AUR#851 Jun 1 Ukraine’s Democracy Gasps For Air; Lawmakers Miss Deadline; Ukraine On The Edge; WTO Legislation Passes; Tatar Deportation; Gazprom

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

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

                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 851
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 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.                  UKRAINE LAWMAKERS MISS CRISIS DEADLINE                    
By Dario Thuburn, Agence France Presse, (AFP), Thu, May 31, 2007
 
Memo from Kiev: By Steven Lee Myers, The New York Times

New York, New York, Friday, June 1, 2007
International Herald Tribune, Paris, France, Thu, May 31, 2007

4.                                 UKRAINE: ON THE EDGE
LEAD EDITORIAL: Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Wed, May 30 2007

5.         UKRAINE’S PARLIAMENT PASSES ALL LAWS NEEDED
                             TO MEET WTO REQUIREMENTS 

AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 31, 2007

6.        UKRAINIAN MPs GIVE PRELIMINARY APPROVAL FOR
                      PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION FINANCING

ICTV television, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0945 gmt 31 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

7.                       UKRAINE: NOTHING IRREVOCABLE
COMMENTARY: By Dmitry Shusharin
RIA Novosti political commentator, RIA Novisti
Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 31, 2007

8.   UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ADDRESSES CROATIAN PARLIAMENT
HINA news agency, Zagreb, Croatia, in English 1529 gmt 31 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

9.                          THREE UKRAINIANS = FIVE DRIVERS

UkrAgro Outlooks and Comments, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, May 31, 2007

10.                        REGIME RESTORATION AND UKRAINE
LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Dan Fenech
Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 31, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 10
Washington, D.C., Friday, June 1, 2007

11.     WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO WRITE ABOUT BAD MEMORIES?
                    Or thoughts after reading Vladimir Matveyevs article
                  “WWII Anniversary Conjures Up Some Bad Memories”
COMMENTARY: By Olha Onyshko, Co-producer
Documentary: “Galicia: Land of Dilemmas,” American University
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 11
Washington, D.C., Friday, June 1, 2007

12UKRAINE: AN OVERVIEW OF THE CRIMEAN QUESTION AT THE
       63RD ANNIVERSARY OF THE CRIMEAN TATAR DEPORTATION
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Idil P. Izmirli
Adjunct Faculty/Ph.D. Candidate, George Mason University
The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 12
Washington, D.C., June 1, 2007

13. MARINA LEWYCKA’S FIRST BOOK, BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
        
Lewycka’s first book was rejected 36 times before she finally found a
                publisher at age of 58. Now “A Short History of Tractors in
              Ukrainian” is a worldwide hit. She talks to Stephen Moss about
                   family ties, that tricky second novel – and never giving up.
INTERVIEW: With Author Marina Lewycka
BY: Stephen Moss, The Guardian
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

14.                     AN APPEAL TO THE LEADERS OF THE G7

STATEMENT BY HUMAN RIGHTS LEADERS: Moscow, Russia
Andrew Grigorenko, General Petro Grigorenko Foundation
New York, New York, Friday, June 1, 2007
15RIVNE REGIONAL COUNCIL ASKS YUSHCHENKO TO ASSIGN
  POSTHUMOUSLY HERO OF UKRAINE TITLE TO UPA COMMANDER
            SHUKHEVYCH AND UNR DIRECTORY HEAD PETLIURA 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, May 31, 2007

16.        RUSSIA: GAZPROM HONES ITS STRATEGY ON UKRAINE
By Roman Kupchinsky, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, May 30, 2007

17.       RUSSIAN LANGUAGE IMPORTANT FOR ENRICHMENT OF
                   PEOPLE WORLD OVER SAYS FOREIGN MINISTRY
ITAR-TASS, Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 28, 2007
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       UKRAINE LAWMAKERS MISS CRISIS DEADLINE
                    
By Dario Thuburn, Agence France Presse, (AFP), Thu, May 31, 2007

KIEV – Ukrainian lawmakers failed to pass a series of laws in time for a
deadline set by President Viktor Yushchenko on Thursday, prolonging a
political crisis in the ex-Soviet republic.

The votes were a precondition for Yushchenko to set early elections expected
on September 30 after a deal struck with his rival, Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych. Yushchenko had given lawmakers until midnight on Thursday to
vote.

But the deputy speaker of parliament, Adam Martynyuk, declared the session
over and said the legislature would meet again on Friday in defiance of the
president’s orders.

Observers have warned that failure to pass the legislation on time could
plunge Ukraine into turmoil again by scuppering the deal between the feuding
leaders.

The crisis in Ukraine began on April 2, when Yanukovych defied orders from
Yushchenko to dissolve parliament and hold early elections. The president
meant to stop what he called a power grab by the prime minister’s allies.

Yushchenko earlier expressed confidence that lawmakers would meet the
deadline on Thursday but also said that elections could still be held even
if they failed to do so.

He said opposition deputies in parliament from his Our Ukraine party and the
Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc could simply resign their posts, triggering polls
within 60 days.
               SERIES OF WTO AMENDMENTS APPROVED
Lawmakers on Thursday did approve a series of amendments liberalising trade
rules to smooth Ukraine’s entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that
were also part of the crisis deal. But they failed to agree on other
legislation governing the elections.

Yanukovych’s Regions Party holds a majority in parliament in a coalition
with the Socialist and Communist parties, while Yushchenko’s allies are in
opposition.

Ukrainian newspapers on Thursday warned of a return to political chaos.
“Parliament fell apart in full session,” ran a headline in the Kommersant
daily, referring to the heated disputes between Yushchenko and Yanukovych
allies in parliament the evening before.

“The political deal has fallen through,” daily Izvestia said.

Tensions escalated sharply last week, when the president and prime minister
sparred for control over security forces and scuffles broke out at the
prosecutor general’s office.

The two sides put on a show of unity after the political deal on Sunday to
hold early elections. But tensions still simmered this week and numerous
disagreements remain.

The rivalry between Ukraine’s leaders dates back to the Orange Revolution of
2004, when mass protests helped bring pro-Western Yushchenko to the
presidency, overturning a flawed vote initially granted to Moscow-backed
Yanukovych.                                            -30-
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2.     DEAL ON NEW VOTE IN UKRAINE NOW IN DOUBT

By Natasha Lisova, Associated Press Writer
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 31, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine – A hard-won agreement between Ukraine’s rival leaders to hold
new elections this fall was cast into doubt Thursday as parliament ended its
session hours ahead of a presidential deadline to pass legislation
supporting the deal.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko, a central figure in the
political standoff between the president and prime minister, was flown to
Germany for treatment after his condition worsened following a heart attack,
the ministry said.

President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych agreed
Sunday to elect a new parliament Sept. 30, easing tension amid a persistent
power struggle in the ex-Soviet republic, but efforts to pass laws governing
the vote have foundered this week amid mutual recriminations.

Yushchenko, who had been calling for a much earlier vote before the
compromise deal, said Thursday his allies would withdraw from parliament if
the laws were not approved by midnight – a move he said would trigger a new
election in two months.

“If a solution is not reached, my party and (Yulia) Tymoshenko’s party will
meet and formalize our withdrawal from parliament,” Yushchenko said during a
visit to Croatia. “Then elections will take place automatically in 60 days,”
he added.

But parliament, dominated by Yanukovych’s majority coalition, ended its
session without approving the legislation. Coalition members vowed to return
Friday.

The head of Yushchenko’s faction in parliament, Vyacheslav Kyrylenko,
accused the coalition of violating the agreement and said it “must take all
responsibility for future development of events on itself”.

He also said that 172 opposition lawmakers had registered their resignations
at the parliamentary secretariat, an initial step toward quitting
parliament.

The resignation of 151 lawmakers is required to dissolve parliament and
force elections in 60 days, but a leading Yanukovych ally suggested his camp
would resist any attempts to hold a vote in that time frame.

“It is impossible to hold any early elections if the package of bills is not
adopted by parliament,” said lawmaker Taras Chornovil.

Ukraine has been embroiled in a political crisis since Yushchenko issued on
April 2 a decree to dissolve the parliament and to call early elections.
Yanukovych and his governing coalition called the order illegal and appealed
against it to the Constitutional Court.

Sunday’s pre-dawn agreement eased concerns the standoff could escalate into
violence after Yushchenko fired the prosecutor-general and the Interior
Ministry – headed by Tsushko – sent police to prevent him from being evicted
from his office.

Yushchenko then claimed control of ministry’s forces and sent some to the
capital, although Tsushko refused to recognize the order.

The Interior Ministry said Wednesday that Tsushko had suffered a heart
attack, and ministry spokesman Kostyantyn Stogniy said late Thursday that he
had been transported to Germany because his condition had worsened.

Stogniy gave no further details.

Yushchenko on Wednesday called the move to send police forces to the
prosecutor’s office a “serious crime” and said Tsushko was responsible.

Yushchenko and Yanukovych were bitter rivals in Ukraine’s 2004 presidential
election. Yanukovych was declared the winner of a fraud-riddled vote that
sparked mass protests known as the Orange Revolution.

Yushchenko won a court-ordered rerun of the balloting, but Yanukovych
returned to prominence last year when his party won the largest share of
seats in parliament.                                  -30-
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3.                              STALLED BY CONFLICT,
                UKRAINE’S DEMOCRACY GASPS FOR AIR

Memo from Kiev: By Steven Lee Myers, The New York Times
New York, New York, Friday, June 1, 2007
International Herald Tribune, Paris, France, Thu, May 31, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine, May 31 – Two and a half years ago, the “Orange Revolution”
promised Ukrainians a freer, more democratic system of government. Instead,
the country now finds itself mired in perpetual political crisis, punctuated
by confusion, chaos and, at times, comedy.

In April, President Viktor A. Yushchenko issued a disputed decree dissolving
Parliament. That led to charges, countercharges and dueling protests between
the country’s warring camps, led by Mr. Yushchenko on one side and the prime
minister, Viktor F. Yanukovich, on the other.

On Wednesday, for example, protesters gathered outside the headquarters of
the prosecutor general, a member of Mr. Yanukovich’s party whom the
president had already fired two times.

Drawn by rumors of an imminent assault by government commandos, they
blockaded the leafy streets while their leaders issued instructions on how
to resist and warned of nefarious NATO plans to subjugate the nation. “We
don’t want to be imprisoned by America, like Yugoslavia was,” one protester
said.

