AUR#862 Sep 3 Ukraine Is 16: Lessons Learnt & Prospects: Pres Wants New Constitution; A New Broom Or An Old Rake?; Charles Vanik; James Mace

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ANALYSIS: By Viktor A Yushchenko
Kuwait Times, Safat, Kuwait, Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mirror-Weekly #31 (660), Kyiv, Ukraine, 24-31 August 2007

Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Kyiv, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Wed, August 22, 2007

EDITORIAL, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Aug 22 2007

By Stefan Bos, Voice of America (VOA)
Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 25 August 2007


UT1, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0710 gmt 24 Aug 07
 BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Friday, August 24, 2007

Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, August 27, 2007


Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, August 24, 2007

Radio Mayak, Moscow, in Russian 0816 gmt 24 Aug 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Sunday, Aug 26, 2007

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Ostap Kryvdyk, Activist
Original article in Ukrainian, translated by Eugene Ivantsov
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ukrainian mission naturally arises from the Ukrainian history
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Oleksandr Paliy, for UP
Translated by Anna Ivanchenko
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, August 30, 2007

INTERVIEW: With Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukrainian opposition leader
Interview By: Sergey Morozov, DW-WORLD.DE
Deutsche Welle, Bonn Germany, Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Post Comment by Reno Domenico, For the Courier-Post
Cherry Hill Courier-Post, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Sunday, Sep 2, 2007


Political expert predicts rough ride after Ukrainian snap election
INTERVIEW: With Vadym Karasyov, political expert
BY: Nataliya Romashova, Den, Kiev, in Russian Aug 30 07; pp 1, 4
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Friday, Aug 31, 2007

13 term Ohio Congressman Charles Vanik co-sponsored important legislation
From News Services and Staff Reports, The Washington Post

Washington, D.C., Saturday, September 1, 2007; Page B04


Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1209 gmt 28 Aug 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tues, Aug 28, 2007

Moscow daily examines influence of US advisors on Ukrainian parties

REPORT: By Irina Khmara
Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Moscow, in Russian 22 Aug 07 p 6
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, Aug 30, 2007

By Zenon Zawada, Kyiv Press Bureau, The Ukrainian Weekly newspaper,

Hanna Diakonova, Ukrainian News Service
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, August 25, 2007

ANALYSIS: By Viktor A Yushchenko
Kuwait Times, Safat, Kuwait, Saturday, August 25, 2007

As 46 million Ukrainians prepare to celebrate their Independence Day this
Friday, they can look back on sixteen years of national independence with
great pride.

After centuries in which they knew little besides foreign domination and
tyranny, they have succeeded in laying the foundations of statehood in a
remarkably short period of time.

They have done this with the goal of creating a modern European democracy
firmly in mind. Ukraine has resisted efforts to install a “controlled
democracy” in which political change is determined by the interests of the
elite. It has chosen instead to build a society in which real guiding force
is the will of the people.

Other achievements stand out as worthy of mention. The unity of our country
is an established fact, although at the earliest stage of our independence
some doubted it.

Ukraine has become an important political and geo-strategic factor in the
stability and security of Europe, and is recognized as a constructive and
responsible partner by its neighbors.

Reforms have created a thriving market economy and the prospect of

accession to the World Trade Organization by the end of this year. In
every major respect, Ukraine is moving in the right direction.

Of course, Ukraine’s progress has not been without its problems and
complications. We have even experienced the occasional crisis. The most
recent of these was settled with an agreement to hold new parliamentary
elections next month, proving once again that our democratic instinct is

Inevitably, these crises provoke expressions of uncertainty and concern
about Ukraine’s political direction. But on each occasion Ukraine emerges
with its commitment to a democratic future strengthened.

In this respect, next month’s elections offer another opportunity for
Ukraine to demonstrate its resolve to complete the national transformation
started by the Orange Revolution. That is why I am determined to ensure a
free and fair vote that meets the highest international standards.

Anything less would do Ukraine a grave disservice because it would confirm
the arguments of those who say we are not ready to assume our
responsibilities as a full part the Euro-Atlantic community of nations. It
is a supreme national test that we must not fail.

With a new parliament in place, hard decisions will need to be taken if a
repetition of this crisis is to be avoided. These must include substantial
constitutional reforms designed to produce rules and institutions that are
robust and command broad legitimacy.

The powers of the various branches of government need to be clarified to
ensure efficiency and accountability within a proper system of checks and
balances. There must be judicial reform so that the Constitutional Court is
freed from the taint of corruption and able to fulfill its task in defending

the constitution without favor.

There also need to be stronger safeguards to prevent political corruption.
The current system of unlimited parliamentary immunity is an invitation to
abuse and must be brought into line with accepted international practices.
In a healthy democracy, those who make the law cannot be above it.

Parliament should be a dignified law making body that enjoys the respect and
trust of the nation, not a haven for those seeking to evade justice. If we
want to restore parliament to its rightful place at the heart of our
democratic system, all doubts about the integrity of those who sit will have
to be removed.

The same applies to the extensive privileges still enjoyed by
parliamentarians in Ukraine. These create a gap between the people and those
who govern on their behalf that is incompatible with democratic values.

The challenge for Ukraine in its seventeenth year of independence is not
just to build the outward form of a democratic system. It is also to create
the kind of political culture necessary for that system function according
to democratic principles.

That is what distinguishes countries that have escaped their Soviet legacy
from those that are still imprisoned by it. I have no doubt about what the
people of Ukraine want. They want to take their place as an integral part of
the community of democratic nations. My hope is that the elections of
September 30th will produce a parliament worthy of that ambition. —

NOTE: Viktor A. Yushchenko is the president of Ukraine, which gained its
independence from the Soviet Union on Aug 24, 1991 – MCT

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

Mirror-Weekly #31 (660), Kyiv, Ukraine, 24-31 August 2007

Ukraine is 16 years old. It is the age when young people get their
passports, and the President is to hand passports to 16-year-olds born
on 24 August.

The 2007 celebrations concur with the election campaign where political
parties play adult, rather than teenage, games.  Elections are said to be a
battle of ideas but this year it looks more like a battle for ideas (for
want of their own new ideas campaign rivals steal them from one another).

Those ideas are of two kinds: first, conducive to uniting the nation, and
second, indicative of the country’s bright future. Future prospects as seen
by the election race leaders look like this:

     (1) increased social payments and other types of care that the state
         takes of its citizens;
     (2) eradicated corruption that is currently “ruining the state”,
          checking the nation’s progress and impoverishing people;
     (3) fair and responsible politics and power for people rather than

In view of the above, one can conclude that over the last 16 years we have

     (1) a country of poor citizens,
     (2) a corrupt and disorderly state, and
     (3) a public administration having nothing to do with serving the

It seems that the election campaign leaders have suddenly woken up, looked
around, and the truth about the current situation has dawned on them. In
fact, all of them were in power at a certain stage of the country’s
development and did nothing to implement their lofty ideas of today.

Saying “leaders” we mean those parties and blocs which, according to the
recent opinion poll by the Razymkov Centre, could meet the 3% entry
requirement and  make it to parliament: the Party of Regions (32.4%), Yuliya
Tymoshenko Bloc (18.0%), “Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defence” (14.0%),
Communist Party(4.6%). (1)

Commenting on the leaders’ vision of our prospects, one could predict that
if the country goes on like this for another couple of years it will
celebrate its 20th anniversary in the company of the third world countries.

Not only because the state prefers to give its citizens fish instead of a
fishing-rod (see numerous publications on the issue) but because corruption
is really destroying this state, nation, authorities and people.  It is the
major threat the country faces today.

Yet let us start with more pleasant things – birthday gifts.
Gifts to the country and its citizens
In fact, there was only one gift timed specifically to the country’s
birthday – Yuliya Tymoshenko’s article putting forward a new national idea.
It precedes a broadly advertised but never publicized national development
strategy associated with Mr. Akhmetov.

 Ms Tymoshenko rejects the latter strategy in advance, insisting that
national strategies should be home-made and rely on domestic brain power,
rather than on imported expertise; otherwise the consequences will be

Unfortunately, the outcome will be equally phantasmagorical if Ms
Tymoshenko’s ideas are ever implemented in this country, particularly given
her perception of her compatriots as suffering from “inferiority complex,
incompleteness syndrome, disunity, loss of direction and limited national
aspirations”. She is sure we deserve more and should not “be afraid of our
national greatness”.

This is reminiscent of Leonid Kuchma’s book “After Maidan” where he laments
over Ukrainians’ wingless dreams about houses with red roofs and assures the
reader he did everything to inspire their great and noble ambitions. His
effort resulted in the creation, in a very short time, of a large national
capital, for which we should be grateful to Mr. Kuchma.

In the same vein, Yuliya Tymoshenko resists winglessness that permeates
“contemporary human progress”. She abhors the “total pragmatism and absolute
value of material benefits gained at any cost”, as well as the “race for
personal consumerist success”.

She regrets that “the world money turned everything into merchandise: faith,
conscience, honour, beliefs, principles, patriotism, information, etc”.
Hence the laymen’s willingness to sell their souls for “high-class shopping
in Milan at the sale season”.

Now we can understand the nature of the ridiculous declaration of income
Yuliya Tymoshenko filed when she was Prime Minister. Money is the root of
all evil, after all. It is high time to go after ideas.

Ms Tymoshenko comes forward with a worthy national idea of Ukraine’s
global mission; if implemented, this idea “could affect world history as
dramatically as did the philosophies of ancient Egypt and Greece, or the
Italian Renaissance”.

This national idea is about “creating the best, optimal system of societal
organization that will make every person feel they live in justice and
harmony, are properly protected and have the opportunities they have dreamt
of opened to them.”

“The system of organization” is a great idea in and of itself. Yet there are
several reservations.

[1] First, I have already heard of a great nation, which, in contrast to the
pragmatic and commercialized West, has undertaken a mission of saving the
global morals and is building a great state that will provide due protection
(I am not quite sure about harmony) to its citizens.

[2] Second, Ms Tymoshenko would know about high-class shopping in Milan,
I am not an expert on that. However, I know that tickets to La Scala are
bought out for seasons ahead, yet when Pavarotti came to Kyiv real music
lovers whom I often see in the philharmonic, organ and conservatoire halls
could not afford the tickets. They do not have the money, world or

[3] Third, the “world aspirations and winged ambitions” part reminded me
about an unknown Swede who said that the Poltava Battle was the best thing
that happened in Sweden’s history. Carl XII did not realize his ambitions of
becoming Alexander the Great, Sweden did not turn into a global empire.

Yet based on an entirely wingless dream (or national idea, for that matter)
of the “people’s home” Sweden built a common wellbeing society. It is among
the top ten countries of the world with the highest Human Development Index;
it is internationally known for its brands and positive impact on the world

The countries that tried to impress the world have, more often than not,
ended up in phantasmagoria, to say the least. So let us wait for better
ideas – that could come up as gifts for the country’s birthday.

Finally, it would be useful for Ms Tymoshenko to know that a lot of our
fellow countrymen and countrywomen suffer neither inferiority complexes nor
incompleteness syndromes. They do not need either protection or pity.  They
are well-educated and self-sufficient people. They do not care about the
“end of history”. They are concerned over their country’s problems.
Anticorruption effort
YTB: We suggest introducing income declarations mandatory for all state
officials and public servants, and toughening considerable criminal
responsibility for corrupt practices, including life imprisonment.

