AUR#880 Oct 21 Vital Voices; Children Return From US; Canadian War Hero; Bruises; European Human Rights Court; UPA; Starvation, Death, Genocide, UN

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    
“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]
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
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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
Ukraine 3000 International Charitable Fund
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 16 October 2007

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,, New Jersey, Sun, Oct 14, 2007

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

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

Editorial: Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Oct 04 2007

Lead Editorial: The Economist, London, UK, Thu, Oct 4, 2007


Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 19, 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

U.S. Helsinki Commission, Washington, D.C., Fri, Oct 19, 2007

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

Analysis and Commentary: By Halya Coynash
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 24, 2007

Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, September 20, 2007

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


Editorial, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Peter Dickinson, Business Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Oct 1, 2007


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

By Janice Law, Galveston News, Galveston, Texas, Sun, Oct 7, 2007


By Dariya Orlova, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, Oct 17, 2007

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
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
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[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

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: and

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

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

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.

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.

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.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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, Special to the Herald News, Northern New Jersey, Sunday, October 14, 2007

John Burtyk left his native Ukraine in 1944 as it was falling under Soviet
control. He was 19 years old and the only member of his family to escape.

His parents, brother and sister were exiled to the farthest reaches of the
Soviet Union. For 60 years, he thought of the suffering he was spared. Now
82, he devotes himself to helping those who could not escape.

Burtyk, of Clifton, spent three weeks in September traveling through the
Central Asian country of Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic that borders
China and Mongolia. Over the summer, he had raised $6,300 from fellow
Ukrainian-Americans and brought the donations to former political prisoners.
In Kazakhstan, he met with dozens of 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.

These victims of Stalin were guilty only of advocating for an independent
Ukraine. The Soviet dictator regarded them as disloyal “enemies of the

The Ukrainians whom Burtyk visited were like him in almost every way. They
are from the same generation; they were born in places such as the Western
Ukrainian village where Burtyk grew up on his father’s farm; they share a
passion for the language and history of their Eastern European homeland.

But the one dissimilarity between Burtyk and those he visited made all the
difference. He has lived in the United States since 1949.

They have spent that time in Kazakhstan, a place where the wind blows
ceaselessly over a flat landscape of brown grass and dust. There is no shade
in the summer, when the land resembles a desert. In the winter, the
temperature can drop well below zero.

The effects of life under Soviet rule were clear in the tired faces and worn
bodies of the former prisoners. While Burtyk could easily walk up flights of
stairs to visit their homes, when he arrived, many of those he visited
struggled to stand and greet him.
Burtyk traveled hundreds of miles through Kazakhstan. Cities are spread
throughout the Siberian steppe. Other than main highways, most of the roads
are rugged stretches of dirt and rock.

But when he stepped into the homes of the former prisoners, he was
surrounded by signs of Ukraine. Ukrainians who were exiled thousands of
miles away to Kazakhstan brought some of their homeland with them.

The walls were adorned with the bright embroidery of rural Ukraine.
Portraits of national heroes, such as the poets Taras Shevchenko and Ivan
Franko, hung in nearly every home.
There were as many women as men among the former inmates. All greeted
Burtyk warmly, offering him plates of cheese, sausage and bread and offering
to toast him with vodka or cognac.

Many of the former prisoners share their homes with adult children. During
Soviet rule, the children of “enemies of the people” often inherited their
parents’ status as outcasts. As a result, their education and job projects
were sometimes limited.

It was Burtyk’s fifth trip to Kazakhstan, and he noted many differences. The
country is developing rapidly, thanks to its oil and gas resources. There’s
wealth in the country, but little of it is benefiting the former prisoners,
he said.

“There’s big progress in Kazakhstan, comparing to 10 years ago,” he said.
“But those who were sent over there as ‘criminals,’ they still don’t have

Though the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the suffering of its victims
persists, according to Mykhailo Parypsa, head of the Association of
Ukrainians in Kazakhstan.

Former prisoners and exiles receive meager pensions because they were not
credited for the years of forced labor they performed during the Soviet era,
Parypsa said during an interview in New York City last year.

What is worse, Parypsa said, the former prisoners, who were at the forefront
of the fight for Ukrainian independence, have been forgotten by Ukraine and
Ukrainians throughout the world.

The government of Kazakhstan, which became independent after the Soviet
Union collapsed, was not responsible for bringing Ukrainian prisoners into
their country during the 1940s. But Kazakhstan contributes more to the
former inmates’ welfare than Ukraine does, he said.
“They get nothing (from Ukraine),” Parypsa said. “They don’t even get a
token of a stipend of some sort that would enable them to return back to
their homeland to finish off the last years of their lives and be buried in
their own land for which they were fighting. So they are destined to stay
there, to die there, to be buried there.”

The donations Burtyk brought to each person ranged from $25 to $200, a
substantial sum for people who receive $8 a month from the government as
compensation for their imprisonment. The amount of each donation was
determined by the individual’s needs.

Parypsa, who has known Burtyk since the 1990s, said Burtyk is driven by the
knowledge that he could have ended up a prisoner himself.

“Burtyk feels that until his dying day, he holds an obligation to those
people who were sentenced there and survived that,” he said. “They deserve
his help, because he outwitted fate and didn’t have to go through that same
terrible experience.”

Burtyk said he knows he likely would have been exiled to Kazakhstan like his
family. He avoided their fate by chance. Burtyk and his brother Petro were
members of the Ukrainian resistance movement.

He was ordered to travel west and eventually made it to Germany. Petro was
assigned to duties around their home region and was eventually captured.
By the time Burtyk was first able to visit Kazakhstan in 1997, only his
brother was living. They spent several weeks together over the course of
three visits before Petro died in 2002.

Burtyk’s trips to Kazakhstan continued after his brother’s death. During his
first trip, he saw the poverty in which his fellow Ukrainians were living.
Most of them, unlike his brother, did not have family in other countries
that could help them.

He used his contacts in Ukrainian-American organizations to organize
shipments of clothing, medicine and cash to Kazakhstan. Burtyk also raised
money to build two Ukrainian Catholic churches.

A third church, built through donations from Burtyk and his three children,
was dedicated during his recent visit. During the first Mass, more than 100
worshippers crowded into the wooden church, which is in the city of Satpayev
in central Kazakhstan. Before the church was built, they worshipped in the
home of a local priest.

Not far from the church, there are fields where Roman Burda, 50, used to
play as a boy. On days when the wind carried the dusty earth away, Burda and
his friends would find bones. Though Burda’s parents were former Gulag
prisoners, he said he never thought about the fact that he was playing in a
prisoners’ common graveyard.

Burda passed within view of those fields on Sept. 16 as he and the other
worshipers made a traditional procession around the outside of the church
for the dedication.

The day was clear and hot as Burtyk walked behind the clergy, who blessed
the church with holy water. The congregation, several of them leaning on
canes, followed.

During the service, the Rev. Vasyl Hovera, wearing a white vestment
embroidered with brilliant silver thread, delivered a homily about the
region’s bitter history.

“Can you imagine that a few decades ago, a few hundred meters from here,
there were camps?” he said. “Could anyone have imagined there would be a
church standing here where the inmates and survivors could worship again?”
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

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

KUDKIV, Ukraine–An impoverished village in deep rural Ukraine seems a
strange place to go looking for Canada’s greatest soldier. But Filip Konowal
is here. A legend, a monument, a memory in granite and steel, casting
shadows more tragic than previously known.

Chances are you have never heard of Konowal. Then again, who among us can
name a single soldier from the Great War of 1914-1918. Canada is good at
building monuments to its military past. We are not so good at reading them.

Born in 1888, Konowal left Ukraine at age 26 searching for work just as the
world was about to turn upside down, presumably with every intention of
returning to his wife and young daughter here.

He made his way via Vladivostok to Vancouver, arriving in Canada at
precisely the moment the government began rounding up and imprisoning
Ukrainian Canadians as “enemy aliens.”

The war could easily have conquered him as well. Instead, he enlisted with
the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Konowal’s exploits over the next three
years and 357 days included combat at the 1916 Battle of the Somme and
the offensive at Vimy Ridge the following spring.

But it was in August 1917, during a 48-hour standoff known as the battle for
Hill 70 in Lens, France, that Konowal astonished all, rushing forward and
single-handedly taking out German machine-gun emplacements that were
ravaging the Canadian lines. His sleepless frenzy ended when he fell to
injury that left his face disfigured for life.

Two months later, Konowal found himself in London, standing before King
George V, who pinned on this peripatetic Ukrainian the rarely awarded
Victoria Cross: “Your exploit is one of the most daring and heroic in the
history of my army. For this, accept my thanks.”

Ukraine was no longer in reach by war’s end, and here in Kudkiv, it is easy
to see why. Across the town square, opposite the statue to Konowal, a
mounted bust of Vladimir Ilich Lenin can still be found.