Inside, a dozen members of Parliament occupied a landing by the elevator,
vowing to protect the prosecutor general, Svyatoslav M. Piskun. “Give me the
Constitution,” one deputy demanded, and then thumbed through the one
produced in search of some legal justification for all of this.

Mr. Piskun, who has accused Mr. Yushchenko of criminal conduct for
exceeding his constitutional powers, has refused to step down.

The president, in an interview, accused him in turn of politicizing the
justice system. He had already appointed somebody else to the post, only to
have his decree, like most of late, ignored.

The country’s leaders agreed early last Sunday morning to end a prolonged
political impasse by holding new parliamentary elections, the second in less
than two years. But that agreement, which appeared to be unraveling on
Thursday, has done little to resolve the underlying disputes.

They include an unclear division of power between a weakened presidency and
an empowered Parliament; allegations of corruption in Parliament and the
courts; and a lack of mature democratic institutions able to emerge from the
shadows of the oversize political personalities who dominate Ukrainian
politics.

The result has been not only endless conflict, but also public apathy,
tinged with disappointment, which even the country’s leaders acknowledge
having caused.

“We started a kind of judicial game, using the flaws of our laws,” Mr.
Piskun said in his barricaded building, referring to legal challenges that
have been swirling around him. “We make people lose trust in the judicial
system.”

Ukraine is immeasurably freer than it was in 2004, when President Leonid D.
Kuchma tried to orchestrate the fraudulent election of a successor, Mr.
Yanukovich, setting off protests that led to a new election, won by Mr.
Yushchenko.

One measure of that is that Mr. Yanukovich’s Party of Regions won enough
seats last year in parliamentary elections to make him prime minister.
Ukraine, though, has failed to consolidate its democracy, even as it has
embraced the theatrics of democratic politics.

Protests abound, though often with paid protesters, as do the tents that in
2004 filled Independence Square, known as the Maidan. So, ominously, do
political threats and brinkmanship.

Those activities nearly resulted in violence when Interior Ministry troops,
following orders from the interior minister, a Yanukovich loyalist, occupied
Mr. Piskun’s office after the president tried to dismiss him. Mr. Yushchenko
then declared the ministry’s military forces under his command, and the top
uniformed commander declared his loyalty to the president.

The interior minister, Vasyl P. Tsushko, was hospitalized Wednesday,
reportedly with a heart ailment. On Thursday, a member of his Socialist
Party declared that the minister had been poisoned by his opponents,
implicitly Mr. Yushchenko’s supporters.

Poison is a motif of Ukrainian politics, the most notable case being Mr.
Yushchenko’s poisoning before the 2004 vote. That crime remains unsolved,
an emblem of Ukraine’s uncertain embrace of the rule of law. The twist is
that Mr. Yushchenko is now accused of abusing the law.

That stems from his decision – with the parliamentary majority led by Mr.
Yanukovich growing and members of his own party defecting – to issue a
decree dissolving Parliament in April on narrow grounds that members were
switching parties, which he called “an issue of political corruption.”

His opponents assailed the move as unconstitutional, but when they took the
matter to the Constitutional Court, Mr. Yushchenko dismissed 3 of the
court’s 18 judges, accusing them of corruption.

The Constitutional Court, Mr. Piskun retorted indignantly, is “the backbone
of democracy.” He acknowledged that there might have been justification for
Mr. Yushchenko’s charges, but he said there was a judicial and parliamentary
process for resolving them.

Mr. Yushchenko defended his actions, though he appeared subdued, even
resigned. “I would like to emphasize this is not a political crisis,” he
said of the turmoil surrounding the prosecutor’s office. “It is just a
reality of political life in Ukraine.”

Ukraine remains a deeply divided country, with a large Russian-speaking
population that has bristled at Mr. Yushchenko’s embrace of the European
Union and NATO at the expense, as widely seen, of fraternal ties with
Russia.

Increasingly, though, the divisions appear less substantive and more
political and personal.

Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, a former foreign minister and an adviser to Mr.
Yanukovich, said that the Yanukovich camp was equally committed to
integrating Ukraine into the global economy and, eventually, into the
European Union, though NATO remains unpopular. Instead, he said, elections
increasingly turn on personalities.

“People here vote most likely for the leader whom they like,” he said in an
interview. “I would hesitate to say trust, but like is the right word.”

Others said that Ukrainian politics had simply become a struggle over access
to business. “Having power gives you the instruments to do business,” said
Oleksandr O. Moroz, who became speaker of Parliament after breaking with Mr.
Yushchenko’s camp last summer. “They are fighting for power to obtain these
instruments.”

The biggest concern in Ukraine is that elections are unlikely to
significantly change the makeup of Parliament. They could simply prolong the
failures to bolster the institutions necessary to allow democracy to
flourish, including prosecutors and courts independent of presidential
decrees and street protests.

Without institutional changes, said Anatoly K. Kinakh, who became minister
of the economy after defecting from Mr. Yushchenko’s camp this year, “this
election will not produce any better quality of democracy.”          -30-
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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/01/world/europe/01ukraine.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1,
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4.                            UKRAINE: ON THE EDGE

LEAD EDITORIAL: Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Wed, May 30 2007

The political peace deal struck in Ukraine in last-minute talks between
Viktor Yushchenko, the president, and his bitter rival Viktor Yanukovich,
the prime minister, comes as a welcome relief.

Their long-running conflict last week reached the point of violence, with
officials loyal to Mr Yushchenko occupying the public prosecutor’s office
and Mr Yanukovich’s men breaking windows and doors to retake the
building. It seemed only a matter of time before somebody was killed.

However, the agreement to settle the dispute by holding parliamentary
elections in late September will not, on its own, resolve Ukraine’s
deep-rooted divisions. The country is doomed to further instability, unless
its leaders work much harder at developing a genuine national consensus.

It will be difficult. When Mr Yushchenko triumphed in the Orange Revolution
in 2004 he appeared to have won broad support for a pro-European Union
democracy, with an open economy and pragmatic ties with Russia.

But the settlement that ended the Orange Revolution involved transferring
power from the presidency to parliament. When Mr Yanukovich bounced
back in the 2006 election, thanks to his Russian-speaking support in the
east, Mr Yushchenko was wrong-footed.

Until this year, the conciliatory president was on the defensive, to the
despair of his supporters. But in April he finally put his foot down, and
ordered new elections. Mr Yanukovich resisted, precipitating last week’s
confrontation.

The trouble is that elections will do little to change the power balance
between the two sides. Mr Yanukovich will almost certainly return as head of
the largest party, followed by the fiery Yulia Tymoshenko, Mr Yushchenko’s
erstwhile Orange Revolution ally. The president may well end up holding the
balance of power, and they will be forced to sit down and negotiate.

The outlines of a compromise exist. Most Ukrainians back closer ties with
the EU, but they also have doubts about joining Nato.

Almost all agree Russia will continue to play a big role in Ukraine, above
all in energy, although they are divided about the merits of Moscow’s
influence. As a buffer zone, the country cannot afford to tip too far
towards Russia or the west.

One thing must be clear, however: all parties must respect the legacy of the
Orange Revolution, which has created a more democratic political world.
Any attempt to resolve political conflicts through non-democratic, let alone
violent, means would split the country irrevocably.                -30-
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http://www.ft.com/cms/s/294b0b90-0e4a-11dc-8219-000b5df10621.html
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5. UKRAINE’S PARLIAMENT PASSES ALL LAWS NEEDED 
                           TO MEET WTO REQUIREMENTS 
AP Worldstream, Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 31, 2007

KIEV – Ukraine’s parliament on Thursday passed all the laws needed to meet
the World Trade Organization’s admission requirements.

The 450-seat Verkhovna Rada approved 11 bills, including legislation
governing customs tariffs on metals and scrap; a law on food security and
quality; and changes to a law protecting intellectual property.

Ukraine said in December that it had brought its legislation into line with
WTO requirements, but the 150-nation global trade rules body has since made
new demands.

President Viktor Yushchenko has made joining the WTO a priority for Ukraine,
which needs foreign investment to boost its economy. Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych has said he hopes the ex-Soviet republic could join the WTO this
year.

Socialists and Communists, who now are in the ruling parliamentary
coalition, have opposed some of the measures, fearing the impoverished work
force could suffer by aggressively opening the country up to foreign trade
and WTO standards.                               -30-
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6.  UKRAINIAN MPs GIVE PRELIMINARY APPROVAL FOR
                   PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION FINANCING 
ICTV television, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0945 gmt 31 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

KIEV – Parliament has voted in the first reading for changes to the budget
to allow financing for a snap parliament election. Presenting the bill,
First Deputy Prime Minister Azarov said that the government found 75m
dollars for the election.

The text of the budget amendments indicates that the election should not be
held earlier than 29 September 2007. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Moroz
suggested that the amendments should be approved in the second reading on 1
June.

On 31 May, President Viktor Yushchenko extended by one day his suspension

of his parliament dissolution decree to allow MPs to vote on the necessary
legislation.

The following is the text of a report by Ukrainian ICTV television on 31
May:

[Presenter] Before leaving Ukraine [for visit to Croatia on 31 May], the
president [Viktor Yushchenko] extended the work of parliament for one more
day. MPs should consider 17 issues today – laws on the WTO, on the binding
mandate [banning MPs from moving from one faction to another], changes to
the election law, and changes to the budget on election financing.

MPs have already adopted the election financing law in first reading. Then a
break was announced. We will find out from Viktor Soroka whether the sitting
has restarted.

[Correspondent] MPs from the [pro-government] coalition and opposition have
already returned to the hall after their forced break. But they have
quarrelled again and walked out again. They have left the hall and dispersed
among the corridors and buffets, in order to discuss how to proceed.

One thing is clear. The coalition is ready to work not just today, but until
2009. The Communists and Socialists announced again that they do not want

an early election, so they do not want to provide budget money for financing
the election campaign.

Meanwhile, the Party of Regions thinks a little differently. In particular,
representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers have found the 365m hryvnyas
[75m dollars] needed for the election.

[First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Azarov] The bill foresees a separate
budget programme for the Central Electoral Commission to the value of 365m
hryvnyas for preparing and holding an early parliament election.

[Volodymyr Makeyenko, captioned as parliament budget committee head] I
recall once again the formulation that is being put to the vote: to
establish that spending on the budget programme for holding an early
parliament election should be carried out if an early parliament election is
called not earlier than 29 September 2007.

[Correspondent] However, the Communists and Socialists are standing their
ground. They do not want to make money available for the election.

