”

Throughout the Czech Republic there are exhibitions in restored synagogues,
and that in 2006 the country devoted an entire year to Jewish culture,
staging art shows, concerts and theater productions.

What went on in the Czech Republic has gone on to some extent across Central
and Eastern Europe, said Gruber, who also has written “Virtually Jewish:
Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe” and “Upon The Doorposts Of Thy
House: Jewish Life In East-Central Europe, Yesterday And Today.”
                                      KRAKOW, POLAND
The rebirth of Krakow’s former Jewish district, Kazimierz, has not only led
to the reclaiming of Jewish synagogues there but to a more general revival
that has turned the neighborhood into a top night spot with Jewish-themed
restaurants and trendy bars. “There was only one cafe there when my book
first came out,” Gruber said.

She gave mixed reviews to monument care in the rest of Poland, but said
there were plenty of sites that would impress tourists, such as Lesko in
southeastern Poland.

“It has a beautiful synagogue that is a landmark of the town, it’s an art
gallery,” Gruber said. “The cemetery has about 2,000 intricately decorated
tombstones dating back to the 16th century.”
                      HOLOCAUST MONUMENT AT BELZEC
Gruber also had high praise for the Holocaust monument at Belzec, where the
Nazis murdered some 500,000 Jews from the Galicia region in 1942. The
monument was erected in 2004 with the help of the American Jewish Committee.

“It’s breathtaking and unbelievable,” Gruber said of the monument, which
features slag that appears like a field of ashes and iron letters spelling
out the name of former Jewish shtetls in the region.
WOODEN SYNAGOGUES LITHUANIA, BELARUS, UKRAINE
In Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and eastern Poland, surviving but
little-known wooden synagogues have become Jewish attractions, Gruber
noted.

“About a dozen wooden synagogues have been identified within the past
decade, and are really worth seeing,” she said.
  ORNATE JEWISH CEMETERIES IN ROMANIA & UKRAINE
Of the more ornate Jewish cemeteries, Gruber urges tourists not to miss
those in Romania and Ukraine because of their “sheer architectural beauty.”

There is a small but vocal living Jewish presence in the region, and Gruber
points out that has also undergone a revival.

For example, Prague’s Jewish community has only 1,500 registered Jews, but
“a tourist can now go to five or six services on Shabbat,” Gruber noted.

That contrasts with the communities’ moribund state during the communist
era, when actively participating in religious life could lead to persecution
by the secret police.

Gruber acknowledged that some people have an image of the former Eastern
bloc as teeming with anti-Semitism, an image she seeks to dispel. Gruber
notes a tremendous sea change among non-Jews — not just toward Jews but
toward foreigners in general, in countries where xenophobia once was
prevalent.
      LOCAL YOUNG HISTORIAN IN LUBOML, UKRAINE
In Luboml, Ukraine, Gruber met a local young historian obsessed with Jewish
history, as is often the case for historians reclaiming their countries’
past after communism made Jewish topics more or less forbidden.

“There had been a Jewish distillery; he gave me the labels of bottles to
take home,” she said. “You meet people like that all over the place. Of
course you sometimes meet people who are awful, but that’s true wherever
you go.”                                               -30-
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http://floridajewishnews.com/News/World/Travel_guide_reflects_revival_in_Eastern_Europe_200705041095/
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13.  UKRAINE: CABINET URGES PARLIAMENT TO ENDORSE LIST OF
1,500 CULTURAL HERITAGE OBJECTS THAT CANNOT BE PRIVATIZED

 
Ukrainian News Service, Kyiv, Ukraine, February 16, 2007

KYIV – The Cabinet of Ministers is urging the Verkhovna Rada to endorse a
list of over 1,500 objects of cultural heritage that cannot be privatized.
The move is stated in bill No.3179 registered in parliament on February 15.

The bill was drafted by the Culture and Tourism Ministry in line with
Article 18 of the Cultural Heritage Protection Law. The article authorizes
the Verkhovna Rada to endorse such a list.

In the opinion of the Cabinet of Ministers, the endorsement of the list will
secure the state control in the field of protection of monuments and
preservation of outstanding cultural valuables in state and municipal
ownership.

The list includes historical landmarks, architectural monuments, monuments
with authentic signs of prominent historical events, life and activities of
outstanding persons, remarkable places that are valuable from the
scientific, historical, and artistic points of view. Local authorities have

 approved proposals to put local monuments on the list.

Among others, the list includes the:

     [1] Chufut-Kale Fortress and Cave City in Bakhchysarai built in the

          6th-19th centuries,
     [2] Bakhchysarai Palace and Park (known as the Khan’s Palace
          of the 16th-18th centuries),
     [3] Genoese Fortress in Sudak (10th-18th centuries),
     [4] Vorontsov Palace in Alupka (1830-1846),
     [5] Old Slavonic Cave Church and Castle Tower in Busha village
          of Vinnytsia region (9th-18th centuries),
     [6] Surgeon Nikloai Pirogov’s Mansion, church and chapel in
          Vinnytsia (19th century),
     [7] St. Andrew’s Church in Kyiv (1747),
     [8] Vydubychi Monastery (10th-19th century),
     [9] Kyiv Pechersk Lavra (10th-19th century),
     [10] St. Sofia’s Cathedral (10th-19th century),
     [11] Verkhovna Rada building (1936-1939), and the
     [12] Mariinskyi Palace in Kyiv (1750-1870).

The list does not include privatized memorial sites and parts of monuments
used as housing.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, in November 2006, the Verkhovna Rada
stepped up protection of cultural valuables and improved conditions for
their storage.

In April 2004, the Verkhovna Rada passed a law on the state program of
protection and use of cultural valuables for 2004-2010. Over 130,000

monuments are on the state register in Ukraine.              -30-
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14.                 UNDISCOVERED UKRAINE
                            National tourism promised breakthrough

By Oksana MYKOLIUK, The Day Weekly Digest
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Premier Expo (Ukraine) and ITE Group Plc (UK) supported by Ukraine’s

tourism ministry and the Kyiv municipal authorities, will hold the 13th
international specialist exhibition “Ukraine: Travels and Tourism in 2007”
in the Ukrainian capital in late March.