Now, Lenin’s nose has been chiselled away, perhaps to spite his face. Kudkiv
Mayor Konstantin Dukunets says the Lenin statue will soon be gone.

“There are a handful of Communist supporters left. I invited them to pay to
repair Lenin’s statue. But they declined, so we are tearing it down,” says
Dukunets, 46.

“Ukraine lost 80 years to dictatorship and we are still crawling out of this
legacy. But we will leave some of the memory of what happened. We need
to remember so we do not make the same mistakes again.”

Dukunets’ predecessor would not have been able to speak to a foreign
journalist. He would have reported us to the secret police. But on this
night, in a village with no hotel, the mayor opens his home, offering spare
beds, old-world home cooking and, inevitably, vodka.

At dusk he takes us on a walkabout and everywhere we see babushkas –
ubiquitous Ukrainian grandmothers – busy in their black-dirt gardens,
pulling in the last of the harvest.

The Internet has yet to arrive in Kudkiv. In fact, it was only this month
that the last of the area villages were hooked up to the national gas line,
a feat that means no more chopping wood to stay warm in winter. Half the
village has running water; the other half relies on a community well.

We bump into a smiling pensioner, Olexandre Guslyakov, 67, who proudly
displays the “Guslyakov One” – a working tractor, replete with hydraulic
steering, that he has cobbled together from parts salvaged from six rusting
trucks, tractors and cars. It took three years of ingenuity to get the thing

Asked if he will make another, Guslyakov shrugs: “Maybe, if necessary.
This is how Ukraine survives.”

As we move deeper along a footpath into the waterless side of Kudkiv,
Dukunets leads us to a single-storey dwelling that was Konowal’s ancestral

We have no expectations here, as it is widely understood among
Canadian-Ukrainians that Konowal’s wife and child perished in the Stalinist
reign of terror.

The loss of his original family was a wound that Konowal eventually
overcame: he remarried in Canada and became a janitor on Parliament Hill.

He was sanguine about his employment status in later life, once telling the
Ottawa Citizen: “I mopped up overseas with a rifle and here I must mop up
with a mop.”

But as Konowal’s door swings open in Kudkiv, a shock awaits. Here before
us stands Ganna Vasylyivna Motsna, 71, granddaughter of Filip Konowal.

Konowal died in 1959, never living long enough to know his original family
survived Stalin’s purges. His wife Anna, lived well into the 1940s. Daughter
Maria, whom he last saw at age 3, lived until 1986, to age 75.

Ganna, now a grandmother herself, bursts into tears as we revisit the story
of the grandfather she knows only by legend. “It was a difficult time in
history,” she says. “Filip had to go away to earn money. Just like today,
the young people go away to earn.”

Ganna says the Konowal genes served the family well through the Soviet
years. “We were survivors. Even my mother. She was very brave, not afraid
of anything. Through all those years, we knew nothing of my grandfather.
There was no information on people abroad.

“Not until the Soviet collapse did we learn anything. And now here I am
crying for a man I never met. I don’t know why. I am just touched that
people come from so far away to pay respects.”

The next morning, as we take our leave of Kudkiv, fresh flowers can be seen
on the monument to Konowal. Across the square, Lenin is still missing his nose.

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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
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #880, Article 5
Washington, D.C. Sunday, October 21, 2007

Let me offer my thanks to the conference organizers. I’m pleased to be

here today to discuss U.S. views on developments in Ukraine.

The United States wants to see Ukraine solidify its democratic gains,
continue reform, and take its place as an integral part of a Europe whole,
free, and at peace.

We want to see Ukraine become a model for the region and work together with
the U.S. and others to promote reform, peaceful resolutions of conflicts and
democracy. The United States also appreciates Ukraine’s contributions to the
war against terror.

Prior to the elections on September 30, we stressed the importance of free
and fair elections. The U.S. did not take sides; we will work with any
government produced from a democratic process.

We also have expressed our continued support for Ukraine’s European choice,
its Euro-Atlantic aspirations, and its integration into international

We encouraged all parties to dedicate themselves publicly to a clean
campaign, and to put Ukraine’s national interests before personal gain.

The OSCE-ODIHR has judged in its preliminary report that the elections were
conducted mostly in line with OSCE and Council of Europe commitments.

We are pleased by this assessment.

In FY07, the U.S. provided about $3.4 million for activities specifically
targeted to promote a free and fair election. This included support for
international monitoring, elections administration, training for parties and
media, and support for elections NGOs.

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.

We have stressed that we are eager to begin working with a new government,
and we hope that the process of coalition formation is an expeditious one.

Just as we have worked with the current democratically-elected government,
we anticipate close cooperation with the next government. We have a broad
agenda and are eager to get to work.

Let me also stress the importance of having a strong Rada. The idea of
boycotting the new Rada and forcing new elections strikes me as most unwise
and harmful to Ukraine’s development.

The U.S. and EU are very much in sync in our hopes that Ukraine will
continue to build its young democracy and actively pursue reforms.

We work together and are very much coordinated in our support for Ukraine,
and we value the extensive European contributions to Ukraine’s development,
just as the Europeans appreciate the crucial role of the United States.

It is not for us to give the thumbs up or down on EU membership. We are not
an EU member. We understand that among the EU member states and the key

EU institutions, there are some differences in approach regarding Ukraine.

However, there is little disagreement concerning the necessity of promoting
reforms that encourage the continued development of democracy and the rule
of law, an improved investment climate and more clarity in Ukraine’s
institutional structures with proper checks and balances.

Additionally, the U.S. and EU can do more to support broader European energy
security through dialogue with Ukraine and through efforts to help Ukraine
develop a more transparent energy policy and become more energy efficient
and a more reliable participant in energy markets. We need to see action on
transparency, diversification, and the elimination of middlemen as a path to
energy security.

Ukraine needs to address the issue of energy security before its
independence and sovereignty are threatened. Reforms in the energy sector
will make Ukraine a more attractive partner for the EU, the U.S. and other
friends of Ukraine.

We encourage the EU to recognize Ukraine’s European choice and demonstrate
that the door remains open to countries that meet EU accession standards.

Ukrainian leaders, including the leadership of the top three parties
participating in the September 30 election, have been clear – Ukraine has
made its European choice and will pursue policies that promote reform and
more deeply integrate Ukraine into the international community.

This long-term direction is not just good for Ukraine, it is good for the
U.S. and the international community and will serve as an excellent example
for Ukraine’s neighbors.

We firmly believe that a prosperous, democratic, and sovereign Ukraine,
integrated into Euro-Atlantic institutions, is in Russia’s interest as well.
We continue to stress that good relations with Europe and the west need not
come at the expense of good relations with Ukraine’s largest neighbor.

The U.S. has been, is, and will remain committed to supporting Ukraine in
its development from a post-Soviet state to a prosperous, democratic, and
sovereign state oriented to Europe and integrated into Euro-Atlantic

We are proud that Europe is our partner in supporting democracy and reform
in Ukraine. As we work together, it is important to keep in mind that the
issue is not whether Ukraine could be considered for EU membership now.

What is important is that U.S. and the EU are ready to work together for the
benefit of Ukraine.

Thank you very much.

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

EDITORIAL: Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Oct 04 2007

For the fifth time in three years, Ukrainians have gone to the polls to vote
in national elections.

After suffering through a non-stop barrage of political advertisements and
empty political promises by dozens of parties over the past several months,
it is easy to be cynical about the election process or just plain tired of

Though we may all be tired of the electioneering and political infighting,
Ukrainian democracy has never looked stronger. In marked contrast to
Ukraine under former President Leonid Kuchma, or Russia today,
Ukrainians were offered a real choice between different political parties
and ideologies.

All political parties, whether oppositionist, pro-Presidential,
anti-presidential, or even just plain silly, competed on level ground.

In striking contrast to the presidential election in 2004, all parties had
access to media coverage, including television. Equally important,
journalists from all media aggressively covered the parties and candidates
without fear of retribution.

Most importantly, the massive vote rigging and fraud, as well as poisonings
that were the centerpiece of the 2004 election were absent from this

Instead of falsifications, a crippled media and voter fraud, Ukraine was
bombarded with political advertising and campaign posters. This radical
change in political climate is only due to the thousands who stood on the
Maidan day and night during the Orange Revolution.

The success of Ukrainian democracy stands all the brighter in contract to
the political shenanigans taking place throughout most other countries of
the former Soviet Union.

Ironically, on the very same day as Ukrainians were awaiting their elections
results, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his plan to retain power
in Russia for an indefinite period by assuming the role of prime minister.

After years of Putin’s deliberate crushing of free press, independent
political parties and civil society, his attempt to cloak his power grab
with a veil of constitutionality is a thin facade.

It is clear that all power lies within Putin’s hands and so it will stay.
Most other former Soviet states have given up with the pretense of rule of
law and allowed their constitutions to be rewritten so that these states’
current leaders could rule in like fashion.