They are ready to amend the budget and allocate additional funds for the
countryside and raising pensions, student grants and public sector wages, in
particular for law enforcers and the armed forces.

But they are not ready to give money for holding an election campaign or
organizing the election campaign. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Moroz thinks
the same or almost the same.

He proposed voting on changes to the budget only in the first reading, which
is what happened. And the second reading vote will be not today, but
tomorrow.

[Presidential representative in parliament Roman Zvarych] This surprises me
because his signature is on the joint statement of the president, prime
minister and parliament speaker. It is clear from the speeches of the
Communist and Socialist factions and from the fact that they asked for a
break that they will not vote for this law.

[Opposition Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc MP Volodymyr Yavorivskyy] You are
consciously dragging out and undermining all agreements. It’s all clear.
It’s all on the surface. Oleksandr Oleksandrovych, put this document to the
vote as a whole.

[Correspondent] The opposition insists that the president has once again
made concessions to the coalition in order to have the maximum level of
understanding and suspended his dissolution decree for one more day in

order that it could vote on all the necessary bills. But the coalition did not
hear the president and are consciously inflaming the situation.

Only one out of 17 bills has been adopted in the first reading. In addition
to laws on social and economic development and changing the budget, there
are 10 bills that should speed up Ukraine’s WTO accession.         -30-
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7.                        UKRAINE: NOTHING IRREVOCABLE

COMMENTARY: By Dmitry Shusharin
RIA Novosti political commentator, RIA Novisti
Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 31, 2007

MOSCOW – Triumvirates worked well for ancient Rome, albeit never survived
for long. The triple alliance of President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime Minister
Viktor Yanukovych and Parliament Speaker Alexander Moroz was formed
under the pressure of an imminent armed conflict, and consequently implied
no parity.

It was clear from the very beginning that the president and prime minister
would keep their offices, while the speaker would probably have to go. His
opponents have been quite open about it.

However, the problem is deeper than the three politicians’ prospects. It
looks like Ukraine’s political culture in general does not require strict
observance of agreements, especially of bizarre ones like the “triple
union.”

None of its parties could guarantee commitment, because none of them
possessed any levers to pressure the Rada members into acting within the
outlined framework.

The three officials have eventually failed to find common ground.

Yanukovych confessed to having disagreements with Yushchenko and
demanded the extension of parliament’s session by more than two days so
that it would have time to pass a series of socio-economic development
bills.

Moroz, the main trouble-maker, predictably threw out the agenda, thus
violating the triple agreement.

The above is evidence that democracy actually reigns in Ukraine. The triple
deal was made for a reason, and was a good thing for the time being. The
three politicians seemed to realize that their brawl could grow into an
armed conflict, and armed people would be almost impossible to control.

When the president and the interior minister issue mutually exclusive
orders, regular army commanders turn into field commanders. But the
politicians who allowed this to happen will be held responsible for the
consequences.

That is why the Ukrainian president, prime minister and speaker chose to
strike a union deal, feeble as it was. But their agreement was not confirmed
by any procedures. The parliament-dissolving decree was never considered
by the Constitutional Court.

Moreover, the triple agreement excluded the Constitutional Court’s
contribution to the settlement of the crisis. And of course, no laws
stipulate that a parliament session should last for a specified period of
time and strictly adhere to a specific agenda.

Despite the odd situation, the three politicians have attained their most
important goal – they have avoided the armed conflict scenario. As for the
prospects, it has become clearer than ever that Ukraine is a lucky country
which abhors final decisions.                                 -30-
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The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not
necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.
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LINK: http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20070531/66415343.html

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8. UKRAINIAN PRES ADDRESSES CROATIAN PARLIAMENT

HINA news agency, Zagreb, Croatia, in English 1529 gmt 31 May 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

ZAGREB – Ukraine fully supports Croatia’s aspirations to join the European
Union and NATO, and Croatia is an example of a successful, reborn nation in
the whole region, President Viktor Yushchenko said in the Croatian
parliament on Thursday.

Like Croatia, Ukraine too sees its future in united Europe, he said, adding
that the EU and NATO were strategic goals for his country, confirmed in
legislation.

He described his visit to Croatia as the opening of new possibilities and
prospects of cooperation. Apart from cooperation in Euro-Atlantic
integration, he said Ukraine was particularly interested in a closer
political and social dialogue.
                               ECONOMIC COOPERATION
Yushchenko also mentioned economic cooperation, saying it was increasingly
stronger and more dynamic. Last year’s trade exceeded 120m dollars, whereas
in 2003 it amounted to 43m dollars, he said.

Ukraine’s President added there were many areas for cooperation, including
investment, industry, agriculture, construction, and the transport and
tourist infrastructure. He said Ukraine was also interested in the joint oil
pipeline Druzba Adria project.

Yushchenko also spoke of the thousand-year-old history of the Croat and
Ukrainian peoples, recalling they had become brothers at the time of the
White Croat tribe.

He said relations between the two countries experienced a renaissance in
1991, after “the demolishing of the empire”, and recalled that Ukraine had
been among the first to recognise Croatia’s independence.
CALL TO RECOGNIZE HOLODOMOR AS ACT OF GENOCIDE
He said the two peoples had supported one another during social upheavals,
and called on the Croatian parliament to recognize the Holodomor, the
1932-33 famine, as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people.

Our people will be grateful to receive such a decision, as an example of
support and moral assistance, Yushchenko said.
Speaking of the crisis in his country, he said Ukraine’s politics resolved
the hardest problems in a democratic fashion and that this tradition would
remain constant.

For me, every success and every test oriented towards democracy is an
important part of Ukraine’s renaissance, he said.
            CRITICIZED UKRAINE’S TOTALITARIAN PAST
Underlining the importance of democracy, reconstruction and the healing of
society, Yushchenko criticized his country’s totalitarian past, recalling
that dozens of millions of Ukrainians had been victims of communist terror.

He was also received by Parliament Speaker Vladimir Seks for talks on
bilateral relations and common strategic interests.

Seks thanked Yushchenko for saying in his address to the Croatian
parliamentarians that the opinions of ecologists and the public should be
taken into consideration with regard to the Druzba Adria project. The
Ukrainian president agreed that broad political support was necessary for
its implementation.                                  -30-

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NOTE:  Subheadings inserted editorially by the AUR.
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9.                   THREE UKRAINIANS = FIVE DRIVERS
 
UkrAgro Outlooks and Comments, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, May 31, 2007

One cannot be clever, kind, and beautiful in Ukrainian policy any more. It
is possible only drive now. It’s up to you. Inspired by the President’s
example, everybody is driving now.

The President himself is driving, he appoints whom he wants and dismisses
whom he wants. The main thing for him is suddenness of his next steps, an
unexpected turn of the helm and a feeling that the helm is still in hand.

The Prime Minister is driving too. Rumors that he also contributed to the
new turn of the Ukrainian political crisis look like being true.

As it is well known, Mr. Yanukovich, after an arrangement with Mr.
Yushchenko on the day of the ill-fated elections had been already achieved,
took the liberty to twice publicly doubt that this elections would be held.

Why? Because he is dragging out time, – according to the same rumors,
Yanukovich has no chance of getting either the Prime Minister’s office or
the faction leader’s chair after the coming elections of the new Verkhovna
Rada.

The Regions Party’s financiers will most likely gamble on other figures
(nomination of Boris Kolesnikov is discussed, ambitions of Raisa Bogatyriova
are taken into account), thus in the situation where every miller draws
water to one’s own mill, Mr. Yanukovich decided to draw this water a little
to his mill, too. Well, let a person who is without a sin cast an egg at
him.

The speaker of the Parliament is also driving. Despite all statements of Mr.
Moroz that the Verkhovna Rada’s activity is quite legitimate, since lately
he does not sign any of the laws passed by the legitimate Rada.

These include the law on the Budget amendments, which is a trump-card of the
«regionals» (as this law prescribes an increase in wages and social payments
they need as the ruling party before the election).

It is said that this step of the speaker is caused by his desire to make the
«regionals» include Moroz himself and a couple dozen certainly no-go
socialist men in the Regions Party’s list at the future election.

The honest Tsushko is driving, – a man about whom no dirt could be dug up
even after six months of searching (obviously, for it is absent indeed).

Most likely, this man is ruling just due to his natural conscientiousness
and yet because he, a poor guy, has no way to go out from the submarine –

no desire to become the chief of a Moldavian collective farm again.

Of course, the overall driving started not today but yet at the time of that
“orange” Maidan, when both people and the authorities realized that they
could get through with bawling and push.   It’s unclear where all this may
end up: many predict a force way.

However, it is unlikely: yet at the time of “that” Maidan it was wittily
noticed that the average statistical Ukrainian participates in a revolution
only if he is absolutely sure that a plate of fatty rich borsch will wait
for him home tonight after the barricades. In short, there will be no
shooting while borsch is served.                          -30-
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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10.               REGIME RESTORATION AND UKRAINE

LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Dan Fenech
Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 31, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 10
Washington, D.C., Friday, June 1, 2007

Morgan,

FYI, I thought I’d share with you my message to the Kyiv Post editor
(forwarded below), since you published a longer version of Mr.
Velychenko’s article in AUR today.

Rgds/Dan

PS:  Keep the AURs coming!  I spend way too much time reading them,
but don’t how I’d ever keep up with what’s going on without them.
———————————————————————————————-
From: Dan Fenech
Sent: May 31, 2007 11:28 AM
To: kpletters@kyivpost.com
Subject: Article “Regime Restoration and Ukraine”

LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/oped/26691/

Dear Editor,

I read with interest Mr. Velychenko’s comments about potential regime
restoration in Ukraine (“Regime restoration and Ukraine”, May 30
2007).

However, while he accurately describes the Party of Region’s use of
American consultants such as Paul Manafort (a former consultant for,
amongst others, some Republican Party candidates), I don’t understand
why Velychenko inserts his apparent anti-American and anti-Republican
Party hatred into his otherwise observant article.

By making blatantly false statements such as “US Republicans also used
dubious and outright illegal methods to bring George W. Bush into power,”
he damages the credibility of  his other arguments.

He can legitimately criticize Manafort (as do I), but there’s no reason to
drag the rest of the Republican Party or all Americans  into his arguments.
After all, we are talking about Ukraine, aren’t we?