This exhibit, which will gather representatives from about 60 countries, has
already been called the most important tourism event in Ukraine.

Our country will be represented by a stand with tourism proposals from all
regions. The organizers claim that, in comparison with the past few years,
there is a 20-percent rise in national tourism proposals. Traditionally,
most proposals have come from the Crimea, the Carpathian region, and spas
based in Sumy oblast.
                                  BUSINESS TOURISM
A real novelty at this year’s exhibit is the “Business Tourism” exposition
that is expected to attract the attention of foreign business people. But
according to Premier Expo manager Oleksandr Perov, this kind of business

is still in its infancy here.

“Tourism is very multifaceted. It is closely intertwined with culture, and
businessmen in the tourism field should take this into account in order to
instill quality and content in people’s vacations,” says Yevhen Samartsev,
who is the head of the National Civic Council that deals with resorts and
tourism in Ukraine, advisor to the minister of culture and tourism, and
vice-president of the Association of Sport Tourism.

“For example, when you are building a tourist hotel, you should think about
the museums, castles, and historical estates in the region and promote their
restoration and renovation.

This year we are planning to give comprehensive support to several culture
and tourism projects. One of these is the restoration of a late 19th-early
20th- century historical estate in Kopyliv, which is along the Zhytomyr
highway.”
                                 RURAL (GREEN) TOURISM
As for rural (“green”) tourism, the culture minister’s advisor says that
about 800 estates in Ukraine are ready to welcome visitors. The ministry has
promised to work with the Association of Sport Tourism to establish walking
and cycling itineraries and to raise the quality of rural tourism.

Experts are also urging parliament to pass a law on preferential crediting
for this business. The drafters of this law are putting the finishing
touches on it and will soon submit it to parliament.

“It is difficult to build a hotel in Ukraine, as it is to launch any other
business,” says Viktor Bezverkhy, director general of the National Tourism
Association of Ukraine. “It takes expensive loans to make a quality product.
We are also facing a serious problem of personnel training.
                             TRYING TO EASE VAT BURDEN
We are also trying to ease the VAT burden on the tourism industry. There are
two VAT levels in Europe: the general level of about 20 percent and the
special one of 5 to 10 percent for hotels and the tourism sector. We are now
drawing up proposals for the respective parliamentary committee.”

Actually, experts link the heavy tax burden in this sector with prices at
Ukraine’s Black Sea resorts, which are sometimes higher than those in Turkey
for higher-quality services. The plan is very simple: in order to increase
the cost-effectiveness of a hotel as quickly as possible, tourism operators
have to offer expensive services.

Perov calls this an “evolutionary process,” where prices for services at
first do not correspond to quality, but in time either the service level
goes up or the businessman goes bankrupt.
  STRATEGIC PLAN TO DEVELOP THE TOURISM SECTOR
According to Samartsev, ahead of the summer season his association, together
with the Ministry of Culture, is working on a strategic plan to develop the
tourism sector.

In addition to legislative initiatives, a major role in this plan will be
assigned to promoting the cultural potential of the Carpathians, the Crimea,
and the rest of Ukraine. If this plan is implemented, at least it will be
easy to answer the question of where to spend the weekend.         -30-
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15. PROFITABLE INTEREST: HOW TO ATTRACT TOURISTS TO KYIV

By Vladyslav PAVLOV, The Day Weekly Digest

Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The sixth exhibit and fair devoted to Kyiv, Ukraine’s ancient and new
capital, was held within the framework of the tourism show “Ukraine – Travel
and Tourism-2007″ now taking place in the capital.

According to data gathered by the Main Department of Tourism, Independent
Economy, and Resorts of the Kyiv State Administration, Kyiv-based tourism
companies provide services to one-third of all foreign tourists to Ukraine
and nearly two-thirds of Ukrainians who travel abroad every year.

Last year 385,000 people traveled throughout Ukraine. Nearly 210,000 visited
the capital, an increase of 7.6 percent more visitors from 2005.

According to the department head, Mykola Hrytsyk, thanks to the development
of the tourism sphere Kyiv’s tourism organizations and independent operators
generated more than 237 million hryvnias for the municipal budget.

He said that more than 6,000 people are working in 1,200 tourism companies
based in the capital. The number of accredited guides is over 200.

Olena Kvashuk, manager of Kyiv’s UkrKurortServis, explained to The Day:

“As recently as five years ago there was a lack of clients, but now,
fortunately, the situation has improved. Like before, tourists are
interested in old Kyiv and the Podil, St. Sophia’s Cathedral, which is
famous all over the world, St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral, and St. Andrew’s
Church.

With the three-day program that is most frequently offered, tourists can
visit all the capital’s main monuments. Tours to such Kyiv’s suburbs, as
Koncha-Zaspa and Pushcha-Vodytsia, are also very popular.”

A program for developing Kyiv’s tourism is in effect until 2010, but its
implementation rate is not the best. Experts have only managed to develop a
specialized excursion program for family tourism.

A catalogue of excursion routes for children’s, youth, and family vacations
has been published, and there is an excursion service for schoolchildren.
The main tasks defined in the plan are the construction of several dozen
hotels.

The Kyiv Municipal State Administration has drawn up a number of measures,
including a program to develop 70 new small hotels in the capital. Two
five-star hotels will be built this year.

This year the KMDA intends to resolve another problem plaguing Kyiv: the
lack of parking both in the city’s historical center and near hotels.

Kvashuk says that things will improve if the state starts paying more
attention to promoting Ukraine overseas, creating a tourism ad industry, and
promoting Ukraine at international tourism shows. “For example, the Polish
tourism administration never misses a show. It is always seen in Kyiv.
Polish tourism is present in many other countries,” Kvashuk adds. “Why don’t
our state officials do the same?”                          -30-

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LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/en
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16.   BUILDING ‘A NEW COUNTRY’ FOR SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS
              “Within five years we will build a new country,” Ukraine soccer
                 federation president Hrihoriy Surkis said Wednesday after the
                 joint bid won the right to host the tournament. “We won’t have
                                        a better opportunity to do so.”

Associated Press, Cardiff, Wales, Friday, April 20, 2007

CARDIFF – European soccer may have just taken its biggest gamble as the
2012 European Championship is going behind the old Iron Curtain to Poland
and Ukraine without even one of the 12 proposed venues completed.