The past couple months in Ukraine have been messy as political parties
begged and pleaded for votes and support. That is par for the course in a
democratic country. As the final results are tallied, let’s take a moment to
give a cheer to Ukraine for its democratic traditions and free and open

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

LEAD EDITORIAL: The Economist, London, UK, Thu, Oct 4, 2007

The timing was surely no accident. On October 1 newspapers in Moscow
were idly speculating over who might be Ukraine’s prime minister after yet
another indecisive election.

This was the moment when the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, chose to
announce that he would head the pro-Kremlin United Russia party’s list in
the general election in December, adding that it was “entirely realistic”
that he might become prime minister when his presidency ends in March.

This tale of two prime ministers speaks volumes for the state of democracy
in the two neighbours that sprang from the former Soviet Union in 1991.

Mr Putin’s slide into autocracy since he became Russia’s president in
December 1999 is well documented, as are his background in and his
zealous promotion of the Russian secret service.

In nearly eight years in the Kremlin he has crushed opposition, stripped
regional governments of their autonomy, reasserted state control of Russia’s
energy resources and eliminated most independent media.

Yet thanks to the stability that he has brought, and even more to
oil-and-gas-fired growth, Mr Putin remains extremely popular with ordinary
Russians. Indeed, the only real question among Moscow’s chattering classes
this year has been how he will retain his grip on power after next March,
since the constitution sets a limit of two consecutive terms for a

Now that question has been answered. Wary of a crude constitutional change,
and keen to avoid unflattering comparisons to the presidents-for-life of
central Asian ex-Soviet republics, Mr Putin will find a placeman to stand
for president (perhaps the man he just plucked out of obscurity to be his
own prime minister, Viktor Zubkov).

He himself will then take the post of prime minister, which he held briefly
in 1999, probably with enhanced powers. After a decent interval, he could
then return to the Kremlin as president.

Nowhere in these manoeuvrings is there a trace of democracy as understood
and practised in the West: it is far more reminiscent of the old Soviet
Union. Mr Putin’s supporters maintain that Russians are not ready for
liberal democracy, preferring their tradition of a benevolent dictator/tsar.

They contrast the stability and prosperity of the Putin years with the chaos
and poverty of the Yeltsin years. Some go further, echoing Mr Putin’s view
that, even if nobody wants to return to communism, the collapse of the
Soviet Union was still the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the late
20th century.
Many Russians also point gleefully to the chaotic politics of Ukraine as
just what they want to avoid. In fact Ukraine offers them a proud example.

It is true that the country’s politics has been messy since the ‘orange
revolution’ of late 2004 propelled Viktor Yushchenko into the presidency,
ahead of Russia’s preferred candidate, Viktor Yanukovich; that Ukraine’s
wealthy business clans have too much political influence; and that
corruption is entrenched (as it is in Russia).

Yet the election on September 30 was still a thoroughly democratic and
unpredictable affair, more honestly conducted than any before it.

After some hard bargaining, it seems likely to produce a new orange
coalition government. There is no longer serious talk of the country
breaking apart: all political parties want to move closer to Europe.

Unlike Russia, Ukraine now has independent media, a real opposition and the
prospect of a genuine presidential contest in 2009. It also has a fast-

growing economy that is likely to get into the World Trade Organisation
before Russia does.

What can the West do to promote the democratic cause in the post-Soviet
space? The answer in Russia is: not much. Mr Putin is sensitive to outside
criticism, but not enough to make him more democratic. Western economic
leverage over Russia is limited.

Indeed, the bigger risk is that the Russians’ stranglehold on gas supplies
to Europe is putting more leverage into their hands.

Tellingly, the Russian energy giant, Gazprom, last week again threatened to
cut supplies to Ukraine.

But the West could do more to foster and encourage fledgling democracies in
places such as Ukraine and Georgia, through better trade access, more
favourable visa arrangements and stronger support in the face of Russian

The European Union would also do these countries a huge favour if it were
willing to hold out the prospect, however distant, of their becoming

This has worked wonders in central and eastern Europe, and in the
Baltics-there is no reason why it should not do so in other bits of the
former Soviet Union.

Above all, the successful establishment of working democracy in countries
like Ukraine offers the best hope of one day luring Russia down the same

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Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 19, 2007

KYIV – United States Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor considers
Ukraine as the regional leader in the area of democratic transformations.
Taylor announced this during the opening of the annual Fulbright
Conference in Kyiv.

“Ukraine is a democratic model for this region of the world. Ukraine is the
leader in democratic practice and activities,” Taylor said.  He also
expressed the view that debate and formation of coalition are important
aspects of democracy.

Taylor said that the parliamentary coalition would most likely be formed by
the Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense bloc and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc.

“Practically open and honest elections have taken place in Ukraine for the
second consecutive time. They were not completely ideal, but we in the
United States also know that elections cannot be ideal,” Taylor said.

Ambassador Taylor also urged Ukrainian authorities to fight against
corruption more actively. He believes the Ukrainian government is starting to

raise the question on corruption, but it’s not enough.

An important element in fight against corruption is fight against this
phenomenon at higher educational establishments. “We’ve founded a program

for testing Ukrainian schoolchildren. It’s not a radical reform, but it’s evident that
it influences solution of the corruption problem in education,” the ambassador
said. Taylor also said he was very happy and proud to be working in Ukraine.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

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

SUPPORT H. RES. 713: Congratulating the people of Ukraine for holding

free, fair, and transparent parliamentary elections on September 30, 2007.
Sponsor:  Alcee Hastings (D-FL)  Cosponsors:  Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD),
Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY),
Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA), Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL), G.K Butterfield (D-NC),
Hilda L. Solis(D-CA) , Marcy Kaptur(D-OH), Donald M. Payne (D-NJ),
Carolyn C. Kilpatrick (D-MI), Doris O. Matsui (D-CA), Gwen Moore (D-WI),
Sander Levin (D-MI), Corinne Brown (D-FL), Allyson Schwartz (D-PA),
Robert Wexler(D-FL), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Gregory Meeks(D-NY),
Jim Gerlach (R-PA)

Dear Colleague:
Please join me in supporting democratic processes and the rule of law in
Ukraine by cosponsoring H. Res. 713, congratulating the Ukrainian people
for holding free, fair and transparent elections on September 30. This
resolution is a demonstration of Congress’ interest, concern, and support
for Ukraine as that strategically important country perseveres towards full
democracy and the rule of law.

A political dispute between Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovich — rooted in weak constitutional delineations of
their powers — resulted in a political crisis in April and May.  After
weeks of tense standoff, Yushchenko, Yanukovich and Parliamentary Speaker
Oleksandr Moroz reached an agreement calling for early elections to be held
on September 30.

Ukraine has made important progress since the 2004 Orange Revolution, but
its democratic institutions and the rule of law are still emerging and lack
in their ability to safeguard democratic gains.

Thus, it is very significant that the September 30 elections were conducted
in a peaceful, orderly manner and in an open and competitive environment
consistent with Ukraine’s commitments as a participating State of the OSCE.

While democratic elections will not, in and of themselves, resolve all of
the challenges facing Ukraine in strengthening the rule of law and
delineating power among branches of government, they are a critical
stepping-stone in Ukraine’s democratic development.

Democratic consolidation and the rule of law will enhance Ukraine’s
aspirations for full integration with the West and, importantly, serve as a
positive model for other former Soviet countries, many of whom are in the
grip of authoritarianism.

Please have your staff contact Orest Deychakiwsky at the Helsinki Commission
at 5-1901 or e-mail regarding co-sponsorship.

Below please find the text of the resolution.
Sincerely,  /s/
Alcee L. Hastings, M.C., Chairman
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

Whereas the International Election Observation Mission led by the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (`OSCE’), led by
parliamentarians of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly,… (Introduced in
HRES 713 IH, 110th CONGRESS, 1st Session, H. RES. 713
Congratulating the Ukrainian people for the holding of free, fair, open and
transparent parliamentary elections on September 30, 2007, in a peaceful
manner consistent with Ukraine’s democratic values and national interest, in
keeping with its commitments as a participating State of the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Mr. HASTINGS of Florida (for himself, Mr. HOYER, Ms. SLAUGHTER,
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey, Ms. SOLIS, Mr. BUTTERFIELD, Mr.
submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on
Foreign Affairs
Congratulating the Ukrainian people for the holding of free, fair, open and
transparent parliamentary elections on September 30, 2007, in a peaceful
manner consistent with Ukraine’s democratic values and national interest, in
keeping with its commitments as a participating State of the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Whereas the International Election Observation Mission led by the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (`OSCE’), led by
parliamentarians of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, declared the September
30 2007 pre-term parliamentary elections in Ukraine were conducted mostly in
line with OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic
elections and in an open and competitive environment;

Whereas voting was conducted in an orderly and transparent manner and
International Election Observation Mission observers assessed the voting
process as good or very good in 98 percent of the nearly 3,000 polling
stations visited, notwithstanding some shortcomings, notably with respect to
the quality of voter lists;

