AUR#852 Jun 11 London Stock Exchange; Pepsi Spends $542 Million; Mittal To Spend $1.5 Billion; How To Avoid A New Cold War; Russian ‘Danger’;

                 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       

                     By Zbigniew Brzezinski, TIME magazine (Article 12)
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer

               –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
            Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
   Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
            The Ferrexpo float will be the first full UK listing for a company
                                    from the former Soviet republic.

Jonathan Russell and Iain Dey, Sunday Telegraph
London, United Kingdom, Sunday, June 10, 2007

                        JUICE COMPANY SANDORA IN UKRAINE
WebWire, Saturday, June 9, 2007

                             STEEL MILL IN NEXT FOUR YEARS
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Jun 10, 2007


By Julia Chan, Banking Business Review
London, United Kingdom, Friday, 8th June 2007

Ukrainian Times, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, June 11, 2007

                   Opens large service facilities for Volvo trucks in Odessa
Business-Traveler.EU, Dusseldorf, Germany, Friday, May 25, 2007

                               VISTA AND OFFICE SYSTEM 2007
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 22, 2007


                    RESTAURANTS FROM 57 TO 100 BY  2012-2014 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 24, 2007

               Provides Independent Forecasts and Competitive Intelligence

                      on Ukraine’s Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Industry
Business Wire, Dublin, Ireland, Friday, June 1, 2007

                                KYIV DISTRICTS BY SEPTEMBER
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, June 2, 2007

                             IN UKRAINE’S LEASING INDUSTRY
International Finance Corporation (IFC), Kyiv, Ukraine, Fri, June 8, 2007

12.                        HOW TO AVOID A NEW COLD WAR
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Zbigniew Brzezinski
TIME magazine, New York, NY, Thursday, Jun. 07, 2007

13.                        UKRAINE’S UNFULFILLED PROMISE
EDITORIAL: Toledo Blade, Toledo, Ohio, Sunday, June 10, 2007

14.                   UKRAINE HITS OUT AT RUSSIAN ‘DANGER’
By Stefan Wagstyl and Roman Olearchyk
Financial Times, London, UK, Sunday, June 10 2007

                        Economist’s Moscow correspondent tours Ukraine
Correspondent’s Dairy: From
London, United Kingdom Friday, Jun 8th 2007

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: by Mykola Rubanets, for UP
Original article in Ukrainian, translated by Anna Platonenko
Ukrayinska Pravda (UP), Kyiv, Ukraine,  Saturday, June 9, 2007

                                    TWO POSSIBLE SCENARIOS
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: by Viktor Chyvokunya, UP
Original article in Ukrainian, Translated by Eugene Ivantsov
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, June 9, 2007

                     Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday-Wednesday June 11-13, 2007
News Release: Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic Future
New York, New York, Kyiv, Ukraine, June 2007

                                      INTRIGUING BIOLOGISTS 

The Associated Press, Parishev, Ukraine, Friday, June 8, 2007

Thomas Keating, East Valley Tribune, Phoenix, Arizona, Sat, June 9, 2007

Frank Scheck, Reuters/Hollywood Reporter, New York, NY, Fri, Jun 8, 2007 
22.                                     SCHOOL OF HATRED
                                    Galaciaphobia: Myths and Facts
By Oleh BAHAM, Expert at the Mohyla School of Journalism
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 5, 2007
            The Ferrexpo float will be the first full UK listing for a company
                                    from the former Soviet republic.

Jonathan Russell and Iain Dey, Sunday Telegraph
London, United Kingdom, Sunday, June 10, 2007

Ferrexpo, a Ukrainian iron ore giant, will this week brave volatile markets
to press ahead with its £1bn-plus flotation on London’s main market. The
float will be the first full UK listing for a company from the former Soviet

Konstantin Zhevago, the Ukrainian oligarch who owns the company, plans to
raise $500m (£254m) by selling a quarter of his holding. Ferrexpo controls
the world’s fourth-largest iron ore reserves and the biggest deposits in
Europe at its Poltava mine.

JPMorgan Cazenove, the company’s sponsor, has set a price range valuing
Ferrexpo at between $1.4bn and $1.8bn. It will be fixed this Friday and
trading in the shares should start on Monday. “People are interested but
they will try and get it as cheaply as possible,” said one potential

Shares in world markets tumbled last week on the back of concerns of rising
interest rates. The FTSE100 closed the week 2.6 per cent lower while the
FTSE250 of mid-market stocks experienced its worst week of trading since
May 2002, tumbling by 5 per cent over the five days.

Despite the sharp falls, leading strategists said they remained bullish
about the general state of the economy.

Bernd Meyer, the head of pan-European equity strategy at Deutsche Bank,
said: “We have to differentiate between short term and long term. Our view
of the economy is quite bullish. The current cycle cannot be compared with
anything we have seen in the past 20 years.

“It should be compared with the 1950s and early 1960s when the rebuilding of
the infrastructure in Germany mirrored the current growth in infrastructure
in China. Germany kept its currency low by buying gold just as China is
buying Treasury Bonds now.

“The growth in the 1950s only ended when there was no unemployment in
Germany. In China the World Bank expects the rate of urbanisation to keep
wage inflation under control. The IMF expects global growth to continue at 5
per cent for the next three years. Although there are risks we think it will
be at least five years before inflation becomes an issue.”

Binit Patel, a Goldman Sachs economist, said: “The markets are readjusting
to a new level of yields. Markets have to adjust when interest rates go up.

The big event will be the publication of consumer price index numbers in the
US. It will be a big focus for bond and equity markets. If the news is
fairly benign a lot of tension will come out of the markets. We need to see
pressure coming off interest rates.”

Other companies are also planning to float in the coming weeks. Cardsave, a
supplier of credit card terminals to small retailers, is poised for an £80m
listing on Aim. Fox-Pitt Kelton is expected to begin marketing the company
to investors later this week.

It is looking to raise £40m-£50m of new money, to allow a partial exit for
its private equity backers, RJD Partners. It is understood that the company
believes the turmoil in the markets will not derail the plans, with a
listing planned for the middle of July.

Jim Ormonde, the Cardsave chief executive and a former BBC journalist, is
also trimming his holding, landing a multi-million pound windfall.

In Europe, Shurgard, a storage company, is preparing to float on Euronext
for Euro600m (£408m). The company owns 167 units in seven European

countries, including the UK. Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Credit
Suisse started marketing on Friday.

Others remain cautious. “Although markets are at an all-time high they are
choppy, and the sentiment for floats is really not there. Large ones are
either being repriced or pulled,” said one senior banker.           -30-

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

WebWire, Saturday, June 9, 2007

PepsiAmericas, Inc. (NYSE: PAS) and PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) today
announced that they have reached an agreement to jointly acquire 80
percent of Sandora, LLC (“Sandora”), the leading juice company in Ukraine.

 The acquisition, for a total purchase price of $542 million plus assumed
debt, provides PepsiAmericas and PepsiCo a strong platform for growth in
the emerging Ukrainian market.

Ukraine is one of the fastest growing beverage markets in Europe with more
than 46 million consumers. Sandora has established itself as the leader in
the high growth juice category with a range of distinctly positioned brands
that represent approximately half of the total juice volume consumed in

With over 3,500 employees, Sandora has a powerful sales and distribution
organization and two modern production facilities located in Nikolaev.

“We’re excited to extend our strong partnership with PepsiCo to create a new
model for beverage growth in Ukraine,” said Robert C. Pohlad, Chairman and
Chief Executive Officer of PepsiAmericas. “We have a clear strategy to grow
through the expansion of our international business and Sandora is a great

It provides immediate scale in a high growth market and a strong business
platform to leverage and expand into other categories. Ukraine’s emerging
economy and beverage market, coupled with Sandora’s strong brands and
distribution capabilities, provide significant growth potential.”

“Our expansion into Ukraine adds another important contiguous market to
our international portfolio, following Romania last year,” said Kenneth E.
Keiser, President and Chief Operating Officer of PepsiAmericas. “This
acquisition will allow us to further leverage our capabilities,
infrastructure and go-to-market system.”

“Sandora’s market-leading brands will be a wonderful addition to our
portfolio,” said Michael White, vice chairman of PepsiCo and chief executive
officer of PepsiCo International. “We look forward to working in partnership
with the Sandora team and to continuing to serve consumers throughout

PepsiAmericas and PepsiCo will acquire 80 percent of Sandora through a
new joint venture in which PepsiAmericas will hold a 60 percent interest.

Leveraging the capabilities and experience of the Sandora team,
PepsiAmericas will manage the day-to-day operations of the business, while
PepsiCo will oversee the brand development. The joint venture expects to
acquire the remaining 20 percent interest in Sandora in November 2007.

The transaction, expected to close in the third quarter of 2007, is subject
to customary regulatory approvals. PepsiAmericas will consolidate the joint
venture into its financial results. PepsiCo will recognize the earnings of
the joint venture as equity income in PepsiCo International’s line of

While PepsiAmericas expects the acquisition to be $0.02 to $0.03 dilutive in
2007, PepsiAmericas maintains its full year adjusted earnings per share
outlook of $1.35 to $1.40.

PepsiAmericas expects the transaction to be $0.01 accretive to earnings per
share in 2008. The transaction will have no impact on PepsiCo’s previously
announced earnings per share guidance for 2007.                -30

AUR FOOTNOTE: Speaking in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine Sandora
confirmed the deal, saying that detailed information would be announced
on June 11.
The man stockholders of Sandora Ltd. are citizens of Lithuania Igor Bezzub
and Raimondas Tumenas, each of whom have a 45% stake, and who in 1995
provided the starting capital to realize a business idea of Serhiy Sypko,
professor of the Mykolaiv shipbuilding plant. At present, Sypko is Sandora’s
director general. He owns a 10% stake in the company.
Sandora’s share on Ukraine’s juice market is estimated at 47%.   
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Jun 10, 2007

KRYVYI  RIH – The world’s largest steel firm Arcelor  Mittal  is to
invest $1.5 billion in the coming four years in the reconstruction  of
the Mittal  Steel Kryvyi Rih steel mill, the mill’s General Director
Narendra Chaudhary told reporters.

Loans  from  the  European  Bank for Reconstruction and Development
will account  for  a  relatively  small  share in overall investment, he

Under  the  business  plan, $277 million will be put into the steel
mill’s retooling in 2007, he said.

Volodymyr  Sheremet,  the  steel  mill’s production chief, said the
shareholders  planned to build a sinter plant with an annual capacity
of 9 million tonnes.

“Building a sinter plant is tantamount to building an entire mill,”
Sheremet said. The sinter plant currently in operation will be shut
down after the new one is put into operation,” he added.

Mittal  Steel  Kryvyi  Rih,  formerly  Kryvorizhstal,  is Ukraine’s
largest  steel  enterprise  with  an  annual  capacity of over 6 million
tonnes of  rolled  stock,  about  7 million tonnes of steel and over 7.8
million tonnes of pig iron.                             -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


By Julia Chan, Banking Business Review
London, United Kingdom, Friday, 8th June 2007

LONDON – French insurance giant AXA and French banking group BNP

Paribas have reached an agreement to establish a partnership in the Ukrainian
property and casualty insurance market.

Under the terms of the agreement, AXA will acquire a 50% stake in BNP
Paribas’ insurance subsidiary Ukrainian Insurance Alliance (UIA). The 50%
shareholding will be purchased from BNP Paribas’ subsidiary UkrSibbank.

As a result, AXA will take the management control of the joint company,
which will benefit from an exclusive bancassurance distribution agreement
with UkrSibbank for an initial period of 10 years.

UIA is primarily engaged in selling individual motor and property insurance
through UkrSibbank’s 1,000 branches. In 2006, it more than doubled its
revenues compared to the previous year to $35 million.

This partnership will allow both companies to grow faster in the Ukrainian
property and casualty insurance market.

In addition, UIA will be well positioned to seize the growth prospects of
the Ukrainian market by combining the strength of UkrSibbank’s network
and AXA’s expertise in insurance product development, client service and
claims management.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals but is expected to close
by the end of 2007.                                -30-

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Ukrainian Times, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, June 11, 2007

Geneva – Forty Ukrainian companies have been shortlisted to become members
of the World Economic Forum’s Community of Global Growth Companies.

A select group of Global Growth Companies such as KINTO, Infocom,

VABank, Ukrainian Cargo Couriers and others have been invited to a private
networking event organized in collaboration with the American Chamber of
Commerce in Ukraine on June 12.

