Monthly Archives: October 2007

AUR#884 Oct 28 Memory Is Fate Of Proud & Free People; 2,000 Victims; Hoverla Mt; Catherine "The Great"; UPA; Starvation; Trypillian Culture

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


Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
 
MEMORY IS THE FATE OF PROUD AND FREE PEOPLE!
Petro Hryhorovych Grigorenko; Tatars; Bykovnya Forest; Xenophobia;
Karelia; De-Stalinization; Great Terror; Spiritual Genocide; Nazi Crimes;
Eurasian Youth Union; Hoverla Mountain; Empress Catherine “The Great”;
Cossacks; Ukrainian Insurgent Army; Death For Millions By Starvation,
Genocide of 1932-1933 (Holodomor), Began Seventy-Five Years Ago; 
Human Rights Violations; 1917 Revolution; Trypillian Culture Mysteries.
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 884
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2007
 
NOTE:  Send the AUR to your colleagues, associates, family and
friends around the world.  You can be part of the program to inform 
the world about Ukraine…..its history…..its people…..its future!
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.  “MEMORY IS THE FATE OF PROUD AND FREE PEOPLE!”
Commentary: By Refat Chubarov,
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 15, 2007
 
2UKRAINE REBURIES 2,000 VICTIMS OF STALIN’S RULE
Reuters, Bykovnya, Ukraine, Saturday, Oct 27, 2007

3.  YUSHCHENKO CONDEMNS RACIAL AND ETHNIC HOSTILITY
Interfax Ukraine Focus, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

 
4 POSITIVELY DESPAIRING
Russian President Putin wishes to focus on “achievements” as do we.
The most “positive” achievement, however, will be a society able to
reject lies and disinformation, to face and learn from its own history
COMMENTARY: Halya Coynash, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 27, 2007

5RUSSIA NEEDS TO COMMEMORATE REPRESSION VICTIMS
“This country needs a de-Stalinization program” said Grigory Yavlinsky.
Interfax, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, October 25, 2007

 
Ukraine is a pseudo-country says EYM
Official Statement, Eurasian Youth Union,
Moscow, Russia, Thursday, October 18, 2007

10FASTIDIOUS DISGUST BUT FIRM MEASURES
The Eurasian Youth Union raised its ugly head in Ukraine.
Commentary: Halya Coynash, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

11SBU EXPOSED THE CRIMINALS WHO COMMITTED

HOVERLA MOUNTAIN ACTS OF VANDALISM
Ukrayinska Pravda (UP), Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 20, 2007

12SBU REINSTATES RESOLUTION BARRING ENTRY OF

SAYS IVANO-FRANKIVSK REGIONAL ADMINISTRATION
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 20, 2007

15LVIV YOUTH STAGE THEATRICAL PROTEST IN RESPONSE

TO DESECRATION OF NATIONAL SYMBOLS ON HOVERLA
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, October 24, 2007

16RUSSIA’S AMBASSADOR CHERNOMYRDIN SUPPORTS

ERECTION OF MONUMENT TO EMPRESS CATHERINE II IN ODESA 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 27, 2007

17OUR UKRAINE PEOPLE’S UNION OPPOSES UNVEILING OF
MONUMENT TO EMPRESS CATHERINE II IN ODESA
Monuments to oppressors of Ukrainian people should not be allowed
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 27, 2007

18UKRAINIAN PROPRESIDENTIAL PARTY RUES STATUE OF
RUSSIAN EMPRESS IN SOUTHERN CITY 
UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1353 gmt 25 Oct 25, 2007

BBC Monitoring Service, UK, October 25, 2007

19FAREWELL, MY ODESA!
Why does Ukraine have monuments to Catherine II and Peter I

but not to Hitler and Stalin?
By Taras Chukhlib, Historian, Director, Cossack Research Center
Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 18, 2007

20PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO CALLS ON UKRAINIANS TO

EXAMINE HISTORY OF THE UKRAINIAN INSURGENT ARMY
“We have lived decades in untruth…in the yoke of an empire.”
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 27, 2007
 
Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, October 18, 2007
 
22LEFTIST, PRO-RUSSIAN EXTREMISTS DEFY UKRAINIAN
PRESIDENT VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO OVER HISTORY
Analysis & Commentary: By Pavel Korduban
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 197
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, DC, Wed, Oct 24, 2007
 
HOLODOMOR VICTIMS SAYS PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO
Press Service of the President of Ukraine (in Ukrainian)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2008
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #884, Article 23 (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, October 28, 2007
 
UKRAINIANS SAYS RUSSIAN OMBUDSMAN VLADIMIR LUKIN
Interfax Ukraine Focus, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, October 25, 2007

2575 YEARS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE HOLODOMOR
October 22, 1932 special commission on grain requisitions
Radio Svoboda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 22, 2007

 
UKRINFORM, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2007
1932-1933 FAMINE WITH UNESCO
Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 19, 2007
 
OR DEGRADING TREATMENT
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group,
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 26, 2007
 
UKRINFORM, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, October 21, 2007
 
TRYPILLIAN CULTURE
By Svitlana BOZHKO, special to The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, July 24, 2007
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1 “MEMORY IS THE FATE OF PROUD AND FREE PEOPLE!”

COMMENTARY: By Refat Chubarov
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 15, 2007

“He stopped being a Marxist because he was accustomed to thinking things
through to the end.” (Sergei Kovalyov)

On 16 October 2007 we mark the centenary of the birth of Petro Hryhorovych
Grigorenko, a person whose name is indelibly linked with the struggle of the
Crimean Tatar people for their return to their homeland and restoration of
their rights.

“Rats succeeded in exiling me from my homeland. However rats have no future”
These words are from the memoirs of Petro Grigorenko “In the underground

you can only meet rats”, first published in New York in 1981.

Forced from his homeland, Petro Hryhorovych did not lose his innate
optimism, concluding his work with the affirmation: “We will return to our
Homeland and see our people liberated from the infestation of rats!”

Unfortunately he did not live to see the collapse of the totalitarian system
and to rejoice together with the Crimean Tatars in returning home. His
closest fellow thinkers are no longer with us.
GENRYTH ALTUNIAN
Genrykh Altunian who died in June 2005 said in one of his last interviews:
“‘I fear nothing. I am seventy years old, as they say, ‘over the hill’. I
have seen it all. I do not except that I will experience anything worse than
sitting day after day in the isolation cell of Chystopolsk prison. I am
afraid for the country I live in and for the future of those dear to me. It was
Bruno Yasensky who called on us to fear those who don’t care. Please God

that our people do not become indifferent.”
MUSTAFA DZHEMILYEV
Mustafa Dzhemilyev, another long-standing fellow thinker and friend of Petro
Grigorenko decided to give his colleagues in parliament a chance not only to
renounce the stereotypes of the past, but also to prove that they deserved
the high status of a member of Ukraine’s parliament.

He was unsuccessful since a considerable number of National Deputies refused
to give recognition to one of the legendary figures who dedicated their
lives to the independence of the country whom the Deputies were elected to
represent.

Who can blame me if I label such behaviour pitiful and repeat after Petro
Grigorenko “rats have no future”? “Till we meet again in the Crimea, my

friends!”
PEOPLE WITH CONSCIENCE AND SENSE OF JUSTICE
Praise be the Almighty that this world is held in place by people with
conscience and a sense of justice, with gratitude and by those who
remember.

Today in the Crimea as well as beyond there are hundreds and hundreds of
Petro Grigorenko’s friends.

Thanks to their efforts and despite opposition from the local authorities, a
bust monument to the General has been erected in Simferopol, and streets,
Crimean Tatar settlements and one avenue in Kyiv have been named after
him.

I have no doubt that the events in honour of the centenary of Petro
Hryhorovych Grigorenko’s birth will be widely marked in the Crimea.

The Crimean Tatar people, headed by the Mejilis will make sure of that.
Perhaps by then those whom Mikhail Bulgakov gave the perfect diagnosis
“muddle on the brain” will manage to come to their senses.

Petro Grigorenko never for one second doubted that the struggle of the
Crimean Tatar people would end in their return to their Homeland. “Till we
meet in the Crimea!” he would say when parting from his Crimean Tatar
fellows. And he himself aspired to return to his Homeland till the last
moment.

Petro Grigorenko found his last resting place in far-off America. People of
different nationalities, Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians, Jewish people visit his
grave to pay their respects.

They honour a Man who unstintingly loved his fellow human beings! For
memory is the fate of proud and free people!
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NOTE: KHPG is grateful to Refat Chubarov for allowing us to publish

these very moving words, which form part of an article found in full (in
Ukrainian) at
http://www.cidct.org.ua/uk/studii/1-2(07)/4.html
. KHPG
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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2.  UKRAINE REBURIES 2,000 VICTIMS OF STALIN’S RULE

Reuters, Bykovnya, Ukraine, Saturday, Oct 27, 2007

BYKOVNYA, Ukraine – Ukraine on Saturday reburied some 2,000 people

killed by the Soviet secret police over several years up to the Second World
War and left in mass graves at a site near the capital.

The 1,998 bodies, 474 of which were Poles, were dug up earlier this year at
in Bykovnya, a village and woods in the suburbs were Ukranian officials
believe some 30,000 could have been buried during the 1930s and early 1940s.

The mass graves were filled with people — others estimate up to 100,000 — 
that were tortured and shot by the dreaded NKVD, a precursor to the KGB,
during Stalin’s repressive and violent rule in the run up to the Russia’s
Great Patriotic War.

“I was 8 years old. It was just three of us, father, mother and me. And they
took him,” Maria Marzhetska said of the father who was seized by the NKVD

in 1937. “They said for 10 years he wouldn’t write (home).”

“Every morning, every evening we were at the police station,” she said. But
she only found out his fate 60 years later.

In the sombre ceremony which was attended by a hundred or so people, simple
red coffins, some draped with flags, were lowered one by one into the ground
and blessed by a priest. Relatives and officials prayed by their side.

Under Communist rule, the existence of mass graves filled with the victims
of Stalin’s rule was denied and it was only in the 1990s that it was
acknowledged and a memorial was built.

Polish historians and officials believe that several thousand Polish
soldiers and officers that were captured as Russia encroached Polish lands
to defeat the Nazis were buried there, like the estimated 15,000 massacred
near the Katyn woods.

“This is a very important place for Poles because it is … linked with
Katyn,” said Andrzej Przewoznik, general secretary of Poland’s Council for
the Protection of Monuments to Struggle and Martyrdom.

“This is a place where we would like the Polish (Catholic) cross and Polish
memories of those people resting in the Bykovnya forest to be.”
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LINK: http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1192488103
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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3.  YUSHCHENKO CONDEMNS RACIAL & ETHNIC HOSTILITY

Interfax Ukraine Focus, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

KYIV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko has condemned any racial or
ethnic hostility in the country and demands that the Security Service of
Ukraine and law enforcement agencies find and prosecute those planning to
cause instability and chaos in Ukraine.

Yuschenko met on Monday members of Jewish organizations and Ukraine’s
intellectual elite to discuss how to protect the Jewish community and their
rights and fight xenophobia, the presidential press service reported.

Yuschenko said at the meeting that attacks on Jews in Ukraine and attempts
to stir up ethnic hatred were similar to recent acts of vandalism on
Hoverla, in Kharkiv and in Kruty.

The president noted that such actions might be masterminded by “external
directors” who plan to cause instability and chaos in the country. The
president said that the law enforcement bodies and the Security Service

must find those guilty of such actions and punish them severely.

First Deputy Secretariat Chief of Staff Ivan Vasiunyk, acting Security
Service Chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, Prosecutor General Oleksandr

Medvedko and acting Interior Minister Mykhailo Korniyenko were present
at the meeting.
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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4.  POSITIVELY DESPAIRING
Russian President Putin wishes to focus on “achievements” as do we.
The most “positive” achievement, however, will be a society able to
reject lies and disinformation, to face and learn from its own history

COMMENTARY: By Halya Coynash
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 27, 2007

In this seventieth anniversary of the Great Terror, the Day of the Soviet
Political Prisoner on 30 October will be particularly poignant for many
people in Ukraine and in Russia.

We remember the 1,111 prisoners from Solovky murdered in the

Sandarmokh Clearing (Karelia), the millions of other victims of the
GULAG. Many of us think too of our own relatives.

In the light of what Russia’s President Putin has approvingly labelled
certain “positive moves”, these anniversaries take on a burning immediacy.
Mr Putin stated that just recently one still read things about the country’s
history which could make ones hair stand on end. The positive moves
were clearly seen as tidying up the country’s lamentable appearance.

We will address whose history Mr Putin feels entitled to view as Russia’s
own in what follows and will also reflect on different interpretations of
positive progress.

The “positive” moves in teaching history for Putin involve providing
students with a “whole spectrum of views” “while at the same time giving
an objective view of history, of what was done by our people, of our
achievements”.

This revisionist approach to semantics is sycophantically aped by the
authors of two manuals for teachers of history and social studies which
won Putin’s own stamp of approval this summer.

One of these manuals  –  “The Newest History of Russia. 1945-2006”, by
Alexander Fillipov and xo-authors – will be tried out over the next year and
available for school teachers from September 2008.

In theory, this is only recommended, not compulsory, and teachers may
do what they wish with it.  In practice, the President’s clear support since
June 2007, and the positive steps he is now praising render freedom of
choice more than usually theoretical in the classroom.
PRESENTATION OF JOSEPH STALIN

In these days which for many represent dark anniversaries, it would be
difficult not to first examine this “objective” presentation of Joseph
Stalin who is called “one of the most successful leaders of the USSR”.

A lot is said about Stalin the man but we will endeavour to avoid subjective
judgment and concentrate on the book’s presentation of his historical
importance.

In the chapter entitled “Arguments about the role of Stalin in history”, the
authors assert: “In essence, the aim of Stalin’s domestic and foreign policy
was the restoration – political and territorial of the Russian Empire”.

“Studies by historians here and abroad confirm the fact that the priority
victim of repressions in the 1930s to 1950s was specifically the ruling
class. Modern researchers are inclined to see rational reasons for the use
of force in the efforts to ensure the maximum effectiveness of the ruling
elite as the main player in mobilizing society towards the achievement of
impossible tasks”.

“The outcome of Stalin’s purges was the formation of a new governing
class, able to cope with the task of modernization given the shortage of
resources – unwaveringly loyal to the upper echelons of power and
irreproachable from the point of view of executive discipline”.

The words, not to mention the hordes of anonymous “authorities”, are
offensively difficult to pinpoint and therefore refute.  Priority for whom?
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS WERE VICTIMS

The members of my family and those of hundreds of thousands of other
families may not have been the “main priority”, but victims, excuse me,
they were.

During the 14 months of the 1937-1938 Terror alone, some 1.7 million
people were arrested and about 700 thousand were executed. The loyalty
to the upper echelons encouraged during that period and later was
demonstrated by some in seeking an increase in the number of arrests
and executions required for a particular area.

The figures in Ukraine for example were upped by zealous functionaries

eager to show how vigilant they were in rooting out “bourgeois nationalists”.

The 1,111 prisoners of Solovky executed in the Sandarmokh Clearing from
27 October to 4 November 1937 were also part of a killing quota.  The 290
Ukrainian victims included the theatre director Les Kurbas, the poet Mykola
Zerov, many other writers, poets, intellectuals and scientists.
NOT SIMPLY “ACCIDENTAL” VICTIMS

They were not simply “accidental” victims, unworthy of note by Putin’s
lackey historian.  They were the victims of a deliberate policy aimed at
crushing the new generation of Ukrainian intellectuals, artists, and others
who saw themselves in the first instance as Ukrainians.

It is not for nothing that one speaks of the “Executed Renaissance”. And
where in this “positive” scale of priorities do we place the millions of
Ukrainian peasants starved to death in Holodomor, a manmade famine?

Will you find a blithe excuse also for the supposed “kulaks” resettled
during collectivization or the Crimean Tatars and other nations deported
from their homeland?
EXAMPLES TO REFUTE THESE FOUL LIES ARE LEGION
The examples to refute these foul lies and distortions and to place in
serious question the “rational reasons for the use of force” are legion.

In October 2007, it is intensely depressing to have to state the tragically
obvious.  Perhaps for this reason an aphorism from the time of perestroika
has been tormenting me for days now.  “We look to the past with optimism”.
In those days when people were drunk on truth so long and so assiduously
concealed, the phrase raised appreciative smiles.

It is anything but funny now.

For better or infinitely worse, the period in question was our shared
history.  We must ensure that our perspective remains sharply distinct and
not hide from the merciless light of day.

Putin wishes to focus on “achievements” as do we.  The most “positive”
achievement, however, will be a society able to reject lies and
disinformation.
CONFRONT SHARED HISTORY WITH EYES WIDE OPEN

It is not only our duty before all the Victims of the Terror whom we
remember during these days and months.  It is also the sole way forward
and best chance of ensuring that neither our generation nor those who
come after us repeat those terrible mistakes.

What is happening in Russia at the moment must be a lesson to us all, a
reminder that breaking free is only one small and first step. We need to go
further.

We hope that the developments which have begun in Ukraine will continue
and serve as an example to our neighbours.  Let’s confront our shared
history with our eyes wide open.
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LINK: http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1193476049
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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5.  RUSSIA NEEDS TO COMMEMORATE REPRESSION VICTIMS
“This country needs a de-Stalinization program” said Grigory Yavlinsky.

Interfax, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, October 25, 2007

MOSCOW – Russia should adopt a state program for remembrance of the

victims of political repression, Memorial Human Rights Society Chairman
Arseny Roginsky told a press conference at the Interfax main office on
Thursday.

“I think the government must call a crime a crime, present condolences and
apologies to many people, and launch a program for remembrance of

repression victims,” Roginsky said.

The government should build a monument to repression victims, “as the
Solovetsky Stone on Lubyanskaya Square was installed by human rights
organizations, and not by the government,” Roginsky said.

“It is also necessary to open a state terror museum and change the way
schoolchildren are told about the repressions,” he said. There is not a

single memorial board commemorating repression victims in Moscow,
he noted.

“If the government does that, I will have nothing to add,” Human Rights
Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin told the press conference.

Yabloko party leader Grigory Yavlinsky agreed with the suggestions and said,
“This country needs a de-Stalinization program.

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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6.  MEMORIAL RIGHTS GROUP PRESENTS ELECTRONIC
LIST OF “VICTIMS OF POLITICAL TERROR IN THE USSR”

Interfax, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, October 25, 2007

MOSCOW – About 12.5 million people became victims of political reprisals
during the existence of the Soviet Union, Arseny Roginsky, the board
chairman of the Memorial international human rights society, said at the
presentation ceremony of an electronic version of the publication titled
“Victims of Political Terror in the USSR” at the Interfax main office on
Thursday.

“If you take the Russian law on the rehabilitation of victims of political
reprisals and look at the entire Soviet Union, you will see that 12.5
million people fully meet the criteria for being qualified as victims of
political reprisals,” Roginsky said.

 From 4.5 to 5.2 million of these people were arrested by security bodies,
underwent investigation procedures, and were convicted, Roginsky said.

Some 7 million other victims of political reprisals are people who were
deported without sentences by judicial or extra-judicial bodies, including
farmers during the collectivization period, repressed ethnic groups deported
from their homes after WWII, and others, he said.

“Our job was to restore their names,” Roginsky said referring to the
publication. The electronic version of the publication lists the names of
about 2.615 million people, which is only 20% of all those repressed,
Roginsky said. This work took about 20 years.

The compilation of the list involved members of the Memorial society and the
Yabloko party, and some government agencies, particularly the Interior
Ministry, also provided significant assistance in this effort, he said.

Russian Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin pointed out that the
publication was presented in the run-up to the Day in Commemoration of
Victims of Political Reprisals observed in Russia on October 30.
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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7.  RUSSIAN PRESIDENT PUTIN THINKS EU MUST RESPOND

TO ATTEMPTS TO GLORIFY NAZIS BY MEMBER-STATES

Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, October 10, 2007

MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin is surprised by the indifference of the
European Union to the encouragement of the glorification of Nazis by the
authorities in Latvia and Estonia and said that the approach of certain
European organizations to matters related to World War II borders on
hypocrisy.

“Certain facts that we are coming across in certain East European countries
are arousing frank surprise and lack of understanding.

We know that in several European countries laws prohibit the denial of the
Holocaust, while the activities of Latvian and Estonian authorities are
openly encouraging the glorification of Nazis and their collaborators.

And such facts remain unnoticed by the Europe Union,” Putin said at a
meeting with members of the Executive Committee of the European Jewish
Congress. “After the proclamation of independence not a single Nazi

criminal has been punished in Estonia,” Putin said.

“Neo-Nazi gatherings timed to the anniversary of the formation of the
Latvian Waffen SS legion are held in Latvia annually on March 16 with

the permission of the authorities,” he said.

“We also witness the strange attitude of certain European institutions
bordering on hypocrisy, regarding the transfer of the monument to the
Liberator Soldier [Bronze Solider] in Tallinn,” he said.

Putin praised the stance of Jewish organizations in Baltic states which
“frankly, honestly and openly expressed their attitude to the issue. I want
to voice my appreciation and gratitude [to them],” he said.
CERTAIN FORCES IN UKRAINE WHITEWASH UNA
As another example of the growth of Nazi sentiments he named the attempts

of certain forces in Ukraine “to whitewash members of the Organization of
Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, guilty of the
massive extermination of Jews in Ukraine.” “I find it absolutely
impermissible,” the president said.

Putin said Russia deeply respects the efforts of Jewish communities to
preserve the truth about the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes along with the
memory of the heroism of the soldiers who died liberating Europe from the
“brown plague.”

“History has proved more than once that when the lessons of the past are
forgotten and attempts to rewrite history and to sow seeds of revenge are
made this leads to an upsurge of nationalism and anti-Semitism.

Therefore, I cannot help being alarmed by the growing trend in Europe,
including EU countries, to review history in this direction, to try and
question the liberation mission of the Allied armies, including the Soviet
army, during World War II and to whitewash Nazi crimes,” Putin said.

In his opinion, such attempts are very dangerous and may result in the
growth of mistrust and intolerance in Europe. “We hope that they will not be
left unnoticed or without due reaction from both government and public
institutions, in particular the European Jewish Congress,” Putin said.

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NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
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8.  ETHNIC RUSSIANS IN UKRAINE WANT MOSCOW TO
HELP STOP “SPIRITUAL GENOCIDE”

Interfax, Moscow, Russia, Friday, October 19, 2007

MOSCOW – A number of public organizations in Ukraine  have  appealed
to the Russian authorities “to help protect the Russian historical and
spiritual heritage in Ukraine from destruction.”

“Simultaneously  with  the  physical  destruction  of  monuments of
common history  and culture the historical memory of our people is being
eradicated,  the  public  mind  distorted, children and young people are
brought  up in the sprit of hatred for the past, which is termed only as
the colonial past,” their open letter published on Friday says.

The letter complains of “mental, cultural and spiritual genocide of
the Russian people in Ukraine.”

In the past few years the city of Poltava has witnessed “outrageous
insults  to monuments constituting the historical and cultural legacy of
the European  and world communities as well as Russians in Ukraine,”
the letter reads.

The  open  letter  was  signed  by  board  chairman  of the Russian
Community  Serhiy Provatorov, national coordinator of the Expert Council
for the   Protection  of  Russian  Cultural  Legacy  Oleksandr  Mashkin,
chairman of the Russian Community of Poltava Region Viktor Shestakov and
chairman  of  the  Union  of  Russian  Writers  of Poltava Region Mykola
Yaremenko.
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LINK: http://www.interfax.com/3/326357/news.aspx

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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9.  EURASIAN YOUTH UNION (EYM) TAKES FULL RESPONSIBILITY
FOR DESTRUCTION OF UKRAINIAN STATE SYMBOLS
Union states Ukraine is a pseudo-country

Official Statement, Eurasian Youth Union
Moscow, Russia, Thursday, October 18, 2007

MOSCOW – The Eurasian Youth Union [EYM] takes full responsibility for

the destruction of the so-called Ukrainian state symbols on the Mount
Goverla in the Carpathians, the highest point of Ukraine.

With a force of a detached mountain unit of the EYM at Mount Goverla we
sawed and vandalized a symbol of Ukraine’s occupation -Trizub; destroyed
granite plaque of the sectarian Ukrainian church; split granite memorial
plaque of  so-called “Constitution of Ukraine”.

Instead of the symbol of the Ukrainian collaborative blue and yellow flag,
we unfurled over Mount Goveral the EYM banner.  Goverla has been

renamed Mount Stalin.

By this unprecedented act of Eurasian enthusiasm EYM states that the
so-called time of “Ukraine’s” independence ends. Instead of an ugly
neighboring education [should be something else], we will build a Great
Ukraine within the Eurasian empire.

EYM also warns that in the case of appointment of the orange monkey –

Yulia Tymoshenko, as Premier, we will not be able to stop our Ukrainian
activists from undertaking direct actions against the so-called leadership
of the pseudo-country.

For photos and video of this action you can look at the resources
http://www.rossia3.ru
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http://www.evrazia.tv, Imperial Network, The Eurasian Youth Union
Announcement: Today, 20.30 Moscow time on the air “TV Evraziya”-

will hold a telecast of Eurasian Youth Union Leader Paul Zarifullin to
the people of Ukraine in connection with the recent political developments
in that country.
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10.  FASTIDIOUS DISGUST BUT FIRM MEASURES
The Eurasian Youth Union raised its ugly head in Ukraine

COMMENTARY: By Halya Coynash
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Eurasian Youth Union raised its ugly head in Ukraine on Friday, with
the desecration of Ukrainian State emblems on Mount Hoverli in the
Ivano-Frankivsk region.  After photographing their “heroic deeds” on their
mobile, the three culprits sped out of the country in the direction of
Russia.

One would like to stop here.  Any attempt to analyze the possible motivation
of this motley gang confronts serious difficulties.  Rather like trying to
write a dissertation on Tom and Jerry in the light of post-structuralism.

On the other hand, the act provoked outrage among many Ukrainians and
calls for severe punishment, some measured, some a little radical, it must
be said.  There were also the predictably inadequate knee jerk reactions from,
for example, the Communist Party

Perhaps of equal importance is the dilemma that such organizations, even
when home-grown, and this one is categorically not, present for the laws of
the country.

The SBU [Security Service] claims to have identified the culprits who are
presently believed to be in Russia.  They may or may not end up being
prosecuted.  The laws in this case are clear enough, although the chances
of a prosecution are slim.

What however, if anything, does one do with the organization as a whole?
At the moment there is a temporary ban on it in Kharkiv, sought by the
Prosecutor on the grounds of its extremist slogans, calls to violence and
its alleged involvement (it claimed responsibility itself) for the
vandalizing and unlawful moving of the monument to the Ukrainian Resistance
Army [UPA] fighters in Kharkiv.

On 23 October the Ministry of Justice website informed of a ruling issued by
the Bakhchysarai District Court in the Crimea forcibly disbanding the
Bakhchysarai District Youth Organization “Eurasian Youth Movement”.

The court ruling was passed under administrative proceedings on 27 September
2007, and has already come into force. The notification on the Ministry’s
site indicates that the branch of the Union in question gained legal status
by informing of its creation on 7 November 2006 and was added to the region
of civic organizations under No. 33.

The reason for its dissolution would appear to be repeated infringements of
legislation by holding mass events outside the area where it is supposed to
be functioning, that is, the Bakhchysarai district.

It seems more than a coincidence that this should be reported now for all
that the court ruling easily preceded this present foul action.  If we think
of the Union’s actions on many occasions, clearly legal measures of, shall
we say, “containment” seem called for.

On the other hand, the law on civic organizations remains flawed and it does
not seem a constructive solution to apply a norm requiring that
organizations only function where registered since this could create a
dangerous precedent.
AGAINST AN INDEPENDENT UKRAINIAN STATE
The Eurasian Youth Union has become vociferous in expressing its muddled
stand which is pro-Russian and against an independent Ukrainian state.  It
possibly has more in its programme, but I’m baffled if I can find it.

It would be difficult to doubt the Eurasian Youth Union’s commitment to acts
of vandalism and its calls to violent measures in pursuing its ends. We are
charitably assuming, of course, that it has any other goals besides
vandalism and destruction.

The means it uses are quite simply unacceptable in any democratic country
and must be prevented.  It would seem more constructive, however, especially
at this time when the Union has demonstrated its prowess so graphically, to
address this directly, rather than simply finding excuses for preventing the
activities of a civic organization.
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LINK: http://www.khpg.org.ua/en/index.php?id=1193162601

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11.  SBU EXPOSED THE CRIMINALS WHO COMMITTED
HOVERLA MOUNTAIN ACTS OF VANDALISM

Ukrayinska Pravda (UP), Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 20, 2007

KYIV -The State Security Service (SBU) exposed organizers and executors
of the act of vandalism over Ukrainian national symbols on Hoverla mountain
in Ivano-Frankivsk region.

According to the SBU Saturday report, the crime was committed by three

young men, members of the Yevroaziyska Spilka Molodi (ESM), the
organization banned by Ukraine’s court.

The following individuals are accused of committing the crime: Savin Leonid
Volodymyrovych, 1974, born in Sumy, resident of Ukraine, living in Moscow,
the Russian Federation since March, 2007, one of the organization’s
activists being in charge of the ESM website operation; Bovdunov Oleksandr,

1986, and Mantrov Valeriy, 1988, both residents of the Russian Federation.

The SBU has received evidence proving that the act of vandalism was
organized by Russian-located ESM leaders Pavlo Zarifulin and Oleksandr

Duhin, whom the SBU banned to enter Ukraine for five years in June 2006.

The SBU reports that criminals came to Ukraine on October 12 and firstly
visited Sumy and Kyiv.

Then they arrived to the foot of Hoverla mountain and climbed up the hill
where they imitated the cutoff of some details of the construction in the
form of small Ukraine’s national emblem and draw the ESM emblem on the
memorial to the Ukrainian Constitution.

The flagstaff for the Ukrainian flag was empty at that time. Criminals
filmed and photographed their vandal actions, went down the mountain and

left Ukraine by train.

On October 17 night, Mr. Savin edited snapshots, having added a picture of
broken granite slabs, metal parts and the like and on October 18 placed them
on the ESM website with a video reel imitating cutoff of the trident.

The documents that the SBU possesses prove that criminals planned the
aforesaid unlawful actions when being in Russia. It was proved that snapshots

were forged, according to the operational investigation group.

The SBU reports that currently the national symbols and memorial to the
Ukrainian Constitution on Hoverla mountain are renewed.

On October 20, the SBU referred the evidence to the Office of the
Prosecutor General of Ukraine. The SBU also informed the Foreign
Ministry of misdeeds committed by foreign citizens.
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LINK: http://www2.pravda.com.ua/en/news/2007/10/21/9233.htm

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12.  SBU REINSTATES RESOLUTION BARRING ENTRY OF
RUSSIAN EURASIAN YOUTH UNION LEADERS TO UKRAINE

Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, October 24, 2007

KYIV – The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has reintated a resolution
barring entry to Ukraine to Eurasian Youth Union Head Pavel Zarifulin and
Eurasian Movement Head Aleksandr Dugin.

The SBU press service told Interfax-Ukraine on Wednesday that the

resolution on the entry ban was taken in the summer of 2006, but its effect
was suspended after the signing of Ukrainian-Russian agreements on ending
the practice of banning entry to the countries.

The SBU said that “the resolution on the entry ban to these two people has
again taken effect” after the events on Hoverla Mountain.

The Eurasian Youth Union earlier said its representatives had destroyed
Ukrainian state symbols on Hoverla Mountain and presented photos as
evidence. In particular, the organization’s representatives sawed off and
destroyed a metal trident – a Ukrainian state symbol – and broke a granite
plaque dedicated to the Constitution of Ukraine.

In place of Ukraine’s flag, representatives of the Eurasian Youth
Organization raised the flag of their organization, renaming Hoverla
Mountain Stalin’s Peak.

SBU Acting Chairman Valentyn Nalyvaichenko said on Saturday that the

service had established the identity of the vandals. They are three young people –
Ukrainian citizen Leonid Saviv, currently residing in Moscow, and two
Russian citizens – Aleksandr Bovdunov and Valeriy Mantrov. They all are
members of the Eurasian Youth Union, which is banned under Ukrainian law.

He said that these people are currently in Russia, adding that the planning
of the destruction of Ukraine’s state symbols was done by Zarifulin and
Dugin, whom the SBU has banned from entering Ukraine for five years.

The investigation subunit of the Interior Ministry’s department in
Ivano-Frankivsk region has opened a criminal case due to the events on
Hoverla Mountain.
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13.  UKRAINE’S HOVERLA HILL INCIDENT DESCRIBED AS BAD
JOKE BY RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR VIKTOR CHERNOMYRDIN

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 26, 2007

KYIV – Russia’s Ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin has described

the incident involving defilement of Ukrainian national symbols on the Hoverla
Hill as a bad joke. Chernomyrdin was speaking at a press conference.

“I have to tell you that the information is wrong. Nobody sawed anything.
They took pictures, they bought a lot – including in Ukraine – and simply
daubed their sign,” Chernomyrdin said. He added that information available
to him indicated that everything was simulated.

“However, no matter the case, it is bad and I condemn it,” Chernomyrdin
said.  According to him, the Eurasian Youth Association is an international
organization and the organization’s Russian division had nothing to do with
this incident. According to him, the Ukrainian division was involved. At the
same time, he stressed that it was bad, no matter who did it.

Asked how the Russian special forces would react if such an incident
occurred in Russia, Chernomyrdin said: “They would first find out what
happened rather than give an instant assessment. Regarding the Kremlin
stars, they would not reach it because it is too high.”

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Prosecutor-General Oleksandr Medvedko
believes that the filing a hooliganism case in connection with the incident
involving defilement of Ukrainian national symbols on the Hoverla hill was
acceptable.

The Ivano-Frankivsk regional administration has said that the pictures
showing damage to the granite slab installed on the Hoverla hill in
commemoration of the Constitution Day were faked.

Viacheslav Koval, a parliamentary candidate for the Our Ukraine-People’s
Self-Defense bloc, recently accused supporters of the Eurasian Youth
association of destroying national symbols on the Hoverla hill.
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14.  PHOTOS OF BROKEN GRANITE SLAB ON HOVERLA

SYMBOLIZING UKRAINE’S CONSTITUTION ARE FAKE
SAYS IVANO-FRANKIVSK REGIONAL ADMINISTRATION

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 20, 2007

KYIV – The Ivano-Frankivsk regional administration has announced that
snapshots of the broken granite slab erected on the Mount Hoverla on the
Constitution Day are a fake. Ukrainian News learned this from its press
service.

“Most of the snapshots published on the Internet to describe this event have
not been proved as authentic,” the press service said.

At 7 a.m. on October 18, an investigation team from the regional SBU office
climbed Hoverla together with representatives of the Hoverla forest board of
the Carpathian National Natural Park, the press service reported.

On the mount top, they saw the pole, intended for the Ukrainian flag,
waiving a black cloth with symbols of the Eurasian Youth Union.

The press service told Ukrainian News that there was no Ukrainian flag on
the pole on that day because it is usually raised on great occasions only.
Workers from the Carpathian National Natural Park pulled down the flag of
the union.

The SBU agents also could see that the trident had been cut off from the
symbolic sign standing near the flagpole and attached to the sign pointing
the directions to different Ukrainian cities.

A snowflake, which is the symbol of the Eurasian Youth Union, was painted

on the granite slab. The slab itself had no signs of damage.

The photographs showing that the slab is broken do not depict the reality,
the press service explained to Ukrainian News. Moreover, snow has covered
Hoverla and air temperature is -5. The press service said the regional
administration will restore the symbolic sign on Saturday.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Security Service of Ukraine and the
Interior Affairs Ministry are investigating the October 19 destruction of
national symbols on Hoverla.

Parliamentary candidate Viacheslav Koval of the Our Ukraine-People’s
Self-Defense Bloc stated that the Eurasian Youth Union followers destroyed
the national symbols on Hoverla.
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15.  LVIV YOUTH STAGE THEATRICAL PROTEST IN RESPONSE

TO DESECRATION OF NATIONAL SYMBOLS ON HOVERLA

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, October 24, 2007

KYIV – Around 30 members from such youth organizations as the Nationalist
Youth Congress, Plast, Spadschyna, and the Lviv Polytechnic’s Student
Brotherhood have held a theatrical demonstration in Lviv to protest the
desecration of national symbols on the Mount Hoverla. The performance

named  “Come to Visit Us” was full of humor.

The protesters gathered at the Monument to Stepan Bandera in Lviv downtown.
They tied a dummy the size of a man in glasses and sweater to the tree and
named it a ‘provocateur’ or ‘moskal.’ The dummy was in air balloons all
over.

The protesters read out their message to Eurasian Youth Union heads
Aleksandr Dugin and Pavel Zarifulin. The address was entitled “Message

from the Ukrainian youth to Dugin, Zarifulin, and other degenerates and
provocateurs” and was written in the style of old Ukrainian letters that
Cossacks used to write to a Turkish sultan.

After that, the protesters began to beat the dummy with sticks, and broken
air balloons were found to contain sweets.

“The performance is a mock of what Eurasian Youth Union members have

done on Hoverla. We shouldn’t respond to their slap in the face with radical
measures,” said one of the protest organizers Andrii Mochurad, a
representative of the Nationalist Youth Congress.

The organizers said they manifested humanism when they tied the dummy to

the tree by its leg because if they tied it by its head, it would mean death.
“For those who don’t have enough brains, for the blood to reach the head,”
Mochurad commented.

The organizers also said that they held the protest at the Monument to
Bandera because the Eurasian Youth Union announced that it would make its
next sortie to this monument.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the investigative department of
Ivano-Frankivsk Region Police filed a criminal case on October 20 alleging
the desecration of national symbols on the Mount Hoverla.

The Security Service has established the names of three masterminds and

two vandals who desecrated the national symbols. The suspects did not
destroy the signs, they only simulated the process, the SBU said.

The SBU has renewed the ban on entry to Ukraine for Eurasian Youth Union
heads Aleksandr Dugin and Pavel Zarifulin after it established that they
controlled the act of vandalism on Hoverla from Russia.
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16.  RUSSIA’S AMBASSADOR CHERNOMYRDIN SUPPORTS

MONUMENT TO EMPRESS CATHERINE II IN ODESA 

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 27, 2007

KYIV – Russia’s Ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin supports

the erection of a monument to Russian Empress Catherine II in Odesa.
Chernomyrdin announced this at a press conference.

“I welcome it. I always welcome it when history is being restored and not
broken,” Chernomyrdin said. Chernomyrdin also stressed that this was the
affair of Odesa.

“This monument is not being restored. It existed. It was simply moved to
another place. The city decided to return it,” he said. He also expressed the

belief that historical monuments deserve special treatment.
SOME PEOPLE NEED TO BOW DOWN TO HER
“Catherine II played a huge role in history… Some people need to bow down
to her and not pick a fight,” Chernomyrdin said.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Our Ukraine People’s Union party has
expressed opposition to unveiling of the monument to Russian Empress
Catherine II in Odesa.

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who is also the leader of the Party of
Regions, considers demolition of the monument to Catherine II in Odesa
unacceptable.

On September 2, Ukrainian nationalists from the Svoboda all-Ukrainian
association, Ukrainian Republican Party Sobor, and other organizations

held a rally in front of the Odesa regional administration building in protest
against the erection of a monument called “Founders of Odesa.”

Local authorities are erecting a monument called “Founders of Odesa” on
Yekaterina Square in Odesa. The central figure of the monument is Empress
Catherine II.
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17.  OUR UKRAINE PEOPLE’S UNION OPPOSES UNVEILING
OF MONUMENT TO EMPRESS CATHERINE II IN ODESA
Monuments to oppressors of Ukrainian people should not be allowed

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 27, 2007

KYIV – The Our Ukraine People’s Union party opposes unveiling of the
monument to Russian Empress Catherine II in Odesa. The Our Ukraine

People’s Union party announced this in a statement, a text of which Ukrainian
News obtained.

“The OUPU strongly opposes the intention of the Odesa municipal authorities
to unveil a monument to Russian Empress Catherine II on October 27.

Unveiling such a monument plus a celebration in connection with it amounts
to an outrage over the memories of the thousands of Ukrainian patriots who
suffered in the hands of Catherine II and a challenge to the entire
Ukrainian people,” the statement says.
MONUMENTS TO OPPRESSORS OF UKRAINE

‘The party warns that attempts to unveil such a monument would only result in
civil confrontation. “We are calling on all democratic forces and all
government institutions to provide an assessment of the provocative actions
of the Odesa municipal authorities and not allow monuments to oppressors of
the Ukrainian people to stand on their land,” the statement says.

The Our Ukraine People’s Union party stressed that it was on the orders of
Catherine II that Zaporizka Sich was destroyed, the democratic system of
Ukraine destroyed, peasants enslaved, and education destroyed.

“The perseverance with which the Odesa authorities – before removing
monuments to Lenin and the communist punishers of Ukraine from the center of
Odesa – are attempting to replace them with monuments to other oppressors is
surprising,” the statement says.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who is
also the leader of the Party of Regions, considers removal of the monument
to Catherine II in Odesa unacceptable.

On September 2, Ukrainian nationalists from the Svoboda all-Ukrainian
association, Ukrainian Republican Party Sobor, and other organizations held
a rally in front of the Odesa regional administration building in protest
against the erection of a monument to Odesa’s Founders.

Local authorities are erecting a monument called “Founders of Odesa” on
Yekaterina Square in Odesa. The central figure of the monument is Empress
Catherine II.
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18.  UKRAINIAN PROPRESIDENTIAL PARTY RUES STATUE

OF RUSSIAN EMPRESS IN SOUTHERN CITY 
 
UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian Oct 25, 2007
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, October 25, 2007
 
KIEV – The [propresidential party] Our Ukraine People’s Union has
issued a statement decisively condemning the intention of the city
authorities in Odessa to unveil a statue to Russian empress Catherine the
Great on 27 October.

SONGS ABOUT THE ‘HOSTILE MOTHER’
The authors of the statement say, “The unveiling of this statue, and what’s
more to make an occasion out of it, is an insult to the thousands of
Ukrainian patriots who were killed by Catherine and is a challenge to the
entire Ukrainian people.”
The party says that all qualified historians give a uniformly negative
assessment of Catherine’s role in Ukrainian history. “The Ukrainian people
composed countless songs about the ‘hostile mother’, who ‘destroyed the
Sich [stronghold of Ukrainian Cossacks]’.
 
This assessment was marvellously summed up by [19th century poet] Taras
Shevchenko in countless lines of his Kobzar [collection of patriotic and
pastoral poetry],” the statement says. 
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19.  FAREWELL, MY ODESA!
Why does Ukraine have monuments to Catherine II and Peter I
but not to Hitler and Stalin

By Taras Chukhlib, Historian, Director, Cossack Research Center
Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Adieu, my charming and freedom-loving Odesa! “Bye, my darling mother,
 Adesa,” as speakers of the local patois say.

Goodbye, my lovely city on the Black Sea, where I, a provincial youth from
the Kyiv region, ended up three decades ago and saw that, in addition to
metropolitan Kyiv, there was another splendid city on earth with extremely
beautiful streets and squares, buildings and churches, theaters and parks,
where there was a special air of respect for people, no matter what language
they speak, where they come from, what their nationality is, and what
swimsuit they are wearing when they take a dip into the sea.

I don’t want to offend the current residents of Odesa, but I must say that
now all this has disappeared from the city and may never return.

With the erection of this disgraceful monument of the empire, this
world-famous Black Sea gem lost its inimitable charm and unique civilized
nature and turned into a dictator – a monster that strives not only to
dominate residents and visitors alike, but also to scorn their ancestors,
who had particular national customs, traditions, and historical memory.

So the people of Odesa want to be contemporary spiritual serfs and slaves,
who are skillfully manipulated by oligarchic leaders for the sake of
politics and profit. But Odesa doesn’t just belong to the city residents but
to me: it is not only part of the Ukrainian cultural and state space but
also a treasure of world civilization. Odesa belong to all of us!

For various reasons, Odesa, which throughout the centuries zealously
maintained its multicultural and polyethnic civilization under all kinds of
political regimes, has unfortunately lost all this.

Today it is difficult to call Odesa “mother” because one of its downtown
squares will soon display a Russian empress, who was a wicked and spiteful
“stepmother” of many nations. It is common knowledge that even today most
historians call the Catherine-era Russian Empire none other than a “prison
of nations.”
WHAT ABOUT THE “STEPPE-DWELLING KALMYK?”
It is not clear to me, and perhaps many other people who are concerned about
their own past, why some Ukrainians should have chosen – in the 16th year of
independence, when all the archives are open, there is access to libraries
and the Internet, when everybody can familiarize themselves with history,
warts and all – to erect a monument to a person who may well be called a
Schicklgruber-Hitler or Dzhugashvili-Stalin in a skirt.

Why this kind of comparison?

Because during her 34-year reign from 1762 to 1796 Catherine II, alias
Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst, a minor Prussian princess from
Stettin (today: Szczecin, Poland), destroyed not only all things Ukrainian
(the abolition of the Ukrainian Hetmanate, the liquidation of the
Zaporozhian Sich, and the imposition of serfdom) but also the statehood and
culture of the Tatars, Poles, Jews, Greeks, Finns, Lithuanians, Latvians,
Estonians, Kalmyks, Bashkirs, Chuvashes, Karelians, Mordvins, and many

other peoples that populated the multinational Russian Empire.

It was Catherine II who sought by repressive means to drive all the people
into a single “corral” called the “undivided Great Russian people.”

Thus, she resembles the world’s No. 1 criminal Adolf Hitler, who tried to
form the “great German nation” by means of wars and concentration camps,

as well as his follower and later enemy Joseph Stalin, who deported entire
nations to the camps of the GULAG in order to create “the great
Soviet-Russian people.”

By no means do I wish to insult the Russians or the Germans, who are proud
of representing their truly great nations and who also suffered at the hands
of their former imperialist leaders.

But what do you think a present-day Turk, for example, will feel, standing
in front of Catherine II’s magnificent monument in the resort city of Odesa?
After all, the bronze figure is trampling a Turkish flag with Islamic
symbols. And what will a Tatar feel?

Catherine II not only destroyed the Crimean Khanate, but also tried to expel
by force all the Tatars from the Crimean peninsula, well before they were
deported by Stalin in 1944.

Jews will also feel distress because Catherine II was the first to introduce
the discriminatory “Pale of Settlement” for their ancestors whom she banned
from holding any government post in Russia.

The unveiling of the monument will also be painful for Poles because it was
Catherine II who partitioned and then erased the Polish Kingdom from the
world map and then, well before the Nazis (who exterminated the residents of
Warsaw in 1944), allowed General Suvorov in 1794 to massacre thousands of
Warsaw residents, mostly old people, women, and children.

Obviously, every Pole who was taught in childhood to respect his history
will remind the people of Odesa that Catherine’s troops put down the
national liberation uprising led by the famous Tadeusz Kosciusko.

A Greek beholding the bronze monument will probably recall his family’s
story that in the late 1770s and early 1780s all the Greeks who had lived on
the Black Sea coast for millennia were forced out of the Crimea on the
orders of Catherine II. The Kalmyks and Bashkirs will recall that Catherine
II did not allow their forefathers to escape to China and sent her troops to
exterminate them.

As for the Finns, Lithuanians, Latvians, and Estonians, they are still
comparing Catherine II to Stalin because the tsarist government robbed them
perfidiously and forcibly of their statehood, culture, and language.

Perhaps some contemporary Russians, who come to Odesa on vacation,

will also recall that the tsarina, in pursuit of her policy of “enlightened
absolutism,” traded their serf ancestors like cattle and suppressed numerous
popular revolts, including the one led by Yemelian Pugachev.

Well before the notorious Hitler and Stalin, Empress Catherine II physically
destroyed her political opponents and her own family members (an
illustrative example: in 1762 she seized the throne as a result of a plot
and had her husband Peter III killed), waged aggressive imperialistic wars,
ruined other states, suppressed national liberation movements, repressed
entire nations, and wiped out the spirituality and culture of many peoples
both in the Russian Empire and abroad.

In view of this, I think that the Odesa city councilors who made the
controversial decision in July 2007 to restore the 19th-century monument to
the “founders of Odesa,” of which the majestic statue of Catherine II is the
main element, committed a crime that – don’t be surprised! – is punishable
under certain articles of Ukraine’s Criminal Code, including those that ban
offenses against human dignity and incite interethnic enmity.

I hope these “people’s servants” from Odesa will in due time answer to the
law and the people – and to their own conscience, if they still have one –
for their antihuman action.

But what about President Viktor Yushchenko, who presumably has an excellent
knowledge of Ukrainian history? Even in the not so distant year of 1995 his
predecessor Leonid Kuchma banned such a monument.

It is painful to lose Odesa – not just for me, a Ukrainian who is engaged in
researching the history of his fatherland, but also, I trust, for many of my
compatriots, who are aware of their place in the world vis-a-vis their
past – Russians, Jews, Tatars, Turks, Poles, Greeks, Bulgarians,
Belarusians, and representatives of other peoples that today form the
Ukrainian political nation and which populated the Russian Empire in the
time of Catherine II and suffered from her rule no less than the Soviet
people did under Stalin or the European nations under Hitler.

However, while our parents and grandparents experienced the crimes of the
communist and Nazi regimes “on their own backs,” the misanthropic actions

of Catherine II have been somewhat forgotten over the course of time.

Furthermore, Russia’s ideological machine is continuing, unfortunately, to
spit out mythically sweet “bonbons” about the tsarina and her retinue in
films and movies made for TV, books, and the mass media. As we can see,
these are being consumed with pleasure not only all over Russia but also in
Odesa and the rest of Ukraine.
CATHERINE “THE GREAT” AND UKRAINE
The reasons why the infamous Odesa bureaucrats are installing the monument
are very questionable: they maintain that Catherine II was by far the best
ruler “of all times and nations,” a statement that is discussed on an almost
daily basis in Odesa’s government-controlled and gutter press as well as
many television programs.

This situation is the result of a powerful wave of tawdry TV and film
productions, which has been inundating our informational space for decades,
as well as belletristic newspaper and magazine publications by writers from
our neighbor, a state that portrays Catherine II as a “defender of all the
oppressed.”

What inspires the Russian popularizers and their Buzyna-style apologists in
Ukraine is the fact that, from the second half of the 18th century to this
day, Russian historiography has been assessing Catherine’s contribution to
the building of the Russian Empire in more than positive terms. During the
tsarina’s lifetime, court historians, showered with money from the royal
coffers, created a slicked- up image of an “educated,” “democratic,” and
“wise” ruler, even calling her “Great.”
MYTH-MAKING TRADITION

This myth-making tradition thrived in subsequent years, too. Sergei Solovev,
one of the best- known Russian statist historians, always emphasized the
tsarina’s efforts in the “glorious annexation” of the Crimea, Northern Black
Sea Coast, “Western Russia” (Poland and Belarus), and Southern Russia
(Ukraine) by St. Petersburg and Moscow.

There were exceptions, though, in Soviet times, when scholars adopted the
so-called class approach and described the Russian tsarina’s historical role
without excessive reverence. For example, in his book Field Marshal
Rumiantsev in the Period of the Russo-Turkish War in 1768-1774 (Moscow,
1951) Yurii Klokman writes that one of the consequences of Catherine’s
policies was the “enslavement of the Ukrainian peasantry and the liquidation
of the last vestiges of independence and particular features of Ukraine’s
political order.”

From then on, Soviet scholarship no longer mentioned the destruction of
Ukrainian statehood, although almost every Soviet schoolbook discussed

the enslavement of Ukraine as well as other “national borderlands” of the
Russian Empire.

Therefore, while Russian “bourgeois” historiography, which had always been
institutional (i.e., it always justified the necessity of imperial state
institutions), as a rule extolled the tsarina, her social policies were
treated negatively in the Soviet era, Moscow and Leningrad lavished more
praise on Peter I, who was a more appealing figure to Stalin and, through
inertia, other communist bosses.

Are the historiographic conclusions of Russian and Soviet scholars the norm
for Polish, Turkish, Finnish, Israeli, Lithuanian, and other scholars?

The truth is that foreign historians have adopted an unequivocal attitude to
Catherine II and her associates, and, although their assessments of the
Russian Empire’s aggressive foreign and domestic policies in the late 18th
century are contradictory, they in no way induce the public and the
government of any country to spend public or private funds on the erection
of majestic and totally unnecessary monuments.

What have we, latter-day historians of independent Ukraine, done to promote
the truth to the public, including the people of Odesa, about events that
took place more than 200 years ago? Let us examine the value judgments of
Ukraine’s leading experts on the reign of Catherine II and her attitude to
Russian-ruled Ukraine, which the Russian Empire’s official documents called
Little Russia.

The historian Valerii Smolii, who is a member of the National Academy of
Sciences of Ukraine, and his co-author Valerii Stepankov, noted in their
book The Ukrainian National Idea in the 17th-18th Centuries (Kyiv, 1997)
that in 1764 “the Petersburg court nurtured the idea of finally abolishing
the autonomy of Ukraine and totally ‘Russifying’ the area.”

To substantiate their claim, these well- known scholars cite a secret
instruction that Catherine II sent to Prince Viazemsky: “Little Russia,
Livonia, and Finland are provinces governed on the basis of granted
privileges.

It would be inappropriate to flout these privileges right now but, on the
other hand, these provinces should not be considered alien and treated as if
they were foreign lands – this would be nonsense. We must do our utmost so
that these provinces, like the Smolensk region, are Russified and cease to
resemble wolves that are looking into the woods…And when there is no
hetman in Little Russia, we must try to ensure that the era and the names of
the hetmans will vanish” (author’s emphasis).

Catherine II’s extremely negative role in the history of Ukraine is also the
subject of extensive research by historians based in Kyiv, Zaporizhia,
Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Vinnytsia, Kamianets-Podilsky – even Odesa, such as
L. Melnyk, A. Putro, H. Shvydko, V. Stepankov, A. Boiko, V. Horobets, O.
Hurzhii, S. Tsviliuk, and O. Bachynska. Unfortunately, the print runs of
their books are very small, and you will not find them in bookstores or
makeshift book markets in Odesa or other Ukrainian cities.

If somebody questions the conclusions of Ukrainian historians, they would

do well to turn to the works of foreign researchers, such as the American
historian Dr. Mark Raeff, who showed that Catherine II’s policy towards
Ukraine, Poland, Finland, the Baltic territories, and other “national
borderlands” was aimed at institutional Russification, i.e., integration
that was intended to result in administrative, economic, social, and
cultural sameness (Mark Raeff, “Uniformity, Diversity, and the Imperial
Administration in the Reign of Catherine II,” Osteuropa in Geschichte und
Gegenwart, Cologne, 1977).

An interesting conclusion about the importance of the social restructuring
of Ukrainian society during the reign of Catherine II may also be found in
the book Russian Centralism and Ukrainian Autonomy: Imperial Absorption

of the Hetmanate, 1760s-1830s by Zenon E. Kohut, a Ukrainian Canadian
historian, which was published in Ukraine in 1996.
UKRAINIAN BECAME SYNONYMOUS WITH ‘PEASANT’
This Harvard graduate and professor of the University of Pennsylvania and
the University of Alberta writes that Catherine II and her successors
successfully managed to integrate the Hetmanate into the Russian Empire,
while at the same time Ukrainian cities became Russified, whereas the
countryside, populated by the Cossacks, peasants, and nobles, remained
predominantly Ukrainian. In this historian’s opinion, it was at this time
that the word ‘Ukrainian’ became synonymous with ‘peasant.’

Yet the people’s memory is more truthful than historical science, which
always caters to the dominant political regime in any country. In the 19th
century, the ethnographers and historians O. Afanasiev-Chuzhbynsky, Y.
Novytsky, D. Yavornytsky, I. Manzhura, O. Storozhenko, and H. Nadkhin

found much anecdotal evidence (tales, songs, proverbs, etc.) from southern
Ukrainian peasants and former Cossacks about their recent tragic past.
FOLLOWED THE EVIL WITCH’S CURSE
Here are some brief statements from what eyewitnesses and their closest
descendants said: “Tsarina Catherine liked the Zaporozhian land, so she
decided to hound the Zaporozhians out of it,” “It just followed the evil
witch’s curse: Tsarina Catherine ravaged the Sich, the Zaporozhian nest,”
“They had forty kurins and 40,000 warriors, but Catherine drove them
away and gave the land to the Germans,” and the like.

If you examine the song collections published in the 19th century by M.
Maksymovych, Z. Dolega-Chodakowski, O. Bodiansky, P. Kulish, P.

Lukashevych, M. Vovchok, O. Markovych, M. Drahomanov, and you
will see that the words of the vast majority of late-18th-century folk songs
are full of oppressive sadness, despair, and undisguised outrage: “I was
born hapless and I will die hapless, for my mother bore me in an evil hour.”

There is much original documentary evidence that speaks eloquently of the
misdeeds of Catherine and her bureaucrats. On May 14, 1776, Potemkin, the
Russian empress’s longtime favorite (whose figure is also part of the
controversial monument in Odesa) sent her the following proposal, “My
gracious sovereign! Your Imperial Majesty is aware of all the brazen
offenses of Petro Kalnyshevsky, the former Zaporozhian Sich ataman, and his
accomplices, Judge Pavlo Holovaty and Secretary Ivan Hloba, whose riotous
treachery is so grave that, under all civil and political laws, they quite
legitimately deserve capital punishment…I suggest that they be
incarcerated in monasteries for life – the ataman in the Solovky Islands and
the others in Siberia.” Catherine gave a terse answer, “So be it.”

Do you think that Kalnyshevsky and his senior officers, who spent roughly 25
years rotting in the dungeons of Solovky, Tobolsk, and Turukhan, really
committed crimes against Catherine’s regime?

Not at all – they had not only helped the tsarist government in the
victorious Russo-Turkish war of 1768-74 but also dissuaded the Cossacks from
taking up arms when the empire was mopping up the Zaporozhian Sich in 1775.
All those who today are advocating the restoration of all kinds of “unions”
and “single economic spaces” should think all these facts through.
KOCHUBEIV-KHADZHIBEI-ODESA
As a historian, I am well aware that our historical national memory was
effaced for centuries by powerful totalitarian-state actions that were
always of an imperial (i.e., predatory, totalitarian, inhuman) nature.

As a citizen of Ukraine, I know that even today my country is still facing a
well-planned and generously-funded informational and ideological enemy
attack aimed, on the one hand, at drawing Ukrainians into the globalized
world and, on the other, at sending them back to the democratic-looking but
still imperialist Muscovite stables.

One element of this campaign is the attempt to persuade Ukrainians
(including the residents of Odesa) that all the cities in eastern and
southern Ukraine, as well as in the Crimea, were founded, if not by
Catherine II, then by other Russian rulers. There is no mention of the fact
that there had been Ukrainian Cossack settlements on the territory of
Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, and Nykopil long before they were “founded”

by the St. Petersburg government.

Moreover, present- day Sevastopil and Bilhorod- Dnistrovsky have an ancient
history that spans thousands of years, not 200. The obvious goal of this
historical disinformation is to prove that these are “primordial Russian”
lands.

Meanwhile, sources indicate that in 1415 the Grand Duke of Lithuania
Vytautas founded a fortress town on the site of present- day Odesa and named
it Kachybei. The Ukrainians, whose lands were then ruled by Lithuanian
dukes, called the town Kochubeiv and engaged in a brisk trade with it,
thanks to its harbor.

When the Ottoman Empire conquered the Northern Black Sea Coast in the late
15th century, Kachubei-Kochubeiv was renamed Khadzhibei in the Turkish
manner and was repeatedly attacked by Ukrainian Cossack units in the
following years.

Long before Catherine II issued her “city foundation ukases,” this Ottoman
town had a small port, a population of about 3,000 (including Turks, Tatars,
Noghays, and Greeks), and more than 600 houses, including stone ones.

It should be emphasized that six regiments of the Cossack Otaman Zakharii
Chepiha, who remained loyal to the tsarina after the destruction of the
Sich, helped the Russian army win back Khadzhibei from the Sublime Porte.

It would be very instructive for modern-day apologists of Catherine II, the
mythical “founder of Odesa,” to read the fundamental monograph On the
History of the Settlement of the City of Khadzhibei, 1775-1789, written by
the well-known Odesa-based scholar Prof. V. Yakovlev in 1889.

In his work, the longtime chairman of the Odesa Association of History and
Antiquities convincingly proves that all the tsarist government did was to
settle a new Slavic population in Khadzhibei. Out of the 1,000 new town
residents, nearly 650 were Ukrainians – former Zaporozhian Cossacks.

Using archival documents, Odesa researchers provide ample proof in their
books that the history of Odesa did not begin in 1794, when Catherine II
promulgated her well-known ukase on the construction of a more modern city
and a new large port on the site of the conquered Turkish fortress: the
history of this city goes back four centuries, when
Kochubeiv-Khadzhibei-Odesa was under Lithuanian, Turkish, and Tatar rule.

Now try to conduct a kind of straw poll. Ask the average Polish schoolchild
why there is no monument to Catherine II in the Polish city of Szczecin
(formerly the Prussian German city of Stettin). After all, she is world
famous and, therefore, Poland could glorify her.

Believe me: you will get an exhaustive and unequivocal answer: the Russian
empress partitioned the Polish Kingdom, crushed the Kosciusko-led national
liberation uprising, and slaughtered Warsaw’s residents.

Then ask a Ukrainian schoolboy from Odesa why this Ukrainian city is getting
a monument to the person who destroyed the Zaporozhian Sich and the
Hetmanate, introduced serfdom, and suppressed the Ukrainian language and
culture. Exhaustive answers to these questions can be found in all textbooks
on Ukrainian history, encyclopedias, and reference books.

Then you can poll contemporary Crimean Tatar children on their attitude to
Catherine’s activities and the attempt of the Crimea’s denationalized
residents to install not only a monument to Stalin, the murderer of millions
of people, but another one to his predecessor. Obviously, the answers of
young Poles and Tatars will differ very little. What will the Ukrainian
schoolchild say?
ARE THERE ANY COSSACKS LEFT IN UKRAINE?
Goodbye, Odesa! Everybody is fed up with your trite humor. There are lots

of cars on your streets; there is smog in the air, dirt in the sea, garbage on
the beaches, foreign information junk in the brains of bureaucrats, and
slavish emptiness in the souls of Odesa residents.

It is this emptiness that laid the groundwork for building a monument to the
“immortal” empire – Chauvinism, Corruption, Ignorance, Tastelessness, and
Profanity. I would rather go on vacation to the Muslim town of Antalya in
neighboring Turkey.

But as soon as I return from my “campaign on Istanbul,” I will immediately
visit Odesa. That is where my historian friends live, who have been writing
fundamental monographs and articles for a long time.

“Knocking on all the government doors,” they say that their city is much
older than 200. Yes, Catherine II’s ukases expanded the former Khadzhibei
and renamed it Odesa, but this does not mean that the tsarina is the founder
of this beautiful Black Sea coastal city.

Let us hold another scholarly conference (what else can scholars do?) and
once again call on the city authorities to realize the harm that imperial
monumentalism does not only to the city’s architectural environment but also
to the difficult process of making Ukrainians perceive themselves as a
modern political nation.

Let us try to prove that City Hall does not need this materially and
spiritually costly “imperialization” of Odesa, and that it would be far
better to restore the good memory of the indefatigable scholar Apollon
Skalkovsky who, while living in Odesa from 1828 to 1898, loyally served both
Russia and Ukraine and was the first to write an unbiased history of the
Zaporozhian Sich.
PEOPLE OF ODESA!

People of Odesa! Let us choose the historic figures who helped to unite, not
disunite, entire nations and states and are thus worthy of being revered and
immortalized in bronze. I will continue to visit Odesa over and over again
because it is finally awakening from its stupid, lethargic, Soviet-era
sleep.

Some Odesa residents who are not indifferent to their history – genuine
modern- day Cossacks – have launched an unequal but righteous battle

against the supposedly democratic authorities.

The efforts of concerned Ukrainians of Odesa, who since 1992 have been
opposing the renaming of a downtown street to Katerynenska and the erection
of a monument to the tsarina in 1995 and 2007, could serve as the plot of a
thrilling documentary film.

It would show the clashes between Cossack patriots and police, when dozens
of youths were beaten to a pulp and detained for 15 days for their
“knowledge of history.”

There was also a special security service operation, during which people who
were protesting against the plans to erect the monument were savagely
manhandled, while plainclothesmen told eyewitnesses that a movie was being
shot. This complete “repressive set” of the Brezhnev-Suslov era was used
only to immortalize the dubious heroine of a neighboring state.

To counter the “brazen-faced khokhly,” a lavishly-funded civic organization,
with the interesting name of Undivided Fatherland, was founded recently. Its
leader, a certain Kaurov, makes no secret of the fact that he is constantly
receiving “moral support” from Moscow.
RUSSIAN TSARINA EXECUTED, TORTURED, DEPORTED

Meanwhile, representatives of Odesa’s Cossacks and other Ukrainian
organizations are actively protesting against the wanton abuse of the memory
of their forefathers and all those who were executed, tortured to death,
deported, or oppressed by the Russian tsarina.

As Odesa slowly wipes the imperialist-communist film from its eyes, I
believe that one day it will again be a good “mother” to its residents and
visitors. Hello, my beautiful Ukrainian city!
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20.  PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO CALLS ON UKRAINIAN TO

EXAMINE HISTORY OF THE UKRAINIAN INSURGENT ARMY
“We have lived decades in untruth…in the yoke of an empire”

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 27, 2007

KYIV – President Viktor Yuschenko has called on Ukrainians to examine
the history of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). He made the call while
addressing journalists in Kyiv.

“Regarding the role and mission of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, I am a
supporter of the view that we need to approach this issue delicately and
tolerantly. It is not an issue for one day.

“We have lived decades in untruth, we have lived decades under the yoke

of an empire that very frequently explained to us – as the Ukrainian nation –
in the editorials of the Pravda [newspaper] and every district newspaper
what is the truth and what is a lie. We did not write our own history,
unfortunately,” Yuschenko said.

According to him, all the issues that can prevent unification and
consolidation should be discussed publicly for the sake of the idea of unity
of the nation.

“I am a supporter of the notion that we should lead our nation to the status
of an open civil society that will provide these difficult answers to these
things through patience, tolerance, truthfulness, and better knowledge of
history,” Yuschenko said.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Yuschenko conferred the Hero of
Ukraine award on Roman Shukhevych, the commander-in-chief and cornet
general of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army during the 1942-1950 period, on
October 12.
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21.  FJCR CONDEMNS YUSCHENKO’S DECISION TO BESTOW
HERO’S TITLE ON URA COMMANDER SHUKHEVICH

Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, October 18, 2007

MOSCOW – The Federation of the Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR) has
condemned Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko’s decision to bestow a Hero
of Ukraine’s title on commander of the Ukrainian Rebel Army (URA) Romand
Shukhevich.

“This is a provocative action aimed at rehabilitating the Nazis’ crimes
against humanity and insulting the memory of the victims of these crimes,”
FJCR said in a statement circulated in Moscow on Thursday.

A corresponding decree signed by Yuschenko says that Shukhevich was

awarded the hero’s title posthumously for his “outstanding personal
contribution to the struggle for the liberation and independence of Ukraine.”

“Under ‘personal contribution to the struggle for Ukraine’s independence’
the Ukrainian President evidently implies the mass killing of Jews and Poles
perpetrated by Shukhevich,” the FJCR statement reads.

On June 30, 1941, a battalion commanded by Shukhevich took part in massacres
of Jews in Lviv after German troops captured the city, the document says.

The FJCR warns that similar political gestures are extremely dangerous and
are playing into the hands of those who want to revise the history of WWII.

The heroization of Shukhevich is a “sign of disrespect for the Soviet
soldiers URA detachments fought along with and for those who gave their
lives in the name of freedom, the statement says.
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22.  LEFTIST, PRO-RUSSIAN EXTREMISTS DEFY UKRAINIAN
PRESIDENT VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO OVER HISTORY

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Pavel Korduban
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 197
The Jamestown Foundation, Wash, DC, Wed, Oct 24, 2007

President Viktor Yushchenko’s recent efforts to commemorate World War
II nationalist fighters have provoked a wave of pro-Russian and leftist
extremism in Ukraine.

Radical leftists disrupted commemorations of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army
(UPA) across Ukraine on October 14, and the Russian radical nationalist
organization Eurasian Youth Union (ESM) claimed responsibility for
vandalizing national symbols on Ukraine’s highest mountain.

On October 12 Yushchenko posthumously proclaimed Roman Shukhevych,
the UPA commander in the 1940s, a Hero of Ukraine, and two days later
he decreed that the 65th anniversary of the UPA should be commemorated.

On October 14, a monument was unveiled in the western town of Lviv to one
of the main ideologists of 20th century Ukrainian nationalism, Stepan
Bandera.

The leftist and pro-Russian forces have made it clear that they will not put
up with “the president’s attempts to impose pro-fascist, neo-Nazi policy on
society,” as one of the leaders of the Communist Party (CPU), Oleksandr
Holub, put it.

The CPU issued a statement saying that Yushchenko had “voiced support at
the state level for an ideology that was condemned internationally and by
the Nuremberg trial.”

The UPA has always been respected in western Ukraine, which the Soviet Union
annexed from Poland in 1939, as freedom fighters. Official historiography
maintains that the UPA fought both the Nazis and the Red Army. Most right-
of-center parties, the far-right groups, and President Yushchenko share this
point of view.

Pro-Russian parties and leftists, most of whom are nostalgic for the Soviet
past, say that the UPA collaborated with the Nazis, so it does not deserve
commemoration. This negative view of the UPA dominates in the
Russian-speaking regions, and it is apparently shared by the majority of the
Party of Regions of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

UPA veterans and several thousand supporters of the far-right parties
Freedom, the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, and the Ukrainian National
Assembly organized a march in Kyiv on October 14 to commemorate the
UPA.

They were confronted by supporters of the CPU and the radical left
Progressive Socialist Party, who behaved aggressively. Police prevented
scuffles between supporters of the rival camps, briefly detaining 24 of
them.

Similar events happened in several other cities across Ukraine, including
the second biggest city, Kharkiv. In the Crimean capital of Simferopol,
where pro- Russian and leftist radicals by far outnumber the nationalists,
police had to work especially hard to prevent serious confrontations.

Yushchenko’s calls for UPA commemoration were largely ignored by the local
authorities beyond western Ukraine. Not everybody would understand this.

We have to first conduct serious explanatory work, said the governor of
the central Ukrainian Poltava Region, Valery Asadchev, who is a member of
Yushchenko’s team.

The council of Ukraine’s easternmost region, Luhansk, voted to approve
an appeal for Yushchenko to revoke his decree on proclaiming Shukhevych
a hero. Luhansk voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Party of Regions in
the September 30 parliamentary election.

On October 18, the ESM, a Russian radical youth group, said that its
activists had demolished Ukrainian national symbols that had been erected on
Ukraine’s highest mountain, the Hoverla. The mountain, located in western
Ukraine, is a symbol by itself. Yushchenko, when he was opposition leader,
 would ascend it ceremoniously each year accompanied by crowds of his
political supporters.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) confirmed that the ESM’s activists had
vandalized the symbols but said that the ESM had exaggerated the damage. The
SBU said that this was committed by three young men, two of whom had arrived
from Russia for the purpose.

One of the leaders of the ESM, Pavel Zarifullin, commenting on the SBU’s
statement, said the three young men in question reside in western Ukraine,
rather than Russia.

Zarifullin mocked the SBU, saying that it only pretended to have full
information on the ESM activists in question. The Ukrainian version of the
Russian daily Kommersant quoted the ESM’s main ideologist, Aleksandr
Dugin, as saying that the “action on the Hoverla” had been prompted by
Yushchenko’s commemoration of Shukhevych.

Dugin and Zarifullin were declared personae non gratae in Ukraine in 2006
for their participation in anti-NATO and anti-U.S. protests in Crimea.

Ukraine’s main parties displayed very different reactions to the incident
on the Hoverla. Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine People’s Self-Defense condemned

it as a criminal act committed by anti-Ukrainian forces.

Yushchenko’s allies from the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc urged immediate reaction
from the Prosecutor-General’s Office. The Party of Regions kept silent. The
CPU’s Holub said that the Hoverla incident was Ukrainian society’s emotional
reaction to Yushchenko;s neo-Nazi policy.
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LINK:  http://www.jamestown.org/edm/article.php\?article_id=2372530

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23.  2008 TO BE DECLARED YEAR OF REMEMBRANCE FOR
HOLODOMOR VICTIMS SAYS PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO

Press Service of the President of Ukraine (in Ukrainian)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2008
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #884, Article 23 (in English)
Washington, D.C., Sunday, October 28, 2007

KYIV – 2008 should be declared the national year of remembrance for the
victims of Holodomor, President Yushchenko said on Oct. 23 in Kharkiv

during a session of  the Holodomor Commemoration Coordinating Council
held to prepare for the 75th anniversary of the 1932-1933 Famine in Ukraine.

The president also said he will initiate a bill to impose criminal liability
for the denial of two worst genocides in world history, the Holocaust and
Holodomor.

The Ukrainian president instructed central and local authorities to hold
events on 24 November 2008 to commemorate the victims of the Soviet-era
famine and political repression.  He also added that November 24 will be the
start of official events to mark the 75th anniversary of Holodomor.

The president also noted that the world-wide tradition of lighting candles
by the citizens of Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora to pay tribute to the
victims of the 1932-1933 Great Famine and political repression will
continue. Yushchenko urged church leaders to join the Holodomor memorial
events.

Yushchenko stressed that it was of utmost importance to erect Holodomor
monuments in all regions hit by the famine, expressing hope that such a
monument will soon be unveiled in Kharkiv. He also said that all graves of
Holodomor victims should be found and put in order.

Addressing the local authorities, Yushchenko has again emphasized the
importance of preparing regional memory books that will become part of the
National Memory Book.

“I would very much like every oblast of Ukraine to make its contribution to
the National Memory Book. The latter must incorporate all eye-witness
reports about the Famine. The local authorities must facilitate the
inventory by the archives of all Holodomor documents,” the president
stressed.

The head of state criticized the Education Ministry for failing to raise
Holodomor awareness. “I hope the Education Ministry will understand that
this subject is very important for shaping outlooks of the young,” he said.
He called on artists to create films, paintings and books  about that
tragedy, pledging to support their initiatives.

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24.  FAMINE OF THE 1930’S WAS NOT GENOCIDE AGAINST
UKRAINIANS SAYS RUSSIAN OMBUDSMAN VLADIMIR LUKIN

Interfax Ukraine Focus, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, October 25, 2007

MOSCOW – The famine in Ukraine in the 1930s was not genocide directed
exclusively against Ukrainians but was part of the then Soviet state’s tough
policy towards all nationalities of the former Soviet Union, ombudsman in
Russia Vladimir Lukin said at a press conference at Interfax’ main office
[Moscow] on Thursday.

“Attempts are being made to portray the great famine in Ukraine in the 1930s
as an exclusive action directed against Ukrainians, which is, of course,
absolutely untrue,” he said.

“This [famine] was the toughest action against all Soviet people, Ukrainians
were not alone in suffering from it,” Lukin added.

Earlier, UN coordinator in Kyiv Francis O’Donnell announced that the issue
of the 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine, known as Holodomor, was a very
important problem for the entire international community.

More and more countries officially recognize Holodomor as genocide,
he told reporters in Kyiv.

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25.  75 YEARS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE HOLODOMOR
October 22, 1932 special commission on grain requisitions

Radio Svoboda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 22, 2007

On 22 October, 1932, 75 years ago, the decision was taken in Moscow to send
a special commission on grain requisitions, headed by Viacheslav Molotov, to
Ukraine. As a result of the Molotov Commission’s activities, all reserves of
grain were taken from the Soviet part of Ukraine.  This led to Holodomor
[the Famine] and the death of millions of people.

Collectivization and the campaign against “kulaks” had already in 1931
resulted in a considerable reduction in the grain harvest in Soviet Ukraine.
In October 1932 Ukraine only reached 22% of its monthly grain requisition
quota.

In order to ensure that the full amount of grain was taken, the commission
of five set up by the Politburo sent special brigades to villages to search
the courtyards and remove stocks not only of grain, but of any food. The
commission banned sales of grain, and so that villagers couldn’t travel to
other regions of the USSR for food, villages were surrounded by military
units.

In fighting the so-called “grain requisition sabotage”, the NKVD [then
called GPU] arrested 3,525 village leaders. Then on 22 November the Moscow
leadership approved Molotov’s proposal to create a “special commission” of
three in Kharkiv to pass death sentences in cases involving grain
requisitions.

On 23 November the Molotov Commission left Kharkiv for Moscow. Their
activities lead to grain reserves being taken from Ukraine. By the end of
November 1932 this resulted in a manmade famine which claimed the lives,
according to different estimates, of between 7 and 10 million people in
Ukraine.

Top Secret: From the Central Committee of the All-Soviet Communist

Party to Comrade Stalin

We suggest giving the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine,
represented by a special commission, the final decision on whether to apply
the highest measure of punishment during the period of grain requisitions.
It should report to the Central Committee of the All-Soviet Communist Party
on its decisions every ten days.

Molotov, Chubar, Stroganov, Kalmanovych
———————————————————————————————–

http://www.khpg.org.ua/en/index.php?id=1193085700
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26.  UKRAINE TO JOIN WORLD ACTION “LIGHT A CANDLE”
ON NOV 24, PRESIDENT VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO SAYS
 
UKRINFORM, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 24, 2007
KYIV – President Viktor Yushchenko said that Ukraine will join the world
action “Light a Candle” on November 24 in memory of the Holodmor and
political repression victims.

This was disclosed by the president in Kharkiv at a sitting of the
coordination council on gearing up to the 75th anniversary of Holodomor,

the president’s press service told Ukrinform.

According to the head of state, he appealed to heads of churches in Ukraine
to join the commemorating event. He also stressed that some memorial plagues
and monuments should be inaugurated in the entire Ukraine to commemorate

the victims.

Viktor Yushchenko also stressed a necessity to draft regional books of
memory to form the National Book of Memory. I would like every region to

do its part in this activity he said.  Local authorities should do their best
to form full registers of documentary sources on the 1932 to 1933
Holodomor, the president stressed.
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27.  UKRAINE SUBMITS DRAFT RESOLUTION ON
UKRAINIAN 1932-1933 FAMINE WITH UNESCO

Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 19, 2007

KYIV – Ukraine’s First Deputy Foreign Minister, chairman of the Ukrainian
National Commission for UNESCO Affairs Volodymyr Ohryzko has submitted

a draft resolution, “Commemorating the victims of the 1932-1933 Holodomor
in Ukraine,” at the 34th session of the UNESCO (United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization) General Conference.

In his speech last Thursday, Ohryzko said that, “Holodomor (Ukrainian
famine) was the result of anti-Ukrainian policy of the Stalin totalitarian
regime.”