“Within five years we will build a new country,” Ukraine soccer federation
president Hrihoriy Surkis said Wednesday after the joint bid won the right
to host the tournament. “We won’t have a better opportunity to do so.”

The former eastern bloc hasn’t hosted the continental championship since
Yugoslavia in 1976. The 12 members of UEFA’s executive committee could
have opted for Italy. It would have been a safe choice, given its
world-class stadiums and infrastructure.

In the last year, though, Italian soccer has been tainted by a match-fixing
scandal and hooliganism. When the 12 members of UEFA’s executive committee
voted Wednesday, the Italians collected just four votes. The joint bid from
Croatia and Hungary failed to win a single vote and Poland and Ukraine won
in the first round of balloting.

It is a major fulfillment of UEFA president Michel Platini’s desire to shift
the power in European soccer away from the powerhouse nations. “They are
surely a worthy winner,” Platini said at Cardiff City Hall.
      DNIPROPETROVSK, DONETSK, KYIV AND LVIV 
Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kyiv and Lviv in Ukraine, and Gdansk, Krakow,
Poznan, Warsaw, Wroclaw and Chorzow in Poland have been lined up as
venues for Euro 2012.

The opening match is scheduled to be staged at the new 70,000-capacity
National Stadium in Warsaw when construction work is completed in 2009
at a cost of 400 million euros (C$613 million).
             KIEV’S REDEVELOPED OLYMPIC STADIUM
The final will be held at Kiev’s redeveloped Olympic Stadium. The bid by
Poland and Ukraine had to overcome some problems.

Poland’s national soccer team just avoided suspension after FIFA said the
federation had done little to stop corruption, and a match-fixing scandal in
the domestic leagues that led to about 70 people being arrested. Yushchenko
swept to power in a 2005 revolution that was also considered a possible
negative factor.

Neither country has hosted a major sporting event and concerns still remain
about the shortage of high-quality hotels and poor transport infrastructure
in both Poland and Ukraine.

The proposed semifinal venues are in Donetsk, Kiev and Warsaw, and fans may
have to travel 30 hours by train to attend both games, although there are
plans to expand the highway linking the nations.

Italy, which has hosted two European Championships and two World Cups,
also had its campaign tainted by a series of off-field problems.

A match-fixing scandal in Italy last year was followed by the death of
policeman when soccer fans rioted in Catania. Earlier this month,
accusations of brutality were leveled at Rome police after clashes with
Manchester United fans at a Champions League match against AS Roma.

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17.   SLOVAK, UKRAINIAN BORDER REGIONS WANT EASIER
               TRAVELLING, SPECIAL BORDER REGIME ZONE

Czech News Agency (CTK) , Prague, Czech Republic, Sat, May 12, 2007

Vysne Nemecke, East Slovakia – Representatives of the Presov, and Kosice
regions, east Slovakia, and the Ukrainian Transcarpathian area today signed
a request for the establishment of a zone of freer border regime to
facilitate travelling between both countries, Presov Region Governor Peter
Chudik has told CTK.

The document will be sent to the Slovak and Ukrainian foreign ministers
“Slovakia’s possible entry into the Schengen area could complicate movement
of persons between our countries. The introduction of a special border
regime zone would solve the problem,” said Chudik.

After the zone is established, inhabitants of the border areas could visit
both countries within determined zones without visas, but with special
permits.

Over 5,000 Slovaks live in the Transcarpathian Ukraine, which was part of
the former Czechoslovakia between the world wars, while some 40,000 ethnic
Ukrainians and Ruthenians live in 300 municipalities in east Slovakia.

The joint request was signed by representatives of the Slovak and Ukrainian
regions during the Day of Friendship traditionally held at the
Slovak-Ukrainian border area every year. The event, offering also cultural
and other programmes, was attended by several hundred inhabitants from

both sides of the border. hol/mr                              -30-
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18.    UKRAINIAN ENVOY TO EU SAYS VISA PROBLEMS HARM
    UKRAINIAN TRUCKING COMPANIES ON EUROPEAN MARKET
 
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1535 gmt 8 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tuesday, May 08, 2007

KIEV – The head of the Ukrainian mission to the EU, Roman Shpek, has
said Ukrainian haulage companies’ rights are infringed on the EU market.

He said this at a meeting of the parliamentary committee for international
trade in Brussels today.

Speaking of the equal access of Ukrainian service providers to the European
market, he said that visa issuance is a problem. “The problem concerns the
issuance of visas to Ukrainian international lorry drivers. Many of them
have to wait for six months to get a monthly visa.

But we know that the situation is different for Russian drivers. As a
result, Ukrainian hauliers are being pushed from the European market by
their competitors from Poland and Russia for whom visas are issued for

free and much faster,” he said.                         -30-
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19.   ENGLE EUROPE TO BUILD $90 MILLION KIEV MALL
                               Company’s sixth project in Ukraine.

Uri Shuster, Globes Online, Rishon Le-Zion, Israel, Sunday, 13 May 13, 2007

Engel Europe Ltd. (TASE: ENGR1,ENGR5) has bought a 2.6-acre lot in
Kiev for $6.8 million on which it plans to build a 65,000-sq.m. mall for $90
million. This is the company’s sixth project in Ukraine.

Engel Europe reportedly plans to build a portfolio of at least ten malls in
Ukraine and then float its Ukrainian business on a European bourse,
probably the London Stock Exchange.

Ukraine has attracted heavy investment by Israeli real estate companies
since the Orange Revolution led to a substantial improvement in the
country’s economy.                                  -30-
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http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=1000211036&fid=1725

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20.      DEVELOPERS DIVERSIFIED PLANS TO PUT UP MALLS IN
   RUSSIA, UKRAINE THROUGH JOINT VENTURE WITH GERMAN CO

By STAN BULLARD, Crane’s Cleveland Business Online
Cleveland, Ohio, Monday, May 7, 2007

CLEVELAND – Developers Diversified Realty Corp. is preparing to develop
a mall in Russia and another in Ukraine through a joint venture with ECE
Projektmanagement, a development concern in Hamburg, Germany.