Dan Fenech
Kyiv, Ukraine
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11. WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO WRITE ABOUT BAD MEMORIES?
                      Or thoughts after reading Vladimir Matveyevs article
                    “WWII Anniversary Conjures Up Some Bad Memories”

COMMENTARY: By Olha Onyshko, Co-producer
Documentary: “Galicia: Land of Dilemmas,” American University
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 11
Washington, D.C., Friday, June 1, 2007

RE: “WWII Anniversary Conjures Up Some Bad Memories”
Article By Vladimir Matveyev, JTA, New York, NY, May 3, 2007
Action Ukraine Report #845, Article 13, Monday, May 21, 2007

I grew up in Lviv, Ukraine, in a family where it was the custom to close the
curtains before you turn on the light. My grand parents did it because
“ruski” used to shoot through the windows. My parents did it because “ruski”
spy through the windows.

During the short winter days I would come back from school wearing my red
pioneer “halstuk”, crawl to the window and do the house routine, so
mysterious “ruski” wouldn’t harm me. Only then would I turn on the light and
read my favorite “ruski” authors. This was in the beginning of eighties.
    “RED” VETERANS CAME TO MY SCHOOL TWICE A YEAR
Everything I learned at home was from overhearing the family talk about what
“ruski” have done again. Each conversation would end with the adults
realizing I was listening and immediately they would follow with, “don’t
even think to repeat it to anybody” or “forget it, or we end up in the
devil’s land”. I hated the “red” veterans.

They used to come to my school twice a year and talk about their heroic
attacks on Germans. Then they would ask whose grandparents were fighting
the fascists.

So that one time I decided to tell what I heard at home many times: my
grandpa was in the Polish army, he was sent to Germany as a spy just before
the war started, but was captured and send to the concentration camp.

He tried to escape, but dogs found him. The second time he made it as far
as the train station, but was reported. He survived though weighting only 42
kilos. He still had horrible stomach pains sometimes and our family menu
was based on what grandpa could eat, and I loved my grandpa. It was my
story.
“RED” VETERAN ANNOUNCED MY GRANDPA WAS A TRAITOR
The “red” veteran listen without stopping me, but then he announced to the
entire class that my grandpa was a traitor and if he did not kill himself
and gave himself up he deserves to be shot.

At home I was announced a traitor and got a slap from my father for wanting
to send the entire family “to the devil’s land”. Then my parents had to make
visits to school, bringing with them some documents about my grandpa and
saying grandpa was always making jokes and what I said was “false”.  Then
I had to apologize to the class for being a liar.

I was not trusted any more at home and I was not trusted at school. I was
different. I was not “ruski” and I was not “red”. This was becoming a core
of my identity.

I felt very lonely and misunderstood, there was nobody in the world whom I
could explain to about what was wrong, I couldn’t betray my family again.

My lessons learned from that experience: I associated that one “red”
veteran with the rest and disliked them all, I also did not feel any
compassion to any of the tragedies done to “ruski” during the WWII.  I
became oblivious.

It took me years to understand that I should not blame all the Russians for
whatever one person said.  It took me years to heal from the hate for
generalized Russians, who I blamed for all the misfortunes of my family:
loosing land, loosing relatives, whose graves you can only visit at night,
loosing opportunity to study journalism.

Things were building up and so was my imagination. I have to admit I went
so far as to justify in my head why the Russians did not deserve to live on
planet earth.
 “YOU UKRAINIANS, KILLED MY FAMILY, YOU KILLED JEWS”
Till one day, as they say what goes around comes around. In 1992 I was an
exchange student in U.S.  It was in North Carolina, just after the brake up
of the Soviet Union. My host family took me to the supermarket.

They met their good friend and immediately introduced me as a student from
the new country called Ukraine. Their friend’s reaction was rather strong.

“You, Ukrainians, killed my family, you killed Jews” – he screamed.  It
seemed to me at that moment the entire store went quiet and started
starring.  I was shocked.

Till that day I believed we – the Ukrainians were the biggest victims of the
war.  We were the only one who suffered while nobody did anything to help.
Now I met somebody who seemed to hate me or my people more than I
ever hated Russians, but for what?

It took me years to make sense for myself of what had happening in this
region.  I am still learning and the more I know the less accusations and
generalizations I have.

As British historian Norman Davis told me in the interview “In this part of
the region nobody suffered more and nobody suffered less – everybody
suffered the same”.

During the Second World War two huge mega powers Nazi Germany and
Soviet Russia were using the national differences in order to manipulate
people and send them to fight each other instead resisting the occupation.

The ethnic conflicts that took place during that time were an atrocious and
horrifying part of what is considered today as one of the biggest wars in
the history of mankind.
THOSE WHO HELPED THOSE OF DIFFERENT ETHNIC ORIGIN
There were also people who did not allow themselves to be affected by these
brainwashing  techniques, people who helped others, who fought, who did
not degrade morally. The ordinary people who showed extraordinary
courage.

Unfortunately, there are still too many stories are awaiting to be told,
especially the stories of people who risked or gave their lives in order to
save others of a different ethnic origin.

Another big picture we tend to forget: all the veterans – Soviet and UPA –
were fighting first of all against Germany.  Even the few thousand
Ukrainians who fought for the Germans during the first two months
eventually became their victims. Each Ukrainian family, regardless of its
nationality had lost somebody to that war.

During the WWII Jews lost 7 millions, Ukrainians and Russians and others
of the Soviet Republics – 20 million lives.  Most of the war was on the
territory of Ukraine. The devastation is still hard to recover.

Unfortunately, there is no objective history written about that war that
would include the point of view of each ethnic group involved.

Because of that the bits of this painful history still can be used to
manipulate and produce new wave of generalizations that trig into
stereotypes, blame and hate.
             QUESTION RAISED IN MY HEAD WAS ‘WHY’?
So the question raised in my head after reading Vladimir Matveyevs article
“WWII ANNIVERSARY CONJURES UP SOME BAD MEMORIES”
was :WHY?

Why would a person  write  in a casually accusational way without thinking
of the feelings and memories may be evoken, without much care to the
sensitivity of the issue?

But then, after rereading this “WWII ANNIVERSARY CONJURES UP
SOME BAD MEMORIES” one starts to have some sad memories of the
techniques used by the old Soviet propaganda machine.

That “Razdelyaj i vlastvuy” “know how” was and is responsible for people
still being hostile against each other 60 years after the war.

It is responsible for both the Ukrainian-phobia and the anti-Semite
sentiment. That “good old” propaganda machine was so effective it even
made people incapable of being compassionate towards each other.

The really sad fact is that there are not that many publications that try to
explain what really happened in that part of the world.
PASS THE LEGACY OF HOSTILITY TO THE NEXT GENERATION
Instead yet another article that aims to make the old survivors of these
horrific events to be more hostile against each other. And on a top of this
it looks like Mr. Matveyev attempts to pass the legacy of hostility on to
the next generation.

Again, it is important to remember that the war was not provoked by the
local people who had differences and could not co-exist with each others.

It was rather a huge confrontation between two mega-powers who
understood that as long as the population would be busy with people
fighting each others, there would be no threat towards them.

For the memory of all that died in that horrible war and out of the respect
to the ones still alive we have to look more closely at what happened not
through propaganda glasses, but with eyes of humanity, tolerance and
honesty.

Hate is not the answer. Or is it?
—————————————————————————————————-
RE: “WWII Anniversary Conjures Up Some Bad Memories”
Article By Vladimir Matveyev, JTA, New York, NY, May 3, 2007
Action Ukraine Report #845, Article 13, Monday, May 21, 2007
http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/news/article/20050503InUkraineWWIIann.html 

—————————————————————————————————–
FOOTNOTE: Subheadings inserted editorially by the AUR.
—————————————————————————————————–
  “GALICIA: LAND OF DILEMMAS” VIDEO WINS A TOP PRIZE AT
                 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY”S VISIONS FESTIVAL
     Explores inter-ethnic conflicts during WWII in Galicia-Western Ukraine

By Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #841, Article 4
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 10, 2007

WASHINGTON – On Friday, May 4th 2007, as part of American University’s
Visions Festival, the video installation ‘Galicia: Land of Dilemmas’ won
first place in the category of best installation.

The project, created by Olha Onyshko and Sarah Farhat, explores inter-ethnic
conflicts during the Second World War in the region of Galicia-Western
Ukraine.

The video was shown, to around eight viewers at a time, in one of the
University’s small photography labs. The installation in the lab recreated a
Ukrainian basement of 1942 filled with all sorts of old Ukrainian artifacts
and household items, as well as food like potatoes, onions and dried herbs.

The smell, the confined setting and the cramped space bought one back in
time in order to experience the fear and uncertainty of the people who were
hiding in similar places during WWII.

The innovative visual style of the video was used to re-create the way a
person remembers images and recalls events while telling a story.

The tension built up while watching the video increases even more through
sounds of children whispering, parents hushing, doors slamming and dogs
barking outside.

“The purpose of the project is to raise awareness about the issues of ethnic
identity and relations during periods of crisis and war,” said Olha Onyshko,
one of the two filmmakers.

“The moving story of Ukrainian and Jewish neighboring families, told in
public for the first time 60 years after it happened, shows that tragic
moments of conflicts can bring out the worst and the best in people and
leaves us to wonder: why would people put their own lives in danger to
save their enemies?” Onyshko stated.

The two filmmakers are currently working on producing a feature-length
documentary with the same name that will explore the human side of ethnic
conflicts based on stories from the Ukrainian, Jewish, Polish and Russian
communities in Galicia.

“Events that happened 60 years ago are still relevant in today’s society;
that is why it is necessary to find a common language between people of
different ethnicities so that the horrors that happened will not be
repeated,” according to Olha Onyshko.              -30-
———————————————————————————————–
CONTACT: Olha Onyshko olia@verizon.net
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12.  UKRAINE: AN OVERVIEW OF THE CRIMEAN QUESTION AT THE
       63RD ANNIVERSARY OF THE CRIMEAN TATAR DEPORTATION

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Idil P. Izmirli
Adjunct Faculty/Ph.D. Candidate, George Mason University
The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #851, Article 12
Washington, D.C., June 1, 2007

May 18, 2007 marked the 63rd anniversary of a grave tragedy. On that day
that left a dark spot on the history of humanity in the [former] Soviet
Union, Crimean Tatars in their entirety were deported from their peninsular
homeland under Stalin’s orders.