The draft resolution urges “to facilitate the spread of information about
the Holodomor in order to prevent similar tragedies from happening in
future.”
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28.  EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS RULES AGAIN

THAT UKRAINE VIOLATED PROHIBITION AGAINST INHUMAN
OR DEGRADING TREATMENT

Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 26, 2007

KHARKIV – On 25 October, the European Court of Human Rights issued
its chamber judgment over the case of Oleg Yakovenko.

It found that Ukraine had violated Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or
degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights because
of the conditions Mr Yakovenko was held in, the failure to provide proper
medical care, and the way he was treated when being transported between two
detention centres. The Court also concluded that Article 13 (the right to an
effective remedy) had been violated.

It is very much to be hoped that the government will take heed of such
judgments since the damages awarded have become bitterly meaningless.
Mr Yakovenko died in May of this year, aged 32.  He had suffered from
tuberculosis and was HIV-positive during his period of detention.

The following is a brief summary from the ECHR press release which can be
found at: http://www.echr.coe.int

In June 2003 Mr Yakovenko, on probation following a conviction for burglary,
was arrested and placed in police custody, again on suspicion of burglary.
The applicant alleged that he confessed to that crime after being subjected
to ill-treatment in police custody and retracted his statements when on
trial before Balaklavsky District Court.

In November 2005 he was found guilty as charged and sentenced to three years
and seven months’ imprisonment, later reduced on appeal in October 2006 to
three years and six months.

Awaiting that conviction Mr Yakovenko was detained in the Simferopol
Detention Centre (Simferopol SIZO). As the police, prosecution and judicial
authorities who dealt with his case were based in Sevastopol, he was
transferred each month to the Sevastopol Detention Centre (Sevastopol ITT).
Between June 2003 and April 2006, he spent in total about one year in that
facility.

The applicant claimed that Sevastopol ITT was constantly overcrowded:
he was held in cells of 15 to 22 m2 with 25 to 30 inmates.

To corroborate that claim, the applicant submitted a letter of 10 May 2005
from the Head of Sevastopol City Police Department which stated that 240
inmates were held in the detention centre, which was designed to hold a
maximum of 82 detainees.

The applicant further alleged that inmates had to take turns to sleep, that
the lights in the cells, situated in the basement, were permanently on and
that the ventilation system was often out of order.

Mr Yakovenko alleged ill-treatment while in police custody; inhuman
conditions of detention in Sevastopol ITT and when being transported to
and from that facility; and, lack of medical care.

The Court rejected the claim of ill-treatment since Mr Yakovenko had not
appealed against the prosecutor’s office’s refusal to institute criminal
proceedings over his allegations.

The Court found that the applicant had been held in seriously overcrowded
conditions and that the sleeping conditions had also adversely affected his
health. It also agreed that the lighting and ventilation had been
inadequate.

 “In the light of its findings above concerning overcrowding, sleep
deprivation and lack of natural light and air, the Court concluded that the
conditions of the applicant’s detention in the Sevastopol ITT had amounted
to degrading treatment. Accordingly, there had been a violation of Article 3.”

It found a further violation of Article 3 in the failure to provide timely
and appropriate medical care to the applicant in respect of his HIV and
tuberculosis infections “no urgent medical measures, as stipulated in Decree
No. 186/607 on the treatment of detainees with HIV/AIDS, had been taken.

Notably, he had not been given antiretroviral treatment, had not been
monitored for infections and had only been registered as an HIV patient at
the local anti-AIDS centre in May 2006. Instead, the authorities had
continued to send him to the Sevastopol ITT, which had no medical staff”

Article 3 was also found to have been violated over the crammed conditions
Mr Yakovenko endured for a total of about 64 trips to and from Sevastopol
over a period of two years and eight months.

The Court also considered that Mr Yakovenko’s inability to register a
complaint about his conditions to have constituted denial of an effective
remedy.
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1193420462
———————————————————————————————–
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========================================================
29.  FIRST CIS MONUMENT TO WRITER MIKHAIL BULGAKOV
INAUGURATED IN KYIV, WROTE “THE WHITE GUARD”

 
UKRINFORM, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, October 21, 2007
 
KYIV – A monument to writer Mikhail Bulgakov was inaugurated in Kyiv. It
was erected at Andriyivskiy Uzviz, where the writer lived and where he settled
the heroes of “The White Guard” and “The Days of the Turbins.”

Since 1989, the building has been hosting the literature-memorial museum of
Bulgakov.

According to Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky, who attended the monument
inauguration, Bulgakov spent 28 out of 49 years of his life in Kyiv, that is
why it is right that the first monument in the CIS was opened in Kyiv.

According to the mayor, several more monuments to outstanding figures will
be opened in Kyiv soon, in particular to Boris Pasternak. The monument was
erected at Maecenas funds.

Much in the life and creative work of the writer (1891-1940) was connected
with Kyiv, he was born in the family of professor of the Kyiv Theological
Academy, studied in a Kyiv school and in Kyiv St Volodymyr University’s
medical department. He worked as doctor in Russia and then visited Kyiv
after the 1917 revolution again.
———————————————————————————————–
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30.  SOLVING ANCIENT MYSTERIES, VISITING OUR

ANCESTORS: TRYPILLIAN CULTURE 

By Svitlana BOZHKO, special to The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, July 24, 2007

Trypillia is rightly considered the most wonderful pearl on the
archeological crown of Kyiv oblast, where over a hundred years ago a local
history student named Vikentii Khvoika discovered the Trypillian culture.

According to scholarly data, this Slavic civilization existed only for 1,500
to 2,000 years. Other research sources indicate that Ukrainians are the
descendants of Europe’s first Trypillian land-tilling culture that existed
for 3,500 years, from 5,700 to 2,200 BC.

Researchers continue to debate this hypothesis. One of its opponents is
Academician Petro Tolochko, who believes that Trypillia is a narrow and
well-trodden path in history. Among its proponents is the equally reputed
academician, Yurii Shylov, who regards Trypillia as the cradle of the entire
civilization.

The inhabitants were the ancestors of Ukrainians, who at one time settled in
the Balkans. Anthropologist Serhii Seheda claims that the Trypillian-Aryan
tribes and today’s Ukrainians form an uninterrupted line to this very day,
and that the Trypillians laid the foundations of the Ukrainian nation.

While scholars debate this issue, the Kyiv City State Administration’s
Culture and Tourism Department offers tours of the area, where locals in
their vegetable plots are still digging up pieces of earthenware dating back
8,000 years. If you are lucky, you will see some archaeological digs that
take place there on a regular basis.

Although the most important archaeological finds were made during Khvoika’s
lifetime and sent to museums in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kyiv, the local
history museum has numerous items on display that prove that the Trypillians
were the first to invent the wheel (6,500 years ago), domesticated horses
and cows (8,000 years ago), and cultivated 12 varieties of grain (including
three kinds of wheat, barley, rye, and peas).

Trypillian ceramics are beautiful. Long before the Sumer and Chinese
civilizations our forefathers decorated their earthenware with signs and
symbols that would spread across Europe and the Orient, including yin and
yang; svarha, the symbol of the sun; the cross, symbolizing the sun, fire,
and eternal life; and an image of the Primeval Mother – the
woman-protectress.

Among the unsolved mysteries of Trypillia are the bipartite ceramic pieces
(“binoculars”) whose designation is still being debated: they may have been
ritual vessels, candlesticks, or musical instruments, like African tam-tams.

Tourists should proceed from the State Archaeology Museum to the private
Museum of Trypillian Culture. It was not founded by civic organizations or
prosperous businessmen but by enthusiasts with medium incomes, including
collector Oleksandr Polishchuk, construction worker Volodymyr Lazorenko,
artist Anatolii Haidamaka, and scholar Yurii Shylov.

This museum is the cultural gem of Kyiv oblast, and its exhibit is based on
Polishchuk’s collection currently valued at seven million dollars. All the
items on display were salvaged, collected in ravines and quarries, where all
these artifacts were discarded.

In the 1930s, a special resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist
Party of the Soviet Union instructed every school to engage in regional
history studies, along with archaeological digs, and establish regional
history museums. On the outskirts of Trypillia anyone could unearth an
archaeological treasure. Among the finds were genuine masterpieces.

For many years, fragments of earthenware collected dust in school and
village museums without professional restoration. When the Communist Party
was no longer there to supervise the process, all this was junked.

In one of the many ravines on the slopes of the Dnipro River Polishchuk
found three tons of fragments of unique earthenware. The restoration of a
40-cm jug cost the collector between 100 and 800 dollars.

Says Polishchuk: “Owing to private collections, our country has retained its
archaeological wealth. Otherwise, all of it would have long been exported,
especially to Russia, where a number of oligarchs, including Bryntsalov, are
admirers of Trypillian culture.

I see my goal in life to promote this culture in Ukraine and the rest of the
world, so that the greatest possible number of people can learn about it.

Since this museum opened two years ago, 12,000 people have come here.
Visitors are charged a token admission fee, while the management has to
pay all taxes as a business entity, without any concessions, including
electricity, gas, and land lease bills.”

Polishchuk is convinced that in order to attract more tourists a tourism
infrastructure has to be developed. His plans include the creation of a
Trypillian village complete with wooden and thatched- roofed two-story
structures built exactly the way they were constructed 8,000 years ago, with
the addition of modern household equipment and amenities. Five hectares

have already been allocated for the project.
THE UKRAINIAN ATLANTIS
Whereas enthusiasts like Khvoika and Polishchuk saved the Trypillian culture
from oblivion, the villages on the right bank of the Dnipro, with their
inimitable environs and folkways, suffered the same lot as Atlantis, when
they were inundated by the Kaniv water reservoir in the early 1970s.

There is a memorial to this Soviet man- made disaster, a church that looms
over the waters in the vicinity of Rzhyshchiv. It was built by a group of
monks on the highest point in the village of Husyntsi in 1857. Its golden
domes could be seen from a great distance.

The church experienced alternating periods of well-being and persecution and
ruination. In 1969 the chairman of the local collective farm used his budget
to finance major repairs. He was then reprimanded by the oblast party
committee.

Locals still remember the chairman with love. Thanks to his restoration,
this church has endured 30 years of standing in water. Today it stands on a
silted island, as though raised above the water by human or heavenly forces.

A few years ago an executive of the Top Service Company undertook to
reconstruct the church (his dacha was located nearby). He hired a developer,
who fixed the windows and covered the roof with asphalt felt, but that was
the end of it because the philanthropist was later arrested and jailed on
murder charges.

Apparently, Bishop Serafym of Bila Tserkva wants to revive this house of
God. If so, in several years his plans will come true, and we will have
another Church of the Mother of God on the Water. Today it will cost you
15-20 hryvnias to hire a boat from a Rzhyshchiv fisherman to get there and
explore this unique historic site.

To reach the small island and hear the voice of the sunken Ukrainian
Atlantis in the sonorous silence of the temple, you will have to walk
through clumps of water chestnut, which was entered on the World
Conservation Union’s Red List of Threatened Species after the 1933 famine

in Ukraine. You will realize that the past sometimes returns to the present.
———————————————————————————————-
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AUR#883 Oct 26 Court Validates Election; WTO & GMO’S; Corruption; Energy; Leasing; Mystery Art Buyer; Mushrooms, A Ukraine Love Affair

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

Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
 
ENERGY EFFICIENCY
“It is technically and economically feasible for Ukraine to achieve
independence from energy imports within a timeframe far shorter
than that envisioned by [Ukraine’s] National Energy Strategy.  [In
fact,] if Ukraine brought its levels of energy consumption per unit
of GDP just down to the world average, it could eliminate most
and possibly all of its energy imports.” (Article 10)
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 883
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2007
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.  UKRAINE COURT VALIDATES ELECTION RESULTS
By Maria Danilova, Associated Press Writer
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, October 25, 2007
 
Genetic Engineering May Obstruct Ukraine’s Way to WTO

By Yuri Tarasovsky, LIGA Inform News Agency
Liga.net, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, October 24, 2007

4UKRAINIAN-OWNED INDUSTRIAL UNION OF DONBAS
WILL TAKE OVER FAMOUS POLISH SHIPYARD GDANSK
PAP news agency, Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, 16 Oct 07

5UKRAINIAN MIGRANT LABOR BRINGS IN $8.4 BILLION 

By Stephen Bandera, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Oct 25, 2007

6UKRTATNAFTA REFINERY FACES ‘FINANCIAL CRISIS’ 
By Greg Walters, Moscow and Daryna Krasnolutska, Kyiv 
Bloomberg News, Moscow/Kyiv, Wednesday, October 24, 2007

7BATTLE OVER POLTAVA OIL REFINERY HEATS UP 

John Marone, Kyiv Post, Kyiv Post Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, Oct 24, 2007
 
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
Washington, D.C., Friday, October 26, 2007

9AFRICAN AIR CRASHES THREATEN A GREAT AVIATION

NAME, THE PROUD UKRAINIAN ANTONOV AIRCRAFT
The Ear: By Jim Davis, The Ukrainian Observer
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, October, 2007

10NEW UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT URGED TO PURSUE ENERGY

NATIONAL SECURITY & ACHIEVE ENERGY INDEPENDENCE
Ukrainian-American Environmental Association (UAEA)
Rivne, Ukraine/Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 25, 2007

11PHILLY LAW FIRM LAUNCHES BRANCH OFFICE IN UKRAINE
By Dariya Orlova, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Oct 25 2007

12A GLIMMER OF HOPE IN THE RUBBLE
Analysis & Commentary: By John Marone
Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Kyiv, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, October 15, 2007

13 INVESTING IN UKRAINE’S BLACK EARTH
Analysis: By Uliya Shevchenko, Kreditprombank
Business Ukraine magazine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct 8, 2007

14NEW UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT MUST GET SERIOUS

ABOUT CORRUPTION STATES NEW REPORT
The Atlantic Council, Washington DC, Wed, Oct 23, 2007

15UKRAINE: STIMULATING GROWTH THROUGH LEASING
Analysis: By Anna Melnichuk, Business Ukraine magazine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 8, 2007

16UKRAINE’S BILLIONAIRE PINCHUK IS ART’S MYSTERY BUYER
By John Varoli, Bloomberg News, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, Oct 25, 2007

17.  VOTERS IN UKRAINE GO TO POLLS, EXPRESS FRUSTRATIONS
WITH DEMOCRACY, DOUBT ANYTHING WILL CHANGE
By Peter Fedynsky, Correspondent, Voice of America (VOA)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 23 October 2007

18UKRAINE – COALITION LATEST: DELAYS AND DEALS
By Paul Johnson, Business Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Oct 22, 2007

19BATTLEFIELD UKRAINE: THE GEOPOLITICAL CLASH
OVER VALUE SYSTEMS CONTINUES
Analysis & Commentary: By Alexander Iosseliani
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, October 25, 2007

20THOUGHTS ON COALITION: EXPLOSIVE PACK
Commentary & Analysis: By Serhiy Rakhmanin
ZN, Mirror Weekly # 39 (668), Kyiv, Ukraine Sat, 20-26 October 2007

 
21THREE PROMINENT KYIVAN RUS REFORMERS
By Volodymyr Kharchenko, The Ukrainian Observer
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fall, 2007
 
22MUSHROOMS: A UKRAINE LOVE AFFAIR
By Ralph H. Kurtzman, The Ukrainian Observer
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fall, 2007
========================================================
1
UKRAINE COURT VALIDATES ELECTION RESULTS

By Maria Danilova, Associated Press Writer
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, October 25, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine-A court validated the results of parliamentary elections
Thursday, opening the way for the formation of a government in this
ex-Soviet republic struggling to emerge from prolonged political turmoil.

The move was likely to be welcomed by the two pro-Western Orange

Revolution parties led by President Viktor Yushchenko and the charismatic
opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

Their main rival, the more Russia-friendly Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych,
was the top vote winner, but fell short of the Orange parties’ combined
total.

Ukraine’s High Administrative Court threw out a lawsuit filed by five
parties contesting the vote based on alleged violations. The decision
allowed the official publication of the election results and enabled the new
parliament to convene.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko led the 2004 Orange Revolution protests

that swept Yushchenko to the presidency. But the alliance fell apart when
Yushchenko fired Tymoshenko as prime minister after seven months.

This time, the two have promised to work closely together to bring the
country on a solid pro-Western course, conduct anti-corruption reform and
raise living standards. An agreement reached between the parties last week
would have Tymoshenko return as premier.

Ukrainian politics have been riven by a bitter power struggle between
Yushchenko and Yanukovych since the tumultuous 2004 presidential race.

Yanukovych was initially declared the winner, but courts later judged that
vote fraudulent and Yushchenko won a repeat election. Their standoff reached
its peak earlier this year, when Yushchenko ordered parliament dissolved and
called a new vote.

A majority coalition can be officially formed once parliament convenes. The
legislature has about a month to convene after the official publication of
the election results.

The parties of Yushchenko and Tymoshenko won 228 seats in the 450-member
Verkhovna Rada, two seats more than a bare majority. Yanukovych’s Party of
Regions had 175 seats.
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2.  PRESIDENT CALLS FOR NEW GOV’T TO SWIFTLY ADOPT
BUSINESS RELIEF LAWS TO IMPROVE BUSINESS CONDITIONS

By Zenon Zawada, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Oct 25 2007

Whatever coalition emerges, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko made
improving business conditions and further adapting government standards to
those of the World Trade Organization and European Union among the top
priorities of parliament once it convenes.

The president will submit six bills to improve business standards and
regulations for the parliament’s urgent approval, said Oleksandr Shlapak,
the first assistant chair of the Presidential Secretariat, on Oct. 23.

The bills are the president’s direct response to initiatives proposed by
small and medium-sized businessmen at a Sept. 17 meeting of the Government
and Business – Partners Forum in Kyiv, Secretariat officials said.

The measures are necessary on the legal and legislative levels to “radically
change the situation at the start of 2008 and win next year economically,”
Yushchenko told the meeting, which was attended by more than 500 small and
medium-sized entrepreneurs.

The most far-reaching of the proposals would remove a wide spectrum of
technical regulations on business and reduce the number of products
requiring mandatory certification.

Removing the litany of technical and certification barriers would bring
Ukraine closer to WTO and EU standards, according to an informative
memorandum prepared by the Secretariat.

“The experience of other EU member-states testifies that mandatory
certification is not necessary to ensure production safety and defending
consumer rights,” the memorandum stated.

“Mandatory certification of food products is absent in EU countries, but
that doesn’t mean that more than 450 million EU residents use low-quality or
unsafe products.”

Another measure on market oversight, particularly in the food products
sector, would introduce EU standards in regulating and systematizing
production.

Clear and well-defined oversight procedures, and defining of the products
subject to review, are among the measure’s key proposals. The other bills
will attempt to reduce licensing requirements, simplify and streamline the
licensing process and create official lists of requited permits to prevent
unreasonable demands from authorities.

“They are geared toward improving conditions of small and medium-sized
businesses,” said Yevhen Kapinus, assistant director of the main service of
socio-economic development at the Presidential Secretariat.

“Reducing the number of licenses and certification will help large companies
as well. But if large companies faced problems with these issues, they were
even more challenging for middle and small businesses.”

The measures were drafted by a working group of more than 20 small and
middle-sized Ukrainian entrepreneurs, including Our Ukraine politician
Kseniya Liapina.

The earliest parliament can convene to approve the president’s proposals is
a few days following a ruling by the Higher Administrative Court on the
election’s legitimacy. A decision is widely expected this week, though
delays occurred last year.

The newly elected deputies have a deadline of approximately a month to
pledge their oaths after government newspapers officially publish the
ruling, so parliament may not convene until late November.

This week, Yushchenko ordered Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of the eponymous
bloc, and Viacheslav Kyrylenko, a leader of the Our Ukraine-People’s
Self-Defense bloc, to form the Democratic Forces coalition as soon as
possible, the president told an Oct. 23 press conference in Kharkiv.

The president said he hopes parliament will meet and a coalition will emerge
during the first 10 days of November.

After deputies pledge their oaths and the first session of parliament
convenes, they will have approximately another 30 days to form a coalition
government. Parliament can elect its chairman and pass laws without forming
a coalition government, said Yuriy Syrotiuk, a political analyst at the
Kyiv-based Open Society Foundation, which is financed by American, British
and Polish government and private grants.

Therefore, the president’s pro-business initiatives become law in case the
parliament has trouble forming a government.

The likelihood of trouble increased after former Prime Minister Yuriy
Yekhanurov, a close presidential ally, said on Oct. 23 he would abandon the
Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense Bloc if a coalition agreement with the
Tymoshenko Bloc doesn’t take into account his proposals.

These proposals regard legislation to cancel the moratorium on agricultural
land sales, new laws on stock companies, changes in government procurement
laws and to the January Cabinet of Ministers law that significantly limited
the president’s authority.
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LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/business/general/27664/

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3.  UKRAINE’S ACCESSION TO WTO COULD BE A GENETIC
ENGINEERING ISSUE, LABELING GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS
Genetic Engineering May Obstruct Ukraine’s Way to WTO

By Yuri Tarasovsky, LIGA Inform News Agency

Liga.net, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, October 24, 2007

On 25 October in Geneva there was held a decisive round of negotiations
for the entry of Ukraine into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

We want to note the strong desire of our nation to enter the WTO, Ukraine
held a mammoth job to become a member of that organization. However,
the process is still unresolved questions.

In particular, the issue raises concerns labeling of food that contains
genetically engineered impurities. It would seem, the Ukrainian government
will put all dot the “i”, imposing labeling of genetically modified foods.
This rule Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine wants to introduce on 1 November

2007.

Nevertheless, the American side WTO opposes such action. It is no secret
that the United States is a major exporter of such foods. So, obviously,
their actions can be interpreted as unwillingness to lose markets for their
products.

Why such products are of concern in society? To date, this remains an
open question. Physicians note that genetically modified products distort
immunity rights, and the consequences could be irreversible.

In the words of Dr. Catherine Kartavoy life sciences, health do not know
what the disease may suffer after human consumption of products of genetic
engineering. Following the use of such products will change antigen of the

body tissues, in consequence of which the immune system will destroy the
body’s own,” said the expert.

What are the so-called genetically modified products, and how they are
created? Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are those in which genetic
material (DNA) which is not changed as a result of replication, and/or
natural recombination, and through the addition of a modified gene or
another gene type or variety of biological organisms. For example, the
normal greens secretions gene rats.

Rat Liver contains vitamin C, as a result of increases in vegetable content
of vitamins. For the same reason, added to soybean Dumplings, sausage,
sausage, chocolate. Today, no one is surprised that exotic fruits are sold
year-round at the individual impacts of the miracle of genetic engineering.

Regarding the solution to the problem at the state level, the Minister of
Economy of Ukraine Anatoly Kinakh noted that to address the issue of
genetically modified products need to act in accordance with the priorities
of the health of our citizens and rigid quality control of food products,
which today come to Ukraine.

Meanwhile Gospotrebstandart Ukraine insists on compulsory marking at least
baby food products. According to the Minister, in all the countries of the
European Union this is a mandatory rule.

 I would like to emphasize that the Community legislation on GMOs in
operation since 1998. Today, there are laws on the use, distribution,
marketing and identifying GMOs in their food.

Furthermore, the EU has held activities to implement the provisions of
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety on the Transboundary dissemination of
GMOs. After a five-year moratorium Commission again permit the use of
GMOs in May 2004.

Before you go to the EU market, a genetically modified product is subjected
to harsh inspection. There is such verification in laboratories, which are
owned by the Common European network research center at the European
Commission.

Moreover, the law clearly regulates the principles of the EU labeling of GMO
products with the contents. In September 2004, the Commission authorized
the first sale and cultivation of genetically modified seeds, registering 17
new varieties of maize in the EU Catalog of species diversity of crops.

Nevertheless, we can not say that all genetically modified products are
harmful. For example, British scientists have created a genetically modified
chicken, which can carry eggs containing proteins required for drugs against
cancer.

Based on the above uncertainties, can be safely argued that the world
community and, in particular, Ukraine is required to establish the rules
that would not allow such things to speculate, because in that case it is a
human health.

P.S. According to the Environmental League All-Ukrainian, 90% of
Ukrainian foods do not contain GMOs. (LINK: www.liga.net)
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4.  UKRAINIAN-OWNED INDUSTRIAL UNION OF DONBAS
WILL TAKE OVER FAMOUS POLISH SHIPYARD GDANSK

PAP news agency, Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, 16 Oct 07

GDANSK, Poland – ISD Polska company, belonging chiefly to Ukrainian

Donbas [Industrial Union of Donbas], will take over 75 per cent of shares
in Gdansk shipyard worth 400m zloty (152.1m dollars) and will become the
owner of Gdansk shipyard by the end of the year, shipyard CEO Andrzej
Jaworski said Tuesday [16 October].

The ISD authorities plant to turn the shipyard into Europe’s leading ship
building and repair plant. Poland holds 18 per cent of shares in the
shipyard. The Ukrainian company was the only one which presented the

binding offer for the purchase of a new package of shares.

ISD board CEO Kostantyn Lytvynov told a news conference in Gdansk

on Tuesday that his firm plans to invest 500m zloty in the shipyard.
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========================================================
5.  UKRAINIAN MIGRANT LABOR BRINGS IN $8.4 BILLION 
 
By Stephen Bandera, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Oct 25, 2007
Ukrainians working abroad sent home $8.4 billion last year, equivalent to 8
percent of the country’s GDP, according to a study released Oct. 17 by the
International Fund for Agricultural Development. By contrast, Ukraine has
attracted around $24 billion in foreign direct investments in its 16 years
of independence.

Of all CIS countries, Ukraine was second only to Russia, whose migrant
workers wired nearly $14 billion back to their home country last year.

Ukraine ranked sixth in the world, ahead of Bangladesh ($8.1 billion) and
Turkey ($7.4 billion). India, Mexico and China led the list with more than
$20 billion each in migrant funds. Worldwide, 150 million migrants sent

more than $300 billion to their families last year, the study found.

Various estimates have put the number of Ukrainians working outside their
homeland as low as 3 million and as high as 7 million migrant workers.

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LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/nation/27665/
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6. UKRTATNAFTA REFINERY FACES ‘FINANCIAL
CRISIS’ TATNEFT SAYS

By Greg Walters (Moscow) and Daryna Krasnolutska (Kyiv) 
Bloomberg News, Moscow/Kyiv, Wednesday, October 24, 2007

AT UkrTatNafta, Ukraine’s second- biggest oil refinery, is facing a
“technical and financial crisis” in the wake of an armed seizure of the
facility on Oct. 19, Russian oil producer OAO Tatneft said.

The refinery has come under the de facto control of its former chief
executive officer, Pavel Ovcharenko, Tatneft said in a statement posted on

its Web site. The oil producer, which owns shares in the refinery, said it
would consider all of Ovcharenko’s management decisions illegitimate and
invalid.

“These events can only be characterized as a forcible and illegal seizure
because they were carried out on the basis of forged court documents and

in the company of armed men,” Tatneft said in a joint statement with the
government of Tatarstan, the oil-rich Russian region where it’s based.

UkrTatNafta was seized last week by more than 50 men, Tatneft Chairman
Rustam Minnikhanov, who is also prime minister of Tatarstan, said in a

statement on the government’s Web site on Oct 20. Tatneft, the region’s 
government-controlled oil producer, cut off oil supplies to the refinery
pending clarification of  the situation, the company said yesterday.

UkrTatNafta purchased domestic oil yesterday and has enough reserves for

the next 15 days, Konstantin Borodin, a spokesman for Ukraine’s Fuel and
Energy Ministry, said in a phone interview today.

He said the refinery bought about 1.25 million barrels of crude from VAT
Ukrnafta, Ukraine’s biggest oil producer. The plant refines about 300,000
tons of oil, or 2.2 million barrels, a month, Borodin said.

Tatneft has been fighting for control of the refinery with Ukraine for
years. Ukraine regained control in July after state- run NAK Naftogaz
Ukrayny won a court ruling over a disputed 18 percent stake.
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http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news\?pid=newsarchive&sid=aOoQGGK_GvnY
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7.  BATTLE OVER POLTAVA OIL REFINERY HEATS UP 

 
John Marone, Kyiv Post, Kyiv Post Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, Oct 24, 2007
 
A fight for control of Ukraine’s largest oil refinery threatens the country’s
oil supplies from Russia while igniting intra-governmental rivalries at home.
 
Poltava Region’s Kremenchuk oil refinery, the centerpiece of a joint venture
called Ukrtatnafta, which includes interests connected to Russia’s Tatarstan
republic and Ukraine’s state oil and gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy, had its
oil supplies shut off this week and is now being guarded by armed men
following the replacement of its CEO on Oct. 19.
 
Tatar-supported CEO Serhiy Hlushko was replaced following a decision by
a regional Ukrainian court.
 
The government of Tatarstan and the Tatneft oil company, both principal
shareholders in Ukrtatnafta, responded by cutting off oil supplies to the
refinery and accusing Ukraine’s Fuel and Energy Minister of engineering
the takeover.
 
“The events of Oct. 19 are the culmination of a conflict that has been
going on for several months at the enterprise. It was started by the
current head of the Fuel and Energy Ministry Yuriy Boyko,” Tatarstan’s
trade representative to Ukraine Rostislav Vakhitov told a press
conference this week.
 
Vakhitov also accused newly instated CEO Pavlo Ovcharenko, who had
headed Ukrtatnafta in 2003-2004, of siphoning $130 million in company
funds since returning to his position.
 
Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Klyuyev, considered a rival of Boyko in
Ukraine’s energy sector, called Ovcharenko’s return a “raider’s attack”.
Boyko has dismissed the accusations and called for a legal study of
the matter.
 
Russian Minister of Industry and Energy Viktor Khristenko told a press
conference on Oct. 24 that his government would support Tatneft in
the dispute. Economy Minister Anatoly Kinakh said the conflict could
lead to an oil shortage in Ukraine, as Kremenchuk is a major refinery
in the country.
 
Ovcharenko said his company was already getting oil from Ukraine’s
leading oil producer, Ukrnafta, and was holding talks to get supplies
from other oil companies in Russia.
 
He added that Ukrtatnafta was expected to report losses of Hr 400
million (around $80 million) due to the purchase of oil by the former
management at inflated prices.
 
Volodymyr Saprykin, an energy analyst at Ukraine’s Razumkov Center,
said the Kremenchuk refinery provides around a third of the country’s
oil needs,  but that importers from the Baltics, for example, could fill
the gap in the short term.
 
“Theoretically this is a threat. The issue will probably continue to be
hashed out in the courts,” he said.
 
The Ukrtatnafta joint venture was created by Ukrainian and Tatarstan
presidential orders in the mid-90s. Tatarstan agreed to supply oil;
Ukraine contributed the Kremenchuk oil refinery to the joint venture.
 
Shareholders with roots in Tatarstan include the republic’s property
fund, with a 28.7 share; Tatneft, with 8.6 percent; US-registered
Seagroup International with 9.9 percent; and Switzerland’s Amruz
Trading, with 8.6 percent.
 
The US and Swiss-registered companies were added to the country’s
list of shareholders in the late 90s, effectively giving the Tatar
side 55 percent control of the refinery.
 
Over the years, the Ukrainian government has tried to overturn
the sales of the shares to the US and Swiss registered companies.
This May, Naftogaz took control of the 18 percent share package
belonging to US and Swiss companies, giving it a  61 percent
majority and reducing the Tatar stake.
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LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/business/general/27663/
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NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
========================================================
8.  THE STATE EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF UKRAINE, U.S. REP

OFFICE, JOINS THE U.S.-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL (USUBC)
 
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
Washington, D.C., Friday, October 26, 2007

WASHINGTON – The Executive Committee of the U.S.-Ukraine

Business Council (USUBC) has just approved The State Export-
Import Bank of Ukraine, U.S. representative office, as the forty-eighth
member of the USUBC according to Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer,
president of the USUBC.

The State Export-Import Bank of Ukraine (JSC Ukreximbank) was
approved in August of 2007, by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, to
establish a representative office in New York. Victor Kapustin serves
as Chairman of the Board of the bank.

The USUBC met recently in New York with Igor Obozintsev,
Advisor to the Chairman of the Board, The State Export-Import Bank
of Ukraine, who will be operating the New York representative office.

Nickolay N. Oudovichenko, Deputy Chairman of the Board, met
with USUBC members last week in Washington. He was a member of
Ukraine’s economic and business team attending the meetings of the
World Bank and the IMF.

Joint-stock company “The State Export-Import Bank of Ukraine” is
the state-owned bank with the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine owning
100% of its shares, thus being its sole founder and shareholder.

In treating shareholders’ rights and issues of control, transparency and
enhanced efficiency, the bank adheres to the corporate governance
principles.

Adherence to the above principles enables the bank management, its
Supervisory Council and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to jointly
define and tackle the pressing tasks in ensuring dynamic development
of the bank as well as in enhancing its significance as one of the key
forces supporting foreign trade activities of the Ukrainian industries.
Today JSC “The State Export-Import Bank of Ukraine” is:
1] a bank with 100% state-owned shares, one of the major and most
     profitable operators in the Ukrainian banking market;
[2] a financial institution servicing a considerable proportion of export
     and import activities effected by Ukrainian enterprises;
[3] the sole agent of the Government of Ukraine in handling
     intergovernment credit lines;
[4] a partner of the World Bank under the largest Export Development
     Project in Ukraine and a partner of KfW under Small and Medium
     Enterprises Program;
[5] a bank recognised by about 30 primary Export Credit Agencies as
     a direct borrower/guarantor on medium and long term financing;
[6] a bank with the widest amidst the Ukrainian banks foreign network
     of correspondent and counterpart banks;
[7] a bank possessing the most long-standing experience in the Ukrainian
     market in documentary business and trade finance, having about 80
     clear credit lines available from major foreign banks;
[8] a bank with a well developed branch network embracing all main
     regions and industrial centers of Ukraine;
[9] recognized by JP Morgan Chase bank for the fifth consecutive year as
     one of the best amongst its correspondent banks worldwide in quality
     of the USD settlements in 2004, and acknowledged respectively by
     Deutsche Bank AG with regard to EURO-denominated settlements in
     Ukraine;
[10] a clearing bank for the MASTER CARD INTERNATIONAL INC.
     payment system in Ukraine;
[11] the first Ukrainian bank to have performed successfully in the
international syndicated loan market since 1997.

The bank can work with U.S. companies operating in Ukraine in terms
of trade finance, loans and equity investments.  For further information
check: http://www.eximb.com.
26TH NEW MEMBER FOR THE USUBC IN 2007
The State Export-Import Bank of Ukraine is the 26th new member for the
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) in the last ten months and
brings the Council’s total membership to forty-eight.
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9.  AFRICAN AIR CRASHES THREATEN A GREAT AVIATION

NAME, THE PROUD UKRAINIAN ANTONOV AIRCRAFT

THE EAR: By Jim Davis, The Ukrainian Observer
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, October, 2007

KYIV – A BBC News headline today reads, “DR Congo plane crash
‘kills many.'”

Unfortunately such headlines are all too common today in several parts
of Africa, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Before we proceed, it is probably best that I make it clear that this
commentary is not criticism of the thousands of people who have for
decades turned out aircraft under the proud Antonov name.

Neither is it criticism of the people of Africa who must continue to travel
for whatever purpose on aircraft that have been allowed to deteriorate due
to poor maintenance and a lack of government regulation.

It is fairly easy to describe the problem, which I will try to do here.
Finding a solution is an immensely more complex and difficult task.
THOUSANDS OF ANTONOV AIRCRAFT SOLD
The marketing of Antonov aircraft was a part of the foreign policy of the
former Soviet Union. Thousands of Antonov aircraft were sold, usually under
special conditions that under girded the diplomatic relations between the
country purchasing the aircraft and the USSR.

With the end of the Soviet Union and a turn to more capitalist-oriented
operations of old state enterprises, many African countries found the cost
of replacement aircraft too high to be afforded, and the cost of replacement
parts, even if available, an invitation to attempt local, poorly made
analogues – or just to ignore maintenance completely, so long as the
aircraft could lumber into the air with paying passengers.

Add to that the instability that has been pandemic in Africa since the old
colonial system ended, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Many of the Antonov aircraft that were sold in government-to-government
deals have been sold on in privatizations that led to the demise of many
national airlines and the establishment of under funded and lightly
regulated successor enterprises.
POOR MAINTENANCE, TRAINING, PILOT FATIGUE
These negative factors have led to a long list of air crashes, many of them
with the name Antonov attached. After any one of these crashes is
investigated, the cause of the crash is almost always found to be poor
maintenance, or pilot error based on poor training or pilot fatigue after
flying an abnormal number of hours without adequate rest.

By the time that the crash report is published, most people will have
forgotten, or at best have a hazy recollection of the crash. Unfortunately,
what they will remember is that there was a crash with fatalities and that
the aircraft was an Antonov.
LOOKING AT THE RECORD
[1] Oct. 4, 2007: An Antonov 26 cargo plane crashes into a Kinshasa
     neighborhood shortly after takeoff, killing at least 25 people.
[2] Aug. 26, 2007: An Antonov 12 plane loaded with 3 tons over the
     recommended capacity crashes in the eastern region of Katanga,
     killing 14 people.
[3] Aug. 3, 2006: An Antonov 28 crashes into a mountain and then
     tumbles into a valley in eastern Congo, killing 17 people.
[4] May 25, 2005: An Antonov 12 crashes shortly after takeoff in
     eastern Congo, killing all 26 people on board.
[5] May 5, 2005: An Antonov 26 hits a treetop as it lands near the central
     city of Kisangani and slams into the ground, killing 10 people.
[6] Nov. 29, 2003: An Antonov 26 plows into a crowded market after
     failing to take off from the central city of Boende, killing 20 people
     on the plane and 13 on the ground.
[7] Aug. 12, 2000: An Antonov 26 crashes after experiencing technical
     problems trying to land in the city of Tshikapa. Thirteen bodies are
     found; another 14 people are presumed dead.
WHAT TO DO?
When these aircraft left the Antonov assembly line, they were well-designed,
well-made and – properly operated and maintained – should have given
reliable service for many years, even decades.

Under the current conditions in Africa, most do not wonder if another
Antonov will crash, but how soon it might happen.

Without adequate funding to purchase new aircraft, companies keep the old
aircraft flying as best they can, hoping for good luck when what is really
needed is either aircraft replacement or government regulation with real
teeth to assure that factory manufactured or certified replacement parts are
used.

I do not claim to be an aircraft or airline expert. But I do have a certain
amount of understanding of just how hard it is to operate commercial air
service in isolated areas.

In the 1980s, I was a small stockholder in a regional Part 135 (scheduled
air taxi) local airline in the Caribbean. It is not easy, but those who
attempt it should either shoulder the responsibility to provide safe
service – or get out of the business.
ANTONOV REPUTATION
It is unclear just what could be done to improve the situation in Africa in
the short run. However, it is inevitable that continued crashes of Antonov
aircraft does no good for the Antonov reputation and must ultimately affect
the sale of new Antonov aircraft.

One can only hope that some of those within the Antonov organization and
some of those in government are giving some serious thought to how they
might interact with the current owners of these aircraft to protect the good
name of the Antonov company and the thousands of Antonov personnel who
have given their lives to help design, manufacture and maintain Antonov
products.
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NOTE If you have comments on the above, or would like to submit an

op-ed in response, please write to jim.davis@twg.com.ua.
———————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.ukraine-observer.com/index.php?p=114&c=11
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10.  NEW UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT URGED TO PURSUE ENERGY
EFFICIENCY/SUSTAINABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT TO PROTECT
NATIONAL SECURITY & ACHIEVE ENERGY INDEPENDENCE

Ukrainian-American Environmental Association (UAEA)
Rivne, Ukraine/Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 25, 2007
 
RIVNE, Ukraine/WASHINGTON, DC – In a letter delivered today to
the leaders of the five political parties expected to constitute the next
Ukrainian Parliament, the Ukrainian-American Environmental Association
(UAEA) urged that “energy security and sustainable energy development
[be made] top priorities.”

UAEA suggested that “it is technically and economically feasible for
Ukraine to achieve independence from energy imports within a timeframe
far shorter than that envisioned by [Ukraine’s] National Energy
Strategy.  [In fact,] if Ukraine brought its levels of energy
consumption per unit of GDP just down to the world average, it could
eliminate most and possibly all of its energy imports.”

The letter further noted that “Ukraine could be meeting a significant
share of its supply needs in the relatively near future from the mix of
renewable energy technologies.  Ukraine may have the best biomass
resources in all of Europe as well as one of the best offshore wind
regimes on the continent.  It also has significant, but largely
untapped, geothermal and small hydropower resources as well as

modest solar energy potential.”

The letter concluded that “a national energy strategy based on vastly
improved energy efficiency, substantial increases in renewable energy
development, and a shift to domestic supplies of fossil fuels could
make Ukraine energy self-sufficient in a relatively short time.

Moreover, such an approach would enable Ukraine to re-evaluate its
current emphasis on nuclear power expansion, which we believe to be an
unnecessarily expensive and environmentally dangerous course of
action.” The complete text of the letter follows:
October 25, 2007
Leader – Block of Yulia Timoshenko, Y. V. Timoshenko
Leader – Block of Peoples Self-Defense, Y. V. Lytsenko
Leader – Party of Regions, Prime Minister of Ukraine V. F. Yanukovich
Leader – Block of Lytvyn, V. M. Lytvyn
Leader – Communist Party of Ukraine, P. M. Symonenko

Dear Sirs/Madam:

As you prepare to convene the newly-reconstituted Rada and government,
we are writing to urge that you stress energy security and sustainable
energy development as top priorities.  The importance of these issues
was once again made apparent by Gazprom’s threat to reduce natural gas
supplies the day after Ukraine’s elections.

We believe that it is technically and economically feasible for Ukraine
to achieve independence from energy imports within a timeframe far
shorter than that envisioned by the National Energy Strategy.  And we
believe that a national energy program that emphasizes improved energy
efficiency and renewable energy development could yield major economic
as well as national security benefits for Ukraine.

Inasmuch as the Ukrainian economy is among the most energy-intensive –
but also the most energy wasteful – in the world, we believe that a far
more aggressive campaign to improve energy efficiency in industry,
transportation, agriculture, buildings, and government should be the
top priority. 

 
In theory, at least, if Ukraine brought its levels of energy consumption
per unit of GDP just down to the world average, it could eliminate most
and possibly all of its energy imports.  If Ukraine further improved its
energy efficiency to the levels of either the United States or the European
Union, it could actually become a net energy producer.

We also believe that Ukraine could be meeting a significant share of
its supply needs in the relatively near future from the mix of
renewable energy technologies.  Ukraine may have the best biomass
resources in all of Europe as well as one of the best offshore wind
regimes on the continent. 

 
It also has significant, but largely untapped, geothermal and small
hydropower resources as well as modest solar energy potential.  The
European Union is striving to meet 20 percent of its energy needs
from renewables by 2020; there is no reason why Ukraine could not
be striving for a comparable goal rather than be satisfied with the 2-3
percent it now derives from these sources.

Finally, we believe that supply needs that cannot be offset by energy
efficiency improvements or met with renewable energy sources can be
largely satisfied by increased domestic production of natural gas, oil,
and coal.  While concerns about climate change and greenhouse gas
emissions from fossil fuels suggest that total energy consumption from
these sources should be reduced from current levels, it is possible to
displace natural gas and oil imports with domestic sources to meet
legitimate needs.

In total, a national energy strategy based on vastly improved energy
efficiency, substantial increases in renewable energy development, and
a shift to domestic supplies of fossil fuels could make Ukraine energy
self-sufficient in a relatively short time.  Moreover, such an approach
would enable Ukraine to re-evaluate its current emphasis on nuclear
power expansion, which we believe to be an unnecessarily expensive and
environmentally dangerous course of action.

During the coming year, the Ukrainian-American Environmental
Association is planning to issue a series of a dozen or more short
studies (perhaps one per month beginning in early 2008) that will
assess the status and potential of energy efficiency and renewable
energy options in Ukraine.  The papers will also draw upon the
experience of the United States and the European Union for particularly
effective policy strategies that may be transferable to Ukraine.

We will be happy to share these materials with you and work with you to
develop effective policies to promote a sustainable energy future for
Ukraine and to meet its energy, environmental, economic, and national
security needs.

Sincerely, Taras Lychuk, Ken Bossong
Co-Directors, Ukrainian-American Environmental Association
——————————————————————————————–
NOTE: The Ukrainian-American Environmental Association is a private,
non-governmental organization founded in 2004 and chartered in both the
United States and Ukraine.  The UAEA is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine

Business Council (USUBC) in Washington.
——————————————————————————————–
UKRAINIAN-AMERICAN  ENVIRONMENTAL  ASSOCIATION
Ukraine Address: 11 Strutynska Street, #18; Rivne, Ukraine 33003;
+38 068 569-5137; U.S.A. Address: 8606 Greenwood Avenue, #2;
Takoma Park, MD 20912; +1 (301) 588-4741
e-mail:  ua_ea@yahoo.com; URL:  http://www.ua-ea.org
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
11.  PHILLY LAW FIRM LAUNCHES BRANCH OFFICE IN UKRAINE

By Dariya Orlova, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Oct 25 2007

The Philadelphia-based law firm of Marks & Sokolov has teamed with a
Ukrainian-born US lawyer to open an office in Kyiv. Marks, Sokolov &

Burd is the firm’s second foreign office following one in Moscow. The
firm began working with Ukrainian clients in 2004.

“We have represented Ukrainian interests in purchasing major metal plants in
the US, and Western companies, in substantial, worldwide litigation arising
from their Ukrainian business dealings. We look forward to doing more,” said
Bruce Marks, the firm’s founder and managing director, who has also served
as a Republican state senator from Pennsylvania.

“With the economic growth and political changes in Ukraine, we just felt
it’s quite appropriate for us to extend to Ukraine as well,” said Ukrainian-born,
US-trained attorney Gene M. Burd, managing director of the Kyiv office.

“We are distinct from many law firms that work here in that one of our
specialties is international litigation and arbitration. Our firm has been
involved in major litigation relating to privatization and shareholder
conflicts both in Russia and Ukraine,” Burd said.

“There are views that the Ukrainian legal market is saturated, but when you
come here and start speaking with people, potential clients, you find that
many of them are unsatisfied with the services lawyers provide,” explained
Burd. The lawyer noted that many local companies lack client-handling
skills, while services of Western firms are frequently overpriced.
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LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/business/general/27660/
———————————————————————————————–
NOTE:  The Philadelphia-based law firm of Marks & Sokolov is a member

of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) in Washington, D.C.
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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========================================================
12.  A GLIMMER OF HOPE IN THE RUBBLE

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By John Marone
Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Kyiv, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, October 15, 2007

On Saturday morning, a gas explosion rocked a block of flats in eastern
Dnipropetrovsk Region, claiming at least 13 lives as of Sunday evening. Many
more were injured or left homeless, while rescuers continue to search the
rubble for survivors. [Death toll is now 21. AUR EDITOR]

Ukrainian political leaders responded immediately with the usual public
promises to punish the guilty and help the victims. And although the
election season has already ended, the president, prime minister and top
opposition candidate are jostling with each other to show everyone that they
really are doing something.

Ukraine is no stranger to man-made catastrophes, holding world records to
date in at least two categories – nuclear energy and air shows. Some
scholars have argued that independent Ukraine was born of tragedy – the
1986 Chornobyl disaster.

By revealing the Soviet authorities’ technical incompetence and disregard
for individual lives, the world’s worst atomic accident set into motion the
centrifugal forces of national determination.

It was only after the country’s 2004 Orange Revolution, that the country
took on another reputation as a colorful arena for east-west political mud
wrestling.

In between, Chornobyl and the Orange Revolution, there were other tragedies,
such as the grisly murder of journalists who dared to report on official
corruption, and a string of military accidents that caused well over a
hundred civilian deaths.

But when tens of thousands of peaceful protesters filled the streets of Kyiv
in the Orange Revolution to oppose abusive authority, the world saw a happy
ending to all Ukraine’s former tragedies.

The country’s Orange politicians, President Viktor Yushchenko and his first
prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, represented a chance that something would
be done to break the cynical cycle of corruption and disaster.

The democratic euphoria, however, soon wore off, as the Orange team fell
prey to infighting. As the anti-Orange faction led by Viktor Yanukovych
returned to power, together with its leftist allies, some saw this as the
country’s latest tragedy.

The fact that the resulting power struggle between Ukraine’s politicians
sometimes looked more comical than tragic was not a complete break with
the country’s dark recent past.

One could almost laugh recalling the time back in 2000, under former
President Leonid Kuchma, when the Ukrainian military let a training missile
level a block of flats outside Kyiv – if it hadn’t been for the three people
killed.

Saturday’s gas blast in Dnipropetrovsk was more mundane. It was a tragedy,
nonetheless, albeit with a possible glimmer of hope. In a clear break with

Soviet tradition, the authorities have not played down the damage or withheld
the details.

Emergency Minister Nestor Shufrych rushed to the scene of the blast to
provide meaningful information to the public on what had actually happened.

Only months earlier, when a cargo train carrying yellow phosphorus derailed
in Lviv Region, emitting a cloud of noxious gas over the surrounding
countryside, Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kuzmuk appeared on television
to first invoke the Chornobyl disaster and then, a day later, tell locals
that they could feel free to graze their livestock in the affected area. The
result was confusion and fear.

Under Leonid Kuchma, the typical response of the authorities to disaster was
immediately to announce threatening criminal cases and promise generous
compensation to victims.

Unfortunately, no one, at least at the top of the food chain, was ever
charged, much less punished. If someone was fired, he was reappointed; while
the average Ukrainian has enough trouble trying to get his state salary or
pension, much less disaster compensation.

This time, Shufrych promised to determine the cause of the blast within a
specific time frame and offered victims realistic temporary relief – Hr 500
($100) in cash for food, shelter, etc. The sum is pathetic by Western
standards, considering that many victims lost everything they had in the
explosion, but its small size increases the likelihood that it will be paid
and soon.

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych has additionally promised Hr 9 million in
disaster relief. Considering that Yanukovych is not expected to be a part of
the next coalition government, his arrival on the scene of the accident was
also encouraging.

Ukrainian politicians appear to be getting the message that their electorate
is increasingly demanding accountability. The last elections were a good
example of a protest vote, which cost Yanukovych’s coalition its majority,
while suggesting that Yushchenko may not be re-elected in 2009.

President Yushchenko picked up on the political value of disasters in the
summer, when he used a forest fire in southern Kherson Region as a pretext
to play the hands-on hero.

Diverting his aircraft to the scene of the blaze, Yushchenko took shovel in
hand to show the people that he wasn’t as indecisive and passive as they
might think. Afterwards, the president blamed Shufrych for mishandling the
firefighting and tried to pressure him into resigning in the run up to the
snap elections.

The political benefits of this stunt for the president, however, were mixed,
with the media suggesting that he should have shown more management skills
than his ability to shovel dirt. So this time around, Yushchenko limited
himself to ordering Yanukovych to determine the cause of the Dnipropetrovsk
blast and come up with a relief plan.

As with the recent elections, in which she came out on top, opposition
leader Tymoshenko seems to have measured the pulse of the nation the most
accurately. Always the populist, she also came to meet with the victims of
Ukraine’s latest tragedy in her home region of Dnipropetrovsk.

Outdoing a pretty good performance by the outgoing Yanukovych government,
Tymoshenko offered victims an even clearer solution: The homeless would be
put up in new blocs of flats, either immediately or after temporary
residence somewhere else.

Around 400 people live in the house that was most directly affected by the
blast. Tymoshenko’s ByuT faction has already set up an aid center in
Dnipropetrovsk. Election season or not, Ukrainian politicians appear keener

than ever to win the hearts of their voters.

With four general elections having been held in the country in the last
three years, and at least one major one – the presidential elections – less
than two years away, the country’s leaders cannot afford to ignore their
increasingly demanding electorates.

The Orange Revolution raised public hopes, and every election since then
has been decided on just a few percentage points.

The people have grown tired of the usual campaign promises – all the more
since the frequency of elections has increased. Besides real policy issues,
on which most of the country’s politicians already agree – European
integration, higher social benefits and end to lawmakers’ privileges –
disasters are an excellent way for politicians to strut their stuff, as well
as criticize their opponents.

Ukrainians already enjoy more freedoms and wealth than at any other time of
their nation’s independence. But the country is a long way from the European
ideal put to voters during the Orange Revolution.

As political leaders continue to jostle for power in the legal nihilism that
has emerged since 2004, public support becomes more important than ever,
giving the average Ukrainian more leverage over the authorities.

Compelling reforms of the country’s tax system, judiciary and constitution
may still be a long way off, but apparently so are the days of official
indifference to public suffering.

Justice and real compensation still have to be achieved, for example, in the
2002 Sknyliv air show disaster, the world’s worst ever; and Ukrainian coal
miners continue to live a precarious existence.

But at least now, Ukrainian politicians jump to their feet to show concern,
when tragedy strikes. Even if the concern is temporary and for show, it
represents a glimmer of hope amidst another tragedy.
—————————————————————————————–
http://www.eurasianhome.org/xml/t/opinion.xml?lang=en&nic=opinion&pid=884

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========================================================
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========================================================
13.  INVESTING IN UKRAINE’S BLACK EARTH

ANALYSIS: By Uliya Shevchenko, Kreditprombank
Business Ukraine magazine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct 8, 2007

Ukraine is famed for its agricultural wealth, but many smaller farms
currently operating suffer from a lack of access to the financial tools
required to make them truly efficient. The banking community is

increasingly taking notice of this discrepancy

The legendary black earth of Ukraine is celebrated as some of the most
fertile land in the world, and over the centuries it has been known as the
bread basket of both Europe and the Russian empire.

However, since independence the agricultural sector has underperformed,
with outdated Soviet concerns taking up the lion’s share of the land and
small-scale entrepreneurs fighting it out to break into the market.

To a certain extent, Ukraine’s current agricultural industry remains under
the influence of former collective-farm managers, who continue to make

up a significant portion of the market.

The majority of these farmers are highly qualified and possess
administrative skills in the agricultural field, but their techniques are
often dated.

They have been joined by specialists who gained experience at the massive
agricultural concerns of the Soviet era and who now apply their skills in
the private sector on a smaller scale. Alongside the former specialists are

the simple farmers who work smaller plots of land in time honoured style.

It is interesting to note that some of the biggest success stories in modern
Ukrainian agriculture were recorded by farmers without the technical
qualifications of the collective farm rivals but with the savvy business
sense to respond to market needs and the determination to make a success

of their small-scale operations.

However, it is also noteworthy that the vast majority of smaller scale
farmers have struggled to gain access to the kind of financial support that
can turn their local operations into more serious farming industries.
SLOW BUT STEADY SUCCESS
Anyone who has ever invested money into the agriculture business will
confirm that it does not offer speedy returns, but on the contrary requires
a slow, methodical approach if your initial investment is to pay dividends.
The purchase of new agricultural equipment or a new herd will not be even
nearly covered within the first year.

As a direct result of this long term approach to the industry, Ukraine’s
most financially stable farmers tend to be those who have been operating the
longest, despite the fact that relatively speaking, they are by no means the
most efficient.

Nevertheless, farmers whose private ventures date back as far as 1992 remain
the country’s most financially stable. Many of these early entrepreneurs of
the independence era began their business from desolate premises and small
pieces of land which were often little more than a former cow-shed or a
simple, abandoned plot.

In most cases, such owners sought to meet their financial demands via their
own resources, but in the course of time they came to the conclusion that
their own means were often insufficient to meet the expenses of a modern
agricultural concern, which led directly to the rise in demand for
agricultural loans.
THE NEED FOR FINANCIAL TOOLS
Today the Ukrainian agricultural sector ranks way down on the list of
industries with easy access to banks, credit unions and other financial
organisations.

This deficit is not the product of higher than usual risks, nor is it a
result of prohibitively high costs, as the average private farmer generally
requires as little as UAH 50,000-200,000 in order to make a significant
impact on productivity.

This lack of sufficient funding has forced many small scale farmers to be
increasingly inventive in their work, introducing new crops and services.
While this is in itself commendable, it represents a loss in the potential
that the Ukrainian agricultural market could yield for the country.
TRENDS IN THE FARMING INDUSTRY
The most popular agricultural trend in Ukraine remains plant cultivation.
Owners tend to grow a variety of different crops, most often focusing on
winter wheat, sugar-beet, sunflowers and vegetables, but also including
maize, wheat and melons.

The largest fields (more than 300 hectares) are generally sowed with winter
wheat and sunflower, while vegetables are usually grown on fields of 2-25
hectares.

But simply growing crops in the field is only one aspect of the farmer’s
job, and factors such as field cultivation and climate conditions can wreak
havoc with advance planning.

This is where easy access to loans and financial support could make all the
difference, allowing private farmers the opportunities to overcome
short-term obstacles and produce a rich crop when their own resources would
leave them struggling to make ends meet and perpetually stuck in a state of
under-production.

Cattle breeders also face similar problems, with the day-to-day expenses of
maintaining a herd just the tip of the agricultural iceberg. Hidden costs
also able to force farmers into quick culls and undesirable sales if they do
not have access to short term financial relief.
TRADITION MEETS INNOVATION
To meet these financial challenges many farmers are developing an
innovative, entrepreneurial streak that is rarely associated with this most
traditional of professions.

Some seek to diversify, continuing to grow crops while also providing their
fellow villagers with a range of different services such as grain grinding,
micro-managing small plots of land, performing carpentry tasks, or engaging
in fish breeding and mushroom growing. Some also operate their own stores
and cafes.

Others have sought to move into specialised areas such as pedigree cattle
breeding. But whatever their personal solutions, all private farmers face
the same broad threats and obstacles.

Almost all farmers suffer from a shortage of assets with which to secure a
long-term loan, coupled with an absence of credit history or the necessary
deposit that financing companies require.

The industry is also subject to highly volatile pricing variations, and
these unpredictable price decreases tend to make potential creditors
nervous, as they can be influenced by a wide variety of factors ranging from
price increases on fuel and lubricant materials to fertiliser.

The complexity and instability of the existing taxation system also strangle
the agriculture industry in red tape and force farmers to spend inordinate
time dealing with endless forms, time that could be spent on the farm
itself.

Climate instability is also a threat to the industry, with poor ecological
protection laws and soil erosion adding to the cycle of frosts, droughts and
other natural influences.

The Ukrainian banking and financial services sector is slowly waking up to
the untapped potential of the agricultural sector. Kreditprombank is one of
the most active in supporting the development of agricultural infrastructure
in the regions.

In 2005, the bank introduced a specifically targeted agricultural crediting
programme, and in the past three years a total of approximately USD 4
million has been issued in loans to Ukrainian farmers.

The terms of these credits take the specifics of the agricultural sector
into consideration. They are designed to incorporate all the quirks and
peculiarities of the farming sector, while deposits are based on a
calculation of realistic figures for clients in this sector. Long-term
financing is offered, with payback delays of up to nine months.
(www.kreditprombank)

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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14.  NEW UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT MUST GET SERIOUS
ABOUT CORRUPTION STATES NEW REPORT

The Atlantic Council, Washington DC, Wednesday, October 23, 2007

WASHINGTON – An Atlantic Council task force of international experts

has appealed to Ukraine’s newly elected political leaders to launch a
comprehensive fight against rampant political and business corruption.

A report released today by the Atlantic Council, Corruption, Democracy, and
Investment in Ukraine, finds that corruption is so widespread that it has
the potential to threaten the country’s economic prosperity and national
security.

Although Ukraine has made significant progress in developing democratic
institutions and in holding clean elections, Ukraine’s political leaders
have thus far lacked the political will and cohesiveness to seriously combat
corruption.

“While the recent parliamentary elections were certified as free and fair
by international observers, the trends aren’t as positive with regard to
corruption,” said Steven Pifer, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and

member of the Council task force.

“The new Ukrainian government — with the full support of the parliament —
needs to make rooting out corruption an immediate priority. This includes
cleaning up the judicial system, breaking corrupt linkages between business
and government, and working with the parliament to improve outdated anti-
corruption legislation.” Frederick Kempe, president of the Atlantic Council,
said,

“We consider the corrosive nature of corruption one of the top challenges to
young democracies wishing to integrate into the European Union and Atlantic
Community. This report, endorsed by a group of outstanding experts, offers
an unbiased perspective of the many different levels of corruption that exist
in Ukraine and offers policy prescriptions on how to cure this disease.”

The report outlines specific steps that Ukraine’s political leaders should
take against “grand corruption” among senior government officials and “petty
corruption” which plagues Ukrainians in many aspects of their lives.

RECOMMENDATIONS
The report recommends that the president and the new government and
prime minister should use their new mandate to immediately begin:

[1] coordinating and consolidating outdated anti-corruption legislation
     and amend Ukrainian law where necessary;
[2] reforming the corrupt judiciary by establishing a new judicial chamber,
     staffed by a new generation of judges;
[3] creating an independent national investigative bureau to uncover and
     root out corruption grand corruption;
[4] eliminating or reducing the scope of parliamentary immunity which in
     the past has been used by politicians to hide from persecution
[5] increasing transparency by publishing annual declarations of assets
     and incomes of senior public officials and politicians.

This project was generously supported by the RJI Capital Corporation.
Jan Neutze, assistant director of the transatlantic relations program at the
Atlantic Council, served as project director and co-author along with Adrian
Karatnycky, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

Copies are available on-line at http://www.acus.org or by contacting Yulia
Kosiw at 202-778-4956 or at info@acus.org.
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.acus.org/docs/Press%20Release/071023-Atlantic%20Council%20Press%20Release%20-%20Corruption%20in%20Ukraine.pdf
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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15.  UKRAINE: STIMULATING GROWTH THROUGH LEASING

ANALYSIS: Anna Melnichuk, Business Ukraine magazine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 8, 2007

Leasing has played a crucial role in stimulating investment in productive
assets all over the world. UniCredit Leasing CEO Jaroslaw Konczewski
predicts a key role for the fast-emerging Ukrainian leasing market. The
Ukrainian leasing market is experiencing massive growth.

Over the past three years, the market has experienced rapid expansion due to
the entry of a range of foreign banks – a move that helped increase access
to finance and the availability of financial instruments like leasing. This
trend should continue and should allow the industry to maintain its current
impressive growth rate over the coming years.

“Although leasing in Ukraine is currently in the growth phase, lots of
companies are viewing the market as very promising. Based on the experience
of our group in other countries in central and eastern Europe, we remain
very much convinced that leasing will demonstrate impressive growth rates
for years to come. Annual growth rates will overrun the country’s GDP and we
expect to see annual growth of around 40-50%,” says Konczewski.
MORE MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES, BETTER LEASING
Last year, the number of companies that conducted leasing transactions in
the country on a regular basis shot up by some 30% compared to 2005, rising
from 50 to 65 companies, the International Finance Corporation state in its
Ukrainian Leasing Market 2007 Survey.

The IFC stress that this trend is expected to continue as more banks set up
leasing companies and awareness of leasing as an alternative financial
instrument grows in Ukraine.

“Multinational companies want to be present on all markets, including and
especially in CEE countries. Besides, the leasing market in Western
countries is already well developed with stable margins, so as a result it’s
very difficult for a leasing company to increase its market share there.

“In the early years after the 1998 default, many companies and banks began
focusing on the Russian market. After establishing a foothold there, the
next natural step for multinationals was to expand their operations into the
Ukrainian market, which is characterised by great potential and offers up
many business niches to be filled,” says Konczewski.

In terms of funding sources for leasing companies, Konczewski explains that
before any multinational financial institution such as the EBRD or IFC
grants a credit line to a leasing company, it usually conducts an in-depth
feasibility study.

“Leasing companies are expected to be organised in a proper way. They

should have adequate procedures in place similar to those of Western leasing
companies. Transparency in leasing activities is crucial for any evaluation
of a leasing company. Sound development strategy, a qualified team and
management also play an important role when evaluating a leasing company.

“Only when all these factors are in place will a prospective leasing company
have a good chance of receiving attractive funding terms for its leasing
activities, which in turn can be passed on to customers,” he explains.
THE UKRAINIAN EXPERIENCE
The portfolio of companies currently engaged in leasing on the Ukrainian
market is diverse and covers a wide range of services including everything
from car rental, freight and municipal transport, aircraft, manufacturing,
agricultural machinery and printing equipment to food processing, computer
hardware, medical equipment and telecommunications tools.

UniCredit Leasing’s strategy, as a universal leasing company, is to become a
key player on Ukrainian market, providing wide range of products and
services for local customers.

“Unicredit Leasing already offers financing for a wide range of products,
but in particular we finance equipment (including entire production lines) ,
industrial equipment, construction equipment, transportation equipment,
printing facilities and so forth.

Vehicle financing leasing is targeted for significant expansion next year.
UniCredit Leasing sees also great potential for financing Real Estate
projects in Ukraine within the leasing formula,” Konczewski says.
THE IMPORTANCE OF COMPETITION
As more local and foreign leasing companies enter the leasing industry in
Ukraine, the competitiveness between players in the near future will become
much fiercer, but UniCredit Leasing is used to working in such an
environment wherever it operates.

“Our competitive advantage is not only the attractive terms we offer, but
the quality of service provided as well as the response time; therefore we
are very optimistic for the future,” says Konczewski.

“We are happy to work in a competitive market – the more competition on the
market, the more attractive the terms and the higher the level of services
is offered to the Ukrainian customers,” he stresses.

“Leasing companies will be forced to offer more and more complimentary
services in the fields of insurance, transport, and the development of new
products. Competition will also shorten the period of time needed to secure
lease approval, because customers expect quick approval decision process.

“Companies with properly set up procedures that can offer a faster service
will find themselves in a favourable position on the market,” he says,
adding also that the margins charged on leasing and the amount of advance
payment required are already decreasing.
STABILITY IS BETTER
Konczewski believes that a stabilisation of the political situation will
allow a new government to pass the necessary updates in leasing legislation.
There is plenty of room for improvement, as Ukraine does not currently offer
any tax incentives or other allowances to encourage companies to lease.

A draft law introducing a variety of tax rules that are more beneficial to
leasing, including accelerated depreciation for leased production equipment,
has been submitted to parliament and is expected to be considered in the
near future.

“Stability is always better for business,” says Konczewski, who also
confesses that business people primarily concentrates on business topics not
politics. “We don’t pay much attention to politics, as we are engaged in
developing our business.

We see the economical climate in Ukraine is favourable for business, and
believe that the leasing business in Ukraine will develop regardless of any
political changes. It is obvious that the country has set its course for
development, particularly in the economic sphere.” he says.
BANKS, M&A AND LEASING
The intensive merger and acquisition process which the Ukrainian banking
system is experiencing could also have knock-on benefits for the leasing
business.

“Any consolidation of the banking industry will lead to the consolidation of
the refinancing resources for leasing companies. It is also important that
bigger banks have a larger customer base.

“As a consequence of the mergers currently underway in the banking industry,
leasing companies owned by banks will also be consolidated, allowing them to
serve the higher demands of their customers.

“The leasing business will therefore become more stable and respectable, as
it will effectively become merged into a single entity with much more
potential for development,” says Konczewski.
AN IFC PERSPECTIVE
Ernst Mehrengs, Project Manager, Ukraine Leasing Development Project,
International Finance Corporation: “Leasing has truly gained momentum in

Ukraine. Leasing companies tell us that they have started to identify
competition in the last year, which is a good indication that businesspeople
are learning more about the advantages of leasing.

In the last two years the overall leasing portfolio for Ukraine has grown
almost 200% from USD 344 million in 2005 to an estimated USD 1 billion by
the end of 2007.

This growth is expected to continue, with a market of USD 2-3 billion
expected within the next few years. Today there are now more than 70 leasing
companies active on the Ukrainian market, up from 34 in 2005, and 1400
people are working in the leasing industry, which is up from 750 in 2005.

It is also worth noting that the Ukrainian government is very much
interested in leasing: in fact, the Ministry of Finance recently announced
that it will allocate UAH 1 billion for procuring leased medical equipment
valued at UAH 7 billion.”
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.businessukraine.com.ua/stimulating-growth-through
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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16.  UKRAINE’S BILLIONAIRE VICTOR PINCHUK IS

CONTEMPORARY ART’S MYSTERY BUYER

By John Varoli, Bloomberg News, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, Oct 25, 2007

KIEV –  Victor Pinchuk, a steel billionaire, has provided the answer to one
of the biggest mysteries in the art market.

There has been much speculation about the buyers of contemporary
masterpieces snapped up over the last two years amid suspicion that the
anonymous spenders might be Russian. Now it can be revealed: One of

the biggest is Pinchuk, a 46-year-old Ukrainian.

His collection includes some of the most expensive living artists: seven
works by Briton Damien Hirst, two by American Jeff Koons, and six by
German photographer Andreas Gursky.

All three men attended the opening of an exhibition in Kiev this month
displaying the works — showing Pinchuk’s strength of contacts and
determination to put the city on the art map.

“Pinchuk is probably the top player from the former Soviet Union on the
international contemporary art market,” said Oxana Bondarenko, head of the
Victoria Art Foundation, owned by Leonid Mikhelson, the billionaire chief
executive of OAO Novatek, Russia’s second-largest natural-gas producer.

Behind the scenes, Pinchuk let Bloomberg television into his country house
in Kiev’s Koncha-Zaspa suburb to show even more paintings that art watchers
did not know he possessed.

Among them was Ilya Mashkov’s 1912 painting “Still Life With Flowers,” sold
on Dec. 1, 2005, for 2.14 million pounds ($4.39 million) — seven times its
top estimate, and at that point the most expensive painting sold at a
Russian auction.
SURPRISE PRESENT
This was a spur-of-the-moment present for Pinchuk’s wife Elena, who said she
was “very surprised” at her birthday two days later.

“I still love Russian and Ukrainian impressionism and modernism, but my main
focus now is contemporary art,” Pinchuk said in an interview. Well groomed,
wearing a suit minus a tie, he speaks fluent English.

 His passion for art collecting began in the early 1990s with pre-World War
II Russian and Ukrainian paintings. He began collecting contemporary art in
2002.

Pinchuk, son-in-law of former Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma, owns
Interpipe, Ukraine’s biggest producer of steel pipes for oil and gas
companies, as well as TV stations, and steelmaker VAT Dniprospetsstal.

Forbes estimates Pinchuk’s fortune at $2.8 billion, while he said “the chief
executive officer of my company estimates my fortune at $10 billion.”

“Pinchuk knows what he’s doing and has a sincere and strong passion for
contemporary art,” said Bondarenko. “At the same time he understands that
collecting contemporary art will improve his international image.”
GROWING COLLECTION
The new show is at the Pinchuk Art Center, which opened in September 2006
as the first private museum of contemporary art in the former Soviet Union.
Admission is free and it had 150,000 visitors in its first year.

Pinchuk said he spent as much as $15 million to acquire and renovate the
six-floor Czarist-era building, though it is already too small. Next year,
he starts work on a larger museum near the Dnieper River. He hopes it will
be completed by 2012.
KIEV CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
We plan to make Kiev a really important international destination for
contemporary art,” he said. “Contemporary art will help modernize society,
especially the young generation.”

Pinchuk would not comment on how much he spent on the newest acquisitions
that include Gursky’s 7-by-11 foot photograph “99 Cent II,” which is a wide
shot of the inside of an American supermarket where items cost no more than
99 cents.

“I bought some pieces through Sotheby’s and Christie’s,” said Pinchuk. “But
I mainly buy directly from the artists and through their dealers.”
SMELLY HIRST
The two paintings by Koons now in Pinchuk’s collection are “Girl (Dots),”
and “Landscape Waterfall II.” Both are dated 2007.

Among Hirst’s works are “The Cancer Chronicles/ Jesus and the Disciples”
dated from 1994-2004. This work stirred the most emotions at the Kiev
opening. It consists of 13 large canvases covered with flies and resin, as

well as 12 cow heads in glass cases of formaldehyde. Many people
complained the room smelled.

Other artworks were by Britons Antony Gormley and Peter Doig, Japan’s
Takashi Murakami, Ukrainian-born Russian artist, Oleg Kulik, and Ukrainian
artists, Serhiy Bratkov, and Vasyl Tsagalov.

“I was surprised by how focused the Pinchuk collection is, and by how much
all the art makes sense,” Koons said in an interview. “The space itself is
very intimate and modern.”

Pinchuk now owns works by leading early-20th-century artists such as
Nicholas Roerich, Konstantin Korovin and Pyotr Konchalovsky.

He has about 500 to 600 contemporary works, acquired with the help of
Western and Ukrainian curators. About 50 percent are Ukrainian, and 50
percent are international.
UKRAINE BOOM
Amid talk that “the Russians are coming” at art fairs, and as New York
dealer Larry Gagosian opens a Moscow gallery to tap demand, Pinchuk is
leading rich collectors from the former Soviet Union in snapping up
contemporary art. He is riding economic growth in Ukraine which has
averaged 8.4 percent annually since 2002.

Pinchuk has two daughters — one aged 24, from his first marriage, and
another aged four with Elena. He holds parties at his Kiev apartment next to
the gold-domed St. Sophia Cathedral.

He says he likes red wine, especially Burgundy, and is fascinated by nature.
He has a Japanese garden several acres in size, with lakes and tea houses.
He claims it is the largest in Europe, self-designed with the help of
Japanese architects.

He also financed a film about Ukrainian jews and the Babi Yar massacre,
“Spell Your Name,” which had Steven Spielberg as executive producer.
———————————————————————————————
Bloomberg TV presents a report about Pinchuk as part of this weekend’s
Muse program. Check your local cable listings or see
http://www.bloomberg.com/tvradio/tv/schedule_us.html . John Varoli

writes for Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.
Contact John Varoli in Kiev at jvaroli@gmail.com.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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17.  VOTERS IN UKRAINE GO TO POLLS, EXPRESS FRUSTRATIONS
WITH DEMOCRACY, DOUBT ANYTHING WILL CHANGE

By Peter Fedynsky, Correspondent, Voice of America (VOA)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 23 October 2007

KYIV – Voters in Ukraine went to the polls on September 30th in a special
parliamentary election, but many cast ballots only to express doubt that
anything will change.

They complain of Ukrainian political gridlock and pin the blame on false
promises, too many political parties, and personality-driven campaigns.
VOA Correspondent Peter Fedynsky examined these issues during a
recent visit to Kyiv.

The September 30th parliamentary election was Ukraine’s third general
election in as many years.  Voters note that the elections not only cost
tens of millions of dollars, but have also resulted in series of failed
parliamentary coalitions.

Many voters said the most recent election would not change anything, among
them, Alyona Kucherenko, who is raising her first child in Kyiv. She says,
“Because all of the politicians promise the same things in every campaign,
but they are not going to change anything.”

Kucherenko may be surprised to learn that behind the scenes, some
politicians recognize the need for change but also realize reforms will not
be easy.  So instead, politicians seemingly compete for Kucherenko’s vote
the easy way: Populism!  In Ukraine that often means:  Promise voters
simple, often regional, solutions to complex national problems.
OLEKSIY HARAN
Oleksiy Haran, political science professor at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, one
of Ukraine’s leading universities, says populism is a feature of democratic
societies, as opposed to authoritarian regimes, where rulers are not
accountable to the needs and feelings of people.

“When we have these elections and election cycles, the government cannot
concentrate on economic reforms over a four to five year period; this limits
the possibilities for reform.

“So I think Ukraine, in the political realm, faces many difficulties,
perhaps some unforeseen events.  Nonetheless, I think the democratic
process in Ukraine is on the move,” Haran said.

Two of the political forces that won seats in the Ukrainian parliament are
named after individuals, BYuT, or the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko, and the
Lytvyn Bloc led by former speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn.

Two other major parties are also closely identified with personalities —
President Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine Party and the Regions Party
of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Ukraine’s three leading politicians, the two Viktors and Yulia, inspired a
recent magazine poster, which suggests voter discontent with an election
that seemed to last forever, and with individuals who could dominate
Ukrainian politics for many years to come.
HRYHORIY NEMIRYA
Hryhoriy Nemirya, deputy for international affairs in the Tymoshenko Bloc,
comments on Ukraine’s personality-driven politics. Nemirya says, “There is
a problem here.  But if you look carefully, there is also potential
advantage.

“Because we hear of a leadership deficit in the United States and Europe
that can be filled by politicians who are sufficiently strong and confident,
and have personal visions of their country that can inspire the support of
many people.”

Nemirya says the next step in Ukraine’s democratic process is to fill the
personal visions of politicians with political and strategic substance.

After the Soviet collapse in 1991, about 150 Ukrainian political
organizations took the place of the Communist Party, the only legal
political organization in the USSR.

Many have since disintegrated, and on September 30th only five crossed the
minimum three percent threshold to win seats in parliament.  Among the
losers was the Socialist Party.

Representative Mykhailo Koropatnyk says small parties should join forces
with larger ones. “A sense of responsibility and patriotism should prompt
these parties to unite; unite around those parties that have authority and
those with whom they share similar programs and ideologies.  And then,
through political convergence, they will not be lost, but rather they will
gain the ability to realize their potential,” he says.

Public opinion polls indicate that Ukrainian voters do not consider divisive
populist issues rose during election campaigns to be top priorities.  These
include Ukraine’s official language, the country’s association with NATO,
and church politics.

Ukrainians, however, tend to agree on such problems as corruption,
education, and health care, and want their newly elected parliament to
address them.
——————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.voanews.com/english/2007-10-23-voa44.cfm
———————————————————————————————-
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========================================================
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18.  UKRAINE – COALITION LATEST: DELAYS AND DEALS

By Paul Johnson, Business Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Oct 22, 2007

Official elections results released last week appeared to confirm
the victory of the country’s Orange coalition, but a court challenge
from the Communist Party is delaying the final publication of the vote
count.

Ukrainians are almost as used to coalition horse-trading as they are to
electioneering. Last year saw a marathon four months of backroom talks
before the so-called Anti-Crisis Coalition was eventually announced,

paving the way for an unlikely return to power for Viktor Yanukovych.
NO NEED FOR PROLONGED NEGOTIATION
In light of last year’s delays it was considered crucial that a coalition
was announced and confirmed as quickly as possible following the
September 30 vote, and the leaders of the winning BYUT and Our
Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence blocs rushed to announce a coalition
agreement last week.

With 228 seats in the new parliament, they would have the slimmest of
majorities, but at the unveiling of the new coalition Our Ukraine leader
Vyacheslav Kyrylenko was at pains to stress that the internal divides that
previously dogged the Orange government of 2005 would no longer be an

issue, stating that “100% of deputies” in his bloc would be supporting the
candidacy and policy direction of Yulia Tymoshenko, who is expected to
be named prime minister of the new administration.
TYMOSHENKO POISED FOR PM RETURN
According to the pre-election pact signed by both parties BYUT now has
the right to appoint the prime minister, while OU/PSD will name the new
parliamentary speaker, who is expected to be Kyrylenko himself.