Scott Wolstein, chairman and CEO of Beachwood-based Developers
Diversified, disclosed the plans in the real estate investment trust’s April
27 conference call with securities analysts.

Mr. Wolstein said his REIT, which specializes in shopping centers, “plans
to start construction with (ECE) in the near future.” Developers Diversified
spokesman Scott Schroeder said he was unable to provide details about the
proposed transaction.

Shopping center trade magazines frequently refer to ECE as the owner of
Europe’s largest shopping center portfolio, with 66 centers, and ECE
describes itself that way.

According to its web site, ECE is active in Eastern Europe and is a natural
to be on the front lines in developing shopping centers in Russia and
Ukraine.

ECE owns two shopping centers in Hungary and five in Poland. It is
developing centers in Lithuania and Bulgaria, as well as additional centers
in both Hungary and Poland. ECE is a diversified developer itself; according
to the company’s web site, it also engages in health care, industrial and
office developments.

Two e-mails from Crain’s to ECE were not returned last week.

Rich Moore, a Beachwood-based REIT analyst for RBC Capital Markets,
said he believes entering foreign markets through joint ventures with
developers familiar with the territory is a solid strategy for Developers

Diversified.

He said there’s an element of uncertainty to a retail development venture in
Russia or the Ukraine because it is unknown how such a venture will do.

“For a company DDR’s size, they could totally botch it up, write it off and
no one would notice,” Mr. Moore said. “But I don’t think they’ll botch it
up.”

Developers Diversified has said it is pursuing international developments to
serve U.S. retailers going overseas and to make contact with foreign
retailers interested in entering the United States.            -30-
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http://www.crainscleveland.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070507/SUB/70504023/1004&Profile=1004
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21. UKRAINE: ISRAELI BUSINESSMAN BUILD 16,000 HOUSING UNITS 
              Adi Keizman of ADO Group enters Ukrainian real estate market

Ofer Petersburg, Ynetnews.com, Tel Aviv, Israel, Thu, May 10, 2007

TEL AVIV – Adi Keizman, who holds the controlling interest of the ADO
Group, is expanding his international activities by entering the Ukrainian
real-estate market.

The group has purchased, for $28 million, Ukrainian companies that hold
leasing contracts for several complexes with a total area of over 400 acres.
On that land, 16,000 housing units are to be built.

“I have faith in the Ukrainian real-estate market and plan to expand the
group’s portfolio in the country,” Keizman said.

“I hope to duplicate the group’s success in Germany,” he explained. The
German portfolio includes residential buildings in Berlin and buildings
designated for preservation such as the Postfuhramt, the old post office
building, in Berlin and Yenidze, a former cigarette factory building in
Dresden, which he planes to turn into a luxury hotel.            -30-
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LINK: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3398085,00.html
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22. POLISH MEAT PRODUCER ACQUIRES 3RD UKRAINIAN COMPANY

Interfax, Warsaw, Poland, Monday, May 7, 2007

WARSAW -Polish meat producer Duda has acquired a 100% stake in Rosan

Agro, a Ukrainian livestock and meat processing enterprise, for 16 million
zloty (about $5.8 million), Duda said in a press release.

“The acquisition of the Rosan Agro group brings us closer to our strategic
goal, which is the creation of a group of companies on the Ukrainian market
in the livestock, meat production, meat processing and trade segments,” Duda
CEO Maciej Duda is quoted as saying in the release.

Duda increased net profit 86% to 50 million zloty in 2006. Rosan Agro has
yet to publish its financial results for 2006, but
the company ended 2005 with net profit of 1.22 million hryvni compared to
net losses of 3.87 million hryvni in 2004.
                    THIRD UKRAINIAN COMPANY ACQUIRED
Duda will issue shares to finance the acquisition of Rosan Agro, Ukraine’s
fifth largest meat producer. Rosan Agro is the third Ukrainian company that
Duda has acquired since it started investing in the Ukrainian market in
2006, the company said.

The group includes two subsidiary enterprises: the Rosana meat processing
complex and Rosan- Trade. The official exchange rate is 5.05 hryvni/$1. tj
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23.                          IMPLEMENTING SIX SIGMA
       Training Conference and Management Institute, Sterling Business School
                  Wednesday – Thursday, May 23-24, Donetsk, Ukraine

Mr. Reno Domenico, President and Executive Director
Sterling Business School Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, May 2007

KYIV – Imagine what business would be like if your company could deliver
products on time, every time with near-perfect service that always exceeded
customer expectations? What if you could provide such service and cut your
costs by 30% to 40%?

Building on the work of Deming and the Toyota Production System, Motorola
and Allied Signal changed the direction of American Business by aiming for
and achieving unprecedented levels of quality.

Since then, General Electric, GE Capital, and Sun Microsystems have accrued
billions in bottom line benefits attributable to Lean Manufacturing and Six
Sigma methods.

                                 IMPLEMENTING SIX SIGMA
                     Training Conference and Management Institute
                        A program of the Sterling Business School
               Wednesday – Thursday, May 23-24, Donetsk, Ukraine

PRESENTED: by Rowan University, 201 Mullica Hill Road
Glassboro, New Jersey 08028, United States of America
IN COLLABORATION WITH: Donetsk Chamber of Commerce & Industry

INSTITUTE PROGRAM: http://www.sbs-ua.com/program.htm
REGISTRATION: http://www.sbs-ua.com/registration%20form%20english.htm
—————————————————————————————————-
STERLING BUSINESS SCHOOL: Sterling Business School is a natural
outgrowth of its American partner, Sterling Educational Institutes.

Sterling Business School Ukraine is dedicated to providing the highest level
of contemporary business education, both academically as well as in terms of
continuing education training programs.

Sterling Business School Ukraine is dedicated to linking modern American
business educational content with the rapidly emerging economy of modern
Ukraine.  Sterling Business School Ukraine is partnering with Rowan
University, in Glassboro New Jersey for the purpose of providing high level
business training for the increasingly successful entrepreneurial class in
Ukraine.

Sterling Business School is also working closely with International
University of Finance, KPI complex, located in the heart of Kyiv, Ukraine.

