Monthly Archives: September 2007

AUR#873 Sep 28 Will Political Deadlock Be Broken?; Orange-Blue Divide; Rivals Show Unity; Populist Card; No Promise Of Change; Who Lost Ukraine?

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

Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
 
UKRAINE’S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION
Sunday, September 30, 2007
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 873
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2007
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.  WILL SUNDAY’S UKRAINE VOTE BREAK POLITICAL DEADLOCK?
The Orange Revolution parties, mired in infighting, reached an impasse with
pro-Russia Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, spurring emergency elections.
By Fred Weir, Correspondent, The Christian Science Monitor
Boston, Massachusetts, Friday, September 28, 2007
 
2UKRAINE’S ORANGE-BLUE DIVIDE
Similar to the red-blue political split in the US, it has brought the
government to a standstill – forcing emergency elections Sunday.
By Fred Weir, Correspondent, The Christian Science Monitor
Boston, Massachusetts, Friday, September 28, 2007

3UKRAINIAN BAND OKEAN ELZY SINGER CALLS FOR UNITED
UKRAINE TO AVOID CONSTANT ELECTIONS

Vakarchuk defends Orange Revolution ideals, asks people to be patient
Kostis Geropoulos, New Europe Issue 749
Brussels, Belgium, Wed, 26 September 2007

4UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, RIVAL IN SHOW OF UNITY
Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, September 27, 2007

5UKRAINE LEADER EMBRACES EX-PM, URGES “ORANGE” VOTE
By Ron Popeski, Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu Sep 27, 2007

6TYMOSHENKO EYES NEW ALLIANCE WITH PRESIDENT
Daniel McLaughlin in Lviv, Ukraine, Irish Times
Dublin, Ireland, Irish Times, Thursday, Sep 27, 2007

7UKRAINE VOTES
Country faces enormous economic challenges as it heads to the polls.
Commentary: By Bruce P. Jackson, The Daily Standard

Washington, D.C. Thursday, September 27, 2007

8UKRAINE’S CONTENDERS FIGHT OVER JADED POPULACE
By Roman Olearchyk and Stefan Wagstyl, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, September 27, 2007

9UKRAINE: HARVEST TIME FOR FARMERS’ VOTES
Analysis: By Jim Davis, Business Ukraine magazine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 24, 2007

10.  POLITICAL TURMOIL FAILS TO STUNT UKRAINE’S GROWTH
By Conor Humphries, Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, September 27, 2007

11PROGRESS ALONG THE ROCKY ROAD TO DEMOCRACY
Commentary: Peter Dickinson, Business Ukraine magazine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 24, 2007

12DEVOID OF ORANGE REVOLUTION OPTIMISM, UKRAINE
HEADS INTO FOURTH ELECTION IN THREE YEARS
Associated Press (AP), Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Sep 27 2007

13UKRAINE: PLAYING THE POPULIST CARD
By Jan Maksymiuk, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, September 27, 2007

14UKRAINE’S POLITICAL CLANS GRID FOR AFTER-THE-

PARLIAMENTARY-VOTE PROTESTS
Feature: Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, 27 September 2007

15UNITED STATES HELSINKI COMMISSION CHAIR HASTINGS AND
CO-CHAIR CARDIN URGE POLITICAL STABILITY IN UKRAINE
‘September 30 Elections Vital to Advancing Democracy’
U.S. Helsinki Commission, Washington, D.C., Mon, Sep 24, 2007

16UKRAINE’S QUEST FOR MATURE NATION STATEHOOD
ROUNDTABLE VIII, UKRAINE-EU RELATIONS

October 16-17, 2007, Ronald Reagan Building, Washington, DC
Steering Committee, Ukraine’s Quest for Mature Nation Statehood
Roundtable VIII, Ukraine-EU Relations,
New York, New York, Friday, September 28, 2007

17ELECTIONS IN UKRAINE: ORANGE OR BLUE?
Europarl.europa.eu, Brussels, Belgium, Thu, 27 Sep 2007

18UKRAINE: NEW POLLS HOLD NO PROMISE OF CHANGE
Ukrainians can expect the discord to continue
By Jan Maksymiuk, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, September 27, 2007

19UKRAINE: UPCOMING ELECTION
Briefing: Oxford Business Group, London, UK, Tue, 25 Sep 2007

20DANGER POINTS AND THE UNDECIDED VOTE
Analysis & Commentary: By Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, September 27, 2007

 
21SOCIAL POLICY AMONG POLITICIANS: EVE OF EARLY ELECTIONS
Analysis: By Yaroslav Varyvoda, UCIPR project expert
“Civic Education in the 2007 Parliamentary Elections”.
Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007
 
CRYSTAL BALLS – AND NAIL VARNISH
By Sebastian Smith, Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday September 27, 2007
 
23UKRAINE: SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE
Commentary: Andrei Levkin, Polit.ru, Moscow, Russia, Thu, Sep 27, 2007
 
24UKRAINE’S ELECTION, PREPARING FOR THE NEXT DRAMA
Real test for Ukraine’s warring parties will come after this weekend’s election
The Economist print edition, London, UK, Thu, Sep 27, 2007
 
25WHO LOST UKRAINE? THE WRONG QUESTION
Commentary: Samuel Charap, International Herald Tribune (IHT)
Paris, France, Thursday, September 27, 2007
 
26UKRAINE: HERE WE GO AGAIN
Political problems run deeper than another set of elections can possibly fix.
Analysis and Commentary: by Ivan Lozowy, Transitions Online (TOL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, 26 September 2007
 
27‘IN UKRAINE ALL VICTORIES ARE FLEETING’
Ukrainian novelist Andrey Kurkov discusses the early parliamentary
election on Sunday, the unfulfilled promise of the Orange Revolution
and the real powerbrokers in Ukraine.
Opinion: By Andrey Kurkov, Ukrainian Novelist
Der Spiegel Online magazine, Germany, Thu, Sep 27, 2007
28BEAUTIFUL BUT TOUGH: TYMOSHENKO ATTACKS TYCOONS
By Stefan Korshak, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)
Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 26, 2007
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1
WILL SUNDAY’S UKRAINE VOTE BREAK POLITICAL DEADLOCK?
The Orange Revolution parties, mired in infighting, reached an impasse with
pro-Russia Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, spurring emergency elections.

By Fred Weir, Correspondent, The Christian Science Monitor
Boston, Massachusetts, Friday, September 28, 2007

LVOV, Ukraine – A little thrill swept through the thousands assembled on
Lvov’s main square when Yulia Tymoshenko, dressed in a flowing pink robe
and her hair in her trademark peasant braids, took the stage.

To warm up, the heroine of the 2004 “Orange Revolution” sang a patriotic
song with one of the country’s top rock groups.

Then she launched into a passionate, 85-minute speech to convince skeptics
that Ukraine remains on the path to democracy and integration with the West,
despite the past three years of debilitating political crisis.

A victory for her Fatherland Party (BYuT) in this Sunday’s emergency
parliamentary elections could bring a breakthrough, she insisted. “I will do
what needs to be done, I promise you that,” she said, to scattered applause.

Ms. Tymoshenko is not alone in billing this campaign as a battle for
Ukraine’s soul, between the Western-leaning Orange parties led by herself
and President Viktor Yushchenko, and the pro-Russian “Blue” Party of
Regions headed by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich.

But some voters say they’re exhausted, and increasingly skeptical, because
this is Ukraine’s fourth election in less than three years, and most surveys
suggest the lineup in the 450-seat Supreme Rada is unlikely to change.

“It’s impossible not to feel disillusioned,” says Nikolai Zhupylo, a social
psychologist with the independent Socionika Center in Lvov. “There is a
growing part of the population that will never again be interested in
politics. Now people are more concerned with solving their own personal
problems.”

All surveys taken in early September, before a ban on publishing preelection
polls came into effect, put Mr. Yanukovich’s party in the lead with about a
third of the votes.

Tymoshenko’s BYuT comes second with up to 23 percent, while Mr.
Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine coalition trails with under 15 percent. Of 20 or
so small parties in the running, only the Communists appear poised to hurdle
the 3 percent barrier for winning seats in the Rada.
‘STRONG TEMPTATION’ TO FIX BALLOTS
Recent elections in Ukraine have been deemed clean and fair by international
observers, but concern about voter fraud – thought to have been banished by
the pro-democracy Orange Revolution – have resurfaced during the current
campaign.

Under Ukraine’s election system, voters cast their ballots for a national
party rather than a locally-based candidate. Thus, authorities in the
heavily Orange west and Blue east have inducements to maximize their party’s
showing by any means possible.

“Half of Ukraine supports Orange, and the other half Blue, so a tiny
additional margin added by cheating could make all the difference,” says
Roman Koshovi, Lvov chairman of the Committee of Ukrainian Voters, an
independent monitoring group. “The temptation to fix some ballots will be
very strong on all sides.”

Last week Ukraine’s SBU security service, which is controlled by Yushchenko,
accused regional authorities in the eastern region of Kharkov of registering
almost 100,000 nonexistent persons on the voter rolls.

Tymoshenko has alleged that recent amendments to election laws introduced by
Yanukovich’s government could deprive more than 1 million Ukrainians of
their right to vote and enable corrupt local authorities to stuff ballot
boxes. “Ukraine is again facing the threat of massive falsification,” she
warned.

All three big political parties are already pitching tents and positioning
supporters on Kiev’s central Maidan square – where the Orange Revolution
unfolded – in order to launch mass protests if Sunday’s results show any
suspicious gains for either side.

To avoid such turmoil, Ukraine’s nongovernmental groups intend to carry out
four separate nationwide exit polls, and the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe has sent 600 election observers to monitor the
counting.
WHY ORANGE LOST MOMENTUM
Many Ukrainians blame Yushchenko for fumbling the opportunity handed to him
by the Orange Revolution, which vaulted him into power with a mandate to
introduce sweeping market reforms, take Ukraine into NATO and prepare it for
eventual membership in the European Union.

Instead, the Orange coalition dissolved as Yushchenko quarrelled with, then
fired, Prime Minister Tymoshenko. Parliamentary polls last year brought
Yanukovich back as president. Most of the time since has been consumed with
infighting between president and parliament.

Though Ukraine’s economy boasts an estimated growth rate of 7 percent this
year, reforms are on hold pending resolution of the political deadlock.

A recent survey by the Kiev-based Institute of Social and Political
Psychology found that corruption is rampant, with over half of Ukrainians
reporting that they regularly pay bribes to officials to get things done.

“A lot of public money is supposedly directed at fixing up this city’s
infrastructure, but the results suggest that much of that money just goes
missing,” says Igor Gulik, editor of the liberal daily Lvivskaya Gazeta in
Lvov.
WHAT WILL NEW PARLIAMENT DO?
If the Orange and Blue forces are evenly matched, experts say, much will
depend on the ability of the fiery Orange populist, Tymoshenko, to cobble
together a large enough parliamentary coalition to become prime minister; if
not, the pro-Moscow technocrat Yanukovich is likely to return.

Both rivals of Yushchenko, Tymoshenko and Yanukovich are already angling
for the main prize: to unseat him when the next presidential polls roll
around in 2009. Some experts suggest that it might be better to get that over

with sooner.

“I don’t see the outcome of these elections solving Ukraine’s crisis of
power,” says Anatoly Romaniuk, a political scientist at Ivan Franko
University in Lvov. “If the crisis deepens, it will push Ukraine toward
early presidential elections, and that might provide a clear resolution and
a way forward.”
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LINK: http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0928/p04s01-woeu.html
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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2.  UKRAINE’S ORANGE-BLUE DIVIDE
Similar to the red-blue political split in the US, it has brought the
government to a standstill – forcing emergency elections Sunday.

By Fred Weir, Correspondent, The Christian Science Monitor
Boston, Massachusetts, Friday, September 28, 2007

It’s similar to the red-blue political divide in America – except it’s
orange-blue. And there’s a much longer history behind it.

Ukraine’s bitter west-east schism is reflected in the political deadlock
between its “Orange” and Blue parties that has nearly paralyzed the state
for the past year.

As the country of 50 million heads into parliamentary elections Sunday
intended to break the stalemate, the two sides remain separated by language,
religious traditions, societal histories, and geopolitical preferences. Some
analysts suggest that, given such divisions, political standoffs could
perpetually reoccur.

According to the independent Kiev International Institute of Sociology,
people in Ukraine’s eight western provinces, who make up about a quarter of
the electorate, are eight times more likely to vote for the “Orange” parties
headed by President Viktor Yushchenko and former Prime Minister Yulia
Tymoshenko, which stand for integrating with the European Union, joining
NATO, and keeping Moscow at a distance.

In the three eastern provinces, also containing a quarter of the electorate,
people are eight times more likely to vote for the “Blue” Party of Regions,
headed by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, which wants to make Russian
the second official language, forge closer economic ties with Russia and
stay out of NATO.

“The electoral forces supporting the two sides are almost equal, ensuring
that any parliamentary majority will be small and fragile,” says Oleksander
Shushko, an analyst with the independent Institute for Euro-Atlantic
Integration in Kiev.

“These deep divisions in the country ensure that the political standoff will
keep returning, and the best way to deal with it is to hold more elections.”
AN EAST-WEST SPLIT WITH DEEP ROOTS
The western part of Ukraine, known as Galicia, was part of the Catholic
states of Austria-Hungary and Poland for hundreds of years before Soviet
dictator Joseph Stalin forcibly annexed it to the Soviet Union after World
War II. Decades of brutal Soviet repression have left powerful anticommunist
and anti-Russian feelings that still linger here.

Oleksandr Gumeniuk is a veteran of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which
fought a desperate guerrilla war against Soviet forces in the forested
Carpathian mountains near here – with covert help from the US – for more
than 10 years after the end of World War II.

Though the USSR vanished 16 years ago, Mr. Gumeniuk and a dwindling
handful of survivors from that shadowy conflict remain one of the most
explosive issues on a list of flashpoints that profoundly divide Ukrainians
and have kept the country in a state of rolling political crisis for the
past several years.

While many here in the Ukrainian-speaking, nationalist west think the
anti-Soviet veterans should be given military pensions and treated as
Ukrainian patriots, their demands provoke fury in the heavily Russified east
of Ukraine, where most accepted Soviet rule and millions served in the Red
Army.

“Ukrainian independence today is a direct consequence of our struggle,” says
Gumeniuk, head of a local veterans’ group, who was captured by the Soviet
secret police and spent 12 years in a Siberian prison camp after the war.
“We just want to be recognized. History should record that we fought for
Ukraine’s freedom.”

Three years ago, when news came that then-presidential candidate Mr.
Yanukovich of the Blue side may have stolen the election from the Orange
champion Viktor Yushchenko, thousands of people in Lvov boarded buses and
headed for the capital, Kiev, to protest.

“I was one of the first to arrive in Kiev, and the streets were already full
of people passionately supporting Yushchenko,” says Anatoly Romaniuk, a
political scientist at Ivan Franko University in Lvov. “For many of us, it
was the moment when we would finally begin to build a truly independent and
democratic Ukraine.”

The Greek-Catholic Church, an amalgam of Orthodox rites and Catholic dogma
that was banned during Soviet times has since revived, now holding the
allegiance of more than half of religious believers in western Ukraine, says
Andriy Yurash, a religion specialist at Lvov State University.

Along with two Ukraine-based Orthodox sects, the Greek-Catholic Church came
out in full support of the Orange Revolution. “During the Orange Revolution
the church held daily services in the main square of Lvov to pray for its
success,” says Mr. Yurash.

In Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, the predominant Russian Orthodox
Church, which is led by the patriarch in Moscow, opposed the Orange
Revolution and has given its official blessing to Yanukovich in the current
elections.

“It is gradually becoming clear to us that this split between east and west
Ukraine has very deep civilizational roots and will not be easily overcome –
if ever,” says Yurash.
WHILE MANY ARE DISILLUSIONED,
SOME STILL HOPE FOR RECONCILIATION

Though Mr. Yushchenko was vaulted into the presidency in fresh elections
following the Orange Revolution, the hope that he might find ways to heal
Ukraine’s divisions has fizzled out amid squabbling in the Orange camp and
persistent political crisis.

Following parliamentary polls last year, Yanukovich’s party came roaring
back with a plurality of the Supreme Rada’s 450 seats and, after a lengthy
Blue versus Orange struggle, a dispirited Yushchenko was compelled to name
Yanukovich prime minister. Opinion surveys suggest the current elections may
do little more than reproduce the same lineup.

Some experts fear popular exhaustion with democracy may play into the hands
of extremists, such as the radical nationalist Svoboda party, whose support
is growing rapidly around Lvov, or the old-line Communist Party, which is
still strong in the east.

Ruslan Koshulinsky, Svoboda’s deputy chairman, says people in Lvov
increasingly want to see the half-hearted measures of Yushchenko and
Tymoshenko swept aside.

“In a spiritual sense, we are still under Russian occupation,” he says. “We
respect freedom, but steps must be taken to unite the [Ukrainian] ethos, or
we will never be independent.”

But, surprisingly, some of the toughest characters from Ukraine’s tragic
past insist that the only route to salvation lies through compromise and
reconciliation.

“In other parts of Europe people who were on opposite sides of the
barricades in civil conflicts have long since shaken hands and moved on,”
says Gumeniuk. “When is it going to happen here?”
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LINK: http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0928/p04s02-woeu.html?page=1

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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3.  UKRAINIAN BAND OKEAN ELZY SINGER CALLS FOR
UNITED UKRAINE TO AVOID CONSTANT ELECTIONS
Vakarchuk defends Orange Revolution ideals, asks people to be patient

Kostis Geropoulos, New Europe Issue 749
Brussels, Belgium, Wed, 26 September 2007

As tired Ukrainians voters go to the polls on September 30 for the fourth
time in three years, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, front singer of the Ukrainian
band Okean Elzy, who is also on the list of Our Ukraine bloc (Nasha
Ukrayina), told New Europe “the main task of Ukraine is to unite everybody
no matter what the colour of flag they have” to avoid another political
stalemate after the parliamentary election.

What Ukraine needs is young blood in politics, he said. “In the nearest past
we saw that some political leaders do not treat agreements between different
parties as something saint. Today they sign it, tomorrow they resign, after
that the sign it one more time.

“That is the morality of the politicians and it’s not a problem of one
party; it’s a problem of this generation of politicians,” he said in Athens
on September 24, the first stop of his musical tour titled “Ya yidu do domu”
(I’m going home).

“At this time I don’t see a great difference between politicians in all the
political camps. And that’s why our task is to take to the politics new
coming leaders who will solve this problem and unite all the people no
matter on what language they speak, no matter on what church they go, no
matter what historical past they had. We are all Ukrainians and we need to
be united,” Vakarchuk said.

The leading band singer and ardent ‘Orange’ supporter was one of the first
people to gather with thousands of young Ukrainians in Kiev’s Maidan Square
during the 2004 Orange Revolution.

Despite the mistakes of ‘Orange’ teams and people’s disappointment in the
following years, Vakarchuk defended the ideals of the Orange Revolution.

“The lessons of history teach us the revolutions never yield immediate
results. We have many, many examples where at first the revolutions were
treated by people as a panacea for all problems but then came some
disappointment.

“It was the same in Ukraine with the Orange revolution. Certainly your
demands for the revolution are very high and then, if it doesn’t work out,
you are disappointed, but what I think is that in spite of this
disappointment, we have done a great job because the mentality begun to
change. Before that we were a typical post-Soviet society.

“That was a society partly breaking the rules of the Soviet country, but not
breaking the Soviet mood. And after the Orange Revolution, people began to
understand that from this time they were the masters of their future and
that is very, very important and that may be the main goal of the
revolution.

“Talking about political and economic changes, they certainly don’t come
immediately after the revolution,” Vakarchuk said.

“Now we have this unstable situation. That is why we have different
elections because there is internal fight in Ukraine for the future.”

The Okean Elzy singer laughed when New Europe pointed out that during a

July journalists’ trip to Ukraine a 75-year-old woman, Maria Tsymbal, in the
village of Viktorivka, said she would vote for the Yulia Timoshenko bloc
because of its leader’s notorious hairstyle.

“Yes, people like leaders. It’s normal for every country,” he said. “But the
problem is that sometimes the parties give you the same things in their
programmes. The problem is not that people don’t know the content of these
problems, the problem is this content is the same.”

He said that Regions Party, Yulia Timoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine block, are
more-or-less centrist parties with left or right leaning tendencies. He said
that unlike Europe there is also a second dimension in addition to right or
left and that is pro-European or pro-Russian.

Vakarchuk said the party he supports, Our Ukraine, wants to build a strong
country that participates in European structures. He explained that while

most Ukrainians are familiar with the EU, they are confused over NATO.

“About the EU they are more certain. About NATO the situation is even funny
because if you ask them: ‘Do you like NATO?’ They say, ‘no.’ But if you ask
them: ‘Do you like North Atlantic Treaty?’ Sometimes they say, ‘yes.'”

He said the issue of NATO in Ukraine is very complicated. “Firstly, there
were 50 years of Soviet propaganda. It’s absolutely normal that for Soviet
people who were born at that time NATO was treated like an enemy.

“It was the same thing like for Americans when the Warsaw Treaty was treated
like an enemy. It is normal. But after 1991 what happened?

In some countries like the three Baltic countries or Central European
countries like Poland or the Czech Republic the propaganda stopped and
people were allowed to have a lot of information about then real situation
in the North Atlantic Treaty and that’s why in some years after that they
managed to take the right decision,” Vakarchuk explained.

“In our country we have lack of information about NATO. It doesn’t matter if
the information negative or positive but there is a lack and people do not
know different things.

“Sometimes I have meetings with students…and I ask them a question: Do you
know if the NATO forces are present in Iraq or not? And 95 percent of
students with high education, they think that NATO is present in Iraq as an
organisation. Only five percent thinks that is not.

“And when I say to them that they are absolutely incorrect and only the
United States separately or British armies are present there and not NATO
they are very surprised.

“If students are surprised, imagine other people…We are not ready for a
professional discussion. We need to have much more time top learn about
NATO. But it is very strategic thing about Ukraine.”

Regarding the EU, Vakarchuk told New Europe it is not as controversial from
the point of view of Ukrainian structure. “European Union is clear because
it is a union of economic and political union of western countries,” he
said.

He noted that joining the EU and NATO are fundamentals of Ukraine’s foreign
policy. “This discussion needs to be treated as a civilisation choice.

“That’s why I think the first problem for us is the problem of NATO and only
the second is the problem of the European Union because we are very far from
the European Union.

“I’m absolutely honest and clear about that and it’s not a question of some
politicians from Europe like (EU External Relations Commissioner) Benita
Ferrero-Waldner or somebody else who need to say to us that it is an unreal
situation.

“We need to understand it ourselves…We are Europeans and that’s why we
need to solve such unpleasant problems like visa problems,” he said.

He lashed out at western embassies denying Ukrainians visas for convenient
excuse. “In our country some people are very angry about what some embassies
of European Union countries do, especially Schengen countries about visa.
Sometimes the behaviour of these embassies is not the behaviour of
 partners,” Vakarchuk said, adding that the EU should step up and solve this
problem.

He stressed that it is in the interest of the whole Europe to have a strong
Ukraine. “Europe must be interested in a strong Ukraine and if somebody is
not interested, it’s because of internal European problems and when Europe
will be absolutely strong by itself, the next step will be to take Ukraine
in,” he said.

Regarding relations with Russia, Vakarchuk said Moscow often tries to use
gas prices to influence Ukraine. “It concerns not only Ukraine, it concerns
all of Europe especially Eastern and Central Europe,” he said.

“In the highest level, Russian politicians they don’t accept the 100 percent
independence of Ukraine. They understand the political independence of
Ukraine because they understand that the time has come and we are a separate
country. But they do not want to accept the whole independence.

“That is why they try to influence us with economic rules, but the stronger
they do it, the stronger we become. I’m very happy that two years ago Russia
gave us market prices for the gas because the earlier they do it the earlier
we will become stronger and we manage to do something without these
dictations,” he said.

The Okean Elzy lead singer downplayed concerns about divisions between
Ukraine’s east and west. “We are an ethnical country,” he said. “Other
problems are historical and maybe sometimes political but these problems can
be solved with the help of new leaders,” he said.

And the Ukrainians are going to the polls this Sunday to do just that!
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LINK: http://www.neurope.eu/articles/78121.php
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

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4.  UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, RIVAL IN SHOW OF UNITY

Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, September 27, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine – President Viktor Yushchenko and sometimes ally Yulia
Tymoshenko called for unity Thursday, staging a televised meeting just days
before Ukraine’s crucial parliamentary elections.

The two politicians, who joined forces during the tumultuous 2004 Orange
Revolution, have repeatedly indicated they are trying to mend fences.

Top officials with their political parties had agreed that whichever of
their two parties won the most votes in Sunday’s election would name the
prime minister.

In an apparent effort to woo liberal-leaning voters, Yushchenko warmly
greeted Tymoshenko and he tenderly kissed her hand in the televised meeting.
“We have only one option and that is forming a democratic coalition,”
Yushchenko said.

Polls have suggested a three-way split among the country’s main parties,
raising the prospect of protracted coalition talks.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko, along with Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych,

are all calling for changes in the constitution to break the political
paralysis.

The pro-Western Yushchenko and the more Russian-leaning Yanukovych have

been wrestling for dominance since 2004, when Yushchenko led the Orange
Revolution – massive street protests denouncing fraud during the
presidential election in which Yanukovych was initially declared the winner.

The Supreme Court threw out the results, and Yushchenko won a rerun.
Tymoshenko became his prime minister until he fired her in 2005 amid
widespread disillusionment.

In March 2006, Yanukovych’s party gained the most seats in parliamentary
elections, propelling him back into the prime minister’s post and ushering
in a Cabinet that has opposed Yushchenko and brought forth the current
political paralysis.

Despite Thursday’s meeting and their similar politics, it remains unclear
whether the fragile relationship between Yushchenko and Tymoshenko will
endure.

In a statement released earlier by Yushchenko’s press service, he again
conjured the image of the Orange Revolution and the thousands of protesters
jamming Kiev’s Independence Square in calling for solidarity with his former
allies.

“All the forces of democracy, including those that stood shoulder to
shoulder on Independence Square have drawn serious conclusions from

our most  recent history,” Yushchenko said according to the press service.

The task “we’re faced with today is to send a clear signal to the people
that the democrats are ready to act together and to implement national
priorities together.”
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5.  UKRAINE LEADER EMBRACES EX-PM, URGES “ORANGE” VOTE

By Ron Popeski, Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu Sep 27, 2007

KIEV – President Viktor Yushchenko, newly reconciled with “Orange
Revolution” heroine Yulia Tymoshenko, embraced her on Thursday and urged
liberals to set aside past quarrels and unite to win a weekend parliamentary
election.

The early election on Sunday is intended to end months of political deadlock
pitting Yushchenko against the rival he defeated in the 2004 upheaval, Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovich.

Yushchenko was shown on television embracing Tymoshenko, the prime minister
he sacked from his first “orange” government, and making it plain she could
return to office if voters returned an “orange” majority.

“We have only one option and that is forming a democratic coalition. Period.
And I mean period,” Yushchenko said.

The “orange” camp, he said, had to “agree on an effective and fast policy
for people … so that voters understand that victory would justify all
their expectations.”

Hoarse and sporting her trademark braid, Tymoshenko looked moved. She

said the alliance was a logical step after the 2004 rallies when they stood
together in Kiev’s Independence Square.

“What we started together in the square was only the beginning,” she said.
“It is certain the democratic forces will win … I support your thinking
300 percent.”

Sunday’s election is certain to produce a close finish and spawn long,
difficult negotiations to form a stable majority in the 450-seat assembly
able to form a government.

Polls put Yanukovich’s Regions Party, its support based in Russian-speaking,
eastern Ukraine, in the lead with 30 percent support. His communist allies
are also likely to win seats.
ORANGE HORDES
But the combined tally of “orange” groups – Tymoshenko’s bloc followed by
the pro-presidential Our Ukraine party – is right behind, backed in the
nationalist west and the centre.

No other group among 20 on the ballot is likely to clear 3 percent of the
popular vote to enter parliament. Some polls give an outside chance to a
bloc led by a centrist former parliamentary speaker, Volodymyr Lytvyn.

Yanukovich, blunt in addressing crowds, denounces Tymoshenko as reckless
while sparing the president from criticism.

On Wednesday, he told television viewers in eastern Ukraine: “Everything
that happened after the Orange Revolution has been a nightmare … It is
clear to us that the orange hordes want once again to use their populism to
dupe the Ukrainian people.”

Both Yanukovich and Tymoshenko plan mass rallies in central Kiev for Friday,
the final day of campaigning.

Yushchenko took office in early 2005 after mass pro-Western “orange”
protests helped overturn a rigged presidential poll initially won by
Yanukovich, backed at the time by Russia.

He appointed Tymoshenko prime minister and embarked on an ambitious plan to
move Ukraine closer to the West. But the two fell out and she was dismissed
within eight months.

Yanukovich rebounded to become prime minister after his party took first
place in last year’s election, leaving advocates of the revolution divided
and disillusioned.

Yushchenko dissolved parliament and called the election after accusing
Yanukovich of an illegal power grab.

This campaign has removed nearly all distinctions of orientation towards
Moscow or the West. Both sides pledge to uphold national interests and boost
living standards.

Yanukovich, whose government presided over growth of 7.1 percent in 2006,
describes himself as pro-European.

Many analysts, remembering four months of coalition talks after last year’s
election, suggest Yushchenko may opt for a “broad coalition” between Our
Ukraine and the prime minister’s party to bridge Ukraine’s east-west gap.

Tymoshenko denounces such a pact as “betrayal” and the president backed

away from the notion as the campaign closed.
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================      
6.  TYMOSHENKO EYES NEW ALLIANCE WITH PRESIDENT

Daniel McLaughlin in Lviv, Ukraine, Irish Times
Dublin, Ireland, Irish Times, Thursday, Sep 27, 2007

UKRAINE: Beneath the broad trees that line Lviv’s main boulevard, the old
men played on, regardless. Nothing interrupted their chess or their
dominoes: not the falling chestnuts that bounced around them nor the sensory
bombardment of a Yulia Tymoshenko campaign rally.

At one end of the boulevard stands Lviv’s grand opera house, at the other,
the square that was taken over yesterday by Tymoshenko’s final appeal to
voters in her western Ukrainian stronghold to deliver victory in Sunday’s
general election.

If the old men had looked up from their games, they would have seen a huge
stage flanked by screens and loudspeakers, fluttering banners and booths
handing out Yulia merchandise to all – from toddlers to pensioners – in this
city of 650,000 people.

Her party’s symbol, a red heart on a white backdrop, was everywhere, on
flags, T-shirts, stickers, postcards, balloons and, until a tousled rocker
in a white suit appeared to warm up the crowd, it was displayed on screens
that glowed through the mist.

Tymoshenko would cut a striking figure on any political scene, let alone the
turgid post-Soviet stage, and she has presence to match her looks.

Her speech in Lviv, delivered in a voice husky from weeks on the hustings,
was clear, impassioned and witty, in contrast to the dry and sometimes
dithering efforts of President Viktor Yushchenko and the monotonous drone of
prime minister Viktor Yanukovich.

Tymoshenko focused on deriding Yanukovich’s Regions Party – which leads
opinion polls on the back of overwhelming support in largely
Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine – and calling for a ruling alliance with
Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party.

“With one voice, we must vote against this anti-Ukrainian party, these
anti-Ukrainian politicians,” said Tymoshenko of the bloc led by Yanukovich,
who capitalised on disputes among his rivals to bounce back from defeat in
the 2004 “Orange Revolution”.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko were at loggerheads after he fired her from the
post of prime minister and eventually accepted Yanukovich as her
replacement – but she vowed yesterday to do her utmost to forge a working
alliance with the president.

She also vehemently denounced suggestions that Yushchenko’s party could form
a “grand coalition” with the Regions Party, something she said would be a
betrayal of the Orange Revolution, which overturned Yanukovich’s fraudulent
election “victory”.

Tymoshenko attributed the orange team’s shambolic post-revolution efforts to
govern to “too much political optimism and romanticism”, but asked for
another chance with an imprecation for “everyone who loves Ukraine to unite
as one team”.

However, as dozens of white- and-red balloons swirled up over Lviv, and
Tymoshenko waved her goodbyes, many people left for home still weary of
Ukraine’s politics.

“We were all for Yushchenko and Tymoshenko in 2004, but nothing improved,”
said Roman (44) who refused to give his surname.

“Our politicians promise everyone the earth but, when they get power, they
just squabble among themselves.”

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
7.  UKRAINE VOTES
The country faces enormous economic challenges as it heads to the polls.

COMMENTARY: By Bruce P. Jackson, The Daily Standard

Washington, D.C. Thursday, September 27, 2007

THIS SUNDAY’S parliamentary election in Ukraine shares at least one thing in
common with next year’s Presidential election in the United States. During
overlong campaigns, in the parade of political personalities and the
blizzard of distortions and half truths, it is nearly impossible to remember
what either election is all about.

Although our candidates use the campaign to show off what they imagine to
be their attractive qualities (toughness, trustworthiness, and often only
good looks), the 2008 American election is about the foreign policy crisis
which this country has entered.

Basically, the average American is questioning his country’s role and
purpose in international politics. The war in Iraq is the proximate cause of
this loss of national self-confidence, but the underlying question of what
the United States should do and not do both at home and abroad has been
simmering since the end of the Cold War.

In a nutshell, our Presidential debate is between those who think the United
States is like Winston Churchill’s England in 1940: beleaguered, but brave
and fundamentally on the right side of history.

And others who think the United States should come to resemble Sweden;
well-adjusted, graciously multi-lateral, and content to spend more time at
home. But you would never know that to listen to our candidates this year.

In Ukraine, it is even harder to identify what underlying question will be
addressed in the upcoming election.

Some of the confusion lies in the truly staggering amount of political
shouting and personal vitriol which passes for campaigning in Ukraine, but
the fact that the elections were triggered by presidential fiat and not by a
constitutional schedule further confused the issue.

And none of Ukraine’s candidates have gone very far out of their way to
explain to the voters how complex and difficult the challenges any
government in Kiev will face are.

Various theories have been advanced to explain the prolonged political
crisis in Ukraine, all of them at best partially true and most completely
false.

[1] The original explanation was that Ukraine’s frequent, indecisive
elections were part of the process of building a Ukrainian nation.

While there may be some superficial truth to the perception that people from
Lvov, Odessa, and Dnipropetrovs’k are not overly fond of each other,
everyone believes (even politicians) they are part of a Ukrainian nation and
are fiercely patriotic.

[2] About a year ago, a second theory appeared which held that the elections
would be a decision on whether Ukraine would be a pro-Russian state or a
pro-European state. This theory is demonstrably false and intentionally
misleading.

The culture and history that Ukraine shares with Russia is a matter of
historical fact, and history cannot be rewritten by election or referendum.
Similarly, the intimacy of Ukraine’s relations with Europe is established by
history, geography, and shared economic interest.

Ukraine will always be close to and independent of both Russia and Europe,
and there is nothing any of Ukraine’s parties can do about it. We can be
confident that this election is not about violating the iron laws of
geopolitics.

[3] The final theory and the one with the greatest following today is that
this parliamentary election is about political stability, and there is some
truth to this. We all hope that the next government of Ukraine can, well . .
. govern.

The government of Yulia Timoshenko performed poorly on the economy and was
dismissed after only seven months. The government of Victor Yanukovich did
better on the economy and joining the WTO, but failed to maintain the trust
of its coalition partners and was also dismissed.

Indeed so many ministers, judges, and parliaments have been dismissed since
2004, only Khmelnytskyy still holds his original position on St. Sofia
Square.

Certainly, Sunday’s election is about political stability, but stability is
only a condition, not an objective. It seems to me that for the Ukrainian
voter the choice of the next prime minister and the coalition that provides
his government a political mandate is fundamentally a choice about Ukraine’s
economic future.

Ukraine is on the threshold of entering the World Trade Organization, which
is the gateway to the global economy. Europe is prepared for the first time
in at least a century to consider opening a free trade zone with Ukraine,
something the European Union did with Turkey 40 years ago.

Moving Ukraine into international markets and opening European markets for
Ukrainian goods would make a far greater difference for the average family
in Ukraine than the distant possibility of NATO membership or whether
Ukraine’s bureaucrats speak Ukrainian or Russian or both.

Today, major Russian companies are listed on the London Stock Exchange,
where they can attract investment and raise capital. No major Ukrainian
company is listed on any European or American exchange.

Over the last ten years, Ukraine has attracted a small fraction of the
foreign direct investment its neighbors, Poland and Slovakia, were able to
bring in. This factor alone has curtailed growth, depressed salaries and
cost Ukrainian workers job security.

In a few short years, students and workers from the Baltics, Poland, the
Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria will travel freely
throughout the European Union and the United States without visas.

But the next generation of Ukrainian students will be denied these
educational opportunities, and its workers will be prohibited from
exercising the mobility of their labor.

As a result, over the next generation, Ukrainian families will be
significantly poorer than they should be–unless, of course, the next
government in Kiev gets serious and gets to work.

These are the stakes on Sunday. The Ukrainian voters have to choose the
party list which they believe will best be able to get their wives and
husbands and children out of the economic trap into which Ukraine and

all of Eastern Europe fell after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Much of the campaign ignored the issues that affect the lives of ordinary
citizens: jobs, education, and growth.

The real question that will or at least should be decided on Sunday is who
is most capable of driving through the economic reforms and opening the
international markets that are essential if the sons and daughters of
Ukraine are to prosper in the 21st century.
———————————————————————————————–
Bruce P. Jackson is President of the Project on Transitional Democracies,
a bi-partisan non-profit organization based in Washington, DC.
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http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/159lnnbn.asp

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
========================================================
8.  UKRAINE’S CONTENDERS FIGHT OVER JADED POPULACE

By Roman Olearchyk and Stefan Wagstyl, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, September 27, 2007

When Viktor Yanukovich, Ukraine’s prime minister, hits the Black Sea port
of Odessa in the last days of campaigning before Sunday’s parliamentary
elections, the crowd greets him with cheers, applause and a mass of blue
flags.

President Victor Yushchenko has called elections early, only 18 months after
the last parliamentary vote, to try to resolve his bitter three-year power
struggle with Mr Yanukovich.

Speaking in the city’s Greek square, Mr Yanukovich urges voters to reject
his two main rivals: Mr Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko, the firebrand
ex-prime minister, who together led the 2004 Orange Revolution.

His voice hoarse after weeks of speech-making, he says: “We need to unite
and once and for all say No to this Orange horde. . . . to wipe them out of
politics.”

The 3,000 supporters respond with a shout. But all is not what it seems.
Prominent among those with the blue flags of Mr Yanukovich’s Regions party
are students who say they were paid to attend.

Alongside stand elderly people transported from the countryside, happy to
participate in ex­change for a day out. The Regions party denies mak­ing
such payments, saying the claims are “black PR”.

On the same day as Mr Yanukovich’s campaign, hundreds of students and rural
pensioners are gathered outsi de Odessa’s Opera house waving orange flags to
welcome Mr Yushchenko.

The students at both events say the going rate is $10 – quite an incentive
in a country where the average wage is less than $200 a month. Mr
Yushchenko’s bloc made no comment about the alleged payments.

The Russian-speaking city of Odessa has in the past been a hotbed of support
for Mr Yanukovich but years of pol­itical infighting have caused voters to
become disillusioned and apathetic.

Odessa is a significant city for election candidates, with a population of
1m against Ukraine’s overall 46m, an estimated 20m-25m of whom vote.

Across Ukraine, politicians are struggling to generate enthusiasm. Voters
are not only jaded by three years of political turmoil but also frustrated
with business oligarchs manipulating politicians, and angry that rapid
economic growth is not, as they see it, benefiting ordinary people.

Back in Kiev, however, pre-election tensions rose this week. In an apparent
attempt to emulate the Orange Revolution of 2004, Mr Yanukovich’s party took
control of Kiev’s main square, setting up tent camps guarded by hundreds of
supporters to protest against electoral fraud.

Opinion polls, however, suggest Mr Yanukovich’s Regions party could still
win 30-35 per cent of the vote and remain the largest parliamentary
grouping.

Mr Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine People’s Self Defence bloc is fighting hard to
retain the 14 per cent it won last year but may be losing support to Ms
Tymoshenko, who could see the share of her party, BYuT, rise to 25-27 per
cent.

She is concentrating her attacks on Mr Yanukovich, hoping to use electoral
success to secure the prime ministership and persuade the president to
recreate the Orange alliance.

Ukraine’s political landscape reflects an east-west divide. Mr Yanukovich, a
former lorry driver, hails from the industrialised east, where support is
stronge st for close ties with Moscow, for caution in relations with the
west and for wider official use of the Russian language alongside Ukrainian.

Mr Yushchenko, a former central banker, stands for rapid integration with
the European Union, Nato and the global economy. He is strongest in the
west, where anti-Russian sentiment flourishes.

Ms Tymoshenko is a maverick, who supported Mr Yushchenko in 2004 but then
fell out with him, partly owing to personality clashes and partly over her
populist anti-big-business policies.

Now she has toned down her rhetoric and built up her contacts in the EU and
the US, trying to supplant Mr Yushchenko in the west’s affections.

All three main leaders have attempted to renew their appeal with help from
top US political advisers. At times the campaigning has changed in tone from
previous years, with less vitriol and more positive messages, such as
promises of econ­omic growth.

All three parties have retained a strong dose of populism, competing with
pledges to raise pensions, salaries and social payments.

But, as the vote has neared, Mr Yanukovich has resorted to divisive old
tactics to shore up his support in eastern Ukraine. In recent speeches he
has promised a combined referendum on Nato membership (which he
opposes) and on granting official status to the Russian language.

With a third of voters undecided, some fears of localised election fraud and
smaller parties picking up support, the result is unclear. As Renaissance
Capital, the investment bank, says in a report, “The political campaign has
brought no clarity on the likely outcome.”
——————————————————————————————–
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e87b3ab6-6d0a-11dc-ab19-0000779fd2ac.html
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

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9.  UKRAINE: HARVEST TIME FOR FARMERS’ VOTES

ANALYSIS: By Jim Davis, Business Ukraine magazine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 24, 2007

Ukrainian politicians are always sure to turn their attention to the
agrarian sector when elections are near – albeit temporarily
This year’s crop of electoral promises is bountiful on the Ukrainian steppe,
but just which way the agricultural vote is headed is as uncertain as
tomorrow’s weather forecast.

Ukrainian agriculture has never fully recovered from the horrors of
collectivisation under Stalin in the 1930s, but remains of enormous
strategic importance for all parties.

Even today, 16 years since independence and eight years past the time that
then-president Leonid Kuchma decreed the extinction of all remaining
collective farms, most major political parties continue to talk about the
village and agriculture as if one might be synonymous with the other.
COURTING THE VILLAGE VOTE 
Although the Our Ukraine website sets out the bloc’s agricultural policies,
perhaps a recent visit by the president to Cherkasy gave greater clarity to
the presidential party’s views.

Yushchenko’s rhetoric naturally had a familiar ring as he told the crowd:
“Wheat for Ukraine is like oil for Russia. I see it as the nation’s
strategic course.”

Just as at all agricultural meetings, the president pushed his political
agenda with a statement that the government, “constantly interferes” in the
agricultural sector.

He called many of its grain policies, “remarkably absurd and negative,” and
reprimanded the cabinet of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych for using
non-market methods.

He went on to say a state that does not promote commercial interests in
agriculture often has to import grain. He further derided the government’s
administrative and restrictive measures as, “.unprofessional and
irresponsible.”

Our Ukraine’s website gets into much greater specifics with talk of
“renewing Ukraine’s villages.transparent registration of property rights on
land. decreasing land taxes for villagers.”

As with most campaign manifestos, the site has a laundry list of goodies,
including a promise of UAH 20,000 in state aid and social housing for
university graduates who agree to work not less than three years in
villages.

In addition, there would be a 20% monthly salary bonus for village teachers,
doctors, cultural and social sphere employees; and every village can count
on a village dispensary or medical-aid station with a car.

Finally, the site says that Our Ukraine would assure that every pupil living
three kilometers away or more from school would get paid bus transport and
every village school would get Internet access by 2010.

Yuriy Lutsenko, leader of the Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence Bloc, is
even bolder with his acknowledgements, telling a recent Vasilkiv news
conference that the moratorium on land sales must be abolished. He also said
pointedly that in spite of leftist opposition to land sales, “.nevertheless
it is on sale.”

He added: “It is necessary to put agricultural land up for sale on an open
and fair market and pass the corresponding laws that will secure the peasant
from predatory buying of [agricultural] lands.” A few years ago, a statement
of this type would have been a scandal; today it is considered to be
relatively normal campaign rhetoric.

REGIONS ACCUSED OVER GRAIN 
The Party of Regions’ platform statement on agricultural is very broad in
nature and rings many of the bells that resound with agriculturalists.

However, the Regions party is considered more industrially oriented and
bears the burden of having over the last year taken what many in the farming
community would consider very negative decisions about grain exports.

Echoing the historical concentration on the village as the center of
farming, the Regions manifesto calls for new effective forms of management,
wider implantation of rent and land mortgage policy, plus support of native
producers and products.

It goes on to call for modern equipment provision on a leasing basis;
formation of land and mortgage banks; support for private farmers, and
solving the price disparity between farm and industrial production.
TYMOSHENKO TARGETS THE RURAL VOTE 
Perhaps unique among Ukraine’s politicians, Yulia Tymoshenko has a talent
for picking issues and pleasing crowds. Her website and campaign materials
make much of her support for agriculture, but where she lists specific
priorities, agriculture hardly receives mention.

However, in her frequent visits to villages in out-of-the-way places, she
seems to know the right buttons to push to get farmers and villagers
excited.

During recent village visits, she has claimed that residents pay four times
more for imported gas than locally-produced gas, saying that a solution
would only require a decision at governmental level. This suggestion of what
would in effect be subsidised gas prices for farm villages is a very popular
item on the rural hustings.

Tymoshenko continues to play the populist card when it comes to the sale of
land, telling villagers in one case: “Today they try to start a negative
plan for Ukraine, which, obviously, was worked out by non-Ukrainians, after
which they intend at first to distribute land, then cheapen it and sell it
so that common people could never again own this land in Ukraine.”

“We consider that it is necessary to give land to peasants. If they lease it
out, they must get the payment they deserve from leaseholders,” she added.

Tymoshenko has also promised that peasant farmers must be recipients of
cheap credit at interest rates of 3-4%, which she claims to be already the
case in western Europe.

On other village visits, she has made much of the fact that average salaries
in the agricultural sector are below the national average. She proposed

levelling this disparity with lower taxes for agricultural workers.

In some regions where the dairy farming tradition is strong, Tymoshenko has
complained that large dairies, which she refers to as “monopolists,” control
the dairy industry. They buy milk from farmers for “kopecks.A litre of milk
is cheaper than a litre of ordinary water,” she recently told one crowd.

When it comes to working the crowds who attend her frequent village
meetings, Tymoshenko is clearly skilled and she hopes to pick up a large
number of votes in spite of the fact that she is preaching an economic
policy that many see as being out of step with current Ukrainian realities.
COMMUNISTS – MORE OF THE SAME 
The Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU) remains true to its traditional
principles, with government control of agriculture and high subsidisation of
peasant farmers forming the policy bedrock.

The CPU agricultural manifesto begins with a statement that at least 50% of
agricultural production would be subject to government order with funds to
support such orders earmarked at no less than 10% of the gross national
product.

The CPU wants soft credit facilities, with interest rates not to exceed 5%
for support of the development of the country’s agro-industrial complex.
Unsaid, but clearly implied, is that these soft credits would go only to
state-owned enterprises, as was historically the case.

State ownership of, “. land, mineral wealth, the atmosphere, forests, water
resources and other natural resources within the territorial boundaries of
Ukraine” remains a key part of the Communist agenda, with special emphasis
on opposing the sale of agricultural land.
SOCIALIST – PIVOTAL NO MORE?
Like the Communists, the Socialists have added no new strings to their
political bow and still argue for a return to a greater role for government
in the economy and increased ownership of essential elements of the nation’s
productive capacity.

In particular, the buying and selling of agricultural land is anathema to
the Socialists, and control of priority branches of the economy remains part
of the Socialist manifesto, but according to polls it seems unlikely that
they will get the chance to implement their well-worn agricultural agenda
following the elections.

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http://www.businessukraine.com.ua/harvest-time-for-farmers-votes
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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10.  POLITICAL TURMOIL FAILS TO STUNT UKRAINE’S GROWTH

By Conor Humphries, Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, September 27, 2007

KIEV – Ukraine’s political scene has weathered three years of mass protests,
fights in parliament and the president ignoring the government. The business
world, meanwhile, has had an uncannily smooth ride.

Far from complaining that politicians aren’t tending to the economy, many
are grateful they’re too busy squabbling to get in the way.

“It has really had zero effect,” Kiev-based magazine publisher Jed Sunden
said of the ongoing political crisis. “The disagreements … have the
positive effect of limiting the government’s caprices,” said Sunden, the
American general director of KP Media and a veteran of the local business
scene.

Political turmoil has led to a third national election in three years, which
will be held Sunday. But the country’s economy is booming, with chic cafes
vying for space with designer clothes shops on the capital’s streets.

Growth rates are set to be more than double those of the European Union at
around 6.5 percent for this year, estimated Yekaterina Malofeyeva of the
Renaissance Capital investment bank.

Apartment prices in Kiev have more than doubled in two years, while direct
foreign investment was up 50 percent in the first six months of this year.

“I don’t see any reason for a slowdown in the economy,” Malofeyeva said.
“People in Ukraine are very much used to the levels of political risk. “The
government is weak, disorganized, so it can offer relatively few surprises,”
she said. “Things are predictable and in this sense rather stable.”

Campaigning ahead of Sunday’s elections, which are seen as unlikely to solve
the protracted crisis, has focused on how to share out of the proceeds of
the boom, boosted by high prices for the country’s metal exports.

Despite the rapid growth, the average wage remains 250 dollars per month,
according to official statistics, just over half of the level in
neighbouring Russia and a fraction of those in the European Union, which
Ukraine eventually wants to join.

“All parties have social development at the top of their agenda,” said
Yevhenia Akhtyrko, an economist with Kiev’s International Centre for Policy
Studies. “Everyone is competing to promise the most.”

Part of the reason for the largesse is the fact that many in the country
have tired of the endless political battles between pro-Russian Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych and western-leaning President Viktor Yushchenko.

The political strife dates back to the “Orange Revolution” in 2004, when
hundreds of thousands of Yushchenko supporters took to the streets to
overturn an election rigged in favour of Yanukovych.

Yushchenko’s victory helped convince foreign investors that Ukraine was on
the way to eventual European integration, sparking an inflow of investment,
Malofeyeva said.

“Knowledge of Ukraine has expanded much more than before,” she said.

“People see Ukraine as a country with political and economic problems, but
one that is moving in the European direction.”

The picture is not all rosy, however.

Small businesses complain of stifling bureaucracy and rampant corruption,
while rapid changes in power mean it is difficult for businessmen to secure
the necessary contacts with those in power to quickly resolve conflicts,
Malofeyeva said.

Big business, meanwhile, is bracing for the possible return to the prime
minister’s office of the firebrand Yulia Tymoshenko — fearing a repeat of
her campaign to revise shady privatisation deals from the regime of
Yushchenko’s predecessor.

And then there are the unlucky few who have to deal with the thousands of
political activists, often living in hastily pitched tents, who surround
government buildings at regular intervals.

“The unrest is very negative: we get fewer businesspeople, less tourists
come,” said Larisa Trofimenko, General Director of the Kiev Hotel,
unfortunately located at the heart of the government district, overlooking
the parliament. “As soon as the political situation calms down, the hotel
fills up, people are calm again.”

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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11.  PROGRESS ALONG THE ROCKY ROAD TO DEMOCRACY

COMMENTARY: Peter Dickinson, Business Ukraine magazine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 24, 2007

With less than a week to go before Ukraine goes to the polls, there remains
much muttering and resentment that an election is being held at all. There
is, however, more cause for optimism than many believe

At first glance the election has all the makings of a serious setback for
Ukrainian democracy.

A worrying percentage of the population remain adamant that they will not
be voting at all, while others seem to be viewing their vote as a social
duty
to their regional chieftains rather than a moral obligation or opportunity
to stand up for their personal beliefs or initiate change for the better.

The old mantra that the political classes are all the same has gained new
currency and campaign promises are largely regarded with unconcealed
disdain.

There is little here that needs explaining, given the steady stream of
disappointments that followed the euphoria of 2004. However, the fact
remains that amid all the moans and groans, the fires of Ukrainian democracy
continue to burn despite numerous attempts to quash the flames with
bucketfuls of cynicism and sabotage.

Three years since the Orange Revolution shook the populace out of its
apathetic slumber, the idea that Ukraine’s great democratic breakthrough
could somehow be reversed now lies in tatters.
POLITICAL CLIMATE CHANGE 
At every level there have been indications of an emerging democratic culture
which holds promise for the country’s European ambitions.

The election campaign has been well covered by the increasingly professional
and unhindered Ukrainian media, and the various parties have been accorded
their fair share of airtime without the mysterious electrical blackouts and
blatant propaganda of yesteryear.

Meanwhile, the institutionalised spoiling tactics and administrative
manipulation of previous campaigns have made random but mercifully brief
appearances, much like the fading symptoms of a once-sick patient well on
the road to recovery.

Whereas in 2004 Viktor Yushchenko found himself barred from landing at
airports throughout the country and his activists were harried and harassed
wherever government support was considered sufficient to allow it, this
year’s campaign has seen opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko holding

massive public rallies in city centres throughout the government strongholds
of south-eastern Ukraine, an unthinkable development just a few years ago.

We will still doubtless be treated to all sorts of polling day tricks and
accusations, but the very fact that such irregularities are now seen as
potent political weapons by all sides of the political spectrum is evidence
in itself that fraud and falsification are no longer regarded as a valid
part of post-Soviet politics in today’s Ukraine.

The historical fissures that scar the Ukrainian landscape remain a factor in
any political debate, but the move away from Soviet-style them and us
rhetoric towards policy issues that has marked this campaign suggests that
the ugly politics of ethnicity is losing its potency as a tool to divide and
polarise the Ukrainian population.

Ukraine has yet to reach the level of political maturity where ideas can
genuinely triumph over personalities, but this is nevertheless progress
worth noting.
TIME FOR THE POLITICIANS TO CATCH UP 

If they are to entertain hopes of staying in office, Ukraine’s politicians
must now reinvent themselves in line with the national dynamic.

Viktor Yanukovych will have to do a lot more than learn how to smile and
refrain from swearing in public if he wants the electorate to take seriously
the spin that he is somehow a new man.

Likewise, his party will have to add substance to the oft-cited refrain that
they are interested in embracing international business practices and moving
out of the shadows.

Attempts by the Regions-led coalition to return to the practices of old led
directly to the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada this year and if this
lesson is not taken on board there is no reason to assume that the exercise
could not be repeated.

Despite their long and loud protestations, the governing coalition
eventually accepted the president’s decree and faced up to the inevitability
of new elections. They now need to demonstrate that other lessons have also
been learnt.

The shaky Orange alliance will have to overcome its childish infighting and
perceived populism if it is to regain power and, crucially, hold onto it for
any meaningful period of time.

Yulia Tymoshenko has responded to criticism over empty promises by focusing
much of her bloc’s campaign on concrete policy objectives that have been
painstakingly spelled out for voters and others have found themselves forced
to follow her lead or be left behind in the process.

Ultimately, as they decide whether to vote or not, Ukrainians should bear in
mind that a healthy distrust of their political classes is part and parcel
of just about every functioning democracy in the world. It is a sign of a
strong, open society, not an indication that the situation is hopeless.
————————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.businessukraine.com.ua/progress-along-the-rocky-road-to
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================

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========================================================
12.  DEVOID OF ORANGE REVOLUTION OPTIMISM, UKRAINE
HEADS INTO FOURTH ELECTION IN THREE YEARS

Associated Press (AP), Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Sep 27 2007

KYIV – Ukrainians vote this weekend in the fourth national elections in
three years, attempting to break a political deadlock that pits seekers of
cautious change against bold reformers, Russian against Ukrainian speakers,
guardians of Slavic heritage against champions of European integration.

The cast of characters vying for control is the same as during the 2004
Orange Revolution: the Western-leaning President Viktor Yushchenko; his
archrival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych; and the glamorous opposition
crusader Yulia Tymoshenko.

Gone, however, is the hope that swept the nation three years ago when
thousands of protesters gathered in the bitter cold of Kyiv’s main square
and stood up for democracy and reform.

In its place is a widespread sense of the futility of the political process.

“I am disappointed in everybody – they have no programs, they have no
shame,” said Zinaida Ivanova, a 70-year-old retiree who supplements her
monthly pension of about $100 by selling cigarettes in downtown Kyiv.

The Sunday, Sept. 30 election “is not going to liquidate the deep crisis,”
predicted Vadim Karasyov, head of the Kyiv-based Institute on Global
Strategies.

Polls suggest a three-way split between the country’s main parties, leading
to the prospect of protracted coalition talks. After the vote, all three
political leaders are calling for changes in the Constitution to break the
political paralysis.

Ukraine’s Constitution, hastily revised during the Orange Revolution,
divides executive powers between the president and prime minister – leaving
it unclear who has the power to do what.

Last year, Yanukovych’s allies blocked Yushchenko’s choice for foreign
minister from attending Cabinet sessions for several weeks, provoking his
resignation. In the spring, Yushchenko fired his prosecutor general, a
Yanukovych ally. But police loyal to the prime minister prevented the
prosecutor’s removal.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko want Ukrainians to decide in a referendum who
should hold more power, the president or the premier. Yanukovych, meanwhile,
wants to change the constitution to make Russian the second official
language and block any NATO bid.

But it seems unlikely Ukraine’s bickering politicians will find it any
easier to rewrite the constitution than to govern together.
Ukraine’s voters will pick from 20 parties, but no more than six are
expected to pass the 3 percent threshold needed to win seats in the
450-member Verkhovna Rada.

Of those six, just the parties led by Yushchenko, Yanukovych and Tymoshenko
are expected to gain enough seats to form the base for a potential governing
coalition.

Yushchenko’s ambition to bring Ukraine closer to the European Union and
implement pro-market reforms suffered a major blow in 2006, when his
plummeting popularity opened the way for the once discredited Yanukovych to
take over as prime minister.

Since then, neither has been able to impose his vision for Ukraine, with
Yushchenko putting his dreams of quickly joining the EU on hold and
Yanukovych moderating his pro-Russian stance.

Tymoshenko could hold the key to the hopes of Western-looking, self-styled
reformers. She aims to unite with Yushchenko’s forces in Parliament and
return as prime minister – a post she held briefly until Yushchenko
dismissed her government in September 2005.

Smaller parties such as the communists and the socialists are likely to
drive hard bargains for their support, if they get in.
International observers praised last year’s elections as Ukraine’s most
democratic ever, but some fear this vote will not be as free and fair. It is
being run by the government of Yanukovych, whose 2004 presidential election
victory was declared fraudulent by a court.

The Orange Revolution that swept Yushchenko to power despite the Kremlin’s
open backing of Yanukovych sent shock waves through Russia and the rest of
the former Soviet Union.

The image of Yushchenko – his face disfigured by dioxin poisoning – battling
on for victory inspired millions around the world. Yushchenko’s victory led
some to predict that a tide of non-violent revolutions would turn out a
number of governments with strong links to the Soviet past.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders of other former Soviet
republics tightened controls on opposition groups and planned for ways to
prevent their own political upheavals.

In Ukraine, Yanukovych has staged a stunning comeback since the days when he
suffered the double stigma of being linked to a rigged election and seen as
a Kremlin tool.

Aided by Western consultants, Yanukovych reinvented himself. He began
courting the West, distanced himself from Moscow and praised the very mass
protests that denied him the presidency in 2004.

As Yushchenko’s fortunes dimmed, Yanukovych’s grew brighter. Korrespondent
magazine called the prime minister Ukraine’s most powerful politician of
2007.

In the current race, Yanukovych, 57, has promised to raise pensions and the
current average wage of $258 (?190), increase child support benefits and
improve health care. His message: The Orange forces of Yushchenko and
Tymoshenko can only quarrel, but his team means business.

Tymoshenko, the former prime minister and heroine of the Orange Revolution
who wears her blonde hair in a halo braid, has led an aggressive campaign
dubbed “the Ukrainian breakthrough.”

The steel-willed politician – sometimes described as “the only man in
Ukrainian politics” – describes herself as the only leader able to rein in
corrupt businesses and end what she called “the carving up of Ukraine.”

The 46-year-old vows to tackle corruption, raise living standards, build
homes for young families and help Ukraine quickly catch up with the rest of
Europe.

She has also vowed to annul the sales of a number of major enterprises,
which she contends were stolen from the state.

That drive alarmed investors when she was prime minister. But Tymoshenko
insists she will pursue recovery of state property to resell it in honest
auctions.

Yushchenko’s team has struggled. Faced with sinking support, his bloc has
sought to rebrand itself by paring an embattled business tycoon and other
unpopular figures from its list of top candidates. It has replaced them with
what it portrays as energetic reformers.

The days when the 53-year-old Yushchenko, a former central banker, might be
seen as a martyr to democracy are long gone. This time around, he has not
managed to inspire much enthusiasm.

His bloc promises to strip lawmakers of immunity from prosecution, with a
bespectacled president proclaiming from billboards that “there is one law
for all.”

Voters don’t seem impressed. People are too preoccupied with their
pocketbooks, analysts say, to worry about loftier concerns.
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========================================================
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13.  UKRAINE: PLAYING THE POPULIST CARD

By Jan Maksymiuk, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, September 27, 2007

KYIV – If Ukrainians are to believe the promises being made by the parties
participating in the country’s early parliamentary elections, their lives
should improve regardless of who wins.

The major players in the September 30 polls have all made generous pledges
to the electorate. The question is how they plan to overcome the
mathematical impossibility of paying for all that has been promised.

There are three clear frontrunners among the 20 parties and blocs registered
for Ukraine’s September 30 parliamentary elections — the ruling Party of
Regions led by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, and the pro-presidential
Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense bloc and Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc — two
former allies in the 2004 Orange Revolution.

Opinion polls suggest that none of the three forces is set to win an
outright majority in the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada. They also indicate that,
as in the March 2006 elections, the Party of Regions’ performance will
likely be matched by Our-Ukraine-People’s Self Defense and the Yulia
Tymoshenko Bloc combined.
DIFFERENCE MAKERS
If such predictions turn out to be true, the fate of a future ruling
coalition may hinge on the performance of two other parties that pollsters
envision being in the next parliament: the Communist Party and the Lytvyn
Bloc.

Most polls forecast that the Socialist Party, which obtained 5.7 percent of
the vote in 2006, will not overcome the 3 percent threshold for
parliamentary representation this time around.

In contrast to the 2004 presidential and 2006 parliamentary elections,
traditionally divisive foreign-policy thorns like Ukraine’s potential NATO
membership or domestic irritants like making Russian the second state
language have been conspicuously muted or even eliminated as campaign
issues.

Instead, the election frontrunners have focused on outdistancing one another
in promises of socioeconomic windfalls.

Four expenditure items are present in the election manifestos of each of the
three frontrunners: substantial payments to families bringing new Ukrainians
into the world and monthly child support as a way to reverse the country’s
demographic decline; an increase in student allowances and stipends; the
development of rural areas; and a considerable increase in military spending
as part of the effort to develop a professional army.
UNFULLFILLABLE PROMISES?
In addition, each party has added its own unique promises to the mix. For
example, the Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense wants to increase the
minimum wage and the average monthly wage by some 60 percent in 2008.

The Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc vows to return, within two years, more than $25
billion of savings lost by Ukrainians as a result of the collapse of the
Soviet Union in 1991.

The Party of Regions pledges to provide workers with apartments upon the
conclusion of 20 years working for the state.

The Communists want to increase the minimum pension level to 70 percent of
the average monthly wage, a measure that would cost the state an extra $20
billion per year. The Lytvyn Bloc proposes a dramatic wage hike that would
cost an extra $60 billion per year.

Four Ukrainian economic experts commenting in the September 22-28 issue of
the Kyiv-based weekly “Zerkalo nedeli” took the election promises at face
value and tallied them up.

Promises made by the Party of Regions would cost $40 billion, while those by
the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and the Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense bloc
were estimated at $20 billion each.

The most generous were the Communists, whose election program entails an
extra $60 billion in spending, and the Lytvyn Bloc, which would need no less
than an extra $90 billion to follow its program to the letter.

Adding a dose of reality to the situation, the four experts noted that
Ukraine’s consolidated budget revenues in 2007 were expected to be just $40
billion.
ZEAL OVER IMMUNITY
A somewhat more realistic — and no less populist — goal is the solemn vow
of both the current parliamentary opposition and the ruling coalition to
cancel parliamentary immunity from prosecution, which is widely seen in
Ukraine as a shield for corrupt politicians.

But even on this tricky constitutional issue, the Ukrainian political class
could not avoid inflating the situation in an effort to garner cheap
applause.

The proposal to strip lawmakers of immunity initially came from President
Viktor Yushchenko and the Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense.

But this sound idea was subsequently blunted by the ruling coalition through
their calls for the abolition of immunity not just for legislators, but also
for the president, the prime minister, and other high-ranking officials,
including judges.

Making the initial idea appear even more incongruous, the ruling coalition
held a controversial parliamentary session earlier this month (which was
condemned as illegal by the opposition) during which it voted to abolish
immunity for parliamentarians and the president.

For whatever reason, the prime minister and other government officials were
ignored in the coalition’s rush to contribute to the elimination of
corruption in the country.

But it would be wrong to condemn Ukrainian politicians for exploiting the
gullibility of the electorate to achieve political goals. As long as voters
fail to hold politicians accountable for their promises, such practices will
continue — and not just in Ukraine.

However, what remains of utmost importance in Ukrainian politics is the
continued perception among Ukrainians that, following the 2004 Orange
Revolution, elections offer them genuine political choice.

such circumstances, one day Ukrainian voters may also develop a taste for
distinguishing between empty pledges and practical ideas.
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http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2007/9/4c9a4003-519c-4093-94cd-d0bb38c1a3e7.html
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
14.  UKRAINE’S POLITICAL CLANS GRID FOR AFTER-

THE-PARLIAMENTARY-VOTE PROTESTS

FEATURE: Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, 27 September 2007

KIEV – The first vote in Ukraine’s election Sunday has yet to be cast – but
irrespective of who wins, the country’s warring political clans intend to
object strenuously to the result.

On Thursday afternoon on Kiev’s Maidan Square, site of Ukraine’s dramatic
pro-democracy Orange Revolution in late 2004, campaign workers in green
military tents were girding for the long haul, a good 60 hours before voting
opens.

“We are here because the Oranges (opponents of the pro-Russia Regions
Ukraine party) will do anything to win,” said Halina Kotovska. “We will
fight for Democracy – and stay right here until the votes are honestly
counted.”

During the 2004 mass marches, some 15,000 pro-Democracy activists took up
residence in tents and public buildings in central Kiev to protest a rigged
presidential election.

Hundreds of thousands of Kievites took to the streets as well, forcing the
government to hold a repeat vote, eventually installing reform president
Viktor Yushchenko.

Modern Ukrainian protesting on Thursday was, by comparison, modest. The
warmly-dressed Regions faithful in the Maidan encampment was hugely
outnumbered, and quite ignored, by Kievites going about their daily
business. Police presence was negligible.

Two hundred metres from the Maidan down Kiev’s main street the Khreschatyk,
some seventy students milled next to ten camouflaged dome tents pitched in
front of the Kiev city administration.  They had pitched their tents to
protest the protest, students explained quite seriously.

“Those people on the Maidan are pitching tents in the centre of our capital,
how does that look to foreign visitors?” asked Oksana Vorobei. “So we are
demonstrating to force our mayor to force the protestors on the Maidan to go
away, and then we will go away too.”

The Kiev mayor is a Regions supporter – and Regions, with its pro- Russia
and pro-oligarch programmes, is unpopular with many liberal- leaning
Kievites, especially students, who generally support market reform and
closer Ukrainian relations with Europe.

Vorobei, like Kotovska, denied she was being paid to demonstrate – a common
practice in Ukrainian demonstrations this election season, allowing some
activists to earn as much as twenty dollars a day.

All of which would be a tempest in Ukraine’s political teapot, except that
the country’s powerful political clans, all apparently preparing to
challenge the results of the upcoming vote, first by mobilising street
protests, and then in courts.

Oleksader Moroz, the speaker of the last parliament and notorious for
deserting an Orange coalition in 2006 and thereby bringing the pro-Russia
Regions to power, on Thursday declared his party lawyers already had
prepared suits contesting the outcome of the election, and that the
challenge could be filed as early as the Monday morning after the Sunday
vote.

Ukrainian election law allows any party gaining 3 per cent or more of the
popular vote seats in the legislature, but Moroz’s Socialists, once the
country’s political kingmakers, now stand at about 2.5 per cent, according
to the most recent polls. “We will challenge the results in any case,” Moroz

said, according to a Korrespondent magazine article.

More worryingly for hopes of Ukrainian political stability, Viktor
Yanukovich, Prime Minister leader of Regions, earlier this week alleged his
pro-Europe opponents “are buying every single vote with money”, and warned
that the only way Regions could lose big, is if the competition cheats.

But Yanukovich main opponent, the anti-corruption Yulia Tymoshenko of the
eponymous Block of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT), in campaign speeches this

week has been promising just that: a Regions tumble at the polls, because
Yanukovich’s party allegedly lacks widespread popularity.

And if Regions cheats, or even if there is a sign of Regions cheating, of
course she will go to the courts, Tymoshenko told the Interfax news agency.

Ukrainian political analysts almost without exception are predicting weeks
if not months of political gridlock, once the Sunday election is complete.
“We are are not going anywhere anytime soon,” Kotovska said.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
15.  UNITED STATES HELSINKI COMMISSION CHAIR HASTINGS

AND CO-CHAIR CARDIN URGE POLITICAL STABILITY IN UKRAINE
‘September 30 Elections Vital to Advancing Democracy’

U.S. Helsinki Commission, Washington, D.C., Mon, Sep 24, 2007

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Chairman of the
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission)
and Co-Chairman Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), issued the following
statement regarding Ukraine’s parliamentary elections that will be held on
Sunday, September 30.

A longstanding political dispute between President Viktor Yushchenko and
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich – rooted in weak constitutional
delineations of their powers – resulted in a political crisis in April and
May.  After weeks of tense standoff, agreement was reached calling for early
elections to be held on September 30.

 “Since the 2004 Orange Revolution, Ukraine has continued to make real
democratic gains.  And yet, one cannot turn a blind eye to the serious
political uncertainty that has unfolded within the past year.

“Prolonged instability is neither in Ukraine’s best interest nor in the
interest of the region and it is our sincere hope that, following the
elections, its political leaders can find solutions that will advance
political stability and democratic development.

“The consolidation of democracy and the rule of law in Ukraine will further
strengthen its independence and sovereignty, enhancing Ukraine’s aspirations
for full integration with the West and serving as a positive model for other
former Soviet countries.

“It is our hope that these elections are free and transparent in keeping
with Ukraine’s OSCE commitments.  We wish the people of Ukraine much

success and look forward to continuing to strengthen U.S.-Ukrainian bilateral
relations,” said Hastings and Cardin.

In July, Congressman Hastings, Senator Cardin and House Majority Leader
Steny Hoyer (D-MD) led a Congressional delegation to Ukraine for the 16th
Annual Session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s
(OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly.

During the trip, the delegation met with Ukraine’s President Viktor
Yushchenko and other prominent Ukrainian officials, where they received
assurances that Ukraine would not backtrack on the path to political reform
and good governance.

The U.S. Helsinki Commission plans to hold a briefing focusing on Ukraine’s
September 30 parliamentary elections in October, details for the event to
follow.
————————————————————————————————
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the
Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency that monitors progress in
the implementation of the provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. The
Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine from
the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of
State, Defense and Commerce.

———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
16.  UKRAINE’S QUEST FOR MATURE NATION STATEHOOD
ROUNDTABLE VIII, UKRAINE-EU RELATIONS
October 16-17, 2007, Ronald Reagan Building, Washington, DC

Steering Committee, Ukraine’s Quest for Mature Nation Statehood
Roundtable VIII, Ukraine-EU Relations,
New York, New York, Friday, September 28, 2007

Dear Friend of the UA Quest RT Series,

You are respectfully invited to be a participant in the eighth annual
roundtable of the Ukraine’s Quest for Mature Nation Statehood series,
to be held at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in
Washington, DC on Oct 16-17, 2007. This year, the forum will be
entitled “Ukraine-EU Relations”.

The two day conference will bring together government and key non-
government representatives of Ukraine, the EU and the US as well as
experts from the world of academia to examine and evaluate Ukraine’s
capacity to “thrive alongside” its great Western neighbor as well as its
readiness, if asked to join, to eventually “thrive inside” the European
Union.

To facilitate the said examination, the event will run four regular sessions
featuring eight panels, six highlight focus sessions, two working lunches
and two conference receptions. In total, nearly seventy speakers are
expected to address the conference proceedings. The list of invited
speakers is provided below.

Former participants of the UA Quest Roundtable series include:
UA:  B. Tarasyuk, O. Rybachuk, Y. Yekhanurov, A. Kinakh, V. Yanukovych,
I. Plyushch, A. Yatseniuk, V. Pustovojtenko, A. Hrytsenko, I. Mitiukov, Y.
Pavlenko, Y. Chervonenko, H. Nemyria, Y. Lutsenko, R. Shpek

EU & RU:  P. Naimski, G. Jeszensky, J. Sherr, E. Koelsch, G. Burghardt,
A. Gross, C. Hartzell, J. Steinoff, R. Kacer, Y. Liuk, H. Wujec, V. Usackas,
M. Riekstins, P. Zurawski vel Grajewski, V. Igrunov, A. Lebedev

US: M. McConnell, C. Levin, P. Wolfowitz, J. McCain, R. Lugar, Z.
Bzrezinski, R. Holbrooke, P. Dobriansky, D. Fried, A. Wayne, D. Kramer,
C. Weldon, S. Levin, M. Hinchey, B. Taylor, C. Pascual, S. Pifer, W. Miller,
J. Herbst, K. Smith, W. Courtney, B. Futey, M. Kaptur, N. Lowey, C. Smith,
A. Cohen, M. Williams, C. Wallander, A. Aslund.

You are welcome to attend all of the specified plenary sessions.  Your
presence will certainly enhance the proceedings you may choose to join.

In addition, you are welcome to partake in Roundtable’s traditional
evening receptions. There is no registration fee for the Roundtable but
donations are encouraged to help cover the considerable expenses
necessary for such a Roundtable.

TWO-DAY PROGRAM SUMMARY:
Tuesday, October 16 (Day One); Wednesday, October 17 (Day Two)
DAY ONE: Oct 16, Tuesday, Registration & Coffee: 8:00-9:00am
Opening Remarks: 9:00 a.m., Last Session: 5:00 p.m.
Conference Reception: 7:00 p.m.
DAY TWO: Oct 17, Wednesday, Registration & Coffee: 8:00-9:00a.m.
Opening Remarks: 9:00 a.m., Concluding Remarks: 5:00 p.m.
Patron Reception: 7:00 p.m.

ENTIRE PROGRAM OUTLINE: The entire Ukraine’s Quest

for Mature Nation Statehood, Roundtable VIII, Ukraine-EU Relations
program outline can found at the following link:
http://usukrainianrelations.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=27&Itemid=56

REGISTRATION DUE BY WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10
Due to the time constraints involved with organizing such a large forum,
we kindly ask that you respond by Wednesday, October 10, 2007
concerning your acceptance to participate.

SUGGESTED DONATIONS: There is no registration fee for the
Roundtable this year but donations of 50 US dollars per day are
encouraged to help cover the considerable expenses necessary for
such a Roundtable. If donating, please make out your check to:
“CUSUR-UA Quest RTVIII” or use the system online when you
register to make a donation.

ONLINE REGISTRATIONS AVAILABLE AT:
http://usukrainianrelations.org/index.php?option=com_performs&formid=1&Itemid=84
Fill out the online registration and submit online or print out registration
form and fax to 212 473 2180 or print-out registration form and mail.

All completed registration forms [and donations] need to be sent online,
by fax or by mail to: Center for US Ukrainian Relations
43 St. Mark’s Place, New York, NY 10003
For further information, kindly contact Marta Kostyk, UA Quest RTS
Technical Coordinator, by phone: (212) 473 0839, fax: (212) 473 2180,
or e-mail: cusur1014@gmail.com, at your convenience.

QUEST ROUNDTABLE VIII STEERING COMMITTEE:
William Miller, Co-Chair; Bob Schaffer, Co-Chair
Oleh Shamshur, Co-Chair; Walter Zaryckyj, Program Coordinator
MEMBERS STEERING COMMITTEE:
Olexandr Aleksandrovich;  Ilan Berman
Nadia Diuk;  Olga Fishel
Katie Fox;  Nadia Komarnycky McConnell
Elizabeth Knight;  Ilko Kucheriv
Nico Lange;  Orysia Lutsewych
Lewis Madanick;  Marta Matselioukh
John Micgiel;  Jan Neutze
Steven Nix;  Ulyana Panchishin
Jan Pieklo;  Herman Pirchner
Jeff Smith;  Morgan Williams
—————————————————————————————-
INVITED SPEAKERS:
Bob Schaffer (AFMC)
Paula Dobriansky (US Under Secretary of State)
Oleh Shamshur (UA Ambassador to the United States)
Andrii Veselovski  (Dep. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine)
Orest Deychakivsky (CSCE)
Hryhoriy Nemyria (BUT)
Ellen Bos (Andrassy University)
Nelson Ledsky (NDI)
Steven Nix (IRI)
Bohdan Futey (US Court of Federal Claims)
Fred Kempe (Atlantic Council)
Kostyantyn Hryshchenko (RPU/APM)
Borys Tarasyuk (OU/IEAC)
Pawel Zalewski (FRC/Sejm)
David Kramer (DAS/EEA/DOS)
Adrian Karatnyckyj (Orange Circle)
Oleksandr Todiychuk (MOU/UA-EC)
Igor Chalupec (PKN-Orlen/Fmr. Pres.)
Friedemann Muller (Inst. for Int’l & Sec. Affairs)
Keith Smith (CSIS); Tom Spellman (Halliburton)
John Micgiel (Columbia University);
Janusz Reiter (PL Ambassador to the US)
Morgan Williams (SigmaBleyzer, US-Ukraine Business Council)
Yuri Yekhanurov (Fmr. UA Prime Minister);
David Sweere (Kyiv-Atlantic Farms)
Urszula Gacek (Senat Rzeczpospolitej)
Anders Aslund (Peterson Institute)
Nadia McConnell (USUF)
Mykhajlo Volynets (CITU/UA)
Robert Fielding (AFL-CIO/UA)
Marek Matraszek (CEC)
Keith Crane (RAND)
Jan Bugajski (CSIS)
Klaus Scharioth (DE Ambassador to the US)
Vitkor Nikityuk  (UA DCM to the US)
Ilko Kucheriv (DIF)
Joao De Vallera (Ambassador of Portugal to the United States)
Jan Pieklo (PAUCI)
Yuri Sergeyev (UA Ambassador to the UN)
Audrius Bruzga (Lithuanian Amb. to the US)
Steve Pifer (CSIS)
Nico Lange (Konrad Adenauer Stiftung)
Roman Shpek (UA Delegation to EU)
Michael Gahler (FRC/Euro-Parliament)
Ariel Cohen (Heritage Foundation)
Herman Pirchner (AFPC)
Zbigniew Brzezinski (Senior Counselor/CSIS)
F. Steven Larrabee (RAND)
leksandr Biletsky (European Movement/UA)
Oleksandr Sushko (CPCFPU)
Vooldymyr Dubovyk (CIS/ONU)
Yuri Scherbak (Kyiv Mohylian University)
Hryhoriy Perepylytysa (Dipl. Academy/UA)
Lewis Madanick (Open World/LOC)
Bohdan Sokolovski (State Secretariat)
Bogdan Klich (Euro-Parliament)
Steven Sestanovich (Columbia University)
Ilan Berman (AFPC)
Yevhen Kaminsky (IWE/NASU)
James Sherr (Sandhurst)
Celeste Wallander (Georgetown Univ.)
William Courtney (CSC/Dyncorp.)
Angelos Pangratis (Dep. Head of the EC Delegation to the US)
William Miller (WWIC)
Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE)
Robert Bensh (Cardinal Resources)
————————————————————————————–
SPONSORS:
American Foreign Policy Council; Atlantic Council of the United States
Center For US-Ukrainian Relations; Congressional Ukrainian Caucus
Columbia University/ECEC; Democratic Initiatives Foundation
Embassy of Ukraine to the United States; Harvard University/BSSP
International Republican Institute (IRI); Johns Hopkins University/SAIS
National Democratic Institute (NDI); New York University /LAP
UA Center for Strategic Studies; U.S.-Ukraine Business Council
(USUBC); US-Ukraine Foundation (USUF)
———————————————————————————————–
CONTACT: Marta Kostyk, US Quest RTS Technical Coordinator
Center for US Ukrainian Relations, 43 St. Mark’s Place, NY, NY 10003
Tel: (212) 473 0839, fax: (212) 473 2180, E-mail: cusur1014@gmail.com
http://usukrainianrelations.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=27&Itemid=56
http://usukrainianrelations.org/index.php?option=com_performs&formid=1&Itemid=84
———————————————————————————————–

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
17.  ELECTIONS IN UKRAINE: ORANGE OR BLUE?
 