Whereas the vote count was assessed as good or very good in 94 percent of
the International Election Observation Mission reports;

Whereas the Ukrainian people, most spectacularly during the Orange
Revolution of 2004, demonstrated their ability to resolve political
differences through nonviolent protest and in a manner consistent with
democratic principles;

Whereas, despite the real democratic gains made by the Ukrainian people
since the Orange Revolution, serious political disputes between President
Victor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Victor Yanukovich, rooted in weak
constitutional delineations of their powers, resulted in a political crisis
earlier this year;

Whereas after weeks of tense standoff, agreement was reached on May 27, 2007
among the President, Prime Minister and parliamentary chairman stipulating
new parliamentary elections for September 30;

Whereas the United States Congressional delegation to the 16th annual
session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Kyiv received assurances from
President Yushchenko and other prominent Ukrainian officials that Ukraine
would not backtrack on the path to political reform and good governance; and

Whereas the United States Congress has consistently demonstrated strong
bipartisan support for an independent, democratic Ukraine: Now, therefore,
be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives–
(1) congratulates the people of Ukraine for holding free, fair, open and
transparent parliamentary elections on September 30, 2007, in a peaceful
manner consistent with Ukraine’s democratic values and national interest, in
keeping OSCE standards on democratic elections;

(2) welcomes the strong relationship formed between the United States and
Ukraine since the restoration of Ukraine’s independence in 1991 and
especially following the 2004 Orange Revolution;

(3) expresses strong and continuing support for the efforts of the Ukrainian
people to build upon the democratic gains of the Orange Revolution by
strengthening respect for human rights and the rule of law, including an
independent judiciary;

(4) recognizes that the consolidation of democracy and the rule of law, and
combating corruption, in Ukraine will further strengthen its independence
and sovereignty, enhancing Ukraine’s aspirations for full integration with
the West and serving as a positive role model for other post-Soviet

(5) calls for the timely formation of a government that reflects the will of
Ukrainian voters and advances political stability and democratic
development, with a special focus on the constitutional framework, in order
to address the important issues facing Ukraine; and

(6) pledges its continued assistance to the further development of a free
and transparent democratic system in Ukraine based on the rule of law, a
free market economy and consolidation of Ukraine’s security and sovereignty.
[FOOTNOTE: Twenty-five cosponsors are needed for the House Foreign
Affairs Committee to take up the resolution. Please contact your Congressman
or Congresswoman and ask them to become a co-sponsor. AUR EDITOR]
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

U.S. Helsinki Commission, Washington, D.C., Fri, Oct 19, 2007

WASHINGTON – Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Chairman of the
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission)
and Co-Chairman Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), will hold a briefing on
Thursday, October 25 at 2:00 p.m. in 1539 of the Longworth House Office
Building. (Near Capitol South metro stop)

The briefing, entitled “The Ukrainian Elections: Implications for Ukraine’s
Future Direction,” will focus on Ukraine’s September 30 elections that
stemmed from a longstanding political dispute between President Viktor
Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich that resulted in a political
crisis earlier this year.

While the elections were generally free and fair, Ukraine must still form a
new government, consolidate democratic institutions and strengthen the rule
of law, which will enhance Ukraine’s aspirations for full integration with
the West. Speakers include:

[1] Mr. Viktor Nikitiuk, Minister-Counselor, Deputy Chief of Mission of
the Embassy of Ukraine to the United States.
[2] Amb. William Miller, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine and presently
a Senior Scholar at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International
Center. Amb. Miller was a member of the National Democratic Institute
(NDI) International Election Observation Delegation to the Ukrainian

[3] Mr. Stephen Nix, Director of the Eurasian Division at the International
Republican Institute (IRI) and member of the IRI election observation

mission to the Ukrainian elections.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
For those Ukrainians convinced that their constitutional rights are more
than just election gimmicks, the events of the last year brought many bruises.

Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Most, it must be said, came from politicians.  While nobody is suggesting
that members of parliament should become mindless automata, the sharp
U-turns in political allegiance by factions or individuals do seem to beg
the issue of where all of this leaves the voters as “bearers of sovereignty
and the only source of power in Ukraine.” (1)

If “the people exercise power directly”, then how did politicians justify
voting for a politically engaged Human Rights Ombudsperson against the
wishes of a huge number of civic organizations and individuals in the
country?  Or do politicians believe that “it all depends which people”?
It doesn’t.

The list of examples where the will of the people was ignored is long and
depressing.  So let’s mention instead a cheering occasion involving a Decree
from the Guarantor of the Constitution, President Yushchenko. (2) This
Decree recalled the candidates for post of European Court of Human Rights
Judge from Ukraine.

Having spent a considerable amount of effort and begun raising signatures
against the prospect, as with the Human Rights Ombudsperson of a politician
assuming a role demanding independence and absolute trust, we felt immensely
relieved that at least on this occasion civic society had been heeded.

This is why we feel so very bemused now. We cannot assume that the
President’s Decree somehow “got lost” en route to Strasbourg, and yet the
same candidates are being put forward and the Bureau of the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE] are making no comment at all
about the Head of State’s Decree.

Presumably they also have their procedure.  However, with all due respect,
the Head of State of any country surely deserves a response.  And in this
case, since so many civic organizations in Ukraine felt that their concerns
had finally been listened to it would be greatly appreciated if PACE could
explain to us exactly what the problem is

We have already explained what our problem is with a politician – in this
case Mr Serhiy Holovaty – representing Ukraine as European Court of
Human Rights Judge. (3) All of our concerns remain unabated.
(1) Article 5 of the Ukrainian Constitution. The words quoted later are
also from this article
(2) Presidential Decree No. 869/2007 from 14 September 2007
(3) Our appeal can be found at:
(and the Ukrainian which is still gathering signatures at:
More details about our concerns were recently expressed in the articles

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Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 24, 2007

The Court in Strasbourg has become part of a catchphrase.  “I’ll take them
to the European Court!”, so many vow in heated moments.  It is of course
not so easy, not necessarily so satisfying, and that is as it should be.

However, the more glaring the problems in a country’s court system, the
greater the need for the ultimate protection of our rights provided by the
Court in Strasbourg.

The recent damp squib we saw with the Constitutional Court’s review of the
President’s Decrees dissolving parliament is only one example, albeit a
highly telling one, of the ailments besetting the judiciary.

The main symptom of this illness is an unhealthy mixture of politics and
law, which in the given case has led to convulsions, diseased outpouring of
spleen and an apparent blood clot.

With a judgment from the Constitutional Court now highly improbable before
the elections, it would be useful to consider the events of April and May.

The complaints by 5 Judges of the Court that they were being subjected to
political pressure were condemned by two politicians – Serhiy Holovaty, who
effectively joined the coalition following the dissolution of parliament and
Serhiy Kivalov, National Deputy for the Party of the Regions and former head
of the Central Election Commission which gave the electoral “results”
eventually overturned by the Supreme Court in 2004.

Both immediately and therefore presumably without investigation called the
Judges’ allegations evidence of a lack of professionalism and a sign that
they were being drawn into politics.

Mr Holovaty’s reliance on intuitive conclusions rather than facts which can
be substantiated was seen on many occasions in his previous political role
as Minister of Justice representing “Nasha Ukraina” [- “Our Ukraine”; one of
the “orange” factions].

It is interesting that when Mr Piskun was reinstated by a judge as
Prosecutor General (after being dismissed by President Yushchenko), Mr
Holovaty also suggested political motives, and said that as member of the
High Council of Justice, he intended to initiate a review of the judge’s
motives.  He then alleged: “Either this was a judicial mistake or something
else”. (1)

There are, we believe, two points here, both with direct impact on the role
of the European Court of Human Rights.  The first is the degree to which
courts in Ukraine are indeed influenced by political motives or subjected to
political pressure.

Over recent months it has become a regular occurrence for courts to pass
judgments they have no jurisdiction to make or to overturn lower court
rulings with the reasons raising questions.

Questions or ironic smirks, and these bring us to the second disturbing
aspect of the present situation.  It has become standard for politicians to
accuse the judiciary at all levels of political motives for their judgments.

After the Verkhovna Rada effectively blocked the Constitutional Court from
functioning for eight months for its own political gain, the events of the
last months and wild recriminations have also silenced the Court, which has
no chance of passing any judgment now without being labelled politically

What this is doing for the confidence of ordinary members of the public in
their judiciary is not difficult to imagine.  It is not, incidentally, doing
much for their opinion of politicians either!   We would question whether
any member of the country’s legislative body has the right to behave in such
irresponsible manner.

We must however state absolutely categorically that we cannot find such
behaviour from Serhiy Holovaty, a candidate for the post of Judge of the
European Court of Human Rights acceptable.

Ukrainians turn to Strasbourg because the courts in Ukraine all too often
let them down.  They seek justice at the European Court because Ukrainian
politicians erode their confidence in their own justice system.