The ministries, meanwhile, will be split 50/50 between the two winning
blocs, with further possible divisions should Volodymyr Lytvyn and his

eponymous bloc reach agreement to join the coalition and add their 20
seats to the overall majority.

Lytvyn is seen as the middle man in Ukrainian politics, showing no
particular inclination to back either side of the country’s political factions,

but it is thought that the bloc leader’s demands are out of step with Orange
officials’ estimations of his true worth to the coalition.

European Commission officials last week welcomed the apparent victory of the
Orange coalition and the boost this gives to the country’s reform and Euro
integration efforts. External relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner
reflected, “The future government has important challenges ahead as Ukraine
continues down the path of constitutional, political and economic reforms.
COURT BATTLE DELAYS RESULTS
As the Orange coalition prepared to take power they were thwarted by a court
challenge which prevents the election results being published. Delays now
seem inevitable, and it is not clear whether the court case could eventually call
into question the overall results of the election.

The challenge has been registered at the High Administrative Court and comes
from Ukraine’s Communist Party, which has questioned the election results
due to alleged irregularities concerning voting by Ukrainians abroad.

It is not clear how long the court case could take to reach a conclusion,
nor is it apparent whether the findings of their investigation could have
serious implications for the Ukrainian election results, but whatever the

outcome, nothing will now be decided officially until the court proceedings
conclude.
———————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.businessukraine.com.ua/coalition-latest-delays-and
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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19.  BATTLEFIELD UKRAINE: THE GEOPOLITICAL
CLASH OVER VALUE SYSTEMS CONTINUES

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Alexander Iosseliani
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, October 25, 2007

The international spotlight is on Ukraine again. This is not related to the
aftermath of the Chornobyl nuclear accident, natural gas shortages in
Europe due to inefficient transit from Russia, or a power struggle
manifested in revolutionary activities. This time, the early parliamentary
elections recently held in Ukraine drew the attention.

The elections were confirmed to be legitimate, sufficiently free and
democratic. The Western-oriented political powers who gained a slight
majority in parliament have announced the formation of a democratic
coalition.

This parliamentary coalition, which most likely will form the new Cabinet of
Ministers, promises to promote Western-style freedoms, bring Ukraine closer
to the EU and reduce Russian political influence.

Ukraine’s partners in the West are pleased but are not showing it; its
Russian neighbors are disappointed and measure their level of disappointment
in increments of gas price increases. The world is waiting for Ukraine to
clarify its geopolitical direction. Don’t hold your breath just yet.

At closer look, a much deeper and more significant process is taking place
in this vast territory squeezed between Russia and Western Europe. Ukraine
has unconsciously become a battlefield of civilizations, at least in the
Eurasian context. The latest electoral exercise in Ukraine reconfirmed a
longstanding conclusion – the country is split.

This is not a division along geographic, economic or ethnic lines. This is
not a simple struggle between pro-Western and pro-Russian powers, as
many local politicians present it. This is not even a fight for freedom and
democracy.

We are witnessing a collision of value systems. Two opposing views of the
world are clashing in Ukraine, sending ripples all the way to Brussels,
Moscow and even Washington.

Some feel them, while some prefer to ignore the sensation, notwithstanding
the usual calls for politicians to put behind all disagreements, promote
economic and political stability and unite the country.

At this point there is no ground for unification in Ukraine. We have seen
coalitions before, but as long as they are based on individual political
players agreeing to share the spoils of power, nothing sustainable will come
out of it. Unification of the country is not possible without unity of its
society.

This unity can only exist on the basis of shared predominant values, and it
is much less dependent on the willingness of marginal political leaders to
work together. The triumph of democracy in a society not united on basic
values creates political instability, social apathy and lack of direction.

The infant Ukrainian society is just taking its first steps in determining
its key priorities and defining its core beliefs. As the elections showed,
too many people in Ukraine believe in different things.

A large number of the aging, low income population, who see no real future
in the Western order of things and much less in American-style capitalism,
still value the principles of a Soviet-style predictable society.

They tend to rely on the state or huge corporations to take care of their
basic needs. They value stability over freedom and authoritarian leadership
over self governance. They are pessimistic about Ukraine’s prospects of
integrating into the global community and prefer to lean on a big shoulder,
which modern Russia still represents.

On another spectrum of Ukrainian society we have a proactive, self-reliant,
younger population seeking opportunities, education and integration in the
international community, holding beliefs that are more consistent with the
Western set of values. They cherish freedom, seek prosperity and have an
optimistic view of their chances of entering the global arena.

Regardless on political preference, all of these people voted based on their
values and not the color of a party banner. They are no longer a population;
they are citizens of their country casting their vote based on individual
beliefs, which are sometimes drastically different.

The problem is that none of these value systems are Ukrainian-born, which
creates tension in society and pits Western and Eastern views of life
against each other. In this collision, an authentic Ukrainian value system
has to take root, and should become the backbone of a civic value-based
society in this country.

A uniform Ukrainian value system will eventually emerge in this clash,
bringing people together based on a common set of beliefs and life
priorities, regardless of ethnic background, linguistic preferences and
outdated stereotypes. Only Ukrainian society formed around core values
can elect a unifying political leadership.

Only a political camp, which takes on the enormous task of defining
universal Ukrainian values, including constitutional changes, can claim a
true victory in representing the hopes and beliefs of the majority of
Ukrainian people.

The United States and European partners can participate in the
materialization of this value system in Ukraine, or later deal with their
estranged neighbor stuck in the energy-dependent Russian geopolitical orbit.

Besides supporting “progressive” politicians, sending observers and
promising direct investments, interested partners have to export values. The
period when the main tool of Western civilization was sharing prosperity is
over.

The Ukrainian economy and the standard of living of Ukrainians are growing
despite a lack of reforms and unstable government. The Western carrot does
not work anymore, nor does the Russian whip. The country requires a new
quality of support.

Acceptance is the cornerstone of support for Ukrainian society. So far,
Western countries have provided a false sense of acceptance by declaring
their willingness to cooperate with any democratically elected government,
but failed to address the values of the people.

At this point it seems like foreign partners are constantly testing
Ukrainians, assigning pass or fail grades to words and actions. It’s time to
stop testing and judging; it’s time to show and share.

The basis of the Ukrainian value system can be Western by nature and allow
for smooth political integration in the future. But first Western society
needs to demonstrate the benefits of its core principles, show the value of
free speech, freedom of movement, free markets and respect for property
rights. Democracy has arrived in Ukraine, but this is not the only Western
value.

Sharing a full set of values with Ukrainians will allow them to overcome
Soviet stereotypes, which support Russian ideological dominance and freely
define their true priorities.

This can be achieved by simplifying travel, access to education, supporting
the flow of capital, transfer of knowledge and cultural exchange.

The first geopolitical camp that manages to shape the value system of the
emerging Ukrainian society will benefit the most from cooperation with this
developing European nation on the front lines of the most significant
ideological confrontation on the continent.

The expatriate community in Ukraine can play a very important role in this
process by taking upon itself the important task of sharing the fundamental
values of Western civilization, while respecting the uniqueness of Ukrainian
society. Nothing brings people closer that believing in the same “truths.”
———————————————————————————————–
Alexander Iosseliani is the managing partner of Ukrainian Business Solutions
(UBS), a business development and investment consultancy in Kyiv.
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/oped/27655/

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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20.  THOUGHTS ON COALITION: EXPLOSIVE PACK

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS: By Serhiy Rakhmanin
ZN, Mirror Weekly # 39 (668), Kyiv, Ukraine Sat, 20-26 October 2007

The first act of the democratic majority should be to adopt a dozen of
laws. This is what the BYuT and OUPS leaders declared right after signing
their Coalition Agreement.

They also told the media about an addendum to the Coalition Agreement
consisting of 12 draft laws, which the coalition undertakes to adopt
immediately and unanimously.

Having interviewed a number of future coalition members, we understood

that it will not be that easy. For one thing, the number of laws, as well as
the decision on forming a coalition, is relative. The election results have
not been officially published.

Elected MPs have not been sworn in. The Supreme Rada of the VI convocation
has not been legitimized. As matters stand, the “Tymoshenko-Kyrylenko” Pact
is a protocol of intentions, and will remain so for at least for a month.

In the meantime a lot can change, including the list of draft laws selected
for the new parliamentary majority’s “debut”.

Furthermore, the would-be coalition members do not seem to see eye to eye on
the proposed legislative innovations. They do not even tell the same story
about the negotiations progress.

Some say six draft laws have been initialed; others speak about a principal
agreement upon two of them; others doubt the parties concurred on any drafts
at all. Most of our interviewees confess they have not seen the drafts and
have a fairly vague idea of their contents.

Finally, nobody can guarantee that the adoption of the draft laws will go
smoothly and painlessly. According to our sources, the initial plan was to
pass all twelve documents:

[1] without any prior debate; [2] in a package;
[3] prior to electing the speaker, appointing the prime minister,

     forming the government and parliamentary committees.

If this is so, the plan raises a lot of doubts.

[1] First, according to Articles 88 and 94 of the Constitution, only the Supreme
Rada chair is entitled to sign laws passed by Parliament. Where there is no
speaker – there is no passing of laws.

[2] Second, the Supreme Rada Rules of Procedure do not allow the adoption laws
without preliminary consideration or the opinion of specialized committees’.
Moreover, the prompt “package” voting infringes on the rights of the
oppositional MPs.

According to the Rules of Procedure, any proposed document should be
withdrawn  from the agenda if at least 150 MPs regard it as unacceptable.
This accelerated “package” voting excludes such a possibility, and the
non-coalition MPs will hardly put up with this discrimination.

In principle, Parliament can use the so-called “ad hoc” procedure whereby it
can deviate from the rules just once. Yet it cannot be done until the Rada
presidium and committees are formed: the Rules of Procedure preclude MPs
from starting their law making activities before resolving organizational issues.

Supposing the speaker and his two deputies are elected, the Supreme Rada
Committee chairs approved and committees manned with MPs. The question as
to whether the majority has the right to apply an “ad hoc” procedure for
hearing draft laws and voting for them in a “package” remains. In theory, it will.

With great reserve, one could view such a decision legitimate. Yet it will,
undoubtedly, be immoral: the draft laws in question (e.g. on the Cabinet of
Ministers) are critical for the state. Thus, even if the “ad hoc” procedure
is allowable, it is hardly appropriate in this case.

One could object with a legitimate complaint that the 2004 constitutional
amendments were also part of a “package” decision. Yet it was a mistake the
new Rada should not commit gain.

Additionally, three years ago it was the constitutional majority that voted
for the “package” whereas this time it would be the narrow majority.
Therefore the legal, political and moral underpinnings of the “package”
voting will be questionable. To further complicate matters, representatives
of the Party of Regions claim they will not let BYuT and OUPS pass a single
law until:

[1] the coalition is formed;
[2] the Supreme Rada presidium is elected;
[3] parliamentary committees are established;
[4] the prime minister is approved;
[5] ministers of the Cabinet are appointed.

If need be, the potential opposition is ready to block parliamentary
sessions.

Now, let us look at the draft laws – what are the future coalition members
going to change in the current legislation?

[1] Novelty one is the abolition of parliamentary immunity. Numerous MPs
believe the parliamentary immunity should be limited rather than abolished. After
all, elected representatives should, indeed, have guarantees of unimpeded and
free performance of their duties. It is a common international practice.

Yet politicians have to fulfill their election promises, or at least pretend
to fulfill them. What we mean is that the parliamentary immunity is laid
down in Article 80 of the Constitution. In order to abolish it, the new Supreme
Rada will have to amend the Fundamental Law. We all know the procedure:

Step one: Parliament adopts the constitutional amendment in the first
reading with 226 votes) and forwards it to the Constitutional Court for validation.
Step two: the CC passes its judgment and sends the draft back to the Supreme
Rada.
Step three: the Rada adopts the amendment with a constitutional majority
(300) of votes.

It is a long story. Its introductory part is simple: the draft law, purportedly,
agreed between the BYuT and OUPS, provides for the deletion of Article 80 of
the Constitution. However quite a few MPs in both blocs admit that the
parliamentary immunity will, eventually, be restored, albeit in a reduced scope.

They think that, as before, the people’s deputies of Ukraine:

– will not be held legally liable for expressing their opinion and voting as
they see fit;
– will not be apprehended and placed in custody without Supreme Rada
consent; the only exception being made for cases when MPs are caught

in the act.

[2] Novelty two is the law on opposition. The draft prepared by BYuT and
supported by the Party of Regions passed the first reading in the previous Rada.

 
Will it finally be adopted? Some politicians think the new parliament should
continue working on the BYuT draft that provides for handing over numerous
positions of power to the opposition. Others argue this should not be done.

We agree with the latter: to mix the ruling administration and the
opposition, to dilute political responsibility means to legalize political corruption.
Isn’t it a form of bribery to offer not only parliamentarian but also
ministerial posts to the opposition?

Some MPs suggest a working group, chaired by the opposition representative,
should be set up to revise and improve the draft law. We will wait and see
whose opinion prevails.

[3] Novelty three is the endorsement of the imperative mandate. According to
the Constitution, an MP should stay with the political force that brought
him or her to Parliament. Bolting to another faction is punished with
expulsion from the Rada. Practicalities of the imperative mandate operation
should be laid down in the law on the status of people’s deputies.

BYuT and OUPS are ready to initiate the necessary amendments but the nature
of amendments is a contentious issue. On one hand, the imperative mandate
(particularly given the closed party election lists) is sheer serfdom, not
to be found in a civilized world.

On the other, it is a way of disciplining MPs, an anti-corruption,
preventive measure against the recurrence of abnormal migrations in the
previous Rada. MPs may or may not like the imperative mandate, but they
will have to legalize it with a law as required by the Constitution.

The question is what the respective law will look like. According to our
sources, the BYuT draft will be chosen as a basic one. Its authors propose
to expel MPs from the Rada for failure to discharge their duties properly
and honestly, for refusal to obey faction discipline, in particular, for
nonparticipation in voting or for voting contrary to the faction’s position.

One could understand the reasoning behind these draconian measures but one
should also bear in mind that they run counter to the Constitution.

A lot of OUPS members disagree with the above interpretation of the
imperative mandate, but they will, most probably, have to back down because
of the threat to the existence of the coalition without the passage of this
law.

It is a matter of principle for Tymoshenko, and her partners will have to
abide by this requirement. Nevertheless, some of the pro-presidential bloc
members hope to revise the Constitution again in six months or so, and
remove any mention of the imperative mandate from it.

[4] Novelty four is a new version of the law on the Cabinet of Ministers.

The future coalition is expected to adopt the version of the draft law
proposed by Viktor Yushchenko last year when he tried to win back some of the
executive powers that he lost because of the constitutional reform. A number of
provisions in that draft did not harmonize with the Constitution.

The majority in the previous Supreme Rada preferred another draft, submitted
by the Viktor Yanukovych government, which did not get along well with the
Constitution, either. Viktor Yushchenko vetoed the pro-governmental law
passed in December 2006.

Parliament overcame the presidential veto as BYuT voted together with the
ruling coalition (121 out of 366 votes in favor belonged to the Yuliya
Tymoshenko Bloc) in exchange for the latter’s support of the law on the
imperative mandate for local councils (which she needed badly at that time).

In addition, the “anti-crisis” coalition passed the abovementioned draft law
on the opposition in the first reading.

The BYuT leader justified the backing of the controversial law by her
faction with the “need to resolve the conflict between the two branches of power”
that was “ruinous for the country”. Olexander Turchynov acknowledged: “We

adopted this law for ourselves; we will use it to form our government and work in
it.”

At that juncture, nobody believed that Tymoshenko would return to the office
of prime minister. Now the return is very likely but, quite unexpectedly,
Yuliya Tymoshenko, Turchynov and their colleagues say they are ready to
relinquish the powers they “approved for themselves”. Why?

In all probability, Tymoshenko is not happy with the new version of the
draft law on the Cabinet of Ministers. Yet the President is said to have
conditioned her nomination as the prime minister with her faction’s voting for this
draft. Yuliya Tymoshenko, supposedly, accepted the ultimatum. In fact, she could
later use it as an excuse for not delivering on her election pledges: she
tried but could not because of restricted powers.

ZN managed to get hold of the draft law on the Cabinet of Ministers,
reportedly, initialed by representatives of the two political forces.

All provisions that experts previously deemed as unconstitutional (or at
least dubious in terms of compliance with the Constitution) have been
deleted. In particular, the coalition will have no right to appoint the prime
minister and ministers of foreign affairs and defense by itself, i.e. without their
previous nomination by the President.

The government will not be allowed to apply disciplinary sanctions to heads
of district and oblast administrations or to disaffirm decisions of local
administrations.

On the other hand, the constitutionality of some proposed provisions is also
open to question. The draft law we have at our disposal suggests that the
President wants to get the right to turn down the prime ministerial
candidate nominated by the coalition. Furthermore, Yushchenko still believes

he should be empowered to include members of the Cabinet into consultative
and supportive bodies operating under his aegis.

For one thing, it is unethical. For another, it can be perceived as the
President’s attempt to bring pressure to bear on the central executive power
body. The head of state still insists that his representative should be
entitled to take part in the Cabinet sessions, and still regards countersigning

as a right, rather than a duty of the Cabinet members.

More than that, the drafters have narrowed the premier’s powers. Should this
draft be adopted as a law, the prime minister’s right to direct, coordinate,
manage and control the ministers’ activities and to give them instructions
will be curtailed.

There are other strange provisions in the draft. The requirement that the
prime ministerial candidate should immediately present to Parliament an
action programme of the Cabinet that is still to be formed looks unnatural.

Even more deviant is the proposal to nominate the government members for a
blanket ballot. This proposal is in clear conflict with the Constitution,
which requires that the Rada votes for every minister individually.

Proposed amendments to Article 7 of the law on the Cabinet of Ministers are
stranger still. According to Article 7 currently in effect, a person is not
eligible for the nomination as a member of the Cabinet of Ministers if his
or her former conviction has not been removed from records in the order
established by law.

The new draft proposes to keep any “person with the former conviction” away
from the government. This provision is discriminative as it disqualifies
persons like Viktor Yanukovych and Vyacheslav Chornovil alike. Besides,
experts explain that a person whose previous conviction has been removed
from records is deemed to have no previous convictions.

In summary, even if this draft law is adopted, it will soon be revised.
According to our sources, representatives of the Party of Regions are
already writing a petition to the Constitution Court challenging the
compliance of this law with the Constitution.

Novelty five is the cancellation or, more precisely, monetization of MPs’
benefits to be stipulated by the law on the status of people’s deputy.

MPs are to be deprived of numerous privileges, including their right to get
services free of charge. Instead, they will receive an amount of money,
equal to their monthly salary, which they could use to pay for goods and

services necessary for their professional activities.

In other words, MPs will no longer enjoy the right to free traveling, free
accommodation (of those who do not permanently reside in Kyiv), etc. This
monetary compensation will enable MPs to do their job properly and will save
substantial amounts of the budget money. According to expert estimates, this
approach will allow cut the state budget expenses for the Supreme Rada by
30%-50%.

Changes relating to the abolition of parliamentary immunity and privileges
should be introduced into the Supreme Rada Rules of Procedure. However,
contrary to expectations and to the Constitutional requirements, BYuT and
OUPS did not even discuss upgrading the status of the Rules of Procedure to
that of law.

Later, we are planning to discuss other draft laws from the package.
However, even the above analysis suffices to conclude that the parties will have
difficulty reaching an agreement. Varying opinions and approaches to the
aforementioned issues exist not only between BYuT and OUPS but also within
the two forces.

The package of draft laws initiated by the Presidential Secretariat
threatens to turn into an explosive package capable of blasting the coalition to
pieces before it has even come to life.
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.mw.ua/1000/1550/60874/
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21.  THREE PROMINENT KYIVAN RUS REFORMERS

By Volodymyr Kharchenko, The Ukrainian Observer
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fall, 2007

A short period in Ukraine’s medieval history was full of humanism,
Christian love and justice. It is associated in our memory with three
prominent statesmen.

Unlike Kyivan Rus’s other grand princes, who were crafty fratricides, greedy
tax collectors and vulgar robbers and challenged their huge state, lying
from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, with feuding and civil wars for
centuries, these three are remembered for their positive achievements.

However, they were also the offspring of their cruel time and had to
struggle violently for power with their relatives. They later justified
themselves by claiming they had not sought personal wealth but prosperity
for their state.
[1] VOLODYMYR THE BAPTIST (Circa 958 – 1015)
The church canonized this secular leader for baptizing Kyivan Rus in 988.

Saint Volodymyr was the son of Grand Prince Svyatoslav and his concubine.
This extraordinary fact explains why no one knows  exactly when he was born.
When Volodymyr was young, he eliminated his rivals and also led his army
against Poles, Lithuanians and Pechenigs.

Having tamed Kyivan Rus and its neighbors with his warriors and terror,
Volodymyr, influenced by European monarchs, decided to strengthen his
empire with a state religion. His choice was Byzantium’s Orthodox faith.

When baptizing Rus, Volodymyr demonstrated his stamina and firmness, just
like in wartime. He ordered his soldiers to bring the people to the Dnipro,
where Byzantine priests were waiting for them. They also tore down the
statues of pagan gods. The wooden idols were floating along the wide

Dnipro, complaining of their fate to the deceased Slavic chieftains.
Kyivan Rus stepped irreversibly on the path of Christianity, slowly
forgetting its barbaric traditions.

This was a long evolutionary process. Polygamy was repealed and serfdom
abolished. Volodymyr the Baptist also changed. He was kind and friendly to
everybody: he freed his slaves and let his heathen wives go; he called on
his people to love one another and made generous donations, he even thought
it was sinful to sentence criminals to death.

Chroniclers metaphorically wrote that Volodymyr was “clothes for the poor,
food for the hungry, a helper to widows, a shelter for the homeless and a
defender of those without hope.”
[2] YAROSLAV THE WISE (978 – 1054)
Volodymyr was called by his people Volodymyr, the Red Sun. His son Yaroslav
is known in history as Yaroslav, the Wise. His contemporaries must have had
reasons for that.

Yaroslav ruled the state for forty years after eliminating his untalented
rivals. Kyivan Rus was very powerful during his reign. To celebrate his
victory over the nomadic tribe of Pechenigs, Yaroslav built a magnificent
cathedral, whose golden domes are still among Kyiv’s most beautiful
adornments, and founded an academy for scholars in it.

Diplomats said Yaroslav was Europe’s father-in-law, as his daughters were
queens in several European states. The most famous of them all was Anne, the
queen of France and wife of King Henry I.

Yaroslav’s greatest achievement was his code, The Truth of Yaroslav, which
was a revised collection of the Old Russian laws.

Not only did Yaroslav systematize the existing laws and traditions but he
also adapted them to his time. The code included a list of punishments for
every crime and wrongdoing, such as murder, arson, theft, rape and many
others.

The state guaranteed the inevitability of punishment and criminals paid
fines, a part of which were given to the state. The life of a rich resident
of Kyiv cost 80 hryvnias, while the murder of a slave cost only six. This
was a huge sum, however, as one could buy twenty sheep or one ox for one
hryvnia.
[3] VOLODYMYR MONOMAKH* (1053-1125)
Yaroslav’s grandson Volodymyr was named Monomakh in Byzantium, as
he was also the grandson of Byzantine Emperor Konstantin IX Monomakh.
However, he became famous not because of his great ancestors but because
of his remarkable talents.

Monomakh was an outstandingly skillful commander. He was respected by

all social classes as statesman. This did not happen instantly. Once he
suppressed a revolt staged by Kyiv’s desperate beggars but did not punish
them too cruelly. He reduced taxes twofold, which appeased society.

He soon realized that his country’s main enemy was not its neighbors but its
own rulers. Traditionally, Kyivan Rus’s grand princes allowed only their
sons or close relatives to rule its provinces. All these princes were locked
in a relentless power struggle.

Monomakh used his talents to help the provinces compromise. He invented a
method of “reasonable rotation” for those seeking the coveted throne in
Kyiv.

In his Instructions for the Children, one of the most famous literary
monuments of the Middle Ages, Monomakh called on his sons and the whole
elite to be fair, honest and live in the “fear of God.”

He managed to convene all the princes in one hall twice, making them kiss a
cross and swear to never encroach on their neighbors’ land. Unfortunately,
as soon as the princes returned to their provinces, they unsheathed their
swords.

. Andriy Bogolyubsky, the grandson of Kyivan Rus’s grand princes and the
ruler of the Moscow Suzdal Principality, committed a terribly blasphemous
act after Monomakh’s death and before Mongolian Khan Batyy’s birth. In
1169, he suddenly invaded Kyiv. The capital never fully recovered after that
barbaric intrusion.

Before Batyy’s army approached the eastern border of the Kyiv principality,
the state changed rulers nine times within five years. Kyiv had no ruler
during Batyy’s siege. Commander Dmitriy was in charge of defense
operations. No other prince offered his help to the capital. Their cities
died alone after Kyiv.
CONCLUSION
It is now 2007 but little has changed since that turbulent period. We love
our brothers verbally but almost never cordially.

Rus’s noble raiders are succeeded by modern raiders who were not raised in
palaces but grew up in Soviet slums. Even in the twenty-first century we
break oaths and are often disloyal to our allies.
———————————————————————————————-
*The Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993) reported: “Volodymyr married
Gytha, the daughter of the English king Harold II, and founded the Kyivan,
Smolensk, and Suzdal lines of the Riurykide dynasty. In 1966 Debrett’s
Peerage, Baronage, Knightage, and Companionage published the statement

that Queen Elizabeth II was descended from Volodymyr Monomakh. He
was the last prince of Rus’ to preside over a unified state. He is buried in
the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv.
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
22.  MUSHROOMS: A UKRAINE LOVE AFFAIR

By Ralph H. Kurtzman, The Ukrainian Observer,
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fall, 2007

The English speaking nations and even most of Western Europe are often
referred to as “mycophobes.” If you dissect that word and apply the literal
meaning, at best it is an exaggeration.

“Myco” refers to fungi, but more specifically to mushrooms. It is not true
that we fear all mushrooms, but most of us are afraid to eat any mushroom
that did not come from a grocery store.

Many still have doubts about mushrooms that were not seen on produce shelves
when they were children, even though they are there today. Western people
eat green vegetables, but few seem to understand that many, if not most
green plants are poisonous. We love tomatoes and potatoes, but the parts of
those plants that we do not eat are very poisonous.

Eastern Europeans, however, are justly called “mycophiles.” They love
mushrooms, but the mushrooms that have been eaten for years by western
Europeans have not been available to eastern Europeans until very recent
years.

In the autumn, in Finland, most open-air market food stands have a bucket of
parboiled Lactarius mushrooms. A few species of Lactarius are considered
edible in western European mushroom hunters’ books.

Those seen in the Finnish markets will all be mushrooms that the western
books say are poisonous. The Finns eat those “poison” mushrooms and never
get sick.

However, the western books are not wrong, but simply parboiling Lactarius,
removes the poison. That poison only gives indigestion, if the mushrooms are
not parboiled.

Eating only parboiled Lactarius is a little like eating only potato tubers
and not potato berries. In both cases the poison part is separated from the
edible.

My first trip to a CIS country was to Belarus in the month of September.
Ukraine and Belarus have shared many events in their histories and so have
much in common.

Making that trip even more like a Ukraine adventure, my interpreter, Roman,
was Ukrainian. On my second day in Belarus as we drove southwest from Minsk
to Lida, Roman stopped the car next to some people with baskets at the side
of the road.

Just as he expected, the baskets were filled with mushrooms that had been
picked in the nearby forests. Many of those, in the baskets, were boletes,
also known as ceps. Roman purchased all that he saw.

That evening, we sliced up his purchase and dried them over the kitchen
stove in our apartment. As they dried, mushroom fly larvae dropped out of
the mushrooms and onto the stove.

Neither of us were at all alarmed, possibly it is the outstanding flavor or
the high nutritional value of the boletes that draws the flies to deposit
their eggs in these delicious mushrooms.

I didn’t get a chance to taste those; Roman packed them up and took them
home. There may have been some dead larvae remaining in the dried mushrooms.
Even larvae are not a reason for concern. Mushroom flies eat nothing but
mushrooms, so unlike other flies they are clean.

I did eat plenty of mushrooms while I was in Lida. The reason for my visit
was to help a grower of veshenka or oyster mushrooms. It was nice to see the
wild mushrooms, but it was not good for the grower.

Cultivated mushrooms are new crops in Eastern Europe, so the people will
hunt or buy the wild mushrooms in preference, if only out of habit. As a
result, business in September is slow for mushroom growers.  The grower’s
production kept our dinner table well supplied.

Roman insisted upon being my cook; I could only watch and learn about what
he was fixing. He never measured, so I could not write down his recipe. Both
my visual and taste memory are quite good, so I did try to duplicate his
cooking when I got home, and I wrote down what I did. I call my recipe
“Mushrooms Minsk.”

It is likely that the name veshenka is much older than the name oyster
mushrooms. Eastern Europeans have long enjoyed veshenka that they found in
the woods.

While western people think of mushrooms as a delicacy, eastern Europeans
think of them as good ordinary food that even the poorest serf could eat if
he was free enough to be able to hunt nearby forests. So common names for
mushrooms in Slavic and other eastern languages are often very old.

The contrast of attitude is quite apparent. When one visits a produce market
in western countries, the mushrooms will be found in packages of about 100g
(4 oz); in Kyiv markets you will see packages of as much as 1kg (39 oz).
Prices will also be less than in the west.

The price for veshenka is less in Ukraine than in western countries,
partially because of the price of labor, partially because of attitude,
partially because veshenka is easier to grow than the common commercial
mushroom, and Ukrainians are ready to learn how to grow it with no
preconceived ideas, since few have experience growing other mushrooms.

When I am in a foreign country, one of the joys is to eat the local food.
Usually, I gain a real love for at least some local dishes.

One Ukrainian friend, Dr. Andriy Gryganski of the National Agrarian
University of Ukraine, has given me recipes that I want to pass on to you.
Dr. Gryganski’s  (AG) are authentic Ukrainian, but I am also including two
of my own recipes (RHK), that I think are very much to Ukrainian taste.
There are additional recipes at www.oystermushrooms.net.
CHAMPIGNONS FRIED/BOILED IN THEIR OWN JUICE
300-400 g (10-14 oz) fresh champignons
15 ml (1 Tbs.) sunflower oil (or other vegetable oil)
One big onion; Black pepper; Salt
Wash and slice champignons into pieces 3-4 mm (1/8 inch) thick. Put
sunflower oil in the frying pan and heat it. Peal onion, and slice 2-3 mm
(1/16 inch) thick. Fry to a golden color.

Then turn the onion aside, put sliced champignons into the frying pan and
rake the onions on the champignons (champignons on the bottom, onions
on the top, otherwise the onions will be burnt). Sprinkle with black pepper.

Cover pan with a lid and wait some minutes until the champignons excrete
their juice. In a few minutes, they will be boiled in this liquid. Mix the
champignons until they are equally brown. Sprinkle with salt. The liquid
should not be evaporated. Good to put over mashed potatoes, pasta, etc.
– AG
CHOPPED SHIITAKE
 10 big, flat shiitake; 1 egg; flour
 15 ml (1 Tbs.) Sunflower oil (or other vegetable oil)
Take shiitake; cut the stems near the caps. Break the egg in a small bowl;
mix the white with yolk and with black pepper. Put flour on a plate.

Wet the caps on both sides with the egg, then roll each cap in flour and put
in previously heated frying pan, fry from the both sides until the flour is
golden color. Before finishing, sprinkle with salt. Good for any garnish
[buckwheat, potatoes, especially fried, pasta, rice] or vegetables. -AG
POT-VESHENKA OR OYST-POT
 300-400 g (10-14 oz) oyster mushrooms (veshenka)
 15 ml (1 Tbs.) sunflower oil (or other vegetable oil)
 One big onion; 100 ml (½ cup) 10% fresh cream (heavy whipping cream)
 1 kg (2 lbs.) potatoes (note: in spring time they are more likely to burn)

Wash and slice veshenka into pieces 3-4 mm (1/8 inch) thick. Peal and cut
the onion into 2-3 mm (1/16 inch) thick slices.  Put sunflower oil in the
frying pan and heat it; fry the onions to golden brown. Turn onions aside,
then cook mushrooms adding cream during cooking. Stop cooking when
cream begins to evaporate.

Peal and cut potatoes into small pieces, put them into pot, flood with
boiled water to the surface, salt. Cover with oyster mushrooms and begin to
boil. When the potatoes are ready, mix all together and eat!!! The potatoes
at the bottom are often slightly burned, but the major part is
excellent. –AG
KALAMPETSYA
10-14 oz (300-400 g) fresh shiitake
15 ml (1 Tbs.) sunflower oil (or other vegetable oil)
One big onion; 10-14 oz (300-400 g) potatoes
7-10 oz (200-300 g) Brussels sprouts
7-10 oz (200-300 g) broccoli (or cauliflower)
3-½ oz (100 g) smoked bacon; hazelnuts
mild cheese (e.g. jack, mozzarella) sliced

All ingredients are cooked separately. Wash and slice shiitake into pieces
3-4 mm (1/8 inch) thick. Peal and cut the onion into 2-3 mm (1/16 inch)
thick slices.  Put sunflower oil in the frying pan and heat it; fry the
onions to golden brown.

Turn onions aside, the cook mushrooms adding cream during cooking. Stop
cooking when cream begins to evaporate. Cook in different pots: potatoes,
Brussels sprouts, broccoli (or cauliflower).

Prepare shiitake as in #1. Put in warm Roman (ceramic) pot a little bit of
butter, than a layer of potatoes, cover it with slices of smoked bacon, then
a layer of Brussels sprouts, then cover it with shiitake, then a layer of
broccoli, sprinkle it with pounded hazelnuts, cover all this with cheese and
put the Roman pot without lid into oven, heated previously to 180ºC (350ºF).
Wait until the cheese begins to melt and obtains a golden color, and then
serve. -AG
MUSHROOM MINSK
1-½ oz (45 g) dry oyster mushrooms, or 10 oz (300g) fresh oyster mushrooms
½ cups (120 ml) Water, Plus 1 cup (250 ml) cold water for dry mushrooms
¼ tsb (2 g) baking soda; ¼ cup (60 ml) Vinegar; ¼ tsp (1 g) Salt;

1 cup (200g) Chopped onions; 1 small Eggplant, sliced;
1 Tbs (15 g) Butter; 2 Tbs (20 g) Flour; ¼ Yellow bell (sweet) pepper
¼ Red bell (sweet) pepper; ¼ Green bell (sweet) pepper
1 cup (250 g) Sour cream

Soak dry mushrooms in water, allow 1 hour before cooking. After the dry
mushrooms have soaked 10 minutes or immediately after washing the fresh
mushrooms, cut off all stems, and chop them very fine. Place the stems in a
small pan, add ¼ cup water and baking soda; cover and simmer.

Cut the peppers into strips. Sauté the onions and eggplant; add salt,
mushrooms and stems, including all liquid (much should have been absorbed).
Continue heating; sift flour in slowly, while stirring. As soon as the
liquid is smooth and thickened, add sour cream. Garnish with peppers.
Serves 6. Variation: cooked carrots may be substituted for some of the
peppers. -RHK
VESHENKA OMELET
A great omelet needs a recipe, but skill is also a big part of it. In our
experience, a properly seasoned cast iron frying pan is the only acceptable
cooking utensil. They are much more reliably non-stick than Teflon and there
is no organic halogen (as in Teflon and DDT).

Omelets are cooked one at a time and I prefer several one-egg omelets to one
large omelet. The following is for one omelet, multiply the mushrooms,
lemon, onions and peppers times the number of omelets – of course you will
want to do all of the chopping and marinating first.

1 Heaping Tbs. (10 g) Oyster mushrooms, chopped
¼ tsp. (2 ml) Lemon juice; 1 Heaping Tbs. (10 g) Onions, chopped
1 Heaping Tbs. (10 g) Bell peppers, ripe (red, yellow or orange) chopped
1 Egg; 1 Tbs. (15 ml) Water; salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
¾ Tbs. (10 g) Butter

Marinade the mushrooms in the lemon juice for 10 to 20 minutes. Put the egg
in a small bowl, add the water, salt and black pepper, beat until smooth
with a whisk. Heat an 8-inch (20 cm) frying pan; add the butter. When it
begins to bubble, pour in the whisked egg, so that the bottom of the skillet
is covered.

Sprinkle the onions and the marinated mushrooms on one half of the egg.
After a short time, the bottom of the omelet will be firm, fold the half
with no mushrooms and onions over the side with them.

Continue to cook until the entire omelet is firm. Place on a warm plate,
cover with the bell peppers and serve with catsup, or your favorite
sauce. RHK    Bon appétit!
——————————————————————————————-
The author, Ralph H. Kurtzman, Jr., Ph.D., is a retired US Department of
Agriculture biochemist and plant pathologist. Since retirement, he accepts
volunteer assignments as a mushroom cultivation consultant for CNFA,
ACDI/VOCA, CARE and other US Agency for International Development
(USAID) contractors. He also serves as co-editor of Micologia Aplicada
International, a small scientific journal of applied mycology. You may reach
Dr. Kurtzman at: kurtzmanr@earthlink.net
——————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.ukraine-observer.com/index.php?c=221
————————————————————————————————

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AUR#883 Oct 26 Court Validates Election; WTO & GMO’S; Corruption; Energy; Leasing; Mystery Art Buyer; Mushrooms, A Ukraine Love Affair

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

Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
 
ENERGY EFFICIENCY
“It is technically and economically feasible for Ukraine to achieve
independence from energy imports within a timeframe far shorter
than that envisioned by [Ukraine’s] National Energy Strategy.  [In
fact,] if Ukraine brought its levels of energy consumption per unit
of GDP just down to the world average, it could eliminate most
and possibly all of its energy imports.” (Article 10)
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 883
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2007
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.  UKRAINE COURT VALIDATES ELECTION RESULTS
By Maria Danilova, Associated Press Writer
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, October 25, 2007
 
Genetic Engineering May Obstruct Ukraine’s Way to WTO

By Yuri Tarasovsky, LIGA Inform News Agency
Liga.net, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, October 24, 2007

4UKRAINIAN-OWNED INDUSTRIAL UNION OF DONBAS
WILL TAKE OVER FAMOUS POLISH SHIPYARD GDANSK
PAP news agency, Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, 16 Oct 07

5UKRAINIAN MIGRANT LABOR BRINGS IN $8.4 BILLION 

By Stephen Bandera, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Oct 25, 2007

6UKRTATNAFTA REFINERY FACES ‘FINANCIAL CRISIS’ 
By Greg Walters, Moscow and Daryna Krasnolutska, Kyiv 
Bloomberg News, Moscow/Kyiv, Wednesday, October 24, 2007

7BATTLE OVER POLTAVA OIL REFINERY HEATS UP 

John Marone, Kyiv Post, Kyiv Post Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, Oct 24, 2007
 
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
Washington, D.C., Friday, October 26, 2007

9AFRICAN AIR CRASHES THREATEN A GREAT AVIATION

NAME, THE PROUD UKRAINIAN ANTONOV AIRCRAFT
The Ear: By Jim Davis, The Ukrainian Observer
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, October, 2007

10NEW UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT URGED TO PURSUE ENERGY

NATIONAL SECURITY & ACHIEVE ENERGY INDEPENDENCE
Ukrainian-American Environmental Association (UAEA)
Rivne, Ukraine/Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 25, 2007

11PHILLY LAW FIRM LAUNCHES BRANCH OFFICE IN UKRAINE
By Dariya Orlova, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Oct 25 2007

12A GLIMMER OF HOPE IN THE RUBBLE
Analysis & Commentary: By John Marone
Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Kyiv, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, October 15, 2007

13 INVESTING IN UKRAINE’S BLACK EARTH
Analysis: By Uliya Shevchenko, Kreditprombank
Business Ukraine magazine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct 8, 2007

14NEW UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT MUST GET SERIOUS

ABOUT CORRUPTION STATES NEW REPORT
The Atlantic Council, Washington DC, Wed, Oct 23, 2007

15UKRAINE: STIMULATING GROWTH THROUGH LEASING
Analysis: By Anna Melnichuk, Business Ukraine magazine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 8, 2007

16UKRAINE’S BILLIONAIRE PINCHUK IS ART’S MYSTERY BUYER
By John Varoli, Bloomberg News, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, Oct 25, 2007

17.  VOTERS IN UKRAINE GO TO POLLS, EXPRESS FRUSTRATIONS
WITH DEMOCRACY, DOUBT ANYTHING WILL CHANGE
By Peter Fedynsky, Correspondent, Voice of America (VOA)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 23 October 2007

18UKRAINE – COALITION LATEST: DELAYS AND DEALS
By Paul Johnson, Business Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Oct 22, 2007

19BATTLEFIELD UKRAINE: THE GEOPOLITICAL CLASH
OVER VALUE SYSTEMS CONTINUES
Analysis & Commentary: By Alexander Iosseliani
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, October 25, 2007

20THOUGHTS ON COALITION: EXPLOSIVE PACK
Commentary & Analysis: By Serhiy Rakhmanin
ZN, Mirror Weekly # 39 (668), Kyiv, Ukraine Sat, 20-26 October 2007

 
21THREE PROMINENT KYIVAN RUS REFORMERS
By Volodymyr Kharchenko, The Ukrainian Observer
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fall, 2007
 
22MUSHROOMS: A UKRAINE LOVE AFFAIR
By Ralph H. Kurtzman, The Ukrainian Observer
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fall, 2007
========================================================
1
UKRAINE COURT VALIDATES ELECTION RESULTS

By Maria Danilova, Associated Press Writer
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, October 25, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine-A court validated the results of parliamentary elections
Thursday, opening the way for the formation of a government in this
ex-Soviet republic struggling to emerge from prolonged political turmoil.

The move was likely to be welcomed by the two pro-Western Orange

Revolution parties led by President Viktor Yushchenko and the charismatic
opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

Their main rival, the more Russia-friendly Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych,
was the top vote winner, but fell short of the Orange parties’ combined
total.

Ukraine’s High Administrative Court threw out a lawsuit filed by five
parties contesting the vote based on alleged violations. The decision
allowed the official publication of the election results and enabled the new
parliament to convene.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko led the 2004 Orange Revolution protests

that swept Yushchenko to the presidency. But the alliance fell apart when
Yushchenko fired Tymoshenko as prime minister after seven months.

This time, the two have promised to work closely together to bring the
country on a solid pro-Western course, conduct anti-corruption reform and
raise living standards. An agreement reached between the parties last week
would have Tymoshenko return as premier.

Ukrainian politics have been riven by a bitter power struggle between
Yushchenko and Yanukovych since the tumultuous 2004 presidential race.

Yanukovych was initially declared the winner, but courts later judged that
vote fraudulent and Yushchenko won a repeat election. Their standoff reached
its peak earlier this year, when Yushchenko ordered parliament dissolved and
called a new vote.

A majority coalition can be officially formed once parliament convenes. The
legislature has about a month to convene after the official publication of
the election results.

The parties of Yushchenko and Tymoshenko won 228 seats in the 450-member
Verkhovna Rada, two seats more than a bare majority. Yanukovych’s Party of
Regions had 175 seats.
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2.  PRESIDENT CALLS FOR NEW GOV’T TO SWIFTLY ADOPT
BUSINESS RELIEF LAWS TO IMPROVE BUSINESS CONDITIONS

By Zenon Zawada, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Oct 25 2007

Whatever coalition emerges, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko made
improving business conditions and further adapting government standards to
those of the World Trade Organization and European Union among the top
priorities of parliament once it convenes.

The president will submit six bills to improve business standards and
regulations for the parliament’s urgent approval, said Oleksandr Shlapak,
the first assistant chair of the Presidential Secretariat, on Oct. 23.

The bills are the president’s direct response to initiatives proposed by
small and medium-sized businessmen at a Sept. 17 meeting of the Government
and Business – Partners Forum in Kyiv, Secretariat officials said.

The measures are necessary on the legal and legislative levels to “radically
change the situation at the start of 2008 and win next year economically,”
Yushchenko told the meeting, which was attended by more than 500 small and
medium-sized entrepreneurs.

The most far-reaching of the proposals would remove a wide spectrum of
technical regulations on business and reduce the number of products
requiring mandatory certification.

Removing the litany of technical and certification barriers would bring
Ukraine closer to WTO and EU standards, according to an informative
memorandum prepared by the Secretariat.

“The experience of other EU member-states testifies that mandatory
certification is not necessary to ensure production safety and defending
consumer rights,” the memorandum stated.

“Mandatory certification of food products is absent in EU countries, but
that doesn’t mean that more than 450 million EU residents use low-quality or
unsafe products.”

Another measure on market oversight, particularly in the food products
sector, would introduce EU standards in regulating and systematizing
production.

Clear and well-defined oversight procedures, and defining of the products
subject to review, are among the measure’s key proposals. The other bills
will attempt to reduce licensing requirements, simplify and streamline the
licensing process and create official lists of requited permits to prevent
unreasonable demands from authorities.

“They are geared toward improving conditions of small and medium-sized
businesses,” said Yevhen Kapinus, assistant director of the main service of
socio-economic development at the Presidential Secretariat.

“Reducing the number of licenses and certification will help large companies
as well. But if large companies faced problems with these issues, they were
even more challenging for middle and small businesses.”

The measures were drafted by a working group of more than 20 small and
middle-sized Ukrainian entrepreneurs, including Our Ukraine politician
Kseniya Liapina.

The earliest parliament can convene to approve the president’s proposals is
a few days following a ruling by the Higher Administrative Court on the
election’s legitimacy. A decision is widely expected this week, though
delays occurred last year.

The newly elected deputies have a deadline of approximately a month to
pledge their oaths after government newspapers officially publish the
ruling, so parliament may not convene until late November.

This week, Yushchenko ordered Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of the eponymous
bloc, and Viacheslav Kyrylenko, a leader of the Our Ukraine-People’s
Self-Defense bloc, to form the Democratic Forces coalition as soon as
possible, the president told an Oct. 23 press conference in Kharkiv.

The president said he hopes parliament will meet and a coalition will emerge
during the first 10 days of November.

After deputies pledge their oaths and the first session of parliament
convenes, they will have approximately another 30 days to form a coalition
government. Parliament can elect its chairman and pass laws without forming
a coalition government, said Yuriy Syrotiuk, a political analyst at the
Kyiv-based Open Society Foundation, which is financed by American, British
and Polish government and private grants.

Therefore, the president’s pro-business initiatives become law in case the
parliament has trouble forming a government.

The likelihood of trouble increased after former Prime Minister Yuriy
Yekhanurov, a close presidential ally, said on Oct. 23 he would abandon the
Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense Bloc if a coalition agreement with the
Tymoshenko Bloc doesn’t take into account his proposals.

These proposals regard legislation to cancel the moratorium on agricultural
land sales, new laws on stock companies, changes in government procurement
laws and to the January Cabinet of Ministers law that significantly limited
the president’s authority.
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LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/business/general/27664/

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3.  UKRAINE’S ACCESSION TO WTO COULD BE A GENETIC
ENGINEERING ISSUE, LABELING GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS
Genetic Engineering May Obstruct Ukraine’s Way to WTO

By Yuri Tarasovsky, LIGA Inform News Agency

Liga.net, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, October 24, 2007

On 25 October in Geneva there was held a decisive round of negotiations
for the entry of Ukraine into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

We want to note the strong desire of our nation to enter the WTO, Ukraine
held a mammoth job to become a member of that organization. However,
the process is still unresolved questions.

In particular, the issue raises concerns labeling of food that contains
genetically engineered impurities. It would seem, the Ukrainian government
will put all dot the “i”, imposing labeling of genetically modified foods.
This rule Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine wants to introduce on 1 November

2007.

Nevertheless, the American side WTO opposes such action. It is no secret
that the United States is a major exporter of such foods. So, obviously,
their actions can be interpreted as unwillingness to lose markets for their
products.

Why such products are of concern in society? To date, this remains an
open question. Physicians note that genetically modified products distort
immunity rights, and the consequences could be irreversible.

In the words of Dr. Catherine Kartavoy life sciences, health do not know
what the disease may suffer after human consumption of products of genetic
engineering. Following the use of such products will change antigen of the

body tissues, in consequence of which the immune system will destroy the
body’s own,” said the expert.

What are the so-called genetically modified products, and how they are
created? Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are those in which genetic
material (DNA) which is not changed as a result of replication, and/or
natural recombination, and through the addition of a modified gene or
another gene type or variety of biological organisms. For example, the
normal greens secretions gene rats.

Rat Liver contains vitamin C, as a result of increases in vegetable content
of vitamins. For the same reason, added to soybean Dumplings, sausage,
sausage, chocolate. Today, no one is surprised that exotic fruits are sold
year-round at the individual impacts of the miracle of genetic engineering.

Regarding the solution to the problem at the state level, the Minister of
Economy of Ukraine Anatoly Kinakh noted that to address the issue of
genetically modified products need to act in accordance with the priorities
of the health of our citizens and rigid quality control of food products,
which today come to Ukraine.

Meanwhile Gospotrebstandart Ukraine insists on compulsory marking at least
baby food products. According to the Minister, in all the countries of the
European Union this is a mandatory rule.

 I would like to emphasize that the Community legislation on GMOs in
operation since 1998. Today, there are laws on the use, distribution,
marketing and identifying GMOs in their food.

Furthermore, the EU has held activities to implement the provisions of
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety on the Transboundary dissemination of
GMOs. After a five-year moratorium Commission again permit the use of
GMOs in May 2004.

Before you go to the EU market, a genetically modified product is subjected
to harsh inspection. There is such verification in laboratories, which are
owned by the Common European network research center at the European
Commission.

Moreover, the law clearly regulates the principles of the EU labeling of GMO
products with the contents. In September 2004, the Commission authorized
the first sale and cultivation of genetically modified seeds, registering 17
new varieties of maize in the EU Catalog of species diversity of crops.

Nevertheless, we can not say that all genetically modified products are
harmful. For example, British scientists have created a genetically modified
chicken, which can carry eggs containing proteins required for drugs against
cancer.

Based on the above uncertainties, can be safely argued that the world
community and, in particular, Ukraine is required to establish the rules
that would not allow such things to speculate, because in that case it is a
human health.

P.S. According to the Environmental League All-Ukrainian, 90% of
Ukrainian foods do not contain GMOs. (LINK: www.liga.net)
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4.  UKRAINIAN-OWNED INDUSTRIAL UNION OF DONBAS
WILL TAKE OVER FAMOUS POLISH SHIPYARD GDANSK

PAP news agency, Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, 16 Oct 07

GDANSK, Poland – ISD Polska company, belonging chiefly to Ukrainian

Donbas [Industrial Union of Donbas], will take over 75 per cent of shares
in Gdansk shipyard worth 400m zloty (152.1m dollars) and will become the
owner of Gdansk shipyard by the end of the year, shipyard CEO Andrzej
Jaworski said Tuesday [16 October].

The ISD authorities plant to turn the shipyard into Europe’s leading ship
building and repair plant. Poland holds 18 per cent of shares in the
shipyard. The Ukrainian company was the only one which presented the

binding offer for the purchase of a new package of shares.

ISD board CEO Kostantyn Lytvynov told a news conference in Gdansk

on Tuesday that his firm plans to invest 500m zloty in the shipyard.
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========================================================
5.  UKRAINIAN MIGRANT LABOR BRINGS IN $8.4 BILLION 
 
By Stephen Bandera, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Oct 25, 2007
Ukrainians working abroad sent home $8.4 billion last year, equivalent to 8
percent of the country’s GDP, according to a study released Oct. 17 by the
International Fund for Agricultural Development. By contrast, Ukraine has
attracted around $24 billion in foreign direct investments in its 16 years
of independence.

Of all CIS countries, Ukraine was second only to Russia, whose migrant
workers wired nearly $14 billion back to their home country last year.

Ukraine ranked sixth in the world, ahead of Bangladesh ($8.1 billion) and
Turkey ($7.4 billion). India, Mexico and China led the list with more than
$20 billion each in migrant funds. Worldwide, 150 million migrants sent

more than $300 billion to their families last year, the study found.

Various estimates have put the number of Ukrainians working outside their
homeland as low as 3 million and as high as 7 million migrant workers.

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LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/nation/27665/
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========================================================      
6. UKRTATNAFTA REFINERY FACES ‘FINANCIAL
CRISIS’ TATNEFT SAYS

By Greg Walters (Moscow) and Daryna Krasnolutska (Kyiv) 
Bloomberg News, Moscow/Kyiv, Wednesday, October 24, 2007

AT UkrTatNafta, Ukraine’s second- biggest oil refinery, is facing a
“technical and financial crisis” in the wake of an armed seizure of the
facility on Oct. 19, Russian oil producer OAO Tatneft said.

The refinery has come under the de facto control of its former chief
executive officer, Pavel Ovcharenko, Tatneft said in a statement posted on

its Web site. The oil producer, which owns shares in the refinery, said it
would consider all of Ovcharenko’s management decisions illegitimate and
invalid.

“These events can only be characterized as a forcible and illegal seizure
because they were carried out on the basis of forged court documents and

in the company of armed men,” Tatneft said in a joint statement with the
government of Tatarstan, the oil-rich Russian region where it’s based.

UkrTatNafta was seized last week by more than 50 men, Tatneft Chairman
Rustam Minnikhanov, who is also prime minister of Tatarstan, said in a

statement on the government’s Web site on Oct 20. Tatneft, the region’s 
government-controlled oil producer, cut off oil supplies to the refinery
pending clarification of  the situation, the company said yesterday.

UkrTatNafta purchased domestic oil yesterday and has enough reserves for

the next 15 days, Konstantin Borodin, a spokesman for Ukraine’s Fuel and
Energy Ministry, said in a phone interview today.

He said the refinery bought about 1.25 million barrels of crude from VAT
Ukrnafta, Ukraine’s biggest oil producer. The plant refines about 300,000
tons of oil, or 2.2 million barrels, a month, Borodin said.

Tatneft has been fighting for control of the refinery with Ukraine for
years. Ukraine regained control in July after state- run NAK Naftogaz
Ukrayny won a court ruling over a disputed 18 percent stake.
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http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news\?pid=newsarchive&sid=aOoQGGK_GvnY
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7.  BATTLE OVER POLTAVA OIL REFINERY HEATS UP 

 
John Marone, Kyiv Post, Kyiv Post Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, Oct 24, 2007
 
A fight for control of Ukraine’s largest oil refinery threatens the country’s
oil supplies from Russia while igniting intra-governmental rivalries at home.
 
Poltava Region’s Kremenchuk oil refinery, the centerpiece of a joint venture
called Ukrtatnafta, which includes interests connected to Russia’s Tatarstan
republic and Ukraine’s state oil and gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy, had its
oil supplies shut off this week and is now being guarded by armed men
following the replacement of its CEO on Oct. 19.
 
Tatar-supported CEO Serhiy Hlushko was replaced following a decision by
a regional Ukrainian court.
 
The government of Tatarstan and the Tatneft oil company, both principal
shareholders in Ukrtatnafta, responded by cutting off oil supplies to the
refinery and accusing Ukraine’s Fuel and Energy Minister of engineering
the takeover.
 
“The events of Oct. 19 are the culmination of a conflict that has been
going on for several months at the enterprise. It was started by the
current head of the Fuel and Energy Ministry Yuriy Boyko,” Tatarstan’s
trade representative to Ukraine Rostislav Vakhitov told a press
conference this week.
 
Vakhitov also accused newly instated CEO Pavlo Ovcharenko, who had
headed Ukrtatnafta in 2003-2004, of siphoning $130 million in company
funds since returning to his position.
 
Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Klyuyev, considered a rival of Boyko in
Ukraine’s energy sector, called Ovcharenko’s return a “raider’s attack”.
Boyko has dismissed the accusations and called for a legal study of
the matter.
 
Russian Minister of Industry and Energy Viktor Khristenko told a press
conference on Oct. 24 that his government would support Tatneft in
the dispute. Economy Minister Anatoly Kinakh said the conflict could
lead to an oil shortage in Ukraine, as Kremenchuk is a major refinery
in the country.
 
Ovcharenko said his company was already getting oil from Ukraine’s
leading oil producer, Ukrnafta, and was holding talks to get supplies
from other oil companies in Russia.
 
He added that Ukrtatnafta was expected to report losses of Hr 400
million (around $80 million) due to the purchase of oil by the former
management at inflated prices.
 
Volodymyr Saprykin, an energy analyst at Ukraine’s Razumkov Center,
said the Kremenchuk refinery provides around a third of the country’s
oil needs,  but that importers from the Baltics, for example, could fill
the gap in the short term.
 
“Theoretically this is a threat. The issue will probably continue to be
hashed out in the courts,” he said.
 
The Ukrtatnafta joint venture was created by Ukrainian and Tatarstan
presidential orders in the mid-90s. Tatarstan agreed to supply oil;
Ukraine contributed the Kremenchuk oil refinery to the joint venture.
 
Shareholders with roots in Tatarstan include the republic’s property
fund, with a 28.7 share; Tatneft, with 8.6 percent; US-registered
Seagroup International with 9.9 percent; and Switzerland’s Amruz
Trading, with 8.6 percent.
 
The US and Swiss-registered companies were added to the country’s
list of shareholders in the late 90s, effectively giving the Tatar
side 55 percent control of the refinery.
 
Over the years, the Ukrainian government has tried to overturn
the sales of the shares to the US and Swiss registered companies.
This May, Naftogaz took control of the 18 percent share package
belonging to US and Swiss companies, giving it a  61 percent
majority and reducing the Tatar stake.
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LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/business/general/27663/
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========================================================
NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
========================================================
8.  THE STATE EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF UKRAINE, U.S. REP

OFFICE, JOINS THE U.S.-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL (USUBC)
 
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
Washington, D.C., Friday, October 26, 2007

WASHINGTON – The Executive Committee of the U.S.-Ukraine

Business Council (USUBC) has just approved The State Export-
Import Bank of Ukraine, U.S. representative office, as the forty-eighth
member of the USUBC according to Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer,
president of the USUBC.

The State Export-Import Bank of Ukraine (JSC Ukreximbank) was
approved in August of 2007, by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, to
establish a representative office in New York. Victor Kapustin serves
as Chairman of the Board of the bank.

The USUBC met recently in New York with Igor Obozintsev,
Advisor to the Chairman of the Board, The State Export-Import Bank
of Ukraine, who will be operating the New York representative office.

Nickolay N. Oudovichenko, Deputy Chairman of the Board, met
with USUBC members last week in Washington. He was a member of
Ukraine’s economic and business team attending the meetings of the
World Bank and the IMF.

Joint-stock company “The State Export-Import Bank of Ukraine” is
the state-owned bank with the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine owning
100% of its shares, thus being its sole founder and shareholder.

In treating shareholders’ rights and issues of control, transparency and
enhanced efficiency, the bank adheres to the corporate governance
principles.

Adherence to the above principles enables the bank management, its
Supervisory Council and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to jointly
define and tackle the pressing tasks in ensuring dynamic development
of the bank as well as in enhancing its significance as one of the key
forces supporting foreign trade activities of the Ukrainian industries.
Today JSC “The State Export-Import Bank of Ukraine” is:
1] a bank with 100% state-owned shares, one of the major and most
     profitable operators in the Ukrainian banking market;
[2] a financial institution servicing a considerable proportion of export
     and import activities effected by Ukrainian enterprises;
[3] the sole agent of the Government of Ukraine in handling
     intergovernment credit lines;
[4] a partner of the World Bank under the largest Export Development
     Project in Ukraine and a partner of KfW under Small and Medium
     Enterprises Program;
[5] a bank recognised by about 30 primary Export Credit Agencies as
     a direct borrower/guarantor on medium and long term financing;
[6] a bank with the widest amidst the Ukrainian banks foreign network
     of correspondent and counterpart banks;
[7] a bank possessing the most long-standing experience in the Ukrainian
     market in documentary business and trade finance, having about 80
     clear credit lines available from major foreign banks;
[8] a bank with a well developed branch network embracing all main
     regions and industrial centers of Ukraine;
[9] recognized by JP Morgan Chase bank for the fifth consecutive year as
     one of the best amongst its correspondent banks worldwide in quality
     of the USD settlements in 2004, and acknowledged respectively by
     Deutsche Bank AG with regard to EURO-denominated settlements in
     Ukraine;
[10] a clearing bank for the MASTER CARD INTERNATIONAL INC.
     payment system in Ukraine;
[11] the first Ukrainian bank to have performed successfully in the
international syndicated loan market since 1997.

The bank can work with U.S. companies operating in Ukraine in terms
of trade finance, loans and equity investments.  For further information
check: http://www.eximb.com.
26TH NEW MEMBER FOR THE USUBC IN 2007
The State Export-Import Bank of Ukraine is the 26th new member for the
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) in the last ten months and
brings the Council’s total membership to forty-eight.
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9.  AFRICAN AIR CRASHES THREATEN A GREAT AVIATION

NAME, THE PROUD UKRAINIAN ANTONOV AIRCRAFT

THE EAR: By Jim Davis, The Ukrainian Observer
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, October, 2007

KYIV – A BBC News headline today reads, “DR Congo plane crash
‘kills many.'”

Unfortunately such headlines are all too common today in several parts
of Africa, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Before we proceed, it is probably best that I make it clear that this
commentary is not criticism of the thousands of people who have for
decades turned out aircraft under the proud Antonov name.

Neither is it criticism of the people of Africa who must continue to travel
for whatever purpose on aircraft that have been allowed to deteriorate due
to poor maintenance and a lack of government regulation.

It is fairly easy to describe the problem, which I will try to do here.
Finding a solution is an immensely more complex and difficult task.
THOUSANDS OF ANTONOV AIRCRAFT SOLD
The marketing of Antonov aircraft was a part of the foreign policy of the
former Soviet Union. Thousands of Antonov aircraft were sold, usually under
special conditions that under girded the diplomatic relations between the
country purchasing the aircraft and the USSR.

With the end of the Soviet Union and a turn to more capitalist-oriented
operations of old state enterprises, many African countries found the cost
of replacement aircraft too high to be afforded, and the cost of replacement
parts, even if available, an invitation to attempt local, poorly made
analogues – or just to ignore maintenance completely, so long as the
aircraft could lumber into the air with paying passengers.

Add to that the instability that has been pandemic in Africa since the old
colonial system ended, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Many of the Antonov aircraft that were sold in government-to-government
deals have been sold on in privatizations that led to the demise of many
national airlines and the establishment of under funded and lightly
regulated successor enterprises.
POOR MAINTENANCE, TRAINING, PILOT FATIGUE
These negative factors have led to a long list of air crashes, many of them
with the name Antonov attached. After any one of these crashes is
investigated, the cause of the crash is almost always found to be poor
maintenance, or pilot error based on poor training or pilot fatigue after
flying an abnormal number of hours without adequate rest.

By the time that the crash report is published, most people will have
forgotten, or at best have a hazy recollection of the crash. Unfortunately,
what they will remember is that there was a crash with fatalities and that
the aircraft was an Antonov.
LOOKING AT THE RECORD
[1] Oct. 4, 2007: An Antonov 26 cargo plane crashes into a Kinshasa
     neighborhood shortly after takeoff, killing at least 25 people.
[2] Aug. 26, 2007: An Antonov 12 plane loaded with 3 tons over the
     recommended capacity crashes in the eastern region of Katanga,
     killing 14 people.
[3] Aug. 3, 2006: An Antonov 28 crashes into a mountain and then
     tumbles into a valley in eastern Congo, killing 17 people.
[4] May 25, 2005: An Antonov 12 crashes shortly after takeoff in
     eastern Congo, killing all 26 people on board.
[5] May 5, 2005: An Antonov 26 hits a treetop as it lands near the central
     city of Kisangani and slams into the ground, killing 10 people.
[6] Nov. 29, 2003: An Antonov 26 plows into a crowded market after
     failing to take off from the central city of Boende, killing 20 people
     on the plane and 13 on the ground.
[7] Aug. 12, 2000: An Antonov 26 crashes after experiencing technical
     problems trying to land in the city of Tshikapa. Thirteen bodies are
     found; another 14 people are presumed dead.
WHAT TO DO?
When these aircraft left the Antonov assembly line, they were well-designed,
well-made and – properly operated and maintained – should have given
reliable service for many years, even decades.

Under the current conditions in Africa, most do not wonder if another
Antonov will crash, but how soon it might happen.

Without adequate funding to purchase new aircraft, companies keep the old
aircraft flying as best they can, hoping for good luck when what is really
needed is either aircraft replacement or government regulation with real
teeth to assure that factory manufactured or certified replacement parts are
used.

I do not claim to be an aircraft or airline expert. But I do have a certain
amount of understanding of just how hard it is to operate commercial air
service in isolated areas.

In the 1980s, I was a small stockholder in a regional Part 135 (scheduled
air taxi) local airline in the Caribbean. It is not easy, but those who
attempt it should either shoulder the responsibility to provide safe
service – or get out of the business.
ANTONOV REPUTATION
It is unclear just what could be done to improve the situation in Africa in
the short run. However, it is inevitable that continued crashes of Antonov
aircraft does no good for the Antonov reputation and must ultimately affect
the sale of new Antonov aircraft.

One can only hope that some of those within the Antonov organization and
some of those in government are giving some serious thought to how they
might interact with the current owners of these aircraft to protect the good
name of the Antonov company and the thousands of Antonov personnel who
have given their lives to help design, manufacture and maintain Antonov
products.
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NOTE If you have comments on the above, or would like to submit an

op-ed in response, please write to jim.davis@twg.com.ua.
———————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.ukraine-observer.com/index.php?p=114&c=11
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10.  NEW UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT URGED TO PURSUE ENERGY
EFFICIENCY/SUSTAINABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT TO PROTECT
NATIONAL SECURITY & ACHIEVE ENERGY INDEPENDENCE

Ukrainian-American Environmental Association (UAEA)
Rivne, Ukraine/Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 25, 2007
 
RIVNE, Ukraine/WASHINGTON, DC – In a letter delivered today to
the leaders of the five political parties expected to constitute the next
Ukrainian Parliament, the Ukrainian-American Environmental Association
(UAEA) urged that “energy security and sustainable energy development
[be made] top priorities.”

UAEA suggested that “it is technically and economically feasible for
Ukraine to achieve independence from energy imports within a timeframe
far shorter than that envisioned by [Ukraine’s] National Energy
Strategy.  [In fact,] if Ukraine brought its levels of energy
consumption per unit of GDP just down to the world average, it could
eliminate most and possibly all of its energy imports.”

The letter further noted that “Ukraine could be meeting a significant
share of its supply needs in the relatively near future from the mix of
renewable energy technologies.  Ukraine may have the best biomass
resources in all of Europe as well as one of the best offshore wind
regimes on the continent.  It also has significant, but largely
untapped, geothermal and small hydropower resources as well as

modest solar energy potential.”

The letter concluded that “a national energy strategy based on vastly
improved energy efficiency, substantial increases in renewable energy
development, and a shift to domestic supplies of fossil fuels could
make Ukraine energy self-sufficient in a relatively short time.

Moreover, such an approach would enable Ukraine to re-evaluate its
current emphasis on nuclear power expansion, which we believe to be an
unnecessarily expensive and environmentally dangerous course of
action.” The complete text of the letter follows:
October 25, 2007
Leader – Block of Yulia Timoshenko, Y. V. Timoshenko
Leader – Block of Peoples Self-Defense, Y. V. Lytsenko
Leader – Party of Regions, Prime Minister of Ukraine V. F. Yanukovich
Leader – Block of Lytvyn, V. M. Lytvyn
Leader – Communist Party of Ukraine, P. M. Symonenko

Dear Sirs/Madam:

As you prepare to convene the newly-reconstituted Rada and government,
we are writing to urge that you stress energy security and sustainable
energy development as top priorities.  The importance of these issues
was once again made apparent by Gazprom’s threat to reduce natural gas
supplies the day after Ukraine’s elections.

We believe that it is technically and economically feasible for Ukraine
to achieve independence from energy imports within a timeframe far
shorter than that envisioned by the National Energy Strategy.  And we
believe that a national energy program that emphasizes improved energy
efficiency and renewable energy development could yield major economic
as well as national security benefits for Ukraine.

Inasmuch as the Ukrainian economy is among the most energy-intensive –
but also the most energy wasteful – in the world, we believe that a far
more aggressive campaign to improve energy efficiency in industry,
transportation, agriculture, buildings, and government should be the
top priority. 

 
In theory, at least, if Ukraine brought its levels of energy consumption
per unit of GDP just down to the world average, it could eliminate most
and possibly all of its energy imports.  If Ukraine further improved its
energy efficiency to the levels of either the United States or the European
Union, it could actually become a net energy producer.

We also believe that Ukraine could be meeting a significant share of
its supply needs in the relatively near future from the mix of
renewable energy technologies.  Ukraine may have the best biomass
resources in all of Europe as well as one of the best offshore wind
regimes on the continent. 

 
It also has significant, but largely untapped, geothermal and small
hydropower resources as well as modest solar energy potential.  The
European Union is striving to meet 20 percent of its energy needs
from renewables by 2020; there is no reason why Ukraine could not
be striving for a comparable goal rather than be satisfied with the 2-3
percent it now derives from these sources.

Finally, we believe that supply needs that cannot be offset by energy
efficiency improvements or met with renewable energy sources can be
largely satisfied by increased domestic production of natural gas, oil,
and coal.  While concerns about climate change and greenhouse gas
emissions from fossil fuels suggest that total energy consumption from
these sources should be reduced from current levels, it is possible to
displace natural gas and oil imports with domestic sources to meet
legitimate needs.

In total, a national energy strategy based on vastly improved energy
efficiency, substantial increases in renewable energy development, and
a shift to domestic supplies of fossil fuels could make Ukraine energy
self-sufficient in a relatively short time.  Moreover, such an approach
would enable Ukraine to re-evaluate its current emphasis on nuclear
power expansion, which we believe to be an unnecessarily expensive and
environmentally dangerous course of action.

During the coming year, the Ukrainian-American Environmental
Association is planning to issue a series of a dozen or more short
studies (perhaps one per month beginning in early 2008) that will
assess the status and potential of energy efficiency and renewable
energy options in Ukraine.  The papers will also draw upon the
experience of the United States and the European Union for particularly
effective policy strategies that may be transferable to Ukraine.

We will be happy to share these materials with you and work with you to
develop effective policies to promote a sustainable energy future for
Ukraine and to meet its energy, environmental, economic, and national
security needs.

Sincerely, Taras Lychuk, Ken Bossong
Co-Directors, Ukrainian-American Environmental Association
——————————————————————————————–
NOTE: The Ukrainian-American Environmental Association is a private,
non-governmental organization founded in 2004 and chartered in both the
United States and Ukraine.  The UAEA is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine

Business Council (USUBC) in Washington.
——————————————————————————————–
UKRAINIAN-AMERICAN  ENVIRONMENTAL  ASSOCIATION
Ukraine Address: 11 Strutynska Street, #18; Rivne, Ukraine 33003;
+38 068 569-5137; U.S.A. Address: 8606 Greenwood Avenue, #2;
Takoma Park, MD 20912; +1 (301) 588-4741
e-mail:  ua_ea@yahoo.com; URL:  http://www.ua-ea.org
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
11.  PHILLY LAW FIRM LAUNCHES BRANCH OFFICE IN UKRAINE

By Dariya Orlova, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, Oct 25 2007

The Philadelphia-based law firm of Marks & Sokolov has teamed with a
Ukrainian-born US lawyer to open an office in Kyiv. Marks, Sokolov &

Burd is the firm’s second foreign office following one in Moscow. The
firm began working with Ukrainian clients in 2004.

“We have represented Ukrainian interests in purchasing major metal plants in
the US, and Western companies, in substantial, worldwide litigation arising
from their Ukrainian business dealings. We look forward to doing more,” said
Bruce Marks, the firm’s founder and managing director, who has also served
as a Republican state senator from Pennsylvania.

“With the economic growth and political changes in Ukraine, we just felt
it’s quite appropriate for us to extend to Ukraine as well,” said Ukrainian-born,
US-trained attorney Gene M. Burd, managing director of the Kyiv office.

“We are distinct from many law firms that work here in that one of our
specialties is international litigation and arbitration. Our firm has been
involved in major litigation relating to privatization and shareholder
conflicts both in Russia and Ukraine,” Burd said.

“There are views that the Ukrainian legal market is saturated, but when you
come here and start speaking with people, potential clients, you find that
many of them are unsatisfied with the services lawyers provide,” explained
Burd. The lawyer noted that many local companies lack client-handling
skills, while services of Western firms are frequently overpriced.
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/business/general/27660/
———————————————————————————————–
NOTE:  The Philadelphia-based law firm of Marks & Sokolov is a member

of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) in Washington, D.C.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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========================================================
12.  A GLIMMER OF HOPE IN THE RUBBLE

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By John Marone
Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Kyiv, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, October 15, 2007

On Saturday morning, a gas explosion rocked a block of flats in eastern
Dnipropetrovsk Region, claiming at least 13 lives as of Sunday evening. Many
more were injured or left homeless, while rescuers continue to search the
rubble for survivors. [Death toll is now 21. AUR EDITOR]

Ukrainian political leaders responded immediately with the usual public
promises to punish the guilty and help the victims. And although the
election season has already ended, the president, prime minister and top
opposition candidate are jostling with each other to show everyone that they
really are doing something.

Ukraine is no stranger to man-made catastrophes, holding world records to
date in at least two categories – nuclear energy and air shows. Some
scholars have argued that independent Ukraine was born of tragedy – the
1986 Chornobyl disaster.

By revealing the Soviet authorities’ technical incompetence and disregard
for individual lives, the world’s worst atomic accident set into motion the
centrifugal forces of national determination.

It was only after the country’s 2004 Orange Revolution, that the country
took on another reputation as a colorful arena for east-west political mud
wrestling.

In between, Chornobyl and the Orange Revolution, there were other tragedies,
such as the grisly murder of journalists who dared to report on official
corruption, and a string of military accidents that caused well over a
hundred civilian deaths.

But when tens of thousands of peaceful protesters filled the streets of Kyiv
in the Orange Revolution to oppose abusive authority, the world saw a happy
ending to all Ukraine’s former tragedies.

The country’s Orange politicians, President Viktor Yushchenko and his first
prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, represented a chance that something would
be done to break the cynical cycle of corruption and disaster.

The democratic euphoria, however, soon wore off, as the Orange team fell
prey to infighting. As the anti-Orange faction led by Viktor Yanukovych
returned to power, together with its leftist allies, some saw this as the
country’s latest tragedy.

The fact that the resulting power struggle between Ukraine’s politicians
sometimes looked more comical than tragic was not a complete break with
the country’s dark recent past.

One could almost laugh recalling the time back in 2000, under former
President Leonid Kuchma, when the Ukrainian military let a training missile
level a block of flats outside Kyiv – if it hadn’t been for the three people
killed.

Saturday’s gas blast in Dnipropetrovsk was more mundane. It was a tragedy,
nonetheless, albeit with a possible glimmer of hope. In a clear break with

Soviet tradition, the authorities have not played down the damage or withheld
the details.

Emergency Minister Nestor Shufrych rushed to the scene of the blast to
provide meaningful information to the public on what had actually happened.

Only months earlier, when a cargo train carrying yellow phosphorus derailed
in Lviv Region, emitting a cloud of noxious gas over the surrounding
countryside, Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kuzmuk appeared on television
to first invoke the Chornobyl disaster and then, a day later, tell locals
that they could feel free to graze their livestock in the affected area. The
result was confusion and fear.

Under Leonid Kuchma, the typical response of the authorities to disaster was
immediately to announce threatening criminal cases and promise generous
compensation to victims.

Unfortunately, no one, at least at the top of the food chain, was ever
charged, much less punished. If someone was fired, he was reappointed; while
the average Ukrainian has enough trouble trying to get his state salary or
pension, much less disaster compensation.

This time, Shufrych promised to determine the cause of the blast within a
specific time frame and offered victims realistic temporary relief – Hr 500
($100) in cash for food, shelter, etc. The sum is pathetic by Western
standards, considering that many victims lost everything they had in the
explosion, but its small size increases the likelihood that it will be paid
and soon.

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych has additionally promised Hr 9 million in
disaster relief. Considering that Yanukovych is not expected to be a part of
the next coalition government, his arrival on the scene of the accident was
also encouraging.

Ukrainian politicians appear to be getting the message that their electorate
is increasingly demanding accountability. The last elections were a good
example of a protest vote, which cost Yanukovych’s coalition its majority,
while suggesting that Yushchenko may not be re-elected in 2009.

President Yushchenko picked up on the political value of disasters in the
summer, when he used a forest fire in southern Kherson Region as a pretext
to play the hands-on hero.

Diverting his aircraft to the scene of the blaze, Yushchenko took shovel in
hand to show the people that he wasn’t as indecisive and passive as they
might think. Afterwards, the president blamed Shufrych for mishandling the
firefighting and tried to pressure him into resigning in the run up to the
snap elections.

The political benefits of this stunt for the president, however, were mixed,
with the media suggesting that he should have shown more management skills
than his ability to shovel dirt. So this time around, Yushchenko limited
himself to ordering Yanukovych to determine the cause of the Dnipropetrovsk
blast and come up with a relief plan.

As with the recent elections, in which she came out on top, opposition
leader Tymoshenko seems to have measured the pulse of the nation the most
accurately. Always the populist, she also came to meet with the victims of
Ukraine’s latest tragedy in her home region of Dnipropetrovsk.

Outdoing a pretty good performance by the outgoing Yanukovych government,
Tymoshenko offered victims an even clearer solution: The homeless would be
put up in new blocs of flats, either immediately or after temporary
residence somewhere else.

Around 400 people live in the house that was most directly affected by the
blast. Tymoshenko’s ByuT faction has already set up an aid center in
Dnipropetrovsk. Election season or not, Ukrainian politicians appear keener

than ever to win the hearts of their voters.

With four general elections having been held in the country in the last
three years, and at least one major one – the presidential elections – less
than two years away, the country’s leaders cannot afford to ignore their
increasingly demanding electorates.

The Orange Revolution raised public hopes, and every election since then
has been decided on just a few percentage points.

The people have grown tired of the usual campaign promises – all the more
since the frequency of elections has increased. Besides real policy issues,
on which most of the country’s politicians already agree – European
integration, higher social benefits and end to lawmakers’ privileges –
disasters are an excellent way for politicians to strut their stuff, as well
as criticize their opponents.

Ukrainians already enjoy more freedoms and wealth than at any other time of
their nation’s independence. But the country is a long way from the European
ideal put to voters during the Orange Revolution.

As political leaders continue to jostle for power in the legal nihilism that
has emerged since 2004, public support becomes more important than ever,
giving the average Ukrainian more leverage over the authorities.

Compelling reforms of the country’s tax system, judiciary and constitution
may still be a long way off, but apparently so are the days of official
indifference to public suffering.

Justice and real compensation still have to be achieved, for example, in the
2002 Sknyliv air show disaster, the world’s worst ever; and Ukrainian coal
miners continue to live a precarious existence.