The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the role of this new business
community and, particularly, how Ukrainian companies can benefit from it.

The Community of Global Growth Companies includes companies that: – are
established and expanding outside their traditional boundaries; – experience
growth rates exceeding 15% year-on-year; – have revenues typically between
$100 million and $2 billion; – are proven entrepreneurial companies in the
early stages of going global; – demonstrate strength in a particular niche.

On September 6-8, the World Economic Forum (WEF) will bring together in
Dalian, China, this new generation of companies that will fundamentally
change the global competitive landscape.

These are the Microsofts, Googles, Nestles and Siemens of tomorrow, the
companies, which are yet small compared with today’s multinationals, but
have the potential to join the global top-500 companies within the next

In this context, Peter Torreele, Managing Director of the World Economic
Forum, sees Ukraine as a country with huge potential for Global Growth
Companies: “Ukraine, being one of the largest countries in Europe, with
tremendous industrial and intellectual potential, will definitely advance
its position in the global markets in the nearest future.

I see Ukrainian Global Growth Companies as a locomotive for this process;
these companies will demand access to the global business community,
international networking and strategic insights on foreign markets. I hope
that our new initiative will be the optimal solution for them.”

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                  Opens large service facilities for Volvo trucks in Odessa

Business-Traveler.EU, Dusseldorf, Germany, Friday, May 25, 2007

In 2006 Volvo truck deliveries increased by 62 percent in the Ukranian
market compared to the previous year, putting Volvo in the lead among
importers of trucks in the Ukraine.

By opening large service facilities in Odessa, Volvo Trucks is taking
long-term steps to further increase its presence in the country.

“Due to the strong economic growth in the region and growing trade between
East and West the need for truck transport is increasing,” says Roger Alm,
director Region East at Volvo Trucks.

“We plan to develop our presence in the Ukraine and chose to locate our new
Truck Center in Odessa. We believe it will be an important business region
and serve as a hub for transportation between East and West.”

With the new Truck Center, Volvo Trucks is now in a position to offer its
customers in the Odessa region total transport solutions including workshop
and financial services, as well as sales of trucks and spare parts.

Volvo Trucks has operated in the Ukraine since 1996 and has one wholly-owned
Volvo Truck Center in Kiev as well as five workshops in its dealer network.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 22, 2007

KYIV – Microsoft Corporation has introduced its Ukrainian-language Windows
Vista operating system and Office System 2007 software to the Ukrainian
market. Microsoft Ukraine director general Valerii Lanovenko announced this
at a press conference.

He said the process of localization of these products started almost two
years and a half ago, and there has been some difficulties in translation as
350 new terms are in use in the new products in all.

‘On the one hand, sometimes the notions simply do not exist in Ukrainian,
sometimes they do, but cannot be used in the IT industry in relation to IT

Besides the need to choose the required term that suits some particular
function or situation best of all, the task, of course, was to retain the
original sense of the code itself and messages viewed by users,’ Lanovenko

The Ukrainian and Russian version of the products are offered at the same
price and, as Microsoft Ukraine product marketing manager Yurii Pederii
said, at the moment the products are available in the network of the company
partners and will appear in retail sale within a month.

Lanovenko noted that Ukrainian-language products will be at first more
popular with the government agencies and education establishments.

During the process of product localization, the corporation has been in
cooperation with the Ukrainian government agencies in charge of terminology,
and representatives of the Ukrainian academic sector, which in the end
allowed for building a unified database of terms.

The working group that translated and adjusted Windows Vista Office System
2007 consisted of representatives of the Microsoft office in Ukraine and the
company head office, several contractors and government organizations.

Volodymyr Sharov, head of the Intel representative office, said Intel
products on the basis of Intel Core micro-architecture and Windows Vista
operating system were released nearly at the same time.

With the advent of the localized version of Windows Vista and Office System
2007, Ukrainian users can obtain up-to-date systems on the basis of Intel
Core 2 Duo processors which will fully change their idea of interface,
digital entertainment technologies and multi-task operation capacities.

Volodymyr Bolotnykov, marketing manager at IT Samsung Electronics Ukraine,
said that his corporation began the production of new line-up of notebooks
in line with recent market trends.

‘Besides the powerful Intel Core 2 Duo processor, notebooks have ATI Radeon
Xpress 1250 graphic cards of new generation and work properly under the
guidance of Windows Vista Premium operating system,’ Bolotnykov said.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Microsoft Corporation put on sale for
private clients in Ukraine its new Windows Vista operation system and Office
System 2007 software on January 30, and on general sale on January 31.

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             RESTAURANTS FROM 57 TO 100 BY 2012-2014 

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 24, 2007

KYIV – McDonald’s Ukraine company intends to increase number of restaurants
from 57 to 100 by 2012-2014. McDonald’s Ukraine director general Ihor Delov
disclosed this to Ukrainian News. “In 5-7 years, we will increase the number
of restaurants to 100,” he said.

Delov marked that this year, it is planned to open four restaurants, and at
least five in 2008. He said that average cost of opening one McDonald’s
restaurant in Ukraine is about USD 1.5 million.

McDonald’s president for Eastern Europe Khamzat Khazbulatov said that
currently, the market share of the company is only 50%.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, in 2007, McDonald’s Ukraine plans to
invest about UAH 38 million into development of its chain.

In 2006, McDonald’s Ukraine opened three restaurants in Kyiv, Lviv and
Dnipropetrovsk. Currently, McDonald’s Ukraine chain consists of 57
restaurants in 16 large cities. McDonald’s has worked in Ukraine since 1997
and is the world’s fast food leader.                       -30-

FOOTNOTE: It seems to me 100 restaurants was the same goal that
was announced by McDonald’s in 1997 when they opened in Ukraine
and the goal to open 100 restaurants was, I think, in 10 years or less. 
If this is correct then McDonald’s is behind their original projections. 
I attended the opening of the first two McDonald’s in Kyiv in 1997. 
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                Provides Independent Forecasts and Competitive Intelligence
                      on Ukraine’s Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Industry
Business Wire, Dublin, Ireland, Friday, June 1, 2007

DUBLIN, Ireland – Research and Markets has announced the addition of
“Ukraine Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report Q4 2006” to their offering.

Ukraine’s pharmaceutical market continues to grow rapidly in value terms.
Estimates by Russian market research agency RMBC indicate that Ukraine’s
packaged pharmaceutical market grew 18% year-on-year (y-o-y) over the first
nine months of 2006. BMI predicts that the Ukrainian market will reach a
total retail value of US$1.94bn in 2006, growing to US$2.49bn by 2010.

The compound annual growth rate for the market is forecasted at 9.4% for the
period 2005 to 2010, making Ukraine one of the fastest growing markets in
Central and Eastern Europe.

Still, strong recent growth has failed to attract much direct investment in
the production sector as multinationals have preferred to invest in
production in the larger and comparatively more stable Russian market to the

Despite impressive market growth, the year 2006 also served to justify the
hesitation of investors in the pharmaceutical and broader healthcare sector
in Ukraine. The country’s government was essentially paralysed from mid-2005
to mid-2006, with President Viktor Yushchenko unable to force through a
working government until August.

With a cabinet headed by Yushchenko’s former arch rival and Party of Regions
chief Viktor Yanukovich, the government seemed to creep back to life for
much of Q406, only to descend again into conflict in December.

The result of this instability has been reflected in the pharmaceutical
market, where a number of decrees have been promulgated and plans

announced only for deadlines to slip and implementation postponed.

One major example is a decree published by the previous caretaker government
at the beginning of 2006 that called for a ‘Plan of Development’ for the
domestic pharmaceuticals industry. There is little sign that this plan has been
implemented, and it is not even clear if it still exists as a roadmap.
Large scale foreign investment is still notable by its almost complete
absence, however, notwithstanding relatively small investments by companies
such as Bioton (Poland) in insulin maker Indar and a packaging plant built
by Gedeon Richter (Hungary).

Rather, strong market players are leading the consolidation process in the
domestic market with Darnitsa, Arterium and Borshchagovsky topping the
domestic sector.

Foreign players will likely stay on the sidelines, waiting to see if
Ukraine’s economy continues to defy the odds and grow steadily despite

the prospect of further large price hikes on gas imposed by Russia.

Ukraine’s mixed picture translates into a continued 10th place rating among
the 14 CEE major pharmaceutical markets featured in the Q406 Business
Environment Rankings.

Without some clear direction by government aimed at simplifying and
speeding procedures and dealing with corruption and counterfeiting, the
country will remain a secondary market in many ways.  Such robust action
by the government is, however, unlikely in the foreseeable future.

Companies Mentioned:
— Arterium; Gedeon Richter; Krka; Lek (Novartis/Sandoz)

Contact: Research and Markets, Laura Wood, Senior Manager; Fax: +353 1 4100 980
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                                KYIV DISTRICTS BY SEPTEMBER

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, June 2, 2007

KYIV – The Kyiv largest cable TV operator Volia company intends to

introduce digital broadcasting for its subscribers in Kyiv Obolonskyi,
Kharkivskyi and Troeschynskyi districts instead of analog broadcasting by
September. Volia company president Serhii Boiko disclosed this at a press

At the same time, the company plans to monthly transfer about 28,000
subscribers from analog broadcasting to digital one.

Boiko has also marked that the level of digital broadcasting penetration is
quite high in those districts.

“These three districts… may have 20% of all subscribers, who use analog

TV broadcasting, all other use digital one,” Boiko said.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Volia company provides analogue cable
television broadcasting services under the brand name Volia Cable, digital
television broadcasting services under the brand name Volia Premium TV, and
Internet access via cable networks under the Volia Broadband trademark.

Volia group of companies is owned by the Ukrainian Growth Fund (UGF),
which is managed by SigmaBleyzer international company.            -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

                        IN UKRAINE’S LEASING INDUSTRY

International Finance Corporation (IFC), Kyiv, Ukraine, Fri, June 8, 2007

KYIV, Ukraine – IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group,
today released the results of a survey on Ukraine’s leasing industry that
highlight growth in the sector and indicate expansion of the nation’s
financial markets.

The survey reveals that challenges remain, including the relatively high
cost of leasing, which prevents some businesses from accessing this option
to upgrade equipment or expand production.

This study is the third annual survey conducted by the IFC Ukraine Leasing
Development Project, with support from the Agency for International
Business and Cooperation, part of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The results, which assessed performance during the year 2005-2006, are
based on responses from 60 leasing companies.

Findings indicate that demand for leasing services as an alternative
financial instrument has grown significantly in Ukraine:  the total value of
the leasing portfolio expanded by more than 108 percent, while the number
of leasing companies in operation increased by 20 percent.

The leasing industry is stabilizing and supporting an increasing number of
jobs, long-term contracts are on the rise, and industry employment grew 50
percent during the period.

Several factors are contributing to this growth, such as increased interest
in leasing from foreign-owned banks entering the market, growing public
awareness, rapid development of Ukraine’s financial markets, and improved
access to credit.

While the potential for growth remains high, the survey finds that there are
still many obstacles. Issues to be addressed include changes in the tax code
to make leasing a more viable option for businesses, and the absence of
credit bureaus and a well-developed secondary asset market.

At a roundtable discussion to present the findings, Ernst Mehrengs, IFC
Project Manager, said, “Leasing is an effective mechanism for the
replacement of equipment, increasing sales volumes of equipment producers,
encouraging technological progress in the design of equipment, and creating
new employment opportunities.”

Mehrengs noted that the government’s recent effort to amend the national tax
code with incentives for leasing is an additional step in the right
direction. “If the draft of the amended tax code is approved, leasing will
become less expensive for the lessee, thus increasing overall demand for
leasing products and benefiting the overall economy,” he said.
                                            ABOUT IFC
IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes open and
competitive markets in developing countries.  IFC supports sustainable
private sector companies and other partners in generating productive jobs
and delivering basic services, so that people have opportunities to escape
poverty and improve their lives.

Through FY06, IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion
in funding for private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25
billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries.

IFC Advisory Services and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion
in program support to build small enterprises, to accelerate private
participation in infrastructure, to improve the business enabling
environment, to increase access to finance, and to strengthen environmental
and social sustainability. For more information, please visit
                         BUSINESS AND COOPERATION
The Agency for International Business and Cooperation is part of the Dutch
Ministry of Economic Affairs.  Its mission is to promote and encourage
international business and international cooperation.

As a government agency and a partner with businesses and public sector
organizations, its goal is to help public and private institutions achieve
success in their international operations.

