AUR#866 Sep 12 Corporate Social Responsibility; Poison from Russia?; Vitality of Rural Ukraine; Contract With Investors; Influential Persons; Battle of Poltava

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By Kateryna Yushchenko, Chairman of the Supervisory Council
Ukraine 3000 International Charitable Foundation
XVII Economic Forum in Krynytsia
Krynytsia, Ukraine, Tuesday, 11 September 2007


Tony Halpin in Kiev, The Times
London, United Kingdom, Tuesday, September 11, 2007

By Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine
The Silski visti (Rural News) #101, in Ukrainian, Sept. 7, 2007
Published by U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), in English
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 12, 2007

BYuT, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 10, 2007

On behalf of BYuT, Yulia Tymoshenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 10, 2007


BYuT, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 10, 2007

By Roman Olearchyk in Kiev, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Monday, September 10 2007

UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, August 16, 2007

COMMENTARY: By Serhiy Kudelia, SAIS/Johns Hopkins University
Novynar, Ukrainian newsmagazine No. 3, Monday, September 10, 2007
Published by Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #866, Article 8, in English
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 12, 2007

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Dr. Volodymyr Hrytsutenko
Professor, Ivan Franko University, Lviv, Ukraine
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #866, Article 9
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #866, Article 10
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 12, 2007

From Anders Aslund, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for Int Economics
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 12, 2007
By Kataryna Wolczuk, Deputy-Director
Centre for Russian and East European Studies (CREES)
European Research Working Paper Series No. 18
European Research Institute (ERI), University of Birmingham, UK
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #866, Article 13
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 12, 2007

U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 12, 2007

UKRINFORM, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 10, 2007


UWC International Holodomor Coordinating Committee (UWC IHC)
75th Commemoration of the Ukrainian Genocide 1932-1933.
Toronto, Canada, Monday, September 10, 2007


UWC International Holodomor Coordinating Committee (UWC IHC)
75th Commemoration of the Ukrainian Genocide 1932-1933.
Toronto, Canada, Monday, September 10, 2007


ANALSYSIS: By Viktoriya SIUMAR, Institute of Mass Information
Mirror Weekly #33 (662), Kyiv, Ukraine, 8-14 September 2007


The Washington Group Cultural Fund
Washington, D.C., Monday, September 10, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #866, Article 21
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Can Mazepa’s truth and the “truth” of Peter I be joined?
By Semen Tsviliuk, Professor
Department of Ukrainian State History at Odesa Institute of Law.
The Day Weekly Digest # 25, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 11 September 2007

By Kateryna Yushchenko, Chairman of the Supervisory Council
Ukraine 3000 International Charitable Foundation
XVII Economic Forum in Krynytsia
Krynytsia, Ukraine, Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Good afternoon.

It is a pleasure to be here at the 17th Economic Forum in Krynytsia.  I
appreciate the opportunity to discuss a topic that is becoming increasingly
important globally – corporate social responsibility.

Around the world, both large multinationals and small local companies are
reassessing the way they interact with their communities and formulating new
strategies to better respond to the needs of consumers, partners, society
and the environment alike.

Let us begin with some broad definitions of the meaning of business social

[1] First, being a good corporate citizen means maintaining high standards
and acting ethically – producing a high-quality, safe product, providing
safe and healthy working conditions, promoting equal opportunity and
investing in personnel training and development.

[2] It means maintaining an ethical approach to doing business – conducting
business in a clear and transparent manner, maintaining standards of good
corporate governance, paying taxes.

[3] But there is another aspect of corporate responsibility – the actions a
business takes to improve the community – local or international – in which
it operates.

Over the past few years, more and more companies have come to understand
that business operates more effectively and profitably when it also invests
into sustainable communities.  And governments and international
organizations have begun actively supporting this trend.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development defines corporate
social responsibility as “the continuing commitment by business to behave
ethically and to contribute to economic development while improving the
quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of local
community and society at large”.

The European Union named 2005 the year of social responsibility.

Research conducted in 2000 showed that 90% of the 45 largest European
companies include information on mission, values, working environment,
social and economic programs into their reporting, i.e., they inform the
public about their social responsibility initiatives and programs.

In Great Britain, government, businesses, civil society organizations, and
media are working together to support what they call “Corporate Community

In the US, total giving to charitable organizations equals approximately 1.7
percent of Gross Domestic Product; corporate amounted to $12.7 billion in

The United Nations Global Compact Initiative, a forum to discuss and
implement corporate responsibility is governed by ten universal principles
in four key areas – anti-corruption, environmental sustainability, human
rights and labor standards.

The UN Global Compact was successfully launched in Ukraine in April 2006.
I am proud that Ukrainian companies are joining this important global trend.

To date, more than 70 leading companies, business associations, labor and
civil society organizations active in the area of corporate social
responsibility have signed the Global Compact and confirmed their

commitment to the 10 universal principles.

In December 2005, more than 150 representatives of Ukrainian businesses,
civil organizations and government banded together to create the Forum of
Socially Responsible Business in Ukraine.

A study on socially responsible business conducted by a Ukrainian research
firm in January 2007 showed that:

[1] 64% of Ukrainians polled understood the term “social responsibility”
as the responsibility of business to society;
[2] 21% of Ukrainians take into account the social activity of a company
when purchasing goods or services;
[3] 50% have greater trust in companies that are socially active;
[4] 58% of Ukrainian citizens believe that social responsibility should
be targeted, first of all, to the health care sector;
[5] 46% – to orphans and homeless children;
[6] 28% believe that the priority should be environmental issues.

However, state-oriented, paternalistic traditions are still strong – when
asked who they expected to address their pressing social problems, 52%
said the state in general, 37% – said government agencies, only 17% – said

At the same time, 74% respondents believe that business should invest in
“good things”.

It is exciting for me that centuries-old traditions of not only charity but
also social responsibility are being reborn in Ukraine and other countries
in Central and Eastern Europe.

It is time for our countries to take an active role in the global
development of an agenda for corporate social responsibility.  This

process will ensure the development of sustainable democratic societies,
social partnerships, and environmental awareness.

In building our social responsibility agenda, we should provide answers

to the following questions:

[1] What are economic, legal and ethical expectations of society?

[2] Who does the community expect to deal with these needs
businesses, the state or society?
[3] If businesses are expected to meet these expectations and
needs, are they capable of doing it?

And the most important question: does the state create proper
conditions/environment for businesses so that they can meet these needs
and expectations?

The challenge for Eastern European countries is to create an appropriate
balance of responsibility among business, state and community. There is a
role for government – to create favorable environments (including public
acceptance and recognition) in which businesses can develop and help
others to develop.

In Ukraine there are tax incentives for giving, but they are inadequate in
their current form.  We are looking at the programs of our neighbors to
learn from their successes:

Most European countries, including Great Britain, Italy and Spain provide
fiscal and financial incentives for corporate giving.

The Netherlands provide access to funding for companies that comply with
“green investment” policies on environmental issues.

The US offers annual tax benefits for employers who hire disabled, senior
citizens, youth, and veterans. Charities in the US receive tax-deductible
contributions and do not pay property and sales tax.

Allow me to summarize real bottom-line benefits attained by socially
responsible businesses:

[1] Reduced costs, as many initiatives aimed at improving environmental
performance decrease costs

[2] Improved connections with markets, as customers are increasingly basing
purchasing decisions on value-based criteria in addition to traditional
criteria such as price, quality, availability and convenience

[3] Motivated employees, as they are more likely to associate with employers
that share common values. This fosters teamwork and help businesses attain
their strategic goals

[4] Heightened business profile in the community and increased brand
recognition, improved reputation – companies become and viewed as better
and more responsible “corporate citizens”. Being active in the community
can be instrumental in identifying new business opportunities, markets and
strengthen relations with existing customer base.

We look forward to learning from your experience and to hearing about your
initiatives, achievements and challenges.

We also look forward to developing a common agenda, solutions and
recommendations – for the state, businesses and citizens – for all of us who
contribute to and gain from socially responsible environments in our


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

Tony Halpin in Kiev, The Times
London, United Kingdom, Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The President of Ukraine accused Russia yesterday of blocking the
investigation into the plot to assassinate him with poisonous dioxin. Viktor
Yushchenko told The Times that Russia was refusing to cooperate even
after he had raised the issue directly with President Putin.

Asked whether he believed there was state involvement in the attempt to
murder him, Mr Yushchenko replied: “This was not a private act.”

Russia was the only country that had refused to provide Ukrainian
investigators with samples of dioxin produced in its laboratories for
analysis. Its Prosecutor-General had also ignored requests to extradite
Ukrainian suspects who had fled to Russia.

“Three laboratories in the world were producing dioxin of this formula. It
is very easy to determine the origin of the substance; there is nothing
magical about it,” Mr Yushchenko said, his face still bearing scars caused
by the poison.

“Two laboratories provided samples but not the Russian side. This of

course limits the possibilities of the investigation process.”

The President had to fight for his life three years ago after being struck
down at the height of his presidential election campaign against Viktor
Yanukovych in 2004. Mr Putin openly supported Mr Yanukovych, who is
now Ukraine’s Prime Minister, against his pro-Western rival.

Mr Yushchenko was rushed to a clinic in Austria where specialists found
6,000 times the normal amount of dioxin in his body.

He fought on, his face transformed by heavy pockmarks, and was swept to
power in the Orange Revolution after public protests overturned a rigged
election result in favour of Mr Yanukovych.

Mr Yushchenko, 53, said that the official investigation into his poisoning
was almost complete. He added: “The role of all of the individuals that
might be involved in this case is already determined. The investigation
knows who, when, where, which substance was used.

“There are three key people who are now in Russia. Ukraine has filed a
request with the Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office about returning these
people to Ukraine for the investigation.

“I personally talked to the Russian President about it. Unfortunately, there
is no response to this issue whatsoever from the Russian side.”

Asked directly whether Russia was responsible, he replied: “If I respond to
that question, then the investigation will have nothing to do. We need to
question the people who had direct involvement in the case.”

Mr Yushchenko has said that he first felt ill after a dinner with Ihor
Smeshko, then head of Ukraine’s security service, and his deputy Volodymr

The method of poisoning led to speculation about the involvement of the
Kremlin, which was determined to keep Ukraine within Russia’s sphere of
influence by getting Mr Yanukovych into power. Russia denied any role in the

Mr Satsiuk and an assistant fled to Russia after the Orange Revolution. Both
have said that they had nothing to do with poisoning the President, while Mr
Smeshko has insisted that Ukraine’s secret service was not involved.

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

By Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine
The Silski visti (Rural News) #101, in Ukrainian, Sept. 7, 2007
Published by U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), in English
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Ukrainian state must pay back the countryside. Only then the powers

that be can regain the trust of the people. I believe that rural areas will
survive. Ukraine will be able to have a better future initiated by the
rebound of its farming sector.

Ukraine is currently at a special stage of its development. Not everything
goes smoothly, we have our share of the problems. Today, Ukrainians are
setting the course for a better future. We should also form a vision of a
country our children and grandchildren will live in.

We have a unique chance to make Ukraine wealthy and successful country
highly respected by the world. We have everything to revitalize Ukraine, its
people and its spirit.

Ukraine will make it to the community of modern nations if we revitalize its
rural areas in Eastern, Central, Western and Southern Ukraine.

It is an absolute misconception to believe that the rebound in Ukraine can
be reached due to large industrial cities, by raising steel and coal
production. The soul of Ukraine lies in its rural population.
Our enemies tried to devastate and wipe out Ukrainian farmers. Ukrainians
were subdued, imprisoned and deprived of their land. But they survived the
wars, the horrors of Stalin-induced famine, Holodomor, and totalitarian

However, the farmers withstood the misfortunes that came their way in the
past century. They survived in the face of unbearable conditions when it
seemed that their land had been turned into a barren desert by oppressors.
It is only thanks to the rural Ukrainians that we managed to preserve
Ukraine, our traditions and national identity.

Rural Ukraine is a true source of vitality for our nation, and farmers are
true guardians of Ukraine. Farmers, village teachers, doctors and nurses,
veterinaries and culture workers have always been committed to serve their
homeland, despite meager salaries and support from the state. May I thank
you for this, eternal Ukrainian toilers.

For me the village is a familiar thing, as I have learned about it at first
hand, not from the books or films. My parents were village teacher in
Khorunzhivka in the Sumy oblast.

I am well aware of your problems and expectations, I know what it takes to
plant a tree or bring up a child in the village.