But at least now, Ukrainian politicians jump to their feet to show concern,
when tragedy strikes. Even if the concern is temporary and for show, it
represents a glimmer of hope amidst another tragedy.
—————————————————————————————–
http://www.eurasianhome.org/xml/t/opinion.xml?lang=en&nic=opinion&pid=884

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========================================================
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========================================================
13.  INVESTING IN UKRAINE’S BLACK EARTH

ANALYSIS: By Uliya Shevchenko, Kreditprombank
Business Ukraine magazine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct 8, 2007

Ukraine is famed for its agricultural wealth, but many smaller farms
currently operating suffer from a lack of access to the financial tools
required to make them truly efficient. The banking community is

increasingly taking notice of this discrepancy

The legendary black earth of Ukraine is celebrated as some of the most
fertile land in the world, and over the centuries it has been known as the
bread basket of both Europe and the Russian empire.

However, since independence the agricultural sector has underperformed,
with outdated Soviet concerns taking up the lion’s share of the land and
small-scale entrepreneurs fighting it out to break into the market.

To a certain extent, Ukraine’s current agricultural industry remains under
the influence of former collective-farm managers, who continue to make

up a significant portion of the market.

The majority of these farmers are highly qualified and possess
administrative skills in the agricultural field, but their techniques are
often dated.

They have been joined by specialists who gained experience at the massive
agricultural concerns of the Soviet era and who now apply their skills in
the private sector on a smaller scale. Alongside the former specialists are

the simple farmers who work smaller plots of land in time honoured style.

It is interesting to note that some of the biggest success stories in modern
Ukrainian agriculture were recorded by farmers without the technical
qualifications of the collective farm rivals but with the savvy business
sense to respond to market needs and the determination to make a success

of their small-scale operations.

However, it is also noteworthy that the vast majority of smaller scale
farmers have struggled to gain access to the kind of financial support that
can turn their local operations into more serious farming industries.
SLOW BUT STEADY SUCCESS
Anyone who has ever invested money into the agriculture business will
confirm that it does not offer speedy returns, but on the contrary requires
a slow, methodical approach if your initial investment is to pay dividends.
The purchase of new agricultural equipment or a new herd will not be even
nearly covered within the first year.

As a direct result of this long term approach to the industry, Ukraine’s
most financially stable farmers tend to be those who have been operating the
longest, despite the fact that relatively speaking, they are by no means the
most efficient.

Nevertheless, farmers whose private ventures date back as far as 1992 remain
the country’s most financially stable. Many of these early entrepreneurs of
the independence era began their business from desolate premises and small
pieces of land which were often little more than a former cow-shed or a
simple, abandoned plot.

In most cases, such owners sought to meet their financial demands via their
own resources, but in the course of time they came to the conclusion that
their own means were often insufficient to meet the expenses of a modern
agricultural concern, which led directly to the rise in demand for
agricultural loans.
THE NEED FOR FINANCIAL TOOLS
Today the Ukrainian agricultural sector ranks way down on the list of
industries with easy access to banks, credit unions and other financial
organisations.

This deficit is not the product of higher than usual risks, nor is it a
result of prohibitively high costs, as the average private farmer generally
requires as little as UAH 50,000-200,000 in order to make a significant
impact on productivity.

This lack of sufficient funding has forced many small scale farmers to be
increasingly inventive in their work, introducing new crops and services.
While this is in itself commendable, it represents a loss in the potential
that the Ukrainian agricultural market could yield for the country.
TRENDS IN THE FARMING INDUSTRY
The most popular agricultural trend in Ukraine remains plant cultivation.
Owners tend to grow a variety of different crops, most often focusing on
winter wheat, sugar-beet, sunflowers and vegetables, but also including
maize, wheat and melons.

The largest fields (more than 300 hectares) are generally sowed with winter
wheat and sunflower, while vegetables are usually grown on fields of 2-25
hectares.

But simply growing crops in the field is only one aspect of the farmer’s
job, and factors such as field cultivation and climate conditions can wreak
havoc with advance planning.

This is where easy access to loans and financial support could make all the
difference, allowing private farmers the opportunities to overcome
short-term obstacles and produce a rich crop when their own resources would
leave them struggling to make ends meet and perpetually stuck in a state of
under-production.

Cattle breeders also face similar problems, with the day-to-day expenses of
maintaining a herd just the tip of the agricultural iceberg. Hidden costs
also able to force farmers into quick culls and undesirable sales if they do
not have access to short term financial relief.
TRADITION MEETS INNOVATION
To meet these financial challenges many farmers are developing an
innovative, entrepreneurial streak that is rarely associated with this most
traditional of professions.

Some seek to diversify, continuing to grow crops while also providing their
fellow villagers with a range of different services such as grain grinding,
micro-managing small plots of land, performing carpentry tasks, or engaging
in fish breeding and mushroom growing. Some also operate their own stores
and cafes.

Others have sought to move into specialised areas such as pedigree cattle
breeding. But whatever their personal solutions, all private farmers face
the same broad threats and obstacles.

Almost all farmers suffer from a shortage of assets with which to secure a
long-term loan, coupled with an absence of credit history or the necessary
deposit that financing companies require.

The industry is also subject to highly volatile pricing variations, and
these unpredictable price decreases tend to make potential creditors
nervous, as they can be influenced by a wide variety of factors ranging from
price increases on fuel and lubricant materials to fertiliser.

The complexity and instability of the existing taxation system also strangle
the agriculture industry in red tape and force farmers to spend inordinate
time dealing with endless forms, time that could be spent on the farm
itself.

Climate instability is also a threat to the industry, with poor ecological
protection laws and soil erosion adding to the cycle of frosts, droughts and
other natural influences.

The Ukrainian banking and financial services sector is slowly waking up to
the untapped potential of the agricultural sector. Kreditprombank is one of
the most active in supporting the development of agricultural infrastructure
in the regions.

In 2005, the bank introduced a specifically targeted agricultural crediting
programme, and in the past three years a total of approximately USD 4
million has been issued in loans to Ukrainian farmers.

The terms of these credits take the specifics of the agricultural sector
into consideration. They are designed to incorporate all the quirks and
peculiarities of the farming sector, while deposits are based on a
calculation of realistic figures for clients in this sector. Long-term
financing is offered, with payback delays of up to nine months.
(www.kreditprombank)

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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14.  NEW UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT MUST GET SERIOUS
ABOUT CORRUPTION STATES NEW REPORT

The Atlantic Council, Washington DC, Wednesday, October 23, 2007

WASHINGTON – An Atlantic Council task force of international experts

has appealed to Ukraine’s newly elected political leaders to launch a
comprehensive fight against rampant political and business corruption.

A report released today by the Atlantic Council, Corruption, Democracy, and
Investment in Ukraine, finds that corruption is so widespread that it has
the potential to threaten the country’s economic prosperity and national
security.

Although Ukraine has made significant progress in developing democratic
institutions and in holding clean elections, Ukraine’s political leaders
have thus far lacked the political will and cohesiveness to seriously combat
corruption.

“While the recent parliamentary elections were certified as free and fair
by international observers, the trends aren’t as positive with regard to
corruption,” said Steven Pifer, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and

member of the Council task force.

“The new Ukrainian government — with the full support of the parliament —
needs to make rooting out corruption an immediate priority. This includes
cleaning up the judicial system, breaking corrupt linkages between business
and government, and working with the parliament to improve outdated anti-
corruption legislation.” Frederick Kempe, president of the Atlantic Council,
said,

“We consider the corrosive nature of corruption one of the top challenges to
young democracies wishing to integrate into the European Union and Atlantic
Community. This report, endorsed by a group of outstanding experts, offers
an unbiased perspective of the many different levels of corruption that exist
in Ukraine and offers policy prescriptions on how to cure this disease.”

The report outlines specific steps that Ukraine’s political leaders should
take against “grand corruption” among senior government officials and “petty
corruption” which plagues Ukrainians in many aspects of their lives.

RECOMMENDATIONS
The report recommends that the president and the new government and
prime minister should use their new mandate to immediately begin:

[1] coordinating and consolidating outdated anti-corruption legislation
     and amend Ukrainian law where necessary;
[2] reforming the corrupt judiciary by establishing a new judicial chamber,
     staffed by a new generation of judges;
[3] creating an independent national investigative bureau to uncover and
     root out corruption grand corruption;
[4] eliminating or reducing the scope of parliamentary immunity which in
     the past has been used by politicians to hide from persecution
[5] increasing transparency by publishing annual declarations of assets
     and incomes of senior public officials and politicians.

This project was generously supported by the RJI Capital Corporation.
Jan Neutze, assistant director of the transatlantic relations program at the
Atlantic Council, served as project director and co-author along with Adrian
Karatnycky, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

Copies are available on-line at http://www.acus.org or by contacting Yulia
Kosiw at 202-778-4956 or at info@acus.org.
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.acus.org/docs/Press%20Release/071023-Atlantic%20Council%20Press%20Release%20-%20Corruption%20in%20Ukraine.pdf
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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15.  UKRAINE: STIMULATING GROWTH THROUGH LEASING

ANALYSIS: Anna Melnichuk, Business Ukraine magazine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 8, 2007

Leasing has played a crucial role in stimulating investment in productive
assets all over the world. UniCredit Leasing CEO Jaroslaw Konczewski
predicts a key role for the fast-emerging Ukrainian leasing market. The
Ukrainian leasing market is experiencing massive growth.

Over the past three years, the market has experienced rapid expansion due to
the entry of a range of foreign banks – a move that helped increase access
to finance and the availability of financial instruments like leasing. This
trend should continue and should allow the industry to maintain its current
impressive growth rate over the coming years.

“Although leasing in Ukraine is currently in the growth phase, lots of
companies are viewing the market as very promising. Based on the experience
of our group in other countries in central and eastern Europe, we remain
very much convinced that leasing will demonstrate impressive growth rates
for years to come. Annual growth rates will overrun the country’s GDP and we
expect to see annual growth of around 40-50%,” says Konczewski.
MORE MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES, BETTER LEASING
Last year, the number of companies that conducted leasing transactions in
the country on a regular basis shot up by some 30% compared to 2005, rising
from 50 to 65 companies, the International Finance Corporation state in its
Ukrainian Leasing Market 2007 Survey.

The IFC stress that this trend is expected to continue as more banks set up
leasing companies and awareness of leasing as an alternative financial
instrument grows in Ukraine.

“Multinational companies want to be present on all markets, including and
especially in CEE countries. Besides, the leasing market in Western
countries is already well developed with stable margins, so as a result it’s
very difficult for a leasing company to increase its market share there.

“In the early years after the 1998 default, many companies and banks began
focusing on the Russian market. After establishing a foothold there, the
next natural step for multinationals was to expand their operations into the
Ukrainian market, which is characterised by great potential and offers up
many business niches to be filled,” says Konczewski.

In terms of funding sources for leasing companies, Konczewski explains that
before any multinational financial institution such as the EBRD or IFC
grants a credit line to a leasing company, it usually conducts an in-depth
feasibility study.

“Leasing companies are expected to be organised in a proper way. They

should have adequate procedures in place similar to those of Western leasing
companies. Transparency in leasing activities is crucial for any evaluation
of a leasing company. Sound development strategy, a qualified team and
management also play an important role when evaluating a leasing company.

“Only when all these factors are in place will a prospective leasing company
have a good chance of receiving attractive funding terms for its leasing
activities, which in turn can be passed on to customers,” he explains.
THE UKRAINIAN EXPERIENCE
The portfolio of companies currently engaged in leasing on the Ukrainian
market is diverse and covers a wide range of services including everything
from car rental, freight and municipal transport, aircraft, manufacturing,
agricultural machinery and printing equipment to food processing, computer
hardware, medical equipment and telecommunications tools.

UniCredit Leasing’s strategy, as a universal leasing company, is to become a
key player on Ukrainian market, providing wide range of products and
services for local customers.

“Unicredit Leasing already offers financing for a wide range of products,
but in particular we finance equipment (including entire production lines) ,
industrial equipment, construction equipment, transportation equipment,
printing facilities and so forth.

Vehicle financing leasing is targeted for significant expansion next year.
UniCredit Leasing sees also great potential for financing Real Estate
projects in Ukraine within the leasing formula,” Konczewski says.
THE IMPORTANCE OF COMPETITION
As more local and foreign leasing companies enter the leasing industry in
Ukraine, the competitiveness between players in the near future will become
much fiercer, but UniCredit Leasing is used to working in such an
environment wherever it operates.

“Our competitive advantage is not only the attractive terms we offer, but
the quality of service provided as well as the response time; therefore we
are very optimistic for the future,” says Konczewski.

“We are happy to work in a competitive market – the more competition on the
market, the more attractive the terms and the higher the level of services
is offered to the Ukrainian customers,” he stresses.

“Leasing companies will be forced to offer more and more complimentary
services in the fields of insurance, transport, and the development of new
products. Competition will also shorten the period of time needed to secure
lease approval, because customers expect quick approval decision process.

“Companies with properly set up procedures that can offer a faster service
will find themselves in a favourable position on the market,” he says,
adding also that the margins charged on leasing and the amount of advance
payment required are already decreasing.
STABILITY IS BETTER
Konczewski believes that a stabilisation of the political situation will
allow a new government to pass the necessary updates in leasing legislation.
There is plenty of room for improvement, as Ukraine does not currently offer
any tax incentives or other allowances to encourage companies to lease.

A draft law introducing a variety of tax rules that are more beneficial to
leasing, including accelerated depreciation for leased production equipment,
has been submitted to parliament and is expected to be considered in the
near future.

“Stability is always better for business,” says Konczewski, who also
confesses that business people primarily concentrates on business topics not
politics. “We don’t pay much attention to politics, as we are engaged in
developing our business.

We see the economical climate in Ukraine is favourable for business, and
believe that the leasing business in Ukraine will develop regardless of any
political changes. It is obvious that the country has set its course for
development, particularly in the economic sphere.” he says.
BANKS, M&A AND LEASING
The intensive merger and acquisition process which the Ukrainian banking
system is experiencing could also have knock-on benefits for the leasing
business.

“Any consolidation of the banking industry will lead to the consolidation of
the refinancing resources for leasing companies. It is also important that
bigger banks have a larger customer base.

“As a consequence of the mergers currently underway in the banking industry,
leasing companies owned by banks will also be consolidated, allowing them to
serve the higher demands of their customers.

“The leasing business will therefore become more stable and respectable, as
it will effectively become merged into a single entity with much more
potential for development,” says Konczewski.
AN IFC PERSPECTIVE
Ernst Mehrengs, Project Manager, Ukraine Leasing Development Project,
International Finance Corporation: “Leasing has truly gained momentum in

Ukraine. Leasing companies tell us that they have started to identify
competition in the last year, which is a good indication that businesspeople
are learning more about the advantages of leasing.

In the last two years the overall leasing portfolio for Ukraine has grown
almost 200% from USD 344 million in 2005 to an estimated USD 1 billion by
the end of 2007.

This growth is expected to continue, with a market of USD 2-3 billion
expected within the next few years. Today there are now more than 70 leasing
companies active on the Ukrainian market, up from 34 in 2005, and 1400
people are working in the leasing industry, which is up from 750 in 2005.

It is also worth noting that the Ukrainian government is very much
interested in leasing: in fact, the Ministry of Finance recently announced
that it will allocate UAH 1 billion for procuring leased medical equipment
valued at UAH 7 billion.”
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.businessukraine.com.ua/stimulating-growth-through
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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16.  UKRAINE’S BILLIONAIRE VICTOR PINCHUK IS

CONTEMPORARY ART’S MYSTERY BUYER

By John Varoli, Bloomberg News, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, Oct 25, 2007

KIEV –  Victor Pinchuk, a steel billionaire, has provided the answer to one
of the biggest mysteries in the art market.

There has been much speculation about the buyers of contemporary
masterpieces snapped up over the last two years amid suspicion that the
anonymous spenders might be Russian. Now it can be revealed: One of

the biggest is Pinchuk, a 46-year-old Ukrainian.

His collection includes some of the most expensive living artists: seven
works by Briton Damien Hirst, two by American Jeff Koons, and six by
German photographer Andreas Gursky.

All three men attended the opening of an exhibition in Kiev this month
displaying the works — showing Pinchuk’s strength of contacts and
determination to put the city on the art map.

“Pinchuk is probably the top player from the former Soviet Union on the
international contemporary art market,” said Oxana Bondarenko, head of the
Victoria Art Foundation, owned by Leonid Mikhelson, the billionaire chief
executive of OAO Novatek, Russia’s second-largest natural-gas producer.

Behind the scenes, Pinchuk let Bloomberg television into his country house
in Kiev’s Koncha-Zaspa suburb to show even more paintings that art watchers
did not know he possessed.

Among them was Ilya Mashkov’s 1912 painting “Still Life With Flowers,” sold
on Dec. 1, 2005, for 2.14 million pounds ($4.39 million) — seven times its
top estimate, and at that point the most expensive painting sold at a
Russian auction.
SURPRISE PRESENT
This was a spur-of-the-moment present for Pinchuk’s wife Elena, who said she
was “very surprised” at her birthday two days later.

“I still love Russian and Ukrainian impressionism and modernism, but my main
focus now is contemporary art,” Pinchuk said in an interview. Well groomed,
wearing a suit minus a tie, he speaks fluent English.

 His passion for art collecting began in the early 1990s with pre-World War
II Russian and Ukrainian paintings. He began collecting contemporary art in
2002.

Pinchuk, son-in-law of former Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma, owns
Interpipe, Ukraine’s biggest producer of steel pipes for oil and gas
companies, as well as TV stations, and steelmaker VAT Dniprospetsstal.

Forbes estimates Pinchuk’s fortune at $2.8 billion, while he said “the chief
executive officer of my company estimates my fortune at $10 billion.”

“Pinchuk knows what he’s doing and has a sincere and strong passion for
contemporary art,” said Bondarenko. “At the same time he understands that
collecting contemporary art will improve his international image.”
GROWING COLLECTION
The new show is at the Pinchuk Art Center, which opened in September 2006
as the first private museum of contemporary art in the former Soviet Union.
Admission is free and it had 150,000 visitors in its first year.

Pinchuk said he spent as much as $15 million to acquire and renovate the
six-floor Czarist-era building, though it is already too small. Next year,
he starts work on a larger museum near the Dnieper River. He hopes it will
be completed by 2012.
KIEV CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
We plan to make Kiev a really important international destination for
contemporary art,” he said. “Contemporary art will help modernize society,
especially the young generation.”

Pinchuk would not comment on how much he spent on the newest acquisitions
that include Gursky’s 7-by-11 foot photograph “99 Cent II,” which is a wide
shot of the inside of an American supermarket where items cost no more than
99 cents.

“I bought some pieces through Sotheby’s and Christie’s,” said Pinchuk. “But
I mainly buy directly from the artists and through their dealers.”
SMELLY HIRST
The two paintings by Koons now in Pinchuk’s collection are “Girl (Dots),”
and “Landscape Waterfall II.” Both are dated 2007.

Among Hirst’s works are “The Cancer Chronicles/ Jesus and the Disciples”
dated from 1994-2004. This work stirred the most emotions at the Kiev
opening. It consists of 13 large canvases covered with flies and resin, as

well as 12 cow heads in glass cases of formaldehyde. Many people
complained the room smelled.

Other artworks were by Britons Antony Gormley and Peter Doig, Japan’s
Takashi Murakami, Ukrainian-born Russian artist, Oleg Kulik, and Ukrainian
artists, Serhiy Bratkov, and Vasyl Tsagalov.

“I was surprised by how focused the Pinchuk collection is, and by how much
all the art makes sense,” Koons said in an interview. “The space itself is
very intimate and modern.”

Pinchuk now owns works by leading early-20th-century artists such as
Nicholas Roerich, Konstantin Korovin and Pyotr Konchalovsky.

He has about 500 to 600 contemporary works, acquired with the help of
Western and Ukrainian curators. About 50 percent are Ukrainian, and 50
percent are international.
UKRAINE BOOM
Amid talk that “the Russians are coming” at art fairs, and as New York
dealer Larry Gagosian opens a Moscow gallery to tap demand, Pinchuk is
leading rich collectors from the former Soviet Union in snapping up
contemporary art. He is riding economic growth in Ukraine which has
averaged 8.4 percent annually since 2002.

Pinchuk has two daughters — one aged 24, from his first marriage, and
another aged four with Elena. He holds parties at his Kiev apartment next to
the gold-domed St. Sophia Cathedral.

He says he likes red wine, especially Burgundy, and is fascinated by nature.
He has a Japanese garden several acres in size, with lakes and tea houses.
He claims it is the largest in Europe, self-designed with the help of
Japanese architects.

He also financed a film about Ukrainian jews and the Babi Yar massacre,
“Spell Your Name,” which had Steven Spielberg as executive producer.
———————————————————————————————
Bloomberg TV presents a report about Pinchuk as part of this weekend’s
Muse program. Check your local cable listings or see
http://www.bloomberg.com/tvradio/tv/schedule_us.html . John Varoli

writes for Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.
Contact John Varoli in Kiev at jvaroli@gmail.com.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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17.  VOTERS IN UKRAINE GO TO POLLS, EXPRESS FRUSTRATIONS
WITH DEMOCRACY, DOUBT ANYTHING WILL CHANGE

By Peter Fedynsky, Correspondent, Voice of America (VOA)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 23 October 2007

KYIV – Voters in Ukraine went to the polls on September 30th in a special
parliamentary election, but many cast ballots only to express doubt that
anything will change.

They complain of Ukrainian political gridlock and pin the blame on false
promises, too many political parties, and personality-driven campaigns.
VOA Correspondent Peter Fedynsky examined these issues during a
recent visit to Kyiv.

The September 30th parliamentary election was Ukraine’s third general
election in as many years.  Voters note that the elections not only cost
tens of millions of dollars, but have also resulted in series of failed
parliamentary coalitions.

Many voters said the most recent election would not change anything, among
them, Alyona Kucherenko, who is raising her first child in Kyiv. She says,
“Because all of the politicians promise the same things in every campaign,
but they are not going to change anything.”

Kucherenko may be surprised to learn that behind the scenes, some
politicians recognize the need for change but also realize reforms will not
be easy.  So instead, politicians seemingly compete for Kucherenko’s vote
the easy way: Populism!  In Ukraine that often means:  Promise voters
simple, often regional, solutions to complex national problems.
OLEKSIY HARAN
Oleksiy Haran, political science professor at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, one
of Ukraine’s leading universities, says populism is a feature of democratic
societies, as opposed to authoritarian regimes, where rulers are not
accountable to the needs and feelings of people.

“When we have these elections and election cycles, the government cannot
concentrate on economic reforms over a four to five year period; this limits
the possibilities for reform.

“So I think Ukraine, in the political realm, faces many difficulties,
perhaps some unforeseen events.  Nonetheless, I think the democratic
process in Ukraine is on the move,” Haran said.

Two of the political forces that won seats in the Ukrainian parliament are
named after individuals, BYuT, or the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko, and the
Lytvyn Bloc led by former speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn.

Two other major parties are also closely identified with personalities —
President Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine Party and the Regions Party
of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Ukraine’s three leading politicians, the two Viktors and Yulia, inspired a
recent magazine poster, which suggests voter discontent with an election
that seemed to last forever, and with individuals who could dominate
Ukrainian politics for many years to come.
HRYHORIY NEMIRYA
Hryhoriy Nemirya, deputy for international affairs in the Tymoshenko Bloc,
comments on Ukraine’s personality-driven politics. Nemirya says, “There is
a problem here.  But if you look carefully, there is also potential
advantage.

“Because we hear of a leadership deficit in the United States and Europe
that can be filled by politicians who are sufficiently strong and confident,
and have personal visions of their country that can inspire the support of
many people.”

Nemirya says the next step in Ukraine’s democratic process is to fill the
personal visions of politicians with political and strategic substance.

After the Soviet collapse in 1991, about 150 Ukrainian political
organizations took the place of the Communist Party, the only legal
political organization in the USSR.

Many have since disintegrated, and on September 30th only five crossed the
minimum three percent threshold to win seats in parliament.  Among the
losers was the Socialist Party.

Representative Mykhailo Koropatnyk says small parties should join forces
with larger ones. “A sense of responsibility and patriotism should prompt
these parties to unite; unite around those parties that have authority and
those with whom they share similar programs and ideologies.  And then,
through political convergence, they will not be lost, but rather they will
gain the ability to realize their potential,” he says.

Public opinion polls indicate that Ukrainian voters do not consider divisive
populist issues rose during election campaigns to be top priorities.  These
include Ukraine’s official language, the country’s association with NATO,
and church politics.

Ukrainians, however, tend to agree on such problems as corruption,
education, and health care, and want their newly elected parliament to
address them.
——————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.voanews.com/english/2007-10-23-voa44.cfm
———————————————————————————————-
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18.  UKRAINE – COALITION LATEST: DELAYS AND DEALS

By Paul Johnson, Business Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Oct 22, 2007

Official elections results released last week appeared to confirm
the victory of the country’s Orange coalition, but a court challenge
from the Communist Party is delaying the final publication of the vote
count.

Ukrainians are almost as used to coalition horse-trading as they are to
electioneering. Last year saw a marathon four months of backroom talks
before the so-called Anti-Crisis Coalition was eventually announced,

paving the way for an unlikely return to power for Viktor Yanukovych.
NO NEED FOR PROLONGED NEGOTIATION
In light of last year’s delays it was considered crucial that a coalition
was announced and confirmed as quickly as possible following the
September 30 vote, and the leaders of the winning BYUT and Our
Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence blocs rushed to announce a coalition
agreement last week.

With 228 seats in the new parliament, they would have the slimmest of
majorities, but at the unveiling of the new coalition Our Ukraine leader
Vyacheslav Kyrylenko was at pains to stress that the internal divides that
previously dogged the Orange government of 2005 would no longer be an

issue, stating that “100% of deputies” in his bloc would be supporting the
candidacy and policy direction of Yulia Tymoshenko, who is expected to
be named prime minister of the new administration.
TYMOSHENKO POISED FOR PM RETURN
According to the pre-election pact signed by both parties BYUT now has
the right to appoint the prime minister, while OU/PSD will name the new
parliamentary speaker, who is expected to be Kyrylenko himself.

The ministries, meanwhile, will be split 50/50 between the two winning
blocs, with further possible divisions should Volodymyr Lytvyn and his

eponymous bloc reach agreement to join the coalition and add their 20
seats to the overall majority.

Lytvyn is seen as the middle man in Ukrainian politics, showing no
particular inclination to back either side of the country’s political factions,

but it is thought that the bloc leader’s demands are out of step with Orange
officials’ estimations of his true worth to the coalition.

European Commission officials last week welcomed the apparent victory of the
Orange coalition and the boost this gives to the country’s reform and Euro
integration efforts. External relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner
reflected, “The future government has important challenges ahead as Ukraine
continues down the path of constitutional, political and economic reforms.
COURT BATTLE DELAYS RESULTS
As the Orange coalition prepared to take power they were thwarted by a court
challenge which prevents the election results being published. Delays now
seem inevitable, and it is not clear whether the court case could eventually call
into question the overall results of the election.

The challenge has been registered at the High Administrative Court and comes
from Ukraine’s Communist Party, which has questioned the election results
due to alleged irregularities concerning voting by Ukrainians abroad.

It is not clear how long the court case could take to reach a conclusion,
nor is it apparent whether the findings of their investigation could have
serious implications for the Ukrainian election results, but whatever the

outcome, nothing will now be decided officially until the court proceedings
conclude.
———————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.businessukraine.com.ua/coalition-latest-delays-and
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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19.  BATTLEFIELD UKRAINE: THE GEOPOLITICAL
CLASH OVER VALUE SYSTEMS CONTINUES

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Alexander Iosseliani
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, October 25, 2007

The international spotlight is on Ukraine again. This is not related to the
aftermath of the Chornobyl nuclear accident, natural gas shortages in
Europe due to inefficient transit from Russia, or a power struggle
manifested in revolutionary activities. This time, the early parliamentary
elections recently held in Ukraine drew the attention.

The elections were confirmed to be legitimate, sufficiently free and
democratic. The Western-oriented political powers who gained a slight
majority in parliament have announced the formation of a democratic
coalition.

This parliamentary coalition, which most likely will form the new Cabinet of
Ministers, promises to promote Western-style freedoms, bring Ukraine closer
to the EU and reduce Russian political influence.

Ukraine’s partners in the West are pleased but are not showing it; its
Russian neighbors are disappointed and measure their level of disappointment
in increments of gas price increases. The world is waiting for Ukraine to
clarify its geopolitical direction. Don’t hold your breath just yet.

At closer look, a much deeper and more significant process is taking place
in this vast territory squeezed between Russia and Western Europe. Ukraine
has unconsciously become a battlefield of civilizations, at least in the
Eurasian context. The latest electoral exercise in Ukraine reconfirmed a
longstanding conclusion – the country is split.

This is not a division along geographic, economic or ethnic lines. This is
not a simple struggle between pro-Western and pro-Russian powers, as
many local politicians present it. This is not even a fight for freedom and
democracy.

We are witnessing a collision of value systems. Two opposing views of the
world are clashing in Ukraine, sending ripples all the way to Brussels,
Moscow and even Washington.

Some feel them, while some prefer to ignore the sensation, notwithstanding
the usual calls for politicians to put behind all disagreements, promote
economic and political stability and unite the country.

At this point there is no ground for unification in Ukraine. We have seen
coalitions before, but as long as they are based on individual political
players agreeing to share the spoils of power, nothing sustainable will come
out of it. Unification of the country is not possible without unity of its
society.

This unity can only exist on the basis of shared predominant values, and it
is much less dependent on the willingness of marginal political leaders to
work together. The triumph of democracy in a society not united on basic
values creates political instability, social apathy and lack of direction.

The infant Ukrainian society is just taking its first steps in determining
its key priorities and defining its core beliefs. As the elections showed,
too many people in Ukraine believe in different things.

A large number of the aging, low income population, who see no real future
in the Western order of things and much less in American-style capitalism,
still value the principles of a Soviet-style predictable society.

They tend to rely on the state or huge corporations to take care of their
basic needs. They value stability over freedom and authoritarian leadership
over self governance. They are pessimistic about Ukraine’s prospects of
integrating into the global community and prefer to lean on a big shoulder,
which modern Russia still represents.

On another spectrum of Ukrainian society we have a proactive, self-reliant,
younger population seeking opportunities, education and integration in the
international community, holding beliefs that are more consistent with the
Western set of values. They cherish freedom, seek prosperity and have an
optimistic view of their chances of entering the global arena.

Regardless on political preference, all of these people voted based on their
values and not the color of a party banner. They are no longer a population;
they are citizens of their country casting their vote based on individual
beliefs, which are sometimes drastically different.

The problem is that none of these value systems are Ukrainian-born, which
creates tension in society and pits Western and Eastern views of life
against each other. In this collision, an authentic Ukrainian value system
has to take root, and should become the backbone of a civic value-based
society in this country.

A uniform Ukrainian value system will eventually emerge in this clash,
bringing people together based on a common set of beliefs and life
priorities, regardless of ethnic background, linguistic preferences and
outdated stereotypes. Only Ukrainian society formed around core values
can elect a unifying political leadership.

Only a political camp, which takes on the enormous task of defining
universal Ukrainian values, including constitutional changes, can claim a
true victory in representing the hopes and beliefs of the majority of
Ukrainian people.

The United States and European partners can participate in the
materialization of this value system in Ukraine, or later deal with their
estranged neighbor stuck in the energy-dependent Russian geopolitical orbit.

Besides supporting “progressive” politicians, sending observers and
promising direct investments, interested partners have to export values. The
period when the main tool of Western civilization was sharing prosperity is
over.

The Ukrainian economy and the standard of living of Ukrainians are growing
despite a lack of reforms and unstable government. The Western carrot does
not work anymore, nor does the Russian whip. The country requires a new
quality of support.

Acceptance is the cornerstone of support for Ukrainian society. So far,
Western countries have provided a false sense of acceptance by declaring
their willingness to cooperate with any democratically elected government,
but failed to address the values of the people.

At this point it seems like foreign partners are constantly testing
Ukrainians, assigning pass or fail grades to words and actions. It’s time to
stop testing and judging; it’s time to show and share.

The basis of the Ukrainian value system can be Western by nature and allow
for smooth political integration in the future. But first Western society
needs to demonstrate the benefits of its core principles, show the value of
free speech, freedom of movement, free markets and respect for property
rights. Democracy has arrived in Ukraine, but this is not the only Western
value.

Sharing a full set of values with Ukrainians will allow them to overcome
Soviet stereotypes, which support Russian ideological dominance and freely
define their true priorities.

This can be achieved by simplifying travel, access to education, supporting
the flow of capital, transfer of knowledge and cultural exchange.

The first geopolitical camp that manages to shape the value system of the
emerging Ukrainian society will benefit the most from cooperation with this
developing European nation on the front lines of the most significant
ideological confrontation on the continent.

The expatriate community in Ukraine can play a very important role in this
process by taking upon itself the important task of sharing the fundamental
values of Western civilization, while respecting the uniqueness of Ukrainian
society. Nothing brings people closer that believing in the same “truths.”
———————————————————————————————–
Alexander Iosseliani is the managing partner of Ukrainian Business Solutions
(UBS), a business development and investment consultancy in Kyiv.
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/oped/27655/

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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20.  THOUGHTS ON COALITION: EXPLOSIVE PACK

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS: By Serhiy Rakhmanin
ZN, Mirror Weekly # 39 (668), Kyiv, Ukraine Sat, 20-26 October 2007

The first act of the democratic majority should be to adopt a dozen of
laws. This is what the BYuT and OUPS leaders declared right after signing
their Coalition Agreement.

They also told the media about an addendum to the Coalition Agreement
consisting of 12 draft laws, which the coalition undertakes to adopt
immediately and unanimously.

Having interviewed a number of future coalition members, we understood

that it will not be that easy. For one thing, the number of laws, as well as
the decision on forming a coalition, is relative. The election results have
not been officially published.

Elected MPs have not been sworn in. The Supreme Rada of the VI convocation
has not been legitimized. As matters stand, the “Tymoshenko-Kyrylenko” Pact
is a protocol of intentions, and will remain so for at least for a month.

In the meantime a lot can change, including the list of draft laws selected
for the new parliamentary majority’s “debut”.

Furthermore, the would-be coalition members do not seem to see eye to eye on
the proposed legislative innovations. They do not even tell the same story
about the negotiations progress.

Some say six draft laws have been initialed; others speak about a principal
agreement upon two of them; others doubt the parties concurred on any drafts
at all. Most of our interviewees confess they have not seen the drafts and
have a fairly vague idea of their contents.

Finally, nobody can guarantee that the adoption of the draft laws will go
smoothly and painlessly. According to our sources, the initial plan was to
pass all twelve documents:

[1] without any prior debate; [2] in a package;
[3] prior to electing the speaker, appointing the prime minister,

     forming the government and parliamentary committees.

If this is so, the plan raises a lot of doubts.

[1] First, according to Articles 88 and 94 of the Constitution, only the Supreme
Rada chair is entitled to sign laws passed by Parliament. Where there is no
speaker – there is no passing of laws.

[2] Second, the Supreme Rada Rules of Procedure do not allow the adoption laws
without preliminary consideration or the opinion of specialized committees’.
Moreover, the prompt “package” voting infringes on the rights of the
oppositional MPs.

According to the Rules of Procedure, any proposed document should be
withdrawn  from the agenda if at least 150 MPs regard it as unacceptable.
This accelerated “package” voting excludes such a possibility, and the
non-coalition MPs will hardly put up with this discrimination.

In principle, Parliament can use the so-called “ad hoc” procedure whereby it
can deviate from the rules just once. Yet it cannot be done until the Rada
presidium and committees are formed: the Rules of Procedure preclude MPs
from starting their law making activities before resolving organizational issues.

Supposing the speaker and his two deputies are elected, the Supreme Rada
Committee chairs approved and committees manned with MPs. The question as
to whether the majority has the right to apply an “ad hoc” procedure for
hearing draft laws and voting for them in a “package” remains. In theory, it will.

With great reserve, one could view such a decision legitimate. Yet it will,
undoubtedly, be immoral: the draft laws in question (e.g. on the Cabinet of
Ministers) are critical for the state. Thus, even if the “ad hoc” procedure
is allowable, it is hardly appropriate in this case.

One could object with a legitimate complaint that the 2004 constitutional
amendments were also part of a “package” decision. Yet it was a mistake the
new Rada should not commit gain.

Additionally, three years ago it was the constitutional majority that voted
for the “package” whereas this time it would be the narrow majority.
Therefore the legal, political and moral underpinnings of the “package”
voting will be questionable. To further complicate matters, representatives
of the Party of Regions claim they will not let BYuT and OUPS pass a single
law until:

[1] the coalition is formed;
[2] the Supreme Rada presidium is elected;
[3] parliamentary committees are established;
[4] the prime minister is approved;
[5] ministers of the Cabinet are appointed.

If need be, the potential opposition is ready to block parliamentary
sessions.

Now, let us look at the draft laws – what are the future coalition members
going to change in the current legislation?

[1] Novelty one is the abolition of parliamentary immunity. Numerous MPs
believe the parliamentary immunity should be limited rather than abolished. After
all, elected representatives should, indeed, have guarantees of unimpeded and
free performance of their duties. It is a common international practice.

Yet politicians have to fulfill their election promises, or at least pretend
to fulfill them. What we mean is that the parliamentary immunity is laid
down in Article 80 of the Constitution. In order to abolish it, the new Supreme
Rada will have to amend the Fundamental Law. We all know the procedure:

Step one: Parliament adopts the constitutional amendment in the first
reading with 226 votes) and forwards it to the Constitutional Court for validation.
Step two: the CC passes its judgment and sends the draft back to the Supreme
Rada.
Step three: the Rada adopts the amendment with a constitutional majority
(300) of votes.

It is a long story. Its introductory part is simple: the draft law, purportedly,
agreed between the BYuT and OUPS, provides for the deletion of Article 80 of
the Constitution. However quite a few MPs in both blocs admit that the
parliamentary immunity will, eventually, be restored, albeit in a reduced scope.

They think that, as before, the people’s deputies of Ukraine:

– will not be held legally liable for expressing their opinion and voting as
they see fit;
– will not be apprehended and placed in custody without Supreme Rada
consent; the only exception being made for cases when MPs are caught

in the act.

[2] Novelty two is the law on opposition. The draft prepared by BYuT and
supported by the Party of Regions passed the first reading in the previous Rada.

 
Will it finally be adopted? Some politicians think the new parliament should
continue working on the BYuT draft that provides for handing over numerous
positions of power to the opposition. Others argue this should not be done.

We agree with the latter: to mix the ruling administration and the
opposition, to dilute political responsibility means to legalize political corruption.
Isn’t it a form of bribery to offer not only parliamentarian but also
ministerial posts to the opposition?

Some MPs suggest a working group, chaired by the opposition representative,
should be set up to revise and improve the draft law. We will wait and see
whose opinion prevails.

[3] Novelty three is the endorsement of the imperative mandate. According to
the Constitution, an MP should stay with the political force that brought
him or her to Parliament. Bolting to another faction is punished with
expulsion from the Rada. Practicalities of the imperative mandate operation
should be laid down in the law on the status of people’s deputies.

BYuT and OUPS are ready to initiate the necessary amendments but the nature
of amendments is a contentious issue. On one hand, the imperative mandate
(particularly given the closed party election lists) is sheer serfdom, not
to be found in a civilized world.

On the other, it is a way of disciplining MPs, an anti-corruption,
preventive measure against the recurrence of abnormal migrations in the
previous Rada. MPs may or may not like the imperative mandate, but they
will have to legalize it with a law as required by the Constitution.

The question is what the respective law will look like. According to our
sources, the BYuT draft will be chosen as a basic one. Its authors propose
to expel MPs from the Rada for failure to discharge their duties properly
and honestly, for refusal to obey faction discipline, in particular, for
nonparticipation in voting or for voting contrary to the faction’s position.

One could understand the reasoning behind these draconian measures but one
should also bear in mind that they run counter to the Constitution.

A lot of OUPS members disagree with the above interpretation of the
imperative mandate, but they will, most probably, have to back down because
of the threat to the existence of the coalition without the passage of this
law.

It is a matter of principle for Tymoshenko, and her partners will have to
abide by this requirement. Nevertheless, some of the pro-presidential bloc
members hope to revise the Constitution again in six months or so, and
remove any mention of the imperative mandate from it.

[4] Novelty four is a new version of the law on the Cabinet of Ministers.

The future coalition is expected to adopt the version of the draft law
proposed by Viktor Yushchenko last year when he tried to win back some of the
executive powers that he lost because of the constitutional reform. A number of
provisions in that draft did not harmonize with the Constitution.

The majority in the previous Supreme Rada preferred another draft, submitted
by the Viktor Yanukovych government, which did not get along well with the
Constitution, either. Viktor Yushchenko vetoed the pro-governmental law
passed in December 2006.

Parliament overcame the presidential veto as BYuT voted together with the
ruling coalition (121 out of 366 votes in favor belonged to the Yuliya
Tymoshenko Bloc) in exchange for the latter’s support of the law on the
imperative mandate for local councils (which she needed badly at that time).

In addition, the “anti-crisis” coalition passed the abovementioned draft law
on the opposition in the first reading.

The BYuT leader justified the backing of the controversial law by her
faction with the “need to resolve the conflict between the two branches of power”
that was “ruinous for the country”. Olexander Turchynov acknowledged: “We

adopted this law for ourselves; we will use it to form our government and work in
it.”

At that juncture, nobody believed that Tymoshenko would return to the office
of prime minister. Now the return is very likely but, quite unexpectedly,
Yuliya Tymoshenko, Turchynov and their colleagues say they are ready to
relinquish the powers they “approved for themselves”. Why?

In all probability, Tymoshenko is not happy with the new version of the
draft law on the Cabinet of Ministers. Yet the President is said to have
conditioned her nomination as the prime minister with her faction’s voting for this
draft. Yuliya Tymoshenko, supposedly, accepted the ultimatum. In fact, she could
later use it as an excuse for not delivering on her election pledges: she
tried but could not because of restricted powers.

ZN managed to get hold of the draft law on the Cabinet of Ministers,
reportedly, initialed by representatives of the two political forces.

All provisions that experts previously deemed as unconstitutional (or at
least dubious in terms of compliance with the Constitution) have been
deleted. In particular, the coalition will have no right to appoint the prime
minister and ministers of foreign affairs and defense by itself, i.e. without their
previous nomination by the President.

The government will not be allowed to apply disciplinary sanctions to heads
of district and oblast administrations or to disaffirm decisions of local
administrations.

On the other hand, the constitutionality of some proposed provisions is also
open to question. The draft law we have at our disposal suggests that the
President wants to get the right to turn down the prime ministerial
candidate nominated by the coalition. Furthermore, Yushchenko still believes

he should be empowered to include members of the Cabinet into consultative
and supportive bodies operating under his aegis.

For one thing, it is unethical. For another, it can be perceived as the
President’s attempt to bring pressure to bear on the central executive power
body. The head of state still insists that his representative should be
entitled to take part in the Cabinet sessions, and still regards countersigning

as a right, rather than a duty of the Cabinet members.

More than that, the drafters have narrowed the premier’s powers. Should this
draft be adopted as a law, the prime minister’s right to direct, coordinate,
manage and control the ministers’ activities and to give them instructions
will be curtailed.

There are other strange provisions in the draft. The requirement that the
prime ministerial candidate should immediately present to Parliament an
action programme of the Cabinet that is still to be formed looks unnatural.

Even more deviant is the proposal to nominate the government members for a
blanket ballot. This proposal is in clear conflict with the Constitution,
which requires that the Rada votes for every minister individually.

Proposed amendments to Article 7 of the law on the Cabinet of Ministers are
stranger still. According to Article 7 currently in effect, a person is not
eligible for the nomination as a member of the Cabinet of Ministers if his
or her former conviction has not been removed from records in the order
established by law.

The new draft proposes to keep any “person with the former conviction” away
from the government. This provision is discriminative as it disqualifies
persons like Viktor Yanukovych and Vyacheslav Chornovil alike. Besides,
experts explain that a person whose previous conviction has been removed
from records is deemed to have no previous convictions.

In summary, even if this draft law is adopted, it will soon be revised.
According to our sources, representatives of the Party of Regions are
already writing a petition to the Constitution Court challenging the
compliance of this law with the Constitution.

Novelty five is the cancellation or, more precisely, monetization of MPs’
benefits to be stipulated by the law on the status of people’s deputy.

MPs are to be deprived of numerous privileges, including their right to get
services free of charge. Instead, they will receive an amount of money,
equal to their monthly salary, which they could use to pay for goods and

services necessary for their professional activities.

In other words, MPs will no longer enjoy the right to free traveling, free
accommodation (of those who do not permanently reside in Kyiv), etc. This
monetary compensation will enable MPs to do their job properly and will save
substantial amounts of the budget money. According to expert estimates, this
approach will allow cut the state budget expenses for the Supreme Rada by
30%-50%.

Changes relating to the abolition of parliamentary immunity and privileges
should be introduced into the Supreme Rada Rules of Procedure. However,
contrary to expectations and to the Constitutional requirements, BYuT and
OUPS did not even discuss upgrading the status of the Rules of Procedure to
that of law.

Later, we are planning to discuss other draft laws from the package.
However, even the above analysis suffices to conclude that the parties will have
difficulty reaching an agreement. Varying opinions and approaches to the
aforementioned issues exist not only between BYuT and OUPS but also within
the two forces.

The package of draft laws initiated by the Presidential Secretariat
threatens to turn into an explosive package capable of blasting the coalition to
pieces before it has even come to life.
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.mw.ua/1000/1550/60874/
———————————————————————————————–
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21.  THREE PROMINENT KYIVAN RUS REFORMERS

By Volodymyr Kharchenko, The Ukrainian Observer
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fall, 2007

A short period in Ukraine’s medieval history was full of humanism,
Christian love and justice. It is associated in our memory with three
prominent statesmen.

Unlike Kyivan Rus’s other grand princes, who were crafty fratricides, greedy
tax collectors and vulgar robbers and challenged their huge state, lying
from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, with feuding and civil wars for
centuries, these three are remembered for their positive achievements.

However, they were also the offspring of their cruel time and had to
struggle violently for power with their relatives. They later justified
themselves by claiming they had not sought personal wealth but prosperity
for their state.
[1] VOLODYMYR THE BAPTIST (Circa 958 – 1015)
The church canonized this secular leader for baptizing Kyivan Rus in 988.

Saint Volodymyr was the son of Grand Prince Svyatoslav and his concubine.
This extraordinary fact explains why no one knows  exactly when he was born.
When Volodymyr was young, he eliminated his rivals and also led his army
against Poles, Lithuanians and Pechenigs.

Having tamed Kyivan Rus and its neighbors with his warriors and terror,
Volodymyr, influenced by European monarchs, decided to strengthen his
empire with a state religion. His choice was Byzantium’s Orthodox faith.

When baptizing Rus, Volodymyr demonstrated his stamina and firmness, just
like in wartime. He ordered his soldiers to bring the people to the Dnipro,
where Byzantine priests were waiting for them. They also tore down the
statues of pagan gods. The wooden idols were floating along the wide

Dnipro, complaining of their fate to the deceased Slavic chieftains.
Kyivan Rus stepped irreversibly on the path of Christianity, slowly
forgetting its barbaric traditions.

This was a long evolutionary process. Polygamy was repealed and serfdom
abolished. Volodymyr the Baptist also changed. He was kind and friendly to
everybody: he freed his slaves and let his heathen wives go; he called on
his people to love one another and made generous donations, he even thought
it was sinful to sentence criminals to death.

Chroniclers metaphorically wrote that Volodymyr was “clothes for the poor,
food for the hungry, a helper to widows, a shelter for the homeless and a
defender of those without hope.”
[2] YAROSLAV THE WISE (978 – 1054)
Volodymyr was called by his people Volodymyr, the Red Sun. His son Yaroslav
is known in history as Yaroslav, the Wise. His contemporaries must have had
reasons for that.

Yaroslav ruled the state for forty years after eliminating his untalented
rivals. Kyivan Rus was very powerful during his reign. To celebrate his
victory over the nomadic tribe of Pechenigs, Yaroslav built a magnificent
cathedral, whose golden domes are still among Kyiv’s most beautiful
adornments, and founded an academy for scholars in it.

Diplomats said Yaroslav was Europe’s father-in-law, as his daughters were
queens in several European states. The most famous of them all was Anne, the
queen of France and wife of King Henry I.

Yaroslav’s greatest achievement was his code, The Truth of Yaroslav, which
was a revised collection of the Old Russian laws.

Not only did Yaroslav systematize the existing laws and traditions but he
also adapted them to his time. The code included a list of punishments for
every crime and wrongdoing, such as murder, arson, theft, rape and many
others.

The state guaranteed the inevitability of punishment and criminals paid
fines, a part of which were given to the state. The life of a rich resident
of Kyiv cost 80 hryvnias, while the murder of a slave cost only six. This
was a huge sum, however, as one could buy twenty sheep or one ox for one
hryvnia.
[3] VOLODYMYR MONOMAKH* (1053-1125)
Yaroslav’s grandson Volodymyr was named Monomakh in Byzantium, as
he was also the grandson of Byzantine Emperor Konstantin IX Monomakh.
However, he became famous not because of his great ancestors but because
of his remarkable talents.

Monomakh was an outstandingly skillful commander. He was respected by

all social classes as statesman. This did not happen instantly. Once he
suppressed a revolt staged by Kyiv’s desperate beggars but did not punish
them too cruelly. He reduced taxes twofold, which appeased society.

He soon realized that his country’s main enemy was not its neighbors but its
own rulers. Traditionally, Kyivan Rus’s grand princes allowed only their
sons or close relatives to rule its provinces. All these princes were locked
in a relentless power struggle.

Monomakh used his talents to help the provinces compromise. He invented a
method of “reasonable rotation” for those seeking the coveted throne in
Kyiv.

In his Instructions for the Children, one of the most famous literary
monuments of the Middle Ages, Monomakh called on his sons and the whole
elite to be fair, honest and live in the “fear of God.”

He managed to convene all the princes in one hall twice, making them kiss a
cross and swear to never encroach on their neighbors’ land. Unfortunately,
as soon as the princes returned to their provinces, they unsheathed their
swords.

. Andriy Bogolyubsky, the grandson of Kyivan Rus’s grand princes and the
ruler of the Moscow Suzdal Principality, committed a terribly blasphemous
act after Monomakh’s death and before Mongolian Khan Batyy’s birth. In
1169, he suddenly invaded Kyiv. The capital never fully recovered after that
barbaric intrusion.

Before Batyy’s army approached the eastern border of the Kyiv principality,
the state changed rulers nine times within five years. Kyiv had no ruler
during Batyy’s siege. Commander Dmitriy was in charge of defense
operations. No other prince offered his help to the capital. Their cities
died alone after Kyiv.
CONCLUSION
It is now 2007 but little has changed since that turbulent period. We love
our brothers verbally but almost never cordially.

Rus’s noble raiders are succeeded by modern raiders who were not raised in
palaces but grew up in Soviet slums. Even in the twenty-first century we
break oaths and are often disloyal to our allies.
———————————————————————————————-
*The Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993) reported: “Volodymyr married
Gytha, the daughter of the English king Harold II, and founded the Kyivan,
Smolensk, and Suzdal lines of the Riurykide dynasty. In 1966 Debrett’s
Peerage, Baronage, Knightage, and Companionage published the statement

that Queen Elizabeth II was descended from Volodymyr Monomakh. He
was the last prince of Rus’ to preside over a unified state. He is buried in
the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv.
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
22.  MUSHROOMS: A UKRAINE LOVE AFFAIR

By Ralph H. Kurtzman, The Ukrainian Observer,
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fall, 2007

The English speaking nations and even most of Western Europe are often
referred to as “mycophobes.” If you dissect that word and apply the literal
meaning, at best it is an exaggeration.

“Myco” refers to fungi, but more specifically to mushrooms. It is not true
that we fear all mushrooms, but most of us are afraid to eat any mushroom
that did not come from a grocery store.

Many still have doubts about mushrooms that were not seen on produce shelves
when they were children, even though they are there today. Western people
eat green vegetables, but few seem to understand that many, if not most
green plants are poisonous. We love tomatoes and potatoes, but the parts of
those plants that we do not eat are very poisonous.

Eastern Europeans, however, are justly called “mycophiles.” They love
mushrooms, but the mushrooms that have been eaten for years by western
Europeans have not been available to eastern Europeans until very recent
years.

In the autumn, in Finland, most open-air market food stands have a bucket of
parboiled Lactarius mushrooms. A few species of Lactarius are considered
edible in western European mushroom hunters’ books.

Those seen in the Finnish markets will all be mushrooms that the western
books say are poisonous. The Finns eat those “poison” mushrooms and never
get sick.

However, the western books are not wrong, but simply parboiling Lactarius,
removes the poison. That poison only gives indigestion, if the mushrooms are
not parboiled.

Eating only parboiled Lactarius is a little like eating only potato tubers
and not potato berries. In both cases the poison part is separated from the
edible.

My first trip to a CIS country was to Belarus in the month of September.
Ukraine and Belarus have shared many events in their histories and so have
much in common.

Making that trip even more like a Ukraine adventure, my interpreter, Roman,
was Ukrainian. On my second day in Belarus as we drove southwest from Minsk
to Lida, Roman stopped the car next to some people with baskets at the side
of the road.

Just as he expected, the baskets were filled with mushrooms that had been
picked in the nearby forests. Many of those, in the baskets, were boletes,
also known as ceps. Roman purchased all that he saw.

That evening, we sliced up his purchase and dried them over the kitchen
stove in our apartment. As they dried, mushroom fly larvae dropped out of
the mushrooms and onto the stove.

Neither of us were at all alarmed, possibly it is the outstanding flavor or
the high nutritional value of the boletes that draws the flies to deposit
their eggs in these delicious mushrooms.

I didn’t get a chance to taste those; Roman packed them up and took them
home. There may have been some dead larvae remaining in the dried mushrooms.
Even larvae are not a reason for concern. Mushroom flies eat nothing but
mushrooms, so unlike other flies they are clean.

I did eat plenty of mushrooms while I was in Lida. The reason for my visit
was to help a grower of veshenka or oyster mushrooms. It was nice to see the
wild mushrooms, but it was not good for the grower.

Cultivated mushrooms are new crops in Eastern Europe, so the people will
hunt or buy the wild mushrooms in preference, if only out of habit. As a
result, business in September is slow for mushroom growers.  The grower’s
production kept our dinner table well supplied.

Roman insisted upon being my cook; I could only watch and learn about what
he was fixing. He never measured, so I could not write down his recipe. Both
my visual and taste memory are quite good, so I did try to duplicate his
cooking when I got home, and I wrote down what I did. I call my recipe
“Mushrooms Minsk.”

It is likely that the name veshenka is much older than the name oyster
mushrooms. Eastern Europeans have long enjoyed veshenka that they found in
the woods.

While western people think of mushrooms as a delicacy, eastern Europeans
think of them as good ordinary food that even the poorest serf could eat if
he was free enough to be able to hunt nearby forests. So common names for
mushrooms in Slavic and other eastern languages are often very old.

The contrast of attitude is quite apparent. When one visits a produce market
in western countries, the mushrooms will be found in packages of about 100g
(4 oz); in Kyiv markets you will see packages of as much as 1kg (39 oz).
Prices will also be less than in the west.

The price for veshenka is less in Ukraine than in western countries,
partially because of the price of labor, partially because of attitude,
partially because veshenka is easier to grow than the common commercial
mushroom, and Ukrainians are ready to learn how to grow it with no
preconceived ideas, since few have experience growing other mushrooms.

When I am in a foreign country, one of the joys is to eat the local food.
Usually, I gain a real love for at least some local dishes.

One Ukrainian friend, Dr. Andriy Gryganski of the National Agrarian
University of Ukraine, has given me recipes that I want to pass on to you.
Dr. Gryganski’s  (AG) are authentic Ukrainian, but I am also including two
of my own recipes (RHK), that I think are very much to Ukrainian taste.
There are additional recipes at www.oystermushrooms.net.
CHAMPIGNONS FRIED/BOILED IN THEIR OWN JUICE
300-400 g (10-14 oz) fresh champignons
15 ml (1 Tbs.) sunflower oil (or other vegetable oil)
One big onion; Black pepper; Salt
Wash and slice champignons into pieces 3-4 mm (1/8 inch) thick. Put
sunflower oil in the frying pan and heat it. Peal onion, and slice 2-3 mm
(1/16 inch) thick. Fry to a golden color.

Then turn the onion aside, put sliced champignons into the frying pan and
rake the onions on the champignons (champignons on the bottom, onions
on the top, otherwise the onions will be burnt). Sprinkle with black pepper.

Cover pan with a lid and wait some minutes until the champignons excrete
their juice. In a few minutes, they will be boiled in this liquid. Mix the
champignons until they are equally brown. Sprinkle with salt. The liquid
should not be evaporated. Good to put over mashed potatoes, pasta, etc.
– AG
CHOPPED SHIITAKE
 10 big, flat shiitake; 1 egg; flour
 15 ml (1 Tbs.) Sunflower oil (or other vegetable oil)
Take shiitake; cut the stems near the caps. Break the egg in a small bowl;
mix the white with yolk and with black pepper. Put flour on a plate.

Wet the caps on both sides with the egg, then roll each cap in flour and put
in previously heated frying pan, fry from the both sides until the flour is
golden color. Before finishing, sprinkle with salt. Good for any garnish
[buckwheat, potatoes, especially fried, pasta, rice] or vegetables. -AG
POT-VESHENKA OR OYST-POT
 300-400 g (10-14 oz) oyster mushrooms (veshenka)
 15 ml (1 Tbs.) sunflower oil (or other vegetable oil)
 One big onion; 100 ml (½ cup) 10% fresh cream (heavy whipping cream)
 1 kg (2 lbs.) potatoes (note: in spring time they are more likely to burn)

Wash and slice veshenka into pieces 3-4 mm (1/8 inch) thick. Peal and cut
the onion into 2-3 mm (1/16 inch) thick slices.  Put sunflower oil in the
frying pan and heat it; fry the onions to golden brown. Turn onions aside,
then cook mushrooms adding cream during cooking. Stop cooking when
cream begins to evaporate.

Peal and cut potatoes into small pieces, put them into pot, flood with
boiled water to the surface, salt. Cover with oyster mushrooms and begin to
boil. When the potatoes are ready, mix all together and eat!!! The potatoes
at the bottom are often slightly burned, but the major part is
excellent. –AG
KALAMPETSYA
10-14 oz (300-400 g) fresh shiitake
15 ml (1 Tbs.) sunflower oil (or other vegetable oil)
One big onion; 10-14 oz (300-400 g) potatoes
7-10 oz (200-300 g) Brussels sprouts
7-10 oz (200-300 g) broccoli (or cauliflower)
3-½ oz (100 g) smoked bacon; hazelnuts
mild cheese (e.g. jack, mozzarella) sliced

All ingredients are cooked separately. Wash and slice shiitake into pieces
3-4 mm (1/8 inch) thick. Peal and cut the onion into 2-3 mm (1/16 inch)
thick slices.  Put sunflower oil in the frying pan and heat it; fry the
onions to golden brown.

Turn onions aside, the cook mushrooms adding cream during cooking. Stop
cooking when cream begins to evaporate. Cook in different pots: potatoes,
Brussels sprouts, broccoli (or cauliflower).

Prepare shiitake as in #1. Put in warm Roman (ceramic) pot a little bit of
butter, than a layer of potatoes, cover it with slices of smoked bacon, then
a layer of Brussels sprouts, then cover it with shiitake, then a layer of
broccoli, sprinkle it with pounded hazelnuts, cover all this with cheese and
put the Roman pot without lid into oven, heated previously to 180ºC (350ºF).
Wait until the cheese begins to melt and obtains a golden color, and then
serve. -AG
MUSHROOM MINSK
1-½ oz (45 g) dry oyster mushrooms, or 10 oz (300g) fresh oyster mushrooms
½ cups (120 ml) Water, Plus 1 cup (250 ml) cold water for dry mushrooms
¼ tsb (2 g) baking soda; ¼ cup (60 ml) Vinegar; ¼ tsp (1 g) Salt;

1 cup (200g) Chopped onions; 1 small Eggplant, sliced;
1 Tbs (15 g) Butter; 2 Tbs (20 g) Flour; ¼ Yellow bell (sweet) pepper
¼ Red bell (sweet) pepper; ¼ Green bell (sweet) pepper
1 cup (250 g) Sour cream

Soak dry mushrooms in water, allow 1 hour before cooking. After the dry
mushrooms have soaked 10 minutes or immediately after washing the fresh
mushrooms, cut off all stems, and chop them very fine. Place the stems in a
small pan, add ¼ cup water and baking soda; cover and simmer.

Cut the peppers into strips. Sauté the onions and eggplant; add salt,
mushrooms and stems, including all liquid (much should have been absorbed).
Continue heating; sift flour in slowly, while stirring. As soon as the
liquid is smooth and thickened, add sour cream. Garnish with peppers.
Serves 6. Variation: cooked carrots may be substituted for some of the
peppers. -RHK
VESHENKA OMELET
A great omelet needs a recipe, but skill is also a big part of it. In our
experience, a properly seasoned cast iron frying pan is the only acceptable
cooking utensil. They are much more reliably non-stick than Teflon and there
is no organic halogen (as in Teflon and DDT).

Omelets are cooked one at a time and I prefer several one-egg omelets to one
large omelet. The following is for one omelet, multiply the mushrooms,
lemon, onions and peppers times the number of omelets – of course you will
want to do all of the chopping and marinating first.

1 Heaping Tbs. (10 g) Oyster mushrooms, chopped
¼ tsp. (2 ml) Lemon juice; 1 Heaping Tbs. (10 g) Onions, chopped
1 Heaping Tbs. (10 g) Bell peppers, ripe (red, yellow or orange) chopped
1 Egg; 1 Tbs. (15 ml) Water; salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
¾ Tbs. (10 g) Butter

Marinade the mushrooms in the lemon juice for 10 to 20 minutes. Put the egg
in a small bowl, add the water, salt and black pepper, beat until smooth
with a whisk. Heat an 8-inch (20 cm) frying pan; add the butter. When it
begins to bubble, pour in the whisked egg, so that the bottom of the skillet
is covered.

Sprinkle the onions and the marinated mushrooms on one half of the egg.
After a short time, the bottom of the omelet will be firm, fold the half
with no mushrooms and onions over the side with them.

Continue to cook until the entire omelet is firm. Place on a warm plate,
cover with the bell peppers and serve with catsup, or your favorite
sauce. RHK    Bon appétit!
——————————————————————————————-
The author, Ralph H. Kurtzman, Jr., Ph.D., is a retired US Department of
Agriculture biochemist and plant pathologist. Since retirement, he accepts
volunteer assignments as a mushroom cultivation consultant for CNFA,
ACDI/VOCA, CARE and other US Agency for International Development
(USAID) contractors. He also serves as co-editor of Micologia Aplicada
International, a small scientific journal of applied mycology. You may reach
Dr. Kurtzman at: kurtzmanr@earthlink.net
——————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.ukraine-observer.com/index.php?c=221
————————————————————————————————

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AUR#882 Oct 24 Post-Election Economy; Poland’s Elections; Lviv Economic Success; Honorable To Be Ukrainian In Canada; Ditching Tymoshenko

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

Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
 
POST-ELECTION ECONOMY:
TESTS FOR THE NEW GOVERNMENT
An expert would judge the “quality” of the new executive power by
its ability to prioritize economic challenges, to identify their origin and
nature, and to suggest effective ways of addressing them. [Article One]

                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 882
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2007
 
NOTE:  Send the AUR to your colleagues, associates, family and
friends around the world.  You can be part of the program to inform 
the world about Ukraine….its people….its history….its future!
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ———-
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article

1. POST-ELECTION ECONOMY: TESTS FOR THE NEW GOVERNMENT
Analysis & Commentary: By Igor Burakovsky, Director
Institute for Economic Studies and Political Consultations
ZN, Mirror Weekly # 39 (668), Kyiv, Ukraine Sat, 20-26 Oct 2007
 
THE FIRST GLOBAL FOOD SHORTAGE SINCE THE 1970s
Ukraine is considering export quotas on corn, barley and wheat.
By Jenny Wiggins and Javier Blas in London
Financial Times, London, UK, Wednesday, October 24 2007

3POLAND MUST NOW WIND BACK THE POWER OF THE STATE
Corruption in central Europe is rampant and systemic.
Analysis & Commentary: by Marian Tupy
Financial Times, London, UK, Tuesday, October 23 2007

4POLAND SET FOR STRONGER TIES WITH EUROPE AFTER ELECTION
By Jan Cienski and Stefan Wagstyl in Warsaw
Financial Times, London, UK, Tuesday, October 23 2007

5UKRAINE’S ECONOMICS MINISTER AND DEPUTY US TRADE

REPRESENTATIVE DISCUSS ISSUES OF UKRAINE’S WTO ACCESSION
UKRINFORM, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 20, 2007

6LVIV, UKRAINE: BORDERING ON ECONOMIC SUCCESS
Interview: With Dmitry Aftansas, Lviv Chamber of Commerce
Anna Melnichuk, Business Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Oct 22, 2007

7UKRAINE/EUROPEAN UNION RELATIONS – FROM THE
VANTAGE POINT OF THE EUROPEAN PRESIDENCY
Presentation: By Joao de Vallera
Ambassador of Portugal to the United States
Ukraine-EU Relations, Roundtable VIII; Ukraine’s Quest for Mature
Nation Statehood; Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Washington, DC, Tue-Wed, October 16-17, 2007

8EUROPEAN UNION: DRAFTING A GLOBAL PLAYER
If you travel to countries in the European neighborhood such as

Ukraine, Georgia or Egypt, you cannot help but be depressed
about how the EU squanders its power.
Commentary: By Mark Leonard, The Wall Street Journal
New York, New York, Wednesday, October 17, 2007

9“IT IS VERY HONORABLE TO BE UKRAINIAN IN CANADA”
Levko Lukianenko discusses the need to revive the Cossacks,
his new book, and his vision of Ukraine’s future
By Alla Shershen, Special to The Day
The Day Weekly Digest #31, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Oct 23, 2007

 
10AN UNCONVENTIONAL GENERAL:
THE 100th BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF PETRO HRYHORENKO

By Yurii Shapoval, Professor, Scholar, Author, Historian
The Day Weekly Digest #31, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Oct 23, 2007

11RUSSIA SAYS: DEMOCRACY? NO, LAND OF DISORDER!
Commentary & Analysis: By Peter Dickinson
Business Ukraine magazine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Oct 22, 2007

12UKRAINE: STEPPING OUT OF STALIN’S LONG SHADOW
Analysis & Commentary: By Peter Dickinson
Business Ukraine magazine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Oct 15, 2007

13UKRAINE: THE VOTES AFTER THE VOTE
Analysis & Commentary: By John Marone
Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Kyiv, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, Oct 22, 2007

142005 OR 2006? TECHNIQUE OF “DITCHING” TYMOSHENKO

IS CENTRAL ISSUE OF UKRAINIAN POLITICS
Commentary & Analysis: By Andrii Okara, Special to The Day
The Day Weekly Digest #31, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23 2007

15BRAVO AND STAY TUNED: PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS 2007
Commentary: By Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #882, Article 15
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 24, 2007

16PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO WANTS TO DECLARE 2008 YEAR

A NATIONAL YEAR OF HOLODOMOR REMEMBRANCE
Press Office of the President, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, October 23, 2007

17.  PRESIDENT COMMEMORATES HOLODOMOR VICTIMS
Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2007
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1
 POST-ELECTION ECONOMY: TESTS FOR THE NEW GOVERNMENT
An expert would judge the “quality” of the new executive power by its
ability to prioritize economic challenges, to identify their origin and
nature, and to suggest effective ways of addressing them.

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Igor Burakovsky, Director
Institute for Economic Studies and Political Consultations
ZN, Mirror Weekly # 39 (668), Kyiv, Ukraine Sat, 20-26 October 2007

On 22 September 2007, ZN published an evaluation of election promises
made by Ukraine’s most influential political forces.

The evaluation prepared by the Institute for Economic Studies and Political
Consultations showed that election promises are, in fact, statements of
politicians’ good intentions that offer no mechanisms for their
implementation.

During the election campaign, all political forces sharply criticized one
another for real and imaginary economic lapses, praising their own economic
achievements presumptuously.

Few sensible ideas regarding actual challenges and prospects of Ukraine’s
economic development were found in the piles of mutual recriminations.

The elections are over, and various political forces are busy distributing
powers amongst them, although the time is ripe for discussing Ukraine’s
post-election economy, especially in view of the Coalition Agreement between
the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence that was
presented on 17 October.
ABILITY TO PRIORITIZE ECONOMIC CHALLENGES
An expert would judge the “quality” of the new executive power by its
ability to prioritize economic challenges, to identify their origin and
nature, and to suggest effective ways of addressing them.

This will determine the success or failure of the new government and
political forces that formed it. This will, eventually, affect the dynamics
of economic growth and national standards of living.

Today, the main focus should be on a limited number of specific tasks,
rather than on strategic objectives set by certain political forces.

After all, it is easy to compile a list of “global” challenges but specific
immediate tasks and their performance will be a test for the new
government’s professionalism since it will be impossible for top officials

to ignore them.
MANAGEMENT INTELLIGENCE TEST
[1] The first test is the management intelligence test. The government will
pass it only if it develops, together with the National Bank, a prudent
anti-inflation policy. The current price rise testifies that inflation poses
a grave economic and social problem.

In order to address it effectively, the Cabinet should identify and analyze
objective and subjective reasons for accelerated inflation in the country,
which will demonstrate whether the government and the National Bank
understand correctly the character and dynamics of processes under way in
the national economy and their dependence on the global economic trends,
whether they are able to grasp the true meaning of the political aspect of
this problem.

It is critical that the Cabinet and National Bank scrutinize their previous
mistakes and weaknesses, and learn their lessons in order to avoid them in
future and improve coordination of anti-inflation efforts.

A successful passing of the test will also hinge on the Government and
national Bank’s ability to design and implement a set of measures to slow
down inflation. It is evident that traditional administrative measures like
limiting trade markups, freezing prices for certain goods and produce, and
market interventions do not work.

An effective anti-inflation action plan should include sophisticated
strategic measures, such as the introduction of inflation targeting, and the
matching of social benefits with the actual capacity of the national
economy.

Urgent measures should include a long overdue improvement of the methodology
for calculating inflation rates, as the one used today fails to reflect the
current reality of the Ukrainian economy.

What does the coalition propose? It defines the transition from “restrictive
monetary methods to predominantly market-driven tools of managing aggregate
demand and supply, as well as first-priority neutralization of non-monetary
inflation factors” as its strategic objective. The definition is too vague
and complicated to give direction for further actions.

By and large, the anti-inflation section of the Coalition Agreement provides
for a lot of correct fundamental tasks, including the need to improve
coordination and cooperation between the Cabinet and National Bank based on
a special memorandum of understanding.

However, it remains unclear what the parties meant while distributing the
CEO positions in the National Bank, Ukreximbank and Oshchadbank (Addendum
#1.5 to Coalition Agreement)? What will be the practical implications of the
NBU governor’s nomination by a certain political force (in this case, by
OUPS)?

What about the NBU independence and autonomy if the NBU governor
becomes a political figure, an appointee of one of the coalition political
forces that form the government?

The same applies to the appointment of Ukreximbank and Oshchadbank CEOs.
What is the agenda behind the political parties’ involvement in selecting
top management for the state-owned banks, given that the state should have a
clear vision of these banks’ role on the market and implement it
accordingly?
POLITICAL MATURITY TEST
[2] The second test is political maturity test. The main task here will be
to solve the public procurement problem. Our state public procurement system
is absolutely inefficient and corrupted. And representatives of different
political forces are interested in preserving it in its present condition.

The system should be radically changed by adopting a qualitatively new law
on public procurement which means infringing upon some particular people’s
interests.

That’s why I consider getting the public procurement sphere into order as a
test of political maturity of the government and the parliament, whose
decisions should be made according to society’s but not to some separate
lobbyists’ interests.
REALISM TEST
[3] One of the most complicated tests is the third test – a realism test.
This test will be based on the attitude of the new government to the social
sphere. At the present moment, the social support system in our country is
practically unreformed.

However, considering today’s inflation, the government should make difficult
decisions regarding actual limits to the raising of social payments, which
will be quite painful for society and will hit the government’s popularity.

Social support matters are widely covered in Coalition Agreement. The most
important points here are: social programs rationalization, implementation
of direct social help, amending the laws according to the state’s financial
liabilities analysis and implementation of medium-term budget planning. I
absolutely agree with all these points.

But will the realization of these tasks become a priority for the
government? When and how will they solve these problems? It is much easier
to promise to raise the payments than to revise the promises and reform the
social support sphere since such reforms are always painful an unpopular.

In my opinion, the country with USD 7637 GDP per head (for comparison – in
EU this index is USD 28213) and with critical level of demographic problems
cannot afford to provide an expensive social support system.

We should definitely conduct a hard and specific-purposed social support
policy. In other words, will the new government be able to tear the vicious
circle of populism notwithstanding the upcoming presidential elections?
RUSSIAN GAS TEST
[4] The traditional challenge for all Ukrainian governments is the gas test
in connection with relations with Russia.

Concerning this matter, the Coalition Agreement is quite terse: “.mutually
beneficial cooperation with Russia, countries of Central Asia, other
suppliers of energy resources based on long term, transparent and gainful
agreements excluding any shadow intermediate”. The idea is clear. Let’s wait
for specific actions, agreements and results.
BUDGETARY PROCESS TEST
[5] The next challenge for the government is the budgetary process, which
can be an economic policy adequacy test. The budgetary process and the
budget will show the government’s priorities in economical policy and its
principal approaches to solving the main economical problem.
LAND MARKET TEST
[6] It is clear that this list is quite long. However, I would like to point
out one more problem, the solving of which will show our government’s skills
at solving complicated economical and socially-sensible questions. It is the
issue of the land market.

The moratorium on farmland sales is expiring this year. What’s next? Will
the new government prolong the moratorium and for what purpose?

Will it try to cancel the moratorium and establish a full-fledged land
market? How will the central body of power build its relations with local
powers concerning land matters? As you see, there are a lot of questions
and all of them are fundamental.

The coalition is intending to establish a land market, to draft and realize
all necessary measures to provide the market’s normal functioning.
POLITICAL RESPONSIBILITY TEST
[7] Finally, I hope that the Ukrainian political elite pass the most
important test – a political responsibility test – successfully. This test
means that the process of important economical decisions making should
be depoliticized.
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LINK:
http://www.mw.ua/2000/2020/60832/

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2.  BREAD AND BUTTER ISSUE: RISING PRICES MAY HERALD
THE FIRST GLOBAL FOOD SHORTAGE SINCE THE 1970s
Ukraine is considering export quotas on corn, barley and wheat.

By Jenny Wiggins and Javier Blas in London
Financial Times, London, UK, Wednesday, October 24 2007

When the United Nations held its annual World Food Day last week to
publicise the plight of the 854m malnourished people around the world, its
warning that there “are still too many hungry people” was a little more
anxious than usual.

Finding food to feed the hungry is becoming an increasingly difficult task
as growing demand for staples such as wheat, corn and rice brings higher
prices. That is leading all nations – rich and poor – to compete for food
supplies.

Food security is not a new concern for countries that have battled political
instability, droughts or wars. But for the first time since the early 1970s,
when there were global food shortages, it is starting to concern more stable
nations as well.

“The whole global picture is flagging up signals that we’re moving out of a
period of abundant food supply into a period in which food is going to be in
much shorter supply,” says Henry Fell, chairman of Britain’s Commercial
Farmers Group.

As agricultural commodities trade at record high levels, causing one food
manufacturer after another to put up prices – Danone, the French dairy
group, this month became the latest to reflect the severity of the cost
increases when it said it would increase prices by 10 per cent – countries
are starting to question whether they can afford to keep feeding themselves.

Wheat and milk prices have surged to all-time highs while those for corn and
soya-beans stand at well above their 1990s averages. Rice and coffee have
jumped to 10-year records and meat prices have risen recently by up to 50
per cent in some countries.

“The world is gradually losing the buffer that it used to have to protect
against big swings [in the market],” says Abdolreza Abbassian, secretary of
the grains trading group at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.
“There is a sense of panic.”

Some of the price rises are the result of temporary problems, such as
drought in Australia, and diseases, such as blue-ear in Chinese pigs.

But there is a more permanent increase in demand from Asia, as richer
populations in China and India demand more protein, and from the biofuel
industry, which is on course to consume about 30 per cent of the US corn
crop in 2010 – developments that will underpin prices for the medium term.

The FAO estimates that those structural new trends will help to push the
cost of agricultural commodities in the next decade between 20 and 50 per
cent above their last 10-year average.

This is a problem for economies where food represents a significant share of
their imports payments. The International Monetary Fund says higher food
prices are hurting poorer nations in Africa, such as Benin and Niger, as
well as a number of countries in Asia, from Bangladesh to China itself, and
parts of the Middle East.

The difficulties are compounded because the importance of food in overall
consumer spending is negatively correlated with income levels (see chart).

For example, food is more than 60 per cent of the “consumption basket”
measured by economists in sub-Saharan Africa, whereas it is 30 per cent in
China and only 10 per cent in the US, according to the IMF.

For countries that export grains and other commodities, such as the US,
Australia or Canada but also Argentina and Namibia, high prices are
lucrative at a macro-economic level and for the businesses and farmers
involved. But there, too, consumers suffer. In Italy, which imports around
half its durum wheat needs, people took to the streets this summer to
protest at higher pasta, bread and milk prices.

Grain exporting countries have consequently started restricting the amount
of grain they export, postponing sales or imposing in some cases prohibitive
export tariffs to keep their local market well supplied, avoiding
politically damaging food price increases.

In Russia, which faces parliamentary elections in December and where
President Vladimir Putin has said he was “worried about price growth,
especially food prices growth”, the government has introduced export duties
on wheat and barley and is discussing further tariff increases.

Russian food retailers, under pressure from the Kremlin, have meanwhile
agreed to freeze prices on some basic foodstuffs to help cool down
inflation.

Neighbouring Ukraine is considering export quotas on corn, barley and wheat.

At the same time, food importing countries have started to look for ways to
increase their domestic production or build emergency stocks as a buffer
against sharp price increases or shortages.

For example, Pakistan plans to import more wheat than it does normally to
make sure it has enough to feed its population. India has also bought more
than necessary in order to build up its stocks.

The European Union has suspended its “set-aside” rules that bar farmers from
planting cereals on 10 per cent of their land. The rules were designed to
avoid over-production but Brussels is now worried that there will not be
enough cereals to meet demand.