A growing number of organizations, government institutions, and companies
have come to rely on the agency for information about foreign markets,
governments, and trade and industry. It develops products and services that
meet the needs of its customers and clients.

Information comes from its network of Dutch and international organizations,
which include international finance institutions, the European Commission,
embassies, chambers of commerce, local business support offices, trade
representative associations, and other trade and industry groups.  For more
information, please visit

In Moscow: Ilya Sverdlov; Tel +7495-411-7555; E-mail:
In Kyiv: Andriy Gulay; Tel +380-44-490-6400; E-mail:
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ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Zbigniew Brzezinski
TIME magazine, New York, NY, Thursday, Jun. 07, 2007

America’s relationship with Russia is on a downward slide. President
Vladimir Putin’s recent threat to retarget Russian missiles at some of
America’s European allies is just the latest flash point.

The elaborate charade of feigned friendship between Putin and President
George W. Bush, begun several years ago when Bush testified to the
alleged spiritual depth of his Russian counterpart’s soul, hasn’t helped.

The fact that similarly staged “friendships”–between F.D.R. and “Uncle
Joe” Stalin, Nixon and Brezhnev, Clinton and Yeltsin–ended in mutual
disappointment did not prevent Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from
boasting not long ago that U.S.-Russian relations were now the best in

Surely it would be preferable to achieve a genuine, sustainable improvement
before staging public theatrics designed to create the illusion that one has
taken place. It’s a lesson Bush should keep in mind in July, when Putin is
scheduled to visit the President in Kennebunkport, Maine.

There are many reasons for the chill but none greater than the regrettable
wars both nations have launched: Russia’s in Chechnya and the U.S.’s in

The wars have damaged prospects for what seemed attainable a decade and a
half ago: Russia and the U.S. genuinely engaged in collaboration based on
shared common values, spanning the old cold war dividing lines and thereby
enhancing global security and expanding the transatlantic community.

The war in Chechnya reversed the ambiguous trend toward democracy in
Russia.Mercilessly waged by Putin with extraordinary brutality, it not only
crushed a small nation long victimized by Russian and then Soviet
imperialism but also led to political repression and greater authoritarianism inside
Russia and fueled chauvinism among Russia’s people.

Putin exploited his success in stabilizing the chaotic post-Soviet society
by restoring central control over political life. The war in Chechnya became
his personal crusade, a testimonial to the restoration of Kremlin clout.

Since the beginning of that war, a new élite–the siloviki from the FSB (the
renamed KGB) and the subservient new economic oligarchs–has come to
dominate policymaking under Putin’s control.

This new élite embraces a strident nationalism as a substitute for communist
ideology while engaging in thinly veiled acts of violence against political

Putin almost sneeringly dismissed the murder of a leading Russian
journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, who exposed crimes against the Chechens.

Similarly, troubling British evidence of Russian involvement in the London
murder of an outspoken FSB defector produced little more than official
Russian ridicule. All the while, Russia’s mass media are facing ever growing
political restrictions.

It doubtless has not escaped the Kremlin’s attention that the West,
including the U.S., has remained largely silent. The Bush Administration
was indifferent to the slaughter in Chechnya, and after 9/11 it even tacitly
accepted Putin’s claim that in crushing the Chechens, he was serving as a
volunteer in Bush’s global “war on terror.”

The killing of journalist Politkovskaya and Putin’s dismissal of its import
similarly failed to temper the affectations of personal camaraderie between
the leaders in the White House and the Kremlin. For that matter, neither has
the general antidemocratic regression in Russia’s political life.

The apparent American indifference should not be attributed just to a moral
failure on the part of U.S. policymakers. Russia has gained impunity in part
because of the effects of America’s disastrous war in Iraq on U.S. foreign

Consider the fallout: Guantánamo has discredited America’s long-standing
international legitimacy; false claims of Iraqi WMD have destroyed U.S.
credibility; continuing chaos and violence in Iraq have diminished respect
for U.S. power.

America, as a result, has come to need Russia’s support on matters such as
North Korea and Iran to a far greater extent than it would if not for Iraq.

As a consequence, two dominant moods now motivate the Kremlin élite:
schadenfreude at the U.S.’s discomfort and a dangerous presumption that
Russia can do what it wishes, especially in its geopolitical backyard. The
first has led Moscow to take malicious slaps at America’s tarnished
superpower status, propelled by feel-good expectations of the U.S.’s further

One should not underestimate Russia’s resentment over the fall of the Soviet
Union (Putin has called it the greatest disaster of the 20th century) and
its hope that the U.S. will suffer the same fate.

Indeed, Kremlin strategists surely relish the thought of a U.S. deeply
bogged down not only in Iraq but also in a war with Iran, which would
trigger a dramatic spike in the price of oil, a commodity in plentiful
supply in Russia.

The second mood–that Russia has free rein to act as it pleases on the
international scene–is also ominous.

It has already tempted Moscow to intimidate newly independent Georgia;
reverse the gains of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine; wage aggressive
cyberwar against E.U. member Estonia after the Estonians dared to remove
from the center of their capital a monument celebrating Soviet domination of
their country; impose an oil embargo on Lithuania; monopolize international
access to the energy resources of Central Asia.

In all these cases, the U.S., consumed as it is by the war in Iraq, has been
rather passive. U.S. policy toward Russia has been more grandiloquent than

Despite the tensions, the uneasy state of the relationship need not augur a
renewed cold war. The longer-term trends simply do not favor the more
nostalgic dreams of the Kremlin rulers. For all of Russia’s economic
recovery, its prospects are uncertain.

Russia’s population is dramatically shrinking, even as its Asian neighbors
are growing and expanding their military and economic might. The glamour
of Moscow and the glitter of St. Petersburg cannot obscure the fact that
much of Russia still lacks a basic modern infrastructure.

Oil-rich Russia (its leaders refer to it as an “energy superstate”) in some
ways is reminiscent of Nigeria, as corruption and money laundering fritter
away a great deal of the country’s wealth.

To an extent, Russia can use its vast profits to get its way. But buying
influence, even in Washington (where money goes a long way), cannot match
the clout the Soviet Union once enjoyed as the beacon of an ideology with
broad international appeal.

In these circumstances, the U.S. should pursue a calm, strategic (and
nontheatrical) policy toward Moscow that will help ensure that a future,
more sober Kremlin leadership recognizes that a Russia linked more closely
to the U.S. and the E.U. will be more prosperous, more democratic and
territorially more secure.

The U.S. should avoid careless irritants, like its clumsily surfaced
initiative to deploy its missile defenses next door to Russia. And it should
not dismiss out of hand Moscow’s views on, for example, negotiations with
Iran, lest Russia see its interests better served by a U.S.-Iran war.

But the U.S. should react firmly when Russia tries to bully its neighbors.
America should insist that Russia ratify the European Energy Charter to
dispel fears of energy blackmail.

The U.S. should continue to patiently draw Ukraine into the West so that
Russia will have to follow suit or risk becoming isolated between the
Euro-Atlantic community and a powerful China.

And, above all, the U.S. should terminate its war in Iraq, which is so
damaging to America’s ability to conduct an intelligent and comprehensive
foreign policy.                                          -30-
NOTE: Zbigniew Brzezinski who served in the Carter Administration as

National Security Advisor, is author of “Second Chance: Three Presidents
and the Crisis of American Superpower”
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
         Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

EDITORIAL: Toledo Blade, Toledo, Ohio, Sunday, June 10, 2007

AMONG Eastern Europe’s large countries, the most consistent under-
performer since the demise of the Soviet Union has been Ukraine, which
is bogged down once again in a major intra-government scrap that stands
in the way of economic or any other progress.

With a population of 47 million, Ukraine is not only big but it also
benefits from having a lot of friends around the world, not the least of
which is the United States. America is home to many Ukrainian-Americans
who support aid to the country in consolidating its independence and
building up its economy.

Nonetheless, for a variety of reasons, some of them hard to justify, Ukraine
has lagged behind other Eastern European countries in moving forward to
take advantage of the opportunities open to it, in terms of political
development and in improving its prospects to join the European Union,
generally considered a positive step in that part of the world.

Instead, nasty political blood-letting continues unabated between rival
elements in Ukraine. The most recent round involves familiar names,
President Viktor A. Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor F. Yanukovich,
opponents in the 2004 presidential elections which featured, among other
examples of viciousness, an apparent attempt to kill Mr. Yushchenko by
poisoning. The incident left the president disfigured and close to death for
a while.

A fundamental problem appears to be divisions among Ukrainians based
on regions and languages. Rather than see these as splits in national unity
that need to be resolved for the country to move forward, Ukrainians
continue to dwell on their differences.

It is in part this problem that also contributes to the extensive corruption
that pervades the government, a considerable barrier to foreign aid and
investment, as well as to efforts on the part of domestic business people
and financiers to do something with the country’s considerable economic
resources. These include industry, agriculture, and mineral wealth.

Ukrainians also generally have the bad habit of blaming their problems on
the Russians. There is undoubtedly some truth to this, but rather than
seeing such outside influence as an obstacle to overcome by facing Russia
from a position of national unity, Ukrainians seem to play into the
Russians’ hands with their own political scrapping and wrangling.

What’s needed are early elections, free of the viciousness that has
characterized past voting. These could come in September.

Otherwise, Ukraine is doomed to the same sort of hapless non-development
that has characterized its first 16 years of renewed independence – a sad
loss to its people, as well as to the rest of Europe and the world that
awaits fulfillment of Ukraine’s considerable promise.         -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Stefan Wagstyl and Roman Olearchyk
Financial Times, London, UK, Sunday, June 10 2007

Russian political interference and the lack of transparency around energy
supplies coming mainly from Russia threaten Ukraine as it struggles with
serious political turmoil, the head of the security services in Kiev has

“We are a young country. For any country it is dangerous when domestic
politics is being interfered with by foreign sources,” said Valentyn
Nalyvaichenko, the acting chief of the SBU, the state security service, in
his first foreign media interview.

He also pointed to the dangers of corruption, weak institutions and a lack
of co-ordination in pursuing big criminal cases.

His remarks came as Ukraine is embroiled in a power struggle between
President Viktor Yushchenko and his rival, Viktor Yanukovich, the prime
minister, in which Moscow takes a keen interest.

A 41-year-old former diplomat and fluent English speaker, Mr Nalyvaichenko
said in the interview at the SBU’s imposing Kiev headquarters last week: “I
feel Ukraine’s independence and statehood should be protected from any
turmoil, domestic or external.”

The road to security lay in domestic reform and in improved co-operation
with foreign security services, including those of the US, EU states,
Israel, Russia and other neighbouring states, he argued.

While Mr Nalyvaichenko, who was picked for his post last year by the
president, was explicit about the danger of Russian interference in Ukraine,
he was careful to avoid pinning any blame on the Russian security services
or other state institution.

He singled out for comment recent anti-Nato demonstrations in Crimea, where
pro-Russian sentiments are strong and where the Russian Black Sea fleet is
based in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol.

There was no “domestic reason for such negative and active anti-Nato”
protests, said Mr Nalyvaichenko, who, like Mr Yushchenko, is a firm believer
in closer co-operation with Nato.

“Dangerous” slogans were being used in Crimea and “false information” such
as claims that Nato troops would be stationed in Ukraine.

“This is absolutely against the national interest of Ukraine. Using some
so-called pro-Russian organisation in Crimea, politicians – mostly
domestic – are exploiting this issue to boost their popularity,” he said.

The SBU chief indicated he was aware of finance coming from outside Ukraine
and said misusing political financing laws was “a little bit dangerous”.

Those who broke the rules would be prosecuted, he said, citing the example
of Proryv, the Kremlin-backed Russian nationalist youth group which had had
its Sevastopol office closed by a court order.

Donetska Respublika, a separatist grouping in eastern Ukraine, where many
Russia-oriented Ukrainians live, had also been taken to court.

Mr Nalyvaichenko also gave the example of Konstantin Zatulin, the
nationalist Russian MP, who was banned from Ukraine after making
inflammatory speeches.

As for energy security, the SBU chief said the key was greater transparency.
He promised that Russia and Ukraine would this summer provide greater
clarity about the natural gas trade in which the controversial Rosukrenergo
company plays a vital role.

“Ukraine and Russia should make this situation more transparent. [We need to
show] what the real prices are and what the real financial sources are here,
the flowing of money, and risks of dirty money and money laundering. To

know the real situation, the real operators, the real deal, is key.”