CPU: Criminal responsibility for corruption will be toughened.

“OU-PS”: We will cleanse the authorities and bring order into government:
law is for all to obey. We will establish a national anticorruption bureau
that will check if the top state officials’ expenditures match their
declared incomes. We will set up an independent Court Chamber that will
re-certify all judges and investigate their sources of income.

Party of Regions: Due enforcement of laws will reduce the scope of “shadow”
politics and economy and facilitate the elimination of corruption in the
From election platforms of leading political

parties and blocs
In 2006, Ukraine scored 2.8 points in the Transparency International
Corruption Index rating, on the scale ranging from 0 (highly corrupt
country) to 10 (non-corrupt country).

It places Ukraine in the company of Dominican Republic, Georgia, Mali,
Mongolia and Mozambique, a bit above Bolivia, Iran, Libya, Macedonia, Malawi
and Uganda (with 2.7 points) and a bit lower than Argentina, Armenia, Bosnia
and Herzegovina, Eritrea, Syria and Tanzania (with 2.9 points).

The least corrupt countries – Iceland, New Zealand and Finland – scored 9.6
points, which proves both the thesis “Corruption exists everywhere”, very
popular in our political and business beau monde, and the obvious fact that
corruption can be minimized. As Viktor Yushchenko was once quoted to say,
“It is evident; one can understand it with the naked eye”.

It is also evident that by the end of its 16th year of independent existence
Ukraine will generate only 72% of its 1990 GDP, despite the rapid economic
growth that the government is so proud of.  It will take at least 5 years to
reach the 1990 GDP level.

Besides, nobody can tell what the share of “shadow” economy is: over the
last year officials cited 23%, 34 and 50%. And it is also an indirect
indicator of corruption.

The problem, however, is not even the existence of corruption but the lack
of the authorities’ commitment to fighting it. Of course, we have the
required legislative framework, and the concept paper entitled “On the Way
to Integrity” and its implementation plan through 2010.

The plan provides for a series of sound and effective measures, such as, for
instance, drafting a law “On State Financial Control of Declaring Incomes
and Expenditures by Persons Authorised to perform State Functions, Their
Family Members and Close Relatives”.

I wish we would see this law passed and enforced. I wish we could believe
Viktor Yanukovych who promises to “target corruption”. Yet when I visualize
him in a Brioni suit holding his 2005 declaration of incomes with the total
amount of under UAH 37,000 (USD 7,400), the credibility of those promises
fades away. Another Tymoshenko but the suit and the year are different.

So Ukrainian authorities do fight corruption but the latter will not get
minimized. This phenomenon should have something to do with the national
specifics of anticorruption effort.

For one thing, Ukrainian officials contrive to fight corruption using means
and methods that look very much like corruption schemes.

For another, they persist in linking the notion and phenomenon of corruption
with the entire society, thus shifting the focus of public attention and
scrutiny from themselves (look at the Party of Regions’ programme task
above – “eliminate corruption in the society”).

Furthermore, they would not discriminate between their private and public
selves reducing all attempts by the public or media to enquire: “Where did
you get it from, Minister?” to interference into their private life.
American naivete and Ukrainian foresight
Ukrainian corruption is such a notorious subject that the USA, concerned
with supporting democracy, allocates funds and provides technical assistance
in combating corruption. Funding is part of the Threshold Programme
implemented by Millennium Challenge Corporation.

The first grant of USD 45 million is geared towards fighting corruption in
public administration and education. If the government fulfills all of its
obligations under the programme, Ukraine will be eligible for a much larger
funding of USD 500 million.

The United States has a lot of experience with anticorruption. They approach
this task on the basis of transparency, openness, and government’s
accountability to the civil society. The latter is actively involved in
anticorruption programmes.

The Ukrainian government’s implementation plan mentioned above envisions
attracting civil society organizations, too. Now it should be translated
into practice: the government should demonstrate the NGOs’ participation to
the sponsors and it could reach out for half a billion dollars.

Yet if Americans seriously believe this item of the plan will be properly
realized, they could be disappointed, because the civil society
organizations have already been involved. An All-Ukrainian non-governmental
organization “Anticorruption Forum” has been designated as an implementing
partner under the “Anticorruption Measures” Programme funded from the state

The NGO was established by the incumbent First Vice Prime Minister and
Minister of Finance Mykola Azarov back at the time when he headed the State
Tax Administration of Ukraine.

The Anticorruption Forum worked dynamically, had a website and a newspaper,
and hosted public events, but only during the periods when Mr Azarov had
access to the budget or other state-owned funds. In 2005-2006, all traces of
the Forum, including the website, were lost.

Yet the other day the website went live to inform its visitors that the
Anticorruption Forum had won a tender announced by. the Ministry of Finance
(sic!). It will receive UAH 3.5 million to implement the “Anticorruption
Measures” Programme.

Two things are noteworthy in this story. First, the government kills two
birds with one stone. Second, top governmental officials set up pseudo NGOs,
which enables them not only to   control the budget money but also to
receive “humanitarian aid” from various applicants for and users of public

You might argue that the services are public and officials are paid salaries
to provide them, but what is their salary compared with the benefits of
having their own forum, foundation or other institution.

Using pocket NGOs to fight corruption, though, should be considered
Ukrainian know-how. We also have something to teach American consultants.
Fighting corruption is a common cause
A lot depends on how one defines notions. We used to have a Prosecutor
General who maintained there was no corruption in Ukraine because the term
is not used in the national legislation.

In 1995, the Law “On Combating Corruption” was adopted to define corruption
as “activity by persons authorized to carry out the functions of the state,
which consists in illegal use/ abuse of their powers for receiving material

You can imagine what would change if the law were enforced – nothing would
change because laws are drafted and adopted by those very persons
“authorized to carry out.” The law stipulates that corrupt individuals are
“authorized persons”, including public servants, Prime Minister, elected
representatives of all levels and many other officials.

A corrupt minister and a common thief/fraudster are different. By confusing
notions we help the corrupt officials dodge responsibility. They always try
to persuade us that they mirror the society at large, all of us. It means we
all are not law-abiding enough.

The survey conducted within the above programme testified that we give
gifts to “authorized persons”, do them favours and offer other illegitimate
benefits. In other words, we bribe them, both under pressure and without it,
out of habit, thus breeding corruption.

Last year, 67% of Ukrainians encountered some sort of corrupt practice;
30%-50% of respondents claim officials asked for bribes. Solicited bribes
were involved in 25% of citizens’ contacts with public servants; 11% of
bribes were voluntary.

52% of surveyed Ukrainians believe corruption can always, or almost always,
be justified as an effective means of addressing a problem. (2) It is an
easier, quicker and, eventually, cheaper solution.

Moreover, even after Maidan we are still unable to understand the common
truth: if you want your rights to be respected, fight not for your rights
but for the rule of law that guarantees respect of human rights.

In the first months of Viktor Yushchenko’s presidency thousands of people
used to gather near his would-be public reception in Bankova Street (the
plan to organize it has never come true). Yet how different they were from
the people on Maidan!

On Maidan, we were citizens who stood up for their common right to take
part, to be heard and make a difference. Viktor Yushchenko was our fellow
citizen who vowed to expedite this right.

In Bankova Street, we were a crowd of petitioners, each asking for his or
her own right, clasping his or her file or envelope and looking jealously at
competitors vying for access to the boss, rather than the fellow citizen.

And Viktor Yushchenko was playing the boss deciding at his discretion whose
right to promote and whose not to. He signed approvals on his lap, and the
people around were happy: it is so democratic, so quick and simple.

It was in this quick and simple fashion that the fate of Ms V.Horobets (a
formerly “authorized person” apprehended for corrupt practices) was sealed.

That was the end of Viktor Yushchenko’s promises to respect law, because
where the guarantor of rights and freedoms violates the law, freedoms could
remain but the law no longer rules.
Two truisms absent in the election promises
So combating corruption, as we said before, is closely associated with the
authorities’ transparency, responsibility and accountability to the civil
society, including its most important agent – the mass media.

The first key word is transparency. It covers a lot of things but, first and
foremost, the transparency of officials’ cash flows since corruption is
about behaviours aimed at reaping personal material benefits.

There are at least three prerequisites of transparency:

     (1) availability of a registry (or a cadastre) of all properties in the
     (2) declaration of incomes and expenditures by the “authorized
          persons”; and
     (3) free public access to the property registers and officials’ income

Of course, there should be other controlling authorities, alongside the tax
administration. In the US, for example, officials are supervised by general
inspectors appointed by the President. While the media were dubbed
“watchdogs of democracy” long ago, President Reagan considered his
inspectors to be “fiercer than watchdogs”.

The reason behind their “ferocity” was their broad mandate to examine the
federal agencies’ operations, conduct independent audit and investigations.

Coming back to Ukraine, which of the above is already in place and what is

We still do not have the national property registry. None of the leading
campaign rivals promises to set it up, not even the Communist Party whose
immortal leader Vladimir Lenin underscored the importance of “accounting
and control”.

Some parties mention public control as a theoretical idea but fail to
specify what should be controlled. Whose real estate is this? Who owns this
land? Who does this oil well belong to? Many have asked those questions,
including the former governor of Kyiv Oblast. No wonder he is former.

Do you remember the outraging episode with [aircraft designer] Sikorsky’s
apartment? His famous great-grandson came from the USA to celebrate his
anniversary and look at his home.

Yet the apartment proved to have new owners. Officials could not say who
took the property or when, but they were sure it was done with the sole
purpose of creating a museum there.

Over 16 years, the authorities have not established a single state registry
of anything that matters, from the land cadastre to the voter registry
instrumental to holding fair and free elections.

All these years various ministries and public agencies have been wrangling
over the privilege to keep public registries. You might say it does not make
any difference since the registries, with very few exceptions, should be
open. Not in Ukraine.

Thus, the Head of State Land Resource Agency (which competes for keeping
the land cadastre) stated: “Information entered in the land cadastre should
be confidential”. In this case, will the cadastre serve to control the use or
the users of land resources? With this approach, it does not seem the
general public and mass media will get free access to registries and
cadastres soon.

What about the declaration of incomes and expenditures by officials?

Two examples will suffice.

[1] First, Viktor Yushchenko promised to introduce the requirements for
public officials and their relatives to declare their incomes and
expenditures. Yet it took a lot of time and effort to receive the
President’s own declaration in the first year of his tenure.

[2] Second, the deadline for filing income declarations is April 1. It is
the end of August now but the tax authorities have not yet seen declarations
by Viktor Yanukovych, Mykola Azarov, Yuliya Tymoshenko and many other
officials. I doubt they ever will.

On June 1, 2007, the Supreme Rada of Ukraine gathered for a special session
to adopt amendments to the election law so as to ensure legitimacy of the
snap elections.

One of the amendments, approved by our corruption fighters in Parliament,
cancels the requirement whereby all candidates had to submit to the Central
Election Commission a declaration of their property status and incomes (in
view of the extraordinary nature of the elections).

So why should we believe their promises to combat corruption?
Us and them
No one would argue that all people – we, citizens, and they, “authorized
persons” – should observe the law and avoid corrupt practices. If we are all
caught in the vicious circle of corruption, are our responsibility and
ability to break it equal? We could endlessly discuss the issue.