It is surely therefore not surprising that so many Ukrainians have
emphatically registered their opposition to any politician becoming Judge
of this most important court.

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Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, September 20, 2007

To the Deputies of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe:

We are writing with regard to the coming election of a new European Court
of Human Rights Judge from Ukraine.

We have been observing with the greatest concern the increasing
politicization of Ukrainian life, especially the judiciary, and are aware
that this is a trend being followed closely by the Council of Europe.

We very much appreciated the public stand taken by PACE representatives
earlier this year when a politically engaged individual was put forward as
candidate for Human Rights Ombudsperson.

Despite an unprecedented campaign by civic and human rights organizations,
politicians had their way and Ms Karpachova was elected.

We are unfortunately seeing a similar situation again over the position of
European Court Judge.

Given the recent events in Ukraine, as well as the extraordinary political
manoeuvres over the Ombudsperson’s election, we are especially disturbed
to see another politician aspiring to a position which by definition
requires absolute independence, impartiality and commitment to legal

principles rather than political considerations.

Serhiy Holovaty is a high-profile politician who has been in parliament in
all five terms and is presently standing for election.

We would in no way deny any person their democratic right to stand for
electoral office nor obviously criticize the important role politicians play
in any society.

We also would have no wish to criticize Mr Holovaty or in any way question
his professional ability as a lawyer. We are, nonetheless, convinced that it
would be entirely inappropriate for Ukraine to be represented at the
European Court by a politician.

Recent events in Ukraine crystallize our doubts. The very nature of politics
is, for better or worse, extremely fluid and politicians are often
constrained by their factions, and influenced by issues of political

Mr Holovaty, for example, made certain decisions in April this year which
would appear to have been at least partially influenced by his political
assessment of the unfolding situation.

In April 2005, Mr Holovaty, a National Deputy, refused to comply with the
President’s Decree dissolving parliament, stating: “I refuse to obey your
criminal anti-constitutional decree!”

In so doing Mr Holovaty effectively assumed the authority of the
Constitutional Court of Ukraine, the only judicial body which has the right
to judge the constitutionality of the President’s decrees.

We believe that this stand taken by Holovaty showed lack of respect for
the principle of the rule of law and this is entirely unacceptable for a
candidate for the position of European Court of Human Rights Judge.

During the session in the Verkhovna Rada which refused to comply with this
Decree.  Under the circumstances it seems appropriate to quote his words
spoken during the dissolved parliament’s session on 5 April.

S.P. Holovaty [Nasha Ukraina] spoke of the possible arrest of some deputies
on the instruction of the President’s Secretariat.

He said that “from more than reliable sources I have learned that the
President’s Secretariat has given the Supreme Court instructions to study
the legal situation: on what grounds it will be possible to begin arresting
National Deputies” .. “I’m ready to remain here under the concrete and glass
ruins, under Yushchenko’s tanks, to defend the Ukrainian Constitution!”

Mr Holovaty did not name his “more than reliable sources”.  As we know,
there were no tanks, no arrests and no bloodshed.  We would suggest that
such remarks in an undoubtedly volatile situation were at very least

After his expulsion from “Nasha Ukraina”, Serhiy Holovaty changed his party
allegiance for the fifth time (having first been in the Communist Party,
RUKH and Yulia Tymoshenko’s Bloc) and is presently standing for election
in the candidate list for the Party of the Regions.

This is his political choice, and we would not venture to question his right
to take such decisions. It is for the voters to give their assessment as to
which political factions best represent their interests.

With regard to Mr Holovaty’s candidacy for the post of European Court
Judge, we are simply unable to adopt such a neutral position.

We cannot overstate the enormous significance for Ukraine of this Court.
Its judgments are vital not only for redressing the violated rights of
individual Ukrainian nationals, but for highlighting shortcomings in
Ukrainian legislation and judicial practice which need to be rectified.  We
can already cite cheering examples of where European Court case law has
been applied in domestic courts.

Given recent developments in Ukraine where even the Constitutional Court
stands seriously discredited and its judges are seen by many members of the
public as political puppets, it would be tragic if such suspicions were to
arise in connection with the European Court of Human Rights.

It is vital for the development of a law-based democratic society that the
Court continues to enjoy the trust and respect not only of the human rights
community in Ukraine, but of the wider Ukrainian public

We would wish Serhiy Holovaty well in his chosen career. We are nonetheless
firmly convinced that the further development of a law-based and human
rights oriented society in Ukraine can best be facilitated by choosing a
candidate who is not directly involved in politics.
The appeal here is available in Ukrainian at:

FOOTNOTE:  We have been informed the vote to elect a new
European Court of Human Rights Judge from Ukraine has been
postponed until January 2008.   AUR EDITOR
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
“I resolutely and unequivocally insist on the recognition by the state of
UPA fighters role and appeal to the new Verkhovna Rada and the future
government to adopt appropriate decisions,” the president declared.

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

President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko addressed Ukrainian Insurgent Army
(UPA) veterans on the 65th anniversary of UPA formation.

“The army born on this day 65 years ago was undefeated and never subdued.

At the same time, it was one of the most tragic armies of the 20th century,”
the president said addressing a ceremony on the occasion of UPA formation.
“The memory about every hero and victim in the struggle for liberation,
freedom and independence of Ukraine is sacred,” he added.

Pres Yushchenko stressed the exceptional importance of restoring the
historical role of UPA. “We must not miss a single tragic page of our
history in order to restore the harsh truth which can throw light on the
great achievement of the Ukrainian people who has finally established its
state by defeating death,” Viktor Yushchenko went on.

The president emphasized that UPA fighters stood up in arms against two
major enemies of Ukraine – Nazism and the Communist terror.

“The Ukrainian Insurgent Army united representatives of many nations and
various political affiliations. This fact is crucial for understanding that
the war fought by the insurgents was the war of liberation,” the president
noted. Jointly with other world nations, Ukraine has denounced any forms

of totalitarianism and contempt for human life and ethnicity.

Speaking about the importance of restoring the historical truth about the
role of UPA, Viktor Yushchenko expressed confidence that historians “will
come up with a comprehensive and unbiased evaluation” of the events of the

“I am calling on state institutions, public, Ukrainian and foreign
historians to continue their work to bring the truth about UPA to the
people,” Yushchenko said. In this context, the president stressed the
importance of uniting society around UPA recognition. “Restoration of
historical truth means for us  joint movement ahead,” he stressed.

Referring to the UPA fighters who died or were put in Stalin concentration
camps, Yushchenko declared: the state and the people of Ukraine are heavily
indebted to them.

“Ukraine must not and cannot make any difference between its veterans in
terms of their destinies or  their love for their native land. I firmly
believe that a shared and unspotted memory about the past reflecting the
government’s genuine concern as well as rapprochement of the older
generations of Ukrainians and of the whole Ukrainian society will mark our
nation’s highest triumph of wisdom.

“I resolutely and unequivocally insist on the recognition by the state of
UPA fighters role and appeal to the new Verkhovna Rada and the future
government to adopt appropriate decisions,” the president declared.

In the course of the ceremony, the president conferred state decorations,
with the head of his administration, Viktor Baloha, reading presidential
decrees. UPA Commander-in-Chief Roman Shukhevych was posthumously

awarded Ukraine’s highest decoration, the Hero of Ukraine. The award was
received by Roman Shukhevych’s son, Yurij.

At the start of the ceremony, there was a minute of silence for the victims
of Oct. 13 gas explosion in Dnipropetrovsk.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Editorial, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Few issues cause as much strife in Ukraine as the parliament’s possible
recognition of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), a force that emerged
in 1942 with the improbable goal of attaining Ukrainian independence.

Years of Soviet education deprived Ukrainians of objective, scholarly
information of the men and women who sacrificed their lives so that
their descendants could live in an independent, democratic Ukraine.

Communists and pro-Russian radicals continue spreading misinformation
about the UPA because they benefit from the ignorance. Their most
well-known accusation is that the UPA collaborated with the Nazi German
occupiers of Ukraine and contributed to the genocide.

The opposite is true.

The UPA’s founding charter, drafted in August 1943, clearly stated its
goal of attaining a free, prosperous and independent Ukrainian state
without an “official imposition on society of any doctrines or dogmas
with regard to world view.”

Furthermore, UPA supported the “freedom to profess and practice any
religion that does not run counter to the morals of society,” the
charter stated.

Prior to taking over as the UPA’s commander in chief, Roman Shukhevych
commanded the Nachtigall battalion, which was jointly formed between Nazi
and Ukrainian leaders in the spring of 1941 to fight the Soviet Red Army.

Nachtigall troops were never part of the Nazi army, swore an oath to
Ukraine, and Shukhevych disbanded the unit once the Germans suppressed
and imprisoned Ukrainian nationalists who declared independence on June 30,

Shukhevych’s subsequent leadership of the UPA demonstrated that he was
committed to a democratic, multiethnic Ukraine. Ethnic Poles, Germans and
Slovaks all served in the UPA, and Jews comprised a significant portion of
its medical corps.