Europarl.europa.eu, Brussels, Belgium, Thu, 27 Sep 2007

On Sunday, the Ukraine, one of the European Union’s most important
neighbors, goes to the polls and a delegation from the European Parliament
will be there to observe whether or not the elections are up to
international standards.

The three main parties are led by President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych and Yulia Tymoshenko, former prime minister and
an ally of the President during the 2004 “Orange Revolution”. The President
and Prime Minister agreed to hold early parliamentary elections in May after
a mounting political crisis.
European Parliament to observe elections
A delegation of 14 MEPs heads to the Ukraine on Thursday to observe the
elections. Kostiantyn Yelisieiev, the deputy head of the Ukraine Mission to
the EU, who participated in preparations for the visit said, “Ukrainian
society and politicians listen very attentively to what the EP is saying
(and would be) grateful if EP delegation would not only observe but also
articulate a message and give advice.”
Recent political developments
In 2004 Ukraine underwent the “Orange Revolution”, when large-scale popular
protests broke out after the presidential elections, which were officially
won by Viktor Yanukovich, who was backed by the outgoing president. The
result of the unrest was a re-run of the presidential election sweeping Mr
Yushchenko to victory in early 2005.

Yulia Tymoshenko, his close ally became prime minister. However their
alliance soon fell apart and the President sacked the Tymoshenko govenment
in September 2005.

In March 2006 Yanukovich´s party won the new parliamentary elections and he
eventually took office in August. He has since built a majority in the
Parliament.

Amid concerns that an increased majority would allow Mr Yanukovich to reject
presidential vetoes, make changes to the constitution, and impeach the
president, President Yushchenko dissolved parliament on 2 April and called
early elections.

Initially Parliament rejected his authority do so, but eventually the
President and Prime Minister agreed to hold elections on 30 September.
EU focus on Ukraine
After the EU-Ukraine Summit in September, EU leaders said that Ukraine’s
move towards strengthening democracy, the rule of law and the respect of
human rights will reinforce political and economic links between the two. If
elections are free and fair, it’s the best evidence of the country’s ability
to accomplish the goal, they said.

In a July resolution, the Parliament called for the adoption of political
reforms, a fight against corruption and a reform of the civil service. It
has closely followed political developments in Ukraine.

It was among those denouncing irregularities in the 2004 election and a
Parliament delegation was in Independence Square in Kiev, which was at the
epicenter of the Orange Revolution. It subsequently sent an observation team
to monitor the re-run election. The EP was among the first of President
Yushchenko’s foreign trips.
An important neighbor
Ukraine, a former constituent republic of the Soviet Union, became an
independent country in 1991 and is one of the EU’s most significant
immediate neighbors.

It has a population of about 47 million and covers a geographical area of
603,700 square kilometer – about 10% greater than metropolitan France. The
country borders four EU Member States: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and
Romania. Its capital is Kiev.  (www.Europarl.europa.eu)
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18.  UKRAINE: NEW POLLS HOLD NO PROMISE OF CHANGE
Ukrainians can expect the discord to continue

By Jan Maksymiuk, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, September 27, 2007

If the mood in the days ahead of Ukraine’s parliamentary vote is any
indication, voters have little reason to expect a reversal from the
political discord that led to the call for early elections in the first
place.

As Ukraine’s major political parties busy themselves accusing one another of
intending to falsify the September 30 early elections, fears have increased
that the postelection period could be mired in protests and litigations.

The Socialist Party has already announced that it will challenge the
validity of the vote in court whatever the results, and election monitors
have warned that some 1 million voters may find it difficult or even
impossible to cast their ballots on election day.
CENTERING ON THE SQUARE
Earlier this week supporters of the Party of Regions started pitching tents
on Kyiv’s Independence Square (Maydan) as part of their self-proclaimed
effort to ensure an honest vote.

In November and December 2004, the square served as the main venue for
protests against the falsification of the presidential vote in favor of
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Now Yanukovych’s supporters are turning the tables by claiming that his
rival, President Viktor Yushchenko, intends to resort to falsifications in
order to prevent the Yanukovych-led Party of Regions from scoring a
“crushing” victory.

On September 20, the Party of Regions issued a statement accusing its
opponents of preparing “provocations” and threatening to boycott the
elections.

According to the statement, opponents of the Party of Regions intend to
“sabotage” the work of constituency election commissions in the party’s
traditional strongholds of eastern and southern Ukraine.

By refusing to sign constituency voting reports, the statement claims, the
opposition seeks to declare voting in those regions invalid and strip the
Party of Regions of a hefty number of votes.

The opposition Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense and Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc
promptly cited the Party of Regions’ accusations as proof that Yanukovych
and his supporters plan to contest election results they are certain to find
unfavorable.

Exchanging vote-falsification accusations is an essential course on the
Ukrainian electioneering menu, but Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz’s
declaration that his party will question the elections in court regardless
of their results is a new ingredient.

“We will appeal to the courts. This is necessary in connection with the
number of violations that occurred during the previous elections and that
are committed now,” Moroz said at an election meeting earlier this week. He
did not elaborate.

Some of his party colleagues explained that the Socialists question not only
the fairness of the election campaign but also the legitimacy of
Yushchenko’s decrees calling for preterm polls.
DEMOCRACY BY DECREE
In April, Yushchenko issued two decrees on early elections, citing as
grounds the ruling coalition’s acceptance of defectors from other factions.
Coalition lawmakers appealed against the decrees in the Constitutional Court
and Yushchenko subsequently retracted them.

The September 30 polls were decreed by President Yushchenko in June and
confirmed by another decree in August. These two decrees became possible
thanks to a political deal in late May between Yushchenko, Yanukovych, and
Moroz.

Nevertheless, the June decree was also challenged by coalition lawmakers in
the Constitutional Court, which has so far made no ruling on it.

Under the deal, more than 150 opposition deputies gave up their mandates in
the Verkhovna Rada, reducing its numerical strength to below 300 deputies
and thus making it illegitimate.

But Moroz insisted that in quitting the legislature, the opposition deputies
violated legal norms and procedures, thus casting doubt on the legality of
the preterm polls.

Moroz then continued to organize parliamentary sittings after the
opposition’s withdrawal, despite the fact that Yushchenko and the opposition
deemed them illegal.

Some observers of the Ukrainian political scene predict that Moroz, whose
party has little chance of overcoming the 3 percent voting threshold, will
fight until the bitter end in order to prevent the installation of a new
legislature — or at least to delay this as long as possible.

And some observers assert that Moroz may be not without supporters in his
fight, especially if at least one of the three election frontrunners — the
Party of Regions, the Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense bloc, and the Yulia
Tymoshenko Bloc — post election results that fall below expectations or
aspirations.

Pessimists even assume that if election complaints fail to prevent the
legalization of a new Verkhovna Rada, it can nevertheless be dissolved by
the same maneuver as the current one — a party dissatisfied with a
postelection government might just ask its legislators to quit.

According to opinion polls, the Party of Regions and the Yulia Tymoshenko
Bloc both stand a chance of winning enough seats to make them singularly
capable of making parliament illegitimate by withdrawing deputies.
HURRY UP AND WAIT
How long might it take for Ukrainian courts to deal with potential election
complaints?

Serhiy Kyvalov, who was the head of the infamous Central Election
Commission that wanted to award the presidential victory in 2004 to
Yanukovych, explained publicly earlier this week that such a process of
postelection litigations could take as long as 55 days. Thus, official
election results may be announced no sooner than in the last week of
November.

On top of all that, according to the Committee of Voters of Ukraine (KVU),
an NGO monitoring Ukrainian elections, problems with the current electoral
law — which was hastily amended in June — could lead to nearly a million
Ukrainians losing the right to vote.

Under the law, border guards must compile a list of those who have left the
country since August 2 and have not returned. The border authorities
transmit the names to local election commissions by September 27, which
subsequently strike them from the list of eligible voters.

This scheme is questionable for at least two reasons. According to the KVU,
an estimated 400,000 voters returning to Ukraine within three days of the
election may be disenfranchised.

Second, there is no central registry where departures from Ukrainian border
checkpoints are recorded. Thus, the provision intended to eliminate voting
by absent voters opens the way for new manipulations.

President Yushchenko questioned this provision in the Constitutional Court,
which has so far not issued any ruling. What if a court decision qualifying
this provision as unconstitutional comes after September 30? Will the
elections be repeated?
MISGUIDED EFFORT
The amended electoral law bans absentee voting. Again, the provision,
which was originally intended to reduce vote falsifications, potentially
disenfranchises an estimated 500,000 voters, including students and
domestic migrant workers, who are away from their home constituencies.

The electoral law also toughens the rules for voting at home, which is
believed to have been a major source of vote falsifications in the 2004
presidential polls. But it does not eliminate the possibility of
falsification in such voting completely.

With more than 33,000 polling stations opened on September 30, mere handfuls
of ballots stuffed in mobile ballot boxes — a move that would be very
difficult to detect — could decide the outcome.

According to some election experts, the race is expected to be very tight,
and just 300,000-400,000 votes may decide who will win enough of the few
seats required to form a parliamentary majority.

Thus, the postelection period, instead of the restoration of political
harmony that is so craved by President Yushchenko, may bring more political
turmoil and an outburst of legal wrangling.

It is clear that in coming months both the Ukrainian political elites and
ordinary voters are facing a very demanding test of their maturity and
responsibility.
—————————————————————————————–
http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2007/9/d532e38b-a0b6-4e5c-806a-fea8234d5822.html

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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19.  UKRAINE: UPCOMING ELECTION

BRIEFING: Oxford Business Group, London, UK, Tue, 25 Sep 2007

Controversies swirling around the upcoming general election have again
brought into focus the strong links between Ukraine’s political parties and
the business oligarchs who fund them.

The recent part-privatisation of Ukraine’s largest thermal power plant,
Dniproenergo, sold to Rinat Akhmetov, a member of parliament who belongs

to Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions and is Ukraine’s
acknowledged richest man, has drawn sharp criticism from Yanukovich’s
prime rival, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of the Yulia
Tymoshenko Bloc and a rumoured candidate for the presidential election
expected in 2010.

In response, Yanukovich’s supporters have drawn attention to controversial
deals made by the government during Tymoshenko’s eight-month spell as prime
minister in 2005, and her own alleged ties to big business. Tymoshenko had
formerly been allies with President Viktor Yushchenko in the Orange
Revolution, which swept him to power in 2005.

Yushchenko had faced Yanukovich in the presidential election at the end of
2004, with the latter declared winner. However, after months of street
protests claiming corruption and vote rigging, a recount revealed Yushchenko
as the real winner and he was confirmed as president.

The election was seen as a victory for pro-Europeans over pro-Russian
factions in the government. However, others have interpreted the result
merely as the triumph of one group of business interests over another.

Tymoshenko was appointed prime minister in January 2005 but was dismissed

by Yushchenko in September, with allegations of her interference in a
privatisation deal cited as the reason for her dismissal.

There has been some behind the scenes rapprochement between the two

and she is likely being considered by the president for the post again.

Akhmetov has been a major sponsor of Yanukovich, who was appointed

prime minister after his party’s victory in elections last year.

The tycoon is seen as a potential future president for the Party of the
Regions and is counted as part of the “Donetsk clan” of oligarchs, the
steelmaking and machine building city in the east of the country from which
he and Yanukovich originate.

A BBC profile of Yanukovich commented, “Some see him as the figurehead

of Donetsk’s political and business groups and associate him with local
oligarch Rinat Akhmetov,” adding, “Supporters say Donetsk secured
unprecedented levels of investment during his governorship.”

Rinat Akhmetov increased his stake in Dniproenergo in a debt-for-equity
deal. In late August, representatives of the state’s interest in the company
agreed to a 52% increase in share capital, which increased Akhmetov’s share
of the company more than four times to 40%.

His share is now estimated to be worth between $400m and $500m. Supporters
of the deal say it was necessary, given the plant’s debts, but opponents
point to Akhmetov’s close ties to Yanukovich.

In a recent comment piece in the local press, Tymoshenko attacked Yanukovich
and Akhmetov over the process of privatisation of Dniproenergo.

She slammed the actions of “Yanukovich and Partners” in allegedly fixing the
sell-off to Akhmetov, saying the company was undervalued and the tycoon
could now move to control the country’s energy sector and increase
electricity prices significantly.

“It is Akhmetov who decides what the price per kilowatt-hour of electric
power for the population will be …and he will not be engaged in charity
when selling the electric power,” she said.

Tymoshenko claimed the “doomed” Party of the Regions coalition was

involved in a frantic sell-off of state assets before its impending election
defeat, and said, “that’s why they are trying to steal everything that is in bad
shape”.

Criticism over the Dniproenergo sell-off has been at the heart of
Tymoshenko’s wider broadside against what she claimed has been the
government’s enriching of its allies.

“It appears that it wasn’t for nothing that Forbes wrote that during the
periods under Yanukovych’s management, business circles close to the
government increased their turnover by $17bn.”

However, Tymoshenko herself has come under attack for her alleged close

ties to Privat Group, a group controlled by businessmen including Igor
Kolomoisky. It is claimed that, while she was prime minister, Tymoschenko’s
government favoured Privat. It is also claimed that the group has provided
financial support to both Yushchenko and Tymoshenko.

Meanwhile, Tymoshenko has been seen on the campaign trail riding in a
helicopter with Kostyantin Zhevago, a billionaire with assets in ore mining,
banking, truck manufacturing, hydrocarbons and real estate.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko fell out last year, partly over the latter’s
actions over the ongoing privatisation of Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant. It is
claimed Tymoshenko tried to put the brakes on the sale of the majority of
shares to Interpipe, a long-term and bitter rival of Privat.

Furthermore, Interpipe is run by Viktor Pinchuk, the son-in-law of former
President Leonid Kuchma. Kutchma backed Yanukovich as his successor,

tying Interpipe to the latter’s political fortunes in many people’s eyes.

Tymoshenko’s government also reversed the privatisation of Kryvorizhstal
steel mill, which was sold to Akhmetov for $800m in 2004. The following
year, the mill was sold to Mittal for $4.8bn.

Despite the heat and light, businesses remain confident in Ukraine’s
progress, and its bid to join the WTO is expected to be completed by the end
of the year, further improving its standing.

Yanukovich’s cautious balance between the EU and Russia has been pragmatic,
and critics of Tymoshenko point out that her government took a more populist
stance than the liberal and reforming path urged by the EU and International
Monetary Fund.

The message from the EU, outlined by European Commission President Jose
Manuel Barroso, has been “have the election, then continue with reform” with
whoever is elected.

Whether these encouraging noises will soothe the accusations and counter-

accusations after the election is a moot point.
—————————————————————————————————
General Enquiries mail@oxfordbusinessgroup.com
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========================================================
20.   DANGER POINTS AND THE UNDECIDED VOTE

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, September 27, 2007

As Ukraine nears the Sept. 30 parliamentary elections, voters are splitting
three ways: one-third  favors the Orange forces led by Yulia Tymoshneko’s
bloc; one-third supports Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of
Regions; and the rest won’t say.

Who will win depends on the undecided voters and their view of frontrunners,
like the Party of Regions. After18 months of parliamentary power, it can
reap the benefits of office.

In this time, the prime minister has projected a respectable image, shedding
the somewhat bumbling, goon-like image he had during the presidential
elections of 2004. Ukraine’s robust economy favors him. Foreign investments
have surpassed $5 billion, almost three times the 2003 figures.

For Western-minded Ukrainians, his negatives include a wobbly stand on NATO
and charges of corruption.  However, the most dangerous aspect of his
candidature is underscored in the taping of a secret meeting last month with
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

Realnaya Polityka, a Russian website, reported Mr. Putin saying that “things
will not change in Ukraine. Yanukovych will be prime minister.”

Whether the tape is real or not is a moot point: The issue is real. The
danger to the free election is Russia’s determination to control it through
the Party of Regions regardless of Ukraine’s national will. Why?

Because Russia needs Ukraine for its energy dominance, as a global
counterweight to the United States and the West, and for Ukraine’s strategic
attributes, both geographic – proximity to Europe, the Black Sea, and
economic -agriculture, metallurgy, the space industry. Its empire-building
strategies depend on it.

The alternative to Yanukovych is Yulia Tymoshenko’s bloc united with other
Orange parties and supported by one-third of the electorate and advancing.
Her power has grown steadily since being dismissed as prime minister by
President Viktor Yushchenko in the post-Orange Revolution government.

It surged after he signed a unity document with Yanukovych, called him to
form a government, and had his Our Ukraine party serve in his cabinet.

Yulia, as she is popularly called, and her bloc, went into opposition, the
lone standard bearers of the Orange Revolution values until other Orange
parties saw the writing on the wall and joined her.

She articulates Ukraine’s national aspirations and couples them with
good-for-Ukraine economic policies, like promising to re-privatize Renat
Akchmetov’s (on Fortune’s richest list) recently purchased state energy
property. (She’s already made him return a steel plant, reselling it at many
times his price, to bring some $4 billion into Ukraine’s coffers). The
people love such measures of justice.

She is seen by the pro-West-minded electorate, to whom cozying up to Russia
smells of years of terror, economic deprivation and the Gulag, as its
champion. To her credit, she has cobbled a rapprochement among the Orange
forces – Our Ukraine and Yuriy Lutsenko’s Peoples Self-Defense Party.

She achieved similar unity during the Orange Revolution only to see
President Yushchenko, to whom she handed power, turn on her. Many of the
undecided voters must be wondering whether there is a snake in the grass
once again.

There might well be. It’s hard to believe that Russia will let her, and the
West, win outright. In previous Ukrainian elections, fraud occurred at all
three levels of voting, the greatest being in 2004 at the Central Election
Commission’s headquarters, where Yanukovych supporters introduced false
results into the computer to give him a slight win. This precipitated the
Orange Revolution.

At the local poll station level, names of deceased have appeared on voters
lists; corrupt election officials have been taped adding rolls of ballots
during the count, and military academy commanders have insisted students
show marked ballots before depositing them in urns.

Now, there are complaints that the electoral lists vary by about as much as
20 percent from the previous year. Is the accusation real or not? Either
way, it can be used to trip the election.

Any transfer of ballots is open to abuse. Concerns about house voting, where
election urns are carried to the sick, need attention. Moving hundreds of
sacks of ballots and documents from local voting stations to regional
centers is an opportunity for massive falsification.

Political party observers need to be trained (to telephone headquarters
immediately with local results) and the electorate assured that there are
checks throughout the system preventing fraud.

Punishment of corrupt officials could be a deterrent. During the last
election there was only one television advertisement showing that election
law violation – threats of job dismissal for not voting as told- is
punishable with jail.

The real message to offenders lies elsewhere: Serhiy Kivalov, the dismissed
chief of Ukraine’s Central Election Commission, went unpunished for running
two fraudulent presidential elections.

Instead, he was appointed head of the Odessa University’s law department.

He also ran and sat as a leading member (Party of Regions) in Ukraine’s
parliament. He is a running for office again.

The ultimate sabotage of the elections could happen after the vote; a
trip-up like the one the Orange forces experienced after their slight win in
the last parliamentary elections. At that time they were prevented from
taking office for months, by which time some of their parliamentarians
crossed over to the Yanukovych side.

This could happen again if there is pressure from outside forces – threats
to life or corruption could be persuasive. The alleged price for switching
sides in the last election surpassed $1 million.

The evidence was there – the extravagantly expensive cars, the giant Rolexes
and snappy Savil Row suits some parliamentarians suddenly boasted.

How to prevent this? The best enforcer of electoral law has been Ukraine’s
free press.  After the sign-language interpreter said she would no longer
spout the lies of the anti-Orange forces in the 2004 election, the
confidence of and trust in the media has been growing.

It needs to keep up the pressure on politicians to keep them honest. Make
them provide assurances that during the transition period Ukraine’s wealth
is protected from raiders; that positions are not being offered to pals or
lubi druzi (good friends). The media needs to keep asking the hard
questions.

Will the Orange coalition hold? Will parliamentarians switch parties? Who
will comprise the cabinet? Will there be grand victory celebrations abroad
like there were before or will the new government get down to the business
of governing?

The post-election transition period is ripe with opportunities for Mr. Putin
to make a power play should Yulia and the Orange forces win.

The shenanigans following the last parliamentary elections support that. The
lack of leadership, and the abuses and stagnation that went on for months
was a considerable setback for democratic Ukraine.

It allowed Russia to capitalize by placing its people in high offices and
grabbing control of such crucial sectors as energy. Equally important, the
post-election chaos demoralized much of Ukraine’s electorate – the one-third
that is holding this election in the balance.
——————————————————————————————–
Oksana Bashuk Hepburn is the president of U*CAN, a consulting firm
specializing in relations with Ukraine, and a commentator.
——————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/oped/27436/
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21.  SOCIAL POLICY AMONG POLITICIANS: EVE OF EARLY ELECTIONS

ANALYSIS: By Yaroslav Varyvoda, UCIPR project expert
“Civic Education in the 2007 Parliamentary Elections”.
“Your Vote-2007”. Issue 6. “Social Policy: Vision and Practice of Ukrainian
Political Forces, Represented in the Verkhovna Rada of the Vth Convocation”
Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

The social issue is always widely used by all political forces during
election campaigns. Though, on the eve of the early parliamentary elections
in September 2007, it has become a key one on the agenda of leaders of the
electoral race. Election programs are full of social promises.

Indicative is the situation with the commitment of parties and blocs to pay
child allowance (the highest stake was made by the Party of Regions ranging
from UAH 10,000 for the first child to UAH 50,000 for the third child).

Furthermore, politicians suggest increasing pensions (Yulia Tymoshenko’s
Bloc), raising the minimum wage (Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense) and
providing young specialists and budget employees with housing (the Party of
Regions).

In its turn, the IMF forecasts that the focus on guaranteed social payments,
which became a usual practice of almost all Ukrainian political forces,
might lead to the essential growth of both prices for all commodity groups
and the national budget deficit.

By the way, however strange it seems but the Ukrainian law does not give a
clear definition for “social policy”.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Policy as a respective body in the
executive system is responsible for the implementation of government policy
“in the area of employment and labor migration, social security of the
population, state compulsory social insurance, social-labor relations and
control of compliance with the legislation on labor, payment, work
measurement and promotion, classification of jobs and trades, labor
conditions, pension security, social services, collective and contractual
regulation of socio-economic interests of workers and employers and
development of a social dialogue” (the November 2, 2006 Cabinet resolution
No. 1543 “On the Approval of the Regulation on the Ministry of Labor and
Social Policy of Ukraine”).

Under the Ukrainian law, social security shall be ensured “by means of
timely and address social support, including all types of public social
assistance in case of the loss of job, disability, retirement age and
others” (the November 2, 2006 Cabinet resolution No. 1543 “On the
Approval of the Regulation on the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy
of Ukraine”).
Social Policy as Seen by MPs…
Legislative activity of parliamentary factions is focused mostly on the
satisfaction of needs of social groups that serve as a basis for their
voters. Specifically, lawmaking initiatives of the Communist Party’s faction
mainly concern veterans, pensioners and children of war.

MPs from the faction of the Party of Regions basically deal with state
compulsory social insurance, which is probably interesting for wage earners
and employers.

Another aspect of law-making incorporates problems relating to consistent
and sound policy of political parties. An indicative example is Our Ukraine,
whose deputies members of respective committees drafted just 3 bills.

Another example is Yulia Tymoshenko’s Bloc, whose legal initiatives on
social security of the disabled are launched by its new member MP V.
Sushkevych, who has been engaged in respective problems for long.

A comparative analysis of the declared commitments and the scope of
activities carried out over the year evidences that the most effective were
efforts of coalition party forces (first and foremost, the Party of Regions
and the Communist Party), which worked on legislative regulation of such
issues as state compulsory social insurance and social security of the
disabled and pensioners.

For a number of reasons, activity of the parliamentary opposition was
oriented towards other areas of government policy, whereas work in the
social sphere proved to be ineffective.

Attention must be paid to low effectiveness of social law-making of MPs from
the faction of Our Ukraine – they submitted only 3 bills, of which none has
been enacted (by the way, according to information posted on the official
site of the Verkhovna Rada, this political force appointed just by 1 MP to
sit in respective committees).

Eventually, in 2006, Our Ukraine went to the elections with liberal views
and did not undertake high obligations on social security of Ukrainians,
having limited its program to general declarations.

MPs from the faction of Yulia Tymoshenko’s Bloc paid attention to bills on
youth social protection, child allowance, various aspects of social
assistance to the disabled etc.

For some reasons, among which the faction’s being in opposition is not the
last one, this work is characterized by the low performance factor, since
the parliament supported just 4 bills, inclusive of the Recommendations of
the Parliamentary Hearings on the Youth Situation and amendments to the
three laws.

The Communist Party has a rather high level of law-making due to activity of
MP P. Tsybenko, who performed the Stakhanov’s norm having submitted 61
bills, of which 35 directly deal with the social issues. 6 bills became
normative documents, to say nothing about a number of resolutions on the
withdrawal of some bills and the adoption of others as a basis.

In general, Mr. Tsybenko concerned himself with social security of the
disabled, pensioners and war veterans, which is in line with the Communist
Party’s election platform and confirms its orientation to these categories
of voters. On the other hand, it is rather surprising that the Communist
Party delegated just one deputy to tackle such an important matter as social
policy.

Having appointed its three representatives as members of special
parliamentary committees, the Socialist Party also can boast about work of
only one deputy, I. Bondarchuk (59 bills, of which 26 concern social
policy).

Nevertheless, effectiveness of the Socialists in the area of social security
was low, for most bills are not enacted, whereas the adopted ones concern
procedural issues (the approval as a basis, defeat, revision etc.).

As for the Party of Region’s faction, a major share of respective work of
its MPs related to state social insurance (10 respective bills were voted
for at once).

The government’s efforts in the social sphere usually become more active
over the election period (this means attempts of a certain political force
to prove the fulfillment of its commitments and widen the circle of
supporters).

Vision of “social policy” by key political forces of Ukraine is full of
populism.

The Communists and the Socialists address mostly their voters (pensioners,
veterans, children of war and others), the Party of Regions and Our Ukraine
guarantee the government support only to those, who cannot care about
themselves, whereas Yulia Tymoshenko’s Bloc promise to combat total
injustice and ensure equal rights to all citizens without exception.
———————————————————————————————-
This article is prepared within the framework of UCIPR project “Civic
Education in the 2007 Parliamentary Elections”. The bulletin is “Your Vote-
2007″. Issue 6. “Social Policy: Vision and Practice of Ukrainian Political
Forces, Represented in the Verkhovna Rada of the Vth Convocation”  is
available on the UCIPR’s site http://www.ucipr.kiev.ua.
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
22.  UKRAINE’S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION THROUGH

CRYSTAL BALLS – AND NAIL VARNISH

By Sebastian Smith, Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday September 27, 2007

KIEV – Ukrainians having nightmares involving a politician’s death ahead of
parliamentary elections this Sunday should wake with a smile: an unexpected
sexual encounter awaits.

That’s just one of a galaxy of predictions provided by astrologers in this
ex-Soviet country as they peer into crystal balls and try to add spice to a
poll mired in apathy.

In another one of his tips, self-described astro-political scientist Igor
Lepshin says anyone dreaming of parliamentary sessions could be in luck:
“There’s a chance for making money.”

But dreaming about sex with a politician is bad: “Your hidden enemies will
trick you,” Lepshin warned this week in Segodnya, one of Ukraine’s leading
newspapers.

Others have found ingenious ways to beat the boredom of Ukraine’s third
national poll in as many years. A beauty salon in the south-eastern city of
Dnepropetrovsk is offering special manicures that leave clients boasting
portraits of political leaders and party logos on their nails.

“People are tired of having so many elections. We’re trying to add some
interest,” manicurist Olena Popova told AFP. The heavy-jowled current prime
minister, Viktor Yanukovych, is especially tricky in miniature, Popova said.

Another client “wanted logos of all the parties on different fingers,”
eventually settling for the top five — with 20 parties contesting Sunday’s
poll she’d have had to bring her toes into play.

Entrepreneurial clothes designer Igor Zaitsev has produced political
shoes — orange for President Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party, blue
for Yanukovych’s Regions Party.

Fans of Yuliya Tymoshenko, a glamorous opposition leader aiming to oust
Yanukovych as premier, can squeeze into white stilettos emblazoned with her
trademark red love heart.

Not every money-making scheme bears fruit. The bookmakers Parimatch in the
capital Kiev said there are few punters for betting on the results. “A good
Barcelona-Zaragoza football match would get more bets than the entire
election,” bookmaker Konstantin Zakharich told AFP.

“Betting people are rarely interested in politics and vice versa, especially
when you are talking about elections in Ukraine. I, for example, am
completely uninterested. It’s like something on Mars.”

Still, politicians are trying hard to grab attention. Tymoshenko has been
quoted comparing Yanukovych’s pro-Russian coalition to a male rabbit mating
with a male squirrel.

Yanukovych, an ex-convict who brushed up his image with the help of US media
experts, hit back, describing Tymoshenko as a “cow on an ice rink.”

And chances are they’ll be taking those differences onto Kiev’s main square,
the Maidan, soon after polling ends. In the 2004 pro-democracy “Orange
Revolution” the Maidan was where Tymoshenko and Yushchenko led hundreds

of thousands of people to challenge alleged vote-rigging by Yanukovych.

This time Yanukovych is a step ahead: an advance team of blue-flag waving
supporters has already occupied much of the Maidan. They even have their own
blue Regions Party basketball hoop.

Astrologers shrink from predictions about the country’s political fate.
“Based on a politician’s date of birth we can work out exactly what will
happen,” astrologer Olena Osipenko told AFP.

“But there are others who stand behind these politicians and do not reveal
their identities,” she said darkly. “Many politicians even change their
dates of birth.”

Anyone really fed up might consider decamping to the village of Bakaivka,
east of Kiev. An eccentric group of locals have declared independence for
their vegetable-producing “sovereign municipality.”

“The election does not affect us. We have nothing to do with Ukraine’s
laws,” Olexander Tolstoy, who described himself as a “plenipentory
diplomatic representative,” told AFP by telephone.

But even politicians seem to know they are not wanted all the time. Asked by
journalists how she will spend Saturday, the last day before voting, when
campaigning is banned, Tymoshenko said: “I plan to sleep — all day.”

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
23.  UKRAINE: SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION

COMMENTARY: By Andrei Levkin, Polit.ru
Moscow, Russia, Thursday, September 27, 2007

Several days remain before the elections in Ukraine, but nothing special can
be said. Certainly, one can estimate chances of one or another candidate,
but no more. There are no changes; the present coalition and other have
even chances, things will become more definite during the very process.

It is quite clear that the result won’t become the end. When votes are
summed up, one will begin forming the coalition, changing the Constitution,
etc. One can’t say about any stability, and in the near future the situation
won’t change.

But elections are a special episode. At least some figures will appear in
the chaos that reigns now, and it even doesn’t matter what they will mean,
just figures. And, perhaps, they will turn out to be quite unexpected. As
for ratings, they changes now and then and sometimes seem to be just
nonsensical.

For example, in the live broadcast in Cherson Victor Yanukovich was asked,
why his party had agreed to participate in the pre-term elections in spite
of the fact that they were unconstitutional.

Well, it is impossible that questions appear from nowhere, they are
prepared; so, it was important for Yanukovich that he would be asked this
question. He wanted to answer it.

He did answer. He claimed that the Party of Regions consented to pre-term
elections after Yushchenko had ordered the internal security troops moving
to Kiev.

There was really such an order and even some troops were transferred
somewhere, but in the whole there was a regular situation. The forces move
to Kiev and the entire world can observe Yushchenko playing in Boris
Yeltsin. Then everything would become clear.

Yanukovich came to another conclusion. “When we saw, that this orange
team together with the white fraternity will go to every expedient, even to
a civil conflict and, God forbid, to a civil war, we decided to participate in
the elections.” (White fraternity – it is Julia Timoshenko Block).

“That’s why the elections are the reality and on 30 September the people of
Ukraine will give a response to these populists, carpet-baggers, artists,
like they can be named, to these figures which, as I think, has lost their
political faces and pushed the country to political and economic
destabilization.”

There is some discrepancy here. If people are going to give a response, it
will give it. But for what purpose five days before the elections Yanukovich
explains why the Party of Regions has supported this initiative of
Yushchenko?

Thus, figures can be rather unexpected. There is a statement of Bogatyreva,
the head of the parliamentarian fraction of the Party of Regions. Bogatyreva
decided to refute the information about the rating decline of the party.

The explanation was quite simple: “The increasing rating is eating our
political rivals up. While preparing themselves to the defeat and to work in
opposition, our rivals are searching for new tricks and using manipulating
technologies.

“Our opposition is well informed that the Party of Regions is in the lead
with wide margin and the defeat of the opposition is inevitable.”

But she didn’t bring any figures proving the “inevitable defeat of the
opposition”. And we all know very well, what can happen with parties fully
confident of their victory relying on ratings having ordered by themselves.

Thus if soon it turns out that just The Block of Yulia Timoshenko (BYT) and
Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defense (NUNS) will for the coalition, one
shouldn’t be surprised. Generally speaking, simply arithmetic is in fashion
now.

One should sum up BYT and NUNS and then the Party of Regions and the
Ukraine’s Communist Party (KPU). The Socialist Party (SPU) obviously
won’t pass; but, as it is considered, the Party of Regions and KPU will.
And then (as it is considered) there will be the coalition.

But is it really so? Will KPU really enter the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
(Parliament)? Or it is reckoned that the Block of Litvin will pass, and then
it is added to the Party of Regions. Well, maybe it will pass, but is it
right to add it just there? If to add it not there, a wonderful harmony is
established.

Litvin is the speaker again, Timoshenko is again the prime minister, and
Yushchenko is the president. Then Timoshenko fights for the presidential
post and, sure, loses, since all people of good will will undoubtedly stand
up for their fatherland against her. But at the moment she doesn’t guess
about this.

What will be after the elections? There certainly will be a full benefit of
the president Yushchenko; and he is ready for it. For example, in the
beginning of this week Timoshenko and then Tomenko (also a member of BYT)
began calling on Yushchenko to announce what coalition he wanted yet before
the elections, whether it should be NUNS+BYT or NUNS+the Party of Regions.

Certainly, Yushchenko himself gave cause for such questions. He doesn’t
speak directly about the coalition with BYT, but mentions “wide coalition”,
i.e. one with the Party of Regions. It makes BYT nervous but they understand
rather well, that now the president anyway won’t say them anything.

So, this is just a PR at his cost, since they make the president out a
politician betraying “democratic values” again. And if it is so, BYT is the
only power, which can defend these values. Well, after all BYT and NUNS will
fight for the second place.

But why Yushchenko behaves himself just in that way? Well, it is important
for the coalition, how many votes will get NUNS and BYT, it will determine
who will become the prime minister. But the elections won’t to put an end to
the crisis.

That’s why Yushchenko doesn’t regulate the elections but reflects on what to
do then. First you should understand what you want and only then announce
with whom you want to collaborate.

But at the same time Yushchenko became too enthusiastic about the NUNS, so
that the CEC even called him on ‘keeping himself from agitation during the
election process’.

The CEC reckons that public appeals to vote for NUNS violate the suffrage.
Since Yushchenko doesn’t participate in the elections, his behaviour is a
direct propagation of the administrative resource.

But Yushchenko decided not to explain in details but simply started the talk
off in a more common direction, claiming that he, being a president, must
participate in all political processes.

Well, there is something strange. If he hadn’t become a main teller of NUNS,
the results of the election wouldn’t be so important for him.

If NUNS received few votes, he could just step aside. He could say something
about ‘the terrible defeat of the democracy’, but then encourage teh world
by the fact that he, a true democratic president, is still on his post.

But he decided to participate in the elections as the main figure of NUNS.
Now bad result of NUNS can influence on his personal authority. But may not,
since he considers himself to be such a person for which all these fusses
are utter rubbish.

For example, hi was so indignant at the CEC, that during a pre-election
meeting in Sumy he claimed that he did not call Ukrainians on voting for one
or another political power.

‘I don’t tell anybody for whom to vote. I’m a free president and you’re free
Ukrainian people. I fully confide in your choice and I’ll accept any
challenge that you, being my compatriots will make’.

At the same time on 15 September in Lvov he said: “I ask you to support my
team, Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defense. I’m convinced, that, being the
president and a national, I have a right on such a request”.

Evidently there are subtle psychological nuances. He really didn’t say that
Ukrainians had to vote for NUNS, he just asked for it. Probably he sincerely
reckons that he hasn’t made any appeal. And if to assume that he is sincere,
then he just mixes himself and his position up.

Well, in Lvov he called on voting for his team, but he spoke just as a
private person, Mr. Yushchenko. Well, he is always mixing V. Yushchenko and
the president up, and this know-how provides him for absolutely strategic
superiority.

How else this know-how can be used? For example, on 1 October he can
discharge the government. Discharge, being a president. Because a private
person Yushchenko will count, that there can be a collision.

The Party of Regions and KPU will become the opposition and, treading in
steps of BYT and NU (Our Ukraine, that was before NS), they will refuse the
mandates. The Parliament is incapable, according to the law the next
elections can be held not earlier that in a year. Who rests in the country?

The president and the Cabinet of Ministers. Rada is also incapable, so one
can’t approve another Cabinet. Does Yushchenko, as a private person, want to
find himself in such situation?

Certainly, he doesn’t. but if to remove the Cabinet on 1 October, before the
official results of the elections, he will become the only power in the
country.

And at that moment Yushchenko-the president and Yushchenko-private person
will become one figure. It is certainly rather a pretentious variant, but it
explains the actions of Yushchenko (of both Yushchenkos).

And it is a possible variant. Otherwise for what the Party of Regions has
occupied the Maidan. One won’t occupy the Maidan beforehand because of

good premonitions. Alas, this activity resembles generals preparing for the
past war.
————————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.polit.ru/event/2007/09/27/ukrelection.html
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
24.  UKRAINE’S ELECTION, PREPARING FOR THE NEXT DRAMA
Real test for Ukraine’s warring parties will come after this weekend’s election

The Economist print edition, London, UK, Thu, Sep 27, 2007

KIEV – THE stage on Independence Square is set, the props are out, the
players are ready for the general election on September 30th.

There are blue tents for the Party of the Regions, led by the prime
minister, Viktor Yanukovich; orange ones for Our Ukraine, the party of his
rival, President Viktor Yushchenko; and white tents with red hearts for the
fiery Yulia Tymoshenko, Mr Yushchenko’s first prime minister.

Ukrainians have seen this show several times. This is the second
parliamentary election since the orange revolution of 2004. The past three
years have seen lots of side-swapping, corruption and betrayal.

Much of the president’s power has been transferred to parliament. In April
Mr Yushchenko called a fresh parliamentary election, leaving the country
largely ungoverned for almost six months.

The hope is that Ukraine’s political system will now be rebooted. Yet the
results may be similar to the 2006 parliamentary election, when the big
winner was the Party of the Regions, followed by the Tymoshenko block

and trailed by Our Ukraine.

The real question is not over seats: it is whether the political elite can
create a functioning governing body. And that is also to ask if Ukraine,
with no tradition of statehood, can be a successful country.

From this perspective, the importance of this election goes far beyond
Ukraine. If the biggest ex-Soviet country after Russia can pull itself out
of this crisis, it will be an example for others, including Moldova and
Belarus.

In the 2004 presidential election the picture seemed clear. The orange
forces, led by Ms Tymoshenko and Mr Yushchenko, defeated the vote-

rigging Mr Yanukovich, who was backed by Moscow.

Ukraine was turned to the West. Since then the picture has become blurred.
Ideological divides, at least between the two Viktors, seem less important
and the fight for power and money more so.

As president, Mr Yushchenko failed to break the nexus between politics and
business and turned a blind eye to the murky brokering of Russian gas to
Ukraine.

The orange revolution did not create the institutions needed for a
functioning state. Then Mr Yanukovich, the villain in 2004, staged a
dramatic comeback.

Unlike Mr Yushchenko, he never promised to cut links with business tycoons.
He is backed by Rinat Akhmetov, an MP and the country’s richest man.

“We have a different philosophy: we want to draw business into the running
of the country. Akhmetov and Yanukovich complement each other,” says Yuriy
Miroshnychenko, a lawyer with the Party of the Regions.

Mr Yanukovich has also undergone a makeover by American consultants and no
longer takes instructions from Moscow. His main message is of stability and
growth. Demanding official status for the Russian language and opposition to
NATO membership are secondary.

Ms Tymoshenko calls for a revolutionary breakthrough and an anti-corruption
crusade. That inspires awe in her supporters and apprehension among some
tycoons. All three parties want Ukraine to get into the European Union, but
the EU offers little encouragement.

None of the parties will get an overall majority, so a coalition will be
necessary. One possibility is the reunion of Ms Tymoshenko and Mr
Yushchenko.

Another is a coalition between the Party of the Regions and Our Ukraine. Mr
Yanukovich and Mr Akhmetov have talked to Mr Yushchenko, who has not

ruled out a coalition with his opponents. Now negotiations are intensifying.

The test of this election will be the ability of the parties to do a
post-election deal. Oles Doniy, a supporter of Our Ukraine who fought for
independence in the early 1990s, says that “from the point of view of the
Ukrainian state, victory by Our Ukraine is not enough. The most important
thing is the functioning of the state.”

For the election to be judged a success, he argues, the parties must not
cheat; whoever loses must recognise the victory of the others; and whoever
wins must allow the losers to function as a proper opposition.

Each of the three parties has accused its opponents of rigging the votes,
even before they are cast. None of the parties is ready to admit defeat. If
the Party of the Regions wins the most seats but is excluded from
government, Mr Yanukovich may bring people on to the streets; or simply
boycott parliament.

If the economy keeps growing fast, Ukrainians can afford to take little
interest. But with the world economy faltering, the next few years could be
tougher. A stalemate that blocks further reform could then lose all the
gains from 2004.
——————————————————————————————–
http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9867554

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25.  WHO LOST UKRAINE? THE WRONG QUESTION

COMMENTARY: Samuel Charap, International Herald Tribune (IHT)
Paris, France, Thursday, September 27, 2007

NEW YORK: On Sunday, Ukrainians will go to the polls to elect a new
Parliament. In a snap election called only a year and a half after the last
one, voters will be faced with a familiar choice: either President Viktor
Yushchenko’s bloc, that of his erstwhile political ally Yulia Timoshenko, or
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions.

Many in the West mistakenly believe that this contest is merely a rerun of
the Orange Revolution, when the Yushchenko-Timoshenko team prevailed

against Yanukovich in what was seen as a bloodless coup against the old regime.

But they are wrong. The latest public opinion polls suggest that Yanukovich
will be returned to power, inevitably prompting officials in Washington and
European capitals to wonder, “Who lost Ukraine?”

After all, Yanukovich and his supporters were supposed to have been
vanquished by Yushchenko and his allies in the Orange Revolution.

Yushchenko was seen as a pro-Western reformer, his scarred face a
physical manifestation of the other side’s nefarious ways.

The Orange Revolution was considered in the West to have been a victory

of “democratic” politicians over the purportedly corrupt, pro-Russian,
authoritarian forces represented by Yanukovich.

After the results of the next election come in, instead of hand-wringing
about Yanukovich’s likely victory, policy makers in the West must try to
understand the motivations of the electorate. This will require a
reassessment of the Orange Revolution.

It is now clear that the “revolutionaries” were not Yushchenko and
Timoshenko but average Ukrainians revolting against the stagnation of the
post-Soviet period. The politicians’ battles were of secondary importance.

Before 2005, Ukrainian society was typical of the post-Soviet region –
resigned to be ruled from above, incapable of self-organization and somewhat
closed to the outside world. Compared to this “prerevolutionary” period,
Ukrainian society has been transformed.

People debate politics in person, on TV and in the press. Politicians are
held to account by an increasingly active civil society. More and more
Ukrainians from all parts of the country have begun to think of themselves
as European – and to act the part.

Yet this sea change has been overshadowed by what the West preferred to

see as a binary political battle between “democratic” and “nondemocratic”
forces. This public embrace of the “Orange team” was a mistake.

Despite the countrywide movement that initially brought them to power,
Yushchenko and Timoshenko’s power base lies almost exclusively in the
western and central regions. They have little support in the south and east
and never made a concerted attempt to reach out to this half of the country.

The West’s embrace of these leaders alienated the population in the southern
and eastern regions of Ukraine, which overwhelmingly supports Yanukovich.

In our rush to support the Orange team, policy makers seem to have ignored
the fact that Yanukovich is a genuinely popular politician in the south and
east – and current polls indicate that he is now the most popular in the
country as a whole. His electoral base is larger than the other side’s and
produces the lion’s share of the country’s GDP.

While we may not like everything they believe, we must acknowledge that
these Ukrainians are full-fledged and legitimate members of the polity. By
dismissing their leaders as enemies of democracy, Western leaders
discredited themselves.

We should have kept our distance from Ukraine’s political battles but
maintained our solidarity with the real revolutionaries, who can be found in
all regions of Ukraine.

Since Yanukovich’s electoral victory in 2006, the West has been assiduously
cultivating him and his allies, and insisting that we are only interested in
free and fair political competition and a thriving civil society – not the
victory of one side over the other. However, the damage has been done.

In this sense “Who lost Ukraine?” is the wrong question. A more appropriate
one is why the West shunned so many of the heroes of the Orange Revolution.
The answer is that we failed to understand that the politicians’ battles
were just a sideshow to the real revolution in Ukrainian society.
————————————————————————————————-
NOTE: Samuel Charap of St. Antony’s College, Oxford, was a visiting fellow

at the International Center for Policy studies in Kiev earlier this year.
————————————————————————————————-
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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26.  UKRAINE: HERE WE GO AGAIN
Political problems run deeper than another set of elections can possibly fix.

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: by Ivan Lozowy
Transitions Online (TOL), Prague, Czech Republic, Wed, 26 Sep 2007

KYIV, Ukraine – Ukraine is in the final stretch of yet another election
campaign notable for the lack of substantive debate on political challenges
and marred by the deep-seated personal animosities that have dominated
Ukrainian politics since the Orange Revolution three years ago.

The 30 September vote is being presented to the public as the solution to
the ongoing political crisis brought about by feuding between President
Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. This

expectation is bound to be disappointed.

Circling the two antagonists is Yulia Tymoshenko, the firebrand opposition
politician who hopes for another chance to sit in the prime minister’s seat.
AN ISSUE-FREE CAMPAIGN
The root cause of the friction between the president and the prime minister
is a struggle for power and authority in Ukraine’s political system. During
this election campaign the political struggles have been conducted almost
entirely on a personal level.

The platforms of the three main competing blocs hardly get a mention in the
media. Attention is focused intensely on one question: who will form a
post-election government coalition?

Political sources indicate that the presidential secretariat began preparing
for new elections at least as far back as January this year, when a tight
circle of consultants gathered to discuss the feasibility of dissolving
parliament. But it took three presidential decrees and an eventual political
compromise in May to set a firm election date.

Twenty parties and coalitions have registered their candidates’ lists with
the Central Election Commission. These include the usual smattering of
temporary, minor business alliances, as well as a “Kuchma Bloc.” In an
indication of how low expectations have sunk in the wake of a Orange
Revolution run aground, a Kyiv graffito urges former President Leonid
Kuchma, “Danylich – Come Back!”

Two established parties are unlikely to do well in the voting. The
Socialists may not even top the 3-percent cutoff to enter parliament, and
the Communists, currently rejoicing at the woes of their former adherent,
now Socialist leader Oleksandr Moroz, may not do much better.

The real battle will take place between the Party of Regions, headed by
Yanukovych, the Our Ukraine – National Self-Defense coalition supported by
Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko’s eponymous bloc.
CONFIDENT REGIONS, LACKLUSTER YUSHCHENKO
The Party of Regions is feeling confident, and for good reason. They are
polling at 36-38 percent, a marked improvement over their 32 percent result
in the 2006 election.

The party is pushing its main theme of dependability in the retro style of
the former “red” directors from the Soviet period who are key supporters.

The party’s campaign chief, Boris Kolesnikov, has said that Regions would
seek a national referendum on Ukraine’s possible entry into NATO and on
elevating Russian to a state language, on a par with Ukrainian. These
initiatives are aimed against the pro-Western Yushchenko and designed to
consolidate support from Ukraine’s eastern, Russian-speaking regions.

Yanukovych’s personal slogan – “What Yanukovych says, he does” – harks back
to Kuchma’s main theme in his race for the presidency in 1994, when serving
President Leonid Kravchuk was lampooned as “all words,” while Kuchma was the
“man of action.”

As in the Kuchma-Kravchuk race, which Kuchma unexpectedly won, Yanukovych
is playing on voters’ disenchantment with the serving president. In 2004,
just before the Orange Revolution, Yushchenko ran for the office proclaiming
“Not with words, but with action.” But two years of Yushchenko’s presidency
and his passivity, detachment, and inefficacy have turned away voters.

Yushchenko’s supporters have gathered in a coalition which largely repeats
the format in which they ran in March 2006. Now, however, their bloc is
dominated by Yuriy Lutsenko, Number 1 on the bloc electoral list and a
politician who has built his political career largely on his animosity,
amply returned, towards the Party of Regions.

Lutsenko’s anti-Regions strategy has allowed him to fill a political niche
thus far dominated by Tymoshenko. However, his personal poll ratings,
currently hovering at 6-8 percent, may not be enough to lift the Our Ukraine
coalition much higher than their dismal result of 14 percent last year.

Nor has the way he meekly entered Yanukovych’s government just weeks after
publicly declaring he would never do so boosted his reputation as scourge of
the Party of Regions.
TYMOSHENKO – ETERNAL OPPOSITIONIST?
Tymoshenko, however, remains Ukraine’s premier opposition politician.

In March 2006 the Tymoshenko Bloc won 22 percent of the vote and this time
around her results are likely to improve slightly, but based on the numbers
of people who dislike her hard-headed style – her negative ratings have
consistently been the highest among Ukraine’s national politicians –
Tymoshenko may have reached the upper limit of supporters she can win over.

Tymoshenko’s message is simple: give me another shot at running the country
from the prime minister’s office. The problem with this scenario, however,
is that most people were not very impressed with her first time around, when
a meat crisis was followed by a gasoline crisis and privatized enterprises
were slated for nationalization.

Tymoshenko’s main problem, however, is not so much the election as the
intentions of Yushchenko and his closest allies. The role that will be
played in post-election coalition talks by Viktor Baloha, the powerful head
of the presidential secretariat, will be crucial.

Rumors abound that Baloha himself is interested in the post of prime
minister. Though such an eventuality is somewhat far-fetched, Baloha will be
very reluctant to see in the job given her track record as a solo rather
than team player.
READING TEA LEAVES
Some analysts are whispering about the possibility of a worst-case
scenario – the Party of Regions garnering more than half the seats in
parliament together with the communists, allowing them to form a government
on their own. The two parties have worked as solid coalition partners in the
Yanukovych-led government.

Others mutter that fraud may cloud the outcome of the voting. The Committee
of Voters of Ukraine, a non-partisan, Western-funded monitoring group, has
issued regular reports listing its concerns about such issues as the use of
central government resources to influence voting, irregularities in voter
registration lists, and inadequate regulation of home voting for disabled
people.

Following the March 2006 elections, independent journalists uncovered
evidence of serious and massive voting falsifications in the Donetsk region,
the home base of the Party of Regions.

Over the past decade, local election commissions have become adept at
election fraud. Since election commission members are dominated by
representatives of local government, manipulation of voting results is
commonplace.

Whatever happens on 30 September will not resolve the ongoing struggle for
power between the Party of Regions and Yushchenko.

A “grand coalition” between these two antagonists looks likely to be
short-lived and the same goes for a Tymoshenko government. One result looks
certain: people will soon start talking about yet another election.
————————————————————————————————
Ivan Lozowy is a TOL correspondent and also runs an Internet newsletter,

the  Ukraine Insider.
————————————————————————————————
http://www.tol.cz/look/TOL/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=4&NrIssue=237&NrSection=4&NrArticle=19017
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
27. ‘IN UKRAINE ALL VICTORIES ARE FLEETING’
Ukrainian novelist Andrey Kurkov discusses the early parliamentary election
on Sunday, the unfulfilled promise of the Orange Revolution and the real
powerbrokers in Ukraine.

OPINION: By Andrey Kurkov, Ukrainian Novelist
Der Spiegel Online magazine, Germany, Thu, Sep 27, 2007

President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko kisses the hand of the opposition
leader Yulia Tymoshenko on Thursday, prior to talks in advance of Sunday’s
parliamentary elections.

It is January 2013. The new Ukrainian president is meeting for the first
time with his Russian counterpart in Moscow where, of course, Vladimir

Putin is still in power.

This is the first scene of my novel “The President’s Last Love.” The
Ukrainian complains to the Russian about the “nimrods” in his parliament,
whose members vote the way they happen to feel like voting.

“Show them the numbers of their foreign bank accounts!” Putin advises the
Ukrainian president. “Or don’t you know where all the money from the
government’s coffers is disappearing? I have dossiers on 40 of your
parliamentarians.”

I wrote this novel before the Ukrainian presidential election in 2004, that
is, before the now-famous Orange Revolution.

But then some of the imagined events in my book suddenly became Ukrainian
reality: the parliament’s intrigues against their own head of state, for
example; the poisoning of our president, which I anticipated in the book
half a year before it actually happened; and, finally, the conflict with
Russia over natural gas and the Ukrainian communists’ desire to align
themselves with the orthodox members of the Moscow patriarchy.

Almost three years have passed since then. We still don’t know who put
dioxin in Viktor Yushchenko’s food. But the president himself has
highlighted the attempted assassination once again, accusing Russia of
obstructing the investigation into the case.

It’s election time again in Ukraine.

The election Yushchenko called the “most democratic of all parliamentary
elections” happened only a year and a half ago — an election in which the
successful revolutionaries captured the majority.

But then they were unable to agree amongst themselves, helping their
political adversary, the pro-Moscow Viktor Yanukovych, return to power.

It was undoubtedly a setback. But one thing is clear: This victory of
Yushchenko’s opponents will not be more than a temporary one.

It appears to me that Ukraine has entered an era in which all victories are
fleeting. Its politicians may have learned to win, but they still lack the
ability to use their victories in a sensible way.

The next election, an early one once again, is approaching next Sunday.
According to the pollsters, Prime Minister Yanukovych’s Party of the Regions
will capture a majority of votes.

The only problem is that the so-called democratic forces of the Orange
Revolution — Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense bloc and Yulia
Tymoshenko’s bloc — stand a good chance of attracting just as many votes as
the prime minister’s party. In other words, we could see a stalemate.

I don’t even want to think about the possibility that one in four Ukrainians
may not even go to the polls or may choose the “against everyone” option, a
bizarre feature of the post-Soviet election law.

It’s the Ukrainian paradox. Out there in Europe, we win the Eurovision Song
Contest, and more and more foreign capital is flowing into booming Kiev. But
inside the country? Within a breathtakingly short period of time we have
worn out all of our political institutions.

The parliament — 350 of its 450 members are dollar millionaires and brawls
in front of the cameras have become commonplace — is paralyzed, the
Constitutional Court is incapable of action and the president is caught in a
political stalemate.

A few weeks ago, it seemed that the two camps were on the verge of deploying
the police and internal security forces against each other.

Politics in our country is not about seeking compromise. Instead, for our
supposed public representatives it is simply an opportunity to continue
doing business, just by other means. And Ukrainian politics is still
dominated by an eternally unchanging triangle: Yushchenko-Tymoshenko-

Yanukovych.

The attempt to find deeper ideological differences among these three forces
is fraught with many questions and few answers. The programs of all three
politicians are filled with promises that no one can fulfill.

The most popular promise: Mothers would receive the equivalent of 1,500 for
the birth of their first child, 2,000 for the second and as much as 7,000
for the third.

And this in a country where the average monthly wage is only 180!
Politicians who engage in this sort of populism are in fact apolitical. Our
parties rally around leaders, not ideas.

Viktor Yushchenko, the leader of Nasha Ukraina or Our Ukraine, still has the
best reputation. Unfortunately, the same thing can’t be said for his party.
When Yushchenko began his political career, he portrayed himself as the
champion of a European future for Ukraine.

His pro-Western views and the desire to tear Ukraine away from Russia’s
political and economic sphere of influence made him popular, especially in
western Ukraine, where the people have disliked Russia and the Russian
language since the Soviet days.

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych is poised to win Sunday’s elections.The
center of the country, together with the capital Kiev, supported Yushchenko
as practically the only politician who could not be accused of corruption.

Many were impressed by his intelligence and, even more so, by his gentle
nature, an unusual trait among Ukrainian politicians.

Yushchenko’s intellect became especially apparent during the Melnitchenko
affair of 2000. When Major Melnitchenko of the presidential bodyguards
released secret recordings of conversations within the innermost circle of
power in Kiev.

Every politician whose voice could be heard on the tapes, including then
President Leonid Kuchma, sounded horrifyingly uneducated, with their
conversations consisting of little more than gangster speak.

Fascinated by Yushchenko, politicians from other parties switched sides and
joined Nasha Ukraina, sensing that it had the makings of a completely new
party capable of winning power. But Yushchenko remained a man marked by
hesitation, a trait he retained later on when he assumed the country’s
highest office.

If Yushchenko is a romantic, then Yulia Tymoshenko is the Trotskyite of
Ukrainian politics. The so-called gas princess and second icon of the Orange
Revolution attracted public attention when she was arrested and detained for
a few weeks in 2001.

She was accused of corruption related to business transactions involving
Russian natural gas, probably at Kuchma’s instigation. She had hardly been
released before becoming his most ardent enemy.

Her bloc now has more support within the population than Yushchenko’s,
mostly as a result of Tymoshenko’s radical views on the country’s oligarchs.
She promises a new, “honest” privatization of the assets that the “new
Ukrainians” acquired illegally in the 1990s.

When one considers that virtually all plants, factories and small businesses
were privatized illegally in the Kuchma era, the fulfillment of Tymoshenko’s
current campaign promise would lead to total chaos in the Ukrainian
economy — an economy that is finally enjoying an upswing.

Yulia Tymoshenko has never adhered to any concrete ideology. The words “In
God We Trust” recently began appearing on the masthead of the newspaper she
publishes in Kiev.

It’s the same inscription that appears on every dollar note. She prefers the
Europeans over the Russians, even though she promises a radical improvement
in relations with Moscow.

Some of her ideas even give the Yushchenko supporters in her camp an uneasy
feeling, such as her promise to abolish compulsory military service by as
early as Jan. 1, 2008. Her motives are completely transparent: She wants to
capture the votes of parents whose sons are about to be drafted.

For Yulia Tymoshenko, next Sunday’s election is nothing more than a
milestone on the road to victory in the 2009 presidential election. This is
far from impossible. She is more popular than ever and Ukrainians yearn for
a decisive leader and — unlike the Russians — would also accept a woman as
president.

And what about Yanukovych, the last figure in this triangle? The man Kuchma
groomed as his successor, who represents the interests of big business in
southern and eastern Ukraine and who, in 2004, lost the presidential
election to Yushchenko amid charges of election fraud.

Yanukovych hasn’t disappeared. On the contrary, he has learned new lessons.
He skillfully used divisions within the democratic camp last year to his
advantage, garnering the support of the parliament and thereby winning the
office of prime minister.

He hired American advisors, purged his speech of profanities and finally
acquired a Ukrainian, and public, sense of humor. His key campaign promise
is economic stability.

He has transformed himself from a “pro-Russian” into a “pro-Ukrainian”
politician but, more importantly, into a pragmatist. While Yushchenko wants
to see Ukraine join the European Union and NATO as quickly as possible,
Yanukovich says that Ukraine isn’t ready for NATO and that the EU isn’t even
interested in having Kiev as a member.

The real reason for the early election next Sunday has faded into the
background in recent weeks: the dramatically limited powers of the
president. Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko want to reverse the 2005
reform, a concession to their opponent at the time, which gave substantial
political power to the dollar millionaires in the parliament.

Now they want to see everything go back to the way it was. The two
politicians would push even harder for the plan if they could be certain
that Yanukovich wouldn’t suddenly become president.

We still have the battle over the role of the president ahead of us. The
parliament is the issue for now, and the most astonishing thing is that for
once the country is behaving quietly and modestly.

The usual demonstrations and loud meetings are absent. Upon closer
inspection, what looked like political chaos from afar in recent months is
in truth merely a carefully controlled game of chess.

The oligarchs are the players and the politicians the chess pieces. Without
men like coal and steel barons Rinat Akhmetov and Sergey Taruta from the
Donetsk basin, or Kuchma’s son-in-law the pipeline builder Viktor Pinchuk,
Ukraine would have fallen apart long ago.

These are men who need stability to keep their businesses thriving. As long
as they control the economy, the political theater in the country will have
no serious effects. (Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan)
——————————————————————————————
NOTE: ANDREY KURKOV, 46, is Ukraine’s most popular and well-
known writer. He has written 19 books and has been translated into 32
languages. His most successful novel, “The President’s Last Love,”
caricatures the real lunacy of Ukrainian politics.
——————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,508312,00.html

———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
28.  BEAUTIFUL BUT TOUGH: TYMOSHENKO ATTACKS TYCOONS

By Stefan Korshak, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)
Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 26, 2007

KIEV- Her Luis Vuitton suits fit to a tee, her toilette is exquisite, she
tears about the country in a convoy of limousines, and she campaigns as

a defender of the poor and downtrodden.

Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine’s top opposition politician and by all accounts
the country’s best-dressed and most politically-powerful woman, is out to
get the rich and influential. She is taking no prisoners.

Tymoshenko, 46, is criss-crossing the land in, arguably, the former Soviet
republic’s first-ever nationwide whistle-stop election campaign.

Wearing pure white down to her designer shoes and pearl earrings, she says
she is on nothing less than a crusade against corruption – a theme with
considerable resonance in Ukraine, by many accounts Europe’s most corrupt
nation.

‘Yulia,’ as most Ukrainians call petite Tymoshenko, has spent the last 45
days on the campaign trail, mostly on the road, talking to voters, speaking
at rallies, and sleeping at best five hours a day.

‘I have travelled the country from end to end, and people are getting tired
of getting lied to over and over again,’ Tymoshenko told Fakty newspaper.
‘And that is going to bring us support, far more than any one expects.’

Certainly her rallies are drawing them in. Since July the Tymoshenko
campaign cavalcade has rolled into hundreds of town and city squares, and
sometimes the crowds number in the tens of thousands.

Tymoshenko’s ability to draw in listeners is unmatched by any other
Ukrainian politician, who in any case as a group prefer buying TV ads and
smear news reports, over active campaigning.

The Tymoshenko stump speech is, by the standards of modern electioneering,
surprisingly simple. There is a stage with red-and- white bunting, a
medium-power public address system, and booths with campaign workers

handing out brochures.

During the warm-up party functionaries appeal to the crowd for volunteers
and contributions, and – critically as Ukraine is a country where relatives
count – remind listeners that whatever they heard today, please, please tell
a family member.

Tymoshenko appears, as always her coiffure in a traditional, museum-perfect
Ukrainian peasant braid. Her oratory perhaps mesmerises some, but mostly,
Tymoshenko holds her listeners by saying out loud, what a substantial
majority of Ukrainians think about their politicians and their government.

Often, she rubbishes conventional wisdom on Ukraine in the process.
Throughout, she relentlessly hammers her thesis: Corrupt government must
end.

The division of Ukraine into two supposedly incompatible ethnic halves,
Russian-speaking and Ukrainian-speaking, get this treatment:

‘Ukraine is not a country divided into Russians and Ukrainians, that is an
artificial divide invented to frighten people … Ukraine is divided into 47
million honest people, and a few hundred clans out to steal from the honest
people.’

Her intention to become the next Prime Minister, touted by her opponents as
unseemly ambition for a woman, received this broadside, recalling jail time
stemming from 2001 tax evasion charges, which were subsequently dropped: ‘If
I had set myself the goal of being Prime Minister, I would have had that job
years ago, and held it still.

The thing is, the business clans gave me a choice, either stop making their
life difficult, or go to prison. I went to prison, but at least my integrity
stayed intact.’

The crowds have been friendly, supportive, and almost always either
unwilling or too polite to bring up unpleasant issues like Tymoshenko’s
notoriously failed attempts to freeze petrol and food prices while she was
Prime Minister in 2000, her fortune made in government natural gas imports
during the 1990s, or the two dozen or so very wealthy businessmen on her own
party list.

‘We are all tired of the rich clans using government to steal from us, and
making us poor,’ her speeches often conclude. ‘It needs to stop, and with
your help we can stop it together. Glory to Ukraine!’ In town after town,

village after village, that sentence has received standing ovations.

Ukrainian pollsters are a bit sceptical, usually predicting Tymoshenko’s
eponymous political party Block of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT) stands to

gather in 25 to 30 per cent of the popular vote, in a clear second place to the
currently ruling Regions Ukraine party, currently on track to take between
32 and 40 per cent of the vote.

‘Do not underestimate the Ukrainian people,’ Tymoshenko countered in a
recent interview. ‘They have had enough.’
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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AUR#872 Sep 27 Make Your Vote Count & Get More Involved; Star Power; Newborn Christian Democrat; Voter Fraud; Dirty Tricks; Power & Democracy

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


Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
 
UKRAINE’S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION
Sunday, September 30, 2007, Articles From:
Kyiv Post, BBC, PBN, AFP, Reuters, Wall Street Journal,
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), DPA, Telegraph,
Irish Times, Baltimore Sun, UNIAN, Business Ukraine,
ICPS, UCIPR, Channel 5, Eurasian Home, ITAR-TASS
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 872
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2007
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article

1.  UKRAINIANS: MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT
Editorial: Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Sep 27 2007
 

2AND GET MORE INVOLVED
Editorial: Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Sep 27, 2007

3Q&A: UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Sep 26, 2007

4PBN UKRAINE ELECTION UPDATE
PBN Ukraine Election Update, Issue 2
The PBN Company, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Sep 25, 2007

 
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE KEY TO NATIONAL UNITY
5 Kanal TV, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1600 gmt 26 Sep 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed Sep 26, 2007

6STAR POWER DRIVES UKRAINE’S POLITICS
The pretty blonde, the pockmarked financier, the reformed ex-con
By Conor Humphries, Agence France Presse (AFP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, 26 September, 2007

7UKRAINE’S “ORANGE REVOLUTION” DUO FIGHT DISILLUSION
By Ron Popeski, Reuters, Ternopil, Ukraine, Mon 24 Sep 2007

8NEWBORN CHRISTIAN DEMOCRAT
Yulia Tymoshenko has reached out to the middle-right with her political
platform. Her chances in the Ukrainian parliamentary elections are good.
By Konrad Schuller, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)
Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday, September 23, 2007 (In German)
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #872, Article 8
Washington, D.C., Thursday, September 27, 2007 (In English)

9UKRAINE AND POLAND: SPITTING IMAGE
Commentary: By Adrian Karatnycky, The Wall Street Journal

 New York, New York, Thursday, September 27, 2007

10UKRAINE POLITICAL MACHINE REGIONS AIMS TO

FLATTEN OPPONENTS IN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION
Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), Kiev, Ukraine, Wed, 26 Sep 2007

11EAST-WEST TUG-OF-WAR DIVIDES VOTERS IN UKRAINE POLLS
By Conor Humphries, Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Savastopol, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sep 26, 2007

12PARTY OF REGIONS SACKS PAUL MANAFORT
By Oleksy Pedosenko and Olha Kuryshko
The Ekonomicheskie izvestia, No. 165 (698) in Russian
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #872, Article 12, in English
Washington, D.C., Thursday, September 27, 2007

13UKRAINE CAMPAIGN HEATS UP WITH FIGHTS, TYPOS
Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Kiev, Ukraine, Wed, Sep 26, 2007

14UKRAINE POLL COULD END ORANGE REVOLUTION
By Adrian Blomfield in Moscow, Telegraph
London, United Kingdom, Tue, Sep 25, 2007

15.  DIVISIVE UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS MAY

SEE RE-EMERGENCE OF ‘ORANGE’ COALITION
By Daniel McLaughlin in Kiev, Irish Times
Dublin, Ireland, Wednesday, Sep 26, 2007

16UKRAINE DEMOCRACY NEEDS U.S. HELP
Commentary: By Joseph Tydings
The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD, Wed, September 26, 2007

17VOTE FRAUD FEARS SPREAD AHEAD OF POLL
By John Marone, Staff Writer, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sep 26 2007

18DIRTY TRICKS: USEFUL ELECTION TOOL IN MODERN

UKRAINIAN DEMOCRACY
Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), Kiev, Ukraine, Wed, 26 Sep 2007

19UKRAINE’S ELECTION WATCHDOG NOTES BAD

QUALITY OF VOTER ROLLS
UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian gmt 21 Sep 07
ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in Russian 21 Sep 07
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 21 Sep 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Friday, Sep 21, 2007

20ELECTION OBSERVERS DESCEND ON UKRAINE
Tammy Lynch, Business Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Sep 24, 2007

 
21 THE LIFE OF YUSHCHENKO
Analysis & Commentary: By John Marone
Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Kyiv, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, September 24, 2007
 
CLOSER TO POLITICS
By Natalya Shapovalova, ICPS Political Analyst
International Centre for Policy Studies (ICPS) Newsletter #375
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 3, 2007
 
POWER VERSUS DEMOCRATIC PERSPECTIVES
By Svitlana Kononchuk, Political Program Head, UCIPR
Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 25, 2007
======================================================
1
 UKRAINIANS: MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT

EDITORIAL: Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Sep 27 2007

Building democracy has been a messy, dangerous and sometimes deadly
process in Ukraine since the collapse of the Soviet Union. But the roots
have sprouted.

Looking back, it can be said that for the country’s leadership, democracy
has often been no more than a declaration, a pledge to Western partners
left on paper alone.

This pleased Kyiv’s off-and-on again allies to the north, whose relations
thrive with authoritarian regimes that abuse and oppress their citizens.

Much of the progress made in the building of a true democracy in Ukraine
is the work of the Ukrainian people themselves.

They have overwhelmingly gone to the polls election after election,
regardless of the poor choices for presidential and parliamentary candidates
they had, and regardless of the public cynicism engendered by the broken
promises of those candidates after they were voted into office.

Ukrainians once and for all sealed Ukraine’s fate as a democracy with the
Orange Revolution of 2004, after hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians hit
the capital’s central square to peacefully protest a massively fraud-marred
presidential vote. Kudos!

And while the post-revolutionary period of unfulfilled promises of the last
two years has seen great disillusion arise in the hearts and minds of those
who took a stand for a new era of democracy, freedom and economic
prosperity, the Post urges those Ukrainians who are eligible to vote to
remember one thing.

Through voting, and protest, and more voting, they have started to break the
levers of their own manipulation from above and have laid the foundation for
the universal understanding that this country, its leaders, officials and
politicians, will eventually run this country in the people’s best
interests, and not their own (a government of the people, by the people and
for the people – US President Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address).

That’s why, on the eve of the Sept. 30 parliamentary elections, the Post
strongly urges Ukrainians to get out and vote, because your vote counts. Not
voting is not an answer, but a step backward toward your manipulation by the
powers that be.
————————————————————————————————-
LINK:
http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/editorial/27438/

————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
2.  AND GET MORE INVOLVED

EDITORIAL: Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Sep 27, 2007

The Kyiv-based think tank, the International Center for Policy Studies
(ICPS), advised in a recent newsletter this month that instituting primaries
in Ukraine’s evolving political landscape would be a good way to galvanize
the country’s developing political parties into meeting the public’s growing
demand for democracy and democratization.

Primaries, or preliminary elections, would also be a good way to bring more
voters into the political processes and electoral life of this country,
which is something that it still desperately needs, despite the progress
that has been made in building democracy here over the last several years.

“Since Ukraine switched to a parliamentary-presidential form of government
and proportional election system, political parties have become key players
in formulating and implementing government and local policies.

But, to cope with this level of responsibility and power, they need to be
more effective and democratic, which means getting closer to voters at all
levels and gaining their trust.

Here, Ukraine can make use of the experience of Western countries that have
long resolved similar problems by forming party lists on the basis of
primaries,” ICPS wrote.

The Kyiv Post strongly agrees.

The main reasons for instituting primaries would be to strengthen party
lists, increase party membership and voter support, make the election
process more democratic, and strengthen the link between a party and civil
society.

Today, Ukrainians play too little of a role in the area of internal party
politics. And too few citizens are members of parties. It is not enough to
vote every year or so.

Citizens must play more of a role in shaping the parties they support, and
their leaders. One way of doing this is to introduce real primaries, letting
the people choose the party platforms and leaders.

There is no ideal model for primaries, but one that fits Ukraine can surely
be found. The long-standing experiences of the US can be looked to, as
well as the experiences of the UK, Spain, Israel, Italy and France.

The status quo of staged party primaries is a sham that benefits the
personal ambitions of leading politicians, and not the people.

———————————————————————————————-
NOTE: The ICPS report mentioned in the editorial above can
be found in article twenty-two below.
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/editorial/27437/
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
3.  Q&A: UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION

BBC Monitoring research in English 25 Sep 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Sep 26, 2007

Ukrainians are going to the polls on 30 September in an early parliamentary
election after President Viktor Yushchenko dissolved the previous
parliament.

Elected in March 2006, it was controlled by a hostile majority coalition
which formed a government headed by Yushchenko’s rival in the 2004
presidential election, Viktor Yanukovych.

Q: Why is the early election being held?
A: Yushchenko dissolved parliament on 2 April on the grounds that the ruling
coalition was subverting the will of voters and trying to usurp power by
accepting defectors from opposition and propresidential forces.

Yushchenko initially called the snap election for 27 May and in a subsequent
decree postponed it till mid-June. The government and its supporters in
parliament refused to comply with Yushchenko’s dissolution decree, which
they insisted was unconstitutional.

After an increasingly tense two month stand-off, Yushchenko, Yanukovych and
parliament speaker Oleksandr Moroz finally agreed in late May that the
election would be held on 30 September, provided that at least 150
opposition and propresidential MPs formally gave up their seats, thereby
creating the legal grounds for dissolving parliament.

Q: What are the leading forces?
A: A total of 20 parties and blocs are running in the election. Recent
opinion polls indicate that only seven stand any chance of overcoming the
3-per-cent barrier, while most of the others will receive less than 1 per
cent.

The main players are largely unchanged since the 2006 election:

[1] The Party of Regions, led by Yanukovych, which is likely to gain the
most votes as it did in 2006;
[2] The opposition bloc of former Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko, an
uneasy ally of the president and uncompromising critic of the Yanukovych
government;
[3] The Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence bloc, an alliance of
propresidential forces led by Yuriy Lutsenko, a popular former interior
minister;
[4] The Socialist Party, led by Moroz, which backed Yushchenko during the
2004 Orange Revolution but joined Yanukovych’s coalition in August 2006;
[5] The Communist Party, the third member of the Yanukovych-led coalition;
[6] The centrist bloc of former speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn and the radical
leftist Progressive Socialist Party of Nataliya Vitrenko, both of which
narrowly failed to overcome the 3-per-cent barrier last time.

Q: What is the likely outcome?
A: In 2006, the forces that supported the Orange Revolution – the
propresidential Our Ukraine, the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc and the Socialists –
together gained an overall majority. But after months of haggling over the
distribution of portfolios, the Socialists formed a coalition with the Party
of Regions and Communists.

The election result is likely to be little different from that in March
2006, though a sharp decline in support for the Socialists may mean they
will not be represented in the new parliament.

There are several possible outcomes to the process of forming a coalition,
none of which is likely to produce much stability:

[1] A repeat or near repeat of the present coalition of the Party of Regions
with left-wing allies;
[2] A restored Orange coalition of the Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence and
Tymoshenko blocs (which the leaders of both blocs say is their favoured
outcome);
[3] A grand coalition between Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence and the
Party of Regions (which the leaders of the former have explicitly ruled
out);
[4] A hung parliament, the consequences of which are unclear since the
constitution forbids the dissolution of parliament for a year after an early
election.

Q: What are parliament’s powers?
A: Under the current constitution, which came into force in 2006, the
president shares power with a parliamentary coalition which forms much of
the government. The coalition nominates the prime minister and most of the
cabinet ministers.

The president nominates the foreign minister and defence minister, as well
as the prosecutor-general and the head of the Security Service, but
parliament has to approve the appointments, as well as dismissals from these
posts.

Q: Will the vote be free and fair?
A: All sides have pointed to problems with the voter rolls as a possible
means for rigging the election result. The progovernment camp has expressed
concern about the large number of voters on the rolls in western Ukraine who
are working abroad, but whose votes may be used to boost the opposition’s
tally.

Meanwhile, Yushchenko and the opposition have complained about deceased
people and duplications on the voter rolls in eastern Ukraine, where support
for Party of Regions is strong.

Yanukovych has accused his opponents of planning to invalidate the election
in southern and eastern regions by using their representatives on local
electoral commissions to block their work. He suggested that his supporters
would organize mass protests if they judge the election to be rigged.

Yanukovych has also criticized Yushchenko for campaigning in favour of Our
Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence. However, Yushchenko dismissed a warning on
this issue from the Central Electoral Commission, in which the coalition has
a majority.