On the other hand, we could finally pay heed to what they never deny but, on
the contrary, play up and publicly demonstrate. They are the elite,
notabilities, role-models for us, people on the street. It is not the other
way round. We are like them, not vice versa.

We wish they did not view themselves as the elite but they do. They
emphasize it on every occasion. We wish they regarded us as equal to them
but they do not. They accept any titles of honour and insignia that make
them not only different from us but superior to us.

What about us? What should we do?

The ideal way is for us and them to try and break the vicious circle
together. The second best option is for them to start doing it – they have
the power, so it would be easier for them to clean the Augean stables.

The least effective option is for us to press for changes. It would be hard
as we lack the main thing – common trust. Yet that will come with time. If
they go on behaving as they do now, we will learn quickly to trust one
another and distrust them.

5,000 residents of a village in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast could celebrate the
Independence Day by going on strike: they have not had water (both drinking
and technical) for five years now. All this time, the necessary budget funds
have been duly allocated but nobody knows where they have gone. This is the

Now they could set up a steering group, elect a coordinator, call a
community meeting and summon local officials to come and account for the
money. If the latter fail to turn up, the villagers could block the railway.

A classical beginning, isn’t it?
(1) Percentage of the surveyed; the poll was conducted by the sociological
service of the Razumkov Centre from 31 May to 17 June 2007 in all regions of
Ukraine amongst 10,956 respondents over 18 years of age. Sample error is 1%.
(2) The poll was conducted by Kyiv International Sociology Institute from 21
February to 21 March 2007 in all regions of Ukraine amongst 10,580
respondents over 18 years of age. Sample error is under 1%.

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

Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Kyiv, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Wed, August 22, 2007

Ukraine marks 16 years of independence on August 24th. Although the Cossacks
had managed to fight off encroachments on their freedom from Poland, Russia
and Turkey for a couple of hundred years, the closest thing Ukrainians had
to a modern state before 1991 was a brief, three-year stint following the
Bolshevik Revolution.

It took the collapse of the Soviet Union, just as it had taken the downfall
of Czarist Russia, for Kyiv to reassert its authority over the lands of
Kyivan Rus. The medieval kingdom on the Dnipro River, which Ukrainians
look to as their beginning, was itself on the verge of disintegration before
the Mongols leveled it in the 13th century.

For the past 16 years, the country has been given a new lease on life, with
connections to European Christendom stronger than ever. European concepts
of freedom, however, differ significantly from the Cossack ideal. The
ability of Ukraine’s leaders and people to embrace the former rather than the

latter will ultimately be the greatest assurance of their continued independence.
So far, the record has been mixed.

One measure of freedom long cherished in the West is freedom of speech. In
the modern world, this primarily equates to an independent media and the
ability of private citizens to organize public protests. Since Viktor
Yushchenko became president in 2005, Ukraine has scored high marks in this

Promising his people European integration, Yushchenko was swept into power
by throngs of street protesters during the country’s Orange Revolution. Not
only did Ukrainians express their will in the purest democratic form, but
their revolution was more peaceful than many less fateful demonstrations
recently held in Europe, such as anti-global rallies.

Ukrainians, in fact, were so proud of their Orange spectacle, that they have
taken every opportunity to repeat it ever since. The lines between the
Orange and blue have become blurred, but that doesn’t stop politicians of
all persuasions from continually trying to re-ignite revolutionary fervor
among the masses in their incessant battles with one another.

The result has been record public apathy and the transformation of the
capital’s public squares into permanent political tent camps.

Ironically, public apathy and obfuscation of issues was a key weapon of
Yushchenko’s predecessor and Ukraine’s second president, Leonid Kuchma.

Controlling the nation’s television stations, Kuchma and his supporters
could make the most passionate of protests in the capital look like a
three-ring circus of malcontents to the majority of the country’s citizens
sitting in their living rooms in the provinces. Media that refused to tow
the official line were shut down over trumped up violations, while
journalists were subject to violence.

Before the Orange Revolution, the rallying cry of the opposition was
murdered Ukrainian journalist Georgiy Gongadze, who had published articles
critical of Kuchma and his cronies before being found beheaded in late 2000.

Now, Ukraine’s media is a lot freer. Yushchenko himself had his family
dragged through the mud by homegrown paparazzi soon after taking office,
but reporting remained unfettered. In fact, as with the street protests,
many feel that Ukraine’s better-than-ever media freedom is being abused.

Gone are the days, when television stations received their stories from the
presidential administration. Instead, many journalists still take orders
from the highest bidder.

The Cossacks also enjoyed the freedom to serve as mercenaries for one, then
another of the great powers that surrounded them. As a result, they ended up
losing all their freedoms. Already there are signs that the rich and
powerful are reining in rambunctious writers.

Ukrainian tycoon Rinat Akhmetov has put his money where his mouth is,
threatening lawsuits in European courts. The few Ukrainian media not already
owned by an oligarchic clan can barely afford to defend themselves in court.

An independent judiciary, another major pillar of true freedom, is also
sorely lacking in Ukraine. It was the Supreme Court that ensured Yushchenko
got a fair chance during his struggle for the presidency in 2004.

Earlier this year, the country’s Constitutional Court showed itself too
divided by partisan politics to resolve a legal crisis rooted in that same
struggle for power during the Orange Revolution. It was as if the democratic
gains of the street protesters were being slowly eroded.

In fact, rule of law has never existed in Ukraine. And it’s not just a
matter of poorly written legislation and even more poorly paid judges. The
average Ukrainian scoffs at the obligation to pay taxes or even cross the
street in the right place. Call it a legacy of the Cossacks if you like. The
net result is the same.

If Ukrainians – its leaders or its people – cannot rule themselves, then
someone else will do it for them. Laws are for everyone, and free speech is
a responsibility as much as a right.

In the 16th century, Ukraine was surrounded by Muscovy, Poland and the
Turkish empire. There was no place to hide and few allies to depend on for
mutual security. Today, the country is largely sandwiched between the
European Union and the remnants of the Soviet Union.

Being strong and thus independent is as important as ever if Kyiv wants to
preserve its medieval inheritance.

In addition to a responsible media and working legal system, Ukraine has to
equally ensure a free market.

Recent moves by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych to
restrict grain and gas sales hurt the country’s food and energy security.
Just like the squabbling sons of Yaroslav the Wise, Ukraine’s so-called
oligarchs are endangering their own interests and the independence of their
country while seeking short-term, selfish goals.

According to a recent poll, only just over 50 percent of Ukrainians consider
August 24th a real holiday, while around 42 percent think it’s just a day
off. With that kind of attitude, one wonders whether Soviet apologists who
accuse the West of engineering the dissolution of the Soviet Union and
Ukrainian independence, were right.

According to the same poll, over 67 percent of Ukrainians are proud of being
Ukrainian, with only 13 percent saying they would like to emigrate to
another country. This is more encouraging. But patriotism is not enough. A
poll taken in 1600 would have likely produced similar results.

If Ukrainians really value their independence, they would do well to ponder
from whence it springs. The Cossacks were nothing if not fighters, but that
didn’t give them a state.

Instead, independence for Ukraine has been the product of external
circumstances, a gift without a giver. Easy come, easy go.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

EDITORIAL, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Aug 22 2007

This weekend, Ukraine will celebrate 16 years of independence, an event
brought upon by the will of millions and the breakup of the Evil Empire.

Looking back, Ukraine has hit many stumbling blocks, but overall has
progressed steadily. The country has changed tremendously, moving along a
zigzag path but generally in the right direction.

Years of economic collapse have passed and have been replaced with
surprisingly robust economic growth. While the growing pains in politics,
along with corruption and poor living standards are deep, challenging,
painful and outright dangerous, the country is steadily on the path of
convergence toward European Union standards and democracy.

Living standards are rising, albeit much slower for the lion’s share of
ordinary Ukrainians who still don’t have the same access to opportunities
when compared to the well-connected elite businessmen and politicians.

In dire times, most Ukrainians show up to keep their country on the right
path. They have time and time again showed up in large numbers to vote at
elections. And millions prevented a fraudulent presidential vote during the
Orange Revolution days.

But the fact remains – most Ukrainians are largely apathetic to politics.
They do not take an active role in politics, the playing field of democracy.

This, perhaps, is the main reason why many badly needed reforms, and the
issue of equal access for all, remain unsolved. Sixteen years after
independence, only a tiny fraction of Ukrainians are members of political
parties. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the parties they vote for more
often than not ignore the interest of average citizens.

Citizens should become more involved in politics, which remain today
dominated by a select few who manipulate the masses for their own political
and business gains.

But just how can Ukraine’s increasingly disillusioned voters be encouraged
to take a more active role?

Decentralization of authority, and shifting powers from Kyiv to the
regional, city and village levels is the best way of getting citizens to
become more active, and motivating them to get involved. Decisions at the
local level do, after all, have more of a direct influence on the everyday
lives of citizens.

For now, the political arena is viewed by average Ukrainians as a
battleground taking place in downtown Kyiv, far away from the everyday

lives of citizens.

Decentralization is the best way to encourage more Ukrainians to get their
feet wet permanently.

Cities should have more of a say over how money is spent in their region,
which investments are needed, and so on. And citizens should be able to
regularly elect their regional leaders, including governors and judges, who
are currently appointed from higher up. Perhaps the election of judges by
citizens in the regions will help curtail rampant corruption in the

However, leaders higher up, namely the president, need to have more power

in such a system to ensure that issues of national security, and the fight
against separatism, can be kept in check.

The president should be able to appoint the general prosecutor to fight
corruption, and protect the state in times of need. If the president gets
out of hand, parliament can trigger impeachment. This would be a fair system
of checks and balances.

But the catch-22 here is that politicians do not necessarily have a vested
interest in relinquishing authority to the masses, so citizens will have to
push for this.

The best way to surmount this hurdle is the much-talked-about referendum
backed by opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko and supported by President
Viktor Yushchenko’s camp.

The referendum in question would ask Ukrainians to vote on issues of
parliament deputy immunity from prosecution and on the political reforms
that transformed the country from a presidential-parliamentary into a
parliamentary-presidential one, as well as judicial reform that would see
the public election of judges.

Contrary to Tymoshenko’s desire, there does not seem to be enough time to
prepare such a referendum to be held during the Sept. 30 vote. Yet Ukraine’s
leaders should not delay this initiative, proceeding with it this year if

Such a referendum would give the people the chance to take more of a role in
politics. And while they may be exhausted and sick of politics, that
opportunity is something that they deserve.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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By Stefan Bos, Voice of America (VOA)
Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 25 August 2007

Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yushchenko, says he wants to change the
constitution in a bid to restore his presidential powers. The
announcement comes as the country prepares for elections in September
aimed at ending a power struggle between him and Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovich. Stefan Bos reports for VOA from Budapest.

President Yushchenko announced plans to revise the constitution at a
ceremony marking the 16th anniversary of Ukraine’s declaration of
independence from the former Soviet Union.

Speaking in front of Kyiv’s Saint Sofia Cathedral, he said the changes
could be introduced after an election on September 30.

Parliament three years ago adopted legislation transferring significant

powers from the president to the prime minister. This led to a stalemate
between Mr. Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

The two sides agreed to hold the September 30 election in a bid to
resolve the impasse.
Mr. Yushchenko says changes are needed in the constitution to restore
his presidential powers and end the deadlock with Mr. Yanukovich, who
favors closer ties with Russia.