Regrettably, we get an impression that the incumbent government has
absolutely forgotten about Ukrainian farmers. It pains me to see the
dropping birth rate and the outflow of  dispirited young villagers to the
cities. They see no future for themselves in the village and try to flee to
cities at any cost.

Regardless of the region, problems of farmers are similar: there’s a lack of
schools and teachers; the program aimed to bus schoolchildren to schools

has failed; hospitals and first-aid centers are closed and those still operating
cannot give either first aid or essential pharmaceuticals to their patients.

The assortment of goods in village stores is miserable. Not every village is
linked by the bus service to its district town. There is no access to the

Ukraine can and must regain the reputation of Europe’s granary. Meanwhile,
the country’s unique asset, black soil, is being used in a criminal way.

The liquidation of socialist kolhosps (collective farms) did not free
farmers or give them any alternative. Now the bulk of them have to sweat for
local or newly-arrived landlords.

Ukraine cannot claim to use modern technologies in its agriculture, be it
small or collective farms, sugar and other processing plants.

Truly sufficient investments, either domestic or foreign, have not been
received. There is no effective and transparent land market that would whet
the interests of investors and, as a result, enable brisk growth.

What we see today is sheer rhetoric on the part of the self-proclaimed
farmers’ defenders who want to maintain the moratorium on the sale of
agricultural lands. As a result of the moratorium, shady schemes are in
operation and land is bought up for peanuts by speculators.

There is no true support on the part of Verkhovna Rada and government for
cooperative movement in rural areas. The state hasn’t made a step toward
farmers in the areas of crediting and supplies of inputs at acceptable

Instead, we witness a bacchanalia around the grain export ban. The
government has not come up with any balanced social policy for the
countryside. It gives me a shame to give the size of farmers’ pensions and
salaries. Even these meager hand-outs are not paid on time.

That is why the farmers are in apathy today, distrusting any political party
and seeing no prospects for themselves.

Therefore, everything standing in the way of Ukraine to modern living
standards accepted in civilized Europe must be discarded without pity.

Ukrainian politicians of all colors and shades must turn their faces to the
village Ukraine. As the president of Ukraine, I will do my best for this to
happen in the course of upcoming developments which, hopefully, will mark

a new page in the country’s history.

Things must be put in order in Ukraine, with clear and rigid accountability
imposed for misdeeds of everyone. The principle whereby the law must be

the same for farmers and lawmakers or ministers, the rule of thumb in any
democracy, will be enforced in Ukraine.

The probability is high that the forthcoming Sept. 30 parliamentary
elections will be the first step to a revamped Ukraine. The elections will
be won by responsible political forces that will do away with political
corruption, arbitrariness and irresponsibility of the present government.

It will be done through abolishing the immunity of lawmakers. The caste of
untouchable, incidentally, was the lowest in India. We will have no castes
in Ukraine.

Verkhovna Rada will  become a hotbed for legislation for the people, with
priority given to farmers. I expect the new Rada to pass the laws in support
of my recent social initiatives.

My initiatives are clear-cut and aimed at invigorating life in rural areas
and giving the hope to Ukrainian farmers. Employees at schools,
kindergartens, hospitals, first-aid centers, libraries and culture clubs
will have their salaries raised by 20 percent.

As a result of my proposals, the bulk of rural pensioners will have their
pensions increased by 35 to 40 percent.

Children is our future. So, large families will receive additional benefits.
Financial assistance ceilings will be raised to 50 percent of the
subsistence level.

Children from large families will get priority in entering state-run
educational establishments, with students from families with over five
children exempted from tuition fees.

Every village first-aid/obstetrical center must have at least one ambulance.
Kindergartens which were closed in some villages must be restarted again.

These and other initiatives are based on detailed calculations and can be
funded from this year’s budget. As president, I have always been of the
opinion that every Ukrainian must feel the benefits of economic growth.
Every man is entitled to have a better life today than he had yesterday, and
a better life tomorrow than he has today.

This is a good guideline for us to have in developing Ukraine, breeding new
talents and champions. This is a top priority for all successive governments
of Ukraine.

Let me assure you that I will not sign the 2008 budget into law until the
needs of farmers are adequately reflected in it.

There are other laws on my agenda. I will insist on fast-track adoption of
the laws regulating land sales issues, stop swindlers and open the way to a
civilized land market.

We must be committed to make farming a prestigious profession which,
based on age-old traditions of Ukrainians, will build up the country’s wealth
and reputation.

The state must repay farmers in a generous and honest way. Only then the
trust of the farmers can be regained.

I am convinced that the rule-of-law will be eventually enforced in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian nation is a nation of shrewd  and balanced people which will
oppose any attempts to divide them.

 Whenever I come to the countryside I see not only the problems, but also
the achievements. I see smiling children and hope in their faces. We really
have a huge amount of work to do  in the villages. Yet, I believe that rural
Ukraine will rebound. Based on this rebound, the whole of Ukraine  will
enter its future.

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

BYuT, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 10, 2007

KYIV – BYuT leader Yulia Tymoshenko today signed a declarative

“Contract with investors.”

The document represents a platform of policy guidelines (contained in its
“Ukrainian Breakthrough” document) which a BYuT government would

pursue to encourage and support domestic and foreign investment, so as to
accelerate Ukraine’s economic development and improve the standard of
living for its citizens in a sustainable manner.

The document underlines BYuT’s support for transparent privatisations,
economic policies and initiatives for investment based on a level playing
field, transparency and open government. It also underlines how a BYuT
government would execute the policies.

Having listened to advice from the international community, the bloc
believes that the prerequisite to developing a favourable investment climate
is the need for good governance and adherence to the rule of law at all

“We believe that the fundamental catalyst for economic development is good
government, the foundation of which is an effective legal framework.

“Our government’s focus will be economically sound and consistent policy
with incentives for investment in and development of Ukraine’s assets,
infrastructure, natural resources and intellectual capital,” said Mrs

The “Contract with investors” lists 33 areas where urgent action is required
if Ukraine is to take its rightful place in the international investment
arena.  These include:

   [1] A change management programme to develop the foundation of
         modern government
   [2] Prerequisite legal stability for sustainable investment
   [3] Fiscal and administrative policies that are supportive of investment
   [4] Land reform to release national assets
   [5] Transparent privatisation
   [6] A comprehensive energy independence programme
   [7] The advancement of trade opportunities via the EU and the WTO
   [8] A professional governmental approach to international trade promotion

 “Our Contract with investors is timely, as today state property is being
sold to allies of the government for sums well below market value. The sale
of stock in Dniproenergo became another example of how this government is
working in the shadows in tandem with business,” said Mrs Tymoshenko.

Tymoshenko was referring to a recent rushed and rather murky share deal in
which a company controlled by Rinat Akhmetov, a businessman close to
Ukraine’s premier, Viktor Yanukovych, received a large stake in the
electricity generating company.

Mrs Tymoshenko will present and sign the “Contract with investors” during
her meeting with business leaders, which will be held today at the Hyatt
Regency Kyiv.

Some 300 business leaders attended the event, many from large well known
firms including representatives of Alico AIG Life, Bosch, Citibank, Danone,
Deloittes, DHL, Honda, IKEA, ING Bank, Kraft Foods, Microsoft, Motorola,
Philip Morris International, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Shell and Siemens along
with those from numerous Embassies and organisations including USAID, IFC,
the World Bank, the European Business Association and the American Chamber
of Commerce.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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On behalf of BYuT, Yulia Tymoshenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 10, 2007

Today Ukraine trails most of its Central European neighbours in economic
development as well as standard of living of its citizens.

Two key investment metrics for growth, foreign direct investment and

foreign trade, also reveal that Ukraine is ill-prepared for the modern global

This is especially concerning in light of Ukraine’s dynamic, well-educated
population, developed industry and wealth of natural resources.

BYuT believes that:
[1] Ukraine must work toward the development of a market-oriented
economy that encompasses the social concerns of an economy and a
people in transition.

[2 The most fundamental catalyst for economic development is good
government, the foundation of which is an effective legal framework.

[3] The government’s focus should be economically sound and consistent
policy with incentives for investment in and development of Ukraine’s
assets, infrastructure, natural resources and intellectual capital.

Working from this foundation, BYuT has established this CONTRACT
WITH INVESTORS as a platform of policy guidelines contained in its
‘Ukrainian Breakthrough’ document.

While all parties will outline an economic policy proposal, the question of
execution always remains.

To resolve this, BYuT will establish and communicate clear and achievable
timelines for implementation, identify the responsible governmental
officials for each element of reform, and create a system of consultation
with the national and international business community on the progress of
reform as it develops.

The goal is to provide economic opportunity to all Ukrainians as part of the
global economy.  While it is vital that Ukraine engages internationally as
never before, it must first begin the process of putting its own affairs in

This ‘Contract’ recognises the support given to Ukraine by the international
community and in particular from the European Business Association and the
American Chamber of Commerce through their many papers on how the
investment environment can be improved.

[I] Good governance is required to create a more favourable investment

To achieve this, BYuT will:
[A] Lead a change-management programme to develop the foundation of
a modern government

Ukraine’s public administration requires a complete overhaul.  This includes
measures to:
[1] Establish transparency and communication as the cornerstones of the
governmental process.

[2] Define in specific terms the role of government officials as they relate
to the economy and establish metrics and accountability for their results.

[3] Upgrade and professionalize the government at all levels through the
adoption of international standards and the training of staff.

[4] Reduce the number of government employees while increasing the
salaries of those who remain committed to serving the public good.

[B] Develop the prerequisite legal stability for sustainable investment

The respect of property rights, the rights of investors and the sanctity of
contracts must be the foundation for the legal framework for economic
development. BYuT will:
[1] Strengthen the powers of the judicial system to curb tax evasion, combat
organised crime and eliminate the shadow economy.

[2] Repeal of the law providing legal immunity for government officials.

[3] Mandate an online legal register of government officials for the
disclosure of salaries and business interests.

[4] Pursue the adoption of the joint stock company law sent to the previous
Rada while ensuring that it conforms to harmonisation efforts with the EU.

[C] Establish fiscal and administrative policies that are supportive of

Roadblocks to development must be removed to achieve broad economic
growth. Specifically, BYuT plans to:
[1] Repeal the Economic Code in conjunction with the launch of an
Inter-Ministerial working group with the authority and accountability for
removing business-economic roadblocks such as contradictory and overlapping
laws, regulations and tax regimes.

[2] Ensure prompt and unbiased reimbursements of VAT; a goal of 60 days will
be set for reimbursement with records of VAT payments and pending disputes
available in an online resource.

[3] Review the viability of the current VAT regime and the current social
tax system; ensure that the systems are comprehensive and in accordance with
EU harmonisation.

[II] Economic development requires good policy and incentives for investment
on a level playing field.

To accelerate economic development, BYuT will:
[A] Enact land reform
The development of Ukraine is being held back due to the lack of available
building land. BYuT proposes to:

[1] Facilitate the development of land markets via improved processes for
titling and registration.

[2] Simplify the process to purchase non-agricultural land for investors.

[3] Streamline rezoning so that agricultural land can be used for

[B] Pursue new privatisation strategy based on transparency and competition

Economic development will be accelerated when the state privatises assets to
legitimate private partners committed to the development of Ukraine. To
accomplish this, BYuT will:

[1] Propose a revised list of companies to be privatised, including a time
schedule for their privatisation.

[2] Ensure that state-owned, regional or other monopolies do not impede new

[C] Seek FDI as part of a comprehensive energy independence programme
Ukraine is a country rich in natural resources but it has underinvested in
the production of those resources, most of which are vital to its
independence and national security.  BYuT plans to:

[1] Pursue a new strategy of increased domestic production of onshore
and offshore oil and gas via incentives programmes for foreign direct

[2] Adopt the international standard of production of sharing agreements
that last 10 to 20 years.

[3] Work with Ukraine’s foreign suppliers, consumers and industrial
end-users to develop a structured transition to market prices.

[4] Seek a diversification of energy supply through continued development
of coal and nuclear resources and construction of new oil and gas pipelines.

[5] Engage in public-private partnerships to develop investment in energy
efficiency programmes and energy saving technologies.

[6] Launch new investment projects aimed at production of synthetic fuels.

[D] Advance trade opportunities via the EU and the WTO
Ukraine must deepen and broaden its trade opportunities on a global basis,
especially with Europe.  BYuT will:

[1] Seek full implementation of all regulatory and legal requirements
associated with WTO accession on a schedule determined by Ukraine
and the WTO.

[2] Create an Inter-Ministerial working group to ensure that Ukraine both
implements and maintains the necessary standards for membership.