It has also been suggested that the president’s appeals to the
Constitutional Court over some aspects of the amendments to the election law
adopted to enable the early election to be held may be used to
retrospectively invalidate the election if the result is unfavourable.

Q: What are the main campaign issues?
A: In contrast to recent election campaigns in which conflicting pro-Russian
and pro-Western agendas were highlighted, the leading forces initially
appeared to have heeded a call by President Yushchenko not to focus on
divisive foreign policy issues.

But as the campaign gathered pace, the Party of Regions called for a
referendum to be held on giving the Russian language official status and on
the possibility of Ukraine’s NATO membership.

The other election frontrunners are mainly focusing on domestic issues –
social standards for ordinary Ukrainians and the fight against corruption.

The Party of Regions, Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence and Yuliya
Tymoshenko Bloc parties have all proposed to increase lump-sum payments

to families for the birth of children and monthly child support.

Yushchenko has said that cancellation of MPs’ immunity from prosecution is
essential to overcoming corruption – a demand that became one of the
cornerstones of the Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence campaign.

However, this effort was undercut when Yanukovych called for abolition of
immunity not just for MPs, but for the president and other officials.

Yuliya Tymoshenko has spoken of the need for a new constitution, and
initially proposed putting the main aspects of state governance – including
the distribution of power between the presidency and parliament – to a
national referendum to be held simultaneously with the election.

Propresidential forces agreed with Tymoshenko on the need to rewrite the
constitution, but ruled out holding a referendum on polling day.

————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
4.  PBN UKRAINE ELECTION UPDATE

PBN Ukraine Election Update, Issue 2
The PBN Company, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Sep 25, 2007

This publication intends to inform readers about the pre-term parliamentary
election in Ukraine scheduled for September 30, 2007.

It reflects the views and opinions of The PBN Company’s professional staff
on issues of concern to voters, business and the international community. It
is not a partisan publication and is not funded by any campaign, government
or donor organization.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM UKRAINE’S COMING ELECTION?
More than two-thirds of Ukrainian voters will cast ballots in this Sunday’s
parliamentary election.

Opinion polls show overwhelmingly that they will choose from among one
of three pro-market political forces that represent a conglomeration of
regional business and political interests, namely the Party of Regions
(blue), Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (orange) and Our Ukraine-National Self-
Defense Bloc (orange).

With so much power and patronage at stake, these so-called mega-blocs have
campaigned hard to ensure their Election Day gains do not become hostage to
narrow small party interests when the time comes to form a governing
coalition.

Their political rhetoric during the campaign has gone beyond their
traditional voter bases in hopes of convincing undecided voters not to cast
ballots for parties with little chance of winning seats in Parliament.

Opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko’s surge in opinion polls during the
campaign’s final weeks may not be enough for her to dislodge incumbent Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych’s party from capturing the plurality of Election
Day votes.

However, her closing the gap on Yanukovych, coupled with a respectable
showing by the pro-presidential Our Ukraine-National Self-Defense Bloc, may
be enough for Tymoshenko to form an orange majority in the next Rada and
retake the government.

Parties representing communist, socialist and agrarian interests could
become kingmakers if they pass the 3% threshold to qualify for seats in the
new Rada.

However, reliable polls taken at the beginning of the month show all minor
parties hovering around the 3% mark. Moreover, party clones setup by the
mega-blocs to split voting extremes on the right and left are expected to
ensure that none of the smaller parties gains enough votes to make it into
Parliament.
EAST VS WEST
After a hot summer of dull campaign ads, politicians began using emotionally
charged issues in September to sway undecided voters. With socioeconomic
differences between the pro-market parties so minor, geopolitical views
became important tools for rallying voters.

Russia, like no other issue in Ukraine, resurfaced in the campaign as a
fault line over which Ukrainians are divided into either sympathizers or
opponents.

Western and central Ukrainian voters with their eyes on Europe and Western
integration were also given hopeful assurances from EU leaders and the
United States Senate. PBN’s Ukraine Election Update takes a look at the
way geopolitics is used as a campaign tool for moving voters into action.
THE RUSSIAN CARD
The Party of Regions announced three referendum initiatives: on giving the
Russian language official state status; ensuring Ukraine remains a neutral
power and does not join NATO; and, empowering local government
by transferring more state power from the center to the regions.

The move was designed to shoreup support among soft Party of Regions
voters who may consider voting for either communist or more radical leftist
parties.

Thereafter, an interview between Russian President Vladimir Putin and
Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych appeared in the press alleging
the two leaders agreed on Ukraine entering a Slavic Union with Russia and
Belarus.

While Yanukovych’s press service denied the allegations, appropriate signals
were sent to both pro-Russian sympathizers and pro-Western opponents.

In a counteroffensive, President Viktor Yushchenko announced to reporters
that an investigation into his poisoning during the 2004 presidential
campaign cannot be concluded because Russia has so far refused to provide
Ukraine with samples of dioxin from its labs.

He also noted that Russia is hiding three Ukrainian citizen-suspects alleged
to have committed the poisoning. Both US and UK labs that manufacture
dioxin, it should be pointed out, claim their poison was not found in
Yushchenko’s blood samples.

Russian Ambassador Viktor Chernomyrdin, always ready for a good media
sound bite, vehemently denied Russia’s connection to Yushchenko’s poisoning.

Chernomyrdin’s unexpected berating of Ukraine’s leadership, during an
emotional television interview carried widely in the media, did not sit well
with independent minded Ukrainians not always fond of Russian opinion.

And while the Kremlin later announced it would cooperate with the
investigation, Chernomyrdin’s statement was taken by orange political forces
and used to rally anti-Russian sentiments among pro-orange sympathizers.
THE EUROPEAN CARD
The European Union’s top leadership made a mid-September trip to Kyiv to
meet Ukraine’s President, Prime Minister and opposition leaders.

The EU-Ukraine Summit, planned as part of a Partnership and Cooperation
Agreement between the two sides, was also used by orange parties to rally
pro-European voters and migrant workers voting abroad.

“The fact that we are here is real proof of our relationship, our trust in
the development of your country, in the future of your country, in free and
fair elections, and the possibility of having a government as soon as
possible,” Javier Solana, High Representative of the EU Commission, said.

“Our European and democratic choice is obvious and unbreakable,” President
Viktor Yushchenko said.

EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, External Relations and
European Neighborhood Policy Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and
Solana urged Kyiv to quickly form a government after the September 30
election and focus on economic and political reforms needed to bolster
cooperation with the 27-nation Western bloc.

Yushchenko told his European interlocutors a new government would be formed
quickly. The head of his presidential secretariat went even further,
predicting a new government would be formed hours after election results are
publicized and show orange forces winning a majority of the votes.

Prime Minister Yanukovych, speaking to Ukraine’s European skeptics, used the
EU summit to highlight how visa and trade relations between the EU and
Ukraine are worsening. A tough visa regime continues to force Ukrainians to
stand in long queues at embassies.

Yanukovych said EU embassies had unfairly high refusal rates for Ukrainian
citizens, with Germany and Italy cited as the worst offenders.

Furthermore, Yanukovych pointed out that new anti-dumping cases are being
opened and tariffs are increasing for Ukrainian producers and exporters.

During a weekend campaign visit to Odessa, Yanukovych also lashed out at the
United States Senate for passing a resolution that he claims unfortunately
“supports Ukraine’s orange political forces.”

Last week the U.S. Senate passed a resolution urging that Ukraine’s
government hold free and fair  elections in keeping with the standards of
the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), to which
both the U.S. and Ukraine are signatories.
LATEST POLLING
Reliable opinion polls at the beginning of September showed the following
range of voter support for parties most likely to qualify for seats in parliament.

Party of Regions                                        34-38%
Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc                           23-28%
Our Ukraine-National Self-Defense Bloc     11-15%
Communist Party of Ukraine                         3-5%
Socialist Party of Ukraine                              2-3%
Voldymyr Lytvyn Bloc                                  2-3%
POLITICAL PARTIES AT THE THRESHOLD
Polls show the communists, socialists and the Volodymyr Lytvyn Bloc
hovering around the 3% threshold to qualify for seats in parliament.
Four other minor parties, known as clones set-up by the mega-blocs,
will divide undecided voters and could severely hurt their chances.
Much depends on voter turnout.

[1] Volodymyr Lytvyn Bloc
Leader: Volodymyr Lytvyn, Latest Polling 3%
[2] Progressive Socialists Party of Ukraine (PSPU)
Leader: Nataliya Vitrenko Latest Polling 1.5%
[3] Bloc KUCHMA
Leader: Olexander Volkov, Latest Polling 0.3%
[4] Liudmila Suprun Bloc – Ukrainian Regional Activists
Leader: Liudmila Suprun, Latest Polling 0.3%
——————————————————————————————

NOTE: The see the PBN Report with all the graphs and charts click on:
http://www.pbnco.com/eng/files/Ukraine_Election_Update_Issue_2.pdf
Also: http://www.pbnco.com/eng/news/
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
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========================================================
5.  UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO SAYS ONE
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE KEY TO NATIONAL UNITY

5 Kanal TV, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1600 gmt 26 Sep 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed Sep 26, 2007

President Viktor Yushchenko has said that the Ukrainian language has to
remain the only official language because national unity is based on this.

Yushchenko was speaking live during a regional TV link-up in a studio in the
western city of Lviv on 26 September. The link-up was carried by the
Kiev-based private television 5 Kanal.

“Task number one is to unite around national priorities,” Yushchenko said.
“I am confident that it is our native language that identifies us as
Ukrainians.

“So how should we defend those provisions in the constitution that speak
about the status of the Ukrainian language as the only state language? I am
confident that this should consolidate all sound democratic politicians.
This means national unity.”

Yushchenko’s political opponents, the Party of Regions, earlier in September
2007 proposed a referendum to make Russians the second official language in
Ukraine.
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================      
6.  STAR POWER DRIVES UKRAINE’S POLITICS
The pretty blonde, the pockmarked financier, the reformed ex-con

By Conor Humphries, Agence France Presse (AFP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, 26 September, 2007

KIEV – The pretty blonde, the pockmarked financier and the reformed ex-con:
they may sound like the cast of a Hollywood caper, but they’re the stars of
a fierce political drama gripping Ukraine.

The charismatic trio has monopolised politics in this ex-Soviet state since
the 2004 “Orange Revolution” caught the world’s attention, and they return
to the stage to do battle in Sunday’s parliamentary vote.

Western-leaning Viktor Yushchenko with Yulia Tymoshenko by his side, won the
2004 fight, seizing the presidency from the pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovich in
mass street protests against a rigged presidential poll.

Yushchenko then dumped Tymoshenko as prime minister, leading both to brief
flirtations with their “Orange Revolution” rival.

“Politics in Ukraine has everything, part detective story, part thriller,
part crime,” said Andrei Kurkov, one of Ukraine’s leading authors. “It has a
failed love story … between Tymoshenko and Yushchenko.”

While the “Orange Revolution” left the country with what many see as the
most vibrant democracy in the former Soviet Union, the subsequent squabbles
and political chaos have frustrated many voters.

“They don’t reflect anything except dislike for their opponents,” said Yulia
Mostova, a commentator with the weekly Dzerkalo Tyzhnya. “Their
personalities are trumping ideology.”

During the revolution Yushchenko, a smart, Western-leaning former central
banker and prime minister, won the support of western and central regions by
promising to bring Ukraine closer to Europe.

Alongside him throughout the protests was Tymoshenko, the former head of a
major energy firm and the most photogenic of the three. With her traditional
blonde braids she became an icon of the revolution.

Their rival was the rough-hewn industrial boss Yanukovich, who served two
prison terms for robbery in his youth before coming to personify the country’s
east and the pro-Russian sentiment dominant there.

Battles among the three haven’t all been political: Yushchenko accuses
allies of Yanukovich of attempting to kill him in a poisoning that severely
disfigured his face – a crime that has never been solved.

Campaigning for Sunday’s parliamentary polls has once again led to the trio
peering down from lampposts and billboards across the country. Their
respective parties are expected to take most, if not all, seats in
parliament.

The winner on the day is expected to be Yanukovich, who has transformed his
gruff image since 2004, hiring a team of Western PR agents and brushing up
on his Ukrainian in a bid to expand his appeal.

He had some accidental help from Yushchenko, who frustrated and split the
Orange electorate when he broke with the fiery Tymoshenko due to personal
rivalries.

The split paved the way for Yanukovich’s spectacular comeback from his
revolutionary failure. His party won most seats in parliamentary elections
in 2006 and he became prime minister.

The president, 53, struck back by dissolving parliament this year after
accusing Yanukovich, 57, of an illegal power grab. The crisis culminated in
the declaration of Sunday’s snap elections.

The latest cliffhanger for the troika’s vast audience is whether Yushchenko
will cut a deal with Yanukovich to stop Tymoshenko, 56, from retaking the
prime minister’s office.

He is reportedly jealous of Tymoshenko’s presidential ambitions in the drama’s
next act: presidential polls expected in 2010.
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
7.  UKRAINE’S “ORANGE REVOLUTION” DUO FIGHT DISILLUSION

By Ron Popeski, Reuters, Ternopil, Ukraine, Mon 24 Sep 2007

TERNOPIL, Ukraine  – The leaders of Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution” have

set aside their differences but face a battle to win back voters disenchanted
with progress since the mass protests of 2004.

President Viktor Yushchenko and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko

have been touring strongholds in western Ukraine urging voters to forget the
disunity that toppled their first government and back their parties in
Sunday’s parliamentary election.

“Some of you may have given up the fight or have come with heads bowed,
weary of quarrels. I understand how you feel,” Yushchenko told 20,000
supporters at a weekend music festival in the tidy provincial town of
Ternopil.

“Mistakes were made, humiliating, immoral actions committed. But our time
has come. If we want the Ukrainian nation to win here we must overcome our
own egoism. We must be united.”

The pro-Western Yushchenko defeated his rival Viktor Yanukovich in the rerun
of a rigged 2004 election after weeks of mass protests against vote rigging.

Tymoshenko, whose fiery speeches roused crowds during the “orange” protests,
became prime minister. But infighting led to her dismissal and undermined
plans to move Ukraine closer to the West and eventually join NATO and the
European Union.

Defections among “orange” allies torpedoed a bid to form another liberal
government after a parliamentary poll last year, allowing a resurgent
Yanukovich to become prime minister.

Yushchenko blamed Tymoshenko for the debacle, but the two have since formed
a tactical alliance. Both urge voters to elect enough “orange” members to
enable them to form a government.

Yanukovich, backed by Moscow in 2004, now describes himself as pro-

European and his Regions Party tops polls.

But the combined tally of the president’s Our Ukraine party and Tymoshenko’s
bloc is close behind and tough post-election talks to form a coalition are
certain.

Both back liberal ideals and market economics and promotion of Ukraine’s
language and national identity, though the campaign is dominated by talk of
better living standards and benefits.
GOING TO RALLIES
Residents of the region – dotted by imposing eastern-rite Catholic
churches – spent much of the weekend harvesting potatoes, many using a horse
and plough. But hundreds boarded convoys of buses to attend the rallies in
provincial towns.

Tymoshenko was more forthright in urging voters, who earn considerably less
than the national average monthly pay of $250, to head to polling stations.

“No one who has Ukraine’s interests at heart has the right to be
disillusioned. We were simply too naive after the Orange Revolution,”
Tymoshenko, impeccably dressed and sporting her trademark braid, said

in the brightly painted town of Kolomyia.
“Could we truly have expected to see results and a different country the
morning after the revolution?” Of course not!”

Unlike Yanukovich, who uses blunt, homespun language in short addresses in
his Russian-speaking industrial eastern strongholds, both “orange” leaders
speak in Ukrainian for 40 minutes and more, referring frequently to
Ukraine’s history.

Crowds received them warmly, but without much of the fire of the 2004
rallies. And friction between the two leaders has yet to abate completely.

Yushchenko rarely refers to Tymoshenko by name and refuses to rule out a
post-election “grand coalition” between his party and Yanukovich’s Regions
Party — said by some to be a way of bridging the traditional gap between
Ukraine’s east and west.

Tymoshenko said she was disturbed by any notion that the president might
agree to a deal with the man he beat in the turbulent 2004 presidential
poll.

“You must never think that a broad coalition will unite east and west,” she
told supporters. “It is a betrayal of east and west. When you enter such a
coalition the compromises imposed on you are incompatible with change.”
————————————————————————————————

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========================================================
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========================================================
8.  NEWBORN CHRISTIAN DEMOCRAT
Yulia Tymoshenko has reached out to the middle-right with her political
platform. Her chances in the Ukrainian parliamentary elections are good.

By Konrad Schuller, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)
Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday, September 23, 2007 (In German)
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #872, Article 8
Washington, D.C., Thursday, September 27, 2007 (In English)

Bila Tserkva. The fact that her voice has become raw over the past few days
only enhances its impact.  It is election season once again in Ukraine, and
Yulia Tymoshenko, who two years ago was the Joan of Arc of the “Orange
Revolution,” is doing what she does best:  she is fighting.

Under her gold-blonde wreath of hair, half crown, half halo, her ivory
white, fitted dress shines against the steel gray of the housing complexes.

Nobody can understand how someone can look so immaculate after an
eighteen-hour day on the campaign trail.  But this is Yulia Tymoshenko: part
blushing bride of the fatherland, part queenly Morgan le Fay.

Bila Tserkva is typical post-Soviet industrial town, nothing more than a big
factory on the steppe surrounded by a couple of dilapidated apartment
buildings.

 The Fighter attracted five thousand people to the marketplace here:  young
activists are there in their white campaign t-shirts with a red heart on the
breast, workers from the tire factory in worn-out caps, sturdy women in
scarves adorned with flowers.

For “Yulia,” they are willing to stand for two hours in the rain.  The fact
that the heroine on the stage is audibly torturing herself with her sore
threat enriches the scene by providing a hint of her true suffering for
justice.

This woman wants to make it to the top.  In 2005, after the “Orange
Revolution” swept the Moscow-backed clan of President Kuchma from office
after a clumsily-falsified election, she was well on her way.  Her partner
in the revolution, current President Victor Yushchenko, made her Prime
Minister.

For over half a year she fought a turbulent struggle against the industrial
barons of the old regime.  Because she earned the wrath of economic experts
in this battle, with her mandated price controls and threats of
expropriation, and perhaps also because she dealt all too frivolously with
some of Yushchenko’s rich patrons, she was dismissed in September 2005
following a dramatic struggle with the president.

The revolutionary alliance shattered.  Yushchenko looked to the former team,
and today a foster-child of the steel barons is sitting in the Prime
Minister’s palace:  Viktor Yanukovych of the Russian-influenced East.

The president’s efforts to work with the old clans threw the country into an
unbroken cycle of crises – to the point where Yushchenko saw no other choice
but to dissolve parliament in a constitutionally-disputed attack and call
for new elections.

Yulia Tymoshenko now senses her second chance.  “We are the only force in
Ukraine that has not broken its promises,” she says in an interview with
this newspaper.  “My government was the first and the last that tried to
roll back corruption and the shadow economy.”  Her chances are not bad. 

The “orange camp” is back together.

There is a clear coalition alliance between the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko
(BYuT) and Yushchenko’s party, “Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defense Bloc”
(OU-PSD).

Moreover, the president has disassociated himself from his old financier,
the opaque chocolate manufacturer Petro Poroshenko, with whom Julia
Tymoshenko was in conflict.

Arrangements have already been made that, in the event of a victory, the
stronger of the two “orange” parties should choose the Prime Minister.  In
the current state of affairs, that choice can only be “Yulia.”

Yushchenko has lost significant face through his failed pact with the
election-counterfeiting party of Yanukovych and, in current polls, is only
placing between ten and 15 percent.  Tymoshenko’s BYuT, on the other

hand, appears to be a solid 10 percentage points stronger.

Together they have a good chance to outdo Yanukovych’s “Party of Regions,”
which, because of its support in the Russian-influenced East, stands at 30
to 35 percent, as long as no minor parties leap across the three-percent
threshold and confuse the calculations.

For her comeback, Yulia Tymoshenko has resolved to avoid old mistakes. 

As Prime Minister, she earned a reputation for harming the economy in her
battle against the old clans.

Her campaign for renationalization scared honest investors along with
deceitful private firms, and when she sensed Moscow’s manipulation behind a
sudden increase in gasoline prices, she reacted by decreeing price controls
until the market collapsed and the lines at gas stations reached Soviet-era
lengths.

In order to cast off her reputation for amateurish interventionism, Yulia
Tymoshenko decreed a breathtaking transformation to her party.  Within a

few months, it left behind its previous “social-democratic” profile and now
propagates a political program of the middle-right.

With the help of the “European Business Association,” one of the business
alliances supported by the EU Commission, the American Chamber of

Commerce and the Rand Corporation, she tailored a political platform in
the style of the European Christian Democrats.

When Edmund Stoiber visited recently and talked about “laptops and
lederhosen,” she listened attentively, and European parliamentarian Elmar
Brok (CDU) gave her a CD entitled “Women Rule the World.”

Finally, her party applied, with good chances for success, for observer
status in the “European People’s Party,” which also includes members of the
Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Socialist Union.

Apart from this swing to the middle-right, the most noticeable reform in
Tymoshenko’s campaign is the opening of her previously radical “Western”
party to the Russian-dominated eastern regions of Ukraine.

Her strategists assume that, even in Yanukovych’s eastern strongholds, there
is enough frustration over the continuous “government corruption” that many
are beginning to feel a Soviet-type nostalgia to search for greener
pastures.

So as not to scare these voters, Yulia Tymoshenko has strictly restrained
herself regarding those points to which the East is most sensitive – for
example, accession to NATO, which many in the “Western” camp truly want,

but which many in the East would perceive as treason against their Russian
brothers.

“Presently,” she says, this step should be “neither the first item on
Ukraine’s agenda, nor the second, nor even the fifth.”  National unity is
more important than membership in any club.

When those in the Russian-speaking East speak of their longing for a return
to “morals” and “effectiveness,” which was always a promise of Soviet-era
propaganda, Yulia Tymoshenko plows forward, making it clear that, despite
its ties to Moscow, Yanukovych’s party has no such Soviet virtues, but
instead is a breeding ground for corruption.

“They are demanding that we make Russian an official language, but they
would also demand the same for Mongolian if it would keep their party
coffers full.”

Evening has come to Bila Tserkva.  Amidst the tattered wallpaper of the
local television studio, Yulia Tymoshenko has endured an interview that ran
long, where she further strained her throat by giggling now and then, adding
just a touch of flirtatiousness to her multi-faceted visage.

She managed not to allow a visit the rather revolting restrooms darken her
mood; now she is stepping out into the rain.  A collective scream breaks out
from the waiting crowds standing in front of the transmission tower.

Fathers of families, children and grandmothers rush forth to grab her hand.
Her bodyguards, colossuses in snow-white with hearts on their breasts, close
ranks.  One more autograph, one more kiss on a child’s cheek, then the door
to the limousine closes.  The motor roars and the taillights fade.  Morgan
le Fey disappears into the night.
———————————————————————————————-
Frankfurther Allgemeine Sunday Edition, September 23, 2007, no. 38, p. 12.

———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
9.  UKRAINE AND POLAND: SPITTING IMAGE

COMMENTARY: By Adrian Karatnycky
The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY, Thu, September 27, 2007

Poland and Ukraine are partners in hosting Europe’s 2012 soccer
championships, and Poland is Ukraine’s staunchest advocate in the
European Union. It turns out the two states have another important
similarity as well.

With parliamentary elections looming in Ukraine on Sunday and in Poland
next month, the political campaigns in these countries are remarkably alike.

Both races are making it clear that such issues as corruption and morality
have become the prism through which many voters are judging the dynamic
post-communist world of rapid, market-driven growth.

In each country, the legacies of recent history bitterly divide the
political elites and, to a lesser degree, the public. In Ukraine, a
political morality play surrounds the rapid accumulation of wealth by a
handful of allegedly corrupt oligarchs since the fall of communism.

In Poland, the political schism isn’t over how to handle the post-communist
era but the predations of the communist past. The central question there is
whether citizens and politicians who may have collaborated with the old
security services should be exposed.

Poland’s political divide occurs along sociological lines. The
better-educated middle-class voters prefer to move forward, while the
lower-middle classes and rural voters are more inclined to support a full
accounting.

The latter group are drawn to moral arguments because they tend to be more
religiously conservative than their urban counterparts, and because they
harbor resentments that many who “made it” in democratic Poland had links
to communism.

Ukraine’s fault lines have a more geographic cast, with voters in the
Ukrainian-speaking west and center inclined to back those seeking to settle
scores with oligarchs, while voters in the Russian-speaking east support
their rich native sons who made good by turning around formerly decrepit
enterprises, even if these were ill-gotten.

In both countries, the leading anti-establishment parties are paradoxically
headed by consummate political insiders. Poland’s Law and Justice party is
led by combative Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, whose more moderate
twin brother Lech is Poland’s president.

In Ukraine, the insurgent anti-establishment tone is set by the eponymous
bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko, herself a former energy oligarch and ex-premier.

The center-right, populist and “anti-oligarch” campaigns of Prime Minister
Kaczynski and Ms. Tymoshenko may not be successful in the end, but they
are setting the terms of political debate. They also have contributed to the
near-total disappearance of the traditional communist and socialist left in
each country.

Poland’s ex-communists have vanished as an independent force. They have
been replaced by the Left and Democrats bloc, a social-liberal coalition
that has shed politicians with odious links to the communist era and includes
budget-balancing economists and anticommunist activists from the Solidarity
underground of the 1980s.

That bloc, along with the conservative Law and Justice party and the Civic
Platform — the major centrist, liberal party, led by the bland but
reassuring Donald Tusk — will most likely dominate the Oct. 21 election.

In Ukraine, the hardline Communist party looks set to get no more than 5%
of the vote. The Socialist party, which betrayed its coalition partners from
the 2004 Orange Revolution and backed the ruling Party of Regions last year,
won’t even get the modest 3% needed to enter parliament.

As a result, Ukraine’s voters will choose among three major parties, two of
which are Europe-oriented forces with roots in the Orange Revolution: the
centrist, free-market Our Ukraine/National Self-Defense grouping of
President Viktor Yushchenko, and the more populist Tymoshenko bloc.

Their common opponent is the ruling Party of Regions, whose billionaire
business leaders say they favor a liberal agenda of tax cuts, deregulation
and membership in the EU.

Still, the Party of Regions has numerous politicians who support a
state-directed economy, are linked to the voter fraud that sparked the
Orange Revolution, and seek economic integration with Russia rather than
the West.

Led by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, the Party of the Regions was
comfortably ahead in mid-summer public opinion polls. But with recent
surveys indicating that he has lost ground, Mr. Yanukovych has lost his
nerve and adopted a shrill and bitter tone that castigates the “Orange
plague.”

Why has all this happened? And why are Ukraine’s and Poland’s politics
dominated by culture and values as opposed to policy prescriptions?

First, both countries experienced major revolutions in the last
quarter-century. In Poland, Lech Walesa’s Solidarity was a civic and labor
movement that marshaled high moral principles and achieved unity through
nonviolent tactics that led to the defeat of communism in 1989. The effects
are still reverberating, as Polish society continues to reshape itself.

In Ukraine, the Orange Revolution of 2004 was similarly driven by lofty
ideals and a commitment to rigorous nonviolent civic resistance. These
principles and commitment have been tested in the last three years as the
“Orange” coalition splintered.

It was perhaps inevitable that, once in power, personal political ambitions
and political differences that were suppressed in the struggle against
authoritarianism would divide these broad-based movements and impede
their agendas.

Still, the inability of both Solidarity and the Orange forces to meet
excessively high public expectations for rapid change created a residue of
deep bitterness that influences the political culture of both countries.

A second reason why questions of morality and identity are dominating
politics in Ukraine and Poland is the strong state of their economies.

Both countries are in the midst of longstanding economic booms with rising
living standards. Poland’s GDP grew by more than 6% in 2006, and has
achieved an annual growth rate of over 7% in the first half of this year.

In Ukraine, the GDP has expanded by an average of more than 7% per year
since 2000. As a result, all major parties in both countries reject dramatic
shifts in economic policy and, electoral promises notwithstanding, are
likely to pursue centrist, business-friendly policies.

Politics and political campaigning in Poland and Ukraine today suggest a
bitter twilight struggle and are filled with dramatic charges of “crisis,”
“corruption,” “immorality” and “criminality.”

But after the dust settles in both countries and the votes are counted, the
influence of free media, civil society, a growing middle class and a
powerful business elite will constitute a moderating force on politicians.

So, too, will the steadying influences of Ukraine’s centrist President
Viktor Yushchenko and Poland’s moderate President Lech Kaczynski.

For the moment, politics in Warsaw and Kiev make for fascinating theater.
But in reality, it is the storm before the calm.
——————————————————————————————–
Mr. Karatnycky is a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council of the U.S. and
president of the Orange Circle, a nongovernmental group working to build
support for reform in Ukraine.
——————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119084391383540470.html

———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
10.  UKRAINE POLITICAL MACHINE REGIONS AIMS TO
FLATTEN OPPONENTS IN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION

FEATURE ARTICLE: Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)
Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, 26 September 2007

KIEV – Ukraine’s top political party, Regions Ukraine, intends to be even
bigger after the Soviet republic’s next parliamentary election on Sunday.
That’s the plan, anyway.

Party strategists predict Regions will grab between 37 and 40 per cent of
the popular vote on September 30, placing them in the driver’s seat during
horse-trading to create the next ruling coalition.

Regions’ home turf is in the country’s Russian-speaking South and East,
particularly towns and cities. Party discipline is strict, and officials in
those districts are willing to put town hall, including at times police and
courts, squarely behind Regions candidates.

Regions’ platform calls for closer relations with Russia, rejecting NATO
outright, government support to big business, making Russian a state
language, and food and public transportation prices kept low through
government subsidies.

Just as important, control of Ukraine’s key industrial regions means cash.
Of Ukraine’s 24 dollar billionaires, Korrespondent magazine estimated, at
least half are on the Regions’ party slate.

More than any other party or indeed Ukraine’s government itself, Regions
buys the most political advertising, controls the most television channels
and newspapers, and has at its call the right financial stuff to change
other people’s minds – before, after, and possibly even during a vote.

An MP switching parties in exchange for cash is an open secret in Ukraine,
and in the last 18 months dozens of MPs joined Regions, for a single vote,
or as a card-carrying party member.

Regions leadership credit those changes-of-heart to ideological solidarity;
Regions’ opponents say briefcases of cash dollars were routinely handed over
within the parliament building.

Regions rank-and-file during previous polls has showed few scruples, and
impressive enthusiasm, in fudging the provincial vote. Their most impressive
achievement came arguably in the October 2004 Presidential election when
districts in the extreme East of the country tallied as much as 103 per cent
votes cast for the Regions candidate.

But this time, with party leaders expecting around 40 per cent popularity,
chances of pro-Regions fraud are substantially lower than in the past, say
party insiders and independent observers alike.

Regions’ bosses are frankly confident they will win big, ticking off as
grounds Ukraine’s sustained 7 per cent annual GDP growth, peaceful relations
with Russia meaning stable supplies of imported energy, rising personal
incomes, and even Ukraine’s selection by UEFA as a co-host for the 2012
European football championship.

“No Ukrainian government, ever, has had a record this positive,” argued
Mykola Azarov, Vice Prime Minister. “I think it will be inevitable that the
voters will make the obvious choice.”

Of course, what is a foregone conclusion to senior Regions functionaries, is
not necessarily what’s obvious to Ukrainian voters.

A serious party liability could well remain Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovich, the Regions party leader and notorious among his countrymen as
an ex-convict who did time in a penitentiary for assault and armed robbery.

Yanukovich’s handlers, to be sure, have in recent months been buffing
Yanukovich’s image, making him smile more, getting his picture taken in
public transport or visiting a Mom and Pop grocery stores, flying aboard an
impressive blue helicopter from campaign stop to campaign stop.

But even a short conversation with average Ukrainians makes clear, the
Regions spin goes so far with a jaded electorate fed up with filthy rich
industrial tycoons, endemic government corruption, and routine official
nepotism.

Even in Ukraine’s smallest villages, voters gripe to foreign visitors that
Regions’ party list includes, for instance, the country’s richest oligarch,
a steel pipe baron that just happens to be the son-in-law of the last
President, and Yanukovich’s son.

Ukrainian law bans publishing election survey numbers in the last month
prior to the vote.

But in recent weeks Regions opponents have claimed the party’s numbers are
stalled at around 30 per cent, asserting that the Regions’ party platform,
and the sometimes unsavoury individuals on its list, tend to turn off
undecided voters outside the party strongholds in the East and the South.

Regions spokesmen confidently say they are on track for a big win.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================

11.  EAST-WEST TUG-OF-WAR DIVIDES VOTERS IN UKRAINE POLLS

By Conor Humphries, Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Savastopol, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sep 26, 2007

SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine – In this fiercely proud port city, once at the heart of
the Soviet Navy, talk of NATO ships filling the docks is a sacrilege — one
that will help drive voters to the polls in national elections on Sunday.

Like Ukraine’s massive gas pipelines, this Black Sea port is caught in a
tug-of-war between Moscow and the West, both keenly aware of the importance
of this huge country of 47 million lodged between Russia and the European
Union.

Fears that pro-Russian politicians could sell the pipes to Moscow, or that
Western-leaning parties could let NATO sail in, have helped fuel three years
of political chaos, with each side desperate to protect the country’s
geopolitical jewels.

While parties have avoided talk of the split between east and west in the
latest campaign, it remains the central fault line of politics in the
country, analysts said.

“It is not an issue that’s being voiced in this election campaign, but its
the underlying pattern,” said Nico Lange, an analyst at the Konrad Adenauer
Foundation in Kiev.

At the heart of the dispute is the question NATO membership, the enemy for
much of Sevastopol’s recent history as a proud Soviet port.

“My grandfather died in the barricades defending Sevastopol in World War
II,” said Volodymyr Beletsky, 49, as he put his signature to a petition for
a referendum that would block NATO membership.

“Who would NATO defend us against? We don’t need to be defended from
Russia.”

With Russia’s Black Sea fleet leasing the historic deep-water port through
2017, many locals fear NATO membership would destroy ties with Moscow,
provoking the kind of economic sanctions it has imposed on NATO aspirant
Georgia.

The election campaign has focused mostly on domestic issues thus far, though
foreign policy and NATO will feature in post-election horse-trading to form
a coalition government, said Volodymyr Fesenko, an analyst with the Penta
institute in Kiev.

Western-leaning President Viktor Yushchenko has made joining NATO a
priority, while analysts say pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych
would likely block membership if he retains his post.

Another touchy issue is the fate of the country’s natural gas pipelines,
which transport some 80 percent of the gas Russia sells to Europe.

“Ukraine is a transit state and it is important who will control the pipes:
the producers or the consumers,” said Vadim Karasyov, head of the Institute
for Global Strategies in Kiev.

Russia flexed its muscles as a supplier last year when it cut off gas to
Ukraine — and indirectly to Europe — in a pricing dispute.

The episode shook the nerves of Europe, which has been looking to diversify
its suppliers even as Russia looks for alternative routes to send its gas
west.

Russia’s political influence in Ukraine has appeared to wane since the
failure of Yanukovych, its chosen candidate, to win 2004 presidential
elections, but its leverage remains vast, said Lilia Shevtsova, senior
associate at the Carnegie Centre in Moscow.

“Ukraine’s energy security is totally dependant on Russia, so there are a
lot of ways to affect Ukrainian politics and to affect the political
agenda,” she said.

Meanwhile, all major parties in Ukraine are sympathetic to the cause of
joining the European Union with its promise of high wages and visa-free
travel.

But the EU, still struggling to absorb eight former eastern bloc countries,
has made it clear that Ukraine is too big and too poor to be considered a
candidate in the foreseeable future.

Most analysts predict a weak coalition government competing with a weak
president, and say it’s highly unlikely that any force will gain enough
control to push through any dramatic geopolitical gesture — towards the
east or the west.

For the next few years, at least, Sevastopol’s nostalgic Russian sailors
look likely to enjoy the status quo.

“It’s the best port in the world,” said Gennady, 70, surveying the Russian
ships docked in Sevastopol from the harbour. “The Russians will never

leave here.”
———————————————————————————————-
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========================================================
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========================================================
12.  PARTY OF REGIONS SACKS PAUL MANAFORT

By Oleksy Pedosenko and Olha Kuryshko
The Ekonomicheskie izvestia, No. 165 (698) in Russian
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #872, Article 12, in English
Washington, D.C., Thursday, September 27, 2007

Paul Manafort who has counseled the Party of Regions, PoR, on its election
campaigns since 2005, has been fired from the campaign staff. The reason is
dwindling PoR ratings.

Now PoR are working on two scenarios of disrupting the span parliamentary
elections due on Sept. 30. Our source in the PoR staff says the decision to
fire the US spin doctor was taken on Sept. 25.

The source indicated that the 5-7 percent drop in PoR approval ratings
became obvious to the party leaders some 10 days ago. It was then that PoR
came up with its old slogans to give Russian a state language status and to
prevent Ukraine’s accession to NATO.

On Sept. 19 PoR declared it may think twice about taking part in the
elections. A couple of days ago the party began to pitch tents and install a
platform on Kyiv’s central Independence square.

Besides, on Sept. 21 the US Senate passed a resolution in support of the
Orange revolution achievements in Ukraine. One of the resolution co-authors
is Sen. Richard Lugar. Recall that Paul Manafort is the Republican party
insider.

“Manafort’s dismissal was written on the wall,” Viktor Ukolov, BYUT’s spin
doctor and number 147 on the BYUT roster told the Ekonomicheskie Izvestia.
According to Ukolov, PoR ratings in the east have dwindled substantially in
the past 3-5 weeks.

“In the last two weeks PoR has been looking for a scapegoat and Manafort
came to be the one,” Ukolov says. “I was sure Yanukovych chief-of-staff
Borys Kolesnykov or any of his deputies will be the scapegoat because Paul
Manafort is a highly professional spin doctor. But PoR refused to heed his
advice.

“It could be seen on the example of the refusal by the PoR-dominated Central
Election Commission to register BYUT on a minor technical excuse. Manafort
was against this, but nobody listened to him.”

According to Taras Berezovets, chief editor of the Political Spindoctoring
project, the decision to sack Manafort was taken before last week’s weekend.

“It is easier to point the finger at a foreigner than at Borys Kolesnykov [a
Donbas tycoon] who is Rinat Akhmetov’s buddy,” the expert believes.
[Akhmetov is head of one of the two major camps that make up PoR].

He says PoR is currently working on two scenarios for their further actions:
protest vote results in some western precincts allegedly due to massive
fraud and rock the boat more by starting talk about the autonomy for Ukraine’s
eastern and southern oblasts, the party’s power base.

Vasyl Khara, #28 on the PoR roster, says, “Originally, I was against hiring
American spin doctors. I even resigned as chief-of-staff because of that in
2005.

“They do not know the specifics of Ukraine, and we are not sure whom they
are siding with, us or our adversaries. You can hardly expect the US experts
to be loyal  and committed to our victory. I wish the dismissal had come
earlier.”

Anna Herman, #48 on the PoR roster, told the EI that she had not seen
Manafort in the staff headquarters since the start of the campaign. “I am
not aware that he still works. Probably, he hasn’t worked before, but I do
not know anything about it.”

A group of US spin doctors came to work for PoR in the fall of 2005 at the
invitation of Rinat Akhmetov. Several months prior to this, Akhmetov hired
the Americans to help ensure the listing of his SKM corporation on western
stock exchanges.

Paul Manafort became know after his work in the 80s in Africa and the
Philippines. He was active counseling the Republican party in its1980-1988
campaigns, becoming presidential nominee Bob Dole’s chief political advisor.

In the wake of PoR victory in the 2006 parliamentary elections, the US
experts focused on how to enhance Premier Yanukovych image in the West.
Manafort could persuade Yanukovych to tone down his anti-EU and anti-

NATO rhetoric.
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.eizvestia.com/state/full/25682)
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========================================================
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========================================================
13.  UKRAINE CAMPAIGN HEATS UP WITH FIGHTS, TYPOS

Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Kiev, Ukraine, Wed, Sep 26, 2007

KIEV – The tense countdown to Ukraine’s parliamentary election campaign was
heating up yesterday with campaign workers slugging it out in a provincial
fistfight, and tens of thousands of non-existent citizens reported on
regional voter rolls.

The fisticuffs took place in the central city Kremenchug between volunteers
of the Regions Ukraine political party, and the Our Ukraine – National
Self-Defence (OUNSD) political party.

Regions supports government assistance to big business, and closer relations
with Russia. OUNSD supports market reforms, and closer relations with
Europe.

The brawl broke out after OUNSD activists attempted to erect five tents
flying banners criticising their opponents in Kremenchug’s town square,
prior to a scheduled Regions rally.

Usually occupied by student volunteers handing out brochures, a “protest
tent” is a common feature of Ukrainian politics, as Ukrainian criminal codes
are unclear on whether camping in a public square for political reasons is
protected by freedom of speech law or not.

Regions supporters used fists and boots to assault the outnumbered OUNSD
volunteers. Four of the tents were demolished in the attack, said Oleskander
Urin, a OUNSD spokesman.

The fracas cooled temporarily after police arrived on the scene. But once
law enforcers departed and the OUNSD volunteers tried again to put up the
tents, the Regions activists repeated their attacks.

A special forces police unit deployed to the scene and arrested three
Regions supporters, who now face public disorder charges.
The Regions rally went forward without further incident, drawing 3,000
onlookers, the Interfax news agency reported.

Volodymyr Khomenko, a senior OUNSD official heading up the party’s Crimea
organisation, at a Simferpol press conference alleged Regions allies in the
peninsula had padded voter rolls with as many as 25,000 fake registered
voters, and called for a police investigation.

Khomenko’s allegations came one day after officials at the SBU intelligence
service, Ukraine’s version of the KGB, accused Regions functionaries of
creating at least 100,000 “ghost” voters nationwide.

The voters’ roll errors were part of a concerted Regions plan to falsify
campaign results, Khomenko claimed.

Regions officials in Monday remarks admitted voter roll error existed but
only because of typographical errors, which will be put right before the
September 30 vote.

Viktor Yanukovich, leader of Region, at the Kremenchug rally claimed his
party’s opponents already were purchasing votes outright, and demanded

an investigation from Ukraine’s Central Election Commission.

Yanukovich and other Regions officials were clearly making an effort
yesterday to refute weekend media reports their party, generally
acknowledged to be the race’s leader, actually was doing poorly in the
latest polls.

“They (Regions’ critics) don’t know what they are talking about,” said
Mykola Azarov, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine. “Our rating is increasing,
and we know this because we are going out to the provinces and talking to
people.”

Ukrainian election law bans publishing election polling in the last month
before a vote. Regions as of the most recent surveys was set to take 37%,
the anti-corruption Block of Yulia Tymoshenko around 30%, and OUNSD

some 18% of the popular vote, with the remaining voters undecided.
———————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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14.  UKRAINE POLL COULD END ORANGE REVOLUTION

By Adrian Blomfield in Moscow, Telegraph
London, United Kingdom, Tue, Sep 25, 2007

It was, at least in the eyes of the Russian president, the scene of Vladimir
Putin’s greatest humiliation.

Hundreds of thousands of ordinary Ukrainians massed in central Kiev in late
2004 to protest against a presidential election victory rigged in favour of
the pro-Kremlin candidate Viktor Yanukovych.

After weeks of noisy but peaceful protest, they succeeded. Viktor
Yushchenko, the pro-Western reformer, was swept to power amid scenes
of unprecedented euphoria.

Almost three years after those heady days, Ukrainians return to the polls
next weekend to vote in a parliamentary election. At stake, their leaders
say, is a simple choice: to revive the stalled ideals of the Orange
Revolution or to kill it off altogether.

Both Moscow and Washington will be watching closely in a country that
remains an important battleground in the growing power clash between the
West and a resurgent Russia.

For Ukrainians, however, the optimism engendered by the Orange Revolution
has largely been replaced by disillusionment and indifference.

The result of Sunday’s poll is likely to be little different to the outcome
of the last parliamentary election held 18 months ago. And again the bitter
divisions of Ukraine will be on inglorious display.

Ukrainians in the Russian-speaking industrial heartlands of the east as well
as in Crimea in the south will largely vote for the pro-Kremlin Party of the
Regions headed by Mr Yanukovych.

His party is expected to become the single largest one in parliament, but
will fall short of the overall majority needed to form a government. This
means it will have to enter coalition talks with the two parties in the
Orange camp led by the president and his rival, Yulia Tymoshenko.

Mr Yushchenko will then have to appoint either Mr Yanukovych or Mrs
Tymoshenko as his prime minister.

He has tried both before. Mrs Tymoshenko served as prime minister for nine
acrimonious months in 2005 before the president sacked her amid charges of
corruption and divisions over economic policy.

After the last election he turned to his erstwhile rival Mr Yanukovych,
whose supporters were accused of slipping dioxin into the president’s soup
in 2004, leaving his face badly scarred.

Most analysts expect that the president will now turn back to Mrs
Tymoshenko, whose bloc is the only party likely to increase its
representation in parliament and who this time will be in a stronger
position to dictate terms.

She will also be able to use the premiership as a platform to challenge Mr
Yushchenko for the presidency in 2009.

Indeed, the glamorous 46-year-old already seems to have the aura of a
presidential rather than a prime-ministerial candidate – something
demonstrated when she flew to London on Friday for talks with Margaret
Thatcher.

A Tymoshenko premiership is also likely to upset Russia. She supports
Ukraine’s membership of the European Union and Nato and has also been
vitriolic in her condemnation of Moscow’s interference in Ukraine.

When Mrs Tymoshenko was prime minister in 2005, the Kremlin severed gas
supplies to Ukraine, the main energy conduit between Russia and Europe,
causing both interruptions and panic in the EU.

Relations improved when Mr Yanukovych was prime minister but some
analysts warn of a new gas dispute if Mrs Tymoshenko returns.
——————————————————————————————————
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/24/wukraine124.xml

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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15.  DIVISIVE UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS
MAY SEE RE-EMERGENCE OF ‘ORANGE’ COALITION

By Daniel McLaughlin in Kiev, Irish Times
Dublin, Ireland, Wednesday, Sep 26, 2007

KIEV, UKRAINE – Kiev’s main squares are aflutter with flags, and
colour-coded campaign booths dot the city centre – blue for prime minister
Viktor Yanukovich, orange for President Viktor Yushchenko’s party, and

white with a red heart for the bloc led by Yulia Tymoshenko.

After the huge demonstrations of late 2004, which annulled Yanukovich’s
fraudulent election victory and swept Yushchenko to power, it is hard not to
feel like territory is being staked out ahead of this Sunday’s parliamentary
election – and the protests that might follow it.

The election has inspired a tentative rapprochement between Yushchenko and
Tymoshenko, the leaders of the so-called Orange Revolution, and polls
suggest that together they will garner something close to the 30 per cent
predicted for the Regions Party of Yanukovich.

But in a bitter battle that will go down to the wire, few people in Ukraine
expect the eventual loser to quietly accept defeat and go into opposition.

The “orange” parties have openly accused Yanukovich of trying to rig the
ballot in his stronghold of eastern Ukraine, where his party is alleged to
have produced fraudulent electoral rolls that include ineligible voters and,
in one city, the names of some 19,000 dead people.

“We have collected lots of information suggesting that the Regions Party is
losing support and is trying to employ the same techniques they used in 2004
and to some extent in the parliamentary election of 2006,” Hryhoriy Nemyria,
a senior aide to Tymoshenko, told The Irish Times.

Yanukovich, in turn, accuses his rivals of using similar tactics in central
and western Ukraine where they are strongest – creating an atmosphere of
suspicion that is likely to fuel post-election legal battles and perhaps
street protests – albeit on a smaller scale than in 2004.

“The situation we have today in Ukraine is that some people will not accept
the result of anything if it doesn’t serve their own purposes,” said
Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, foreign policy adviser to Yanukovich.

Gryshchenko blames Yushchenko for failing to stand above politics and act

as an impartial guarantor of the constitution, instead of engaging in a power
struggle with the prime minister that Sunday’s election is supposed to
resolve.

“It is difficult when the president’s decrees, which form the foundation for
holding this election, are in themselves not constitutional. They can be
challenged in the constitutional court – but then that body is also split
along party lines.”

The Regions Party appears confident of victory on Sunday, and rejects both
the popular portrayal of Yanukovich as pro-Russian and anti-EU and the
suggestion that only his allies were engaged in fraudulent practices in the
2004 presidential election. “There were quite a number of irregularities by

all participants,” Gryshchenko said.

“They were not exclusive to one party. But some parties were more PR-savvy
in presenting their views in a manner that helped them gain the respect and
support of the West.”

He also believes these elections will not spawn huge demonstrations – though
he admits to having no idea what kind of government they will produce,
either a reunited “orange” team comprising supporters of Yushchenko and
Tymoshenko, or an unlikely coalition of the president’s party with that of
his erstwhile enemy, Yanukovich.

“There will no doubt be disputes and challenges,” Gryshchenko said. “But I
do not expect major street protests – unless the results show a total
disregard for the genuine will of the people.” (http://www.ireland.com)

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16.  UKRAINE DEMOCRACY NEEDS U.S. HELP

COMMENTARY: By Joseph Tydings
The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD, Wed, September 26, 2007

Next Sunday, with Ukraine’s once-hopeful Orange Revolution in disarray, that
wonderful but beleaguered country will hold a national parliament election
that is shaping up to be another political storm – one where an ill wind
blows through to steal the vote.

The Bush administration, so focused on forcing change in Iraq, has turned
its back on the survival of Ukraine’s fragile new democracy.

The United States must join Europe’s leading democracies and closely watch
the parliament, or Rada, election. If we don’t, freedom-loving Ukrainians
may be robbed again.

I first met courageous refugees from Ukraine as a young soldier in Europe
after World War II. I was struck by their indomitable spirit and
appreciation of our democratic institutions. Ukrainian identity, which
predates Russia, was never successfully suppressed under the Romanov
czars or Stalin’s dictatorship.

In November 2005, while I was an election monitor in Ukraine, I witnessed a
stolen election that was later reversed by thousands of young Ukrainians,
gathered under orange flags in Kiev’s Maidan Square. They wouldn’t stand for
election fraud.

As large as Texas and with almost 50 million people, Ukraine was the cradle
of Slavic civilization. It was starved by Stalin and devastated by Hitler.

Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was ruled by Communist
successors with Soviet corruption, exploitation and incompetence.

Nevertheless, Ukraine is the most educated and enlightened of the nations
of the former Soviet Union, and is a beacon of hope for all.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukrainians have continued to aspire to a
better life, and to vote in huge numbers. Today, with Kremlin-influenced
oligarchs bankrolling two of the top three parties, Russia is trying to
bring Ukraine back into its orbit. A stolen election would be just what the
Russians ordered.

Igor Popov thinks so. The head of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, he
believes Sunday’s elections will be “dirtier” than those in 2006, when the
world was watching.

“In 2006, President Viktor Yushchenko was very interested in showing the
world that we are capable of conducting honest elections,” he wrote in a
recent report. This time, he fears leading parties will again try to
manipulate the elections.

Today, our country, the world’s leading democracy, has forgotten Ukraine
and the need for effective election monitoring. In 2005, USAID funded a
monitoring mission of more than 30 former U.S. and European legislators; I
was among them.

Since then, the organizing group, the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, has been
forced to completely close shop in Ukraine for lack of Bush administration
support.

In contrast, the European Parliament’s largest political group recently
urged member states to send observers to Ukraine.

Joseph Daul, leader of the European People’s Party and European Democrats,
sees the elections as a test of the country’s readiness to emerge from its
recent political turmoil. In an interview earlier this month, he said that
fair results are important for “strengthening Ukraine’s democracy” and its
“European future.”

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will observe. A
smattering of other international nonprofit groups, including a few
Americans, are signed up too.

But unless the number of registered international observers – just 400 so
far – increases drastically, a tree could fall in an empty forest and no one
will hear.

What will happen next in Ukraine if another election is stolen? Perhaps
Ukrainian poet-laureate Taras Shevchenko said it best in his poem, “My
Friendly Epistle” in 1845: [I will] grieve like one accursed, Through all
the hours both last and first, Sad at the crossroads, day and night, With no
one there to see my plight.

Across a century since his death, Shevchenko’s beloved poems evoked
heartfelt sympathy for oppressed people everywhere and evolved into an
indictment of rulers who abuse their power.

Today, it is imperative the United States heed his words and join the
international community to watch the Rada elections closely.
—————————————————————————————–
Joseph Tydings served as U.S. Senator from Maryland from 1965 to 1971.
He was co-chairman of an Election Monitor Team in Ukraine’s November
and December 2005 elections. E-mail is tydingsj@dicksteinshapiro.com.
——————————————————————————————
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.ukraine24sep24,0,3432313.story

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17.  VOTE FRAUD FEARS SPREAD AHEAD OF POLL

By John Marone, Staff Writer, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sep 26 2007

With so much at stake in terms of economic patronage and executive
privilege, Ukraine’s snap elections were expected to be fierce. The fact
that voters have more of the same to choose from has meant that the race
will be close as well.

And tensions seem to be reaching a boiling point with recently-observed
virtual acknowledgements of defeat by top contenders crying fraud before
the votes have even been counted.

The Regions Party of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, represented by the
color blue, has sent out signals as recently as this month that they might
drop out of the race if they feel it’s unfair.

More recently, the Regions have predicted massive falsification by their
opponents and are gearing up for large street-side protests to challenge
what they claim will be an attempt to rob them of their likely victory in
the decisive vote.

Orange President Viktor Yushchenko, represented by the Our Ukraine-People’s
Self-Defense Bloc, struck back in the same vein from the campaign trail on
Sept. 25.

“Why does Yanukovych speak of falsification at each of his rallies? The
reason is that he is planning falsification. It will happen. What I’m
talking about is how do we deal with this problem,” he said in Sumy Region.

But the president’s response, a warning to his nemesis from Orange
Revolution days, was equally fatalistic.

“I’d like to tell Yanukovych personally and other colleagues as well that
the government is personally responsible for holding a free, fair and
democratic election,” Yushchenko said.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), which is controlled by Yushchenko,
backed the president’s claims with a report that an election council in the
eastern city of Kharkiv had registered close to 100,000 non-existent persons
on voter rolls.

The SBU has also in recent days launched probes into election fraud attempts
in other eastern cities where Regions support is high, including Mariupol.

The Regions’ propaganda machine has not been idle. The industrialist-backed
party has in recent days systematically disseminated warnings that the vote
would be rigged against their favor in a would-be effort to legitimize their
claim to victory, and trigger massive protests if votes don’t tally to their
advantage.

“For the entire campaign, the Orange have tried to mislead the people. Truth
to them is not important. Winning at any cost is all that matters,” reads a
Regions party statement dated Sept. 25.

Also from the campaign trail, Yanukovych accused his opponents of buying
votes. “We have information that they are paying for every vote,” he said in
Poltava Region.

And like the president, Yanukovych has offered voters an additional
interpretation of the alleged cheating.

“We see that the Orange team … aren’t winning and they feel it. Their
ratings are falling everywhere. They see that they are losing and therefore
preparing falsifications,” he said on Poltava TV.

Recent polls suggest both the Orange and Blue camps are in a dead heat race
where a single percentage point could claim victory.

Yanukovych’s party could garner anywhere from 30-38 percent support; 10-14
percent of voter support could go to Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine-People’s
Self-Defense, with 20-28 percent going to opposition leader Yulia
Tymoshenko.

The Communists and a few fringe parties could pass the 3 percent barrier,
inheriting a kingmaker position in coalition talks. Other smaller parties
could be key in stripping away valuable percentage points.

Despite Ukraine’s longstanding reputation as a country of dirty politics,
corrupt officialdom and a feeble court system, last year’s parliamentary
poll was dubbed the fairest ever.

This year, however, Yushchenko and Yanukovych are equally well-placed to
influence events from a position of administrative power.

The ambitious opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko is also fighting hard,
but none of the leaders has full control of the situation and there is no
referee.

This leaves nobody in charge in a dangerous tug of war for power. With so
much at stake, the competing sides seem, once again as in Orange Revolution
days, eager to take extreme measures to claim victory.

To make the choice more complicated for voters, Yanukovych’s team has
learned to parrot the political program of the Orange parties.

Accused of Soviet-style authoritarianism and mass fraud during the 2004
presidential race, the premier has undergone an image makeover that attempts
to steal the democratic wind from his opponents’ sails.

Yanukovych has also campaigned vigorously beyond his home territory in
Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, where Tymoshenko continues to make
some headway.

But the real battle appears to be centered on Kyiv, where the votes will be
counted. The capital is where Yanukovych had his fraud-marred presidential
victory overturned by the country’s Supreme Court.

This time around, the premier has taken precautions, gathering his
supporters on Maidan to protest against rigged voting before it happens.

“We have the power to prevent this,” he said, “therefore, we will watch
carefully and react if necessary,” Yanukovych told voters in Poltava.

Oles Dony, a Kyiv-based political analyst who is on the party list for
Yushchenko’s bloc, said falsification in the Sept. 30 vote is likely by all
sides, and not necessarily on orders from above.

“Election officials in small towns don’t need to be prodded to produce
favorable results for their mentors in Kyiv,” he said.

Yury Yakymenko, a political analyst at Kyiv’s Razumkov Center, said all the
hoopla about falsification is partly just campaign rhetoric that Ukrainians
have become accustomed to.

But, he added, it also serves as “psychological preparation of the public to
set the stage for the mobilization of protesters in the event of an election
defeat.”

According to Yakymenko, the accusations of cheating from both sides indicate
that coalition horse trading and backroom deals are likely to stretch on for
a long time after election day, yielding the same kind of instability that
caused President Yushchenko to call the snap elections last spring in the
first place.
—————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/nation/27442/

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18.  DIRTY TRICKS: USEFUL ELECTION TOOL IN MODERN
UKRAINIAN DEMOCRACY

FEATURE ARTICLE, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)
Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, 26 Sep 2007

KIEV – Ukraine is by almost any standard a functioning democracy, and
these days opposition candidates are rarely murdered.

But that doesn’t mean anyone has sworn off the dirty tricks. Ukraine
elections are roughly comparable, in terms of transparency and fair results,
to voting days in neighbouring Poland or Hungary.

The campaigning, however, is not; and Ukrainian political strategists are
limited only by their imaginations, and certainly not by democratic
traditions, when it comes to improving their election results, while staying
within the letter of the law.

“Technological candidates” are perhaps the most expensive of Ukraine’s
dirty but legal election tricks. One registers a political party similar to
one’s opponent, ideally with a nearly identical name, so voters will mistake

it for the real thing.

Ukrainian election law mandates a political party must gain at least 3 per
cent of the popular vote to gain at least a seat in the legislature.

As the duplicate is unlikely to overcome that barrier, all votes attracted
by the dummy party, are votes lost to the targeted opponent. As a result
your party gains a relatively greater percentage of seats when the next
legislature is convened.

Currently, three parties appear certain to gain seats in Ukraine’s next
legislature, and another two or three might just squeak over the 3 per cent
barrier, according to polls.

Nonetheless, a whopping 20 parties are on the ballot – of which at least a
dozen have no other reason to exist, except to redirect votes away from one
of the three big parties, observers said.

These stalking horse parties almost without exception target special
interests: among others peasants, woman, farmers, supporters of former
President Leonid Kuchma (who has retired from politics), Christians, and
Marxists.

But perhaps the most effective “technological party” in this election will
be the Communist Party of Ukraine (New), a previously- unknown group
currently out-advertising the actual Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU) which,
according to pollsters, is teetering on crashing out of parliament with
about 2.9 to 3.2 per cent popular support.

If the CPU fails to make the 3 per cent cut, because its replicate absorbed
too many of its traditional votes, all three of Ukraine’s major parties
would stand to gain.

Registering and advertising a CPU double to lead hopefully 200,000 to
400,000 Communist voters astray, costs some 1 to 3 million dollars,
Ukrainska Pravda magazine reported.

Down at the grass roots, Ukrainian campaign managers have updated the
Middle East’s television rent-a-crowd with an innovation:
rent-a-campaign-organization.

Overtly, many of the features of a proper election campaign at voter level
are present and visible in Ukraine, among them stands with volunteers
handing out campaign literature, activists knocking on doors, and private
businesses tacking up posters of the party they support.

But in Ukraine, all of this costs salary, as for practical purposes, average
Ukrainians are unwilling to donate time to someone’s political campaign.

A person standing in a booth costs a dollar an hour, while going door to
door is considered harder work, and costs a party as much as 20 dollars a
day, the Ukrainska Kriminalna said.

Staff at Ukraine’s top Shevchenko University last week complained class
attendance was abysmal, and some lectures even had to be cancelled, because
the student population by and large was out earning money for a different
political party each day of the week, the Interfax news agency reported.

Polling results are another aspect of the Ukrainian democratic process that
is susceptible to cash. As in developed countries, Ukrainian campaign
managers depend on polls conducted by survey companies to estimate things
like voter support and key issues.

The difference in Ukraine is that each of the major political parties has
its own polling company which, perhaps unsurprisingly, regularly publishes
data showing the party that bought the poll, to be substantially more
popular, than the same party in a poll the opposition came up with.

The differences can be substantial; for instance the leading Regions Ukraine
party, a pro big business group, claims it has rock-solid proof it will
obtain at least 37 and perhaps as much as 45 per cent of the popular vote.

Regions’ deadly enemy, the anti-corruption Block of Yulia Tymoshenko, begs
to differ, arguing their incontrovertible polling numbers show Regions
stagnant at 30 per cent.

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19.  UKRAINE’S ELECTION WATCHDOG NOTES BAD
QUALITY OF VOTER ROLLS

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0935 gmt 21 Sep 07
ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1011 gmt 21 Sep 07
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1129 gmt 21 Sep 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Friday, Sep 21, 2007

KIEV – The Committee of Voters of Ukraine has said that the voter rolls to
be used during the 30 September early parliamentary election are of low
quality, the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN quoted the committee’s leader,

Ihor Popov, as telling a news conference in Kiev on 21 September.

The quality of voter rolls varies across the country because they were
prepared by working groups set up by the local authorities, Popov said.
“However, their quality is generally low throughout Ukraine,” he added.

There are numerous discrepancies in the lists of students living in
dormitories and in the general voter rolls which sometimes list deceased
people, Popov said.

Meanwhile, 3m Ukrainians listed in the rolls are currently travelling abroad
and are not planning to return home any time soon, the Russian ITAR-TASS
news agency said on 21 September, quoting Ukrainian Interior Minister Vasyl
Tsushko as saying during his visit to Crimea. Most of them are registered in
the western regions of Ukraine, the agency added.

The Committee of Voters of Ukraine, however, criticized the Interior
Ministry’s initiative to expel such citizens from the voter rolls based on
the data that the ministry obtained from the State Border Service, the
Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported later on 21 September.

The agency quoted Popov as saying that the Interior Ministry obtain those
data “illegally” and thus may not use them to correct the voter rolls,
especially since the data have not been systematized.

“The Interior Ministry explained that it had collected the data to prevent
crimes. In our opinion, the police made a political step by obtaining this
information from border guards in a not always comprehensible manner. Border
guards have not been tabulating these data automatically over the last three
years,” the agency added, quoting Popov as saying.
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20.  ELECTION OBSERVERS DESCEND ON UKRAINE

Tammy Lynch, Business Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Sep 24, 2007

Ukraine will receive approximately 3,000 international election observers,
who will monitor the conduct of the poll across the country and stay on
sharp lookout for fraud

On September 30 Ukraine will call on roughly 3,000 observers representing
almost every western European country, the United States, Canada and most
countries of the former Soviet Union.

In 2006, just over 3,500 observers monitored the parliamentary poll, while
in 2004, up to 9,000 international observers monitored each separate round
of the presidential election.

The decrease in observers seems to be both a logistical issue because of the
short notice of the poll, and a result of Ukraine’s success in conducting a
free and fair election in 2006.
Unfounded falsification fears?
Despite regular accusations by one side or the other of vote rigging and a
bumpy start that included an attempt to keep the leading opposition bloc off
the ballot, most international missions cautiously suggest that this success
is continuing.

“The atmosphere is more complicated and more polarised [than 2006],” says
Peter Novotny of the European Network of Election Monitoring Organisations
(ENEMO).

However, the group has seen no sign of systematic attempts to rig the
election, and has not registered a higher level of concern than in 2006. “If
there is fraud, it will most likely be localised,” Novotny adds.

ENEMO, which fielded the most observers per round in 2004 (more than 1,000)
will bring around 450 observers to Ukraine this year from 16 countries in
the CIS and central and eastern Europe.

Novotny notes that ENEMO has enjoyed “good co-operation” from the governing
Party of Regions, which has organised a working group to liaise on
observation issues. Regions provides dossier of complaints and information
on a weekly basis, but so far, Novotny says, “the folder is smaller than in
2006.”

Novotny stresses that all parties send concerns or complaints to be examined
by ENEMO. These checks are based on accepted United Nations observation
standards documented in the Declaration on Principles of International
Election Observation.

With the exception of the For a Fair Election group, apparently comprised
primarily of Russian MPs, all international observation missions in Ukraine
have signed this declaration.

All organisations will coordinate their work in order to cover as many of
the 34,000 polling stations in Ukraine as possible. Observers estimate that
3,000 observers can realistically visit only 18,000 polling stations on
election-day, leaving a significant portion unmonitored.
New elections, old worries
Most observers’ concerns currently centre around issues lingering from
previous elections: inaccurate voter lists, questions over home voting and
proxy voting.

In its pre-election statement, the US-based National Democratic Institute
(NDI), which will field a delegation of approximately two dozen observers,
characterised as “very troubling” a decision by the CEC to remove important
safeguards related to home voting.

The home ballot in Ukraine is intended to be used by disabled voters who are
unable to travel to polling stations. In 2004, two eastern regions –
Mykolaev and Donetsk – saw up to 30% of total ballots cast at home. “The
mobile ballot box became a major instrument of fraud,” wrote the NDI.

In order to deal with this concern, in 2005 Ukraine began requiring medical
certificates for home voting but the CEC’s ruling subsequently eliminated
this safeguard.

However, the ruling was overturned by the courts, which ordered the CEC to
create uniform procedures to ensure that those who cast their ballot at home
were truly disabled. To date, the CEC has not done so. This could
theoretically “open the door to significant falsification of votes,”
according to the NDI.

Observers are however pleased with new electoral amendments that will allow
observers to compare the number of ballots inside a returned mobile (home)
ballot box with the number who officially requested a home vote.

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has also
highlighted difficulties with voter lists. In its Interim Report, the
organisation noted: “Unlike in 2006, updated voter lists will be sent
directly to District Election Commissions rather than the CEC, and no
national database of voters will be compiled.

This makes it impossible to check for possible cross-region multiple entries
on a nationwide scale.” For this reason, Novotny says, observers will be
watching for the “bus caravans” seen in 2004, transporting voters from
polling station to polling station to repeatedly cast votes.

The Party of Regions also recently charged that preparations for fraud are
being conducted in Ukraine based on ‘proxy’ votes.

The Party of Regions claims that many of the estimated 3,000,000 Ukrainians
living abroad could use either relatives or party officials to vote on their
behalf for either Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence Bloc
or the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, thus conducting massive fraud. Similar
accusations were made in both 2004 and 2006.

Observation missions wonder what will happen on the day after the election.
“What will the parties do if they lose, but refuse to accept it?” asked one
observer, who spoke on condition of anonymity. For this reason, the risk of
court battles and street protests still exists, observers believe. “And
anything can happen in Ukraine,” Novotny adds.
——————————————————————————————–
The author is a Senior Research Fellow at Boston University’s Institute

for the Study of Conflict, Ideology & Policy and a regular international
commentator on Ukrainian politics
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http://www.businessukraine.com.ua/election-observers-descend-on 
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21.  THE LIFE OF YUSHCHENKO

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By John Marone
Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Kyiv, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, September 24, 2007

There was a time when educated Ukrainians didn’t read the latest bestseller
translated from English, or Dostoyevsky (pardon – Taras Shevchenko).

During the middle ages, the literate were versed in what are called the
Lives of Saints. The typical plot of these religious works is the struggle
of a God-fearing Christian against heathens, nature or sinners.

Times and tastes have changed, of course, but the archetype of the Orthodox
martyr remains fixed in the Ukrainian psyche.

Sometimes, the martyrs were princes, such as the 11th century sons of Grand
Prince Volodymyr: Boris and Gleb were knocked off by their older and envious
brother Svyatopolk, who wanted the throne of Kyivan Rus for himself.

Enter Viktor Yushchenko, the modern-day leader of Ukraine with a serious
succession problem of his own. Yushchenko’s father wasn’t Volodymyr the
Great, Christianizer of the East Slavs, or even a Soviet apparatchik.

Nevertheless, following his short stint as premier under President Leonid
Kuchma, Yushchenko publicly stated that Kuchma was like a father to him.

Unfortunately, Kuchma did not feel the same about Yushchenko, whom he
canned as head of government.

But that doesn’t hurt our analogy with the Boris and Gleb story, because
following his scandal ridden second-term in office, Kuchma will not go down
in history as the propagator of Christian values among Ukrainians. And by
association, Kuchma’s chosen successor, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych,
will also have a hard time making it into Orthodox hagiography.

However, Yushchenko seems to think – or thinks that his countrymen think –
that he qualifies for the position of princely martyr. It’s a soft job,
because you don’t have to achieve any policy goals. The down side is that
your enemies get to do all kinds of nasty things to you, which are actually
supposed to improve your public approval ratings.

Yushchenko began cultivating his saintly image in 2004, during his campaign
against Yanukovych for the presidency. As during the times of Boris and
Gleb, the issue of succession, or transfer of power, is an ugly affair in
Modern Ukraine.

Like anyone who challenged Kuchma’s will, Yushchenko and his supporters
were subject to ridicule and violence. The best example of this was
Yushchenko’s poisoning, which left the handsome politician disfigured and
ill in the run up to voting.

Nevertheless, just a few months later, our hagiographic hero had defeated
his foe, won the presidency and was basking in the international limelight
as a champion of democracy.

It didn’t matter that Yushchenko had once served in the system that he
overthrew, or that he’d been helped into power by real opposition
politicians like Oleksandr Moroz and Yulia Tymoshenko, who suffered
no less under Kuchma.

More importantly, change was coming anyway, as millions of Ukrainians,
including powerful businessmen, decided they’d had had enough of gangster
politics.

In short, despite showing a genuine commitment to reform as the country’s
chief banker and prime minister, and weathering a sometimes-frightening
election campaign, Yushchenko was more lamb than lion.

When push came to shove, and he was forced to confront his enemies at the
negotiation table at the peak of the Orange Revolution, he made unnecessary
and embarrassing compromises – the most fatal being his approval of a
hastily drafted set of constitutional reforms that would come back to haunt
him.

Now, three years and as many elections later, Ukraine’s struggle for
succession has not ended, but Yushchenko continues to play the princely
martyr. With snap parliamentary elections only weeks away, Yushchenko
has rekindled the memories of his poisoning.

Unfortunately, we onlookers are no closer to finding out who done it. The
president told journalists on September 11 that he had “practically all the
pieces put together” and that the attempt against his life was “not a
private action.”

After three years as head of state, having all the investigators and
laboratories in the country at his disposal, this is all he could come up
with?

The only clue the president gave us is a Russian connection – the big bad
bear. “The three people needed most for the investigation are currently in
Russia. All our requests to the prosecutor-general to have these people
appear in Ukrainian courts have gone unanswered, including one in
December that I personally handed over, requesting the help of Russian
President Vladimir Putin”, he said.

Although all this may be true, it’s not clear why Yushchenko is bringing it
up now. Maybe he wants to improve his bloc’s ratings in the more
nationalistic western Ukraine.

The president’s recent appearance at a rally in Lviv would seem to suggest
that he is concentrating all his efforts on his traditional, less
threatening base of support.

By contrast, Yanukovych’s Regions party and the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko,
the election’s two front runners, are challenging the president and each
other beyond their own backyards.

Villain or not – Yanukovych is a proven fighter, returning from the ignominy
of defeat in the 2004 presidential race to retake the government and
challenge Yushchenko for executive power.

As for Tymoshenko, her supporters have also put a halo around her head.
But Tymoshenko seems to fit more with the Western religious tradition, in
particular Joan of Arc.

Moreover, a closer look at Yushchenko’s saintly credentials reveals a
possible subject for confession. In 2004, he promised profusely to solve the
murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze and put the bandits in jail, but has
done neither.

In fact, it was Yushchenko who permitted Kuchma-era prosecutor-general
Svyatoslav Piskun to remain in office, thus ensuring that no one high up
would do time. The president also has to take responsibility for
Yanukovych’s return as premier.

Instead, the president has blamed Socialist Oleksandr Moroz, his one-time
ally in the fight for the presidency. But Moroz only decided to join a
coalition with Regions and the Communists after Yushchenko had continually
put off an agreement with Moroz and Tymoshenko.

Word has it that Yushchenko doesn’t get on with his fellow saint. Joan of
Arc probably would have ruffled the feathers of Boris and Gleb as well.

The question now becomes: how long can the president continue to play
princely martyr? If Yushchenko thinks God is on his side, he had better
check the latest polls. He’ll be lucky if his bloc gets what it got in 2006,
which was, by the way, 10 percent less votes than in 2002.

Some say the president has already started to fight back, removing the
contradictory political figures who divided his team in the past.
Businessman Petro Poroshenko, who clashed with Tymoshenko when she
served as Yushchenko’s first prime minister, has been put on the relative
sidelines of the National Bank. Running the presidential secretariat is
Viktor Baloga, who supports cooperation with BYuT.

Nevertheless, the president’s bloc has been threatened by a split between
those who support better relations with milder elements of Yanukovych’s
team and those more sympathetic to Tymoshenko’s firebrand populism.

All blocs are supported by businessmen, but Tymoshenko doesn’t have to
worry about soiling her saintly image, as she carries a sword as well as a
cross.

The more Yushchenko surrounds himself with real fighters, like Socialist
defector Yury Lutsenko whose People’s Defense Party shares a ticket with
Yuchchenko’s Our Ukraine bloc, the more his own weaknesses are
demonstrated by contrast.

Even the president’s pro-Western policies such as joining the EU and NATO
sometimes look like an attempt to have the West do his fighting for him.
Starting from the Orange Revolution, Europeans have almost continually been
called upon in one capacity or another to arbitrate in the power struggle
between Yushchenko and Yanukovych.

Interestingly, the Regions seems to enjoy Yushchenko’s saintly image as
much as he does. Rather than hitting him with the kind of heavy criticism
exchanged with Tymoshenko, Regions deputies can often be heard
suggesting that the president has been misled by his secretariat or the
opposition – i.e. Tymoshenko.

It’s better to confine a saint in monastery than attack him outright and
give him more points as a martyr. Ukrainians may revere martyr princes,
but they also like their leaders to be strong.

Judging by the way Yushchenko’s decrees to halt hurried privatization are
being ignored, and the fact that the parliament that he disbanded continues
to meet, it would be difficult to portray the president as a strong leader.

If Yushchenko’s aim is to bring ‘civilized’ European values such as the
power of judiciary to bear in Ukraine, three cheers for him.

But no one has informed Ukraine’s corrupt judges. Values and vision have
to be followed up with courage and pragmatism. Emulating saintly suffering
may get one into the kingdom of heaven, but it’s not going help him run a
country on earth.
——————————————————————————————–
http://www.eurasianhome.org/xml/t/opinion.xml?lang=en&nic=opinion&pid=861

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
22.  UKRAINE: PRIMARIES ARE A WAY TO BRING
VOTERS CLOSER TO POLITICS

By Natalya Shapovalova, ICPS Political Analyst
International Centre for Policy Studies (ICPS) Newsletter #375
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 3, 2007

Since Ukraine switched to a parliamentary-presidential form of government
and proportional election system, political parties have become key players
in formulating and implementing government and local policies.

But, to cope with this level of responsibility and power, they need to be
more effective and democratic, which means getting closer to voters at all
levels and gaining
their trust.

Here, Ukraine can make use of the experience of western countries that have
long resolved similar problems by forming party lists on the basis of
preliminary elections or primaries.

As part of the “Lessons in Democracy: World Practice and Ukraine” project,
the Centre’s experts analyzed the reasons for instituting primaries, the
types and models of primaries, and their impact on political parties.

As a result of political reforms adopted in 2004, Ukraine’s parties have
become the main players in political competition. They have also become the
main focus of public demand for democracy. However, there are three main
problems that prevent the country’s political parties from keeping up with
the process of democratization.
[1] Human resource shortage
The absence of large-scale parties with well-developed grassroots
organizations in Ukraine makes the process of organizing an election
campaign at the local level much more complicated.

Most often, the ensuing shortage of human resources, especially at the local
level, results in the random inclusion of people on party lists who later
discredit the party’s image.

Except for leaders and some party speakers in their circles, Ukrainian
parties have very few competent public individuals or well-known politicians
who are capable of bringing their party political dividends.
[2] Regionalized and limited
It is difficult for parties that are based on the financial and human
resources of specific regions or ideological, dissident projects to expand
their electoral base, to go beyond the boundaries of regions that are loyal
to them and become nationalparties-in short, to stop being parties that
represent only one part of the country.
[3] Undemocratic and untransparent modus operandi
With the going of the majority electoral system, the human face of
individual elected representatives has been hidden behind a party “brand.”

Faced with party lists, voters essentially choose a “package deal” and after
the election are soon disappointed with the actual candidates who end up in
the Verkhovna Rada or their local councils. The closed way in which such
lists are formed has further eroded voter trust in political parties.
Primaries can open the party “black box”
Parties face the challenge of opening themselves up to voters and
rank-andfile party members and eliminating barriers both within the party,
between its headquarters and local branches, and between the party and
voters.

International practice shows that one way to resolve these problems is to
democratize the process of nominating party candidates to elective office
and to form party lists based on preliminary elections or primaries.

Depending on the format, candidates in such primaries can be either
rank-and-file party members or anyone who wants to participate, regardless
of party affiliation.

On one hand, primaries make it possible to increase the level of voter
participation in the formation of government bodies by opening the party
“black box” to voters, bringing ordinary people closer to politics, and
generating a stronger sense of participatory democracy.

On the other, by varying the degree of openness of internal party elections
and the way they are held, a party can also resolve its internal personnel,
image, management, and even financial problems.
The history of primaries
Primaries are a unique mechanism that was first introduced in the US and had
no equal in other countries for a long time. The first law in history making
primaries mandatory was passed in 1899.

In recent decades, this process has also been used, to a greater or lesser
degree, in the UK, Spain and Israel. Italy introduced primaries in 2005 and
France in 2006.

The main reasons for instituting primaries are:
to strengthen party lists in order to win elections;
to increase party membership and voter support;
to make the election process more democratic;
to strengthen the link between a party and civil society;
the determination of party leadership to reduce the power of
mid-ranking party officials.
What kinds of primaries are there?
To understand how primaries can affect a party, its electoral base and the
political system as a whole, two basic criteria need to be considered:

who has the right to vote in a primary;
whether party leadership can affect the result.

If the vote is large-scale, that is, eligible voters include not only active
party members in regular contact with their party organizations, but also
voters who are not actively involved in party work in their everyday lives,
this is an open primary. If only party activists in regular and close
contact with the party are allowed to vote, this is a closed primary.

How a candidate behaves during a primary will also depend on how much
party leadership can influence the final result.