The president says he hopes his actions will boost efforts to
introduce Western-style reforms, including closer ties with NATO and
the European Union, as well as bring an end to what he sees as
high-level corruption.

“Political experiments led to an avalanche of corruption and the
destruction of the minds of this and much younger generations,” said
Mr. Yushchenko. 

“This year’s early election is my very straight forward reaction on a plot
against Ukraine launched by corrupt politicians. I know how to make
order in our Ukrainian house.  We are starting the renewal of the constitution,
and I am calling for the convening of a constitutional council that will start
to write down the draft of a new constitution.”

The president said the revisions will be presented to citizens for approval

in a nationwide referendum.

The September 30 elections for parliament mark the fourth time in less
than three years that Ukrainians will be voting in a national election.  Polls

show Prime Minister Yanukovich’s Regions Party slightly ahead of parties
allied with President Yushchenko.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

UT1, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0710 gmt 24 Aug 07
 BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Friday, August 24, 2007

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has called for national unity and
revival in his Independence Day address to the nation. “Political views may
be different, but the political nation and state is the same for all of us,”
he said.

Yushchenko’s speech, which he delivered from St Sophia’s Square in Kiev,

was broadcast live by several Ukrainian TV channels, including the state
television UT1, on 24 August.

“The election should give Ukraine a chance,” he said, speaking on the
upcoming early parliamentary election scheduled for 30 September. “I know
that Ukraine will overcome all problems. The state is growing and
strengthening,” he said. Ukraine’s European choice remains unchanged, he

Yushchenko spoke against “political experiments” and “all-devouring
corruption”. “I know how to bring order to our Ukrainian home”, he said.
Yushchenko called for setting up a constitutional assembly in order to
change the 1996 constitution, which was amended in 2004. Yushchenko said
that a new constitution should be adopted by a national referendum.

Yushchenko said that cancelling the parliamentary immunity from prosecution
is one of the main current tasks, along with amending the constitution. He
said democracy should win over political corruption and “tyranny” in

“Our Ukrainian history is our ideological base,” he said. “We are a nation
that founded a Cossack republic from scratch,” he recalled, listing the
historical steps to Ukrainian independence from Russia and the Soviet Union,
which was achieved in 1991. Yushchenko said that Cossack leaders laid the
ideological foundations of a democratic republic.

Yushchenko said that he believes in a Ukrainian state with a single national
language. He pledged to lure Ukrainian labour emigrants back home with the
help of economic and humanitarian incentives.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych listened to Yushchenko’s speech
at St Sophia’s Square. He was in attendance along with several other top
state officials.                  
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, August 27, 2007

Ukraine recently marked 16 years of independence, on August 24th. In less
than a month, on September 30th, Ukrainians will vote for a new parliament
in early elections.

One might be tempted to think that a sense of national purpose is foremost
in the minds of many Ukrainians and their leaders, but that would mean
taking the country too seriously.

Enter Nikolay Gogol, the 19th century writer claimed by Ukraine and Russia
alike. Gogol was only all too familiar with the foibles of his fellow
Ukrainians. Perhaps that’s why one of his most famous literary techniques
was evoking laughter through tears.

In other words, Gogol would deal with serious issues such as official
incompetence, corruption and undue deference to authority in a comical

Literary critics have traditionally attributed this technique to the
writer’s need to get around Czarist Russia’s strict censorship. But, Moscow
cannot be blamed for everything bad that happens in Ukraine. A brief look
at Ukraine’s current political environment shows that laughter through tears
is the natural state of affairs in the country.

After 16 years of independence, Ukraine is still deeply divided between east
and west, both in the domestic and geopolitical sense. Instead of resolving
the issue, it has conveniently – comically – managed to end up with two
heads of state: President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych. Gogol would have appreciated the irony of both these national
leaders being called “Victors.”

The September 30 snap elections are sort of supposed to decide who’s
actually in charge of the country, but that wouldn’t be any fun, would it?
Instead, we are all being treated to the usual exchange of public
accusations and personal intrigues, where procedure, law and public duty
serve as mere backdrops to the main comical performance.

To anyone unfamiliar with Ukrainian politics, this depiction might seem
cynical, or at best an exaggeration meant to highlight a more subtle point.
Aren’t politicians everywhere farcical?

Anyone who has lived in Ukraine, however, could not help but to notice how
some of the absurdities of Gogol’s plots are amazingly true to detail even
over a hundred years later. Policemen do drag people off to jail for no
reason, and local officials do trip over themselves publicly in order to
impress their superiors in the capital.

More importantly, the comic element of all this serves a very real purpose
in real life. Not being taken serious is not the worst thing for an official
in Ukraine. Most laugh all the way to the bank, with the real gut buster
coming when the courts get involved.

Did you ever hear the one about the corrupt official who was finally
convicted, but got the first couple years of his sentence suspended?

As for the public, having a good laugh is sometimes the only relief they
get. If you’re poor and have a run in with the law in Ukraine, you could rot
for months and even years in a remand center without ever seeing a judge.

And heaven help you if you fit the bill of a crime they want to hang on
someone. So having a sense of humor isn’t the worst thing to have in

Nevertheless, the tears eventually shine through. No one should deny
Ukrainians’ suffering during the famine of the 1930s or the fright of
Chornobyl. More recently, the country has been plagued by military and
transportation disasters, the reasons for which have yet to be eradicated.

Corruption and nepotism, after all, eat away at personal and public
responsibility, on the one hand, and infrastructure and public safety on the
other. The resulting disasters are hard to make into a joke.

But the ongoing parliamentary election campaign has directed our attention
at more popular matters. All sides – the parties of Yushchenko and
Yanukovych, plus perennial opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko – are
promising to cancel immunity from prosecution for officials, in addition to
the usual pledges to stamp out corruption.

Well, they have to come up with something to promise, don’t they? And don’t
forget the inevitable pre-election rise in pensions and other social
payments. What will unfortunately remain the same are the faces that make up
the country’s legislature, although many have already switched teams for the
umpteenth time.

All of this has caused little grief among Ukraine’s citizens, who have
learned throughout history to tend to their own gardens. The country’s
Orange Revolution, for many but not all, was more pageant than putsch.

The fact that it didn’t turn violent was not indicative of public restraint
but rather telling of how little stake the people had in its planning or
outcome. The September 30 elections are in many ways a continuation of the
Orange Revolution, making a chance of an upset highly unlikely.

This situation doesn’t seem to have upset the business world either. GDP
keeps growing and investment continues to pour in. Gogol’s Ukraine was
agrarian, lacking the steel mills, chemical plants and machine-building
enterprises of today. Moreover, Ukraine is almost in Europe, isn’t it?

Indeed, the modern Ukrainian state looks more serious than ever. Just take a
look at all the Mercedes rolling around the capital, or parked in front of
Kyiv’s many chic designer boutiques. Unfortunately, an economy built on
consumption is just as precarious as one dependent on imported fuel.

Some of Gogol’s greatest works have an element of impending disaster looming
overhead. Then as now, this threat comes from up north. Russian gas giant
Gazprom is slowly but surely tightening its control over the blood stream of
Ukraine’s economy, continuing to raise gas prices, while gaining greater
control over distribution, storage and transportation to European markets.

To what extent Ukrainian officials are selling out their country or simply
too helpless to prevent it is a moot point. It also doesn’t matter whether
one sees Russia as aggressive or Europe as exclusive.

What is important is that Ukraine has serious issues to resolve, such as
uniting its Russian speaking eastern regions with the rest of the country,
guaranteeing strategic investment and maintaining its position as a crucial
energy corridor.

If it doesn’t do this, there will be plenty of tears to come, and all the
buffoonery of its politicians won’t be enough to keep the public laughing.

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

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, August 24, 2007

KYIV – Premier Viktor Yanukovych wishes the Ukrainians happiness, health and
welfare on the occasion of the 16th anniversary of Ukrainian Independence.
This is disclosed this in his letter, text of which is published in the
Uriadovyi Kurier newspaper of August 23.

‘This festive day, I wish happiness, health and welfare from all my heart to
each Ukrainian family and prosperity, peace and mutual understanding to our
country,’ the letter reads.

Yanukovych marks that during a short period of time, Ukraine managed to
strengthen its positions in the world, as the state able to provide social,
economic and spiritual progress, development and strengthening of democratic
institutions despite considerable problems.

He assures that today, the Cabinet of Ministers pays considerable attention
to adjustment of social problems and real increase of people’s welfare.

The premier marks that recent economic success allows the government to
considerably increase wages, pensions and social payments by the end of this
year. Yanukovych call on unification of forces to provide state stability,
concord and order.

‘All of us aim building of strong and prosperous state. In this, let’s
increase power and authority of the state via good deeds,’ the letter reads.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]



Radio Mayak, Moscow, in Russian 0816 gmt 24 Aug 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Sunday, Aug 26, 2007

Russian pundits, interviewed by Radio Mayak, have claimed that Ukraine is
not a fully fledged independent state and accused the country’s president,
Viktor Yushchenko, of plotting “a constitutional coup”.

The “Panorama” programme, which was broadcast on 24 August, Ukrainian
Independence Day, was moderated by Rossiya TV presenter Dmitriy Kisevev and
featured Dmitriy Kulikov and Timofey Sergeytsev, described as experts with
the State Duma committee for CIS affairs.

Kiselev opened the debate by “sincerely congratulating” the Ukrainians on
Independence Day and claming that “some Ukrainians had even arrived in
Moscow to celebrate this holiday”. He went on to ask the guests if Ukrainian
independence was also “a holiday for all the Russians”.

Kulikov said that it was, because “Ukraine was created by Russia” and
Ukrainian independence was “a purely Russian and Soviet project”. He added,
however, that “Ukraine does not exist as an independent state”.

Later in the programme he explained this assertion by likening Ukraine to
Poland, which he said lacked independent foreign policy. “It is hard to
consider Poland an independent country. It never takes any foreign policy
decision without agreeing it first with some office at the US State
Department,” Kulikov said.

Kiselev went on to accuse the Ukrainian president of showing little respect
for the country’s constitution. Kulikov agreed, saying that “we are
witnessing a constitutional coup process started by President Yushchenko”.

Kiselev then challenged what he said was Yushchenko’s recent statement about
Ukraine having developed into “a rich country”.

He said that the average wage in Ukraine was less than half that in Russia
and invited the guests to comment on Yushchenko’s purported remarks.

One of them said that politicians, not ordinary people, were rich in
Ukraine, while the other suggested that the country had only managed to
survive to this day thanks to Russian energy companies and the policies of
Yushchenko’s predecessor, Leonid Kuchma.

“The Ukrainian economy, to a much greater extent than the Russian one, is
characterized by the presence of oligarchs. That is probably the main factor
allowing some politicians to call the country rich because politicians in
Ukraine are indeed rich,” Sergeytsev said.

Kulikov added: “The survival of the Ukrainian economy has largely been due
to the economic policy that was implemented in Ukraine under Kuchma. Take,
for example, the privatization of oil refineries. They were all then
privatized [and sold] to Russian companies – most of them.

“By the way, that is precisely why it is possible for petrol prices in
Ukraine to be closer to those in Russia than in Europe. That is why the
Russian economy plays an important role in the success of the Ukrainian

Kiselev then recalled a recent incident in Ukraine’s Kherson Region when
Yushchenko joined crews fighting a forest fire after spotting it from his

“The whole world has seen footage of fires in Kherson and President
Yushchenko, wearing a white starched shirt, volunteering to battle the fire
without even unfastening his expensive cufflinks,” Kiselev commented.