In the US, however, the Department of Agriculture has decided against
allowing land to be released early from the Conservation Reserve Program
that, similarly to the EU’s set-aside, pays farmers not to plant on some of
their arable land.

Analysts and traders say farmers are likely in the 2008 crop season to plant
more wheat at the expense of cotton and, to a lesser extent, corn, barley
and soybeans. This means that, while wheat prices may fall next year, crops
such as cotton and corn might jump in value because of the reduced supplies.

State finances are also being imperilled, as countries that import much of
their food have started to increase subsidies paid to food producers to
compensate for higher costs and scrapped import tariffs.

Akhter Ahmed, a subsidies expert at the International Food Policy Research
Institute, a Washington-based think-tank, says international agricultural
prices are directly linked to the cost of food importing countries’
subsidies. “The recent price increase is going to be a drain for government
budgets,” he warns.

The FAO has forecast that the lower-income “food-deficit” countries will
next year spend more than $28bn (£14bn, Euro20bn) on importing cereals,
double what they spent in 2002.

“The combination of higher export prices and soaring freight rates is
pushing up domestic prices of bread and other basic food in importing
developing countries, which has caused social unrest in parts,” the
organisation said in its latest Crop Prospects and Food Situation report.

Egypt, which experienced the “Bread Intifada” riots in 1977 when the
government raised bread prices, last month said it was increasing the
subsidies it pays to bread producers in the light of ongoing increases in
global wheat prices.

Certainly, there is currently little chance of subsidies being lowered by
many developing countries. Abah Ofon of Standard Chartered Bank says that
for countries such as Morocco, where a large proportion of the population
lives close to or below the poverty line, wheat is a staple part of people’s
diet and therefore “eradicating subsidies is tantamount to political suicide
at this stage”.

In China, the government is providing larger subsidies to farmers to
increase agricultural production, particularly of pork and milk after the
country suffered a price spike this year. Beijing also plans to increase
subsidies to low-income urban residents and student cafeterias while it has
cut soybean import duties in order to keep prices down.

Commodity analysts in part blame the US and Europe for the current price
increases. They say the heavy subsidies placed on agricultural produce by
the American and European governments in recent decades have made investment
in agriculture unprofitable for many other countries because they have found
it hard to compete.

Jeffrey Currie, head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs, says the
relatively low investment in agriculture outside the US and Europe is coming
back to haunt European and US consumers in the form of higher food prices as
global supplies of agricultural produce fall behind demand.

The world’s leading agricultural exporters are the EU (led by France, the
Netherlands, Germany and the UK) and the US, followed by Brazil, Canada
and Australia.

“The US and Europe were exporting agricultural deflation; now they’re
exporting agricultural inflation,” Mr Currie says. The IMF adds that western

countries’ biofuel policies are also behind the current problem.

“One country’s policy to promote biofuels while protecting its farmers could
increase another, likely poorer, country’s import bills for food and pose
additional risks to inflation or growth,” says the institution in its latest
World Economic Outlook.

This impact would be mitigated if the US and the EU reduced barriers to
biofuel imports from developing countries, such as Brazil, where production
is cheaper, more efficient and environmentally less damaging, the IMF adds.

In the near future, demand for agricultural raw materials is likely to
continue rising in world markets as countries that have previously been able
to meet their own food needs start importing more, increasing the global
challenge of feeding populations.

Don Mitchell, an economist at the World Bank, says: “Although China and
India are relatively self-sufficient in food, some economists doubt that
this can continue as incomes rise and [think] that they will need to rely
much more on imports.”

The FAO expects India to import more wheat and China to increase imports
of coarse grains to supply feed to its livestock industry. Both countries
are also expected to increase imports of oils that are used in food production,
such as palm oil.

The World Bank estimates that cereal production will have to rise by nearly
50 per cent and meat output by 85 per cent between 2000 and 2030 to meet
projected global demand.

Developed countries are not immune. In the UK, the Department for
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs acknowledged in a December paper that
food security was becoming a “matter of concern”.

Kate Bailey of Chatham House, the London think-tank, says Britain’s food
supply is facing “huge change” due to shifts in global trade patterns.

Policymakers may have to return to thinking about food as a “strategic
asset”, she adds – even in a nation that has not been self-sufficient in
food since the Industrial Revolution.
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3.  POLAND MUST NOW WIND BACK THE POWER OF THE STATE
Corruption in central Europe is rampant and systemic.

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Marian Tupy
Financial Times, London, UK, Tuesday, October 23 2007

The victory of the liberal Civic Platform in Poland’s early elections over
the weekend could mark the beginning of the end for populism in central
Europe.

The governing parties in Poland and Slovakia came to power promising to end
corruption, and the Hungarian opposition, which lost last year’s election by
the narrowest of margins, promises to do the same.

The collapse of Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s Law and Justice party shows that in
addition to better policing and steeper sentences, the fight against
corruption must include the reduction of the size and scope of the state.

Two years ago, when populist parties such as Law and Justice made electoral
advances throughout central Europe, most commentators saw it as a rebuke to
the liberal parties and the market reforms they had implemented. Such
explanations ignored the resentment that people in the region harboured
against their corrupt incumbent political elites.
CORRUPTION IN CENTRAL EUROPE IS RAMPANT
Corruption in central Europe is rampant. According to Transparency
International’s Corruption Perception Index, which measures corruption on a
scale from 0 (highest) to 10 (lowest), Poland slumped from 4.6 in 1998 to
3.4 in 2005. The Czech Republic fell from 4.8 to 4.3, Hungary’s remained at
5 and Slovakia rose from 3.9 to 4.3.

Though all four countries made small improvements in their CPI scores in
2006, they fell far short of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development’s average of 7.2.
Corruption in central Europe persists for two main reasons.
[1] First, despite much economic liberalisation over the past 17 years,
governments continue to spend, on average, more than 40 per cent of the
region’s gross domestic product.

However, unlike in western Europe, where government spending is also high,
parliamentary scrutiny, judicial independence and the strength of civil
society in central Europe remain relatively underdeveloped. Government
procurement programmes lack transparency and are often used as vehicles for
self-enrichment by corrupt officials.

[2] Second, the central European business environment remains overregulated.
The World Bank’s Doing Business report, for example, found that businesses
in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland were more heavily
regulated than businesses in most developed economies, including most
European Union members.

The armies of bureaucrats in central Europe have ample opportunities to
extract bribes from private firms.

The populists in the region, including the Law and Justice party in Poland
and Smer in Slovakia, tapped into the popular feeling of disgust at the
conspicuous spending of the governing elites and their ill-gotten wealth,
and won.
CORRUPTION IN CENTRAL EUROPE IS SYSTEMIC
But corruption in central Europe is systemic – it cannot be eradicated
through better procurement controls, as is currently being attempted.
Instead, corruption has to be tackled by reducing the size and the scope of
the state and with it the opportunities for self-enrichment among the
political elites.
OLEH HAVRYLYSHYN’S BOOK
As Oleh Havrylyshyn, the former deputy finance minister of Ukraine, shows in
his book, “Divergent Paths in Post-Communist Transformation – Capitalism for
All or Capitalism for the Few?,” countries that implemented more radical
economic reforms after the collapse of communism experienced less corruption
than countries that opted for more gradual reforms.

The transition from communism to capitalism was marked by corruption, not
because of too much liberalisation but because of too little. Perhaps that
explains why Estonia, which is the most economically free of all excommunist
countries, also has the highest CPI score.

By contrast, the governing parties in Poland and Slovakia postponed further
economic reforms, thus in effect ensuring that corruption in the region
continues.

A liberal victory in Poland could mark the beginning of the end for central
European populism and, it is to be hoped, a return to a reform agenda in the
region.

Once in power, the Civic Platform should address the source of corruption in
Poland – the overextended state. The same goes for aspiring reformers in the
rest of the region.
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NOTE: Marian Tupy is a policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for
Global Liberty and Prosperity [Washington, D.C.] and author of “The Rise
of Populist Parties in Central Europe: Big Government, Corruption and the
Threat to Liberalism.”
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4.  POLAND SET FOR STRONGER TIES WITH EUROPE
AFTER THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION

By Jan Cienski and Stefan Wagstyl in Warsaw
Financial Times, London, UK, Tuesday, October 23 2007

The liberal Civic Platform party was preparing to form a government in
Poland yesterday after a dramatic poll victory that international leaders
and the local business community predicted would restart much-delayed
economic reform and lead to closer ties in Europe.

With more than 99 per cent of ballots counted from Sunday’s poll, Civic
Platform had 41.4 per cent of the vote, translating into 209 seats in the
460-member parliament. Law and Justice, which had ruled for two turbulent
years under the leadership of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, prime minister, trailed
with 32 per cent of the vote, enough for 166 seats.

Platform leader Donald Tusk, the likely prime minister in the new
government, is expected to begin coalition talks this week with the centrist
Peasants Party, which will have 31 seats.

To gather the 60 per cent of parliamentary votes needed to override vetoes
by President Lech Kaczynski, the prime minister’s twin brother, the new
government will have to rely on votes from the ex-Communist Left and
Democrats.

Poland’s European Union partners expressed hopes for better relations than
under the Kaczynskis’ assertive approach. The European Commission welcomed
the results while Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, hoped for “an easing
in relations” and greater co-operation.

However, ties with Washington could be more tense than under Mr Kaczynski.
Washington is concerned about Mr Tusk’s calls for Poland to withdraw troops
from Iraq and his doubts about the US missile defence shield.

Civic Platform was careful to limit speculation about who would get which
ministerial portfolio, and kept public policy pronouncements to a minimum.

However, Zbigniew Chlebowski, a potential economy minister, talked of
introducing a flat 15 per cent income tax and an energetic privatisation
programme.

Business leaders cautioned that the new government was unlikely to change
economic policy dramatically, but there would be a change in the way the
government was perceived.

“I think the most important thing is a return to dialogue,” said Henryka
Bochniarz, head of the Polish Private Employers Confederation.
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Additional reporting by FT -correspondents in Luxembourg, Berlin and Kiev
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1e6a6316-8103-11dc-9f14-0000779fd2ac.html

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5.  UKRAINE’S ECONOMICS MINISTER AND DEPUTY US TRADE

REPRESENTATIVE DISCUSS ISSUES OF UKRAINE’S WTO ACCESSION

UKRINFORM, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 20, 2007
 
KYIV – Economics Minister Anatoliy Kinakh and Deputy US Trade
Representative John K. Veroneau discussed some shorter-term priorities
of Ukraine’s economic policy, specifically Ukraine’s accession to the
World Trade Organization.

The Ukrainian delegation led by Mr. Kinakh is taking part in the annual
meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in
Washington, DC, UKRINFORM’s correspondent in the USA reported.

The meeting of the two officials also focussed on measures to improve the
investment climate in Ukraine. Mr. Veroneau noted that the US will continue
to support Ukraine’s WTO bid.

Within the framework of the delegation’s visit to the USA to last until
October 23, Mr. Kinakh is expected to meet with the WB’s Executive Director
Herman Weifels and its Vice President Shigeo Katsu. The discussions will
focus on Ukraine’s accession to the WTO and integration into the European
Union.

As UKRINFORM reported earlier, Ukraine has completed negotiations with all
the members of the WTO working party except Kyrghyzstan, and signed 49
protocols on mutual access to the goods of services markets.

Kyrghyzstan demands that Ukraine pay the former USSR debt to the tune of USD
27 M and lower customs duties on meat and sugar. The working party’s report
on Ukraine’s accession will be presented in Geneva after October 24.

Deputy Economics Minister Valeriy Pyatnytskyi forecasted that Ukraine may
join the WTO before January 1, 2008, the organization’s 60th anniversary.
The same opinion was aired by President Yushchenko during his visit to
Portugal early this week. “We must join the WTO in the near future. I hope
it happens this year,” the head of state said.

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6.  LVIV, UKRAINE: BORDERING ON ECONOMIC SUCCESS
Lviv is an ancient city with a history as a crossroads of international
trade. Can it keep pace with the global economy of the new millennium?

INTERVIEW: With Dmitry Aftansas, Lviv Chamber of Commerce
By Anna Melnichuk, Business Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Oct 22, 2007

 Lviv’s Chamber of Commerce is the oldest in Ukraine, founded over a
hundred and fifty years ago by decree of Franz Joseph, the emperor of
Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The Lviv Trade and Industrial Chamber was established in 1850, together with
similar chambers in Krakow, Prague, Vienna, Budapest and other regional
capitals of the Habsburg domains.

Today it is at the fore of a burgeoning Lviv business community looking to
expand on EU cross-border trade and benefit from the investment boost
provided by preparations for the Euro 2012 football championships.

We recently met Dmitry Aftanas of the Lviv Chamber of Commerce for an
outline of the region’s business and economic perspectives.
OVERVIEW OF LVIV COMMERCE
Like the rest of Ukraine, Lviv is witnessing a construction boom, and this
is one of the main areas of international economic activity in the region.

“Tourism and recreation are very important for us, and the region has huge
potential,” Aftanas says. “Lviv in particular has everything it needs to be
a tourism centre, while Truskavets and the Carpathian mountains have
recreational potential.”

Other focuses include the timber industry and the agricultural sphere.
“Large numbers of international investors are currently renting land in Lviv
region for agricultural use. One example is the German companies which
are growing rapeseed for use in bio fuel production.”

The political instability of the past three years has not managed to slow
down the growth of regional commerce and like many business-oriented
Ukrainians, Aftanas is an advocate of staying out of politics as much as
possible.

“Our 290 members are all company directors and they all have their own
personal political orientations. Our region has a traditionally more
positive attitude towards Orange forces because they favour closer ties with
the West. It’s very natural for a population that has always felt close to
Europe and feels almost as much at home in Poland as in Lviv.”

However, Aftanas appreciates the need for dialogue with the government to
improve the business environment, and sees judiciary reform as the most
pressing concern facing the country.

“This country needs to redress the problems with the court system as a
priority. In general the reform process should be geared towards the
liberalisation of the economic sphere.

We need more economic freedoms. Small and medium-sized businesses are
developing, but they still face a lot of obstacles. A new, more liberal tax
code should be adopted to present more opportunities to local business.”

Beyond the political transformation the country is going through, Ukrainian
businesses are also excited about the opportunities presented by the Euro
2012 football championships.

Aftanas sees the tournament as a once in a lifetime chance to radically
improve Lviv in every way from its infrastructure to its ties with the
region’s European neighbours.

“Euro 2012 is the kind of chance for Lviv and the whole Ukraine which will
not be repeated for decades. At the moment preparations remain stuck at the
theoretical level, with the search for sponsors ongoing and plans being
drawn up, but I am confident the work will proceed at good pace.

The planned new stadium will be built by 2010, and Lviv will also see huge
road reconstruction to resolve our growing transport problems.

“Everyone knows that we also don’t have nearly enough quality hotels, but
this is the chance to radically update our entire infrastructure and there
is a general consensus among the authorities at every level that this chance
must be seized. We have a special department in the city administration
working to prepare Lviv for Euro 2012.

The team is young and already experienced. I know them and think they will
cope well with the challenges they face because they have different
mentality and different approach compared to older generations. They do
not engage in time-consuming meditation, but try to solve everything very
quickly.”
RELYING ON FOREIGN EXPERTISE
Budgeting estimates for Lviv’s role in Euro 2012 vary significantly, with
anything from USD 4 billion to USD 9 billion stated as the likely overall
cost of preparations.

Aftanas confirms that the current situation remains unclear owing to
legislative inconsistencies and pending government decisions, and says that
the biggest infrastructure projects will likely be handled by foreign
companies with the requisite expertise.

“At the moment 50% of investment needed is expected from the state budget
and 50% should come from private investors. Our local authorities are
working to offer tax breaks, while the Cabinet of Ministers is considering a
decree the will keep more regional taxes here in Lviv deductions to the
state budget and remain them here.

Regardless of legislative changes the biggest individual projects such as
the planned new stadium have not so far involved Ukrainian companies.”

“I think that local investors will be contractors and subcontractors and
will do some work because there is quite simply a lot of work to do. People
seem to think that there are a huge number of cafes and restaurants in Lviv,
but given the number of tourists we are expecting we will need to increase
the amount of leisure facilities three- or four-fold.

Our guests will be interested in more than football, and in theory at least
Lviv has more than enough to entertain them. I have recently been impressed
by our museums myself.”
LVIV AS INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORT HUB
The reconstruction of Lviv airport may well prove to be the biggest single
long-term result of Euro 2012, and is also likely to be handled by
international companies.

Lviv has huge potential as a regional air travel hub, because Kyiv is too
far away and people from all western Ukraine already come to Lviv to fly to
Europe.

“The prospects for Lviv airport are good,’ says Aftanas. “Talks are
currently underway to link the existing airport with the neighbouring
military base, which would make it possible to receive the largest
categories of plane for long distance flights. Turning Lviv into an
international hub airport is actually a long term project that has been
under consideration for years.

At present Lviv-based travellers often fly to Warsaw or Vienna for transit.
We recently received a delegation from the neighbouring Polish town of
Zheshiv which is in 200 kilometres from Lviv. They already have airport
much smaller than Lviv’s but offer flights to London, Dublin, New York and
Chicago.

If Lviv fails to grasp the air travel potential it currently has, everything
will be shifted to Krakow or Zheshiv. We have already received offers to
initiate flights from budget airlines,” he confirms.

Even after the excitement of Euro 2012 has subsided, Aftanas says he will
remain upbeat about the long-term prospects for Lviv region. “Here it is
quite possible to start any sort of manufacturing process from scratch.
There are already plenty of manufacturing facilities and land available not
far from the border.

We are regularly being asked to find land within a 30-50 kilometre radius of
Lviv because in the city itself land and real estate are getting more and
more expensive.

We already have a group of people who have up-to-date databases of available
potential plots and who accompany investors as they search for the right
spot, helping them to build relationships with the local authorities and
develop contacts.”

Aftanas also sees a bright future for Lviv as a host for regional trade
fairs and conferences, with its ancient European heritage and geographical
location both making it an obvious choice for such events.

“Lviv could be promoted as an exhibition centre because it is about 500
kilometres to the nearest exhibition centres in Kyiv and Poznan. There is
simply nothing closer. The first big trade fair is expected to open here in
the beginning of December this year.

We may not have heavy industry like in the east of Ukraine, and many of our
more well-known production plants, like the legendary Lviv Bus Factory, are
currently operating at a fraction of capacity. But while this is not
immediately encouraging, it represents room for growth. Assembly plants
for household goods can be quickly established in Lviv.

Many locals have left Lviv to find work elsewhere in Europe but I think we
still have the potential labour force to power an increase in the
manufacturing industry. Lviv is a big student centre and we receive
thousands of applications from graduates every year, so it is clear that we
have serious intellectual potential as well.”
————————————————————————————————
LINK:  http://www.businessukraine.com.ua/bordering-on-economic-success
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
7.  UKRAINE/EUROPEAN UNION RELATIONS – FROM THE
VANTAGE POINT OF THE EUROPEAN PRESIDENCY

PRESENTATION: By Joao de Vallera
Ambassador of Portugal to the United States
Ukraine-EU Relations, Roundtable VIII; Ukraine’s Quest for Mature
Nation Statehood; Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Washington, DC, Tue-Wed, October 16-17, 2007

Published by Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #982, Article 7
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 24, 2007

1. I would like to thank the organizers of the “Ukraine’s Quest for Mature
Nation Statehood Roundtable Series”, and namely the Center for US-Ukrainian
Relations, for having invited me to participate in the eighth edition of
this timely and commendable initiative.

I will try to focus my presentation on three main topics: [1] the Portuguese
Presidency program and calendar, as far as the development of EU/Ukraine
relations is concerned; [2] our views about the New European Neighborhood
Policy; and [3] a few remarks – some of them presented on a more personal
basis – about the EU´s present situation and Ukraine’s European perspective.

Before that, allow me to briefly approach the narrower Portuguese/Ukrainian
bilateral universe, which has moved ahead in the last decade through
unprecedented and unexpected paths.

Who would be shrewd enough to foresee, not many years ago, that tens of
thousands of Ukrainian citizens would find in my country, where they were
welcomed, where they easily integrated and whose language they swiftly
learned, a second, in many cases a definitive home?

We have spread around the World, and we like to see ourselves as good agents
of integration, but we were more used to be visitors than to host permanent
guests, and Eastern Europe, to say the least, was not exactly in the core of
the international networks of relationships we created in the course of our
History.

That two countries in the extreme geographical boundaries of Europe, with
scarce contacts, were able to build in a short period a strong and friendly
relationship, boosted by spontaneous movements of citizens, tells a lot

about the new Europe we are living in and about the potential it still hides.

2.The 18 months common program established by the German, Portuguese and
Slovenian presidencies states that emphasis must be put on implementing the
European Union/Ukraine Action Plan, making full use of the European
Neighborhood Policy Instrument; and that, in this context, negotiations on a
new Enhanced Agreement should be completed.

More generally, it indicates that the European Union will thus present an
attractive and broad offer for cooperation with its neighbors, including
intensifying cooperation within specific sectors by concluding sectorial
agreements.

Up to now the present semester has been conditioned by the Ukrainian
political situation and namely by the preparation of the anticipated
elections.

Progress on EU/Ukraine bilateral relations was nevertheless possible, and we
expect that a swift formation of the new Government – making it possible to
definitely overcome the recent political crisis and paving the way to a
serious constitutional reform – will allow us to find a renewed dynamism
before the end of the year.

Substantial further progress would be much welcomed, be it on the manifold
implementation of the Action Plan, including
[1] reinforced cooperation in key areas like energy security and efficiency,
     environment and climate change, justice and border cooperation;
[2] on the negotiation of the Enhanced Agreement, designed to bring our
     relations to a new qualitative level (the fourth round of negotiations
     is taking place in this very moment, a fifth being expected until the end
    of the year;
[3] or on Ukraine’s accession to the WTO, a pre-condition to launch
     negotiations on a deep and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.

The Presidency is ready to correspond to any new development that
contributes to the strengthening of EU/Ukraine relations; and expects that
the Ukrainian authorities take full advantage of the considerable increase
in financial assistance that was decided by the EU last March to support the
reform process and the implementation of the Action Plan

The EU/Ukraine Summit that took place just a month ago, two weeks before

the elections, proved to be a good opportunity to take stock of recent
advancements in different areas, to provide guidance to future work and to
reaffirm important common commitments and goals.

The reciprocal wish to further deepen the relations was complemented by

an open and pragmatic discussion on a number of concrete topics,
[1] including visa issuing procedure(within the framework of the recently
     concluded agreement on visa facilitation and readmission),
[2] progress on the rule of law, the reform of the judiciary and the fight
     against corruption, as a necessary means to keep improving the
     business and investment climate,
[3] energy cooperation, [4] trade, [5] nuclear safety and,
[6[ in the framework of the revised Action Plan on Justice, Freedom and
     Security, the reinforcement of cooperation with Europol and Frontex.

Continued close cooperation  in the realm of foreign and security policy,
particularly on regional stability and crisis management, was most welcome.

A special reference was made to the increasing convergence of the two sides
on regional and international issues, with an 85% alignment of Ukraine with
EU foreign policy positions. Ukraine’s role in EU-led crisis management
operations was highly praised.

Three documents were approved: [1] a Joint Statement, [2] a joint progress
report on the negotiation of the New Enhanced Agreement and a [3] joint
progress report on the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding

on energy cooperation.

All these documents are available and I am not going to get into details
which will certainly be mentioned by the European Commission on Roundtable
Focus Session VI.

Despite the unavoidable political limitations, it was a positive Summit,
unfolded in a good and constructive atmosphere.

The simple fact that it took place, the decision not to postpone it, were a
significant gesture of trust in the Ukrainian capacity to move beyond the
present difficulties as well as in its resolve to pursue the European way.

A measure of this trust – and of the high expectations regarding the future
Ukrainian political framework – is visible in the last sentence of the Joint
Statement, where we can read that the EU leaders welcomed Ukraine’s European
choice and emphasized that further internal reforms and the introduction of
European standards would bring Ukraine closer to the EU.

3. Ukraine’s relations with the EU are framed within the New European
Neighborhood Policy, which is now in the center of the EU’s external
relations’ priorities and, with a budget of 12 billion for the financial
perspectives period of 2007/2013, benefited from a 32% increase as compared
with the previous cycle of  2000/2006.

But not only the financial coverage changed: its instruments were reviewed
to allow more ambition and more flexibility, in an effort that specifically
aims at reinforcing as much as possible the relations of the EU with its
neighbors and at avoiding the emergence of a new dividing line between the
EU and its outer perimeter.

The NENP plays a major part in the European project of peace, development
and stability, which is of a common strategic interest for the EU and its
neighbors, in this sense representing more than a simple EU’s external
policy instrument.

Another important characteristic of the NENP can be summarized as follows:
it gives substance to a process which is distinct from enlargement, an
accession perspective not being for the moment on the agenda for those
countries, but which at the same time remains silent as far as the future
nature of the relations of each of those same countries with the EU is
concerned.

It is then conceived as neither an antechamber for membership, nor a barrier
to future accessions. Flexibility means, on the other hand, that the process
is opened to different degrees of ambition – and of internal preparedness –
displayed by its various beneficiaries in the way they figure out their
relationship with the EU.

The global character of the European Neighborhood Policy is another
significant element that deserves to be underlined.

This means that no political distinction ought to be made between its two
wide regional components, East and South, both being the object of the same
EU wish to support and develop far reaching cooperation relations and to
pursue more ambitious forms of integration with its neighbors.

In this context, any purposeful differentiation within this policy is
something to be searched not through a distinctive approach to the two
regions, but as the (a posteriori) result of the implementation of the
principle of flexibility, exclusively available on a national, and non
regional, basis.

The access to deeper forms of integration is thus offered to all neighboring
States, in accordance with their ambition, capacity and own merits.

Ukraine has an open and broad space to occupy in its relation with the EU,
and technical and financial assistance to help developments in this
direction.

Reforms are in any case, before any other considerations, beneficial to
Ukraine, with the added advantage of creating an objective capital of trust
and sustained purpose that might prove to be an invaluable asset in an
unpredictable future.

4.The dialectic connection between enlargement and deepening of the EU
system has been at the core of European developments in the two last
decades, nourished a never ending internal debate and has caused thousands
of pages to be darkened by some of the more enlightened spirits that chose
the EU as a well deserving subject of devotion.

What I would like to say at this stage can be summarized in the following
telegraphic statements:

a) the relation between enlargement and deepening is a dynamic, less linear
and more complex reality than it is usually broadcast;

b) the two terms of the dichotomy are by definition, from a static point of
view, contradictory, in the sense that the integration of inevitable new
elements of heterogeneity theoretically multiply the range of interests,
reduce the areas of consensus, complicate the decision making process and
contribute to a sense of dilution of what was defined as a common purpose,
wherever it existed before;

c) that said, it is not true that enlargements were followed by a weakening
of the global system; on the contrary, they provoked compensation movements
of adaptation that many times moved the integration process forward, with a
pace and degree of ambition that might not have been possible in the
previous situation.

This was very clear, for example, in the years that followed the accession
of Portugal and Spain, with the powerful and strategically minded boost
provided by the Maastricht Treaty and the introduction of the multi-annual
financial perspectives;

d) the very toynbeean concept of challenge and response having marked its
presence, it is also true that the nature and dimension of the challenge was
not equivalent in the different moments of enlargement, and that the
capacity of response displayed by the EU was also variable.

It would be interesting, in this perspective, to compare what were the
changes that really lead to further integration in the mentioned Treaty of
Maastricht, on the one hand, and on Treaties like the Nice Treaty or the
Reform Treaty to be approved, on the other hand ;

e) the succession of different political leaders in the national landscapes
and the changing – even if sometimes blurred – perception of public opinion
in some Member States on the state of European affairs brought new elements
of reflection that went beyond the conventional wisdom about European
realities and priorities and which cannot be reduced to the phenomena we
commonly call the “enlargement or institutional fatigue”; these are concerns
that in democracy we cannot just put aside;

f) the European Union will find its way to progress, while avoiding the
risks of becoming a victim of its own success; it would be a mistake to
overestimate its capacities as a mere geo-strategic power engine, as it
would be wrong and unfair to consider that its geo-strategic capabilities
and virtues are limited to the enlargement process;

g)  the period of doubt and uncertainty that followed the rejection of the
Constitutional Treaty is being overcome, and the conclusion of the Reform
Treaty process – whose political approval in a few days time will be pursued
by the Portuguese Presidency as a matter of absolute priority – is crucial
to allow the inauguration of a new cycle of European assertiveness, namely
in the external sphere, which will hopefully open the way to new
developments;

h) time, as usual, is of the essence ; and we shall see, in a few years
time, where we all stand ; meanwhile, and whatever the present perspectives
appear to be, we should for our common benefit take full advantage of the
many opportunities offered to further the integration between the EU and
Ukraine.
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
========================================================
8.  EUROPEAN UNION: DRAFTING A GLOBAL PLAYER
If you travel to countries in the European neighborhood such as
Ukraine, Georgia or Egypt, you cannot help but be depressed
about how the EU squanders its power.

COMMENTARY: By Mark Leonard, The Wall Street Journal
New York, New York, Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Unless something goes badly wrong, European Union leaders will agree a new
treaty at this week’s summit in Lisbon. Unlike the doomed Constitution of
2005, which aimed to supersede all earlier agreements with a grandiose
state-building exercise, this will be just another amending treaty shorn of
the trappings of statehood.

And yet, the euroskeptic media in Britain have whipped up an emotional
debate by spreading myths: that Britain would lose its seat at the United
Nations; that an EU foreign minister would take over British foreign policy;
that British embassies would be replaced by EU embassies; in short, that
this treaty would create a superstate.

In reality, the new text will be a fairly modest affair — far from the
unrealistic aspirations of the Constitution’s author, Valéry Giscard
d’Estaing, or the irrational fears of British europhobes. But the new treaty
will make the EU work better, endowing it with greater efficiency, democracy
and power in the world.

The treaty tries to streamline the EU’s ramshackle institutions — designed
originally only for the six founding member states — in order to support a
political grouping of now 27 countries. The new “double-majority voting”
formula gives EU decisions greater legitimacy as they’d have to be passed by
a majority of states that also represent a majority of citizens.

The treaty will give the EU more continuity by replacing the “rotating
presidency” with a president chosen by national governments for two and a
half years.

It reduces the size of the European Commission to 15 from the current 27 so
that it can work more effectively as the EU enlarges. And it extends
qualified majority voting to new areas like energy policy and humanitarian
aid. These are all rather minor changes.

The new treaty also tries to calm the fears of those who see European
integration as a one-way street from which there is no escape. For the first
time, there is a provision that enables member states to withdraw from the
EU.

More importantly, the treaty also gives national parliaments a greater say
in EU policies. If one-third of national parliaments object to a Commission
proposal, it will be sent back to Brussels for review (the “yellow card”).

If a majority of national parliaments oppose a Commission proposal — and
national governments or members of the European Parliament agree — then it
can be struck down (the “orange card”).

The treaty also extends the powers of MEPs to areas national governments
used to keep to themselves, such as the Common Agricultural Policy. For all
those who want to see CAP reform, this will be good news as they’ll have
many MEPs on their side.

The most compelling reason for supporting the reform treaty is the fact that
it could help the EU become a more effective power in the world. The EU has
the resources to be a real global player.

It is the largest single market in the world, it is involved in over half of
the world’s trade, and it has over 50,000 peacekeepers deployed from Bosnia
to Beirut and an even larger army of diplomats and aid workers. But despite
all of this latent power, the EU punches way below its weight.

When its member states disagree, as over Iraq, the EU cannot hope to be
credible. But even when the governments do agree to pursue a common foreign
policy, the EU’s fragmented institutional machinery often prevents it from
delivering in an effective and timely manner.

The big problem is that EU institutions and member states often fail to
coordinate their various policies and instruments — including trade, aid,
defense, policing and diplomacy — in the pursuit of common objectives.

If you travel to countries in the European neighborhood such as Ukraine,
Georgia or Egypt, you cannot help but be depressed about how the EU
squanders its power. In Cairo, human-rights activists are so struck by the
lack of urgency of European democracy promotion that they have called it
“project 3000.”

The new treaty could start to turn things around by beefing up the role of
the “High Representative for External Affairs” who would also become a vice
president of the European Commission.

This person would chair meetings of European foreign ministers and be
supported by an “External Action Service,” largely made up of existing
Commission personnel in overseas offices with some diplomats seconded from
member states.

As a result, foreign governments, such as the one in Cairo, would no longer
be able to play different EU institutions off against each other.

They will have to negotiate with one single contact point who will have much
more leeway to scrutinize their human- and political-rights records and, if
necessary, adjust the terms of their access to the European market and the
EU’s ?1 billion aid budget.

In many countries, though, less attention is being paid to the substance of
the treaty than to what percentage of the text is similar to the
Constitution. This numerical analysis is largely meaningless. The phrase “I
want to kill your father,” for example, contains over 85% of the words of
its opposite, “I don’t want to kill your father.”

In any case, Britain, which is most obsessed with these linguistic games,
has negotiated so many “red lines,” or derogations and opt-outs, that it
will be signing a different text than everyone else.

Even treaty skeptics should celebrate the fact that Europe’s leaders are
finally closing a deal. The EU has spent more than two years in the throes
of a political breakdown.

The crisis was not brought about by the loss of the Constitution as such,
but rather the loss of confidence that came with it. This became an excuse
for inaction and navel gazing.

The most dramatic signal of the EU’s loss of nerve is the foot-dragging over
one of its biggest policy successes: enlargement. The current debate focuses
exclusively on the costs, ignoring the economic benefits, such as that the
thriving export markets in Eastern Europe have helped boost the economies in
the old member states.

And there is very little discussion about the damage our wavering commitment
to enlargement is doing to the reform momentum in Turkey and the Balkans.

In the past, widening and deepening have always gone hand-in-hand. The new
treaty will put a stop to the interminable institutional debate that has
been distracting EU leaders for more than two decades now.

Once the treaty is wrapped up, they can return to what should be their core
vocation: spreading stability and prosperity around the European continent.
———————————————————————————————
Mr. Leonard is executive director of the European Council on Foreign
Relations, a pan-European think-tank launched this month.
——————————————————————————————–
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119257141800761081.html
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

========================================================
9.  “IT IS VERY HONORABLE TO BE UKRAINIAN IN CANADA”
Levko Lukianenko discusses the need to revive the Cossacks,
his new book, and his vision of Ukraine’s future

By Alla SHERSHEN, Special to The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Oct 23, 2007

On Oct. 14 Ukraine marked the Day of Ukrainian Cossacks, the feast of the
Holy Protection of the Virgin Mary, and the 65th anniversary of the
Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).

On this occasion we talked to Levko LUKIANENKO, a legendary Ukrainian
dissident, founder of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group, member of the Ukrainian
parliament, and the author of many books. Now in his 80s, he is extremely
open to the mass media and members of the public.

[The  Day] You served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of
Ukraine to Canada. How does the Ukrainian Diaspora celebrate UPA
anniversaries?

[Levko Lukianenko] “The Day of the UPA is very widely marked in Canada,
because the political emigration that came there after the Second World War
is very active. The Day of the UPA is a great day for them.

“They hold conferences and gatherings, at which former UPA warriors wearing
their military uniforms talk about the war and the battles in which they
fought. The Ukrainian Diaspora in Canada has erected a very splendid
monument to an UPA warrior.

It is a large vertical four or five-meter-square slab on which a soldier
wearing a mazepynka stands. The inscription ‘UPA’ is next to the sculpture,
but it is not very noticeable, because the emphasis is on the handsome and
slender warrior.

“Before Ukraine became independent, the Ukrainian Diaspora did not simply
celebrate; it continued to fight. They appealed to embassies, the Canadian
authorities, and the United Nations, and organized demonstrations near the
Soviet Embassy.

“Later they created the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN), headed by
Yaroslav Stetsko, the former head of Bandera’s government.
HONORABLE TO BE UKRAINIAN IN CANADA
“It is very honorable to be Ukrainian in Canada. People talk about having
Ukrainian parentage at the drop of a hat. They say this proudly in English
because many descendents of Ukrainians don’t know the language. Ukrainians
have proved themselves in Canada.

“For example, you do not need police in those city blocks where Ukrainians
live, and their character traits, like diligence and honesty, have won them
respect among the Anglo-Saxons.”

[The  Day] The National Brotherhood of the OUN and UPA has been a member
of the European Confederation of Veterans of World War II since 1995, but
their status as war veterans has not been recognized in Ukraine.

Do you think the newly-elected parliament will have enough political will
and patriotism to grant UPA soldiers such a status?
NEVER HAD A PATRIOTIC RADA
[Levko Lukianenko] “The president is inclined to solve this problem in a
patriotic manner, but he did not do this before because the Verkhovna Rada
was unpatriotic, to put it mildly. We are in the 17th year of independence
and we have never had a patriotic Verkhovna Rada.

“I think the newly-elected parliament will do this, because for the first
time we have a situation where the democratic side in parliament has four or
six votes more than the anti-Ukrainian side. This is a serious factor and
therefore patriotic measures can be implemented.”

[The  Day] In one of your books you wrote that you are of Cossack ancestry.
Do you know who your ancestors were and under whose command they fought?

[Levko Lukianenko] “I don’t know my family history that far back, but there
was a company in the Chernihiv regiment in Horodnia raion of Chernihiv
oblast, where I come from.

“According to legend, our village of Khrypivka was founded by a Cossack
named Khrypaty in the 17th century. There were nameplates on the sides of
the wooden houses saying ‘Cossack Nykyfor Skoibida’ or ‘middle class citizen
Ivan Petrenko.’

“In our village we had Cossacks, serfs, and bourgeois. I come from a long
line of Cossacks on both my father and mother’s side. Their parents and
grandparents had to perform the corvee (unpaid labor) for a landowner. My
mother’s maiden name is Skoibida.

“If there was a Cossack named Nykyfor Skoibida, it was registered in the
church books and everyone knew about this. Over one-third of the population
of our village was Cossack, so lower middle class people and peasants were
in the minority.

“I can proudly add that in the Verkhovna Rada (I can’t remember whether it
was the second or third convocation), 12 of us members of parliament went to
St. Sophia Cathedral, where Patriarch Volodymyr reinstated us in the Cossack
register during a solemn ceremony. Now I can consider myself a real
 Cossack.”

[The  Day] There are nearly 30 Cossack organizations in Ukraine. To which
do you belong?

[Levko Lukianenko] “I consider myself a member of the Zaporozhian Sich
Cossacks, led by Hetman Volodymyr Homeniuk. But this membership is very
conditional.

“I am dissatisfied with the organizational state of the Cossacks because
some Cossack organizations were created by Russian chauvinists and they
are contemptuous of the Ukrainian language.

“All those Cossacks should be sorted out, but I did not have time for this
when I was in parliament, and at the moment I am not involved in this. But
the very idea of the Cossacks’ revival is positive, and I am pleased that
these things are being done.

“I know that a draft law has been prepared, containing conditions that
Cossacks will have to meet, which will be adopted by the Verkhovna Rada.
LOVE UKRAINE, SPEAK UKRAINIAN
“At the very least they have to love Ukraine, speak Ukrainian, defend it,
maintain Ukrainian customs and traditions, and fight for a Ukrainian Ukraine
and the renewal of our spiritual values.

“If a Cossack does not do this, he will be expelled from the organization.
We need such a purge now because there are many organizations that do not
love Ukraine.”

[The  Day] Do contemporary Cossacks fulfill the patriotic and educational
function vis-a-vis society and youth in particular, which they have taken
upon themselves?
CLEANSE UKRAINE OF IMPERIAL SYMBOLS
[Levko Lukianenko] “Not as much as I would like. For example, they have not
managed to cleanse Ukraine of the imperial symbols that defame our nation.

“But Cossacks managed to successfully oppose the unveiling of the monument
to Russian Tsarina Catherine II. They stopped this anti-Ukrainian action,
and kudos to them for this.”

[The  Day] You did not run in the elections this time to the Verkhovna Rada
and are writing a book. What is your book about?
NEW BOOK ABOUT MY IMPRISONMENT
[Levko Lukianenko] “The book will be about my imprisonment, prison, and
the concentration camp, how we lived there, what we thought and did.”

[The  Day] You wrote in one of your books that you always wanted to travel.
What countries have you visited since you were released?

[Levko Lukianenko] “Before my imprisonment I served in the army in Austria
and traveled to Hungary and Germany. In the Soviet Union I visited only
Azerbaijan and Georgia. Later I was in Siberia for so long that now I don’t
want to go anywhere.

“If I traveled somewhere abroad as a member of parliament, I did so out of
sheer necessity. I did not have any special bent for traveling because I
missed Ukraine very much. I wanted to stay at home. But because of my
ambassadorial obligations I lived in Canada, and later I went on a business
trip to the US.

“When I was the president of the Ukrainian branch of the World League for
Freedom of Democracy, I visited Taiwan. When I was the head of the
Ukrainian Helsinki Group, I spent two months as a member of the political
intelligence unit in Belgium, France, and Germany. On one occasion I visited
Austria.”

[The  Day] Have you visited the places of your imprisonment since your
release?

[Levko Lukianenko] “I visited Kuchino, the museum of the prison where I was
held. The museum was organized by Russian dissidents with whom I was
imprisoned. Now I maintain relations with some Russians, but for the most
part – with Ukrainians.”
WHEN WILL UKRAINE FINALLY BECOME UKRAINIAN?
[The  Day] When will Ukraine finally become Ukrainian?

[Levko Lukianenko] “Russian colonial servitude has crippled us, we are a
sick nation. This will not happen very soon, but I don’t think the process
will be as long as Moses led the Jews from Egypt through the desert for
40 years, until the older generation that had lived in slavery died. I think
this process will be quicker.”
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LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/190109/

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10.  AN UNCONVENTIONAL GENERAL: THE
100th BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF PETRO HRYHORENKO
A monument was erected in Symferopil. If you have a chance,
please lay some flowers there. Petro Hryhorenko deserves this.

By Yurii Shapoval, Professor, Scholar, Author, Historian
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I don’t think that someone else’s life can be an example for others.

Everyone carves out their own path. If what I have recounted can serve as
food for thought for anyone, I will believe that my work was not in vain,”
General Petro Hryhorenko wrote in his memoirs.

Today, many years later, it is very clear that he did not work in vain, and
his life is a lesson to all those for whom truth and decency are not
abstract notions.

Petro Hryhorenko was born on Oct. 16, 1907, in the village of Borysivka,
today: Prymorske district) in Zaporizhia oblast. His mother died when he
was three years old, and he attended a secondary school in Nohaisk. In the
spring of 1918 Petro and his brother Ivan tried to enlist in the
Red Guard in Berdiansk by pretending to be older.

But their father quickly tracked them down. He told Ivan, who was just 15,
“You are too young, but you’ll have plenty enough wars to fight in.”
These words could also apply to Petro, who later enrolled in the Civil
Engineering Faculty of the Kharkiv Technical Institute.

At this time an event occurred, which led Hryhorenko to a gradual
understanding of the true nature of the system that proclaimed itself the most

humane and righteous order In the summer of 1930 Hryhorenko the student
was a member of  a group of representatives sent by the Central Committee
of the Communist Party of Ukraine to bring in the crops.

They were briefed by the party’s General Secretary Stanislav Kosior.
The future human rights champion remembered that briefing all his life.

“The peasant has devised a new tactic,” Kosior sermonized. “He is refusing
to gather the harvest. He wants to destroy the grain in order to strangle the
Soviet power with the bony hand of famine. But the enemy is mistaken.

We ourselves will force him to know what famine is. Your task is to thwart
the kulak tactics of hindering the harvest campaign. Everything must be gathered
right down to the last seed of grain and immediately delivered to the state.”

Kosior’s speech made a horrible impression on Hryhorenko. This is probably
why he never became a Komsomol or party activist. Instead, he opted for
a military career. What led him to make this decision was a commission that
came to the institute to recruit students to the Leningrad-based Military
and Technical Academy. Incidentally, a Gypsy woman had once prophesied

that Hryhorenko would become a military man. The prophecy came true.

Hryhorenko became a cadet at the Military Engineering Faculty in 1931.
Later, this faculty formed the nucleus of the Moscow Military Engineering
College from which Hryhorenko graduated in 1934.

He was left at the college to pursue advanced military studies. He showed
character and persuaded none other than Deputy People’s Commissar of

Defense Mikhail Tukhachevsky to appoint him chief of staff of the separate
engineering battalion of the 4th Rifles Corps. He believed that you should
practice what you learn.

Tukhachevsky appreciated Hryhorenko’s resolute position, and when he was
about to leave the famous general’s office, Tukhachevsky stopped him and
said, “Remember that the uniform you are wearing and all that is connected

to it is for life.”

The point here is that graduates of the fortifications faculty where
Hryhorenko had just completed his studies were usually commissioned as

defense construction officers, but Tukhachevsky issued an unusual
appointment to Hryhorenko.

Hryhorenko took up full-time studies again in 1937 at the Moscow-based
General Staff Academy. One day in early 1938 he had a visit from his brother

Ivan, who one day earlier had been released from the NKVD detention center in
Zaporizhia.

There he saw a great number of “enemies of the people,” who were kept in
terrible conditions and beaten into confessing crimes they had never
committed.

 
Ivan had not been interrogated: at the investigator’s demand, he only wrote
an autobiography and comments about his bosses and subordinates.

Ivan was aware that this was an object lesson – ‘this is what awaits you if
you refuse to cooperate with the NKVD.’ So he boarded a train and went to
see his brother in Moscow. The brothers decided to send each other weekly
letters in the form of special abbreviations, a kind of code.

Ivan went home, but Petro decided to seek the truth, believe it or not, from
Andrei Vyshinsky, the Prosecutor-General of the USSR. He succeeded in
gaining an audience with “Jaguarovich” (Vyshinsky’s nickname based on his

patronymic Yanuarievich). Hryhorenko told him about his brother Ivan’s plight.

“Now I know,” Hryhorenko reminisced later, “what kind of person he was; what
a horrible role he played in the Stalinist terror. But I must admit frankly
that at the time I was overwhelmed by the importance of this person.”

Unbelievably, this “important person” helped. A Moscow commission came to
Zaporizhia, the investigators who had resorted to tortures were dismissed,
and the prisoners whom Ivan had met began to be released. “I was glad and
finally ‘convinced’ that the party was going to put an end to this mayhem,”
Hryhorenko recalled.

He could not guess that his intercession coincided with the advent to power
of Lavrenty Beria, who began to “cleanse” the NKVD of those who worked
in a “dirty” fashion.

Hryhorenko’s wife, who had seen his correspondence with his brother, wanted
to report him to the authorities. Since they had been corresponding with the
aid of specially truncated words, she decided that it was some kind of code
and set off to the Lubianka early one morning to inform on her
husband’s “espionage.”

Hearing her leave the apartment, Hryhorenko stopped her with great
difficulty and said that it was not a spy code but a message from his brother
describing what he had lived through.

His wife began to cry and asked him to forgive her. “I did not condemn her,”
Hryhorenko would later write in his memoirs. “Naturally, I did not rush to
denounce my relative to the NKVD, but the party had made Pavlik Morozov into
an iconic figure. Therefore, I was not a full-fledged communist. My wife
proved to be stronger.” They divorced soon after, and Hryhorenko married

Zinaida Yegorova.

Hryhorenko fought in the battle of Khalkhin-Gol in 1939. He commanded an
infantry division and was twice wounded. At the beginning of the war he
assessed the situation “incorrectly,” i.e., realistically.

This was duly recorded and throughout the war he remained in the rank of
lieutenant-colonel, although he held the position of general. He was not
promoted to general until early February 1945. Nevertheless, he would
eventually be reminded of his “incorrect” utterances. During the war
Hryhorenko met Leonid Brezhnev.

They did not exactly like each other, perhaps because Hryhorenko quickly
saw through the future General Secretary.

In 1945 Hryhorenko began teaching at the Frunze Military Academy. An
incident that took place at this time became a turning point in his life.

“That was the most terrible moment of my life, but it was also the time
of my triumph,” he wrote in his reminiscences. On Sept. 7, 1961, the
birthday of his son Andrii, Hryhorenko was supposed to speak at the

Communist Party conference in Moscow’s Leninsky district, to which he
was sent as a delegate by the academy’s party organization.

The conference was discussing the draft of a new party program that called
for building communism in the USSR within 20 years. It could have been a
run-of-the-mill speech followed by general applause and some proposals.

But the speaker proved to be an unconventional general. Hryhorenko began to
criticize Nikita Khrushchev’s policies and warned his listeners about his
nascent cult of personality, declaring that the party was rife with
careerism, lack of principles, and other negative manifestations that were

being hushed up.

The conference delegates unanimously condemned Hryhorenko’s speech
(clearly, on the party bosses’ instructions).

What was to be done with the maverick general? Initially, it was decided
to send him far away from Moscow. In early January 1962 Hryhorenko was
transferred to the Far East as the chief of operations of a field army staff
in Ussuriisk.

Hryhorenko would not have been a military man if he had not struck back:
on Nov. 7, 1963, he founded the Union for the Struggle to Revive Leninism,
which began circulating leaflets. The organization was uncovered, and in
1964 Hryhorenko was stripped of his rank, decorations, and pension, and then
arrested. On Aug 14 he was taken to a special psychiatric hospital in Leningrad.

This was still the Khrushchev era. But in October 1964 Khrushchev was
removed from his post as first secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU.

He was replaced by Brezhnev whom fate had brought together with Hryhorenko
during the war On April 14, 1965, a military tribunal ruled to discontinue forced
medical treatment.

When Brezhnev was shown the documents about Hryhorenko’s release, “dear
Leonid Illich” asked where the ex-general was. Informed that he had already
been discharged from the hospital, Brezhnev said, “You shouldn’t have
hurried.” Hryhorenko would soon find himself in a durka (psychiatric hospital)

again.

Meanwhile, released from the hospital, the former general began to work as a
cargo handler. During this time he became acquainted with such Russian and
Ukrainian human rights activists as Henrikh Altunian, Leonid Pliushch,
Mykola Rudenko, Viacheslav Chornovil, Nina Strokata, and others.

An important page in his life story is the struggle for the rights of the
Crimean Tatars, which the latter have never forgotten This was the reason
behind Hryhorenko’s arrest in 1969. He had once met the Russian writer
Aleksei Kosterin, who drew his attention to this people’s tragedy.

On April 29, 1969, Yurii Andropov, the head of the KGB, sent a special
letter to the CC CPSU with a plan to establish a network of psychiatric

hospitals to be used for protecting the existing state and social order.

Interestingly, that was the day that Hryhorenko gave the samizdat network
his open letter to Andropov The letter described in detail what the KGB was
really doing: persecuting democratically- minded people, opening
correspondence, carrying out covert and open searches of the homes of

those who were critical of the government, tapping telephones, spreading
slander about specific people via the press and the party propaganda system,
organizing special provocations, and framing people who opposed the
authorities.

Hryhorenko illustrated all this with concrete examples and through his own
example showed the cost of surveillance in Soviet rubles.

On May 2, 1969, Hryhorenko was arrested in Tashkent, where he was

supposed to appear as a public defender at the trial of the leaders of the
Crimean Tatar movement He was re-arrested on May 7.

There were interrogations again, and an expert examination in Moscow
pronounced him mentally ill. On Feb. 27, 1970, Hryhorenko was sent to a

special psychiatric hospital. Professor Andrei Sakharov, the father of the
Soviet hydrogen bomb, began his human rights struggle in 1969 by coming
to the defense of General Hryhorenko.

In 1971 the psychiatrist Semen Gluzman, who was working in Zhytomyr oblast,
carried out an independent examination of the Hryhorenko case and proved
that the psychiatric treatment methods applied to him were unlawful.

He obtained all the necessary documents from Moscow-based dissidents and
wrote a conclusion (as Semen Fishelevych told me, he was not fully aware of
the likely consequences of these actions). The consequences became clear
very soon: Gluzman was arrested that year and sentenced to a seven-year

term in a prison camp and three years of internal exile.

Hryhorenko was released on June 26, 1974. He left notes about his 6.5-year
incarceration in a psychiatric hospital. The human rights champion wrote,
“The idea of special psychiatric hospitals is not bad in itself, but when it
comes to the specific way it is being implemented in this country, there is
nothing more criminal and antihuman.”

The trouble is that this field was entirely taken out of public control and
handed over to hand-picked apparatchiks.

Doctors were carefully selected to work in psychiatric clinics: medical
skill played no role whatsoever; what mattered was the ability to obey

and conceal one’s medical ego.

Hryhorenko’s memoirs, entitled You Can Only See Rats Underground, were
published in 1981 in New York and reprinted in the USSR in 1990.

The title is evocative because such figures as Hryhorenko resisted the
attempts of the KGB and the entire Soviet regime to drive the human rights
movement underground and tried to express their views openly and legally,
as though they were living in a truly democratic society, where “one
breathes so freely.”

This assumed special importance after the USSR signed the Helsinki

Accords in August 1975. Earlier, the USSR had abstained when the UN
was voting for the Human Rights Charter.

But when the Kremlin signed the Charter, a different politico-legal reality
was created because it was about recognizing human rights, basic freedoms,
and the right to know these rights and duties and act in compliance with
them.

One of the results of this was the growth of a dissident movement in the
USSR: in May 1976 Sakharov’s comrade-in-arms, Professor Yurii Orlov,

founded a Moscow civic group to monitor compliance with the Helsinki
Accords, followed in November 1976 by the founding of a Ukrainian group
and later, its Lithuanian, Georgian, and Armenian counterparts. Hryhorenko
was the co-founder of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group.

The members of these groups behaved as if they lived in a free country, and
the main method of their struggle was adherence to the ostensibly democratic
Constitution of the Soviet Union, the General Declaration of Human Rights,
and the Helsinki Accords.

In 1977 Hryhorenko was taken ill. Together with his wife and son Oleh,
he was allowed to travel to the US for medical treatment. He was stripped
of Soviet citizenship three months after his departure. Hryhorenko died
in the US in February 1987 and is buried in Bound Brook, New Jersey, at St.
Andrew’s Ukrainian Cemetery.

As Tukhachevsky had once predicted, Hryhorenko remained a military man:
he was reinstated (posthumously) in the rank of major-general in 1993 by
a decree of Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

A monument to the unconventional general was erected in Symferopil. If you
have a chance, please lay some flowers there. Petro Hryhorenko deserves
this.
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LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/190115/
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========================================================

11.  RUSSIA SAYS: DEMOCRACY? NO, LAND OF DISORDER!

COMMENTARY & ANALYSIS: By Peter Dickinson
Business Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 22, 2007

Russia is approaching what everyone expects will be yet another stage-
managed farce of an election. Does that mean Russians are envious of
Ukraine’s democratic breakthrough? Not at all, or at least the majority
would never admit to it.

The assorted democratic watchdogs and acronymed agencies of the
international community gave Ukraine’s recent parliamentary elections a
resounding thumbs up, making it the third straight national vote in as
many years to be assessed as both free and fair by global scrutineers.

The success of this democratic revolution has gone virtually unnoticed in
Russia, where the popular perception of Ukraine is of a chaotic country
permanently on the verge of the next political crisis with a population
deeply disillusioned by the democratic process.

It is hardly surprising that the state-controlled Russian press should wish
to present such an impression, given the rather obvious threat Ukrainian
democracy poses to existing vertical power structures and Putin’s regime.

The motto adopted by the post-Yeltsin generation of Russian political
thinkers that democracy is somehow “not for us” is clearly debunked by

developments in Ukraine, and this is something which must be countered
at all costs.
FREE AND UNFREE, ORDER AND DISORDER
As a result of this need to portray Ukraine’s progress in the most
unattractive light possible Russia’s propaganda outlets have adopted a
wholly pessimistic approach to the Ukrainian question.

Instead of acknowledging the benefits of Ukraine’s burgeoning civil society,
free media and lively political debate, Moscow commentators have focused
almost exclusively on the elements of conflict that this process inevitably
throws up.

They never seem to tire of reporting on the hardships of Russian
nationalists in Crimea and the Donbass, while reveling in coverage of Ukraine’s

struggle to come to terms with the divisions created by the Soviet past.

Whereas the European liberal democratic tradition attaches primary
importance to the level of personal freedoms in any given society, the current

official Russian attitude is the product of a mindset that tends to view
everything in terms of order and disorder.

We have seen this position employed wholesale by Ukraine’s own Russian-
leaning Party of Regions during the past three years of electioneering,
with their refreshingly honest “Hope is good, but stability is better”
campaign slogans.

Such attitudes effectively relegate trivialities like human rights
and press freedoms to near irrelevance and instead fit neatly into the old,
Soviet worldview of how a country should be run.
DEMOCRACY – WHO NEEDS IT?
Any government that attempted to move from pseudo-democracy towards a
more authoritarian form of rule would be forced to adopt similar measures.
What is perhaps more troubling is the lack of street level opposition to
this state dictated anti-democratic dogma.

Unfortunately today’s Russia is not fertile ground for plausible public
opinion surveys and I have admittedly not had the chance to question large
numbers of ordinary Russians, but nevertheless the majority of those who I
have spoken to in recent weeks seem to hold very much to the official party
line and go out of their way to remain unimpressed by Ukraine’s emerging
democracy.

There is a visible defensiveness among many of these middle class Russians
when discussing western perceptions of Putin’s style of government.

This reticence is often combined with a certain cockiness brought on by
the self-esteem that petro-dollars have pumped back into the formerly
crestfallen citizens of the ex-superpower.

After years of humiliating poverty and collapse, they sense that Russia is
again strong and this seems to be more than enough to counter more trivial
issues such as human rights or personal freedoms.

The Russians I have met recently talk almost exclusively about the country’s
booming economy and the renewed sense of national pride the current regime
has managed to instill via its policy of rattling rusty old Cold War sabres at
the West.

As they agree with virtually everything Putin is doing, why should they
worry that the few existing avenues of opposition have been bricked up?
TIME FOR EU RECOGNITION
This kind of thinking makes the success of Ukraine’s bloodless democratic
revolution all the more remarkable, and emphasises the cultural gulf that
is opening between the two formerly intertwined nations.

It would be helpful if this gulf was acknowledged by the EU in the shape of
more concerted efforts to bring Ukraine into the fold.

With each free election there remain fewer and fewer reasons not to do so,
while the old argument about not interfering in Russia’s sphere of influence
appears to be slowly but surely collapsing into the void that separates the
two country’s attitudes towards democracy.
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LINK: http://www.businessukraine.com.ua/new-democracy-no-land-of

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12.  UKRAINE: STEPPING OUT OF STALIN’S LONG SHADOW

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Peter Dickinson
Business Ukraine magazine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct 15, 2007

Russia and Ukraine were once considered almost indivisible by many, but
the two countries are increasingly distancing themselves from one another.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in attitudes towards the atrocities of
the Stalin era

Since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 few of its former constituent
republics have mourned its passing, but for many years much of the
Ukrainian population shared a similar nostalgia for lost empire that remains
widespread throughout Russia.

This was reflected in an ambiguous governmental approach to confronting the
airbrushed horrors of Soviet rule, generally characterised by a flat refusal
to discuss the issues involved, with those who sought to force discussion
were accused of reopening old wounds or siding with old Cold War enemies.

However, since the Orange Revolution official Ukrainian attitudes to the
Soviet era have taken a dramatic turn away from denial and towards
confronting the ghosts of the old empire.

In doing so Ukraine is following the example set by many of its former
Soviet neighbours, who since 1991 have also adopted a new, nationalised
approach to the past that is highly critical of Soviet rule and designed to
isolate Russia ideologically and pave the way for European integration.
YUSHCHENKO FACING UP TO THE PAST
President Yushchenko has made open discussion of Soviet atrocities one of
his policy priorities, and since coming to power in 2005 he has
reinvigorated a process to address the injustices of Communist rule somewhat
half-heartedly begun under his predecessor Leonid Kuchma.

Yushchenko has championed the cause of a museum dedicated to the Soviet
Occupation of Ukraine, attempted to rehabilitate Second World-War Ukrainian
Insurgent Army veterans and led memorial services at the sites of previously
unmarked mass graves outside Kyiv housing the remains of NKVD victims.

However, the cornerstone of this national policy has been events focusing on
the commemoration of the Holodomor, an engineered famine in 1932-33 that
saw the agricultural wealth of Ukraine requisitioned at gunpoint as part of
Stalin’s plans to force the peasantry onto collective farms.

Millions died of starvation as a result, but for decades the Soviet
authorities down-played the tragedy and claimed it was a natural disaster.

This November will witness the start of a year of memorial events around the
world timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary and designed to attract
international attention to the Holodomor, with Kyiv playing a central role.

Plans are in place to begin construction of a memorial park and museum close
to the Lavra, and last week Kyiv’s Mohyla Academy released a commemorative
book on the Holodomor to be issued to all Ukraine’s diplomatic missions
abroad in order to encourage more foreign governments to recognise it as
genocide.

Moving memorial ceremonies are now held annually on the last weekend of
November, and have become one of the central events on the Ukrainian
calendar.

The world’s imagination has been captured by the iconic scenes of Kyiv’s
central squares covered in coloured lamps to signify the millions of
victims, and earlier this year President Yushchenko called on world leaders
to recognise the genocide in time for the 75th anniversary.

In the wake of the emotional memorial services last autumn, Ukraine’s
parliament itself voted to recognise the Holodomor as an act of genocide
against the Ukrainian people, breaking with the long-held policy of avoiding
official declarations condemning the Soviet past for fear of offending
Russia.
THE GEOPOLITICS OF GENOCIDE
Ukraine’s actions are in line with developments elsewhere in the former
USSR, where recent years have witnessed battles over a Soviet statue in
Tallinn, legislation equating Communist with Nazi symbols elsewhere in the
Baltics and the opening of a host of Soviet Occupation museums.

Most former Soviet republics have made some attempt to reassess their
treatment under Communist rule, and as they seek greater integration into
European structures this policy is one way of demonstrating commitment to
established European traditions of human rights and the rule of law while
emphasising emancipation from Moscow.

Russian officials have reacted with a mixture of defensiveness and disgust
to this new-found openness and were vocal in their condemnation of the
Ukrainian parliament’s Holodomor genocide vote, which they labeled as
nationalism.

This reticence is understandable given the moral low ground Russia occupies
as the self-appointed successor state to the Soviet empire.

Facing a barrage of condemnation from their former junior partners, Kremlin
officials have tried to bluff and bluster without ever acknowledging
responsibility for Soviet-era atrocities or issuing any outright denials.

Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin has stated that as Stalin
was Georgian, all complaints should be addressed to Georgia, while other
officials have attempted to emphasise the collective nature of Soviet
suffering in order to undermine the victim status felt in the smaller
republics.
NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF?
More worrying than this silence on Soviet crimes is the recent trend towards
actively rehabilitating the great dictator himself. Former Soviet leader
Mikhail Gorbachev spoke out last week on the subject at a low key Russian
conference to mark seventy years since the start of Stalin’s Great Terror.

“We must squeeze Stalinism out of ourselves, not by single drops but by the
bucketful. There are those who are now saying that Stalin’s rule was a
golden age, and that Brezhnev’s neo-Stalinism was a continuation of the
golden age,” he commented.

Gorbachev’s warning comes at a time when attitudes to the Soviet dictator
across Russia appear to be changing. A recent survey by the Yuri Levada
centre found that 54% of young Russians believe that Stalin did more good
than bad, while a TV documentary series screened on Russian TV earlier this
year attracted the ire of human rights groups for portraying Stalin in a
sympathetic light.

At the centre of the Stalinist revisionism is Vladimir Putin, whose brand of
paranoid patriotism has managed to mobilise a Russian population fed up with
their perceived humiliation at the hands of the triumphalist West while
longing for a return to their former superpower status.

The Russian president has never openly praised Stalin, but he is often
quoted discussing the need to return a sense of national pride to Russians
and has tried to downplay the atrocities of Stalin’s regime by contrasting
them favourably with Nazi crimes and American actions in Japan and Vietnam.

Putin was recently quoted as saying: “We must not allow others to impose a
feeling of guilt on us,” in response to teaching programmes about the
millions who perished under Stalinism and he was also behind a new school
textbook that barely mentions the Gulag or the mass graves but instead
refers to Stalin blandly as “the most successful leader of the USSR.”

Officials at the Russian NGO Memorial, set up to honour the memory of the
millions of Soviet citizens murdered by the regime, have also sounded the
alarm, claiming that a systematic attempt is being made to change historical
perceptions in favour of Stalin.

“A massive campaign to revise the collective memory is underway. We are
plunging Russia’s younger generation into half-lies. In the end we will
produce ready-made cynics,” said Memorial’s Irina Scherbakova.

Such attempts to rehabilitate Comrade Stalin on a national level may now
only be possible in Russia itself, but regions of Ukraine where Soviet
nostalgia and loyalties run deep often seem stuck in the distorted world of
Soviet propaganda, where the democrats are enemies and civil society is seen
as a fifth column doing the West’s bidding.

A sense of resentment at the demonising of former Soviet idols by outsiders
has led, among other things, to the creation of a museum for the victims of
American imperialism in Crimea, which founders stated was in direct response
to the parliamentary vote on the Holodomor.

It also led to a bizarre and troubling ad campaign launched this March to
encourage Donetsk citizens to pay their gas bills.

Alongside the slogan: “Comrades! This isn’t a film – this is real life!
Those who don’t pay their gas bills will be punished!” billboards featured a
giant image of Stalin standing in front of what appeared to be a
concentration camp fence.

Mercifully these insensitive posters were quickly removed after numerous
complaints from local human rights groups, but the fact that they were
erected at all demonstrates that not everyone in Ukraine is ready yet to
step out from Stalin’s long shadow.
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13.  UKRAINE: THE VOTES AFTER THE VOTE

Analysis & Commentary: By John Marone
Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Kyiv, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, Oct 22, 2007

Ukraine held general elections on September 30, but power sharing in the
country remains to be decided in subsequent voting devoid of public
participation and full of backroom intrigue.

For a second time in a row, Ukraine has pulled off an internationally
accepted demonstration of the people’s will, with rank and file citizens
putting an end to a crippling stand off between their two highest executive
leaders.

Now the battle between Orange President Viktor Yushchenko and Blue Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych has again taken a back seat to infighting among
Orange parties tasked with forming the parliament’s next coalition.

Opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, who helped Yushchenko withstand
Yanukovych’s fraud-filled bid for the presidency during the country’s 2004
Orange Revolution, only to be fired by Yushchenko as his first premier in
2005, is ready to return to head the government in recognition of her bloc’s
stunning performance on September 30.

But the toughest voting is still ahead for Ms. Yulia, a fiery populist whose
ratings have steadily increased over the years in direct relation to the
fear of her opponents and her ‘allies’.

Tymoshenko’s BYuT bloc signed a coalition agreement with President
Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine-People’s Self Defense [OUPSD] bloc last week.

Orange supporters who had helplessly watched Viktor Yanukovych return as
premier following the 2006 parliamentary elections due to Orange infighting
were relieved.

This time, the president’s party promised to bloc with BYuT; last time, Mr.
Yushchenko and company were accused of offering a coalition deal to
Yanukovych’s Regions faction.

This time, the Orange parties don’t need the Socialists or a third faction
to form a coalition; last time, it was the Socialists who defected to the
Regions’ coalition effort.

Yet despite calls from every Western leader and his brother for the prompt
formation of a Ukrainian government, the process has stalled.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Kramer summed it up best
during a statement made on October 16 in Washington.

“Many, many months over the past few years have been spent on elections,
campaigning and government formation. It is time to get down to business and
focus on governing. It is time to get on with it.”

The Orange Revolution brought hope that Ukraine would move closer to
Europe, introducing liberal reforms, but Yushchenko’s lack of leadership
first, in 2005, allowed the Orange coalition to fall apart and then, in 2006, the
enemy Blue camp to usurp presidential authority.

And just like last year, the obstacles to getting the country back on track,
to unblocking reform bills, appear to be coming from Yushchenko.

The head of the president’s Secretariat, Viktor Baloga, announced last week
that the new coalition’s program is “a direct assault on the exclusive
prerogatives of the president.”

Baloga meant a BYuT initiative to halt army conscription next year rather
than in 2010, as envisioned by Yushchenko. BYuT’s populist campaign promise,
indeed, needs a lot of explaining, but surely this is no reason to hold up
the formation of a government.

In addition, Yushchenko did a pretty good job of letting Yanukovych assault
his presidential prerogatives leading up to the last election without the
help of BYuT. Yanukovych fired Yushchenko’s pro-Western foreign minister
and unilaterally put the brakes on NATO integration, while the president
could only protest.

Opposition to the still unconfirmed Orange coalition has also come from the
coalition members themselves – at least a few deputies who seem to be
directed by Tymoshenko’s Orange enemies.

Lightweight parliamentary newcomer Vladislav Kaskiv announced last week
that, “we have serious doubts about supporting the package of draft laws
that have supposedly been agreed between BYuT and OUPSD.”

Considering that the Orange coalition has yet to be confirmed and holds only
a three-deputy majority against a powerful and disciplined Regions in
opposition, maybe Mr. Kaskiv should have kept his doubts out of the media.

Leading up to the vote to confirm Tymoshenko as premier will be a vote to
reverse legislation passed under Yanukovych to limit Yushchenko’s
presidential powers.

It was Yushchenko who laid the groundwork for his own demise by approving
controversial constitutional reforms in late 2004. Now, the president wants
the ally he let down on at least two earlier occasions to give him back his
power.

But the two Orange leaders apparently don’t trust each other, which is why
all sorts of undemocratic tricks are in play, such as secret and package
voting.

There is also the vote for the speaker position, which BYuT has promised to
OUPSD. However, this may be little comfort to the president, as his party is
increasingly filled with young professional politicians who realize the
danger of again betraying Orange voters and thus are unlikely to stick too
close to the president.

The September 30 elections demonstrated similar shifts in loyalty among
Orange voters, twice as many of whom supported Tymoshenko over
Yushchenko.

Unlike the president, BYuT and most OUPSD deputies are vowing daring
reforms such as cleaning up Ukraine’s shady energy sector and finally
introducing an Orange prosecutor-general. The president’s middle-of-the-road
approach looks wan and even frustrating by comparison.

The vote count after September 30 was slow enough, taking several days in
some regions; and the coalition announcement has still to be finalized.

More recently, the country’s infamously corrupt courts have been running
interference. The Supreme Administrative Court is currently reviewing suits
filed by mostly fringe parties that didn’t get past the three-percent
barrier.

Judicial review looks “democratic” enough on the outside, but anyone
familiar with Ukraine’s courts can see through the delay tactic.

And this time, one cannot blame Yanukovych’s Regions party or their
Communist allies for stifling democracy. They fought a more or less fair
election campaign and look set to go into the opposition, where they will
likely be no less dangerous.

Whatever its democratic shortcomings, Regions is disciplined and largely
united, making their Orange opponents look hypocritical and divisive by
comparison.

Considering the slim majority held by the Orange and the confirmation votes
that they still have to overcome, Regions is expected to have a heyday
‘inducing’ their Orange opponents to break ranks.

The elections are over, and the Orange look set to take back full control of
executive power in Ukraine.

If they believe in even half of the democratic policy goals they advocated
during the election campaign, it shouldn’t matter how Yushchenko and BYuT
divide up the pie. If they don’t, they don’t deserve the presidency or the
government.
———————————————————————————————
http://www.eurasianhome.org/xml/t/opinion.xml?lang=en&nic=opinion&pid=892
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
14.  2005 OR 2006? TECHNIQUE OF “DITCHING” TYMOSHENKO

IS CENTRAL ISSUE OF UKRAINIAN POLITICS

COMMENTARY & ANALYSIS: By Andrii Okara, Special to The Day
The Day Weekly Digest #31, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23 2007

This is the third time in a row that the key question of the Ukrainian
post-election political process and inter-clan intrigues is how to get
rid of Yulia Tymoshenko, just like in 2005 and 2006. How can she be
squeezed out of the government system and kept from occupying the
prime minister’s post?

Personally, I only have the foggiest notion of what industrial, financial,
energy-related, international, humanitarian, military, and social policies
the Tymoshenko cabinet will be pursuing. (Nor can I imagine any policies
of a cabinet headed by other people.)

First of all, you cannot wade into the same river twice: it is not a good
idea to judge Prime Minister Tymoshenko 2007 by comparing her to Prime
Minister Tymoshenko of 2005 or Deputy Prime Minister Tymoshenko of 2000
because people tend to change, some for the better and some for the worse.

Second, wise people learn from their own mistakes, other people’s mistakes,
imaginary mistakes, and hypothetical ones. People who are not wise not only
make their own mistakes but also repeat other people’s mistakes.

Third, advanced people try to grow and develop, while non-advanced ones
do not: they degrade and become hidebound – spiritually, intellectually,
and physically.

Fourth, the political process resembles the Brownian movement of particles
and is dependent on such a large number of contradictory factors and
oblique conditions that sometimes it is impossible to predict even the
general direction of certain processes.

Therefore, one can only make a tentative and hypothetical assessment of
the direction and strategy of a Tymoshenko-led Cabinet of Ministers in
2007 on the basis of her statements (changing the gas-supply pattern by
disbanding RosUkrEnergo, nationalizing dubiously privatized businesses,
such as the Luhansk Diesel Locomotive Plant, abolishing the military
draft on Jan. 1, 2008, etc.) and the BYuT program called Ukrainian
Breakthrough.

But when a very large number of male heavyweights with diametrically
opposing political views have been wracking their brains for almost
three years on how to bar one lone fragile lady from power, this is
truly perplexing.

One has to conclude that “the Tymoshenko threat” is the main generator
of the current Ukrainian political process.

There are two well-tested techniques against her. The first one is
the “2005 technique”: she was appointed prime minister in February 2005
but with limited powers, and she held this post only briefly.

A few months later, after a series of economic crises (sparked by gas,
sugar, and meat problems), and after Oleksandr Zinchenko’s exposure of
the “dear friends.” the president dismissed her from office.

According to the “2006 technique,” Tymoshenko’s premiership was
forestalled by the refusal of Our Ukraine to form a coalition with the BYuT
and by backroom deals between Yushchenko and Yanukovych.

Tymoshenko is perfectly aware of the threats she will be facing if she
occupies the “politically loaded” prime minister’s chair: take Ukraine’s one
billion dollar debt to Gazprom, which cropped up right after the elections.

One of her strategies (Plan B) is to remain behind in the opposition and
bravely contest the next presidential elections scheduled for early 2010
according to the Constitution of Ukraine, but which may take place sooner
in the conditions of Ukrainian “Brownian” politics.

Meanwhile, the latest Verkhovna Rada elections showed that Tymoshenko
knows far better than others how to achieve ambitious goals, even though
Ukrainian politics has a Bermuda Triangle of its own, Yushchenko-Tymoshenko-
Yanukovych, which keeps each of these three leaders from gaining all the
power: the alliances of two against the third are unstable and save the
Ukrainian political system from the winner-takes-all scenario.

But whether this is good or bad is a subject that has nothing to do with
political science.

Therefore, the principal question of Ukrainian politics today is under
which scenario will Tymoshenko be ditched – the 2005 scenario (she will
become prime minister, only to be “pushed out” and “jilted” soon after as a
result of a number of crises) or the 2006 one (she will not be prime
minister and will have to go into the opposition, and the prime ministership

will be nominated by a “broad-based” coalition).

The NU-NS and Viktor Yushchenko are taking a dim view of the idea promoted
by certain ideologues in the president’s entourage that Ukraine can and must
be united by means of a consensus between the different regional clans and
oligarchies.

This may work in some countries, but the formula of Ukraine’s current
unity, “Donetsk oligarchs + Kyiv oligarchs and bureaucrats,” and the
political setup of this alliance in the shape of a “broad-based” coalition
is ineffective and immoral.

The Ukrainian political process has undergone major changes in the past
few years. Since the days of Machiavelli people have believed that politics
is a priori immoral, if not extra-moral.

But the significant events that took place in Ukraine in 2004 and 2006
showed that this is not so in reality and that moments of truth do occur
in politics. And what Oleksandr Moroz did on midsummer’s eve in 2006 led
to his fiasco in the latest elections and complete political downfall.

The 2004 Orange Revolution showed that Ukrainian politics generally exists
in a morally engaged field. This is one reason to be proud of our country.

Should Our Ukraine fail to meet its commitments under its February
agreements with the BYuT, it will experience the same fate as the socialists
suffered: most Ukrainian voters do not forgive betrayals and defections.

Yes, the political forces that will trespass moral lines may gain some
temporary advantages, but what happened to Moroz is a case in point: now
you win your 30 silver pieces (or 30 million dollars) but tomorrow you will
lose everything – above all, your good name and political reputation.

So in response to the logic of the president’s entourage and the Party of
Regions, which envisions two patterns of “ditching” Tymoshenko, she herself
may opt for “elephant logic” (to run headlong first for the prime minister’s
office and then for the presidency, overcoming resistance and carefully-
orchestrated crises) and “panther logic,” i.e., jumping into the
presidential chair as an opposition leader.

But the most unpredictable thing in current Ukrainian politics is the
balance of threats to Yushchenko and the likelihood of a snap presidential
election.

The only question to which Tymoshenko, Yushchenko, Akhmetov, and others
have no answer is: where can one find the many highly-skilled, efficient,
professional, and uncorrupt managers needed to fill the executive branch of
power – under Tymoshenko’s leadership or somebody else’s? This is
Ukraine’s problem in general, not just of individual politicians.

An experienced staff usually consists of people from the past who
nevertheless know how the administrative mechanism works. Many of today’s
ministers have deliberately muddled things up in their ministries so that
their successors will not be able to clear them up and will sink into the mire of
a crisis.

So we are facing the age-old problem of Ukrainian politics – a short seat
for bench-warmers. But where will we get new players who are young and
skilled?
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/190101/
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
15.  BRAVO AND STAY TUNED: PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS 2007

COMMENTARY: By Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #882, Article 15
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Two days before the election, Russia’s Ambassador to Ukraine Victor
Chornomyrdyn stated that energy prices to Ukraine this winter will depend on
who wins the election.  Two days after the Orange forces won, Russia’s
Gasprom declared that Ukraine has a 1.3 billion dollar energy debt.

Former Prime Minister Yanukhovych and the Minister of Energy, the
incompetent Yurij Boyko – both from the losing Party of Regions-headed for
Moscow while the President of Ukraine, Victor Yushchenko muddied the
political waters by calling for a united government comprising the top three
parties, a ploy that prevented the Orange forces from forming the government
following the March 2006 parliamentary elections.

Things looked like the political shenanigans following that election might
be in the works again.  Not any longer.  On October 16, the President called
on the Orange forces to form a government.  Bravo.
So who are the winners and losers of the September 30 elections?
Despite attaining the highest number of votes, the biggest loser is the
ruling Party of Regions: it failed to hold power.  Only 34 % of Ukrainian
voters backed it.  The other big loser is Olezander Moroz.  His Socialists
failed to pass the 3% barrier required to sit in parliament.  No surprise
here.