The SBU chief complained about the lack of co-operation between state
agencies, saying this undermined the rule of law, and called for reform and
the creation of a new anti-corruption unit.                       -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                    Economist’s Moscow correspondent tours Ukraine

Correspondent’s Dairy: From
London, United Kingdom Friday, Jun 8th 2007

ARRIVING in Kiev on a swelteringly hot day last week, I went walking in the
city centre. I found myself exchanging pleasantries with three burly
black-clad commandos, sporting guns and truncheons, sitting in a four-wheel
drive-and eating ice-cream.

Like everyone else on Independence Square they were enjoying the cool gusts
from the fountains. “It is too nice a day to talk about politics”, said one
of them, smiling broadly. “Let’s talk about women.”

I had hit upon a national holiday, when the favourite leisure activity among
a fair proportion of the residents of Kiev seems to consist of wandering
purposelessly along the city’s main shopping street, Khreshchatik.

Stalls on the pavement were doing brisk trade in the usual (for Ukraine)
tourist stuff: yellow and blue national flags, old Soviet red banners, and
T-shirts emblazoned with the portraits of two bitter political rivals-Yulia
Tymoshenko, a populist opposition maverick known for her fiery rhetoric
and plaited hair, and Viktor Yanukovich, the prime minister.

Here at least there was no difference between them: either shirt could be
had for 30 Hryvna (about $6).

One thing missing from the streets was any sign of the protracted political
crisis-a power-struggle between president and parliament-that brought me to

A few hundred meters from Independence Square the Ukrainian parliament was
into its second month of turmoil; President Viktor Yushchenko, having tried
to dissolve it in April, was reduced to issuing decrees that were being
ignored by his own government; even the ice-cream-eating commandos had
seemed on the brink of a violent clash with presidential guards just a few
days before, after the president sacked the prosecutor-general.

Towards the end of 2004 Independence Square was a theatre of the Orange
revolution that brought Mr Yushchenko to power, beating out Mr Yanukovich.

If the public mood has been a lot less troubled this time round, as the two
have clashed again, that argues for two related explanations: first,
Ukrainians have got at least temporarily bored with the whole circus of
politics; and, second, they can afford to get bored, because the economy is
steaming ahead.

There is plenty of food in the shops, new restaurants are springing up on
every corner-and if you don’t fancy shopping or eating, there are large
shady parks giving cover from heat and politics alike.

The conversations I have been having strongly suggest that few Ukrainians
are even trying to understand what is going on in their country any more.
And if they don’t understand, what hope have I?

One obvious thing I can do, coming in from Moscow, is to look for parallels
with Russia. I can think back, for example, to that sunny afternoon in
October 1993 when, after a long stand-off between President Boris Yeltsin
and his parliament, Yeltsin ordered tanks to fire empty shells at the
parliament building.

But the differences between this stand-off in Ukraine, and that stand-off in
Russia, have been far more striking than any similarities.

[1] First, nobody in Ukraine has seemed in the mood for violence. When
troops loyal to Mr Yushchenko drew close to Kiev recently they were stopped
by traffic police loyal to Mr Yanukovich. They got out of their buses and
proceeded on foot, unarmed.

[2] Second, the conflict in Russian reflected an ideological divide.
Die-hard nationalists and communists, ready to hang Boris Yeltsin’s team
from the first tree, confronted an elected pro-Western president hostile to
the Soviet legacy.

The conflict in Ukraine is a lot less straightforward-not least because it
lacks heroes. It is not a fight between communists and capitalists. It is
not even a fight between the Russian-speaking east and the
Polish-comprehending west of Ukraine.

To call Mr Yanukovich “pro-Russian” and Mr Yushchenko “pro-Western” is
no longer accurate: both are seeking closer ties with Europe, and neither
wants to be back in Russia.

The situation in Ukraine is something closer to a plain (if not simple)
power struggle over who will run the country, and how. When the Soviet Union
collapsed in 1991 Ukraine had next to no experience of managing its own

Building a state was never going to be easy, and Ukraine made heavy weather
of it. It evolved a style of politics that was all inside baseball, with no
durable rules.

You might almost say that this crisis is to be welcomed, so long as it plays
itself out within the political class, and so long as it leads to agreement
on a few rules sufficient to stop something similar happening all over
WHEN the call came from an assistant to President Viktor Yushchenko asking
me to be at his office for 3pm, I was genuinely and pleasantly surprised. A
head of state in the middle of a national crisis might reasonably claim to
have more important things to do than talk to journalists.

But if anything else at all was going on inside the building of the
presidential administration, the former headquarters of the Soviet-era
Communist Party in Ukraine, it was a well-kept secret. Everything was eerily

The long corridors were empty. The high doors-designed by Soviet architects
to make visitors feel small-were shut. There was no buzz. Nobody was running
up and down with documents.

A colleague and I were ushered up to the president’s floor and into a small,
dimly-lit room with a round table in the middle. (Mr Yushchenko’s taste for
round tables, and for peace-making talks, is a subject of jokes in Kiev.)
With a delay of less than an hour, Mr Yushchenko turned up.

I had interviewed him once before, ten years ago in London when he was still
the head of Ukraine’s Central Bank. He was good-looking, professional,
gentle, smart-but you would not for a moment have called him power-hungry
or charismatic. He certainly did not strike me then as someone destined to
change the course of Ukrainian politics.

By now I imagined him changed into an adrenaline-driven politician thriving
on crisis, a younger Boris Yeltsin. And changed he was; but in another way.
The man who sat in front of me was worn-out and subdued.

His heavily made-up face was scarred still from the dioxin poisoning that
almost killed him a few weeks before the presidential election. He projected
a sense of isolation and loneliness. He seemed divorced from the bustle of
Kiev life and from the circus of parliamentary politics.

I wanted to get him to talk in very basic terms about the seemingly
perpetual political crisis in Ukraine, and how best to resolve it.

I asked him about the differences between his vision for the country and
that of Viktor Yanukovich, his arch-rival, the prime minister. But the
answers he offered were less about the deep political divisions in the
country, and more about legal and procedural issues in the parliament.

He said that Mr Yanukovich’s supporters had been using bribery and pressure
to make members of parliament switch sides: “Our current constitution
prohibits such switches, but they tried to make practice out of it.” The
result, he said, was a parliament with an illegitimate majority.

A fair argument-but precisely the kind of legal talk that has come to so
frustrate the more headstrong of Mr Yushchenko’s supporters, and it is easy
to see why.

As they tell it, they risked their lives taking to the streets in 2004 to
protest against a rigged election and a rotten regime. They expected their
man to take charge, cleanse the system, and punish the bad guys.

Instead the president meekly transferred much of his power to parliament,
honouring changes to the constitution negotiated by his predecessor, Leonid
Kuchma; he tolerated corruption and squabbling among his own allies; and he
watched Mr Yanukovich, the loser in the Orange revolution, engineer a
majority in the newly powerful parliament.

At best, all this was seen as weakness, at worst-as betrayal. “Democracy and
tolerance is all well and good, but how can you be so tolerant and
democratic when everyone else around you is cheating?”, as one frustrated
Yushchenko supporter asked me.

Stand back, and you can see Mr Yushchenko’s problem. The big winner in the
Orange revolution was meant to be the rule of law; Ukraine was to become a
normal, law-abiding country.

If the new president had begun his term by reversing constitutional changes
already under way, that would have sent all the wrong signals.

Instead Mr Yushchenko did the decent thing, and allowed the transfer of some
presidential powers to parliament. But in a political system stunted until
then by a domineering president, this was a recipe for confusion.

Lately Mr Yushchenko has been trying to claw some of his power back, and
that has been a recipe for confusion too.

Mr Yushchenko finds himself caught between his aspirations for Ukraine, and
the political resources with which he must work. And from the looks of him
lately, he is nowhere near reconciling the two.
THE politics in Kiev was all tactical manoeuvring, and I was getting lost in
its complications. To discover more about the two Viktors, Yushchenko and
Yanukovich, I decided to visit their respective constituencies-starting with
Donetsk, the industrial heart of Ukraine, where most people speak Russian
and support Mr Yanukovich.

“Don’t go out after dark,” a friend in Kiev warned me the night before. “It
is poor and rough,” confirmed a nice lady in the presidential
administration. Evidently, Donetsk inspired resentment and fear in
white-collar Kiev.

Walking past the prosecutor-general’s office in the capital, where
thuggish-looking men were gathered (probably for payment) in a show of
support for Mr Yanukovich, I could see why.

The first surprise of the journey was a happy one. The plane to Donetsk was
a smart, clean Boeing, not a Soviet museum-piece. My heart leapt for joy.
But this interlude of modernity soon came to a close.

As we approached Donetsk I could see from the window a painfully familiar
sight: long rows of faceless, grey apartment blocks, typical of any
Soviet-built city.

A walk around the centre of the city was a disorienting experience.
Everything screamed “Soviet Union”: the 1940s architecture, the Red Army
tank on a podium, the statue of  Lenin in front of the local government
building … I pinched myself and looked again. It was a statue to Taras
Shevchenko, a Ukrainian national hero. I needed a drink.

A few minutes later I was sipping cold beer in a shady café in a park, and
falling into conversation with a Donetsk businessman called Alexander. He
ran an insurance firm, he said.

Business was booming. Property prices had risen fivefold in five years.
“Don’t believe anything you hear about Donetsk”, he advised. “The standard
of living here is much higher than in Kiev.”

In his pinstriped summer suit and white shoes, Alexander certainly looked
nothing like the Yanukovich supporters I had glimpsed in Kiev. He was a
member of Donetsk’s thousand-strong Jewish community, he said.

“Yanukovich is not a nationalist”, he continued. “He is good for Jews. We
had never had any problems in Donetsk, not a single Jewish grave has been
desecrated.” It was an unexpected argument.

It turned out that Alexander knew Yanukovich personally and had even worked
with him. “He is a good manager, people like him,” he said. “But what about
his criminal record?”, I asked. “Does not that make him unfit to run the

Alexander leaned towards me. “Listen”, he said. “What kind of family did you
grow up in?” “A good one,” I readily admitted. “And Yanukovich did not. He
grew up in a really tough family and he had to fend for himself. Besides, he
has served his sentence.” I felt embarrassed.

I wandered back towards the building with the Shevchenko-Lenin statue in
front, where I had an appointment with the head of the local parliament. A
former factory manager, he looked every inch a Soviet red director.

But he did not sound like one. “People in Kiev and in the west of Ukraine
think we are all gangsters and communists”, he said. “So when they come to
visit, which is not often, they feel shocked.”

“Does Donetsk want closer ties with Russia, or with Europe?” I asked him.
His answer was disarmingly pragmatic. “If joining Europe will make us
richer-we are for it.

If being closer to Russia gives us benefits-we should not turn away from it.
The best would be closeness to both,” he said, mixing Russian and Ukranian
as he spoke.

I walked out of his office and down the main street, where I came upon a
firework display. It was the last day of school, and 17-year old graduates
wrapped in national yellow and blue colour ribbons were immersing themselves
in a fountain. “Do you feel closer to Russia or to Europe?” I asked one
dripping-wet student. “I feel close to Ukraine,” she replied.
FROM Donetsk my plan was to fly to Lviv, the spiritual heart of western
Ukraine, where speaking Russian is considered in bad taste. But to my
astonishment there was no direct air connection between the two far-flung
cities. Unless I fancied a train journey of more than 24 hours, I had to fly
via Kiev.

Back at the domestic terminal in Kiev, I asked for a ticket to Lviv. “We
don’t sell them here. You’ll have to buy it at the international terminal,”
I was told. “But is not Lviv part of Ukraine?” I asked. No answer. I dutifully
bought my ticket at the international terminal.

“Where do I check in?” I enquired. “You have to go to the domestic
 terminal,” came the answer. If nothing else, this mysterious arrangement
captured the ambivalent place of Lviv in Ukrainian history and

For most of its history Lviv (also commonly called Lvov in English) was not
a Ukrainian city, still less a Russian one. From the first partition of
Poland in 1772 until 1918 it was known as Lemberg, and was part of the
Austro-Hungarian empire.

A Baedeker of 1900 described it as “Lemberg, Polish Lwow, French Léopol,
the capital of Galicia with 135,000 inhabitants (one fourth Jews).” Today it
is a city of 750,000, and only few hundred Jews are left.