If the primary process is transparent, that is, clearly regulated by law or
party statutes and rules, and party leadership cannot seriously influence
the outcome once the process is started, there is no significant topdown
impact on the results of such primaries.

When party leaders can change the rules for a primary in process or just
before it starts, when they determine the list of candidates to participate
in primaries according to their own views, sifting out “undesirable”
individuals, these are “primaries under the influence of party leadership.”
No ideal model
The practice of western democracies includes three different models of
primary:
open primaries where party leadership has no impact on the results
(the US and Israel);
closed primaries where party leadership has no impact on the results
(Spain);
closed primaries where party leadership influences the results (the UK).

A fourth “model,” open primaries where party leadership influences the
results, is not very widespread, for objective reasons: if party leaders can
manipulate the results, voters will soon become disillusioned with the
primary process and stop participating. Needless to say, such models are
not long-lived.

European practice demonstrates that there is no ideal model of primary.
Although open primaries build voter trust in parties and improve the quality
of party lists, they can weaken internal party discipline and diffuse party
identity.

Closed primaries where party leadership cannot influence the results have
considerable democratic potential. However, their negative aspects include
the danger of losing the link between a party and its voters. Rank-and-file
party members are often bigger radicals and purists regarding the party line
than voters themselves.

This is why closed primaries mean that a party will often be unable to
respond appropriately to changing public opinion and its leadership will be
unable to play the role of a vanguard, offering new, even more moderate,
platforms or ideas.

Closed primaries where party leadership influences the outcome can
strengthen control over the party, but they also threaten that party’s
democratic image.
An effective political technology
Primaries are an effective political technology that parties need to know
how to use. The impact of primaries is not always obvious: everything
depends on what model is chosen, how “open” the primaries are, and how
strongly the party can influence the outcome.

Using primaries, a political organization can to achieve completely opposite
goals: to make its party more democratic or, on the contrary, to strengthen
the power of party leadership over rank-and file members; to increase the
role of ideology in the party’s identity or, to the contrary, soften its
ideological aspects.

The main point is to have a clear, proper understanding of how a particular
type of primary will affect the party and the political system as a whole,
and what limitations each model has.
————————————————————————————————
Contact ICPS political analyst Natalya Shapovalova by telephone at

(380-44) 484-4400 or via e-mail at nshapovalova@icps.kiev.ua.
LINK: http://www.icps.com.ua/doc/nl_eng_20070903_0375.pdf
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
23. THE 2007 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS: COMING
TO POWER VERSUS DEMOCRATIC PERSPECTIVES

By Svitlana Kononchuk, Political Program Head, UCIPR
“Civic Education in the 2007 Parliamentary Elections”. “Your Vote-2007”.
Issue 8. “Ukraine: Parliamentary Elections and Democracy”
Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 25, 2007

For some time, it seemed that unacceptability of the election model is
recognized nation-wide.

Ukrainian politicians chose the most primitive and worst option (one
constituency for 37 million voters, strict lists, the same status and
threshold for different election subjects and many other elements) out of
numerous modifications of the proportional system alone

(nomination procedure, requirements to congresses, widening of the circle
of electoral subjects, increase of the number of constituencies, type of
electoral lists, procedure for re-distribution of votes cast for parties
that did not pass the electoral threshold etc.).

This entails political corruption, makes the democratic institutions –
parliamentary elections – senseless from the civil viewpoint and strengthens
power and advantages of people separated from the rest of society.

Electoral and extra-electoral procedures do not provide for preventive
measures against the formation of an unsound and ineffective legislature,
whose work does not satisfy either Ukraine’s needs for development or
interests of various social strata and groups.

As a matter of fact, a favorable electoral model alone is not enough for the
public participation in order to strengthen democracy.

The electoral model is a link in the chain of other necessary factors:
deconcentration of power, real self-government (vested with not only powers
but also resources), strengthening of the law and the property system etc.

However, it is the electoral model that serves as a basis for delegation of
power and determines to whom this power belongs.

Over the whole election campaign, we have observed similarity and difference
of positions of political groups on various issues of the country’s
development. And we have determined that the formation of a government is
one of those issues, about which parties are unanimous.

It happens that in the agitation passion, politicians take upon themselves
too much, promising to “eradicate” something “once and forever” or do
“something incredible”…

Though, the election campaign is nearing its end but we did not hear any
plain statements about the electoral model.

None of fervent political supporters of “common” Ukrainians, who assure us
of their loyalty singing the serenade about the “European choice”, lost their

mind and none of them failed to drop even a word of the need to make the
procedure for power legitimacy more transparent for these very “common”
Ukrainians and more effective for their real civic participation. Yet, everything
happens vice versa.

Conscience of political agitators is clear and experience “whispers” that
these “common” Ukrainians do not care about political rights and if they

choose between 8,500 and 11,000, then “we will go to you!”.

It is sad and disturbing that on the 16th year of Ukraine’s independence and
the development of democratic principles of policy-making, the Ukrainian
society faces the separation of politics and compulsory consumption of
ineffective governance.

In fact, silence of politicians about the political model is no surprise. It
is its current modification (appointment of party leaders to offices instead
of delegating representation of various social groups) that helps this model
to keep power in the best way.

It does not allow gaining absolute power but makes it possible not to spend
time for administrating changes in the country and continue changing the
system of power.

Presently, the matter does not concern political preferences of citizens
(attitude to some politicians is an important but not primary).

The question is that nowadays, politics is built on principles of separation
of citizens from the formation of power, which allows applying in politics
the Soviet tactics for winning businesses and reinforces power of a few
people (even their statements are full of poorly disguised superiority).

Hence, it is denoted not as democracy but as political oligarchy.

We, citizens, are loosing. But politicians are loosing as well. Grown on
artificial soil and rootless, they neither accumulate nor bear social energy
and do not have any prospects.

Therefore, politics is doomed to reproduction of the only really important
problem – redistribution of power inside itself.

(And in Ukraine, power is redistributed among politicians, since we witness
the rapid privatization of politics
by a few political forces. The so-called small parties patiently watch this
process.

But it is a topic of another discussion – whether it is necessary and
whether it is possible and how to gradually eliminate monopolization of
politics and its non-competitiveness.)

Given the situation, each of the above forces strives to involve the society
in power redistribution, making it flexible
but nevertheless weak argument, while discussing who will be a legitimate
master of the state and who will simply watch how spheres of influence and
resources will be redistributed.

If redistribution agreements are impeded, the political actors might
deliberately provoke political crises and politics will eat itself.

As a result, this will entail decline of Ukraine as a potentially
competitive state on the international market. It does not mean stagnation
until politics gets exhausted because decline might linger too long for
human life.

The society badly needs qualitatively new governance. Whether each of us is
ready to wait?

If we recognize that political expediency of the existing electoral system
is an intention of politicians to remove their rivals from political scene,
then to change the situation (or, at least, correct it) for the short-term
period, it is necessary to prioritize the renewal of political rights of
Ukrainians and the political elite that under any democratic system shall
represent interests and needs of not large and very large capital masked
with “charity” but various social strata and groups .

So, how can the society shake confidence of politicians, who feel at ease in
this situation, and achieve changes? Who will dare to assume the role of
“ice-breaker” of estrangement?

At the first stage, communities could lead this slow process because it is
citizens, who create a democratic state. In fact, communities are weak now,
while the territorial reform (though, like all others) is far away.

Nevertheless, using the slightest readiness of some politicians not to
change the electoral model at the local level (which has nothing in common
with allegedly attractive agitation for the election of chairmen of regional
state administrations, who do not belong to the self-government system) but,
at least, to discuss a possible new model of elections to regional, district
and city councils, we can share our vision of such model ensuring equal,
general and open community representation.

In their turn, communities together with other interested groups and their
organizations could shape and promote changes at the national level.

Needless to say, other people will dictate Ukrainians their political will
until various social groups realize and recognize their own interests as
personal (instead of being satisfied with promises) and until they form
representatives of these interests (or find them among existing political
groups).

(For the time being, experience proves that Ukrainians realize only such
simple rights as the right to preserve green parks nearby their houses.)

Presently, Ukrainian politics substituted all other social institutions (and
frequently simulates the mission of promoting labor, property, economic and
other rights of various social groups.

For instance, it is not independent trade unions but political groups that
discredit themselves competing in “humanity” of the minimum wage rate etc.)

However, politics cannot and should not substitute them.

Ukraine’s example demonstrates that the knowledge of principles and “how to
build a democracy” does not releases the society from the historical need to
strengthen some institutions, whereas wasted (even “for a reason”) decades
entail the loss of even those accomplishments, which laid the foundation for
a new state.
———————————————————————————————
This article is prepared within the framework of UCIPR project “Civic
Education in the 2007 Parliamentary Elections”. The bulletin is “Your

Vote-2007″. Issue 8. “Ukraine: Parliamentary Elections and Democracy” 
is available on the UCIPR’s site http://www.ucipr.kiev.ua.
————————————————————————————————-
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AUR#871 Sep 26 Ukraine’s Chance; Election Fraud; Rocky Road To Democracy; Presidential Awardees; Manafort Sacked?; Holtec Int; Mrs. T Meets Mrs T

========================================================
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary
 
LIFE IS SHORT: RIDE YOUR BEST HORSE FIRST
Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 871
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2007
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.  UKRAINE’S CHANCE
LEAD EDITORIAL: Financial Times
London, UK, Tuesday, September 24, 2007
 
2ALLEGED ELECTION FRAUD IN UKRAINE
Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), Kiev, Ukraine, Mon, Sep 24 2007

3UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ACCUSES PRIME MINISTER OF

PLOTTING TO RIG PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION
Ukrayinska Pravda website, Kiev, in Ukrainian 25 Sep 07
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 25 Sep 07
BBCC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Sep 25, 2007

4UKRAINE: ROCKY ROAD TO DEMOCRACY AFTER YEARS OF

RECRIMINATIONS BETWEEN MAIN PARTIES
Luke Harding, Ostroh, Ukraine, The Guardian
London, United Kingdom, Monday, Sep 24, 2007

5FIVE U.S. CITIZENS RECEIVE THEIR PRESIDENTIAL AWARDS
IN NEW YORK FROM UKRAINE’S FOREIGN MINISTER YATSENYUK 
Vasyl Losten, Antonij Shcherba, Morgan Williams, Oksana Lykhovyd

and Virlyana Tkach for their dedicated service to Ukraine
Action Ukraine Monitoring Service, New York, NY, Wed, Sep 26, 2007

6UKRAINE COMMITTED TO EU INTEGRATION REGARDLESS OF
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION RESULTS, FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS
INTERVIEW: With Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Foreign Minister, Ukraine
AP Worldstream, New York, NY, Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007

7.  LETTER TO A FRIEND, PARTY OF REGIONS ELECTION PAMPHLET

Electoral Pamphlet from the Party of Regions
Sent by Taras Kuzio & Translated by Lisa Koriouchkina for UKL
The Ukraine List (UKL) #420, Compiled by Dominique Arel
Chair of Ukrainian Studies, Univ of Ottawa
Ottawa, ON, Canada, 24 September 2007
UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 25, 2007

10UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO GAMBLES

ON UKRAINIAN VOTERS TO REVIVE HIS REVOLUTION
By Sebastian Alison, Bloomberg News
Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 26, 2007
 
11PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO’S INTERVIEW WITH EURONEWS
Press Office of the President of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, September 22, 2007

12LANDKOM CROP PRODUCTION COMPANY ON FERTILE GROUND
Large scale farming in Ukraine, 50,000 hectares by end of 2007
By Toby Shelley, Financial Times, London, UK, Monday, Sep 24 2007

13POLISH ALUMINUM COMPANY KETY OPENS PLANT IN UKRAINE
Polish News Bulletin, Warsaw, Poland, Tue, Sep 25, 2007

14ALFA LAVAL’S STRONG DEVELOPMENT IN UKRAINE CONTINUES

WINS ORDER FOR THE GROWING BREWERY INDUSTRY 
Business Wire, Sweden, Monday, Sep 24, 2007

15EAST EUROPEAN IMMIGRANTS FUEL RETURN OF SERVANT CLASS
Top sources for servants: Philippines, Ukraine, Latvia, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.
By Roger Dobson, Independent, London, UK, Sunday, 23 Sep 2007

16INTERNATIONAL OWNERSHIP OF UKRAINIAN BANKS GROWS 

Interfax, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Sep 21, 2007

17UKRAINE FINANCE: BANKING SECTOR RISK
NEWS ANALYSIS: The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited
New York, NY, Thursday, September 20, 2007

18BUSINESS AND PLEASURE IN UKRAINE
By Ben West, Financial Times, London, UK, Saturday Sep 22 2007.

19CHORNOBYL NPP, HOLTEC INT SIGN CONTRACT TO BUILD
$200 MILLION SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL STORAGE FACILITY
Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

20UKRAINE SIGNS TWO HUGE CONTRACTS, ONE FOR SAFE
CONFINEMENT SARCOPHAGUS, ONE FOR STORAGE OF SPENT
NUCLEAR FUEL AT CHORNOBYL NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
French company Novarka and U.S. company Holtec International
Press Office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

 
21UKRAINE’S FUEL AND ENERGY MINISTER AND US ENERGY
SECRETARY DISCUSS COOPERATION IN ENERGY SECTOR
Interfax Ukraine Economic, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 18, 2007
 
FACILITY WILL ECONOMIZE USD 10 BILLION IN TEN YEARS
Boiko Meets with U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman in Vienna
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007
 
 
24MRS T MEETS MRS T FOR A NICE CUP OF TEA
Jenny Booth & Agencies, Times Online, London, UK, Fri, Sep 21, 2007
 
25MARGARET THATCHER MEETS YULIA TYMOSHENKO
By Ben Martin, Telegraph, London, UK, Saturday, Sep 22, 2007
 
26THATCHER BLESSES UKRAINE IRON LADY
By Marie Colvin, The Sunday Times
London, United Kingdom, Sunday, September 23, 2007
 
By Gene M. Burd, Marks Sokolov & Burd, LLC 
Philadelphia, PA, Monday, September 24, 2007
 
28UKRAINIAN MINDED BOOKS
“Why did He Annihilate Us?/Stalin and the Ukrainian Holodomor”
By Nadiya Tysiachna, Iryna Yehorova, The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, September 18, 2007
 
29HOLODOMOR 1932-1933 IN UKRAINE: DOCUMENTS. MATERIALS
“This book is the quintessence of what we know about the Holodomor”
By Ihor Siundiukov, The Day Weekly Digest
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 4, 2007
 
30IN THE MERCILESS LIGHT OF MEMORY
Security Service of Ukraine holds roundtable on declassified archival
materials about the Holodomor and political repressions in Ukraine
By Ihor Siundiukiv, The Day Weekly Digest,
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 4, 2007
========================================================
1 UKRAINE’S CHANCE

LEAD EDITORIAL: Financial Times
London, UK, Tuesday, September 24, 2007

Ukrainian voters are understandably less than thrilled by the choice offered
in next Sunday’s parliamentary elections.


In the three years since the 2004 Orange revolution, they have seen their
leaders quarrel, swap corruption charges and generally fail to establish a
stable government.

If the opinion polls are right, the election will not make a decisive
change: President Viktor Yushchenko, prime minister Viktor Yanukovich and
opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko will remain in charge of the three
biggest political blocs, with none having a majority. The only answer will
be more bickering and more bargaining.

Moreover, the country’s business oligarchs wield more power than they did
under the authoritarian former president Leonid Kuchma.

Rinat Akhmetov, the richest, has an estimated fortune of $15bn-plus. That
puts him behind Roman Abramovich, Russia’s wealthiest man, who has about
$19bn. But Russia’s economy is five times larger than Ukraine’s.

No businessman in the world has as much domestic economic clout as Mr
Akhmetov. Even if he abjured politics, he would inevitably have big
political influence. In fact, Mr Akhmetov is an MP and active backer of Mr
Yanukovich’s Regions party.

With so much power in one man’s hands, it will be hard for Ukraine to
develop a healthy democracy. Little wonder, voters are disillusioned.

Yet, Ukraine’s political life is in far better shape than seemed possible
before the Orange revolution. The elections will doubtless be hit by
localised claims of ballot-rigging, but the days of nationwide fraud are
gone; the media are largely free; and there is real political competition
among the parties.

The economy is distorted by gross inequality but it is growing at its
fastest-ever pace. Ordinary Ukrainians may still not have much, but they
have more than at any time since independence.

Russia is backing pro-Russia politicians in the polls, but its efforts are,
fortunately, a far cry from its central role in Mr Yanukovich’s scandal-hit
2004 campaign.

Meanwhile, the west has dropped its wholesale enthusiasm for Mr Yushchenko
for more measured support for politicians backing European Union-oriented
policies. Ukrainians will vote on Sunday mostly free of direct foreign
influence.

Voters must put pressure on party leaders to ensure the country pursues EU
membership with as much determination as possible. The country’s leaders
must implement accession-linked policies – and seek support from businessmen
at a politically acceptable price.

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
2.  ALLEGED ELECTION FRAUD IN UKRAINE

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), Kiev, Ukraine, Mon, September 24 2007

KIEV – Officials from Ukraine’s national intelligence agency the SBU accused
a provincial election council of registering close to 100 000 non-existent
persons on voter rolls, Korrespondent magazine reported Monday.

The alleged election fraud attempt took place in the eastern Kharkiv region,
said SBU spokesperson Andrij Mukhtaev, citing the results of a secret
investigation conducted by the spy agency. Ukraine is set for a September 30
national election to select a new parliament.

Most (94 000) of the discrepancies found in the SBU investigation were
duplications in two different voter rolls of a single
legitimately-registered voter, Mukhtaev said.

Oleksander Krivtsov, a Kharkiv province election official, conceded voter
rolls “are still being finalised” in the run-up to the Sunday election, but
argued the SBU – Ukraine’s version of the KGB – had no right to enforce
election fraud law.

The voter roll errors were honest mistakes and regional election commission
would make sure the mistakes were corrected, Krivtsov said.

Many voter roll errors discovered by the SBU investigation are linked to
typographical errors stemming from spelling differences, as Kharkiv is a
Russian-speaking province but Ukrainian voter rolls must be in Ukrainian, a
language not so well understood in Kharkiv, he said.

The accusations and counter-accusations were typical of the tense run-up to
the vote, which will determine whether Ukraine’s government will become more
pro-Europe and free market-oriented, or remain on its current pro-Russia and
big business-oriented track.

The election is a three-way battle between the ruling pro-business Regions
party, the anti-corruption Tymoshenko party, and the nationalist Our Ukraine
party. Currently, Regions is leading in polls with the Tymoshenko party
second and closing.

Leaders of all three parties have accused their opponents of preparing to
commit election fraud, although Ukraine’s last parliamentary election, in
2006, was in general free and fair, according to international observers.

The close rankings in the current battle could make a few percentage points
decisive in determining which two party-coalition will control the next
legislature, and so the temptation to fix voting results is increased this
year, observers said.

Kharkiv is traditionally a strong supporter of Regions’ pro-Russia party
platform. The province saw massive vote fraud in 2004, when local officials
allowed individual voters to cast as many as thirty ballots in favour of
selected candidates, a supreme court review later found.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in June ordered the SBU to make
prevention of internal election fraud during the 2007 vote a top priority
for the intelligence agency, whose normal missions are hunting down foreign
spies and terrorists.

Volodymyr Sivkovich, a serving MP for Regions, accused Yushchenko of
targeting the SBU’s agents against Regions, because of Yushchenko’s
opposition to Regions’ pro-Russia policies.

Ukraine’s Orange Revolution in 2004 came after millions of irate voters took
to the streets in response to a presidential election fixed in the Regions
candidate’s favour. Mass demonstrations eventually reversed the election
result, putting Yushchenko into power. – Sapa-dpa
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========================================================
3.  UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ACCUSES PRIME MINISTER YANUKOVYCH
OF PLOTTING TO RIG PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION

Ukrayinska Pravda website, Kiev, in Ukrainian 25 Sep 07
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 25 Sep 07
BBCC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Sep 25, 2007

KIEV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has accused his arch rival,
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, of plotting to rig the upcoming
parliamentary election. Yushchenko also said that appointing his erstwhile
Orange revolution ally Yuliya Tymoshenko as prime minister after the
election is a definite possibility.

President Yushchenko was speaking in Sumy during a live TV link-up to
Ukraine’s central and northern regions on 25 September. No nationwide
Ukrainian TV channels were observed to carry the broadcast. It was entitled
“Tasks for the future government”.

The Ukrayinska Pravda website quoted Yushchenko as saying during the
broadcast: “Why does Yanukovych speak of falsification at each of his
rallies? The reason is that he is planning falsification. It will happen.
What I’m talking about is how do we deal with this problem.”

He said he was surprised that the prime minister “gets around by helicopter,
telling every rally that fraud is in the making”.

“I’d like to tell Yanukovych personally and other colleagues as well that
the government is personally responsible for holding a free, fair and
democratic election,” Yushchenko said.

Asked about the possibility of appointing Tymoshenko as prime minister,
Yushchenko said: “As regards the possibility that you mentioned, there’s
nothing fatal about it. We can go back to it, it stands a lot of chance. The
important thing is that lessons get learnt,” the Interfax-Ukraine news
agency reported at 1719 gmt.

Disagreements over the post of prime minister was a key reason why the
Orange coalition fell apart following the dismissal of Tymoshenko as prime
minister in 2005.

Yushchenko also said that Ukraine’s army will become fully professional
starting from 1 January 2010, Interfax-Ukraine said in a separate report at
1648 gmt. He regretted that the army is becoming the subject of what he
called “dirty political demagoguery”.

Ukraine is holding a parliamentary election on 30 September. Front-runners
are Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, propresidential Our Ukraine-National
Self-Defence bloc and the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, in that order.

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========================================================
4.  UKRAINE: ROCKY ROAD TO DEMOCRACY AFTER YEARS
OF RECRIMINATIONS BETWEEN MAIN PARTIES

Luke Harding, Ostroh, Ukraine, The Guardian
London, United Kingdom, Monday, Sep 24, 2007

OSTROH – The scene is western Ukraine. It is mid-morning, and in an
attractive town square bathed in autumnal sun and lined with fir trees a
crowd is waiting.

A tall figure bounds on to a stage. His elderly supporters cheer and start
waving their blue flags. They chant: “Yan-u-kov-ich, Yan-u-kov-ich.”

The man addressing them is Viktor Yanukovich – Ukraine’s prime minister.
Three years after his victory in Ukraine’s rigged 2004 presidential election
sparked the country’s pro-democracy movement – the Orange revolution – Mr
Yanukovich is back.

Ukraine is now in the grip of another movement. This time, however, it is a
counter-revolution led not by glamorous students wearing tight-fitting
orange T-shirts, but by toothless old ladies in headscarves waving icons.

The battlefield isn’t Kiev, with its blossom-filled boulevards, but a series
of dusty ex-Soviet provincial towns.

Next Sunday Ukrainians go to the polls following months of political turmoil
between Mr Yanukovich, the country’s prime minister since August 2006, and
Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s pro-western president.

In 2004 Mr Yanukovich was the villain of the Orange revolution after trying
to steal the presidential election using intimidation and fraud. Mr
Yushchenko won the re-run vote.

Since then, though, Ukraine’s orange actors have fallen out and – largely
unnoticed by the west – Mr Yanukovich has made an unexpected comeback.
PREDICTABLE
Polls put his Party of the Regions at 32.9% in the runup to Sunday’s early
election – which Mr Yushchenko called in May after accusing his rival of
luring away his MPs and attempting an extra-constitutional parliamentary
coup. Mr Yushchenko appointed Mr Yanukovich prime minister in 2006 after

his own allies failed to form a government.

With its steep-walled medieval castle and gold-domed monastery, Ostroh is
part of Ukraine’s orange-supporting heartland. If Mr Yanukovich represents
one strand of Ukraine – its Orthodox Russian-leaning east – Mr Yushchenko is
said to represent the other – its Catholic, pro-European west. Now, though,
Mr Yanukovich is picking up votes here too.

Up on stage two Ukrainian maidens present Mr Yanukovich with bread and

salt. He then launches into his speech, telling the crowd that his 13-month-old
government has brought stability to Ukraine and restored economic growth.

He attacks his rivals, dismissing the charismatic orange leader Yulia
Tymoshenko as a “cow on an ice rink”.

After his speech, the prime minister tells the Guardian he hopes Sunday’s
election will end the political conflict paralysing his country.

“We hope that after the elections the political situation will have
stabilised and that we won’t have the problems we have right now between
different branches of government. The next step is constitutional reform,”
he said.

Aides insist the new Mr Yanukovich is nothing like the old one, and has
absorbed the lessons of his 2004/5 defeat. He is studying English, and plays
tennis with the US ambassador.

Far from being a Russian stooge he is, in fact, a Ukrainian nationalist,
they add. “He’s very changed. He’s become a democrat,” Sergiy Lovochkin,

the head of his private office, says.

Mr Yanukovich himself insists he is not “pro-Russian” or “anti-western” but
believes in a pragmatic foreign policy that serves an independent Ukraine’s
national interests. “Our aim is to become a reliable bridge between Europe
and Russia,” he says.

He believes his good relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia have paid off.
In 2005 – when he was in opposition – the Kremlin turned off Ukraine’s gas
supplies. “We will never repeat the same mistake as 2005 when the situation
with gas was very difficult,” he told the Guardian.

Ukraine now had more than 26 billion cubic metres of gas reserves, he said,
adding: “Our relationship with Russia is clear, steady and predictable.” But
he also wants “good strategic relations with the EU” – which Ukraine aspires
to join by 2017.

Moreover, Mr Yanukovich is now deploying the same modern techniques as

his Orange adversaries. In 2004 Mr Putin promptly congratulated him after his
fraudulent victory – in what turned out to be a PR disaster.

Mr Yanukovich has now hired his own firm of US consultants. Ironically, he
is the biggest beneficiary of the democratic changes he once tried to
thwart.

Meanwhile, Mr Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine-led faction is languishing in the
polls on 16.4%. Support for his ally, Yulia Tymoshenko – whom Mr Yushchenko
sacked as prime minister in 2005 – is 15.4%. Together the two orange
alliances could score a narrow election victory next Sunday, in which case
Ms Tymoshenko would get her old job back as prime minister.
DISILLUSIONED
Most analysts believe it is more probable that Mr Yanukovich’s ruling
coalition will again control Ukraine’s Rada or lower house. There are also
rumours that Mr Yanukovich could form a new parliamentary alliance with Mr
Yushchenko, despite profound personal and ideological differences.

Opponents say Mr Yanukovich has not been a good leader. “He’s been a
disastrous prime minister,” says Hryhoriy Nemyria, Ms Tymoshenko’s foreign
affairs adviser and deputy chairman of her BYuT party.

The prime minister’s party was old, corrupt and undemocratic, he said. It
was also unhealthily reliant on Rinat Akhemetov, a billionaire oligarch and
member of Mr Yanukovich’s party, he alleged.

Many Ukrainian voters appear disillusioned with all three main political
leaders. “If politicians did one-tenth of the things they’d promised it
would be better.

But things haven’t improved here at all,” Valery – a mechanic – said,
speaking in the small town of Sarny, one of five places in western Ukraine
visited by Mr Yanukovich in his helicopter last Thursday.

Few political experts believe that the constitutional crisis that has
paralysed Ukraine will end next week. Legal challenges to the result are
likely. Nonetheless Ukraine is gradually evolving into something unthinkable
a decade ago: a competitive democracy.

“From the outside Ukrainian politics looks like a mess. But I think this is
normal for a country that only three years ago had a semi-authoritarian
regime and is now struggling to become a democracy,” Natalya Shapovalova,

a political expert at Kiev’s International Centre for Policy Studies, said.
She added: “I’m rather optimistic.” (www.guardian.co.uk/ukraine)
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========================================================
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========================================================
5.  FIVE U.S. CITIZENS RECEIVE THEIR PRESIDENTIAL AWARDS
IN NEW YORK FROM UKRAINE’S FOREIGN MINISTER YATSENYUK 
Vasyl Losten, Antonij Shcherba, Morgan Williams, Oksana Lykhovyd
and Virlyana Tkach for their dedicated service to Ukraine 
Action Ukraine Monitoring Service, New York, NY, Wed, Sep 26, 2007

NEW YORK – Five U.S. citizens received their Presidential Awards from
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk at a meeting and ceremony
held in New York City Monday evening at the Ukrainian Institute of America.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, was in New York attending
the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly. Minister Yatsenyuk spoke
about Ukraine’s foreign policy and thanked the five awardees for their
outstanding service to Ukraine.

Ukraine’s President Victor Yushchenko announced a series of state awards
on Independence Day to those who made a contribution to Ukraine’s
development. Yushchenko stated the awards were to those, “who have
served the Ukrainian state most loyally. I thank them for their professional
and creative efforts.”

The five U.S. citizens who received their presidential awards in New York
on Monday were:

[1] Vasyl LOSTEN, bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic diocese in Stamford,
CT, in 1997-2005, a US citizen, awarded the Distinguished Services Order
(3rd degree);

[2] Antonij SHCHERBA, head of consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox
church in the USA, a US citizen, awarded the Distinguished Services
Order (3rd degree);

[3] Morgan WILLIAMS, President, the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council;
Director, Government Affairs, Washington Office, SigmaBleyzer,
a US citizen, awarded the Distinguished Services Order (3rd degree);

[4] Oksana LYKHOVYD, art producer of the Ukrayinska rodyna group
of singers, New York, a US citizen, awarded the title of the Honorary
Worker of Arts of Ukraine;

[5] Virlyana TKACH, art producer and director of the Mystetska grupa
Yara theatrical group in New York, a US citizen, awarded the title of the
Honorary Worker of Arts of Ukraine.

The Decree of the President of Ukraine # 739/2007 in part states the
following: “On awarding state decorations of Ukraine to foreign citizens
for distinguished personal contributions in strengthening the image of
Ukraine in the world, spreading the word about Ukraine’s historical and
present-day achievements and on the occasion of the 16th anniversary of
Ukraine’s independence…”

President Yushchenko “Wished the awardees success and expressed
hopes they would continue to use their intellect to benefit Ukraine,” in

his Independence Day statement.

The order “For the Distinguished Services” is awarded for distinguished
services in the economy, science, social, cultural, military, state, civil
and other sectors. The 3rd degree is reserved specially for decorating
foreigners” – the official document on state orders states.

Minister Yatsenyuk was introduced by Jaroslav Kryshtalsky, President
of the Ukrainian Institute of America.  Ukraine’s Ambassador to the
United States Oleh Shamshur, and the Permanent Representative of Ukraine
to the United Nations, Ambassador H.E. Mr. Yuriy Sergeyev, attended
the meeting.
62ND SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is attending the 62nd
session of the UN General Assembly, met a number of counterparts there
on 24 September and also delivered a report on how Ukraine is implementing
the Kyoto protocol on climate change, the UNIAN news agency said on 25
September.

In a report the UNIAN quoted Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andriy
Deshchytsya as saying that Yatsenyuk met Czech Foreign Minister Karel
Schwarzenberg.

They discussed the Czech Republic’s visa policy ahead of the country’s
accession to the EU’s Schengen zone and agreed on bilateral consultations on
consular and legal issues, the agency said. It added that the two ministers
confirmed their interest in regional projects such as the Vysegrad group.

Yatsenyuk also discussed easing visa regulations with Slovak Foreign
Minister Jan Kubis, the agency said in the same report. They agreed to sign
an accord relaxing visa restrictions for residents of border areas similar
to the one signed recently by Ukraine and Hungary, the report said.

Yatsenyuk also met Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, who informed his
Ukrainian counterpart that an Iraqi embassy will open in Kiev soon.

UNIAN added that on the same day Yatsenyuk met Island’s President
Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, Comoros President Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed
Sambi, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Monaco’s Prince Albert II,
as well as the foreign ministers of Sweden and Mauritius.

UNIAN said that Yatsenyuk attended a high-level meeting on climate change,
which took place as part of the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly.

Addressing the meeting, Yatsenyuk said that a new organization should be set
up to bring about “environmental solidarity and responsibility and to create
an all-encompassing system of international environmental security”.
He also spoke of Ukraine’s efforts to implement the Kyoto protocol, the
agency said.

MEETS WITH U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE RICE
On September 23, 2007 in the framework of the visit to New York, Minister
for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk met with the U.S.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In the course of the conversation, the parties exchanged views on the state
and prospect of bilateral cooperation and in particular discussed the issues
of political dialogue, commercial-economic and branch cooperation,
interaction in the sphere of energy security, defense, counteraction to
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and regional security.

The heads of the foreign policy offices of the two countries discussed the
possible terms of visits at high and top levels. In this context, Mr.
Yatsenyuk renewed the invitation for Mrs. Rice to visit Ukraine in the near
future.

In addition, the parties discussed the preparation of a new Roadmap of the

Ukrainian-American relations in which special attention will be paid to
educational programmes and students’ and youth’s exchanges.

During the meeting, Mr.Yatsenyuk and Mrs.Rice discussed the political

situation in Ukraine in the view of new election to the Parliament of
Ukraine on Sunday, September 30. 
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6.  UKRAINE COMMITTED TO EU INTEGRATION REGARDLESS OF
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION RESULTS, FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS

INTERVIEW: With Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Foreign Minister, Ukraine
AP Worldstream, New York, NY, Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007

NEW YORK – Ukraine’s goal of gradual integration with the European Union
will continue regardless of the results of Sunday’s elections because this
is one of the few issues on which the rival political parties actually
agree, Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said.

But closer cooperation with NATO is a different matter due partly to
Russia’s opposition, Arseniy Yatsenyuk said in an interview with The
Associated Press on Monday.

“Polls have consistently shown that more than 60 percent of Ukrainians favor
closer political and economic cooperation with the European Union,”
Yatsenyuk said. “And all major political parties _ including to my own
surprise the Ukrainian Communist Party _ now back this.”

Yatsenyuk refused to speculate when Ukraine could join the grouping, saying
the nation must focus on implementing EU-mandated reforms.

Sunday’s snap election is the product of a hard-won agreement between
President Victor Yushchenko and his rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.
It is meant to ease a confrontation that has paralyzed politics in the
country since the 2004 Orange Revolution.

At the time, street protests against fraud forced a revote in the
presidential election in which Yanukovych was initially declared the winner,
but which Yushchenko eventually won.

Yanukovych, however, staged a remarkable political comeback last year when
his party received the most votes in parliamentary elections and formed the
ruling coalition.

Yanukovych’s party, which leads in the opinion polls, is seen as generally
closer to Moscow. But that will not affect the country’s pro-EU policy,
Yatsenyuk said.

“No matter which party emerges as the largest or which coalition government
is formed, the political elites agree on the reforms needed to make Ukraine
more compatible with EU membership,” he said.

But there is no such agreement on eventual membership in the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization, despite calls from some Ukrainian politicians for a
referendum on joining the alliance.

“There is a very low public awareness of what NATO means,” Yatsenyuk

said. “Only about three percent of Ukrainians have any idea what it is.”

Moscow, too, has repeatedly voiced concerns about the Western alliance’s
eastern expansion to its borders since the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia
and Lithuania joined the bloc in 2004. “The Russians are very cautious on
NATO, sometimes even blunt,” Yatsenyuk said.
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7.  LETTER TO A FRIEND, PARTY OF REGIONS ELECTION PAMPHLET

 
Electoral Pamphlet from the Party of Regions
Sent by Taras Kuzio & Translated by Lisa Koriouchkina for UKL
The Ukraine List (UKL) #420, Compiled by Dominique Arel
Chair of Ukrainian Studies, Univ of Ottawa
Ottawa, ON, Canada, 24 September 2007
 

Dear Compatriot!

I found this letter in an old shoe box in the attic. A short stack of
pre-war letters tied with a frail rope. And yellowed letters from the front
line, folded into accurate triangles. Here’s one of those letters that
arrived together with a death notice.

I am writing this letter in a  dugout, half buried with soil from
explosions. Today, we fended off five attacks, but with each attack there
were fewer of us left. But we knew what we were fighting for. For the
chestnuts of Pushkinskaya St.; for the evening shadows of Deribasovskaya
St.; for gentle waves of our bluest Black sea. For the right to be a free
man in his own country.

I am writing to you, my love. I am happy that I have you. That I had spent
the happiest days of my life with you. I used the past tense “had spent” and
it occurred to me. Yes, indeed, I had spent. And the close breath of death
makes me realize how much I did not have enough time to tell you. And
perhaps, ashamed to express my feelings, I would have never told you that,
but now I will. Do you remember as we were walking on the beach and seagulls
were flying over our heads. You know, I treasured every single minute I
spent with you. How could we let the enemy destroy all of this?

How could we give them our sea and our sky, our stars over the city where
you and I met? I am bequeathing you my life – live it for the both of us.
For our love, for the future. I ask of  you – do save our son.

I am writing to you, son. Now, as you are reading this letter, you are an
adult. I am writing to you to make you realize that we could not do anything
differently. Because we had to defend our motherland, your future. So that
you would live in peace in a free country. Treasure it. Value freedom. Live
with dignity. Care for your mother. And remember that you are from Odessa.
Save the memory of us.

Every family in Odessa has letters like this one. After reading the letter
of a soldier who sacrificed his life 66 years ago for our blue sky and our
happy life, I wondered what he would have said had he seen nationalists and
descendants of Bandera walking the streets of Ukrainian cities.

Had he seen political heirs to Bandera and Shukhevych trampling over those
who died in the Great Patriotic War.

Had he seen Orange politicians re-writing our history and wanting to deny us
our genetic memory, the memory of our fathers.

Had he seen them surrender our lands to those who our fathers paid such a
dear price for to defeat.

Had he seen how the defenders are turned into criminals and invaders.

He would not have had second thoughts as to what he should do. He would

have risen to defend the future, because the enemy is already at the door.

Friend, do you remember how as a child you were standing at the monument
“Eternal Fire” with pure tears in your eyes and with your throat dry from
emotions, you whispered: “We will never betray you!”

Our duty today is to win!

The voting bulletin on September 30th is our weapon!

Let’s be worthy of a memory of fathers and grandfathers!

Let’s not betray them! Let’s defend Odessa!

The Party of Regions

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========================================================
NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
========================================================
8. YANUKOVYCH SACKS HIS AMERICAN SPIN DOCTOR MANAFORT

UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 25, 2007

KYIV – Paul Manafort, who had been heading the political campaigns of the
Party of Regions since 2005, was sacked from the electoral headquarters.

The reason is that the party’s rating began to fall. Now “regionals” are
working out two scenarios to frustrate the election, according
“Ekonomicheskiye Izvestiya” daily.

According to the newspaper’s sources, the Party of Regions headquarters

made a final decision to sack the American spin doctor after the party
headquarters chiefs realized that the party’s rating fell by 5-7% nearly 10
days ago.

Namely at that time, PoR recalled its old slogans – to give the state status
to the Russian language, and began to use anti-NATO rhetorics. On 19
September PoR claimed that it may refuse from taking part in the electoral
campaign.

On the eve of it, Party of Regions adherents began to pitch tents and
construct a stage at the Maydan Nezalezhnosti Square in the center of Kyiv.
Besides, on 21 September the U.S. Senate adopted a resolution in support of
the orange revolution achievements in Ukraine.

Paul Manafort is close to the USA Republican Party. “The dismissal of
Manafort, who I know personally very well, was an expected decision”, said
Victor Ukolov, BYuT spin doctor (#147 in the electoral list). According to
him, during the last three-five years, the Party of Regions’ rating has
significantly fallen in the east of the country.

“During the last two weeks, the “regionals” have been looking for a
scapegoat, and chose Paul Manafort”, V.Ukolov believes. “I was confident
that they would sack their HQ chief Borys Kolesnikov, or some of his
deputies, because Paul is a real professional, but “regionals” did not
listen to his advice”, the BYuT spin doctor says.

According to the information of Taras Beresovts, chief editor of “Polittekh”
project, the decision to sack Paul Manafort from the electoral campaign was
made in the Party of Regions headquarter last week. “To blame foreigners for
the failure of the campaign is the simplest way, because blaming Kolesnikov
means blaming Akhmetov”, the expert notes.

According to him, the party is now considering two scenarios of the further
developments: to cancel voting results in some western district on the basis
of alleged mass falsifications, and to resume talks about creating an
autonomy of eastern and southern regions of Ukraine.

Vassyl Khara (#28 in the Party of Regions list) could not say anything about
the dismissal of Paul Manafort. “I was against involving Americans in our
work since the very beginning.

This was the reason why I left the post of the HQ chief as early as in 2005.
It is hard for me to believe that the people, who do not know our special
features, and no one know who they are working for – for us or our rivals,
can be fair. If they were sacked, it happened too late”, he stressed.

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LINK: http://unian.net/eng/news/news-213712.html
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9.  NO SHIFTS PLANNED IN TEAM OF PARTY OF REGIONS
CONSULTANTS BEFORE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION

UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 25, 2007

KYIV – No staff shifts will take place in the team of the Party of Regions
headquarters’ consultants before the election.

According to an UNIAN correspondent, Party of Regions political council
member Serhiy Levochkin claimed this to journalists today.
“This [the information about the dismissal of American spin doctor Paul
Manafort – UNIAN] is a provocation. Our opponents are trying to divert the
attention from the discussion of pre-election programs”, S.Levochkin.
He explains this information appeared because the rating of the Party of
Regions’ opponents has been falling, while the rating of the Party of
Regions has been growing.
As UNIAN reported earlier, today “Ekonomicheskiye Izvestiya” daily,
referring to its sources in the PoR HQ reported that the Party of Regions
sacked American spin doctor Paul Manafort because of the falling of the
party’s ratings.
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10.  UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO GAMBLES

ON UKRAINIAN VOTERS TO REVIVE HIS REVOLUTION

By Sebastian Alison, Bloomberg News
Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 26, 2007

YALTA – In 1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin
met in the Russian port of Yalta to redraw the map of Europe, in the process
setting the stage for the Cold War.

These days, Yalta — now a part of independent Ukraine — again finds itself
witnessing a possible geopolitical realignment as President Viktor
Yushchenko’s Orange Revolution is about to be either rejuvenated or
overturned after three years of dashed hopes and political stalemate.

Yushchenko, swept into power after street protests overturned a rigged
presidential ballot, is gambling that Sept. 30 parliamentary elections will
strengthen support for his pro- Western views.

The man he defeated for the presidency, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych,

is seeking to solidify his power in order to pursue closer ties with Russia.

The election may determine “whether the Orange Revolution has succeeded
or failed,” said Taras Kuzio, research associate at the Institute for
European, Russia and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University in
Washington.

Kuzio said the vote will be based on “regional and linguistic divides” that
may give Yanukovych, 57, and his Party of the Regions an edge. The
Russian-speaking east mainly backs Yanukovych, while the more agricultural,
Ukrainian-speaking west is behind the Orange camp.
INTERDEPENDENT
Russia has claimed an interest since the dissolution of the Soviet Union led
to Ukraine’s independence. “Our economies are so interdependent, so mutually
complementary, we naturally cannot abandon the idea of furthering the
relationship,” said Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir
Putin.

While European Union foreign-policy chief Javier Solana said in Kiev Sept.
14 that “Ukraine is a friend of the European Union,” Kuzio said such
statements aren’t enough to refute suggestions that the EU has largely lost
interest in Ukraine. “They’ve refused, on every occasion since the Orange
Revolution, even to offer Ukraine a long-term prospect of membership.”

Nowhere is Ukraine’s caught-in-the-middle position more evident than the
Crimean peninsula, which includes Yalta, a subtropical city of 80,000.

Crimea was actually a part of Russia until 1954, when Soviet leader Nikita
Khrushchev gave it to what was then the Ukrainian satellite republic. Most
locals are ethnic Russians, and Russian is the dominant language. All
election posters are in Russian, unlike in the capital, Kiev.
YALTA’S LANDMARKS
Yalta’s landmarks, as well as the comments of its residents, reflect its
ambivalence. At the Livadia Palace, a white marble building constructed for
Tsar Nicholas II in 1911 and the site of the 1945 conference, the three men
who drew up the Yalta agreement are all revered.

Roosevelt, just two months short of death, was given rooms in the palace.
The billiard room has Soviet, British and U.S. flags on the table, as it did
when he hosted a breakfast there for Stalin and Churchill on Feb. 11.

Roosevelt  “was such an educated man,” said Margarita Poleva, a guide at
Livadia. “He was so instrumental in setting up the United Nations.”

Her words of praise for an American president contrast with the tensions
over issues such as U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense system in eastern
Europe; Russian criticism of its policies over Iraq and Iran; and Russia’s
withdrawal from the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, limiting troop
numbers.
‘BETRAYAL’
Valery Andryushenko, 62, a Yalta taxi driver with a Ukrainian father and a
Russian mother, is certain that “Ukraine should move closer to Europe.”

Europe “is more civilized and richer,” he said. At the same time, “to break
contacts with Russia would be impossible.” He’s against NATO membership,
citing ties with former Soviet states. “To throw all that away and join NATO
would be a betrayal.”

A Sept. 1-10 survey of 2,004 Ukrainians by Kiev’s Razumkov Centre for
Economic and Political Studies showed 33.9 percent support for Yanukovych’s
party, to 13.1 percent for Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine.

That kind of result would leave former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko’s
alliance, which had 23.5 percent in the poll, holding the balance of power.

Yushchenko fired Timoshenko, 46, after the two fell out over the pace of
reform. Yanukovych had the largest parliamentary faction, forcing the
president to appoint him prime minister. Continuing tension between the two
men prompted Yushchenko to dissolve parliament and call this weekend’s vote.
MISSING THE BOAT
Yushchenko “really missed the boat” by failing to establish his authority
more firmly after the revolution, Kuzio said. “He had the chance in 2005 to
demolish Yanukovych. He never took that chance, and it’s coming back to
haunt him.”

Disillusionment with Yushchenko has thrown the spotlight on Timoshenko, says
Michael Emerson, a research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies
in Brussels. “She’s the outstanding personality, who’s younger, and has a
lot of popular support,” he said.

Analysts say it’s possible the elections will push the politicians closer
together. “Yanukovych has admitted that Ukraine needs a balanced
relationship between Russia and Europe,” said Amanda Akcakoca of the
European Policy Centre in Brussels.

Yanukovych and Yushchenko “have recognized over the last 12 months that
they must work together” and may move toward “a grand coalition” that
would change the constitution to “make a clearer balance of power between

the president and the prime minister.”

If they don’t, she said, voter skepticism will only grow: “Most Ukrainians
don’t trust anyone.”
——————————————————————————————-
Sebastian Alison in Yalta at Salison1@bloomberg.net .
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=aqp0LdVWLyj4&refer=europe
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11.  PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO’S INTERVIEW WITH EURONEWS

Press Office of the President of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, September 22, 2007

[EuroNews] Mr President, welcome to EuroNews. Why did you initiate
parliamentary elections last spring?
[Yushchenko] The situation is simple enough. After honest and democratic
elections, parliament changed the results of the vote. The majority parties
began to buy the MPs from other parties by bribing them with money. First
two MPs, then another two and 13 more.

Then they announced that the following week there could be another 25. It
was a violation of the constitution. The Parliamentary majority had become
illegitimate, because it was not based on a coalition of parties, but on the
mandates of MPs. The constitution forbids that.

As President, I called on Parliament to stop these practices, and revert to
the status quo, but unfortunately that was not done. The only thing I could
do in that situation was to organise the early elections to bring legitimacy
back to the Ukrainian parliament.

[EuroNews] What do these elections mean to Ukraine?
[Yushchenko]  They’re very important for the country and very important for
Ukrainian politicians. And I am sure that after the elections, what is
happening in Parliament – this political corruption – will, in the main,
stop.

We will radically reduce the field of political corruption, about ‘buying’
laws, and modifying election results. It is essential that the country
begins to understand that we can escape crises like these through democratic
means.

[EuroNews] There’s a feeling that since the orange revolution, Ukraine has
only seen political confrontation. But has people’s quality of life changed
since then?… how is the economy developing?

[Yushchenko] I will say that after the Orange Revolution, there were changes
that the Ukrainian economy had not seen for fifteen years. In terms of
macro-economics, our Gross Domestic Product grew at 7, 7 and a half, 8 per
cent.

It is a stable parameter which has given us the opportunity to change lots
in terms of the budget. In 2005 – in just a single year – we increased
income revenues by 54 per cent, and in 2006 by 37 per cent. Ukraine has not
seen social discontent for 2 and a half years.

For example, the minimum wage and minimum pension are at the same level.

It is a very sensitive subject for Ukraine, especially for its 14-million
pensioners. In 2005, wages went up by 50 per cent, people’s real incomes
went up by 21 per cent.

And many other things too – I’m very happy with the nation’s economic
potential and the social and humanitarian potential of its people. They are
changes which the country has been waiting for for a long time.

[EuroNews] Why didn’t you support the idea of a referendum on the status

of the Russian language, and on Ukraine’s joining NATO?

[Yushchenko] I am not sure that the language of another country lets us
identify ourselves as Ukrainians. It is not even up for discussion.

Secondly, the linguistic politics which features in the Ukrainian
constitution gives precise details on the development of the Russian
language or any other minority languages. Our doctrine on language is
clearly inspired by the European language charter. It corresponds exactly.

Now, on NATO. No-one has asked us whether we want to join NATO or not.

The time will come when we will be asked and we will give a national response.
 
I have already said that for Ukraine, joining NATO or not is a question for a
national referendum. There are no discussions on that subject. The answer
will come from the people.

[EuroNews] Is European integration a national issue in Ukraine?
[Yushchenko] It is very current. Deep inside, society sees it quite simply.
Right now, the EU is the Ukraine’s main trading partner. And each year,
these relations develop a little more. Each year we reach into new corners
of the European market.

It was very important for us to sign a three year EU/Ukrainian deal which is
proving a success. It already applies to more than 70 different fields. We
have signed a common energy system deal. There is the resolution adopted on
the Odessa pipeline – from Brody to the EU – there are agreements on outer
space, airspace and other fields.

Now, Ukraine is knocking on the door of the World Trade Organisation. We
believe that membership could improve relations with our neighbours – large
and small – but above all the EU. It is already a topical subject which
touches Ukrainian citizens in everyday life.

[EuroNews] Ideally, how do you see Ukraine’s short-term future?
[Yushchenko] It is a European country. It is a democratic country. It is a
country where the principal democratic values are clearly and irrevocably
fixed – starting with the right to choose all the way through to freedom –
the freedom of speech.

It is a country which, I am sure, will set the standards in human rights and
law. We will bring corruption to an end – it will become a thing of the
past – an ill which touches all spheres of society. We talk publicly about
it and we publicly fight against it. And I am sure we will succeed.

I am sure we will be the country of affluence, and of human dignity – a
country which will enjoy fair, open and friendly relations with its
neighbours, be it in economic, social or humanitarian spheres. I am very
optimistic about Ukraine’s prospects, because it’s a country which has
always been at the centre of Europe.

When I talk about European values, I know my country has contributed to

them at great cost. Ukraine has helped shape European policy.
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12.  LANDKOM CROP PRODUCTION COMPANY ON FERTILE GROUND
Large scale farming in Ukraine, 50,000 hectares by end of 2007

By Toby Shelley, Financial Times, London, UK, Monday, Sep 24 2007

Landkom, which will launch plans for its initial public offering on Monday,
has a simple proposition – to grow high-value crops on an Australian scale
but on land of European fertility.

The intention is to raise £40m to fund land rent and equipment acquisitions.
Several existing investors, including a Credit Suisse investment fund, have
agreed not to dilute their stakes. Pre-IPO investors put £6.9m into the
company this year.

With 28,000 hectares under production this year, Landkom is on track to
control 50,000 ha by the end of the year. The target is to farm 10 times
that area in four years.

The land is rented on 15-year leases from tens of thousands of western
Ukrainian villagers to whom the state parcelled out land in the mid-1990s.
Much of it lay unworked for more than a decade because the owners lacked

the resources.

The company has right of first refusal on the plots in anticipation of the
lifting of a moratorium on sales put in place to stop landgrabs by wealthy
businessmen.

Land with comparable yields in Northern Ireland would cost £400 per ha a
year to rent. Richard Spinks, director and founder, said Landkom was paying
far under 10 per cent of that in Ukraine.

To that cost advantage is added the benefits of scale. The average UK farm
is 60 ha while Landkom grew 7,000 ha of rape seed alone this year. Mr Spinks
said Ukraine wheat could be grown at six times typical Australian yields but
on a comparable scale.

Mr Spinks argued that high agro-commodity prices reflected an upward trend
in demand. For example, the EU cannot meet its requirements for rape seed
oil to add to diesel, he said.

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13.  POLISH ALUMINUM COMPANY KETY OPENS PLANT IN UKRAINE

Polish News Bulletin, Warsaw, Poland, Tue, Sep 25, 2007

WARSAW – Grupa Kety from the aluminum sector is to officially open

today its factory in Ukraine operated by its subsidiary Alupol. Alupol is
to produce aluminum profiles for construction purposes.

Due to delays in obtaining necessary permits the factory commenced
production at the end of June this year, half a year later than initially
planned.

According to Adam Piela, deputy CEO and financial director of Kety, the
delay did not allow Alupol to win any major contracts this year as potential
clients could not wait any longer.

Alupol’s capacity presently stands at around 8,000 tonnes of aluminum
yearly, which if fully utilised may allow the company to achieve revenue of
ZL100m.

The factory in Ukraine was constructed cost ZL50m. According to Biela, the
investment should begin bringing in a profit in six years. Alupol’s factory
opens new possibilities for Kety as aluminum consumption in Poland’s eastern
neighbours is many times lower than in the EU.

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14.  ALFA LAVAL’S STRONG DEVELOPMENT IN UKRAINE CONTINUES
WINS ORDER FOR THE GROWING BREWERY INDUSTRY 

Business Wire, Sweden, Monday, Sep 24, 2007

Alfa Laval (STO:ALFA) – a world leader in heat transfer, centrifugal
separation and fluid handling – has received an order for process solutions
to two breweries in Ukraine. The total order value is approximately SEK 50
million. Delivery will take place late 2007 and during 2008.

Ukraine has a very long tradition of brewing beer. It goes back more than
200 years. As the consumption of beer now is increasing the Ukrainian
brewery industry is growing and both of the two orders are to increase
capacity.

“It is very satisfying that the brewery industry in Eastern Europe now is
investing again,” says Lars Renstrom, President and CEO of Alfa Laval.

“Both these orders in Ukraine are a clear proof of that Alfa Laval’s
solutions to the world’s breweries are of highest quality and in demand.”
The orders have a large scope and consist of many different products and
system solutions from Alfa Laval.

Did you know that Ukraine was the fastest growing market for Alfa Laval
during 2006, in terms of percentage? Annual sales in the country are
currently approximately SEK 200 million and the largest applications for
Alfa Laval can be found within food, steel industry and inorganic chemistry.
About Alfa Laval
Alfa Laval is a leading global provider of specialized products and
engineering solutions based on its key technologies of heat transfer,
separation and fluid handling. The company’s equipment, systems and services
are dedicated to assisting customers in optimizing the performance of their
processes.

The solutions help them to heat, cool, separate and transport products in
industries that produce food and beverages, chemicals and petrochemicals,
pharmaceuticals, starch, sugar and ethanol.

Alfa Laval’s products are also used in power plants, aboard ships, in the
mechanical engineering industry, in the mining industry and for wastewater
treatment, as well as for comfort climate and refrigeration applications.

Alfa Laval’s worldwide organization works closely with customers in nearly
100 countries to help them stay ahead in the global arena.

Alfa Laval is listed on the Nordic Exchange, Nordic Large Cap, and, in 2006,
posted annual sales of about SEK 20 billion (approx. 2,2 billion euros). The
company has some 11,000 employees. www.alfalaval.com

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15.  EAST EUROPEAN IMMIGRANTS FUEL RETURN OF SERVANT CLASS
Top sources for servants: Philippines, Ukraine, Latvia, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.
By Roger Dobson, Independent, London, UK, Sunday, 23 Sep 2007

There was a time when the flustered British housewife of a certain rank
would look disdainfully at the dirty marks on her cutlery and despairingly
exclaim: “You just can’t get the staff.”

The good news for the overworked middle classes who are looking for help
with the chores is that now they can.

Migration from eastern Europe, Africa and Asia is creating a ready supply of
willing downstairs staff, with more and more being employed to watch the
kids and clean the bathroom in a kind of international class system,
according to a new report.

Just this week, the socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson revealed that she had a
“massive staff”, mainly from Ukraine. “As I don’t have a husband, I rather
look forward to having people around me. I have half the Ukraine here every
day. It’s like the Russian army coming in to clean. I want to come back at
night and feel like I’m in a five-star hotel,” she said.

The bad news for the migrants, however, is that high-powered executives and
business people are increasingly picky about who they employ, with white
women being the preferred home help, the study, by Bridget Anderson of
Oxford University, says.

Men are considered too much of a risk to be looking after young children,
especially girls, and black people are unpopular as au pairs.

While race was described by one agency as “the unmentionable”, there are
also more complex reasons for the choosiness. The British middle classes are
looking for domestic help who can’t easily pack up and leave, which means
employing people from war-torn countries or from non-EU countries whose
presence in Britain is dependent on their employment.

The top five sources for maids and butlers are the Philippines, Ukraine,
Latvia, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.

“It is legal for a private householder to refuse to employ someone on the
grounds of their colour, their nationality or their religion, and from our
interviews with employers, it is clear that they do,” say the researchers,
whose work is to be published in the European Journal of Women’s Studies.

“Employers are not only looking for generic ‘foreignness’, however, but
typically also seek particular nationalities or ethnicities of worker, which
can raise difficulties for agencies who are not allowed to discriminate on
the basis of ‘race’.”

Half of British households employ some form of domestic staff in an industry
now thought to be worth around £20bn a year. On average, each household
spends around £1,924 on chauffeurs, dog walkers, babysitters, nannies and
cooks.

Relations with domestic staff do not always run smoothly, however. Sting’s
wife, Trudie Styler, was sued by her cook, Jane Martin, earlier this year.

Ms Martin claimed sexual discrimination after being forced to work 14-hour
days while pregnant. The tribunal heard how Ms Styler, 52, abused her
domestic staff to make her “feel royal”.

Where do they get their staff?
PHILIPPINES
Main provider of cleaning staff in domestic households. Described by
President Gloria Arroyo as a nation that provides “supermaids”.
UKRAINE
Female domestic workers from the Ukraine are very popular with UK
working mothers looking for au pairs.
ZIMBABWE
Zimbabweans mainly work as cleaners in schools and hospitals.
LATVIA
Many Latvians work as butlers due to the comparatively good salaries
compared with other domestic work.
MALAYSIA
Malaysians gravitate towards domestic work – many work as household
maids in the UK.
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http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article2990167.ece

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16.  INTERNATIONAL OWNERSHIP OF UKRAINIAN
BANKS GROWS TO 30.2% IN JAN-JULY

Interfax, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Sep 21, 2007

KYIV – The proportion of foreign [international] capital in the combined
charter capital of Ukrainian banks increased to 30.2% at the end of August
2007 from 27.6% at the beginning of 2007, the National Bank reported on its
website.

The combined charter capital of Ukrainian banks increased by 34.8% to

35.393 billion hryvni in the nine-month period.

The number of banks with foreign capital remained at 42 on September 1
compared to 35 at the start of the year, with the number of wholly
foreign-owned banks remaining at 17. The National Bank said 173 of the 196
banks registered in Ukraine were operating on September 1.
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17. UKRAINE FINANCE: BANKING SECTOR RISK

NEWS ANALYSIS: The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited
New York, NY, Thursday, September 20, 2007

CURRENT ASSESSMENT 
Although the banking sector is generally sound, a number of structural
weaknesses remain a concern, as does the rapid rise in lending to households
and enterprises in recent years-particularly the extent of unhedged
foreign-currency lending to businesses, and increasingly to households.

The ratio of total loans to assets is estimated to have risen to around
two-thirds, and banks have been borrowing heavily abroad to meet demand.

The supervisory framework governing banks has nevertheless improved,
capital-adequacy ratios are still generally good, and the sector is finally
seeing significant inflows of foreign investment.

The ratio of non-performing loans (NPLs) fell from 30% at the end of 2004

to less than 18% by September 2006. Although this is still high, the ratio of
loans not being serviced is much smaller, at less than 5%.
POSITIVE FACTORS 
Net banking sector assets have risen steadily in recent years.

The regulator has increased minimum capital requirements (albeit by less
than the IMF recommends). It has also tightened capital quality standards
and raised provisioning requirements for unhedged foreign borrowing.

The economic slowdown ended in early 2006, and real GDP growth is now
expected to average around 6% in 2008-09. A favourable economic environment
will help consumers and enterprises to meet their debt-service payments,
thereby maintaining asset quality.
NEGATIVE FACTORS 
Lending, particularly to households, is increasing rapidly. This has raised
concerns about the ability of enterprises and home owners to repay in the
event of external shocks, or a downturn in inflated housing prices in the
capital, Kiev.

Although capital-adequacy ratios are generally sound, at around 14% or

above in recent years, this is undermined by concerns about the lack of
transparency with regard to bank ownership.

The further increase in natural gas prices expected in 2008 will harm the
competitiveness of enterprises in certain key sectors, which poses a risk to
banks’ asset quality.

Surging consumer lending doubled bank profits in 2006, but high overheads
continue to dampen profitability and ensure wide interest rate spreads.

RATING OUTLOOK
Stable: The sector will become less fragmented, particularly as foreign
banks continue to deepen their involvement in Ukraine. A larger foreign role
will improve capitalisation, increase competition and bring down interest
rates.

Some of the sector’s structural problems will nevertheless persist, which
increases vulnerability to external economic shocks and future bouts of
political uncertainty-both of which remain substantial risks in Ukraine.
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18.  BUSINESS AND PLEASURE IN UKRAINE

By Ben West, Financial Times, London, UK, Saturday Sep 22 2007.

As second home buyers become more adventurous, moving into Croatia,

Bulgaria and even Romania, there is one country on Europe’s eastern fringes
that almost everyone has overlooked.

Larger than France – indeed Europe’s biggest country – it has stunning
coastlines, nice ski resorts and attractive towns and cities steeped in
history. But Ukraine, the former Soviet state that borders Russia, Belarus,
Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova, has a lot of bad press to
overcome.

Best known as home to Chernobyl, scene of the world’s worst nuclear
accident, the country also remains one of Europe’s poorest, still recovering
from a 1990s economic collapse triggered by the fall of the Soviet Union.

In recent years news has been dominated by the 2004 presidential election –
during which the eventual winner, Viktor Yushchenko, was poisoned – and the
pro-western Orange revolution, which has had fewer lasting effects than
supporters hoped amid continued domestic power struggles and tensions with
Russia.

In April Yushchenko dissolved the opposition-controlled parliament and new
elections are scheduled for September 30.

As in other former Soviet states, Ukraine’s legal and political systems are
still evolving. Government initiatives since 1996 have fuelled a significant
economic recovery centred on oil, gas, mineral and vodka production but the
country of 49m people still suffers from rampant bureaucracy, corruption,
inadequate infrastructure and low wages, amounting to an average of 1,391
hryvnia ($280) a month.

So why on earth would foreigners want to buy there? Perhaps because it
offers a chance to get in on the ground floor of a market in which property
professionals see great potential.

There is hope that the election will end the political turmoil, pave the way
for permanent democratic reforms and create a more appealing climate for
international investment, which could eventually lead to the country joining
the European Union.

World Trade Organisation membership is just around the corner and visa
requirements for EU and US citizens have already been relaxed.

In the past three years some house prices have jumped by 500 per cent and
agents say there is still room for growth. “It’s taken off quite
dramatically,” says John Miller of property and construction consultancy
Thomas and Adamson, which has been operating in Ukraine for 12 years.
“Though there have been clashes with Russia and some political instability,
this shouldn’t be a great concern for the residential buyer.”

According to Alex Abramovych, director of Ukraine property specialists
UAProperty.com, flats and houses in Ukraine now cost $1,382 per sq metre, up
nearly 50 per cent from a year ago, while average rents are $251-$324 per
month, a 29 per cent increase over 2006. (Prices are typically quoted in
dollars, although euros and sterling are also used.)

Kiev is easily the most expensive market, with average sales prices nearing
$3,000 per sq metre and rents for most one-bedroom apartments at more than
$600 per month.

Buying activity has tailed off in recent months as a result of the steep
run-up in prices and many fear a correction is imminent. But Abramovych and
others remain bullish. “The economy has much improved and growth will
continue in Kiev and the resort zones, where dem and exceeds customer
requests,” he says.

Ukraine’s attractions are also not ­simply financial. Its cities are full of
beautiful gothic, Byzantine and baroque architecture and most towns have a
cathedral. The countryside is largely unspoilt and peppered with pretty
little villages.

The coastline is lined with ­early-20th century resort towns. And the
Carpathian mountain range, one of Europe’s largest, provides a dramatic
landscape, with wild forests home to lynx and boar and snow-covered slopes
allowing for a long ski season.

So far, foreign buyers have focused on three areas: the capital Kiev; the
thriving tourist zones of the Black Sea coast in the Crimea; and the
Carpathians.

Kiev has many historic landmarks. including churches, monuments and
archaeological sites, as well as shops, restaurants, cafés, nightclubs,
theatres and galleries. Enlivened by its river, the Dnipro, the Old Town is
particularly attractive.

“My first visit to the Ukraine was one and a half years ago,” says Lou
Zidenberg, 60, who lives in California but also owns an apartment in Kiev.
“I was amazed when I saw the growth that was going on in that country. My
flat cost me $100,000 and I estimate it is worth about $350,000 now.”

Other cities of interest include Sevastopol and Odessa in the Crimea. Yalta
is also a popular tourist spot on the southern coast, with about 80km of
beach attractively framed by mountains that dispel the cold northerly winds
and allow the region to benefit from temperatures averaging 25°C between
June and September.

UK-based John Parr, 51, a business manager for a telecommunications systems
company, often works in Russia and eastern Europe and has also invested in
Ukraine.

With his wife Jackie, a teacher, he bought a one-bedroom apartment close to
the harbour in Balaklava in the Crimea in November 2005 and a plot of land
in the Carpathian mountains last year .

“We decided to invest in Ukraine because we visited Balaklava and really
liked it,” he says. “It is beautiful and has a fascinating history. The
apartment is mainly for personal use but we rent it out for a few weeks in
the summer.”

He acknowledges that there are challenges to owning in an unestablished
holiday-home market. “Language can be a bit of a problem even though I can
speak some basic Russian. And getting to Balaklava takes a while. It is a
three-hour flight from London to Kiev and then another one-hour flight to
Simferopol, then a one-hour car journey. There are no cut-price flight
operators going to Ukraine yet.”

Still, he’s happy with his decision. The apartment “cost $52,000, I reckon
we spent a further $18,000 on complete renovation and furniture, and now it
is worth about $100,000″.

In the Carpathians, one- and two-bedroom houses can still be found for
$20,000-$40,000, though prices are higher at the new resort developments
being created by Ukrainian and Polish companies targeting a growing domestic
middle class as well as Polish, Russian and Baltic holidaymakers.

Activity is centred around the quaint village of Slavsk, the most popular of
Ukraine’s mountain resorts with three distinct seasons: summer for hiking,
cycling and fishing; autumn for mushroom and berry picking; and winter for
skiing. The local government is also injecting $100m into road, slope and
lift improvements.

UK developer Hanroc has recently entered the market with the Eagle Valley
Mountain Resort, 75 apartments with a leisure and spa centre in a private
valley near one of the Slavsk lifts, due for completion in 2009. Off-plan
prices range from about $50,000 for a studio to $335,000 for a five-bedroom
penthouse.

Rental demand is strong since Slavsk attracts 50,000 visitors per day in
peak season but has only 150 hotel rooms, m any of which are booked up to
two seasons in advance. And, according to local estate agents, property
values are expected to rise by an annual 35 per cent or more for the next
three years.

Natasha Kravchuk of Thomas and Adamson’s Kiev office warns that buyers

must still be cautious, however. “If you are buying new-build from local
developers, research them well as there have been a couple of high-profile
failures.

“Check carefully what permits the developer has and his obligations to
deliver the property on time. Most are delivered six to 12 months after the
agreed date and there is usually no clause in the contract for
compensation.”

Those in search of older homes should find a reputable estate agent and
think carefully about which areas they want to be in.

Builder James Jennison from Wales bought a two-bedroom rural cottage with
land near Melitopol about 3km from the Azov Sea. “People think that this
part of the world can be quite cold but when I visited in August it was over
40°C .

“The wildlife is fantastic; I’ve seen eagles. It is a wonderful country with
the friendliest people, beautiful countryside and beautiful architecture.
And [the house] only cost me £8,000.”
———————————————————————————————–
Additional reporting by Roman Olearchyk; Local agents, UAProperty.com.

tel: +44 845-0944 650; www.uaproperty.com
Thomas & Adamson. tel: +38 04-4490 6064; www.thomasandadamson.com
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19.  CHORNOBYL NPP, HOLTEC INT SIGN CONTRACT TO BUILD
$200 MILLION SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL STORAGE FACILITY

Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

KYIV – The Chornobyl NPP state company and U.S. company Holtec
International on the construction of a spent nuclear fuel storage facility.

Chornobyl NPP Director General Ihor Hramotkin and Holtec President and
Chief Executive Officer Kris Singh signed the deal in Kyiv on Monday in the
presence of Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko and European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) President Jean Lemierre.

A joint, 52-month project to build a storage facility for spent nuclear fuel
with Holtec International is estimated to cost $200 million dollars, deputy
chief of the presidential secretariat Oleksandr Chaly said. The project
complies with International Atomic Energy Agency standards, he added.

———————————————————————————————–
NOTE: Holtec is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council
in Washington, D.C.
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20.  UKRAINE SIGNS TWO HUGE CONTRACTS, ONE FOR SAFE
CONFINEMENT SARCOPHAGUS, ONE FOR STORAGE OF SPENT
NUCLEAR FUEL AT CHORNOBYL NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
French company Novarka and U.S. company Holtec International

Press Office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

KYIV – President Victor Yushchenko on Monday attended a ceremony to
sign a contract between the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the French
construction company Novarka to build the New Safe Confinement and a
deal between the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the American energy
technology company Holtec International to build Storage for Spent Nuclear
Fuel 2.

Yushchenko said today’s ceremony was a “great historic event.” “After
searching for engineering, political, technological and financial solutions
for twenty years we are now laying the first fundamental brick in this
project, which is called the construction of the safe sarcophagus at the
unit of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the storage for spent nuclear
fuel,” he said.

Yushchenko said the event had “exceptional importance” for Ukraine and the
world. “On behalf of the Ukrainian state, I would like to thank all of you
for this wonderful job.

“I am convinced today we will be able to say frankly to the nation and the
international community, perhaps for the first time, that there has been a
response to the problem of building the New Safe Confinement at the
Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant,” he said and added this was a “great step
in the cause to minimize the aftereffects of the Chornobyl disaster.”

Yushchenko said the NSC would protect other countries as well: “We are
speaking about the unique planetary project, as the danger that has been
emerging from this place affects not only Ukraine [but also other states].”

The president thanked the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
[EBRD] and the donor states for making the project possible. He said Ukraine
had fulfilled its international obligations to close the Chornobyl Nuclear
Power Plant.

“Ukraine has completed the conservation of the facility, which will make it
safe for fifteen years, so any nuclear accident there is now impossible,” he
said, urging Novarka and Holtec International to implement the project
“rhythmically and in solidarity.”
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/1_19003.html
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========================================================
21.  UKRAINE’S FUEL AND ENERGY MINISTER AND US ENERGY
SECRETARY DISCUSS COOPERATION IN ENERGY SECTOR

Interfax Ukraine Economic, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 18, 2007

VIENNA, Austria – Fuel and Energy Minister of Ukraine Yuriy Boiko and
U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman have met to discuss cooperation
in the energy sector between Ukraine and the United States.

Last Sunday they met in Vienna, Austria as a part of a meeting of the Global
Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) Organization.

During the meeting, the Ukrainian minister praised the initiatives of the
U.S. government and thanked Bodman for his personal contribution to
the creation of global nuclear energy partnership.

He said that Ukraine sees great prospects in the activities of the
organization in settling urgent problems and promoting the further
development of the world’s nuclear sectors.

Boiko said that Ukraine and the United States have already had successful
experience in international cooperation in the nuclear sector, in
particular, the project on the standardization of Ukrainian nuclear fuel.

The minister thanked his counterpart for settling issues on additional
financing of the project, adding that the diversification of nuclear fuel
supplies is strategically important for Ukraine.
CENTRAL NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE FACILITY, HOLTEC
Boiko also said that another strategically important project for Ukraine is
the project to build a central nuclear waste storage facility, and noted
that the U.S. company Holtec had won the tender to build the facility.

He said that the realization of the project would help Ukraine to save $10
billion over 10 years. He said that an additional agreement on the
possibility to carry out a restricted volume of work before the Ukrainian
cabinet adopts a law on the building of the central nuclear waste storage
facility was signed in 2007 in order to speed up the realization of the
project.

In turn, Bodman said he highly appreciated joint work of the two countries
on the standardization of nuclear fuel. Moreover, the sides discussed the
visit of Ukrainian specialist on alternative energy, which is scheduled for
next week.
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22.  UKRAINE: FUEL & ENERGY MINSTER BOIKO PREDICTS HOLTEC
PROJECT TO CONSTRUCT CENTRALIZED SPENT FUEL STORAGE
FACILITY WILL ECONOMIZE USD 10 BILLION IN TEN YEARS
Boiko Meets with U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman in Vienna

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

KYIV – Ukraine’s Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Boiko predicts that the
realization of a project to construct a centralized spent fuel storage
facility for Rivne, Southern Ukrainian, and Khmelnytskyi nuclear power
plants will economize USD 10 billion in ten years.

Ukrainian News learned this from the press service of the Fuel and Energy
Ministry, which quoted Boiko at a meeting with U.S. Energy Secretary
Samuel Bodman in Vienna (Austria) on September 16.

The statement reads that the meeting took place in the frames of the Global
Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). Boiko highly assessed the initiatives of
the U.S. government and thanked Bodman for his contribution in the creation
of the GNEP.

The Ukrainian minister emphasized that Ukraine saw great perspectives for
the activities of the GNEP on the settlement of vital problems and further
development of the nuclear power industry in the world.

Boiko further said that the project to construct the centralized spent fuel
storage facility for Ukrainian NPPs, a tender of which has been won by
Holtec International (the United States), was of strategic importance for
Ukraine’s energy security.

According to Boiko, an additional agreement on the realization of the
project was concluded this year about the possibility of a limited volume of
works ahead of the endorsement by the Ukrainian parliament of a law on the
construction of centralized spent fuel storage facility.

Boiko noted that Ukraine and the United States had successful experience in
international cooperation in the nuclear power industry, including within a
project on qualification of Ukrainian nuclear fuel.

The Ukrainian minister thanked Bodman for the settlement of issues related
to additional finance to the project and noted that the diversification of
nuclear fuel was strategically important for Ukraine.

Bodman highly assessed the joint work by Ukraine and the United States on
the qualification of Ukrainian fuel.

Bodman further said, according to the press service, that it was necessary
to secure transparent procedures of cooperation in the realization of a
project on joint exploration and submission of an application form by
Naftohaz Ukrainy national joint stock company and the U.S. Marathon
International Petroleum Ltd. to receive a license for exploration and
extraction of carbohydrates in the northwest part of the Dniprovsko-
Donetska depression.

Boiko and Bodman discussed a visit of Ukrainian specialists on alternative
energy to the United States to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
(NREL) in Denver.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, in December 2005, Enerhoatom and
Holtec International, the United States, signed a contract on construction
of the centralized spent fuel storage facility for Rivne NPP, Southern
Ukrainian NPP, and Khmelnytskyi NPP.

By the end of 2009, Ukraine intends to stop exporting spent fuel to Russia
after the centralized spent fuel storage is built.

The first stage of the facility has to save 2,500 reactors of VVER-1000 type
and 1,080 reactors of VVER-440 type. Zaporizhia NPP has a spent nuclear
fuel facility.

On September 16, Ukraine officially joined the Global Nuclear Energy
Partnership. Organization’s principles are peaceful use of nuclear materials
and formation of joint view concerning use of relevant technologies,
increase of the nuclear reactor level and handling with nuclear wastes.

Besides, the cooperation accepts preparation of joint political decisions in
the field of nonproliferation of nuclear weapon.

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23. BREAKTHROUGH FOR CHERNOBYL NUCLEAR DECOMMISSIONING
PROGRAM IN UKRAINE, TWO MAJOR CONTRACTS SIGNED

UNIAN News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

KYIV – International efforts to make the scene of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear
accident environmentally safe have taken a major step forward, according to
a press release, forwarded to UNIAN by EBRD.

Today Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant signed two important contracts, one to
build a new steel structure to seal off the damaged unit 4 with the Novarka
consortium and another one to complete the spent nuclear fuel storage with
Holtec International.

Currently unit 4 is protected by a shelter built immediately after the
accident in 1986 under extremely hazardous conditions and which, despite
recent successful stabilisation works, is decaying.

The “New Safe Confinement” will be an arch-shaped structure 105 metres high,
150 metres long and with a span of 260 metres. It will be constructed on the
site and later be slid over unit 4.

Construction work is expected to take 48-52 months and the shelter will then
create the conditions for the ultimate dismantling of Chernobyl’s unit 4
which still contains 95 percent of its original nuclear inventory.

Construction of the New Safe Confinement is the most visible project under
the Chernobyl Shelter Implementation Plan (SIP) agreed between the
Government of Ukraine and the international community in 1997.

The plan contained many other elements which had to be completed over
recent years in order to allow work on the confinement to begin. The total
SIP cost is now estimated to be $1.39 billion.
SECOND CONTRACT SIGNED WITH HOLTEC INT
A second contract which was signed with Holtec International is equally
important. Holtec’s assignment is to complete the spent nuclear fuel storage
facility for more than twenty thousand spent fuel assemblies generated
during the operation of the Units 1-3 up to December 2000.

An approximately 1.5 year design and regulatory approval phase will be
followed by delivery and installation of the equipment.

The facility, to ensure safe and secure storage of the Chernobyl spent fuel
for one hundred years, is a key element of the overall Chernobyl
decommissioning plan.

International donors have made significant contributions to finance these
projects via donations to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund and the Nuclear Safety
Account, which are managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development.

Together with the Government of Ukraine the Bank also ensures supervision
of the effective implementation of the projects.

EBRD President Jean Lemierre said this is an important day for Ukraine and
the world. “This shows what Ukraine and the international community working
together can achieve on a very difficult and complex issue.

“Everything that has been achieved so far is proof of the determination of
all parties concerned to work together, to overcome difficulties and to find
and implement joint solutions.

“The successful implementation of the project depends not only on the
progress of the construction work, but also on the continued commitment of
both the Ukrainian authorities and the international community.”

As of end-June 2007, the Chernobyl Shelter Fund has recorded total
contributions of euro739 million from the following donors: Austria,
Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Community, Finland, France, Germany,
Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway,
Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom,
and the United States. Donations have been made by Iceland, Israel, Korea,
Portugal, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia.

The Nuclear Safety Account has so far received contributions of Euro285
million from: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the European Community, Finland,
France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland,
the United Kingdom, Ukraine and the United States.
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24.  MRS T MEETS MRS T FOR A NICE CUP OF TEA

Jenny Booth & Agencies, Times Online, London, UK, Fri, Sep 21, 2007

Yulia Tymoshenko, one of the leaders of Ukraine’s Orange revolution, came to
pay homage yesterday at the feet of Baroness Thatcher, the veteran former
leader of the Conservative party.