[3] Pursue the immediate elimination of all remaining embargoes on grains
and ensure that all future trade policies relative to embargos are in
accordance with WTO standards.

[4] Prioritise negotiations with the EU on a New Enhanced Agreement
with an emphasis on a Deep Free Trade Agreement.

[5] Negotiate the immediate acceptance by Ukraine of all products that
conform to EU standards and limit jurisdiction over import certification
to one single Ukrainian agency.

[6] Accelerate Ukrainian product harmonisation of EU standards and
certification procedures and press for Ukrainian certification to be
recognised on a reciprocal basis.

[E] Develop a professional governmental approach to international trade
Opportunities exist for Ukraine to expand its trade throughout Europe
and the world.  In order to advance this effort, BYuT will:

[1] Optimise all the current agencies into one national investment
promotion agency.

[2] Adopt internationally recognised best practices in trade promotion.

[3] Ensure that all levels of the organisation are properly trained and

These plans we endorse fully.  We look to the national and international
business communities to work with BYuT in this regard.
For further information please contact: Natasha Lysova
Foreign Media spokesperson, BYuT, Kyiv
Tel./Fax: +38 (044) 462 839; Cell.: +38 (067) 323 6040

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

BYuT, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 10, 2007

KYIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko’s party
(BYuT) launched an international, English-language website to communicate
her party’s views on an international basis. is the international BYuT website for information on
the party’s platform, members, news, press releases and activities abroad.

Ms.Tymoshenko announced the launch of the website during her meeting in
Kyiv with domestic and international business leaders, during which she
outlined her economic program designed to encourage investment in Ukraine.

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By Roman Olearchyk in Kiev, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Monday, September 10 2007

This year’s power struggle between Ukraine’s pro-western president and its
premier has left many in Brussels, Washington and Moscow wondering who is in
charge. They are also asking themselves where Kiev sees its interests as
lying – with the west or with its Russian neighbour.

In the confusion, Yulia Tymoshenko, Kiev’s charismatic and uncompromising
Orange Revolution heroine, has systematically positioned herself as likely
to become Ukraine’s true political victor.

With snap parliamentary elections due on September 30, polls show both Ms
Tymoshenko’s BYuT party and President Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party
have a fair chance of mustering the majority support needed to oust premier
Victor Yanukovich’s coalition.

Ms Tymoshenko is widely expected to take a leading role in government. “I
think it is likely she will return as prime minister,” said Vadym Karasiov,
a Kiev-based political analyst.

This would be a bitter-sweet victory for Mr Yushchenko, given Ms
Tymoshenko’s presidential ambitions ahead of a 2009 campaign.

In a Financial Times interview yesterday Ms Tymoshenko, who fiercely opposed
the president when he accepted Mr Yanukovich as premier last summer,
stressed that a rejuvenated Orange team would help solidify Ukraine’s “very
important geo-political role”.

Home to a vast pipeline system that pumps Russian hydrocarbons to Europe,
and with untapped reserves of its own, Ukraine is key to “solving the energy
security and diversification question [for the EU] and a key element in
building a collective European security system”, Ms Tymoshenko said.

Having earned a fortune in Ukraine’s murky natural gas trading business in
the mid-1990s, Ms Tymoshenko has transformed herself into Kiev’s toughest
anti-corruption combatant.

She is now an increasingly popular politician whom many well-connected
Ukrainian tycoons and politicians fear. She yesterday called on Ukraine
businessmen who struck it rich in the 1990s to stay clean in politics and
pay their fair share of taxes.

She said her goal was to prop up Ukraine’s small- and medium-sized
enterprises, to give average citizens a fair chance. This position has
earned her a reputation as a populist and set her on a collision course with
Kiev’s most influential tycoons, among them billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, a
political ally of Mr Yanukovich.

“[They are] clans that have utilised their influence in power to gain access
over and monopolise state assets,” Ms Tymoshenko said, pledging to challenge
a recent debt-for-eqity deal that put a prized stake in a power generator
into Mr Akhmetov’s hands.

She has also pledged to clean up the lucrative but “corrupt” natural gas
trade between Ukraine, Moscow and Turkmenistan.
The word in Kiev is that Ms Tymoshenko’s potential return has Moscow
worried. Like Mr Yushchenko, she favours western integration.

However, analysts say that while she leans towards Europe, she has tempered
her approach towards Moscow. “As prime minister a second time around, she
will act more cautiously than in 2005.

But the cool relations between Kiev and Moscow we have seen under Mr
Yanukovich will not persist. She will play a consolidated [part] as an ally
of Europe in relations with Moscow,” said Mr Karasiov.

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UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, August 16, 2007

KYIV – “Korrespondent” magazine in the frameworks of the TOP
100 annual project named 100 the most influential people of Ukraine.

1.  Viktor Yanukovych, Premier of Ukraine
2.  Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine
3.  Rinat Akhmetov, owner of System Capital Management
4.  Yulia Tymoshenko, opposition BYUT bloc leader
5.  Victor Baloha, president’s chief of staff
6.  Mykola Azarov, first Vice Minister, Finance Minister
7.  Ihor Kolomojsky, member of PrivatBank supervisory board
8.  Viktor Pinchuk, Interpipe Corp. President, patron of arts
9.  Yury Lutsenko, leader of Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense bloc
10. Andry Kliuyev, vice premier for fuel and energy
11. Serhy Taruta, chairman of the Industrial Union of Donbas Corp. board
12. Arseny Yatseniuk, Foreign Minister of Ukraine
13. Hryhory Surkis, head of the Soccer Federation of Ukraine,
      member of UEFA executive council
14. Kostyantyn Zhyvago, head of the Finansy i Kredit industrial/financial
15. Rayisa Bohatyryova, member of the Party of Regions political board
16. Volodymyr Stelmakh, Central Bank of Ukraine Governor
17. Oleksandr Moroz, Socialist party of Ukraine chairman, Speaker of
18. Dmytro Firtash, co-owner of the RosUkrEnergo gas-trading company
19. Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense bloc’s
      political council chairman
20. Borys Kolesnykov, co-owner of the Konti Co., head of the Regions
     election campaign
21. Leonid Chernovetsky, Mayor of Kyiv
22. Vira Ulyanchenko, Kyiv Oblast Governor
23. Kateryna Yushchenko, the First Lady, public person
24. Vitaly Hajduk, President of the Industrial Group consortium,
      co-owner of the Industrial Union of Donbas
25. Yury Boiko, Minister for Fuel and Power Engineering of Ukraine
26. Anatoly Hrytsenko, Defense Minister of Ukraine
27. Petro Symonenko, first Secretary of the Communist party
28. Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, poet, singer, public figure
29. Oleksandr Turchynov, first Deputy Secretary of the National
     Defense and Security Council
30. Petro Poroshenko, co-owner of the UkrPromInvest Corp. Central
      Bank board chairman
31. David Zhavnia, member of People’s Self-Defense
32. Andry Danylko, singer
33. Volodymyr, Patriarch Ukrainian Orthodox church with affiliation to
34. Volodymyr Tsushko, Minister of the Interior
35. Filaret, Patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox church based in Kyiv
36. William Taylor, US Ambassador to Ukraine
37. Oleksandr Medvedko, Prosecutor General
38. Viktor Chernomyrdin, Russia’s Ambassador to Ukraine
39. Tariel Vasadze, owner of the UkrAvto corporation
40. Mykola Tomenko, deputy head of BYUT leader Tymoshenko
41. Valery Khoroshkovsky, co-owner and board chairman of Inter TV
42. Vasyl Khmelnytsky, co-owner of the Kyiv Investment Group
43. Volodymyr Boiko, MP and Illich Steel director
44. Vasyl Horbal, MP and UkrHazBank honorary president
45. Liubomyr Huzar, head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic church
46. Mykola Rudkovsky, Transport and Communications Minister
47. Volodymyr Rybak, vice premier of Ukraine
48. Valentyn Nalyvajchenko, acting head of the State Security Service, SBU
49. Volodymyr Klitchko, world heavyweight boxing champion
50. Vasyl Onopenko, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ukraine
51. Oleh Skrupka, producer, singer
52. Yevhen Chernyak, owner of Hortytsia Co.
53. Petro Yushchenko, MP
54. Ivan Pliushch, Secretary of the National Defense and Security Council
55. Josif Vinsky, deputy head of Batkivshchyna party
56. Valentyna Semeniuk, head of State Property Fund
57. Adam Martyniuk, deputy Speaker, deputy head of the Communist party
58. Lakshmi Mittal, owner of KryvorizhSteel, head of Arcelor Mittal board
      of directors
59. Oleksandr Lavrynovych, Justice Minister of Ukraine
60. Oleksandr Kuzmuk, Vice Premier of Ukraine
61. Oleksandr Yaroslavsky, honorary President of UkrSibBank
62. Vitaly Klychko, former world boxing champion, leader of the
      Klitchko bloc in Kyiv city council
63. Ivan Vasiunyk, first deputy head of presidential administration
64. Volodymyr Shapoval, head of Central Election Commission
65. Yury Andrukhovych, writer
66. Yakov Dov Blikh, Chief Rabbi of Ukraine
67. Andry Okhlopkov, chairman of Soyuz-Viktan supervisory board
68. Serhy Levochkin, head of the premier’s apparat
69. Andry Shevchenko, soccer player
70. Dmytro Tabachnyk, Vice Premier
71. Stanislav Nykolayenko, Minister of Education
72. Mykola Katerynchuk, leader of European Platform for Ukraine
     civic movement
73. Roman Lunin, head of supervisory board and owner of Retail Group
74. Viktor Pynzenyk, leader of Reforms and Order party
75. Lev Prkhaladze, XXI Century Co. board of directors chairman
76. Volodymyr Kostelman, president of Fozzy Group
77. Vadym Novynsky, Smart Group owner
78. Mykola Yankovsky, honorary president of Styrol Co. board
79. Bohdan Hubsky, MP
80. Serhy Buryak, MP
81. Ihor Surkis, president of Dynamo soccer club
82. Oleksandr Tretyakov, MP
83. Oleh Blokhin, national soccer team coach
84. Mykhailo Brodsky, Kyiv city council deputy
85. Bohdan Stupka, actor and producer
86. Olena Franchuk, founder and head of AntiAIDS foundation
87. Savik Shuster, TV journalist and anchor
88. Natalia Vitrenko, head of the Progressive Socialist party
89. Svyatoslav Piskun, former Prosecutor General, MP
90. Petro Olijnyk, Lviv Oblast Governor
91. Myroslav Popovych, director of Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy
92. Oleksandr Rodnyansky, co-owner of 1+1 TV channel
93. Hennady Boholiubov, member of PrivatBank supervisory board
94. Ilya Yemets, director of the cardiology center for children
95. Maryna and Serhy Dyachenkos, writers
96. Oleksy Kostusev, head of Ukraine’s anti-monopoly committee
97. Vyacheslav Briukhovetsky, honorary president of Kyiv Mohyla
98. Andry Ivanov, president of Kyiv Investment Group
99. Volodymyr Lytvyn, head of the People’s party of Ukraine
100. Konstantin Zatulin, deputy of Russia’s parliament.

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

COMMENTARY: By Serhiy Kudelia, SAIS/Johns Hopkins University
Novynar, Ukrainian newsmagazine No. 3, Monday, September 10, 2007
Published by Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #866, Article 8, in English
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 12, 2007

National politics in Ukraine operates similarly to mass culture. It tries to
adapt to the prevalent societal moods instead of offering a radically
different vision of the world.

But traditional recipes for making a bestseller or a blockbuster do not
always guarantee a success to political projects. Society can sometimes
choose to throw itself into the hands of a rebel. Just two examples from
recent history suffice.

When the entire American political elite in late 1970s discussed ways of
coexistence with the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan asserted that the “evil
empire” should only be defeated. When the Kremlin leadership in late 1980s
tried to reform the USSR, Boris Yeltsin proposed its de facto dissolution.

The two leaders are protagonists of a new book “The Strategy of Campaigning:
Lessons from Ronald Reagan and Boris Yeltsin” (University of Michigan Press)
which I co-authored with professors Kiron Skinner (Carnegie Mellon), Bruce
Bueno De Mesquita (NYU) and Condoleezza Rice (Stanford).

Reagan and Yeltsin were walking towards the same goal albeit by different
roads. One rose from Hollywood film studios and governorship of the “golden
state.” Another one went through Siberian construction sites and the
chairmanship of Sverdlovsk communist party committee.