After the Red Army drove out the Nazis in 1944, Lviv was made part of Soviet
Ukraine. The local airport celebrates the Soviet period with its monumental
sculptures of workers, pilots and peasants pressed against symmetrical
columns. The centre of the city, however, bears almost no mark of Soviet

It is still a provincial, Mitteleuropean town, forgotten by time. You expect
to hear the distant strains of the Radetzky march reverberating through the
night. The local government building, previously the Communist Party
headquarters, has changed not at all since it accommodated the Habsburg
rulers of Galicia.

“Everything here is exactly as it was under Franz-Joseph,” says Petro
Oliynyk, the current occupant of the governor’s office and a staunch
supporter of President Yushchenko. “The same stoves, the same furniture-
the governor of Krakow has the same,” he says.

Like any conversation in western Ukraine, ours starts with history, both
personal and national. And rare is the personal history here not touched by
family recollections of famine and repression under Stalin.

Mr Oliynyk’s father was prosecuted for joining a liberation army, his mother
was sent to Siberia. “My father hid a local Rabbi in his house,” he says
with particular pride.

For people in Lviv, a mere 80km from the Polish border, the integration of
Ukraine into Europe is not an economic issue, as it might seem in Donetsk,
but an existential one.

The choice between Mr Yushchenko and Mr Yanukovich is seen as the choice
between a European way of life and a post-Soviet one. “We did not fight for
Yuschenko during the Orange revolution-we fought for our own dignity,” a
young businesswoman tells me.

Still carrying my luggage and with no roof for the night, I walk through the
cobbled streets of the old town past Baroque churches, small coffee-shops
and street cafés, to a hotel listed in the 1900 Baedeker: the Grand. It must
have been brand new when the guidebook was published. I ask for a room in
Russian, but the receptionist tells me the hotel is fully booked.

A half-hour later I come back speaking English and several rooms have
mysteriously become available. I get an airy one with parquet floor and high
ceilings, overlooking the old Galician town. It is hard to believe that Lviv
and Donetsk are parts of the same country.

Yet, both here and in Donetsk, people want Ukraine to be an independent
nation, and they don’t seem to have a problem with its diversity. To be
sure, they recognise the historical and cultural divergences, but they are
careful not to turn those differences into divisions.

As one Lviv businessman tells me: “Perhaps western and eastern Ukraine would
be two different countries. But we have Kiev in the middle, and for Kiev it
is one country.”
I TAKE my leave of Ukraine on this occasion with a long walk through
Kiev-which Mikhail Bulgakov, in “The White Guard”, called, simply, “the

“Beautiful in the frost and mist-covered hills above the Dnieper, the life
of the City hummed and steamed like a many-layered honeycomb.

All night long the City shone, glittered and danced with light until
morning, when the lights went out and the City cloaked itself once more
in smoke and mist.”

I start from my hotel, in Podol, the lower part of the city, an old
neighbourhood of craftsmen, merchants and tradesmen that still hums and
steams like a honeycomb.

I walk past Contract Square towards Andreevsky Spusk, an old cobbled lane
that rises in twists and turns to the upper city.

On the left going up is a two-storey building, number 13, where a century
ago Bulgakov lived with his parents. Later he would make this the home of
the Turbin family in “”The White Guard””, changing the name of the street to
Aleskeevsky Spusk.

Amid civil war, in the “great and terrible year of 1918 from the birth of
Christ, the second from the Revolution”, the two brothers and their
red-haired sister would warm themselves by a hot stove, strum guitar strings
and slumber under an old lamp shade: “Never, never remove the lamp-shade!
The lamp-shade is sacred.”

Bulgakov was intoxicated with Kiev, its cabarets, opera, street cafés, trams
and “rows of electric globes suspended high from the elegant curlicues of
tall lamp-posts”. But he saw it least of all as a Ukrainian city and
resented fiercely any manifestation of Ukrainian nationalism, even national
identity. To be “the City” was enough.

Andreevsky Spusk leads up to an astonishing blue and white Baroque church
with golden domes that tower over the city.

Here, at the top of the hill, starts another Kiev-the thousand-year-old
capital of Kievan Rus, the greatest state of eastern Europe, which prospered
from the 10th to the 13th century, and gave birth to Russia, Ukraine, and

Its founders were the Varangians, or Vikings, the Scandinavians who also
conquered parts of England and France. They were invited into the lands of
Rus by feuding Slav tribes who wanted an external ruler to impose order and
law upon them.

The greatest monument to the civilisation of Kievan Rus is the splendid
Santa Sofia Cathedral, built in 1032 by Prince Yaroslav the Wise, the son of
Vladimir the Great, who had adopted Christianity from Byzantium.

It survived Mongol invasion in the mid-13th century, bombing in the second
world war, and even the Soviet habit of blowing up churches.

It has an 18th-century exterior: the original Byzantine brick walls have
been extended and covered in plaster. But inside, as Anna Reid writes in
“Borderland”, a book that any visitor should bring along,

“It breathes the splendid austerity of Byzantium. Etiolated saints, draped
in ochre and pink, march in shadowy fresco round the walls, above them a
massive Virgin hangs in vivid glass mosaic, alone on a deep gold ground.”

In Kiev, and especially in Santa Sofia, the currents of east and west
mingle. Yaroslav tried to tie his sophisticated kingdom to Europe by
marrying his daughters to the kings of Norway, Hungary and France-the last
of whom declared Kiev to be “more unified, happier, stronger and more
civilised than France herself.”

To the extent that there was such a thing as Europe in those days, Ukraine
was a big part of it-and it is unhappy to find itself on the margins of
Europe now.

Yaroslav wisely warned his children: “If ye dwell in envy and dissension,
quarrelling with one another, then ye will perish yourselves and bring to
ruin the land of your ancestors.” There is wisdom here for the politicians
of today, if only they would listen.                           -30-

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

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: by Mykola Rubanets, for UP
Original article in Ukrainian, translated by Anna Platonenko
Ukrayinska Pravda (UP), Kyiv, Ukraine,  Saturday, June 9, 2007

When talking about modern history of Ukrainian formation, one may certainly
quote Taras Shevchenko: it is “the poem of the free people”. Indeed, and in
just the same satirical and sarcastic manner. But isn’t that so?

For example, what did the first Ukrainian president, with all due respect
for him and his outstanding service to the country, leave us with? With the
sacramental words: “We have what we have”.

The second president, who promised us to take “the way towards radical
reforms”, over a period of 10 years did not succeed in answering his own
question: “So what are we actually building?”

The third president’s government, with the only exception of the short-term
post-Maidan euphoria, is now turning into a permanent crisis, which
threatens to utterly ruin the country.

The only thing left to do is to pray to God that we never again face the
“epoch of Ruin”, which our ancestors had gone through after Bohdan

What to do?

The first thing Ukrainians really need to do today is to stop crying,
grieving and complaining with or without reason.

By the will of God and owing to the favorable circumstances we have an
independent state. And there are no empires (at least on three of four
sides) willing to tear us to pieces again.

So here lies the answer to the question “what to do?”: to work hard and
build the country. But what kind of country?

                             UKRAINIAN CONSTITUTION 
In general, it is the Fundamental Law of the country which is to provide the
answer to such a question. Reading over the Ukrainian Constitution, we find
an attempt to answer the question in Article 5: “Ukraine is a republic”. But
what republic?

However, the text of the article provides no answer to this vitally
important matter of principle. And this is the gravest shortcoming of the
Ukrainian Fundamental Law: there is no concept of Ukraine’s formation as a

And it is a pity to ascertain that the Ukrainian Constitution looks very
much like a student essay composed of different, often contrary, European
patterns. And that is why this Constitution is so distant from the Ukrainian
reality, being eclectic in its form and declarative in its content.

Thus, in order to change the reality and influence the development of the
country and the society, we need a Constitution completely different both in
its spirit and essence.

Today it is quite obvious that this document is first of all to provide a
clear-cut answer to the question where and which way Ukraine is actually

But Ukraine has not yet gone through the period of transition from Soviet
socialism to typical Western, or European, capitalism. We are somewhere in
the middle of its first stage, which is called the period of primary
accumulation of capital.

That is why the country and its government together with all the law
enforcement agencies, figuratively speaking, cannot even hold back the packs
of ‘privatizers’ from unlawful actions, seizure and plunder of property
accumulated by the previous generations of the Ukrainian people.

Because all the executive power is exercised by the officials, many of which
will sell their own mother for a bribe. And almost every week we face
murders of entrepreneurs, corporate raiders etc.

Markets and spheres of influence are being constantly redistributed. A major
part of the economy, power and social life finds itself under the influence
of behind-the-scenes activities and agreements or even under the control of

From this point of view one can clearly see why Ukraine is worlds apart from
the democracy as a system of power and social order, where the law and
certain norms of public order and moral values prevail.

We should therefore clearly understand that what we really need during this
period is a very strong power which would restrain and control. And it can
only be a state with a firm power structure, appropriate regulatory and
punitive agencies.

Towards the democracy or back to authoritarianism?

Taking all these circumstances into account, the author at the same time
does not share the opinion that Ukraine needs dictatorship or
authoritarianism. If we long to be a part of Europe again, we need, despite
all our misfortunes and difficult tasks, to form the democratic republic.

But this is where the most essential question arises: what republic?

It is generally known that a republic can be presidential, parliamentary or
their combination: either presidential-parliamentary or vice versa. These
forms appear as a result of a long evolutionary process, social revolutions
or sweeping socio-political reforms.

Ukraine faced neither of the three. All the hopes and expectations that
after Maidan the new ‘orange’ government would rapidly take us away from
Kuchma’s authoritarianism towards a democratic republic of European design,
have vanished into thin air.

By the way, in recent years there has been a great deal of talk, especially
after several discussions as to the implementation of the political reform,
about the search of a new form of democratic republic.

However, the so-called step-by-step and partial implementation of this
reform has only unbalanced and weakened the government and the country

as a whole. The visual proof of this is the present political crisis.
                      UKRAINE IS NOT A REPUBLIC YET
So what is the democratic republic that we should actually strive for? It is
a republican form of government that, in contrast to authoritarianism,
provides for a certain minimum of democracy.

And the latter is grounded on at least two principles: the electivity of
representative and executive power at all levels by the people, which in its
turn means the accountability and submission of government bodies to
appropriate communities.

It also implies drawing up the state budget on a ‘top down’ principle,
provided that this budget should also be controlled by the people at every
possible level.

And this is what the concept “republic” means.

In other words, it implies that both the local and central authorities are
elected and controlled by the citizens themselves, by their communities and,
finally, by the people, i.e. the political nation.

So what do we actually have in Ukraine?

In accordance with the Article 118 of the Constitution of Ukraine, “the
executive power in oblasts, districts, and in the Cities of Kyiv and
Sevastopol is exercised by local state administrations”.

Are these administrations or at least their heads elected by the Ukrainian
people? For this is exactly where the democratic process starts.

The answer is no. This very article further reads: “The composition of local
state administrations is formed by heads of local state administrations.
Heads of local state administrations are appointed to office and dismissed
from office by the President of Ukraine upon the submission of the Cabinet
of Ministers of Ukraine”.

We may therefore conclude that Article 118 of the Fundamental Law of Ukraine
completely runs counter to and eliminates paragraph 1 of Article 5 which
states that Ukraine is a republic.

So what political system do we have in Ukraine after all? All the systems,
in which the executive power is appointed from above, are authoritarian.
That is to say, it is the first reason why Ukraine should be referred to as
a country with the authoritarian government.

The same thing with the state budget: it is not drawn up and implemented on
a ‘top down’ principle, and is not controlled by the people of Ukraine. Only
the local state administrations of Kyiv and Sevastopol are entitled to take
charge of the local budgets.

Of course, somebody may object to this and say that there is a large number
of articles in the Constitution which read that “Ukraine is a sovereign and
independent, democratic, social, law-based state” (Article 1), that “in
Ukraine, local self-government is recognised and guaranteed” (Article 7)

Moreover, there is a whole chapter dedicated to local self-government –
Chapter XI (Articles 140-146). Yes, it does exist, but, as they say, only on

And what do we have? The answer to this question, after 16 years of
Ukrainian independence, is now quite obvious to us all: there is neither
democracy nor local self-government, nor republic as such in our country.
                                          WHAT NEXT?
The first answer to this question should be as follows: all the reforms in
Ukraine are to reach their logical completion, i.e. the establishment of
democratic republic.

In order to achieve this, it will not be enough to introduce several
amendments to the Fundamental Law. The Constitution should base itself
on a new concept, the main task and essence of which lie in the need for
replacement of the authoritarian form of government with a democratic,
republican one.