The two diminutive, blonde, female, former Prime Ministers sat down to tea
at the Goring Hotel in London to discuss the dark days of the Cold War – and
possibly also motherhood, pearls and iconic political hairdos.

Mrs Tymoshenko, whose advisers were cheekily billing the private meeting as
“Mrs T meets Mrs T”, praised Lady Thatcher as Britain’s saviour and thanked
her for championing freedom for the former Soviet bloc states of Eastern
Europe.

Political observers say that Mrs Tymoshenko, the fiercely ambitious leader
of the Ukrainian opposition, may have been hoping for some of the Iron
Lady’s stardust to rub off on her campaign, as elections near on September
30.

Lady Thatcher’s aims were less clear, although she is known to enjoy homage,
and to feel aggrieved that little of it is forthcoming from David Cameron
and the Conservative leadership.

There was plenty of praise from her tea companion.

“I have long admired Lady Thatcher, and drawn inspiration from her success
in transforming her country from being the sick man of Europe into one of
Europe’s strongest economies, and raising UK living standards to one of the
highest in the world,” said Mrs Tymoshenko.

“Her model has been followed and emulated by Tony Blair, Gordon Brown
and Nicholas Sarkozy.

“She was firm in adversity and stood up to oppression when others remained
seated. Her words spoke for countless millions across Eastern Europe who
had no voice.

“She helped write a new chapter for our nation and we remain indebted to her
courage.”

A beaming Lady Thatcher appeared animated at the encounter, and even
permitted the Ukrainian politician to put an arm around her shoulders.

She wished Mrs Tymoshenko well for the future, expressed a hope that the
Ukrainian elections would be free and fair, and as the meeting ended
bestowed on her a signed copy of her political memoirs.

Last week Lady Thatcher caused a stir when she took tea with Gordon Brown,
once a vehement political opponent, thus directing the political limelight
away from Mr Cameron’s efforts to launch a Conservative policy document
on the environment.

Some Tories claimed that Mr Brown had taken advantage of the “frail, lonely”
Lady Thatcher for a photo opportunity, but others asserted that the former
Premier knew perfectly well what she was doing.

Lady Thatcher appears to be fast becoming a political monument to whom it
is fashionable to pay tribute. US Republican presidential hopefuls Rudy
Giuliani, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney have all recently paid her a visit.
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article2505255.ece
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25.  MARGARET THATCHER MEETS YULIA TYMOSHENKO

By Ben Martin, Telegraph, London, UK, Saturday, Sep 22, 2007

Lady Thatcher met another iron lady of politics yesterday, holding talks
with Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko to discuss topics
close to both their hearts – economic reform and winning elections.

Mrs Tymoshenko, who became the Ukraine’s first female prime minister in 2005
before her government was dismissed amid scandal just seven months later,
said she had long admired Lady Thatcher and thanked her for helping lift the
Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe.

Wearing the blonde, braided hair that is her trademark, Mrs Tymoshenko said
Lady Thatcher had transformed Britain from the “sick man” of Europe into one
of Europe’s strongest economies.

“She was firm in adversity and stood up to oppression when others remained
seated,” Mrs Tymoshenko said. “Her words spoke for countless millions across
Eastern Europe who had no voice. She helped write a new chapter for our
nation and we remain indebted to her courage.”

Lady Thatcher responded by saying she hoped Ukraine’s election, due on
September 30, would be free and fair and a “guiding light for democracy in
Eastern Europe”.

“I wish for Ukraine to quickly complete its transformation and for its
people to enjoy the benefits of a prosperous democratic nation at the heart
of a modern Europe,” she said. “The Orange Revolution gave hope to
freedom-loving people everywhere. Its spirit clearly lives on.”

Lady Thatcher gave Mrs Tymoshenko a signed copy of her memoirs and
Mrs Tymoshenko presented Lady Thatcher with a boxed replica of a 2000
year-old Scythian artwork.
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/21/wthatcher121.xml
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26.  THATCHER BLESSES UKRAINE IRON LADY

By Marie Colvin, The Sunday Times
London, United Kingdom, Sunday, September 23, 2007

UKRAINE’s former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, flew into London last
week to meet Baroness Thatcher, vowing to drag her country kicking and
screaming away from the Russian bear and into the European fold if she
returns to office after elections next weekend.

“Real women don’t do U-turns,” she said after the meeting, referring to
Thatcher’s famous declaration that “the lady’s not for turning”.

Tymoshenko curled into the back seat of a car, dressed in a sleek cream wool
shift matched with 4in high heels. “I think I can be an iron lady and inside
still a human,” she said. “It’s about the ability to preserve the human
touch.”

Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko, her party, is tipped to do well in the elections and
she is the favour-ite to be the next prime minister. With her trademark
braid curled around her head, hers is one of the two faces of the orange
revolution, a striking contrast to that of Viktor Yushchenko, the president,
who was disfigured by an attempt to poison him with dioxin, an act he
blames on the Russians.

She admits the braid is a “pin on”. “I found the style simple,” she said.
“It saves time, and it’s very traditional.”

Tymoshenko is pro-western and pro-free market, hence the meeting with
Thatcher, who was so taken with her that she told her she would have liked
to campaign on her behalf.

A billionairess who made her fortune in the free-for-all chaos of the
mid 1990s in Ukraine’s gas business, she is brimming with confidence that
her party will win at the polls.

Tymoshenko, 46, was supposedly betrayed by Yushchenko when he went
back on a deal that saw her agree not to run for president if she could
serve as prime minister. He dismissed her after seven months.

He then suffered the ignominy of being forced to replace her with a
candidate approved by his arch-rival, the pro-Rus-sian Viktor Yanukovych.

Tymoshenko is passionate in her convictions and has no fear of Ukraine’s
macho political style. “Women are stronger. Like Thatcher, I’m committed to
changing my country for the better,” she said. She was delighted with a gift
of Thatcher’s memoirs, inscribed “To Julia, Fighter for Freedom”.

Her mission is “first, to preserve our hard-won independence and to get rid
of post Soviet bureaucracy”. She promised to fight corruption, the single
most difficult issue and one that polls show is people’s biggest concern.

Even Moscow does not scare her. “If the independence of the Ukraine is at
stake, then I will call people on to the streets.”

It will be a tough fight. In parliamentary elections last year the single
largest share of the vote went to the Party of the Regions, led by
Yanukovych.

Tymoshenko flew back in a private jet to campaign in these very regions
where Ukraine’s 17% ethnic Russian minority, many of whom pine for closer
ties with Moscow, are concentrated. A heady mix of beauty and brains, a
whirlwind of energy, like Thatcher she may change her country for ever.
————————————————————————————————
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article2511689.ece

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27.  TIMOSHENKO SIGNS THE CONTRACT WITH INVESTORS
By Gene M. Burd, Marks Sokolov & Burd, LLC 
Philadelphia, PA, Monday, September 24, 2007

On September 10, Yulia Timoshenko met with the representatives of the
Western business and legal community, foreign government representatives
and the media where she gave highlights of her economic policies and signed
a document entitled ‘Contract with Investors’.

A copy of the Contract with Investors will be available at the web site of
Marks Sokolov & Burd, LLC (www.marks-sokolov.com) and via e-mail
from Gene Burd at (gburd@mslegal.com).

Ms Timoshenko said that she was confident that her alliance with Yushenko
will be victorious and stated that she intends to form a democratic
coalition consisting of three or four political forces (possibly including
communists) working together.  She also said that her goal is for foreign
investors to understand developments in the Ukrainian politics.
The Continuing Privatization Efforts —–
Ms Timoshenko has been critical of the present government for its lack of
transparency during privatization.  She contrasted the second privatization
of Krivorozhstal which she called “honest” with the recent privatization of
Dneprenergo which according to her was simply a transfer to Rinat Akhmetov.
She also mentioned the inadequate efforts toward the privatization of the
power industry and agriculture.

Ms Timoshenko said that she stands behind her past efforts to privatize 569
wholly or partially state owned companies and will pass laws to that effect.
Her primary concern is privatization of companies in the mining and natural
resource industries.
‘Economic Zones’ will be Replaced by ‘Investment Zones’ —–
Ms Timoshenko has also been critical of the former ‘free economic zones’
regime which according to her “killed” competition and which was misused
for tax evasion.

Rather, she has proposed to implement a regime of ‘investment zones’ in
underdeveloped areas.  Goods manufactured in these zones will be exported
duty free but subject to duty if sold in Ukraine.

Investment and technology for investments will be tax free for as long as
the investment zone regime exists.  Components and spare parts will be duty
free for a period of five years.  Ms Timoshenko has promised to adopt the
‘investment zones’ laws within one month of coming to power.
Acquisition Of Non-Agricultural Lands Will Be Streamlined —–
Ms Timoshenko has promised to streamline procedures for the acquisition
of non-agricultural lands.  She said that the acquisition process currently
requires 126 signatures which need to be done twice – first when the
application is submitted and second when it is approved.

The new land acquisition law will require local governments to put the
requested parcel of land up for auction within 10 days of a request or if
unavailable to put up for auction a substitute parcel of equal value.  She
said that the law will be adopted within four to six weeks after the
election.
Less Red Tape —–
Ms Timoshenko said that she will fight bureaucracy by analyzing the function
of each bureaucrat and fire those who are unnecessary in order to destroy
the “corrupt bullion” of licenses and permissions.  She did not specifically
name any licenses or permissions that she thought should be eliminated.  Nor
did she present a time frame for their elimination.

Agricultural Land is Not for Sale —–
Ms Timoshenko said that until the laws regulating use of agricultural land
are implemented there will a moratorium on the sale of agricultural lands.
She stated that the present lack of legislation regulating the use of
agricultural lands will cause problems if the lands are allowed to be
privatized.  For the meantime, these problems can only be avoided by
maintaining a moratorium.
Customs and Certifications —–
Ms Timoshenko stated that she wants to streamline customs procedures
wherein imported goods are checked and rechecked even if they have valid
certifications.  She said she wants to implement a regime in which European
certificates of quality will be accepted.
Taxes —–
Ms Timoshenko has promised to significantly decrease payroll tax and VAT.
She said that the present VAT regime is a source of corruption and
inefficiency and that it can be substituted for by other taxes.  However,
she did not explain specifically which taxes could substitute VAT and what
economic effects these taxes would have.

The decrease or even elimination of VAT is a common platform between the
Timoshenko Block and the Party of the Regions who are the main political
forces in Ukraine together with Our Ukraine.

These changes were promised in the previous elections, but so far they have
not happened.  Moreover elimination of VAT would contradict certain EU
Directives.

Answering questions from the audience, Ms Timoshenko said that no
politician in any country can assure which direction future legislation will
take.  There has to be a legal system that works.

Lastly, she said that in order to force politicians to keep their promises
there has to be a democratic system in which they can be voted out of
office.

It does not matter whether the system is parliamentary or presidential –
either one can work as long as the functions of each branch are clearly
delineated and a system of checks and balances is imposed.
———————————————————————————————
Gene M. Burd is a member in the law firm Marks Sokolov and Burd, LLC
and the head of its representative office in Kyiv.  He was born in Ukraine
and was educated in the United States where he also practices law. 

Marks & Sokolov, LLC (operating in Ukraine as Marks Sokolov and Burd,
LLC) is a boutique law firm known for its ability to handle complex
litigation and commercial work in countries around the world including the
U.S., Russia and Ukraine. The firm has offices in Philadelphia, Moscow,
and Kiev and its lawyers are fluent in English, Russian, and Ukrainian.
———————————————————————————————-
NOTE: Marks & Sokolov, LLC is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine
Business Council in Washington, D.C.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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28.  UKRAINIAN MINDED BOOKS
“Why did He Annihilate Us?/Stalin and the Ukrainian Holodomor”

By Nadiya Tysiachna, Iryna Yehorova, The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, September 18, 2007

Yurii Logush, a well-known international company’s chairman [Kraft
Ukraina], called to the editorial office one day and asked to find our
newspaper’s issue containing the continuation of the material written by
Stanislav Kulchytsky and entitled “Why did Stalin annihilate us?”

It occurred that he was collecting all publications of his author’s cycle.
(It is a steadfast tendency. Many respected Ukrainian historians,
philosophers, literature critics and linguists confessed that they had whole
piles of The Day’s press cuttings, until they were incorporated into the
books Ukraine Incognita, Dvi Rusi, Wars and Peace, Day and Eternity of
James Mace, Apocryfy of Klara Gudzyk, and My Universities from our
newspaper’s library.)

Obviously, a same thing is happening this time. In the first numbers of
September, the book by Stanislav Kulchytsky “Why did He Annihilate Us?/
Stalin and the Ukrainian Holodomor,” based on The Day’s publications
(2005-2007), was published.

It contains valuable photos from engineer Vinerberger’ collection and from
the collection Famine in the Soviet Ukraine 1932-33, published at the
Harvard University in 1986 using the resources of the Central State Archives
of the Cinematic-Photographic Documents of Ukraine. The foreword was written
by Editor in Chief Larysa Ivshyna, and the book was published under her
overall editorship.

The afterword was written by Director of Ukrainian Sciences Department at
the Rome University “La Sapienza”, writer Oksana Pakhliovska. The
presentation of the book by Stanislav Kulchytsky Why did He Annihilate
Us/Stalin and the Ukrainian Holodomor took place within the framework of the
14th Forum of Publishers in Lviv.

A roundtable “Holodomor in Ukraine 1932-33. Document Heritage” was held in
the Mirror Hall at the Lviv-based Ivan Franko National University. Novelette
Holodomor in Ukraine 1932-33: Documents and Materials was introduced too
(Kyiv Mohyla Academy Publishing House). It was compiled by Ruslan Pyrih.

“I have been studying this topic practically since 2004,” Stanislav
Kulchytsky explains, “although I have been studying the Holodomor probably
since 1985. The thing is that today the question of the Holodomor as an act
of genocide has been broached, therefore, one has to reinterpret everything
in the view of this. Actually, the new book of ” The Day’s Library” is
revealing the topic of the Holodomor as an and act of genocide.

“Clearly, the famine of 1932-33 was an all- union one, however, it was much
worse on the Ukrainian territory than anywhere else. Everywhere the famine
was caused by grain- collections. But Ukrainians faced something else – not
grain-collection, but a punitive action of confiscation of all means for
living.

“Since one could not buy food anywhere else (a rationing system was
implemented,) peasants started to day in masses (they did not receive the
ration cards.) What was the reason for this? In order to feed the peasants
afterwards. Thus, the state first had confiscated everything, and afterwards
started to feed them, so to say, from hands.

“Obviously, not all were fed, for millions died. This was a lesson taught by
Stalin to the Ukrainian peasants that were not eager to work for the state
for nothing, because everything they collected had been confiscated for
three years.

“However, Stalin also learnt a lesson. Starting from 1933, the base of
coexistence of collective farms and state economy were built in another way:
it was based on taxes.

“This meant that the state had recognized that produced good remained within
the ownership of peasants and collective farms, therefore, this was no slave
work, but that of a serf.”

Stanislav Vladyslavovych responded in a laconic to the question, why the
book was published in Russian, “The purpose was to make people living in the
east and south of Ukraine in particular, and also in the Post-Soviet area,
read the book, “

Head of the Radio and Television Department at the Lviv- based Ivan Franko
National University Vasyl Lyzanchuk asked, in which way the scholar’s
evolution develops in the view of such a dramatic theme.

“A well-known American Scientist James Mace, who studied the Ukrainian
Holodomor, published the article How Ukraine was Allowed to Believe in a
foreign magazine in 1994,” Kulchytsky said, “The article consisted of nine
chapters, one of them devoted to me. I must say that at first there was a
misunderstanding between me and James, but afterwards we have reached a
consensus.

For he wrote that Kulchytsky was a soviet professor at first, and became
simply a professor after starting to study the Holodomor.”

In his turn, Head of the Ukrainian Revolution Department at the Institute of
the History of Ukraine of the NAN of Ukraine, compiler of The Holodomor in
Ukraine 1932-33: Documents and Materials Ruslan Pyrih explained that in 2003
the archives of the Russian President transferred the Political Bureau
materials that have never been published previously to the Russian State
Archives of the social-political history.

“It was resolved that I would take this project,” the scholar went on. “The
collection is a synthetic one. The Russian study of early texts have
published many similar projects like Tragedy of Soviet Village or Lubianka
for Stalin. Ukraine has few of these books.

Therefore their most interesting documents and too the documents from the
Political Bureau, foreign intelligence services and Stalin, Molotov and
Kahanovych’s correspondence have been included to my book. The materials
and documents from the total of 15 Ukrainian central and oblast archives and
five RF archives were included into the collection.”

The associate worker of the State SBU branch archives, historian Dr. Vasyl
Danylenko, who took part in publication of Declassified Memory, said that
both books, Why Did He Annihilate Us and Holodomor in Ukraine 1932-33:
Documents Materials, belong to the decade’s best ones for their significance.
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/187798/

———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
29.  HOLODOMOR 1932-1933 IN UKRAINE: DOCUMENTS. MATERIALS
“This book is the quintessence of whatwe know about the Holodomor”

By Ihor Siundiukov, The Day Weekly Digest
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 4, 2007

As The Day has already reported, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Publishers have
just published a fundamental study entitled Holodomor 1932-1933 r.r. v
Ukraini. Dokumenty i materially [The Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine:
Documents and Materials].

This compilation contains several hundred documents that provide evidence
of the Stalin’s totalitarian regime’s terrible crime against the Ukrainian
people and humanity in general.

The book has sparked great public and scholarly interest, attracting all
kinds of readers. The Day asked the compiler of the study, the historian
Ruslan Pyrih, to tell us briefly about the history of the book’s creation.

This study is the result of the collective efforts of many individuals. Its
“birth” was not easy and took a long time. What can you tell me about the
background of this publication?

TWO LANDMARK BOOKS
Here in front of me are two landmark books: Holod v Ukraini 1932-1933
rokiv [The Famine in Ukraine in the Years 1932-1933] (a collection of 248
documents; a pioneering scholarly work on the problems of the Holodomor,
which was published in 1990, the second-to-last year of perestroika, when
the ruling party realized that it was impossible to conceal the horrible
truth) – and this newly published study of the Holodomor.

I happen to be the compiler of both these books. Comparing these two
studies, one can see the immense and amazing path covered by our historical
science in these past 17 years.

In fact, all of us, scholars, had to resolve an enormous number of problems,
including limited access to the documentary sources available at the time
and a certain fear of drawing conclusions and bitter generalizations, which
was caused by well-known factors.

However, I must mention such valuable and useful works as Kolektyvizatsiia i
holod v Ukraini [Collectivization and Famine in Ukraine (published in 1992,
this is a collection of documents, materials, and articles), and Holod v
Ukraini (1932-1933 rr. Prychyny i naslidky [Famine in Ukraine in 1932-1933:
Causes and Consequences] (a collection of articles published by Naukova
Dumka in 2003 on the initiative of Academician Valerii Smolii).

By the way, 2003 was the year when hundreds of formerly highly classified
files of the 1920s and 1930s were transferred from the archive of the
president of the Russian Federation (the former Politburo archive) to the
Russian State Archive of Social and Political History, which made it
possible to put them into scholarly circulation, including in Ukraine.

Our new book was ready for printing in 2004, but it spent three years on the
list of “indispensable” publications that enjoy state support because there
were no funds to publish it. But all that is in the past.

I am especially grateful to the Ukraine-3000 Foundation, the Kyiv-Mohyla
Academy Publishers, the Naukova Dumka Publishing House, Ms. Olha
Bazhan, the legendary General Prystaiko, and many other people who helped
make this book possible.

[The Day] What makes this study unique?
You can judge for yourself. I will mention only a few statistics. Our book
contains 1,700 documents, both new ones and those that were published
earlier (1,200 pages). We can say that this is the quintessence of what we
know about the Holodomor today.

Typologically, these documents include materials of the Union organs (the CC
AUCP(b), Sovnarkom, and VUTsVK), documents from the corresponding
organs of the Ukrainian SSR, and those of local organs.
DOCUMENTS NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED
But this book contains certain documents – and this is important! – that
have never been published before.

These are documents of foreign diplomatic missions in the early 1930s,
foreign civic organizations, and the private papers of individual people
from those terrible years: letters, complaints, diaries (for example, one by
Dmytro Zavoloka, a Communist Party functionary, and another by a
Kharkiv-based teacher named Radchenko).

To my mind the documents of the Politburo included in the collection have
the greatest importance (about 100 resolutions, 65 of which have never been
published before).

What can we see from those documents? We see that the Ukrainian people
did not go mutely like lambs to the slaughter (for example, at least 50
district party committees protested against the decisions and resisted them).

We see that the arrival in Ukraine of “the heavyweights” (Molotov and
Kaganovich) was instrumental. We see that there was some relief given to
starving regions, but it was highly selective (it was not so much relief as
loans).

[The Day] A surprise question: what do you dream about now that the
book has been published?
I want the book to live a life of its own, independent of any institutions
or authors. Then I will be happy.
——————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/187308/
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
30.  IN THE MERCILESS LIGHT OF MEMORY
Security Service of Ukraine holds roundtable on declassified archival
materials about the Holodomor and political repressions in Ukraine

By Ihor Siundiukiv, The Day Weekly Digest,
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 4, 2007

“For nothing is secret that shall not be made manifest.” This is what
Hitlers, Stalins, Pinochets, Pol Pots and their ilk forget when they destroy
innocent people – from thousands and hundreds of thousands to dozens of
millions.

Ukraine needs to know the terrible documented truth about the millions of
our compatriots who were mowed down by Stalin’s scythe of death.

This is no exaggeration because the Holodomor period (as well as the entire
stretch of the 1920s and 1930s) is a pivotal era of Soviet history, and the
attitude to this period depends to a large extent on its interpretation and
assessment.

What is needed above all is the political will to make public the documents
about the crimes of Stalin’s tyranny, which until recently were top secret.
We can now say that Ukraine’s political leadership does have this will.

On Aug. 27, in pursuance of President Viktor Yushchenko’s instruction to
make a further study of the history of political repressions against the
citizens of Ukraine and Ukrainians living abroad and the president’s decree
“On Measures to Mark the 70th Anniversary of the Great Terror – the Mass
Political Repressions of 1937-1938,” the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)
hosted a roundtable debate “The 1932-1933 Holodomor and Political
Repressions in Ukraine in Documents from the Archives of the Security
Service of Ukraine.”

The organizers of the roundtable also launched the book Rozsekrechena
pam’iat. Holodomor 1932-1933 rokiv v Ukraini v dokumentakh GPU NKVD

[Declassified Memory: The Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine in the
Documents of the GPU NKVD], which contains declassified documents on
Soviet political repressions in Ukraine.

In his speech acting SBU head Valentyn Nalyvaichenko emphasized that

today there can be no secrets, cover-ups, or distortions with respect to the
political repressions.

“The Ukrainian secret service is opening up all the available archival
materials on this subject to the Ukrainian public and the world community
and is inviting researchers, historians, and all committed individuals to
cooperate,” he noted.

“The SBU does not doubt that the Holodomor was anything but genocide of

the Ukrainian people, a pre-planned and pre-conceived crime, and documents
confirm this.

“Our task is to map out a strategy for reviving the Ukrainian people’s
national memory, and we are pinning special hopes on the Institute of
National Memory, recently established in keeping with President Viktor
Yushchenko’s decree.”

As for the SBU’s concrete actions to achieve this extremely important goal,
Nalyvaichenko announced that the SBU has already formally requested Russia’s
Federal Security Service and its counterparts in the Republic of Kazakhstan
to help in the work of checking the lists of victims of repressions and
furnishing the required archival documents.

Vasyl Danylenko, deputy chief of the SBU archives, spoke about the history,
importance, and need for this publication. He noted that this study is the
first comprehensive publication of documents from the GPU NKVD on the
Holodomor, which will be of paramount scholarly and practical importance.

Researchers will be greatly interested in the documents that expose the
Holodomor’s “triggering mechanism,” including minutes of the AUCP(B)
Politburo meeting on Sept. 16, 1932, which laid down the procedure of
applying the draconian law “On the Theft of Socialist Property” (popularly
known as the “five ears law”).

The documents contained in the book show that the GPU – both on the
All-Union and Ukrainian republican level – was actively involved in
suppressing the Ukrainian peasantry.

Ukrainian filmmaker Alexander Dovzhenko, whose comments were also recorded
by secret agents and reported to the authorities in 1933, said very clearly
at the time, “The Ukrainian countryside is dying. Ukrainian villages are on
the brink of extinction.”

These documents are being published for the first time, as are the
photographs taken by a peasant from Baturyn, named Bokan, which are a
damning indictment of the terror by famine.

In her speech historian Valentyna Borysenko focused on the great importance
of oral testimonies in Holodomor studies because researchers throughout the
world value precisely this kind of information, especially when it comes
from children, who can memorize even the minutest details.

Borysenko noted that Robert Conquest and James Mace, the world-acclaimed
Holodomor researchers, had always relied on this kind of evidence.

Many of the roundtable participants spoke warmly and with extreme gratitude
about the late James Mace whose publications were frequently published in
The Day.

Askold Lozynskyj, head of the Ukrainian World Congress, recalled that Mace
used to tell him (and was prepared to bolster his view with figures) that if
there had been no Holodomor, the population of Ukraine would have reached
100 million by the late 20th century.

The audience listened with rapt attention to Dr. Bohdan Futey, a judge on
the US Court of Federal Claims, who summed up the findings of the
International Commission of Inquiry into the 1932-33 Famine in Ukraine
(Sundberg Commission, 1988-1990) which was set up on the initiative of the
World Congress of Free Ukrainians.

The documents of this commission as well as those of the US Congress-
sponsored Commission on the Ukraine Famine (in which Mace was the
powerhouse) are still important and necessary.

The Sundberg Commission, which does not, however, believe that the Soviet
leadership aimed to destroy the Ukrainian nation once and for all, arrived
at the following conclusion: “The majority of the commission believes that
the Soviet government deliberately used the Holodomor, once it began, to
pursue its policy of denationalization. This policy flouts the moral
foundations on which all of humankind rests. Without a doubt the top
leadership of the USSR bears responsibility for this.”

Some speakers proposed that the actions of Stalin and his associates be
classified as “crimes against humanity” on the grounds that calling these
misdeeds “genocide” will raise some purely juridical problems because the
relevant UN convention that gives the definition of genocide was approved in
1947.

Therefore, it would have been a retroactive application of the convention to
the crimes that were committed well before it was adopted. However, others
presented a different, no less convincing, argument: the massacre of the
Armenians, which was committed by the Ottoman Empire even earlier, in 1915,
has been recognized as genocide by the vast majority of the world community.

Karl Jaspers, a prominent 20th-century German philosopher, wrote: “The
machine of terror becomes powerful when those who do not wish to have
anything to do with this machine also come to be terrorized.”

To a large extent these words explain the causes of the terrible events that
were discussed at the SBU roundtable. The search for the truth must continue,

and new secret police archival documents must be revealed to the public.
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/187297/
———————————————————————————————-
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AUR#871 Sep 26 Ukraine’s Chance; Election Fraud; Rocky Road To Democracy; Presidential Awardees; Manafort Sacked?; Holtec Int; Mrs. T Meets Mrs T

========================================================
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary
 
LIFE IS SHORT: RIDE YOUR BEST HORSE FIRST
Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 871
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2007
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.  UKRAINE’S CHANCE
LEAD EDITORIAL: Financial Times
London, UK, Tuesday, September 24, 2007
 
2ALLEGED ELECTION FRAUD IN UKRAINE
Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), Kiev, Ukraine, Mon, Sep 24 2007

3UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ACCUSES PRIME MINISTER OF

PLOTTING TO RIG PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION
Ukrayinska Pravda website, Kiev, in Ukrainian 25 Sep 07
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 25 Sep 07
BBCC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Sep 25, 2007

4UKRAINE: ROCKY ROAD TO DEMOCRACY AFTER YEARS OF

RECRIMINATIONS BETWEEN MAIN PARTIES
Luke Harding, Ostroh, Ukraine, The Guardian
London, United Kingdom, Monday, Sep 24, 2007

5FIVE U.S. CITIZENS RECEIVE THEIR PRESIDENTIAL AWARDS
IN NEW YORK FROM UKRAINE’S FOREIGN MINISTER YATSENYUK 
Vasyl Losten, Antonij Shcherba, Morgan Williams, Oksana Lykhovyd

and Virlyana Tkach for their dedicated service to Ukraine
Action Ukraine Monitoring Service, New York, NY, Wed, Sep 26, 2007

6UKRAINE COMMITTED TO EU INTEGRATION REGARDLESS OF
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION RESULTS, FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS
INTERVIEW: With Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Foreign Minister, Ukraine
AP Worldstream, New York, NY, Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007

7.  LETTER TO A FRIEND, PARTY OF REGIONS ELECTION PAMPHLET

Electoral Pamphlet from the Party of Regions
Sent by Taras Kuzio & Translated by Lisa Koriouchkina for UKL
The Ukraine List (UKL) #420, Compiled by Dominique Arel
Chair of Ukrainian Studies, Univ of Ottawa
Ottawa, ON, Canada, 24 September 2007
UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 25, 2007

10UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO GAMBLES

ON UKRAINIAN VOTERS TO REVIVE HIS REVOLUTION
By Sebastian Alison, Bloomberg News
Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 26, 2007
 
11PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO’S INTERVIEW WITH EURONEWS
Press Office of the President of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, September 22, 2007

12LANDKOM CROP PRODUCTION COMPANY ON FERTILE GROUND
Large scale farming in Ukraine, 50,000 hectares by end of 2007
By Toby Shelley, Financial Times, London, UK, Monday, Sep 24 2007

13POLISH ALUMINUM COMPANY KETY OPENS PLANT IN UKRAINE
Polish News Bulletin, Warsaw, Poland, Tue, Sep 25, 2007

14ALFA LAVAL’S STRONG DEVELOPMENT IN UKRAINE CONTINUES

WINS ORDER FOR THE GROWING BREWERY INDUSTRY 
Business Wire, Sweden, Monday, Sep 24, 2007

15EAST EUROPEAN IMMIGRANTS FUEL RETURN OF SERVANT CLASS
Top sources for servants: Philippines, Ukraine, Latvia, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.
By Roger Dobson, Independent, London, UK, Sunday, 23 Sep 2007

16INTERNATIONAL OWNERSHIP OF UKRAINIAN BANKS GROWS 

Interfax, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Sep 21, 2007

17UKRAINE FINANCE: BANKING SECTOR RISK
NEWS ANALYSIS: The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited
New York, NY, Thursday, September 20, 2007

18BUSINESS AND PLEASURE IN UKRAINE
By Ben West, Financial Times, London, UK, Saturday Sep 22 2007.

19CHORNOBYL NPP, HOLTEC INT SIGN CONTRACT TO BUILD
$200 MILLION SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL STORAGE FACILITY
Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

20UKRAINE SIGNS TWO HUGE CONTRACTS, ONE FOR SAFE
CONFINEMENT SARCOPHAGUS, ONE FOR STORAGE OF SPENT
NUCLEAR FUEL AT CHORNOBYL NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
French company Novarka and U.S. company Holtec International
Press Office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

 
21UKRAINE’S FUEL AND ENERGY MINISTER AND US ENERGY
SECRETARY DISCUSS COOPERATION IN ENERGY SECTOR
Interfax Ukraine Economic, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 18, 2007
 
FACILITY WILL ECONOMIZE USD 10 BILLION IN TEN YEARS
Boiko Meets with U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman in Vienna
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007
 
 
24MRS T MEETS MRS T FOR A NICE CUP OF TEA
Jenny Booth & Agencies, Times Online, London, UK, Fri, Sep 21, 2007
 
25MARGARET THATCHER MEETS YULIA TYMOSHENKO
By Ben Martin, Telegraph, London, UK, Saturday, Sep 22, 2007
 
26THATCHER BLESSES UKRAINE IRON LADY
By Marie Colvin, The Sunday Times
London, United Kingdom, Sunday, September 23, 2007
 
By Gene M. Burd, Marks Sokolov & Burd, LLC 
Philadelphia, PA, Monday, September 24, 2007
 
28UKRAINIAN MINDED BOOKS
“Why did He Annihilate Us?/Stalin and the Ukrainian Holodomor”
By Nadiya Tysiachna, Iryna Yehorova, The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, September 18, 2007
 
29HOLODOMOR 1932-1933 IN UKRAINE: DOCUMENTS. MATERIALS
“This book is the quintessence of what we know about the Holodomor”
By Ihor Siundiukov, The Day Weekly Digest
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 4, 2007
 
30IN THE MERCILESS LIGHT OF MEMORY
Security Service of Ukraine holds roundtable on declassified archival
materials about the Holodomor and political repressions in Ukraine
By Ihor Siundiukiv, The Day Weekly Digest,
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 4, 2007
========================================================
1 UKRAINE’S CHANCE

LEAD EDITORIAL: Financial Times
London, UK, Tuesday, September 24, 2007

Ukrainian voters are understandably less than thrilled by the choice offered
in next Sunday’s parliamentary elections.


In the three years since the 2004 Orange revolution, they have seen their
leaders quarrel, swap corruption charges and generally fail to establish a
stable government.

If the opinion polls are right, the election will not make a decisive
change: President Viktor Yushchenko, prime minister Viktor Yanukovich and
opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko will remain in charge of the three
biggest political blocs, with none having a majority. The only answer will
be more bickering and more bargaining.

Moreover, the country’s business oligarchs wield more power than they did
under the authoritarian former president Leonid Kuchma.

Rinat Akhmetov, the richest, has an estimated fortune of $15bn-plus. That
puts him behind Roman Abramovich, Russia’s wealthiest man, who has about
$19bn. But Russia’s economy is five times larger than Ukraine’s.

No businessman in the world has as much domestic economic clout as Mr
Akhmetov. Even if he abjured politics, he would inevitably have big
political influence. In fact, Mr Akhmetov is an MP and active backer of Mr
Yanukovich’s Regions party.

With so much power in one man’s hands, it will be hard for Ukraine to
develop a healthy democracy. Little wonder, voters are disillusioned.

Yet, Ukraine’s political life is in far better shape than seemed possible
before the Orange revolution. The elections will doubtless be hit by
localised claims of ballot-rigging, but the days of nationwide fraud are
gone; the media are largely free; and there is real political competition
among the parties.

The economy is distorted by gross inequality but it is growing at its
fastest-ever pace. Ordinary Ukrainians may still not have much, but they
have more than at any time since independence.

Russia is backing pro-Russia politicians in the polls, but its efforts are,
fortunately, a far cry from its central role in Mr Yanukovich’s scandal-hit
2004 campaign.

Meanwhile, the west has dropped its wholesale enthusiasm for Mr Yushchenko
for more measured support for politicians backing European Union-oriented
policies. Ukrainians will vote on Sunday mostly free of direct foreign
influence.

Voters must put pressure on party leaders to ensure the country pursues EU
membership with as much determination as possible. The country’s leaders
must implement accession-linked policies – and seek support from businessmen
at a politically acceptable price.

————————————————————————————————-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
2.  ALLEGED ELECTION FRAUD IN UKRAINE

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), Kiev, Ukraine, Mon, September 24 2007

KIEV – Officials from Ukraine’s national intelligence agency the SBU accused
a provincial election council of registering close to 100 000 non-existent
persons on voter rolls, Korrespondent magazine reported Monday.

The alleged election fraud attempt took place in the eastern Kharkiv region,
said SBU spokesperson Andrij Mukhtaev, citing the results of a secret
investigation conducted by the spy agency. Ukraine is set for a September 30
national election to select a new parliament.

Most (94 000) of the discrepancies found in the SBU investigation were
duplications in two different voter rolls of a single
legitimately-registered voter, Mukhtaev said.

Oleksander Krivtsov, a Kharkiv province election official, conceded voter
rolls “are still being finalised” in the run-up to the Sunday election, but
argued the SBU – Ukraine’s version of the KGB – had no right to enforce
election fraud law.

The voter roll errors were honest mistakes and regional election commission
would make sure the mistakes were corrected, Krivtsov said.

Many voter roll errors discovered by the SBU investigation are linked to
typographical errors stemming from spelling differences, as Kharkiv is a
Russian-speaking province but Ukrainian voter rolls must be in Ukrainian, a
language not so well understood in Kharkiv, he said.

The accusations and counter-accusations were typical of the tense run-up to
the vote, which will determine whether Ukraine’s government will become more
pro-Europe and free market-oriented, or remain on its current pro-Russia and
big business-oriented track.

The election is a three-way battle between the ruling pro-business Regions
party, the anti-corruption Tymoshenko party, and the nationalist Our Ukraine
party. Currently, Regions is leading in polls with the Tymoshenko party
second and closing.

Leaders of all three parties have accused their opponents of preparing to
commit election fraud, although Ukraine’s last parliamentary election, in
2006, was in general free and fair, according to international observers.

The close rankings in the current battle could make a few percentage points
decisive in determining which two party-coalition will control the next
legislature, and so the temptation to fix voting results is increased this
year, observers said.

Kharkiv is traditionally a strong supporter of Regions’ pro-Russia party
platform. The province saw massive vote fraud in 2004, when local officials
allowed individual voters to cast as many as thirty ballots in favour of
selected candidates, a supreme court review later found.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in June ordered the SBU to make
prevention of internal election fraud during the 2007 vote a top priority
for the intelligence agency, whose normal missions are hunting down foreign
spies and terrorists.

Volodymyr Sivkovich, a serving MP for Regions, accused Yushchenko of
targeting the SBU’s agents against Regions, because of Yushchenko’s
opposition to Regions’ pro-Russia policies.

Ukraine’s Orange Revolution in 2004 came after millions of irate voters took
to the streets in response to a presidential election fixed in the Regions
candidate’s favour. Mass demonstrations eventually reversed the election
result, putting Yushchenko into power. – Sapa-dpa
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========================================================
3.  UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ACCUSES PRIME MINISTER YANUKOVYCH
OF PLOTTING TO RIG PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION

Ukrayinska Pravda website, Kiev, in Ukrainian 25 Sep 07
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 25 Sep 07
BBCC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Sep 25, 2007

KIEV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has accused his arch rival,
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, of plotting to rig the upcoming
parliamentary election. Yushchenko also said that appointing his erstwhile
Orange revolution ally Yuliya Tymoshenko as prime minister after the
election is a definite possibility.

President Yushchenko was speaking in Sumy during a live TV link-up to
Ukraine’s central and northern regions on 25 September. No nationwide
Ukrainian TV channels were observed to carry the broadcast. It was entitled
“Tasks for the future government”.

The Ukrayinska Pravda website quoted Yushchenko as saying during the
broadcast: “Why does Yanukovych speak of falsification at each of his
rallies? The reason is that he is planning falsification. It will happen.
What I’m talking about is how do we deal with this problem.”

He said he was surprised that the prime minister “gets around by helicopter,
telling every rally that fraud is in the making”.

“I’d like to tell Yanukovych personally and other colleagues as well that
the government is personally responsible for holding a free, fair and
democratic election,” Yushchenko said.

Asked about the possibility of appointing Tymoshenko as prime minister,
Yushchenko said: “As regards the possibility that you mentioned, there’s
nothing fatal about it. We can go back to it, it stands a lot of chance. The
important thing is that lessons get learnt,” the Interfax-Ukraine news
agency reported at 1719 gmt.

Disagreements over the post of prime minister was a key reason why the
Orange coalition fell apart following the dismissal of Tymoshenko as prime
minister in 2005.

Yushchenko also said that Ukraine’s army will become fully professional
starting from 1 January 2010, Interfax-Ukraine said in a separate report at
1648 gmt. He regretted that the army is becoming the subject of what he
called “dirty political demagoguery”.

Ukraine is holding a parliamentary election on 30 September. Front-runners
are Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, propresidential Our Ukraine-National
Self-Defence bloc and the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, in that order.

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========================================================
4.  UKRAINE: ROCKY ROAD TO DEMOCRACY AFTER YEARS
OF RECRIMINATIONS BETWEEN MAIN PARTIES

Luke Harding, Ostroh, Ukraine, The Guardian
London, United Kingdom, Monday, Sep 24, 2007

OSTROH – The scene is western Ukraine. It is mid-morning, and in an
attractive town square bathed in autumnal sun and lined with fir trees a
crowd is waiting.

A tall figure bounds on to a stage. His elderly supporters cheer and start
waving their blue flags. They chant: “Yan-u-kov-ich, Yan-u-kov-ich.”

The man addressing them is Viktor Yanukovich – Ukraine’s prime minister.
Three years after his victory in Ukraine’s rigged 2004 presidential election
sparked the country’s pro-democracy movement – the Orange revolution – Mr
Yanukovich is back.

Ukraine is now in the grip of another movement. This time, however, it is a
counter-revolution led not by glamorous students wearing tight-fitting
orange T-shirts, but by toothless old ladies in headscarves waving icons.

The battlefield isn’t Kiev, with its blossom-filled boulevards, but a series
of dusty ex-Soviet provincial towns.

Next Sunday Ukrainians go to the polls following months of political turmoil
between Mr Yanukovich, the country’s prime minister since August 2006, and
Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s pro-western president.

In 2004 Mr Yanukovich was the villain of the Orange revolution after trying
to steal the presidential election using intimidation and fraud. Mr
Yushchenko won the re-run vote.

Since then, though, Ukraine’s orange actors have fallen out and – largely
unnoticed by the west – Mr Yanukovich has made an unexpected comeback.
PREDICTABLE
Polls put his Party of the Regions at 32.9% in the runup to Sunday’s early
election – which Mr Yushchenko called in May after accusing his rival of
luring away his MPs and attempting an extra-constitutional parliamentary
coup. Mr Yushchenko appointed Mr Yanukovich prime minister in 2006 after

his own allies failed to form a government.

With its steep-walled medieval castle and gold-domed monastery, Ostroh is
part of Ukraine’s orange-supporting heartland. If Mr Yanukovich represents
one strand of Ukraine – its Orthodox Russian-leaning east – Mr Yushchenko is
said to represent the other – its Catholic, pro-European west. Now, though,
Mr Yanukovich is picking up votes here too.

Up on stage two Ukrainian maidens present Mr Yanukovich with bread and

salt. He then launches into his speech, telling the crowd that his 13-month-old
government has brought stability to Ukraine and restored economic growth.

He attacks his rivals, dismissing the charismatic orange leader Yulia
Tymoshenko as a “cow on an ice rink”.

After his speech, the prime minister tells the Guardian he hopes Sunday’s
election will end the political conflict paralysing his country.

“We hope that after the elections the political situation will have
stabilised and that we won’t have the problems we have right now between
different branches of government. The next step is constitutional reform,”
he said.

Aides insist the new Mr Yanukovich is nothing like the old one, and has
absorbed the lessons of his 2004/5 defeat. He is studying English, and plays
tennis with the US ambassador.

Far from being a Russian stooge he is, in fact, a Ukrainian nationalist,
they add. “He’s very changed. He’s become a democrat,” Sergiy Lovochkin,

the head of his private office, says.

Mr Yanukovich himself insists he is not “pro-Russian” or “anti-western” but
believes in a pragmatic foreign policy that serves an independent Ukraine’s
national interests. “Our aim is to become a reliable bridge between Europe
and Russia,” he says.

He believes his good relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia have paid off.
In 2005 – when he was in opposition – the Kremlin turned off Ukraine’s gas
supplies. “We will never repeat the same mistake as 2005 when the situation
with gas was very difficult,” he told the Guardian.

Ukraine now had more than 26 billion cubic metres of gas reserves, he said,
adding: “Our relationship with Russia is clear, steady and predictable.” But
he also wants “good strategic relations with the EU” – which Ukraine aspires
to join by 2017.

Moreover, Mr Yanukovich is now deploying the same modern techniques as

his Orange adversaries. In 2004 Mr Putin promptly congratulated him after his
fraudulent victory – in what turned out to be a PR disaster.

Mr Yanukovich has now hired his own firm of US consultants. Ironically, he
is the biggest beneficiary of the democratic changes he once tried to
thwart.

Meanwhile, Mr Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine-led faction is languishing in the
polls on 16.4%. Support for his ally, Yulia Tymoshenko – whom Mr Yushchenko
sacked as prime minister in 2005 – is 15.4%. Together the two orange
alliances could score a narrow election victory next Sunday, in which case
Ms Tymoshenko would get her old job back as prime minister.
DISILLUSIONED
Most analysts believe it is more probable that Mr Yanukovich’s ruling
coalition will again control Ukraine’s Rada or lower house. There are also
rumours that Mr Yanukovich could form a new parliamentary alliance with Mr
Yushchenko, despite profound personal and ideological differences.

Opponents say Mr Yanukovich has not been a good leader. “He’s been a
disastrous prime minister,” says Hryhoriy Nemyria, Ms Tymoshenko’s foreign
affairs adviser and deputy chairman of her BYuT party.

The prime minister’s party was old, corrupt and undemocratic, he said. It
was also unhealthily reliant on Rinat Akhemetov, a billionaire oligarch and
member of Mr Yanukovich’s party, he alleged.

Many Ukrainian voters appear disillusioned with all three main political
leaders. “If politicians did one-tenth of the things they’d promised it
would be better.

But things haven’t improved here at all,” Valery – a mechanic – said,
speaking in the small town of Sarny, one of five places in western Ukraine
visited by Mr Yanukovich in his helicopter last Thursday.

Few political experts believe that the constitutional crisis that has
paralysed Ukraine will end next week. Legal challenges to the result are
likely. Nonetheless Ukraine is gradually evolving into something unthinkable
a decade ago: a competitive democracy.

“From the outside Ukrainian politics looks like a mess. But I think this is
normal for a country that only three years ago had a semi-authoritarian
regime and is now struggling to become a democracy,” Natalya Shapovalova,

a political expert at Kiev’s International Centre for Policy Studies, said.
She added: “I’m rather optimistic.” (www.guardian.co.uk/ukraine)
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========================================================
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========================================================
5.  FIVE U.S. CITIZENS RECEIVE THEIR PRESIDENTIAL AWARDS
IN NEW YORK FROM UKRAINE’S FOREIGN MINISTER YATSENYUK 
Vasyl Losten, Antonij Shcherba, Morgan Williams, Oksana Lykhovyd
and Virlyana Tkach for their dedicated service to Ukraine 
Action Ukraine Monitoring Service, New York, NY, Wed, Sep 26, 2007

NEW YORK – Five U.S. citizens received their Presidential Awards from
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk at a meeting and ceremony
held in New York City Monday evening at the Ukrainian Institute of America.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, was in New York attending
the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly. Minister Yatsenyuk spoke
about Ukraine’s foreign policy and thanked the five awardees for their
outstanding service to Ukraine.

Ukraine’s President Victor Yushchenko announced a series of state awards
on Independence Day to those who made a contribution to Ukraine’s
development. Yushchenko stated the awards were to those, “who have
served the Ukrainian state most loyally. I thank them for their professional
and creative efforts.”

The five U.S. citizens who received their presidential awards in New York
on Monday were:

[1] Vasyl LOSTEN, bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic diocese in Stamford,
CT, in 1997-2005, a US citizen, awarded the Distinguished Services Order
(3rd degree);

[2] Antonij SHCHERBA, head of consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox
church in the USA, a US citizen, awarded the Distinguished Services
Order (3rd degree);

[3] Morgan WILLIAMS, President, the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council;
Director, Government Affairs, Washington Office, SigmaBleyzer,
a US citizen, awarded the Distinguished Services Order (3rd degree);

[4] Oksana LYKHOVYD, art producer of the Ukrayinska rodyna group
of singers, New York, a US citizen, awarded the title of the Honorary
Worker of Arts of Ukraine;

[5] Virlyana TKACH, art producer and director of the Mystetska grupa
Yara theatrical group in New York, a US citizen, awarded the title of the
Honorary Worker of Arts of Ukraine.

The Decree of the President of Ukraine # 739/2007 in part states the
following: “On awarding state decorations of Ukraine to foreign citizens
for distinguished personal contributions in strengthening the image of
Ukraine in the world, spreading the word about Ukraine’s historical and
present-day achievements and on the occasion of the 16th anniversary of
Ukraine’s independence…”

President Yushchenko “Wished the awardees success and expressed
hopes they would continue to use their intellect to benefit Ukraine,” in

his Independence Day statement.

The order “For the Distinguished Services” is awarded for distinguished
services in the economy, science, social, cultural, military, state, civil
and other sectors. The 3rd degree is reserved specially for decorating
foreigners” – the official document on state orders states.

Minister Yatsenyuk was introduced by Jaroslav Kryshtalsky, President
of the Ukrainian Institute of America.  Ukraine’s Ambassador to the
United States Oleh Shamshur, and the Permanent Representative of Ukraine
to the United Nations, Ambassador H.E. Mr. Yuriy Sergeyev, attended
the meeting.
62ND SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is attending the 62nd
session of the UN General Assembly, met a number of counterparts there
on 24 September and also delivered a report on how Ukraine is implementing
the Kyoto protocol on climate change, the UNIAN news agency said on 25
September.

In a report the UNIAN quoted Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andriy
Deshchytsya as saying that Yatsenyuk met Czech Foreign Minister Karel
Schwarzenberg.

They discussed the Czech Republic’s visa policy ahead of the country’s
accession to the EU’s Schengen zone and agreed on bilateral consultations on
consular and legal issues, the agency said. It added that the two ministers
confirmed their interest in regional projects such as the Vysegrad group.

Yatsenyuk also discussed easing visa regulations with Slovak Foreign
Minister Jan Kubis, the agency said in the same report. They agreed to sign
an accord relaxing visa restrictions for residents of border areas similar
to the one signed recently by Ukraine and Hungary, the report said.

Yatsenyuk also met Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, who informed his
Ukrainian counterpart that an Iraqi embassy will open in Kiev soon.

UNIAN added that on the same day Yatsenyuk met Island’s President
Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, Comoros President Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed
Sambi, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Monaco’s Prince Albert II,
as well as the foreign ministers of Sweden and Mauritius.

UNIAN said that Yatsenyuk attended a high-level meeting on climate change,
which took place as part of the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly.

Addressing the meeting, Yatsenyuk said that a new organization should be set
up to bring about “environmental solidarity and responsibility and to create
an all-encompassing system of international environmental security”.
He also spoke of Ukraine’s efforts to implement the Kyoto protocol, the
agency said.

MEETS WITH U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE RICE
On September 23, 2007 in the framework of the visit to New York, Minister
for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk met with the U.S.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In the course of the conversation, the parties exchanged views on the state
and prospect of bilateral cooperation and in particular discussed the issues
of political dialogue, commercial-economic and branch cooperation,
interaction in the sphere of energy security, defense, counteraction to
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and regional security.

The heads of the foreign policy offices of the two countries discussed the
possible terms of visits at high and top levels. In this context, Mr.
Yatsenyuk renewed the invitation for Mrs. Rice to visit Ukraine in the near
future.

In addition, the parties discussed the preparation of a new Roadmap of the

Ukrainian-American relations in which special attention will be paid to
educational programmes and students’ and youth’s exchanges.

During the meeting, Mr.Yatsenyuk and Mrs.Rice discussed the political

situation in Ukraine in the view of new election to the Parliament of
Ukraine on Sunday, September 30. 
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6.  UKRAINE COMMITTED TO EU INTEGRATION REGARDLESS OF
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION RESULTS, FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS

INTERVIEW: With Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Foreign Minister, Ukraine
AP Worldstream, New York, NY, Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007

NEW YORK – Ukraine’s goal of gradual integration with the European Union
will continue regardless of the results of Sunday’s elections because this
is one of the few issues on which the rival political parties actually
agree, Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said.

But closer cooperation with NATO is a different matter due partly to
Russia’s opposition, Arseniy Yatsenyuk said in an interview with The
Associated Press on Monday.

“Polls have consistently shown that more than 60 percent of Ukrainians favor
closer political and economic cooperation with the European Union,”
Yatsenyuk said. “And all major political parties _ including to my own
surprise the Ukrainian Communist Party _ now back this.”

Yatsenyuk refused to speculate when Ukraine could join the grouping, saying
the nation must focus on implementing EU-mandated reforms.

Sunday’s snap election is the product of a hard-won agreement between
President Victor Yushchenko and his rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.
It is meant to ease a confrontation that has paralyzed politics in the
country since the 2004 Orange Revolution.

At the time, street protests against fraud forced a revote in the
presidential election in which Yanukovych was initially declared the winner,
but which Yushchenko eventually won.

Yanukovych, however, staged a remarkable political comeback last year when
his party received the most votes in parliamentary elections and formed the
ruling coalition.

Yanukovych’s party, which leads in the opinion polls, is seen as generally
closer to Moscow. But that will not affect the country’s pro-EU policy,
Yatsenyuk said.

“No matter which party emerges as the largest or which coalition government
is formed, the political elites agree on the reforms needed to make Ukraine
more compatible with EU membership,” he said.

But there is no such agreement on eventual membership in the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization, despite calls from some Ukrainian politicians for a
referendum on joining the alliance.

“There is a very low public awareness of what NATO means,” Yatsenyuk

said. “Only about three percent of Ukrainians have any idea what it is.”

Moscow, too, has repeatedly voiced concerns about the Western alliance’s
eastern expansion to its borders since the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia
and Lithuania joined the bloc in 2004. “The Russians are very cautious on
NATO, sometimes even blunt,” Yatsenyuk said.
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7.  LETTER TO A FRIEND, PARTY OF REGIONS ELECTION PAMPHLET

 
Electoral Pamphlet from the Party of Regions
Sent by Taras Kuzio & Translated by Lisa Koriouchkina for UKL
The Ukraine List (UKL) #420, Compiled by Dominique Arel
Chair of Ukrainian Studies, Univ of Ottawa
Ottawa, ON, Canada, 24 September 2007
 

Dear Compatriot!

I found this letter in an old shoe box in the attic. A short stack of
pre-war letters tied with a frail rope. And yellowed letters from the front
line, folded into accurate triangles. Here’s one of those letters that
arrived together with a death notice.

I am writing this letter in a  dugout, half buried with soil from
explosions. Today, we fended off five attacks, but with each attack there
were fewer of us left. But we knew what we were fighting for. For the
chestnuts of Pushkinskaya St.; for the evening shadows of Deribasovskaya
St.; for gentle waves of our bluest Black sea. For the right to be a free
man in his own country.

I am writing to you, my love. I am happy that I have you. That I had spent
the happiest days of my life with you. I used the past tense “had spent” and
it occurred to me. Yes, indeed, I had spent. And the close breath of death
makes me realize how much I did not have enough time to tell you. And
perhaps, ashamed to express my feelings, I would have never told you that,
but now I will. Do you remember as we were walking on the beach and seagulls
were flying over our heads. You know, I treasured every single minute I
spent with you. How could we let the enemy destroy all of this?

How could we give them our sea and our sky, our stars over the city where
you and I met? I am bequeathing you my life – live it for the both of us.
For our love, for the future. I ask of  you – do save our son.

I am writing to you, son. Now, as you are reading this letter, you are an
adult. I am writing to you to make you realize that we could not do anything
differently. Because we had to defend our motherland, your future. So that
you would live in peace in a free country. Treasure it. Value freedom. Live
with dignity. Care for your mother. And remember that you are from Odessa.
Save the memory of us.

Every family in Odessa has letters like this one. After reading the letter
of a soldier who sacrificed his life 66 years ago for our blue sky and our
happy life, I wondered what he would have said had he seen nationalists and
descendants of Bandera walking the streets of Ukrainian cities.

Had he seen political heirs to Bandera and Shukhevych trampling over those
who died in the Great Patriotic War.

Had he seen Orange politicians re-writing our history and wanting to deny us
our genetic memory, the memory of our fathers.

Had he seen them surrender our lands to those who our fathers paid such a
dear price for to defeat.

Had he seen how the defenders are turned into criminals and invaders.

He would not have had second thoughts as to what he should do. He would

have risen to defend the future, because the enemy is already at the door.

Friend, do you remember how as a child you were standing at the monument
“Eternal Fire” with pure tears in your eyes and with your throat dry from
emotions, you whispered: “We will never betray you!”

Our duty today is to win!

The voting bulletin on September 30th is our weapon!

Let’s be worthy of a memory of fathers and grandfathers!

Let’s not betray them! Let’s defend Odessa!

The Party of Regions

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========================================================
NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
========================================================
8. YANUKOVYCH SACKS HIS AMERICAN SPIN DOCTOR MANAFORT

UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 25, 2007

KYIV – Paul Manafort, who had been heading the political campaigns of the
Party of Regions since 2005, was sacked from the electoral headquarters.

The reason is that the party’s rating began to fall. Now “regionals” are
working out two scenarios to frustrate the election, according
“Ekonomicheskiye Izvestiya” daily.

According to the newspaper’s sources, the Party of Regions headquarters

made a final decision to sack the American spin doctor after the party
headquarters chiefs realized that the party’s rating fell by 5-7% nearly 10
days ago.

Namely at that time, PoR recalled its old slogans – to give the state status
to the Russian language, and began to use anti-NATO rhetorics. On 19
September PoR claimed that it may refuse from taking part in the electoral
campaign.

On the eve of it, Party of Regions adherents began to pitch tents and
construct a stage at the Maydan Nezalezhnosti Square in the center of Kyiv.
Besides, on 21 September the U.S. Senate adopted a resolution in support of
the orange revolution achievements in Ukraine.

Paul Manafort is close to the USA Republican Party. “The dismissal of
Manafort, who I know personally very well, was an expected decision”, said
Victor Ukolov, BYuT spin doctor (#147 in the electoral list). According to
him, during the last three-five years, the Party of Regions’ rating has
significantly fallen in the east of the country.

“During the last two weeks, the “regionals” have been looking for a
scapegoat, and chose Paul Manafort”, V.Ukolov believes. “I was confident
that they would sack their HQ chief Borys Kolesnikov, or some of his
deputies, because Paul is a real professional, but “regionals” did not
listen to his advice”, the BYuT spin doctor says.

According to the information of Taras Beresovts, chief editor of “Polittekh”
project, the decision to sack Paul Manafort from the electoral campaign was
made in the Party of Regions headquarter last week. “To blame foreigners for
the failure of the campaign is the simplest way, because blaming Kolesnikov
means blaming Akhmetov”, the expert notes.

According to him, the party is now considering two scenarios of the further
developments: to cancel voting results in some western district on the basis
of alleged mass falsifications, and to resume talks about creating an
autonomy of eastern and southern regions of Ukraine.

Vassyl Khara (#28 in the Party of Regions list) could not say anything about
the dismissal of Paul Manafort. “I was against involving Americans in our
work since the very beginning.

This was the reason why I left the post of the HQ chief as early as in 2005.
It is hard for me to believe that the people, who do not know our special
features, and no one know who they are working for – for us or our rivals,
can be fair. If they were sacked, it happened too late”, he stressed.

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LINK: http://unian.net/eng/news/news-213712.html
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9.  NO SHIFTS PLANNED IN TEAM OF PARTY OF REGIONS
CONSULTANTS BEFORE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION

UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 25, 2007

KYIV – No staff shifts will take place in the team of the Party of Regions
headquarters’ consultants before the election.

According to an UNIAN correspondent, Party of Regions political council
member Serhiy Levochkin claimed this to journalists today.
“This [the information about the dismissal of American spin doctor Paul
Manafort – UNIAN] is a provocation. Our opponents are trying to divert the
attention from the discussion of pre-election programs”, S.Levochkin.
He explains this information appeared because the rating of the Party of
Regions’ opponents has been falling, while the rating of the Party of
Regions has been growing.
As UNIAN reported earlier, today “Ekonomicheskiye Izvestiya” daily,
referring to its sources in the PoR HQ reported that the Party of Regions
sacked American spin doctor Paul Manafort because of the falling of the
party’s ratings.
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10.  UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO GAMBLES

ON UKRAINIAN VOTERS TO REVIVE HIS REVOLUTION

By Sebastian Alison, Bloomberg News
Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 26, 2007

YALTA – In 1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin
met in the Russian port of Yalta to redraw the map of Europe, in the process
setting the stage for the Cold War.

These days, Yalta — now a part of independent Ukraine — again finds itself
witnessing a possible geopolitical realignment as President Viktor
Yushchenko’s Orange Revolution is about to be either rejuvenated or
overturned after three years of dashed hopes and political stalemate.

Yushchenko, swept into power after street protests overturned a rigged
presidential ballot, is gambling that Sept. 30 parliamentary elections will
strengthen support for his pro- Western views.

The man he defeated for the presidency, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych,

is seeking to solidify his power in order to pursue closer ties with Russia.

The election may determine “whether the Orange Revolution has succeeded
or failed,” said Taras Kuzio, research associate at the Institute for
European, Russia and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University in
Washington.

Kuzio said the vote will be based on “regional and linguistic divides” that
may give Yanukovych, 57, and his Party of the Regions an edge. The
Russian-speaking east mainly backs Yanukovych, while the more agricultural,
Ukrainian-speaking west is behind the Orange camp.
INTERDEPENDENT
Russia has claimed an interest since the dissolution of the Soviet Union led
to Ukraine’s independence. “Our economies are so interdependent, so mutually
complementary, we naturally cannot abandon the idea of furthering the
relationship,” said Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir
Putin.

While European Union foreign-policy chief Javier Solana said in Kiev Sept.
14 that “Ukraine is a friend of the European Union,” Kuzio said such
statements aren’t enough to refute suggestions that the EU has largely lost
interest in Ukraine. “They’ve refused, on every occasion since the Orange
Revolution, even to offer Ukraine a long-term prospect of membership.”

Nowhere is Ukraine’s caught-in-the-middle position more evident than the
Crimean peninsula, which includes Yalta, a subtropical city of 80,000.

Crimea was actually a part of Russia until 1954, when Soviet leader Nikita
Khrushchev gave it to what was then the Ukrainian satellite republic. Most
locals are ethnic Russians, and Russian is the dominant language. All
election posters are in Russian, unlike in the capital, Kiev.
YALTA’S LANDMARKS
Yalta’s landmarks, as well as the comments of its residents, reflect its
ambivalence. At the Livadia Palace, a white marble building constructed for
Tsar Nicholas II in 1911 and the site of the 1945 conference, the three men
who drew up the Yalta agreement are all revered.

Roosevelt, just two months short of death, was given rooms in the palace.
The billiard room has Soviet, British and U.S. flags on the table, as it did
when he hosted a breakfast there for Stalin and Churchill on Feb. 11.

Roosevelt  “was such an educated man,” said Margarita Poleva, a guide at
Livadia. “He was so instrumental in setting up the United Nations.”

Her words of praise for an American president contrast with the tensions
over issues such as U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense system in eastern
Europe; Russian criticism of its policies over Iraq and Iran; and Russia’s
withdrawal from the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, limiting troop
numbers.
‘BETRAYAL’
Valery Andryushenko, 62, a Yalta taxi driver with a Ukrainian father and a
Russian mother, is certain that “Ukraine should move closer to Europe.”

Europe “is more civilized and richer,” he said. At the same time, “to break
contacts with Russia would be impossible.” He’s against NATO membership,
citing ties with former Soviet states. “To throw all that away and join NATO
would be a betrayal.”

A Sept. 1-10 survey of 2,004 Ukrainians by Kiev’s Razumkov Centre for
Economic and Political Studies showed 33.9 percent support for Yanukovych’s
party, to 13.1 percent for Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine.

That kind of result would leave former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko’s
alliance, which had 23.5 percent in the poll, holding the balance of power.

Yushchenko fired Timoshenko, 46, after the two fell out over the pace of
reform. Yanukovych had the largest parliamentary faction, forcing the
president to appoint him prime minister. Continuing tension between the two
men prompted Yushchenko to dissolve parliament and call this weekend’s vote.
MISSING THE BOAT
Yushchenko “really missed the boat” by failing to establish his authority
more firmly after the revolution, Kuzio said. “He had the chance in 2005 to
demolish Yanukovych. He never took that chance, and it’s coming back to
haunt him.”

Disillusionment with Yushchenko has thrown the spotlight on Timoshenko, says
Michael Emerson, a research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies
in Brussels. “She’s the outstanding personality, who’s younger, and has a
lot of popular support,” he said.

Analysts say it’s possible the elections will push the politicians closer
together. “Yanukovych has admitted that Ukraine needs a balanced
relationship between Russia and Europe,” said Amanda Akcakoca of the
European Policy Centre in Brussels.

Yanukovych and Yushchenko “have recognized over the last 12 months that
they must work together” and may move toward “a grand coalition” that
would change the constitution to “make a clearer balance of power between

the president and the prime minister.”

If they don’t, she said, voter skepticism will only grow: “Most Ukrainians
don’t trust anyone.”
——————————————————————————————-
Sebastian Alison in Yalta at Salison1@bloomberg.net .
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=aqp0LdVWLyj4&refer=europe
———————————————————————————————–
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11.  PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO’S INTERVIEW WITH EURONEWS

Press Office of the President of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, September 22, 2007

[EuroNews] Mr President, welcome to EuroNews. Why did you initiate
parliamentary elections last spring?
[Yushchenko] The situation is simple enough. After honest and democratic
elections, parliament changed the results of the vote. The majority parties
began to buy the MPs from other parties by bribing them with money. First
two MPs, then another two and 13 more.

Then they announced that the following week there could be another 25. It
was a violation of the constitution. The Parliamentary majority had become
illegitimate, because it was not based on a coalition of parties, but on the
mandates of MPs. The constitution forbids that.

As President, I called on Parliament to stop these practices, and revert to
the status quo, but unfortunately that was not done. The only thing I could
do in that situation was to organise the early elections to bring legitimacy
back to the Ukrainian parliament.

[EuroNews] What do these elections mean to Ukraine?
[Yushchenko]  They’re very important for the country and very important for
Ukrainian politicians. And I am sure that after the elections, what is
happening in Parliament – this political corruption – will, in the main,
stop.

We will radically reduce the field of political corruption, about ‘buying’
laws, and modifying election results. It is essential that the country
begins to understand that we can escape crises like these through democratic
means.

[EuroNews] There’s a feeling that since the orange revolution, Ukraine has
only seen political confrontation. But has people’s quality of life changed
since then?… how is the economy developing?

[Yushchenko] I will say that after the Orange Revolution, there were changes
that the Ukrainian economy had not seen for fifteen years. In terms of
macro-economics, our Gross Domestic Product grew at 7, 7 and a half, 8 per
cent.

It is a stable parameter which has given us the opportunity to change lots
in terms of the budget. In 2005 – in just a single year – we increased
income revenues by 54 per cent, and in 2006 by 37 per cent. Ukraine has not
seen social discontent for 2 and a half years.

For example, the minimum wage and minimum pension are at the same level.

It is a very sensitive subject for Ukraine, especially for its 14-million
pensioners. In 2005, wages went up by 50 per cent, people’s real incomes
went up by 21 per cent.

And many other things too – I’m very happy with the nation’s economic
potential and the social and humanitarian potential of its people. They are
changes which the country has been waiting for for a long time.

[EuroNews] Why didn’t you support the idea of a referendum on the status

of the Russian language, and on Ukraine’s joining NATO?

[Yushchenko] I am not sure that the language of another country lets us
identify ourselves as Ukrainians. It is not even up for discussion.

Secondly, the linguistic politics which features in the Ukrainian
constitution gives precise details on the development of the Russian
language or any other minority languages. Our doctrine on language is
clearly inspired by the European language charter. It corresponds exactly.

Now, on NATO. No-one has asked us whether we want to join NATO or not.

The time will come when we will be asked and we will give a national response.
 
I have already said that for Ukraine, joining NATO or not is a question for a
national referendum. There are no discussions on that subject. The answer
will come from the people.

[EuroNews] Is European integration a national issue in Ukraine?
[Yushchenko] It is very current. Deep inside, society sees it quite simply.
Right now, the EU is the Ukraine’s main trading partner. And each year,
these relations develop a little more. Each year we reach into new corners
of the European market.

It was very important for us to sign a three year EU/Ukrainian deal which is
proving a success. It already applies to more than 70 different fields. We
have signed a common energy system deal. There is the resolution adopted on
the Odessa pipeline – from Brody to the EU – there are agreements on outer
space, airspace and other fields.

Now, Ukraine is knocking on the door of the World Trade Organisation. We
believe that membership could improve relations with our neighbours – large
and small – but above all the EU. It is already a topical subject which
touches Ukrainian citizens in everyday life.

[EuroNews] Ideally, how do you see Ukraine’s short-term future?
[Yushchenko] It is a European country. It is a democratic country. It is a
country where the principal democratic values are clearly and irrevocably
fixed – starting with the right to choose all the way through to freedom –
the freedom of speech.

It is a country which, I am sure, will set the standards in human rights and
law. We will bring corruption to an end – it will become a thing of the
past – an ill which touches all spheres of society. We talk publicly about
it and we publicly fight against it. And I am sure we will succeed.

I am sure we will be the country of affluence, and of human dignity – a
country which will enjoy fair, open and friendly relations with its
neighbours, be it in economic, social or humanitarian spheres. I am very
optimistic about Ukraine’s prospects, because it’s a country which has
always been at the centre of Europe.

When I talk about European values, I know my country has contributed to

them at great cost. Ukraine has helped shape European policy.
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12.  LANDKOM CROP PRODUCTION COMPANY ON FERTILE GROUND
Large scale farming in Ukraine, 50,000 hectares by end of 2007

By Toby Shelley, Financial Times, London, UK, Monday, Sep 24 2007

Landkom, which will launch plans for its initial public offering on Monday,
has a simple proposition – to grow high-value crops on an Australian scale
but on land of European fertility.

The intention is to raise £40m to fund land rent and equipment acquisitions.
Several existing investors, including a Credit Suisse investment fund, have
agreed not to dilute their stakes. Pre-IPO investors put £6.9m into the
company this year.

With 28,000 hectares under production this year, Landkom is on track to
control 50,000 ha by the end of the year. The target is to farm 10 times
that area in four years.

The land is rented on 15-year leases from tens of thousands of western
Ukrainian villagers to whom the state parcelled out land in the mid-1990s.
Much of it lay unworked for more than a decade because the owners lacked

the resources.

The company has right of first refusal on the plots in anticipation of the
lifting of a moratorium on sales put in place to stop landgrabs by wealthy
businessmen.

Land with comparable yields in Northern Ireland would cost £400 per ha a
year to rent. Richard Spinks, director and founder, said Landkom was paying
far under 10 per cent of that in Ukraine.

To that cost advantage is added the benefits of scale. The average UK farm
is 60 ha while Landkom grew 7,000 ha of rape seed alone this year. Mr Spinks
said Ukraine wheat could be grown at six times typical Australian yields but
on a comparable scale.

Mr Spinks argued that high agro-commodity prices reflected an upward trend
in demand. For example, the EU cannot meet its requirements for rape seed
oil to add to diesel, he said.

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13.  POLISH ALUMINUM COMPANY KETY OPENS PLANT IN UKRAINE

Polish News Bulletin, Warsaw, Poland, Tue, Sep 25, 2007

WARSAW – Grupa Kety from the aluminum sector is to officially open

today its factory in Ukraine operated by its subsidiary Alupol. Alupol is
to produce aluminum profiles for construction purposes.

Due to delays in obtaining necessary permits the factory commenced
production at the end of June this year, half a year later than initially
planned.

According to Adam Piela, deputy CEO and financial director of Kety, the
delay did not allow Alupol to win any major contracts this year as potential
clients could not wait any longer.

Alupol’s capacity presently stands at around 8,000 tonnes of aluminum
yearly, which if fully utilised may allow the company to achieve revenue of
ZL100m.

The factory in Ukraine was constructed cost ZL50m. According to Biela, the
investment should begin bringing in a profit in six years. Alupol’s factory
opens new possibilities for Kety as aluminum consumption in Poland’s eastern
neighbours is many times lower than in the EU.

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14.  ALFA LAVAL’S STRONG DEVELOPMENT IN UKRAINE CONTINUES
WINS ORDER FOR THE GROWING BREWERY INDUSTRY 

Business Wire, Sweden, Monday, Sep 24, 2007

Alfa Laval (STO:ALFA) – a world leader in heat transfer, centrifugal
separation and fluid handling – has received an order for process solutions
to two breweries in Ukraine. The total order value is approximately SEK 50
million. Delivery will take place late 2007 and during 2008.

Ukraine has a very long tradition of brewing beer. It goes back more than
200 years. As the consumption of beer now is increasing the Ukrainian
brewery industry is growing and both of the two orders are to increase
capacity.

“It is very satisfying that the brewery industry in Eastern Europe now is
investing again,” says Lars Renstrom, President and CEO of Alfa Laval.

“Both these orders in Ukraine are a clear proof of that Alfa Laval’s
solutions to the world’s breweries are of highest quality and in demand.”
The orders have a large scope and consist of many different products and
system solutions from Alfa Laval.

Did you know that Ukraine was the fastest growing market for Alfa Laval
during 2006, in terms of percentage? Annual sales in the country are
currently approximately SEK 200 million and the largest applications for
Alfa Laval can be found within food, steel industry and inorganic chemistry.
About Alfa Laval
Alfa Laval is a leading global provider of specialized products and
engineering solutions based on its key technologies of heat transfer,
separation and fluid handling. The company’s equipment, systems and services
are dedicated to assisting customers in optimizing the performance of their
processes.

The solutions help them to heat, cool, separate and transport products in
industries that produce food and beverages, chemicals and petrochemicals,
pharmaceuticals, starch, sugar and ethanol.

Alfa Laval’s products are also used in power plants, aboard ships, in the
mechanical engineering industry, in the mining industry and for wastewater
treatment, as well as for comfort climate and refrigeration applications.

Alfa Laval’s worldwide organization works closely with customers in nearly
100 countries to help them stay ahead in the global arena.

Alfa Laval is listed on the Nordic Exchange, Nordic Large Cap, and, in 2006,
posted annual sales of about SEK 20 billion (approx. 2,2 billion euros). The
company has some 11,000 employees. www.alfalaval.com

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15.  EAST EUROPEAN IMMIGRANTS FUEL RETURN OF SERVANT CLASS
Top sources for servants: Philippines, Ukraine, Latvia, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.
By Roger Dobson, Independent, London, UK, Sunday, 23 Sep 2007

There was a time when the flustered British housewife of a certain rank
would look disdainfully at the dirty marks on her cutlery and despairingly
exclaim: “You just can’t get the staff.”

The good news for the overworked middle classes who are looking for help
with the chores is that now they can.

Migration from eastern Europe, Africa and Asia is creating a ready supply of
willing downstairs staff, with more and more being employed to watch the
kids and clean the bathroom in a kind of international class system,
according to a new report.

Just this week, the socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson revealed that she had a
“massive staff”, mainly from Ukraine. “As I don’t have a husband, I rather
look forward to having people around me. I have half the Ukraine here every
day. It’s like the Russian army coming in to clean. I want to come back at
night and feel like I’m in a five-star hotel,” she said.

The bad news for the migrants, however, is that high-powered executives and
business people are increasingly picky about who they employ, with white
women being the preferred home help, the study, by Bridget Anderson of
Oxford University, says.

Men are considered too much of a risk to be looking after young children,
especially girls, and black people are unpopular as au pairs.

While race was described by one agency as “the unmentionable”, there are
also more complex reasons for the choosiness. The British middle classes are
looking for domestic help who can’t easily pack up and leave, which means
employing people from war-torn countries or from non-EU countries whose
presence in Britain is dependent on their employment.

The top five sources for maids and butlers are the Philippines, Ukraine,
Latvia, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.

“It is legal for a private householder to refuse to employ someone on the
grounds of their colour, their nationality or their religion, and from our
interviews with employers, it is clear that they do,” say the researchers,
whose work is to be published in the European Journal of Women’s Studies.

“Employers are not only looking for generic ‘foreignness’, however, but
typically also seek particular nationalities or ethnicities of worker, which
can raise difficulties for agencies who are not allowed to discriminate on
the basis of ‘race’.”

Half of British households employ some form of domestic staff in an industry
now thought to be worth around £20bn a year. On average, each household
spends around £1,924 on chauffeurs, dog walkers, babysitters, nannies and
cooks.

Relations with domestic staff do not always run smoothly, however. Sting’s
wife, Trudie Styler, was sued by her cook, Jane Martin, earlier this year.

Ms Martin claimed sexual discrimination after being forced to work 14-hour
days while pregnant. The tribunal heard how Ms Styler, 52, abused her
domestic staff to make her “feel royal”.

Where do they get their staff?
PHILIPPINES
Main provider of cleaning staff in domestic households. Described by
President Gloria Arroyo as a nation that provides “supermaids”.
UKRAINE
Female domestic workers from the Ukraine are very popular with UK
working mothers looking for au pairs.
ZIMBABWE
Zimbabweans mainly work as cleaners in schools and hospitals.
LATVIA
Many Latvians work as butlers due to the comparatively good salaries
compared with other domestic work.
MALAYSIA
Malaysians gravitate towards domestic work – many work as household
maids in the UK.
—————————————————————————————–
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article2990167.ece

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16.  INTERNATIONAL OWNERSHIP OF UKRAINIAN
BANKS GROWS TO 30.2% IN JAN-JULY

Interfax, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Sep 21, 2007

KYIV – The proportion of foreign [international] capital in the combined
charter capital of Ukrainian banks increased to 30.2% at the end of August
2007 from 27.6% at the beginning of 2007, the National Bank reported on its
website.

The combined charter capital of Ukrainian banks increased by 34.8% to

35.393 billion hryvni in the nine-month period.

The number of banks with foreign capital remained at 42 on September 1
compared to 35 at the start of the year, with the number of wholly
foreign-owned banks remaining at 17. The National Bank said 173 of the 196
banks registered in Ukraine were operating on September 1.
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17. UKRAINE FINANCE: BANKING SECTOR RISK

NEWS ANALYSIS: The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited
New York, NY, Thursday, September 20, 2007

CURRENT ASSESSMENT 
Although the banking sector is generally sound, a number of structural
weaknesses remain a concern, as does the rapid rise in lending to households
and enterprises in recent years-particularly the extent of unhedged
foreign-currency lending to businesses, and increasingly to households.

The ratio of total loans to assets is estimated to have risen to around
two-thirds, and banks have been borrowing heavily abroad to meet demand.

The supervisory framework governing banks has nevertheless improved,
capital-adequacy ratios are still generally good, and the sector is finally
seeing significant inflows of foreign investment.

The ratio of non-performing loans (NPLs) fell from 30% at the end of 2004

to less than 18% by September 2006. Although this is still high, the ratio of
loans not being serviced is much smaller, at less than 5%.
POSITIVE FACTORS 
Net banking sector assets have risen steadily in recent years.

The regulator has increased minimum capital requirements (albeit by less
than the IMF recommends). It has also tightened capital quality standards
and raised provisioning requirements for unhedged foreign borrowing.

The economic slowdown ended in early 2006, and real GDP growth is now
expected to average around 6% in 2008-09. A favourable economic environment
will help consumers and enterprises to meet their debt-service payments,
thereby maintaining asset quality.
NEGATIVE FACTORS 
Lending, particularly to households, is increasing rapidly. This has raised
concerns about the ability of enterprises and home owners to repay in the
event of external shocks, or a downturn in inflated housing prices in the
capital, Kiev.

Although capital-adequacy ratios are generally sound, at around 14% or

above in recent years, this is undermined by concerns about the lack of
transparency with regard to bank ownership.