However, the mission that Reagan had started in 1980 Yeltsin accomplished in
1991. They managed to change the course of history because, while refuting
political mainstream, they thought and acted strategically.

Politicians often expect to win by guessing societal moods and catering
their speeches to the preferences of a median voter.

Therefore, in Ukraine we often hear election promises to “improve life
immediately” or create an “ideal country.” Another approach, suggested by
Reagan and Yeltsin, is to transform political discourse and offer a
radically different solution to the country’s problems.

This is a risky strategy since unconventional solutions may alienate voters.
However, it becomes especially effective in crisis situations, when
traditional solutions and slogans already exhausted themselves. Reagan and
Yeltsin won exactly under such conditions. So, what political rules does
their winning election strategy uncover?
1) Do not run on issues, which your opponents can emulate.
By ignoring this rule Ukrainian politicians turned the current election
campaign into an auction of social promises in which they debate a single
question: “Who can offer more (in pensions, stipends, and maternal

Another example – when Yushchenko’s bloc tried to turn the promise of
repealing the deputies’ immunity as their signature issue, its opponents
immediately started advocating the very same policy.

As a result, this issue became an election farce. After all, current
political elite in Ukraine enjoys its “sweet life” and de facto immunity not
because of some legalized perks, but by gaining super-profits from its
business and exploiting extreme corruption of the country’s law-enforcement
and judiciary.

Strategic politician proposes such solutions, which the opponent cannot
easily advocate or reject without substantial electoral losses. Fighting
privileges helped Yeltsin to win over liberal Moscow, which earlier
supported Gorbachev, because the Soviet General Secretary could not

embrace this issue.

After all, the very existence of special hospitals, special shops, special
sanatoriums and other nomenklatura privileges helped Gorbachev to control
the party apparatus.

Later, Yeltsin’s support for independence of Russia, which Gorbachev again
distanced from, further split the rank-and-file communists. Similarly,
Reagan’s tough line vis-à-vis Moscow divided Democratic voters delivering
him the votes of the party’s hawkish wing.

So, the strategic mastery of politicians lies in selecting such ideas, which
can disarm their opponents and take away their voters.
2) Build campaign on combining dissimilar issues.
Campaign slogans of Ukrainian politicians not only represent mutual
plagiarisms, but also sound like on old and scratchy tape. How mane times
have we heard promises to fight corruption and cleanse government from
business interests? So, the pre-election menu of all political forces in
Ukraine consists of traditional aged dishes, which are all served

However, as examples of Reagan and Yeltsin show, fresh radical ideas, when
combined, could acquire novel meaning. And then they suddenly become
acceptable to a wider audience.

In 1980 Ronald Reagan promoted radical tax cuts while simultaneously
advocating higher military expenditures. When offered separately, these
ideas had marginal support. Their creative combination, proposed by Reagan,
promised Americans economic and military security, which they lacked in the
late 1970s.

In 1991 Yeltsin advocated radical market reforms with simultaneous
sovereignty for Russia. Under different circumstances the idea of a
metropolis seceding from the empire would sound absurd. However, for
Russians then it sounded like the best recipe for ending the deep economic

Such a creative combination of different, at times even contradictory issues
allows a strategic politician to structure the political debate in the most
beneficial way. It also makes it possible to appeal to voters with different
political tastes.
3) Form a winning coalition out of voters with dissimilar preferences.
The slogan “East and West of Ukraine together!” was implemented only once

in 1999, when majority both in Lviv and Donetsk voted for President Kuchma.

This election result, however, was largely due to the tinkering with votes
rather than any election strategy. Today all the main Ukrainian politicians
stick to their regional bases making no attempt gain the support of voters
from behind the political divide.

Strategic politicians unite voters of different political persuasions. How
could a voter in Donbas support the politician, who advocates NATO
membership? Or how could a voter from the Western Ukraine support

someone who favors raising the status of the Russian language?

In the same way as Russian national-communists once voted for a democratic
candidate Boris Yeltsin, or American blue-collar democrats – for the
conservative candidate Ronald Reagan. Strategic politician offers voters
from the opposite camp something very important to them, which their
traditional leaders are unable to propose.

At the same time such a politician explains why, in order to achieve this
higher goal, they need to accept another, often unpopular, policy. As a
result, such an approach radically changes the substance of the political
debate and divides the opponent’s coalition bringing some of the voters to
an opposite camp.

So, strategic politicians do not adapt to a changing world. They are not
even looking for ways to improve it. Rather, they create an entirely
different political reality, where there is space only for their own
political victory. Ukrainian politicians can still try it for themselves.
Most important is to muster the courage to dare.

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

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Dr. Volodymyr Hrytsutenko
Professor, Ivan Franko University, Lviv, Ukraine
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #866, Article 9
Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 12, 2007

One can often watch kids play the game of aping: when one of the two says

or asks something and the other just keeps repeating the words addressed to

At first, it makes fun, and both enjoy such exchange. But then it provokes
irritation on the part of the one who generates phrases. Typically, the game
breaks, leading to a quarrel between the kids.

Something of the sort has been going in Ukrainian politics since the start
of 2005 when Viktor Yanukovych was denied his presidency after the Supreme
Court suspended the fraudulent Round 2 vote masterminded by his party, the
Regions of Ukraine, making it possible for Viktor Yushchenko to win in

Round 3.

In January of 2005, the Regions, hopeful of overturning the final vote tally
in the same way, decided to distance from Yanukovych’s godfather Leonid
Kuchma and came up with a statement that created huge ripples in the
political pond: of all the things imaginable, Yanukovych claimed that he was
the true opposition, while Yushchenko and Our Ukraine were Kuchma’s


At that time few took the statement seriously, more as a weak snap of the
underdog, with the full meaning of the statement lost in the tumult
following the Orange win.

That such aping tactics were not incidental has been proved since then by
many more similar occurrences. Let’s have a look at some:

1.  Abolishing privileges for lawmakers.
Making it a battle cry for their 2007 campaign, the Our Ukraine – People’s
Self-Defense bloc has come up with the idea of abolishing the untouchable
status of Ukrainian lawmakers which exempted them from criminal
prosecution and awarded lavish salaries and benefits.

The Regions and their coalition partners’ reaction was surprisingly quick:
in a couple of days they declared their readiness to abolish deputy
immunity – but in an ad hoc session of Verkhovna Rada. Moreover, they
offered to add to the black list the president and high-level officials.

But half-way into the election campaign, OU-PS were reluctant to lose the
initiative. Besides, by rejecting the proposal to reconvene the dissolved
Rada, the Orangists avoided the trap (set by Speaker Moroz) of rendering the
legislature legal by showing up.

Unruffled, the Yanukovych coalition on Sept. 6 reconvened in force in the
Rada and abolished the immunity and some privileges. Accusations against the
Orange forces of feet-dragging and hypocrisy will follow soon.

Have the Regions really taken the wind out of the Orange campaign? I doubt
it very much – not amid comments from political experts and the press that
sneered at the clumsy move by the Regions. Even ordinary Ukrainians were
able to see through this campaign trick by the Regions.
2.  The “Ukrainian Breakthrough” saga.
The Yanukovych campaign staffers have resorted to the aping technique once
again. This time it was aimed against the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc, BYUT.

As soon as BYUT started to hype its agenda titled “The Ukrainian
Breakthrough,” the Regions came up with the book by Economy Minister

Anatoly Kinakh written and published by him in 2004 under the same title,
decrying copyright infringement.

Whether the cliche itself has any subject matter to be classed as plagiarism
is open to question. Especially so, after a person went on the Internet
claiming identical title of his own publication written much earlier.
3.  Carrots for the young.
Aping of ideas has reached its climax in the race to win young voters. Pres
Yushchenko was the first to promise benefits to families for newborns.

In their typical way the Regions got the upper hand by promising much higher
benefits for newborns and subsidies that will be paid to children till they
come of age. Moreover, the Regions didn’t stop here – they pledged free
housing to young professionals!

Again I may refer you to the public opinion showing that Ukrainians could
see through such campaign tactics of Viktor Yanukovych. Experts who
calculated the cost of Regions’ proposals were stumped as the total
amounted to a quarter of the country’s budget!

Put into the context of earlier aping moves by the Regions, the promises of
staggering benefits to the young can hardly earn them any election points.

The aping tactics have definitely contributed to Regions dwindling
popularity and indicate a certain lack of flexibility of the Regions’
campaign strategy.

Although the Regions hired a team of US spin doctors to help win  the
election race, their approval ratings dropped from 32 percent in 2006 to 28
percent, while the opposition scored higher ratings.

There’s one thing which can explain the drop – Ukrainians have become much
better informed and shrewder interpreters of the unfolding political show.

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

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #866, Article 10
Washington, D.C., Wedneday, September 12, 2007
WASHINGTON – F. Stephen Larrabee, who holds the Corporate
Chair in European Security at the RAND Corporation in Washington,
D.C. has written a journal article “Ukraine at the Crossroads” which
was recently published in The Washington Quarterly.
“Ukraine At The Crossroads”
F. Stephen Larrabee, Corporate Chair in European Security
Rand Corporation, Washington, D.C.
The Washington Quarterly, vol.30, no.4
Washington, D.C., Autumn 2007, pp.45-61
The major chapter headings are:
The Collapse of the Orange Coalition
The NATO Card; The EU and European Integration
Relations with Russia
     The Energy Weapon; The Black Sea Fleet; The Crimea Card
Charting a Course for the Black Sea Region
Yushchenko’s Electoral Gamble; The U.S. Policy Agenda
One can read the entire article at the following link:
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.
By Anders Aslund, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for Int Economics
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 12, 2007
WASHINGTON – Cambridge University Press has just published a
new book by Anders Aslund entitled “How Capitalism Was Built: The
Transformation of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia.”

Anders is a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International
Economics in Washington and has served as a Senior Advisor to the
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) for many years. The USUBC
congratulates Anders on the publication of his important new book.

“How Capitalism Was Built” tells the story of how the former communist
countries in East and Central Europe, Russia, and Central Asia became
market economies from 1989 to 2006.

It discusses preconditions, political breakthroughs, and alternative reform
programs. Three major chapters deal with the deregulation of prices and
trade, price stabilization, and privatization. Early radical reform made
output decline the least. Social developments have been perplexing but

The building of democracy and the establishment of the rule of law have
been far less successful. International assistance has been limited but
helpful. This region has now become highly dynamic, but corruption
remains problematic.

FRONTMATTER FROM THE BOOK: Anders Aslund is known for
making bold predictions that initially arouse controversy but become
common wisdom a few years later. He foresaw the collapse of the
Soviet Union in his book Gorbachev’s Struggle for Economic Reform

He depicted the success of Russia’s market transformation in How Russia
Became a Market Economy (1995), when others saw little but chaos.

After Russia’s financial crisis of 1998, Aslund insisted that Russia had no
choice but to adjust to the world market (Building Capitalism, 2002),
although most observers declared the market economic experiment a

    [1] Why did Russia not choose Chinese gradual reforms?
    [2] Why are the former Soviet countries growing much faster
          than the Central European economies?
    [3] How did the oligarchs arise?
    [4] Where are the postcommunist countries heading?

These are just some of the questions answered in his new book, How
Capitalism Was Built, which tells the story of how all but three of
twenty-one former communist countries were transformed into market
economies from 1989 to 2007, but less than half of them became

Anybody who wants to understand the often confusing dramas unfolding
in the region and to obtain an early insight into the future will find this
book useful and intellectually stimulating.

Anders Aslund is a leading specialist on postcommunist economic
transformation with more than 30 years of experience in the field.

The author of seven books, he has also worked as an economic advisor
to the Russian government, to the Ukrainian government, and to the
president of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Dr. Aslund joined the Peterson Institute for International Economics in
Washington, D.C., in January 2006. Before that he was the Director of
the Russian and Eurasian Program at the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace. He teaches at Georgetown University.

He was born in Sweden and served as a Swedish diplomat. He earned
his PhD from Oxford University.
Introduction: a world transformed; 1. Communism and its demise;
2. Shock therapy vs. gradualism; 3. Output: slump and recovery;
4. Liberalization: the creation of a market economy; 5. From
hyperinflation to financial stability; 6. Privatization: the establishment
of private property rights; 7. An inefficient social system; 8. Democracy
vs. authoritarianism; 9. From crime toward law; 10. The role of oligarchs;
11. The role of international assistance; 12. Conclusions: a world

The Transformation of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia
By Anders Aslund, Peterson Institute for International Economics
Paperback: (ISBN-13: 9780521683821), 384 pages
Also available in Hardback
Published August 2007, In stock; $25.99 (Z)

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

By Kataryna Wolczuk, Deputy-Director
Centre for Russian and East European Studies (CREES)
European Research Working Paper Series No. 18
European Research Institute (ERI), University of Birmingham, UK
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #866, Article 13
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Many observers in Ukraine and outside believed that the European Union (EU)
could not continue to decline Ukraine’s membership aspirations after its
demonstration of support for democratic values during the tumultuous days of
the Orange Revolution.