“To me, my brother Arieh, and some other Jews, the UPA freedom fighters
were savior-angels sent by Heaven,” stated Dr. Abraham Sterzer, who was
given protection by UPA soldiers after he escaped Lviv’s Jewish ghetto
in 1943.

“The UPA was a legitimate national-liberation resistance movement, which
had to operate under complicated and very difficult conditions of a
three-cornered fight,” Dr. Sterzer stated.

The three-cornered fight consisted of the Nazis, the Soviet Communists
and Polish occupiers, and the UPA’s fight for freedom and democracy in
the face of overwhelming odds, which some considered a suicide mission,
is nothing short of heroic. Afterward, the Nuremberg tribunal rejected
Soviet arguments that the UPA was a Nazi-collaborating army.

The call for government recognition of UPA veterans and their supporters
is long overdue. Ukraine’s parliament should recognize the UPA as a
military force that fought for Ukrainian independence, and grant veterans
benefits enjoyed by their Red Army counterparts.

More importantly, the Ukrainian government should step up its efforts to
educate the younger generations regarding the truth about the UPA – that
its vision for Ukraine was far ahead of its time.

Such efforts will ensure that Oct. 14 won’t became an annual day of conflict
for Ukrainians, but a day of understanding that some wars are worth fighting
for, particularly those to promote freedom and democracy.

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

Peter Dickinson, Business Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mon, Oct 1, 2007

Plans have been announced for major renovation works on Independence
Square to take place in 2008.

This will be the latest in a series of transformations of the famous Kyiv
landmark that have mirrored the growing pains of independent Ukraine Kyiv
City Administration confirmed last week that they plan to carry out
extensive renovation works on Kyiv’s central Independence Square starting

in January 2008.

The works will see a new glass plinth for the statue of Kyiv’s patron
Archangel Mykhail introduced to the ensemble of items cluttering today’s
square and will also see the roofs of buildings surrounding the square
painted a uniform terracotta colour.

Meanwhile, the electronic clock on the Trade Union building, long a Kyiv
icon in its own right, will be replaced by a more traditional clock face
that will play patriotic hymns such as the national anthem at half-hourly
This would be the latest in a series of make-overs which Kyiv’s main square
has experienced in the past sixteen years. Its gradual transformation from
Soviet-era October Revolution Square to the jumbled homage to Ukrainian
independence and consumerism that it represents today has been a metaphor
for the identity crisis the country has gone through since the collapse of
the USSR.

In the immediate aftermath of the failed Moscow putsch of August 1991
Ukraine’s Soviet-era parliament declared full independence, and Kyiv’s giant
statue of Lenin was quickly dismantled and removed from the central square.

The plinth on which this colossal monument stood was to remain empty for
years as Ukraine struggled to come to terms with its past and reach
agreement on symbols that represented the country’s new identity.

Throughout the late 1990s Independence Square was dominated by a giant
TV screen that broadcast a mixture of ultimate fight contests and fashion
TV catwalk shows, brilliantly, (although, admittedly, totally unintentionally)

capturing the vulgarity, violence and often grotesque glamour of the
post-independence decade.
The ambiguities of Independence Square came under the spotlight in the
run-up to the August 2001 celebrations to mark the tenth anniversary of
independence and in the winter of 2000, barriers went up as the square was
closed off for the biggest reconstruction works since the square was rebuilt
after the Second World War.

The result was the basic plan which we are all familiar with today, with the
various pyramids and backdrops of the Globus shopping centre adding a
touch of brand recognition and mercenary mercantilism to the faux patriotic
ensemble of Cossack statues and triumphal columns.

The reworked Independence Square design, which was supposed to be the
centre piece of the new Ukrainian state’s attractions, was widely criticised
at the time for a lack of homogeneity.

This was said to be the result of the fact that a number of different
architects had participated in the final design independently of one other,
which led to humourists remarking on perceived similarities with Ukrainian
government policy, which itself often seemed contradictory and

Even after these massive reconstruction works Ukraine’s Independence Square
remained a paradox, due to the continued existence of a five-metre
Soviet-era hammer and sickle symbol which adorned the Trade Union building
dominating one side of the square.

This relic of the former USSR was the source of much satire until it was
finally removed in 2003 ahead of the annual Independence Day celebrations.
The square finally came of age in November 2004, when it served as the focal
point for the mass popular protests against the government’s attempts to rig
the presidential election.

These demonstrations drew hundreds of thousands of people from across the
country onto Kyiv’s central square and captured the imagination of a global
audience hooked to coverage of the unfolding Orange Revolution.

The events of 2004 served to overshadow the uncertainty of the early
independence years and make Independence Square synonymous with people
power and human rights, transforming the site from object of ridicule to
iconic venue.

Today everyone in the former USSR, and also a great many beyond, know Kyiv’s
Independence Square simply as Maidan, the Ukrainian word for town square.

While Kyiv residents themselves may continue to overwhelmingly favour the
Russian language in their day-to-day lives, nobody has referred to
Independence Square by its Russian name for many years now.

Maidan Nezolezhnosti, to give it its full title, has become one of the few
Ukrainian language terms that has passed into common usage without the
slightest hint of political correctness.

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

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

KYIV – The European Union has allocated a grant of EUR 683,000 to realize

a project on the creation of tourist and informational infrastructure in Lviv,
which was drawn up by the Lviv City council, the council’s press service
told Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday.

The press service said that this is one of five Ukrainian projects, which
won the tender and received financing from the European Union. The

project will be realized within 2008-2009.

In the light of the project the signs and tables for tourists with routs to
the historic monuments and buildings will be installed in Lviv. Moreover,
the plates with the names of streets in Ukrainian will be transliterated in

Moreover, the project foresees the creation of an information center, which
will be located in one of the houses on the Market Square. Tourists will be
able to receive information there. A Web site on the tourist potential of
the city will be designed as well.
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
You are welcome to send us names for the AUR distribution list.

By Janice Law, Galveston News, Galveston, Texas, Sun, Oct 7, 2007

SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine – Legend says that this port city is where Christianity
first entered Russia. A golden-domed St. Vladimir Orthodox seaside cathedral
marks the spot, where on a day trip from our cruise ship, we observed a
service of chanting and prayer in a chapel of paintings.

The Greeks were here first about fifth century B.C., followed by the Romans.
The ruins of Khersonesus adjoining St. Vladimir stand as mute testament to
the many cultures who rampaged through.

Still a major naval base, with shipbuilding and food processing industries,
Sevastopol is famous for withstanding long sieges by invading forces.

A specially-constructed circular building in a quiet park, houses a painted
panorama by Franz Roubaud depicting the 1854-55 siege of Sevastopol by
British, French, Turkish and Sardinian military.

Although we did not visit it, the nearby Balaklava Valley is the scene of an
1854 battle immortalized in Alfred Lord Tennison’s poem “Charge of Light
Brigade.”  Author Leo Tolstoy describes parts of the city in his Sevastopol

Our Oceania cruise of Black Sea ports continued to Odessa, Ukraine, an
architecturally beautiful city of about 1.5 million persons where museums
and monuments suffer from lack of money for refurbishing.  Odessa was
founded in 1794 by Catherine the Great to establish a sea harbor.

Duc de Richelieu who fled to Odessa during France’s revolution, is credited
with designing the French-inspired layout of Odessa, now part of the newly
independent Ukraine, formed after the 1991 collapse of the Communist regime.

One of Odessa’s most famous sights is 192 Potemkin steps extending 455-feet
from the seaport up to the city.  Built in 1837, the steps are depicted in a
movie about a 1905 mutiny aboard the “Battleship Potemkin.”

At a literary museum, we were treated to violinists rehearsing a concert,
they joined locals strolling leafy boulevards, shopping small tables set up
in a large park by the main cathedral. We couldn’t recall another literary
museum honoring writers, in any other country we have ever visited.

Odessa’s neoclassical opera house, where ballerina Anna Pavlova once
danced and Tchaikovsky once conducted, was closed when we visited.

Our cruise ship the M/S Nautica, carries 684 passengers and 400 crew. It
offers the usual over-eating opportunities in four dining rooms; a spa,
casino, dance floor, nightly live entertainment, lectures – and our
favorite, a formal afternoon tea with classical string quartet.

After decades of travel, this Black Sea itinerary is our first cruise. We
are used to economy lodgings, plain food, public transportation and
traveling independently on an itinerary of our devising.

We are having some difficulty acclimating to all the luxury, including wait
staff who insist on carrying your plate from the buffet to the table.  Our
shipmates revel in the attention, but we are uncomfortable with the constant
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Dariya Orlova, Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, Oct 17, 2007

Kyiv will host two new hotels in the next two years, including another
five-star palace in the city center and a Holiday Inn.