Sterling Business School, located at, was founded by Mr. Reno Domenico,
whose partnership with Anthony DePrince, as principals of Sterling
Educational Institutes USA, represents the next level of business education
in Ukraine.
————————————————————————————————-
CONTACT: Reno Domenico, Mobile Phone: 380.67.503.0433 (Ukraine)
Mobile Phone: 380.67.405.5058 (Ukraine): e-mail: renodomenico@sbs-ua.com,
www.sbs-ua.com
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24.  UKRAINE: COMPETITION “MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART”
               Exhibition of the Finalists in Kiev, Opening on Friday, May 18

By Kathrin Singer-Zaharieva, Executive Director, Art Foundation “EIDOS”
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #842, Article 24
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, May 14, 2007

KYIV – The “EIDOS” International Charity Foundation and the State Enterprise
“Art Arsenal” are opening on the 18th of May (Friday) in the Old Arsenal
building in Kiev the exhibition “Museum for Contemporary Art”.

The event is the culmination of an International Visual Arts Competition
dedicated to the theme of creating a museum of contemporary art in Ukraine.

The competition was conceived and implemented by “EIDOS” during 2006-
2007 and got a wide response: 143 projects from all over the country. 21
projects, selected by an outstanding jury of artists, curators and
journalists will be shown now to the public.

The idea for the competition “Museum of contemporary art” (MCA) was the
brainchild of Ludmila Bereznitska, President of the “EIDOS” Foundation. It
addresses one of today’s most poignant problems. The creating of a MCA is
being widely discussed in Ukraine because it is one of the important
elements for a cultural strategy.

Some projects for creating such a museum exist and some of them are at the
stage of realization. But we still do not have a complete concept for the
Ukrainian Museum of Contemporary Art.  “EIDOS-2006-07” Competition
wanted to provoke a study of ideas and concepts for an MCA.

The projects we show differ in form and genre, but they are all united in
one general goal – they are directed at the viewer, the human.

Most often the effect on the human’s feelings manifests itself in a
provocation to reflect, which without any doubt will not leave anyone
indifferent. The effect on the feelings is a determining and final goal of
the improvised museum.

The museum project is also an attempt to invite all who care, all to whom
this museum is necessary, to join in building this museum.

The museum is turning to those who are interested in having it as part of
their life, who can accept it as one’s own creative environment for game and
thought exchange, which gives birth to arguments and compassion, and a
feeling of being part of contemporaneity.

In supporting the young projects and participating in the creation of these
collections, we can in this way be directly pertinent to the historical
process, says Ludmilla Bereznitzka.

The museum project of the “EIDOS-2006/7” Competition is a little expression,
a little step in developing the civic society.

The “EIDOS” Foundation, working as an independent charitable organization
on the territory of Ukrainian culture, together with all participants of
this massive project is hereby offering its thoughts and ideas.

EXHIBITION: Friday, 18th May, 7pm, Old Arsenal,
Sichnevoho Povstannia Str. 28, opposite the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra

————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
25. HISTORIC CONFERENCE IN KYIV FOUNDS THE FIRST LABOUR
    HISTORY SOCIETY IN THE FORMER-USSR AND EASTERN BLOC
 
Chris Ford, Tutor in Trade Union Studies,
Workers Educational Association London
London, United Kingdom, Friday, May 11, 2007

KYIV – On March 24, 2007 at the Institute of Postgraduate Education of Taras
Shevchenko National University of Kyiv the scientific-practical conference
on the ‘History of the working people of Ukraine: from everyday life to
social struggle’ took place.

The conference was arranged by the organizing committee of the New left
movement. Over 70 Ukrainian scholars, and activists of social, political,
anti-fascist and the trade-union movement participated.

Amongst the international participants which the conference hosted, were:
Alexandr Tarasov (Moscow) – a leading Russian left analyst and publicist;
Dmitriy Kostenko (Moscow) – a well-known Russian left social and political
activist; Petr Raush (St. Petersburg) – a leader of Russian anarchist
movement, well-known publicist and civil rights advocate; Alexandr Kolpakidi
(St. Petersburg) – a well-known Russian historian and publisher; Oleg
Novikov (Minsk) – a well-known activist of the left-wing opposition in
Belarus, a member of the leadership of the Green Party of Belarus; Natalya
Agnishchenko (Minsk) – a leading expert of The Minsk Center of Gender
Studies.

On the eve of the conference the organs of the state security of the
Republic of Belarus arrested honorary guest and participant of the
conference, our comrade Yuri Glushakov, historian and leader of the Belarus
social movement Razam (“Together”).

The conference received greetings from scientific and political
organizations of the left, and from leading left scholars:  The Society for
the Study of Labour History (United Kingdom), the Scottish Labour History
Society, the Working Class Movement Library in Salford (Manchester), the
Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, the American journal of
socialist thought – New Politics, the well-known Canadian historian of
Ukrainian origin John-Paul Himka, Alliance for Workers Liberty (Great
Britain), Chris Ford (British writer on the history of Ukrainian socialism),
the North West of England Labour History Group.

The conference issued two appeals:

1. Greeting to the participants of the First All-Ukrainian trade-union
assembly, organized by Ukrainian independent trade-unions, which was held
in Kyiv also on the 24th of March.

In the appeal it was emphasized that participants of the conference “do not
see the possibility for the advancement of socialism in Ukraine in her
social and state-legal relations, without strong, militant and principled
independent trade unions acting in the interests of the working class”.

Also, the conference supported the aspirations of the independent
trade-unions at their forum to discuss the current problems of the General
Wages Agreement between the trade-unions and government, and the abolition
of the monopoly of the FPU (the former Soviet state-run union) in the
trade-union movement of Ukraine, the return of management of the Social
Security Fund to the trade unions, the problem of the level of wages in the
country.

The conference also supported the aspiration of independent trade-unions to
discuss the issue of the foundation of their own political party.
Participants of the conference welcomed any endeavor that would create a
proper Ukrainian class political organizations, which set as their aim the
protection of the interests of hired labor (taking into account the views of
Analoliy Dubovik from the Revolutionary Confederation of
Anarcho-Syndicalists” (Dnipropetrovsk)).