Sergeytsev said: “That is a usual American publicity stunt because
Yushchenko is traditionally presented to Ukrainian voters, TV viewers and
listeners as a messiah who, dressed merely in a shirt, is capable of
anything, including putting out a fire.” “That is something people should
love him for. That allows him not to do anything else,” he added.

At this point, moderator Kiselev observed that Yushchenko ruled Ukraine “in
the tradition of North Korean democracy”.

Meanwhile, Kulikov, in his comments on Yushchenko’s fire-fighting effort,
said that he had failed to achieve the desired effect. “I have read
Ukrainian blogs on the Internet. It only caused Ukrainian Internet users to
laugh hysterically.

“It has been long since I saw on the Internet the same number of sneers,
including sneers at President Yushchenko, as this fire-fighting incident has
generated. A long time has passed since 2004, so these publicity stunts no
longer work in Ukraine properly.”

Discussing next month’s Ukrainian parliamentary election, Kiselev said that
“according to opinion polls, two-thirds of Ukrainians do not believe in
election promises by parties and politicians”, before concluding that the
election was “turning into some kind of a show”.

Kulikov agreed, saying that “the symbol of 16 years of independence is the
appearance of the Verka Serdyuchka bloc”, referring to an alliance of three
minor Ukrainian parties named after a drag queen who represented Ukraine at
the Eurovision song contest earlier this year.

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

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Ostap Kryvdyk, Activist
Original article in Ukrainian, translated by Eugene Ivantsov
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, August 29, 2007

“Freedom is when you depend only on laws”
François Wolter

On August 19, 1991 we met a forester at the Mahura Mountain which is on the
border of Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk regions. He greeted us and then added:
“Do you know that they overthrew Gorbachev.” My mother was worried
because my father was an activist in the nationalistic movement which
organized rallies and meetings under blue-and-white flags.

We spent a night in most detached village house surrounded by the deep
forest. The radio has not been functioning for 15 years, there was no
telephone and electricity. We were in the informational blockade.

We learned about declaration of Ukraine’s Independence in two days. In fact,
we could not believe it. We did not know what the future and the new
Ukrainian freedom would bring us.

Freedom can be different. The concept of two freedoms belongs to the British
philosopher Isaiah Berling. According to him, the nature of the negative
freedom is the answer to the question: “Where is the line beyond which a
person or a group of persons can do something or be something without
coming under other people’s influence?”

Positive freedom is the answer to the question: “Who or what controls a
person and determines his nature and actions?”

Obviously, the first freedom looks better at a first glance. In fact, the
second freedom is the restriction. So, it is not freedom, is it?
Translating these theses from the philosophic terminology into the human
language lets call these freedoms “the freedom from something” (the freedom
from) and “the freedom for the sake of something” (the freedom for).

Independence is only half of freedom. It is its negative constituent. It is
the freedom from stealing and brainwashing, death, starvation and foreign
wars. But nowadays this freedom mutated into the freedom from own
obligations, duties and laws. They say that the pike’s freedom is the carp’s

The “freedom for” is a difficult one.

It can be compared to the freedom of mother and her children. There are many
problems related to this freedom, beginning with restriction of own freedom
(mother must spend more time with her family) and ending in financial
problems because raising children is expensive.

The “freedom for” is responsibility and restriction of own freedom. We,
Ukrainians, are only learning the “freedom for.”

Those who graduated from Universities remember how they felt before final
exams. The freedom was so close and attractive. But after the graduation one
feels nostalgia for the difficult times with the clear rules.

That is why independence did not bring freedom to many Ukrainians having
destroyed the previous value system. Not all people are able to enjoy this

Collapse of the USSR was the highest point of the “freedom from.”
Independence was the lucky lottery ticket for the post-soviet elite. Ukraine
was the prize which they could both appropriate and waste.

It could not be the other way. Independence became a chance for the new
generation. It was the chance of self-realization although in this
post-soviet but already different state.

Independence was both sweet and bitter for those who were forced to leave
the country many years ago. It was sweet because no one kills and imprisons
those who think and speak Ukrainian anymore. It was bitter because we
inherited a ruined country.

They know the price of freedom because they happened to lose everything and
leave their Motherland.

The days of the Orange Revolution were the last days of the “freedom from.”
It was freedom from the corrupt regime and denial of the current situation.
But still, there was so much positive on Maidan. There was the desire to
reconcile and assume responsibility for the country.

If it were not for the independence we would not fight for our freedom. It
is a great holiday. But we must move on to the positive freedom of Ukraine.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Ukrainian mission naturally arises from the Ukrainian history

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Oleksandr Paliy, for UP
Translated by Anna Ivanchenko
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, August 30, 2007

Independence provided our fellow citizens with a set of advantages. As the
value of air is realized when the air is gone we need to recall these
advantages at least when we celebrate national holidays.

First of all, thanks to independence Ukrainian people got a chance to be
preserved physically. For many centuries other countries repeatedly wanted
to appropriate Ukrainian lands, property and history and resorted to mass
killings of Ukrainian population.

It would be naïve to believe that something has greatly changed in the world
since those times. The world of nowadays confirms the opposite if we look at
it more closely.

Thanks to independence Ukraine returned to the world map, and the Ukrainian
people obtained their place in the world again. Ukrainians who were saved by
miracle should not take offense at history. Only twenty years ago all
governments in the world were convinced that Ukrainian nation has already

Even though it may sound banal, the foundations of democracy do exist in
modern Ukraine. Ukrainian presidents and parliaments are not appointed like
in many CIS countries but elected. None of the central branches of power is
a fake.

Democracy means that sooner or later the majority of society members will
obtain opportunities for self-actualization.

In Ukraine real freedom of expression exists. Though most media are
controlled by oligarchs and journalists’ respectful attitude towards
national interests has not yet been developed, with adequate efforts any
vital idea can be efficiently spread in the society.

Ukraine has demonstrated certain economic successes for the last seven
years. Despite high prices of energy resources, lack of political support
for entering new markets and almost full openness of the internal market
many Ukrainian goods became competitive both in our country and abroad.

Ukrainian economics develops different sectors simultaneously and does not
concentrate just on one of them, e.g. energy sector or industry. Ukraine is
no longer an economic flotsam not able to move on its own.

During the years of real independence established after the Orange
revolution Ukraine managed to come to a turning point in negative social
tendencies. The country sees growing birth rate and dropping death rate.

However, the consequences of genocides and demographic disasters of the
20th century are still felt: Ukraine is the first country in the world by
the speed of population decrease.

Social and demographic data pertaining to the regions attest to the fact
that the deep social and demographic crisis of nowadays is a consequence

of Soviet governance.

The highest birth rate, the lowest death rate and the lowest indices of
social diseases (AIDS, tuberculosis etc.) are demonstrated by the regions
which have spent less time under the Soviets than the others.

Dropping criminal rates in the country have been documented for several
years in a row but the sharpest decline in crimes was registered in
2005-2006. The reason for this phenomenon might be the population observing
after the Orange revolution that the country must not be governed by

However, according to the data provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs,
in 2007 the crime rate started growing again according to previous

Extremism and fascism are almost non-existent in Ukraine. By the way, it is
a favorable difference of our country from Russia.

Having freed itself from the USSR Ukraine also freed itself from any
opportunity to participate in such actions – both as a victim and as an
accomplice. In fact, it is a great advantage for the moral health of nation.

However, the non-material consequences of the independence are by no

means inferior to the purely material ones. Thanks to independence Ukraine
obtained a chance to get back its own historic mission. Without it, a
country is just a territory with buildings and people on it.

History confirms that every country striving to leave its trace, to
legitimate its advances to a special role in the world has had a mission
aimed at humanity. And this mission helped the world to put up with mistakes
of “the great”.

The modern mission of the USA is democracy plus talks about equal
opportunities and free market. Great Britain together with its empire built
railroads in Africa (which are still functioning) and democracy in India
(which is also still working).

Nowadays former English colonies are on top of the list of the least
corrupted countries in the world (traditionally the top ten of this list is
composed by Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, exotic African country

of Botswana and, from time to time, the USA).

Though the world still remembers the cruelty of Rome it also remembers that
Europe has been connected for thousands of years with the help of Roman
roads, bridges, alphabet and law.

The global mission of the USSR was embodied in talks about material equality
and world domination of lower classes. At first it was a very attractive
ideology for many people of different nations who contributed their
enthusiasm to the “global victory of communism.”

On the eve of the 16th anniversary of independence the politicians have
finally started talks about the national idea.

Ukrainian mission naturally arises from the Ukrainian history. The vivid
national feature of striving for freedom, which even turns to anarchy in
marginal situations, has been noted in Ukrainians by foreigners for

Besides, Ukraine contributed the most to the struggle against
totalitarianism -from one and a half million victims of anti-Bolshevik
struggle of 1917-1923 to Ukrainians comprising a major portion of
concentration camps inhabitants.

That is why the natural mission for Ukraine which arises from its history is
to be on the brink of Europe and Asia while preserving the most significant
feature of the European civilization – devotion to personal and national

And we needn’t be afraid that somebody from another country has already
said something about freedom or happiness. The meaning of these words is
different for each country.

For some, freedom is a chance to freely “rake in”. For others, it is an
opportunity to be controlled by no one but God. This Ukrainian mission is
practically not realized by the political elite.

Still, when our “elite” open their months when our national anthem is played
they automatically repeat the essence of the Ukrainian national idea.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.

INTERVIEW: With Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukrainian opposition leader
Interview By: Sergey Morozov, DW-WORLD.DE
Deutsche Welle, Bonn Germany, Tuesday, August 21, 2007

In a DW-WORLD.DE interview, Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia
Tymoshenko said the current political crisis in Ukraine shows democracy
is developing there.

Yulia Tymoshenko heads Ukraine’s BYuT political alliance. She was a leader
of Ukraine’s so-called Orange Revolution in the winter of 2004-2005 and
subsequently served as the country’s prime minister for seven and a half
months, until September 2005.

DW-WORLD.DE: What are Russia’s aims when it comes to Ukraine?

Yulia Tymoshenko: Russia is trying to keep Ukraine within its sphere of
influence. It’s taking advantage of all of Ukraine’s historical dependencies
to do so, energy dependency among others. And it’s using the quarrelling of
Ukraine’s elites. The longer Russia intends to maintain this system of
dependency, the longer our relations won’t be able to normalize.

DW-WORLD.DE: Do you think Russia deals too harshly with its former
satellite countries?

Yulia Tymoshenko: All the countries of the former Soviet Union are
independent today. They have the right to formulate and to realize their own
national interests. I believe it’s the wrong tactic if Russia tries, with
the help of various instruments, to restrict the freedom of these states.

At the same time, Russia is not alone responsible for how relations develop.
Above all, the political leaders and elites in the post-Soviet countries —
who, despite their dependency, still haven’t shed the role of vassals and
politically and economically subordinate themselves to Russia — are guilty.

I cannot respect such politicians, and I believe that they should leave the
political arena. Ukraine needs politicians who strengthen the independence
of the country and, at the same time, are in the position to build
harmonious, fair and honest relations with neighboring countries.