They believed that the ‘Hour of Europe’ in Ukraine would be reciprocated by
an ‘Hour of Ukraine’ in Europe. No doubt, the Orange Revolution raised
Ukraine’s profile in European media and public opinion. But this has not led
to the symbolic breakthrough in relations that had been hoped for in

The EU stoutly resisted opening the ‘membership question’ and insisted on
conducting relations in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy.

In particular, it insisted on proceeding with the adoption and
implementation of the Action Plan, which had been already finalised by
September 2004, that is still under Kuchma’s presidency, on the grounds that
it was a suitable ‘domestic homework’ for any government.

Having expressed reservations about the suitability of the Action Plan
negotiated under Kuchma, the new Ukrainian leadership reluctantly agreed to
sign it in February 2005. The Action Plan (AP) consists of a long list of
objectives that Ukraine needs to meet in order to benefit from closer
integration with the EU.

Despite the lingering disappointment with the European Neighbourhood
Policy (ENP), the new authorities accepted it as a temporary, rather than
final, framework for relations.

What impact has the AP had on domestic change in Ukraine?

For any state, European integration is a complex and long drawn-out process
involving virtually all parts of the state.

The enactment of EU-defined reform agenda requires not only consistent,
visible commitment and support from the highest state authorities, but it
needs to be institutionalised in an effective coordinating framework and
accompanied by the development of considerable administrative capacity.

This is necessary for the application of EU law and in practice has some
bearing on almost every aspect of public policy-making and implementation.

The ENP has resulted in some significant changes to the pre-2005 (i.e.
pre-orange and ENP) period but the type of impact differs significantly from
that observed in the accession countries.

Despite the Ukrainian political elites’ endorsement of Ukraine’s
participation in the ENP, the policy has failed to ‘focus the minds’ and
‘lengthen the time horizons’ of the political class in Ukraine, unlike the
process of enlargement in East-Central Europe.

This is not only due to the inherent vagueness of incentives and objectives
of the ENP but also by domestic factors, most importantly, the political
instability which ensued in the aftermath of the Orange Revolution resulting
from intense competition amongst the political elites against the backdrop
of the breakdown of the constitutional order.

Due to the interplay of the external and domestic factors, no political
leadership on European matters emerged in Ukraine under the ENP. While the
successive governments, regardless of political provenance, endorsed the
Action Plan (AP), they failed to establish a stable and effective
institutional framework to coordinate European matters – a pre-condition for
effective integration with the EU.

With the mere acquiescence of the political class, the implementation of the
AP has been left to the discretion of middle-level bureaucrats, who have
responded to EU conditionality most consistently.

These emergent bureaucratic enclaves have been seeking to implement reforms
under the banner of European integration and to that effect have even tried
to exert pressure on the political class to act in line with the EU-defined
reform agenda.

The AP has resulted in the selective empowerment of those sections of the
state apparatus with responsibility, stakes and expertise in European

However, without any strong political will or an effective coordinating
mechanism, progress has largely been down to the efforts of individuals
within key ministries, operating without a clear set of priorities,
sequencing of actions, planning, monitoring, and adequate resources.

In this context, this intra-bureaucracy mobilisation has delivered uneven
and limited results. In many respects, with the focus on ‘action’ rather
than ‘results’ in Ukraine, the AP delivered few tangible results.

However, even if the actual scale of change directly resulting from the
implementation of the AP has been limited, it has been the very first time
that the EU has stepped in to promote any kind of domestic change and
which has been responded to by at least some domestic actors.

And it is the coinciding of the launch of the European Neighbourhood Policy
with the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, which accounts for a fundamental
shift in Ukraine’s policy towards the EU.

Until 2004, relations with the EU were largely perceived as a foreign policy
domain and remained inconsequential for domestic politics and policy-making.
Since 2005 ‘European integration’ became a matter of domestic policy-making.

Yet so far the EU had an ‘unlocking’ but not a transformative effect in the
case of Ukraine. This is more than before but not enough for ‘Europe’ to
make a real difference in Ukraine yet.
NOTE: The full version of the paper is available from the website of the
European Research Institute, University of Birmingham, UK:
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 12, 2007

WASHINGTON – Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko has presented
state awards to the President of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council
(USUBC), Morgan Williams, and to the Founder and President of the U.S.
-Ukraine Foundation (USUF), Nadia Komarnyckyj McConnell. USUF is a
member of the USUBC.

Williams is Director of Government Affairs, Washington office, for the
SigmaBleyzer Emerging Markets Private Equity Group and is serving as
President of the USUBC.

President Victor Yushchenko announced a series of state awards on
Independence Day to those who made a contribution to Ukraine’s
development. Yushchenko stated the awards were to those, “who have
served the Ukrainian state most loyally. I thank them for their professional
and creative efforts.”

The Decree of the President of Ukraine # 739/2007 in part states the
following: “On awarding state decorations of Ukraine to foreign citizens
for distinguished personal contributions in strengthening the image of
Ukraine in the world, spreading the word about Ukraine’s historical and
present-day achievements and on the occasion of the 16th anniversary of
Ukraine’s independence, I hereby resolve:

“To award the Distinguished Services Order (3rd degree) to: Morgan
Williams, Chairman, the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, a U.S. citizen..,

“To award the Countess Olha Order (3rd degree) to: Nadya Komarnyckyj
McConnell, President of the US-Ukraine Foundation, a U.S. citizen…..”

The president “Wished the awardees success and expressed hopes they
would continue to use their intellect to benefit Ukraine.”

The order “For the Distinguished Services” is awarded for distinguished
services in the economy, science, social, cultural, military, state, civil
and other sectors. The 3rd degree is reserved specially for decorating
foreigners” – the official document on state orders states.
Nadia Komarnyckyj McConnell is the Founder and the President of the
U.S.-Ukraine Foundation. Through her vision and leadership the Foundation
established a presence in Ukraine even before Ukrainian independence.

Today Mrs. McConnell directs the development and implementation of
projects, and represents the Foundation in all related U.S.- Ukrainian

Prior to establishing the Foundation, she was the president of NKM
Associates, a government relations and public affairs firm. While in the
private sector Mrs. McConnell was involved in numerous activities related
to Ukraine.

She established and chaired Ukraine 2000 a Washington-based organization
that played an active role in educating the American administration and
Congress regarding Ukraine and urged stronger relations between the Untied
States and Ukraine.

In 1990 she developed a partnership with Indiana University and through that
partnership was able to convince the US government to fund the first ever
delegation to the United States of officials from a specific republic of the
Soviet Union, Ukraine.

That first delegation of the Ukrainian parliamentarians visited Indiana and
Washington in April, 1991. She has also held several positions in the United
States government during the Reagan Administration, including Director of
Congressional Relations for the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) and Deputy Assistant Administrator for Legislative Affairs for the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (1983 – 1987).

At NASA among other things she was credited as being one of the key
architects for the development of and implementation of the administration’s
strategy to secure congressional authorization of an American space station.

While serving in the Administration, she served in a voluntary leadership
capacity in community efforts to secure passage of legislation to establish
the Ukrainian Famine Commission, to gain congressional recognition of the
Chornobyl disaster and she was a National Chair of the Government Relations
Committee of the Millennium of Christianity in Ukraine effort in the United

In the private sector, Mrs. McConnell was the Government Relations and
Public Affairs Director for the Arizona Multi-Housing Association, Director
of Training for the Hecht Company, and Director of Human Resources for
Arcoa Int’l.

She has spent her 40 year professional career, 10 of it in government
service, using her entrepreneurial and executive skills to design and manage
programs and organizations with emphasis on strategic policy development.
Mrs. McConnell holds a BA in political science from Arizona State

She has received a number of awards for her community service, an Alumni
Achievement Award from Arizona State University and several meritorious
citations for her accomplishments in the government. In 2005, Nadia
McConnell was named by President George W. Bush as part of the U.S.
delegation to attend the inauguration of Ukraine’s president, Viktor
Yushchenko. This is the second award she has received from a president
of Ukraine.

USUF manages a suite of offices in downtown Washington which includes
the office of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council and the U.S.Baltic
Morgan Williams has worked in the field of international economic and
business development for the past twenty-six years. He became involved
with Ukraine in the 1992 when he began working on food system develop-
ment projects in Russia and Ukraine as CNFA Senior Advisor in

CNFA worked on a variety of private sector food system business develop-
ment projects with private U.S. agricultural and food companies in Russia
and Ukraine under a large contract with the U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID).

From 1997 to 1999 Willams was President/CEO of a private agricultural
input finance company headquartered in Kyiv, Ukraine.

For the past several years Mr. Williams has been working for the
SigmaBleyzer Emerging Markets Private Equity Group. He is now
Director, Government Affairs, Washington Office for SigmaBleyzer.

SigmaBleyzer was founded in 1991 by Michael Bleyzer and has over
$1 billion under management in several private equity investment funds
and special purpose vehicles (SPV’s). SigmaBleyzer specializes in
emerging markets with focus on the transition economies of Eastern
Europe (EE) and the Former Soviet Union (FSU).

SigmaBleyzer has been an active member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business
Council (USUBC) in Washington and has supported a program to
expand the membership and work of the USUBC. Mr. Williams
represents SigmaBleyzer on USUBC board of directors and is
presently serving as President.  The membership of USUBC has
doubled in the last nine months.

Williams is founder, publisher and editor of the Action Ukraine Report
(AUR), an electronic news and information service that has been
distributed worldwide for the past five years.

He is founder and trustee of the Holodomor Exhibition and Education
Collection composed of original artworks by Ukrainian artists about
the Soviet induced starvation of 1932-1933 which murdered millions
of Ukrainians.

He serves as a member of President Yushchenko’s Committee for the
75th Commemoration of the Holodomor 2007-2008 and as chairman of
the Exhibition Committee of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC)
International Holodomor Committee.

Williams is Trustee of the Dr. James Mace Holodomor Memorial Fund
administered by the Ukrainian Federation of America (UFA) and is
an Advisor to the Board of Directors of USUF. In 2000 he founded the

Morgan Williams came to Washington in 1977 to serve as a Professional
Staff Member of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee for the ranking
Republican on the Committee, Senator Bob Dole (R-Kan).

He had spent the previous 15 years working in the private and public
sector in his homestate of Kansas. His family immigrated from Wales in
the late 1860’s and settled in Iowa and Missouri working as farmers and
coal miners.

He received an appointment in 1968 from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
Clifford Hardin to serve as Kansas State Director of the Farmers Home
Administration (FmHA), the major rural and agricultural development
agency of the USDA. Williams was FmHA State Director for 8 years.

In 1979 Williams was the Midwest Director of the Dole for President
Committee, Des Moines, Iowa. In 1980 he served on the personal staff
of Senator Dole in Washington. During Senator Dole’s 1987-1988
campaign for President Williams was Executive Director of the National
Ranchers and Farmers for Dole Committee (RFD).

In late 1980 he started his international work as president of a cooperative
development organization in Washington that designed and implemented
food system  expansion projects in countries such as India, Haiti,
Indonesia, and Egypt.

He represented the United States on the board of the International
Cooperative Alliance (ICA) in Geneva, Switzerland and served on the
board of directors of the National Cooperative Bank (NCB), the
Cooperative Housing Foundation (CHF) and the Volunteers in Overseas
Cooperative Assistance (VOCA) in Washington.

Williams was appointed by USAID Administrator Peter McPherson
as chairman of the USAID Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign
Aid (ACVFA) in 1982. He served for four years.

Williams holds a BA degree from Ottawa University, Ottawa, Kansas
and a MA degree in economics from the University of Kansas.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

UKRINFORM, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 10, 2007

KYIV – An exhibition devoted to the 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine is
opening Monday in Jerusalem, JewishNews reported.

The exhibition, which is the first such event in Israel, is the part of the
program of the International Charitable Fund of Aleksandr Feldman,

people’s deputy of the fifth convocation, president of the Association of
National-Cultural Unions of Ukraine and president of the Jewish Foundation
of Ukraine.