This appeal was read to the participants of All-Ukrainian trade-union
assembly by one of the leaders of the independent trade-union movement of
Ukraine. Viktor Yavorsky, a member of the organizing committee of the New
left movement and one of the organizers of the First All-Ukrainian
trade-union conference.

2. With reference to the arrest in the Republic of Belarus by the organs of
state-security one of the leaders of the left-wing and workers movement Yuri
Glushakov and with reference to the repressive actions of authorities of the
Russian Federation against one of the leaders of revolutionary anarchist
movement Petr Raush, participants of the conference adopted an Appeal to the
authorities of Belarus and Russia demanding the immediate end to the
persecution of left and workers activists, our comrades – Yuri Glushakov and
Petr Raush.

After the acceptance of these two appeals the conference set about its work.

The introductory part of the conference consisted of two presentations by
members of the organizing committee of the New left movement: Anton Finko,
a leading expert of the Kyiv Center for Political Studies and Conflictology,
and Vitaliy Kulyk, the director of the Center for the Study of Problems of
Civil Society, who are the coordinators of the Network of Social Initiatives
Basta.

The well-known political and civil rights activist of left-wing orientation,
the director of the Republic Institute, Volodymyr Chemerys also addressed
words of welcome to the participants of the conference.

The first session of the conference consisted of presentations from the
following:
1. Alexandr Tarasov (Moscow), “Not accepting borders: Experience of
     interaction and exchange of ideas among revolutionary movements in
     Ukraine and the countries of Eastern Europe at the commencement of
     the 20th century.”
2. Dmitriy Kostenko (Moscow), “The Civil War in Ukraine as a crucible of
     alternative projects of the future”.
3. Denys Kiriukhin and Svitlana Shcherbak, researchers, Institute of
     Philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Kyiv) “Views on
     justice in Ukrainian and Russian society: Comparative and regional analysis
     (based on public opinion polls).”
4. Pavlo Shydlovsky (Kyiv), assistant at the Department of Archaeology and
     Museum Studies, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Left
     initiative, “The Establishing of Soviet power in Ukraine (1917-1921):
     current problems of research”.
5. Anatoliy Dubovik (Dnipropetrovsk), historian, Revolutionary Confederation
     of Anarcho-Syndicalists, «Anarchist underground in Ukraine, 1920-30:
    Outline of history.”
6. Alexandr Kolpakidi (St.Petersburg), “Role and influence of Soviet agents
     in Ukrainian national-liberation movement in Halychyna and Volyn in
     1920s”.
7. Yaroslav Tynchenko (Kyiv), historian, “Ideas of national-communism in the
     Ukrainian People’s Republic and Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists”.
8. Viktor Pirozhenko (Kyiv), political scientist, “The Socio-Economic
     History of Ukraine: General Methodological Approaches”.

The second session of the conference heard presentations by:
1. Oleksandr Vysotsky (Dnipropetrovsk), the author of the book Ukrainian
     Social-Democrats and Socialist-Revolutionaries, «Interpretations of
     labour history of Ukraine as a tool of political legitimation”.
2. Oleksandr Merezhko (Kyiv), “Class struggle in the world and in Ukraine”.
3. Oleksandr Karpets (Kyiv), leading columnist of Svoboda newspaper, “Mass
     psychology in contemporary Ukraine as a national tragedy”.
4. Kateryna Khlystun-Petrychenko (Kyiv), Institute of Ukrainian Studies, “On
     the question of the peasant insurgent movement: the concept,
     periodization, origins and causes”.
5. Serhiy Denisiuk (Kyiv), associate professor of National Aviation
     University, Left initiative, “Leon Trotsky and Ukraine: current aspects
     of study”.
6. Borys Pastukh (Kyiv), the deputy chairman of the Central Committee of the
     independent trade-union Defense of Labour, Left initiative, “Current
     problems of theory and practice of popular fronts in the Marxist
     tradition”.
7. Oleh Vernyk (Kyiv), the chairman of the Central Committee of the
     independent trade union Defense of Labour and Left initiative, “Current
     problems of contemporary Marxist thought in Ukraine”.
8. Natalya Agnishchenko (Minsk), leading expert of Minsk Center of Gender
     Studies, Left initiative, “Sexual revolution and counter-revolution”.

In the course of discussions  contributions were made by: Serhiy Bilashko
(Kyiv), political scientist; Illya Bey (Zaporizhzhya), Basta; Hennadiy Kozak
(Kyiv), teacher; Petr Raush (St.Petersburg); Yevhen Lytvynenko, student,
Left initiative, Oleksandr Zvorsky, culture journalist of the newspaper
Ekonomichni vidomosti, Left initiative.
                UKRAINIAN LABOUR HISTORY SOCIETY
After the close of the scholarly part of the conference the constituent
meeting of Ukrainian Labour History Society was held. Volodymyr Ishchenko
(associate professor of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy)
was elected as the Secretary of the Society.