The further increase in natural gas prices expected in 2008 will harm the
competitiveness of enterprises in certain key sectors, which poses a risk to
banks’ asset quality.

Surging consumer lending doubled bank profits in 2006, but high overheads
continue to dampen profitability and ensure wide interest rate spreads.

RATING OUTLOOK
Stable: The sector will become less fragmented, particularly as foreign
banks continue to deepen their involvement in Ukraine. A larger foreign role
will improve capitalisation, increase competition and bring down interest
rates.

Some of the sector’s structural problems will nevertheless persist, which
increases vulnerability to external economic shocks and future bouts of
political uncertainty-both of which remain substantial risks in Ukraine.
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18.  BUSINESS AND PLEASURE IN UKRAINE

By Ben West, Financial Times, London, UK, Saturday Sep 22 2007.

As second home buyers become more adventurous, moving into Croatia,

Bulgaria and even Romania, there is one country on Europe’s eastern fringes
that almost everyone has overlooked.

Larger than France – indeed Europe’s biggest country – it has stunning
coastlines, nice ski resorts and attractive towns and cities steeped in
history. But Ukraine, the former Soviet state that borders Russia, Belarus,
Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova, has a lot of bad press to
overcome.

Best known as home to Chernobyl, scene of the world’s worst nuclear
accident, the country also remains one of Europe’s poorest, still recovering
from a 1990s economic collapse triggered by the fall of the Soviet Union.

In recent years news has been dominated by the 2004 presidential election –
during which the eventual winner, Viktor Yushchenko, was poisoned – and the
pro-western Orange revolution, which has had fewer lasting effects than
supporters hoped amid continued domestic power struggles and tensions with
Russia.

In April Yushchenko dissolved the opposition-controlled parliament and new
elections are scheduled for September 30.

As in other former Soviet states, Ukraine’s legal and political systems are
still evolving. Government initiatives since 1996 have fuelled a significant
economic recovery centred on oil, gas, mineral and vodka production but the
country of 49m people still suffers from rampant bureaucracy, corruption,
inadequate infrastructure and low wages, amounting to an average of 1,391
hryvnia ($280) a month.

So why on earth would foreigners want to buy there? Perhaps because it
offers a chance to get in on the ground floor of a market in which property
professionals see great potential.

There is hope that the election will end the political turmoil, pave the way
for permanent democratic reforms and create a more appealing climate for
international investment, which could eventually lead to the country joining
the European Union.

World Trade Organisation membership is just around the corner and visa
requirements for EU and US citizens have already been relaxed.

In the past three years some house prices have jumped by 500 per cent and
agents say there is still room for growth. “It’s taken off quite
dramatically,” says John Miller of property and construction consultancy
Thomas and Adamson, which has been operating in Ukraine for 12 years.
“Though there have been clashes with Russia and some political instability,
this shouldn’t be a great concern for the residential buyer.”

According to Alex Abramovych, director of Ukraine property specialists
UAProperty.com, flats and houses in Ukraine now cost $1,382 per sq metre, up
nearly 50 per cent from a year ago, while average rents are $251-$324 per
month, a 29 per cent increase over 2006. (Prices are typically quoted in
dollars, although euros and sterling are also used.)

Kiev is easily the most expensive market, with average sales prices nearing
$3,000 per sq metre and rents for most one-bedroom apartments at more than
$600 per month.

Buying activity has tailed off in recent months as a result of the steep
run-up in prices and many fear a correction is imminent. But Abramovych and
others remain bullish. “The economy has much improved and growth will
continue in Kiev and the resort zones, where dem and exceeds customer
requests,” he says.

Ukraine’s attractions are also not ­simply financial. Its cities are full of
beautiful gothic, Byzantine and baroque architecture and most towns have a
cathedral. The countryside is largely unspoilt and peppered with pretty
little villages.

The coastline is lined with ­early-20th century resort towns. And the
Carpathian mountain range, one of Europe’s largest, provides a dramatic
landscape, with wild forests home to lynx and boar and snow-covered slopes
allowing for a long ski season.

So far, foreign buyers have focused on three areas: the capital Kiev; the
thriving tourist zones of the Black Sea coast in the Crimea; and the
Carpathians.

Kiev has many historic landmarks. including churches, monuments and
archaeological sites, as well as shops, restaurants, cafés, nightclubs,
theatres and galleries. Enlivened by its river, the Dnipro, the Old Town is
particularly attractive.

“My first visit to the Ukraine was one and a half years ago,” says Lou
Zidenberg, 60, who lives in California but also owns an apartment in Kiev.
“I was amazed when I saw the growth that was going on in that country. My
flat cost me $100,000 and I estimate it is worth about $350,000 now.”

Other cities of interest include Sevastopol and Odessa in the Crimea. Yalta
is also a popular tourist spot on the southern coast, with about 80km of
beach attractively framed by mountains that dispel the cold northerly winds
and allow the region to benefit from temperatures averaging 25°C between
June and September.

UK-based John Parr, 51, a business manager for a telecommunications systems
company, often works in Russia and eastern Europe and has also invested in
Ukraine.

With his wife Jackie, a teacher, he bought a one-bedroom apartment close to
the harbour in Balaklava in the Crimea in November 2005 and a plot of land
in the Carpathian mountains last year .

“We decided to invest in Ukraine because we visited Balaklava and really
liked it,” he says. “It is beautiful and has a fascinating history. The
apartment is mainly for personal use but we rent it out for a few weeks in
the summer.”

He acknowledges that there are challenges to owning in an unestablished
holiday-home market. “Language can be a bit of a problem even though I can
speak some basic Russian. And getting to Balaklava takes a while. It is a
three-hour flight from London to Kiev and then another one-hour flight to
Simferopol, then a one-hour car journey. There are no cut-price flight
operators going to Ukraine yet.”

Still, he’s happy with his decision. The apartment “cost $52,000, I reckon
we spent a further $18,000 on complete renovation and furniture, and now it
is worth about $100,000″.

In the Carpathians, one- and two-bedroom houses can still be found for
$20,000-$40,000, though prices are higher at the new resort developments
being created by Ukrainian and Polish companies targeting a growing domestic
middle class as well as Polish, Russian and Baltic holidaymakers.

Activity is centred around the quaint village of Slavsk, the most popular of
Ukraine’s mountain resorts with three distinct seasons: summer for hiking,
cycling and fishing; autumn for mushroom and berry picking; and winter for
skiing. The local government is also injecting $100m into road, slope and
lift improvements.

UK developer Hanroc has recently entered the market with the Eagle Valley
Mountain Resort, 75 apartments with a leisure and spa centre in a private
valley near one of the Slavsk lifts, due for completion in 2009. Off-plan
prices range from about $50,000 for a studio to $335,000 for a five-bedroom
penthouse.

Rental demand is strong since Slavsk attracts 50,000 visitors per day in
peak season but has only 150 hotel rooms, m any of which are booked up to
two seasons in advance. And, according to local estate agents, property
values are expected to rise by an annual 35 per cent or more for the next
three years.

Natasha Kravchuk of Thomas and Adamson’s Kiev office warns that buyers

must still be cautious, however. “If you are buying new-build from local
developers, research them well as there have been a couple of high-profile
failures.

“Check carefully what permits the developer has and his obligations to
deliver the property on time. Most are delivered six to 12 months after the
agreed date and there is usually no clause in the contract for
compensation.”

Those in search of older homes should find a reputable estate agent and
think carefully about which areas they want to be in.

Builder James Jennison from Wales bought a two-bedroom rural cottage with
land near Melitopol about 3km from the Azov Sea. “People think that this
part of the world can be quite cold but when I visited in August it was over
40°C .

“The wildlife is fantastic; I’ve seen eagles. It is a wonderful country with
the friendliest people, beautiful countryside and beautiful architecture.
And [the house] only cost me £8,000.”
———————————————————————————————–
Additional reporting by Roman Olearchyk; Local agents, UAProperty.com.

tel: +44 845-0944 650; www.uaproperty.com
Thomas & Adamson. tel: +38 04-4490 6064; www.thomasandadamson.com
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19.  CHORNOBYL NPP, HOLTEC INT SIGN CONTRACT TO BUILD
$200 MILLION SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL STORAGE FACILITY

Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

KYIV – The Chornobyl NPP state company and U.S. company Holtec
International on the construction of a spent nuclear fuel storage facility.

Chornobyl NPP Director General Ihor Hramotkin and Holtec President and
Chief Executive Officer Kris Singh signed the deal in Kyiv on Monday in the
presence of Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko and European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) President Jean Lemierre.

A joint, 52-month project to build a storage facility for spent nuclear fuel
with Holtec International is estimated to cost $200 million dollars, deputy
chief of the presidential secretariat Oleksandr Chaly said. The project
complies with International Atomic Energy Agency standards, he added.

———————————————————————————————–
NOTE: Holtec is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council
in Washington, D.C.
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20.  UKRAINE SIGNS TWO HUGE CONTRACTS, ONE FOR SAFE
CONFINEMENT SARCOPHAGUS, ONE FOR STORAGE OF SPENT
NUCLEAR FUEL AT CHORNOBYL NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
French company Novarka and U.S. company Holtec International

Press Office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

KYIV – President Victor Yushchenko on Monday attended a ceremony to
sign a contract between the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the French
construction company Novarka to build the New Safe Confinement and a
deal between the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the American energy
technology company Holtec International to build Storage for Spent Nuclear
Fuel 2.

Yushchenko said today’s ceremony was a “great historic event.” “After
searching for engineering, political, technological and financial solutions
for twenty years we are now laying the first fundamental brick in this
project, which is called the construction of the safe sarcophagus at the
unit of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the storage for spent nuclear
fuel,” he said.

Yushchenko said the event had “exceptional importance” for Ukraine and the
world. “On behalf of the Ukrainian state, I would like to thank all of you
for this wonderful job.

“I am convinced today we will be able to say frankly to the nation and the
international community, perhaps for the first time, that there has been a
response to the problem of building the New Safe Confinement at the
Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant,” he said and added this was a “great step
in the cause to minimize the aftereffects of the Chornobyl disaster.”

Yushchenko said the NSC would protect other countries as well: “We are
speaking about the unique planetary project, as the danger that has been
emerging from this place affects not only Ukraine [but also other states].”

The president thanked the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
[EBRD] and the donor states for making the project possible. He said Ukraine
had fulfilled its international obligations to close the Chornobyl Nuclear
Power Plant.

“Ukraine has completed the conservation of the facility, which will make it
safe for fifteen years, so any nuclear accident there is now impossible,” he
said, urging Novarka and Holtec International to implement the project
“rhythmically and in solidarity.”
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LINK: http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/1_19003.html
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21.  UKRAINE’S FUEL AND ENERGY MINISTER AND US ENERGY
SECRETARY DISCUSS COOPERATION IN ENERGY SECTOR

Interfax Ukraine Economic, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 18, 2007

VIENNA, Austria – Fuel and Energy Minister of Ukraine Yuriy Boiko and
U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman have met to discuss cooperation
in the energy sector between Ukraine and the United States.

Last Sunday they met in Vienna, Austria as a part of a meeting of the Global
Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) Organization.

During the meeting, the Ukrainian minister praised the initiatives of the
U.S. government and thanked Bodman for his personal contribution to
the creation of global nuclear energy partnership.

He said that Ukraine sees great prospects in the activities of the
organization in settling urgent problems and promoting the further
development of the world’s nuclear sectors.

Boiko said that Ukraine and the United States have already had successful
experience in international cooperation in the nuclear sector, in
particular, the project on the standardization of Ukrainian nuclear fuel.

The minister thanked his counterpart for settling issues on additional
financing of the project, adding that the diversification of nuclear fuel
supplies is strategically important for Ukraine.
CENTRAL NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE FACILITY, HOLTEC
Boiko also said that another strategically important project for Ukraine is
the project to build a central nuclear waste storage facility, and noted
that the U.S. company Holtec had won the tender to build the facility.

He said that the realization of the project would help Ukraine to save $10
billion over 10 years. He said that an additional agreement on the
possibility to carry out a restricted volume of work before the Ukrainian
cabinet adopts a law on the building of the central nuclear waste storage
facility was signed in 2007 in order to speed up the realization of the
project.

In turn, Bodman said he highly appreciated joint work of the two countries
on the standardization of nuclear fuel. Moreover, the sides discussed the
visit of Ukrainian specialist on alternative energy, which is scheduled for
next week.
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22.  UKRAINE: FUEL & ENERGY MINSTER BOIKO PREDICTS HOLTEC
PROJECT TO CONSTRUCT CENTRALIZED SPENT FUEL STORAGE
FACILITY WILL ECONOMIZE USD 10 BILLION IN TEN YEARS
Boiko Meets with U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman in Vienna

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

KYIV – Ukraine’s Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Boiko predicts that the
realization of a project to construct a centralized spent fuel storage
facility for Rivne, Southern Ukrainian, and Khmelnytskyi nuclear power
plants will economize USD 10 billion in ten years.

Ukrainian News learned this from the press service of the Fuel and Energy
Ministry, which quoted Boiko at a meeting with U.S. Energy Secretary
Samuel Bodman in Vienna (Austria) on September 16.

The statement reads that the meeting took place in the frames of the Global
Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). Boiko highly assessed the initiatives of
the U.S. government and thanked Bodman for his contribution in the creation
of the GNEP.

The Ukrainian minister emphasized that Ukraine saw great perspectives for
the activities of the GNEP on the settlement of vital problems and further
development of the nuclear power industry in the world.

Boiko further said that the project to construct the centralized spent fuel
storage facility for Ukrainian NPPs, a tender of which has been won by
Holtec International (the United States), was of strategic importance for
Ukraine’s energy security.

According to Boiko, an additional agreement on the realization of the
project was concluded this year about the possibility of a limited volume of
works ahead of the endorsement by the Ukrainian parliament of a law on the
construction of centralized spent fuel storage facility.

Boiko noted that Ukraine and the United States had successful experience in
international cooperation in the nuclear power industry, including within a
project on qualification of Ukrainian nuclear fuel.

The Ukrainian minister thanked Bodman for the settlement of issues related
to additional finance to the project and noted that the diversification of
nuclear fuel was strategically important for Ukraine.

Bodman highly assessed the joint work by Ukraine and the United States on
the qualification of Ukrainian fuel.

Bodman further said, according to the press service, that it was necessary
to secure transparent procedures of cooperation in the realization of a
project on joint exploration and submission of an application form by
Naftohaz Ukrainy national joint stock company and the U.S. Marathon
International Petroleum Ltd. to receive a license for exploration and
extraction of carbohydrates in the northwest part of the Dniprovsko-
Donetska depression.

Boiko and Bodman discussed a visit of Ukrainian specialists on alternative
energy to the United States to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
(NREL) in Denver.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, in December 2005, Enerhoatom and
Holtec International, the United States, signed a contract on construction
of the centralized spent fuel storage facility for Rivne NPP, Southern
Ukrainian NPP, and Khmelnytskyi NPP.

By the end of 2009, Ukraine intends to stop exporting spent fuel to Russia
after the centralized spent fuel storage is built.

The first stage of the facility has to save 2,500 reactors of VVER-1000 type
and 1,080 reactors of VVER-440 type. Zaporizhia NPP has a spent nuclear
fuel facility.

On September 16, Ukraine officially joined the Global Nuclear Energy
Partnership. Organization’s principles are peaceful use of nuclear materials
and formation of joint view concerning use of relevant technologies,
increase of the nuclear reactor level and handling with nuclear wastes.

Besides, the cooperation accepts preparation of joint political decisions in
the field of nonproliferation of nuclear weapon.

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23. BREAKTHROUGH FOR CHERNOBYL NUCLEAR DECOMMISSIONING
PROGRAM IN UKRAINE, TWO MAJOR CONTRACTS SIGNED

UNIAN News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

KYIV – International efforts to make the scene of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear
accident environmentally safe have taken a major step forward, according to
a press release, forwarded to UNIAN by EBRD.

Today Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant signed two important contracts, one to
build a new steel structure to seal off the damaged unit 4 with the Novarka
consortium and another one to complete the spent nuclear fuel storage with
Holtec International.

Currently unit 4 is protected by a shelter built immediately after the
accident in 1986 under extremely hazardous conditions and which, despite
recent successful stabilisation works, is decaying.

The “New Safe Confinement” will be an arch-shaped structure 105 metres high,
150 metres long and with a span of 260 metres. It will be constructed on the
site and later be slid over unit 4.

Construction work is expected to take 48-52 months and the shelter will then
create the conditions for the ultimate dismantling of Chernobyl’s unit 4
which still contains 95 percent of its original nuclear inventory.

Construction of the New Safe Confinement is the most visible project under
the Chernobyl Shelter Implementation Plan (SIP) agreed between the
Government of Ukraine and the international community in 1997.

The plan contained many other elements which had to be completed over
recent years in order to allow work on the confinement to begin. The total
SIP cost is now estimated to be $1.39 billion.
SECOND CONTRACT SIGNED WITH HOLTEC INT
A second contract which was signed with Holtec International is equally
important. Holtec’s assignment is to complete the spent nuclear fuel storage
facility for more than twenty thousand spent fuel assemblies generated
during the operation of the Units 1-3 up to December 2000.

An approximately 1.5 year design and regulatory approval phase will be
followed by delivery and installation of the equipment.

The facility, to ensure safe and secure storage of the Chernobyl spent fuel
for one hundred years, is a key element of the overall Chernobyl
decommissioning plan.

International donors have made significant contributions to finance these
projects via donations to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund and the Nuclear Safety
Account, which are managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development.

Together with the Government of Ukraine the Bank also ensures supervision
of the effective implementation of the projects.

EBRD President Jean Lemierre said this is an important day for Ukraine and
the world. “This shows what Ukraine and the international community working
together can achieve on a very difficult and complex issue.

“Everything that has been achieved so far is proof of the determination of
all parties concerned to work together, to overcome difficulties and to find
and implement joint solutions.

“The successful implementation of the project depends not only on the
progress of the construction work, but also on the continued commitment of
both the Ukrainian authorities and the international community.”

As of end-June 2007, the Chernobyl Shelter Fund has recorded total
contributions of euro739 million from the following donors: Austria,
Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Community, Finland, France, Germany,
Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway,
Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom,
and the United States. Donations have been made by Iceland, Israel, Korea,
Portugal, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia.

The Nuclear Safety Account has so far received contributions of Euro285
million from: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the European Community, Finland,
France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland,
the United Kingdom, Ukraine and the United States.
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24.  MRS T MEETS MRS T FOR A NICE CUP OF TEA

Jenny Booth & Agencies, Times Online, London, UK, Fri, Sep 21, 2007

Yulia Tymoshenko, one of the leaders of Ukraine’s Orange revolution, came to
pay homage yesterday at the feet of Baroness Thatcher, the veteran former
leader of the Conservative party.

The two diminutive, blonde, female, former Prime Ministers sat down to tea
at the Goring Hotel in London to discuss the dark days of the Cold War – and
possibly also motherhood, pearls and iconic political hairdos.

Mrs Tymoshenko, whose advisers were cheekily billing the private meeting as
“Mrs T meets Mrs T”, praised Lady Thatcher as Britain’s saviour and thanked
her for championing freedom for the former Soviet bloc states of Eastern
Europe.

Political observers say that Mrs Tymoshenko, the fiercely ambitious leader
of the Ukrainian opposition, may have been hoping for some of the Iron
Lady’s stardust to rub off on her campaign, as elections near on September
30.

Lady Thatcher’s aims were less clear, although she is known to enjoy homage,
and to feel aggrieved that little of it is forthcoming from David Cameron
and the Conservative leadership.

There was plenty of praise from her tea companion.

“I have long admired Lady Thatcher, and drawn inspiration from her success
in transforming her country from being the sick man of Europe into one of
Europe’s strongest economies, and raising UK living standards to one of the
highest in the world,” said Mrs Tymoshenko.

“Her model has been followed and emulated by Tony Blair, Gordon Brown
and Nicholas Sarkozy.

“She was firm in adversity and stood up to oppression when others remained
seated. Her words spoke for countless millions across Eastern Europe who
had no voice.

“She helped write a new chapter for our nation and we remain indebted to her
courage.”

A beaming Lady Thatcher appeared animated at the encounter, and even
permitted the Ukrainian politician to put an arm around her shoulders.

She wished Mrs Tymoshenko well for the future, expressed a hope that the
Ukrainian elections would be free and fair, and as the meeting ended
bestowed on her a signed copy of her political memoirs.

Last week Lady Thatcher caused a stir when she took tea with Gordon Brown,
once a vehement political opponent, thus directing the political limelight
away from Mr Cameron’s efforts to launch a Conservative policy document
on the environment.

Some Tories claimed that Mr Brown had taken advantage of the “frail, lonely”
Lady Thatcher for a photo opportunity, but others asserted that the former
Premier knew perfectly well what she was doing.

Lady Thatcher appears to be fast becoming a political monument to whom it
is fashionable to pay tribute. US Republican presidential hopefuls Rudy
Giuliani, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney have all recently paid her a visit.
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article2505255.ece
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25.  MARGARET THATCHER MEETS YULIA TYMOSHENKO

By Ben Martin, Telegraph, London, UK, Saturday, Sep 22, 2007

Lady Thatcher met another iron lady of politics yesterday, holding talks
with Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko to discuss topics
close to both their hearts – economic reform and winning elections.

Mrs Tymoshenko, who became the Ukraine’s first female prime minister in 2005
before her government was dismissed amid scandal just seven months later,
said she had long admired Lady Thatcher and thanked her for helping lift the
Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe.

Wearing the blonde, braided hair that is her trademark, Mrs Tymoshenko said
Lady Thatcher had transformed Britain from the “sick man” of Europe into one
of Europe’s strongest economies.

“She was firm in adversity and stood up to oppression when others remained
seated,” Mrs Tymoshenko said. “Her words spoke for countless millions across
Eastern Europe who had no voice. She helped write a new chapter for our
nation and we remain indebted to her courage.”

Lady Thatcher responded by saying she hoped Ukraine’s election, due on
September 30, would be free and fair and a “guiding light for democracy in
Eastern Europe”.

“I wish for Ukraine to quickly complete its transformation and for its
people to enjoy the benefits of a prosperous democratic nation at the heart
of a modern Europe,” she said. “The Orange Revolution gave hope to
freedom-loving people everywhere. Its spirit clearly lives on.”

Lady Thatcher gave Mrs Tymoshenko a signed copy of her memoirs and
Mrs Tymoshenko presented Lady Thatcher with a boxed replica of a 2000
year-old Scythian artwork.
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/21/wthatcher121.xml
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26.  THATCHER BLESSES UKRAINE IRON LADY

By Marie Colvin, The Sunday Times
London, United Kingdom, Sunday, September 23, 2007

UKRAINE’s former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, flew into London last
week to meet Baroness Thatcher, vowing to drag her country kicking and
screaming away from the Russian bear and into the European fold if she
returns to office after elections next weekend.

“Real women don’t do U-turns,” she said after the meeting, referring to
Thatcher’s famous declaration that “the lady’s not for turning”.

Tymoshenko curled into the back seat of a car, dressed in a sleek cream wool
shift matched with 4in high heels. “I think I can be an iron lady and inside
still a human,” she said. “It’s about the ability to preserve the human
touch.”

Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko, her party, is tipped to do well in the elections and
she is the favour-ite to be the next prime minister. With her trademark
braid curled around her head, hers is one of the two faces of the orange
revolution, a striking contrast to that of Viktor Yushchenko, the president,
who was disfigured by an attempt to poison him with dioxin, an act he
blames on the Russians.

She admits the braid is a “pin on”. “I found the style simple,” she said.
“It saves time, and it’s very traditional.”

Tymoshenko is pro-western and pro-free market, hence the meeting with
Thatcher, who was so taken with her that she told her she would have liked
to campaign on her behalf.

A billionairess who made her fortune in the free-for-all chaos of the
mid 1990s in Ukraine’s gas business, she is brimming with confidence that
her party will win at the polls.

Tymoshenko, 46, was supposedly betrayed by Yushchenko when he went
back on a deal that saw her agree not to run for president if she could
serve as prime minister. He dismissed her after seven months.

He then suffered the ignominy of being forced to replace her with a
candidate approved by his arch-rival, the pro-Rus-sian Viktor Yanukovych.

Tymoshenko is passionate in her convictions and has no fear of Ukraine’s
macho political style. “Women are stronger. Like Thatcher, I’m committed to
changing my country for the better,” she said. She was delighted with a gift
of Thatcher’s memoirs, inscribed “To Julia, Fighter for Freedom”.

Her mission is “first, to preserve our hard-won independence and to get rid
of post Soviet bureaucracy”. She promised to fight corruption, the single
most difficult issue and one that polls show is people’s biggest concern.

Even Moscow does not scare her. “If the independence of the Ukraine is at
stake, then I will call people on to the streets.”

It will be a tough fight. In parliamentary elections last year the single
largest share of the vote went to the Party of the Regions, led by
Yanukovych.

Tymoshenko flew back in a private jet to campaign in these very regions
where Ukraine’s 17% ethnic Russian minority, many of whom pine for closer
ties with Moscow, are concentrated. A heady mix of beauty and brains, a
whirlwind of energy, like Thatcher she may change her country for ever.
————————————————————————————————
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article2511689.ece

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27.  TIMOSHENKO SIGNS THE CONTRACT WITH INVESTORS
By Gene M. Burd, Marks Sokolov & Burd, LLC 
Philadelphia, PA, Monday, September 24, 2007

On September 10, Yulia Timoshenko met with the representatives of the
Western business and legal community, foreign government representatives
and the media where she gave highlights of her economic policies and signed
a document entitled ‘Contract with Investors’.

A copy of the Contract with Investors will be available at the web site of
Marks Sokolov & Burd, LLC (www.marks-sokolov.com) and via e-mail
from Gene Burd at (gburd@mslegal.com).

Ms Timoshenko said that she was confident that her alliance with Yushenko
will be victorious and stated that she intends to form a democratic
coalition consisting of three or four political forces (possibly including
communists) working together.  She also said that her goal is for foreign
investors to understand developments in the Ukrainian politics.
The Continuing Privatization Efforts —–
Ms Timoshenko has been critical of the present government for its lack of
transparency during privatization.  She contrasted the second privatization
of Krivorozhstal which she called “honest” with the recent privatization of
Dneprenergo which according to her was simply a transfer to Rinat Akhmetov.
She also mentioned the inadequate efforts toward the privatization of the
power industry and agriculture.

Ms Timoshenko said that she stands behind her past efforts to privatize 569
wholly or partially state owned companies and will pass laws to that effect.
Her primary concern is privatization of companies in the mining and natural
resource industries.
‘Economic Zones’ will be Replaced by ‘Investment Zones’ —–
Ms Timoshenko has also been critical of the former ‘free economic zones’
regime which according to her “killed” competition and which was misused
for tax evasion.

Rather, she has proposed to implement a regime of ‘investment zones’ in
underdeveloped areas.  Goods manufactured in these zones will be exported
duty free but subject to duty if sold in Ukraine.

Investment and technology for investments will be tax free for as long as
the investment zone regime exists.  Components and spare parts will be duty
free for a period of five years.  Ms Timoshenko has promised to adopt the
‘investment zones’ laws within one month of coming to power.
Acquisition Of Non-Agricultural Lands Will Be Streamlined —–
Ms Timoshenko has promised to streamline procedures for the acquisition
of non-agricultural lands.  She said that the acquisition process currently
requires 126 signatures which need to be done twice – first when the
application is submitted and second when it is approved.

The new land acquisition law will require local governments to put the
requested parcel of land up for auction within 10 days of a request or if
unavailable to put up for auction a substitute parcel of equal value.  She
said that the law will be adopted within four to six weeks after the
election.
Less Red Tape —–
Ms Timoshenko said that she will fight bureaucracy by analyzing the function
of each bureaucrat and fire those who are unnecessary in order to destroy
the “corrupt bullion” of licenses and permissions.  She did not specifically
name any licenses or permissions that she thought should be eliminated.  Nor
did she present a time frame for their elimination.

Agricultural Land is Not for Sale —–
Ms Timoshenko said that until the laws regulating use of agricultural land
are implemented there will a moratorium on the sale of agricultural lands.
She stated that the present lack of legislation regulating the use of
agricultural lands will cause problems if the lands are allowed to be
privatized.  For the meantime, these problems can only be avoided by
maintaining a moratorium.
Customs and Certifications —–
Ms Timoshenko stated that she wants to streamline customs procedures
wherein imported goods are checked and rechecked even if they have valid
certifications.  She said she wants to implement a regime in which European
certificates of quality will be accepted.
Taxes —–
Ms Timoshenko has promised to significantly decrease payroll tax and VAT.
She said that the present VAT regime is a source of corruption and
inefficiency and that it can be substituted for by other taxes.  However,
she did not explain specifically which taxes could substitute VAT and what
economic effects these taxes would have.

The decrease or even elimination of VAT is a common platform between the
Timoshenko Block and the Party of the Regions who are the main political
forces in Ukraine together with Our Ukraine.

These changes were promised in the previous elections, but so far they have
not happened.  Moreover elimination of VAT would contradict certain EU
Directives.

Answering questions from the audience, Ms Timoshenko said that no
politician in any country can assure which direction future legislation will
take.  There has to be a legal system that works.

Lastly, she said that in order to force politicians to keep their promises
there has to be a democratic system in which they can be voted out of
office.

It does not matter whether the system is parliamentary or presidential –
either one can work as long as the functions of each branch are clearly
delineated and a system of checks and balances is imposed.
———————————————————————————————
Gene M. Burd is a member in the law firm Marks Sokolov and Burd, LLC
and the head of its representative office in Kyiv.  He was born in Ukraine
and was educated in the United States where he also practices law. 

Marks & Sokolov, LLC (operating in Ukraine as Marks Sokolov and Burd,
LLC) is a boutique law firm known for its ability to handle complex
litigation and commercial work in countries around the world including the
U.S., Russia and Ukraine. The firm has offices in Philadelphia, Moscow,
and Kiev and its lawyers are fluent in English, Russian, and Ukrainian.
———————————————————————————————-
NOTE: Marks & Sokolov, LLC is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine
Business Council in Washington, D.C.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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28.  UKRAINIAN MINDED BOOKS
“Why did He Annihilate Us?/Stalin and the Ukrainian Holodomor”

By Nadiya Tysiachna, Iryna Yehorova, The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, September 18, 2007

Yurii Logush, a well-known international company’s chairman [Kraft
Ukraina], called to the editorial office one day and asked to find our
newspaper’s issue containing the continuation of the material written by
Stanislav Kulchytsky and entitled “Why did Stalin annihilate us?”

It occurred that he was collecting all publications of his author’s cycle.
(It is a steadfast tendency. Many respected Ukrainian historians,
philosophers, literature critics and linguists confessed that they had whole
piles of The Day’s press cuttings, until they were incorporated into the
books Ukraine Incognita, Dvi Rusi, Wars and Peace, Day and Eternity of
James Mace, Apocryfy of Klara Gudzyk, and My Universities from our
newspaper’s library.)

Obviously, a same thing is happening this time. In the first numbers of
September, the book by Stanislav Kulchytsky “Why did He Annihilate Us?/
Stalin and the Ukrainian Holodomor,” based on The Day’s publications
(2005-2007), was published.

It contains valuable photos from engineer Vinerberger’ collection and from
the collection Famine in the Soviet Ukraine 1932-33, published at the
Harvard University in 1986 using the resources of the Central State Archives
of the Cinematic-Photographic Documents of Ukraine. The foreword was written
by Editor in Chief Larysa Ivshyna, and the book was published under her
overall editorship.

The afterword was written by Director of Ukrainian Sciences Department at
the Rome University “La Sapienza”, writer Oksana Pakhliovska. The
presentation of the book by Stanislav Kulchytsky Why did He Annihilate
Us/Stalin and the Ukrainian Holodomor took place within the framework of the
14th Forum of Publishers in Lviv.

A roundtable “Holodomor in Ukraine 1932-33. Document Heritage” was held in
the Mirror Hall at the Lviv-based Ivan Franko National University. Novelette
Holodomor in Ukraine 1932-33: Documents and Materials was introduced too
(Kyiv Mohyla Academy Publishing House). It was compiled by Ruslan Pyrih.

“I have been studying this topic practically since 2004,” Stanislav
Kulchytsky explains, “although I have been studying the Holodomor probably
since 1985. The thing is that today the question of the Holodomor as an act
of genocide has been broached, therefore, one has to reinterpret everything
in the view of this. Actually, the new book of ” The Day’s Library” is
revealing the topic of the Holodomor as an and act of genocide.

“Clearly, the famine of 1932-33 was an all- union one, however, it was much
worse on the Ukrainian territory than anywhere else. Everywhere the famine
was caused by grain- collections. But Ukrainians faced something else – not
grain-collection, but a punitive action of confiscation of all means for
living.

“Since one could not buy food anywhere else (a rationing system was
implemented,) peasants started to day in masses (they did not receive the
ration cards.) What was the reason for this? In order to feed the peasants
afterwards. Thus, the state first had confiscated everything, and afterwards
started to feed them, so to say, from hands.

“Obviously, not all were fed, for millions died. This was a lesson taught by
Stalin to the Ukrainian peasants that were not eager to work for the state
for nothing, because everything they collected had been confiscated for
three years.

“However, Stalin also learnt a lesson. Starting from 1933, the base of
coexistence of collective farms and state economy were built in another way:
it was based on taxes.

“This meant that the state had recognized that produced good remained within
the ownership of peasants and collective farms, therefore, this was no slave
work, but that of a serf.”

Stanislav Vladyslavovych responded in a laconic to the question, why the
book was published in Russian, “The purpose was to make people living in the
east and south of Ukraine in particular, and also in the Post-Soviet area,
read the book, “

Head of the Radio and Television Department at the Lviv- based Ivan Franko
National University Vasyl Lyzanchuk asked, in which way the scholar’s
evolution develops in the view of such a dramatic theme.

“A well-known American Scientist James Mace, who studied the Ukrainian
Holodomor, published the article How Ukraine was Allowed to Believe in a
foreign magazine in 1994,” Kulchytsky said, “The article consisted of nine
chapters, one of them devoted to me. I must say that at first there was a
misunderstanding between me and James, but afterwards we have reached a
consensus.

For he wrote that Kulchytsky was a soviet professor at first, and became
simply a professor after starting to study the Holodomor.”

In his turn, Head of the Ukrainian Revolution Department at the Institute of
the History of Ukraine of the NAN of Ukraine, compiler of The Holodomor in
Ukraine 1932-33: Documents and Materials Ruslan Pyrih explained that in 2003
the archives of the Russian President transferred the Political Bureau
materials that have never been published previously to the Russian State
Archives of the social-political history.

“It was resolved that I would take this project,” the scholar went on. “The
collection is a synthetic one. The Russian study of early texts have
published many similar projects like Tragedy of Soviet Village or Lubianka
for Stalin. Ukraine has few of these books.

Therefore their most interesting documents and too the documents from the
Political Bureau, foreign intelligence services and Stalin, Molotov and
Kahanovych’s correspondence have been included to my book. The materials
and documents from the total of 15 Ukrainian central and oblast archives and
five RF archives were included into the collection.”

The associate worker of the State SBU branch archives, historian Dr. Vasyl
Danylenko, who took part in publication of Declassified Memory, said that
both books, Why Did He Annihilate Us and Holodomor in Ukraine 1932-33:
Documents Materials, belong to the decade’s best ones for their significance.
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/187798/

———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
29.  HOLODOMOR 1932-1933 IN UKRAINE: DOCUMENTS. MATERIALS
“This book is the quintessence of whatwe know about the Holodomor”

By Ihor Siundiukov, The Day Weekly Digest
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 4, 2007

As The Day has already reported, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Publishers have
just published a fundamental study entitled Holodomor 1932-1933 r.r. v
Ukraini. Dokumenty i materially [The Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine:
Documents and Materials].

This compilation contains several hundred documents that provide evidence
of the Stalin’s totalitarian regime’s terrible crime against the Ukrainian
people and humanity in general.

The book has sparked great public and scholarly interest, attracting all
kinds of readers. The Day asked the compiler of the study, the historian
Ruslan Pyrih, to tell us briefly about the history of the book’s creation.

This study is the result of the collective efforts of many individuals. Its
“birth” was not easy and took a long time. What can you tell me about the
background of this publication?

TWO LANDMARK BOOKS
Here in front of me are two landmark books: Holod v Ukraini 1932-1933
rokiv [The Famine in Ukraine in the Years 1932-1933] (a collection of 248
documents; a pioneering scholarly work on the problems of the Holodomor,
which was published in 1990, the second-to-last year of perestroika, when
the ruling party realized that it was impossible to conceal the horrible
truth) – and this newly published study of the Holodomor.

I happen to be the compiler of both these books. Comparing these two
studies, one can see the immense and amazing path covered by our historical
science in these past 17 years.

In fact, all of us, scholars, had to resolve an enormous number of problems,
including limited access to the documentary sources available at the time
and a certain fear of drawing conclusions and bitter generalizations, which
was caused by well-known factors.

However, I must mention such valuable and useful works as Kolektyvizatsiia i
holod v Ukraini [Collectivization and Famine in Ukraine (published in 1992,
this is a collection of documents, materials, and articles), and Holod v
Ukraini (1932-1933 rr. Prychyny i naslidky [Famine in Ukraine in 1932-1933:
Causes and Consequences] (a collection of articles published by Naukova
Dumka in 2003 on the initiative of Academician Valerii Smolii).

By the way, 2003 was the year when hundreds of formerly highly classified
files of the 1920s and 1930s were transferred from the archive of the
president of the Russian Federation (the former Politburo archive) to the
Russian State Archive of Social and Political History, which made it
possible to put them into scholarly circulation, including in Ukraine.

Our new book was ready for printing in 2004, but it spent three years on the
list of “indispensable” publications that enjoy state support because there
were no funds to publish it. But all that is in the past.

I am especially grateful to the Ukraine-3000 Foundation, the Kyiv-Mohyla
Academy Publishers, the Naukova Dumka Publishing House, Ms. Olha
Bazhan, the legendary General Prystaiko, and many other people who helped
make this book possible.

[The Day] What makes this study unique?
You can judge for yourself. I will mention only a few statistics. Our book
contains 1,700 documents, both new ones and those that were published
earlier (1,200 pages). We can say that this is the quintessence of what we
know about the Holodomor today.

Typologically, these documents include materials of the Union organs (the CC
AUCP(b), Sovnarkom, and VUTsVK), documents from the corresponding
organs of the Ukrainian SSR, and those of local organs.
DOCUMENTS NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED
But this book contains certain documents – and this is important! – that
have never been published before.

These are documents of foreign diplomatic missions in the early 1930s,
foreign civic organizations, and the private papers of individual people
from those terrible years: letters, complaints, diaries (for example, one by
Dmytro Zavoloka, a Communist Party functionary, and another by a
Kharkiv-based teacher named Radchenko).

To my mind the documents of the Politburo included in the collection have
the greatest importance (about 100 resolutions, 65 of which have never been
published before).

What can we see from those documents? We see that the Ukrainian people
did not go mutely like lambs to the slaughter (for example, at least 50
district party committees protested against the decisions and resisted them).

We see that the arrival in Ukraine of “the heavyweights” (Molotov and
Kaganovich) was instrumental. We see that there was some relief given to
starving regions, but it was highly selective (it was not so much relief as
loans).

[The Day] A surprise question: what do you dream about now that the
book has been published?
I want the book to live a life of its own, independent of any institutions
or authors. Then I will be happy.
——————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/187308/
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
30.  IN THE MERCILESS LIGHT OF MEMORY
Security Service of Ukraine holds roundtable on declassified archival
materials about the Holodomor and political repressions in Ukraine

By Ihor Siundiukiv, The Day Weekly Digest,
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 4, 2007

“For nothing is secret that shall not be made manifest.” This is what
Hitlers, Stalins, Pinochets, Pol Pots and their ilk forget when they destroy
innocent people – from thousands and hundreds of thousands to dozens of
millions.

Ukraine needs to know the terrible documented truth about the millions of
our compatriots who were mowed down by Stalin’s scythe of death.

This is no exaggeration because the Holodomor period (as well as the entire
stretch of the 1920s and 1930s) is a pivotal era of Soviet history, and the
attitude to this period depends to a large extent on its interpretation and
assessment.

What is needed above all is the political will to make public the documents
about the crimes of Stalin’s tyranny, which until recently were top secret.
We can now say that Ukraine’s political leadership does have this will.

On Aug. 27, in pursuance of President Viktor Yushchenko’s instruction to
make a further study of the history of political repressions against the
citizens of Ukraine and Ukrainians living abroad and the president’s decree
“On Measures to Mark the 70th Anniversary of the Great Terror – the Mass
Political Repressions of 1937-1938,” the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)
hosted a roundtable debate “The 1932-1933 Holodomor and Political
Repressions in Ukraine in Documents from the Archives of the Security
Service of Ukraine.”

The organizers of the roundtable also launched the book Rozsekrechena
pam’iat. Holodomor 1932-1933 rokiv v Ukraini v dokumentakh GPU NKVD

[Declassified Memory: The Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine in the
Documents of the GPU NKVD], which contains declassified documents on
Soviet political repressions in Ukraine.

In his speech acting SBU head Valentyn Nalyvaichenko emphasized that

today there can be no secrets, cover-ups, or distortions with respect to the
political repressions.

“The Ukrainian secret service is opening up all the available archival
materials on this subject to the Ukrainian public and the world community
and is inviting researchers, historians, and all committed individuals to
cooperate,” he noted.

“The SBU does not doubt that the Holodomor was anything but genocide of

the Ukrainian people, a pre-planned and pre-conceived crime, and documents
confirm this.

“Our task is to map out a strategy for reviving the Ukrainian people’s
national memory, and we are pinning special hopes on the Institute of
National Memory, recently established in keeping with President Viktor
Yushchenko’s decree.”

As for the SBU’s concrete actions to achieve this extremely important goal,
Nalyvaichenko announced that the SBU has already formally requested Russia’s
Federal Security Service and its counterparts in the Republic of Kazakhstan
to help in the work of checking the lists of victims of repressions and
furnishing the required archival documents.

Vasyl Danylenko, deputy chief of the SBU archives, spoke about the history,
importance, and need for this publication. He noted that this study is the
first comprehensive publication of documents from the GPU NKVD on the
Holodomor, which will be of paramount scholarly and practical importance.

Researchers will be greatly interested in the documents that expose the
Holodomor’s “triggering mechanism,” including minutes of the AUCP(B)
Politburo meeting on Sept. 16, 1932, which laid down the procedure of
applying the draconian law “On the Theft of Socialist Property” (popularly
known as the “five ears law”).

The documents contained in the book show that the GPU – both on the
All-Union and Ukrainian republican level – was actively involved in
suppressing the Ukrainian peasantry.

Ukrainian filmmaker Alexander Dovzhenko, whose comments were also recorded
by secret agents and reported to the authorities in 1933, said very clearly
at the time, “The Ukrainian countryside is dying. Ukrainian villages are on
the brink of extinction.”

These documents are being published for the first time, as are the
photographs taken by a peasant from Baturyn, named Bokan, which are a
damning indictment of the terror by famine.

In her speech historian Valentyna Borysenko focused on the great importance
of oral testimonies in Holodomor studies because researchers throughout the
world value precisely this kind of information, especially when it comes
from children, who can memorize even the minutest details.

Borysenko noted that Robert Conquest and James Mace, the world-acclaimed
Holodomor researchers, had always relied on this kind of evidence.

Many of the roundtable participants spoke warmly and with extreme gratitude
about the late James Mace whose publications were frequently published in
The Day.

Askold Lozynskyj, head of the Ukrainian World Congress, recalled that Mace
used to tell him (and was prepared to bolster his view with figures) that if
there had been no Holodomor, the population of Ukraine would have reached
100 million by the late 20th century.

The audience listened with rapt attention to Dr. Bohdan Futey, a judge on
the US Court of Federal Claims, who summed up the findings of the
International Commission of Inquiry into the 1932-33 Famine in Ukraine
(Sundberg Commission, 1988-1990) which was set up on the initiative of the
World Congress of Free Ukrainians.

The documents of this commission as well as those of the US Congress-
sponsored Commission on the Ukraine Famine (in which Mace was the
powerhouse) are still important and necessary.

The Sundberg Commission, which does not, however, believe that the Soviet
leadership aimed to destroy the Ukrainian nation once and for all, arrived
at the following conclusion: “The majority of the commission believes that
the Soviet government deliberately used the Holodomor, once it began, to
pursue its policy of denationalization. This policy flouts the moral
foundations on which all of humankind rests. Without a doubt the top
leadership of the USSR bears responsibility for this.”

Some speakers proposed that the actions of Stalin and his associates be
classified as “crimes against humanity” on the grounds that calling these
misdeeds “genocide” will raise some purely juridical problems because the
relevant UN convention that gives the definition of genocide was approved in
1947.

Therefore, it would have been a retroactive application of the convention to
the crimes that were committed well before it was adopted. However, others
presented a different, no less convincing, argument: the massacre of the
Armenians, which was committed by the Ottoman Empire even earlier, in 1915,
has been recognized as genocide by the vast majority of the world community.

Karl Jaspers, a prominent 20th-century German philosopher, wrote: “The
machine of terror becomes powerful when those who do not wish to have
anything to do with this machine also come to be terrorized.”

To a large extent these words explain the causes of the terrible events that
were discussed at the SBU roundtable. The search for the truth must continue,

and new secret police archival documents must be revealed to the public.
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/187297/
———————————————————————————————-
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AUR#870 Sep 21 Oligarchs Loom Over Election; Party of Regions; Election Without Choice; EU-Ukrainian Cacophony; Voting Patterns; Biofuels Market

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

Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 870
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2007
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.  OLIGARCHS LOOM OVER UKRAINE POLLS
By Roman Olearchyk and Stefan Wagstyl
Financial Times, London, UK, Friday, Sep 21, 2007

2INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS’ LIAISON GROUP OBSERVES
THE TRANSPARENCY OF THE ELECTIONS IN UKRAINE
Leonid A. Kozhara, Member of the Parliament of Ukraine
News release distributed on behalf of the Party of Regions
PRNewswire, London, UK, Thursday 20 September 2007

3UKRAINE: ELECTION WITHOUT CHOICE
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Oleh Bereznyuk
Head of the Kyiv Legal Society
Original article in Ukrainian, Translated by Eugene Ivantsov

Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Sep 17, 2007

4EU-UKRAINIAN CACOPHONY
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By John Marone,
Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Kyiv, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, September 17, 2007

 
5CAN UKRAINE AVOID COALITION CHAOS?
ANALYSIS: By Peter Dickinson, Business Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007
 
6THE CAMPAIGN THAT COULD CHANGE VOTING PATTERNS
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Tammy Lynch
The ISCIP ANALYST, An Analytical Review, Volume XIV, Number 1,
Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology & Policy at Boston University
Boston, MA, Thursday, September 20, 2007
 
7TRENDS & OPINION POLLS REVEAL SHIFTING VOTER
PREFERENCES IN UKRAINE
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: by Taras Kuzio
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 171
Jamestown Foundation, Wash, DC, Monday, September 17, 2007

8UKRAINE ELECTION: THE EASTERN FRONT
ANALYSIS: By Oksana Bondarchuk
Business Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Sep 17, 2007

9TYMOSHENKO GOES HARD ON AKHMETOV’S HEIRS
COMMENTARY: by Viktor Chyvokunya, Kremechug-Poltava, UP
Original article in Ukrainian, translated by Eugene Ivantsov
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, September 20, 2007

10UKRAINE’S TIES WITH RUSSIA RUN DEEP, AND THAT’S
NOT ABOUT TO CHANGE
COMMENTARY: by David Marples, Professor
University of Alberta, History and Classics Department
Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, Canada, Monday, July 30, 2007

11UKRAINE TORN BETWEEN RUSSIA, THE WEST
COMMENTARY: By Mykola Riabchuk, Freelance
Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Wed, Aug 08, 2007

12OECD: TELL ‘EM SOMETHING THEY DON’T KNOW
Tough economic times could be right around the corner,
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: John Marone,
Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, September 10, 2007

13CAN UKRAINE CAPITALISE ON THE GROWING BIOFUELS MARKET?
ANALYSIS: by Jim Davis, Business Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

14FIRST EDITION OF RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS DIRECTORY
UKRAINE LAUNCHED IN KYIV
UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, September 20, 2007
========================================================
1
 OLIGARCHS LOOM OVER UKRAINE ELECTION

By Roman Olearchyk and Stefan Wagstyl
Financial Times, London, UK, Friday, Sep 21, 2007

At the recent convention of Ukraine’s Regions party, the man at the centre
of attention was not Viktor Yanukovich, prime minister and party leader, but
Rinat Akhmetov, the country’s richest man.

Sitting in the front row, two seats from Mr Yanukovich, he attracted the
biggest crowds of journalists, politicians and cameramen.

Meanwhile, Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of the rival Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko,
has been seen on the campaign trail riding in a helicopter with Kostyantin
Zhevago, an iron ore billionaire.

And even President Viktor Yushchenko, who has often decried the political
influence of Ukraine’s oligarchs, has allowed himself to get close to
leading businessmen, who have donated money to Yushchenko-backed

charities.

With all parties campaigning hard for the September 30 parliamentary
elections, politicians are taking all the support they can. And some –
though not all – of the country’s business oligarchs are ready to lend a
hand.

But it is a delicate relationship. Mr Yushchenko has warned openly that the
oligarchs are once again interfering in politics and gaining “the taste of
power”.

His remarks will strike a chord with those voters who believe businessmen
have too big a say in politics. But his comments will be dismissed as
electioneering by others, who claim the oligarchs’ influence is exaggerated.

The oligarchs were formidable political players before the 2004 Orange
Revolution, but they were generally obedient to ex-president Leonid Kuchma,
currying favour to expand their businesses, often through privatisation
deals.

When Mr Yushchenko came to power, supported by the firebrand Ms

Tymoshenko, some businessmen feared the new leaders would seek to
reverse a decade of privatisation.

But those concerns waned after Mr Yushchenko and Ms Tymoshenko fell

out in 2005 and the privatisation review ended with the cancellation of just one
big deal – the Kryvorizhstal steel mill.

The president then said he wanted to move on and work with business. That
message was reinforced once Mr Yanukovich, the president’s arch-rival,
returned to power as prime minister last year.

With the economy booming, the oligarchs recovered their poise – and enjoyed
unprecedented increases in profits and asset values. Meanwhile, the
political reforms that followed the Orange Revolution devolved power from
the president to parliament – giving MPs, many of them millionaire business
people, greater access to power.

With Mr Yushchenko and Mr Yanukovich at loggerheads, and both battling Ms
Tymoshenko, the principal opposition leader, post-Orange Revolution politics
has offered many openings for oligarchs. Mr Yushchenko called the elections
early mainly because he was concerned about corruption in parliament.

The business oligarchs have broadly accepted the president’s plans to
balance Ukraine’s longstanding ties with Russia with closer ties to the
European Union. And with Europe becoming Ukraine’s main trading partner in
recent years, they have increasingly supported Kiev’s EU-oriented policy.

“[They] understand the need to put their suit s on before entering world
markets and the need to clean up their act, push reforms in the country and
in their companies,” says Kost Bondarenko, a political analyst.

Another analyst, Andriy Yermolaev, sees a divide between pro-Yanukovich
businessmen, led by Mr Akhmetov, whose companies are based in east

Ukrainian heavy industry, and those oligarchs supporting the president and Ms
Tymoshenko, who tend to have more diversified financial and trading
interests, such as Igor Kolomoisky, head of the Privat banking-based group.

The Yushchenko/Tymoshenko supporters favour rapid economic reform and
liberalisation. The pro-Yanukovich businessmen are more conservative. “The
rivalry between these two groups is quite damaging and ruthless,” says Mr
Yermolaev.

Mr Yushchenko is particularly worried about Mr Akhmetov, who stands out
among oligarchs as the richest and most overt in his political involvement.
An MP for the Regions party, the largest in parliament, he has long backed
Mr Yanukovich and worked with him in managing rich, Russian-speaking eastern
Ukraine.

The party recently infuriated the president by pushing for a referendum
calling for official status for the Russian language and challenging Mr
Yushchenko’s hopes of closer ties to Nato.

Ms Tymoshenko claims Mr Akhmetov profits from his loyalty to Mr Yanukovich,
citing his recent acquisition of a stake in a big state-controlled power
generator, Dniproenergo. Mr Akhmetov has denied that he benefited from
preferential treatment.

Mr Kolomoisky and Mr Akhmetov did not respond to requests for comment

about their political interests. Among several other business leaders, only Serhiy
Taruta, co-owner of the leading steel producer ISD Group, agreed to answer
questions about politics.

The business elite was generally “seeking to be apolitical, as playing in
politics can unearth serious risks” for long-term business relations and
reputations, he said.

That may be true for Mr Taruta, but clearly not for some of his big rivals.
THE OLIGARCHS
[1] Rinat Akhmetov, aged 41.
Controls assets in steel, coal, energy,
banking, hotels, telecoms, television and soccer. Estimated worth: $15.6bn
(£7.7bn, Euro11.1bn). Backed Viktor Yanukovich in the 2004 presidential
elections.

A dedicated member of the premier’s Regions party and, since March 2006, an
MP, but has some discreet links with Viktor Yushchenko too. He backs the
president’s EU membership bid but opposes his plans for speedy Nato
accession. Backs making Russian official language.

[2] Viktor Pinchuk, aged 46. Controls assets in steel pipe production,
railway wheels, media and banking. Estimated worth: $7bn. Son-in-law to
former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma. Backed Mr Yanukovich in 2004
elections. Ex-MP, stepped down after the Orange Revolution.

Some close associates from his past have recently joined Mr Yanukovich’s
Regions party as parliamentary candidates. Supports EU membership
aspirations. Has not been vocal on Mr Yushchenko’s Nato plans or the

Russian language issue.

[3] Igor Kolomoisky, aged 44. Controls assets in banking, ore mining, steel,
energy, ferro alloys, hydrocarbons and media. Estimated worth: $3.5bn. Main
co-owner of Ukraine’s Privat business group with Gennady Bogolyubov, aged
45.

Privat holds assets outside Ukraine, including factories in Russia, Romania,
Poland and the US. Neither has served in parliament or government but
according to analysts, both have backed various political parties. Neither
has publicly expressed personal views on the EU, Nato or Russian language.

[4] Sergey Taruta, aged 62. Assets in steel, machine building, hotels, gas
production. Estimated worth: $2.3bn. Co-owns Ukraine’s industrial ISD Group
along with Vitali Gayduk, an ex-government official.

Like Mr Akhmetov’s empire, this group started in the industrial Donbass. ISD
has invested outside Ukraine, including in steel mills in Hungary, Poland
and the US. The group appears to try avoid intervening in politics but is
viewed as pro-Yushchenko, even though it has not publicly support an EU
membership bid.

[5] Kostyantin Zhevago, aged 32. Assets in ore mining, banking, truck
manufacturing, hydrocarbons and real estate. Estimated worth: $2bn. Has
served as legislator, switching between parties since the late 1990s.
Currently member of Yulia Tymoshenko’s bloc. Supports EU integration,

but has not expressed views on Nato or language.

[6] Dmitry Firtash, aged 42. Assets in gas and electricity trading,
chemicals, media and real estate. Estimated worth: $1.4bn. Not publicly
active in politics since an unsuccessful bid for parliament in 2002. Viewed
as a backer of various parties and political projects.

Has strong relations in Moscow as a partner of Russia’s Gazprom in
Swiss-registered gas trader RosUkrEnergo. Has not expressed his views on

EU membership, Nato or the Russian language issue.
————————————————————————————————-
Source: Estimated wealth calculated by Kiev-based investment bank Dragon
Capital and published by Ukraine’s Korrespondent magazine in a 2007 listing
of the country’s wealthiest people.
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
2.  INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS’ LIAISON GROUP OBSERVES
THE TRANSPARENCY OF THE ELECTIONS IN UKRAINE

Leonid A. Kozhara, Member of the Parliament of Ukraine
News release distributed on behalf of the Party of Regions
PRNewswire, London, UK, Thursday 20 September 2007

KYIV, Ukraine – While the early parliamentary elections in Ukraine are

just about to enter the finishing straight, the favourites in the race were
already determined some time ago.

All polls reveal that the Party of Regions – the party delivering the
foundation of today’s ruling coalition – is clearly ahead.
Recent studies indicate that the Party of Regions is on course to repeat
last year’s success and is likely to even outperform it by winning about 33
to 35% of the votes.

The Bloc Yulia Timoshenko (BYT) is lagging more than 10% behind, and the
pro-presidential political group “Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defense” (OU –
PSD), which is headed by the former minister of the interior Yuri Lutsenko,
is heading for a safe third place.

Most analysts are unanimous that the fourth party to enter parliament will
be the Communist Party, which is predicted to receive 3 to 5% of votes.

The remaining participants (among them the bloc of former chairman of
parliament V. Lytvyn and the Socialist Party of current chairman O. Moroz)
are currently ranging in the “danger zone”.

Forecasts suggest that the Party of Regions will clearly dominate the
elections, thereby gaining the basis to repeatedly participate in the
formation of ruling coalitions and that the party’s chairman Viktor
Yanukovich will continue to serve as the country’s prime minister.

Meanwhile, the early elections are being held on an obviously insufficient
and at times even frankly questionable legal basis. The underlying
resolutions obviously have a political rather than a constitutional
character.

The elections became possible as a result of a situational compromise
reached between the principal political forces, above all between the
Coalition of National Unity, on the one hand, and the president and the
united opposition, on the other.

It is common knowledge that the resources of the Ukrainian administration
are deployed in the electoral race. Against the background of the
artificially initiated parliamentary crisis, the Council of National
Security and Defence as part of the presidential administration began to
high-handedly take over many government functions.

Additionally, since May, the president and the people associated with him
have actually been blocking the activities of the Constitutional Court that
would have been able to act as arbitrator in the complex crisis.

In many regions, the heads of the regional and district administrations were
also appointed heads of the electoral committees of the president’s bloc,
raising justified doubts concerning the legality and transparency of the
elections in the regions headed by loyal and dependent followers of the
president.
————————————————————————————————
Contact: Mr. Kozhara A. Leonid, Member of the Parliament of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine; Phone: +38-044-255-35-65; +38-044-255-23-42
Mobile: +38-063-183-85-30; E-mail: kozhara_l@rada.gov.ua
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
3.   UKRAINE: ELECTION WITHOUT CHOICE

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Oleh Bereznyuk
Head of the Kyiv Legal Society
Original article in Ukrainian, Translated by Eugene Ivantsov

Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Sep 17, 2007

Early parliamentary election is approaching really fast but many voters

have not yet decided what party of bloc they will vote for.

Indeed, it is very difficult to make a choice if you want to back a certain
political force which has negative characters in its list you will never
vote for.

This is one of the main defects of the proportional voting system that
implies formation of the election list by congresses of the political
parties and blocs.

People have no choice and that is why they are forced to vote for the
candidates proposed by the political parties only. Besides, parliament
formed in such a way is a legislative body run by several politicians.

Adoption of a bill by the highest legislative authority depends on leaders
of the political parties but not 450 MPs.

Under such circumstances proposals to decrease the number of MPs from

450 to 300 are quite reasonable. However, it does not really matter how many
lawmakers parliament will have.

In fact, current voting system brings to naught the idea of a direct
election and people’s representation in authority. The Verkhovna Rada
lawmakers are elected through mediation of the political parties and rather
represent these parties than the people. In this connection MPs think over
the ways to please their leaders than to defend interests of the people they
represent.

That is why election lists of the political parties consist of drivers and
secretaries of the political beau monde rather than authoritative public
figures.

It is quite obvious that such election system makes sense only for the
political leaders of parliamentary factions because it makes easier control
over subordinate MPs than over independent MPs capable of standing their
ground.

Thus, to secure transparence of the election and real people’s
representation in parliament it would be reasonable to refuse the
proportional vote system and return to the majoritarian system, having
improved the Law on Election of People’s Deputies of Ukraine which was in
action in 1994.

The new law must stipulate election of MPs in 450 single member
constituencies through a direct voting. This number of MPs would be the best
representation of voters in parliament and feedback between MPs and their
voters.

It needs mentioning that MP from the majoritarian constituency is dependent
on voters in his constituency. That is why he will be forced to take into
consideration interests and opinion of the people who elected him.

Besides, it would be better a two-stage election. In this case, voters will
elect only those candidates who have received over 50% of votes in their
constituencies.

If none of MPs gets 50% of votes the second stage of election must be held.
Two candidates who received the most votes in the first stage will compete
in the second stage. The one who gets relative majority of votes is elected
to parliament.

This approach will enable to elect candidates who are really popular with
the voters which will decrease election of accidental people to the
Verkhovna Rada.

Given the current situation in Ukraine, majoritarian system is more
democratic than the proportional one, because it enables citizens to elect
candidates other than proposed by the political parties to the Verkhovna
Rada.

At the same time, this system does not interfere with activity of the
political parties. Parties can nominate and support their candidates in
single member constituencies. If a party is supported by voters its
candidate will be elected to parliament. Experience of carrying out election

campaigns in Great Britain proves it.

Taking into account all above-mentioned arguments, it becomes obvious that
the proportional vote system must be rejected.

Let’s talk about the procedure of amending election legislation. Parliament
elected according to the existing law will most likely be unable to adopt a
new law and that is why this issue needs to be included to the question list
of an all-national referendum.

The president himself or on request of three million citizens is empowered
to call the referendum. With a weak parliament, adoption of new bills and
amending the existing legislation is possible only through the referendum.

This is the only way to legitimize normative legal acts because, as provided
by the Law on Referendums, “laws and other decisions adopted by people at a
referendum have a supreme legal effect to bills adopted by the Verkhovna
Rada of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of the Crimea, the President of Ukraine,
the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, all legislative and executive bodies of
the Crimean Republic, and local governments. Decisions adopted at the
referendum have a supreme legal effect to the local governments where the
referendum was held.”

So, one can draw a conclusion that the existing law on election is
imperfect, and thus needs to be amended. Besides, the above-mentioned
defects this law has some other flaws.

Parliament elected according to the existing law must form parliamentary
majority that will form government.

If none of the political forces has majority in the Verkhovna Rada then a
coalition of the political parties needs to be formed. Formation of a
coalition if a very difficult and painful process. If politicians fail to
meet halfway the parliament will be incompetent and the Cabinet of Ministers
will be never formed again.

The president will be forced to dissolve parliament again but he will not be
able to do it because Article 90 of the Constitution stipulates that “powers
of the Verkhovna Rada elected at an early election held after the President
of Ukraine terminated powers of parliament of the previous convocation,
cannot be terminated during one year since the election date.”

Ukraine will be plunged into the political crisis again, but this is not
defects of election legislation but the current Constitution and
parliamentary political system which is less stable as compared to the
presidential one.

Under current political and legal system there are no guarantees that the
government formed by the coalition of parliamentary factions will be able to
perform its functions as it will fully depend on ambitions of the political
leaders.

Any quarrel between politicians will have a negative impact on the
government performance. Thus, in order to secure stability of the highest
branch of executive power and the public in general, the Constitution of
Ukraine needs to be amended.

Again, the referendum can resolve this problem and the necessary amendments
can be decided by the people of Ukraine.

Some political forces are trying to persuade the society that it is only the
newly elected parliament that will be able to amend the Fundamental Law. But
what to do if parliament is incompetent and the Constitution must be amended
anyway? The answer is easy.

Taking into account that, as provided by Article 5 of the Constitution, the
people of Ukraine are the only source of power and only the people of
Ukraine can amend and adopt the Constitutional order, it becomes obvious
that amendments to the Constitution can be adopted only through an
all-national referendum.

So, it will be impossible to overcome social and political crisis in our
country without amendments of the current legislation and the Fundamental
Law.

Gallup Polls proves that the balance of the political forces in the new
parliament will most likely remain the same and none of the political
parties will have majority in the Verkhovna Rada.

It is impossible to say if the lawmakers will be able to form a coalition.
But if the coalition is not formed Ukraine will be plunged into another
political crisis.

Of course, any crisis is harmful for the state and leads to decline of the
country’s economy. Under such conditions, the question of amending the
Constitution and the election Law is still open.
———————————————————————————————-

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
4.  EU-UKRAINIAN CACOPHONY

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By John Marone,
Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Kyiv, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, September 17, 2007

When EU leaders visited Kyiv on September 14 for the annual Ukraine-EU
Summit, they didn’t say a lot that was new. Ukrainian President Viktor
Yushchenko, their host, also stuck to his usual, pro-Western rhetoric.

Nevertheless, taking place just two weeks before Ukraine’s fateful, early
parliamentary elections, the summit served as a nice sounding board,
revealing the dissonance that remains between Kyiv and Brussels and within
Ukraine itself.

As always the Europeans underscored the need for Kyiv to consolidate
democracy, strengthen the rule of law and beef up protection of human
rights.

Since Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution, which handed Yushchenko the
presidency, democracy has been alive and – well – lively. Unlike under
former president Leonid Kuchma, the head of state no longer lords it over
everyone else.

 Instead, the Ukrainian president has been in a seemingly never-ending war
with the country’s prime minister, Viktor Yanukovych.
Rule of law, always vulnerable, was the first casualty of this war. As for
human rights, they’re like war refugees trying to stay out of the line of
fire.

Appearing in Ukraine in the run up to what has been billed as the deciding
battle, Euro top dogs like Javier Solana and Jose Manuel Barroso reiterated
the EU’s unofficial position as a modern-day, regional League of Nations.

The EU’s mandate as European arbiter is bolstered by the carrot of greater
integration for its “neighbors”. “Free and fair early parliamentary
elections … and the formation of an effective and stable government would
be the best evidence of the country’s ability to accomplish this goal,”
reads a joint statement from the summit.

Ukraine’s last parliamentary elections in March 2006 were deemed the newly
independent nation’s fairest ever. But forming a coalition government proved
less successful.

As a result, Orange Revolution hero Yushchenko found himself with Orange
Revolution villain Yanukovych as a prime minister.
Now Eurocrats are concerned that Ukraine might regress to the way it held
elections in 2004, when it took hundreds of thousands of street protesters
to reverse Yanukovych’s fraud-filled presidential victory over Yushchenko.

Mr. Yushchenko tried to allay these concerns. “In the presence of our
European partners, I want to underline my firm guarantee that the early
elections will be transparent and in accordance with international
standards,” he said on Friday in Kyiv.

Unfortunately, thanks to his own past indecision and lack of team-building
skills, Yushchenko is no longer as well placed to guarantee smooth
elections.

Yanukovych controls the government. And this means that although Yushchenko
may not be as vulnerable as he was as an opposition candidate for the
presidency in 2004, he doesn’t wield the same control over the state machine
as he did during the March 2006 elections, when his man controlled the
government.

Already some of the dirty election tricks of the past, such as home voting
and calls for single-seat constituencies, are resurfacing on the initiative
of the Regions.

Yanukovych has a solid support base in the country’s Russian speaking east
and south, but he could still lose control of the government if the
president forms a coalition with popular opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

With billions of dollars in privatization deals and state support for the
eastern industrialists who back Yanukovych at stake, no one expects him to
give up his job without a fight. And the fight might get very dirty.

On the eve of the Summit, Solana told Ukrainian media that Ukraine should be
serious about the elections. In what sounded like a swipe aimed at
Yanukovych, Solana criticized a recent attempt by the premier’s team to play
the NATO card as a campaign tool.

But Europe isn’t so much interested in the election campaign as it is the
election results. What the EU really wants is a Ukrainian government
committed to long delayed reforms in the country’s corrupt VAT system,

the sale of agricultural land and a level playing field for smaller businesses
and foreign investors.

“It is important to achieve stability for the Ukrainian government to
concentrate its energy on reforms,” European Commission president Jose
Manuel Barroso said straight out.

In an attempt to portray the summit as an endorsement of his pro-Western
policy goals, President Yushchenko ignored his failure at reforms, playing
up economic achievements instead.

“I am pleased to note today that even during such a serious parliamentary
crisis, the economy has stayed alive, reaching new heights, beginning with a
rise in GDP, central bank reserves and levels of imports.”

What the President didn’t note, however, was that the economy is being
driven by public consumption and fueled by still relatively cheap Russian
gas – both of which are expected to end soon.

The summit delegates reaffirmed their joint strategic interest in energy
co-operation, however, despite its promises of lighter visa restrictions and
better trade conditions, Europe isn’t helping Ukraine where it counts.

European countries led by EU powerhouse Germany are more interested in
cutting individual gas deals with Russia than ensuring alternative energy
routes through Ukraine.

Ukraine has definitely got to wean its Soviet era industry off cheap gas,
but Europe has done a poor job of standing up to the Kremlin’s gas bullying.

In this sense, the use of east versus west rhetoric in Ukraine’s election
campaign is a reflection of the country’s geopolitical reality.

Ukraine only stands to gain by integrating with Europe, and if the EU and
Ukraine work together they might be able to break Moscow’s hydrocarbon
headlock on its western neighbors.

But not everyone in Ukraine sees revived Russian imperialism as a problem.
The Kremlin was virtually the only country to recognize Yanukovych’s
fraudulent 2004 election victory.

Equally important are the millions of eastern Ukrainians who make up
Yanukovych’s electorate – many are not ethnic Ukrainians.

That’s why, despite his attempts over the last few years to present himself
as a liberal economic pragmatist, Yanukovych is still very much bound to
neo-Soviet issues such as not joining NATO, making Russian a second

language and keeping the country under the control of eastern industrialists.

On September 11, three days before the summit hosted by his political
nemesis, the prime minister revealed some of these leanings in an attack on
EU policies toward Ukraine.

“In several areas of relations with the EU, a situation is forming which
doesn’t please us at all,” he told a government meeting.

Yanukovych referred to the EU’s visa policy as “quite tough,” and accused
the EU of protectionism against Ukrainian goods.

The Yanukovych team, financed by powerful eastern industrialists, can hardly
be described as anti-Western. Pro-Yanukovych businessmen have led the drive
toward greater corporate transparency in order to obtain Western loans to
revamp their ageing Soviet-era assets. And Yushchenko’s team also has its
fair share of oligarchs.

But in terms of both rhetoric and policy, the President has been more
consistently liberal, pro-European and reformist.

The question is whether this is enough to return him control over the
government. If it isn’t, the dissonance between the President’s unfulfilled
policy goals and Europe’s unsatisfied policy expectations will only grow.
————————————————————————————————-
http://www.eurasianhome.org/xml/t/opinion.xml?lang=en&nic=opinion&pid=856
————————————————————————————————

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========================================================
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5.  CAN UKRAINE AVOID COALITION CHAOS?

ANALYSIS: By Peter Dickinson, Business Ukraine

Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

The election campaign has yielded neither new faces nor particularly
original ideas, but that is no reason to assume that the September 30 ballot
will not transform the political landscape

Accepted wisdom has it that the current elections will merely produce the
same results as the 2006 round of voting, leaving the political status quo
intact.

This assumption fails to take into account the fact that until the Moroz
defection, the 2006 vote was an almost exact ideological repeat of the 2004
presidential results.

Opinion polls suggest that this pattern will indeed be repeated, meaning
that we could soon witness the return to power of a renewed orange
coalition, with Yulia Tymoshenko no longer a junior partner this time round
but instead very much in the driving seat.

Assault on fortress Donbass
In a bid to cement her ascendancy, the Tymoshenko campaign strategy has
focused on a bold offensive into the Party of Regions bastions of southern
and eastern Ukraine.

If she succeeds in winning over a significant proportion of disgruntled
Regions voters and alienated former Socialist Party devotees, Tymoshenko
will have achieved what no other politician among the current crop has
succeeded in doing, namely bridging the regional schism which hampers the
country’s progress. This would represent an unprecedented mandate from the
Ukrainian electorate.
The rise and rise of Ms. Tymoshenko
There would be a certain sense of continuity if the Tymoshenko Bloc’s drive
to claim a chunk of the Yanukovych vote proves decisive. After all,
Tymoshenko has been at the epicentre of all the country’s major political
earthquakes of the past three years.

If we look back and ask why the first orange government fell apart in 2005,
the shorthand answer is simple enough: because of Tymoshenko. Rivalries and
jealousies provoked by her attempts at strong government were at the core of
the Orange collapse.

Why did attempts to form a renewed Orange coalition unravel after the 2006
parliamentary elections? Again, it was all down to clashes over Tymoshenko,
whose stated desire to return to the Prime Minister’s office was so bitterly
opposed by her Orange allies that it paved the way for a Yanukovych
comeback.

The Yulia factor was also the driving force pushing President Yushchenko to
dissolve parliament in April. His decree was in many ways an overt admission
that whatever his personal reservations may have been, playing second fiddle
to Yulia had, by spring 2007, become a political necessity in order to stave
off the present danger of becoming a lame duck president.

For her part, Tymoshenko has never been as low profile as she was throughout
the political crisis that followed, a sure enough indication that she had
gotten what she wanted and was content to let the boys squabble it out among
themselves.
Yushchenko as kingmaker
Barring a major surprise at the polls the only potential obstacle now
blocking Tymoshenko’s path to the premier’s office would come in the shape
of post-election efforts by President Yushchenko to revive his discredited
collaboration with a returning Yanukovych government.

At first glance it might appear unthinkable that Yushchenko could consider
working with a team which has relentlessly attacked his presidential powers
since coming back to office and failed to keep faith with any of the policy
commitments made in the notorious Universal Agreement on National Unity
struck in August 2006.

Given Yushchenko’s taste for the middle ground and fear of Tymoshenko’s
popular appeal, such compromises can never be ruled out.

However, the only conceivable argument for such a compromising coalition
would be one of national consolidation. Crucially, Tymoshenko can now
effectively render that position redundant by securing a foothold in the
South and East of the country.

If her bid to capture Donbass hearts and minds fails, then Yushchenko will
be strengthened in his position as kingmaker, with the end result that we
could be in for a new round of prolonged coalition talks.

If Yulia succeeds in the East, however, it should prove decisive and force
Yushchenko to accept as Prime Minister the lady who may well be his closest
rival for the 2009 presidency.
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.businessukraine.com.ua/can-ukraine-avoid-coalition
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================      
6.  THE CAMPAIGN THAT COULD CHANGE VOTING PATTERNS

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Tammy Lynch
The ISCIP ANALYST, An Analytical Review, Volume XIV, Number 1,
Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology & Policy at Boston University
Boston, MA, Thursday, September 20, 2007

On 30 September, Ukraine’s voters go to the polls for the fifth time in four
years. This time, they will vote again for their parliament (Rada) after the
convocation elected last year was dismissed by President Viktor Yushchenko.

Three important factors in the current campaign are identifiable and will
likely affect the vote: [1] apathy, [2] the use of American campaign
consultants and [3] a new battle for Eastern voters.

In particular, while two of the country’s major blocs generally are focusing
on historical regional strongholds, one is embarking on a potentially risky
strategy designed to break through the East-West voting divisions that have
plagued Ukraine since its independence 16 years ago.
WILL VOTERS GO TO THE POLLS?
The campaign to date has been characterized by general disinterest. While
pollsters are suggesting that upward of 65% of voters nationally still say
they plan to cast their ballot, there is genuine concern among Ukraine’s
biggest parties that this apathy could lead to a serious decrease in
turnout.

This is especially true for Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of
Regions and the leading opposition Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYUT),

both of which view turnout as key to their success on election day.

Yanukovych, in particular, appears worried about surveys that suggest
supporters in his traditional Eastern and Southern strongholds will vote at
lower rates than the supporters of other parties in the Central and Western
regions.

Speaking on a regional television station in Zaporizhya, the Prime Minister
suggested that he has seen statistics that predict less than 60% of voters
in the East and South will cast a ballot.

“If this indeed will be the turnout,” he said, “then … it won’t be necessary
to blame anyone. … If the Ukrainian people want to have an orange government
in power, it means, this is what we’ll get, if this will be the turnout. If
it [Ukraine] does not want this – it is necessary for everybody to get out
and vote. September 30th – go to the elections. This is the main question
for the country and the Ukrainian people.” (1)

However, judging by the lack of campaign energy in Kyiv, it is clear why
Yanukovych is not the only politician who is worried. “If I have time,” said
one man on Kyiv’s main Kreshchatik Boulevard, “I will vote for Yulia
[Tymoshenko].” Then, with a shrug, he added, “”It doesn’t really matter.
They’re all the same. Well, maybe she’s a little bit better, but it doesn’t
make a difference.”

This opinion was echoed by numerous Kyivites around the city in informal
conversations with this author.

Seamstresses working in one of Kyiv’s tailoring shops, men standing in line
at the central McDonald’s, women relaxing in a park, and waiters working at
a restaurant on the outskirts of the city all said they would vote “if I
have time,” or “if I am near a polling station,” or simply “if I feel like
it.” These are, of course, unscientific samples, but illustrative
nonetheless. (2)

Both Yanukovych and Tymoshenko have tried to respond to this attitude with
aggressive television and radio advertisements calling on Ukrainians to
vote. Tymoshenko has introduced a new advertisement with a very direct
message: “All politicians are not the same. Yulia is different.”

Since polls suggest that the race between the Party of Regions and
Tymoshenko’s bloc is tightening, both leaders understand that the loss of
even a few percentage points of support as the result of apathy could
determine whether or not they will be able to form a governing coalition
with their partners.
GOODBYE RUSSIAN SPIN DOCTORS, HELLO AMERICANS
Recently, in the Washington Times, an opinion editorial appeared by Michael
Caputo, whose byline on the piece noted that he is a “Miami writer” who
“lived in Russia from 1994 to 1999 as an election adviser to Boris Yeltsin’s
administration and was a media director of former President George H.W.
Bush’s 1992 re-election [campaign].” (3)

In actuality, Michael Caputo is a public relations specialist who has worked
in the past with representatives of Davis, Manafort & Freeman, an American
consulting company now working for Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

It is unclear why the Washington Times chose to allow Caputo to appear as an
independent analyst; a quick Google search uncovers his profession and
connections.

Caputo’s likely connection to the Party of Regions is further suggested by
the tone of the piece, and by the use of – to put it nicely – alternative
interpretations of events over the past two years.

Listing the piece’s questionable interpretations would take too much time
and space, but it is perhaps instructive that these interpretations relate
only to the work of Yulia Tymoshenko, and that they somehow always support
Caputo’s call for voters to reject Tymoshenko’s campaign.

The Caputo piece serves primarily to spotlight the emergence of American
political spin doctors in Ukraine. Davis, Manafort & Freeman first worked
for Yanukovych during the 2006 parliamentary campaign, when they established
a base in Kyiv to assist the campaign.

Davis, Manafort and their allies have gradually replaced Russian spin
doctors, who have become less important over the past year. “Strategies
which could work well on Russian territory often did not work out in
Ukraine,” wrote Irina Khmara in Nezavisimaya gazeta. (4)

Davis and Manafort, however, created a new Western-friendly public image for
Yanukovych and the Party of Regions, which helped propel the party to a
first place showing in 2006, and earned praise from Western corporations.

However, this image has been undermined by recent government decisions
instituting manual price controls in the gas and wheat sector, as well as
major delays in passing WTO-related legislation. There are signs, therefore,
that the strategy may not have the success in 2007 that it had previously.

American PR consultants are reportedly working also with President Viktor
Yushchenko. According to Business Ukraine magazine, Washington lobbyist Sten
Anderson now advises the president on media communications and has done so
since the beginning of the year. Anderson’s influence is evident in Yushchenko’s
new confident appearances before the media.