The exhibited documents have been mainly found in the archives of the

former KGB. The exposition was arranged by the National Institute of
Memory of Ukraine, which representatives, together with Feldman will
present the exhibition in Israel.

The exhibition has already aroused interests in Israel. Head of the Israel –
Ukraine parliamentary assembly, Knesset member Michael Nudelman

believes that exhibition in Jerusalem will allow thousands of Israelis to
learn the truth about true reasons of Holodomor and those responsible
for it. The exhibition will last for 15 days.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

UWC International Holodomor Coordinating Committee (UWC IHC)
75th Commemoration of the Ukrainian Genocide 1932-1933.
Toronto, Canada, Monday, September 10, 2007

TORONTO – Recent meetings in Kyiv initiated by the Ukrainian World

Congress with Church leaders has resulted in a commitment from leaders to
support the UWC International Holodomor Coordinating Committee (UWC
IHC) plans for International engagement of Churches in the 75th Anniversary
Commemorations of the Holodomor.

UWC President Askold Lozynskyj and UWC IHC Chairman Stefan Romaniw

met with Patriarch Lubomyr Huzar (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church UGCC)
on Sunday August  26, 2007 and Patriarch Filaret Ukrainian Orthodox Church
– Kyivskij Patriarchate on  Monday 27, 2007 to outline UWC IHC plans and
explain the Memorandum of Understanding and Action Plan signed between
Secretariat of the President of Ukraine , Institute Pamyat and UWC IHC
Members .

UWC delegation also included Victor Pedenko General Secretary, UWC

Directors Bohdan Fedorak, Stefan Kekash, and Michael Sawkiw.

The Church leaders were requested to communicate with their Church
hierarchies and Parishes in Ukraine and internationally to raise awareness
about the 75 Anniversary and raise the consciousness of church leadership
and parishioners.  They were also invited to provide a representative to
join the UWC IHC.

The outcomes of the meetings were positive, both Patriarchs fully supporting
the proposals and also recommending that the Council of Churches in Ukraine
be engaged in this process. An official letter has now been sent to the
Council seeking its full commitment.

These decisions   also give our Church hierarchies throughout the world to
make contact with their relevant Council of Churches and engage them in the
Commemoration and the raising awareness of the Holodomor issues through

the world.

The UWC IHC will shortly issue further guidelines for UWC members to make
contact with their Church leaderships international to seek cooperation on a
local level.

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

UWC International Holodomor Coordinating Committee (UWC IHC)
75th Commemoration of the Ukrainian Genocide 1932-1933.
Toronto, Canada, Monday, September 10, 2007

KYIV – The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has opened its files on one of
the most atrocious acts against mankind the Famine – Genocide

The Head of the SBU Valentyn  Nalyvaichenko and his workers have compiled
and an Exhibition – Rozsekretchena Pamyat – Unclassified Memory. The
Exhibition has been traveling around Ukraine.

On Monday 27 August 2007 in Kyiv the book Rozsekretchena Pamyat –
Unclassified Memory was launched .The book includes detailed information
about the documents and files which expose the planned and callous decisions
of Stalin and his communist regime.

The launch attended by leaders, academics from Ukraine, members of Ukrainian
World Congress International Holodomor Coordination Committee (UWC IHC)

and media was a very successful event.

Mr Nalyvaichenko stressed that documents such as the ones presented in the
exhibition and book exposed the Stalinist regime.

A detailed report of the launch can be found at:

A number of speakers highlighted various aspects of the Holodomor. UWC

 IHC Chairman Stefan Romaniw [Australia] presented the work and plans of
the UWC IHC and its relationship with SBU and Mr  Nalyvaichenko. There
has been cooperation on a range of matters related to the Commemoration
of the 75th Anniversary of the Famine [Holodomor].

In a meeting in March this year Mr Nalyvaichenko and UWC IHC cooperatation
in relation to the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Famine .

“The Head of SBU said then we will work and deliver and today this happened
.Mr Nalyvaichenko’ and SBU should be congratulated for their work in
unclassifying documents previously hidden as they exposed the planned
approach of the Stalin Regime ” Mr Romaniw said

“We now call on a strong campaign by the SBU to demand the return of other
documents related to the time that have found their way to Moscow. We
understand the SBU has commenced this process.  “Mr Romaniw said

Participants at the launch we presented with the UWC IHC Strategic Plan
which has various levels, all relying heavily on having the facts. The SBU
move has assisted this process.

Ukraine’s Institute of Pamyat together with the UWC IHC will conduct a
series of consultations to obtain oral histories. Those that have already
conducted these interviews will be requested to provide these details to
assist in forming and National Register of Memory of those who   lived
through the Famine.

The UWC IHC continues to maintain pressure to have the Memorial

Complex in Kyiv constructed and strengthening the campaign to have the
Genocide Resolution in the UN supported by the Euro Parliament and
other Parliaments around the world .The opening of the SBU archives
strengthens the overall position.

Other UWC IHC members presented papers at the launch:
[1] Judge Bohdan Futey presented the US Commission’s finding

on the Holodomor,
[2] Bohdan Fedorak spoke of the activities in the Diaspora in the years
prior independence,
[3] Wolodymyr Kosyk outlined some aspects of the Famine and the
importance of keeping the issue at the forefront internationally.
[4] UWC IHC partners in our Memorandum with the President’s Secretariat,
Ukraine’s Institute of Pamyat Ihor Yuchnowsky  outlined the planned work
of documenting oral histories, developing Atlas of the Famine.
[5] UWC President Askold Lozynskyj spoke about the articulation of the
real figures that’s tragedy had on Ukraine population.

V. Nalyvaichenko deserves strong support for his courageous step.

SBU Exhibition can be viewed on the following website:
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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ANALYSIS: By Viktoriya SIUMAR, Institute of Mass Information
Mirror Weekly #33 (662), Kyiv, Ukraine, 8-14 September 2007

It is difficult to write about the Gongadze case. It is difficult to admit
the helplessness of journalists, law enforcement, political leaders, and the
rest of society.

It has been seven years since Georgiy Gongadze left us – seven years of
promises in response to demands, and his children still have no chance to
see that there is punishment for evil in this world.

On one hand, these seven years have not erased from our memory three

shocks: the shock of the news about Gongadze’s disappearance, the
shock of the headless body that allegedly belonged to him, and the shock
of the Melnychenko tapes.

On the other hand, very regrettably, public interest in this issue has
subsided: the mass media give it scarce coverage and very few of them raise
the question: who ordered the murder?

The Gongadze case has more than a hundred volumes that shed some light on
how Gongadze was killed and by whom but give no clue to that yet unanswered

There have been countless political statements, and as many times the
Gongadze case has become hostage to someone’s political interests. Now there
is apparently less interest in this case but no less cynicism.

The court examination is proceeding at a snail’s pace. The psychiatric
examination of three defendants has been underway for two months and there
is no sign of progress in sight. Nobody can say when, at least tentatively,
this process will finish.

The investigation into the masterminds looks totally hopeless. When Viktor
Yanukovych became Prime Minister and Deputy Prosecutor General Renat

Kuzmin took the Gongadze case under his personal control, the investigators
who had been working on it quite successfully were suddenly replaced.

One investigator resigned in protest against being kept within rigid limits
and two others were transferred to other positions. Was it really necessary
to replace the team that had successfully completed the first part of the
case? – The question is rhetorical.

Kuzmin explains that “the case needed a fresh look and other versions needed
examination”, but why replace all investigators? It is more logical to
presume that someone is still trying to divert the investigation from a
“hazardous” course.

The new investigators haven’t succeeded in their work on the case so far; it
has taken them several months just to read the case.

Actually, this has not surprised anybody. Meanwhile people, which are in
some way or another connected with the case, are passing away. Every time
when information about a death of one of the witnesses is received, it gives
the impression that it is not at all an accident.

During the last year, the Prosecutor’s General Office has once again closed
the case on death of a key witness – Yury Kravchenko, ex-minister of
internal affairs.

After the Mirror Weekly’s publication of a sensational interview with Mykola
Polishchuk, the ex-minister of public health, in which the ex-minister
asserted that the nature of Kravchenko’s wounds proved his murder, there

was a resolution of Pechersk Court resuming the investigation into the
ex-minister of internal affairs’ death.

But in February 2007, Prosecutor’s General Office stubbornly repeated its
previous conclusion: Kravchenko had committed a suicide by shooting

himself in the head two times in a row.

And the most notable fact of last year, connected to Gongadze case, is an
honor reward given to Myhaylo Potebenko, ex-prosecutor general.

The highest state reward -the Yaroslav the Wise order – was given to the
man, who in 2000 simply ignored Gongadze’s request for a bodyguard when

the journalist applied to Prosecutor’s General Office for assistance as he had
been suspected to be under surveillance.

Potebenko is the very man who asserted from the parliament rostrum that
everything said on the Melnychenko tapes was a lie. When exactly Potebenko
was in charge of the Prosecutor’s General Office, all possible means were
used in order to hamper the real investigation of the Gongadze case.

It is also notable that this reward was given to Potebenko from the hands of
the man who promised his nation and the international community to do
everything in his power to punish the people guilty of Gongadze’s death.

On January 25, 2005 when newly-elected President Yushshenko was in
Strasburg, he assured that there would be a transparent investigation of the
Gongadze case and open sitting of the court. And as a result – an order to

The Institute of Mass Information together with other international
organizations including the International Journalist’s Federation wrote to
the President of Ukraine in an open letter, in which we asked him to recall
the above reward and conduct an investigation about hampering the
investigation of Gongadze case. But we didn’t receive an answer.

However, Yuschenko is not the only politician that talked about the Gongadze
case more than really doing anything to investigate it. Practically every
election campaign in the country has been accompanied by the promises to
find and punish the people guilty in Georgiy’s death.

It is hard to count how many times Olexandr Moroz has made statements

about the Gongadze case, but didn’t give an exact answer to the question: how
could he find out about an imminent attempt on the journalist and when did
he hear Melnychenko tapes for the first time.

On September 12 four international organizations, which have been watching
the examination of the Gongadze case for seven years, will lay open to the
public the third report about the investigation.

There will be a lot of unpleasant questions to Ukrainian authorities and
very few confirmations of progress in the country’s most resonant

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

UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 10, 2007

KYIV – Vasyl Kuk, the last commander of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army

(UPA) has died.

According to the President`s press-office, President Victor Yushchenko

on Monday sent his condolences to Kuk’s family and friends. He said Kuk
had been struggling for Ukraine until his last breath and had been a
personification of Ukraine.

Yushchenko described his life as a symbol of victory over the last century’s
two totalitarian regimes.  “Ukraine’s faithful son, Vasyl Kuk will forever
stay in our memory as a paragon of loyalty to the people and selfless
service to our state,” he said.

V.Kuk died at the age of 95 on 9 September. He headed the Ukrainian
Insurgent Army after the death of general Roman Shykhevych, and

commanded till his arrest on 23 May 1954. He lived in Kyiv.

He will be buried, according to his will, in his native village of Krasne in
the Buskiy district of the Lviv Oblast.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
The Washington Group Cultural Fund
Washington, D.C., Monday, September 10, 2007
WASHINGTON –   As the opening concert of its 2007-2008 “Sunday
Music Series,” The Washington Group Cultural Fund, under the
patronage of the Embassy of Ukraine, presents Bandurna Rozmova
(The Bandura Dialogues) featuring Taras Lazurkevych and Oleh
Sozansky from Lviv and Kyiv. 

The virtuoso bandurist duo, in the United States on a concert tour,
will present a rich and diverse program of vocal and instrumental
numbers spanning the folk and classical repertoire. Meet the artists

at a reception immediately following the program.

WHEN: Sunday, September 16, 2007; 3:00 pm
WHERE: The Lyceum; 201 South Washington St., Alexandria, VA
COST: There is a suggested donation of $20.00, Unreserved seating
Contact event Phone: 703-241-1817
Venue Phone: 703-838-4994; 703-838-4554
or e-mail Christine Lucyk>
If you would like to become a sponsor of the 2007-2008 series, please
send a check ($100 – individual, $160 – couple) made out to TWG
Cultural Fund to Rosalie Norair, 9311 Persimmon Tree Road, Potomac,

MD 20854.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Please contact us if you no longer wish to receive the AUR    
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #866, Article 21
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, September 12, 2007
is a vocal-instrumental ensemble which has its start in 1999. All four
performers are classically trained musicians, individually active in the
world of classical music in Kyiv and other Ukrainian centers of culture.
The primary goal of the project is to demonstrate to the international
audience the great diversity of Ukrainian music. Thus Ukrainian Barvy
performs church, classic, folk, modern and pop music.
The group tours Ukraine and Europe extensively. In particular they have
been to France, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Serbia and many others.
Since 2000 UKRAINIAN BARVY has toured the United States many
times, maintaining a busy schedule to satisfy the great demand for their
appearances in cities where there is a concentration of Ukrainian heritage

The main aim of the project is to demonstrate to the world audience the
whole diversity of Ukrainian music. The music played is not limited by
any definite style. The ensemble plays old church, folk, classic,
modern and pop music. In the ensemble repertoire there are many musical
experiments such as remixes of Ukrainian songs with the elements of
rock-n-roll, jazz, country music, as Ukrainians never stood aloof the
modern trends in music.