The meeting decided on the immediate aims of the Society, i.e. the
production of an annual journal, the conduct of regular academic events
under the aegis of the Society, preparation of documents for the
registration of Society by the Ministry of Justice.
        Editorial board of the Ukrainian Labour History Society
Volodymyr Ishchenko, Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology,
     the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
Anatoliy Dubovyk, historian, Dnipropetrovsk
Pavlo Shydlovskyi, assistant at the Department of Archaeology and
     Museum Studies, Kyiv Taras Shevshenko National University
Oleksandr Vysotskyi, associate professor at the Department of history,
     documentation and information studies, National Metallurgic Academy
     of Ukraine, Dnipropetrovsk
Serhiy Denysiuk, head of the Department of Ukrainian Literature, the
     Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Kyiv
Oleg Vernyk, Lecturer at the Department of Theory and History of the State
     and Law, Kyiv Taras Shevshenko National University, Chairman of
     “Defense of Labour” trade-union
Vitaliy Kulyk, the Director of the Centre for the Civil Society Problems
     Studies, Kyiv
Anton Finko, the leading expert of the Centre for Political and Conflict
     Studies, Kyiv
Chris Ford, Tutor in Trade Union Studies, Workers Educational Association
     London
Kateryna Khlystun-Petrychenko, scientific associate of the Department of
Ukrainian Literature, the Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Kyiv
Natalia Agnishchenko, leading expert at Minsk Centre of Gender Studies,
     Minsk-Lyiv
Illia Bei, Center “Politsoviet”, Zaporizhia
Myroslav Chaikovskyi, the editor of “Bricolage” web-site
                                        Advisory Editors:
Dr. John-Paul Himka Department of History and Classics
     University of Alberta
August Grabski Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw , Poland
Ernest Haberkern director of the Center for Socialist History in
     California , USA
Günter Minnerup Director of Centre for European Studies University
     of New South Wales Australia .
Larisa Yurkevich, Moscow (Granddaughter of Lev Yurkevych)
Tamas Krausz Professor of history at Elte University, Budapest
Simon Pirani, Freelance journalist and writer on the formation of
     the Soviet ruling class in the post-revolutionary period active with
     the Gongadze case
Prof. David Saunders, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
     Author of  The Ukrainian Impact on Russian Culture 1750-1850.
     Edmonton , Alberta
Marco Bojcun, London Metropolitan University
Aleksandr Tarasov, the co-director of the Centre of new sociology
     and practical politics study “Phoenix”, the famous Russian leftist
     social     scientist
Lucy Taksa, University of New South Wales
———————————————————————————————
Email:  labhist.conference@gmail.com
Fax: +38 (044) 234-89-21; Phone: +38 (097) 396-44-99.
Contact: Chris Ford, CFORDCPFORD@aol.com
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
26.          RUSSIA CRITICIZES LVIV, UKRAINE FOR PLAN

    TO DISMANTLE MONUMENTS & SYMBOLS OF SOVIET PAST 

Interfax news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1040 gmt 12 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service – United Kingdom, Saturday May 12, 2007

MOSCOW – The Russian Foreign Ministry is indignant about the decision of
Lviv city council deputies to dismantle monuments and symbols of the Soviet
past.

“Moscow has paid attention to the decision of the Lviv city council to
create a commission for preparing a list of monuments and symbols to be
dismantled.

Attempts to score political points by fighting against monuments and
desecrating the memory of the dead can only cause indignation,” the Russian
Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on its website today.

“We are convinced that the Ukrainian people are much wiser than politicians
who are ready to distort the past for the sake of flavour-of-the-day
preferences, to ‘play games’ with history and thus undermine the civilized
image of their nation,” the ministry said.

“We expect the Ukrainian authorities and the country’s public to have their
resolute say. It is time such acts of provocation be resolutely stopped.”
[passage omitted to end]                                -30-

———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
27. SENIOR RUSSIAN LAWMAKER: POLAND SHOULD CAREFULLY
              CONSIDER BILL ABOUT REMOVAL OF MONUMENTS

RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 7, 2007

MOSCOW – Poland should take a weighted and civilized approach to a new
draft law, which examines the removal of memorials dedicated to WWII
liberators, a senior Russian lawmaker said Monday.

The bill, drafted by the Polish Ministry of Culture, could allow the
dismantlement and removal of monuments in Poland dedicated to foreign
powers. It will be submitted to the country’s parliament Monday.

“Under other circumstances, the bill before Polish lawmakers, could be
considered harmless as no state should allow monuments that glorify defeat
at the hands of another country,” Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the
State Duma International Affairs Committee, said.

But he said the memorials, which may be subject to the draft law “could be
monuments symbolizing not just defeat, but the common victory of Poland, the
Soviet people and those of the anti-Hitler coalition over the common enemy,
namely the Nazis.”

Kosachyov added he hoped that Polish lawmakers would find the courage to
reject the bill and in future would discuss any concerns or issues with
those countries, who have links to the monuments.

Kosachyov’s words of caution come shortly after April 27, when Estonian
authorities removed a memorial commemorating Soviet soldiers, who fought
against Nazi Germany during WWII, from central Tallinn, the capital of
Estonia, to the city’s outskirts.

The controversial relocation sparked protests among members of Estonia’s
Russian community in Tallinn, where one Russian national was killed and
more than a hundred injured in clashes with police. The move also angered
officials in Moscow, who described it as an act of blasphemy.           -30-
————————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://en.rian.ru/world/20070507/65020465.html

———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
28.        A WAR OF WORDS OVER RUSSIAN LANGUAGE
                           Former Soviet republics limit use of language

By Erika Niedowski, Sun Foreign Reporter
Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, Maryland, Saturday, May 12, 2007

NARVA, Estonia – In this quiet Estonian city on a wide river separating the
small Baltic nation from its mammoth Russian neighbor, the official state
language, in practical terms, is also a foreign one.

One hardly seems to need Estonian in Narva, where the majority of residents
are ethnic Russians and where ordering a taxi, getting medicine at the
pharmacy, even instruction in school, are done in Russian.

The use of Estonian is so limited here that many have a similarly limited
ability to speak it. That, the Estonian government says, is the problem.

Estonia is a staging ground in a conflict over the Russian language, a
conflict steeped in cultural identity, politics and national pride.

The fight is being waged not just in this nation of 1.3 million people –
where Russian is the native language of nearly one-third of the population –
but elsewhere on former Soviet soil, where far fewer people speak Russian
since the Soviet Union’s fall.

In Estonia, the state has adopted an education reform requiring
Russian-language schools to switch to Estonian instruction in some grades
and subjects. A more extreme version of that policy in neighboring Latvia
prompted protests. Members of a radical Russian party set fire to Latvia’s
Education Ministry in 2004, calling the policy “genocide” against Russians.

Similarly, in Ukraine, the country’s Ukrainian and Russian speakers are
sparring over what status to afford the once-dominant Russian language,
even as Russia’s political influence there has waned.

Even in Kazakhstan, a strong ally of Russia where the lingua franca is
Russian, officials are trying to do more to support the development of the
Kazakh language.

With an estimated 285 million Russian speakers worldwide, including 160
million to 170 million native speakers, Russian is the fourth-most commonly
spoken language, behind Chinese, English and Spanish.

Russian is hardly in danger of extinction, but after the dissolution of the
Soviet Union, most of the former republics did what Boris N. Yeltsin, then
the Russian president, urged Russia’s republics to do in 1991: They took as
much sovereignty as they could. In many cases, that meant rejecting all
things Russian, including the language. An estimated 70 million fewer people
speak Russian now than did in 1991.