Thus we should first of all determine what republic we will actually have:
presidential (like in the US), parliamentary (Germany) or semi-presidential

Taking into account that for 15 years Ukraine has been developing as a
presidential-parliamentary republic and that the period of transition is not
yet over, it is too early and even too harmful for the country to break the
presidential power structure.

Thus after the local self-governments have been established, the
Presidential Administration should not be abolished but rather be vested
with governmental, supervisory and control functions.

All these issues can be settled and regulated by the Constitution if it
contains a detailed model of presidential-parliamentary republic.

And in order to emphasize and secure the democratic order of this republic,
in which all the authority throughout the regions belongs to the citizens
and their communities, and in the country – to the people, it would be quite
reasonable to reflect all this in the name of our country.

The author believes that the most appropriate alternative to this name would
be the one given by our predecessors, but, however, not yet implemented –
Ukrainian People’s Republic.

The project of such a republic would be the best way out of the current
crisis and would show us the means for further development of our country.

In conclusion, let us note that owing to the project of the modern Ukrainian
People’s Republic, which is to be the contents and essence of the new
Constitution of Ukraine, we will not only be able to cut the Gordian knot of
problems connected with the government, but also be able to create a new
conceptual basis for dealing with the outdated reforms, such as
administrative, territorial, budgetary, tax, local self-government reform,
the reform of the housing and communal services.

Only when these reforms are carried out as a whole will it then be possible
for Ukraine to develop as a civilized European state with high levels of
democracy and high standards of people’s welfare, worthy of the XXI century.

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

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: by Viktor Chyvokunya, UP
Original article in Ukrainian, Translated by Eugene Ivantsov
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, June 9, 2007

Ukrainian politics acquired new traditions. For instance, Mr. Piskun with a
ridiculous redundancy is appointed and then discharged, the Central Election
Commission is dissolved and then formed again and President Yushchenko
issues and cancels his decrees to call an early election.

On Tuesday the president made a step which his opponents awaited with
sarcasm and his allies with a hope. Mr. Yushchenko issued the third decree
to call an early election. This time he set a new election date – September

Presidential decree is based on the night negotiations with Mr. Yanukovych
and Mr. Moroz and resignation of over 150 MPs which made the Verkhovna
Rada invalid.

According to Ukrayinska Pravda sources, President Yushchenko attracted four
ex-judges of the Constitutional Court to working out of the document. Even
Vasyl Nimchenko who is representative of the government in the
Constitutional Court supported the document.

However, the Party of Regions was most probably ignorant of this fact.
Having learnt about the third decree, Mr. Yanukovych’s brothers-in-arms
stated they would collect signatures for a new appeal to the Constitutional

But this time Mr. Yanukovych’s team is in a more difficult situation.

Already on October 17, 2002, the Constitutional Court created pre-conditions
for the third presidential decree.

Back then, the Constitutional Court interpreted Article 82 of the
Constitution in the following way: The Verkhovna Rada is valid if two third
of its constitutional staff is elected.

The Constitutional Court stated that this provision is the condition for
validity of the Verkhovna Rada during the entire convocation period and
cannot be viewed as the reason for opening its first session.

In fact, the Constitutional Court gave the answer to the question that
bothered MPs from the Party of Regions on Monday.

Meanwhile, Oleksandr Moroz stated that until the CEC accepts resignation
of 151 MPs parliament will keep working.

This Moroz’s idea to engage the CEC contradicts the Constitution which
clearly states “that “powers of a people’s deputy are terminated when a
people’s deputy leaves the parliamentary faction.”

The Law on Election was written in such a way that the final decision had to
be adopted by party congresses.

Besides, Mr. Moroz’s another demand was conformation by the CEC that
there was no substitution for the lawmakers who had resigned.

Additional guarantees from the CEC shows Oleksandr Moroz’s interest.
Socialist leader knows what he is doing: having charged the CEC with this
matter, the speaker delays an early election.

None of the sides has majority in the CEC, thus, it will be impossible to
make any decision.
                                         SCENARIO 1
Imagine that 151 MP left their parliamentary factions which resulted in
termination of their powers of people’s deputies.

In this case the coalition will have a hard time. The same decision of the
Constitutional Court dated October 17, 2002 contains another fatal norm: “In
case the Verkhovna Rada staff is decreased to less than 300 MPs, powers of
the Verkhovna Rada must be terminated until the sufficient number of MPs is

Thus, following the president’s logic, all sessions of parliament are
nothing but meeting of the hobby groups.

To become legitimate again, the Verkhovna Rada must count 300 MPs. That
means that those who stand below in the party list must take place of the
missing lawmakers.

But this is impossible because BYuT and Our Ukraine started cancellation of
their lists. Although the coalition states that these parties have not
finished this process yet because they were stopped by a legal action, it
does not matter anyway because bringing 151 new MPs to parliament is

decided exclusively by the CEC.

The CEC leadership has enough people loyal to the president to block such an
unfavorable course of events.

Also, Mr. Kinakh’s people will demand to bring their MPs to parliament with
will cause counter actions if Our Ukraine insists on cancellation of the
entire list.

In such a case, during legal procedures the CEC cannot adopt any decisions
on this matter.

Delays play into Mr. Yushchenko’s hands since without the CEC decision it
will be impossible to bring new MPs to parliament.

Without these MPs the coalition can keep gathering in the Verkhovna Rada
building but these meetings will be not considered plenary sessions, taking
into account decision of the Constitutional Court.

When 30 days pass Mr. Yushchenko will have the fourth reason to call an
early election – now the Verkhovna Rada cannot begin plenary sessions during
30 days of one session.

Thus, the circle closes up

It is interesting that Volodymyr Shapoval who is Mr. Yushchenko’s ally and
current head of the CEC is the chairman judge in the case that will declare
the Verkhovna Rada legitimate only if it counts 300 MPs.

If the coalition dares to dispute the third decree in the Constitutional
Court the blue-and-white will appear in uncertainty again.

The second attempt to pressure Mr. Yushchenko with the help of the
Constitutional Court failed. As the president cancelled his decree dated
April 26, one can dump the corresponding draft resolution worked out by the
Communist member of the Constitutional Court which declares this decree

Hearings regarding Mr. Yushchenko’s new decree will start from the very
beginning. The Court will start with appointing the chairman judge. Even if
he will be loyal to the coalition the Constitutional Court still has a big
problem – one day it has quorum, the next day it has not.

For example, on Thursday there was no quorum because Acting Head of the
Court Valeriy Pshenychny was not at work due to personal reasons, and
Susanna Stanik was supposedly on vacation.

Election of the Constitutional Court chairman can become another apple of
discord. As known, this position became vacant after voluntary resignation
of Ivan Dombrovsky. According to some information, he may try to be renewed
in this office.

Due to Mr. Pshenychny’s absence Mr. Dombrovsky actually chairs the Court
again. As the oldest judge he become acting head of the court.
                                         SCENARIO 2
The opposition will be in a very difficult situation if they do not have 151
MPs who will be ready to resign and publicly announce their decision.

At first, the Orange stated they had 171 MPs. As of Friday, they received
confirmation from 97 BYuT MPs and 60 MPs from Our Ukraine which totals

157 lawmakers.

However, Party of Regions MP Vasyl Khara told Ukrayinska Pravda that Our
Ukraine member Yuriy Artemchenko and another four MPs recalled their

During the day Ukrayinska Pravda tried to contact Yuriy Artemchenko but his
aid told he was on a sick leave and refused to talk over the phone.

Mr. Artemchenko’s refusal does not seem surprising, taking into account his
friendly relations with Russian businessman Konstantin Grigirishyn. The
latter wages a war against Ihor Kolomoisky who is Mr. Yushchenko’s favorite

Mr. Artemchenko is also close to Petro Poroshenko who is in disgrace with
today’s top-management of Our Ukraine.

Besides, the coalition paid attention to the fact that MP Volodymyr
Stretovych refused to comply with Our Ukraine decision to recognize
parliament illegitimate.

On Monday he came to the coordinative council chaired by Oleksandr Moroz
which contradicted official position of the BYuT and Our Ukraine as they
believed the Verkhovna Rada had become illegitimate on Saturday.

Some sources claim that parts of statements are doubtful. Certain
resignations are signed not by MPs but by their aids.

Yulia Tymoshenko’s step proves that the statements are not OK. Ukrayinska
Pravda found out that it was not Yulia Tymoshenko personally who wrote her

Many people consider this nuance inessential. However, these people must
have forgotten that in 2000 Mrs. Tymoshenko vacated her seat in parliament.
In 2001 BYuT leader was restored in a deputy status because her statement
was written by somebody else.

Mrs. Tymoshenko is too tactful to hastily submit such a document to the
Verkhovna Rada Secretariat.

All this suggest unfavorable forecast regarding an early election but.

Besides public actions there are hidden factors proving that an early
election is inevitable. Regional branches of the Socialist Party received
thousands leaflets with Yushchenko, Tymoshenko and Lutsenko and an
inscription: “Who poisoned Tsushko? Tsushko was poisoned because he
did not let tanks enter Kyiv.”

Even socialists have accepted the imminent beginning of an election
campaign.                                            -30-

[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
     You are welcome to send us names for the AUR distribution list.
                    Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday-Wednesday June 11-13, 2007

News Release: Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic Future
New York, New York, Kyiv, Ukraine, June 2007

NEW YORK – KYIV – Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic Future: International Forum I

will be held in Kyiv, at the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine, on June 11-13 2007.

The three-day conference will bring together more than 80 government and
non-governmental representatives from among Ukraine’s neighbors and
partners, including the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany,
the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the Slovak Republic, Turkey, United Kingdom
and United States.

The forum program consists of eight plenary sessions, eight focus sessions
and two roundtable discussions.

During the first roundtable, Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic future will be examined
from the “Olympian perspective” by renowned foreign policy experts from
Germany, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and the United States. The second
roundtable will ponder Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic future and “the Russian

During the eight focus sessions, featured speakers, all of diplomatic rank,
will talk about Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic future from the Baltic, Visegrad,
Black Sea, Nordic and Western European perspectives. A separate session

will focus on the energy dimension of Euro-Atlantic integration.

The first four plenary sessions will assess Ukraine’s progress toward
meeting Euro-Atlantic external political standards, internal political
standards, economic standards and security standards.

The remaining four plenary sessions will examine the possible effects of
Euro-Atlantic integration on Ukraine’s diplomacy, politics and society,
economy and security.

The forum’s sponsors include the Embassy of Ukraine to the United States,
American Foreign Policy Council, Center for US-Ukrainian Relations,
Democratic Initiatives Foundation, Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine, Konrad
Adenauer Stiftung, NATO Information Centre/Ukraine, Open World Program

at the Library of Congress, Polish-Ukrainian Cooperative Initiative, The
Atlantic Council of the United States and the US-Ukraine Foundation.

Press accreditation for the event is required due to limited seating. Please
pre-register by June 9, 2007, 1800 PM.

For further information and pre-registration, kindly contact one of the
following individuals:
[1] Stephen Bandera, Forum Media Coordinator,
[2] Walter Zaryckyj, Forum Program Coordinator, Tele: 1 212 473-0839,

Fax: 1 212 473-0839, e-mail: or
[3] Ilko Kucheriv, Forum Executive Coordinator/UA, Tele: 380 44 234 8046,
Fax: 380 44 581 3317, e-mail:
[4] Svyatoslav Pavlyuk, Forum Executive Coordinator/EU,
Tele: 380 44 235 84 10, Fax: 380 44 235 84 11, e-mail:
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
                            PLANT INTRIGUING BIOLOGISTS 
The Associated Press, Parishev, Ukraine, Friday, June 8, 2007

PARISHEV, Ukraine – Two decades after an explosion and fire at the

Chernobyl nuclear power plant sent clouds of radioactive particles drifting
over the fields near her home, Maria Urupa says the wilderness is encroaching.

Packs of wolves have eaten two of her dogs, the 73-year-old says, and wild
boar trample through her cornfield. And she says fox, rabbits and snakes
infest the meadows near her tumbledown cottage.

“I’ve seen a lot of wild animals here,” says Urupa, one of about 300 mostly
elderly residents who insist on living in Chernobyl’s contaminated
evacuation zone.

The return of wildlife to the region near the world’s worst nuclear power
accident is an apparent paradox that biologists are trying to measure and

Many assumed the 1986 meltdown of one reactor, and the release of hundreds
of tons of radioactive material, would turn much of the 1,100-square-mile
evacuated area around Chernobyl into a nuclear dead zone.

It certainly doesn’t look like one today.