 Deportation was carried out by 20,000 interior ministry troops and
thousands of regular army soldiers,[i] who went door to door to wake up
sleeping Crimean Tatars and give them only 15 minutes to get ready before
being exiled to unknown destinations. During that time, Crimean Tatars
constituted approximately one fifth of the [Soviet] partisans who were
involved in guerilla warfare in Crimea.[ii]

Moreover, most of the able-bodied Crimean Tatar men were at the front
fighting the Nazis. As a result, the majority (86.1 percent) of the
deportees consisted of the elderly, invalids, women and children.[iii] This
mass deportation on guarded cattle-trains without food, water, and inferior
sanitary conditions, resulted in a substantial death toll. During and after
the exile, 46.2 percent of the total Crimean Tatar population perished.

Three months after the deportation, on August 14, 1944 the State Defense
Committee (GKO) authorized the settlement of 51,000 new migrants in 17,000
vacant collective farms (kolkhozes) to replace the deported Crimean
Tatars.[iv] Although some of these settlers were Ukrainians, the vast
majority of them were ethnic Russians[v] who had arrived in Crimea from
Russian lands.

While the systematic Russification of the peninsula was taking place
rapidly, with a decree published on June 30, 1945,[vi] the Crimean ASSR was
officially abolished and it became an oblast (district) within the RSFSR.

In the mean time, according to the orders of the Communist Party of the
Soviet Union (KPSS), Crimean Tatars were “to live in exile forever with no
right to return to the former residence.”[vii]

The surviving deportees were placed in highly regimented strict special
settlement camps (spetsposolonets) in their respective exile countries.
Crimean Tatars were forced to live in these camps where they had no freedom
of movement without the permission from the camp commanders.

This special settlement regime lasted for 12 years until the 20th Communist
Party Congress in February 24-25, 1956, when Nikita Khrushchev[viii]
condemned Stalin’s crimes in his famous [secret] speech that led to the
abolishment of special settlement camps throughout the Soviet Union.

A special [unpublished] decree issued on April 28, 1956 the Presidium of
Supreme Soviet (Ukaz 136/142) officially released the Crimean Tatars from
special settlement camps.

As soon as they were released, through their Initiative Groups, the Crimean
Tatars launched a nonviolent national movement that was solely focused on
return to Crimea. This return movement first began with individual letter
writing campaigns and continued with group protests in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
as well as in front of Kremlin in Moscow.

Despite the top-down pressures, Crimean Tatars continuously demonstrated,
went on hunger strikes, and protested against the Soviet regime demanding
permission for return to Crimea. The struggle for return took many years.

During that time, many Crimean Tatar national movement members, including
the head of the OKND (Organization of Crimean Tatar National Movement)
Mustafa Cemilev, were beaten up, jailed, and even killed. The movement for
return proceeded regardless.

Against the background of political dynamics of Perestroika, a new
commission formed under Genadii Yanaev recognized the forced deportations
as being illegal and criminal. In addition, the commission agreed on the
restoration of the Crimean autonomy. This decision was a major turning point
for the Crimean Tatars as they organized the beginnings of an [unofficial]
mass return to Crimea.

The 1989 Soviet census showed the number of Crimean Tatars in Crimea as
38,000. At the present time, it is estimated that at the present time
approximately 300,000 Crimean Tatars are living in Crimea.[ix]

Life in Crimea was not easy for the returnees. In their historical homeland,
they faced discrimination in socio-political spheres vis-à-vis land/housing
allocations, employment and power-sharing. Their desire for restoration of
historical justice continuously fell on deaf ears. Regardless, they remained
peaceful. As they often stated “they came to Crimea to build, not to
destroy.” Yet, the Crimean dynamics are a changing.

Since the 2004 Ukrainian presidential elections, as the political combat is
taking place between the two Viktors at the center, the Crimean crisis at
the periphery is getting out of hand. While Kiev is dealing with its own
political issues, Simferopol is being run by certain Russian-backed Crimean
politicians who are playing an important role in the magnification of
ethnic, cultural, religious, and linguistic cleavages in the peninsula.

Who are these instigators of conflict in the Crimean peninsula? Which
Crimean political actors are the frequent faces in most of the conflictual
events? In an effort to answer these questions, let us review several
Crimean conflicts that took place in 2006 which appeared to be unrelated but
in reality undoubtedly interrelated.

In the early mornings of May 28, 2006 the American warship ‘Advantage”
arrived in the Feodosian Trade Port as a part of an International military
exercise “Sea-Breeze 2006.” Upon their arrival, American soldiers were
countered with strong anti-NATO protests. In reality, these types of
joint-exercises have been taking place in Ukraine since 1997,[x] but in 2006
this exercise suddenly became a tool for showdown of the Russian-backed
groups.

These groups included the “Russian Block/Russkii Blok (RB)” under the
leadership of Oleg Rodiviliov; The Russian Community/Russkaya Obshina Krima
(ROK); the Communists; the Party of Regions; The Block for Yanukovych (Za
Yanukovicha),[xi] Progressive Socialist Party, “State”, Descendents of
Bogdan Khmelnitskiy” and Crimean Cossack[xii] Union, Skinheads, and the
National opposition: the Natalia Vitrenko Group.

During these so called anti-NATO protests, under the watchful eyes of the
Ukrainian law enforcement agencies (including BERKUT), the Russian flag
bearing protestors carried signs with writings such as “NATO – Worse than
Gestapo,” and “We are not Yankees, we have to turn to our brothers – the
Russians,” and burned American flags.

Although these protests in Feodosia were illegal under the Ukrainian
Criminal law (page 293) “Violation of Community Order,”[xiii] the Crimean
law enforcement agencies chose not to interfere.

After a month of protests, when the American ship had to leave Feodosia,
the administrator of the MVD (Ministry of internal Affairs) of Ukraine in
Crimea, Vladimir Homenko, declared that the military officers that were
assigned to Feodosia events were passive.[xiv]

One of the organizers of these protests was the well-known deputy of the
Crimean Upper Parliament, Oleg Rodivilov, who is also the president of the
permanent commission of Crimean AR that deals with culture, youth issues,
and sports. Rodivilov is not a stranger to conflicts in Crimea.

He is one of the organizers of the November 2005 anti-Yushchenko
demonstrations that took place in the Lenin Square of Simferopol during the
first year anniversary of the Orange Revolution.

During those protests, Rodivilov’s Russian Blok Party called for president
Yushchenko and his wife “the American” to leave the Ukraine and go to the
United States by continuously chanting: “Suitcase, Train station,
America/Chemadan, Vokzal, Amerika.”

Although the two events seemed unrelated, Rodivilov’s Russian Blok was also
the instigator of the July 8, 2006 attack on Crimean Tatar who organized a
nonviolent sit-in in front of the Azizler (Saints) holy site in the Crimean
city of Bahcesaray.

The Azizler area in Bahcesaray includes the mosque of Aziz Malik Ashter, and
three historical grave sites (turbes) of the former Crimean khans of Giray
Mehmet II (1584); Giray Saadet II (1590); and Giray Mehmet III (1629).

This significant Crimean Tatar holy place in Bahcesaray was being used as a
city bazaar for several years. In this location, in the midst of this holy
site, the market referred by Crimean Tatars referred as the market “built on
bones,” the noisy market stalls with cursing and bargaining merchants who
were using the turbes as garbage collection sites were offensive for the
Tatars as it would be for any religious site of any religion. The returnees
were trying to resolve this issue using appropriate state channels for the
last 10 years.

At the end of June 2006, when the court decided not to relocate the market
to another site in Bahcesaray, frustrated Crimean Tatars started to organize
a sit-in protest in front of the market. Since the younger returnees have to
work at some capacity to feed their families, these protestors were composed
of mostly older women and men.

As a result, when the Russian Blok, the Cossack union and the skinheads
attacked on these protestors and beat them up with iron sticks and clubs,
most of these elderly were among the 15 critically wounded Crimean Tatars
who were remained hospitalized for extended periods of time.

Also among the wounded were a Crimean Tatar news reporter and a television
cameraman whose camera was broken while trying to film the events. Although
these attacks were videotaped and the assailants’ faces were clearly
visible, no charges were brought against them.

In fact, no charges were brought upon anybody, including the market’s
director Medvedev,[xv] who was videotaped (and later was shown on Channel
10, KRIM television channel) while beating of an old Crimean Tatar with an
iron stick.

On the other hand, a well-known member of the Crimean Tatar National
movement Kurtseid Abdullayev presently is fulfilling his 8-year jail
sentence in a Ukrainian prison for his “alleged” breaking up a camera of a
television journalist during the Crimean Tatar field protest in Simeiz in
2004.

While the Azizler attacks were taking place under the watchful eyes of
Ukrainian BARS and BERKUT police forces, the aggressors were also

shouting the slogans from the signs/flyers they were carrying: “Suitcase, Train
station, Baku and Uzbekistan/Chemadan, Vokzal, Baku, Uzbekistan.” As
indicated from their slogans, these were the same groups who organized the
anti-Orange demonstrations in November 2005 in Simferopol’s Lenin square.

On July 10, 2006, Crimean Tatars brought up the issue yet one more time with
the Crimean authorities. At the end of the talks, when the relocation of the
Market issue remained unresolved and the attackers were not penalized
regardless of the photos and videos showing their faces clearly, Crimean
Tatars have decided to continue with their nonviolent sit-in starting on
July 11, 2006.

A month later, on August 12, 2006 Crimea witnessed one of the bloodiest
conflicts since the mass return of the Crimean Tatars in 1990s. On that day,
Rodivilov’s Russian Blok, the Russian Community (ROK) and the
Cossack/Skinhead connection had their general meeting that was organized at
the center square of Bahcesaray.

In this gathering, all the meeting-attending citizens were called for an
attack on protesting Crimean Tatars by Rodivilov himself (this was shown on
news footage on Channel 10). When the RB and ROK meeting ended, groups
came down from the city square to the Azizler (market) site and surrounded
the
Crimean Tatars from all sides and started to attack them with large rocks,
hand grenades, and Molotov cocktails.

This call for attack on that particular day was not a coincidence. First, it
was the day that Mejlis members from Simferopol decided to visit the Azizler
protestors to show their support for their efforts. Second it was the day
that 40 of the BERKUT military troops were called off the Azizler site and
were sent to Yalta for the Yalta City Day celebrations.

80 BERKUT troops were placed at the market by the Ministry of Internal
Affairs (MVD) after the first attack on the protestors on July 8, 2006. In
other words, on the morning of August 12, 2006, there were only 40
BERKUT members were present in the area.

Obviously, 40 members of BERKUT were not enough to stop the rock and
Molotov cocktail throwing 600 attackers that circled the Crimean Tatars. As
a
result, more than 50 Crimean Tatar men and women were gravely injured during
the attacks. Among the attacked were the two deputies from the Ukrainian
Upper Parliament Mustafa Cemilev and Refat Chubarov, Mr. Leonid Pilunsky,
the head of the Crimean branch of the National Rukh party.