There is no evidence, however, that Anderson is influencing the day-to-day
campaign of Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense Bloc (OU-PSD).
(5)

Lobbyist Ron Slimp of Washington, DC-based TD International also has been
representing Yulia Tymoshenko and BYUT in the United States, since the
beginning of the year.

Slimp appears to be the only US representative of a Ukrainian politician
officially registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA),
which “requires persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a
political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of
their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities,
receipts and disbursements in support of those activities.” (6)

Tymoshenko has encouraged other DC lobbyists working for Ukrainians to
comply with FARA, as required by the US State Department. Slimp is based in
the US and appears to focus solely on Tymoshenko’s outreach to US media and
political representatives.
A NATIONAL PARTY?
Unlike in 2006, when significant focus was placed on Kyiv, today’s campaign
is taking place largely outside the capital. Yushchenko and OU-PSD so far
have spent considerable time campaigning in Western regions that were the
president’s strongholds in 2004.

Our Ukraine lost a fair amount of support in a number of Western regions to
Yulia Tymoshenko in 2006 and now hopes to bring these regions back into the
Our Ukraine stable.

At a 10,000 strong rally (named a “popular assembly”) in Lviv Oblast,
Yushchenko praised all “democratic forces,” saying Our Ukraine and BYUT were
working “shoulder to shoulder” against “betrayal.” But he asked voters to
“support my team, Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense.

As president and as a citizen, I am convinced I have the right to request
you to do this, as they are the third force, patriotic and professional,
which can effectively help me implement your plans.” (7)

Although Yanukovych immediately lashed out at Yushchenko for injecting
himself into the parliamentary campaign, calling the action
“unconstitutional,” it appears that technically Ukraine’s president is
prohibited from being a member of a political party, but not from
campaigning for it.

Unlike OU-PSD, the Party of Regions and BYUT are both, to different extents,
attempting to attract voters in regions where previously they have found
little support. This focus on territory that crosses established East-West
and North-South voting patterns is new and could signal a shift in voter
allegiances.

The Party of Regions is concentrating largely on its Eastern base, but also
has shown a significant increase in campaign activity in the capital and
surrounding towns, which have been “orange” strongholds.

Party leaders suggest that voters in this area are unhappy with President
Yushchenko and the orange forces, and are working to convince these voters
to support Yanukovych.

Party of Regions billboards predominate in Kyiv (BYUT complains that many of
its billboards have been summarily removed), with the party’s campaign
booths clearly outpacing those of BYUT and OU-PSD. At a large BYUT rally in
Bila Tserkva (Kyiv Oblast), the Party of Regions held a small, but
significant demonstration nearby.

In the Central region, which appears to be both the most apathetic and the
most politically savvy, it is unclear the extent to which this campaign by
the Party of Regions can work. It demonstrates, however, the desire of the
Party of Regions to position itself as more of a “mainstream,” center party.

In an interview on 12 September, Tymoshenko confirmed that her bloc had
decided to use the majority of its resources to try to break through in the
East and the South of the country, which historically have been Yanukovych
strongholds.

“After a year and a half of the current Yanukovych government, there are
significant numbers of voters in eastern and southern Ukraine who are
disappointed,” she said, “which is why we are focusing two thirds of our
entire campaign time in the region.”

The BYUT leader suggested that, for the first time, ideological differences
of language and foreign policy in the East have been overtaken by concerns
about the standard of living. This, she said, has provided an opportunity to
compete for Eastern votes. (8)

So far, although Tymoshenko’s Eastern and Southern rallies have gained far
more participants than in 2006, surveys still indicate that old voting
patterns will prevail.

Valeriy Khmelko, president of the respected Kyiv International Institute of
Sociology told the Kyiv Post that in the eight westernmost regions of the
country, (22 percent of all voters), Orange support is eight times higher
than that for the Party of Regions.

Meanwhile, voters in the three easternmost regions (also 22 percent of
voters) are eight times more likely to vote for Yanukovych’s party. (9)

Apparently because of this remaining polarization in the extreme Eastern and
Western regions, Tymoshenko has chosen to concentrate not on the far Eastern
Luhansk and Donetsk (Yanukovych’s home oblast) regions, but on those Eastern
regions considered to border the “center.”

She has held over 50 events in that “border” area, including Dnipropetrovsk,
Kirovohrad, Kherson, and Zaporizhya, and has also focused on Kharkiv, which
borders Russia, but boasts some of the country’s most active student groups.
At an early September rally in Kharkiv, BYUT claimed 55,000 in attendance.

Although local officials suggested the number was 20,000, the turnout was
significantly higher than at any previous Eastern rally. (10) Two separate
polling firms found that in Kharkiv, BYUT’s rating had increased by at least
5 percent in the last several months. (11)

All of this activity has led observers to suggest that 2007 may be the year
when Ukraine’s parties begin to break down the regional voter division that
has plagued the country since its independence – or perhaps the year when
the country sees its first national party.

To do so, political leaders will have to overcome apathy and growing
cynicism. If this occurs, Ukraine will have taken one more step toward
consolidating its democracy.
——————————————————————————————–
SOURCE NOTES:
(1) Zaporizhya TV, 13 Sep 07 via ForeignNotes.blogspot.com.
(2) Interviews, Kyiv, 5 Sep-16 Sep 07.
(3) “Ukraine Elections,” Washington Times, 12 Sep 07.
(4) “A million dollars for Manafort. Americans replace Russian spin doctors
in Ukraine,” Nezavisimaya gazeta, 22 Aug 07, p. 6; BBC Monitoring, 30 Aug 07
via Action Ukraine Monitoring Service for the Action Ukraine Report (AUR);
An e-mailed request for comment from Caputo received no response over
several days.
(5) “Bringing in the American Spin Doctors,” Business Ukraine, 10 Sept 07.
(6) “Foreign Agents Reporting Act,” United States Department of Justice via
http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fara/.
(7) UNIAN News Agency, 17 Sept 07, 12:32 CET via www.unian.net/eng.
(8) Interview with Tymoshenko, 12 Sep 07, Bila Tserkva, Kyiv Oblast,
Ukraine. See also “Yulia Marches East: The Eastern Front,” Business Ukraine,
17 Sep 07.
(9) “Polarization High, Voter Turnout Critical,” Kyiv Post, 12 Sep 07.
(10) For more specifics about Tymoshenko’s Eastern rallies, see “Yulia
Marches East: The Eastern Front,” Business Ukraine, 17 Sep 07.

(11) Ibid.
————————————————————————————————
LINK: www.bu.edu/iscip
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
7.  TRENDS & OPINION POLLS REVEAL SHIFTING
VOTER PREFERENCES IN UKRAINE

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: by Taras Kuzio
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 171
Jamestown Foundation, Wash, DC, Monday, September 17, 2007

Ukraine’s parliamentary elections on September 30 are unlikely to bring
overwhelming victories for either the “orange” camp of Our Ukraine-Self
Defense and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc or the “blue” camp of the Party
of Regions.

Ukraine’s regional and linguistic divide makes such a landslide unlikely;
instead, both camps will remain in the 45-55% range. Nevertheless, there
are trends that do reflect changes in electoral geography and voter
intentions.

Ukraine’s regionalism means that no political force has country-wide
support. Thus the winning side in a Ukrainian election is unable to put
the other side out of business, making it impossible to institute an
autocracy.

A narrow win for either camp precludes the formation of a huge
parliamentary majority. In addition, the defeated camp will be in a
position to establish a powerful opposition bloc with, at a minimum,
45% of the seats in parliament.

As thresholds make it more difficult for many parties to win seats in
parliament, the political field has consolidated into a limited number
of parties and blocs. Twenty parties and blocs are registered this year,
down from 45 in 2006. Ukraine’s 3% threshold for parties and blocs to
enter parliament is the lowest in Europe and Eurasia. Nevertheless, it
has not led to a large influx of small parties into parliament. Eight
groups received seats in 1998, six groups in 2002, and only five last
year.

Left-leaning parties, which dominated politics in the 1990s, have
dwindled and only the Communist Party (KPU) is likely enter parliament
this fall. The Socialist Party (SPU), won four parliamentary elections
between 1994-2006, but its current popularity stands at 1-2%. The KPU
has fallen from 24.65% in the 1998 to 3.66% last year. Support for the
far-left Progressive Socialist Party, which last won a seat 1998, has
declined to less than 2%.

The 2007 elections are also changing Ukraine’s electoral geography. The
Yulia Tymoshenko bloc (BYuT), which came second in a majority of
eastern and southern Ukrainian districts in 2006, is replacing the left as a
viable alternative to the Party of Regions in these districts.

The Party of Regions will likely still take first place in eastern and
southern Ukrainian districts, but by a smaller margin and therefore
taking fewer seats than in last year’s elections. BYuT is particularly
growing in Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and even the Crimea. After
Tymoshenko’s rally in Kharkiv earlier this month, one poll gave BYuT
a narrow lead over the Party of Regions in that key oblast.

Our Ukraine-Self Defense (NUNS) remains unable to break out of its
western Ukrainian base, and polls show that it has barely improved on
last year’s poor performance of 14%.

The Party of Regions leads in all polls, but this does not guarantee
that it will head a majority coalition and government. Three out of four
recent polls show the two orange forces beating the Party of Regions.
Still-undecided voters tend to be from the orange camp and they could
still improve orange results.

Polls show a narrowing gap between the Party of Regions and BYuT,
which finished first and second last year, respectively. The Kyiv-based
Concorde Capital reported that the Party of Regions has 26-28% and

BYuT 20-26%.

The gap between them last year was 10% and is now narrowing to
5-7%. A poll by the T. Shevchenko Political and Sociological Institute
gave only a 1% lead to the Party of Regions over BYuT. Therefore,
Ukrainian analysts believe Yulia Tymoshenko is poised to head of the
next government.

Polls show that three political forces will enter parliament: Party of
Regions, NUNS, and BYuT. They may be joined by the KPU and former
speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn’s bloc.

But should a fifth political force enter parliament it would prevent the
Party of Regions from increasing from its current 186 seats to half of
the seats (225) available. It would be in the Party of Regions’ interest
for fewer parties and blocs to enter parliament, leaving more seats to
be distributed via the proportional system.

The Lytvyn bloc and BYuT are likely to pick up disaffected SPU voters in
central Ukraine. The SPU has lost voters after it defected from the
orange camp in summer 2006 and joined the Party of Regions and KPU in
the Anti-Crisis coalition and the government of Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych.

After the 2006 elections the SPU held a swing vote, enabling the
creation of a coalition not dominated by the orange (Our Ukraine, BYuT)
or blue (Party of Regions, KPU) camps.

The Lytvyn bloc could again be the spoiler this year. The bloc’s
allegiances remain unclear. Lytvyn was head of the presidential
administration from 1999-2002 and headed the pro-Leonid Kuchma “For a
United Ukraine bloc” in 2002. During the 2004 elections and Orange
Revolution Lytvyn sat on the fence and maintained good relations with
both the orange and blue camps. As speaker, Lytvyn kept parliament open
and facilitated the motion that declared Yanukovych the winner.

While President Viktor Yushchenko and his business allies have always
had good relations with Lytvyn, relations with BYuT are poor. Therefore,
the Lytvyn bloc could be courted by both the Party of Regions and NUNS.

This year’s elections are likely to give the orange camp its second slim
majority. Time will tell if they again fail to use it, as they did last year.
————————————————————————————————
(Kyiv Post, July 12, August 23; Kyiv Weekly, July 26-August 8;
bbc.co.uk/Ukrainian, August 3; Ukrayinska pravda, August 27, 28,
September 3, 9, 12; tymoshenko.com.ua, August 16)

————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
========================================================
8.  UKRAINE ELECTION: THE EASTERN FRONT

ANALYSIS: By Oksana Bondarchuk
Business Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Sep 17, 2007

The Tymoshenko Bloc has gone on the offensive prior to the September 30
parliamentary vote and focused its election campaign on the core
Yanukovych-supporting regions of eastern and southern Ukraine. But can
this assault on the Party of Regions’ stronghold bridge the great Ukrainian
divide?

Throughout the current election campaign, analysts have consistently stated
that the results of the September 30 vote are unlikely to be substantially
different from those of the March 2006 parliamentary elections, leaving the
country facing yet more political stalemate and uncertainty.

This has not deterred the Tymoshenko Bloc (BYUT) from launching an ambitious
promotional campaign throughout the southern and eastern regions of the
country long considered the heartlands of Yanukovych support in what is
being portrayed as an ambitious bid to break through the partisan
regionalism dividing the Ukrainian electorate.
Region ready for change?
This deliberate focus on Party of Regions’ voters has seen Yulia Tymoshenko
appear in over 50 towns and cities across the region during the first three
weeks of the campaign in a whirlwind tour which drew huge crowds and allowed
the iconic opposition leader to speak at as many as seven or eight meetings
a day.

Herself a native of the largely Russian-speaking south-eastern industrial
city of Dnipropetrovsk, Tymoshenko is perhaps the best placed of all the
country’s Orange politicians to make inroads into areas of the country
traditionally suspicious of Ukrainian nationalism.

After years of entrenched voting patterns across the region, Tymoshenko now
sees room for a significant swing in support throughout south-eastern
Ukraine in her favour and has focused her bloc’s campaign accordingly.

“After a year and a half of the current Yanukovych government, there are
significant numbers of voters in eastern and southern Ukraine who are
disappointed, which is why we are focusing two- thirds of our entire
campaign time in the region,” Tymoshenko told Business Ukraine.

The BYUT leader feels that the time is right to win over what was previously
perceived as a partisan Regions bloc vote, arguing: “It’s true to say that
over 30% of people [in the South and East] feel nostalgic for Soviet times
and what it offered. They believe that the Party of Regions can bring those
things back, but what these people really need are a decent standard of
living and fair government.

“They are simply looking for stability and comfort. It’s unfortunate that
for 16 years the country has not been able to provide them these things. Our
political force will try to meet that challenge.”

Tymoshenko is far removed from existing stereotypes of Ukrainian patriots
and has never courted the more militant nationalist vote in west Ukraine,
making her more palatable to voters who are prone to equating staunchly
nationalistic ideas with fascism.

She believes that the ideological barriers which the Orange Revolution
served to highlight no longer pose an insurmountable barrier to her eastern
crusade.

“More and more people now realise that the Party of Regions doesn’t stand
for love of the Russian people or for Soviet values. It represents a love
for resources and state assets,” she says.

“I believe that this time round the vote will differ greatly from the 2006
results. In Kharkiv I even heard people say that the Party of Regions would
be ready to speak Mongolian in order to preserve their assets and
questionably acquired capital.”
Counting on charisma
The Tymoshenko factor is the central pillar of BYUT’s eastern campaign, with
organisers counting on the winning effect of personal appearances from the
bloc’s firebrand leader. “Mass rallies where we can interact with the
general population remain the key point, or basis, of our election campaign.

It is very important to deliver our message directly to the people,”
explains Oleksander Sochka, head of the BYUT press service, who notes that
whereas the national Ukrainian press is now largely impartial and
even-handed in its coverage of the election campaign, local media outlets
often remain the mouthpieces of their regional paymasters.

This has had the effect of making media campaigning in the regions
problematic but has also served to increase interest in Tymoshenko’s more
personal approach.

Until the votes are counted on September 30, it will remain difficult to
gauge just how successful this strategy has been in winning over new
supporters, but Tymoshenko’s tour of the region has undoubtedly managed to
draw big crowds.

Party officials cite a record attendance of 55,000 in the eastern capital
Kharkiv, and claim that a further 20,000 attended in the southern port city
of Kherson, despite heavy rain throughout the rally.

These ambitious figures cannot be confirmed, but offer some insight into the
pull of the opposition leader’s personal appearances. Anatoliy Boyko, a
representative of the Voters’ Committee of Ukraine for Odessa region,
witnessed a recent BYUT rally in Odessa and reflects: “I couldn’t put an
exact number on the size of the crowd but I saw a lot of people coming out
of the stadium where she was speaking.”

However, Serhiy Tkachenko, a representative of the same voter committee for
the Donetsk region, came away with a different impression from the BYUT
leader’s recent well-publicised visit to Yanukovych’s home base, where she
visited party activists who claimed to have been beaten up for their
political affiliations.

“I felt that she came here more in order to secure some positive PR on the
national level than to meet the local population,” he says, adding that the
Donetsk region as a whole remains staunchly loyal to the Party of Regions.
“It’s impossible to change this situation in one single campaign,” he adds.
Signs of waning dogmatism
 The Tymoshenko Bloc’s efforts to win over Regions voters may benefit

from a thaw in the political divide, according to analysts.

“People have stopped viewing everything in terms of black and white,”
Tkachenko says, suggesting that widespread disappointment in the country’s
political leadership has reduced the tendency to hold categorically to
political beliefs. This disillusionment, he thinks, has effectively made
voters more open to new ideas and new hopes.

Oleksiy Holubutskiy, the deputy director of the Situational Models
analytical agency, has been monitoring voter trends in Kharkiv region and
estimates that Tymoshenko’s rating has risen by 7% to 20%.

In the parliamentary elections of 2006 she received just 12.7% in Kharkiv
oblast. He sees the bloc’s evolving image as a key factor in the rise of its
voter appeal in areas where anti-Orange sentiment remains strong.

“BYUT has ceased to be perceived as simply an Orange party. This is not only
a matter of different logos, but also a result of attempts to address a
broader electorate directly and reach out beyond the middle classes,” he
comments.

Holubutskiy states that the number of potential BYUT supporters could be
even higher than current estimates suggest, but concedes that accurate
forecasts remain impossible. “Some people are still afraid of expressing
their positions,” he explains.

Research carried out by TNS Ukraine for Focus magazine in Kharkiv oblast
supports this theory while demonstrating that the figures involved can vary
significantly. Their analyses also found a surge in support for Tymoshenko,
putting her current rate at 15.6% following her visit to the city.

This coincided with a drop in support for both the Party of Regions and the
Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence Bloc, which Tymoshenko has committed
herself to allying with to form a renewed Orange coalition in the event of
an election victory.
Rising culture of political pluralism
Unlike during previous Ukrainian election campaigns, BYUT press secretary
Sochka states that the bloc has met only relatively minor incidences of
official opposition throughout their regional tour above and beyond isolated
spoiling tactics and the dissemination of negative campaign materials.

“In Kharkiv we uncovered leaflets featuring portraits of Lutsenko and
Tymoshenko and the slogan, ‘Get away from here, Kushnaryov’s murderers!'”
Sochka relates. (Yevgeniy Kushnaryov was a Party of Regions member and
former Kharkiv governor well known for his outspoken anti-Orange Revolution
views who died in 2006 following a hunting accident).

Individual activists have also been victims of intimidation and physical
assault, while campaign posters have been vandalised or removed, but pundits
analysing the Tymoshenko campaign say there has been a sharp decline in the
systematic abuses that were commonplace in previous years.

BYUT officials say they did not meet with any major difficulties when
dealing with state officials in even the most hostile regions, and outside
of the Donbass proper many local officials have received the Tymoshenko
bandwagon with relative enthusiasm.

According to Odessa analyst Anatoliy Boyko, when Tymoshenko came to Izmail
in Odessa oblast she was invited to make a speech to the assembled public to
mark the city’s annual holiday, while in Odessa the opposition leader was
allowed to appear unhindered at a local stadium.

Analysts suggest that this encouraging reception can be attributed to the
fact that Tymoshenko has become a focus for regional authorities who have
fallen out with the Yanukovych government.

Mykhaylo Pohrebinskiy, the director of the Kyiv Political Research and
Conflictology Centre, agrees, saying that Tymoshenko has managed to mobilise
the support of existing local opposition to the central government.

Nevertheless, the most significant sign of approval comes from the country’s
ruling oligarch elite, and Tymoshenko’s ties to big business have acted as a
significant stepping stone towards bolstering support in the heavily
industrialised east.

Holubitskiy identifies BYUT’s significant popularity in the Donetsk oblast
town of Alchevsk and argues that this is directly connected to the support
she enjoys from the power brokers of the Industrial Union of the Donbass.
“They support Tymoshenko here because they don’t want to put all their eggs
in one basket,” he explains.
No substitute for hard work
Beyond all the big business ties and the support generated by
dissatisfaction with the current government, Kyiv analyst Pohrebinskiy
attributes Tymoshenko’s rising ratings to her work ethic, arguing, “She
simply organises and conducts all her election campaigns more actively than
other politicians.”

Meetings have been both frequent and memorable, accompanied by a huge array
of merchandise, witty slogans, guest appearances from Ukrainian celebrity
supporters and lavish firework shows.

The effect has been tangible. Boyko recalls that even in traditionally
apolitical Odessa, her arrival made an immediate impact. “Following her
visit the bloc’s symbols started appearing for sale around town. If a
campaign is as active as her’s, it should definitely bring results,” he
says.
The chances of a south-eastern swing
Most analysts agree that success in the south and east offers Tymoshenko the
only realistic chance of improving on her showing in the 2006 elections
given the strong showing she already enjoys in central and western Ukraine
as well as the tough opposition she will encounter there from the Our
Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence Bloc.

Rather than risk cannibalising their own Orange vote in the centre or west,
Yulia’s only realistic chance of making a decisive electoral breakthrough
lies in her audacious assault on the Yanukovych constituencies. “BYUT can
only win the extra votes it needs in these regions,” Holubitskiy argues.

Most experts identify former Socialist Party voters alienated by the
defection of party leader Oleksandr Moroz and those disappointed with the
Yanukovych government as the most likely sources of new votes.

The end result of all those potential swing voters could well prove
decisive. Valeriy Khmelko, the president of the Kyiv International Institute
of Sociology, has compared opinion polls for the period three weeks prior to
voting day for the current election and the 2006 ballot.

“In the eastern regions in 2006 at this stage BYUT had around 3% support.
That figure is now about 6%. In southern Ukraine support was less than 7% in
2006, and today it stands at more than 13%.”

Expert opinion remains divided, but among all the public polls currently in
circulation the general consensus is that BYUT can expect to increase its
national vote by 3% to 4%.

In March 2006, Tymoshenko’s bloc received 22.3% overall, but if this
increase materialises it could be enough to place Tymoshenko in the driving
seat ahead of possible government coalition talks.

However, in 2006 Ukraine’s pollsters unanimously underestimated the appeal
of the Tymoshenko Bloc, estimating that she would pull between 10% and 15%,
only to be surprised by the bloc’s strong performance, so there remains the
possibility that the high ratings figures we are now being fed are the
product of a desire to over-compensate for the failures of 2006.
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.businessukraine.com.ua/the-eastern-front

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
9.  TYMOSHENKO GOES HARD ON AKHMETOV’S HEIRS

COMMENTARY: by Viktor Chyvokunya, Kremechug-Poltava, UP
Original article in Ukrainian, translated by Eugene Ivantsov
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, September 20, 2007

Yulia Tymoshenko acquired the latest modern trends of the 2007 election.

A helicopter took her to the rally held on Sunday in Kremenchug.

The helicopter belongs to Kostyantyn Zhevago, the richest BYuT member

who received the fifth position in the top-100 influential people in Ukraine
with $2.7 billion, according to Korrespondent ratings.

Mr. Zhevago accompanied Yulia Tymoshenko aboard. Mrs. Tymoshenko
started her tour with visiting Kremenchug Automobile Enterprise owned
by Mr. Zhevago.

Poltava region is considered the ‘expansion area’ where Yanukovych’s
campaign headquarters intend to improve the election results as compared to
the previous election.

Besides, traditionally Poltava region was the Socialist region where, Mr.
Moroz’s party received almost 13%. Now, the Orange and the blue-and-white
are fighting over the regional electorate.

According to one of the regional officials, the Party of Regions that put
agitation on a wide scale, having their agitators almost in every village,
turned out more successful due to unlimited financing. Mrs. Tymoshenko went
to Poltava to correct the situation using her traditional methods.

“They are coming,” reported employees of the BYuT local headquarters to
Andriy Verevsky. According to some estimate, this man controls one fourth
of Ukrainian refined oil market. It is his second election campaign in the
office of the BYuT campaign headquarters in Poltava.

Tymoshenko came down from “heaven to earth”
Italian helicopter Agusta landed on the territory of AutoKraz Automobile
Enterprise. Armored Mercedes that had come from Kyiv was waiting for the
BYuT leader there. But Mrs. Tymoshenko did not like such an idea.

“She says she get very tired of such trips. She wants to fly from Kremenchug
to Poltava by helicopter,” the head of the BYuT local headquarters addressed
Mr. Zhevago.

“Be my guest! It takes an hour by car and only 15 minutes by helicopter,”
answered a young billionaire who failed to have Mrs. Tymoshenko visit his
meat packing enterprise.

Mr. Zhevago was present in parliament only once. But he flew to Kremenchug
because of Mrs. Tymoshenko’s visit. Photo by Oleksandr Prokopenko

Yulia Tymoshenko’s visit began with a meeting with representatives of small
and mid-sized business who gathered in AutoKraz to discuss touchy issues. In
order not to break ‘the rules of weight categories’ Mr. Zhevago did not even
enter the hall.

“I know from my own experience that it is hard to run business in this
country!” complained Mrs. Tymoshenko. “I have four private entrepreneurs in
my family: my sister, my immediate family. They tell me how state officials
humble you,” she went on.

Mrs. Tymoshenko’s statement that the number of private entrepreneurs in her
family has increased was rather surprising. Previously, it was known that
her husband ran a poultry farm. The BYuT leader refused to share information
about occupation of her immediate family or at least her daughter Evgenia.

“She learns how to take a banking loan to start her own small business,”
Yulia Tymoshenko avoided a direct answer.

The BYuT leader promised Kremenchug businessmen (and even those who
do not know yet they will run business) her assistance.

“There are thousands of people who do not know what business is profitable
and promising. We will create database and registry of businesses available
on the Internet,” Mr. Tymoshenko promised an original start of a business
career.

Also, Yulia Tymoshenko stated that she would resolve the problem of the
initial capital for such people: “Defects of the credit system will be
eliminated. Businessmen will be offered a 3-6% basic lending rate. It is now
a standard rate in Europe.” The audience kept silent.

There was a group of people among representative of the ‘small and mid-sized
business’ who were brought to the meeting by bus. These people looked like
street vendors. Yulia Tymoshenko had a message for them as well.

“I know the state fights against street vendors and market places to build
supermarkets there. They must not do it because street vendors have a better
education than some government members. I do not want to offend the PM.
Some ministers have the same problem,” she cheered up the audience.

Yulia Tymoshenko promised to cancel the VAT by introducing a new tax: “If a
person buys bread and water or yachts and mansions only they must pay
different taxes. In such a case none of them will feel the tax burden.”

But corruption is the main problem of business. “We will develop a website
with the registry of services for which state officials demand bribes. You
will be able to anonymously file complaints so that we will be able to fight
against the corruption,” she said.

Besides, Mrs. Tymoshenko stated that she would decrease influence of state
officials on private business. She said that she had cancelled about five
thousand normative acts causing corruption in the office of the PM.

“But it was state officials who cancelled all those normative acts! Can you
imagine that they cancelled all those resolutions which were not critical
for them! This vertical corrupt scheme was headed by the ministers.

“When, for example, we inspected fire prevention systems, the Minister for
Emergency Situation was the first to oppose us. The Agrarian Minister fought
against inspection of the veterinary service,” said the BYuT leader.

According to Mrs. Tymoshenko, future opposition will be the main fighter
against the corruption: “I hope Yanukovych will be in the opposition with
powers to control authority. We will give him knife and fork they will use
to check the breakfast menu of a state official.”

For example, Mrs. Tymoshenko offered the opposition powers of a new
law-enforcement structure able to act “bypassing the Prosecutor General’s
Office through parliamentary committees of investigation.”

Mrs. Tymoshenko proposed her most radical means of fighting against the
corruption. According to her, it is life sentence.

“But I think this norm will never be used because everybody will be afraid.
There are no death sentences for corruption in China because there is no
corruption there!” said Yulia Tymoshenko.

When Mrs. Tymoshenko finished her speech she offered to ask her questions.
But the audience and the BYuT leader were keeping silent. When this pause
became rather awkward one man raised his hand.

His did not want to ask any questions. The man handed over his written
proposals to Yulia Tymoshenko. She took them but advised to use the BYuT
website for such purposes. “We are living in the 21st century,” she said.

Her monologue ended in Mrs. Tymoshenko’s signing a unilateral agreement with
the small business. It is one of the BYuT methods in this election campaign.
Yulia Tymoshenko signs agreements with doctors, teachers or businessmen.

The Victory Square was Mrs. Tymoshenko’s next destination. The rally
gathered about four thousand people and several huge Kraz trucks decorated
with the BYuT slogans.
Trucks support Tymoshenko
Mrs. Tymoshenko said that she was offered to join the broad coalition for
the sake of saving the dissolved parliament. “I was offered the Speaker’s
office and half of ministerial offices. When I refused they asked me: “What
else do you want? Do you want a dozen of enterprises?” But I will never join
the broad coalition! I will not! This coalition will tie us down with
seeking compromise,” she explained.

According to Yulia Tymoshenko, Yanukovych’s government would try to
make her consent to share of state property.

“On September 1 children go to school.Some parents present their child with
a schoolbag, some children receive daybooks. But Rynat Akhmetov presented
his son with the DniproEnergo Company. From now on you will receive
electricity bills not from the state but from Mr. Akhmetov or his son. In 20
years his grandson will run the family business,” Mrs. Tymoshenko chose her
favorite topic.

Then Yulia Tymoshenko started agitating the audience to be active at the
early election. “They will say that “your participation in election will not
change anything and the parliament will be all the same,” she said.

“But it is not true. Moroz will not enter parliament. Moroz has had enough
authority. It is high time he retired” she sent Mr. Moroz her regards.

Having said this, Mrs. Tymoshenko took a pause and made a typical
fisherman’s gesture stretching her arms as if boasting of a great take of fish.

 
“Moroz will not just retire but he will R-E-T-I-R-E,” said Tymoshenko in
such a voice as if there will be as many zeros in Moroz’s retired pay as letters
in this word.

Communists were Mrs. Tymoshenko’s next target:  “It is 50/50 that they will
enter parliament. What did they expect? They collaborated with the wild
capitalism!” To humiliate Petro Symonenko, Mrs. Tymoshenko recalled her
student years.

“I had an “A” in Science of Communism that is why I know what a true
communism is. I can even make a bet – if anyone of you finds communism in
Symonenko’s party I will vote for him,” she offered.

“If you decided to vote for the Party of Regions I ask you to go to church
and kill the hoodoo,” said Yulia Tymoshenko. “Ha-ha-ha,” the audience
burst in laughter.

In fact, it is quite clear why Mrs. Tymoshenko keeps saying at every rally
that only three political forces will enter parliament. Only in such a case
the BYuT and Our Ukraine -People’s Self-Defense will altogether have more
seats than the Party of Regions. In the event the Communists or Lytvyn’s
Bloc are elected to parliament the situation becomes unpredictable.

According to Mrs. Tymoshenko, there are four reasons why people vote for
Viktor Yanukovych.

“They say: “Yanukovych will give chance for the Russian language to become
the second state language. But Leonid Kuchma has twice used this initiative
to win the presidential election. The language issue is a screen. This issue
distracts people from real problems!” she said.

NATO is the second populist issue promoted by Mr. Yanukovych. “In 2004 the
Party of Regions headed by Mr. Yanukovych voted to send our soldiers to
Iraq. It is not just NATO membership it is war together with NATO,” she
expressed her indignation.

According to Mrs. Tymoshenko, relations with Russia is the third reason why
people support PM Yanukovych. “What is he talking about? My friendship with
Russia was manifested by the gas price of $50 per 1000 cubic meters,
Yekhanurov’s friendship – $95, while Yanukovych’s friendship brought us the
price of $130,” she touched upon gas relations between the two countries.

Yulia Tymoshenko heard the fourth reason during her visit to Luhansk:
“Several elderly women came up to me saying: “Why do you scold Yanukovych.
You have been in power for ten years. Yanukovych is a young promising
politician. Why cannot you leave him in peace?”

This maneuver was very skilful. Mrs. Tymoshenko ‘passed the ball to herself
and it was a goal pass’. “Indeed, Yanukovych was the governor of Donetsk
region. But he left scorched earth behind him. There are many empty blocks
of flats there in which no one wants to live even for free,” said the BYuT
leader.

“Who was the PM during the last years of Kuchma’s reign? The Pope? No, it
was Viktor Yanukovych! The three of them (there was also Kuchma’s

son-in-law in the team) shared the entire country having stolen every strategic
enterprise,” Yulia Tymoshenko went on.

However, it was not the end of Yanukovych’s criminal record. “When
Yanukovych became the PM for the second time his first resolution restored
Leonid Kuchma’s privileges, his 2 000 square meter dacha with waitresses,
masseurs and a swimming pool. He exempted the poor ex-president communal
fees!” “U-u-u-u,” people responded.

According to Tymoshenko, dissolution of parliament was the only way out.
“There is no tragedy here. Americans hold election every two years. If one
gathers 100 000 signatures in support of the early election in Israel then
the early election is inevitable,” said Yulia Tymoshenko.

Despite strong criticism of Viktor Yanukovych this rally ended peacefully
taking into account that several supporters of the Party of Regions with the
blue-and-white flags were also present there.

Poltava became the nest destination in Mrs. Tymoshenko’s tour. About 10 000
people gathered to listen to the Orange lady. The rally in Poltava took
place at the stadium Vorskla which also belongs to Mr. Zhevago

Mrs. Tymoshenko’s speech was almost the same. She even made identical
statements. “They will say that your participation in election will not
change anything and the parliament will be the same. But it is not true.
Will Moroz enter parliament?” she asked the audience.  “No-o-o-o!” people
responded.

“Do the communist ideology and the Communist Party of Ukraine have anything
in common? If Lenin saw what Petro Symonenko is doing now, he would spin in
his coffin at the speed of 60 rpm!” she said.

Then she made public the four reasons why people vote for Yanukovych. Yulia
Tymoshenko really enjoyed finishing off Yanukovych with NATO issue:

“When Mr. Yanukovych became the PM he gave interview to German periodical
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. I understand you do not know anything about
it. But this interview is available on the Internet.

The journalist asked Yanukovych: “You have agreed with President Yushchenko
that NATO membership will be decided at the referendum. How would you vote?”
Viktor Yanukovych responded: “Joining NATO remains our strategic goal.” The
journalists asked again: “Does this mean NATO membership?” He answered:
“Yes. No one gave up this goal.”

Yulia Tymoshenko savored every Yanukovych’s answer. However, when
Ukrayinska Pravda addressed Mrs. Tymoshenko herself with the same question
she avoided a direct answer.

As the rally in Poltava was the highlight of her visit to Poltava region
Mrs. Tymoshenko made a longer speech. In particular, she tried to respond to
accusations that she raised salaries for state officials. Some of Mrs.
Tymoshenko’s arguments were the figment of her mind.

“When I became the PM the minister’s salary was UAH 500 ($100). How did
state officials support their families? For instance, there were special
grants for agricultural development in budget. But not a single cow received
this grant. Two-legged animals stole this money. That is why I raised their
salaries having closed all holes in budget,” she explained.

This answer contradicts her confession made during the meeting with
representatives of small and mid-sized business that she did not manage to
eradicate the most developed corruption schemes.

According to Yulia Tymoshenko, discharge from the PM’s office prevented her
from completing this job. During the meeting she never mentioned President
Yushchenko in the negative context. Unlike the previous election campaign,
she made a hint on Viktor Yushchenko only once.

“Corruption scandal broke out in their team, but they decided to get rid of
me. They were not strong enough to work with such PM. I was in opposition
to both pre- and post-revolution authorities,” confessed Mrs. Tymoshenko
refusing to name her employers, Kuchma and Yushchenko.

At the end of the rally, Yulia Tymoshenko warned people of the election
fraud. “They offer people in Zhytomyr region to write an application with
the request to vote at home in exchange for UAH 150. These votes will be
counted somewhere in the dark corner,” the BYuT leader stated.

“Why does the Party of Regions have 20% in Poltava region? Raise your hand
those who will persuade 10 his friends to vote for the BYuT during the time
left before the election?” Mrs. Tymoshenko addressed the people.

“I will! I will!” they responded. “What about 15 people?” she laughed. This
time less people expressed their readiness.

According to Mrs. Tymoshenko, only ‘people’s telegraph’ can save the
situation. Her election campaigns of 2002 and 2006 went on according to
the identical scenario.
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LINK: http://www.pravda.com.ua/en/news/2007/9/20/8939.htm

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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10.  UKRAINE’S TIES WITH RUSSIA RUN DEEP, AND
THAT’S NOT ABOUT TO CHANGE

COMMENTARY: by David Marples, Professor
University of Alberta, History and Classics Department
Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, Canada, July 30, 2007

In what was termed the Orange Revolution of late 2004, protests in the
streets of Kyiv forced a rerun of the second round of the presidential
election in Ukraine, resulting in the victory of Viktor Yushchenko over his
rival Viktor Yanukovych, who was backed by former president Leonid

Kuchma and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Both at the time and subsequently, the outcome was perceived as a victory
for pro-Western forces in Ukraine over a ruling group that hitherto was
oriented toward Russia.

In similar fashion, the parliamentary elections of 2006 also saw a narrow
victory for the Orange forces (which later split catastrophically) over the
Regions Party led by Viktor Yanukovych.

However, two opinion polls that have been conducted in recent weeks by
reputable institutions suggest that Ukrainian residents are hesitant about
deepening ties with the West and opposed especially to NATO, and a
substantial number would rather some form of union with neighbours Russia
and Belarus than join the European Union.

Last week, Interfax Ukraine cited the results of the most recent survey
conducted by the Yaremenko Ukrainian Institute of Social Research and the
“Social Monitoring” Centre between July 10 to 18. It is based on 2,014
respondents over the age of 18, residing in 132 cities and villages in all
regions of Ukraine, and has a margin of error of 1.34-2.24 per cent.

Less than 20 per cent of respondents are in support of Ukraine joining NATO,
with 57 per cent opposed, a figure that would seem to preclude any immediate
prospects of a referendum on whether to join the military body.

About 25per cent are in favour of joining the EU, whereas 43.4 per cent wish
to join a union with Russia and Belarus, and 27 per cent think it better to
pursue equal relations with both the EU and Russia. Thus over 70 per cent of
those surveyed support some form of close relationship with Russia.

On the status of the Russian language in Ukraine, the attitude is generally
benign: 33.5 per cent feel that the existing status of that language should
remain as it is currently; 26.4 per cent believe that it should be raised to
the status of a state language; 24.7 per cent consider that Russian should
be elevated to the second state language in areas where a majority is in
favour of this step; and only 11.7 per cent think that Russian should be
removed from official communications throughout Ukraine.

Thus over 51 per cent support some strengthening of the status of the
Russian language in Ukraine.

These results may be compared to those of another poll carried out between
June 19 and July 2 by the Ukrainian Sociology Service and Democratic
Initiatives Foundation, with 2,000 respondents from all regions and an error
margin of under 2.2 per cent and cited by the Kyiv Post.

This poll reveals that had the parliamentary elections — scheduled for late
September — been held earlier this month, the East Ukrainian-based Regions
Party led by Yanukovych would have won 44 per cent of the vote and gained
about 206 seats in the legislature of 450 members.

Regions could then have formed a working partnership with the Communist
Party and established a majority government. Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine and
the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc would have formed the opposition.

This same poll also revealed the declining faith of residents of Ukraine in
democracy (only 44 per cent feel that it is the best state system), whereas
a substantial group — one fifth of respondents — believes that Ukraine
would be better off with an authoritarian system.

On the question of whether order, democracy, freedom, or liberalism was
needed, “order” was the preferred commodity, with 93 per cent in support
whereas less than 25 per cent opted for liberalism.

The results of these two polls are both disturbing and revealing. On the one
hand, they suggest that the progress of Ukraine toward a Western-style and
Western-leaning democracy has been consistently exaggerated by some Western
sources. On the other hand, they offer a more accurate account of the way
Ukrainians really think.

A large plurality or even a small majority of residents of Ukraine prefer
closer ties with Russia and enhanced status for the Russian language. A
similarly substantial portion of the population is skeptical about Western
influence, democratic structures, and the way the country has been run since
the success of the Orange Revolution.

In truth, the Orange Revolution was not about a pro-Western or pro-Russian
orientation at all (Putin’s ill-advised interventions notwithstanding).

It was about the way the country had been run for the previous decade, with
a spate of political murders, corruption, and muzzling of the media by the
Kuchma government.

Ukrainians are not pro-Western today partly because the example set by
Western democracies in recent times has hardly provided a model to emulate:
beginning with NATO’s attack on Serbia in 1999 and culminating with the
invasion of Iraq. Many also have been alienated by the EU’s negative
response to Ukrainian desires for membership.

And Ukrainians are for the most part pro-Russian because they see Russia as
a strong counterforce to the United States and a nation with which they have
more in common than with either the new democracies of Eastern Europe or the
long-established democracies that no longer seem capable of providing
fitting examples to follow.

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
11.  UKRAINE TORN BETWEEN RUSSIA, THE WEST
Even after the supposedly pro-Western Orange Revolution,
opinion polls show a reluctance to sever strong ties with Moscow

COMMENTARY: By Mykola Riabchuk, Freelance
Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Wed, Aug 08

The wise man who distinguished the truth, the lie, and statistics, might
well have included among the last, opinion surveys — at least as they
function in Ukraine.

David Marples’ article in The Journal (“Ukraine’s ties with Russia run deep,
and that’s not about to change: New polls confirm majority don’t think West
offers best example to follow,” Looking Ahead, July 30) is highly dependent
on recent opinion polls.

They seem to support firmly not only the first part of the title, which is
rather obvious, but the second part as well, which is rather debatable.
Marples perfectly captures the essence of Ukraine’s East-West dilemma in his
conclusions.

“Ukrainians,” he contends, “are not pro-Western today partly because the
example set by Western democracies in recent times has hardly provided a
model to emulate: beginning with NATO’s attack on Serbia in 1999 and
culminating with the invasion of Iraq. Many also have been alienated by the
EU’s negative response to Ukrainian desires for membership.

And Ukrainians are for the most part pro-Russian because they see Russia as
a strong counterforce to the United States and a nation with which they have
more in common than with either the new democracies of Eastern Europe or
the long-established democracies that no longer seem capable of providing
fitting examples to follow.”

People wave orange flags during a rally in support of the opposition in
Kiev, March 31. Tens of thousands of Ukrainians backing the country’s
opposition thronged Kiev’s main square urging President Viktor Yushchenko
to call a new parliamentary election to end a protracted political deadlock.

The only big “but” in this case, however, is that virtually all notions and
terms in Ukraine are quite vague and fluid. For example, the concepts
“pro-Western” and “pro-Russian” do not have the same meaning in the
positivistic West and the highly ambivalent and ambiguous post-Soviet
Ukraine.

True, if being “pro-Russian” or “pro-American” means a sort of realpolitik,
a pragmatic approach to the inherited geopolitical, cultural-linguistic and
economic reality, then Ukrainians — for the most part — are certainly more
“pro-Russian” than “pro-Western.”

They simply prefer one bird in hand to two in the bush. They prefer the
status quo because they feel that — in a country with feeble institutions
and no rule of law, weak mechanisms for conflict resolution, low Western
support and strong Russian pressure — any instability is dangerous. They
opt for a bad peace over a good war just because they do not believe that a
good peace is possible.

This does not mean, however, that they absolutely oppose a good peace —
that is, the EU or even membership in NATO — as the opinion surveys
purportedly reveal.

The surveys point out only that a good peace is not on the agenda (to
paraphrase the standard response of Eurocrats to Ukrainians’ claims for EU
membership prospects). Ukrainians, therefore, merely choose between the
lesser of two evils.

Yet again, these “evils” are not the West and Russia per se, but the most
likely results people expect in their own cost-benefit analysis.

Obviously, the benefits from Ukraine’s western integration would be much
higher, but they appear largely unachievable; the costs — that is,
punishment for such attempts by Russia — are rather real and palpable.

To clarify this psychological mechanism, one must refer to the two
referendums Ukrainians held in 1991. In March of that year, 70 per cent
supported Gorbachev’s idea of a “renewed federation,” in other words, the
preservation of the U.S.S.R. A few months later, in December, 90 per cent of
Ukrainian voters endorsed national independence. This was not some mystical
insight or miraculous breakthrough.

In March they were quite supportive of independence, but not to the point of
rocking the boat and putting their relative well-being and stability at
risk. The cost-benefit balance sheet in March was unfavourable for
independence.

Yet by December, when the Soviet Union de facto collapsed and national
independence, declared by the Ukrainian parliament, was a fait accompli,
people felt that to oppose independence was more risky and more
destabilizing than supporting it.

Another graphic example comes from 2002 when President Leonid Kuchma,
cornered by internal and international scandals, declared Ukraine’s resolve
to join NATO. This was a clear attempt to reduce tensions with the U.S. and
to counter Ukraine’s growing international ostracism. (Today, few people
remember that it was not Viktor Yushchenko, the “pro-Western” president, who
made NATO membership a national strategic goal, but rather his allegedly
“pro-Russian” predecessor).

This strategic decision, and the equally strategic choice of sending
Ukrainian troops to Iraq — again, made by the “pro-Russian” Kuchma, while
the “pro-American” Yushchenko eventually withdrew them — did not evoke
any serious protests in Ukraine or even lead to substantial public debate.
Ukrainians simply do not much care about such things.

Other opinion surveys reveal that such issues as membership in NATO or
strengthening/weakening of the status of the Russian language are not among
the top 10 (and even top 20) issues of importance to Ukrainians. Moreover,
as many as 90 per cent of Ukrainians surveyed confess they know nothing or
very little about NATO.

A few years ago, Ukrainian journalists contrived a nice hoax: they asked the
same people about their attitude towards both “NATO” and the “North Atlantic
Treaty Organization.” Apparently, in most cases the latter was evaluated
much more positively.

This reveals two more problems with opinion surveys in Ukraine: the low
political awareness of the people being surveyed and the widespread
misunderstanding (and misuse) of terms.

The Russian language question serves as a good example of such ambiguity.
Thus far there has been no real public debate setting out clearly for
everyone what official bilingualism might mean, how it might work in
practice, and what legal and other mechanism would be needed to facilitate
it.

Some people have a Soviet understanding of “two state languages”; they view
this as a right of the dominant Russophone group not to learn, and never to
use, Ukrainian — an idea that is graphically made real in today’s Belarus.

Other people understand the idea in a Western, liberal manner, as a legally
prescribed duty of all post-Soviet bureaucrats (predominantly
Russian-speaking) to communicate with all citizens — understood as
“clients” and taxpayers — in the language of their choice and not vice
versa, as was the case with Soviet “bilingualism.”

In short, opinion polls in a society such as Ukraine primarily reveal
confusion and a secret desire to maintain the status quo — because change
is precarious, with easily predictable high costs but mostly indeterminate
benefits.

Ukrainian society, however, can be considered not only a glass that is half
empty — namely, lacking civic maturity, national unity and strong
commitment to Western values — but also half full. Forty-four per cent of
Ukrainians believe that democracy is the best state system, while only 17
per cent opt for authoritarianism.

This is actually a good result for a nation that has had very limited
experience with a functioning democracy, and even less experience with
national independence and self-rule. Neither in Russia nor Belarus can one
find anything approaching this.

And the fact that 93 per cent of surveyed Ukrainians opted for “order” as
the most needed commodity while only 25 per cent opted for “liberalism,”
does not prove an “authoritarian” preference. It only proves the lack of
“order” in the country and the need to fix a feckless democracy, rather than
dismantling it in the Russian or Belarusian manner.

In this sense, the Orange Revolution, indeed, was not about “pro-Western” or
“pro-Russian” orientations, as Marples rightly suggests, but about the way
the country should be run. In other words, it was about values.

But if one examines the values of the Kuchma regime, which were opposed by
the revolution, one will see that exactly those values still dominate Russia
and other post-Soviet states. Conversely, if one looks at the values
defended by the revolution, we will see that they are the very principles
upon which the West is built.

Consequently, the Orange Revolution was clearly pro-Western in its spirit,
if not necessarily in political rhetoric and in actual geopolitical
programs.

So far, it has brought mixed results but, in most terms, post-revolutionary
Ukraine is much closer to the fledgling democracies of Eastern Europe than
to the consolidated authoritarianisms of post-Soviet “Eurasia.”

Thus, the headline on Marples’ article might be usefully paraphrased to
read: “Ukraine’s ties with Soviet attitudes run deep, but they are
changing.”
———————————————————————————————-
NOTE: Mykola Riabchuk is a Ukrainian writer and political and cultural
analyst. He is the author of seven books available in English, French,
German, Polish and other languages. This academic year, he will be teaching
at the University of Alberta (in the departments of modern languages and
cultural studies, and history and classics) as the Stuart Ramsay Tompkins
Visiting Professor
————————————————————————————————
http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/ideas/story.html?id=266ff57f-8075-478a-a401-516ba41eced9

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
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========================================================
12.  OECD: TELL ‘EM SOMETHING THEY DON’T KNOW
Tough economic times could be right around the corner,

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: John Marone,
Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, September 10, 2007

If Ukraine wants to maintain its dynamic economic growth, it’s going to have
to cut red tape and bring down barriers to competition, according to a
report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development
(OECD).

The report marks the first-ever assessment of Ukraine by the OECD, a largely
Western organization dedicated to free markets and representative democracy.

However its contents are nothing new.

Ever since the euphoria of Ukrainian independence wore off in the early
nineties, Western governments and organizations have been telling Ukrainians
how to develop democracy and a free market.

Some saw this as natural. After all, Ukrainians seemed eager to obtain the
freedoms and material wealth enjoyed by the West and, increasingly, much of
Asia.

In order to get there, the former Soviet republic would need foreign aid and
commercial loans.

Others, more suspicious, couldn’t help but notice that grants come lined
with geopolitical provisos and advisors whose salaries and benefits comprise
much of the aid.

As for loans – yeah, Ukraine needed the money, but no more than
international banks needed borrowers.

All this having been said, Ukraine has come a long way since independence.
Its leaders are chosen in elections, and private enterprise is booming.

Along the way, there have been many bumps in the road, such as the 1998
economic crisis and the 2004 Orange Revolution, but representative democracy
and free-market economics have survived.

So where does the country go from here?

Well, according to the OECD, and others of the liberal persuasion, Ukraine
needs to open its market to more foreign players.

McDonald’s rules Ukraine’s fast food market, and the country’s biggest steel
mill is in the hands of the world’s largest steel company, but much more
could be done, we’re told.

The main argument here is that foreign players introduce new technology and
practices that domestic companies learn from. One of these practices is
transparency, which means the foreigners will be more likely to pay taxes.
Also, Ukrainians gain from cheaper and better products.

If you were a Ukrainian, however, you’d know that a) paying taxes and
getting commensurate state services are two different things, and b) the
price of everything is going up anyway. Moreover, why does a country have
to be ashamed of wanting to keep its industry in the hands of local
businessmen?

The freemarketeers would argue, among other points, that there is no danger
of an international corporation pushing people around, as the company is
subject to local laws.

But the world abounds in examples of multinationals destroying local
eco-zones and allowing abuses of labor that would not be tolerated in their
own countries.

Indeed, there are reasons why companies seek new countries to set up
production. The big multinationals are more powerful than many governments,
which can’t take all the blame for the abuse of people and the environment.

Of course, Ukraine, and the Soviet Union in general, were no strangers to
human-rights abuses and environmental disasters long before international
companies arrived. And, many are quick to point out, the abuses continue.

By now, everyone has heard of the post-Soviet oligarch. He is the stuff of
Hollywood films: rich, powerful and decadent.

Western governments and organizations like OECD have long associated
corruption with privileges for the oligarchs.

The main remedy for corruption is creating laws that work for everyone.
Clearly, workable legal systems are one thing that the West can preach
about. But does the average Ukrainian really want everything spelled out in
law, as it is in America?

Some would surely like the courts to make a reckless driver pay up for
destroying their little lada, but few would welcome the level of litigation
seen in America.

Ukrainian oligarchs are no different. The only reason any of them have
opened their books is because they had to in order to get Western loans.

Making oligarchs pay a fair price for the state assets that they ‘acquire’
would also be welcomed by the average Ukrainian. This is plain social
justice. But Western governments and business have reacted in horror to
proposals to review past privatization. Ironically, on this issue, they
support the oligarchs.

Many foreigners got their foothold in Ukraine by courting the same corrupt
officials as Ukrainian businessmen.

So, what the West really seems to want is an equal playing field to set
things straight from now on.

If fighting corruption means making everyone equal before the law, this is
certainly a good thing. If it means making everyone pay taxes, and prices
for apartments and consumer goods so high that Ukrainian will soon be as
debt ridden as North Americans, then what’s the moral point here?

To put it another way, Ukrainians see corruption in a different light that
many Western well-wishers.

On the other hand, the OECD mentioned in its report that Ukraine’s low state
debt is a good thing. I would say low public debt is also good.

The report additionally mentions tax reform. Ukrainian taxes are indeed too
high, but few are paying them anyway.

Then there was a call for “self-sustaining investment and innovation-led
growth.”This advice could be given to any country on the globe. How does a
country create the newest technology? The US drains brains from everywhere
else, but it has the money to attract them.

As far as investment, there is the example of Ireland, which went from a
country of emigrants to an IT hub by investing in education. No Ukrainian
would argue against improving education. That’s why some of the poorest
parents will pay their last kopeck to educate their children.

Ukrainians are as worried about the future as anyone else, maybe more,
considering the country’s dismal recent past.

Unlike much of the advice and exhortations that Western organizations and
governments have directed at Ukraine, the OECD report points to a very real
threat.

It notes that Ukraine’s average annual growth to over 7 percent over the
past six years since recovery from the 1998 economic collapse will not last
forever.

The price of Russian gas is going up, and the current consumer boom cannot
last forever, as household debts reaches its limit.

Do Ukrainians already know this? I have no doubt that the country’s leaders
have such information available to them.

As for the average guy on the street, he’s too busy trying to make enough to
buy a flat and raise his kids. Tough times could be right around the corner,
you say. Tell ’em something they don’t know.
————————————————————————————————-
http://www.eurasianhome.org/xml/t/opinion.xml?lang=en&nic=opinion&pid=848
—————————————————————————————————-
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========================================================
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========================================================
13.  CAN UKRAINE CAPITALISE ON THE GROWING

BIOFUELS MARKET?

ANALYSIS: by Jim Davis, Business Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

With fossil fuel prices steadily rising and the world’s dwindling energy
supplies increasingly being used as political weapons, the attraction of
biofuel options is on the rise and Ukraine has more than most to gain

Biofuels are nothing new to world energy markets. Ethanol first became
widely regarded as a partial solution to petroleum supply problems during
the short-lived but chaotic Arab oil embargo, which began in October 1973.

As is almost always the case, the embargo was not seamless, but it was
strong enough to send shockwaves through the West and effective enough to
convince the Arab states of their oil-derived strength and influence.

Most important of all, the whole world came to realize that the elasticity
of prices on the demand side was much greater than had ever been imagined
and that relatively higher prices could be extracted from the world’s
captive oil markets indefinitely.

Soon thereafter, so-called gasohol, a product made from a 90% petroleum base
married with a 10% pure alcohol additive entered the market in some parts of
the United States. After an approximate 25-year period in which growth was
incremental, ethanol production and use are now booming as never before.

While most that is said and written today uses the term biofuels, in reality
the terminology really applies primarily to two related but different
products.

Ethanol is a product that can be derived from almost any vegetable matter.
However, the preferred and most widely used ethanol feedstock is corn – or
in European parlance, maize.

The other major item, biodiesel, is a product derived from agricultural
sources such as vegetable oils (mostly rapeseed oil, sunflowerseed oil,
etc.), or other raw materials (used frying oils, animal fats) that can
either be mixed with conventional fuels or used in a pure form.

It performs efficiently as both a transport fuel and heating oil and
represents a concrete solution to tackle climate change and promote
sustainable development.
Support from high places
With the enthusiastic backing of everyone from George W Bush to small
agribusiness, and with huge subsidies coming from the US Treasury, the
United States is currently enthusiastically building ethanol plants which
will allow them to process corn and other feedstocks into an alcohol pure
enough to make it an excellent additive for gasoline – or benzin as it is
known in Ukraine.

America’s farmers are enjoying some of their highest profits in decades,
with corn production forecast at 13.1 billion bushels, 10.6% above the
previous record of 11.8 billion bushels set in 2004, according to an August
10 report by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Brazil leading the way
While the United States has certainly become the world hot spot for ethanol,
Brazil has long been a major booster of ethanol, with sugar cane bagasse
making an excellent feedstock.

Brazil was the world pioneer in the use of 100% alcohol fuels and there are
already many thousands of alcohol-only cars on Brazil’s highways today.

Ethanol has its critics and they have more than adequate facts to back up
their criticisms. First and foremost is the question of ethanol’s fuel
efficiency, which is lower than traditional gasoline. Added to this is the
fact that corn production requires large amounts of nitrogen fertilizer,
which can seriously contaminate groundwater.

However, the major concern is that so much land is being sacrificed to corn
production that in many areas is crowding out other, unsubsidised crops,
leading to charges that America is sacrificing it ability to feed its people
in order to fill the needs of its gas-guzzling sports utility vehicles that
now number in the millions.
Europe pursuing breakthrough
While ethanol has played a commanding role in the United States, Europe has
been dancing much more to the biodiesel tune. European Biodiesel Board (EBB)
official figures confirm that overall biodiesel production in EU has
increased from 3.2 million tonnes in 2005 to nearly 4.9 million tonnes in
2006.

This represents a 54% yearly growth for EU biodiesel production, which
follows on from a record 65% growth rate in the previous year 2005.

As a result EU biodiesel production has more than doubled in the last two
years. In 2002, 2003 and 2004 biodiesel production had risen by the
relatively lower rate of 30-35%.

Today in Europe there are already 185 fully operational biodiesel plants.
Another 58 plants are currently under construction. In 2007, capacities for
biodiesel production reached 10.2 million tonnes, laying the foundations for
a further strong expansion of the EU biodiesel industry that according to
projections should be able to meet 2010 EU targets with at least two years
to spare.

Once the many plants which are currently under construction begin to
operate, production capacities are expected to reach much higher levels
accordingly, with industrial output growing by the same exponential rate at
least until the end of 2008.
Ukraine a beneficiary of the boom?
This growth in biofuel production capabilities bodes well for Ukraine, with
the country’s huge agricultural industry capable of meeting the commodities
needs of the biofuel boom.

Because ethanol may be made from so many different sources worldwide prices
for the agricultural commodities that Ukraine excels in have seen some
appreciation. And there is a consensus that, with the world’s burgeoning
population and the continued growth of demand from China, commodity prices
appear on the verge of a higher plateau that may remain indefinitely.

One of Ukraine’s most respected agricultural leaders, Leonid Kozachenko, a
former vice prime minister of agriculture and current president of the
Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation, told Business Ukraine that he sees Ukraine
on the brink of a period in which it could enjoy greater agricultural
success than at any time in its history, both as a producer of agricultural
commodities and also as a producer of feedstocks for the biofuels market
domestically.

“Wheat will always be important for Ukraine, but we need no more than 20% of
Ukraine’s land to grow sufficient wheat and other foodstuffs to feed our
population. We have the land, the people and the capacity to become one of
the world’s greatest exporting countries without sacrificing our ability to
supply our own market quite adequately,” Kozachenko says.

He also points out that Ukraine’s farmers are capable of producing large
quantities of corn, the preferred feedstock for ethanol, with a high level
of profitability. There are, however, some changes that need to be made in
order to make the Ukrainian role more productive.
Restructuring to supply Europe
“Ideally, farmers should consider organising themselves into cooperatives
for turning their corn into ethanol and other products. Experience has shown
that farmers may earn USD 100 per tonne on corn under the right
circumstances. And that is just on the corn as it leaves the field.

If we then add value by turning the corn into fuel alcohol with the residual
miller’s grain available for animal feed, we have a win-win situation for
both individual farmers and the country as a whole,” Kozachenko adds.

“Even if we use half of our production capacity to meet local needs, we can
still build up ethanol plant capacity, pay for the plant investment within
three years, and export as much as two million tonnes of ethanol per year to
Europe and other buyers. Also, we can develop the capacity to export as much
as 3 million tonnes of biodiesel based on rapeseed,” Kozachenko explains.

Kozachenko says that some reforms are needed to provide legislation which
will support export efforts, while change is also needed in the attitudes of
some of Ukraine’s neighbours over their import policies.

“The Europeans talk about helping Ukraine, but I would suggest that they
take concrete steps to do so. The best thing that Europe could do would be
to lift the EUR 0.18 per litre tariff that effectively blocks Ukrainian
ethanol exports to Europe today,” he argues.
Time to end Soviet stereotypes
While some private interests may be considering a revitalization of interest
in ethanol in Ukraine, there are still major problems that must be overcome,
not least the attitudes of many in parliament who view the entire alcohol
sector, for both potable and fuel purposes, as inseparable.

Unless the new parliament is willing to act decisively, an industry that is
booming worldwide may remain mired in old Soviet-era thinking in Ukraine.

A well-informed source who spoke on condition of anonymity told Business
Ukraine that recent government efforts to turn some old potable alcohol
plants into ethanol plants are doomed to failure. All of the government’s
efforts are based on old technology that is highly dependent on increasingly
expensive natural gas.

“The state has no money to upgrade plants and, at least until we get a more
enlightened parliament, we are unlikely to see any change in the current law
that gives the government an absolute monopoly over both ends of the alcohol
market,” the source says.
Not all convinced
As many in Ukraine look for ways in which they may turn the country from an
onlooker into a major player on the increasingly expanding biofuels market,
at least one of the best-known and most progressive agricultural firms has
taken a hands-off attitude after studying the situation in depth several
years ago.

A source within Agro-Soyuz, considered one of the most technology driven
agricultural firms in Ukraine, located in the village of Majskoye in
Dnipropetrovsk province, said that the company made an intensive evaluation
that could have led to a major investment in ethanol production.

However, we “placed it on the back burner,” the source says. “We spent most
of 2001 and 2002 engaged in serious investigation of ethanol possibilities,
including personnel on the ground in the United States looking at operations
there.

“At the end of the day, the company was simply not willing to undertake the
kind of investment that would have been necessary while all of the
decision-making was left in the hands of Ukrainian government agencies,” the
source adds.

Another of the major agricultural players, Alexei Sizov, a banker with a
background that includes work throughout the CIS with Renaissance Capital
and J. P. Morgan who was recently named CEO of Ukrainian Agrarian
Investments, LLC, told Business Ukraine that his firm is taking what it
considers the correct approach in view of the current Ukrainian reality and
the worldwide surge in biofuels interest.

“In our planning, our major consideration is the energy capacity of the
crops we plant. We produce corn, rapeseed, and other crops with high energy
potential for the regular markets. However, we always take into
consideration the possibility that a crop has for diversion as a feedstock
for the biofuels industry,” Sizov says.
An industry crying out for subsidies
Yuriy Alatortsev, an independent agricultural analyst who covers agriculture
in the CIS for publications in Europe and the United States, summed the
situation up, “It is generally accepted that the biofuel industry, both in
Ukraine and abroad, has little chance of survival without governmental
subsidies.

“The low production cost of grains and oilseeds in Ukraine has attracted
neighbours from countries where biofuel laws are in place to come and buy
raw materials, mostly rapeseed. These include the Baltics, Germany and
Poland.”

“The world energy market drives the prices for grains and oilseeds and this
game has started to involve Ukraine more and more. If Ukrainian farmers
learn to increase their yields from lands they are farming now they can
potentially triple their yields of rapeseed, soybeans and possibly corn and
thus enjoy higher margins and profits from farming, in spite of highly
negative domestic biofuel legislation.”

“What Ukrainian farmers really need is for the government to stay away from
the market, stop playing banning games, and listening to the crushing
lobbies that want to introduce a rapeseed export quota and other restrictive
measures.”

Most crushing companies in Ukraine prefer to crush rapeseed, soybeans and
trade vegetable oils. Currently Ukraine is considering duplicating already
existing German legislation in this sector but it is unclear how soon it
will be passed given the political instability.

So Ukraine needs to sit tight, increase yields and enjoy the high prices
paid by richer neighbours who can afford it, thanks to their subsidies for
biofuel production and processing.

The other biofuel, biodiesel, has enjoyed some success but so far has had
nothing like the market-moving attention of ethanol. Many scientists believe
that some of the technical problems with biodiesel will eventually be
solved, but, for the time being at least, it remains a less important but
growing player on the biofuel energy field.
———————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.businessukraine.com.ua/can-ukraine-capitalise-on-the

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========================================================
14.  FIRST EDITION OF RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS
DIRECTORY UKRAINE LAUNCHED IN KYIV

UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, September 20, 2007

KYIV – The launch of the first edition of Responsible Business Directory
Ukraine was conducted today in Kyiv at the conference hall of the Hyatt
Hotel within the frameforke of the Global Compact Initiative in Ukraine,
and in partnership with the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
European Business Association, American Chamber of Commerce and
with the support of Ukraine Citizen Action Network (UCAN).

According to the UN Office in Ukraine, during the launch the first bilingual
publication in Ukraine featuring socially responsible companies that work in
the local market and implement corporate social responsibility practices in
the country was presented.

“The Directory is a unique publication since for the first time it presents
Ukrainian companies from a different perspective – the perspective of their
behavior as corporate citizens”, stated UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine
Francis O’Donnell, in his welcoming address to the attendees of the launch.

“The responsibility of the companies finds its way in two dimensions:
striving to respond to the needs of the society by engaging in community
development and environmental protection, and trying to be responsible
towards their employees and to practice business ethics principles at
workplace”, he added.

This event was also attended by the Government representatives, Ms. Oksana
Slyusarenko, Deputy Minister of Economy and Ms. Natalya Ivanova, Deputy
Minister of Labour and Social Policy who complimented private sector’s
engagement, realized in corporate social responsibility, on the way to
social and economic well-being of the country.

The publication aims to contribute to the promotion of a new image of
national businesses that meet social, environmental and governance
objectives.

The event attracted more than 120 participants including representatives of
the country’s leading companies, featured in the Directory, foreign
diplomatic corps and media.

Ms. Barbara Felitti, UCAN Country Director stressed the Directory’s
importance for the overall development of business sector in Ukraine.
“UCAN has been a proud partner in the preparation of this valuable
publication”, noted Ms. Felitti.

“Ukrainian business is a part of European business, especially when the
mutual cooperation ties become stronger, social responsible business
practices and standards appear very high on the agenda” stated Ms. Andrea
Raffaseder, President of the European Business Association in Ukraine. “I
hope that the Responsible Business Directory will become an annual
publication”, she added.

Mr. Jorge Zukoski, President of the American Chamber of Commerce
expressed a hope that the publication would serve as an inspiration to the
Ukrainian business community by inheriting the corporate social
responsibility principals in their activities and thus boosting the development

of Ukraine.

The Responsible Business Directory incorporates CSR company profiles into
one source of information. The Directory will be also contributing to the
establishment of a new business community in Ukraine that justifies its
existence not only in terms of profit, but also service to the society at
large which becomes a tribute to the international business practice
tendencies.

This publication is a wonderful resource of information for a wide audience
and will be distributed within the country and also abroad.
——————————————————————————————-

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AUR#869 Sep 20 Painful Export Restrictions; Bread & Bolshevism; Commerzbank; Ferexpo; Holtec Contract; Ballot Woes; USUF; Bandurist Chorus

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

Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 869
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2007
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.  GRAIN TRADERS LOOK BEYOND PAINFUL EXPORT RESTRICTIONS
By John Marone, Kyiv Post Staff Writer
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, September 20, 2007

2IMF WARNS UKRAINE AGAINST ADMINISTRATION CONTROL
ON GRAIN PRICES
Interfax Ukraine Economic, Kyiv, Ukraine, August 6, 2007

3EUROPEAN COMMISSION CONSIDERS UKRAINE’S GRAIN
EXPORT QUOTAS ARE TOO STRICT

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, August 2, 2007

4U.S. AMBASSADOR CALLS ON UKRAINE TO LET MARKET

FORCES REGULATE GRAIN TRADE, NOT GOV’T QUOTAS
Interfax Ukraine Agro, Kyiv, Ukraine, June 24, 2007

5OF BREAD AND BOLSHEVISM – UKRAINE GRAIN QUOTAS RETURN 
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By John Marone
Kyiv Post Senior Journalist, based in Ukraine.
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 25, 2007

6UKRAINE SHOULD STOP LARGE COMPANIES FROM BUYING

Interfax, Vinnytsia, Ukraine, Tuesday, Sep 18, 2007
7UKRAINIAN DEPUTY PREMIER FAVOURS CONTINUED
GRAIN EXPORT CURBS 
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian, 19 Sep 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Sep 19, 2007

8CHERNOBYL TO GET $505M METAL COVER TO STOP RADIATION
Luke Harding, The Guardian – United Kingdom
London, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Sep 18, 2007

9GERMANY’S COMMERZBANK IN $600M UKRAINE BUY
By Roman Olearchyk in Kiev, Financial Times

London, UK, Tuesday, September 18, 2007

10GERMANY’S COMMERZBANK TRAILS RIVALS IN UKRAINE
Lionel Laurent, Forbes.com, NY, NY, Wednesday, September 19, 2007

11UKRAINE’S FEREXPO PLANS TO LIFT OUTPUT: PROFIT DOUBLES
By Brett Foley and Mark Herlihy, Bloomberg, London, UK, Wed Sep 19

12FERREXPO WANTS PARTNER FOR IRON ORE MINES IN UKRAINE
By Rebecca Bream, Utilities Correspondent, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, September 20 2007

13.  UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT AND HOLTEC INTERNATIONAL
RATIFY THE DRY STORAGE PROJECT FOR CHERNOBYL

Holtec International, Marlton, New Jersey, Tuesday, September 18, 2007

14CMS LAWFIRM KICKSTARTS LONDON’S GOLDRUSH TO UKRAINE
Caroline Binham,  The Lawyer, London, UK, Monday, 17-Sep-2007

15U.S. AMBASSADOR TAYLOR DISCUSSES ELECTORAL RIGHTS
OF CITIZENS UNABLE TO MOVE AROUND UNAIDED 

Ukrainian News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, September 9, 2007

16UKRAINE: MILLIONS OF VOTERS FACE BALLOT WOES
By Stephen Bandera, Kyiv Post Editor
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Sep 20, 2007

17UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH SEEMS

RETURNING TO BELLIGERENT CAMPAIGNING RHETORIC
Black Sea TV, Simferopol, in Russian 1600 gmt 17 Sep 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Sep 19, 2007

18PARTY OF REGIONS PROVE THEY CANNOT CHANGE
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By TARAS KUZIO
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, September 20, 2003

19UKRAINE: ORANGE HEROINE MAY BE PRIME MINISTER AGAIN
Yushchenko said liberals who swept him to power would win 
REUTERS, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 19, 2007

20TYMOSHENKO, WITH HESITATION
EDITORIAL: Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sep 19 2007

 
Mitch Potter, Europe Bureau, Toronto Star
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Sunday, Sep 16, 20007

 
REUTERS, Kaniv, Ukraine, Wed, September 19, 2007
 
24CALL U.S. CONGRESS TODAY TO RESTORE FUNDING TO USUF
Friends of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF)
Washington, D.C. Thursday, September 20, 2007
 
25UKRAINIAN BANDURIST CHORUS: THE SOUL OF UKRAINE
Anatoli Murha, Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus (UBC)
Detroit, Michigan, Thursday, September 20, 2007
 
26PINCHUKARTCENTRE BRINGS TOGETHER WORLD’S
LEADING CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS IN KYIV
PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, September 20, 2007
 
27FREEDOM FIGHTERS THE WORLD TRIED TO FORGET
By Lubomyr Luciuk, The Glove and Mail,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, September 15, 2007
 
AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING CENTER IN CHINA
Victoria Ruan, Dow Jones Newswires, Beijing, China, Sep 19, 2007
 
29REGAL SET TO DEVELOP GAS IN UKRAINE
Rebecca Bream, Financial Times, London, UK, Sat, Sep 15 2007
 
30UKRAINE: SECURITY COUNCIL ASKS PGO TO PROBE VAT
TAX ADMINISTERING AND REFUNDING

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 19, 2007
========================================================
1 GRAIN TRADERS LOOK BEYOND PAINFUL EXPORT RESTRICTIONS

By John Marone, Kyiv Post Staff Writer
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, September 20, 2007

It was only a few months ago that critics of the government’s grain export
quotas were gnashing their teeth at the announcement of a virtual ban on
grain exports.

President Viktor Yushchenko’s Secretariat said the stiffening of the export
quotas on this year’s harvest would hurt Ukraine’s bid to join the World
Trade Organization.

Farmers and traders recalled hundreds of millions of dollars in losses from
last year’s quotas, which the government had imposed without warning. The
country’s future as an international breadbasket was under threat,
agricultural organizations warned.

But, now, as the country reaps another low harvest, agro-industry players
are silently acknowledging the rectitude of the Cabinet’s June decision to
all but halt foreign grain sales this year.

And although grain traders aren’t expecting much of a relaxation of the
quotas from an upcoming government review, that hasn’t dampened hopes
of future profits, as global demand for grain looks to keep climbing
sharply, and Ukraine’s rich soil continues to promise double the size of

recent harvests.

Some international grain companies are not just waiting for better times,
but advancing and expanding into Ukraine in anticipation of larger harvests.

France’s largest grain trader, Soufflet, recently announced it was setting
up a 50-50 joint venture with Australia’s top barley exporter, ABB, to
extend its operations in Ukraine.

“Our decision was taken with a vision of the middle and long-term basis, as
we both believe Ukraine will be an important exporter in coming years,”
General Director of Soufflet Ukraine Ltd. Jean-Marc Philouze told the Post.

Ukraine ranked as the world’s sixth largest grain exporter in 2005, when it
harvested a bumper crop of 38 million metric tons. But last year, this
figure dropped to 34 million metric tons. This year, it should be around 29
million.

But experts say the country has the potential to produce almost twice as
much grain. The Ukrainian Grain Association has floated potential harvest
figures for Ukraine as high as 58 million tons, citing similar numbers from
Soviet-era harvests.

Such possibilities are attractive for companies like Soufflet, which
operates malting operations in Ukraine but is not currently one of the top
grain players operating in the country. For ABB, the joint venture means a
foothold on the market.

Together, the two companies can split the risk,” said Philouze. “Soufflet
group doesn’t intend to develop international trading operations alone but,
through this deal, wants to reach a significant size on the Ukrainian
market.and limit climate-related and political risks in the country,” reads
a statement released by the French company.

This year’s bad harvest is due to a climate-related drought that Ukraine
experienced in May. However, the grain export quotas introduced and raised
by the government in the last year are the result of lower-than-expected
harvests as well as soaring world grain prices, which threatened to raise
the cost of bread at home.

After a decent harvest, Ukraine exports on average around 10 million tons of
grain. Last fall, the government introduced export caps of around one
million tons, citing the need to guarantee the country’s food security.

Grain traders, who had already stored their grain in port for shipment,
cried foul. The Ukrainian media ran reports of grain being dumped into the
sea to avoid crippling storage costs.

The ambassadors of the US, Germany and the Netherlands, where top Ukrainian
grain traders are headquartered, harshly criticized the Ukrainian government
in public statements. Ukrainian farmers were hit the worst, with farmers
associations reporting losses as high as $200 million.

Both traders and farmers said the unexpected introduction of the quotas was
worse than the quotas themselves. By June of this year, with an even lower
harvest being predicted, the government introduced tighter quota limits of
only 3,000 tons for each type of grain.

Traders, diplomats and farmers questioned the move but the response was much
less vociferous than last fall. Unlike last year, the government gave
traders advance notice.

As for farmers, the government approved a modest compensation of Hr 95
million (around $24 million) in drought relief.

Moreover, according to industry insiders, although farmers could have made
more money on their grain without the quotas, they still reported record
earnings from sales on the domestic market this year.

Nevertheless, critics at home and abroad warned that the new quotas would
hurt Ukraine’s reputation as a reliable supplier and lead farmers to plant
non-food crops.

President Yushchenko’s Secretariat, a fierce political opponent of Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych, said the government restrictions might hurt the
country’s chances of being accepted into the WTO.

Now, only three months later, traders and analysts are more optimistic about
Ukraine’s future grain trade.

Soufflet’s Philouze said his company hopes to be exporting as much as two
times more than last year’s entire market quota within three years. “Our
target is to achieve between 1 and 2 millions [metric tons] of grain per
year within 3 years,” he said.

However, despite a government review of the quotas expected before the end
of this month, Philouze doesn’t foresee any changes in Ukraine’s export
policy until the political situation settles down. “Unfortunately, we do not
expect anything before 1 or 2 months after the elections,” said Philouze.

Other grain traders interviewed by the Post said they expect the government
to free up no more than 1.2 million tons of grain by December 31.

In anticipation of an impending government decision, the market has already
reported a rise of around a three percent rise in the price of grain.

Citing the danger of a sharp price rise, Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Slauta
has spoken out against any changes in the government’s quotas before the end
of the year. “I am inclined to maintain the quotas and licensing until
January 1, 2008,” he said on Sep 18.

However, market watchers like Radion Rybchinsky, chief analyst at
Dnipropetrovsk-based APK Inform, don’t see the government’s restrictions
as a permanent obstacle to the country’s grain trade. “Sooner or later these
quotas will be lifted – it’s just a matter of when,” he said.

With the use of agricultural land for bio-fuel and growing populations in
India and China, the demand is not going to decrease, and Ukraine has the
potential to meet this demand, he added.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Agricultural Policy has put the country’s domestic
grain needs at 27 million tons, which means anything harvested above this
figure can go towards export.

Yushchenko has already signed a decree ordering the government to secure
the country’s position on the grain market between by 2015. The decree set
Ukraine’s export goal at 50 million tons of grain.

In the mean time, companies like Soufflet and ABB will continue to try and
expand their operations in Ukraine in anticipation of greater export
opportunities.
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LINK:
http://www.kyivpost.com/business/general/27402/

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2.  IMF WARNS UKRAINE AGAINST ADMINISTRATION CONTROL
ON GRAIN PRICES

Interfax Ukraine Economic, Kyiv, Ukraine, August 6, 2007

KYIV – The International Monetary Fund [IMF] does not advise Ukraine’s
government to use administrative control over the prices.

In particular, we consider restoring quotas for grain export and
interventions into price formation process to be very dangerous, MF Senior
Resident Representative in Ukraine Jeffrey Franks said in an interview with
the Dzerkalo Tyzhnia newspaper, published last week.

We know that Ukraine has a lot of prices, which are regulated by
administrative methods, he said. This allows to keep inflation on a low
level for certain period of time, for example by fixing the natural gas
price for households on a low level, he said.

According to Franks, this is only the delay, since the price pressure does
not disappear, and the problem is not solved. And the longer this
disproportion lasts, the harder will be the process of balancing.

The IMF suggests to substitute administrative methods by market mechanisms.
If there is a threat of bread deficit, the government should take measures
to expand the supply, he said, adding that is a short-term prospect this can
be done via interventions of the State Reserve Fund.

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3.  EUROPEAN COMMISSION CONSIDERS UKRAINE’S GRAIN
EXPORT QUOTAS ARE TOO STRICT
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, August 2, 2007

KYIV – The European Commission considers that Ukraine’s grain export

quotas are too strict. Head of the trade department of European Commission
delegation in Ukraine Luis Manuel Portero Sanchez disclosed this to
Ukrainian News.