Dense forests have reclaimed farm fields and apartment house courtyards.
Residents, visitors and some biologists report seeing wildlife – including
moose and lynx – rarely sighted in the rest of Europe. Birds even nest
inside the cracked concrete sarcophagus shielding the shattered remains of
the reactor.

Wildlife has returned despite radiation levels in much of the evacuated zone
that remain 10 to 100 times higher than background levels, according to a
2005 U.N. report – though they have fallen significantly since the accident,
due to radioactive decay.

Some researchers insist that by halting the destruction of habitat, the
Chernobyl disaster helped wildlife flourish. Others say animals may be
filtering into the zone, but they appear to suffer malformations and other

Both sides say more research is needed into the long-term health of a
variety of Chernobyl’s wildlife species, as governments around the world
consider switching from fossil fuel plants, blamed for helping drive global
climate change, to nuclear power.

Biologist Robert J. Baker of Texas Tech University was one of the first
Western scientists to report that Chernobyl had become a wildlife haven. He
says the mice and other rodents he has studied at Chernobyl since the early
1990s have shown remarkable tolerance for elevated radiation levels.

But Timothy Mousseau of the University of South Carolina, a biologist who
studies barn swallows at Chernobyl, says that while wild animals have
settled in the area, they have struggled to build new populations.

Far from thriving, he says, a high proportion of the birds he and his
colleagues have examined suffer from radiation-induced sickness and genetic
damage. Survival rates are dramatically lower for those living in the most
contaminated areas.

In explaining their starkly differing views, Baker and Mousseau criticize
each other’s studies as poorly designed.

But their disagreement also reflects a deeper split among biologists who
study the effects of exposure to radiation. Some, like Baker, think
organisms can cope with the destructive effects of radiation up to a point –
beyond which they begin to suffer irreparable damage. Others believe that
even low doses of radiation can trigger cancers and other illnesses.

In the Journal of Mammology in 1996, Baker and his colleagues reported that
the disaster had not reduced either the diversity or abundance of a dozen
species of rodents – including mice, shrews, rats and weasels – near the
Chernobyl plant.

“Our studies show that a dynamic ecosystem is present in even the most
radioactive habitats,” they wrote.

Baker’s group reported sighting red fox, gray wolf, moose, river otter, roe
deer, Russian wild boar and brown hare within a six-mile radius of the
plant – the most heavily contaminated area.

Genetic tests showed Chernobyl’s animals suffered some damage to their DNA,
Baker and his colleagues reported. But they said overall it didn’t seem to
hurt wildlife populations.

“The resulting environment created by the Chernobyl disaster is better for
animals,” Baker told the Associated Press in a phone interview.

Critics point out that Baker’s work has been funded by the U.S. Department
of Energy, which some view as pro-nuclear. Baker defended the government
connection, saying, “We have never been asked to come up with any specific
conclusions, just do honest work.” He also said his work has been

Mousseau and his colleagues have painted a far more pessimistic picture.

In the journal Biology Letters in March, a group led by Anders Moller, from
Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, said that in a study of 7,700
birds examined since 1991 they found 11 rare or unknown abnormalities in a
population of Chernobyl’s barn swallows.

Roughly one-third of 248 Chernobyl nestlings studied were found to have
ill-formed beaks, albino feathers, bent tail feathers and other
malformations. Mousseau was a co-author of the report.

In other studies, Mousseau – whose work is funded by the National Science
Foundation and National Geographic Society – and his colleagues have found
increased genetic damage, reduced reproductive rates and what he calls
“dramatically” higher mortality rates for birds living near Chernobyl.

The work suggests, he said, that Chernobyl is a “sink” where animals migrate
but rapidly die off. Mousseau suspects that relatively low-level radiation
reduces the level of antioxidants in the blood, which can lead to cell

“From every rock we turn over, we find consequences,” he told the Associated
Press in a phone interview. “These reports of wildlife flourishing in the
area are completely anecdotal and have no scientific basis.”

While the experts debate, Maria Urupa, harvests tomatoes from her garden,
buys fish from the nearby Pripyat River and brews moonshine vodka.

Eating locally produced food is risky, health experts agree, because plants
and animals can concentrate radioactive materials as they cycle through the
food chain. Does she fear the effects of her exposure to radiation?

“Radiation? No!” she said. “What humans do? Yes.”          -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Thomas Keating, East Valley Tribune, Phoenix, Arizona, Sat, June 9, 2007

On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant sent a plume of
radioactive fallout drifting over parts of the Soviet Union and Europe in
the most devastating accident in the history of nuclear power.

Large areas of what are now Ukraine, Belarus and Russia were badly polluted,
resulting in the evacuation and resettlement of hundreds of thousands of
people, as well as a bleak future for those contaminated.

Since 1993, Scottsdale photographer Kristina Brendel has been documenting
the devastation of abandoned towns and contaminated areas in the hope that
people won’t overlook what happened 21 years ago.

“People forget,” Brendel said. “There is a new tragedy every day, but the
old hurts remain. Chernobyl came up again last year, during the 20-year
anniversary, making a day or so blip on the news radar. My goal is to make
sure this is not completely forgotten.”

Achieving that goal has been a passion project for Brendel, who never sold
a photo until she arrived near the disaster site in 1992.

Brendel got her first photography job on the visit: She was enlisted to
document the work of a humanitarian group helping with disaster relief in
the Chernobyl area. Fascinated by the sheer desolation, she has traveled
back four times.

Each time, she has gone “into the Zone,” referring to the Zone of
Alienation, the 30-kilometer exclusion area around the site of the Chernobyl
nuclear reactor disaster.

Each time she has taken pictures, capturing the changes to the site over the
years in the hope it will one day get better.

“This project has been my project,” Brendel said. “I take other pictures, I
do other work, but this is the only one that has carried on. And it
continues because the problem is not solved. I don’t have any solutions,
but I am trying to raise awareness.”

Brendel said she has seen some heartbreaking things. Children’s shoes,
scattered and abandoned, representing all of the kids who may have to battle
cancer from the radiation they were exposed to.

Also, the farmers whose lives were torn apart as they were forced to move to
cities and start over. “It’s overwhelming,” Brendel said, “a total vacuum.”

She described the rows of houses that used to be the place where “everything
was supposed to be OK” for these people. “Now everything has fallen down,
a safe haven – gone,” she said.

One of the worries of outsiders entering the Zone is exposure to radiation.
Brendel said a person receives about as much radiation from one day there as
they would encountering an airport X-ray scanner.

“It’s only those who spend long periods of time near the heavy radiation
point who are the ones in danger of long-term effects,” she said.

In April, during the 21st anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, Brendel’s
exhibition of black-and-white photos from inside the Zone joined the
permanent collection of the Chernobyl Museum in Kiev, Ukraine.

Her work has already toured Belarus – the former Soviet state hit hardest by
the disaster – because it lay in the path of the wind in the week after the
reactor exploded.

Brendel was invited by the Belarusian Museum of Modern Art to exhibit her
collection as its featured artist during the 20th anniversary commemoration
of Chernobyl last April.

On top of this, a trilingual book featuring Brendel’s photo exhibition has
been published in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, where she has an apartment
on Karl Marx Street.

But Brendel is not satisfied with her recent success. In July, she will
return to the site, and yet again, go into the Zone. Knowing that children
are being exposed every day to radiation, Brendel has been inspired to keep

When she opened her exhibit at the Chernobyl Museum in Kiev, a choir made up
entirely of people who had been evacuated from the contaminated areas sang
at the opening. “I heard that they were coming, but when I saw them, I was
surprised at how young they were,” she said.

Brendel said she hopes her work will have a lasting effect in helping to
solve the dilemma that the surrounding contaminated areas still face to this

“It ruined the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, and they’re still
around,” she said. “Everyone has a chance to rebuild.”          -30-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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Frank Scheck, Reuters/Hollywood Reporter, New York, NY, Fri, Jun 8, 2007 
NEW YORK – Potentially fascinating subject matter receives awkward
treatment in Andrei Zagdansky’s documentary about the 2004 presidential
election in Ukraine and the so-called “Orange Revolution” that followed the
disputed results.

Despite such dramatic elements as the near-fatal poisoning of the one of the
candidates and a censored television broadcaster surreptitiously revealing
the truth via sign language for the deaf, “Orange Winter” is strangely
tedious. The film recently received its U.S. theatrical premiere at New
York’s Pioneer Theater.

Even American audiences nonversed in Ukrainian politics will no doubt recall
the poisoning of candidate Viktor Yushchenko with dioxin, resulting in his
severe facial scarring.

The pro-Western opponent of the government-supported Viktor Yanukovich

(the outgoing president, fearful of being brought up on corruption charges,
wanted a hand-picked successor), he was defeated in an election that was
universally seen as corrupt.

For the next two weeks, citizens took to the streets in mass demonstrations,
adopting the color orange as a show of support for the defeated candidate.
Their efforts resulted in a recount that got Yushchenko installed in office.

Unfortunately, the innate drama of the events is diluted here by the
filmmaker’s unimaginative approach and the droning narration.

Even running a scant 72 minutes, the film is unnecessarily padded, to less
than relevant effect, with extensive clips from the classic silent film
“Earth” and scenes from operas that were performed in the city during the
events in question.                                    -30-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
22.                       SCHOOL OF HATRED
                                  Galaciaphobia: Myths and Facts

By Oleh BAHAM, an expert at the Mohyla School of Journalism
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 5, 2007

In the past few years, approximately since the time of the Ukraine without
Kuchma action of 2001, some Ukrainian and Russian mass media have
started waging another vigorous anti-Galician campaign.

The first campaign of this kind took place in 1989-94, when Galicia
(Halychyna) was the hub of the national renaissance and state-building

In both cases, this is an aggressive reaction of the Muscophile and “Little
Russian” segments of Ukrainian society. In both cases, it is a revival of
old Russian stereotypes and myths that portray Galicians and Galicia as
something totally alien to Ukraine, hostile, destructive,
“bourgeois-nationalistic,” etc.

In reality, both then and now Galicia is a status symbol of the entire
Ukrainian national movement that Moscow has always feared as something that
can thwart its imperial ambitions and claims. Demonizing Galicia has always
sought to present the Ukrainian movement as marginal, pathological, and

There are two main factors behind today’s mounting anti-Galician campaign.

First, the Party of Regions is trying to reinforce its external propaganda
by reanimating old Soviet anti-Ukrainian myths and slogans, like “Down with
fascist henchmen” and “No to bourgeois nationalism,” although these two
slogans are complete nonsense from the standpoint of historical truth and
national logic.

Second, the past few years (since Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia)
have seen fierce geopolitical and strategic competition for Ukraine, in
which the national weakening of our state occupies by far the most crucial

While the Party of Regions uses anti-Galician (read: anti-Ukrainian)
propaganda mostly for tactical purposes, trying to whip up emotions and
enlist the support of the Russian and Russified residents of Easternern and
southern Ukraine, whose mentality is still full of anti-Ukrainian
stereotypes, Moscow has embarked on an anti-Galician crusade with the
strategic goal to split Ukraine regionally and weaken it through internal

Anti-Galician stereotypes in Ukraine have other, deeper, roots. First of
all, the nation spent a long time under the leveling pressure of the Russian
Empire, a well-run “melting pot” that generated a specific phenomenon
known as the “Ukrainian Little Russian mentality” (or “Creole mentality,”
according to Mykola Riabchuk).

Today, outright rejection of Galicia’s social traditions has formed within a
considerable part of Ukrainian society – the dominant part, which has a
powerful impact on the shaping of current government policies, cultural and
social values, and which remains under the protracted mental, ideological,
and cultural influence of Russia.

This is the reason why there are secret instructions against Galicians and
all things Galician, such as the hounding of Galician politicians, freezing
of economic and business contacts with the region, and tendentious
misinformation, while the central media, not to mention those in Eastern
and southern Ukraine, mostly report negative or, at best, neutral but never
positive, information about Galicia. This creates the overall impression of
an area described as being “almost totally depressed,” “backward,” and
“hopelessly provincial.”

On the one hand, this is an objective phenomenon because the difference
between Creole-type consciousness (post-imperial,
inferiority-complex-ridden) and Galician (nation-centered, civic) is too
great for such a hidden conflict not to exist. On the other hand, it carries
within it the clear threat of a split in the nation.

The press, academic publications, and television have featured so many
anti-Galician materials in the past few years that it would take a separate
monograph to review them. So I will try to analyze only the main, most
deeply rooted, and rabble-rousing stereotypes that distort Galicia’s image
and essence in Ukraine’s informational, political, and cultural space.