After the March 2006 elections Moroz abandoned the Orange forces to join
Yanukhovych.  Now, he is being punished.  One attractive Kyiv voter summed
up the prevailing attitude of voters: “Anyone, but Moroz.”

The under-performance of the two key pro-Russia parties prevents them from
taking power in parliament.  Bad news for them, and for Russia’s President
Vladymyr Putin.  His designs to control Ukraine as part of a re-emerging new
Russian empire are well known.

In secret discussions with Mr. Yanukhovych, just weeks before the election,
he promises that he will continue as Prime Minister regardless of the will
of the people.

Then, came the Ambassador’s threats, and the pilgrimage of the sitting duck
ministers to Moscow.  What will be his moves to protect Russia’s interests
in light of the Orange victory?

Undeniably the big winner is BYuT, Yulia Tymoshenko’s Block, pulling in over
30% of the votes.  Her political staying power and momentum are impressive.

Twice dismissed by President Victor Yuschenko as the Prime Minister, she

has put personal animosities aside to cobble, again and again, an Orange
coalition knowing full well that without a united presence the pro-West
forces are doomed.  The voters have rewarded her with growing support in
the last three elections.

Additionally, this time she made inroads beyond the historically pro-West
regions of Ukraine winning handsomely in central and parts of south-eastern
Ukraine.

She deserves to form the new Orange government and become the Prime Minister
again.  The people have given her their support to govern the country her
way, but will she be allowed?

There are two other winners.  Although small in percentage of votes taken,
the Communist party, dismissed by some as yesterday’s phenomenon, has

nearly doubled its electoral support to nearly 5%.

Its gain is a testimonial to the poverty in the rural areas, the national
high unemployment, and the low pensions -all a big issue in Ukraine.
Allegedly funded by Ukraine’s richest oligarch Renat Akhmetov who funds the
Party of Regions as well, the Communists will join the Regions to form the
opposition.

A big winner in the small category, and someone to watch, is the phenix-like
resurrection of Volodymyr Lytvyn.  Parliament’s Speaker under President
Kuchma, he returns after a two year political absence.   His Block obtained
near 4%. It was expected that he would support the Regions.

However, his political ambitions seem long term.  Given Ms. Tymoshenko’s
standing,  he might lead towards the Orange or stay independent – a new
phenomenon in Ukraine’s politics – supporting issues with popular appeal,
regardless of party sponsorship.

What about Nasha Ukraina-Natsional’na Samo Oborona (NUNS) whose

honorary head is President Yushchenko?  Are they winners or losers?

Although they placed third after BYuT and the Regions receiving nearly 15%
of the vote the NUNS, in particular the Our Ukraine faction, cannot be
counted as a winner.

The force that brought millions to contest and win the fraudulent
presidential elections has lost support because of its inability to deal
with Russia’s meddling in Ukraine’s affairs, the capitulation to Russia’s
grab of the energy sector, and failure to deal with corruption.

It formed a loose union, in time for the elections, with young Yurij
Lutsenko, a high-profile freedom fighter and Orange Revolution figure. His
NSO gave Our Ukraine a boost.

Immediately following the election results he made a public statement
supporting Tymoshenko.  Nasha Ukrajina took its time.  Such decisive acts
are the stuff of great political leaders: watch him.

Above all, it was the people who emerged as the greatest winners in the
elections.  They made their choice switching loyalties in order to reward
those who espouse their values rather than those whose net value has grown
at the people’s expense.  They created the winners and losers and elected
for themselves a new government.

All seems as it should be in Ukraine now.  Yulia Tymoshenko and the NUNS’s
Orange alliance will form the government.  The opposition will comprise the
Regions and the Communists.  Even without Volodymyr Lytvyn the Orange

power has the numbers.  But, they also had them in March 2006 and lost.

True, but with each election the political sophistication of both the
electorate and politicians in Ukraine is mounting.   It’s politics are still
somewhat of a crap shoot and backs needs to be watched.  But, for now, the
people’s choice has prevailed.

What about Ambassador Chernomyrdyn’s statement?  It is odd that he was
neither reprimanded by the President Victor Yuschenko nor asked to withdraw
his remarks.

Nor were there calls for the Ambassador to leave the country as a persona
non grata, a likely move in other democratic countries especially given his
long standing record of meddling in Ukraine’s politics on behalf of Russia.

Will this happen?  Stay tuned.
———————————————————————————————–
Oksana Bashuk Hepburn is the President of U*CAN Ukraine Canada

Relations Inc., a consulting firm, and a commentator.  She is writing a
novel dealing with Ukrainian and diaspora politics.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
16.  PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO WANTS TO DECLARE 2008 YEAR
A NATIONAL YEAR OF HOLODOMOR REMEMBRANCE

Press Office of the President, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

KHARKIV – The year 2008 should be declared as a national year of Holodomor
remembrance, President Victor Yushchenko said during the second meeting of
the Holodomor Commemoration Coordinating Council in Kharkiv on Tuesday.

Yushchenko said he was going to propose a bill criminalizing the denial of
the Holocaust and Holodomor, instructing Ukraine’s central and local
authorities to hold events on 24 November 2007 to honor the victims of the
Soviet-era famine and mark its 75th anniversary.

Ukrainians all around the world will again light candles to pay tribute to
the victims of the 1932-1933 Great Famine and political repressions, he
added.

Yushchenko urged church leaders to join the memorial events and said it
was important to erect Holodomor monuments in all regions hit by the famine,
expressing hopes such a monument will soon be unveiled in Kharkiv.

He reiterated his request to the country’s officials to inventory archives,
study eyewitness accounts and compile a National Memory Book and then
criticized the Education Ministry for failing to raise Holodomor awareness.

“I hope the Education Ministry will understand that this subject is very
important for shaping outlooks of the young,” he said, calling on artists
to create more works about that tragedy and pledging to support their
initiatives.
———————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/1_20070.html
———————————————————————————————–

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
17.  PRESIDENT COMMEMORATES HOLODOMOR VICTIMS

UKRINFORM, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

 
KHARKIV – President Viktor Yushchenko, who is on a visit to the
Kharkiv region, laid flowers at the monument to 1932- 1933 Holodomor
victims in the village of Pokotylivka.

Viktor Yushchenko stressed that historical truth should be restored

about all the hungers, Ukraine has survived, the president believes that
the right estimation of the event will test whether Ukraine will be
confirmed as a nation.

The president also stressed that a memory about this awful event from the
past should be kept in memory of every citizen and should be remembered

in  every village.

Viktor Yushchenko urged Ukrainians not to be indifferent to the event ahead
of the 75th anniversary of Holodomor.

According to some data, the Holodomor’s death toll is 7 to 10 million
Ukrainians, four millions of whom were children. The Day of memory of

Holodomor Victims is marked annually on the fourth Saturday of November.
The 1932 to 1933 Holodomor has been declared the genocide against the
Ukrainian nation by 11 countries.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
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AUR#882 Oct 24 Post-Election Economy; Poland’s Elections; Lviv Economic Success; Honorable To Be Ukrainian In Canada; Ditching Tymoshenko

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

Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
 
POST-ELECTION ECONOMY:
TESTS FOR THE NEW GOVERNMENT
An expert would judge the “quality” of the new executive power by
its ability to prioritize economic challenges, to identify their origin and
nature, and to suggest effective ways of addressing them. [Article One]

                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 882
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2007
 
NOTE:  Send the AUR to your colleagues, associates, family and
friends around the world.  You can be part of the program to inform 
the world about Ukraine….its people….its history….its future!
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ———-
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article

1. POST-ELECTION ECONOMY: TESTS FOR THE NEW GOVERNMENT
Analysis & Commentary: By Igor Burakovsky, Director
Institute for Economic Studies and Political Consultations
ZN, Mirror Weekly # 39 (668), Kyiv, Ukraine Sat, 20-26 Oct 2007
 
THE FIRST GLOBAL FOOD SHORTAGE SINCE THE 1970s
Ukraine is considering export quotas on corn, barley and wheat.
By Jenny Wiggins and Javier Blas in London
Financial Times, London, UK, Wednesday, October 24 2007

3POLAND MUST NOW WIND BACK THE POWER OF THE STATE
Corruption in central Europe is rampant and systemic.
Analysis & Commentary: by Marian Tupy
Financial Times, London, UK, Tuesday, October 23 2007

4POLAND SET FOR STRONGER TIES WITH EUROPE AFTER ELECTION
By Jan Cienski and Stefan Wagstyl in Warsaw
Financial Times, London, UK, Tuesday, October 23 2007

5UKRAINE’S ECONOMICS MINISTER AND DEPUTY US TRADE

REPRESENTATIVE DISCUSS ISSUES OF UKRAINE’S WTO ACCESSION
UKRINFORM, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 20, 2007

6LVIV, UKRAINE: BORDERING ON ECONOMIC SUCCESS
Interview: With Dmitry Aftansas, Lviv Chamber of Commerce
Anna Melnichuk, Business Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Oct 22, 2007

7UKRAINE/EUROPEAN UNION RELATIONS – FROM THE
VANTAGE POINT OF THE EUROPEAN PRESIDENCY
Presentation: By Joao de Vallera
Ambassador of Portugal to the United States
Ukraine-EU Relations, Roundtable VIII; Ukraine’s Quest for Mature
Nation Statehood; Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Washington, DC, Tue-Wed, October 16-17, 2007

8EUROPEAN UNION: DRAFTING A GLOBAL PLAYER
If you travel to countries in the European neighborhood such as

Ukraine, Georgia or Egypt, you cannot help but be depressed
about how the EU squanders its power.
Commentary: By Mark Leonard, The Wall Street Journal
New York, New York, Wednesday, October 17, 2007

9“IT IS VERY HONORABLE TO BE UKRAINIAN IN CANADA”
Levko Lukianenko discusses the need to revive the Cossacks,
his new book, and his vision of Ukraine’s future
By Alla Shershen, Special to The Day
The Day Weekly Digest #31, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Oct 23, 2007

 
10AN UNCONVENTIONAL GENERAL:
THE 100th BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF PETRO HRYHORENKO

By Yurii Shapoval, Professor, Scholar, Author, Historian
The Day Weekly Digest #31, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Oct 23, 2007

11RUSSIA SAYS: DEMOCRACY? NO, LAND OF DISORDER!
Commentary & Analysis: By Peter Dickinson
Business Ukraine magazine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Oct 22, 2007

12UKRAINE: STEPPING OUT OF STALIN’S LONG SHADOW
Analysis & Commentary: By Peter Dickinson
Business Ukraine magazine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Oct 15, 2007

13UKRAINE: THE VOTES AFTER THE VOTE
Analysis & Commentary: By John Marone
Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Kyiv, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, Oct 22, 2007

142005 OR 2006? TECHNIQUE OF “DITCHING” TYMOSHENKO

IS CENTRAL ISSUE OF UKRAINIAN POLITICS
Commentary & Analysis: By Andrii Okara, Special to The Day
The Day Weekly Digest #31, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23 2007

15BRAVO AND STAY TUNED: PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS 2007
Commentary: By Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #882, Article 15
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 24, 2007

16PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO WANTS TO DECLARE 2008 YEAR

A NATIONAL YEAR OF HOLODOMOR REMEMBRANCE
Press Office of the President, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, October 23, 2007

17.  PRESIDENT COMMEMORATES HOLODOMOR VICTIMS
Ukrinform, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2007
========================================================
1
 POST-ELECTION ECONOMY: TESTS FOR THE NEW GOVERNMENT
An expert would judge the “quality” of the new executive power by its
ability to prioritize economic challenges, to identify their origin and
nature, and to suggest effective ways of addressing them.

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Igor Burakovsky, Director
Institute for Economic Studies and Political Consultations
ZN, Mirror Weekly # 39 (668), Kyiv, Ukraine Sat, 20-26 October 2007

On 22 September 2007, ZN published an evaluation of election promises
made by Ukraine’s most influential political forces.

The evaluation prepared by the Institute for Economic Studies and Political
Consultations showed that election promises are, in fact, statements of
politicians’ good intentions that offer no mechanisms for their
implementation.

During the election campaign, all political forces sharply criticized one
another for real and imaginary economic lapses, praising their own economic
achievements presumptuously.

Few sensible ideas regarding actual challenges and prospects of Ukraine’s
economic development were found in the piles of mutual recriminations.

The elections are over, and various political forces are busy distributing
powers amongst them, although the time is ripe for discussing Ukraine’s
post-election economy, especially in view of the Coalition Agreement between
the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence that was
presented on 17 October.
ABILITY TO PRIORITIZE ECONOMIC CHALLENGES
An expert would judge the “quality” of the new executive power by its
ability to prioritize economic challenges, to identify their origin and
nature, and to suggest effective ways of addressing them.

This will determine the success or failure of the new government and
political forces that formed it. This will, eventually, affect the dynamics
of economic growth and national standards of living.

Today, the main focus should be on a limited number of specific tasks,
rather than on strategic objectives set by certain political forces.

After all, it is easy to compile a list of “global” challenges but specific
immediate tasks and their performance will be a test for the new
government’s professionalism since it will be impossible for top officials

to ignore them.
MANAGEMENT INTELLIGENCE TEST
[1] The first test is the management intelligence test. The government will
pass it only if it develops, together with the National Bank, a prudent
anti-inflation policy. The current price rise testifies that inflation poses
a grave economic and social problem.

In order to address it effectively, the Cabinet should identify and analyze
objective and subjective reasons for accelerated inflation in the country,
which will demonstrate whether the government and the National Bank
understand correctly the character and dynamics of processes under way in
the national economy and their dependence on the global economic trends,
whether they are able to grasp the true meaning of the political aspect of
this problem.

It is critical that the Cabinet and National Bank scrutinize their previous
mistakes and weaknesses, and learn their lessons in order to avoid them in
future and improve coordination of anti-inflation efforts.

A successful passing of the test will also hinge on the Government and
national Bank’s ability to design and implement a set of measures to slow
down inflation. It is evident that traditional administrative measures like
limiting trade markups, freezing prices for certain goods and produce, and
market interventions do not work.

An effective anti-inflation action plan should include sophisticated
strategic measures, such as the introduction of inflation targeting, and the
matching of social benefits with the actual capacity of the national
economy.

Urgent measures should include a long overdue improvement of the methodology
for calculating inflation rates, as the one used today fails to reflect the
current reality of the Ukrainian economy.

What does the coalition propose? It defines the transition from “restrictive
monetary methods to predominantly market-driven tools of managing aggregate
demand and supply, as well as first-priority neutralization of non-monetary
inflation factors” as its strategic objective. The definition is too vague
and complicated to give direction for further actions.

By and large, the anti-inflation section of the Coalition Agreement provides
for a lot of correct fundamental tasks, including the need to improve
coordination and cooperation between the Cabinet and National Bank based on
a special memorandum of understanding.

However, it remains unclear what the parties meant while distributing the
CEO positions in the National Bank, Ukreximbank and Oshchadbank (Addendum
#1.5 to Coalition Agreement)? What will be the practical implications of the
NBU governor’s nomination by a certain political force (in this case, by
OUPS)?

What about the NBU independence and autonomy if the NBU governor
becomes a political figure, an appointee of one of the coalition political
forces that form the government?

The same applies to the appointment of Ukreximbank and Oshchadbank CEOs.
What is the agenda behind the political parties’ involvement in selecting
top management for the state-owned banks, given that the state should have a
clear vision of these banks’ role on the market and implement it
accordingly?
POLITICAL MATURITY TEST
[2] The second test is political maturity test. The main task here will be
to solve the public procurement problem. Our state public procurement system
is absolutely inefficient and corrupted. And representatives of different
political forces are interested in preserving it in its present condition.

The system should be radically changed by adopting a qualitatively new law
on public procurement which means infringing upon some particular people’s
interests.

That’s why I consider getting the public procurement sphere into order as a
test of political maturity of the government and the parliament, whose
decisions should be made according to society’s but not to some separate
lobbyists’ interests.
REALISM TEST
[3] One of the most complicated tests is the third test – a realism test.
This test will be based on the attitude of the new government to the social
sphere. At the present moment, the social support system in our country is
practically unreformed.

However, considering today’s inflation, the government should make difficult
decisions regarding actual limits to the raising of social payments, which
will be quite painful for society and will hit the government’s popularity.

Social support matters are widely covered in Coalition Agreement. The most
important points here are: social programs rationalization, implementation
of direct social help, amending the laws according to the state’s financial
liabilities analysis and implementation of medium-term budget planning. I
absolutely agree with all these points.

But will the realization of these tasks become a priority for the
government? When and how will they solve these problems? It is much easier
to promise to raise the payments than to revise the promises and reform the
social support sphere since such reforms are always painful an unpopular.

In my opinion, the country with USD 7637 GDP per head (for comparison – in
EU this index is USD 28213) and with critical level of demographic problems
cannot afford to provide an expensive social support system.

We should definitely conduct a hard and specific-purposed social support
policy. In other words, will the new government be able to tear the vicious
circle of populism notwithstanding the upcoming presidential elections?
RUSSIAN GAS TEST
[4] The traditional challenge for all Ukrainian governments is the gas test
in connection with relations with Russia.

Concerning this matter, the Coalition Agreement is quite terse: “.mutually
beneficial cooperation with Russia, countries of Central Asia, other
suppliers of energy resources based on long term, transparent and gainful
agreements excluding any shadow intermediate”. The idea is clear. Let’s wait
for specific actions, agreements and results.
BUDGETARY PROCESS TEST
[5] The next challenge for the government is the budgetary process, which
can be an economic policy adequacy test. The budgetary process and the
budget will show the government’s priorities in economical policy and its
principal approaches to solving the main economical problem.
LAND MARKET TEST
[6] It is clear that this list is quite long. However, I would like to point
out one more problem, the solving of which will show our government’s skills
at solving complicated economical and socially-sensible questions. It is the
issue of the land market.

The moratorium on farmland sales is expiring this year. What’s next? Will
the new government prolong the moratorium and for what purpose?

Will it try to cancel the moratorium and establish a full-fledged land
market? How will the central body of power build its relations with local
powers concerning land matters? As you see, there are a lot of questions
and all of them are fundamental.

The coalition is intending to establish a land market, to draft and realize
all necessary measures to provide the market’s normal functioning.
POLITICAL RESPONSIBILITY TEST
[7] Finally, I hope that the Ukrainian political elite pass the most
important test – a political responsibility test – successfully. This test
means that the process of important economical decisions making should
be depoliticized.
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LINK:
http://www.mw.ua/2000/2020/60832/

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2.  BREAD AND BUTTER ISSUE: RISING PRICES MAY HERALD
THE FIRST GLOBAL FOOD SHORTAGE SINCE THE 1970s
Ukraine is considering export quotas on corn, barley and wheat.

By Jenny Wiggins and Javier Blas in London
Financial Times, London, UK, Wednesday, October 24 2007

When the United Nations held its annual World Food Day last week to
publicise the plight of the 854m malnourished people around the world, its
warning that there “are still too many hungry people” was a little more
anxious than usual.

Finding food to feed the hungry is becoming an increasingly difficult task
as growing demand for staples such as wheat, corn and rice brings higher
prices. That is leading all nations – rich and poor – to compete for food
supplies.

Food security is not a new concern for countries that have battled political
instability, droughts or wars. But for the first time since the early 1970s,
when there were global food shortages, it is starting to concern more stable
nations as well.

“The whole global picture is flagging up signals that we’re moving out of a
period of abundant food supply into a period in which food is going to be in
much shorter supply,” says Henry Fell, chairman of Britain’s Commercial
Farmers Group.

As agricultural commodities trade at record high levels, causing one food
manufacturer after another to put up prices – Danone, the French dairy
group, this month became the latest to reflect the severity of the cost
increases when it said it would increase prices by 10 per cent – countries
are starting to question whether they can afford to keep feeding themselves.

Wheat and milk prices have surged to all-time highs while those for corn and
soya-beans stand at well above their 1990s averages. Rice and coffee have
jumped to 10-year records and meat prices have risen recently by up to 50
per cent in some countries.

“The world is gradually losing the buffer that it used to have to protect
against big swings [in the market],” says Abdolreza Abbassian, secretary of
the grains trading group at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.
“There is a sense of panic.”

Some of the price rises are the result of temporary problems, such as
drought in Australia, and diseases, such as blue-ear in Chinese pigs.

But there is a more permanent increase in demand from Asia, as richer
populations in China and India demand more protein, and from the biofuel
industry, which is on course to consume about 30 per cent of the US corn
crop in 2010 – developments that will underpin prices for the medium term.

The FAO estimates that those structural new trends will help to push the
cost of agricultural commodities in the next decade between 20 and 50 per
cent above their last 10-year average.

This is a problem for economies where food represents a significant share of
their imports payments. The International Monetary Fund says higher food
prices are hurting poorer nations in Africa, such as Benin and Niger, as
well as a number of countries in Asia, from Bangladesh to China itself, and
parts of the Middle East.

The difficulties are compounded because the importance of food in overall
consumer spending is negatively correlated with income levels (see chart).

For example, food is more than 60 per cent of the “consumption basket”
measured by economists in sub-Saharan Africa, whereas it is 30 per cent in
China and only 10 per cent in the US, according to the IMF.

For countries that export grains and other commodities, such as the US,
Australia or Canada but also Argentina and Namibia, high prices are
lucrative at a macro-economic level and for the businesses and farmers
involved. But there, too, consumers suffer. In Italy, which imports around
half its durum wheat needs, people took to the streets this summer to
protest at higher pasta, bread and milk prices.

Grain exporting countries have consequently started restricting the amount
of grain they export, postponing sales or imposing in some cases prohibitive
export tariffs to keep their local market well supplied, avoiding
politically damaging food price increases.

In Russia, which faces parliamentary elections in December and where
President Vladimir Putin has said he was “worried about price growth,
especially food prices growth”, the government has introduced export duties
on wheat and barley and is discussing further tariff increases.

Russian food retailers, under pressure from the Kremlin, have meanwhile
agreed to freeze prices on some basic foodstuffs to help cool down
inflation.

Neighbouring Ukraine is considering export quotas on corn, barley and wheat.

At the same time, food importing countries have started to look for ways to
increase their domestic production or build emergency stocks as a buffer
against sharp price increases or shortages.

For example, Pakistan plans to import more wheat than it does normally to
make sure it has enough to feed its population. India has also bought more
than necessary in order to build up its stocks.

The European Union has suspended its “set-aside” rules that bar farmers from
planting cereals on 10 per cent of their land. The rules were designed to
avoid over-production but Brussels is now worried that there will not be
enough cereals to meet demand.

In the US, however, the Department of Agriculture has decided against
allowing land to be released early from the Conservation Reserve Program
that, similarly to the EU’s set-aside, pays farmers not to plant on some of
their arable land.

Analysts and traders say farmers are likely in the 2008 crop season to plant
more wheat at the expense of cotton and, to a lesser extent, corn, barley
and soybeans. This means that, while wheat prices may fall next year, crops
such as cotton and corn might jump in value because of the reduced supplies.

State finances are also being imperilled, as countries that import much of
their food have started to increase subsidies paid to food producers to
compensate for higher costs and scrapped import tariffs.

Akhter Ahmed, a subsidies expert at the International Food Policy Research
Institute, a Washington-based think-tank, says international agricultural
prices are directly linked to the cost of food importing countries’
subsidies. “The recent price increase is going to be a drain for government
budgets,” he warns.

The FAO has forecast that the lower-income “food-deficit” countries will
next year spend more than $28bn (£14bn, Euro20bn) on importing cereals,
double what they spent in 2002.

“The combination of higher export prices and soaring freight rates is
pushing up domestic prices of bread and other basic food in importing
developing countries, which has caused social unrest in parts,” the
organisation said in its latest Crop Prospects and Food Situation report.

Egypt, which experienced the “Bread Intifada” riots in 1977 when the
government raised bread prices, last month said it was increasing the
subsidies it pays to bread producers in the light of ongoing increases in
global wheat prices.

Certainly, there is currently little chance of subsidies being lowered by
many developing countries. Abah Ofon of Standard Chartered Bank says that
for countries such as Morocco, where a large proportion of the population
lives close to or below the poverty line, wheat is a staple part of people’s
diet and therefore “eradicating subsidies is tantamount to political suicide
at this stage”.

In China, the government is providing larger subsidies to farmers to
increase agricultural production, particularly of pork and milk after the
country suffered a price spike this year. Beijing also plans to increase
subsidies to low-income urban residents and student cafeterias while it has
cut soybean import duties in order to keep prices down.

Commodity analysts in part blame the US and Europe for the current price
increases. They say the heavy subsidies placed on agricultural produce by
the American and European governments in recent decades have made investment
in agriculture unprofitable for many other countries because they have found
it hard to compete.

Jeffrey Currie, head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs, says the
relatively low investment in agriculture outside the US and Europe is coming
back to haunt European and US consumers in the form of higher food prices as
global supplies of agricultural produce fall behind demand.

The world’s leading agricultural exporters are the EU (led by France, the
Netherlands, Germany and the UK) and the US, followed by Brazil, Canada
and Australia.

“The US and Europe were exporting agricultural deflation; now they’re
exporting agricultural inflation,” Mr Currie says. The IMF adds that western

countries’ biofuel policies are also behind the current problem.

“One country’s policy to promote biofuels while protecting its farmers could
increase another, likely poorer, country’s import bills for food and pose
additional risks to inflation or growth,” says the institution in its latest
World Economic Outlook.

This impact would be mitigated if the US and the EU reduced barriers to
biofuel imports from developing countries, such as Brazil, where production
is cheaper, more efficient and environmentally less damaging, the IMF adds.

In the near future, demand for agricultural raw materials is likely to
continue rising in world markets as countries that have previously been able
to meet their own food needs start importing more, increasing the global
challenge of feeding populations.

Don Mitchell, an economist at the World Bank, says: “Although China and
India are relatively self-sufficient in food, some economists doubt that
this can continue as incomes rise and [think] that they will need to rely
much more on imports.”

The FAO expects India to import more wheat and China to increase imports
of coarse grains to supply feed to its livestock industry. Both countries
are also expected to increase imports of oils that are used in food production,
such as palm oil.

The World Bank estimates that cereal production will have to rise by nearly
50 per cent and meat output by 85 per cent between 2000 and 2030 to meet
projected global demand.

Developed countries are not immune. In the UK, the Department for
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs acknowledged in a December paper that
food security was becoming a “matter of concern”.

Kate Bailey of Chatham House, the London think-tank, says Britain’s food
supply is facing “huge change” due to shifts in global trade patterns.

Policymakers may have to return to thinking about food as a “strategic
asset”, she adds – even in a nation that has not been self-sufficient in
food since the Industrial Revolution.
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3.  POLAND MUST NOW WIND BACK THE POWER OF THE STATE
Corruption in central Europe is rampant and systemic.

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Marian Tupy
Financial Times, London, UK, Tuesday, October 23 2007

The victory of the liberal Civic Platform in Poland’s early elections over
the weekend could mark the beginning of the end for populism in central
Europe.

The governing parties in Poland and Slovakia came to power promising to end
corruption, and the Hungarian opposition, which lost last year’s election by
the narrowest of margins, promises to do the same.

The collapse of Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s Law and Justice party shows that in
addition to better policing and steeper sentences, the fight against
corruption must include the reduction of the size and scope of the state.

Two years ago, when populist parties such as Law and Justice made electoral
advances throughout central Europe, most commentators saw it as a rebuke to
the liberal parties and the market reforms they had implemented. Such
explanations ignored the resentment that people in the region harboured
against their corrupt incumbent political elites.
CORRUPTION IN CENTRAL EUROPE IS RAMPANT
Corruption in central Europe is rampant. According to Transparency
International’s Corruption Perception Index, which measures corruption on a
scale from 0 (highest) to 10 (lowest), Poland slumped from 4.6 in 1998 to
3.4 in 2005. The Czech Republic fell from 4.8 to 4.3, Hungary’s remained at
5 and Slovakia rose from 3.9 to 4.3.

Though all four countries made small improvements in their CPI scores in
2006, they fell far short of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development’s average of 7.2.
Corruption in central Europe persists for two main reasons.
[1] First, despite much economic liberalisation over the past 17 years,
governments continue to spend, on average, more than 40 per cent of the
region’s gross domestic product.

However, unlike in western Europe, where government spending is also high,
parliamentary scrutiny, judicial independence and the strength of civil
society in central Europe remain relatively underdeveloped. Government
procurement programmes lack transparency and are often used as vehicles for
self-enrichment by corrupt officials.

[2] Second, the central European business environment remains overregulated.
The World Bank’s Doing Business report, for example, found that businesses
in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland were more heavily
regulated than businesses in most developed economies, including most
European Union members.

The armies of bureaucrats in central Europe have ample opportunities to
extract bribes from private firms.

The populists in the region, including the Law and Justice party in Poland
and Smer in Slovakia, tapped into the popular feeling of disgust at the
conspicuous spending of the governing elites and their ill-gotten wealth,
and won.
CORRUPTION IN CENTRAL EUROPE IS SYSTEMIC
But corruption in central Europe is systemic – it cannot be eradicated
through better procurement controls, as is currently being attempted.
Instead, corruption has to be tackled by reducing the size and the scope of
the state and with it the opportunities for self-enrichment among the
political elites.
OLEH HAVRYLYSHYN’S BOOK
As Oleh Havrylyshyn, the former deputy finance minister of Ukraine, shows in
his book, “Divergent Paths in Post-Communist Transformation – Capitalism for
All or Capitalism for the Few?,” countries that implemented more radical
economic reforms after the collapse of communism experienced less corruption
than countries that opted for more gradual reforms.

The transition from communism to capitalism was marked by corruption, not
because of too much liberalisation but because of too little. Perhaps that
explains why Estonia, which is the most economically free of all excommunist
countries, also has the highest CPI score.

By contrast, the governing parties in Poland and Slovakia postponed further
economic reforms, thus in effect ensuring that corruption in the region
continues.

A liberal victory in Poland could mark the beginning of the end for central
European populism and, it is to be hoped, a return to a reform agenda in the
region.

Once in power, the Civic Platform should address the source of corruption in
Poland – the overextended state. The same goes for aspiring reformers in the
rest of the region.
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NOTE: Marian Tupy is a policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for
Global Liberty and Prosperity [Washington, D.C.] and author of “The Rise
of Populist Parties in Central Europe: Big Government, Corruption and the
Threat to Liberalism.”
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4.  POLAND SET FOR STRONGER TIES WITH EUROPE
AFTER THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION

By Jan Cienski and Stefan Wagstyl in Warsaw
Financial Times, London, UK, Tuesday, October 23 2007

The liberal Civic Platform party was preparing to form a government in
Poland yesterday after a dramatic poll victory that international leaders
and the local business community predicted would restart much-delayed
economic reform and lead to closer ties in Europe.

With more than 99 per cent of ballots counted from Sunday’s poll, Civic
Platform had 41.4 per cent of the vote, translating into 209 seats in the
460-member parliament. Law and Justice, which had ruled for two turbulent
years under the leadership of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, prime minister, trailed
with 32 per cent of the vote, enough for 166 seats.

Platform leader Donald Tusk, the likely prime minister in the new
government, is expected to begin coalition talks this week with the centrist
Peasants Party, which will have 31 seats.

To gather the 60 per cent of parliamentary votes needed to override vetoes
by President Lech Kaczynski, the prime minister’s twin brother, the new
government will have to rely on votes from the ex-Communist Left and
Democrats.

Poland’s European Union partners expressed hopes for better relations than
under the Kaczynskis’ assertive approach. The European Commission welcomed
the results while Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, hoped for “an easing
in relations” and greater co-operation.

However, ties with Washington could be more tense than under Mr Kaczynski.
Washington is concerned about Mr Tusk’s calls for Poland to withdraw troops
from Iraq and his doubts about the US missile defence shield.

Civic Platform was careful to limit speculation about who would get which
ministerial portfolio, and kept public policy pronouncements to a minimum.

However, Zbigniew Chlebowski, a potential economy minister, talked of
introducing a flat 15 per cent income tax and an energetic privatisation
programme.

Business leaders cautioned that the new government was unlikely to change
economic policy dramatically, but there would be a change in the way the
government was perceived.

“I think the most important thing is a return to dialogue,” said Henryka
Bochniarz, head of the Polish Private Employers Confederation.
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Additional reporting by FT -correspondents in Luxembourg, Berlin and Kiev
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1e6a6316-8103-11dc-9f14-0000779fd2ac.html

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5.  UKRAINE’S ECONOMICS MINISTER AND DEPUTY US TRADE

REPRESENTATIVE DISCUSS ISSUES OF UKRAINE’S WTO ACCESSION

UKRINFORM, Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, October 20, 2007
 
KYIV – Economics Minister Anatoliy Kinakh and Deputy US Trade
Representative John K. Veroneau discussed some shorter-term priorities
of Ukraine’s economic policy, specifically Ukraine’s accession to the
World Trade Organization.

The Ukrainian delegation led by Mr. Kinakh is taking part in the annual
meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in
Washington, DC, UKRINFORM’s correspondent in the USA reported.

The meeting of the two officials also focussed on measures to improve the
investment climate in Ukraine. Mr. Veroneau noted that the US will continue
to support Ukraine’s WTO bid.

Within the framework of the delegation’s visit to the USA to last until
October 23, Mr. Kinakh is expected to meet with the WB’s Executive Director
Herman Weifels and its Vice President Shigeo Katsu. The discussions will
focus on Ukraine’s accession to the WTO and integration into the European
Union.

As UKRINFORM reported earlier, Ukraine has completed negotiations with all
the members of the WTO working party except Kyrghyzstan, and signed 49
protocols on mutual access to the goods of services markets.

Kyrghyzstan demands that Ukraine pay the former USSR debt to the tune of USD
27 M and lower customs duties on meat and sugar. The working party’s report
on Ukraine’s accession will be presented in Geneva after October 24.

Deputy Economics Minister Valeriy Pyatnytskyi forecasted that Ukraine may
join the WTO before January 1, 2008, the organization’s 60th anniversary.
The same opinion was aired by President Yushchenko during his visit to
Portugal early this week. “We must join the WTO in the near future. I hope
it happens this year,” the head of state said.

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6.  LVIV, UKRAINE: BORDERING ON ECONOMIC SUCCESS
Lviv is an ancient city with a history as a crossroads of international
trade. Can it keep pace with the global economy of the new millennium?

INTERVIEW: With Dmitry Aftansas, Lviv Chamber of Commerce
By Anna Melnichuk, Business Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Oct 22, 2007

 Lviv’s Chamber of Commerce is the oldest in Ukraine, founded over a
hundred and fifty years ago by decree of Franz Joseph, the emperor of
Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The Lviv Trade and Industrial Chamber was established in 1850, together with
similar chambers in Krakow, Prague, Vienna, Budapest and other regional
capitals of the Habsburg domains.

Today it is at the fore of a burgeoning Lviv business community looking to
expand on EU cross-border trade and benefit from the investment boost
provided by preparations for the Euro 2012 football championships.

We recently met Dmitry Aftanas of the Lviv Chamber of Commerce for an
outline of the region’s business and economic perspectives.
OVERVIEW OF LVIV COMMERCE
Like the rest of Ukraine, Lviv is witnessing a construction boom, and this
is one of the main areas of international economic activity in the region.

“Tourism and recreation are very important for us, and the region has huge
potential,” Aftanas says. “Lviv in particular has everything it needs to be
a tourism centre, while Truskavets and the Carpathian mountains have
recreational potential.”

Other focuses include the timber industry and the agricultural sphere.
“Large numbers of international investors are currently renting land in Lviv
region for agricultural use. One example is the German companies which
are growing rapeseed for use in bio fuel production.”

The political instability of the past three years has not managed to slow
down the growth of regional commerce and like many business-oriented
Ukrainians, Aftanas is an advocate of staying out of politics as much as
possible.

“Our 290 members are all company directors and they all have their own
personal political orientations. Our region has a traditionally more
positive attitude towards Orange forces because they favour closer ties with
the West. It’s very natural for a population that has always felt close to
Europe and feels almost as much at home in Poland as in Lviv.”

However, Aftanas appreciates the need for dialogue with the government to
improve the business environment, and sees judiciary reform as the most
pressing concern facing the country.

“This country needs to redress the problems with the court system as a
priority. In general the reform process should be geared towards the
liberalisation of the economic sphere.

We need more economic freedoms. Small and medium-sized businesses are
developing, but they still face a lot of obstacles. A new, more liberal tax
code should be adopted to present more opportunities to local business.”

Beyond the political transformation the country is going through, Ukrainian
businesses are also excited about the opportunities presented by the Euro
2012 football championships.

Aftanas sees the tournament as a once in a lifetime chance to radically
improve Lviv in every way from its infrastructure to its ties with the
region’s European neighbours.

“Euro 2012 is the kind of chance for Lviv and the whole Ukraine which will
not be repeated for decades. At the moment preparations remain stuck at the
theoretical level, with the search for sponsors ongoing and plans being
drawn up, but I am confident the work will proceed at good pace.

The planned new stadium will be built by 2010, and Lviv will also see huge
road reconstruction to resolve our growing transport problems.

“Everyone knows that we also don’t have nearly enough quality hotels, but
this is the chance to radically update our entire infrastructure and there
is a general consensus among the authorities at every level that this chance
must be seized. We have a special department in the city administration
working to prepare Lviv for Euro 2012.

The team is young and already experienced. I know them and think they will
cope well with the challenges they face because they have different
mentality and different approach compared to older generations. They do
not engage in time-consuming meditation, but try to solve everything very
quickly.”
RELYING ON FOREIGN EXPERTISE
Budgeting estimates for Lviv’s role in Euro 2012 vary significantly, with
anything from USD 4 billion to USD 9 billion stated as the likely overall
cost of preparations.

Aftanas confirms that the current situation remains unclear owing to
legislative inconsistencies and pending government decisions, and says that
the biggest infrastructure projects will likely be handled by foreign
companies with the requisite expertise.

“At the moment 50% of investment needed is expected from the state budget
and 50% should come from private investors. Our local authorities are
working to offer tax breaks, while the Cabinet of Ministers is considering a
decree the will keep more regional taxes here in Lviv deductions to the
state budget and remain them here.

Regardless of legislative changes the biggest individual projects such as
the planned new stadium have not so far involved Ukrainian companies.”

“I think that local investors will be contractors and subcontractors and
will do some work because there is quite simply a lot of work to do. People
seem to think that there are a huge number of cafes and restaurants in Lviv,
but given the number of tourists we are expecting we will need to increase
the amount of leisure facilities three- or four-fold.

Our guests will be interested in more than football, and in theory at least
Lviv has more than enough to entertain them. I have recently been impressed
by our museums myself.”
LVIV AS INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORT HUB
The reconstruction of Lviv airport may well prove to be the biggest single
long-term result of Euro 2012, and is also likely to be handled by
international companies.

Lviv has huge potential as a regional air travel hub, because Kyiv is too
far away and people from all western Ukraine already come to Lviv to fly to
Europe.

“The prospects for Lviv airport are good,’ says Aftanas. “Talks are
currently underway to link the existing airport with the neighbouring
military base, which would make it possible to receive the largest
categories of plane for long distance flights. Turning Lviv into an
international hub airport is actually a long term project that has been
under consideration for years.

At present Lviv-based travellers often fly to Warsaw or Vienna for transit.
We recently received a delegation from the neighbouring Polish town of
Zheshiv which is in 200 kilometres from Lviv. They already have airport
much smaller than Lviv’s but offer flights to London, Dublin, New York and
Chicago.

If Lviv fails to grasp the air travel potential it currently has, everything
will be shifted to Krakow or Zheshiv. We have already received offers to
initiate flights from budget airlines,” he confirms.

Even after the excitement of Euro 2012 has subsided, Aftanas says he will
remain upbeat about the long-term prospects for Lviv region. “Here it is
quite possible to start any sort of manufacturing process from scratch.
There are already plenty of manufacturing facilities and land available not
far from the border.

We are regularly being asked to find land within a 30-50 kilometre radius of
Lviv because in the city itself land and real estate are getting more and
more expensive.

We already have a group of people who have up-to-date databases of available
potential plots and who accompany investors as they search for the right
spot, helping them to build relationships with the local authorities and
develop contacts.”

Aftanas also sees a bright future for Lviv as a host for regional trade
fairs and conferences, with its ancient European heritage and geographical
location both making it an obvious choice for such events.

“Lviv could be promoted as an exhibition centre because it is about 500
kilometres to the nearest exhibition centres in Kyiv and Poznan. There is
simply nothing closer. The first big trade fair is expected to open here in
the beginning of December this year.

We may not have heavy industry like in the east of Ukraine, and many of our
more well-known production plants, like the legendary Lviv Bus Factory, are
currently operating at a fraction of capacity. But while this is not
immediately encouraging, it represents room for growth. Assembly plants
for household goods can be quickly established in Lviv.

Many locals have left Lviv to find work elsewhere in Europe but I think we
still have the potential labour force to power an increase in the
manufacturing industry. Lviv is a big student centre and we receive
thousands of applications from graduates every year, so it is clear that we
have serious intellectual potential as well.”
————————————————————————————————
LINK:  http://www.businessukraine.com.ua/bordering-on-economic-success
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
7.  UKRAINE/EUROPEAN UNION RELATIONS – FROM THE
VANTAGE POINT OF THE EUROPEAN PRESIDENCY

PRESENTATION: By Joao de Vallera
Ambassador of Portugal to the United States
Ukraine-EU Relations, Roundtable VIII; Ukraine’s Quest for Mature
Nation Statehood; Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Washington, DC, Tue-Wed, October 16-17, 2007

Published by Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #982, Article 7
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 24, 2007

1. I would like to thank the organizers of the “Ukraine’s Quest for Mature
Nation Statehood Roundtable Series”, and namely the Center for US-Ukrainian
Relations, for having invited me to participate in the eighth edition of
this timely and commendable initiative.

I will try to focus my presentation on three main topics: [1] the Portuguese
Presidency program and calendar, as far as the development of EU/Ukraine
relations is concerned; [2] our views about the New European Neighborhood
Policy; and [3] a few remarks – some of them presented on a more personal
basis – about the EU´s present situation and Ukraine’s European perspective.

Before that, allow me to briefly approach the narrower Portuguese/Ukrainian
bilateral universe, which has moved ahead in the last decade through
unprecedented and unexpected paths.

Who would be shrewd enough to foresee, not many years ago, that tens of
thousands of Ukrainian citizens would find in my country, where they were
welcomed, where they easily integrated and whose language they swiftly
learned, a second, in many cases a definitive home?

We have spread around the World, and we like to see ourselves as good agents
of integration, but we were more used to be visitors than to host permanent
guests, and Eastern Europe, to say the least, was not exactly in the core of
the international networks of relationships we created in the course of our
History.

That two countries in the extreme geographical boundaries of Europe, with
scarce contacts, were able to build in a short period a strong and friendly
relationship, boosted by spontaneous movements of citizens, tells a lot

about the new Europe we are living in and about the potential it still hides.

2.The 18 months common program established by the German, Portuguese and
Slovenian presidencies states that emphasis must be put on implementing the
European Union/Ukraine Action Plan, making full use of the European
Neighborhood Policy Instrument; and that, in this context, negotiations on a
new Enhanced Agreement should be completed.

More generally, it indicates that the European Union will thus present an
attractive and broad offer for cooperation with its neighbors, including
intensifying cooperation within specific sectors by concluding sectorial
agreements.

Up to now the present semester has been conditioned by the Ukrainian
political situation and namely by the preparation of the anticipated
elections.

Progress on EU/Ukraine bilateral relations was nevertheless possible, and we
expect that a swift formation of the new Government – making it possible to
definitely overcome the recent political crisis and paving the way to a
serious constitutional reform – will allow us to find a renewed dynamism
before the end of the year.

Substantial further progress would be much welcomed, be it on the manifold
implementation of the Action Plan, including
[1] reinforced cooperation in key areas like energy security and efficiency,
     environment and climate change, justice and border cooperation;
[2] on the negotiation of the Enhanced Agreement, designed to bring our
     relations to a new qualitative level (the fourth round of negotiations
     is taking place in this very moment, a fifth being expected until the end
    of the year;
[3] or on Ukraine’s accession to the WTO, a pre-condition to launch
     negotiations on a deep and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.

The Presidency is ready to correspond to any new development that
contributes to the strengthening of EU/Ukraine relations; and expects that
the Ukrainian authorities take full advantage of the considerable increase
in financial assistance that was decided by the EU last March to support the
reform process and the implementation of the Action Plan

The EU/Ukraine Summit that took place just a month ago, two weeks before

the elections, proved to be a good opportunity to take stock of recent
advancements in different areas, to provide guidance to future work and to
reaffirm important common commitments and goals.

The reciprocal wish to further deepen the relations was complemented by

an open and pragmatic discussion on a number of concrete topics,
[1] including visa issuing procedure(within the framework of the recently
     concluded agreement on visa facilitation and readmission),
[2] progress on the rule of law, the reform of the judiciary and the fight
     against corruption, as a necessary means to keep improving the
     business and investment climate,
[3] energy cooperation, [4] trade, [5] nuclear safety and,
[6[ in the framework of the revised Action Plan on Justice, Freedom and
     Security, the reinforcement of cooperation with Europol and Frontex.

Continued close cooperation  in the realm of foreign and security policy,
particularly on regional stability and crisis management, was most welcome.

A special reference was made to the increasing convergence of the two sides
on regional and international issues, with an 85% alignment of Ukraine with
EU foreign policy positions. Ukraine’s role in EU-led crisis management
operations was highly praised.

Three documents were approved: [1] a Joint Statement, [2] a joint progress
report on the negotiation of the New Enhanced Agreement and a [3] joint
progress report on the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding

on energy cooperation.

All these documents are available and I am not going to get into details
which will certainly be mentioned by the European Commission on Roundtable
Focus Session VI.

Despite the unavoidable political limitations, it was a positive Summit,
unfolded in a good and constructive atmosphere.

The simple fact that it took place, the decision not to postpone it, were a
significant gesture of trust in the Ukrainian capacity to move beyond the
present difficulties as well as in its resolve to pursue the European way.

A measure of this trust – and of the high expectations regarding the future
Ukrainian political framework – is visible in the last sentence of the Joint
Statement, where we can read that the EU leaders welcomed Ukraine’s European
choice and emphasized that further internal reforms and the introduction of
European standards would bring Ukraine closer to the EU.

3. Ukraine’s relations with the EU are framed within the New European
Neighborhood Policy, which is now in the center of the EU’s external
relations’ priorities and, with a budget of 12 billion for the financial
perspectives period of 2007/2013, benefited from a 32% increase as compared
with the previous cycle of  2000/2006.

But not only the financial coverage changed: its instruments were reviewed
to allow more ambition and more flexibility, in an effort that specifically
aims at reinforcing as much as possible the relations of the EU with its
neighbors and at avoiding the emergence of a new dividing line between the
EU and its outer perimeter.

The NENP plays a major part in the European project of peace, development
and stability, which is of a common strategic interest for the EU and its
neighbors, in this sense representing more than a simple EU’s external
policy instrument.

Another important characteristic of the NENP can be summarized as follows:
it gives substance to a process which is distinct from enlargement, an
accession perspective not being for the moment on the agenda for those
countries, but which at the same time remains silent as far as the future
nature of the relations of each of those same countries with the EU is
concerned.

It is then conceived as neither an antechamber for membership, nor a barrier
to future accessions. Flexibility means, on the other hand, that the process
is opened to different degrees of ambition – and of internal preparedness –
displayed by its various beneficiaries in the way they figure out their
relationship with the EU.

The global character of the European Neighborhood Policy is another
significant element that deserves to be underlined.

This means that no political distinction ought to be made between its two
wide regional components, East and South, both being the object of the same
EU wish to support and develop far reaching cooperation relations and to
pursue more ambitious forms of integration with its neighbors.

In this context, any purposeful differentiation within this policy is
something to be searched not through a distinctive approach to the two
regions, but as the (a posteriori) result of the implementation of the
principle of flexibility, exclusively available on a national, and non
regional, basis.

The access to deeper forms of integration is thus offered to all neighboring
States, in accordance with their ambition, capacity and own merits.

Ukraine has an open and broad space to occupy in its relation with the EU,
and technical and financial assistance to help developments in this
direction.

Reforms are in any case, before any other considerations, beneficial to
Ukraine, with the added advantage of creating an objective capital of trust
and sustained purpose that might prove to be an invaluable asset in an
unpredictable future.

4.The dialectic connection between enlargement and deepening of the EU
system has been at the core of European developments in the two last
decades, nourished a never ending internal debate and has caused thousands
of pages to be darkened by some of the more enlightened spirits that chose
the EU as a well deserving subject of devotion.

What I would like to say at this stage can be summarized in the following
telegraphic statements:

a) the relation between enlargement and deepening is a dynamic, less linear
and more complex reality than it is usually broadcast;

b) the two terms of the dichotomy are by definition, from a static point of
view, contradictory, in the sense that the integration of inevitable new
elements of heterogeneity theoretically multiply the range of interests,
reduce the areas of consensus, complicate the decision making process and
contribute to a sense of dilution of what was defined as a common purpose,
wherever it existed before;

c) that said, it is not true that enlargements were followed by a weakening
of the global system; on the contrary, they provoked compensation movements
of adaptation that many times moved the integration process forward, with a
pace and degree of ambition that might not have been possible in the
previous situation.

This was very clear, for example, in the years that followed the accession
of Portugal and Spain, with the powerful and strategically minded boost
provided by the Maastricht Treaty and the introduction of the multi-annual
financial perspectives;

d) the very toynbeean concept of challenge and response having marked its
presence, it is also true that the nature and dimension of the challenge was
not equivalent in the different moments of enlargement, and that the
capacity of response displayed by the EU was also variable.

It would be interesting, in this perspective, to compare what were the
changes that really lead to further integration in the mentioned Treaty of
Maastricht, on the one hand, and on Treaties like the Nice Treaty or the
Reform Treaty to be approved, on the other hand ;

e) the succession of different political leaders in the national landscapes
and the changing – even if sometimes blurred – perception of public opinion
in some Member States on the state of European affairs brought new elements
of reflection that went beyond the conventional wisdom about European
realities and priorities and which cannot be reduced to the phenomena we
commonly call the “enlargement or institutional fatigue”; these are concerns
that in democracy we cannot just put aside;

f) the European Union will find its way to progress, while avoiding the
risks of becoming a victim of its own success; it would be a mistake to
overestimate its capacities as a mere geo-strategic power engine, as it
would be wrong and unfair to consider that its geo-strategic capabilities
and virtues are limited to the enlargement process;

g)  the period of doubt and uncertainty that followed the rejection of the
Constitutional Treaty is being overcome, and the conclusion of the Reform
Treaty process – whose political approval in a few days time will be pursued
by the Portuguese Presidency as a matter of absolute priority – is crucial
to allow the inauguration of a new cycle of European assertiveness, namely
in the external sphere, which will hopefully open the way to new
developments;

h) time, as usual, is of the essence ; and we shall see, in a few years
time, where we all stand ; meanwhile, and whatever the present perspectives
appear to be, we should for our common benefit take full advantage of the
many opportunities offered to further the integration between the EU and
Ukraine.
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
========================================================
8.  EUROPEAN UNION: DRAFTING A GLOBAL PLAYER
If you travel to countries in the European neighborhood such as
Ukraine, Georgia or Egypt, you cannot help but be depressed
about how the EU squanders its power.

COMMENTARY: By Mark Leonard, The Wall Street Journal
New York, New York, Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Unless something goes badly wrong, European Union leaders will agree a new
treaty at this week’s summit in Lisbon. Unlike the doomed Constitution of
2005, which aimed to supersede all earlier agreements with a grandiose
state-building exercise, this will be just another amending treaty shorn of
the trappings of statehood.

And yet, the euroskeptic media in Britain have whipped up an emotional
debate by spreading myths: that Britain would lose its seat at the United
Nations; that an EU foreign minister would take over British foreign policy;
that British embassies would be replaced by EU embassies; in short, that
this treaty would create a superstate.

In reality, the new text will be a fairly modest affair — far from the
unrealistic aspirations of the Constitution’s author, Valéry Giscard
d’Estaing, or the irrational fears of British europhobes. But the new treaty
will make the EU work better, endowing it with greater efficiency, democracy
and power in the world.

The treaty tries to streamline the EU’s ramshackle institutions — designed
originally only for the six founding member states — in order to support a
political grouping of now 27 countries. The new “double-majority voting”
formula gives EU decisions greater legitimacy as they’d have to be passed by
a majority of states that also represent a majority of citizens.

The treaty will give the EU more continuity by replacing the “rotating
presidency” with a president chosen by national governments for two and a
half years.

It reduces the size of the European Commission to 15 from the current 27 so
that it can work more effectively as the EU enlarges. And it extends
qualified majority voting to new areas like energy policy and humanitarian
aid. These are all rather minor changes.

The new treaty also tries to calm the fears of those who see European
integration as a one-way street from which there is no escape. For the first
time, there is a provision that enables member states to withdraw from the
EU.

More importantly, the treaty also gives national parliaments a greater say
in EU policies. If one-third of national parliaments object to a Commission
proposal, it will be sent back to Brussels for review (the “yellow card”).

If a majority of national parliaments oppose a Commission proposal — and
national governments or members of the European Parliament agree — then it
can be struck down (the “orange card”).

The treaty also extends the powers of MEPs to areas national governments
used to keep to themselves, such as the Common Agricultural Policy. For all
those who want to see CAP reform, this will be good news as they’ll have
many MEPs on their side.

The most compelling reason for supporting the reform treaty is the fact that
it could help the EU become a more effective power in the world. The EU has
the resources to be a real global player.

It is the largest single market in the world, it is involved in over half of
the world’s trade, and it has over 50,000 peacekeepers deployed from Bosnia
to Beirut and an even larger army of diplomats and aid workers. But despite
all of this latent power, the EU punches way below its weight.

When its member states disagree, as over Iraq, the EU cannot hope to be
credible. But even when the governments do agree to pursue a common foreign
policy, the EU’s fragmented institutional machinery often prevents it from
delivering in an effective and timely manner.

The big problem is that EU institutions and member states often fail to
coordinate their various policies and instruments — including trade, aid,
defense, policing and diplomacy — in the pursuit of common objectives.

If you travel to countries in the European neighborhood such as Ukraine,
Georgia or Egypt, you cannot help but be depressed about how the EU
squanders its power. In Cairo, human-rights activists are so struck by the
lack of urgency of European democracy promotion that they have called it
“project 3000.”

The new treaty could start to turn things around by beefing up the role of
the “High Representative for External Affairs” who would also become a vice
president of the European Commission.

This person would chair meetings of European foreign ministers and be
supported by an “External Action Service,” largely made up of existing
Commission personnel in overseas offices with some diplomats seconded from
member states.

As a result, foreign governments, such as the one in Cairo, would no longer
be able to play different EU institutions off against each other.

They will have to negotiate with one single contact point who will have much
more leeway to scrutinize their human- and political-rights records and, if
necessary, adjust the terms of their access to the European market and the
EU’s ?1 billion aid budget.

In many countries, though, less attention is being paid to the substance of
the treaty than to what percentage of the text is similar to the
Constitution. This numerical analysis is largely meaningless. The phrase “I
want to kill your father,” for example, contains over 85% of the words of
its opposite, “I don’t want to kill your father.”

In any case, Britain, which is most obsessed with these linguistic games,
has negotiated so many “red lines,” or derogations and opt-outs, that it
will be signing a different text than everyone else.

Even treaty skeptics should celebrate the fact that Europe’s leaders are
finally closing a deal. The EU has spent more than two years in the throes
of a political breakdown.

The crisis was not brought about by the loss of the Constitution as such,
but rather the loss of confidence that came with it. This became an excuse
for inaction and navel gazing.

The most dramatic signal of the EU’s loss of nerve is the foot-dragging over
one of its biggest policy successes: enlargement. The current debate focuses
exclusively on the costs, ignoring the economic benefits, such as that the
thriving export markets in Eastern Europe have helped boost the economies in
the old member states.

And there is very little discussion about the damage our wavering commitment
to enlargement is doing to the reform momentum in Turkey and the Balkans.

In the past, widening and deepening have always gone hand-in-hand. The new
treaty will put a stop to the interminable institutional debate that has
been distracting EU leaders for more than two decades now.

Once the treaty is wrapped up, they can return to what should be their core
vocation: spreading stability and prosperity around the European continent.
———————————————————————————————
Mr. Leonard is executive director of the European Council on Foreign
Relations, a pan-European think-tank launched this month.
——————————————————————————————–
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119257141800761081.html
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

========================================================
9.  “IT IS VERY HONORABLE TO BE UKRAINIAN IN CANADA”
Levko Lukianenko discusses the need to revive the Cossacks,
his new book, and his vision of Ukraine’s future

By Alla SHERSHEN, Special to The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Oct 23, 2007

On Oct. 14 Ukraine marked the Day of Ukrainian Cossacks, the feast of the
Holy Protection of the Virgin Mary, and the 65th anniversary of the
Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).

On this occasion we talked to Levko LUKIANENKO, a legendary Ukrainian
dissident, founder of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group, member of the Ukrainian
parliament, and the author of many books. Now in his 80s, he is extremely
open to the mass media and members of the public.

[The  Day] You served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of
Ukraine to Canada. How does the Ukrainian Diaspora celebrate UPA
anniversaries?

[Levko Lukianenko] “The Day of the UPA is very widely marked in Canada,
because the political emigration that came there after the Second World War
is very active. The Day of the UPA is a great day for them.

“They hold conferences and gatherings, at which former UPA warriors wearing
their military uniforms talk about the war and the battles in which they
fought. The Ukrainian Diaspora in Canada has erected a very splendid
monument to an UPA warrior.

It is a large vertical four or five-meter-square slab on which a soldier
wearing a mazepynka stands. The inscription ‘UPA’ is next to the sculpture,
but it is not very noticeable, because the emphasis is on the handsome and
slender warrior.

“Before Ukraine became independent, the Ukrainian Diaspora did not simply
celebrate; it continued to fight. They appealed to embassies, the Canadian
authorities, and the United Nations, and organized demonstrations near the
Soviet Embassy.

“Later they created the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN), headed by
Yaroslav Stetsko, the former head of Bandera’s government.
HONORABLE TO BE UKRAINIAN IN CANADA
“It is very honorable to be Ukrainian in Canada. People talk about having
Ukrainian parentage at the drop of a hat. They say this proudly in English
because many descendents of Ukrainians don’t know the language. Ukrainians
have proved themselves in Canada.

“For example, you do not need police in those city blocks where Ukrainians
live, and their character traits, like diligence and honesty, have won them
respect among the Anglo-Saxons.”

[The  Day] The National Brotherhood of the OUN and UPA has been a member
of the European Confederation of Veterans of World War II since 1995, but
their status as war veterans has not been recognized in Ukraine.

Do you think the newly-elected parliament will have enough political will
and patriotism to grant UPA soldiers such a status?
NEVER HAD A PATRIOTIC RADA
[Levko Lukianenko] “The president is inclined to solve this problem in a
patriotic manner, but he did not do this before because the Verkhovna Rada
was unpatriotic, to put it mildly. We are in the 17th year of independence
and we have never had a patriotic Verkhovna Rada.

“I think the newly-elected parliament will do this, because for the first
time we have a situation where the democratic side in parliament has four or
six votes more than the anti-Ukrainian side. This is a serious factor and
therefore patriotic measures can be implemented.”

[The  Day] In one of your books you wrote that you are of Cossack ancestry.
Do you know who your ancestors were and under whose command they fought?

[Levko Lukianenko] “I don’t know my family history that far back, but there
was a company in the Chernihiv regiment in Horodnia raion of Chernihiv
oblast, where I come from.

“According to legend, our village of Khrypivka was founded by a Cossack
named Khrypaty in the 17th century. There were nameplates on the sides of
the wooden houses saying ‘Cossack Nykyfor Skoibida’ or ‘middle class citizen
Ivan Petrenko.’

“In our village we had Cossacks, serfs, and bourgeois. I come from a long
line of Cossacks on both my father and mother’s side. Their parents and
grandparents had to perform the corvee (unpaid labor) for a landowner. My
mother’s maiden name is Skoibida.

“If there was a Cossack named Nykyfor Skoibida, it was registered in the
church books and everyone knew about this. Over one-third of the population
of our village was Cossack, so lower middle class people and peasants were
in the minority.

“I can proudly add that in the Verkhovna Rada (I can’t remember whether it
was the second or third convocation), 12 of us members of parliament went to
St. Sophia Cathedral, where Patriarch Volodymyr reinstated us in the Cossack
register during a solemn ceremony. Now I can consider myself a real
 Cossack.”

[The  Day] There are nearly 30 Cossack organizations in Ukraine. To which
do you belong?

[Levko Lukianenko] “I consider myself a member of the Zaporozhian Sich
Cossacks, led by Hetman Volodymyr Homeniuk. But this membership is very
conditional.

“I am dissatisfied with the organizational state of the Cossacks because
some Cossack organizations were created by Russian chauvinists and they
are contemptuous of the Ukrainian language.

“All those Cossacks should be sorted out, but I did not have time for this
when I was in parliament, and at the moment I am not involved in this. But
the very idea of the Cossacks’ revival is positive, and I am pleased that
these things are being done.

“I know that a draft law has been prepared, containing conditions that
Cossacks will have to meet, which will be adopted by the Verkhovna Rada.
LOVE UKRAINE, SPEAK UKRAINIAN
“At the very least they have to love Ukraine, speak Ukrainian, defend it,
maintain Ukrainian customs and traditions, and fight for a Ukrainian Ukraine
and the renewal of our spiritual values.

“If a Cossack does not do this, he will be expelled from the organization.
We need such a purge now because there are many organizations that do not
love Ukraine.”

[The  Day] Do contemporary Cossacks fulfill the patriotic and educational
function vis-a-vis society and youth in particular, which they have taken
upon themselves?
CLEANSE UKRAINE OF IMPERIAL SYMBOLS
[Levko Lukianenko] “Not as much as I would like. For example, they have not
managed to cleanse Ukraine of the imperial symbols that defame our nation.

“But Cossacks managed to successfully oppose the unveiling of the monument
to Russian Tsarina Catherine II. They stopped this anti-Ukrainian action,
and kudos to them for this.”

[The  Day] You did not run in the elections this time to the Verkhovna Rada
and are writing a book. What is your book about?
NEW BOOK ABOUT MY IMPRISONMENT
[Levko Lukianenko] “The book will be about my imprisonment, prison, and
the concentration camp, how we lived there, what we thought and did.”

[The  Day] You wrote in one of your books that you always wanted to travel.
What countries have you visited since you were released?

[Levko Lukianenko] “Before my imprisonment I served in the army in Austria
and traveled to Hungary and Germany. In the Soviet Union I visited only
Azerbaijan and Georgia. Later I was in Siberia for so long that now I don’t
want to go anywhere.

“If I traveled somewhere abroad as a member of parliament, I did so out of
sheer necessity. I did not have any special bent for traveling because I
missed Ukraine very much. I wanted to stay at home. But because of my
ambassadorial obligations I lived in Canada, and later I went on a business
trip to the US.

“When I was the president of the Ukrainian branch of the World League for
Freedom of Democracy, I visited Taiwan. When I was the head of the
Ukrainian Helsinki Group, I spent two months as a member of the political
intelligence unit in Belgium, France, and Germany. On one occasion I visited
Austria.”

[The  Day] Have you visited the places of your imprisonment since your
release?

[Levko Lukianenko] “I visited Kuchino, the museum of the prison where I was
held. The museum was organized by Russian dissidents with whom I was
imprisoned. Now I maintain relations with some Russians, but for the most
part – with Ukrainians.”
WHEN WILL UKRAINE FINALLY BECOME UKRAINIAN?
[The  Day] When will Ukraine finally become Ukrainian?

[Levko Lukianenko] “Russian colonial servitude has crippled us, we are a
sick nation. This will not happen very soon, but I don’t think the process
will be as long as Moses led the Jews from Egypt through the desert for
40 years, until the older generation that had lived in slavery died. I think
this process will be quicker.”
———————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/190109/

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
10.  AN UNCONVENTIONAL GENERAL: THE
100th BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF PETRO HRYHORENKO
A monument was erected in Symferopil. If you have a chance,
please lay some flowers there. Petro Hryhorenko deserves this.

By Yurii Shapoval, Professor, Scholar, Author, Historian
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I don’t think that someone else’s life can be an example for others.

Everyone carves out their own path. If what I have recounted can serve as
food for thought for anyone, I will believe that my work was not in vain,”
General Petro Hryhorenko wrote in his memoirs.

Today, many years later, it is very clear that he did not work in vain, and
his life is a lesson to all those for whom truth and decency are not
abstract notions.

Petro Hryhorenko was born on Oct. 16, 1907, in the village of Borysivka,
today: Prymorske district) in Zaporizhia oblast. His mother died when he
was three years old, and he attended a secondary school in Nohaisk. In the
spring of 1918 Petro and his brother Ivan tried to enlist in the
Red Guard in Berdiansk by pretending to be older.

But their father quickly tracked them down. He told Ivan, who was just 15,
“You are too young, but you’ll have plenty enough wars to fight in.”
These words could also apply to Petro, who later enrolled in the Civil
Engineering Faculty of the Kharkiv Technical Institute.

At this time an event occurred, which led Hryhorenko to a gradual
understanding of the true nature of the system that proclaimed itself the most

humane and righteous order In the summer of 1930 Hryhorenko the student
was a member of  a group of representatives sent by the Central Committee
of the Communist Party of Ukraine to bring in the crops.

They were briefed by the party’s General Secretary Stanislav Kosior.
The future human rights champion remembered that briefing all his life.

“The peasant has devised a new tactic,” Kosior sermonized. “He is refusing
to gather the harvest. He wants to destroy the grain in order to strangle the
Soviet power with the bony hand of famine. But the enemy is mistaken.

We ourselves will force him to know what famine is. Your task is to thwart
the kulak tactics of hindering the harvest campaign. Everything must be gathered
right down to the last seed of grain and immediately delivered to the state.”

Kosior’s speech made a horrible impression on Hryhorenko. This is probably
why he never became a Komsomol or party activist. Instead, he opted for
a military career. What led him to make this decision was a commission that
came to the institute to recruit students to the Leningrad-based Military
and Technical Academy. Incidentally, a Gypsy woman had once prophesied

that Hryhorenko would become a military man. The prophecy came true.

Hryhorenko became a cadet at the Military Engineering Faculty in 1931.
Later, this faculty formed the nucleus of the Moscow Military Engineering
College from which Hryhorenko graduated in 1934.

He was left at the college to pursue advanced military studies. He showed
character and persuaded none other than Deputy People’s Commissar of

Defense Mikhail Tukhachevsky to appoint him chief of staff of the separate
engineering battalion of the 4th Rifles Corps. He believed that you should
practice what you learn.

Tukhachevsky appreciated Hryhorenko’s resolute position, and when he was
about to leave the famous general’s office, Tukhachevsky stopped him and
said, “Remember that the uniform you are wearing and all that is connected

to it is for life.”

The point here is that graduates of the fortifications faculty where
Hryhorenko had just completed his studies were usually commissioned as

defense construction officers, but Tukhachevsky issued an unusual
appointment to Hryhorenko.

Hryhorenko took up full-time studies again in 1937 at the Moscow-based
General Staff Academy. One day in early 1938 he had a visit from his brother

Ivan, who one day earlier had been released from the NKVD detention center in
Zaporizhia.

There he saw a great number of “enemies of the people,” who were kept in
terrible conditions and beaten into confessing crimes they had never
committed.

 
Ivan had not been interrogated: at the investigator’s demand, he only wrote
an autobiography and comments about his bosses and subordinates.

Ivan was aware that this was an object lesson – ‘this is what awaits you if
you refuse to cooperate with the NKVD.’ So he boarded a train and went to
see his brother in Moscow. The brothers decided to send each other weekly
letters in the form of special abbreviations, a kind of code.

Ivan went home, but Petro decided to seek the truth, believe it or not, from
Andrei Vyshinsky, the Prosecutor-General of the USSR. He succeeded in
gaining an audience with “Jaguarovich” (Vyshinsky’s nickname based on his

patronymic Yanuarievich). Hryhorenko told him about his brother Ivan’s plight.

“Now I know,” Hryhorenko reminisced later, “what kind of person he was; what
a horrible role he played in the Stalinist terror. But I must admit frankly
that at the time I was overwhelmed by the importance of this person.”

Unbelievably, this “important person” helped. A Moscow commission came to
Zaporizhia, the investigators who had resorted to tortures were dismissed,
and the prisoners whom Ivan had met began to be released. “I was glad and
finally ‘convinced’ that the party was going to put an end to this mayhem,”
Hryhorenko recalled.

He could not guess that his intercession coincided with the advent to power
of Lavrenty Beria, who began to “cleanse” the NKVD of those who worked
in a “dirty” fashion.

Hryhorenko’s wife, who had seen his correspondence with his brother, wanted
to report him to the authorities. Since they had been corresponding with the
aid of specially truncated words, she decided that it was some kind of code
and set off to the Lubianka early one morning to inform on her
husband’s “espionage.”

Hearing her leave the apartment, Hryhorenko stopped her with great
difficulty and said that it was not a spy code but a message from his brother
describing what he had lived through.

His wife began to cry and asked him to forgive her. “I did not condemn her,”
Hryhorenko would later write in his memoirs. “Naturally, I did not rush to
denounce my relative to the NKVD, but the party had made Pavlik Morozov into
an iconic figure. Therefore, I was not a full-fledged communist. My wife
proved to be stronger.” They divorced soon after, and Hryhorenko married

Zinaida Yegorova.

Hryhorenko fought in the battle of Khalkhin-Gol in 1939. He commanded an
infantry division and was twice wounded. At the beginning of the war he
assessed the situation “incorrectly,” i.e., realistically.

This was duly recorded and throughout the war he remained in the rank of
lieutenant-colonel, although he held the position of general. He was not
promoted to general until early February 1945. Nevertheless, he would
eventually be reminded of his “incorrect” utterances. During the war
Hryhorenko met Leonid Brezhnev.

They did not exactly like each other, perhaps because Hryhorenko quickly
saw through the future General Secretary.

In 1945 Hryhorenko began teaching at the Frunze Military Academy. An
incident that took place at this time became a turning point in his life.

“That was the most terrible moment of my life, but it was also the time
of my triumph,” he wrote in his reminiscences. On Sept. 7, 1961, the
birthday of his son Andrii, Hryhorenko was supposed to speak at the

Communist Party conference in Moscow’s Leninsky district, to which he
was sent as a delegate by the academy’s party organization.

The conference was discussing the draft of a new party program that called
for building communism in the USSR within 20 years. It could have been a
run-of-the-mill speech followed by general applause and some proposals.

But the speaker proved to be an unconventional general. Hryhorenko began to
criticize Nikita Khrushchev’s policies and warned his listeners about his
nascent cult of personality, declaring that the party was rife with
careerism, lack of principles, and other negative manifestations that were

being hushed up.

The conference delegates unanimously condemned Hryhorenko’s speech
(clearly, on the party bosses’ instructions).

What was to be done with the maverick general? Initially, it was decided
to send him far away from Moscow. In early January 1962 Hryhorenko was
transferred to the Far East as the chief of operations of a field army staff
in Ussuriisk.

Hryhorenko would not have been a military man if he had not struck back:
on Nov. 7, 1963, he founded the Union for the Struggle to Revive Leninism,
which began circulating leaflets. The organization was uncovered, and in
1964 Hryhorenko was stripped of his rank, decorations, and pension, and then
arrested. On Aug 14 he was taken to a special psychiatric hospital in Leningrad.

This was still the Khrushchev era. But in October 1964 Khrushchev was
removed from his post as first secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU.

He was replaced by Brezhnev whom fate had brought together with Hryhorenko
during the war On April 14, 1965, a military tribunal ruled to discontinue forced
medical treatment.

When Brezhnev was shown the documents about Hryhorenko’s release, “dear
Leonid Illich” asked where the ex-general was. Informed that he had already
been discharged from the hospital, Brezhnev said, “You shouldn’t have
hurried.” Hryhorenko would soon find himself in a durka (psychiatric hospital)

again.

Meanwhile, released from the hospital, the former general began to work as a
cargo handler. During this time he became acquainted with such Russian and
Ukrainian human rights activists as Henrikh Altunian, Leonid Pliushch,
Mykola Rudenko, Viacheslav Chornovil, Nina Strokata, and others.

An important page in his life story is the struggle for the rights of the
Crimean Tatars, which the latter have never forgotten This was the reason
behind Hryhorenko’s arrest in 1969. He had once met the Russian writer
Aleksei Kosterin, who drew his attention to this people’s tragedy.

On April 29, 1969, Yurii Andropov, the head of the KGB, sent a special
letter to the CC CPSU with a plan to establish a network of psychiatric

hospitals to be used for protecting the existing state and social order.

Interestingly, that was the day that Hryhorenko gave the samizdat network
his open letter to Andropov The letter described in detail what the KGB was
really doing: persecuting democratically- minded people, opening
correspondence, carrying out covert and open searches of the homes of

those who were critical of the government, tapping telephones, spreading
slander about specific people via the press and the party propaganda system,
organizing special provocations, and framing people who opposed the
authorities.

Hryhorenko illustrated all this with concrete examples and through his own
example showed the cost of surveillance in Soviet rubles.

On May 2, 1969, Hryhorenko was arrested in Tashkent, where he was

supposed to appear as a public defender at the trial of the leaders of the
Crimean Tatar movement He was re-arrested on May 7.

There were interrogations again, and an expert examination in Moscow
pronounced him mentally ill. On Feb. 27, 1970, Hryhorenko was sent to a

special psychiatric hospital. Professor Andrei Sakharov, the father of the
Soviet hydrogen bomb, began his human rights struggle in 1969 by coming
to the defense of General Hryhorenko.

In 1971 the psychiatrist Semen Gluzman, who was working in Zhytomyr oblast,
carried out an independent examination of the Hryhorenko case and proved
that the psychiatric treatment methods applied to him were unlawful.

He obtained all the necessary documents from Moscow-based dissidents and
wrote a conclusion (as Semen Fishelevych told me, he was not fully aware of
the likely consequences of these actions). The consequences became clear
very soon: Gluzman was arrested that year and sentenced to a seven-year

term in a prison camp and three years of internal exile.

Hryhorenko was released on June 26, 1974. He left notes about his 6.5-year
incarceration in a psychiatric hospital. The human rights champion wrote,
“The idea of special psychiatric hospitals is not bad in itself, but when it
comes to the specific way it is being implemented in this country, there is
nothing more criminal and antihuman.”

The trouble is that this field was entirely taken out of public control and
handed over to hand-picked apparatchiks.

Doctors were carefully selected to work in psychiatric clinics: medical
skill played no role whatsoever; what mattered was the ability to obey

and conceal one’s medical ego.

Hryhorenko’s memoirs, entitled You Can Only See Rats Underground, were
published in 1981 in New York and reprinted in the USSR in 1990.

The title is evocative because such figures as Hryhorenko resisted the
attempts of the KGB and the entire Soviet regime to drive the human rights
movement underground and tried to express their views openly and legally,
as though they were living in a truly democratic society, where “one
breathes so freely.”

This assumed special importance after the USSR signed the Helsinki

Accords in August 1975. Earlier, the USSR had abstained when the UN
was voting for the Human Rights Charter.

But when the Kremlin signed the Charter, a different politico-legal reality
was created because it was about recognizing human rights, basic freedoms,
and the right to know these rights and duties and act in compliance with
them.

One of the results of this was the growth of a dissident movement in the
USSR: in May 1976 Sakharov’s comrade-in-arms, Professor Yurii Orlov,

founded a Moscow civic group to monitor compliance with the Helsinki
Accords, followed in November 1976 by the founding of a Ukrainian group
and later, its Lithuanian, Georgian, and Armenian counterparts. Hryhorenko
was the co-founder of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group.

The members of these groups behaved as if they lived in a free country, and
the main method of their struggle was adherence to the ostensibly democratic
Constitution of the Soviet Union, the General Declaration of Human Rights,
and the Helsinki Accords.

In 1977 Hryhorenko was taken ill. Together with his wife and son Oleh,
he was allowed to travel to the US for medical treatment. He was stripped
of Soviet citizenship three months after his departure. Hryhorenko died
in the US in February 1987 and is buried in Bound Brook, New Jersey, at St.
Andrew’s Ukrainian Cemetery.

As Tukhachevsky had once predicted, Hryhorenko remained a military man:
he was reinstated (posthumously) in the rank of major-general in 1993 by
a decree of Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

A monument to the unconventional general was erected in Symferopil. If you
have a chance, please lay some flowers there. Petro Hryhorenko deserves
this.
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LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/190115/
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11.  RUSSIA SAYS: DEMOCRACY? NO, LAND OF DISORDER!

COMMENTARY & ANALYSIS: By Peter Dickinson
Business Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, October 22, 2007

Russia is approaching what everyone expects will be yet another stage-
managed farce of an election. Does that mean Russians are envious of
Ukraine’s democratic breakthrough? Not at all, or at least the majority
would never admit to it.

The assorted democratic watchdogs and acronymed agencies of the
international community gave Ukraine’s recent parliamentary elections a
resounding thumbs up, making it the third straight national vote in as
many years to be assessed as both free and fair by global scrutineers.

The success of this democratic revolution has gone virtually unnoticed in
Russia, where the popular perception of Ukraine is of a chaotic country
permanently on the verge of the next political crisis with a population
deeply disillusioned by the democratic process.

It is hardly surprising that the state-controlled Russian press should wish
to present such an impression, given the rather obvious threat Ukrainian
democracy poses to existing vertical power structures and Putin’s regime.

The motto adopted by the post-Yeltsin generation of Russian political
thinkers that democracy is somehow “not for us” is clearly debunked by

developments in Ukraine, and this is something which must be countered
at all costs.
FREE AND UNFREE, ORDER AND DISORDER
As a result of this need to portray Ukraine’s progress in the most
unattractive light possible Russia’s propaganda outlets have adopted a
wholly pessimistic approach to the Ukrainian question.

Instead of acknowledging the benefits of Ukraine’s burgeoning civil society,
free media and lively political debate, Moscow commentators have focused
almost exclusively on the elements of conflict that this process inevitably
throws up.

They never seem to tire of reporting on the hardships of Russian
nationalists in Crimea and the Donbass, while reveling in coverage of Ukraine’s

struggle to come to terms with the divisions created by the Soviet past.

Whereas the European liberal democratic tradition attaches primary
importance to the level of personal freedoms in any given society, the current

official Russian attitude is the product of a mindset that tends to view
everything in terms of order and disorder.

We have seen this position employed wholesale by Ukraine’s own Russian-
leaning Party of Regions during the past three years of electioneering,
with their refreshingly honest “Hope is good, but stability is better”
campaign slogans.