Both hotels will be built by U.K.-based InterContinental Hotels Group
IHG), in conjunction with Kyiv-based developer Yaroslaviv Val and

Ever since the UEFA announced its decision to award Poland and Ukraine
the 2012 European Football Championships, the Ukrainian hotel market has
attracted growing interest, particularly from foreign investors who have
announced intentions to expand.

“Our development plans are focused on Kyiv, in accordance with IHG’s
current capital city development policy,” said Michael Cooper, IHG vice
president for strategic development in Russia and Ukraine.

“Our focus will be on the three-, four- and five-star market with our
Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental hotel brands.”

The five-star International Kyiv hotel will open in mid-2008. Its
developer, Yaroslaviv Val, is controlled by Greek national and
billionaire Leonid Yurushev.

“International operators prefer to work through Ukrainian companies
that have been in business for a long time, have a good understanding
of the market and know how to get permission from state agencies,”
said Oleksiy Zerkalov, expert for Kyiv-based investment banking Dragon

For instance, Industrial Union of Donbass, one of Ukraine’s largest
holding companies, was a primary investor in the Hyatt hotel

The International Kyiv hotel, to be located near St. Michael’s Square,
will consist of 280 guestrooms, meeting rooms, a ballroom, swimming pool,
fitness area and a rooftop restaurant. The Holiday Inn is targeted for 2009.

IHG, the world’s largest hotel company by number of rooms, is following
in the footsteps of other global lodging companies that recently entered
the lucrative Ukrainian market.

The five-star Hyatt Regency Kyiv opened in September between St.

Michael’s and St. Sophia’s squares. Meanwhile, Hilton announced plans
to open a hotel in the city center near the Zoloti Vorota (Golden Gates)
metro station in 2009.

Demand for quality hotels far exceeds supply in Ukraine, Zerkalov said,
and all market segments lack sufficient lodging options.

“Prices for rooms in Ukrainian hotels are much higher compared to

European counterparts,” he said. “One of the reasons why there are still
few international operators in the hotel market lies in the fact that it is
difficult to get building permits in Ukraine.”
FOOTNOTE:  Hopefully Kyiv will not allow anymore architectural
disasters, for the area they were built in, i.e. steel and glass buildings, to
be built next to world-class historical buildings and churches, such as
was allowed when the five-star Hyatt Regency was approved. AUR Editor
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

From: Steve Komarnyckyj, UK
To: Margaret Siriol Colley, UK; and Stefan Romaniw, Australia
Chairman, International Holodomor Committee (IHC)
Subject: Wales – Ukrainian Genocide Resolution
Action Ukraine Report #880, Article 20
Washington, D.C., Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dear Stefan:
I have been looking at the Welsh Assembly Website and they have a
procedure for submitting a petition which we are considering using
regarding the Holodomor.

We have a letter/petition ready made in the form of a letter regarding the
Holodomor and Gareth Jones which Dr Colley has arranged to have translated
into Welsh.

In the past week we have managed to have a motion regarding the Holodomor
tabled in the Scottish Parliament so it would seem an ideal time to try and
raise the issue in the Welsh Parliament.

I grew up in England and instinctively knew that the UK Parliament would be
indifferent to the Holodomor. Our best chance of securing recognition of the
Holodomor are by raising the issue in the Parliaments/Assemblies of the
Welsh and Scottish nation- and then pressurising the UK to change its
lamentable position.

Dr Colley has said that you will write to me regarding how we can cooperated
on these issues. I am ready and indeed eager to begin as best I can
promoting the issue of a Welsh resolution on the Ukrainian genocide and
believe it may well be supported

Yours truly, Steve Komarnyckyj, UK
FOOTNOTE:  Dr. Margaret Siriol Colley has published the English version
of a possible genocide resolution on her website.  She has also translated
it into Welsh. The introduction for interested parties and the English version:

The Ukrainian Community are planning to have a petition to the Welsh
Assembly to recognise the Holodomor as a genocide-famine against the
Ukrainian Nation in 1932-33.

We ask people to sign the letter printed below, and to send it,  either in
English or Welsh or both, to their Welsh Assembly Member.

As well, please send the letter out to your contacts, as many people as
possible, and ask them to post it to the National Assembly for Wales,
Cardiff. The First Minister of Wales is the Rt. Hon. Rodri Morgan.

Name, Number Street, Town, Post Code
Contact phone number, E mail, Date

I am writing to ask that the Welsh Assembly considers passing a resolution

1. The achievement of Gareth Richard Vaughan Jones, a heroic Welsh
Journalist who reported on the Ukrainian famine
2. Acknowledging that the Ukrainian famine was a genocide against the
Ukrainian people

Gareth Jones (August 13 1905- August 12 1935) was born in Barry but after

a brief but eventful life would die the day before his thirtieth Birthday in

In his short but extraordinary life he received a First Class Honours Degree
in French from the University of Aberystwyth and in Russian and German

from Cambridge, flew on a plane with Hitler, and reported on the famine in

In March 1933, Gareth, who was working as Lloyd George’s Foreign Affairs
Adviser, received reports about the famine and on this, his third visit to
the U.S.S.R. he decided to investigate for himself. He travelled to Moscow
and took a long slow train south through the endless Eurasian Steppe to the
Ukrainian city of Kharkhiv.

The snow had fallen heavily as he walked along the railway tracks through
the countryside and saw that “there was no bread, many children had swollen
stomachs nearly all the horses and cows had died and people themselves were

The death toll from the events that Gareth witnessed could be as high as
10,000,000- there is no exact figure for the death toll from the famine or
Holodomor which means “hunger plague”, in Ukrainian.

Gareth’s reports were objectively and beautifully written accounts of human
suffering and of a land labouring under the shadow of winter and death.

He did not know that on December 29th 1932 the Party had been instructed to
collect every remaining scrap of grain from Ukraine within five days and
that military units were surrounding villages in some areas to stop people
fleeing. However he conscientiously recorded the horrific conditions which
the Soviets had created:

Along the route that I took going South I noticed frequently patches where
the dry skeletons of last years weeds were peeping above the snow…[ I]

heard the villagers say ‘We are waiting for Death’.

The majority of journalists based in Moscow chose to ignore, deny and
conceal the famine. Gareth’s reports are one of the few first hand accounts
produced by a foreign journalist.

Accused of espionage and on the black list of the Soviet Secret Police he
was subjected to a sustained attack by Moscow, and he was  banned from

ever visiting the Soviet Union again in his lifetime. In comparison, journalists
such as Walter Duranty, a notorious liar, was lamentably awarded the
Pulitzer Prize for his revoltingly dishonest journalism.

I urge the Welsh Assembly to recognise Gareth’s achievement, to request
that the Russian Security Service make available any materials it may have
regarding Gareth to his family and recognises the famine as a genocide in
line with the UN Convention of 1948.  Gareth was a great Welsh patriot and
was concerned with the plight of suppressed Nations.

He endeavoured to expose the Famine in 1933, but his endeavour was
thwarted. As recognition of this failure and his tragic death I ask the
Welsh Assembly to acknowledge the famine as genocide.
Yours truly,
Dr. Margaret Siriol Colley welcomes comments regarding the possible

genocide resolution for Wales. All the information can be found at:
You can contact Dr. Colley at e-mail: margaret (at)
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Please contact us if you no longer wish to receive the AUR    
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, October 19, 2007
KYIV – Ukraine calls on the United Nations Organization to mark the 60th
anniversary of the Convention on genocide declaring 1932-1933 Famine as
genocide of the Ukrainian people. This is disclosed in the report of UN news
center, text of which Ukrainian News has.

“1932-1933 Famine organized by communist totalitarian model of power
entailed deaths of 7-10 million innocent men, women and children, which was
25% of the total Ukrainian population that time,” Foreign Affairs Ministry
representative Petro Dotsenko disclosed this at the 62nd session of UN
General Assembly.

He called on the UN to mark the 60th anniversary of the Convention on
genocide declaring the Famine as genocide of the Ukrainian people.

According to Dotsenko, the step would introduce important contribution in
prevention from genocide and other crimes against humanity in the future.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Ukraine calls on countries-members of
UNESCO to support the resolution “On paying tribute to memory of 1932-

1933 Famine victims.”

In 2006, the Verkhovna Rada declared the Famine as genocide of the Ukrainian
people. The Famine took lives of 3-7 million people.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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

Despite the fact that the Holodomor of 1932-33 was duly recognized by
Ukrainian legislators as a result of the parliamentary resolution adopted in
November 2006, in the year that has passed since its adoption our society
still has a detached attitude to the greatest tragedy ever suffered by the
Ukrainian nation.

We know that under the Leninist-Stalinist Bolshevik regime the historical
truth about its acts of terror and repressions against anyone were concealed
or deliberately falsified, distorted, and simplified.

Until recently, the truth about collectivization, dekulakization, and the
Holodomors of the Ukrainian peasantry was hidden behind a wall of silence,
concealment of documents, a fear campaign, and destruction of witnesses.