DW-WORLD.DE: You say there’s a tendency in Russian politics to rekindle
expansionism. What role should Ukraine take in the fight against Russian

Yulia Tymoshenko: Ukraine’s role is important in the field of energy above
all. Ukraine is the bridge between the countries that possess lots of
resources and the European Union, countries that need those resources.

Ukraine is a transit country, and that’s why we see our role in the
development of numerous transport routes that allow diversification of the
supply of energy resources to Europe and to Ukraine.

We know that Ukraine can build the necessary transit pipelines for gas — in
addition to the necessary oil pipelines that already exist. We know that we
can supply the EU with a large amount of electricity at affordable prices.
And Ukraine should be able to carry out this function freely.

DW-WORLD.DE: Why does your political platform include integration into the
European Union and not integration with Russia in the framework of a uniform
economic area?

Yulia Tymoshenko: The European countries, especially those of the old
Europe, don’t want to see Ukraine in the EU soon. At the same time,
two-thirds of our country is not prepared to see themselves as part of the
authoritarian entities that currently surround Russia.

That’s why, in the short or mid-term, Ukraine will put things in order and
introduce European standards at home, and only then discuss all the possible
processes of integration.

DW-WORLD.DE: Russia is pursuing a tougher foreign policy at the same
time as Ukraine is sinking under the weight of internal crises and possesses
no consolidated foreign policy line. Aren’t you jealous of Russia in this

Yulia Tymoshenko: No, on the contrary, I think that order can come to
Ukraine much sooner than to Russia. We are in the midst of a certain amount
of chaos, but this chaos is the beginning of a genuine democracy.

Sometimes strict order — which our neighbors have — is an impediment on
the route to harmony within one’s own society. And that’s why I think many
post-Soviet states will soon envy Ukraine. I reckon we need another two or
three years to develop our own strategic line and to choose the right

DW-WORLD.DE: What do you think of Ukraine joining NATO?

Yulia Tymoshenko: Ukraine is quite divided on this question. You can’t
overlook that when you make policy. That’s why the political powers in
Ukraine should start a broad discussion about all the world’s security

Not all politicians are familiar with the work of this or that security
system — let alone the people. That’s why all discussion of joining NATO is
very speculative.

Our parties will take up this discussion, and we are sure that Ukraine can
only approach this or that collective security system through a referendum.

Whether politicians like it or not, in such strategic questions they should
rely on the opinion of the people. Personally, I think Ukraine fits with the
European collective security system.

DW-WORLD.DE: Do you see yourself as president of Ukraine in 2009?

Yulia Tymoshenko: To be honest, I don’t see it so narrowly. Not because it
would be too small a goal for me, but rather because my thoughts are only
directed towards far-reaching changes in Ukraine.

From which position I can best bring about these changes depends on the
political situation: whether in power as president, prime minister or at the
head of the opposition. But the main goal for us is a Ukrainian

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

Post Comment by Reno Domenico, For the Courier-Post
Cherry Hill Courier-Post, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Sunday, Sep 2, 2007

KIEV, UKRAINE – As the dog days of summer empty the streets of Kiev, the
residents of this capital escape the heat to the comfortable sea breezes of
the Crimean coast and other cooling venues.

They also leave behind the early rumblings of the “extra Rada elections,”
the reprise of the March 2006 parliamentary (Rada) election, which cemented
the fall from grace of Orange Revolution hero President Viktor Yushchenko,
and catapulted back into the premiership his chief rival, Prime Minister
Viktor Yanukovych.
Beginning last spring, Yushchenko and the remnants of his former Orange
Revolution allies organized a series of political and legal maneuvers
designed to force a rematch of the 2006 election, without which the Orange
forces faced a continuing hemorrhage of support in the parliament.

The result was that Yushchenko was becoming a lame duck with years left
in his presidency. The reasons for all this are multiple, critical and
simultaneously arcane, self-serving and, most likely, unconstitutional.

However, with the rules of the game still evolving in Ukraine and other
former Soviet states, the rules are made to be broken. As far as the
population is concerned, there is a dread of the end of summer, not just
because of the coming of winter, but also because of the blizzard of a new
political campaign climaxing on Sept. 30.
As the political stalemate regarding the reality of the preterm
parliamentary elections moved to a climax in late spring, the competing
forces started to attempt to involve the police and Interior Ministry forces
in enforcing the competing visions of each side.

Rumors of troop movements and counter movements swirled around Kiev.
This development could have proven to be the biggest miscalculation of
both camps.

The people of Ukraine have no time for trouble. In recent years, the
economy, along with the rest of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet states,
has begun to boom. The people of Ukraine do not want this progress impeded
by the political battles of the ruling privileged.
The situation is also very awkward for the United States. The U.S. invested
considerable resources in the Orange Revolution and Ukraine’s subsequent
tilt to the west — away from Russia.

The ineptitude of the Yushchenko presidency and the emergence of the
Russian-leaning Yanukovych have proved to be yet another foreign policy
embarrassment for the U.S. administration.

But the administration has no one to blame but itself. After urging
Yushchenko to campaign on a premise of moving Ukraine to the West, the
doors to real economic progress were left closed.

Although Yushchenko was greeted by the West as a democratic hero, World
Trade Organization accession, which could greatly expand Ukraine’s trade
opportunities, is still unachieved. As well, European Union membership is
still probably a decade away and NATO membership is still anathema to many

There are, however, multiple points of optimism and positive development.
One enduring and historic legacy of the Orange Revolution is that, so far,
all that’s happening is taking place in the spotlight of a democratic
process, and both camps have stepped back from the brink of violence.
Stark contrast

This is in stark contrast to the environment in the Russian Federation,
where the great bear to the north has constricted democracy and dissent to
a level unseen since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Although the Ukrainian citizenry will remain apathetic regarding the
upcoming “Battle for the Rada II,” they will participate in celebration of
Ukraine’s status as the most democratic of the core states of the former
Soviet Union.
The writer is a former senior administrator at Sterling High School in
Somerdale. He is currently president and principal owner of Sterling
Business School in Ukraine, and has spent most of the year in Ukraine.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Political expert predicts rough ride after Ukrainian snap election

INTERVIEW: With Vadym Karasyov, political expert
BY: Nataliya Romashova, Den, Kiev, in Russian Aug 30 07; pp 1, 4
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Friday, Aug 31, 2007

Politics in Ukraine is not likely to settle down any time soon after the 30
September early election, political expert Vadym Karasyov, who is close to
the presidential team, believes.

Speaking in an interview with a serious daily, Karasyov predicted that
political forces will appeal to the courts no matter what the outcome of the
vote is.

Karasyov said former parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn is being
financially back by a member of the Party of Regions and added that should
he get into parliament, the political landscape will dramatically change.

He also said foreign policy and the east-west divide is the biggest
stumbling stone for Ukraine, noting Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych leans
strongly towards the east in his policies.

Karasyov predicted it might be best for Ukraine “to drift” a few years with
an indeterminate foreign policy while voters mature to decide what they
really want.

The following is the text of the article by Nataliya Romashova, entitled “A
new broom or an old rake? Vadym Karasyov: Our foreign policy is a key factor
in the schism”, published in the Ukrainian newspaper Den in Russian on 30
August; subheadings have been inserted editorially:
Day of reckoning looms
Less than a month is left in the election countdown. In exactly 30 days
Ukrainians will evaluate politicians and the policies they have carried out.
And there is clearly no reason for us to expect sanctification, regeneration
or increase in the quality of policy after 30 September.

The same people we be under the dome of our law-making assembly and they

are not likely to have learned many lessons from the recent crises. And since
the players are not changing, there is probably little sense in talking
about changes to the game’s rules of behaviour on the floor of parliament.
And so there are likely to be crude violations of the rules; there will be
fouls, scandals and of course new crises.

We’re used to that… [ellipsis as published] This will all come after the
September election, when the political “chefs” begin with vigour to stew a
new coalition soup out of old ingredients.

But wait – Director of the Institute of Global Strategies Vadym Karasyov
suggests a new player could very well find his place under the sun of the
parliament of the sixth convocation. Mr Karasyov predicts the golden share
held by the speaker of the fifth parliament could be picked up by the
speaker of the fourth parliament.

In other words, the deciding packet of MP votes which will determine the
colour of the ruling coalition could be controlled by Volodymyr Lytvyn.

And Lytvyn’s party, Karasyov says, is going into the election as a satellite
of the Party of Regions, and so the [propresidential] Orange political
parties will not be able to call out anyone for betrayal and claim the
people’s will has been misrepresented.

We asked Vadym Karasyov what comes next…[ellipsis as published].

[Karasyov] You remember when there was the television programme “For 16 and
older”? That’s what we’ve got now – up to 30 September and after. What is
more important? I think no-one is thinking about what will happen on 30
September, but about what will happen after that date. Everything is fairly
clear with the election.

Of course, the election campaign will be more lively, dynamic, dramatic and
scandalous. But still, the campaign machinery of all the parties have begun
setting their paths and you have to look at those paths and see what and who
will come after 30 September.

[Romashova] And who and what will come?
[Karasyov] The first question is who will get into parliament? It’s most
likely five parties will get in, but with Lytvyn in place of [leader of the
Socialist Party of Ukraine Oleksandr] Moroz. And that really changes the
picture in this game.

[Romashova] You mean the coalition game?
[Karasyov] Yes. In principle, people are now talking about a grand coalition
between the Party of Regions and Our Ukraine-People’s Self Defence [OUPSD]
or a Blue coalition, the Party of Regions and the Communist Party of Ukraine
[CPU] and about an Orange coalition between the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc

[YTB] and OUPSD.

In the case we have now, everything will depend on who has the mathematical
majority. But if Lytvyn gets in, that really changes everything. It’s most
likely Lytvyn is now running as a Party of Regions satellite project.

[Romashova] What brings you to that conclusion?
[Karasyov] First, Khmelnytskyy is on the Party of Regions list, but he is
financing Lytvyn. Second, Lytvyn after all is closer to the multi-vector
style of Ukrainian domestic and foreign policies.

That is, he is closer to the Party of Regions, than to the pro-West Orange
vector. But what is the main intrigue here linked to Lytvyn? That intrigue
is that if he gets into parliament and he, the CPU and the Party of Regions
get a majority, then that is pretty serious.

It is serious, because the entire game around the illegitimacy of the fifth
parliament and its being disbanded early, centred on Moroz who was Orange
and became Blue. That is, that the Orange had the majority of votes in 2006,
and Moroz’s betrayal twisted the people’s choice.

But if Lytvyn comes, he is neither Orange nor Blue. It makes no sense to
accuse him of betrayal. And that will not be a coincidental win, as the 2006
win could be classified.

It will confirm the leading role of the Party of Regions and its partners in
Ukrainian politics. In short, if Lytvyn makes it into parliament, the
intrigue will get very wound up.

By the way, that is good for the Party of Regions, because being alone in a
coalition with the Communists is not very easy. The Communists are a
predictable and unpredictable partner. They can pull those kind of tricks.

[Romashova] Can you be more specific?
[Karasyov] For example, demand the post of speaker or say demand an openly
pro-Russian choice or pull the Regionals into openly anti-Western rhetoric
and so on.

In short in such a situation, the Communists will try to play a pushy role,
provoking the Regionals into sharper, more radical and more
anti-presidential policies.