In the program of the performance that lasts one hour and a half there
are Ukrainian songs, texts, instrumental music, theatrical scenes,
which have a common plot, scenic effect and are perceived as a whole
theatrical and musical performance. The ensemble has recorded five

CD albums.

Our repertoire includes various genres: folk songs, original
compositions, pagan ritual songs, old church music, classical and
popular music. The works are presented in various forms: a cappella,
instrumental, solo musical numbers, duets, trios, quartets, etc.

The ensemble uses the following instruments: violin, clarinet,
accordion, folk flute (sopilka), bass sopilka, bells, zozulia, telynka,
dvodentsivka, drymba, various drums, banjo and others. Each of us

sings and plays several folk instruments.

We intend to develop modern Ukrainian music based on folk cultural
heritage. Our aim is to reinforce the authority of Ukraine among the
developed countries in the world, promoting Ukrainian art and the
information about our country.

WHEN: Friday, September 21, 7:00 PM
WHERE: Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family
4250 Harewood Rd. N.E.,  Washington D.C. 20017

FOR MORE INFORMATION: (202) 526-3737
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Can Mazepa’s truth and the “truth” of Peter I be joined?

By Semen Tsviliuk, Professor
Department of Ukrainian State History at Odesa Institute of Law.
The Day Weekly Digest # 25, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 11 September 2007

The 300th anniversary of the Battle of Poltava (June 27, 1709, Old Style) is
still far away. Nevertheless, preparations are already underway in Russia,
where traditionally oriented historical articles rooted in the principles of
great-power imperialist ideology are already being published. It would not
be remiss to take a look at the events connected with this historic battle
from a different angle.

The protracted conflict for control of the Baltic coast between Russia and
Sweden in the late 17th century and early part of the 18th century, known as
the Great Northern War, marked one of the most dramatic periods in Ukrainian

The expeditionary corps under the command of the young Swedish king and
distinguished military leader Charles XII won a number of spectacular
victories, defeating Peter I’s army at Narva (1700) and the troops of the
Polish king Augustus II the Strong (1702), conquering Saxony (1706), and
invading Russia in 1708.

Hetman Ivan Mazepa decided to take advantage of the situation and liberate
Ukraine from Moscow’s yoke. This time, however, fate turned her back on the
talented Swedish military leader and the Ukrainian hetman.

Owing to a number of tragic mistakes and miscalculations, the Swedish army
was defeated at the Battle of Poltava, and Charles XII and his ally Hetman
Mazepa were forced to flee to the Ottoman Empire.

Peter I took advantage of this turning point in the war, which was to Russia’s
advantage, and of Mazepa’s ” treason,” to establish his rule throughout
Ukraine, enforcing a harsh regime of occupation terror and violence against
the Ukrainian people. The unique Cossack-Hetman republic was transformed
into Little Russia, which later became the southeastern province of the
Russian empire.
Long live Russian arms!
Peter I

Strange as it may seem, I have been fascinated by this question for a long
time – ever since I was a college student. I don’t remember whether I was in
my second or third year at the History Faculty at Mechnikov State University
in Odesa. I had to write a term paper on the Battle of Poltava.

This was a regular academic topic, nothing special about it, so I didn’t
anticipate any problems. Both historical and literary sources painted a
clear picture: the Russian troops had scored a brilliant victory, Charles
XII’s Swedish army was defeated, and at the same time the battle marked the
inglorious end of the Ukrainian hetman Ivan Mazepa.

I remember that the professor supervising my project advised me to
concentrate precisely on Mazepa. First, I had to demonstrate that Mazepa had
become hetman illegitimately, because it was then an established fact that
Prince Golitsyn of Russia had received a large bribe from him. (This fact
was mentioned, in one way or another, in almost all the literary sources on
Mazepa and Poltava.)

Second, I had to demonstrate how this “treacherous” hetman led Peter I by
the nose for more than 20 years, and that it was only on the eve of the
Battle of Poltava that he showed his true colors. Third, I had to emphasize
that Mazepa was a sworn enemy of the Ukrainian people because he wanted to
separate them from the fraternal Russian people.

I stuck to these guidelines, studied the pertinent sources, and made
meticulous use of all the cliches. Naturally, quoting from Pushkin’s long
narrative poem “Poltava” was a must. (All the students knew this poem by
heart, especially the parts dealing with Peter I and Mazepa.) We all
remembered that Peter I was “splendid, formidable like a divine
thunderstorm,” and that Mazepa was an unsurpassed scoundrel and villain.

All that was left was the formality of defending my term paper.

During this standard procedure unexpected problems sprang up. The dean of
our faculty, the late Kyrylo Myhal (we called him a Westerner because he had
recently come to Odesa from western Ukraine, from Lviv, if I remember
correctly; he read his lectures only in Ukrainian, which was almost a sign
of opposition to the regime that existed during the postwar years under
Stalin), who was sitting in the classroom silently listening to the students
defending their term papers, suddenly showed an interest in my humble
presentation and peppered me with questions.

I had no answers to most of them. Now I know that those questions were

not addressed to me personally.

Other lecturers who were present tried to come to my rescue, defending the
official point of view on this question. Afterwards, there was a debate with
meaningful innuendos, references to little known authors and literary
sources. Among other things we heard about an unusual book called Istoriia
Rusov [The History of the Rus’ People] as well as works by banned

The students were exchanging puzzled looks; we didn’t understand what they
were talking about. For us the whole thing was obvious: the Russian army had
won a victory at Poltava. This fact was mentioned in every Soviet history
textbook, and Pushkin laid special emphasis on this in his poem:

The mighty Charles, enraged,
Sees not dispersing crowds
Of Narva’s miserable runaways,
But shining regiments,
All men there slim and perfectly correct,
With deadly bayonets
Held high in an unbroken line…

But these “arguments” clearly failed to satisfy our dean. It was only later
that I understood why, after I had acquainted myself with historical sources
that offered a convincingly different view of the drama of Poltava in 1709.
When I was familiarizing myself with the historical literature on the Battle
of Poltava, I noticed an almost complete absence of any data on its heroes,
the officers in command of all those “shining regiments” and “rows of
unwavering bayonets.” No names of the Russian generals who commanded their
troops during the battle are mentioned.

But where the Battle of Borodino is concerned, history has recorded not only
its main figures – Kutuzov, Barclay de Tolly, and Bagration – but also the
names of almost all the generals, colonels, and many other officers of lower
rank who were defending Bagration’s fleches and Shevardin’s redoubts, who
effectively counterattacked the enemy and showed some degree of bravery
under enemy fire.

We know the names of all those who “glorified Russian arms near the village
of Borodino” (Mikhail Kutuzov). Among them were commanders of armies,

corps, and divisions: generals Z. Olsufiev, M. Tuchkov, P. Stroganov, A.
Bakhmetiev, N. Lavrov, I. Dorokhov, M. Raevsky, M. Platov, I. Paskevich, I.
Vasylchykov, D. Neverovsky, M. Vorontsov, A. Kutaisov, I. Panchulidze, G.
Emanuel, I. Markov, M. Lebedev, A. Gorchakov, P. Konovnitsyn; the colonels
D. Davidov, A. Chernyshov, etc. The list of the known heroes of Borodino
could be continued.

Examples of other battles may be found. Historical sources record the names
of those who were in command of the regiments that fought in the Battle of
Grunwald (1410) under banners decorated with a golden lion against a dark
and light blue background, routing the Teutonic knights, or in the Battle of
Kulikovo (1380) in which Mamai was defeated.

Once again, there is practically no information about those who were
victorious in the battle against the “mighty Charles” in July 1709, on the
banks of the Vorskla River near Poltava. Why are the authors of numerous
works about Peter I and his age mysteriously silent about the heroes of his
“major battle”?

Even such a specialized and fundamental publication as the multivolume
Soviet Historical Encyclopedia, in its rather substantial entry on the
Battle of Poltava, vaguely mentions only two or three names apart from Peter
I and his closest associate and friend, the former street vendor of buns
stuffed with peas – the future Generalissimo Aleksandr Menshikov.

Neither are Pushkin’s personae in his poem about Poltava numerous: apart
from the “noble Sheremetiev” he mentions only Bruce, Bour, and Repnin – the
“baby birds from Peter’s nest…/ His friends and sons.”

Some light is shed on the mystery of that “major battle” by documentary and
literary sources, such as D. Bantysh-Kamensky’s History of Little Russia, M.
Markevych’s History of Little Russia, and Istoriia Rusov, written by the
Cossack officer and chronicler Hryhorii Hrabianka.

In fact, the Ukrainian regiments that remained loyal to the Russian tsar and
were under the command of the battle-hardened military leader Semen Palii,
played a decisive role in the Battle of Poltava and in defeating Charles XII’s

Colonels Pavlo Polubotok, Ivan Skoropadsky, Danylo Apostol, and other
courageous Cossack leaders were the ones whom the Journal of Peter the Great
described as “the invincible Swedish gentlemen” who soon showed “their backs
when the entire enemy army was completely overrun by our troops.”

“This battle,” The History of the Rus’ People relates, “was begun by the
Swedes at dawn, when their cavalry attacked the regular Russian cavalry and
forced it to retreat behind its entrenchments.

However, the Cossack commander Palei [sic] with his Cossacks attacked the
Swedish flanks and front line, fought their way through the breaches thus
formed and defeated them with spears and rifles; the enemy panicked and ran
to the fieldworks, losing General Schlippenbach, who was taken prisoner.

The Cossacks chased the Swedes to their entrenchments, making way for a
strong column of Russian infantry under the command of General Menshchikov

The Swedes, without their artillery and having suffered heavy losses at the
hand of the Russians, left huge gaps in their front line and Palei, noticing
this, broke through those gaps with his Cossacks and caused a great deal of
turmoil in the enemy ranks. Overpowered by the Cossacks, the Swedes took to
their heels.”

Therefore, the Cossack regiments of Semen Palii, Ivan Skoropadsky, and other
heroes of that battle made the Swedes “show their backs.” If they had been
absent from the battlefield, it would have been Peter and Menshikov, rather
than Charles and Mazepa, who would have had to flee from Poltava.

But the warriors of the 20,000-strong Ukrainian Cossack corps were never
acclaimed for their feat of arms. Peter I did not deem it necessary to
acknowledge their achievement and praise them as heroes.

On the contrary, the Battle of Poltava turned into a real tragedy for
Ukraine. Enraged by Mazepa, the tsar decided to take revenge on the entire
Ukrainian nation.

Not only were thousands of Mazepa’s associates shot, hanged, and impaled,
but the whole Cossack community suffered the tsar’s wrath. The Zaporozhian
Sich was sacked and looted.

By physically destroying Ukraine’s finest forces and ruining the material
well-being of the Ukrainian nation, the Russian tsar depleted its strength
so that it would never again be able to oppose Russia.

Istoriia Rusov continues: “The glorious and decisive victory over the Swedes
was usually celebrated by thanksgiving services and feasts to which all the
captured Swedish generals and ministers were invited. They were given back
their swords and made welcome by the tsar… After that there were many
promotions for generals and officers, and the men were given extra pay. The
Little Russians and their troops were the only ones… who were denied
rewards and gratitude.