He marked that the European Commission knows that in 2007, Ukraine had grave
climate conditions, which demanded certain actions from the representatives
of Ukrainian power.

He said that the commission discussed the issue with Ukraine and Ukrainian
authorities assured that the taken measures would be temporary and would be
taken under permanent control.

“However, the commission is concerned that taking into account information
about the yield, export quotas are too strict,” he said.

At the same time, the European Commission understands that not later than

in October, more liberal grain mode will be introduced.

“In the future, it is important to limit application of any trade
constrictions, introducing them only in the cases there is critical fall of
foodstuff on the base of thorough forecasting of the yield,” he said.

He also said that the European Commission had proposed to Ukrainian
authorities access to European Mars system of explicated analysis and
forecasting, which is applied in the farm sector of the European Union. It
would help Ukraine to improve abilities on harvest forecasting.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Deputy Prime Minister for Agriculture
Viktor Slauta thinks that Ukraine may export up to 5 million tons of grain
in the 2007/2008 marketing year (from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008).

The Cabinet of Ministers introduced a 12,000-ton grain export quota for the
2007/2008 marketing year. The Economy Ministry initiated the introduction of
export quotas on wheat, barley, mixture of wheat and rye, corn, and rye in
the amount of 3,000 tons on each of the cultures from July 1 to October 1,
2007.
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4.  U.S. AMBASSADOR CALLS ON UKRAINE TO LET MARKET
FORCES REGULATE GRAIN TRADE, NOT GOV’T QUOTAS

Interfax Ukraine Agro, Kyiv, Ukraine, June 24, 2007

KYIV – U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor has said that the

Ukrainian government should let market forces regulate the country’s
grain trade.
The ambassador said this in a TV interview with the 5th Channel on
Wednesday, commenting on the Ukrainian cabinet’s decision to introduce
quotas on grain exports in the third quarter of this year.

According to the diplomat, though experts forecast that this year’s grain
harvest in Ukraine will be lower than last year due to the drought, there is
no need to limit grain exports. By limiting wheat exports, the government
harms farmers, Taylor said.

As reported, on Wednesday, the Ukrainian government imposed quotas on
exports of wheat, rye, corn, and barley in the third quarter of 2007, set at
3,000 tonnes for each crop.

The cabinet said these measures were prompted by the abnormally hot weather
in May and a drought that has lasted 40-50 days in certain regions of
Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government introduced licensing and quotas for grain exports
in the fall of 2006, but export quotas were later lifted.

The introduction of grain export quotas by Ukraine drew criticism from grain
traders and a number of countries with which the country is negotiating
accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
————————————————————————————————

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5. OF BREAD AND BOLSHEVISM – UKRAINE GRAIN QUOTAS RETURN 

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By John Marone
Kyiv Post Senior Journalist, based in Ukraine.
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 25, 2007

The Soviet authorities loved to portray their country to the world as a
dictatorship of workers and peasants.

In fact, the peasants were at the bottom of the Soviet Union’s
socio-economic hierarchy, forced to feed the workers, the army and the
party functionaries who controlled their lives.

Independent Ukraine may eventually have to again force a large percentage
of its people to till the fields in order to provide the rest of the country
with something to eat, following the latest demonstration of command
economics by the government.

Last week, the Cabinet finally admitted that it intended to renew severe
restrictions on the export of grain.

Despite vigorous protests by grain traders, farmers and foreign governments,
no one was surprised by the new quotas, which merely represented the
continuation of a policy instituted last fall.

The government’s reason for the renewed restrictions was Ukraine’s recent
bout of dry weather.

Indeed, this year’s harvest could end up being smaller than last year’s due
to drought; however, in the opinion of everyone but the government, the
harvest is not so small as to justify quotas.

But who should Ukrainians believe – blood sucking capitalists and
foreigners, or the vanguard of the proletariat, whose only concern is that
the people get cheap bread?

As for the country’s farmers, they ceased being seen as wholesome laborers
as soon as they started trying to make a profit.
Ukrainian farmers may have finally gotten the point, though, this time
around.

Why should they risk investment against bad weather and world markets if the
government is going to force them to sell their produce at a lower price to
‘the people’ anyway?

It’s the people, of course, whom the government has in mind, as the
coalition of prime-minister Viktor Yanukovych gets ready to challenge the
country’s pro-Western opposition in early elections later this year.

There is nothing like cheap food, as well as the rises in pensions and state
wages that the government has promised, to dispose voters to their cause.

Although the prime-minister has spent no great effort to change his public
image as a cheat in the last presidential elections to that of a modern
leader of a market economy, his choice of coalition comrades in the
parliament speaks to the contrary.

Together with the Socialists and Communists, the champions of the peasant,
Yanukovych has shown himself to be at best indifferent to implementing
reforms directed at greater integration with Europe.

Yanukovych’s Regions faction itself is a loose mix of post-Soviet
reactionaries and pragmatic industrialists.

All the same, as in Soviet times, party officials and industrial workers
need farmers to feed them.

But following the government’s June 20 decision to re-impose grain quotas,
farmers are expected to start planting more profitable crops such as rape
seed, which is used in the production of bio-fuel.

Experts say that the increased use of land worldwide to produce bio-fuel is
the main reason for skyrocketing international grain prices. Increasingly
capricious weather and a higher world population have also raised the
demand for bread.

These trends could be a windfall for Ukraine, currently the world’s sixth
largest grain exporter.

Instead, out of incompetence and short-term planning, Ukraine’s government
is shooting itself in the foot.

When the government first imposed grain quotas last fall, farmers had
already started work toward this year’s harvest. But next year may bring
even smaller grain yields than this year and last, regardless of the
weather, as farmers switch to crops they can sell.

Experts estimate that Ukrainian farmers have already lost upwards of $200
million in the last nine months due to the government’s command-economy
tactics.

Most damaging has been the way the government introduced its restrictions:
suddenly, secretly and with no input from farmers and traders.

Since grain export quotas were introduced last fall, traders have reported
losses of up to $100 million in fines for broken contracts. Even if the
government does decide to free up exports in October, when its newest quotas
are due for renewal, there will not have been enough time to arrange sales.

Last year, with a harvest just a little below average, around 34 million
metric tons, the government also said it was looking after the country’s
food security.

It didn’t explain, however, why it hadn’t taken the precaution of buying
enough grain for state reserves, instead of unilaterally and belatedly
halting grain shipments abroad.

Moreover, grain traders and farmers have repeatedly said that the worst part
of the government’s policy has been its unpredictability.

Last year, for example, the government unexpectedly and immediately
introduced inaccessible export licenses, then switched to quotas that were
cancelled over the course of the next several months, promised that it would
cancel the last quotas this May and then – surprise, surprise – announced
new quotas with two weeks notice in June.

When foreign diplomats have protested, they were told to mind their own
business; when traders have complained, they were said to be exaggerating
their losses.

Is this the behavior of a modern market-oriented government? One gets the
impression that the Ukrainian government’s economic gurus think that world
markets operate like a corner store.

Apparently sensitive to last year’s media reports of grain traders throwing
rotting grain into the Black Sea to avoid paying crippling extra storage
fees, the government proudly announced this year that it had given traders a
full month to export the grain that they had already stored at port.

With such foresight in policymaking, one wonders whether it’s incompetence
or outright self sabotage that guides Ukraine’s government.

The secretariat of President Viktor Yushchenko, for example, has already
said the grain quotas will hurt Ukraine’s chances of joining the World Trade
Organization. Unlike his leftist coalition partners, Yanukovych has
supported WTO entry, which would benefit the industrial wing of the Regions
faction.

However, the prime-minister has hampered other initiatives toward Western
integration, preferring closer ties with the Kremlin, which supported his
ill-fated grab for the presidency.

No one would deny that the Ukrainian government has the right, the
obligation, to ensure that Ukrainians have enough to eat. Some are even
sympathetic to the fact that the cash-strapped government is afraid of
paying market prices for grain.

However, there is no excuse for the opaque and unpredictable way that the
export restrictions have been carried out.

Moreover, the size of the new quotas – only 3,000 metric tons for each type
of grain exported – equates to a complete ban. Normally, Ukraine exports
around 9 million metric tons of grain a year.

Although the government recently reported that as much as 10 million tons of
grain might have been damaged from draught, this figure is just a forecast,
and one not shared by anyone else.

So if Ukraine ends up with more grain than it needs, who will sell what’s
left? Not the grain traders, as they have been effectively put out of
business. The opportunity afforded by such a situation to well connected
middlemen speaks for itself and to a return to old-style corruption.

Another equally important question that arises is who will be planting
Ukraine’s next crop? The peasants of Soviet times weren’t thrilled about
feeding the workers, army, party bosses and intelligentsia. That’s probably
why the Communist authorities had to keep them from moving to the city.

If the government doesn’t start understanding the complexity and fragility
of the market economics that it claims to espouse, it may have to start
making people become peasants again.
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http://www.eurasianhome.org/xml/t/opinion.xml?lang=en&nic=opinion&pid=768

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6.  UKRAINE SHOULD STOP LARGE COMPANIES FROM BUYING
UP LAND SAYS PRIME MINISTER VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH
 
Interfax, Vinnytsia, Ukraine, Tuesday, Sep 18, 2007
VINNYTSIA – Ukrainian Prime Minister and leader of the Party of
Regions Viktor Yanukovych has called for creating legal barriers to
prevent large companies, especially foreign ones, from continuing to
buy up land en-masse in Ukraine.

“We should pass a law that would make it impossible for both
Ukrainian and foreign large corporations to buy up land,” Yanukovych
said in live remarks on the Vinnytsia TV and radio station on
Tuesday.

This concerns primarily foreign capital, because “foreign capital is
stronger than Ukrainian capital,” he said.

The prime minister also zeroed in on the corruption accompanying the
sale of land in Ukraine. “We cannot afford officials enriching
themselves at the expense of the state and the people,” the premier
said, stressing the necessity of public control over land sales.

“We should not allow officials to tackle the issue during the land
reform. Everything should be under public scrutiny,” Yanukovych said.

——————————————————————————————
FOOTNOTE: This is strange article as land cannot be bought and
sold in Ukraine today.  Ukraine also needs billions of dollars to
develop is agricultural and food system potential. This investment
will need to come from all sources…domestic and international.
Ukraine does not need restrictions likes the ones mentioned in the
article above. AUR Editor.
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7.  UKRAINIAN DEPUTY PREMIER FAVOURS CONTINUED
GRAIN EXPORT CURBS 

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian, 19 Sep 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Sep 19, 2007

KYIV – The Ukrainian deputy prime minister for agriculture, Viktor Slauta,
has said that the restrictions on grain exports should be extended from 1
October 2007 to 1 January 2008, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported

on 18 September.

He said that lifting the export restrictions would cause an increase in
internal prices of grain. However, Slauta said it would be possible to
increase corn export quotas due to the rich harvest expectations.

Ukraine is capable of exporting 4m-5m tonnes of grain, mainly fodder grain,
in this marketing year, Slauta said. He confirmed that this year’s harvest
forecast at 29m-30m tonnes of grain.

————————————————————————————————
FOOTNOTE: Ukraine continues to shoot itself and its farmers and
agri-businessmen in the foot with these restrictive and unnecessary
grain export restrictions.  Soviet operating handbooks seem to still
be in style in Ukraine with some leaders and also corruption.  AUR Editor
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========================================================
8.  CHERNOBYL TO GET $505M METAL COVER TO STOP RADIATION

LUKE HARDING, The Guardian – United Kingdom
London, United Kingdom, Tuesday, Sep 18, 2007

Ukraine is to cover the site of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor with a vast
metal shelter in a long overdue operation designed to prevent the further
leak of deadly radiation.

Officials in Kiev yesterday said they had hired a French firm to replace the
crumbling concrete sarcophagus that has stood at Chernobyl since 1986 – when
it was the scene of the world’s worst ever nuclear disaster.

The new shelter is an arch-shaped metal structure 105m (345ft) tall and 150m
(490ft) long. It will enclose the sarcophagus hastily put up after the
accident. That precarious structure has been leaking radiation for more than
a decade.

“I am convinced that today, possibly for the first time, we can frankly tell
the national and international community that the answer to the problem of
sheltering the Chernobyl nuclear plant has been found,” President Viktor
Yushchenko said, according to his presidential website.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has funded the $505m
deal with a French construction firm, Novarka. The plan is to eventually
dismantle the sarcophagus and the exploded reactor inside the new shelter.

According to official estimates, the reactor still contains about 95% of the
original nuclear fuel from the plant. There are fears that if the
sarcophagus collapses another cloud of lethal radioactive dust could escape.

Chernobyl’s reactor No 4 exploded on April 26, 1986, spewing radiation over
a large swath of the former Soviet Union and much of northern Europe. An
area roughly half the size of Italy was contaminated, forcing the
resettlement of hundreds of thousands of people.

Anton Usov, a spokesman for the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development, said it will take about 1 1/2 years to design the shelter and
another four to build it.

Officials also signed a $200m contract with the US firm Holtec International
to build a storage facility for spent nuclear fuel from the plant’s three
other reactors, which kept operating until the station was shut down in
2000.

“The successful implementation of the project depends not only on the
progress of the construction work, but also on the continued commitment of
both the Ukrainian authorities and the international community,” the
European bank’s president, Jean Lemierre, said in a statement.

Within the first two months after the disaster, 31 people died from
illnesses caused by radioactivity. But there is no consensus over the
subsequent death toll. A 2005 report from the UN health agency estimated
that about 9,300 people will die from cancers caused by Chernobyl’s
radiation. Some groups, such as Greenpeace, insist the toll could be 10
times higher. Some 200,000 residents were evacuated from Ukraine alone.
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9.  GERMANY’S COMMERZBANK IN $600M UKRAINE BUY

By Roman Olearchyk in Kiev, Financial Times

London, UK, Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Commerzbank is buying a 60 per cent stake in Ukraine’s Bank Forum for

$600m, the German group said on Tuesday, the latest in a flurry of
purchases by European banks seeking to gain exposure to the former
Soviet republic’s promising banking market.

Under the agreement, Commerzbank has also secured the option to purchase

an additional 25 per cent stake within 36 months. It will finance the deal
through existing resources.

“After an intensive search, we have found an ideal complement for our
network of operational outlets in the booming region of central and eastern
Europe in the form of Bank Forum, the 10th largest bank in Ukraine by total
assets,” said Martin Blessing, a member of Commerzbank’s managing board.

“This represents another step in our strategy of selective acquisitions to
grow within our target regions. With approximately 12,000 corporate
customers, of which 9,500 are small and medium-sized enterprises, Bank Forum
is already making an important contribution to strengthening our Mittelstand
business. In addition, we plan to expand Bank Forum’s retail customer
business considerably in the coming years,” Mr Blessing added.

Bank Forum is majority owned by Ukrainian-born Leonid Yurushev and his
family. Mr Yurushev, a Greek national, also has investments in Ukrainian
real e state development projects and assets in industry.

The bank was founded in 1994 and, after rapid expansion, now has assets
totalling the equivalent of Euro1.4bn and a market share of 2.3 per cent. It
plans to increase the number of branches to 400 in the next four years,
whilst doubling its market share.

Commerzbank officials said the Ukrainian banking market had seen strong
growth in recent years, with bank assets rising at an average rate of more
than 50 per cent over the past five years.

Market penetration of banking services in Ukraine remains low, but growth
potential is considered high and foreign banks have tripled their presence
in the market to about 30 per cent in the past three years.

In July, Bank Austria Creditanstalt, the Austrian subsidiary of Italy’s
UniCredit, agreed to pay $2.2bn for Kiev-based Ukrsotsbank, one of

Ukraine’s top five banks in terms of net assets and branch network size.

Other European banks to enter Ukraine recent years have included Austria’s
Raiffeisen and Erste Bank Groups, France’s BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole,
Hungary’s OTP Bank and Sweden’s Swedbank.

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10.  GERMANY’S COMMERZBANK TRAILS RIVALS IN UKRAINE

Lionel Laurent, Forbes.com, NY, NY, Wednesday, September 19, 2007

LONDON – Germany’s Commerzbank is following in the footsteps of European
rivals such as BNP Paribas with a major Ukrainian investment, as it takes a
60% stake in Kiev-based Forum Bank for $600 million, which values the firm
at $1 billion. But it may be a case of too little, too late, for too much.

Shares in Commerzbank closed up 1.51 euros ($2.11), or 5.5%, to 28.91 euros
($40.38) on Wednesday in Frankfurt. The positive effects of the U.S Federal
Reserve’s 0.50% interest rate cut on Tuesday also spread to Deutsche Bank,
up 4.3% to 94.23 euros ($131.61), and Allianz up 4.1% to 157.98 euros
($220.66). The benchmark DAX index rose 175.63 points, or 2.3%, to 7,750.84
points.

On Tuesday Commerzbank said the $600 million transaction would strengthen
its position in Eastern Europe, through a 60% stake bought from majority
Forum Bank investor Leonid Yurushev. The German bank has also secured the
option to buy a further 25% of the Ukrainian bank after 3 years.

But Commerzbank is not alone to be eyeing Eastern Europe, and it may be
moving in too late. In 2005, France’s BNP Paribas  acquired a controlling
stake in UkrSibbank, the fourth-largest Ukrainian bank by asset value, and
at the end of July the French bank teamed up with insurer AXA to buy 99%

of Ukrainian insurer Vesko.

“Ukraine could be a further growth area for this world, however they are
entering very late and at relatively high multiples,” said an analyst
covering Commerzbank who did not wish to be named. The analyst said the

deal valued the whole of Forum Bank at $1 billion, five times more than its
market worth of $197.3 million.

But the positive side to the story is that Commerzbank is able to do deals
at a time of great uncertainty in the financial markets and the European
banking sector.

Inter-bank lending has faced an intense lack of liquidity as banks worry
about credit lines, which took a hit from investments in the American
mortgage-backed securities market.

Commerzbank will nonetheless be forced to write off 80 million euros ($111.8
million) in losses related to investments in the U.S. subprime loan market,
it said Tuesday.

In August, Commerzbank and Deutsche Postbank (other-otc: DEUPF – news –
people ) said it had exposure to over $1 billion each in subprime mortgage
securities.

Deutsche Postbank said this was largely due to investments in fellow lender
IKB’s collapsing U.S. vehicle Rhineland Funding.
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http://www.forbes.com/markets/2007/09/19/commerzbank-ukraine-update-markets-equity-cx_ll_0919markets27.html?feed=rss_markets

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11.  UKRAINE’S FEREXPO PLANS TO LIFT OUTPUT: PROFIT DOUBLES
Miner of iron ore in Ukraine held initial public offering (IPO) in June

By Brett Foley and Mark Herlihy, Bloomberg, London, UK, Wed Sep 19

LONDON – Ferrexpo Plc, the miner of iron ore in Ukraine that held an initial
public offering in June, plans to boost output further after first-half
profit more than doubled on higher production.

The Baar, Switzerland-based company plans to expand production of iron-ore
pellets beyond the target detailed in its IPO, Chief Executive Officer
Michael Oppenheimer said on a conference call today.

“Our production outlook will be more aggressive and will be significantly
above the 20 million tons by 2014 we stated before the IPO,” Oppenheimer
said, without specifying a target. Details of the expansion will be released
later this year, he said.

Mining companies are expanding iron-ore output to meet demand for the
steelmaking ingredient as construction surges in emerging economies such as
China, the world’s largest user.

Steelmakers agreed to a 9.5 percent increase in benchmark iron- ore contract
prices this year, the fifth straight annual rise. Prices may climb 30
percent next year because of a shortage of supply, Merrill Lynch & Co. says.
‘Positive’ Market
“The current positive market environment for our business is set to
continue,” Chairman Michael Abrahams said in the statement. The “strong
outlook” for steel and iron ore will continue through the “second half of
this year and beyond,” he said.

Net income climbed to $36.6 million in the six months to June 30 from $15.5
million a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Ferrexpo rose 4 pence, or 1.6 percent, to 254 pence in London trading as of
9:40 a.m., giving the company a market value of 1.54 billion pounds ($3.09
billion). The shares have climbed 81 percent since they were sold on June 15
at 140 pence each.

The volume of iron ore Ferrexpo mined during the half rose 15 percent to
14.4 million metric tons from a year earlier while pellet production
increased 19 percent to 4.7 million tons, the company said.

Ferrexpo plans to source the ore for its expansion from new mines near its
existing facility after purchasing concentrate from third parties to make
pellets became too expensive, Oppenheimer said. Ferrexpo will seek
additional investors to help finance the program, he added.

“These will be strategic investors that will help with funding, project
experience or technology,” Oppenheimer said. “Talks are ongoing.”
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http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601102&sid=aLRCPqcwqh1A
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12.  UKRAINE: FERREXPO WANTS PARTNER FOR IRON ORE MINES 

By Rebecca Bream, Utilities Correspondent, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, September 20 2007

Ferrexpo has started looking for a partner to help it build new iron ore
mines in Ukraine, as part of its aim to more than double its current
production.

Mike Oppenheimer, chief executive of the mining group, said it had already
planned to double its output of iron ore and iron ore pellets by 2014,
“but now we are looking at opportunities to be more aggressive”.

The Switzerland-based company, controlled by Kostyantin Zhevago, the
32-year-old Ukrainian billionaire businessman and politician, listed in
London in June.

Ferrexpo produced 14.4m tonnes of iron ore in the first half of the year,
which it turned into 4.7m tonnes of iron ore pellets, which are used in
steelmaking.

Revenues rose 39 per cent to $328m (£164m), while pre-tax profits increased
threefold to $54.5m, thanks to a production increase and higher prices.

Ferrexpo’s current operations are focused on the southern end of Ukraine’s
sizeable Poltava iron ore deposit, but over the next few years it plans to
open up mines further north.

Mr Oppenheimer said only a small portion of the Poltava ore body had so far
been exploited. “We are not limited by [iron ore] re-sources, we are sitting
on iron ore, it’s a question of how quickly we can get new projects up and
running.”

He said Ferrexpo could fund some of the expansion itself, “but if we want to
push this forward aggressively we need assistance, financially and
operationally”.

Mr Oppenheimer said the group was “in the very early stages of contact with
a variety of different parties” that could invest in the Poltava expansion
projects and was especially interested in partnerships with companies “that
can plan and execute big capital projects”.

Iron ore prices have soared over the past four years because of rising
demand for steel, especially in China. CVRD of Brazil and London-listed
mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton dominate the iron ore market,
controlling more than 70 per cent of supplies. Ferrexpo shares rose 5p to
255p yesterday.
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http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/98cdb816-6712-11dc-a218-0000779fd2ac.html
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13.  UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT AND HOLTEC INTERNATIONAL
RATIFY THE DRY STORAGE PROJECT FOR CHERNOBYL

Holtec International, Marlton, New Jersey, Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In a ceremony on September 17, 2007 in Kyiv, Ukraine, presided by President
of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko, General Director of the Chernobyl Specialized
State Enterprise, Igor Gramotkin and Holtec’s President and CEO, Dr. Kris
Singh, signed the Contract documents that bind Holtec and the Ukrainian
government to complete the interment of Chernobyl’s used nuclear fuel in dry
storage systems in full conformance with Ukraine’s national safety
standards.

The project was started under an interim authorization-to-proceed on August
3, 2007; the contract signed on September 17, which is backed by a full
endorsement from the Assembly of Donors, places the project on a solid path
to completion.

Removing the radioactive fuel from the three Chernobyl reactors is essential
to the start of decommissioning of the three undamaged reactor units that is
a part of the agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Donor
countries (countries of Western Europe, U.S. and Japan).

Holtec will complete the dry storage project, begun in 1999 by another
contractor, and plans to use as much of the previous accomplishments on the
project as is feasible with the protection of public health and safety as
the overriding criteria.

Ukraine’s regulations for the dry storage of used nuclear fuel require that
all of its used fuel be dried of virtually all moisture and placed in
double-wall containers of supreme physical integrity to guarantee that any
radiological release at the storage site to the environment is highly
improbable.

Speaking at the press conference after the contract signing, Dr. Kris Singh
emphasized public safety as a paramount consideration declaring “We endorse
Ukraine’s regulatory criteria for storing used nuclear fuel to protect
public health and safety which are amongst the most stringent in the world.

“We consider Ukraine’s strict regulations as our silent allies in enhancing
the public’s confidence in the safety and ruggedness of nuclear power here
in Ukraine and around the world.”

Holtec International is a U.S.-based diversified energy technology company
with global operations on four continents. The company is currently carrying
out used nuclear fuel management projects similar to Chernobyl’s at numerous
plants in the U.S., Spain, Switzerland, China, and Korea.

The Central Spent Fuel Storage Project for Ukraine’s VVER reactors is also
being implemented by Holtec International under a separate contract with
NAEK Energoatom.

Holtec has established a regional operations center in Kiev to facilitate
the development of local technical know-how inside the country for serving
domestic and overseas markets.
———————————————————————————————–

FOOTNOTE:  Holtec International is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine
Business Council (USUBC) in Washington.
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14.  CMS LAWFIRM KICKSTARTS LONDON’S GOLDRUSH TO UKRAINE

Caroline Binham,  The Lawyer, London, UK, Monday, 17-Sep-2007

LONDON – CMS Cameron McKenna has launched a series of raids on local
rivals to bolster its new Ukraine office. The raids come as UK firms circle
the former Soviet state looking to take advantage of an underlawyered but
buoyant emerging market.

Camerons will be the first City firm with an on-the-ground presence in Kiev
when it launches there this month, but a number of UK firms have also been
contemplating Ukraine launches.

Clifford Chance managing partner David Childs denied rumours of an imminent
launch, but admitted: “It’s on my radar. A number of our clients are doing
an increasing amount of work there.”

Camerons is in the midst of a hiring frenzy, taking on more lateral partners
in one week than during the past three years. It signed up seven new
partners last week, the bulk of them for its Ukraine office.

Linklaters’ former Central and Eastern Europe managing partner Nick Eastwell
commented: “Ukraine has 48 million people and it’s a vast country full of
natural resources. There are signs of real sustainable growth there, so law
firms are naturally looking at it.

“Of the old CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] countries beyond
Russia, it’s really the one to have, along with Kazakhstan.

“Personally I think we should [be opening in Kiev], but I don’t think we
will be in the near future given everything else we’re doing. It’s a
question of priorities.”

Camerons raided Baker & McKenzie, Chadbourne & Parke, local boutique
Levenets Maciw & Partners and Ukraine’s justice ministry for, respectively,
corporate partner Olexander Martinenko, corporate partner Adam Mycyk, name
partners Oleksiy Levenets and Christina Maciw, and corporate partner Daniel
Bilak.

The office will launch with another 13 associates and regional corporate
head Helen Rodwell will relocate for six months, as first reported by The
Lawyer (9 July).

Camerons’ hiring spree is also spreading to London, with Reed Smith Richards
Butler head of immigration Caron Pope returning to the firm she trained at
and Dundas & Wilson funds partner Gawain Hughes also moving to the firm,
although Camerons declined to comment on the latter move.
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http://www.thelawyer.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=128588&d=122&h=24&f=46
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15.  U.S. AMBASSADOR TAYLOR DISCUSSES ELECTORAL RIGHTS
OF CITIZENS UNABLE TO MOVE AROUND UNAIDED 

Ukrainian News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, September 9, 2007

KYIV – The Central Electoral Commission’s Chairman Volodymyr Shapoval and
the United States’ Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor have discussed the
electoral rights of citizens who are unable to move around unaided. The
press service of the Central Electoral Commission announced this in a
statement.

According to the statement, Taylor expressed concern about participation of
such citizens in the Ukrainian parliamentary elections. The press service
said that Taylor expressed the opinion that the rights of these citizens are
not clearly protected.

Shapoval said that the Central Electoral Commission has no power to regulate
this issue. The statement says that Taylor intends to issue a public
assessment of this issue in order to draw the attention of the international
community to it.

Moreover, Shapoval and Taylor discussed voting opportunities for citizens
located outside Ukraine and those returning to the country a few days before
the parliamentary elections.

According to Shapoval, it will be sufficiently difficult to reinstate data
about these citizens in election lists if they return to Ukraine three or
fewer days before the voting day.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Central Electoral Commission has
promised the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) that it
will explain procedures for voting at home to election commissions.
Campaigning in the parliamentary elections started on August 2; voting is
scheduled for September 30.
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16.  UKRAINE: MILLIONS OF VOTERS FACE BALLOT WOES

By Stephen Bandera, Kyiv Post Editor
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Sep 20, 2007

Problems with electoral law can lead to nearly a million Ukrainians losing
the right to vote and have created additional opportunities for
falsification in the Sept. 30 vote for parliamentary seats, analysts said.

The new electoral provisions are designed to prevent the millions of
falsified votes that sparked mass protests in a 2004 presidential contest
dubbed the Orange Revolution. In the second round of the presidential race
in 2004, 2.8 million ballots were rigged, according to the Committee of
Voters of Ukraine.

But the changes may see parties lose – or steal – crucial points in a tight
race between the three front-runners: Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich’s
Party of Regions, opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko’s Byut bloc, and
Our Ukraine-Peoples’ Self-Defense, which is loyal to President Viktor
Yushchenko.

“This is a battle for 300,000 to 400,000 votes that will determine who will
win enough of the few seats required to form the majority in the next
parliament,” said elections administration expert and former Member of
Parliament Volodymyr Kovtunets.

Sociologists showed between three and seven parties, including the
Communists crossing the three percent qualifying barrier for seats in
parliament. More than ten percent of voters were undecided in early
September before a publication ban on poll results came into effect last
week.

A million votes represent approximately four percent in the final tally.
With the so-called Orange (BYuT and OUPSD) and Blue coalition (Regions)
forces in a dead heat, the “golden share” of seats will determine who will
make or break a coalition in the next Rada.

Polls show that several political camps have a chance of landing the
kingmaker position, namely OUPSD, the bloc of former parliamentary
speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, and the Communist party.
85 PERCENT SUSPICIOUS
In its weekly election monitoring report, the CVU election watchdog
expressed concern about “the declarations by politicians and sociologists
concerning very high voter turnout in separate regions. According to CVU
estimates, the voter turnout will be between 60 to 70 percent.”

Ballot stuffing and multiple voting by certain voters is a concern. “If
voter turnout at separate polling stations will be higher than 85 percent
then the CVU will conduct a factual verification of voters concerning the
reality of their voting.”
FALSIFICATION VERSUS DISENFRANCHISEMENT
Certain categories of citizens will not be able to cast their ballots due to
changes in electoral law. These include elderly and disabled people who are
immobile and live in distant villages.

Voters entering the country after Sept. 27 will not be able to cast their
ballot; students and migrant workers who are not at home on Election Day
will not be able to vote.

CVU spokesperson Oleksandr Chernenko said that these measures, together
with mistakes in voter lists, can result in 1.5 million voters losing the
right to vote on Election Day.
VOTING AT HOME
On Sept. 30 at least 102,000 of more than 450,000 polling station
commissioners will leave the premises of their stations to conduct what is
known as mobile-voting or voting-at-home – a major source of alleged
electoral falsification in the 2004 presidential race.

The commissioners will get into a car with mini ballot boxes to collect the
votes of immobile persons who are bound to their homes due to age or
illness.

Mobile-voting – as high as thirty percent at polling stations in Mykolayiv
and Donetsk regions during the fraud-ridden presidential elections in 2004 –
is potentially a major source of falsification, according to Kovtunets.

“The decisions on who votes at home are ultimately made at the polling
station level,” Kovtunets explained. “If we see that more than three percent
of total votes at urban polling stations were cast ‘at home’ that will give
us reason to be suspect.”

He said that up to 30 percent of elderly people unable to move from their
homes in the country’s distant villages will not be able to vote on Sept. 30
if the mobile voting groups do not visit them.

Kovtunets said that the race for the Rada is so close that false votes can
decide the balance: “You have more than 33,000 polling stations – ten false
‘votes-at-home’ or ten ballots stuffed in the ballot box at each station –
nobody will detect falsification,” Kovtunets said, adding that all parties
are responsible for electoral funny-business to varying degrees.

“CVU observers have found an abnormally high number of voters who want to
vote at home in certain regions. Although these incidents are few, they show
that falsifications are being prepared.

In Kharkiv region the CVU found that the number of Ukrainians requesting
voting at home is between 2 to 3 percent, while in two districts of the
regions that number reaches 10 percent.

“A large number of ‘dead souls’ were found in the voter lists for the city
of Lozova [in Kharkiv region],” according to the report, “this confirms
information that the city’s government is preparing a technology to vote for
these ‘voters.'”

In the last elections, more than 1.1 million voters applied to cast their
ballots at home. After voting was done more than 950,000 had voted from
their place of residence – nearly 4 percent of the total final vote tally.
VOTERS RETURNING HOME
The Ministry of Internal Affairs performed a pre-election sweep of homes to
verify residency records.  Local police officers randomly checked 890,000
apartments from June to August of this year, the ministry’s press service
reported on Sept 17.

Police registered or removed residential records for 402,000 citizens while
69,000 were determined to be living abroad. Nearly 95,000 people were found
to not be living at their registered place of residence. Nearly 26,000 were
charged for breaking administrative law.

The Regions’ press service picked up the information from the police
ministry – run by Socialist Vasyl Tsushko – and said that there were 3.32
million Ukrainian passport holders located outside of the country in
mid-August.

The blue party’s spin doctors said that 1.16 million of the Ukrainians
abroad (around 35 percent) come from four of the country’s westernmost
regions – the heartland of orange electoral support.

The Regions accused the president-appointed heads of regional
administrations of beefing up the voter numbers in the “traditionally-orange
oblasts” of Lviv and Sumy.

“These facts are proof of the purposeful use of the administrative resource
by the president aimed at creating the condition for falsifying voting
results,” the statement alerts election observers.

On Sept. 27, the state border service should provide the Central Election
Commission with passport numbers of registered holders who are outside of
the country. These passport holders will be stricken from the voter lists.

“There is a potential problem with voters arriving in Ukraine in the last
week before elections. Up to 400,000 votes could be lost if we consider that
75,000 Ukrainians enter the country on a daily basis,” calculated Kovtunets.

The Constitutional Court began hearings on the border-crossing voter
provisions on Sept. 18.
VOTERS NOT AT HOME
One source of multiple voting by a single person in the past has been
eliminated for these elections, namely absentee ballots.

CVU’s Chernenko estimated that abuse of the absentee certificates resulted
in a half million votes stolen in 2004. In the March 2006 elections, only
20,000 absentee voting certificates were issued due to stricter controls,
and the certificates have been completely eliminated for these elections.

Kovtunets estimated that nearly half a million voters will be
disenfranchised due to the innovation, including students and domestic
migrant workers. Domestic migration stood at nearly 343,000 persons in the
first seven months of this year, according to the State Statistics Committee.
VOTING ABROAD
More than 420,000 Ukrainians will be eligible to vote at polling stations
outside of the country, the CVU reported on Sept. 17. The NGO said that the
Foreign Ministry has included nearly a half million Ukrainians in the voter
lists for foreign voting stations.

But CVU head Ihor Popov told Deutsche Welle radio that no more than 10
percent of that number will actually cast their ballots on Sept. 3.

Popov said that no political party or bloc is “seriously concerned” about
voter abroad, because of the expected low voter turn out. On Sept 30 polling
stations will be open at 115 polling stations in 79 countries, according to
the CEC.
————————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/nation/27396/
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
17.  UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH SEEMS
RETURNING TO BELLIGERENT CAMPAIGNING RHETORIC
Suggested that his party supporters “finish the Orange off”

Black Sea TV, Simferopol, in Russian 1600 gmt 17 Sep 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, Sep 19, 2007

SIMFEROPOL – The leader of the Party of Regions and Ukrainian prime
minister, Viktor Yanukovych, has suggested that his party supporters “finish
the Orange off”.

A report on his rally in Crimea’s Kerch on 16 September, which was broadcast
by the Black Sea TV a day later, shows the prime minister seemingly
returning to the offensively informal rhetoric he used to practise during
the presidential campaign of 2004.

Then he was defeated by incumbent President Viktor Yushchenko supported by
what was called the Orange opposition.

The TV channel showed a crowd of supporters yelling admiringly when
Yanukovych thanked them for attending the rally and asked whether the Orange
should be “finished off”.

A few national TV channels broadcast the report on Yanukovych’s visit to
Crimea but did not include this video into their reports.

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========================================================
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========================================================
18.  PARTY OF REGIONS PROVE THEY CANNOT CHANGE

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By TARAS KUZIO
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, September 20, 2003

In the last three years US political technologists and other US-based
consultants have routinely argued that Viktor Yanukovych and the Party of
Regions have changed into a modern and democratic party. Little evidence
has been shown to prove this argument but nevertheless the mantra has been
chanted at every available opportunity.

Two factors explain such dogged claims. This first is the ideological
support for an oligarch-controlled economy and lack of scholarly
objectivity.

The Yulia Tymoshenko government came under intense criticism by US think
tank senior fellows in academic and media articles who used every speaking
engagement to attack its record as “odious.”

At the same time, these senior fellows have never criticized the Yanukovych
government for pursuing anti-market reform policies: oil price capping,
banning grain exports and non-transparent insider privatizations.

They have never sought to criticize any aspect of the Party of Regions,
which includes numerous senior deputies from the Kuchma era, such as energy
mogul Yuri Boiko and former Central Election Commission Chairman Serhi
Kivalov, as ‘odious’ in the same way as the criticism that they unleashed
against the Tymoshenko government and BYuT.

Secondly, financial support. Ukrainian and Russian media have claimed that
political technologist Paul Manafort’s contract with the Party of Regions is
worth millions of dollars.

Ukrainian oligarchs have reportedly distributed largesse to at least two
think tanks and one democracy promotion NGO in Washington DC.

According to an April 17 article entitled “How Lobbyists Help Ex-Soviets
Woo Washington” in The Wall Street Journal, “A company controlled by Mr.
Akhmetov donated $300,000 in 2005 to a human-rights charity run by Mr.
Jackson and his wife, an Internal Revenue Service document reviewed by
The Wall Street Journal shows. Mr. Jackson said he was grateful for the
 support.”

Bruce Jackson is head of the Washington-based Project on Transitional
Democracies who supported the Orange Revolution in 2004.

Beyond wishful thinking there is no evidence to show that Prime Minister
Yanukovych or the Party of Regions have fundamentally changed from the
Kuchma era.

Five policy areas prove that the Regions and Yanukovych have changed only
cosmetically since the Kuchma era.

[1] Firstly, the Party of Regions pursues a Janus-face approach to politics,
just as did former President Kuchma. The nice image cultivated by the
Regions in the West is very different from the reality on the ground in
eastern Ukraine where the Regions are entrenched.

This can be readily ascertained from a communication recently received from
Kharkiv: “The expansion of Donetsk capital in the Kharkiv region is very
great.

The ‘Donetski’ are also expanding  their Soviet political culture into the
Kharkiv region through the use of Soviet discourse, exploitation of the myths
of the ‘Great Patriotic War’ and an aggressive stance towards Ukrainian
nationalism and the 1933 artificial famine,” explained my colleague in
Kharkiv.

He said that in his city, the Regions have aligned themselves with former
local organized crime boss Hennadiy Kernes.

[2] Secondly, the Regions’ unwillingness to distance itself from discredited
Kuchma-era officials. The Regions’ Rada faction and the Yanuovych government
are full of such officials who, if President Viktor Yushchenko had
implemented his election promises, would have faced criminal charges.

[3] Thirdly, continued non-transparency and corruption in the energy sector,
as evidenced by the return of Yuri Boiko as Minister for Fuel and Energy.
Boiko’s links to the non-transparent, corrupt intermediary Rosukrenergo have
never been in doubt.

In the 2007 elections Rosukrenergo majority shareholder Dmytro Firtash’s
representatives are in the Regions’ list. Of the major parties likely to
enter parliament this year only the Regions are in bed with Europe’s biggest
money launderer, Rosukrernergo.

[4] Fourthly, the return to non-transparent privatizations: Renat Akhmetov’s
Donbas Fuel-Energy company, the energy arm of Systems Capital Management,
was the only company effectively permitted to purchase shares in
Dniproenergo, Ukraine’s largest thermoelectric generator.

The Odessa Portside Plant could be the next major strategic asset  to be
privatized by Regions’ oligarchs in such a brazenly corrupt manner.

The two Yanukovych governments in 2002-2004 and 2006-2007 have never
undertaken any clean privatization tenders. Akhmetov’s and Viktor Pinchuk’s
privatization of Dniproenergo resembles that of Kryvorizhstal in 2004.

As the Kyiv Post pointed out last month, BYuT is the only political force
that has questioned Akhmetov’s takeover of Dniproenergo. The Tymoshenko
government organized Ukraine’s only transparent privatization of
Kryvorizhstal in fall 2004 when it obtained four times the value previously
paid.

[5] Fifthly, continued pursuit of undemocratic policies. The official reason
for failing to initially register BYuT rested on a legally dubious claim of
lack of full information provided by candidates in the BYuT list submitted
to the CEC.

BYuT retorted that the method of preparation of the list was exactly the
same as that used for the March 2006 parliamentary elections.

The refusal to register BYuT throws into doubt the evolution of the Regions
whose members on the CEC refused to register BYuT.

Since the 2004 elections Prime Minister Yanukovych and the Party of Regions
have worked through political technologists and consultants towards changing
their poor democratic image in the West by claiming their adherence to the
international principles of Western democracy.

There is no evidence to show that the Yanukovych government and the Party
of Regions are committed to four core principles:

     [1] battling corruption,
     [2] bringing transparency to the energy sector,
     [3] holding clean privatizations and
     [4] adhering to democratic norms and the constitutional

          balance of power.

Ukraine’s elections later this month give the country a chance to introduce
policies that were demanded by the one in five Ukrainians who participated
in the Orange Revolution three years ago.

These four core policies will never be implemented if the Yanukovych
government and the Anti-Crisis coalition return to power after the
elections. Ukraine needs real democrats and reformers in power who can
only come from the orange camp.
——————————————————————————————–
Dr. Taras Kuzio is a Research Associate at The Institute for European,
Russian and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University.
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LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/oped/27404/
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19.  UKRAINE: ORANGE HEROINE MAY BE PRIME MINISTER AGAIN
President Viktor Yushchenko said liberals who swept him
to power would win Ukraines parliamentary election.

REUTERS, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 19, 2007

President Viktor Yushchenko said liberals who swept him to power would win
Ukraine’s parliamentary election and form a government that could be led by
“Orange Revolution” heroine, Yulia Tymoshenko.

Yushchenko, interviewed by Reuters late on Tuesday, also discounted
suggestions that he could cut a deal to form a “grand coalition” to govern
Ukraine alongside his arch rival from the 2004 revolution, Prime Minister
Viktor Yanukovich. Differences in aims and ideology were simply too great,
he said.

Asked about the possibility of Tymoshenko becoming prime minister again,
Yushchenko said: “I do not rule that out. There are no preconditions.

“I have no doubt the democratic forces will win the election. Nor do I doubt
that the democratic forces will learn the lessons of what happened a year
and a half, two years ago,” he said during a tour of central Ukraine.

The president hopes the Sept. 30 election will end months of deadlock and
enable long-delayed reforms to be implemented.

The pro-Western Yushchenko beat Yanukovich in the rerun of a rigged 2004
election, giving rise to plans to move Ukraine closer to the West and one
day perhaps joining NATO and the European Union.

But a government led by Tymoshenko, riddled by infighting, collapsed eight
months later, splitting the “orange” camp.

Yanukovich bounced back to become prime minister, spawning a struggle for
power that led the president to dissolve parliament and call a new election
expected to produce few changes.

In his comments, Yushchenko said “orange” forces, split by his dismissal of
Tymoshenko, “did not suffer a defeat at the hands of opponents. They lost
because of a lack of mutual understanding and the ambitions of individual
politicians”.

Tymoshenko’s fiery speeches inspired crowds in the 2004 rallies. But as
premier she aroused suspicion among investors with calls to review
privatisations. Relations with Russia were also bumpy.

The president’s reluctance to allow her to become prime minister again after
a parliamentary election barely a year ago helped Yanukovich regain office
after months of coalition talks.
TOUGH TALKS AHEAD
The president has since reconciled with her and pledged to cooperate in the
new election. Analysts predict a blanket finish followed by difficult talks
to put together a stable coalition.

Yanukovich’s Regions Party leads polls, but the combined tally of “orange”
parties is right behind — though Tymoshenko’s bloc is far ahead of the
president’s Our Ukraine party.

Yushchenko did not rule out entirely a “grand coalition” to bridge the gap
between Ukraine’s nationalist west and centre that backs him and the
Russian-speaking east behind the premier.

But he described it as a “very difficult topic” given the history of
confrontation and calls by Yanukovich’s party for a referendum on two highly
sensitive issues — NATO membership and making Russian an official language
alongside Ukrainian.

“When we are talking about uniting the nation, you can only do this through
goals and priorities,” Yushchenko said.

Suggestions of an impending grand coalition have been fuelled by
Yanukovich’s fierce attacks on Tymoshenko in campaign speeches while
adopting a hands-off approach to the president.

Yushchenko said this merely showed the Regions Party had to court “orange”
parties as it was losing hope of maintaining its current governing coalition
with socialists and communists.

“It will naturally want to change the way it relates to the democratic
forces,” he said. “But this would be difficult for the democratic forces,
given the lack of respect and the values and the ideology displayed by the
Regions Party.”

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Kramer said it would be a
“major accomplishment” if Ukraine managed to hold a free and fair election
similar to that in March last year.

“That would be of considerable importance to Ukraine first and foremost, but
also for the region as setting a good model and example,” he said after
talks with EU officials in Brussels.

“We have no favourites in the election. Our interest is in seeing that a
government be formed rather quickly so we could get down to business with
that government.”

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20.  TYMOSHENKO, WITH HESITATION

EDITORIAL: Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sep 19 2007

For all the elections that have been held since our founding twelve years
ago, the Post has taken a clear stand and endorsed the candidates, parties
and blocs that we feel will best suit the country.

As a general consideration, we urge voters to make sure their ballot counts.
In this regard, voting for a party that is dear to one’s heart but has
little chance of passing the three percent qualifying barrier will
ultimately be a vote that will not count. The first message is to make sure
votes do count.

In terms of our endorsement, no party or bloc matches the “free markets,
free people” ideals so eloquently espoused by The Wall Street Journal.

A study of the election programs put forward by the various parties show
that, sadly, the mindset shared by most politicians is mired between
personal business interests, populistic promises and a desire to return to
the Soviet past.

While Ukraine has made significant progress in democracy and economic
growth, the free market revolution that emerged in North America, Europe and
parts of Asia has yet to make it here: all parties are calling for too much
government intervention into the economy.

Among the parties that have an outside chance of crossing qualifying barrier
for seats in the Rada, several have clear faults. The Communists seek to
return Ukraine to its tragic past.

Their ascent into power would cripple the economy, and possibly spell an end
to democracy. The same holds true for bloc led by Nataliya Vitrenko.

The Socialist Party, erstwhile ally to the “Orange” forces, showed it true
colors when leader Oleksandr Moroz could not resist the prospect of giving
up power and sold out. Their presence in the next Rada is under doubt.

Some polls show that former Rada speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn’s eponymous
bloc stands a chance of being in the next parliament. Lytvyn is also a
throwback – his political career reached its greatest heights while serving
President Leonid Kuchma.

And he, just like Moroz, still has much to explain concerning what they
allegedly know about the disappearance of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze  and
the Melnychenko tapegate affair.

Regardless of personal opinions concerning the Party of the Regions, Viktor
Yanukovych has shown signs of competence in government. But his camp has
tried to steal an election in the past.

Moreover, his government has failed to defend Ukraine’s energy interests,
hold transparent privatizations, and have interfered in the ag sector by
restricting grain exports.

Inside favoritism, with non-transparent dealings, are seeping up again under
their Yanukovych, whose capitalism continues to smack of cronyism.

Concerning Our Ukraine-Peoples’ Self Defense: rarely have so many done so
little with so many opportunities. In the aftermath of the Orange
Revolution, Yushchenko and his team had a chance to establish a new
political order.

Sadly, they failed. And, after last year’s elections, Our Ukraine had every
opportunity to build the coalition that was promised to voters.

Instead, they dawdled and left the country without government and reforms.
Although the bloc’s platform is closest to our hearts in terms of the ideals
of “free markets, free people”, doubt that it will actually be able to push
radical changes through remains high.

That leave’s the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc. Her term as prime minister was
filled with errors, false leads and showed that she lacked a clear
understanding of free markets.

She allowed political foes to paint her as a dangerous radical consumed with
re-nationalization (which never occurred). She flirted with price controls.
The Byut party program shows a dangerous tendency towards populism.

Sadly, Ukraine remains a country of political leaders and not political
ideas or ideology. All of the parties present similar, mishmash platforms.

None of the leading parties have shown the will to push through tough
political measures: privatizing land and industry, reducing taxes, etc.

Since these elections are once again about personalities and not their
policies, we endorse Tymoshenko with a certain degree of hesitation. She
has shown leadership in the fight against corruption. While she has
faltered,
she has been most consistent and capable of getting things done.

Our hope is that this high-horse-power motor we call Tymoshenko will a
second time around stay out of the market and push through badly needed
reforms. We hope that she has learned from her experience of being
dismissed in the past.
———————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/editorial/27405/

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========================================================
21.  AS ELECTIONS APPROACH, VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO’S FAILURE TO
RESOLVE DIOXIN MYSTERY SYMBOLIZES UKRAINIAN’S FRUSTRATION

 
Mitch Potter, Europe Bureau, Toronto Star
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Sunday, Sep 16, 20007

KYIV-He came to power with a face freshly ravaged by dioxin and a burning
need to know who, why and how it happened.

Today, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is still promising answers. But
the fact that the mystery prevails a full three years since the near-fatal
attack stands as arguably the single most symbolic disappointment of his
troubled leadership.

With Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party struggling in the polls barely two weeks
before Sept. 30 parliamentary elections, the president has awakened interest
in the stalled investigation with pointed comments aimed at Russia.

Yushchenko stopped short of explicitly accusing Russian authorities in the
2004 assassination attempt. But his comments implied the dioxin that found
its way into his body originated in Russia, and that the Russian prosecutor
general’s office was protecting key Ukrainian suspects by ignoring
extradition requests.

Russia responded rapidly to Yushchenko’s comments, which were published
Wednesday in the French newspaper Le Figaro and The Times of London. In

an initial outburst, Viktor Chernomyrdin, the Russian ambassador to Ukraine,
told reporters in Kyiv that he was “really surprised” to hear Yushchenko’s
accusations.

“Why should we investigate it?” Chernomyrdin said. “You sort it out
yourselves. You’re always looking for someone hindering you.”

But the following day, Moscow changed tack, announcing it would participate
in a joint investigation with Ukraine. Simultaneously, Russian media outlets
began publishing the names of the three main suspects in the case: Vladamir
Satsyuk, Taras Zalessky and Alexey Poletukha.

Satsyuk’s name has long been associated with the dioxin incident. It was
during a dinner at the former deputy Ukrainian Security Service chief’s
country home on Sept. 5, 2004, that Yushchenko first fell ill.

Yushchenko suffered sleeplessness and a severe headache that night and by
the next day new symptoms of pancreatitis and gastrointestinal pain arose.
Soon, he developed a facial rash, a condition later confirmed to indicate
severe dioxin poisoning.

It’s too early to say whether the week’s developments constitute a turning
point in a riddle that has long vexed Ukrainians. Or whether the resumption
of a long-stalled investigation will mitigate voter disappointment in
Yushchenko, who swept to power during the 2004 pro-democracy non-violent
uprising known as the Orange revolution.

“People just want to see justice done,” said Roman Shwed, a Kyiv-based radio
host. “And when Yushchenko was elected, he had the opportunity and the
mandate to unleash the greatest show trial of Ukraine history.

“But he disappointed. And that disappointment was emblematic of all the
other disappointments after the Orange revolution. Yushchenko spoke softly –
but he forgot to carry the big stick.”

Theories on why the investigation dragged on so long have helped sow doubts
over Yushchenko’s own party, one Western diplomat told the Star.

“Somebody has to go to jail for this and among the president’s many mistakes
is that nobody has yet paid the price. He had a country just waiting for
heads to roll.

“But the oligarchic side blocked him. Why? One imagines that they took him
aside and said, `Look, you are alive. You survived. So let it go. Because if
you pursue this to the end, we will expose the corruption in your camp,
too.’ “The reality in Ukraine is there are very few leaders around with nothing

to be embarrassed about.”

On the streets of Kyiv, not everyone expects answers.

Said one passerby, linguistics student Maxim Hovanchuk, 20: “The answer to
Yushchenko’s poisoned face is in the dark. It is not normal for a country
not to get answers. But for now, this is what passes for normal in Ukraine.
In this country, you don’t want to reach into the dark for answers. It can
hurt you.”

Retiree Mikhail Lazarev, on the other hand, ascribed the President’s
disfigurement to “the work of God. His Orange revolution was against the
scriptures and God made him pay for it.

“He entered a church strong as a bull three years ago and he came out with
his face on fire. That is how it happened.”

Others forgive Yushchenko for his government’s lack of investigative rigour
when it comes to the president’s own troubles. But they wonder about the
stalled investigations into other human rights violations in Ukraine, most
notably the unsolved Sept. 16, 2000, murder of investigative journalist
Gyorgy Gongadze.

Gongadze’s decapitated body was discovered in a forest near Kyiv and one
month later recordings emerged on which a voice resembling that of
then-president Leonid Kuchma was heard conspiring against the journalist.
The case galvanized Ukraine’s political opposition, helping build momentum
toward the Orange revolution.

Yushchenko himself staked claim to the Gongadze file upon taking office,
calling it “a matter of honour for me and my team.”

Three former Ukrainian interior ministry officers eventually were arrested
and charged with Gongadze’s murder. A trial was launched last year, but the
case has since been frozen, pending psychological evaluation of the
defendants.

Ukraine’s handling of the case prompted the European Court of Human Rights
in 2005 to raise serious doubts about the investigation, ruling that
authorities were “more preoccupied with proving the lack of involvement of
high-level state officials than by discovering the truth.”

And even as Yushchenko was pointing a finger at Moscow, press freedom
watchdogs were pointing theirs at Yushchenko. The International Federation
of Journalists singled out the Ukrainian president for awarding a state
medal to former prosecutor general Mykhail Potebenko.

Gongadze is known to have appealed to Potebenko in the days prior to his
murder when he realized he was being followed, but the prosecutor ignored
his plea.

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22.  UKRAINE REJECTS RUSSIAN OFFER IN YUSHCHENKO POISONING 

Associated Press (AP),  Kiev, Ukraine, Wed, September 19, 2007

KIEV – Ukraine has rejected a Russian proposal on how to determine the
origin of the poison that sickened President Viktor Yushchenko three years
ago, officials said Wednesday.

Yushchenko, who was a leader of the political opposition at the time, was
poisoned with dioxin during the 2004 presidential election campaign,
disfiguring his face.

No arrests have been made, but suspicions of Russian involvement
persist -both because Yushchenko was running against a Kremlin-backed
candidate and because Russia is one of four countries that produces the
specific formula of dioxin used against him.

Although the dioxin from all four countries is chemically identical,
differences in the manufacturing process yield various byproducts; testing
samples from each country for these byproducts could determine the origin of
the dioxin found in Yushchenko.

Three countries that produce this type of dioxin -U.K., Canada and the
U.S. -have submitted samples to Ukraine for testing, investigators say, but
Russia has refused. This month it offered to test samples of its dioxin in
Russia and report the results to Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office rejected that offer this week, and
again asked Russia to let the test be conducted in Ukraine, a spokesman
said.

“Under Ukrainian law, the tests will only be valid if they are conducted on
Ukrainian territory,” spokesman Yuriy Boychenko said.

Yushchenko has complained that Russia was stalling the investigation by
refusing to provide the dioxin samples and hand over key suspects. Ukrainian
authorities have not named any suspects, but Yushchenko has said the
suspects are hiding out in Russia.

On Wednesday, he said prosecutors would travel soon to Russia to meet

with their counterparts, a visit he said he hoped would solve the stalemate.

“Maybe in the course of that dialogue negotiations will be concluded
concerning the tests of dioxin which is produced in the Russian Federation
and holding accountable those people who are hiding in the Russian
Federation,” he told reporters.

The Kremlin strongly backed Yushchenko’s rival, Viktor Yanukovych, in the
bitterly contested 2004 presidential election, which deepened rifts between
Moscow and the West. Yanukovych was initially declared the winner. Massive
street protests -dubbed the Orange Revolution -broke out, and the Supreme
Court threw out the results on grounds of fraud. Yushchenko won a
court-ordered repeat vote.

Yushchenko has hinted that he knows those responsible for the poisoning.
While refraining from naming the alleged culprits until the investigation is
over, he has hinted that the poisoning could have been masterminded from
outside the country.
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23.  UKRAINE LEADER SEEKS SOLUTION ON SOCCER STADIUM 

REUTERS, Kaniv, Ukraine, Wed, September 19, 2007

KANIV, Ukraine  – Ukraine’s president says he is pressing Kiev authorities
to solve a row over a building site which threatens to disqualify the city’s
main stadium from hosting the final of the 2012 European soccer
championship.

Viktor Yushchenko was speaking after UEFA president Michel Platini said
Kiev’s 84,000-seat Olympic stadium could not be used for Euro 2012, to be
held jointly with Poland, unless construction of a nearby shopping centre
was halted.

“I issued new instructions three days ago for Kiev city authorities to take
appropriate decisions on this matter in conjunction with the owners of the
site,” Yushchenko told Reuters in an interview late on Tuesday in central
Ukraine.

“I met the owner and he said he was prepared to take a wrecker’s ball and
demolish the site if (international soccer officials) confirm that this is a
vital condition for the stadium to function.”

The site owner was also prepared, he said, to amend building plans
“including norms on the ground level concerning proper evacuation (of
fans)” — UEFA’s chief concern.

International soccer authorities have long warned that unless the
construction is stopped they will withdraw permission to hold matches

at the stadium.
SPACE LIMITATIONS
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry this month, citing crowd control concerns,
limited ticket sales to 41,000 at Ukraine’s European 2008 qualifying match
against Italy.

In a letter last week to the head of Ukraine’s soccer federation, Platini
said blockage of exits and space limitations meant the stadium “clearly
cannot host matches for Euro 2012. We therefore hope and believe that the
appropriate state bodies in Ukraine will adopt the necessary decisions
immediately.”

Yushchenko, who played a key role in Ukraine and Poland winning the right
earlier this year to host Euro 2012, has issued a decree ordering the
dismantling of the building site. Four Ukrainian cities are to host
matches — Dipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kiev and Lviv.

Ukraine and Poland, both ex-communist countries, face huge logistical tasks
in upgrading transport and communication links and building hotels.

In his comments to Reuters, Yushchenko renewed criticism of the early
organisation. He has already accused the government, led by his arch rival
Viktor Yanukovich, of failing to take preparations seriously.

“Many things that were supposed to have been completed by the organising
committee have not been implemented,” he said. “I have sent several letters
warning the organising committee to change its approach towards the
construction timetable.”

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24.  CALL U.S. CONGRESS TODAY TO RESTORE FUNDING TO USUF

Friends of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF)
Washington, D.C. Thursday, September 20, 2007

WASHINGTON – Since 2000, the U.S. Congress has directed the U.S.

Agency for International Development (USAID) to support the U.S.-
Ukraine Foundation.

In Fiscal Year 2007, the U.S. Senate directed USAID to fund the U.S.-Ukraine
Foundation at the $10 million level.  USAID’s response has been to cut off
all funding to USUF!

WHAT CAN YOU DO?  Call or fax Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY)

and Frank Wolf (R-VA) Today!

NUMBERS TO CALL: 
Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY) – (202) 225-6506 – FAX:  202-225-0546
Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) – (202) 225-5136 – FAX:  202-225-0437

Ask Representatives Lowey and Wolf to exercise their authority to restore
funding to the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation on the Continuing Resolution, so the
Foundation can continue its invaluable work in helping develop civil and
democratic society in Ukraine, a critically-important country to U.S.
foreign policy interests.

Representative Lowey is the Chairman of the House Appropriations
Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, and
Representative Wolf is the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations
Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs.

————————————————————————————————
FUND THE U.S.-UKRAINE FOUNDATION (USUF)
There is troubling news coming out of Washington these days –
and not just surrounding the war in Iraq.

EDITORIAL: The Ukrainian Weekly newspaper
Ukrainian National Association (UNA)
Parsippany, New Jersey, Sunday, September 16, 2007

Recently we learned that the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID) has refused to fund the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, known to our
community and to Ukraine as one of the most effective non-governmental
organizations helping transform Ukraine from a post-Soviet society into a
democratic and transparent state governed by the rule of law and served by
accountable public officials.

That the Bush administration does not see the folly of this refusal is,
frankly, beyond belief. The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation has an excellent track
record – one that may be second to none in helping Ukraine by working with
what the foundation likes to call its “democratic modernizers.”

In the early 1990s, USUF was the first U.S. organization to provide hands-on
technical assistance to fledgling democrats involved in local government and
non-governmental institutions.

Some of these democrats of newly independent Ukraine received on-the-job
training in Ukraine; others were bought to the United States to learn from
counterparts in this country.

The successes have been many during USUF’s 15 years of work. O.P. Popov, a
“graduate” of USUF’s programs who today is Ukraine’s minister of housing and
communal services, recently wrote to Rep. Nita Lowey, chair of the House
Subcommittee on States, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, urging her
to support funding for the foundation so that it could “continue its
significant contributions not only to the development of local democracy in
Ukraine, but also . to the strengthening of relationships between our
countries both at the national level and at the level of people diplomacy.”

Another beneficiary of the USUF’s programs, Tymofiy Motrenko, who heads

the Main Department of the Civil Service of Ukraine and has been tasked with
reforming the public administration system, also provided a very positive
assessment of USUF programs.

In fact, he suggested to Rep. Lowey that a new program “focused on the top
300 or so Ukrainian civil servants who will develop the mindset and skills
to become the agents of change in their areas of responsibility” would
“provide maximum benefits.”

Clearly, there is much more that the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation can do in the
area of democratic institution-building in Ukraine. The key, of course, is
more funding – not a halt in funding.

Indeed, just last year, the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Appropriations
reported: “The committee is aware of the work of the U.S.-Ukraine
Foundation, and commends the foundation for its support of democracy

and the rule of law in Ukraine.

The committee directs USAID to continue to support the foundation’s
activities . The committee expects funding levels to exceed those of prior
years.” The counterpart committee in the House of Representatives expressed
similar sentiments.

So why has USAID decided to simply refuse funding for USUF? And why

are the wishes of the U.S. Congress being disregarded?

Is Ukraine no longer to be considered a strategic partner of the U.S.? These
are questions that must be answered, questions for which the administration
must be held accountable.

We strongly support the valuable work of the U.S-Ukraine Foundation and we
urge the Congress to demand that its recommendations with regard to aid
programs for Ukraine be followed.

Furthermore, we demand that the Bush administration back up its fine words
regarding U.S.-Ukraine relations and democracy-building in general with the
bucks required.

————————————————————————————————
The Ukrainian Weekly, Roma Hadzewycz, Editor-in-chief, Parsippany,
N.J..  The Ukrainian Weekly Archive, www.ukrweekly.com.
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25.  UKRAINIAN BANDURIST CHORUS SERIES: THE SOUL OF UKRAINE
A concert series for 2007 by the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus

 
Anatoli Murha, Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus (UBC)
Detroit, Michigan, Thursday, September 20, 2007
 
DETROIT – The all-male Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus (UBC), under
Artistic Director and Conductor Oleh Mahlay, announces its 2007
concert series Bandura – The Soul of Ukraine.  In October, the UBC
will embark on 10-day tour of the eastern United States and Canada.

Bandura – The Soul of Ukraine will tell a many centuries story about
cultural identity, survival and mystery. Because its development
closely reflects the history of the Ukrainian nation, the bandura, a
60-stringed instrument, is more than a national musical instrument: It
is the voice of Ukraine.

 
This inspiration has been a guiding force for the Ukrainian Bandurist
Chorus since its inception in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1918. As ambassadors
of Ukrainian music and culture for over 89 years, the UBC continues
to tell the story of truth, freedom, and human dignity heralded through
song.

This year also marks the 100th anniversary of Hryhory Kytasty’s birth.
Hryhory Kytasty (1907-1984), the long-standing conductor of the UBC,
was a driving force in re-instilling Ukrainian choral and bandura art
in North America. Considered a legend in his own time, this composer,
conductor, performer, and teacher was a role model and inspiration to
young bandura players.

OCTOBER CONCERT ITINERARY
Friday, October 19 – Detroit
Saturday, October 20 – Cleveland
Sunday, October 21 – Washington DC
Monday, October 22 – Philadelphia
Tuesday, October 23 – Whippany, New Jersey
Thursday, October 25 – Hartford
Friday, October 26 – Montreal
Saturday, October 27 – Ottawa
Sunday, October 28 – Toronto
TICKETS ARE ON SALE!

Friday, October 19 – 7:30pm; DETROIT
The Music Box at the Max M. Fisher Music Center
3711 Woodward Avenue — Detroit, MI 48201
Tickets and more information:
Max M. Fisher Music Center Box Office; 313.576.5111
http://www.detroitsymphony.com
Sponsored by: Ukrainian Future Credit Union and Ukrainian

Selfreliance Michigan Federal Credit Union
Members of Ukrainian Future Credit Union and Ukrainian Selfreliance
Michigan Federal Credit Union receive special discounted tickets,
please call Future (586.757.1980) or Selfreliance (586.756.3300) for
more details.

Saturday, October 20 – 7:00pm; CLEVELAND
United Methodist Church of Berea
170 Seminary Street — Berea, OH 44017
Tickets and more information:
Baldwin Wallace Academic and Cultural Events Series
440.826.2157; This concert is presented by the Baldwin Wallace

College World Music Series

Sunday, October 21 – 6:00pm; WASHINGTON DC
Sandy Spring Friends School
16923 Norwood Road — Sandy Spring, MD 20860
Tickets and more information: 240.353.7364

Monday, October 22 – 7:00pm: PHILADELPHIA
Ukrainian Educational & Cultural Center
700 Cedar Road — Jenkintown, PA 19046
Tickets and more information:
Ukrainian Educational & Cultural Center
215.663.1166

Tuesday, October 23 – 7:00pm: WHIPPANY
Ukrainian American Cultural Center of New Jersey (UACCNJ)
60 North Jefferson Road — Whippany, NJ 07981
Tickets and more information:
UACCNJ – 973.585.7175; General – 917.559.8629

Thursday, October 25 – 7:00pm: HARTFORD
Theater of the Performing Arts
359 Washington Street — Hartford, CT 06106
Tickets and more information: Theater of the Performing Arts
Box Office 860.757.6388

Friday, October 26 – 7:00pm: MONTREAL
Dim Molodi; 3260, rue Beaubien Est – Montreal, Quebec
Tickets and more information:
Caisse populaire Desjardins Ukrainienne de Montreal
514.727.9456

Saturday, October 27 – 7:30pm ; OTTAWA
Centre Bronson Centre; 211 Bronson Avenue , Ottawa,

ON K1R 6H5; Tickets and more information: Borys SIRSKYJ
613.726.1468; Lydia REPLANSKY, 613.738.0849

Sunday, October 28 – 2:00pm: TORONTO
Ryerson Theatre, 43 Gerrard Street East — Toronto, ON

Tickets Available at Branches of Ukrainian Credit Union
For more information about the concert, post concert VIP Reception,
and Group Sales rate, please call: 905.467.8238 or
UBCToronto@bandura.org; www.bandura.org
The Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus, Enchanting the world since 1918

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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26.  PINCHUKARTCENTRE BRINGS TOGETHER WORLD’S
LEADING CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS IN KYIV

PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, September 20, 2007

KYIV – Now entering its second year as Ukraine’s leading art institution,
PinchukArtCentre is pleased to announce the opening of its new

‘REFLECTION’ exhibition that will display the PinchukArtCentre’s recent
acquisitions.

From October 6 to December 30, visitors to PinchukArtCentre will be able to
see paintings, sculptures, photographs and videos created by the leading
artists of the 21st century including Antony Gormley, Andreas Gursky, Damien
Hirst, Christian Marclay, Sarah Morris, Marc Quinn, Sam Taylor-Wood, Piotr
Uklanski, Gabriel Orozco, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Peter Doig, Richard
Phillips, Vasyl Tsagolov, Serhiy Bratkov, Arsen Savadov, Oleg Tistol, lllya
Chichkan & “Blue Noses”.

The title of the exhibition plays on the human contemplation of art as an
infinite and inexhaustible source of intellectual inspiration and sensory
exploration. ‘Reflection’ can be seen as an introspective and reflective
journey through contemporary art.

The common theme of the various art works displayed at the exhibition is

to explore the fundamental issues facing human existence – life, death,
science, religion, love, immortality and art itself.

REFLECTION exhibition in PinchukArtCentre will be open for visitors from
October 6 to December 30, 2007.  The opening times are from Tuesday to
Sunday from noon to 9:00 pm. Admission is free.

PinchukArtCentre (Kyiv, Ukraine) is one of the largest centers for
contemporary art in Eastern Europe. Its key activities include arranging
exhibitions, seminars, work-shops, providing support to cultural projects,
etc. More than 145,000 thousand people have visited PinchukArtCentre

since it was opened in September 2006.
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27.  FREEDOM FIGHTERS THE WORLD TRIED TO FORGET
When its last commander died this week, Ukraine’s shadowy insurgent
army received something rare: public recognition. Lubomyr Luciuk
explains how national heroes became strangers in their own land

By Lubomyr Luciuk, The Glove and Mail,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, September 15, 2007

Clearing rubble in her farmyard, high in the Carpathian Mountains of
western Ukraine, Hanna Kishchuk hit something hard with her hoe. She had
snagged two glass jars. The contents of one were decayed, but the other
held 216 photo negatives.

Peering at the images, which showed men and some women in uniform,
Hanna’s son, Petro, caught sight of a familiar insignia, the Ukrainian
tryzub or trident, which he knew from stories he had heard as a child
was the insignia of the Ukrainska Povstanska Armiia (UPA), the fabled
Ukrainian insurgent army.

The Kishchuks knew their farm once belonged to a man who disappeared
after the Soviets discovered he was a Ukrainian nationalist and whose
wife was later deported never to return. Could these be long-lost photos
of the shadowy guerrilla force that fought for national independence
until it was wiped out more than 50 years ago?

This week, thousands of mourners paid their final respects to the UPA’s
last commander, Vasyl Kuk, who died Sunday at the age of 94. Mr. Kuk,
who was captured in 1954, sentenced to death and jailed for years before
being released, was described by President Viktor Yushchenko on Tuesday
as the “personification of the Ukrainian idea.”

Such official praise is a relatively recent development, considering
that not so long ago the mere mention of the rebellious UPA was a major
faux pas in a land emerging from decades behind the Iron Curtain.

To many Ukrainians, the guerrillas were just what their communist rulers
once called them: fascist collaborators, bandits and war criminals. To
the rest of the world, they were all but unknown.

But Petro Kishchuk had grown up hearing the other side of the story –
how the UPA had fought the Nazi invaders and then the Soviets; how, at
its height, it may have had 100,000 people bearing arms.

Honeycombing the countryside with bunkers, many of them still in place,
the partisans became so adept at guerilla warfare that Soviet military
instructors reportedly taught their North Vietnamese allies both UPA’s
techniques and the methods they had used to liquidate them. Many of
those anti-insurgent tactics are still used in Iraq and Chechnya.

It turned out that the photos in the jars unearthed by Petro’s mother
were of UPA Company No. 67, which operated along the border of Ukraine
and Romania. Finding them 50 years later was remarkable, but perhaps
even more surprising was the fact the pictures were taken in the first
place. UPA regulations generally prohibited photography – clearly the
soldiers and their civilian supporters faced grave risk should their
likenesses be captured.

Why were the rules broken? No one knows, but it seems certain that those
who buried the jars knew their struggle was drawing to an end and wanted
to preserve evidence of who they were and what they were fighting for.

Most of the people in these photographs died in combat or were missing
in action. Anyone captured was interrogated and then either executed or
exiled to the Soviet gulag. Those fortunate enough to survive internment
were prohibited from returning home or speaking about their insurgent
experiences, at least until the Soviet Union’s collapse.

Their story begins in September, 1939, with the violent dismemberment of
Poland by Nazi Germany, assisted by the Soviet Union. Western Ukraine
had been in Polish hands, but was incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet
Socialist Republic through a staged plebiscite, even as a relentless
persecution of anyone – Ukrainian, Pole or Jew – considered an enemy of
the Stalinist regime was launched. Deportations and mass murder
continued until Adolf Hitler turned against his Soviet ally on June 22,
1941.

To the Nazis, most Ukrainians were Untermenschen (subhumans) and their
country a future Lebensraum (living space) for an Aryan master race.
They herded Ukrainian patriots into concentration camps, despoiled the
country’s resources and press-ganged millions into slave labour in the
Third Reich. Ukraine suffered greater civilian losses than any other
nation in Nazi-occupied Europe, a fact obfuscated by those who still
refer to “20 million Soviet war dead,” or even more disingenuously, to
“20 million Russians” lost in a “Great Patriotic War.”

By October, 1942, the UPA had emerged as a national liberation army.
After the war, its armed struggle would be reduced, finally, but only
after the Soviet secret police and collaborators had brutally
depopulated western Ukraine, destroying the insurgents’ civilian support
networks, and hunted down the last fighters, a campaign that lasted more
than a decade.

A study by Jeffrey Burds, a professor of Soviet history at Northeastern
University, underscores the intensity of the battle for Ukraine after
the Germans had been defeated. From February, 1944, to May, 1946, Soviet
troops killed 110,825 UPA “bandits” and captured 250,676 more. As late
as February, 1947, UPA “remnants” were still holding off nearly 70,000
crack troops.

The fighting took place in an area slightly larger than New Brunswick
and the nationalists suffered a heavy blow on March 5, 1950, when Mr.
Kuk’s mentor and predecessor as commander, General Roman Shukhevych,
was killed.

Whether the UPA stood any chance of success is debatable. Certainly, its
soldiers believed they would prevail – their oath was “Attain a
Ukrainian state or die in battle for it.” And Soviet imperialism, they
hoped, would be contained, even rolled back, by the West. But they got
no significant outside help. Indeed, they were betrayed by British
traitors like Kim Philby, who alerted his Soviet masters to what few
American and British efforts were made to aid the Ukrainian insurgency.

Eventually those who survived the years of armed struggle were ordered
to demobilize, go back to civilian life and remain in deep cover. There
they suffered a further indignity – hearing others speak well of their
struggle for Ukraine’s independence, but only out of earshot of the
regime’s men

Today, 16 years after Ukraine re-emerged from the Soviet Union, the
image of the UPA remains contested. People who served in the state by
ferreting out nationalists receive pensions, but no such benefits are
accorded their prey. Just as UPA veterans such as Mr. Kuk strived to
overcome the lingering propaganda, there are still those who continue to
recite it, because it masks their own complicity.

This situation will not last. For more than a decade, ordinary
Ukrainians have taken it upon themselves to honour their partisans.

Those best placed to know what the UPA represented – family members,
neighbours and descendents – have erected dozens of memorials across the
country to those who resisted foreign occupation.

And stories continue to be told about UPA heroes like one of the men in
these pictures.

Khmara (Cloud) was the nom de guerre of Company 67’s leader, Dmytro
Bilinchuk, who took up arms in 1941 after the Soviets deported his
family to Siberia. He stayed underground when the Germans invaded and
was captured by the Gestapo the following year. However, he was soon
rescued while being transported to a prison in Kolomyia and returned to
the forests for 10 more years on the run.

Finally, in 1952, he was betrayed and again taken prisoner. After being
interrogated in the infamous Lukianivka prison, he was shot on June 24,
1953. It was 46 years to the day later that Hanna Kishchuk hit something
with her hoe.

Khmara’s executioners probably thought they could erase the memory of
the Ukrainian liberation movement from the annals of history. By
consigning their images to the soil they were fighting for, the members
of Company No. 67 proved them wrong.
———————————————————————————————
Lubomyr Luciuk is a professor of geography at the Royal Military College
of Canada. This article is adapted from Their Just War: Images of the
Ukrainian Insurgent Army (Kashtan Press, 2007), co-written with Vasyl
Humeniuk.
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: www.globeandmail.com
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
28.  CHINA’S AVIC II, UKRAINE’S ANTONOV TO BUILD

AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING CENTER IN CHINA

Victoria Ruan, Dow Jones Newswires, Beijing, China, Sep 19, 2007

BEIJING – China Aviation Industry Corp. II, or AVIC II, and Antonov
Aeronautical Scientific/Technical Complex of the Ukraine Wednesday

signed a framework agreement to jointly build an aircraft engineering
center in China.

AVIC II’s unit Shaanxi Aircraft Industry (Group) Co., or Shanfei, and
Antonov will jointly invest in the center, the two companies said in a
statement, without disclosing the financial terms of the agreement. The
construction of the center will be completed by the end of December, said
the statement.

The engineering center will design new transport aircraft, update aircraft
models, and improve the technologies used by the existing aircraft in China,
the statement said.

Shanfei started its technological cooperation with Antonov in 2004. The two
companies cooperated in designing and manufacturing AVIC II’s new

commercial freighter, the Y8-F600, the statement said.

AVIC II is a state-run commercial and military aircraft maker, which owns
several units listed in mainland China and Hong Kong.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
29.  REGAL SET TO DEVELOP GAS IN UKRAINE

Rebecca Bream, Financial Times, London, UK, Sat, Sep 15 2007

Regal Petroleum, the Aim-listed oil and gas group founded by Frank Timis,
yesterday unveiled a long-awaited deal to develop its Ukrainian gas fields.

Regal said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with MND
Exploration and Production, a private Czech oil company, that would
involve MND receiving a 50 per cent stake of Regal’s Ukrainian gas assets
in return for a commitment to spend $330m (£163m) on their development.

Regal’s shares rose to 250p over the summer as market speculation suggested
that Royal Dutch Shell or JKX Oil & Gas were keen to take on the
Mekhediviska-Golotvschinska and Svyrydivskegas fields, Regal’s main assets.
But following news of the agreement with MND yesterday the stock closed
down 14p at 217p.

Frank Scolaro, Regal’s chairman, said the market had not fully appreciated
the merits of the agreement with MND. “The development of these assets is
now fully funded, Regal not only doesn’t have to put a penny into the
assets, but it can take money out.”

He said MND had agreed to pay Regal about $25m cash on top of the pledge
to spend $330m on developing the two gas fields, which would boost Regal’s
cash balance to $35m.

Mr Scolaro said there had been five companies interested in developing the
fields, including Shell, but that talks with Shell had broken down because
it wanted a much bigger equity stake in the projects.

Regal hopes to produce 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) from
the two Ukrainian gas fields by early next decade, up from the current 1,200
boepd.

Last year, Regal’s Ukrainian assets were at the centre of a court battle
with its former joint venture partner CNGG, a Ukrainian government agency.

CNGG challenged the legality of Regal’s gas production licences and last
year Mr Scolaro hired Dmytro Gelfendbeyn, a Ukrainian consultant, to help
win the case. Mr Scolaro agreed to convert an investment of $100,000 from
Alberry Limited, a BVI-registered company run by Mr Gelfendbeyn, into
$50.9m of Regal shares if the case was settled in Regal’s favour.