Such attitudes effectively relegate trivialities like human rights
and press freedoms to near irrelevance and instead fit neatly into the old,
Soviet worldview of how a country should be run.
DEMOCRACY – WHO NEEDS IT?
Any government that attempted to move from pseudo-democracy towards a
more authoritarian form of rule would be forced to adopt similar measures.
What is perhaps more troubling is the lack of street level opposition to
this state dictated anti-democratic dogma.

Unfortunately today’s Russia is not fertile ground for plausible public
opinion surveys and I have admittedly not had the chance to question large
numbers of ordinary Russians, but nevertheless the majority of those who I
have spoken to in recent weeks seem to hold very much to the official party
line and go out of their way to remain unimpressed by Ukraine’s emerging
democracy.

There is a visible defensiveness among many of these middle class Russians
when discussing western perceptions of Putin’s style of government.

This reticence is often combined with a certain cockiness brought on by
the self-esteem that petro-dollars have pumped back into the formerly
crestfallen citizens of the ex-superpower.

After years of humiliating poverty and collapse, they sense that Russia is
again strong and this seems to be more than enough to counter more trivial
issues such as human rights or personal freedoms.

The Russians I have met recently talk almost exclusively about the country’s
booming economy and the renewed sense of national pride the current regime
has managed to instill via its policy of rattling rusty old Cold War sabres at
the West.

As they agree with virtually everything Putin is doing, why should they
worry that the few existing avenues of opposition have been bricked up?
TIME FOR EU RECOGNITION
This kind of thinking makes the success of Ukraine’s bloodless democratic
revolution all the more remarkable, and emphasises the cultural gulf that
is opening between the two formerly intertwined nations.

It would be helpful if this gulf was acknowledged by the EU in the shape of
more concerted efforts to bring Ukraine into the fold.

With each free election there remain fewer and fewer reasons not to do so,
while the old argument about not interfering in Russia’s sphere of influence
appears to be slowly but surely collapsing into the void that separates the
two country’s attitudes towards democracy.
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LINK: http://www.businessukraine.com.ua/new-democracy-no-land-of

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12.  UKRAINE: STEPPING OUT OF STALIN’S LONG SHADOW

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Peter Dickinson
Business Ukraine magazine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct 15, 2007

Russia and Ukraine were once considered almost indivisible by many, but
the two countries are increasingly distancing themselves from one another.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in attitudes towards the atrocities of
the Stalin era

Since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 few of its former constituent
republics have mourned its passing, but for many years much of the
Ukrainian population shared a similar nostalgia for lost empire that remains
widespread throughout Russia.

This was reflected in an ambiguous governmental approach to confronting the
airbrushed horrors of Soviet rule, generally characterised by a flat refusal
to discuss the issues involved, with those who sought to force discussion
were accused of reopening old wounds or siding with old Cold War enemies.

However, since the Orange Revolution official Ukrainian attitudes to the
Soviet era have taken a dramatic turn away from denial and towards
confronting the ghosts of the old empire.

In doing so Ukraine is following the example set by many of its former
Soviet neighbours, who since 1991 have also adopted a new, nationalised
approach to the past that is highly critical of Soviet rule and designed to
isolate Russia ideologically and pave the way for European integration.
YUSHCHENKO FACING UP TO THE PAST
President Yushchenko has made open discussion of Soviet atrocities one of
his policy priorities, and since coming to power in 2005 he has
reinvigorated a process to address the injustices of Communist rule somewhat
half-heartedly begun under his predecessor Leonid Kuchma.

Yushchenko has championed the cause of a museum dedicated to the Soviet
Occupation of Ukraine, attempted to rehabilitate Second World-War Ukrainian
Insurgent Army veterans and led memorial services at the sites of previously
unmarked mass graves outside Kyiv housing the remains of NKVD victims.

However, the cornerstone of this national policy has been events focusing on
the commemoration of the Holodomor, an engineered famine in 1932-33 that
saw the agricultural wealth of Ukraine requisitioned at gunpoint as part of
Stalin’s plans to force the peasantry onto collective farms.

Millions died of starvation as a result, but for decades the Soviet
authorities down-played the tragedy and claimed it was a natural disaster.

This November will witness the start of a year of memorial events around the
world timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary and designed to attract
international attention to the Holodomor, with Kyiv playing a central role.

Plans are in place to begin construction of a memorial park and museum close
to the Lavra, and last week Kyiv’s Mohyla Academy released a commemorative
book on the Holodomor to be issued to all Ukraine’s diplomatic missions
abroad in order to encourage more foreign governments to recognise it as
genocide.

Moving memorial ceremonies are now held annually on the last weekend of
November, and have become one of the central events on the Ukrainian
calendar.

The world’s imagination has been captured by the iconic scenes of Kyiv’s
central squares covered in coloured lamps to signify the millions of
victims, and earlier this year President Yushchenko called on world leaders
to recognise the genocide in time for the 75th anniversary.

In the wake of the emotional memorial services last autumn, Ukraine’s
parliament itself voted to recognise the Holodomor as an act of genocide
against the Ukrainian people, breaking with the long-held policy of avoiding
official declarations condemning the Soviet past for fear of offending
Russia.
THE GEOPOLITICS OF GENOCIDE
Ukraine’s actions are in line with developments elsewhere in the former
USSR, where recent years have witnessed battles over a Soviet statue in
Tallinn, legislation equating Communist with Nazi symbols elsewhere in the
Baltics and the opening of a host of Soviet Occupation museums.

Most former Soviet republics have made some attempt to reassess their
treatment under Communist rule, and as they seek greater integration into
European structures this policy is one way of demonstrating commitment to
established European traditions of human rights and the rule of law while
emphasising emancipation from Moscow.

Russian officials have reacted with a mixture of defensiveness and disgust
to this new-found openness and were vocal in their condemnation of the
Ukrainian parliament’s Holodomor genocide vote, which they labeled as
nationalism.

This reticence is understandable given the moral low ground Russia occupies
as the self-appointed successor state to the Soviet empire.

Facing a barrage of condemnation from their former junior partners, Kremlin
officials have tried to bluff and bluster without ever acknowledging
responsibility for Soviet-era atrocities or issuing any outright denials.

Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin has stated that as Stalin
was Georgian, all complaints should be addressed to Georgia, while other
officials have attempted to emphasise the collective nature of Soviet
suffering in order to undermine the victim status felt in the smaller
republics.
NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF?
More worrying than this silence on Soviet crimes is the recent trend towards
actively rehabilitating the great dictator himself. Former Soviet leader
Mikhail Gorbachev spoke out last week on the subject at a low key Russian
conference to mark seventy years since the start of Stalin’s Great Terror.

“We must squeeze Stalinism out of ourselves, not by single drops but by the
bucketful. There are those who are now saying that Stalin’s rule was a
golden age, and that Brezhnev’s neo-Stalinism was a continuation of the
golden age,” he commented.

Gorbachev’s warning comes at a time when attitudes to the Soviet dictator
across Russia appear to be changing. A recent survey by the Yuri Levada
centre found that 54% of young Russians believe that Stalin did more good
than bad, while a TV documentary series screened on Russian TV earlier this
year attracted the ire of human rights groups for portraying Stalin in a
sympathetic light.

At the centre of the Stalinist revisionism is Vladimir Putin, whose brand of
paranoid patriotism has managed to mobilise a Russian population fed up with
their perceived humiliation at the hands of the triumphalist West while
longing for a return to their former superpower status.

The Russian president has never openly praised Stalin, but he is often
quoted discussing the need to return a sense of national pride to Russians
and has tried to downplay the atrocities of Stalin’s regime by contrasting
them favourably with Nazi crimes and American actions in Japan and Vietnam.

Putin was recently quoted as saying: “We must not allow others to impose a
feeling of guilt on us,” in response to teaching programmes about the
millions who perished under Stalinism and he was also behind a new school
textbook that barely mentions the Gulag or the mass graves but instead
refers to Stalin blandly as “the most successful leader of the USSR.”

Officials at the Russian NGO Memorial, set up to honour the memory of the
millions of Soviet citizens murdered by the regime, have also sounded the
alarm, claiming that a systematic attempt is being made to change historical
perceptions in favour of Stalin.

“A massive campaign to revise the collective memory is underway. We are
plunging Russia’s younger generation into half-lies. In the end we will
produce ready-made cynics,” said Memorial’s Irina Scherbakova.

Such attempts to rehabilitate Comrade Stalin on a national level may now
only be possible in Russia itself, but regions of Ukraine where Soviet
nostalgia and loyalties run deep often seem stuck in the distorted world of
Soviet propaganda, where the democrats are enemies and civil society is seen
as a fifth column doing the West’s bidding.

A sense of resentment at the demonising of former Soviet idols by outsiders
has led, among other things, to the creation of a museum for the victims of
American imperialism in Crimea, which founders stated was in direct response
to the parliamentary vote on the Holodomor.

It also led to a bizarre and troubling ad campaign launched this March to
encourage Donetsk citizens to pay their gas bills.

Alongside the slogan: “Comrades! This isn’t a film – this is real life!
Those who don’t pay their gas bills will be punished!” billboards featured a
giant image of Stalin standing in front of what appeared to be a
concentration camp fence.

Mercifully these insensitive posters were quickly removed after numerous
complaints from local human rights groups, but the fact that they were
erected at all demonstrates that not everyone in Ukraine is ready yet to
step out from Stalin’s long shadow.
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13.  UKRAINE: THE VOTES AFTER THE VOTE

Analysis & Commentary: By John Marone
Kyiv Post Staff Journalist, Kyiv, Ukraine
Eurasian Home, Moscow, Russia, Monday, Oct 22, 2007

Ukraine held general elections on September 30, but power sharing in the
country remains to be decided in subsequent voting devoid of public
participation and full of backroom intrigue.

For a second time in a row, Ukraine has pulled off an internationally
accepted demonstration of the people’s will, with rank and file citizens
putting an end to a crippling stand off between their two highest executive
leaders.

Now the battle between Orange President Viktor Yushchenko and Blue Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych has again taken a back seat to infighting among
Orange parties tasked with forming the parliament’s next coalition.

Opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, who helped Yushchenko withstand
Yanukovych’s fraud-filled bid for the presidency during the country’s 2004
Orange Revolution, only to be fired by Yushchenko as his first premier in
2005, is ready to return to head the government in recognition of her bloc’s
stunning performance on September 30.

But the toughest voting is still ahead for Ms. Yulia, a fiery populist whose
ratings have steadily increased over the years in direct relation to the
fear of her opponents and her ‘allies’.

Tymoshenko’s BYuT bloc signed a coalition agreement with President
Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine-People’s Self Defense [OUPSD] bloc last week.

Orange supporters who had helplessly watched Viktor Yanukovych return as
premier following the 2006 parliamentary elections due to Orange infighting
were relieved.

This time, the president’s party promised to bloc with BYuT; last time, Mr.
Yushchenko and company were accused of offering a coalition deal to
Yanukovych’s Regions faction.

This time, the Orange parties don’t need the Socialists or a third faction
to form a coalition; last time, it was the Socialists who defected to the
Regions’ coalition effort.

Yet despite calls from every Western leader and his brother for the prompt
formation of a Ukrainian government, the process has stalled.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Kramer summed it up best
during a statement made on October 16 in Washington.

“Many, many months over the past few years have been spent on elections,
campaigning and government formation. It is time to get down to business and
focus on governing. It is time to get on with it.”

The Orange Revolution brought hope that Ukraine would move closer to
Europe, introducing liberal reforms, but Yushchenko’s lack of leadership
first, in 2005, allowed the Orange coalition to fall apart and then, in 2006, the
enemy Blue camp to usurp presidential authority.

And just like last year, the obstacles to getting the country back on track,
to unblocking reform bills, appear to be coming from Yushchenko.

The head of the president’s Secretariat, Viktor Baloga, announced last week
that the new coalition’s program is “a direct assault on the exclusive
prerogatives of the president.”

Baloga meant a BYuT initiative to halt army conscription next year rather
than in 2010, as envisioned by Yushchenko. BYuT’s populist campaign promise,
indeed, needs a lot of explaining, but surely this is no reason to hold up
the formation of a government.

In addition, Yushchenko did a pretty good job of letting Yanukovych assault
his presidential prerogatives leading up to the last election without the
help of BYuT. Yanukovych fired Yushchenko’s pro-Western foreign minister
and unilaterally put the brakes on NATO integration, while the president
could only protest.

Opposition to the still unconfirmed Orange coalition has also come from the
coalition members themselves – at least a few deputies who seem to be
directed by Tymoshenko’s Orange enemies.

Lightweight parliamentary newcomer Vladislav Kaskiv announced last week
that, “we have serious doubts about supporting the package of draft laws
that have supposedly been agreed between BYuT and OUPSD.”

Considering that the Orange coalition has yet to be confirmed and holds only
a three-deputy majority against a powerful and disciplined Regions in
opposition, maybe Mr. Kaskiv should have kept his doubts out of the media.

Leading up to the vote to confirm Tymoshenko as premier will be a vote to
reverse legislation passed under Yanukovych to limit Yushchenko’s
presidential powers.

It was Yushchenko who laid the groundwork for his own demise by approving
controversial constitutional reforms in late 2004. Now, the president wants
the ally he let down on at least two earlier occasions to give him back his
power.

But the two Orange leaders apparently don’t trust each other, which is why
all sorts of undemocratic tricks are in play, such as secret and package
voting.

There is also the vote for the speaker position, which BYuT has promised to
OUPSD. However, this may be little comfort to the president, as his party is
increasingly filled with young professional politicians who realize the
danger of again betraying Orange voters and thus are unlikely to stick too
close to the president.

The September 30 elections demonstrated similar shifts in loyalty among
Orange voters, twice as many of whom supported Tymoshenko over
Yushchenko.

Unlike the president, BYuT and most OUPSD deputies are vowing daring
reforms such as cleaning up Ukraine’s shady energy sector and finally
introducing an Orange prosecutor-general. The president’s middle-of-the-road
approach looks wan and even frustrating by comparison.

The vote count after September 30 was slow enough, taking several days in
some regions; and the coalition announcement has still to be finalized.

More recently, the country’s infamously corrupt courts have been running
interference. The Supreme Administrative Court is currently reviewing suits
filed by mostly fringe parties that didn’t get past the three-percent
barrier.

Judicial review looks “democratic” enough on the outside, but anyone
familiar with Ukraine’s courts can see through the delay tactic.

And this time, one cannot blame Yanukovych’s Regions party or their
Communist allies for stifling democracy. They fought a more or less fair
election campaign and look set to go into the opposition, where they will
likely be no less dangerous.

Whatever its democratic shortcomings, Regions is disciplined and largely
united, making their Orange opponents look hypocritical and divisive by
comparison.

Considering the slim majority held by the Orange and the confirmation votes
that they still have to overcome, Regions is expected to have a heyday
‘inducing’ their Orange opponents to break ranks.

The elections are over, and the Orange look set to take back full control of
executive power in Ukraine.

If they believe in even half of the democratic policy goals they advocated
during the election campaign, it shouldn’t matter how Yushchenko and BYuT
divide up the pie. If they don’t, they don’t deserve the presidency or the
government.
———————————————————————————————
http://www.eurasianhome.org/xml/t/opinion.xml?lang=en&nic=opinion&pid=892
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
14.  2005 OR 2006? TECHNIQUE OF “DITCHING” TYMOSHENKO

IS CENTRAL ISSUE OF UKRAINIAN POLITICS

COMMENTARY & ANALYSIS: By Andrii Okara, Special to The Day
The Day Weekly Digest #31, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23 2007

This is the third time in a row that the key question of the Ukrainian
post-election political process and inter-clan intrigues is how to get
rid of Yulia Tymoshenko, just like in 2005 and 2006. How can she be
squeezed out of the government system and kept from occupying the
prime minister’s post?

Personally, I only have the foggiest notion of what industrial, financial,
energy-related, international, humanitarian, military, and social policies
the Tymoshenko cabinet will be pursuing. (Nor can I imagine any policies
of a cabinet headed by other people.)

First of all, you cannot wade into the same river twice: it is not a good
idea to judge Prime Minister Tymoshenko 2007 by comparing her to Prime
Minister Tymoshenko of 2005 or Deputy Prime Minister Tymoshenko of 2000
because people tend to change, some for the better and some for the worse.

Second, wise people learn from their own mistakes, other people’s mistakes,
imaginary mistakes, and hypothetical ones. People who are not wise not only
make their own mistakes but also repeat other people’s mistakes.

Third, advanced people try to grow and develop, while non-advanced ones
do not: they degrade and become hidebound – spiritually, intellectually,
and physically.

Fourth, the political process resembles the Brownian movement of particles
and is dependent on such a large number of contradictory factors and
oblique conditions that sometimes it is impossible to predict even the
general direction of certain processes.

Therefore, one can only make a tentative and hypothetical assessment of
the direction and strategy of a Tymoshenko-led Cabinet of Ministers in
2007 on the basis of her statements (changing the gas-supply pattern by
disbanding RosUkrEnergo, nationalizing dubiously privatized businesses,
such as the Luhansk Diesel Locomotive Plant, abolishing the military
draft on Jan. 1, 2008, etc.) and the BYuT program called Ukrainian
Breakthrough.

But when a very large number of male heavyweights with diametrically
opposing political views have been wracking their brains for almost
three years on how to bar one lone fragile lady from power, this is
truly perplexing.

One has to conclude that “the Tymoshenko threat” is the main generator
of the current Ukrainian political process.

There are two well-tested techniques against her. The first one is
the “2005 technique”: she was appointed prime minister in February 2005
but with limited powers, and she held this post only briefly.

A few months later, after a series of economic crises (sparked by gas,
sugar, and meat problems), and after Oleksandr Zinchenko’s exposure of
the “dear friends.” the president dismissed her from office.

According to the “2006 technique,” Tymoshenko’s premiership was
forestalled by the refusal of Our Ukraine to form a coalition with the BYuT
and by backroom deals between Yushchenko and Yanukovych.

Tymoshenko is perfectly aware of the threats she will be facing if she
occupies the “politically loaded” prime minister’s chair: take Ukraine’s one
billion dollar debt to Gazprom, which cropped up right after the elections.

One of her strategies (Plan B) is to remain behind in the opposition and
bravely contest the next presidential elections scheduled for early 2010
according to the Constitution of Ukraine, but which may take place sooner
in the conditions of Ukrainian “Brownian” politics.

Meanwhile, the latest Verkhovna Rada elections showed that Tymoshenko
knows far better than others how to achieve ambitious goals, even though
Ukrainian politics has a Bermuda Triangle of its own, Yushchenko-Tymoshenko-
Yanukovych, which keeps each of these three leaders from gaining all the
power: the alliances of two against the third are unstable and save the
Ukrainian political system from the winner-takes-all scenario.

But whether this is good or bad is a subject that has nothing to do with
political science.

Therefore, the principal question of Ukrainian politics today is under
which scenario will Tymoshenko be ditched – the 2005 scenario (she will
become prime minister, only to be “pushed out” and “jilted” soon after as a
result of a number of crises) or the 2006 one (she will not be prime
minister and will have to go into the opposition, and the prime ministership

will be nominated by a “broad-based” coalition).

The NU-NS and Viktor Yushchenko are taking a dim view of the idea promoted
by certain ideologues in the president’s entourage that Ukraine can and must
be united by means of a consensus between the different regional clans and
oligarchies.

This may work in some countries, but the formula of Ukraine’s current
unity, “Donetsk oligarchs + Kyiv oligarchs and bureaucrats,” and the
political setup of this alliance in the shape of a “broad-based” coalition
is ineffective and immoral.

The Ukrainian political process has undergone major changes in the past
few years. Since the days of Machiavelli people have believed that politics
is a priori immoral, if not extra-moral.

But the significant events that took place in Ukraine in 2004 and 2006
showed that this is not so in reality and that moments of truth do occur
in politics. And what Oleksandr Moroz did on midsummer’s eve in 2006 led
to his fiasco in the latest elections and complete political downfall.

The 2004 Orange Revolution showed that Ukrainian politics generally exists
in a morally engaged field. This is one reason to be proud of our country.

Should Our Ukraine fail to meet its commitments under its February
agreements with the BYuT, it will experience the same fate as the socialists
suffered: most Ukrainian voters do not forgive betrayals and defections.

Yes, the political forces that will trespass moral lines may gain some
temporary advantages, but what happened to Moroz is a case in point: now
you win your 30 silver pieces (or 30 million dollars) but tomorrow you will
lose everything – above all, your good name and political reputation.

So in response to the logic of the president’s entourage and the Party of
Regions, which envisions two patterns of “ditching” Tymoshenko, she herself
may opt for “elephant logic” (to run headlong first for the prime minister’s
office and then for the presidency, overcoming resistance and carefully-
orchestrated crises) and “panther logic,” i.e., jumping into the
presidential chair as an opposition leader.

But the most unpredictable thing in current Ukrainian politics is the
balance of threats to Yushchenko and the likelihood of a snap presidential
election.

The only question to which Tymoshenko, Yushchenko, Akhmetov, and others
have no answer is: where can one find the many highly-skilled, efficient,
professional, and uncorrupt managers needed to fill the executive branch of
power – under Tymoshenko’s leadership or somebody else’s? This is
Ukraine’s problem in general, not just of individual politicians.

An experienced staff usually consists of people from the past who
nevertheless know how the administrative mechanism works. Many of today’s
ministers have deliberately muddled things up in their ministries so that
their successors will not be able to clear them up and will sink into the mire of
a crisis.

So we are facing the age-old problem of Ukrainian politics – a short seat
for bench-warmers. But where will we get new players who are young and
skilled?
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/190101/
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
15.  BRAVO AND STAY TUNED: PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS 2007

COMMENTARY: By Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #882, Article 15
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Two days before the election, Russia’s Ambassador to Ukraine Victor
Chornomyrdyn stated that energy prices to Ukraine this winter will depend on
who wins the election.  Two days after the Orange forces won, Russia’s
Gasprom declared that Ukraine has a 1.3 billion dollar energy debt.

Former Prime Minister Yanukhovych and the Minister of Energy, the
incompetent Yurij Boyko – both from the losing Party of Regions-headed for
Moscow while the President of Ukraine, Victor Yushchenko muddied the
political waters by calling for a united government comprising the top three
parties, a ploy that prevented the Orange forces from forming the government
following the March 2006 parliamentary elections.

Things looked like the political shenanigans following that election might
be in the works again.  Not any longer.  On October 16, the President called
on the Orange forces to form a government.  Bravo.
So who are the winners and losers of the September 30 elections?
Despite attaining the highest number of votes, the biggest loser is the
ruling Party of Regions: it failed to hold power.  Only 34 % of Ukrainian
voters backed it.  The other big loser is Olezander Moroz.  His Socialists
failed to pass the 3% barrier required to sit in parliament.  No surprise
here.

After the March 2006 elections Moroz abandoned the Orange forces to join
Yanukhovych.  Now, he is being punished.  One attractive Kyiv voter summed
up the prevailing attitude of voters: “Anyone, but Moroz.”

The under-performance of the two key pro-Russia parties prevents them from
taking power in parliament.  Bad news for them, and for Russia’s President
Vladymyr Putin.  His designs to control Ukraine as part of a re-emerging new
Russian empire are well known.

In secret discussions with Mr. Yanukhovych, just weeks before the election,
he promises that he will continue as Prime Minister regardless of the will
of the people.

Then, came the Ambassador’s threats, and the pilgrimage of the sitting duck
ministers to Moscow.  What will be his moves to protect Russia’s interests
in light of the Orange victory?

Undeniably the big winner is BYuT, Yulia Tymoshenko’s Block, pulling in over
30% of the votes.  Her political staying power and momentum are impressive.

Twice dismissed by President Victor Yuschenko as the Prime Minister, she

has put personal animosities aside to cobble, again and again, an Orange
coalition knowing full well that without a united presence the pro-West
forces are doomed.  The voters have rewarded her with growing support in
the last three elections.

Additionally, this time she made inroads beyond the historically pro-West
regions of Ukraine winning handsomely in central and parts of south-eastern
Ukraine.

She deserves to form the new Orange government and become the Prime Minister
again.  The people have given her their support to govern the country her
way, but will she be allowed?

There are two other winners.  Although small in percentage of votes taken,
the Communist party, dismissed by some as yesterday’s phenomenon, has

nearly doubled its electoral support to nearly 5%.

Its gain is a testimonial to the poverty in the rural areas, the national
high unemployment, and the low pensions -all a big issue in Ukraine.
Allegedly funded by Ukraine’s richest oligarch Renat Akhmetov who funds the
Party of Regions as well, the Communists will join the Regions to form the
opposition.

A big winner in the small category, and someone to watch, is the phenix-like
resurrection of Volodymyr Lytvyn.  Parliament’s Speaker under President
Kuchma, he returns after a two year political absence.   His Block obtained
near 4%. It was expected that he would support the Regions.

However, his political ambitions seem long term.  Given Ms. Tymoshenko’s
standing,  he might lead towards the Orange or stay independent – a new
phenomenon in Ukraine’s politics – supporting issues with popular appeal,
regardless of party sponsorship.

What about Nasha Ukraina-Natsional’na Samo Oborona (NUNS) whose

honorary head is President Yushchenko?  Are they winners or losers?

Although they placed third after BYuT and the Regions receiving nearly 15%
of the vote the NUNS, in particular the Our Ukraine faction, cannot be
counted as a winner.

The force that brought millions to contest and win the fraudulent
presidential elections has lost support because of its inability to deal
with Russia’s meddling in Ukraine’s affairs, the capitulation to Russia’s
grab of the energy sector, and failure to deal with corruption.

It formed a loose union, in time for the elections, with young Yurij
Lutsenko, a high-profile freedom fighter and Orange Revolution figure. His
NSO gave Our Ukraine a boost.

Immediately following the election results he made a public statement
supporting Tymoshenko.  Nasha Ukrajina took its time.  Such decisive acts
are the stuff of great political leaders: watch him.

Above all, it was the people who emerged as the greatest winners in the
elections.  They made their choice switching loyalties in order to reward
those who espouse their values rather than those whose net value has grown
at the people’s expense.  They created the winners and losers and elected
for themselves a new government.

All seems as it should be in Ukraine now.  Yulia Tymoshenko and the NUNS’s
Orange alliance will form the government.  The opposition will comprise the
Regions and the Communists.  Even without Volodymyr Lytvyn the Orange

power has the numbers.  But, they also had them in March 2006 and lost.

True, but with each election the political sophistication of both the
electorate and politicians in Ukraine is mounting.   It’s politics are still
somewhat of a crap shoot and backs needs to be watched.  But, for now, the
people’s choice has prevailed.

What about Ambassador Chernomyrdyn’s statement?  It is odd that he was
neither reprimanded by the President Victor Yuschenko nor asked to withdraw
his remarks.

Nor were there calls for the Ambassador to leave the country as a persona
non grata, a likely move in other democratic countries especially given his
long standing record of meddling in Ukraine’s politics on behalf of Russia.

Will this happen?  Stay tuned.
———————————————————————————————–
Oksana Bashuk Hepburn is the President of U*CAN Ukraine Canada

Relations Inc., a consulting firm, and a commentator.  She is writing a
novel dealing with Ukrainian and diaspora politics.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
16.  PRESIDENT YUSHCHENKO WANTS TO DECLARE 2008 YEAR
A NATIONAL YEAR OF HOLODOMOR REMEMBRANCE

Press Office of the President, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

KHARKIV – The year 2008 should be declared as a national year of Holodomor
remembrance, President Victor Yushchenko said during the second meeting of
the Holodomor Commemoration Coordinating Council in Kharkiv on Tuesday.

Yushchenko said he was going to propose a bill criminalizing the denial of
the Holocaust and Holodomor, instructing Ukraine’s central and local
authorities to hold events on 24 November 2007 to honor the victims of the
Soviet-era famine and mark its 75th anniversary.

Ukrainians all around the world will again light candles to pay tribute to
the victims of the 1932-1933 Great Famine and political repressions, he
added.

Yushchenko urged church leaders to join the memorial events and said it
was important to erect Holodomor monuments in all regions hit by the famine,
expressing hopes such a monument will soon be unveiled in Kharkiv.

He reiterated his request to the country’s officials to inventory archives,
study eyewitness accounts and compile a National Memory Book and then
criticized the Education Ministry for failing to raise Holodomor awareness.

“I hope the Education Ministry will understand that this subject is very
important for shaping outlooks of the young,” he said, calling on artists
to create more works about that tragedy and pledging to support their
initiatives.
———————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/1_20070.html
———————————————————————————————–

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
17.  PRESIDENT COMMEMORATES HOLODOMOR VICTIMS

UKRINFORM, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

 
KHARKIV – President Viktor Yushchenko, who is on a visit to the
Kharkiv region, laid flowers at the monument to 1932- 1933 Holodomor
victims in the village of Pokotylivka.

Viktor Yushchenko stressed that historical truth should be restored

about all the hungers, Ukraine has survived, the president believes that
the right estimation of the event will test whether Ukraine will be
confirmed as a nation.

The president also stressed that a memory about this awful event from the
past should be kept in memory of every citizen and should be remembered

in  every village.

Viktor Yushchenko urged Ukrainians not to be indifferent to the event ahead
of the 75th anniversary of Holodomor.

According to some data, the Holodomor’s death toll is 7 to 10 million
Ukrainians, four millions of whom were children. The Day of memory of

Holodomor Victims is marked annually on the fourth Saturday of November.
The 1932 to 1933 Holodomor has been declared the genocide against the
Ukrainian nation by 11 countries.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
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AUR#881 Oct 22 Black Sea Deepwater Drilling Contract Signed; Grain Exports, WTO; Gas Price Hike; EU Membership; Second Change; Large Swap; Orphans

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

Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 881
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., MONDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2007
 
NOTE:  Send the AUR to your colleagues, associates, family and
friends around the world.  You can be part of the program to inform 
the world about Ukraine….its people….its history….its future.
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.  UKRAINE STRIKES DEAL WITH VANCO INTERNATIONAL
Press office of President Yushchenko, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fri, Oct 19, 2007
 

SEA SHELF’S TRANS-KERCH SEGMENT PRODUCTS
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 19, 2007

5US-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL HOSTS MEETING WITH

State Export-Import Bank Rep Office in NYC to Join Business Council
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Wash, DC, Mon, Oct 22, 2007

6UKRAINE TO END GRAIN EXPORT LIMITS, ECONOMY MINISTER
By Halia Pavliva and Mark Drajem, Bloomberg
Washington, D.C., Friday, October 19, 2007

7POLITICAL SITUATION IN UKRAINE MAY DELAY ITS
ADMISSSION TO WTO SAYS ECONOMY MINISTER KINAKH
Itar-Tass, Moscow, Russia, Sunday, Oct 21, 2007

8UKRAINE BRACES FOR 15% GAS PRICE HIKE MINISTER SAYS
Bloomberg News, New York, NY, Saturday, October 20, 2007

9UKRAINIAN FEDERATION OF AMERICA (UFA) JOINS
THE U.S.-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL (USUBC)

U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Wash, D.C., Fri, Oct 19, 2007
10NORTH DAKOTA TRADE OFFICE GETS FEDERAL GRANT TO
EXPAND EXPORTS OF AGRICULTURAL EQUIPMENT TO UKRAINE
Associated Press, Bismarck, North Dakota, Sunday, October 21, 2007

11TIMOSHENKO WANTS UKRAINE TO REMAIN KEY GAS ROUTE
New Europe, Issue 752, Brussels, Saturday, 20 October 2007

12TAKING THE POLITICS OUT OF GAS
Commentary: BYuT Inform Newsletter, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, 15 Oct, 2007

13“PLUSES AND MINUSES OF UKRAINE’S MEMBERSHIP IN
THE EU FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION”

SPEECH: By Roman Shpek, Ukrainian Ambassador to the EU
Ukraine-EU Relations, Roundtable VIII; Ukraine’s Quest for Mature

Nation Statehood; Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Washington, DC, Tue-Wed, October 16-17, 2007

14IMPORTANT THAT EUROPE AND THE U.S. HELP UKRAINE
REACH LEVELS OF PROSPERITY AND STABILITY

LETTER: From U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Chairman
United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
TO: The Honorable William Miller, Ukraine-EU Relations, Roundtable VIII
Ukraine’s Quest for Mature Nation Statehood
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Washington, DC, Wednesday, October 17, 2007

15OLD QUESTIONS FOR NEW ODESA-BRODY EXTENSION PROPOSAL
Analysis & Commentary: By Roman Kupchinsky
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, October 16, 2007

16.  UKRAINE: US DEFENCE SECRETARY GATES TO DISCUSS

Associated Press (AP), Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, October 21, 2007

17THE POWER OF A SECOND CHANCE

Analysis & Commentary: By Jan Maksimyuk, RFE/RL
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL),
Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, October 19. 2007

18HOW LONG WILL THE ORANGE COALITION LAST?
Ukraine: Yulia Tymoshenko will head an unstable government
Analysis & Commentary: By Yanina Sokolovskaya, Kiev
Izvestia, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, October 18, 2007

19UKRAINE: WHAT NOW FOR THE DONETSK STRONGMAN?
Commentary: By Peter Dickinson
Business Ukraine magazine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Oct 15, 2007

20MISTAKES OF VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH’S ADVISERS
Analysis & Commentary: By Yuriy Starchevsky
Southern Center of Political Consulting
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, Oct 10.2007

 
YULIYA TYMOSHENKO AGREED ABOUT EVERYTHING”
Ukraine’s new coalition based on concessions by both sides
Commentary: Serhiy Sydorenko, Olena Heda & Oleksandr Svyrydenko
Kommersant-Ukraina, Kiev, in Russian 16 Oct 07; pp 1, 2
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Tuesday, October 16, 2007
 
22TIME FOR YUSHCHENKO TO LET HIS HEAD RULE HIS HEART
Analysis & Commentary: By Taras Kuzio
Business Ukraine magazine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct 15, 2007
 
23UKRAINE’S ORANGE LEADERS PRESENT COALITION ACCORD 
5 Kanal TV, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1245 gmt 17 Oct 07
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Wed, October 17, 2007
 
24ORANGE AGAIN: YUSHCHENKO AND TYMOSHENKO REUNITE
Analysis & Commentary: By Tammy Lynch
THE ISCIP ANALYST, An Analytical Review, Volume XIV, Number 3
Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology & Policy at Boston University
Boston, MA, Thursday, 18 October 2007
 
25.  UKRAINIAN WINS DETROIT’S WOMEN’S MARATHON RACE
By Chris Silva, Sports Writer, Free Press, Detroit, MI, Mon, Oct 22, 2007
 
of Kyiv Office; Co-Chair Phila Bar International Law Committee
Philadelphia, PA, Monday, October 22, 2007
 
THE UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY IN LVIV TO BEGIN
Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation, Chicago, IL, Mon, Oct 22, 2007
 
28UTAH PEOPLE OPEN ARMS TO UKRAINE ORPHANS
By Elaine Jarvik, Deseret Morning News
Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, Oct. 19, 2007
========================================================
1
 UKRAINE STRIKES DEAL WITH VANCO INTERNATIONAL

Press office of President Victor Yushchenko, Kyiv, Ukraine, Fri, Oct 19, 2007

KYIV – Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Klyuyev and Vanco Energy Company
Chairman and President Gene Van Dyke have signed a production sharing
agreement to explore the Prykerchenska area of the Black Sea shelf.

President Victor Yushchenko welcomed the deal on Friday, saying it will
strengthen Ukraine’s energy security and stimulate exploration efforts in
the Black Sea.

“This is a strategic project for Ukraine and this is a unique precedent for,
on the one hand, formulating a national energy strategy and, on the other
hand, for cooperating with the world’s leading international investors,” he
said.

Ukraine confirms its important role in developing Europe’s energy market
and declares its readiness for global energy cooperation, he added, thanking
all those who made the deal possible for inviting the reliable investors to
Ukraine.
———————————————————————————————–
LINK:
http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/1_19986.html 

———————————————————————————————–
FOOTNOTE: The photograph on the presidential website shows U.S.
Ambassador William Taylor standing next to President Yushchenko
at the signing ceremony. Vanco Energy Company is a member of the
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) in Washington, D.C.
————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
2.  VANCO INTERNATIONAL SIGNS UKRAINE’S FIRST

DEEPWATER BLACK SEA AGREEMENT

Business Wire, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 19, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine – Today the Government of Ukraine signed the Prykerchenska
Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with Vanco International Ltd., a
subsidiary of Houston-based independent Vanco Energy Company.

The agreement represents the culmination of the tender process through which
in April 2006 Vanco was granted the right to negotiate the first license to
explore the deepwater part of Ukraine’s Black Sea.

The signing of the landmark Production Sharing Agreement gives Vanco the
opportunity to explore and develop the highly prospective Prykerchenska
Block.

Work will begin immediately on a detailed exploration program which will
include an extensive 3D seismic survey in 2008 followed by deepwater
drilling.

Located to the southeast of the Crimean Peninsula, the Prykerchenska block
covers nearly 13 thousand square kilometers or about one-third of Ukraine’s
deepwater area with water depths ranging from 500 meters to over 2,000
meters.

Exploration will concentrate on the Tetyaev High, in water depths greater
than 2,000 meters where Vanco has identified a series of large structures,
and on the shallower Sudak Folded Belt where Vanco has identified numerous
attractive prospects.

The approval for Vanco comes as Ukraine seeks to boost oil and gas output

by a third within the next several years. If exploration efforts are
successful, the development of the project will require investments of more
than $20 billion.

“With the Prykerchenska Production Sharing Agreement now in place,” says
Vanco’s Chairman and President Gene Van Dyke, “we can proceed with plans

to explore fully this frontier area of Ukraine’s deep Black Sea.”

Dedicated to international deepwater exploration since 1996, Vanco has
successfully operated drilling programs offshore Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire
in the last three years. In addition to Ukraine, the Houston independent has
deepwater exploration programs offshore Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana

and Côte d’Ivoire. (www.vancoenergy.com)
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3.  UKRAINIAN CABINET AND VANCO SIGN AGREEMENT ON
DEVELOPMENT OF BLACK SEA SEA’S TRANS-KERCH SEGMENT


Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Kyiv, October 19, 2007

KYIV – The Cabinet of Ministers and Vanco International Ltd. (Switzerland)
have signed a product-sharing agreement for the trans-Kerch segment of the
Black Sea shelf. The presidential press service announced this to Ukrainian
News.

Deputy Prime Minister Andrii Kliuev signed the agreement on behalf of
Ukraine while Vanco International’s CEO Gene van Dyke signed it on behalf

of the company. The agreement was signed for 30 years.

President Viktor Yuschenko also attended the signing ceremony. Yuschenko
welcomed the signing of the agreement, stressing its comprehensive
importance within the context of strengthening Ukraine’s energy security.

According to Yuschenko, it also serves as a good stimulus for significant
acceleration of exploration of the Ukrainian segment of the Black Sea’s
continental shelf.

“It is a strategic project for Ukraine, and it sets a unique precedent
primarily for creation of a basis of a national energy strategy and, on the
other hand, cooperation with leading international investors,” Yuschenko
said.

According to the presidential press service, Ukraine expects this agreement
to result in investments totaling over USD 15 billion in geological study
and mining of hydrocarbons as well as in mining of over 200 tons of
hydrocarbons.

Implementation of the project is expected to generate over USD 200 billion
in additional budget revenues and create several thousands of new jobs.

The agreement was signed for a segment with an area of 12,960 square meters
located within Ukraine’s economic zone 13 kilometers from the coastline of
the Kerch peninsula.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Vanco International Ltd. is a subsidiary
of Vanco Energy Company (United States).

The Cabinet of Ministers declared Vanco International Ltd. as the winner of
a competition for the right to develop the trans-Kerch segment of the Black
Sea’s continental shelf in April 2006.

Subsequently, the Cabinet of Ministers and Vanco International Ltd. agreed
the terms of the product sharing agreement for the trans-Kerch segment of
the Black Sea shelf.

In November 2006, Vanco International Ltd. said it could accept an agreement
that provided for sharing products from the trans-Kerch segment of the Black
Sea shelf at the ratio of 45:55 (45% to the investor and 55% to the state)
after the start of development of the segment.

The tender proposal suggested that Vanco would receive until the
compensation for investment spending 70% to 80% of the production depending
on other terms of the product-sharing agreement that influence on the result
and 40% to 50% after the compensation for taxes.

In April 2007, the interagency commission for signing and implementation of
product-sharing agreements approved its version of an agreement between the
Cabinet of Ministers and Vanco International Ltd. (Switzerland), a
subsidiary of Vanco Energy Company (United States), on sharing products
mined from the trans-Kerch segment of the Black Sea shelf.

The draft agreement provided for sharing products from the trans-Kerch
segment of the Black Sea shelf in the ratio of 60:40 (60% to the state and
40% to the investor) after the start of development of the segment and 50:50
during the stage before the start of development (before recoupment of
investments).

In May 2007, the Cabinet of Ministers prolonged signing of the agreement on
distribution of produce of Kerch shelf in the Black Sea between the Cabinet
of Ministers and Vanco International until October 21.

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4.  UKRAINE GETS 65%, VANCO INTERNATIONAL 35% OF
BLACK SEA SHELF’S TRANS-KERCH SEGMENT PRODUCTS

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 19, 2007

KYIV – Ukraine will get 65%, Vanco International Ltd. (the United States)
35% of products from the trans-Kerch segment of the Black Sea shelf.
Founder of Vanco Energy Company (United States), which is parent company

for Vanco International, Gene van Dyke has disclosed this at a press conference.
He said that this is approximate calculation of distributing shares.

“First, we return our money, and then share products between the state and
us. We also pay income tax. And all this makes up 65:35 in favor of the
state,” said van Dyke. He stressed that the Cabinet of Ministers is to
announce detailed information on the signed agreement.

In keeping with the agreement, once recovery commenced, all the amount of
hydrocarbons is offered to Ukraine, and only in case of the state refuses to
buy part of this volume, Vanco International would have right to sell it
outside of Ukraine.

Van Dyke told that in case of successful seismological survey and good
drilling Vanco International would invest USD 20 billion into further
development of deposits at the trans-Kerch segment of the Black Sea shelf.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Cabinet of Ministers and Vanco
International Ltd. signed a product-sharing agreement for the trans-Kerch
segment of the Black Sea shelf.

The Cabinet of Ministers declared Vanco International Ltd. as the winner of
a competition for the right to develop the trans-Kerch segment of the Black
Sea’s continental shelf in April 2006.

Subsequently, the Cabinet of Ministers and Vanco International Ltd. agreed
the terms of the product sharing agreement for the trans-Kerch segment of
the Black Sea shelf.

In November 2006, Vanco International Ltd. said it could accept an agreement
that provided for sharing products from the trans-Kerch segment of the Black
Sea shelf at the ratio of 45:55 (45% to the investor and 55% to the state)
after the start of development of the segment.

The tender proposal suggested that Vanco would receive until the
compensation for investment spending 70% to 80% of the production depending
on other terms of the product-sharing agreement that influence on the result
and 40% to 50% after the compensation for taxes.

In April 2007, the interagency commission for signing and implementation of
product-sharing agreements approved its version of an agreement between the
Cabinet of Ministers and Vanco International Ltd., a subsidiary of Vanco
Energy Company, on sharing products mined from the trans-Kerch segment

of the Black Sea shelf.

The draft agreement provided for sharing products from the trans-Kerch
segment of the Black Sea shelf in the ratio of 60:40 (60% to the state and
40% to the investor) after the start of development of the segment and 50:50
during the stage before the start of development (before recoupment of
investments).

In May 2007, the Cabinet of Ministers prolonged signing of the agreement on
distribution of produce of Kerch shelf in the Black Sea between the Cabinet
of Ministers and Vanco International until October 21.

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========================================================
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5.  US-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL HOSTS MEETING WITH
MINISTER OF ECONOMY ANATOLIY KINAKH IN WASHINGTON
State Export-Import Bank Rep Office in NYC to Join Business Council
 
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
Washington, DC, Monday, October 22, 2007

WASHINGTON – The U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) hosted a

breakfast meeting with Ukraine’s Minister of Economy, Anatoliy Kinakh,
and Mykola Udovychenko, Deputy Chairman of the Board of The State
Export-Import Bank of Ukraine, in Washington, DC on Friday, October
19, 2007, in Washington.
 
Also attending the meeting from Ukraine were Dr. Viktor Sheybut, Head of
the Group  of Advisors to the Vice Prime Minister and Sergiy M. Makatsariya,
Deputy Minister of Finance, both members of Ukraine’s delegation the World
Bank/ IMF meetings.
 
The State Export-Import Bank of Ukraine has just opened a representative
office in New York City.  Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer; President of the
USUBC, announced that the Ex-Im Bank, through its representative office,
will become the forty-eighth member of the USUBC.

In addition to remarks by Kinakh and Udovychenko, the meeting included
presentations by Anders Aslund, Peterson Institute for International
Economics and Edilberto Segura, SigmaBleyzer Private Investment Group/
The Bleyzer Foundation.

Minister Kinakh called for intensive dialogue between Ukrainian and foreign
businessmen. He cited continued positive trends in this country’s economy.

Among crucial steps for Ukraine in the near future, the minister stressed
the importance of Ukraine’s entry into the WTO by the end of 2007 and to
continue discussions of a framework agreement with the European Union.

Kinakh stated that Ukraine is deeply integrated into European economic
system and noted that Ukraine’s external trade turnover with European
countries amounts to 30% — higher than with Russia  (26%).

 
Mr Kinakh also said that the growth of machine building exports also is
growing. These and many other facts testify to the huge potential of
Ukrainian economy.

Addressing the need for structural reforms, Minister Kinakh cited some
of the steps undertaken by the current government. He said that the cabinet
has approved a draft tax code, which now must be approved by the

parliament.

Minister Kinakh noted that harmonization of this sphere with the EU
standards is one of the corner stones for establishing a Free Trade Area

between Ukraine and the European Community.

Minister Kinakh also spoke on land reform in Ukraine, stressing that it has
been six years since a new land code was adopted. Kinakh called for
transparent privatization, and stressed that he strongly opposes moratorium

on land sales. Mr Kinakh also called for the improvement of legislation to
attract foreign investment.

In his closing remarks minister Kinakh said that structural reforms are
needed without delay, as poor government  efficiency and bad public

management do not “correspond  to strong intellectual potential of Ukrainian
people.”

In his remarks, Udovychenko emphasized the high quality performance of his
bank.  He said that Ukreximbank  has maintained leading positions among
Ukrainian banks  and looks forward to further cooperation with foreign
businessmen.

Udovichenko also stressed that Ukreximbank is highly respected in the
world.  Agreements concluded by Ukreximbank in the international capital
markets have attracted about $1.0 billion of long-term financial resources
to projects the Ukrainian economy.

Segura and Aslund also emphasized Ukraine’s positive economic outlook.
Aslund called the future government of Ukraine to continue carrying out
necessary reforms and fight corruption. Segura stated massive governmental

reorganization was necessary for Ukraine to gain the capacity to develop,
introduce and implement needed economic and business reforms.

Aslund stressed also that most political parties in Ukraine have European
programs, and, in his opinion, Ukraine currently is experiencing a
transformation from political parties based on the country’s regions to
parties based on social class. 

 
Some of the companies and organizations represented at the meeting were
Global Trade Development; U.S. State Department; Export-Import Bank
of the US; Cisco Systems; Vanco Energy Corporation; Rand Corporation;
Overseas Private Investment Corporation; Case-New Holland; U.S.-Ukraine
Foundation; Office the Vice President; Heller & Rosenblatt; Embassy of
Poland; BBC Ukrainian Service; U.S. Commerce Department; RULG-
Ukrainian Legal Group; U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation;
Center for Strategic and International Studies; Cargill; Boeing; SigmaBleyzer
Private Equity Group; Center for International Private Enterprise; Oracle;
SASI; Embassy of Ukraine and Westinghouse. LINK: www.www.usubc.org
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6.  UKRAINE TO END GRAIN EXPORT LIMITS, ECONOMY MINISTER

By Halia Pavliva and Mark Drajem, Bloomberg
Washington, D.C., Friday, October 19, 2007

WASHINGTON – Ukraine, the world’s sixth-biggest grain exporter in 2005,
will cancel restrictions on grain and oilseed exports next month because
prices are the highest ever, Economy Minister Anatoliy Kinakh said.

“The decision is approved already” to lift the limits Nov. 1, Kinakh said
today during an interview in Washington, where he was attending the
International Monetary Fund annual meetings. The Ukrainian “government is
not in favor of the restrictions,” he said.

Restrictions on grain exports were imposed in 2006 to avoid a domestic
shortage. Wheat prices reached a record $9.6175 a bushel in Chicago on Sept.
28 after adverse weather affected crops in Europe, Canada, and Australia,
dragging global inventories toward a 32-year low.

Ukraine will export as much as 4 million metric tons of wheat of this year’s
harvest, Kinakh said. The country harvested 28 million metric tons of grain
this year, including 14.5 million metric tons of wheat, he said.

“Ukraine has a huge agricultural potential, and therefore it has a good
chance to become one of the major players” in global grain markets, Kinakh
said.

Farmers harvested 4.2 million metric tons of sunflower seeds in Ukraine and
will produce 1.8 million tons of sunflower oil, of which 1.2 millions tons
will be exported, Kinakh said.
SUNFLOWER OIL
“There were concerns on the market that we may ban exports of sunflower-
seed oil,” Kinakh said. “We won’t. Competition in this market is tough and
we don’t want to lose our niche.”

Ukraine was the world’s biggest barley exporter in 2006 and the
eighth-biggest wheat shipper behind the U.S., Canada, the European Union,
Australia, Argentina, Russia and Kazakhstan, according to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture.

Wheat exports from Ukraine declined 56 percent to 2.8 million metric tons
last year from 6.5 million tons in 2005, after a drought damaged crops,
leaving less for sale outside the country.

Ukraine had estimated it would produce about 16 million metric tons of
wheat this year, compared with 14 million tons in 2006.
‘TRADE DEFICIT IS A PROBLEM’
Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia, is expected to trade between 4.95 to 5.25
per dollar through 2008, and any “artificial revaluation, like the one that
took place in April 2005, would hurt exports,” Kinakh said. “A weakening
dollar is negative for our exports.”

The country’s trade deficit widened in the first eight months of the year as
imports outpaced exports. Ukraine’s exports increased 30 percent in the
first eight months of the year, compared with the same period in 2006, while
imports rose 33.8 percent, the statistics agency said Oct. 11.

“The trade deficit is, of course, a problem,” Kinakh said. “Export policies
are principally important.” Ukraine also is canceling restrictions on grain
exports because the country wants to become a member of World Trade
Organization. Kinakh declined to comment on whether the country may be
admitted to the organization this year.
———————————————————————————————
To contact the reporters on this story: Halia Pavliva in New York at
hpavliva@bloomberg.net
———————————————————————————————
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=azzLyqqA8ZpM

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7.  POLITICAL SITUATION IN UKRAINE MAY DELAY ITS
ADMISSION TO WTO SAYS ECONOMY MINISTER KINAKH

Itar-Tass, Moscow, Russia, Sunday, Oct 21, 2007

WASHINGTON – The political situation in Ukraine may delay the republic’s
admission to the WTO, said on Saturday Ukrainian Economics Minister Anatoly
Kinakh in an interview with Itar-Tass. He heads the Ukrainian delegation at
the annual meeting of the governing bodies of the IMF and the World Bank.

Kinakh claimed that a date of Ukraine’s admission to the World Trade
Organisation will largely depend on when the new national parliament can
start operating, how quickly a new government will be formed and within what
time parameters work on Ukraine’ accession to the WTO is completed.

The minister noted that Ukraine has signed bilateral protocols on conditions
of mutual access to markets of goods and services within the process of
joining the WTO with 49 out of 50 countries, with which talks were
conducted.

Kyrgyzstan turned to be the last country. This topic was also discussed in
Washington at a meeting in the US Commerce Department and in the office of
the US representative at trade talks.

“It is very important that we should not worsen bilateral trade and economic
relations with Russia after an admission to the WTO,” Kinakh emphasised.
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http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=11989467&PageNum=0
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========================================================
8.  UKRAINE BRACES FOR 15% GAS PRICE HIKE MINISTER SAYS

Bloomberg News, New York, NY, Saturday, October 20, 2007

NEW YORK — Ukraine is bracing for a larger-than-expected increase in the
price of natural gas charged by Russia, which is likely to fuel inflation
and curb economic growth, Ukrainian Economy Minister Anatoly Kinakh
said Friday.

Russia may increase the price of natural gas next year by 15 percent, Kinakh
said in an interview in Washington. That’s more than Ukraine’s initial
estimate of a 10 percent increase to $143 per 1,000 cubic meters.

Higher gas prices will make it harder for Ukraine to hold its inflation rate
to the 6.8 percent government forecast for next year, he said. Ukrainian
industries, including chemicals, need time to adjust to increases in gas
prices, which remain far below European levels of $270 per 1,000 cubic
meters, he said.

“At a gas price of $180 per 1,000 cubic meters, our chemicals-making
industry, one of the major exporters, would become loss-making,” he said.
“We need time to modernize our economy, to implement new technologies
and cut energy consumption.”

Gazprom cut supplies to Ukraine in January 2006 in a dispute over prices
that interrupted shipments to Europe. Russia later doubled what it charged
Ukraine for gas, and it raised the price by another 37 percent in 2007.

The European Union depends on Russia for about a quarter of its oil and gas
imports. The incident cast doubt over Russia’s reliability as a supplier of
energy. “There is a very serious political component here,” Kinakh said of
Russia’s gas-pricing policies.

“It’s very important for us not only to agree on the price for next year but
also to have a medium-term strategy,” he said. “It won’t be possible to keep
the price” below the average European level “longer than two or three more
years.”

“We managed to withstand these prices because of high prices for our major
exports, such as metals and chemicals,” Kinakh said. Metals and chemicals,
such as fertilizers, make up 52 percent of Ukraine’s exports, he said.

Ukraine’s economy will probably grow about 7 percent this year, compared
with the government’s initial forecast of 6.5 percent and the central bank’s
estimate of 7.5 percent, Kinakh said. Next year, growth may slow to less
than 6.5 percent, he said.

“Ukraine’s consumer prices may rise as much as 13 percent by some estimates,
but the government must make every effort to restrict it to 11 percent” this
year, Kinakh said. It initially planned to cut inflation to 7.5 percent in
2007.

Ukraine will attract at least $5 billion in foreign direct investment this
year, Kinakh said. “This is still not much, given Ukraine’s economic
potential.” Foreign direct investment rose 50 percent in the first half of
the year from the same period a year earlier, to $2.55 billion, he said.

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9.  UKRAINIAN FEDERATION OF AMERICA (UFA) JOINS
THE U.S.-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL (USUBC)

 
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
Washington, D.C., Friday, October 19, 2007
WASHINGTON – The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors
of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) has approved the
Ukrainian Federation of America (UFA), Huntingdon Valley,
Pennsylvania, as the forty-seventh member of the USUBC.

USUBC has been working closely with Vera M. Andryczyk, President
and Dr. Zenia Chernyk, Chair, Healthcare Commission for UFA, for
several months, regarding the business related activities of the
Federation, according to Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer, President

of the USUBC.

The Federation is very active on the east coast, especially in
Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.. They have been involved in
Ukraine ever since 1991 in a variety of activities, including working
with Ukrainian companies on improving their human resources (HR)
departments and improving medical training and services.

They are now working with a group of Ukrainian ag companies
who operate greenhouses to bring them to Pennsylvania and Ohio to
look at new technologies and business practices.

The Federation works with Dr. James Portwood of the Fox School
of Business at Temple University to provide HR training in Ukraine.
They are working with several large U.S. pharmaceutical companies
and children’s hospitals regarding medical training and services
through their Healthcare Commission.

President Andryczyk and Dr. Chernyk of the UFA have been very
active on the Washington scene over the years promoting Ukrainian
causes. They work closely with Charles Dogherty, a former member
of the U.S. House of Representatives from PA.

UFA is the 25th new member for the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council
in the last ten months and brings the Council’s total membership to 47.

——————————————————————————————-
LINK: USUBC, Washington, D.C. www.www.usubc.org
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10.  NORTH DAKOTA TRADE OFFICE GETS FEDERAL GRANT TO
EXPAND EXPORTS OF AGRICULTURAL EQUIPMENT TO UKRAINE

Associated Press, Bismarck, North Dakota, Sunday, October 21, 2007

BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Trade Office is getting a $129,000
federal grant to expand exports of agricultural equipment to the Ukraine.
The money is from the Commerce Department’s International Trade
Administration.

The Trade Office says it has a long-term strategy for North Dakota’s farm
equipment industry to increase market share in the Ukraine. The former
Soviet state has a rapidly growing economy.

The Trade Office is putting about $263,000 of its own money and resources
into the three-year program.

Ukraine bought North Dakota agricultural equipment valued at $35 million
in 2006. In the first three months of this year, North Dakota equipment
companies exported $26 million in equipment to the country.
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11.  TIMOSHENKO WANTS UKRAINE TO REMAIN KEY GAS ROUTE

New Europe, Issue 752, Brussels, Saturday, 20 October 2007

Ukraine wants to continue to provide a transit route for 80 percent of
Russia’s natural gas and seeks new routes to bring Central Asian gas to the
European Union, says a coalition agreement between the Yulia Timoshenko
Bloc and Our Ukraine – People’s Self Defence.

Ukraine needs loans for the modernisation of its gas transportation network,
energy saving technologies and larger underground gas storage facilities,
the agreement read.

The country must ensure stable deliveries of natural gas from Russia on the
basis of intergovernmental agreements and sign long-term gas contracts with
Central Asian states, the coalition said.

Ukraine will seek an agreement with the Iranian, Turkish, Austrian, Romanian
and Bulgarian governments on its involvement in the Nabucco gas project.

Meanwhile, Vitaly Martynyuk, an analyst at the Ukrainian Independent
Political Research Centre, said Ukraine could have energy problems in three
years when new gas pipelines are opened to Europe that bypass its territory.

“Real energy problems could begin for Ukraine in three years in 2010 – 2011.
These years have been set as the timeframe for opening new gas pipelines to
Europe. All of them bypass Ukraine as well as Belarus, which will be our
sister in misfortune in this sense,” Interfax quoted him as saying.

The Nabucco, Blue Stream, South Stream, and Nord Stream projects are the
main natural gas pipelines that will bypass Ukraine, he said.

Martynyuk said the Nabucco pipeline with capacity for up to 13 billion cubic
metres a year to be built starting next year and opened in 2011 will connect
Turkey to Austria through Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary.

The pipeline will transport Caspian and later Middle East and Turkmen
natural gas to Europe. It will hook into the trans-European energy system.
The pipeline will reach maximum capacity of 30 billion cubic metres in 2020.

Gazprom has suggested transporting Russian gas in the Blue Stream pipeline
through the Black Sea to Turkey for transport through Bulgaria, Serbia, and
Croatia to western Hungary.

The pipeline will be opened in 2010 and will pump up to 16 billion cubic
metres of gas. It will be an alternative to Russian gas transport through
Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, and Bulgaria.

Gazprom in June signed a memorandum with ENI Paolo Scaroni to build the
South Stream pipeline through the Black Sea that will run from Russia’s
Black Sea coast to Varna, Bulgaria, through Greece and the Adriatic Sea to
Italy. The pipeline will have capacity for 30 billion cubic metres of gas a
year.

The Nord Stream pipeline will pump nine billion cubic metres of Russian gas
to Germany through the Baltic Sea starting in 2010. It is also an
alternative to transport to Western Europe bypassing Ukraine. The pipeline
will be expanded to 55 billion cubic metres eventually.

Martynyuk said if you add up the possible transport of Russian gas bypassing
Ukraine (up to 180 billion cubic metres including the Yamal-Europe pipeline
through Belarus) and compare it to the capacity of Ukraine’s gas transport
system (179 billion cubic metres annually at output), Russia could
completely ignore the Ukrainian gas transport system after 2011 and dictate
its terms.

“This could lead to the scenario that has been mentioned so many times –
Gazprom could buy the Ukrainian gas transport system and put natural gas
prices on the European level of USD 230 per 1,000 cubic metres,” Interfax
quoted him as saying.
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.neurope.eu/articles/79001.php
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12.  TAKING THE POLITICS OUT OF GAS

COMMENTARY: BYuT Inform Newsletter, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, 15 Oct, 2007

Ukraine has agreed to pay its final demand gas bill from Gazprom much to the
relief of many Western European states that feared supplies could once more
be disrupted if Gazprom was to shut-off gas supplies to Ukraine.

But according to the Russian Prime Minister, Viktor Zubkov, the final bill
of more than $2 billion – far higher than the $1.3 billion demanded a week
ago – will be paid in full by 1 November.

Whilst Gazprom is entitled to payment, the manner in which it is being paid
is worrying and only serves to underline the urgent need to eliminate the
shady deals that have blighted Ukraine’s energy sector for too long.

The deal proposed by the Ukrainian Fuels Minister, Yuriy Boyko, will see
$1.2 billion worth of gas transferred from Ukraine’s vast underground
storage facilities. The remaining $929 million will be paid by companies
that supply gas on the Ukrainian market.
GOVERNMENT TO PAY PRIVATE DEBT
What has raised eyebrows is the speed at which the Ukrainian government

 has moved to cover what is essentially a private debt.

 “The government recognised a debt that belongs not to the state but to
companies,” said Volodymyr Omelchenko, an energy analyst with the Kyiv-

based Razumkov Centre, “this is the biggest shortcoming of these agreements,
it is a stain on Ukraine’s reputation.”

In an interview with Pravda, Margarita M Balmaceda of the School of
Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University, and Harvard
Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University, picked up on this issue:
“It is very clear to me as well to Ukrainian energy experts that this is not
Ukraine’s state debt, but RosUkrEnergo’s private debt.

“So it is very worrying that the Ukrainian government has decided to treat
it, basically, as state debt. Moreover, the sudden increase in the debt from
$1.3 billion to $2 billion tells me some non-transparent business may be
going on.” She went on to say that this was why the Bloc of Yulia

Tymoshenko (BYuT) ordered an investigation.

At the heart of the issue is RosUkrEnergo, the troubled Swiss intermediary
company that is half-owned by Gazprom and half-owned by two Ukrainian
businessmen: Dimity Firtash (45 percent) and Ivan Fursin (5 percent).

BYuT Deputy Chairman and a former head of the SBU, Oleksandr Turchynov,

has called for the National Security and Defence Council to meet to find out
precisely how the debt came about. He pointed out that Viktor Yanukovych’s
administration had ruined Ukraine’s energy policy by allowing shady
practices to proliferate.

 “It was during Yanukovych’s reign that shadowy intermediaries obtained
complete control over the energy market while opponents of Ukraine obtained
additional arguments for lobbying the construction of additional pipelines
bypassing Ukraine,” said Mr Turchynov.
STEPPING OUT OF THE SHADOWS
Yulia Tymoshenko has long argued that “the gas sector should be taken out

of the shadows and cease to be a political football.” She has called for
contracts to be put in place between states and an end to intermediary
companies like RosUkrEnergo.

The consistency of her policy was noted by Ms Balmaceda: “If a Tymoshenko
government comes to power, it is very likely that the January 2006 gas
agreements with Russia, involving the intermediary company RosUkrEnergo,
will be repudiated.

“In that case, the energy relationship with Russia, intermediaries and
Central Asian producing states will need to be renegotiated. This could
touch important economic and political interests on both sides of the
border.”

Meanwhile, BYuT is sympathetic to Gazprom which has been stuck “between

a rock and a hard place” regarding the timing of its payment demand.

To call for payment before the election would have resulted in accusations
that Russia was attempting to influence the election’s outcome. A request
following the formation of the new government similarly would be viewed as

a move to undermine it.

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov appealed not to
politicise the situation. “There are no political grounds in the situation
when money had to be paid, but was not paid,” said Mr. Lavrov.

“This should not be a political situation,” agreed Mr Turchynov, “for
Ukraine it is a matter for legal investigation. We must establish why the
debt was not paid, where the money resides and who has profited from it.”

 “As far as Gazprom is concerned, there is no reason why we cannot turn a
new-leaf with Russia and work together in cleaning up the energy industry to
our mutual benefit,” added Hryhoriy Nemyria, BYuT deputy chairman and Ms
Tymoshenko’s foreign affairs adviser.
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BYuT questions or comments? E-mail nlysova@beauty.com.ua
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========================================================
13.  “PLUSES AND MINUSES OF UKRAINE’S MEMBERSHIP

IN THE EU FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION”

SPEECH: By Roman Shpek, Ukrainian Ambassador to the EU
Ukraine-EU Relations, Roundtable VIII
Ukraine’s Quest for Mature Nation Statehood
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Washington, DC, Tue-Wed, October 16-17, 2007
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #881, Article 13
Washington, D.C., Monday, October 22, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends,
It is my honour to address this distinguished audience.

I must admit, the topic is a challenge. Ukraine’s membership in the EU
remains a distant perspective. Realistic, achievable, feasible, yet a
perspective.

Before I start, I will also share with you the vision of a Ukraine ready for
membership. What kind of country would that be?

Probably, that would be a Ukraine with a mature and balanced constitutional
system, as well as well-embedded traditions of statecraft. The elections
should no longer be a recurring existential moment of truth.

It should be a Ukraine with a firmly established rule of law and a European
judicial tradition. We should be able to deal with ease with such an
important part of the EU law as jurisprudence of the European Court of
Justice.

That Ukraine should have a strong and diversified economy, relatively free
from structural imbalances and protected from external shocks. The
economy, equally friendly to small business and the foreign investment.

It should be a Ukraine which consumes fuel in an efficient and
environmentally friendly fashion. A Ukraine which does not wait with fear
for the New Year and the gas price hikes that follow it.

It should be a Ukraine whose society is free from hatred, social exclusion
and intolerance. A society united by its national identity and yet
respectful of its own diversity.

At the same time, such a Ukraine should be matched by a new, evolved
European Union. An EU with reformed institutional framework capable to
manage 30 and more member states.

An EU with a truly common foreign and security policy, as well as energy
policy. An EU which can show true solidarity with its members on the
international scene.

I think you would agree with this picture. However, you would also agree
that both Ukraine and EU will have to work very hard and long to make it
real. Let me assure you that more and more people in Ukraine are aware of
that. We are aware of our task ahead.

Now, I turn to the actual analysis of pluses and minuses of Ukraine EU
membership.
First, let me do the pluses.
1. Ukraine’s membership in the EU means more security and stability in
Europe. Everyone is aware about unique geostrategic position of my country.

I would not even try to engage in discussions with Zbigniew Brzezinski. I
fully agree that if stability is to be secured not only in Western Europe
but in the whole continent then Ukraine should belong to the EU. Also I will
not question the statements of all EU leaders that EU membership is the best
way to ensure stability.

With Ukraine on board, Europe will only benefit from a new stronghold of
democracy and stability at the crossroads of the greater Eurasian continent.
We already contribute to the strengthening of security in Europe’s hot
spots. We do our best to facilitate settlement of frozen conflicts, for
example in Transdnistria.

For several years Ukraine has played a progressively increasing role in
EU-led peacekeeping operations in the Balkans.  If Ukraine becomes the EU
member, our contribution would only increase the EU security and stability
as a whole.

2. Ukraine’s membership in the EU improves energy security and transport
links of the EU.

Ukraine is a strategic transit zone for transcontinental pipeline networks,
air and land traffic routes. As a part of a single European energy market,
Ukraine would be the best guarantee of the energy-secure Europe, its access
to diversified sources of energy supplies.

The accession of Ukraine to the common European energy area will therefore
remove a transit zone on the way of Russian crude oil supplies to Europe. In
fact, the Ukrainian energy system is already becoming the integral part of
the European one.

Another good example of the potential for energy cooperation is the
so-called Burshtyn Island – a system of power-plants in Western Ukraine that
has been working in parallel with the electricity grid of Central European
EU Member States.

This interconnection allows these countries to lower electricity costs and
replace the electricity deficit, when necessary. Our key goals for today are
to extend the limits of Burshtyn  Island to the whole territory of Ukraine.
We already pursue this goal in our preparations to accede to the UCTE.

3. Ukraine’s membership in the EU means new economic opportunities.
A country of 47 million inhabitants, it has a considerable market potential.
Today the Ukrainian GDP constitutes 82 billion US dollars according to the
official exchange rate.

However, per purchasing power parity, it is 364 billion dollars. With the
annual growth rates of 6-7 per cent, Ukraine has already proved that even
with existing obstacles to trade and investment it can make a very
impressive results. EU accession would help to improve all the business
conditions and make this success even stronger.

Economic growth is a two-way street. EU membership perspective also offers a
number of business opportunities for EU investments and trade.

However, the best incentive for EU investors is the confidence that tomorrow
Ukraine will join the club. Ukraine is a country endowed with unique natural
resources which enjoy a considerable global demand.

Ukraine’s EU membership will provide the Union with unfettered access to
these resources, strengthen its international competitiveness and create
jobs.

4. Ukraine’s membership in the EU will enrich cultural diversity. Ukraine’s
history and culture give the country a truly European identity.

I can talk for hours about the depth of Ukrainian culture. Therefore I will
only say the obvious – Ukraine’s EU membership will only strengthen and
enrich the common European heritage.

5. For the Europeans Ukraine’s membership in the EU will send a powerful
signal to the world that the institutional crisis of the Union is over and
the EU will finally become strong global player.

6. For the region it will launch a new era in the history of Eastern Europe.
It will send a very positive political and economic impetus to the EU
neighbors.

In particular, with Ukraine on board the EU will have more possibilities to
realize its ambition for a more active role in the Black Sea region.

Even now, as a Chairman of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization
(BSEC), Ukraine took the initiative to hold the first ministerial meeting of
EU-Black Sea countries, an initiative that can do a lot for promoting
understanding and cooperation in this corner of Europe.

This initiative is supported by virtually all BSEC members. Therefore, as an
EU member, our positive impact on the region will be even greater.

7. Ukraine’s EU membership will dramatically improve EU relations with
Russia and for Russians Ukraine’s membership in the EU will be the most
profitable.

An example of a democratic and prosperous Ukraine can make a difference for
the Russian society, and Russian politics, to ensure the development of
democracy, respect of human rights and the rule of law. A successful Ukraine
in Europe can give hope to those who wish Russia’s democratic future.

8. Finally, let me put it very simple. There will just never be a Europe
without Ukraine. Without Ukraine, there will be only a half-Europe.
Now let us turn to minuses.
The major concern with which the EU looks upon the possible Ukraine’s
accession is the capacity to absorb or integrate a new member. From the
history of the 2004 enlargement we have seen that a large number of new
Member States have placed the EU institutions under a considerable strain.

On many important issues the EU is not able to move forward, since the
unanimity rule among 27 member states means a stalemate in the
decision-making, the division into ‘old’ and ‘new’ Member States, squabbles
and stagnation.

This concern is understandable. In such circumstances today, the EU finds it
difficult to say ‘yes’ to Ukraine. At the same time, as I already said
earlier, Ukraine may also find it difficult to say ‘yes’ to a stagnating and
divided EU.

Therefore, both EU and Ukraine must yet go through a long and difficult road
of internal reforms before they can greet each other at its end. Such a road
would require patience and perseverance.

However, both EU and Ukraine would need to have a clear vision what expects
them in the end of the road. A vision of a united Europe without dividing
lines, a Europe which can speak with a single voice in the world. Without
such a vision, we should not even begin our journey.

I thank you very much.
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14.  IMPORTANT THAT EUROPE AND THE U.S. HELP UKRAINE
REACH LEVELS OF PROSPERITY AND STABILITY

LETTER: From U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Chairman
United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
TO: The Honorable William Miller, Ukraine-EU Relations, Roundtable VIII
Ukraine’s Quest for Mature Nation Statehood
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Washington, DC, Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #881, Article 14
Washington, D.C., Monday, October 22, 2007

Dear Roundtable Attendees:

Thank you for your invitation to address your organization’s annual
gathering. I regret that my campaign for President takes me to Iowa on
the day you are meeting in Washington.

During the thirty five years I have served in the Senate, I have seen a lot
of history firsthand. When I met the members of the Politburo in the Kremlin
thirty years ago, Ukraine seemed an indivisible part of the Soviet Union.

Today, despite its many challenges, it is an important, independent member
of the community of nations. Ukraine still has far to go, but it has
accomplished a great deal in a relatively short time.

The most effective way to promote democracy in the world is to lead by
example, and Ukraine has been such an example. Ukrainians are slow to anger,
but in 2004 they reached a breaking point when the people of the country
united and took their destiny into their own hands.

Conspiracy theories thrive in that part of the world — there is too much
experience with secret policemen and the fear they engender for it to be
otherwise. Some have since suggested that the United States was somehow
responsible for the Orange Revolution.

The credit for what took place in the winter of 2004 belongs to the people
of Ukraine , and their actions have inspired oppressed peoples the world
over.

In the years since the Orange Revolution, Ukraine has made enormous strides
in its efforts to build bridges to the European Union.

The historic intellectual and economic exchanges between western Ukraine and
Central Europe have taken on new life. The economy is growing again and,
with the successful conclusion of recent voting, Ukraine is establishing a
tradition of peaceful and fair elections.

It is important that Europe and the United States do what we can to help
Ukraine reach levels of prosperity and stability that will mark the end of
its transition.

We can support Ukraine’s efforts to build a stronger economy by enhancing
our trade relationships. If and when the people of Ukraine are ready we can
and should encourage their integration into the European Union and NATO.

We should also continue to send sincere people to Ukraine to assists
Ukrainians with the technical aspects of developing civil society.

We have the largest Peace Corps program in the world in Ukraine and a
variety of other cultural and educational exchange programs. This is key
because we need more ambassadors than any State Department could ever
produce.

We must remember that this is Ukraine’s journey, and that we cannot take it
for them. But we have a moral responsibility to support Ukrainians in their
pursuit of freedom and democracy.

We must help them realize their potential as a nation and support the
creation of a space where individuals can realize their ambitions. This is
who and what we are, what we believe in, and as a free and independent
nation, Ukraine has a share in that legacy.

Sincerely, Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Chairman
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15.  OLD QUESTIONS FOR NEW ODESA-BRODY

EXTENSION PROPOSAL

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Roman Kupchinsky
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ukraine’s Odesa-Brody oil pipeline has been seen as a solution to Eastern
Europe’s dependence on Russian crude ever since the project was completed
in 2001.

But with all the necessary infrastructure in place, including the
674-kilometer pipeline and a new oil terminal located south of Odesa at the

Black Sea port of Pivdenny, the dream remains unfulfilled.

The original idea called for Kazakh and Azerbaijani oil to make its way to
the Black Sea coast, from where it could be shipped to the Pivdenny port.
Once in Ukraine, it would be pumped north through the new pipeline and made
available for distribution to European destinations.

But Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan never committed to providing the oil needed to
fill the pipeline, and cash-strapped Ukraine was unsuccessful in convincing
European states to build an extension that would pump the oil from Brody to
refineries in European markets.
WHITE ELEPHANT FOR RENT
As Stratfor Commentary wrote in September 2003, “The end result was that
Kyiv found itself saddled with a white elephant rusting picturesquely in the
Ukrainian countryside.”

To remedy the situation, the flow of the pipeline was reversed in 2004 to
send Russian oil south from Brody to Odesa, and on to global markets by
ship via the Bosporus. Thus, the project envisioned as a way to circumvent
Russia in the end became another means to transport Russian oil.

Now, the original plan has returned to the fore with the signing of a deal
this month to explore the possibility of using the Odesa-Brody pipeline to
pump Caspian oil to European destinations.

At the Vilnius energy summit on October 10, Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania,
Georgia, and Azerbaijan inked a deal under which a $700 million,
500-kilometer pipeline extension would be built to send Caspian oil from
Brody to the central Polish city of Plock.

The first phase of the proposal is for a feasibility study to be conducted,
and if all goes well the Brody-Plock extension could theoretically be built
by 2012.
WHO WILL FILL THE PIPELINE?
But despite the excitement over the new deal, many of the same questions
that originally hampered Odesa-Brody remain.  The most glaring of these is,
once again, who will provide the oil to fill the pipeline?

Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are viewed as the potential suppliers, but doubt
has already been cast on their participation. Azerbaijan’s excess oil has
already been earmarked for export via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline,

and the country currently has no means of increasing production.

The BTC, which in 2005 started pumping oil from Azerbaijan via Georgia to
Turkey, sends Caspian crude to the Mediterranean while bypassing the
overburdened Bosporus. The BP-led consortium that built the pipeline is
unlikely to allow Azerbaijan to divert supplies to a second pipeline,
considering that the BTC itself has spare capacity.

Azerbaijan’s industry and energy minister, Natiq Aliyev, has previously said
that the country’s “end target is to maximize the capacity of BTC” and that
“we will attract all the oil in the region in order to export it via BTC.”

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s state oil company, Socar, announced on October

15 that it has not yet decided whether it will participate in the new project,
saying any decision to do so would not be made until 2008.

Kazakhstan, for its part, made clear from the start that it has no intention
of supplying oil for the new Odesa-Brody-Plock route. While the country’s
energy and natural resources minister, Sauat Mynbayev, attended the October
10-11 summit in Vilnius, he did not sign the new agreement and stressed
Kazakhstan’s commitments to export its oil via Russia.

Much of the country’s oil presently flows through the Caspian Pipeline
Consortium network to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, from
which it is shipped to outside markets.
MORE HURDLES UNDER THE SURFACE
Even in the event Kazakh that and/or Azerbaijani oil is found to supply
Odesa-Brody-Plock, the proposal faces the formidable hurdle of transporting
that oil across Georgia and on to Odesa.

One possibility considered at the Vilnius meeting was to ship the oil by
tanker from the Georgian ports of Batumi and Supsa to Odesa, but the costs
of doing so would make the project commercially unfeasible.

An alternative Georgian proposal is to build a pipeline under the Black Sea
from Georgia to Odesa. But this too presents problems because, aside from
the extreme expense involved (most likely to be incurred by the five states
that signed onto the project), such a pipeline would have to cross over or
under Russia’s Blue Stream gas pipeline.

And ultimately, while some in Ukraine might view the pipeline as an
excellent way to show its worth to the EU as it vies for admission to the
bloc, the millions Russia pays Kyiv every year for use of the Odesa-Brody
pipeline may prove insurmountable.
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http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2007/10/e5b29d11-b5cc-405c-87d6-6290036a6ccd.html
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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16.  UKRAINE: US DEFENCE SECRETARY GATES TO

DISCUSS RUSSIA,TURKEY ON FIRST VISIT TO KYIV
Associated Press (AP), Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, October 21, 2007

KYIV — U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Kyiv on Sunday for
talks on missile defense, Turkey and Afghanistan a week after holding tough
talks in Russia on the same divisive issues.

Gates came to Kiev to attend meetings of the Southeast European Defense
Ministers, a 12-nation group created in 1996, at Washington’s initiative,
to promote security cooperation in the volatile Balkans and to facilitate
cooperation with NATO.