Moreover, all the parked cars in the area were turned upside down and
damaged (including Mustafa Cemilev’s, National Rukh’s Leonid Pilunsky’s,
and the director of the Crimean Tatar television Seidislam Kishveyev’s).

According to the Ukraine’s Interfax agency’s August 17, 2006 report (ICTV),
Nikolai Fedoryan, the head of the MVD of Crimea stated that there were
approximately 600 attackers and after their the pro-Russian groups arrived
in the area and started to throw large rocks and explosives on Crimean
Tatars without any provocation.

These events that lasted for two days finally ended when the Crimean
Parliament officials and the Mejlis administrators co-signed an agreement
about the relocation of market from the Azizler area to Firunze Street in
Bahcesaray where market stalls were already existed for the new market.
After these bloody events, Gennadi Moskal’, the permanent representative
of Yushchenko in Crimea, condemned the attacks.

On the other hand, although Rodivilov was videotaped and photographed by
various news agencies and television stations while giving orders for the
attacks and cheering the attackers by yelling “Mejlis-tyurma
(Mejlis-prison),” no action was taken against him. Today he is still a major
political actor in Crimea and remains to be the deputy of the Crimean Upper
Parliament.

Presently, the artificially created ethnic cleavages between the Crimean
Tatars and the “Slavs” are still being fueled by these same groups in
Crimea. Since none of the guilty parties are penalized the returnees are
losing hope in the state structures.

The land issue remains unresolved as the Russian Community of Crimea (ROK)
and the Russian Blok claim that Crimean Tatars have all they need in Crimea,
including land and housing, and want to ban all activities of the de-facto
Crimean Tatar Assembly, Mejlis.[xvi] As time goes by, pockets of returnees
do not see any hope but continue with field protests (polyana protesta).

However, squatting on these fields is not danger-free. At the end of 2003,
the Militia troops were given permission to use dogs, chemical elements, and
special arms for the purpose of “preventing” or “liquidating” mass
squatting. Moreover, because of the new implementations of the Ukrainian
Criminal Code that now entails two years of forced work, imprisonment, and
fines for squatting on land.

The six Crimean Tatars that were put to jail for 3-8 years for their alleged
participation in Simeiz and Cotton Club events (2004) still remain in jail.
Since the original sentencing, this case went back and forth between the
Crimean court; the Ukrainian court; the Crimean appeal court with no change
regardless of the fact that the court had insufficient evidence to sentence
them to begin with.

In the mean time, the “Russian Block,” the “Russian Community,” and certain
“Cossack” organizations (pro-Russian paramilitary organization) that train
volunteer [paid] mercenaries in Crimea continue with their power showdown
against the Crimean Tatars and keep the “order and security” parallel to the
existing “legal” law-enforcement agencies although they have no judicial
right to do so.

As Crimean Tatars commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the deportation on
May 18, 2007, they remember the past. They pray for their dead and they
pray for their future in the Crimean peninsula. The future cannot be
isolated from the past. Meanwhile, the present shapes the future.

Accordingly, to prevent the future conflicts in Crimea, the Crimean crisis
at the periphery needs an immediate attention by the center. If Kiev views
the Crimean crisis objectively and deals with all the parties accordingly,
the future conflicts can be prevented.

To err is human. Hence if the state actors learn from the past mistakes and
regulate their present based on those lessons, the future can be brighter
for all parties not only in Crimea but in all Ukraine.           -30-
—————————————————————————————————
                                           FOOTNOTES
[i] Burke, Justin, et.al. (1996). Crimean Tatars: Repatriation and Conflict
Prevention, New York: The Open Society Institute, The Forced Migration
Projects, p 12.
[ii] Williams, Brian Glyn (2001). The Crimean Tatars-The Diaspora Experience
and the Forging of a Nation Leiden, Boston, Koln: Brill; p.376.
[iii] Noyan, Ismail (1967). Kirimli Filolog-Sair Bekir Cobanzade: Hayati ve
Eserleri/Crimean Philologist-Poet Bekir Cobanzade: His Life and His Work.
(Istanbul Universitesi Basilmamis Yuksek Lisans Tezi/University of Istanbul,
Unpublished Masters thesis), p.7
[iv] Pohl, Otto J. (2004). Timeline: deportation of Crimean Tatars and Their
national Struggle under Soviet Rule.
http://www.iccrimea.org/surgun/timeline.html
[v] Wilson Andrew (2002). Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation. Second Edition.
New Haven and London: Yale Nota Bene – Yale University Press, pp. 151
[vi] Fisher, Alan W. (1987). The Crimean Tatars. Stanford, CA: Hoover
Institution Press, p. 167
[vii] Iliasov, Remzi (1999). Krimskie Tatari: Kratkii Obzor Proshlogo i
Analiz Sotsialno-Ekonomicheskogo Polojenia Nastoiashego,  Simferopol, p. 7
[viii] Nikita Khrushchev transferred Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR on February
19, 1954.
[ix] It is also estimated that about 250,000 Crimean Tatars are still
residing in exile (mainly in Uzbekistan, but also in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan,
and throughout the different regions of the Russian Federation), not by
choice but by impossible socio-economic obstacles placed upon them by
multiple circumstances.
[x] Dialogue Newspaper (in Russian). No=22 (36), 9-16 June 2006, p.2.
[xi] The head of the local PoR Party Za Yanukovycha is the Vice-Speaker of
the Crimean Parliament Vasyliy Kiselyev. During the 2004 presidential
elections, he was the one who declared “if Yuschenko is elected a President
of Ukraine, the Crimea will become a Crimean Tatar autonomy.”
[xii] One thing needs to be emphasized at this juncture. These so-called
Cossacks that appear in every conflict in Crimea are not the ones that we
know from Russian and Ukrainian folk songs, i.e., Don or Zaporijniye
Cossacks. Most of them are former Soviet officers who have retired in
Crimea. Most of them have their blood types tattooed on their hearts and
have Afghanistan tattoos on their arms.
[xiii] Krimskaya Vremya No: 63 (2301) 10 June 2006, “About the Feodosian
Events, Flight, Arson and “Annushkii Syndrome,”p.3
[xiv] Ibid.
[xv] On July 12, 2006 in his interview with the journalists, the head of the
de-facto Crimean Tatar Mejlis Mustafa Cemilev stated that if Medvedev’s name
was Ametov (i.e. a Crimean Tatar name),  he would have been sentenced to
jail for 10 years.
[xvi] “The Russian Community of Crimea wants to ban the activities of
Mejlis/[—-] http://censor.net.ua/go/offer–ResourceID–44097 (February
12, 2007)
—————————————————————————————————–
NOTE: Idil P. Izmirli is a doctoral candidate at the Institute for Conflict
Analysis and Resolution (ICAR), George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.
She has been conducting extended field research in Crimea Ukraine since
2000. In 2006 she spent six months in Crimea, Ukraine as an IREX Individual
Advanced Research Opportunities (IARO) scholar. She is the current president
of the International Committee for Crimea (ICC). In 2004, and 2006, she was
an invited participant of the “Ukraine’s Quest for Mature Nation Statehood”
Conference sponsored by the “Ukrainian Congress Committee of America –
 UCCA.” Contact: Misket@aol.com
———————————————————————————————–
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========================================================
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========================================================
13.                      MARINA LEWYCKA’S FIRST BOOK,

                                 BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
         Lewycka’s first book was rejected 36 times before she finally found a
                publisher at age of 58. Now “A Short History of Tractors in
              Ukrainian” is a worldwide hit. She talks to Stephen Moss about
                   family ties, that tricky second novel – and never giving up.

INTERVIEW: With Author Marina Lewycka
BY: Stephen Moss, The Guardian
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 31, 2007

There’s a note for the postman pinned to the front door of Marina Lewycka’s
functional, foursquare house in the rowdy university quarter of Sheffield.
“If no answer,” it says, “please put packages behind the wheelie bin. Don’t
worry – they’re only foreign books.”

A blase attitude to the new foreign editions of her bestselling first novel,
“A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian,” that arrive with every post – it
had been translated into 29 languages at the last count – but she has a
simple explanation. “What thief would be interested in foreign books?”

The Latvian edition has just arrived, and looks suspiciously thin. “Are you
sure they haven’t left bits out?” I ask her. “They might have done,” she
says. “The Russian edition is very short as well. I can read Russian a bit,
and it struck me as a bit of a slapdash translation. If you read Tolstoy in
Russian, it’s three times as long.”

I start reading aloud the first paragraph of Tractors in Latvian. It is
strangely like Latin. At least it is the way I pronounce it. “Do you know
Latvian?” asks Lewycka, evidently impressed.

Lewycka, who was 58 when her life-transforming novel appeared two years
ago, used to teach journalism and PR at Sheffield Hallam University, to
which she is still attached in some vague, part-time, institution-boosting
capacity.

It quickly becomes apparent that she is a far better interviewer than I am,
and is soon asking me questions. She is the sort of person who, on first
meeting, you feel you have known all your life. Funny, open, energised; a
bit like her fiction.

Readers must feel it, too – hence the 800,000 sales of Tractors in the UK
and the remarkably ugly book awards (“What on earth can you do with a
Nibbie?”) that litter her resolutely unmodernised kitchen.

So has this vast success after almost 40 years in pursuit of publication
changed her life – if not her kitchen? She laughs. “It has in some ways. It
had always been my dream to be a writer, and obviously having your dream
come true is fantastic.

But there is something a bit terrible about it as well, because once your
dream has come true, what else is there? It was your dream and it becomes
your job, and then it’s not a dream any more.”
I WAS JUST ANOTHER MAD WOMAN GOING DOWN THE ROAD
She also has to negotiate people’s idea of what a writer should be. “If I go
out now wearing my old jogging trousers and trainers, with my hair looking
wild, people know me, whereas they didn’t before.

I was just another mad woman going down the road. They expect you to be
witty or clever or profound, and to have all sorts of opinions about things
you have no idea about.

It’s nice and very flattering, but a bit unreal. People have a perception of
you as an author so you think, ‘I’d better try really hard to be an author.’
But what is an author? You try to become the person that people want you to
be or expect you to be.

What I enjoy more than anything is being with friends who knew me before
all this happened, and I can relax and go back to being that person.”

Before Tractors, the only creative work she had had published was a poem in
an Arts Council magazine about 30 years ago. Had she ever doubted that her
dream would come true?