Peter I put Mazepa’s act of treason to the best use in order to “take
Ukraine in hand” (his own words). Instead of gratitude, Ukrainians suffered
oppression to an unprecedented degree. Petro Polubotok, acting hetman of
Ukraine (colonel of the Chernihiv regiment, he was among the Russian tsar’s
supporters and one of four Cossack colonels who fought on the Russian side
at the Battle of Poltava), wrote an angry letter that read in part:

“Instead of gratitude, all we have received is disrespect and mistreatment;
we have found ourselves in ultimate bondage, we are paying an outrageous and
unbearable tribute, we have to build walls and dig channels, drain
impenetrable swamps, covering them with the festering dead bodies of our
men, thousands of victims of fatigue, hunger, and unhealthy air; all these
misfortunes and this mistreatment have multiplied under the current order;
Muscovite officials are governing us, they do not know our rights and
customs and are practically illiterate; all they know is that they can treat
us any way they please.”
Prof. Oleksandr Ohloblyn, a noted Mazepa scholar, convincingly proves that,
although “enemy of Russia and Peter” is how Pushkin calls Mazepa in his

poem “Poltava,” repeating this definition in multiple versions a dozen times,
Mazepa was neither a Russophile nor a Russophobe.

He believed that Ukraine could coexist with Russia on the terms and
conditions of Bohdan Khmelnytsky’s Treaty of Pereiaslav, for such was the
real situation he had inherited from his predecessors. Under these
circumstances, Mazepa did his utmost to help develop his country, its
culture, and the Ukrainian national spirit.

What made Mazepa leave one ruler and come under the aegis of another? Why
did Peter’s favorite, who was the tsar’s most devoted servant for more than
20 years, suddenly become a “traitor” and his “implacable enemy”?

Of course, Mazepa’s decision was not made on the spur of the moment.
Unbiased Ukrainian historians are seeking answers to this and other
questions primarily by analyzing the Realpolitik of the Muscovite state,
which was consistently aimed at the complete destruction of Ukraine’s
national sovereignty and singular statehood, and its gradual incorporation
into Russia.

It is an established fact that this process began immediately after 1654,
when Khmelnytsky forced the Ukrainian Cossack community into the yoke

of the “Eastern Orthodox tsar.”

Toward the end of the 17th century the Muscovite government had begun
reducing the range of issues under the jurisdiction of the hetman
authorities – primarily the right to establish and maintain relations with
foreign governments.

Also, Muscovite control over the domestic political endeavors of the
Ukrainian authorities, Ukraine’s fiscal policy, etc., was enhanced. A number
of powers originally within the jurisdiction of the hetman and his
government were being taken over by special Muscovite agencies.

The loss of autonomy of the hetman state became especially conspicuous in
the early 18th century, under Peter I. For him and his successors, Ukraine
and its people were not an autonomous state or nation but only construction
material for raising the building of the Russian empire even higher.

The more Peter I grossly interfered in Ukraine’s domestic affairs, the
greater the economic burden on its population, which had to maintain Russian
garrisons, pay heavy taxes to Russia’s budget, and so on.

Paying for the maintenance of numerous Russian garrisons stationed in the
hetman state was especially onerous for the Ukrainian people. There were
times when the number of Russian troops stationed in Ukraine reached

100,000 officers and men.

As a result, the population suffered, especially in the countryside where
peasants had to supply horse-driven carts, firewood, fodder for horses, and
carry out other duties.

To maintain the Russian forces in Ukraine, its commanders requisitioned
hundreds of thousands of head of cattle and other livestock, and immense
amounts of bread and other products. Ukraine’s agriculture declined as a
result. It was then Ukrainian villagers recited these bitter humorous lines:

Little Muscovites, falcons,
You’ve eaten all our oxen;
If you keep well afterwards,
You’ll eat the last cows we have.

Ukrainian Cossack troops were used as cannon fodder in the many wars

Russia waged in the south and the Baltics, where they were thrown into the
bloodiest losing battles.

However, the greatest humiliation came when Peter I ordered Cossack
regiments to build Russia’s new capital city, Saint Petersburg. Tens of
thousands of Ukrainians died during the construction project, their
skeletons left all over the Baltic marshlands.

There is no precise information on the number of Ukrainian Cossacks,
peasants, and craftsmen who perished during the construction of the
fortifications and canals, and the swamp-draining operations.

However, the mortality and injury rate may be estimated according to this
statistic: 13,000 Cossacks died during the construction of the Ladoga
Channel in 1721-25. Colonel Cherniak submitted a channel progress report to
the Russian Senate in 1722. It reads, in part:

“There are large numbers of sick people and dead bodies on the site of the
Ladoga Channel, particularly in the digging sections; high fever and swollen
legs are the most wide-spread diseases, and people are dying from this.
However, the officers charged with supervising this project pay no heed to
the needs of the poor Cossacks.

On orders from Mr. Leontiev, the foreman, they beat them mercilessly as they
work – although they work not only day and night but also on Sundays and
feast days. Therefore, I fear that these Cossacks will be destroyed like
last year, when barely one-third of the crippled made it home…”

In his book Vladimir Raevsky (part of the popular Soviet series “ZhZL”
devoted to the life stories of prominent personalities, published in Moscow
in 1987), the Russian writer Foka Burlachuk recounts the construction of the
“Northern Palmyra,” which was supposed to open a window for Russia to the
rest of Europe: “Ten thousand Cossacks were herded to the construction site
from Chernigov gubernia alone. None of them returned home. Our people had to
pay a very dear price for this ‘window'”!

Taras Shevchenko lashes out at Peter I for his cruel treatment of Ukrainian
Cossacks, calling him an inveterate torturer of Ukraine. In his poem “The
Dream” the patriotic hetman Polubotok curses the frenzied Russian tsar:

Merciful Lord, my spirit droops!
? greedy and voracious Tsar!
? wicked ruler that you are,
? serpent that all earth should shun,
What have you to my Cossacks done?
For you have glutted all these swamps
With noble bones! To feed your pomps,
You reared your shining capital
On tortured corpses of them all…

This subject is also broached in The Books of the Genesis of the Ukrainian
People, the action program of the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood. Paragraph
90 states that the Cossacks found themselves in “lasting bondage” at the
hands of the Muscovite tsar, who left “hundreds of thousands of corpses in
the ditches and built his capital on their bones.”

So have the army’s leaders, Peter’s dogs,
Torn her apart and gnawed her bloody bones….
As their poor brothers were to swamplands driven
To build a capital…

This was why Mazepa decided to make his tragic attempt to rid Ukraine of
Russia’s dominance and restore its national independence.

In late October 1708 he sent a letter to the colonel of the Starodub
regiment, Ivan Skoropadsky, detailing his reasons for siding with King
Charles XII of Sweden: “The Muscovite potentate has long harbored all sorts
of intentions against us. Lately, they have begun to seize Ukrainian cities
and place them under their control, expelling their residents, who have been
looted and driven to misery, replacing them with their troops.

My friends have secretly warned me – and now I can see it for myself – that
the enemy wants to take in hand all of us, the hetman, colonels, and the
entire military command, and place [us] under his tyrannical yoke; they want
to erase forever the Zaporozhian name and turn everyone into dragoons and
soldiers, and place the entire Ukrainian people in eternal bondage.

After I learned this, I realized that the Muscovite potentate set foot on
our soil not to protect us from the Swedes, but to destroy us with fire,
looting, and murder. And so, with the knowledge and consent of the officers,
we have decided to submit to the protection of the Swedish king in the hope
that he will protect us from the Muscovite tyrannical yoke and restore our

The drama of Poltava in 1709 and the punitive operations of the Russian
troops imposed further sufferings on Ukraine. The economic and political
violence against the Ukrainian people was intensified by its spiritual
devastation after Moscow set its political course on assimilating Ukrainians
through Russification.

In 1720 Peter I issued instructions banning the publication of any books in
Ukraine except ecclesiastical works. But religious publications could be
printed only after unification with Russian books.

The Russian bureaucratic language now reigned in Ukrainian offices. The
same was true of education. Ukrainians even lost their name, having been
turned into “Little Russians.”

In implementing his policy, which was aimed at liquidating the Ukrainian
Cossack Hetman republic, Peter I consistently extirpated all vestiges of
Ukrainian statehood while systematically weakening and physically destroying
its population, ruining its well-being, and depleting its strength.

The author of Istoriia Rusov had every reason to compare the Russian tsar
with Asiatic tyrants and rebuke him for his cruel approach to Ukraine:
“Placing an entire people in bondage and possessing slaves and serfs befits
an Asiatic tyrant, not a Christian monarch…”
It is appropriate here to clarify the relations between Ivan Mazepa and the
Swedish king. Istoriia Rusov states that Charles XII guaranteed Ukraine the
status of an independent Cossack republic on behalf of his own and other
European countries.

In a message to the Ukrainian people he writes: “I am aware that the
Muscovite tsar, being an inveterate enemy of all peoples and desirous of
conquering them, has once again placed the Cossacks under his exclusive
bondage, ignoring, denying, and annulling all our rights and liberties set
forth in all those treaties and agreements solemnly proclaimed and signed…

“Therefore, I do promise – and solemnly pledge to keep it before the whole
world – to restore the land of the Cossacks, or the Rus’ land, to its
original independent state and not dependent on any other country,
concerning which I have agreed with your Hetman Mazepa and pledged and
ratified by means of written acts, and Europe’s leading countries have
pledged to guarantee them.”

The author of Istoriia Rusov provides eloquent proof of the Russian and
Swedish troops’ attitude to Ukrainians. “‘I am a servant of the tsar. I
serve my Lord and my tsar, for the good of the entire Christian world.
Chickens, geese, and girls are ours by the soldier’s right and on our
officer’s orders,’ Russian soldiers brazenly declared. In contrast, the
Swedes demanded nothing and took away nothing from the burghers by

force. They purchased what they needed and paid cash.”

It is regrettable that our people were not destined to benefit from the
noble intentions of this outstanding European military leader, who also
experienced defeat and landed in a very difficult position. Historians are
still trying to ascertain the causes of that dramatic situation with regard
to the Swedes, and especially the Ukrainians.

Some blame Charles XII for his miscalculations and bad military campaign
plans, while others blame Mazepa.

Prussia’s King Frederick the Great wrote: “Charles XII is accused of giving
in to Mazepa’s promises. However, the Cossack hetman did not betray him;

on the contrary, Mazepa himself was deceived by the unexpected course of
events, something he could have neither foreseen nor avoided.”

Scholars name a number of tragic circumstances and tactical miscalculations
that could have been avoided, with the result that the tragedy at Poltava
would never have taken place.

Then a Swedish empire would have existed in the northeast, and Russia would
have had to make do without that “Baltic window,” just as it has to make do
without the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, although the empire sought this for
many centuries.
In characterizing the majestic figure of Hetman Ivan Mazepa and his role in
Ukrainian history, every unbiased Ukrainian should reflect on whether there
are even the slightest grounds for regarding as a traitor a statesman who
sought to rid his people of social and national oppression.

Could the leader of a nation to whom the destiny of his homeland was of the
greatest importance and whom foreign diplomats described as a politician who
shared “every trait of his people,” have been a traitor of this very people?

Can we Ukrainians regard his activities as treasonous, considering that he
acted with inspired devotion in such spheres as the protection of the
interests of his state, the development of national education, culture, and
national spirit, and the construction of dozens of churches?

Aleksandr Bruckner, a Russian historian of the second half of the 19th
century, was absolutely correct when he claimed that Mazepa’s alliance with
the Swedish king Charles XII “can be no more immoral than the alliance that
was made two years later by Dimitrie Cantemir of Moldova and the Russian
tsar Peter the Great against the Turkish sultan.”

Therefore “the politics of Hetman Mazepa should be regarded as ein
Meisterstuck [a masterpiece], and his attempt to rid Ukraine of the
dominance of what was then an empire with a low cultural standard, as a
heroic act.”

In the history of many nations, leaders who dared to carry out similar feats
are eternalized as the greatest and most respected national heroes. Capital
cities, even countries, are named for them.

Such honors have been conferred on the first American president George
Washington, who “betrayed” Great Britain by leading an army of colonists in
a war for national independence; Simon Bolivar, who headed the struggle of
the South American peoples (Venezuela, Colombia, Peru) against Spanish rule.

This number includes the heroes of our neighbors: the Pole Thaddeus
Kosciuszko (of Ukrainian descent, incidentally), the Hungarian Sandor
Petofi, and many other outstanding leaders of national liberation struggles.

After all, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, who led the liberation war of the Ukrainian
people in 1648-54 also “betrayed” the Rzeczpospolita.

It is a great misfortune that history turned out to be merciless to the
Great Hetman, a glorious Ukrainian patriot who sought to gain freedom and
champion the dignity of his Fatherland.

But exhausted by his difficult struggle, he died branded by anathema. A
difficult fate also befell the Ukrainian people, as historical events took a
course that in no way benefited Ukraine. For Russia those events were

For Ukraine, Poltava was a drama whose painful consequences we are

still experiencing today.
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