Gates also was holding talks with top Ukrainian government officials to
sound them out on Russia and to assess political developments in this
country, which is struggling to emerge from prolonged political turmoil.

Gates arrived Sunday for his first visit since he was CIA director in 1992.
The last U.S. defense secretary to visit was Donald Rumsfeld in 2004.

Later in the week, Gates is to hold talks with government officials in
Prague on the state of negotiations with Washington on a missile defense
plan to place a radar station in the Czech Republic.

In meetings on Oct. 12 in Moscow, senior officials urged Gates to freeze
the missile defense talks with the Czech Republic and Poland, but Gates said
the negotiations would proceed. The talks with Poland are for placing 10
U.S. missile interceptors there, linked to the station in the Czech
Republic.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Gates is scheduled to attend a NATO defense
ministers conference in the Netherlands, where another irritant to Moscow
will be on the agenda: the prospect of yet another expansion of NATO, to
include Croatia, Albania and Macedonia. No decision is expected until NATO
leaders meet in Romania in April.

Gates was meeting with his counterparts from Croatia, Albania and Macedonia
in Kiev on Sunday to discuss progress they have made toward satisfying NATO
requirements for earning an invitation to join the alliance.

He also planned a one-on-one session in Kiev with his Turkish counterpart,
Vecdi Gonul, amid growing tension over the inability of U.S. and Iraqi
government forces to halt Kurdish rebel attacks inside Turkey.

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17.  THE POWER OF A SECOND CHANCE
 
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS, By Jan Maksimyuk, RFE/RL
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL),
Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, October 19. 2007

Now that President Viktor Yushchenko has confirmed that he wants
the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT) and the Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense
(NUNS) bloc to form a ruling coalition, the two Orange Revolution allies
may have a second chance to deliver on the promises they solemnly made in
2004 and disappointingly failed to meet.

But while Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko have already shown some public
signs of unity — most recently in Lisbon on October 18, where each espoused
the virtues of European values during a congress of the European People’s
Party — the question remains as to whether they have overcome their past
differences sufficiently to run a new government.

After Yushchenko backed the pairing on October 17, Tymoshenko and Vyacheslav
Kyrylenko, a leader of the pro-Yushchenko NUNS, presented the coalition deal
they initialed on October 15. The entire 105-page document was subsequently
published on the Internet.

The most important provisions of the deal state that Tymoshenko is to be
proposed as prime minister, while the NUNS bloc will nominate a candidate
for the post of parliamentary speaker.Cabinet portfolios are to be
distributed on a 50-50 basis between the two blocs.

The deal makes room for a third “democratically oriented” participant in the
coalition, although it does not mention it by name. It does, however,
clearly stipulate that neither the Party of Regions nor the Communist Party can

be considered as a potential coalition partner, thus narrowing the field to
only the Lytvyn Bloc, which has 20 lawmakers in the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada.
ORANGE SEQUEL
The overwhelming feeling of deja vu that Ukraine observers may experience
upon hearing such news is quite understandable.

A similar, if somewhat shorter, coalition document was preliminarily signed
by the BYuT and Our Ukraine immediately after the March 2006 elections. At
that time, the desired third coalition partner was the Socialist Party,
which failed to win parliamentary seats this year.

After four months of futile coalition talks in 2006, the Socialists switched
sides and formed a ruling majority with the Party of Regions and the
Communists.

President Yushchenko had no choice in August 2006 but to designate Viktor
Yanukovych, his bitter political rival, as prime minister.

Could such a situation repeat itself this year? Could the NUNS bloc
eventually abandon Tymoshenko and form a “broad” coalition with the Party

of Regions, thus uniting the west and the east of Ukraine politically, if not
ideologically or emotionally? Such a turn of events cannot be ruled out.

Tymoshenko, for whom the regained post of prime minister could be a much-
coveted springboard for launching a presidential bid in 2009, has already
made many compromises in order to ensure President Yushchenko’s support

for her attempt to lead the government once again.

To begin with, she agreed to give the NUNS bloc half of the cabinet
portfolios, although her party won 156 parliamentary mandates versus NUNS’s

72.

Furthermore, she agreed to endorse a package of 12 bills ahead of the
expected vote on her approval as prime minister in the newly elected parliament.

Some of the proposed bills, including one on the Cabinet of Ministers, significantly
reinforce presidential powers at the expense of those of the prime minister.
AN UNCERTAIN MAJORITY
But not even such concessions can guarantee that Tymoshenko will be vested
with the powers she craves. BYuT and NUNS together have 228 votes, just two
more than the majority required to pass most legislation in the Verkhovna
Rada, including the approval of a new cabinet.

Tymoshenko can expect voting discipline within the BYuT ranks, but the

NUNS bloc is a motley collection of nine political groups. What if the interests
of one of these groups are not duly taken into account in the distribution
of post-election spoils?

In such a situation, it would not appear to be difficult to persuade just
three lawmakers from a dissatisfied NUNS component to skip or abstain

from a crucial vote.

It also seems unlikely that the Party of Regions will allow the Orange
Revolution allies to adopt the 12 bills Tymoshenko has promised to endorse,
which are sine qua non for starting the new government.

The Party of Regions will almost certainly demand separate votes on each
of the proposed bills in order to exhaust the combat spirit of the Orange
allies and nip their coalition-building effort in the bud.

Attempts to block the parliamentary rostrum and even fistfights among
lawmakers are not out of the question — and are even likely — at the
inauguration of a new Verkhovna Rada.

But even if the Orange coalition manages to pass the 12 bills to please
Yushchenko, approves Tymoshenko as prime minister, and appeases the

hunger of all the NUNS constituents for political jobs, the problem of how to
mobilize 226 votes for each individual piece of legislation in the future
will remain an issue.

The Lytvyn Bloc, which could stabilize the slim Orange majority, is not
eager to reveal its political preferences or appetites. Perhaps it is just
waiting for a worthy piece of post-election pie in exchange for its role
of kingmaker.

But what if the Lytvyn Bloc has decided not to meddle in what seems to be
an unavoidable exchange of blows between the BYuT and the Party of Regions,
and has chosen an observer role? In that case, the Orange allies will need
a political miracle or two to get their ruling partnership going.

On the other hand, a restored Orange coalition appears to be the only
way for Yushchenko to perpetuate hopes for launching his presidential bid
in 2009. If the president were to again nominate Yanukovych as prime
minister, he would stand to lose even the dramatically dwindled support he
currently  enjoys in western Ukraine.
EYES ON THE NEXT GOAL
Tymoshenko has unequivocally declared that she will immediately starts
working on her presidential bid if she fails to get the post of prime
minister.

It is easy to predict that, given the current distribution of political
sympathies in Ukraine, Yushchenko has no chance of qualifying for the
second round in the next presidential polls.

But keeping Tymoshenko in the government would provide Yushchenko a

glimmer of hope — either by satisfying her political appetite, or by tarnishing
her image as a competent and efficient politician who can deliver on her
promises.

Tymoshenko has made a lot of unworkable election promises during the
campaign, including one on returning lost Soviet-era savings to Ukrainians

within the next two years– an endeavor that would require a sum equal to
Ukraine’s annual budget.

Another apparently unrealistic pledge, which was written down in the
coalition deal, is to abolish the military draft in Ukraine as of the beginning of
2008 and switch to a fully professional army in 2009.

When asked about the plan on the sidelines of the October 18 congress in
Lisbon, President Yushchenko told reporters that “I’d like to tell my
political friends and colleagues: They may develop certain visions at their
level or they may not, but today I’d advise them to follow the National
Program for the Development of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.”

And Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko, bewildered after reading the
coalition-deal passage pertaining to the military draft, compared it with
abolishing Newton’s three laws of motion.

Thus, the birth of a new government in Ukraine is taking place on shaky
ground and amid heightened expectations of economic and political wonders.

Ukraine already has its fairy-tale heroine with a fetching blonde braid
— now comes the time for her to work her magic.

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18.  HOW LONG WILL THE ORANGE COALITION LAST?
Ukraine: Yulia Tymoshenko will head an unstable government

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Yanina Sokolovskaya, Kiev
Izvestia, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, October 18, 2007

The alliance formed by Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko’s
supporters and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (BYT) will prove
unstable. The government headed by Tymoshenko, the “gas
princess,” will last only a few months before being replaced by a
Blue-Orange coalition government.

These predictions are being stated openly by members of the
Regions Party, and whispered in the hallways by potential members
of the Orange alliance. The new coalition, controlling 228 seats in
the Supreme Rada (Ukrainian parliament), will become ineffective if
only three lawmakers fail to turn up at a Rada meeting, since the
Constitution requires 226 votes for a majority.

Regions Party ideologue Mikhail Chechetov told us in an
interview that he will be keeping a close eye on the Orange
coalition, to ensure that it doesn’t practise proxy voting; each
lawmaker should only vote once. According to Chechetov, this is
how the opposition will perform its oversight function in relation
to the government, as the Regions Party warned Tymoshenko
 before the election.

Chechetov and the Regions Party predict that the Orange
coalition won’t stay in power for long. It might not even have
time to form a government. The Regions Party has decided to ignore
the Orange coalition’s offer to include some Regions Party members
in the Cabinet as deputy prime ministers and deputy ministers.

The Blue forces don’t want to be held responsible for what
Tymoshenko will do. They predict that her second period as prime
minister will lead to gasoline and food crises again.

The Orange coalition has already cheated the Blue forces: after
promising to cede the post of Rada speaker to Regions Party leader
Viktor Yanukovych, the Orange forces have now announced that
it will go to Our Ukraine leader Vyacheslav Kirilenko.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko have a problematic history.
President Yushchenko fired Prime Minister Tymoshenko in 2005 on
the grounds that she was “unable to work in a team.” Tymoshenko
refused to tolerate the political activities of Yushchenko’s
allies: National Security and Defense Council Secretary Petro
Poroshenko and Emergencies Minister David Zhvania. They attempted
to control the prime minister and issue instructions to her.

Tymoshenko responded by accusing her rivals of corruption. The
Prosecutor General’s Office opened a criminal case and eventually
cleared the president’s friends. The aggrieved Tymoshenko said at
the time that her relationship with Yushchenko was a history of
betrayal.

President Yushchenko has no need to hurry in nominating a
prime minister for endorsement by the parliament. The Constitution
gives the Rada 30 days after the election to get organized and
start work. Then the Rada members have to be sworn in and form
their factions before they can vote to endorse the prime minister
– and they will have another 60 days to do so.

But the parliament could lose its legitimacy if Regions Party
members refuse to take up the seats they have won. That would
leave the Rada unable to reach quorum (300 members), and it would
have to be dissolved. If this happens, the previous parliament –
dominated by the Blue coalition – would be considered legitimate
for the next year. According to the Constitution, early elections
cannot be held more than once a year.

Sources in the Blue forces have told us that the Regions Party will
use this scenario to intimidate its rivals, but that doesn’t mean it will
go ahead with such a plan. Our sources say that it’s more advantageous
for Yanukovych to remain in opposition until the presidential election
of 2010: “Running for president from opposition is easier than running
for president while holding the office of prime minister.”

Tymoshenko’s supporters expect to get the economic and social
portfolios in the new government. Sergei Terekhin, economy
minister in the previous Tymoshenko Cabinet, may return to that
office. Nikolai Sivulsky, who used to work with Tymoshenko at the
United Energy Systems corporation, may become deputy prime
minister for fuel and energy.

Bogdan Gubsky, known as one of Ukraine’s major land-owners,
might get the post of deputy prime minister for agriculture. Viktor
Pinzenik, founding father of Ukrainian “shock therapy,” wants to be
the finance minister.

The post of interior minister is likely to go to Alexander Turchinov,
former head of the Ukrainian Security Service. Anatoliy Hrytsenko,
a Yushchenko supporter, should keep the defense portfolio.

Yuri Lutsenko, a co-leader of the Orange electoral bloc,
aspires to become the mayor of Kiev. This has led Tymoshenko to
announce that once she becomes prime minister, she will launch a
campaign to replace the Kiev municipal leadership by holding new
elections.

Tymoshenko has also promised to reduce the price Ukraine pays
for natural gas from Russia, increase the state bonuses paid to parents
of newborn babies, and repay the money lost by those who had
accounts with the Savings Bank of the USSR in the early 1990s.
(Translated by Elena Leonova)
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19.  UKRAINE: WHAT NOW FOR THE DONETSK STRONGMAN?

COMMENTARY: By Peter Dickinson
Business Ukraine magazine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Oct 15, 2007

As Ukraine edges closer to a new Orange coalition, members of the defeated
Party of Regions must be wondering how long they can remain loyal to their
controversial and nationally divisive leader. In the wake of the
parliamentary elections it is hard to see what more Viktor Yanukovych can
hope to achieve in politics.

Having already made one of the most unlikely and memorable political
comebacks in recent European history, he now stands at the head of a party
which has conspicuously failed to capitalise on the second chance it secured
in 2006 and has instead suffered a resounding electoral snub.
COLLAPSE ON THE EASTERN FRONT
It is not simply the fact that the Orange camp enjoyed a renaissance of
their own at the polls that will have troubled Regions loyalists.
Yanukovych’s party still came in first, after all and finished within a whisker

of amassing enough seats to lead a new parliamentary coalition.

However, the election offered dark hints that the party has already peaked
and is now in danger of losing ground under Yanukovych’s leadership.

Yulia Tymoshenko’s success in winning over sizable minorities in what were
preciously considered the impregnable Regions citadels of southeast Ukraine
is said to have shocked the party leadership, and suggests that they could
be in danger of eventually losing their grip on the Yanukovych heartlands
altogether.

Elsewhere, the party failed to make ground in the centre or west of the
country, and is now facing the prospect of watching the foundations of their
carefully nurtured support base slowly dwindle.
THE ETERNAL NEARLY MAN
Yanukovych still commands a massive following throughout the Regions-loyal
oblasts, but this election has served to illustrate once again his inability
to expand politically or build on this strong regional following.

As such he is something of an electoral busted flush, doomed to remain stuck
in the 30% to 40% bracket but without any hope of ever gaining an actual
majority.

Despite their bluster, his Regions colleagues must be painfully aware of
this fact, and there are no doubt already many party members secretly
discussing the need for a radically new approach.
NO NEW FACES
All of which leaves the Party of Regions in quite a quandary, as there is
nobody in the party ranks capable of replacing the one man who can still
mobilise the Donbass masses and act as a figurehead for an anti-Orange
opposition.

He may not be able to lead Regions to national victory, but his presence at
least guarantees localised dominance.

Having preferred to fill their ranks with caricatures like Nestor Shufrich
or media-friendly political non-entities such as Raisa Bogatorova, Regions
now face the distant but already dim prospect of entering the 2009
presidential race backing Yanukovych yet knowing he is going to lose.

Russia finds itself in a similar predicament, with absolutely no candidates
at hand who could possibly act as an alternative flag-bearer in the way
Yanukovych has over the past three years.

Ukraine’s fast-emerging multi-party system is already far too sophisticated
to allow for a well-groomed unknown to be brought in from the shadows, a
practice first employed to bring Putin himself to power and now favoured by
the Russian president.

Both Regions and the Russians may therefore find they are stuck with
Yanukovych, at least for the time being.

In the short term he may still prove useful in destabilizing any renewed
Orange government, but as the harsh reality of the election results sinks in
he can surely harbour few hopes of playing a leading role in Ukrainian
politics beyond the 2009 presidential elections.
———————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.businessukraine.com.ua/what-now-for-the-donetsk

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20.  MISTAKES OF VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH’S ADVISERS

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Yuriy Starchevsky
Southern Center of Political Consulting
Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, Oct 10.2007

Welfare and stability are principal pre-election slogans of the Party of
Regions during pre-term election campaign of 2007. As it turned out, they
were slogans not entirely resonating the political mood of even southeastern
population, let alone that of other parts of the country.

What welfare can one talk about when almost 85 per cent of the population
consider themselves poor? What stability can one talk about if the majority
of these 85 per cent understands that in the near future they won’t see any
improvements unlike oligarchs who have increased their fortune to huge
figures?

One can speak about stability of welfare for the chosen and close ones. For
the rest of the population this slogan looked only as a reminder about
reality.

In 2006 with regard to insertion of 2004 the residents of the Southeast voted
for “theirs”. There were “theirs” and “sworn enemies” who according to the
propaganda had intended to seize power using the help from abroad.

It still worked in 2006. The Party of Regions was lucky. They formed the
government even though they shouldn’t have. So what’s next?

Inconsistency in fulfilling pre-election promises, flirting with potential
enemies and rapid enrichment of main investors – those were the actions of
the authorities performed right in front of their voters, of the authorities
which were proud of their strong will, labour genes and miners’ characters.

In 2007, against the background of the opponents’ aggressive actions the
efficiency of 2004 propaganda ran dry, which determined the result obtained.

American political technologists have transformed the Kyiv face of the Party
of Regions in a truly professional way but couldn’t feel the soul of
Ukrainians in the Southeast.

The grassroots didn’t want stability and welfare for oligarchs. They needed
some hope for justice, may it even be unreal. These elections have demonstrated

the insufficient depth of understanding of non-Ukrainian political consultants.

The Russian ones turned out to be too rude, and the Americans too simple.
However, both the former and the latter benefited the political evolution of
Ukraine in a certain way.

The Russians substantiated and fixed in the mind of society the division
into rivaling orange and blue camps having attached to these territories
their political beau monde. At first the representatives of different
circles were pretending they hate each other.

But when the country exhausted its primary funds and urban land they started
to hate each other for real in the foreboding of close land enrichment. They
started to hate each other as competitors for their living space, property
and commercial prospects.

The Americans, in their turn, taught to organize huge political shows which
are positively graded by foreign countries. The central and southeastern
Ukraine watches them with teary eyes but votes for others more and more
often.

Obviously, the party headquarters hoped that people in their regions still
hate “those guys” and “strangers” and therefore will come and vote. Many of
them didn’t come. Thus people need not only the magnificent five, the hate
for strangers and the stability in their poverty but also something more…

The leaflets with Nazi swastika and their henchmen, the supporters of Stepan
Bandera, stepping with a steel boot on the throat of the Southeast in the
excitement of orange revanche, didn’t look at all convincing.

These masterpieces of political technologies demonstrate the disappointing
professional level of MPs of the Party of Regions in place who didn’t want
to spend funds for more relevant regional developments and feared political
arguments with local opponents.

The blue and white statements about elections of yesterday and today, about
elections which prevented civil war are only a reflection of more economical
and not ideological gist of the Party of Regions.

The Party of Regions hasn’t managed to become an efficient party, namely
an organization of people capable of creating a political intrigue and
maintaining its blow.

Instead, they learned to earn money making the leader yield the way they
want. However, they never learned to create the political process, to
encourage and motivate its supporters and just to protect their interests in
a professional way.

The election campaign of 2007 is an obvious manifestation of crisis of old
party nomenclature in the PRU.

The thirst for political victory even though it may be risky must dwell
inside the team forming its ideology, spirit, structure and relations. But
the Party of Regions didn’t have such qualities in the sufficient volume.

It means that PRU strategy needs to change in a fast and efficient way.
Otherwise the instable businessmen, the greedy public officials and the
unprofessional politicians will be torn apart by political forces who know
no mercy.

In one of the last series of a TV program “Freedom of Speech” Yuriy
Lutsenko hinted about this possibility in a very symbolic way, saying that
one shouldn’t mix wolves and sheep in the parliament.

Mr. Lutsenko doesn’t consider himself a sheep, that’s for sure. Whether the
Party of Regions considers itself a flock of sheep the near future will
show. (Translated by Anna Ivanchenko)
——————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.pravda.com.ua/en/news/2007/10/10/9168.htm
———————————————————————————————–
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21.  “ESPECIALLY LARGE SWAP. VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO
AND YULIYA TYMOSHENKO AGREED ABOUT EVERYTHING”
Ukraine’s new coalition based on concessions by both sides

COMMENTARY: By Serhiy Sydorenko, Olena Heda & Oleksandr Svyrydenko
Kommersant-Ukraina, Kiev, in Russian 16 Oct 07; pp 1, 2
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The opposition Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc and the propresidential Our
Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence bloc have initialled a coalition agreement
following difficult talks at the presidential secretariat, a daily has
reported.

As a result, Yuliya Tymoshenko agreed to President Viktor Yushchenko’s
version of the law on the Cabinet of Ministers, while President Viktor
Yushchenko accepted Tymoshenko’s idea of abolishing compulsory army
conscription as early as in 2008.

The following is an excerpt from the article by Serhiy Sydorenko, Olena Heda
and Oleksandr Svyrydenko entitled “Especially large swap. Viktor Yushchenko
and Yuliya Tymoshenko agreed about everything” published in the Ukrainian
daily Kommersant Ukraina, pages one and two, on 16 October:

Yesterday the opposition Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc [YTB] leader, Yuliya
Tymoshenko, and the head of the political council of the [propresidential]
Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence bloc, Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, signed an
agreement on forming a coalition in the Supreme Council [parliament] of the
sixth convocation. The signing ceremony was preceded by their meeting with
President Viktor Yushchenko.

The negotiations were fairly difficult and, as a result, all the sides were
forced to make concessions. In particular, the president agreed to Ms
Tymoshenko’s demand to switch to contract service in the army from 2008, and
the YTB leader agreed to support the law On the Cabinet of Ministers in the
edition proposed by the president. [Passage omitted: repetition]

In front of the lenses of the TV cameras, Yuliya Tymoshenko for the YTB and
Vyacheslav Kyrylenko for Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence affixed their
signatures to the weighty files, after which they stated that all the
aspects that were considered contentious had been agreed on, and that there
were no contradictions between them.

The agreement on forming a coalition stipulates that the YTB will have the
post of prime minister and Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence the post of
speaker.

In accordance with his bloc’s decision, Vyacheslav Kyrylenko is due to
become chairman of the Supreme Council. In spite of agreeing the
distribution of the main posts, it is too soon to speak about complete trust
between the YTB and Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence leaders.

A list of bills due to be voted on in parliament even before confirming the
candidacy of the prime minister has been inserted into the agreement on
forming a coalition as a separate supplement, Mr Kyrylenko said.

He said that the future coalition participants had agreed on 12 bills,
support for which will be a condition for successful voting on the candidacy
of the prime minister.

Vyacheslav Kyrylenko confirmed to Kommersant information that one of the
most problematic ones was the law On the Cabinet of Ministers, and added
that yesterday, in the course of the day, a discussion was held on a number
of provisions in the bill On the status of a people’s deputy.

The YTB and Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence leaders declined yesterday to
name the list of priority bills included in the coalition agreement,
promising to disclose them later. But Kommersant managed to get hold of the
list of those documents.

It is noteworthy that the texts of only six of the 12 bills were initialled
yesterday: On the Cabinet of Ministers, On the parliamentary opposition and
three bills envisaging changes to the law On the status of a people’s deputy
(the first draft cancels a number of benefits, the second immunity and the
third brings in the binding mandate [banning deputies from moving from one
faction to another]). A bill on making amendments to the Constitution of
Ukraine in the section cancelling deputies’ immunity was also agreed
yesterday.

In the coming days a working group is due to agree another six bills: On
making changes to the law On foreign troops, On local state administrations,
On local government, On the purchase of goods, work and services at state
expense, On confirming the charter of GUAM [a regional organization
comprising Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova] and On the legal status
of certain central bodies of power, which removes national commissions for
regulating sectors of the economy from government jurisdiction.

Kommersant has learned that Viktor Yushchenko’s main victory among the ones
he achieved at yesterday’s talks was the confirmation of the edition of the
law On the Cabinet of Ministers that was drafted by the presidential
secretariat (the YTB was proposing its own edition, in which the prime
minister’s powers were somewhat expanded).

The head of state also gained a promise from the YTB to vote in favour of
reform of local government in the presidential edition and to implement the
president’s election promises given by him in the framework of social
initiatives in the 2008 budget.

Yuliya Tymoshenko, for her part, achieved the inclusion in the agreement of
points envisaging the realization of the YTB election platform, including
the question of compensation for the public’s deposits in the USSR Savings
Bank and a switch to contract service in the army from 2008. Our
Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence representatives confirmed to Kommersant that
they had agreed to those demands.

“We were against, since we had doubts on the financial level. But Viktor
Pynzenyk (a YTB MP-to-be who is claiming leadership of the government’s
financial bloc – Kommersant) assured us that the funding will be
sufficient,” Roman Zvarych said.

A Kommersant source in Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence stresses that the
YTB will have total leadership of the financial and economic policy of the
Cabinet of Ministers and will bear full responsibility for the
implementation of promises in this sphere.

[Passage omitted: Members of the ruling Party of Regions doubt the YTB and
Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence will be able to deliver on their election
promises.]
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
22.  TIME FOR YUSHCHENKO TO LET HIS HEAD RULE HIS HEART

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Taras Kuzio
Business Ukraine magazine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct 15, 2007

Yulia Tymoshenko’s spectacular gains in last month’s elections have been
interpreted as a sharp rebuke to the Party of Regions. They also represent
a biting response from the electorate to the leadership of President
Yushchenko, and offer him little choice but to commit himself to a new
Orange coalition with Tymoshenko increasingly calling the shots

Ukraine’s pre-term elections held on September 30 are over. Although more
bitterly fought out than last year’s elections, they were declared to have
been held in a ‘free and fair’ manner by the OSCE, EU, Council of Europe,
USA, and Canada.

[1] Ukraine can be justifiably proud that it has held a second consecutive
free election in a Eurasian regional environment where autocracies rule.
CONSISTENTLY DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY
[2] A second aspect that Ukrainians can be justifiably proud of is that the
election results are the fourth victory in five years of the democratic and
Orange opposition.

In three parliamentary elections (2002, 2006, 2007) and one presidential
election (2004) the democratic-Orange opposition either came first or won
(albeit slim) majorities.

In this year’s elections the Orange forces have a slim majority which would
increase to 248 deputies if the Volodymyr Lytvyn bloc joins it. The Party of
Regions with the Communists and the Lytvyn bloc together fall short of 225
seats.

Both of these factors – the holding of free elections and Ukrainian voter
support for democratic forces – shows to what degree Ukraine is more in the
European than in the Eurasian mainstream. It’s time the EU woke up to the
new democratic boy on the block.
CAUSES FOR CONTINUED CONCERN
While this is a source of great optimism, other aspects of the elections are
more depressing.

Anybody who knows Viktor Yushchenko and the Our Ukraine bloc he set up
in late 2001 also knows that there has always been a split personality in
both Yushchenko and his bloc. This apparent identity crisis rests on two issues.

[1] Firstly, the difficult amalgamation of national democratic forces and
business groups into one political force (Our Ukraine).

The Yulia Tymoshenko bloc (BYUT) has a similar profile but the main crucial
difference is that Tymoshenko dominates and decides BYUT’s position whereas
Our Ukraine has had weak and indecisive leaders for its entire six year
existence (i.e., Viktor Yushchenko, Roman Besmertnyi, Yuriy Yekhanurov,
Vyacheslav Kyrlylenko). None of these four can match Tymoshenko’s
organisational skills and leadership qualities.
THE NATIONAL INTEREST VS. DEMOCRACY?
[2] Secondly, the ‘national’ in national democratic often dominates the
‘democratic’. Since the Kuchmagate crisis, Yushchenko’s and Our Ukraine’s
nationalism (i.e., defined as support for the Ukrainian state, including its
head, the president) has often overridden their support for democracy.

During the Kuchmagate crisis [sparked by the release of secretly bugged
recordings allegedly implicating Kuchma in the murder of opposition
journalist Georgi Gongadze], president Leonid Kuchma was saved from having
to resign by Yushchenko and the national democrats, who did not support the
demands of BYUT and the Socialists (SPU) for Kuchma’s impeachment.

In February 2001, as opposition to president Kuchma mounted and street
protests grew in size, Yushchenko signed an infamous open letter (with
Kuchma and his current National Security and Defence Council Secretary, Ivan
Pliushch) attacking the Ukraine Without Kuchma protesters as ‘fascists’.

Throughout the period 2002-2003, Yushchenko and Our Ukraine wavered
between supporting the Arise Ukraine! protests organised by supporters of
Yulia Tymoshenko and the Socialists and joining a pro-Kuchma, centrist
parliamentary coalition.

Indeed, one wonders with hindsight if Yushchenko would have ever gone into
‘opposition’ if he had not been removed as prime minister in April 2001.

Therefore, Yushchenko’s and Our Ukraine’s continued wavering after both the
2006 and 2007 elections between either joining an Orange coalition or a
grand coalition is part of a pattern that reflects dynamics which we have
seen demonstrated over the past five years time and again.
SITTING ON THE IDEOLOGICAL FENCE
Viktor Yanukovych only returned to government in August 2006 (whose
conflict with Yushchenko led, in turn, to pre-term elections) because of a
multi-vector coalition negotiation strategy favoured by Yushchenko that
imploded when the SPU defected from the Orange coalition to the Party of
Regions.

In March-June 2006, Besmertnyi negotiated with BYUT and the SPU for an
Orange coalition while Yekhanurov negotiated with the Party of Regions for a
grand coalition.

Even after this misplaced strategy failed, Yushchenko and Our Ukraine
continued to hold faith in a deal, leading to the August 2006 round table
that only BYUT opposed.

It took Our Ukraine another two months to go into ‘opposition’, a further
two months for Our Ukraine ministers to be removed from the Yanukovych
government (they refused to resign from the government even though they were
in ‘opposition’) and another two months for Our Ukraine to revive the Orange
alliance with BYUT.

This meant that an entire year was wasted after the victory of Orange
political forces in March 2006 to the re-creation of the Orange alliance in
February 2007.
UNCOMPROMISING APPEAL OF YULIA
It is useful to contrast this continuous wavering and indecisiveness of
Yushchenko and Our Ukraine with BYUT’s consistent line since the
Kuchmagate crisis of complete opposition to the Kuchma regime and its
unwillingness to enter into any negotiations or coalition with the Party of
Regions.

Is it any surprise that Ukrainian voters prefer a consistent policy (BYUT)
to an indecisive one (Yushchenko and Our Ukraine)?

President Viktor Yushchenko adopted two policies during the 2007 elections.
Unlike in 2006, he campaigned openly for the Our Ukraine-People’s
Self-Defence Bloc which earned him a reprimand from the Central Election
Commission for not maintaining his neutrality.

His campaigning on OU-PSD’s behalf probably did more harm than good as
Yushchenko’s low popularity translated into low voter support for the bloc.

Yushchenko also repeatedly stated that he supported only one coalition that
he defined as ‘democratic’ (i.e. Orange). At a meeting in late September,
Yushchenko said, ‘I would like to stress that we have only one scenario – to
form a democratic coalition. Full stop. There will be no other coalition’. A
few days later, Yushchenko ruled out a grand coalition.

Following the elections Yushchenko confused everybody by calling upon three
of the five political forces (BYUT, OU-PSD and Party of Regions) that had
passed the 3% threshold necessary to enter parliament to begin negotiations
on forming a coalition. Only agreement among these three forces, Yushchenko
believed, would lead to political stability.

This is a canard and contradicted Yushchenko’s statements during the
election campaign. Ukraine is a stable country with a growing economy. There
are no riots, protests or violent political attacks taking place in the
country.
TYMOSHENKO’S TRIUMPH INSPIRES FEAR
Yushchenko’s wavering over which coalition to support rests on the two
factors analysed above that have been in place for the last six years
together with a new factor brought in by this year’s election results.

[3] The third and new factor is the decisive victory of BYUT in the
elections. BYUT is the only one of the three original Orange forces to have
gained a greater share of the votes (up by over 1.5 million on 2006 election
results) and, crucially, has demonstrated that it is the only Orange force
that can win votes in eastern and southern Ukraine.

In contrast, OU-PSD won the same number of votes as in 2006 but it won
fewer oblasts (only one oblast in 2007 compared to four in 2006).

Support for BYUT, in contrast, has been on an upward trajectory since it
first fought an election in 2002 (when it obtained 8%), rising to 23% last
year and 32% this year. BYUT also reduced its gap with the Party of Regions
from 10% last year to only 2% this year.

In a longer election campaign BYUT would probably have reached a par with
the Party of Regions or even moved into first place (this year’s campaign
time was shorter than is customary for Ukrainian elections).

BYUT’s victory is good and bad news for Yushchenko. It is good in that it
saves the Orange Revolution and his own presidency. But it is bad in that it
makes his presidency dependent on his good relations with BYUT.

Yushchenko can either go into the 2009 elections with Tymoshenko as prime
minister and win a second term or lose the competition for the Orange vote
with Tymoshenko in the first round of those elections, thus failing to enter
the second round.

Yushchenko can only defeat Yanukovych in a presidential election if he is
backed by Tymoshenko.

However, Yulia would win the 2009 presidential elections if she stood as a
candidate because central Ukraine (‘Ukraine’s Ohio’), where she is by far
the most popular politician and BYUT the most popular force, decides the
outcome of presidential elections (as seen in Kuchma’s victory in 1994 and
Yushchenko’s victory in 2004).

Yushchenko’s only chance of a second term is an alliance with Tymoshenko
as prime minister. It is time for him to mature as a politician, put his
head before his heart and accept this fact.
——————————————————————————————
Dr. Taras Kuzio is a Research Associate at the Institute for European,
Russian and Eurasian Studies, Elliott School of International Affairs,
George Washington University and President of the economic and
political consultancy group, Kuzio Associates.
——————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.businessukraine.com.ua/time-for-yushchenko-to-let-his
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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23.  UKRAINE’S ORANGE LEADERS PRESENT COALITION ACCORD 

5 Kanal TV, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1245 gmt 17 Oct 07
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Wed, October 17, 2007

The leaders of the two Orange Revolution parties that won parliamentary
representation in Ukraine have made public their agreement to set up a
coalition in the newly-elected assembly.

Opposition leader Yuliya Tymoshenko and Vyacheslav Kyrylenko of the
propresidential Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence made the accord public at
a news conference at the Interfax-Ukraine news agency on 17 October.

The news conference was broadcast live by state-run UT1 television and
private TV 5 Kanal.

Opening the news conference, Tymoshenko said the accord was final and will
not change. “It has been signed. This is not a draft that is going to be
amended.”

Yuliya Tymoshenko said the accord was based on the two blocs’ pre-election
promises. To fulfil them, she said coalition MPs would pass twelve laws
after the new parliament convenes and before it approves the new prime
minister:

1. A law abolishing MPs’ immunity;
2. A law cancelling MPs’ privileges;
3. A new law on the Cabinet of Ministers;
4. A law banning MPs from switching factions;
5. A resolution calling an early mayoral and city council election in Kiev;
6. A law on local state administrations;
7. A law expanding the authority of local self-government;
8. A law on central government agencies, detailing how their heads are
    appointed;
9. A law on the interior troops, preventing their misuse for political
    purposes;
10. A law on state procurement;
11. A law on the statute of GUAM, an alliance of Georgia, Ukraine,
     Azerbaijan and Moldova;
12. A law on the rights of the opposition.

Tymoshenko also said that, as demanded by the president, he will have the
right to nominate the head of the power-wielding agencies like the
Prosecutor-General’s Office.

To ensure a system of checks and balances in the government, Tymoshenko

said ministers representing Our-Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence will have first
deputies nominated by the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, and vice versa.

Yuliya Tymoshenko rejected accusations by the progovernment Party of Regions
that the new coalition will be unstable. “I think that today together with
the leader of the Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence bloc, Vyacheslav
Kyrylenko, we can say that the coalition will be stable,” she said.

Speaking after Tymoshenko, Kyrylenko was keen to confirm this. Answering a
journalist’s question, he said: “There are no groups, which you’ve
mentioned, within Our Ukraine. Everyone of us, 100 per cent of our MPs, will
vote for candidates for the posts of the speaker and the prime minister.”

The two parties earlier agreed to nominate Tymoshenko as prime minister.
Kyrylenko also showed a hard copy of the accord, which looked to be

hundreds of A4 pages thick.

An outline of the accord will be processed from a report by the
Korrespondent.net website by 1430 gmt on 17 October.

UT1 stopped relaying the news conference at 1308 gmt, following it up with a
pre-recorded version of President Viktor Yushchenko’s address to the nation.
In it, he voiced his support for the plans to set up a coalition involving
the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence (for
details see “Ukrainian president backs Orange coalition plans – text” by
Ukrainian president’s website, Kiev, in Ukrainian 17 Oct 07)
————————————————————————————————-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
24.  ORANGE AGAIN: YUSHCHENKO AND TYMOSHENKO REUNITE

ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY: By Tammy Lynch
THE ISCIP ANALYST, An Analytical Review, Volume XIV, Number 3
Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology & Policy at Boston University
Boston, MA, Thursday, 18 October 2007

On 16 October, parties supporting Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko and
former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko signed a coalition agreement that
will see the return of Tymoshenko as prime minister and the return of an
“orange” government after over a year out of power.

The deal came just hours after final results were released by the CEC in the
country’s snap parliamentary elections. (Note: At press time, the Kyiv
Administrative Court blocked the printing of final results, while it
considers an appeal against the results by the Communist Party. The court
must release its finding within five days, and it is unlikely to alter the
outcome.)

During the elections, the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT) increased its support
by over seven percentage points, while the coalition supporting Tymoshenko’s
rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, saw one of its members (The
Socialist Party) fail to pass the threshold to enter parliament.

These two factors will allow Tymoshenko to put together a slim parliamentary
majority of 228 against 222, consisting of her bloc and Yushchenko’s Our
Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense Bloc (OU-PSD). It is a remarkable comeback for
two blocs that spent almost 1 ½ years in opposition.

The two groups were consigned to opposition following the 2006 parliamentary
elections, when tensions between the two led to months of negotiations to
create a majority. Yanukovych was able to use the time to broker a backroom
deal with the Socialists, who until that point had been a solid member of
the orange coalition. This allowed Yanukovych to become prime minister.

The Socialists’ change of allegiances also was one of the primary reasons
given by Yushchenko for the dismissal of parliament and calling of the 2007
snap vote. The party, he said, had betrayed Ukrainians who voted for the
Socialists, believing the party would support an orange coalition.

In total, the 2007 results show a swing of around 30 seats from Yanukovych’s
coalition to Tymoshenko’s. When elections were called, the opposition
controlled roughly 200 seats compared to Prime Minister Yanukovych’s 250,
out of a total of 450. Now, Tymoshenko’s coalition will control 228 to
Yanukovych’s 222.

The coalition agreement wouldn’t have been possible one year ago and could
be the latest sign of Ukraine’s growing—if nascent—democratic political
culture. Indeed, the ability of Yushchenko and Tymoshenko to work together
after falling out over two years ago, may signal an understanding by these
politicians of their accountability to voters and of the need for
cooperation, in order to fulfill their objectives.

In particular, Yushchenko has had to recognize Tymoshenko’s electoral
success, which outpaced even the most generous predictions of political
pundits.

In the run up to the election, Yushchenko and his bloc often repeated their
commitment to a “democratic coalition.” During the last week of the
campaign, as polls showed BYuT performing far better than OU-PSD,

Yushchenko’s bloc even went so far as to use Tymoshenko’s image in
their final campaign advertisement.

Despite this, it is no secret that Yushchenko views Tymoshenko as a
potential rival in the upcoming 2010 presidential elections, particularly
given that her popularity now outstrips his own. It also is no secret that
some within Our Ukraine would prefer a coalition with Yanukovych (based
primarily on business ties).

However, despite these factors, the president’s bloc has no choice but to
follow through on its campaign promises. The fate of the Socialists is a
major lesson to politicians, as is the loss in popularity of Our Ukraine
after an ill-fated attempt in 2006 to form a coalition with Yanukovych. This
new awareness of voter backlash is a major step forward for Ukraine’s
political development.
What can we expect from a Tymoshenko government?
The coalition agreement released this week clearly states that Tymoshenko
will be nominated as premier, based on her bloc’s almost 31% vote tally as
compared to OU-PSD’s 14%.

The 50 page agreement also delineates post distribution procedures, spells
out the coalition’s program (melding the two campaign programs into
“Ukrainian Breakthrough: For the People, not Politicians”), and lists
fourteen bills that will be introduced before the government is approved.

The first three bills that likely will be submitted are the Law on
Opposition, Law on Imperative Mandate and the Law on the Cabinet.

The Law on Opposition, as originally written by BYuT in 2006, would have
provided an official opposition at least the same rights as most opposition
forces are afforded in Western European parliamentary republics. For
example, the bill gave opposition representatives control of important
parliamentary committees and introduced the idea of a British style “shadow
cabinet.”

The current bill has not been released, but according to Tymoshenko, it
maintains most of its original provisions while taking into account a number
of changes urged by Yushchenko.

These suggestions from Yushchenko include granting the “opposition”
ministerial portfolios and control over key state departments (perhaps
including the State Property Fund). In this way, Yushchenko said, such
“compromises” would unify those in the country who voted for both the
majority and the opposition. (1)

This level of capitulation to the “opposition” is unheard of in developed
parliamentary republics. Thus, although the US Democratic Party controls the
US Senate by only one seat, it would never invite Republicans into the
leadership.

If Ukraine is to develop a true majority-minority system that honors and
protects the rights of an opposition, undermining the ability of the
opposition to criticize the government by inviting it into the government is
the worst possible idea.

Perhaps for this reason, Tymoshenko (and reportedly her allies within
Yushchenko’s OU-PSD), rejected immediately the idea of providing ministerial
portfolios to the Party of Regions. Instead, the coalition is offering one
post of Deputy Prime Minister for Relations with the Verkhovna Rada and the
opportunity for Deputy Minister posts within a number of ministries.

These Deputy Minister posts would be one of at least ten deputy ministers
provided to each minister. Moreover, they can be dismissed by the Prime
Minister and are not privy to the inner workings of the cabinet.

Tymoshenko’s willingness to accept this compromise signals a continuing
respect for Yushchenko’s position and perhaps a new understanding of the
need for give and take with her opponents.

The opposition’s powers will make the cabinet’s job much more difficult than
it was for Yanukovych, who routinely ignored the opinions both of the
opposition and the president. Then, Tymoshenko’s opposition had no legal
recourse. Prime Minister Tymoshenko will provide the legal recourse to
Yanukovych that was not provided to her.

The Law on Imperative Mandate, which would allow the loss of a deputy
mandate for not following the decisions of the bloc’s leader or political
council, has been criticized heavily by the Parliamentary Assembly of the
Council of Europe (PACE). PACE views the legislation as restricting the free
will of individual deputies.

However, while this is a concern in developed parliamentary democracies,
Ukraine faces a serious problem with bribery and intimidation inside the
Verkhovna Rada. Ukrainian media report frequently on charges that the votes
of deputies were bought for millions of dollars.

In 2006, the orange coalition failed when one party summarily changed sides
without explanation to support Yanukovych, disavowing years of previous
condemnation of him.

In 2007, Yanukovych’s majority steadily increased its numbers with defectors
from Our Ukraine and BYuT; defections for which no reason was given. When
dismissing that parliament, Yushchenko condemned “a policy of intrigues and
betrayal” within the Rada.

Following this latest election, representatives from BYuT and Our Ukraine
privately worried that the Party of Regions would use various “techniques”
to “pull away” deputies from the majority coalition.

This concern led Yuriy Lutsenko, number one on the OU-PSD electoral list, to
urge former Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov to leave the bloc. Yekhanurov is
said to be close to Yanukovych and has been critical of a majority coalition
with BYuT.

“If Yuriy Ivanovych (Yekhanurov) or whoever does not like such a format of
parliamentary majority,” he said, “and if he believes it to be a mistake, he
is free to vacate his seat and then start criticizing us as much as he
chooses.” (2)

Despite European concerns about individual rights of deputies, the situation
in Ukraine requires legislation that will punish severely members of
parliament who actively undermine their own party or bloc.

This type of activity has caused serious instability in Ukraine’s parliament
and recently led to the need for snap elections. If it is not stopped,
Ukraine cannot develop a stable government.

Furthermore, it will be very difficult for the new cabinet to achieve its
goals without an imperative mandate law. A thin margin, with a small
contingent of hostile deputies, is not workable. A revolt of just four
deputies conceivably could block the confirmation of Tymoshenko and lead to
yet another political crisis.

It is for this reason that the majority has signaled its intention to fight
for passage of the Law on Imperative Mandate before a vote is taken on the
new government and before parliamentary committees are formed.

Should a portion of Our Ukraine deputies refuse to vote in favor of this law
before committees are formed, these deputies could be sidelined by not being
awarded committee chairmanships, memberships, prestigious offices or other
perks that come with being part of a majority. Once assigned to a committee
and office, it would be nearly impossible to remove or to influence them.

In addition to the Law on Imperative Mandate, President Yushchenko, in
particular, is interested in alterations to the Law on the Cabinet. That
law, passed in early 2007, drastically cut the powers of the president. In
many areas, it appears to contradict the responsibility given to him in the
constitution – for example, to oversee foreign and defense policy.

Tymoshenko and Lutsenko have vowed to ensure that the law is in line with
the constitution and to return to Yushchenko a number of the powers that
were removed from him with its original passage.

Tymoshenko’s opponents suggest that her support for reinvesting Yushchenko
with powers at the expense of the prime minister signals she will challenge
Yushchenko in 2010.

However, it is more likely that Tymoshenko will work for a clearer, more
balanced distribution of power – at least for now. The BYuT leader
reportedly has suggested that she may support Yushchenko for president if he
actively supports her policies as Prime Minister. Challenging him now would
undermine her ability to enact her program.

Even without the Law on the Cabinet, Ukraine’s prime minister holds
significant power, thanks to constitutional changes that came into effect in
January 2006. The president would like these changes rescinded in the next
parliament and is pushing for it to happen before the confirmation of the
new prime minister.

Since a constitutional majority of 301 deputies would be necessary, however,
it appears unlikely that Yushchenko will be granted this wish. It also is
unclear how many BYuT members would support such a move, even though
Tymoshenko has been the one politician consistently critical of the
constitutional changes.
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES
Assuming that the Tymoshenko government takes office at the end of the month
as planned, it will face numerous daunting challenges.

Most importantly, it will need to negotiate a new gas price with Russia, at
a time when energy prices are soaring. Tymoshenko also repeatedly has vowed
to renegotiate Ukraine’s current overarching gas deal with Russia with the
aim of removing all intermediaries from the process. Primary among these
intermediaries is RosUkrEnergo, a shadowy “broker” between Ukraine and
Gazprom.

Unfortunately for Ukraine, the broker is half owned by Gazprom, meaning that
the country has received extremely unfavorable “deals” over the last several
years. (See the new special feature, Energy Politics, for more on this
issue.)

In addition to gas negotiations, the new Tymoshenko government will need to
decide how to deal with state companies and property that were sold
significantly under market value in the final days before the election. The
sales of two companies may be challenged in court.

In addition, the “sale” of over 3,000 hectares of land in Kyiv by Kyiv Mayor
Leonid Chernovetsky already has spawned a court case resulting in an
injunction against the transfer of at least some of the land.

In fact, it is possible that Chernovetsky could face criminal charges for
abuse of power by distributing land in a manner that is alleged to have been
outside legal channels.

The new Ukrainian government also will face a number of basic economic
problems – inflation that may be as high as 14%, increasing wage and pension
arrears, a deficit that exceeds EU requirements, inadequate funding of
health care and education, and an inability to provide basic services in
some villages.

In an interview prior to the election, Tymoshenko listed the difficulties
her new government (if elected) would face. “We often say that we are
working 20 hours a day now so that we can work 24 hours a day after the
election,” she said. “There are just so many problems. It will take years
before everything will be normalized and we can relax.” (3)
———————————————————————————————–
SOURCE NOTES: 
(1) Press Conference Yulia Tymoshenko, 12 Oct 07.
(2) “Lutsenko Suggests that Yekhanurov Should Vacate His Seat,”

Ukrayinska Pravda, 13 Oct 07, 19:15 CET; via www.pravda.com.ua.
(3) Tymoshenko interview, Bila Tserkva, 12 Sept 07.
————————————————————————————————
Contact: Tammy Lynch [tammylynch (at) hotmail.com] www.bu.edu/iscip
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
25.  UKRAINIAN WINS DETROIT’S WOMEN’S MARATHON RACE
 

By Chris Silva, Sports Writer, Free Press, Detroit, MI, Mon, Oct 22, 2007

After winning Sunday’s 30th Detroit Free Press/Flagstar women’s marathon,
Ukrainian Anzhelika Averkova, 38, can cross a few things off her to-do list.
“She now can tell everybody, ‘I’ve been to Canada for a couple of minutes,’
” Averkova said through an interpreter.

Averkova had never been to Detroit before this weekend, but she felt
comfortable running the course. She finished in 2:34:50 to win the $5,000
cash prize. Andrea Lamantia, 25, of Windsor, won the women’s half marathon
in 1:26:09.

Averkova said she enjoyed crossing the border to Canada and got a kick out
of the “Welcome to Canada” and “Welcome to the United States” signs on the
Ambassador Bridge and in the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.

Averkova led the entire race. “It’s a very beautiful course and very nice
view,” she said. “And there’s very kind people. It’s a nice course, and
fast.”

Standing before a few dozen people at the post-race news conference inside
the Hard Rock Café, Averkova was flanked by memorabilia that the included
guitars signed by classic rockers Roger Daltrey and David Bowie, and a
jacket that was Keith Richards’.

She thanked her sponsor, Spira, and also gave a brief speech in her native
language. But Averkova won’t leave Detroit completely satisfied.

She was intent on breaking the women’s course record, but fell 34 seconds
short. She admitted to being a bit bummed by not making history, and said
she’ll try to break the mark next year. Averkova said the lack of
competition left her without someone to push her.

“It’s very hard to run a marathon by yourself,” Averkova said through the
translator. “She was really disappointed, and she told me maybe next year
she can beat the course record.”
———————————————————————————————
Contact CHRIS SILVA at 586-469-4923 or at csilva@freepress.com.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
26.  INTERNATIONAL LAW COMMITTEE OF PHILADELPHIA BAR
ASSOCIATION TO HOLD OPEN MEETING ON UKRAINE NOV 1

Gene M. Burd, Esq., Marks Sokolov and Burd, LLC.
Managing Director of Kyiv Office
Co-Chair Philadelphia Bar International Law Committee
Philadelphia, PA, Monday, October 22, 2007

Dear Morgan,

The International Law Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association will
have an open meeting on Ukraine in November 1.  I would like to ask you

to distribute this invitation. Thank you for your assistance in that.
Regards, Gene. 
INVITATION ———-
The next meeting of the International Law Committee will be held on
Thursday, November 1, 2007, between 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., at the
Philadelphia Bar Association.  The topic is
COUNTRY INTRODUCTION – UKRAINE
Until recently many Westerners failed to recognize Ukraine as a truly
independent country.  However, events of the past several years have shown
that they were wrong.  Ukraine has been steadily gaining its international
recognition and independent profile.

Only three weeks ago Ukraine conducted parliamentary elections which have
been unequivocally recognized as democratic and fair.  Hopefully by the time
of the meeting the new parliament will form the government and get to
business.

Our speakers will be Richard Steffens, a Senior Commercial Officer at the US
Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine and a representative of the Ukrainian Embassy in
Washington (invited) who will discuss recent political and business
developments in Ukraine as well as potential business opportunities and
challenges.

Mr. Steffens is a Wharton graduate who served in various positions with the
Department of Commerce since 1991. He was assigned to his current position
in Ukraine in August 2006, prior to which he served in Russia, Iraq and
Czech Republic.

This meeting is open to all members of the Philadelphia Bar Association as
well as non-lawyers interested in Ukraine.  Please RSVP as soon as possible
as the space is limited.

Register on-line at www.philadelphiabar.org or complete this form and return
it with payment to: International Law Committee – November 1, 2007 –
Luncheon Program; Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19107-2911 or Fax to (215) 238-1159.

The cost of lunch is $7.50 per person and will only be prepared for those
that have made reservations and paid in advance either via check or credit
card.  Checks should be made payable to the Philadelphia Bar Association.
To secure your reservation, please complete the form below, including credit
card information, unless a check has been included.

All reservations that are not canceled 24 hours prior to the event will be
subject to a cancellation fee of $7.50.  To cancel, please contact Dawn
Burger at 215-238-6367 or dburger@philabar.org.  Contact Gene Burd,

gburd (at) mslegal.com.
———————————————————————————————–
FOOTNOTE: Marks Sokolov and Burd, LLC. is a member of the
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) in Washington, D.C.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
27.  LIVING GENEROUSLY” FALL 2007 EVENTS IN SUPPORT OF
THE UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY IN LVIV TO BEGIN

Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation
Chicago, Illinois, Monday, October 22, 2007

CHICAGO – Fall 2007 events organized to benefit the Ukrainian Catholic
University in Lviv, Ukraine will begin in November this year, guided by the
theme “Living Generously”.

As in previous years, this year’s eight events are being organized by
committees of volunteers that work together with staff from the
Chicago-based Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation, as well as the
foundation’s chapter in Canada.

“An education at the Ukrainian Catholic University is not simply an
acquisition of information, or a checkmark on the path of life after which a
student can say “I got a degree,” said John Kurey, president of the UCEF, as
he announced the fall schedule of events.

Kurey continued, “Rather, every aspect of the UCU is involved with the
formation of students into individuals who will have the knowledge and
skills to make choices in life that are respectful of themselves, and of
others, to make decisions that are considerate and generous.

“The years at UCU allow students to become confident people, complete in
their faith, who will then go on to be admirable and loving parents and
spouses and good citizens. And some will go on to become priests and
sisters, and serve in America!”

“Each year the UCEF returns to the Ukrainian American community for support,
since it is this community that fully understands the mission of UCU.  It is
this community that for decades has raised their own children in this way
and now, finally, this mission can be  continued in Ukraine,” he added.
The eight events this fall include:
[1] a luncheon at 2pm on Sunday, November 4 in New York at the

Ukrainian National Home, 140 Second Avenue;
[2] a luncheon at 1pm on Sunday, November 11 in Chicago at the
Ukrainian Cultural Center, 2247 W. Chicago Avenue;
[3] a dinner at 7pm, following a Divine Liturgy at 5pm and welcoming
reception at 6pm, on Saturday, November 17 in Whippany, New Jersey 
at the new Ukrainian American Cultural Center, 60C N. Jefferson Road;
[4] a luncheon at 1pm on Sunday, November 18  in Yonkers, New York
at the Ukrainian Youth Center, 301 Palisade Avenue;
[5] a Rector’s Dinner (time to be announced) on Tuesday, November 20
in Toronto;
[6] a “Holodnij Obid” at 6:30pm on Sunday, November 22 in Edmonton,
at the Ukrainian Youth Association (SUM) Hall, 9615 153 Avenue NW;
[7] a luncheon at 2pm on Sunday, November 25 at the parish center of the
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, 6175-10th Avenue; and
[8] an informational open house to be held from 1:00-3:30pm on Sunday,
December 2 in Warren, Michigan at St. Josaphat Banquet Center, 26440
Ryan Road.

For the first time the UCEF, working with local volunteers, will host events
in Yonkers and Whippany.  The luncheon in Yonkers is being held in
conjunction with the St. Michael’s Day celebration.

The rector of the UCU, Rev. Borys Gudziak will speak at both events.  On
Saturday, November 17, during the afternoon prior to the dinner in Whippany,
New Jersey, Rev. Gudziak will attend the activities at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

in Manhattan to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the 1932-1933
Holodomor [death by starvation] in Ukraine.

On November 4 in New York and on November 11 in Chicago, the keynote

speaker at the events will be Myroslav Marynovych, most recently the director
of UCU’s Institute of Religion and Society and currently vice-rector of UCU.

Mr. Marynovych, a scholar, a human-rights activist, and a former Soviet
prisoner-of-conscience speaks eloquently on the topic of the role of
religion and the values imparted by a religious education in developing not
only healthy individuals, but in a maintaining a healthy society.

On November 20 in Toronto, November 22 in Edmonton and November 25 in
Montreal, Rev. Gudziak will be the keynote speaker  and then on December
special guest Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, Apostolic Visitator for Ukrainian Greek
Catholics in Italy, will speak in Warren, along with the keynote speaker
Rev. Gudziak.

Tickets are available for all events through the UCEF or through local
representatives.  To order tickets and to locate a local representative,
please contact Nell Andrzejewski at the UCEF office: 773-235-8462; email:
nell@ucef.org.

Donations for the UCU are always welcome.  For those not able to attend an
event, but interested in contributing to the UCU, tax-deductible donations
can be sent to: The Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation, 2247 West
Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL  60622.  Please make checks payable to the

UCEF. All donations are tax-deductible.
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
28.  UTAH PEOPLE OPEN ARMS TO UKRAINE ORPHANS
 
By Elaine Jarvik, Deseret Morning News
Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, Oct. 19, 2007

Denise Williams wrote down the phrase in her notebook, hoping her phonetic
ti ha lode ni would sound something like the Ukrainian for are you hungry?

Like the dozens of other Utahns standing in the baggage claim area of the
Delta terminal at Salt Lake City International Airport Thursday night – with
their banners and balloons and eager smiles – Williams was waiting the
arrival of 45 orphans from Ukraine.

The children, from three orphanages, are the latest guests of Utah-based
Save A Child Foundation, started three years ago by Vern and Nannette
Garrett of Salt Lake City.

The purpose of the foundation, Vern explained amid the chaos of arriving
passengers, is to be advocates for orphans ages 6 to 15, the children who
are “largely overlooked,” he says. The children will be in Utah until Nov.
5, staying with volunteer families.

“You want to see something really sad?” asked Save a Child Foundation
vice president Craig Sorensen. “Come back here in three weeks.”

The Ukrainian government allows the children to come to Utah, but the
agreement is that they can’t stay. On the other hand, most of the families
end up adopting the children they host.

In the fall of 2005, the first year of the program, Sorensen says he figured
maybe one of the children would be adopted, two tops; in the end 24 of the
26 eligible children were eventually adopted by the Utah families.

The families must find their own adoption agency, come up with the $20,000
to $25,000 in adoption fees and generally wait about eight months for the
adoption to be final. The Garretts have now adopted two girls and a boy,
who have joined their own eight children.

The next three weeks will be a whirlwind of trips and parties and family
time. In an odd twist of fate and logistics, however, most of the orphans
will wake up tomorrow and be immediately whisked to the dentist for a
donated teeth cleaning.

“We’re going to explain it to them,” Vern told the parents, “so they don’t
think they’re coming to America to be tortured.”

Margery and Kent Jorgensen of Provo, and their four children plan to take
Misha, 15, and Maxim, 9, to a high school football game, as an antidote to
the dentist trip. That may or may not be successful; according to Sorensen,
other Ukrainian orphans in the past have been bored by American football.

All 45 orphans will go to a Halloween party, the zoo, a ranch, a swimming
pool and Bouncin’ Off the Walls while they’re here. Among the families waiting

at the bottom of the arrivals escalator were Ukrainian orphans who came on
a similar three-week trip either in 2005 or 2006.

Inna Morgan came last October and was adopted in June by Lorraine and Alan
Morgan of Sandy. Hannah and Abbie Olsen – who asked for American names –
also arrived last summer.

Their new mother, Carla, went to Ukraine last March to help the Garretts
choose the 45 children for this year’s program. “If you ask them what their

one wish is,” Olsen said about all the orphans she met, “they say ‘to come to
America.”‘

The 45 orphans finally arrived a little after 8:30 p.m. For a few minutes
they just stood in a clump at the top of the escalator. Then, two by two,
here they came, dressed in winter coats, each carrying a backpack.

A big cheer went up in the crowd, and then there was the chaos of families
trying to find Misha and Maxim, Artem and Roman. Pretty soon they’d all
be going home, to strange beds and refrigerators full of odd food.

Ti ha lode ni?
——————————————————————————————
E-mail: Elaine Jarvik, jarvik@desnews.com
——————————————————————————————
LINK: http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,5143,695220046,00.html
———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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AUR#880 Oct 21 Vital Voices; Children Return From US; Canadian War Hero; Bruises; European Human Rights Court; UPA; Starvation, Death, Genocide, UN

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


Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World    
 
VITAL VOICES LEADERSHIP SUMMIT FOR WOMEN 
“Today women account for 54% of the population of Ukraine.  Gender
equality is officially guaranteed in Ukrainian law……..In our parliament,
10% of the deputies are women.  In ministries and in regional government
the number of women is also small.

“Furthermore, women in Ukraine earn 68.2%, that is 2/3, of the salaries of
men….most of the workers in healthcare, education, culture and services are

women.  Since these sectors are largely financed by state and local budgets,
salary levels are low and its workers are most vulnerable to political
fluctuations. Often this forces women to realize themselves in the informal
(shadow) sector, where they lack social guarantees.

“…..women go abroad in search of higher salaries.  There they are often

exploited and forced to live illegally.” [Kateryna Yushchenko, Article One]
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 880
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2007
 
NOTE:  Send the AUR to your colleagues, associates, family and
friends around the world.  You can be part of the program to inform 
the world about Ukraine….its people….its history….its future.
 
INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
VOICES LEADERSHIP SUMMIT FOR WOMEN IN KYIV
Welcoming Address: By Kateryna Yushchenko, First Lady of Ukraine
Head of the Supervisory Board, Ukraine 3000 Int Charitable Fund
Vital Voices of Eurasia: A Leadership Summit for Women & Girls
Vital Voices, Kyiv, Ukraine, October 14-19, 2007
Published by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #880, Article 1
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, October 21, 2007
 
2UKRAINIAN CHILDREN COME BACK HOME AFTER TWO
WEEKS STAY IN THE U.S. TO RECEIVE ARTIFICIAL LIMBS
Ukraine 3000 International Charitable Fund
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 16 October 2007

3UKRAINE REFUGEE RETURNS TO AID THOSE EXILED
Met Ukrainians who were among the millions of Eastern Europeans
exiled to Siberia or imprisoned in the massive Gulag concentration
camp complex there during or just after World War II.
By Brian Spadora, NewJersey.com, New Jersey, Sun, Oct 14, 2007

4UKRAINIAN VILLAGE HONOURS CANADA’S VALIANT SOLDIER
Victoria Cross winner in WWI, Filip Konowal, never learned
Ukrainian wife, child survived Lenin’s and Stalin’s purges
Journal: By Mitch Potter, Europe Bureau
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Sat, Oct 13, 2007

5.  UKRAINE’S DEMOCRATIC DEVELOPMENT
Remarks: By David Kramer, Deputy Assistant Secretary

European and Eurasian Affairs, United States Department of State
Ukraine-EU Relations, Roundtable VIII
Ukraine’s Quest for Mature Nation Statehood
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Washington, DC, Tuesday, October 16, 2007

6CHEERS FOR DEMOCRACY
Editorial: Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Oct 04 2007

7DEMOCRACY, SOVIET-STYLE
Lead Editorial: The Economist, London, UK, Thu, Oct 4, 2007

8.  U.S. AMB TAYLOR CONSIDERS UKRAINE AS REGIONAL
LEADER IN DEMOCRATIC TRANSFORMATIONS 

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 19, 2007

9CONGRATULATING THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE FOR HOLDING FREE,
FAIR, & TRANSPARENT PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, SEP 30, 2007
Alcee L. Hastings, Member of U.S Congress, Chairman
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2007

10U.S. HELSINKI COMMISSION TO HOLD PUBLIC BRIEFING
ON UKRAINIAN ELECTIONS ON OCTOBER 25 IN WASHINGTON
U.S. Helsinki Commission, Washington, D.C., Fri, Oct 19, 2007

11BRUISES
For those Ukrainians convinced that their constitutional rights are more
than just election gimmicks, the events of the last year brought many bruises.
Analysis and Commentary: By Halya Coynash
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 26, 2007

12SO WHAT DOES THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
MEAN FOR UKRAINE? PUT MOST SUCCINCTLY, A LOT
Analysis and Commentary: By Halya Coynash
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 24, 2007

13APPREAL TO THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY OF THE COUNCIL
OF EUROPE FROM KHARKIV HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION GROUP
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, September 20, 2007

14PRESIDENT GREETS UPA VETERANS ON 65TH ANNIVERSARY
OF THE FORMATION OF THE UKRAINIAN INSURGENT ARMY
Yushchenko insists on recognition by the government of UPA fighters role 
Press office of the President of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Oct. 14, in Ukrainian
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #880, Article 14 in English
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, October 21, 2007

15RECOGNIZE THE UKRAINIAN INSURGENT ARMY (UPA)

Editorial, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, October 17, 2007

16KYIV’S INDEPENDENCE SQUARE: MIXING A NATIONAL METAPHOR
Peter Dickinson, Business Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Oct 1, 2007

17.  LVIV RECEIVES LARGE GRANT FROM EU TO DEVELOP
TOURIST INFRASTRUCTURE

Interfax Ukraine Focus, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 19, 2007

18UKRAINE: BLACK SEA CRUISE HAS MUCH TO OFFER
By Janice Law, Galveston News, Galveston, Texas, Sun, Oct 7, 2007

19KYIV: THE HOLIDAY INN IS TARGETED FOR 2009

By Dariya Orlova, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, Oct 17, 2007

20GENOCIDE RESOLUTION FOR WELSH PARLIAMENT
From: Steve Komarnyckyj, UK
To: Margaret Siriol Colley, UK; and Stefan Romaniw, Australia,
Chairman, International Holodomor Committee (IHC)
Action Ukraine Report #880, Article 20
Washington, D.C., Sunday, October 21, 2007

 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 19, 2007
 
22UKRAINE: POLITICAL NATION AND MEMORY
Luhansk: spent four years studying 170 Holodomor-affected villages
By Iryna Mahrytska, Head of the Luhansk branch
Association of Researchers of the Holodomors in Ukraine.
The Day Weekly Digest #30, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Oct 16, 2007
 
23UKRAINE: TWO FACES OF TERROR AND STARVATION
A comparison between Ukraine’s 1932-33 Holodomor and
the famine in the USSR in 1932-33
The Day Weekly Digest #30, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Oct 16, 2007
========================================================
1
 FIRST LADY KATERYNA YUSHCHENKO SPEAKS TO VITAL
VOICES LEADERSHIP SUMMIT FOR WOMEN IN KYIV

Welcoming Address: By Kateryna Yushchenko, First Lady of Ukraine
Head of the Supervisory Board, Ukraine 3000 Int Charitable Fund
Vital Voices of Eurasia: A Leadership Summit for Women & Girls
Vital Voices, Kyiv, Ukraine, October 14-19, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #880, Article 1
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dear Summit Participants.  Welcome to the Vital Voices Leadership Summit
for Women and Girls!

I would like to thank Melanne Verveer, the co-founder and chairman of Vital
Voices, for organizing this very important Summit in Ukraine.  I have known
Melanne for many years as a person who is dedicated not only to the cause of
women in the world, but also to Ukraine and its development.

My sincere thanks to all the sponsors who have made this Summit possible.

I strongly support the Summit’s very important goal – to find ways to
achieve economic, political and social development through the active role
of women.

150 women from Ukraine and many other countries will discuss how to create
opportunities to realize the tremendous potential women today have
throughout the world.

I would also like to extend warm greetings from my husband, President Victor
Yushchenko.  He has great hopes that during this conference you will not
only identify problems but also discuss effective methods to resolve them.

I think that we all have great expectations for the results of the Summit’s
work because the women in this auditorium today have unique experiences and
have already improved the lives of countless citizens in their own
countries.

Among you are women who have become role models, generators of ideas, and
an inspiration for many people.  I am proud that I know many of you and have
the opportunity to meet all of you.

During these three days we will talk about women, their problems, successes
and potential.

Today I will not speak in the language of statistics.  I will speak to you
as a Ukrainian woman, who, like hundreds of thousands of my fellow citizens,
combines work and family, cares about what happens in my country, and tries
to change of lives of Ukrainian women for the better.

As the wife of the President and head of the Ukraine 3000 Foundation, I have
the great honor and pleasure of meeting and communicating with thousands of
women throughout my country and abroad.

Through this interaction I know that, despite geographic and political
differences, we are all concerned about the same issues – the health of our
children, the quality and availability of medicine and education, jobs, the
environment.

These are not the problems only of Ukrainian women or even women in
general. They concern each individual and are usually resolved along with
the successful economic, political and moral development of the nation and

civil society.

Ukraine’s well-known author and community activist Solomiya Pavlychko said,
“There are no separate women’s problems, there are societal problems.”

The state works to resolve these problems, but without the support of the
non-governmental sector and community organizations, without the active
involvement of women themselves, we cannot expect quick and effective
results.  You and I together will decide what role women will play in this
development.

The Ukraine 3000 Foundation, which I head, addresses the issues of “Ukraine
Yesterday,” “Ukraine Today,” and “Ukraine Tomorrow.”  Our main goal is to
involve Ukraine’s citizens in the resolution of the nation’s pressing social
problems, such as healthcare, education, culture and the integration of the
disabled into society.

We hope that our work will help to create a conscious civic society where
each individual has the opportunity and feels the need to make his or her
contribution into the development of the country, into the creation of
prosperity for its citizens.

Our Foundation’s largest projects are:

[1]  “Lessons of History – the Famine (Holodomor) of 1932-33;
[2]  “Center for Museum Development”
[3]  “Joy of Childhood – Free Movement” for children with cerebral palsy
[4]  “From Hospital to Hospital”  which aims to make systemic changes in
      Ukraine’s healthcare system, especially to lower infant mortality and
      provide better medical services for children
[5]  “Children’s Hospital of the Future” for Ukraine’s sickest children
[6]  International Humanitarian Forum “Rebirth, Renewal and Development
      of the Individual” dedicated to the issues of education, environment and
      healthcare.

Almost 80% of workers in the healthcare, educational and cultural sectors of
Ukraine are women.  In my work with women in these fields and community
activists, I am convinced that it is due to them, true professionals,
enthusiasts and patriots, that Ukraine is successfully renewing itself and
developing.

I believe that sometimes even a little assistance or motivation is enough to
help these women gain confidence, and feel their ability to make changes for
the better.

For years, many women have worked tirelessly to improve the fate of orphans,
sick, homeless and poor.

A wonderful example — my friend Jolanta Kwasniewska who was able to
achieve great systemic changes in medicine, education and culture in her
native Poland.

My friend and colleague Maryna Krysa and her organization “Help Us Help the
Children” who over the past 12 years have provided assistance to almost
every orphan in Ukraine.

Olena Franchuk, who is raising the consciousness of Ukraine about the
scourge of AIDS.

Ruslana Lyzychko, who uses her performing talent to bring attention to human
trafficking and other societal problems.

Marta Kolomayets, who in addition to great programs for women and girls, has
actively raised funds for breast cancer.

Sonya Soutus, who, through her work with Coca Cola has provided a model
for social responsibility of business by supporting many cultural and
societal projects around the world.

Natalie Jaresko, who not only funds many small and medium sized business
projects throughout Ukraine through her investment company, but also
supports numerous cultural and medical projects.

Grace Warneke, who helped many women in Ukraine open up small
businesses and thus become more independent.

Kateryna Levchenko and her organization La Strada, who have restored
dignity, human rights and sometimes even life to hundreds of Ukrainian
women who have been trafficked abroad.

I could go on and on, and mention each and every woman in this hall today.

I have witnessed how this assistance has gradually improved orphanages,
hospitals, schools and the arts, and enhanced human rights.  I have
witnessed how Ukrainian women can give birth to children, care for their
families, create prosperity for the nation, protect its history, help its
culture to flourish, improve its health and education.

Today women account for 54% of the population of Ukraine.  Gender
equality is officially guaranteed in Ukrainian law.

Unfortunately, however, the reality is not as rosy.  Women are not
adequately represented in the highest levels of government, where important
strategic decisions are made.  In our parliament, 10% of the deputies are
women.  In ministries and in regional government the number of women is
also small.

Furthermore, women in Ukraine earn 68.2%, that is 2/3, of the salaries of
men.  This problem is magnified when women reach pension age, because
the size of pensions depends on past earnings.

As I mentioned before, in Ukraine, most of the workers in healthcare,
education, culture and services are women.  Since these sectors are largely
financed by state and local budgets, salary levels are low and its workers
are most vulnerable to political fluctuations.

Often this forces women to realize themselves in the informal (shadow)
sector, where they lack social guarantees.

Sometimes, women go abroad in search of higher salaries.  There they are
often exploited and forced to live illegally.  The topic of our labor
emigration is very complicated.

We see that often, after years of work abroad, women break their ties with
their homeland, become separated from their families, and their children
grow up without their mother’s support attention.

Due to this alienation, sometimes even when new workplaces are created,
these women do not wish to return.  When they do, they often find it
difficult to reintergrate.

Few women are represented in big business and finance, though they make
up 30% of small and medium size businesses.

But Ukrainian women also have their successes and achievements:

[1] First, there exist numerous women’s organizations that impact on
government, politics and social thought.  As a result, we have adopted
significant programs in health, homelessness, protection of mother and
child, human trafficking.

[2] Second, there is a growing number of women in local government.  Also,
in 2005, President Yushchenko appointed Ukraine’s first female governors.

[3] Third, more and more women are opening small and medium sized
businesses.

[4] Fourth, Ukrainian women are highly educated.  Last year, at a conference
on literacy and child mortality in Jordan, Queen Rania said “give a women an
education, and the whole family will be educated.”  And an educated family
means a prosperous nation.

In Ukraine, 5 million women have a higher education.  This huge potential of
knowledge, ability and intellect can be used for the economic development of
our country.

[5] Fifth, the Ukrainian government is implementing policies important to
women, including raising salaries, pensions and social payments, increasing
government financing for health and education, and creating programs to
support children, the disabled and orphans.

[6] Finally, Ukraine is committed to European integration, which promises

better conditions for gender equality in the future.

Today I wish to call on governments, NGOs, and the world community to
create more economic opportunities for women, provide them with decent
jobs, and the ability to combine work and family – and our countries will
be more prosperous, have higher standards of living, better healthcare and
education, and a safe environment.

I wish you a successful conference, challenging discussions, productive
solutions and a pleasant stay in Ukraine! 

————————————————————————————————-
FOOTNOTE: Among other participants in the event hosted by the Diplomatic
Academy of  Ukraine at the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine were lady astronaut
Heidemarie Piper (US), wife of the former President of Poland Jolanta
Kwasniewska, former United States Permanent Representative to the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and
former US Congresswoman Connie Morella, Head of the Anti-AIDS
Foundation Olena Franchuk, former Prime Minister of Canada Kim
Campbell, Melanne Verveer, the Co-founder and Chairman of Vital Voices.

The event started with a video address from US Senator and presidential
candidate Hillary Clinton. Another greeting speech to the summit
participants was delivered by Ukraine’s Minister for Economy Arseny
Yatseniuk.

The Vital Voices global initiative, launched in 1997, propagates women’s
participation in the social life. The Vital Voices financed over 5,000 women
leaders in 80 countries, striving to establish themselves in economics,
politics, and social movement, helping to build up organizational base,
connections, and increase trust for women trying to contribute their
potential into the global progress.

The Vital Voices women’s leadership summit in Kyiv celebrates the 10th
anniversary of their first conference. During the four days of
presentations, discussions, and workshops 150 female leaders from various
sectors, generations, and countries worked on solving most urgent problems
of Eurasia: furthering economic development and trade, protecting women
against violence, promoting effective management, and fighting HIV/AIDS.
—————————————————————————————————
NOTE: For more information on Vital Voices click on the following links:
http://www.vitalvoices.org/desktopdefault.aspx?page_id=473 and
http://www.ukraine3000.org.ua/eng/news/6123.html
————————————————————————————————-

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
2.  UKRAINIAN CHILDREN COME BACK HOME AFTER TWO
WEEKS STAY IN THE U.S. TO RECEIVE ARTIFICIAL LIMBS

Ukraine 3000 International Charitable Fund
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 16 October 2007

KYIV – On October 16, 2007, Ukrainian children, who had been on a 2-weeks
trip to the United States to get artificial limbs, returned to Ukraine.

Head of the Supervisory Board of the Ukraine 3000 International Charitable
Fund Kateryna Yushchenko, Advisor to the Head of the Supervisory Board of
the Fund Andriy Myroshnichenko, Director of the Medical Department of the
Fund Vira Pavliuk, children’s parents, and representatives of the US Embassy
to Ukraine and the Ukraine 3000 Fund met the children at the Boryspil
Airport.

Mrs. Yushchenko welcomed the children back home and expressed her hope
that everything had gone well and the children had a good time and received
a beautiful experience.

Expert with the Medical Programs Department of the Ukraine 3000 Fund Taras
Tkachuk, the trip coordinator, and Head of the Reconstructive and Plastic
Surgery Department of the OKHMATDYT Hospital Volodymyr Fidelsky
described the children’s stay in the US in more detail.

The children also shared their impressions and thanked Mrs. Yushchenko, the
Ukraine 3000 Fund, and everybody helping to organize this event.

CHILDREN WENT TO ORLANDO, FLORIDA
The trip for Ukrainian children to Orlando, Florida, was organized by the
Ukraine 3000 International Charitable Fund and supported by Congressman
Lincoln Diaz-Balart (the US) and the US Cuban community. Hanger Orthopedic
Group experts have made modern prostheses for the Ukrainian children.

Recall that the Ukraine 3000 International Charitable Fund have decided to
help children from needy and dysfunctional families. To this end, the Fund
organized a trip to Orlando for two groups of children to get free
prostheses from Hanger Orthopedic Group.

The first group included nine disabled children from Dnipropetrovsk,
Chernivtsi, Chernihiv, Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Rivne, Odesa, Kirovohrad, and
Khmelnytsky oblasts, requiring upper extremities prosthesis. Among them was
Natalia Nikolenko, who was awarded with the Pride of the Country prize in
the Strength of Spirit nomination this March.

HANGER ORTHOPEDIC GROUP
The children were staying in the US from October 1 to 15, 2007. October 2-5,
the Hanger Orthopedic Group experts were taking necessary measurements
and preparing prostheses in Orlando.

Also, Professor Charles Prysaddle, renowned orthopedist and trauma surgeon,
director of the Orlando Hospital Orthopedic Department, was invited for
consulting Natalia Nikolenko to evaluate what kind of surgery she might need
and how effective it might be.

October 5, the children left to Miami to stay with the Cuban community
families. October 7, a pool party was given for Ukrainian children at the
Miami Baltimore Hotel, were Natalia Nikolenko and her supervisors stayed.
Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States Oleh Shamshur attended the event.

October 8, the group visited the Miami Seaquarium, where they had a chance
to swim in the pool with dolphins.

After their return to Orlando, the children kept visiting the Hanger
Orthopedic Group, where their prosthesis had been finished. The children

attended a rehabilitation specialist and learned how to use their new limbs.

Normally the process of making such high-end prosthesis takes 1-2 months.
The Hanger Orthopedic Group had been working virtually round the clock to
make it happen in such a short term.

At present, eight children have come back to Ukraine. Natalia Nikolenko
stays in the US to proceed with her treatment course.
———————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.ukraine3000.org.ua/eng/news/6125.html
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
3.  UKRAINE REFU