“I doubted it all the time,” she says, “but writing was a compulsion. Lots
of very good writers never get published, and that could easily have
happened to me.

People think that good writers will always come out in the end, but I don’t
believe that.” She says she had reached the point where she barely discussed
her writing with her husband, a mining consultant, or grown-up daughter.
“When you’ve been doing it for as long as that, it gets a bit embarrassing,
so you don’t talk about it very much.”
 DAUGHTER OF TWO UKRAINIANS TAKEN TO GERMANY
Lewycka, the daughter of two Ukrainians who had been taken to Germany as
forced labourers by the Nazis, was born in a British-run refugee camp in
Germany in 1946.

Her family settled in the UK soon afterwards, and Tractors draws heavily on
her life – conflicts with her sister, the loss of her beloved mother, an
eccentric engineer father who married again to a much younger woman, and
his daughters’ schemes to oust the interloper.

How did her family feel about becoming material for a novel? “They have
been very generous about it, really,” she says. “I feel bad about my sister.
It must be awful for her, and I’d hate it if it happened to me. But you write
about what you know.

At least you start off by writing about what you know, and then the worst
thing is that you invent stuff, and no one really knows what’s real and
what’s invented, and in the end you don’t even know yourself.”

Her original plan for Tractors was to write a memoir of her mother’s life,
and before she died she had made a tape of her recollections. “I started
writing it,” she says, “but then I realised that there wasn’t enough on the
tape.

I just didn’t know enough, so I was going to have to make stuff up, and in a
way it was very liberating. If it had been my mother’s book it would have
been pretty heavy and gloomy and sad, and not having to do that was very
liberating.”
         TO TREAT SERIOUS THEMES IN A COMIC WAY
The defining feature of Lewycka’s writing is to treat serious themes – age,
family conflict, the back story of war and grief and separation – in a comic
way. Life’s a nightmare, but a hellishly funny one. She says it was the
realisation that she could use humour in her books that was the key to
unlocking what she had to say.

“You get funnier as you get older, but I hadn’t connected with my sense of
humour. I did for everyday purposes, but [before Tractors] I didn’t have the
confidence to do it with what I wrote. Tractors felt like a last fling
really. I thought, ‘What the hell? It doesn’t matter what I write. I’ll have
a laugh and stick it on the internet.'”

She embarked on a creative writing course at Sheffield Hallam, polished what
she had spent the best part of a decade writing, and at the end of the
course was approached by the external examiner, who also happened to be
an agent, to see whether she wanted him to represent her.

After 36 rejections (she has kept all the letters) for her previous work –
two completed novels, poetry, short stories, romantic fiction – she bit his
hand off.
                        SECOND NOVEL “TWO CARAVANS”
She published her second novel, “Two Caravans,” this spring, and says she
was keen to get the always tricky follow-up to a smash out of the way. “I
just wanted to do it to prove to myself that I could. Number one was so
overwhelming, and I thought, ‘Gosh, I might never write anything ever
again.’ I knew the second novel was traditionally the hardest one, and that
I’d probably get a lot of stick for it.”

In fact, apart from a general dislike of the sections that are narrated by a
dog – the book is ambitiously multi-layered – it was well received, and now
she can relax.

The third book is well under way, a fourth is germinating, and she gives the
impression that she has plenty of time to fashion an oeuvre. When your
father is still alive at 94, being 60 can still seem like a good time to
begin.

“Two Caravans” has the same characteristic blend of comedy and desperation
as her first book. It concerns a group of strawberry pickers drawn from
several countries who fetch up in Kent, and traces their lives, loves and
battle to survive.

It is far less closely aligned to her own life than Tractors, but its
starting point draws on an episode from her childhood, when she and her
mother worked as pea-pickers in Lincolnshire. “It was blissful,” she
recalls.

“You were out in the fields in the fresh air and I was with my mum, and
there was banter and camaraderie among the other pea-pickers. If someone

had been looking in from the outside, they’d have said it was grossly
exploitative, and no doubt it was, but it was still lovely, and I tried to
get that across in Caravans.”

For her third book, she promises that there will be “no Ukrainians and no
vehicles”. She is coy about what will be in it. “It’s about anger and hate,
and I’m looking at Israel and Palestine quite a lot. But I don’t want to say
too much.”
               REDISCOVERED HER FAMILY IN UKRAINE
One by-product of Tractors is that she rediscovered her family in Ukraine.
She travelled to the country for the first time in 2005, met her mother’s
sister and played her the tape she had made with her mother before her
death.

“Her sister was quite a bit younger than my mother and they had lost
contact,” she says. “She hadn’t heard anything of her or from her for 62
years, and then, suddenly, there was this tape of my mother speaking
Ukrainian and telling her everything that had happened.”

It is a pleasing irony that one language in which “A Short History of
Tractors in Ukrainian” has yet to appear is Ukrainian, though this is about
to be rectified and a visit from the Ukrainian translator is imminent.

Some Ukrainians were sniffy about the book, including the one who reviewed
it in the Guardian back in March 2005 and found it a “banal tale” that
crossed a “school textbook on Ukrainian history with . . . an episode of
Coronation Street.”

“It has taken me a while to understand why he hated it so much,” says
Lewycka, “but I think I do understand now. I’ve met a lot of Ukrainians
since then. Before I wrote it, I didn’t know many Ukrainian Ukrainians. I
knew a lot of Ukrainians who lived over here, and they all thought it was a
hoot.

The Ukrainian Ukrainians are quite self-conscious about Ukraine as a country
because it’s newly emerged on to the world stage. They always ask you what
people in the west think about Ukraine, and I think, ‘Gosh, what can I say?’
I can’t tell them that actually people in the west don’t think about Ukraine
at all.

So I make something up, and then, when Ukraine gets to be in the news, it’s
about an incontinent old man and a woman with enormous breasts, and
though they like the fact there’s a famous Ukrainian, they hate the fact
it’s for something like that”                             -30-
————————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://books.guardian.co.uk/hay2007/story/0,,2091741,00.html
————————————————————————————————-

NOTE: Subheadings inserted editorially by the AUR.
————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
14. AN APPEAL TO THE LEADERS OF THE G7

 
STATEMENT BY HUMAN RIGHTS LEADERS: Moscow, Russia
Andrew Grigorenko, General Petro Grigorenko Foundation
New York, New York, Friday, June 1, 2007
TO: Distinguished heads of states and governments of
the Italian Republic,
Canada,
the United Kingdom of Great Britain,
the Federal Republic of Germany,
the French Republic,
the United States of America,
and Japan!

On 6-8 June, within the framework of the annual Summit of the 8
largest industrially developed democracies of the world, you will be
meeting with Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation,
and – in accordance with the current Constitution of our country – the
guarantor of human and civil rights and liberties.

We call upon you to explicitly and unambiguously bring to the
attention of Mr Putin – your partner in diplomatic negotiations – your
concern about the gross, mass, and defiant violations of the most
fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms by the authorities
of the country they govern.

We call upon you to renounce the practice of “Realpolitik”, turning a
blind eye to an anti-democratic course in exchange for shifts of
position with respect to political and economic issues.

The experience of the Second World War and the confrontation with
totalitarianism has shown the vital importance of observing
fundamental human rights in order to ensure international security.
It is for this reason that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
was adopted in December of 1948.  The Helsinki Act, signed in August
of 1976, enshrined a most important principle – that governments do
not have the right to violate rights and liberties by pleading state
sovereignty.

It is precisely for this reason that we insist that the leaders of the
world’s largest democracies stress that the suppressions of democracy
and the repressions taking place in the Russian Federation today are
unacceptable to them.

The general directionality of the political evolution of the system of
power in Russia is ever more irreversibly approaching a point beyond
which is found an already openly authoritarian regime, run by persons
who have come from the special services and security structures.

We regard as critically dangerous for democracy in the whole world the
de facto liquidation of democracy in Russia, and specifically:

–  the creation of a managed court and law-enforcement system, which
creates unlimited opportunities for persecuting political and civic
activists, human rights advocates and their relatives (who in such a
manner are transformed into true hostages), for broad-scale
persecutions on political, ideological and ethnic grounds.  There
already exist dozens of persons in Russia who have been recognized as
victims of political repressions by human rights advocates;

 – the suppression of freedom of the press, and of the freedom of self-
expression more generally, the transformation of the principal mass
information media – first and foremost the nationwide television
channels – into an instrument of state propaganda, based on a cult of
the head of state and of military power;

 – torture, and inhuman and degrading treatment, are widely practiced
within the Russian penitentiary agency, and there exist special places
of confinement for torture – a “new GULAG Archipelago”.

We bring attention to the scandalous situation in connection with the
violation of the right of citizens of Russia to the freedom to conduct
rallies and meetings and to form associations.

This is:
 –  the unlawful prohibitions and barbarous dispersals of peaceful
demonstrations in Moscow (16 December 2006, 31 March, 14 April, 5
and 27 May 2007), in St. Petersburg (3 March and 15 April 2007) and in
Nizhny Novgorod (24 March and 27 April 2007), the persecutions of
participants in a rally in Samara on 18 May – that had been permitted
by the authorities – and the demonstratively mocking detainings of
those who were preparing to fly out to Samara;

 –  the mass persecution of hundreds of civic and political activists,
who were suspected of a desire to participate in “Marches of the
Discontented” and Social Forums.

We call upon you to:
–  seek the release of Russian prisoners persecuted on political
grounds – those convicted in the YUKOS case, the Chechen woman
Zara Murtazaliyeva, the political essayist Boris Stomakhin and – as
indicated in a PACE resolution of 19 April – the scientists Igor
Sutyagin and Valentin Danilov and the lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin.