And depending on the results of the election and the trajectory under which
the coalition will be formed, political forces will react to the results of
the election: the procedures by which it was held, the transparency,
legality and cleanness. And of course, the courts will be used to the

I think the results of the election will be a long time in coming. Besides
this, it is unknown how the CEC will behave itself in an unclear situation –
will it split?

That is, it’s most likely that all these factors could lead us to a new
circuit in the crisis – a post election crisis. In this situation, with the
cabinet, I’ll say, quasi-legitimate, parliament already illegitimate and the
new parliament yet to gather…[ellipsis as published]

So you see, the courts, the president and the main political parties will be
the main players who will define all the scenarios: both crises and

[Romashova] I’ll have to say – that’s a pretty “optimistic” prognosis. But
can you be more precise: what is the crisis scenario?
[Karasyov] An unrecognized election.

[Romashova] In that case, the next logical question is: when, in your
opinion, will MPs of the sixth convocation gather under the dome of the
Ukrainian parliament?

[Karasyov] Under the constitution, they have 30 days. A coalition is to be
formed within that time frame. But you know, I think we are in for some
tense times on the third anniversary of the Maydan [popular protests during
the 2004 presidential election].

[Romashova] If the majority is formed by Orange forces, the situation is
more or less clear. But if the coalition is formed by the Blue, how might
events unfold?
East or West? Maybe drifting is best
[Karasyov] If Lytvyn and the Party of Regions join, then this is what will
happen: [Viktor] Yanukovych will be prime minister [Foreign Minister
Arseniy] Yatsenyuk will be first deputy prime minister and Lytvyn will be
speaker. But it is not a fact that the president will submit Yanukovych’s
nomination. He could use time looking for variants more advantageous to him
in terms of events unfolding.

It’s clear YTB will be an active player, pushing the president towards an
anti-Blue scenario. Of course, there is a lot of risk in this. Everything
depends on the Party of Regions. It’s likely the Party of Regions will not
nominate anyone but Yanukovych for prime minister. And if the president
draws out time in submitting his nomination, then is when the little war
will begin, I’d say.

The Communists will demand impeachment. And in this case, by the way, that
will not just be their opinion, but a position consolidated with the Party
of Regions. And in a situation when the Party of Regions has won in both
2006 and 2007, it will be very difficult for the Orange forces to appeal to
the West. Especially since the winds are now beginning to blow from the

The West is tired of Ukraine and it’s sort of hazy now. But Putin’s Russia
is on the drive, it’s in condition. And you must admit that authoritarian
states are rising now: China, Russia, Central Asia and Brazil. These states
are more actively taking on the Western vector of the world order.

[Romashova] Well in this case, maybe we need a firm hand and a Ukrainian

[Karasyov] That is already clear, the question is whose hand it will be: a
woman’s hand in a high-fashion blouse [Yuliya Tymoshenko]? Yushchenko’s
gesticulating hand? Yanukovych’s fist?

[Romashova] ???
[Karasyov] You know, in my opinion, Ukraine would be better off without
hands. Ukraine needs clear and understandable rules for the game and it
needs to kick like in football – with its feet.

It will be a catastrophe for Ukraine whether a dainty hand, a man’s hand or
a fist wins singularly. So the optimum variant is to leave out the hands and
play by the rules. And these rules exist by the way, in the form of a

[Romashova] Vadym, the recent crisis very clearly demonstrated how these
rules are observed.

[Karasyov] You know, in fact the model from 2006 is not that bad. If you can
back away from specific political personalities – this is the best system
Ukraine can have at this stage.

The prime minister, the president – and everything is balanced! But the
problem is that Yushchenko and Yanukovych are the finalists of an old
presidential election and they personify two regional Ukraines.

[Romashova] And as a result, it’s year 16 of independence and the world
press is writing headlines on a very traditional topic: which direction is
Ukraine going?

[Karasyov] That’s right. And it can be forced by a fist into multi-vector
policies: not [former President Leonid] Kuchma’s, but with asymmetric
vectors which are closer to Russia, with little bows directed towards the
West. That is Yanukovych’s road map.

Yushchenko’s hand and Tymoshenko’s hand can lead Ukraine to the West.

There is also one more variant: drifting for five or six years. Maybe this
drifting is needed so that both the political players and voters mature for
new politicians and a new choice. There is no good variant – all the
variants are a worse than bad, they are foul.

[Romashova] You know, for some reason it would be surprising to hear there
was anything good for us.

[Karasyov] You see, you can break the country over your knee, tighten your
fist and use a severe hand to manage a more right away in some direction.
And then we will have to figure out where it is we’ve arrived. Or drift for
a while and grow up to understand: what is Ukraine? Why does it exist? What
is its place on the map of Europe?

[Romashova] Why do we not even have any solidarity in foreign policy? Take
for example, the scandal around Yanukovych’s recent trip to Moscow.

[Karasyov] That’s exactly it: foreign policy for us is the key factor in the
divide. In political science there is an understanding of a “foreign policy
state”. That is a state which arises as a result of geopolitical
circumstances and develops between two different centres of influence. And
the entire structure of Ukrainian politics is determined by geopolitics.

Look at us – the left is not leftist, the right is not rightist. Our divide
is east and west. We have our own rightists in the east and there are
leftists in the east, too. And in our west there are both rightists and

Suppose for example in France, the president and the prime minister also do
not share foreign policy. But they have one course, they just can’t
determine it instrumentally. And we have two courses. Our president is
oriented towards the West and our prime minister has an asymmetric,
multi-vectored path.

While Kuchma tried to balance between the West and Russia, Yanukovych is
really closer to the East. By the way, I would advise you to analyse his
speeches to the diplomatic corps. There is an entire programme there at
least, but foreign economic policy is calculated in terms of eastern

[Romashova] Ukraine has a part of society which has absolutely democratic
convictions. Besides this, they have not forgotten they are Ukrainians and
that means they carry people’s democratic convictions.

And they are striving for the higher standards of Europe and that means they
are in part Europeans and Atlanticists. So who is going to represent them in
the next parliament?

[Karasyov] Judging from articles in Western academic journals – YTB. Well
and probably part of Our Ukraine. But you really have to divide our
Atlanticists into those which are reserved and those which are more open.

In this case, Our Ukraine promotes a more pragmatic Atlanticism, while YTB
is rather more conceptual about it, judging from Yuliya Tymoshenko’s article
“Holding back Russia”.
Let those people go
[Romashova] Vadym, why is the current campaign all about social policy junk,
excuse me, and nothing more?
[Karasyov] I’d give it a bit of a different definition. It’s a childhood
disease, children’s socialism for Ukrainian politicians. In this case, the
politicians do not want to touch topics which are scary and divisive. In
short, they are talking in ciphers and they don’t want to expose their
foreign policies.

[Romashova] And the result of these ciphers, as you call them, leaves
thinking voters unable to decide whom to vote for.
[Karasyov] That is not the problem of these political forces, but a problem
of a lack of new ones. With the ones we have, everything is quite clear.
It’s just that they’ve decided to leave these issues on the side for the
time being and compete on another field.

[Romashova] And while they compete, 40 per cent of Ukrainians say they want
to leave the country and over 50 per cent complain they cannot control the
authorities. Maybe it’s time to show these competitors a “red card”?

[Karasyov] There is never a popular uprising “against everybody”. In order
for there to be a protest, it has to have a promoter, a producer, a director
and a choreographer.

People’s activity is a proto-scene. And for it to become a full-fledged act,
there needs to be an outside screenwriter who is provided by political
forces. Only a vote can be against all.

As far as ciphers are concerned, you know, you have to be careful in your
approach to them, since any person will always say he has little control
over the authorities. Especially in conditions like ours, where people feel
that democracy is good through and through and practically direct contact
with a person.

Ask the Americans who are more sober and pragmatic about democracy.
Democracy is when they don’t get in the way of his life and don’t break the
rules of the game. And we have to look at this issue from a different point
of view – that people think they should be living in a self-managed commune.

Like in the USSR you know: the people and the party are one. And 40 per

cent want to leave? On one hand that’s bad. On the other hand, it’s good. It
shows we live in a global society. Let them leave…[ellipsis as published]

[Romashova] Right, let them go. Then all the normal people will leave and we
will sit here thinking for 100 years where is Ukraine going and is it even
going anywhere at all.

[Karasyov] No, not all of them will leave. Let them travel and see how much
their brains are needed out there in the West. The Soviet authorities’
mistake was that they never let anyone out.

If people had left and lived out there they would have valued that social
package which the Soviet authorities gave them. But they will come back to
Ukraine anyway. Because for a person born and raised here, no better country
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
13 Term Ohio Congressman Charles Vanik co-sponsored important legislation

From News Services and Staff Reports, The Washington Post

Washington, D.C., Saturday, September 1, 2007; Page B04

Charles Vanik, 94, a former Democratic congressman from Cleveland who
co-sponsored an effort to force the Soviet Union to allow more Jews to
emigrate, died Aug. 30 at his home in Jupiter, Fla. No cause of death was

A congressman from 1955 to 1981, Mr. Vanik in 1968 surrendered his House
seat when his district became primarily black, making way for Louis Stokes
to run for the position. Mr. Vanik then switched to a nearby district in
Cleveland’s eastern suburbs, where he defeated Frances Payne Bolton, a
longtime Republican member of Congress.

Mr. Vanik, who was known for always wearing black suits and bow ties, did
not seek a 14th term in 1980 because he disliked raising campaign funds and
owing favors to donors. He had been reelected by spending no more than
$2,000 to $3,000 per campaign.

“Rather than running around raising money and politicking, Vanik put his
time and considerable brainpower to the ideas of legislation and
policymaking,” Washington Post reporter Ward Sinclair wrote in 1980.

“The results of that are impressive. Vanik is seen universally as a
four-square battler for the underdog, the working man and the middle-class
taxpayer — fairly left-wing views on the Ways and Means Committee. He
loved to whack away at the tax-dodging corporations and the gentry who
could win tax breaks in Congress.”

His biggest impact came when he and then-Sen. Henry Jackson (D-Wash.)
sponsored what became known as the Jackson-Vanik amendment in 1974. The
amendment to the Trade Reform Bill tied the former Soviet Union’s trade
status to whether it freely allowed Jewish emigration.

Emigration of Soviet Jews increased in the years after it passed but slowed
to a trickle in the 1980s and became a major source of friction between the
two nations.

In 1988, five years after Jackson’s death, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev
urged the amendment to be scrapped, saying, “Why should the dead hold onto
the coattails of the living? I mean the Jackson-Vanik amendment. One of them
is already physically dead. The other is politically dead.”

The New York Times reported that Mr. Vanik countered: “Lenin has been
dead for a long time, and they still live under his guidance.” But he added
that the amendment could be waived if Moscow continued making progress on

Then-President George H.W. Bush waived the amendment in December 1990,
a year before the Soviet Union collapsed.

The Jackson-Vanik amendment is still on the books.

In 2002, Michael McFaul, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace, called it “one of the most successful foreign policy
ideas initiated by Congress during the Cold War. The Jackson-Vanik
amendment was a moral act. It explicitly linked the Soviet Union’s trading
status to levels of Jewish emigration.”

A native of Cleveland, Mr. Vanik graduated from Western Reserve University
and received a law degree from Western Reserve in 1936. He was on the City
Council and in the Ohio legislature before serving in the Navy during World
War II. He became a municipal judge after the war and first ran for Congress
in 1954.