“Russian turned from a great and powerful language into a foreign one,” said
Yadviga Yuferova, deputy editor in chief of the Russian newspaper Rossiskaya
Gazeta and chair of an international contest to promote Russian abroad.

ONE OF A NATION’S MOST CHERISHED SIGNS OF IDENTITY
Language is hardly just vocabulary and grammar; it is also one of a nation’s
most cherished signs of identity, even more than an anthem or flag.

“Language is the basis of national life,” said Eleonora Mitrofanova, head of
the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Russian Foreign Center, which operates
language centers in 43 countries.

In Russia’s case, language is also a sign of international influence. That
is why Moscow has pushed for Russian to be made a state or official language
throughout most of the former Soviet Union. It has succeeded only in
Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

But just as Russia has promoted its language in the post-Soviet era –
President Vladimir V. Putin declared 2007 the Year of the Russian Language –
so has Estonia, where Russian has been relegated to a foreign tongue like
English or German.

              THE TWO NATIONS ARE WORLDS APART
Despite being neighbors, the two nations are worlds apart: They are at odds
over whether the Soviet army freed or occupied Estonia during and after
World War II, a question at the center of a dispute over a Soviet-era
monument in the Estonian capital, Tallinn.

Russia has sullenly watched Estonia and other former satellites edge closer
to the West. Many ethnic Russians have been left stateless, ineligible for
citizenship because they don’t know the Estonian language.

Such differences and long-held prejudices continue to manifest themselves in
a clash of mother tongues.

“They fought for their independence, and they want to show to the world, to
their own people, that they are self-sufficient,” Mitrofanova said of the majority

of former Soviet republics. “And this self-sufficiency is, of course, connected
with one’s own language.”

The painted sign inside the front door reads “Paju Kool,” welcoming visitors
in a colorful swirl of letters, one of the few indications that this is an
Estonian school.

The children scuttling through the halls of the three-story brick building
in Narva are speaking Russian. Save for Estonian language class – and, as of
fairly recently, art – instruction is in Russian. The principal, Lyudmila
Smirnova, and most of the teachers are native Russian speakers.

            GOAL IS 60 PERCENT ESTONIAN INSTRUCTION
But starting this fall, Paju Kool and other schools like it will have to add
a subject a year in Estonian; the goal is 60 percent Estonian instruction.

The argument in favor of the reform is that students in Estonia, regardless
of their parents’ ethnic background, should know the state language, which
would make them more competitive in Estonian universities and careers.

Many ethnic Russians see discrimination. The change, in addition to
compromising the quality of education – most Russian-speaking teachers
don’t know Estonian language well enough to teach it – will dilute Russian
culture, they say.

Smirnova seems resigned to the change, even though she doesn’t have enough
Estonian-speaking teachers to implement it. It is hard to tell whether she
thinks it is the right thing to do because her 390 students need more
Estonian or because the law tells her they do.

Vladimir Kalinkin, a retired Russian-speaking social studies teacher who
spent 13 years at Narva’s Russian-language Kesklinna Gymnasium, doubts
that Russian-language schools will survive.

As part of earlier national reform efforts, the principal there introduced
Estonian instruction in some subjects, too quickly in Kalinkin’s view.
Students practically drowned in the material, he said, and many left for
schools not yet teaching in Estonian.

Kalinkin thinks that teaching in the Russian language has dropped sharply.
“It means people lose their culture and their identity, he said.

“Integration is the union of two cultures,” he said. “Assimilation means the
destruction of one culture by another.”

Estonia has passed laws promoting its national language, which is closely
related to Finnish and is considered one of the hardest to learn.

Speakers of Russian who hold certain government and public-service posts
must be proficient in Estonian. Teachers in Russian-language schools must
have an “intermediate” knowledge of Estonian. Officials from the Language
Inspectorate test their proficiency in on-site interviews.

The inspectorate’s head, Ilmar Tomusk, said many Russian-speaking teachers
and others obtained proficiency certificates in the 1990s without
demonstrating proficiency, a situation the inspectorate is trying to remedy.

The division has tested about 2,000 of the 4,500 Russian-speaking teachers,
and 80 percent did not meet the standard, Tomusk said.

He dismissed the complaint that his inspectors are like “inquisitors,” which
is what Kalinkin calls them (Kalinkin was once fined the equivalent of $17
after an interview revealed his lack of Estonian).

Tomusk said the issue has been politicized and distorted. “Every Russian

has a right to speak Russian in Estonia. It’s not forbidden. It has never been
forbidden,” he said.

Russia is sponsoring more than 1,000 events in 76 countries as part of the
Year of the Russian Language, which began at a linguistic exposition in
Paris, where Russian was lauded as the “first language of communication in
space.”

In his recent state of the nation address, Putin said the Russian language
“preserves an entire layer of truly global achievements.”

“As the common heritage of many peoples, the Russian language will never
become the language of hatred or enmity, xenophobia or isolationism,” Putin
said. “Looking after the Russian language and expanding the influence of
Russian culture are crucial social and political issues.”

Andrei Krasnoglazov agrees. As director of the Pushkin Language Center in
Tallinn, it is his job to promote Russian the way the state does Estonian.

He is an ethnic Russian, still a Russian citizen, who married an Estonian
and speaks Estonian. His daughters, ages 9 and 13, attend Estonian schools
but are fluent in the native languages of their mother and father.

“There was a period when everybody said, ‘We don’t need Russian.’ They
refused to teach it and learn it in schools,”

Krasnoglazov said. “Now, the generation that doesn’t know Russian grew up.
They are our clients, because they now need Russian.”

They are businessmen, notaries, border guards and military men. A group of
officers from the Estonian Defense Ministry enrolled in classes at the
center, which teaches 500 students a year.

Still, Krasnoglazov knows that deep divides remain. “The Estonian people
are allergic to Russian,” he said. “It’s in their blood.”         -30-
————————————————————————————————-
Erika Niedowski, erika.niedowski@baltsun.com
—————————————————————————————————
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/bal-te.language12may12,0,7908325.story?coll=bal-nationworld-headlines
———————————————————————————————————–
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