 – pay the most diligent attention to the use of charges of extremism
for the persecution of human rights advocates and opponents of the
regime;

 –  call upon the President of Russia not to violate the rights –
guaranteed by Russian legislation – of the participants in the
peaceful Marches of the Discontented planned for 9 (St. Petersburg)
and 11 June (Moscow), and to prevent new beatings and cruel
detainings of the demonstrators.
                                              
[1] Lyudmila Alekseyeva, Chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group,
Foundation In Defence of Rights of Inmates
[2] Elena Bonner, human rights advocate
[3] Sergei Kovalev, President, Human Rights Institute
[4] Lev Ponomarev, All-Russia Public Movement “For Human Rights”
[5] Yuli Rybakov, human rights advocate,

member of the Bureau of Yabloko party
[6] Yuri Samodurov, Director of the Andrey Sakharov Museum
and Public Centre
[7] Clergyman Gleb Yakunin, Public Committee In Defence of
Freedom of Conscience
[8] Alla Gerber, Holocaust Foundation
[9] Ernst Cherny, Coalition “Environmental Biology and Human Rights”
[10] Yelena Grishina, Director of Public Information Centre
[11] Boris Vishnevsky, Novaya Gazeta columnist,
member of the Bureau of Yabloko party
[12] Mikhail Gorny, The St. Petersburg Strategy Centre
[13] Andrei Buzin, Chair of Inter-Regional Association of Voters
[14] Vladimir Oyvin, “Glasnost” Foundation
[15] Antuan Arakelyan, Chair of the Saint-Petersburg Intersectoral
Coalition “Dialogue and Cause”
[16] Alexander Vinnikov, Movement “For Russia without Racism”
[17] Sergey Sorokin, Movement against Violence
[18] Eduard Murzin, member of the State Assembly of Bashkiria
[19] Vadim Belotserkovsky, author, human rights advocate
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
15.  RIVNE REGIONAL COUNCIL ASKS YUSHCHENKO TO ASSIGN
 POSTHUMOUSLY HERO OF UKRAINE TITLE TO UPA COMMANDER
            SHUKHEVYCH AND UNR DIRECTORY HEAD PETLIURA 

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, May 31, 2007

KYIV- The May 25 meeting of the Rivne region council session has asked
President Viktor Yuschenko to assign posthumously the Hero of Ukraine
title to commander in chief of the Ukrainian Rebel Army (UPA) Roman
Shukhevych and head of the directory of Ukrainian People’s Republic
(UNR) Symon Petliura.

This follows from the resolution of the session, the text of which Ukrainian
News obtained.

‘… assigning of the Hero of Ukraine title commemorates the heroic deed in
fight for freedom of Ukrainian nation on the occasion of the 65th
anniversary of UPA foundation…,’ reads the address.

Deputies also ask the President to assign the Hero of Ukraine title to
commander of UPA Poliska Sich Taras Borovets (Bulba) and commander
in chief of UPA Sever Dmytro Kliachkovskyi (known as Klym Savura).
As Ukrainian News reported, in May Lviv regional council initiated assigning
posthumously of the Hero of Ukraine title to Roman Shukhevych. In March
the Volyn regional council addressed the President with the similar request.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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16. RUSSIA: GAZPROM HONES ITS STRATEGY ON UKRAINE

By Roman Kupchinsky, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, May 30, 2007

PRAGUE – Valery Golubev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s state-controlled
gas monopoly Gazprom’s Management Committee, said in April that the price of
gas charged by Gazprom to Ukraine will depend on how closely the economies
of both countries are prepared to cooperate, the Ukrainian website proUA.com
reported.

“If politicians make a decision to establish closer economic ties between
our countries, this will guarantee lower gas prices.

However, if the politicians decide to separate these ties, then the price of
gas for Ukraine will be same as for Germany. Does Ukraine really want this?
I want to stress that Russia does not need this,” Golubev said.

This explanation of pricing for gas sold to Ukraine is different from
previous explanations provided by Gazprom managers and by Russian President
Vladimir Putin. Such explanations have emphasized that Russia is striving to
stop subsidizing gas sales to Ukraine.

“We have subsidized the Ukrainian economy with low gas prices for a decade
and we intend to end this practice,” Putin said in January 2007. Putin
didn’t mention, however, that Ukraine buys mostly Turkmen, rather than
Russian gas.
                                             GAS BASKET
The present price Ukraine pays for gas was negotiated in early 2007 and was
based upon the January 2006 agreement whereby Gazprom agreed to a price

for a “basket” of Turkmen, Kazakh, and Russian gas.

Ukraine wound up paying $95 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas in 2006 and $130
in 2007, when Turkmenistan raised the gas price for Gazprom to $100 per
1,000 cubic meters.

Does Golubev’s statement reflect the future of energy relations between
Ukraine and Russia?

As of 2007, Ukraine does not buy any Russian gas — it only imports 50
billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas.

Turkmenistan sells this gas to a Gazprom subsidiary company Gazexport for
$100 per 1,000 cubic meters. Gazexport then resells it to RosUkrEnergo, a
middleman with headquarters in Switzerland, which resells it to a joint
venture company, UkrGazEnergo, at the Russian-Ukrainian border. It is then
sold on to Ukrainian domestic and industrial consumers.

If Gazprom should suddenly determine that the economies of the two countries
are not “close enough,” it could raise prices. But buying Turkmen gas for
$100 and reselling it to Ukraine at the market price of $250-270 could be
risky.

Such price speculation could upset the Turkmen leadership, which
traditionally has insisted that Gazprom not engage in such deals.
Turkmenistan would then most likely be forced to raise the price it charges
Gazprom to world market levels.
                                      TRUNK PIPELINES
Golubev’s comments raise another question: who is empowered to decide

when “closer economic ties” between Ukraine and Russia reach the point of
closeness that qualifies Ukraine for a substantial gas-price reduction?

Any price reduction that Russia might give to Ukraine would be, in effect, a
very expensive subsidy. Russian politicians and the Finance Ministry might
be hard-pressed to accept such an arrangement.

Golubev could well be disguising Gazprom’s long-standing efforts to obtain a
controlling share in the Ukrainian trunk gas pipeline by talking about
“economic closeness” in return for cheap gas.

This was the tactic used in Belarus and in Armenia where Moscow was intent
on initially gaining part and ultimately, a controlling stake in the
pipelines.

The question remains: is Gazprom willing to sacrifice billions of dollars in
subsidies in return for control over the pipeline?

During his visit to Moscow in April, according to the RIA Novosti news
agency, the newly elected Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov’s
said he would honor the 25-year contract signed with Gazprom in 2003 to
supply Russia with the lion’s share of Turkmen gas — at the same time,
however, Berdymukhammedov was very vague about the price he would charge
Gazprom for this gas.

Why, many ask, should Turkmenistan sell its gas to Gazprom at prices far
below world prices?

At this time Kazakhstan, according to RIA Novosti, began threatening to
raise its price for gas from $100 to $160 per 1,000 cubic meters and the
Turkmen leadership was reportedly contemplating a similar price increase.
Central Asian gas producers have said that in two years they plan to charge
world prices for their gas.

If this were to take place, it would definitely increase the price Ukraine
pays for gas — unless Golubev’s formula for cheap gas is implemented.

In mid-May when Putin signed the agreement with Central Asian leaders to
build a new Caspian gas pipeline to export Central Asian gas to the West,
the price Turkmenistan would charge for its gas was not mentioned.

Interfax reported on May 14 that: “The price [for Turkmen gas] is to remain
unchanged until the end of 2009, but talks are to be carried through before
July 1, 2009, on changing it under long-term deals by bringing it into line
with European prices.”
                                         UKRAINE CRISIS
Golubev’s remarks were by and large ignored by the Ukrainian media, which
was consumed with the current confrontation between President Viktor
Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Yanukovych, who favors close political and economic ties with Russia, is
seen as the beneficiary of Golubev’s remarks. But does his business
constituency agree with this?

The Industrial Union of Donbas, one of the most powerful business groupings
in Ukraine, has had a separate gas-purchasing agreement with Kazakhstan for
many years.

Golubev has not been a visible participant in the Ukrainian-Russian gas
discussions till now, but given his background he seems to enjoy powerful
support from the Kremlin.

A former KGB officer, Golubev worked in the St. Petersburg mayor’s office
when Vladimir Putin and Aleksei Miller, the present head of Gazprom, worked
there.

In February 2003, he became a member of Gazprom’s management committee

and in November 2006 became its deputy chairman replacing Aleksandr
Riazanov who had been fired.

Golubev’s responsibility at Gazprom is the CIS market for Russian gas sales,
one of the most sensitive jobs in Gazprom.

His pronouncements about a vague gas-pricing scheme for Ukraine could be

an indication that the Kremlin is intent on trying to use a scare tactic in
order to bring Ukraine closer into the Russian fold at the same time helping
to further Putin’s long-standing support for Yanukovych.

Golubev’s attempt to promote this new “carrot-stick” scheme, despite his
unrealistic arguments, could mean that Gazprom is trying to both influence
Ukrainians to support Yanukovych in return for cheap gas and maneuver
Ukraine into abandoning or sharing its control over the largest single gas
pipeline for Russian gas to the EU.                          -30-
—————————————————————————————————–
http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2007/05/a6452202-a170-421b-8c96-ee204475810b.html

—————————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
17. RUSSIAN LANGUAGE IMPORTANT FOR ENRICHMENT OF
             PEOPLE WORLD OVER SAYS FOREIGN MINISTRY

ITAR-TASS, Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 28, 2007

MOSCOW – Russia that defends the position of the Russian language is

looking upon it as a factor of unification and enrichment of people and
cultures of different countries, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Mikhail
Kamynin declared on the eve of a conference on the status of the Russian
language abroad.

Intellectual losses caused by cutting off foreign countries from one of the
universal languages and such a world center as Russia seem unnecessary, the
diplomat said.

The Moscow conference occupies a special place in a series of events
organized in connection with the Year of the Russian language, Kamynin said.
It will be the biggest and most representative in a series of similar
conferences organized in the CIS and the Baltic states.

The conference will offer an opportunity to compatriots to exchange opinions
on the status of the Russian language in countries where they live and
formulate recommendations to Russian state structures, the diplomat said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who chairs the governmental
commission for the affairs of compatriots abroad will open the forum and
First Vice-Premier Dmitry Medvedev, Chairman of the organizing committee

of the Year of the Russian language festival, will deliver the main report at
the conference. A total of 53 delegates will arrive from all former Soviet
republics to attend the forum, Kamynin said.

In recent years, the number of the Russian-speaking population has slowly
declined in a number of “near aboard” countries, but at the same time it
went up in certain foreign countries.

The number of the Russian-speaking population in Kazakhstan and Ukraine

is more than 30 percent. In Latvia and Estonia – around 30 percent.

Ethnic Russians account for more than ten percent of the population in
Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova, and the Russian-speaking population
makes up 5-10 percent in Uzbekistan and Lithuania, Kamynin said.

There are 1.5 million Russian-speaking people living in Israel, around 3.5
million – in Germany and around three million in the United States. Most of
the Russian-speaking population of these countries are people who emigrated
from Russia on the wave of the 1990s, Kamynin said.            -30-

———————————————————————————————–
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