After he left Congress, he unsuccessfully ran for Ohio lieutenant governor.
In 1985, he joined the Washington office of the Squire Sanders & Dempsey
law firm, where he worked for more than 10 years while living in Arlington
County. He moved to Florida several years ago.

Survivors include his wife, Betty Best Vanik of Jupiter; two children, John
Vanik of Mayfield Heights, Ohio, and Phyllis Vanik of Jupiter; and two

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

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1209 gmt 28 Aug 07
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tues, Aug 28, 2007

KIEV – A visit to Ukraine by the US Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates, has
been planned for mid-October this year, the Ukrainian ambassador to the USA,
Oleh Shamshur, told a news conference today.

“The visit to Ukraine by the US Secretary of Defence is expected in the near
future,” he said. He added that the preliminary date of the visit has been
scheduled for 14 October but this date will be clarified.

Shamshur said that the visit by the US Secretary of Defence will take place
within the framework of a meeting of the council of the defence ministers of
Southeast Europe. He said that the meeting of the defence ministers has been
scheduled to take place in Kiev.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Moscow daily examines influence of US advisors on Ukrainian parties

REPORT: By Irina Khmara
Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Moscow, in Russian 22 Aug 07 p 6
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thursday, Aug 30, 2007

One of the features of the current election campaign in Ukraine noted by
experts is the lack of Russian spin doctors in the electoral field. No, the
number of Russian citizens in Kiev identifying themselves as such has not

It is simply that the Americans have closed off access to the “bodies” of
the three key players in the parliamentary elections – the Party of the
Regions of Ukraine, the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT), and the
pro-presidential Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defence Party (NU-NS). And
they are being valued accordingly: The US group is being paid several
million dollars for the “season.”

According to observers, the reason for the absence of Russian maestros
on the main political forces’ lists of political consultants is that earlier
they came to Ukraine not so much to turn a profit as to try out new election
strategies on a small country without any particular risk to their

But, as became clear in the 2006 parliamentary elections, strategies which
could work well on Russian territory often did not work out in Ukraine.

As a result, Russians here were put under pressure and forced to surrender
their key positions to American political consultants.

All the main players in Ukraine’s electoral field have resorted to their
services, plus President Kuchma’s former chief of staff and former Speaker
Volodymyr Lytvyn’s bloc, which crashed out in the previous parliamentary

As Kost Bondarenko, director of Ukraine’s Horshenin Institute for
Management Issues, noted to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the Russians have
surrendered their place to their colleagues from overseas.

“It’s fashionable right now to have Americans on the staff for intimidation.
So you can say that if you are going to deprive us of votes (as happened to
Lytvyn in 2006), then there is someone who will stick up for us,” the
political analyst said.

It seems that only second-tier parties have decided not to splurge on
foreign specialists. To be specific, the Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU),
which, according to Yaroslav Mendusa, a member of its parliamentary faction,
will not hire foreign spin doctors. The deputy maintains that the SPU has
organized all its election campaigns without their help.

Thus, Paul Manafort, the most famous consultant in the United States, is
working for Viktor Yanukovych. He also worked for the premier during the
last elections.

Since February 2007 a group of spin doctors headed by Bill Clinton’s former
Press Secretary Joe Lockhart has been working with BYuT. Washington
lobbyist Sten Anderson has been leading a group working with Our Ukraine,
and Viktor Yushchenko personally, since the beginning of the year.

It is well-known that Paul Manafort worked for dictators for almost a
quarter of a century. For example, he conducted an election campaign for
former president of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos and worked for the
Argentinean army during the Argentinean revolution in the 1980s.

Yuliya Tymoshenko’s political consultant Joe Lockhart managed a team which
worked for Bill Clinton during his presidential campaign. Incidentally, that
campaign ended in his victory. Sten Anderson has not done any election
campaigns, but a couple of years ago he worked together with Paul Manafort.

In order to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, Ukrainian specialists
are, however, marching shoulder to shoulder with the Americans. Donetsk
specialists Ihor Shuvalov, Yuriy Levenets, and the Kiev political consultant
Andriy Yermolayev are working for the Party of the Regions. The political
consultants Vadym Karasev, Oles Doniy, and Viktoriya Podgornaya are
working with the NU-NS.

But only Russian specialist Aleksey Sitnikov, president of the Image Contact
political consultancy company, can be seen in close proximity to Yuliya
Tymoshenko. In Ukraine he enjoys the respect of his colleagues on the shop
floor and is also familiar with the situation at first-hand.

Ukrainian consultants themselves explain the presence of a large number of
American specialists thus. According to Vadym Karasev, director of the
Institute for Global Strategy, “the Americans have their own exclusive
niches where our political consultants cannot compete with them. For
example, they are very good at preparing political speeches.

Russians are distinguished by their art for creating a situation: a negative
image for the opponent and a positive image for the client.” Vadym Karasev
maintains that spin doctors’ consultations will cost each key party
$200,000. According to him, their fee will not increase in connection with
the early elections, and may even decrease since the financial peak was in
2004 and 2006.

FOOTNOTE:  The information above which states “Since February 2007
a group of spin doctors headed by Bill Clinton’s former Press Secretary
Joe Lockhart has been working with BYuT,” is not true, and is thus
Ron Slimp, partner in TD International, represents BYut and Yulia
Tymoshenko in the USA, not Joe Lockhart.  TD International is the
FARA-registered representative of Mrs. Tymoshenko and BYut in the
United States.
TD International hired Joe Lockhard’s firm to do a small project in relation
to Yulia’s trip to Washington this past spring. They were one of several
firms hired to do projects to support the trip.  AUR Editor Morgan Williams
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
You are welcome to send us names for the AUR distribution list.

By Zenon Zawada, Kyiv Press Bureau, The Ukrainian Weekly newspaper,

UNA, Parsippany, New Jersey, Sunday, June 24, 2007

KYIV – President Viktor Yushchenko and former Prime Minister Yulia
Tymoshenko have hired K Street consultants to improve their governments
relations with and images in Washington, according to Dielo, a
Russian-language daily newspaper in Ukraine.

Mr. Yushchenko has recruited Stanton Anderson, a lawyer for the 1980
Reagan-Bush presidential campaign who founded Global USA Inc., a
consulting firm that provides representation and assistance in
Washington, including government affairs strategy and lobbying.

Mr. Anderson has extensive contacts in Washington, having served in
numerous presidential appointments in the Reagan administration, as well
as on boards of directors at public and private companies.

Ms. Tymoshenko has recruited Joe Lockhart, press secretary of former
U.S. President Bill Clinton and a founding partner of The Glover Park
Group, a consulting firm providing advocacy and image advertising,
issues and crisis management, and consulting on legislative affairs and
media relations.

“Joe Lockhart will lobby Yulia Tymoshenko’s interest in the U.S.,”
Yevgeny Minchenko, director of the Moscow-based International

Institute of Political Expertise, told Dielo.

“The U.S. Congress is currently in the hand of Democrats, therefore,
it’s logical to sign a contract with representatives of the Democratic
camp.  Though it’s not worth forgetting that Russian political
technologists work with Tymoshenko.”

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and the Party of the Regions have
already benefited from Washington political consultants, having hired
Davis Manafort & Freeman Inc. to retool their image and improve
government relations.

Paul Manafort, who served as a chief fund-raiser and campaign strategist
in Robert Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign, is largely credited with
reviving Mr. Yanukovych’s otherwise tarnished image following the
Orange Revolution.

After losing the 2004 presidential elections, Mr. Yanukovych led the
Party of Regions in winning the 2006 parliamentary elections, securing
32 percent of the vote.

Mr. Manafort also worked to improve Mr. Yanukovych’s image and
relations in Washington.  

FOOTNOTE: What Yevgeny Minchenko said about Joe Lockhart
lobbying Yulia Tymoshenko’s interest in the U.S. in the Dielo article
in Ukraine, as reported in the article above, is not true, and is thus

Ms. Tymoshenko did not recruit Joe Lockhart, press secretary of
former U.S. President Bill Clinton and a founding partner of The Glover
Park Group, to represent her.
Ron Slimp, partner in TD International, Washington, represents BYut
and Yulia Tymoshenko in the USA, not Joe Lockhart.  TD International
is the FARA-registered representative of Mrs. Tymoshenko and BYut
in the United States.
TD International hired Joe Lockhard’s firm to do a small project in relation
to Yulia’s trip to Washington this past spring. They were one of several
firms hired to do projects to support the trip.  AUR Editor Morgan Williams
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

ForUm, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, August 29, 2007

KYIV – Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer considers that
early parliamentary elections will give political forces possibility to
reach consensus and go ahead.

“Maybe these elections will not solve all problems but they give opportunity
for agreement and further actions,” he said yesterday during television
space bridge “Kyiv-Moscow-Washington”: “Which Ukraine do the USA
and Russia need?”

He also said that the Essential law of Ukraine is not perfect. “It is
necessary to make changes in order to avoid in future such political crisis
Ukraine faced in spring of the current year,” he said.

He also noted that Washington would like to see Ukraine integrated in
European and Euro-Atlantic structures. At the same time he said that
Ukraine must decide itself the character of relations, in particular with

Pifer noted that the USA does not participate in Ukraine’s crisis solution.
He expressed hope that after early parliamentary elections, parliamentary
coalition will be formed soon.      
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]


Hanna Diakonova, Ukrainian News Service
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, August 25, 2007

KYIV-  The city council of Kyiv has approved architectural feasibility study
regarding placement of the monument to American historian, analyst of Famine
1932-1933 [Holodomor] in Ukraine James Mace in the Sichnevoho Povstannia
Street, Pecherskyi District of Kyiv.

Executive deputy chair of the Kyiv city state administration Eduard
Leschenko told this during meeting of the city council.
“We may approve the feasibility study, but exploitation of the monument
should be considered first,” he told.

Design of the monument was developed by architectural studio of Larysa
Skoryk. The monument represents bronze figure of historian, with angel
beside it.

According to the author of the monument Larysa Skoryk, angel on the

entrance arch represents symbolic chapel of famine victims. The monument
will be illuminated.

As Ukrainian News reported, the Ministry of Culture and the Kyiv City
Administration announced a competition to design a monument to American
historian James Mace last August.

In June 2006, the Cabinet ordered the Culture Ministry and the Kyiv City
Administration to conduct a competition for the best monument to be built in
Kyiv in memory of Mace.

The Cabinet ordered the city administration to find a proper place for the
monument and said that the contest and design efforts would be financed by
the Culture Ministry while construction of the monument would be funded from
the Kyiv budget.

President Viktor Yuschenko conferred the Yaroslav the Wise Order II on
American researcher and public figure James Mace posthumously in November

The order was bestowed for his personal merits to the Ukrainian nation in
revealing to the world community the truth about the 1932-1933 Famine in
Ukraine, for fruitful studies and public activities.

In December 2005, Yuschenko directed the Cabinet of Ministers and the Kyiv
City Administration to ensure installation of a monument to Mace in Kyiv by
February 18, 2007, and name a street after him.

In addition to the monument, a monument plaque is to be installed in Kyiv on
the house where Mace lived. James Mace died in 2004, and February 18, 2008
will be his 56th birthday anniversary.

According to various estimates, about 3-7 million people died during the
1932-1933 famine in Ukraine
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

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