Since they are mostly rooted in the traditions of Russian great-power
imperialist ideology, they require historical and scholarly analysis. Let us
look at Galicia as a distinct phenomenon of culture and mentality.

The chief stereotypes in the negative assessment and perception of Galicia
are as follows:

1) In terms of civilization and mentality, Galicia is alien to and dangerous
to the Eastern Slavic (read: Russian) civilization and culture and,
therefore, Ukraine itself.

2) Galicia has always been part of the Church Union; it is too open to the
West and thus has a corrosive effect on the Eastern Slavic Orthodox

3) Galicia and Galicians were excessively spoiled by Polish culture and thus
are utterly alien to the rest of Ukraine.

4) In the 19th century Galicia became an oasis, a “laboratory” of sorts, of
the modern Ukrainian nation, and it “infected” the rest of Ukraine with
nationalism, thus breaking the “sacred” unity of the Russian and Ukrainian

5) In the last quarter of the 19th and the early 20th century Galicia
stemmed the Muscophile movement, the ideology and policy of the “true
champions of fraternal Slavic unity,” which dealt an irreparable blow to the
monolithic Eastern Slavic union.

6) Galician writers and cultural figures exerted a negative influence on the
new Ukrainian culture, “befouled” the Ukrainian language with foreign
Galician dialects and “incongruous” esthetic components.

7) During the interwar period and World War Two, Galicians formed the
OUN-UPA, a very “aggressive bourgeois nationalist movement” that
collaborated with the German occupiers, relentlessly fought against the
USSR, and thus won the dubious distinction of being “traitors” and

8) Having been affected with the above-mentioned “poisons” – Middle European
(Austro-Hungarian) and Polish spirit, the Church Union, nationalism, and a
categorical anti-Moscow stance – Galicia preserved its traditions and
identity even in the Soviet era; it did not bow to Moscow and was not
mentally Russified; instead, it strengthened, becoming a kind “Carpathian
Croatia,” an eternal bulwark and enemy of the Orthodox Eastern Slavic world
(even though the latter took the form of an atheistic and communist USSR).

Let us now elucidate the causes and ideological foundations of the
anti-Galician stereotypes in the same sequence:

1. True, in terms of mentality and civilization, Galicia posed a threat to
the “Eastern Slavic civilization,” but only in the sense that this kind of
civilization does not exist.

The fake vision of this civilization emerged in the imperial ideology of the
19th-century Russian Slavophiles (Ivan Kireevsky, Aleksei Khomiakov,
Konstantin Aksakov, Nikolai Danilevsky, et al) who tried to substantiate the
right of Russia to own Middle Europe (from Poland to the Balkans) and
developed the idea of “Moscow as the Third Rome” with its claims to being
“the only center of Orthodoxy” and the right to fight for Constantinople
(Istanbul), i.e., the right to pursue an aggressive foreign policy.

That this required the complete assimilation of the empire’s two other great
Slavic peoples – the Ukrainians and Belarusians – was a foregone conclusion.

This is why the imperial doctrine did not show any greater contempt and
disgust for anybody but these two – allegedly “fraternal” – peoples, for
they “disturbed” the empire’s internal unity. In reality, the “Eastern
Slavic civilization,” i.e., Kyivan Rus’, a superpower that was united for a
short time by the Varangians (the Normans, who established several states in
Europe through conquest), disintegrated in the 12th century, when three
large geopolitical centers – the Polotsk Principality, the Novhorod Land,
and the Volodymyr-Suzdal Principality – seceded, one by one, from the
central Kyivan Principality.

This was a natural fact in all the three main dimensions – geopolitical,
national, and mental/civilizational. The Baltic geopolitical circle “drew
away” Polotsk and Novhorod. The Great Eastern European Plain became
the cradle of the future Muscovite Principality, while the Black Sea coastal
area shaped the future space of Ukraine.

In ethnological terms, the Belarusians (Polochans and Dregoviches) were a
symbiosis of Baltic and Slavic ethnoses, the Novhorod people were a mixture
of Balts, Veneds, Slovens, and proto-Finns, the Muscovites were a union of
Slavs and various Finno- Ugric peoples, and the Ukrainians were a symbiosis
of Slavs and Sarmatian Scythians.

In the dimension of mentality and civilization, Polotsk and Novhorod
experienced a strong cultural influence of the Baltic macroregion and
Scandinavia; Muscovy – Turkic nomads; and Ukraine – the Mediterranean
(Byzantine Empire) and Central Europe (the Balkans, Hungary, and Poland).

The differences between Muscovy, Ukraine, and Belarus became especially
evident in the 14th-17th centuries, when the latter two were part of the
Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

It was the time when Ukraine and Belarus experienced the powerful influence
of Catholicism, the ideas of the Renaissance, and Baroque culture. The
nobility formed its own ethics, a specific moral code based on the Western
aristocratic and knightly spirit.

Urban culture was on the rise: cities were granted the Magdeburg Law.
Muscovy could not endure this. Although the closeness of the three Eastern
Slavic languages was preserved, this was due to the great role of the Old
Church Slavonic spiritual, cultural, and written-language tradition rather
than to some mystic affinity among these peoples.

Closeness of languages that have a great cultural tradition is a typical
phenomenon in world history. For example, the Romance languages (Italian,
Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Romanian) are very closely related, and
Arabic is a common language for very different peoples from Morocco to
the Persian Gulf, and so on.

The problem of both Belarus and Ukraine was that, after they were annexed
by Russia in the 18th century, Moscow relentlessly destroyed all these
socio-cultural and spiritual traditions and forcibly imposed the Russian
language and culture on them.

In this space, Galicia (along with Transcarpathia and Bukovyna) remained the
only island free of coercive Russian “influences,” above all, because it
became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1772. This is why its
civilizational and psychological difference from the rest of the gigantic
Russified space is so pronounced.

But this natural distinction fully corresponds with the social structure,
culture, and spirituality of Central Europe – the world between the Baltics
and the Balkans, between the Alps and the Black Sea. The roots of this world
are hidden in the depths of people’s hearts, so all kinds of differences in
Belarusians and Ukrainians continued to emerge whenever Russian pressure

2. The second myth concerns the “accursed” Church Union of Galicia. Indeed,
the assessment of and attitude to the Union have a mystical, superstitious,
and fanatical nature in Russia. The reason is that Moscow embraced too
sincerely and blindly the teachings of Greek fugitives about its exclusive
“mission” in saving the Orthodox world from the “Latinizers” and “infidels.”

This geopolitical role dovetailed perfectly with the idea of the “Third
Rome,” i.e., the strategy of establishing a pivotal imperial political
Eurasian center in Moscow. This why Russia has always considered the Union
as the most perfidious and effective blow to the unity and strength of the
Orthodox world.

Thus, all things related to the Union were literally demonized and
interpreted as a “sacrilege” and mystical “crime” against the spiritual
foundations of Orthodoxy. Meanwhile, what was ignored was the fact that the
Church Union was a natural phenomenon for all Central European peoples
because it proceeded from their psychological and philosophical background
and the principle of openness to West and East.

As long ago as the 12th century, the princely and boiar elite of Kyivan Rus’
adhered to the concept of a dialogue with the Roman Church. The ideology of
the Union ran through the Ukrainian church milieu throughout the 13th-17th

The Union of Brest in 1596 was a qualitatively new and strategic step of the
Ukrainian Church to respond to the challenges of history: the church
embraced Western theological schooling, which at the time was of a much
higher quality than the Orthodox one; it opened up to the progressive world
of ideas, synthesized the influences of Renaissance culture (which gave rise
to the phenomenon of Ukrainian Baroque), and at the same time preserved its
own Byzantine rite, customs, liturgy, and language, thereby becoming a
decisive factor of Ukrainian nation building.

Contrary to the Polish political elite’s expectations, the Uniate Church did
not become a “bridge” for converting the Ukrainians and Belarusians to
Catholicism. Instead, it only cemented Ukrainian- Belarusian society and
made it more mobile. The Uniate Church became a truly national church.

Even the fact that this church structurally revived and gradually won a
prevailing position throughout Right-Bank Ukraine after the reign of Bohdan
Khmelnytsky, when the Cossacks essentially destroyed it, shows its special
organizational dynamics and wholesome directions of development.

As early as the 18th century, both Poland and Russia regarded the Uniate
Church as the main threat to their domination in Ukraine and therefore were
bent on destroying it. In the 19th century, and especially between the 20th
century’s two world wars, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was not only
a reliable bastion of Ukrainian spirituality and the national idea but also
an active and influential religious structure, which, in terms of clergymen’s
education, level of theological thought, and the influence of high-quality
rites on the proliferation of the true faith in society, was the equal of
the most powerful national churches of Central Europe.

This occurred at a time when the Russian Orthodox Church was the principal
tool and ideologue of the mass-scale denationalization of Ukrainians in the
rest of Ukraine. So the Union could only exert a “bad” and “corruptive”
influence on Ukraine in the sense that it showed the illustrative example of
a dynamic national church as a source of the nation’s increasing

3. The third myth is that Poland “spoiled” Galician. Galicia was as much
“spoiled” by Poland as Slovakia was by Hungary, which dominated this

Slovak nation for over 1,000 years, Bohemia by Germany, Slovenia and
Croatia by Austria, Bulgaria by Turkey, and Ireland by Britain.

In all these cases, centuries- long colonization of these nations indicates
only that they managed not only to resist the pressure of the dominant
nations for such a long time and finally gain their independence, but also
create a distinct culture, strengthen their national character, and preserve
a high level of spirituality and social mobility.

That the conquered nations borrowed some psychological, social, behavioral,
cultural, and linguistic features from the conquerors while preserving their
deeply rooted national particularities and traditions attests to the complex
and multifaceted nature of their ethnic structure rather than their
“inferiority” or “backwardness.” The once enslaved nations are in no way
worse than the former dominant nations in terms of sociopolitical mobility
and creative potential.

In other words, the Polish social and cultural influences that Galicia
experienced could not prevent it from preserving its inner Ukrainian
essence: it managed to resist the extremely powerful assimilationist
pressure of the Poles and harden its national character.

By all accounts, all nations develop in a never-ending, broad dialogue with
each other. Thus, more often than not foreign cultural influences can play a
positive, encouraging, and enriching role. Suffice it to recall the cultural
wealth England that once took from its conquerors, the Franco-Normans,
France from Italy, Spain from the Arabs, etc.

 It is only the blinkered and xenophobic strata of the population that can
regard the spiritual and social interrelations of peoples as “illness,”
“loss,” etc., without seeing in this the great stimulating function of
international existence.

The myth of the Polish “bane” (recall the works of the great imperial
Russian writer Fedor Dostoevsky, in which all the Polish characters are
portrayed as highly demonic enemies of the “Orthodox world” or simply
wretched milksops) gained such high currency in Russia’s imperialistic and
chauvinistic propaganda because Poland, with its extremely developed
culture, dauntless spirit of Catholicism, and brilliant and militant
aristocracy and nobility, was the main obstacle to Russia’s domination over
Central Europe. In other words, the point is not in the “bad” Poles but in
Russia’s imperial pretensions.

4. It is illogical to accuse Galicia of spreading nationalism all over
Ukraine because it was precisely Dnipro Ukraine that offered Galicia the
first and main impetus to national development. Ivan Kotliarevsky, the
Romantic poets, Mykhailo Maksymovych, Taras Shevchenko, Panteleimon
Kulish, Oleksandr Konysky, Ivan Nechui-Levytsky, Mykhailo Drahomanov,
and Mykhailo Hrushevsky were the chief leaders and inspirers of the 19th-
century Galician national renaissance.

In the 20th century, they were joined by Dmytro Dontsov, Viacheslav
Lypynsky, Yevhen Malaniuk, Yurii Lypa, Oleh Olzhych, and others. Galicia
became the center of the national movement only because it was freer within
the framework of the Austrian constitutional monarchy, and there was no
relentless imperial pressure on the part of Russia, allegedly the
Ukrainians’ “greatest Slavic brother.”

By all accounts, the Galicians carried out the nation-forming program, as
did every former conquered and oppressed European nation. The Czechs,
Slovaks, Lithuanians, Estonians, Latvians, Bulgarians, Romanians, and others
have also resorted to the same forms and methods of national mobilization
and cultural renaissance in order to become full-fledged nations.

There was no “wolfish” nationalism in Galicia: its nationalism was as
militant as the repression of the conquerors was aggressive.

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