Under the Soviet regime this was natural. But attempts to diminish the scale
and conceal the horrors of this genocide are still felt today, in
independent Ukraine.

As a result, our younger generation knows little or nothing about the
causes, course, and consequences of the 1932-33 Holodomor, which was
an act of physical and spiritual genocide against the Ukrainian people.

Unfortunately, to this day the Ukrainian government has not financed any
systematic research on the Holodomor topic. According to Ivan Samiilenko,
a Holodomor researcher, the main reason for blocking this research is that
there are still ill-wishers in Ukraine who are waiting until there are no
more Holodomor eyewitness left.
Historical memory is the hallmark of any civilized nation – above all in
regard to national tragedies. It is precisely historical memory that is a
guarantee of the formation of a political nation, the basis upon which a
civil society can be built.

Life shows that in Ukraine the problem of historical memory rests on the
shoulders of civil organizations rather than state institutions.

The fact remains that a handful of enthusiasts has worked hard to collect
the accounts of eyewitnesses of the 1932-33 Holodomor, the main source
of historical truth about this tragedy.

Collecting empirical data is the main task of the All-Ukrainian Association
of Researchers of the Holodomors in Ukraine. A branch of this association
was founded in Luhansk in 2003.
Over the past four years its members have studied 170 villages in Luhansk
oblast, whose residents suffered the most during the 1932-33 Holodomor.

The eyewitness accounts were recorded on video and audio tapes. There is
enough data for two books and a documentary on the subject, but the
problem is lack of funds. In my opinion, this is nothing more than the
attitude of the state to this glaring issue in our society.

I am convinced that, despite all this, it is necessary to keep collecting
and publishing these materials in order to convey the truth to those whose
task it will be to build a new Ukraine.
Here is an example of our younger generation’s awareness. Recently, I
invited my pupils, students at one of Luhansk’s universities, to listen to a
story about the horrors of the Holodomor in the villages of Slobidska
Ukraine in the 1930s.

I heard several vociferous objections: I was told that people have to live
in the present and think about the future, not the past. One girl said that
she knew everything about the Holodomor from what her teacher had told
her (she said the woman was 60 years old).

Another girl said she had learned about the Holodomor in Ukraine from
Mikhail Sholokhov’s Virgin Soil Upturned. This was the “profound” knowledge
of national history of university students majoring in the humanities, our
future elite! What can we expect from other young people, who have a lower
educational level?

Therefore, creating a database for future objective research in this sphere
is the number-one objective of our civic organization.

When I was on vacation this year, I managed to visit four villages in five
northern (agricultural) raions of Luhansk oblast, where I met and
interviewed people who remembered the famine.

Most of my respondents were children during the Holodomor, but I was
fortunate enough to speak with people who were 100 years old, and one person
who was 101. They allowed me to use my video camera as they shared their
memories. There is much work to be done to transcribe these accounts.
Not so long ago, our association had to work along a totally different line.
We received a letter from a Professor Vladimir Monakov, a lecturer at a
Moscow institute.

He said that his mother, Anna Yevgenievna Monakova, was born in 1925 in the
village of Lytvynove (then part of Bilotusky; today, it is part of Novopskov
raion, Luhansk oblast).

She remembered her parents’ first names: Yevhen Platonovych and Uliana
Makarivna, but was not sure about their surnames: Nelasenko, maybe Nelasov
(her mother’s maiden name was Vasylynenko).

According to Monakov, his mother’s parents, brothers, and sisters starved to
death in 1932. The family’s sole survivor, she was placed in an orphanage in
the neighboring village of Novobila, where she studied until the Second
World War. During the war the children were evacuated first to Saratov and
then to Orenburg oblast (Russia); their documents were lost en route.

Anna Yevgenievna has lived in Russia ever since, and her son Vladimir asked
us to help find archival documents that would shed light on his mother’s
side of the family. I should point out that it is only natural for any
civilized individual to know his family tree.

In Monakov’s case, his formal inquiry to the State Archives of Luhansk did
not produce any results: they wrote back saying there was no archival data
available. That was when our association stepped in.

The research is being done by my fellow member Nina Sychova, a retired
historical archivist. She spent several months studying documents from the
so-called “unique” collections, which contains birth registry books from
Lytvynove and other villages in what was once Bilolutske gubernia
(originally this territory was part of Kharkiv gubernia and later, Donetsk
oblast; today it is part of Luhansk oblast).

Sychova’s findings established the first and last names of Anna
Yevgenievna’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. The last name is
Nelasy. As a philologist, I was interested in the etymology of this surname.
We know that our forefathers gave names to their offspring, which
corresponded to a certain trait.

Borys Hrinchenko’s Dictionary of the Ukrainian Language (Kyiv, 1908-09)
explains lasy as an adjective denoting a desire to achieve something;
passion; greed, and gives the following examples: “Greedy as a cat for
fatback,” “I’m not very fond of money,” etc.

The first and last names, and dates of birth, marriage, and death of some of
Anna Nelasa’s closest relatives on her father and mother’s side were also
ascertained, going back to the fifth generation.

Besides Nelasy, the surnames Vasylynenko and Zaratuichenko also appear.
Interestingly, the columns in their passports, indicating nationality and
occupation, read, respectively, “Ukrainian” and “grain- grower” – as is the
case with all their fellow villagers.

There is still difficult archival work to complete in order to establish the
exact date of Anna Nelasa’s birth – her passport indicates only the year of
birth (also questionable), but no day and month.

Many of the researchers were excited about this important and interesting
task; they were unable to stop halfway and tried to complete it despite all

I decided to visit Volodymyr’s mother’s village, Lytvynove, to try to
collect as much information about Anna Nelasa as possible. I set off after
resolving the difficult of problem of transportation (I had to travel almost
500 km).

First I visited the district archives to try to find data on the orphanage
where Anna had been institutionalized after her parents’ death, and about
its evacuation. I was disappointed to learn that there was no data
available; the staff said that their archives were mostly consulted by
people trying to resolve their pension problems.
My next stop was the village of Novobila, not far from Lytvynove (Monakov
wrote in his letter that his mother had studied in this village). The
village council secretary had no good news for me.

The local school principal, Andrii Bohachov, welcomed me to his home and
assured me that I would never find any documents attesting to the existence
of an orphanage any time before the war.

His school was new, and none of his predecessors had left any information.
Even elderly residents of the village didn’t know anything about any
orphanage. Bohachov, who is also a historian, told me he is interested in
the 1932-33 Holodomor and that he has been collecting local eyewitness

He is especially interested in collecting data about his native village,
which had a population of some 7,000 residents before 1932 and about 3,000
after 1933. He kindly agreed to be my guide.

Novobila is 15 km from Lytvynove. En route we stopped at Bohachov’s apiary.
The summer landscape was wonderful: all around were forests, strawberries,
and wildflowers.

We passed what was left of a solidly built church (most likely demolished by
the Soviets). I took some pictures, including some of the local landscapes
peculiar to the southeastern part of Slobidska Ukraine.
When we arrived Lytvynove (it is still on the map of the oblast), we saw
empty whitewashed village houses, many without their traditional thatched
roofs, all overgrown with weeds.

There was only one resident, a man living temporarily in an abandoned
village house as though it were a dacha. He has an apiary and mows hay for
his cattle.

He told me that last year winds from Russia (Ukraine’s border on Kantemirov
raion, Voronezh oblast, is right across the hills) swept in with a forest
fire that destroyed the abandoned village homes, so now they looked even

more miserable.

Unfortunately, this sole resident of Lytvynove didn’t know anything about
the people who had lived there before him; he was not a local. But he said
that the last of the old-timers had moved to live with their children in
Kozliv, a nearby village.

It was a 7-8 km ride to Kozliv. People in the village advised us to
interview several elderly female residents, who had been born in Lytvynove
and thus were potential informants.

The first woman we interviewed was born in 1925. Her name was Melania
Trembach. Trembacheve is the name of another nearby village that was densely
populated before the Holodomor of 1932-33; today it is practically a ghost

Trembach recalled Anna Nelasa, who was her own age; they had attended the
school in Lytvynove. She remembered that once there were too few people left
in Lytvynove (most likely after the Holodomor) she and Anna attended the
school in Kozliv.

Anna had an aunt by the name of Dusia, and she lived with her parents at the
end of the village, next to the graveyard. She lived with other families
after she became an orphan. Finally, the old woman said that she doesn’t
remember very much and told me to speak with her older fellow villager,
Priska Kalmychenkova, who could tell me more.

Her name turned out to be Yefrosinia Fedotivna Bezkishkina. Born in 1916,
this granny had an amazingly good memory and a sense of humor, even though
she was over 90. She was living with her niece, who was taking good care of

Her only affliction is impaired hearing, so when I asked my questions her
relative relayed them by shouting them in her ears. Bezkishkina gave me a
detailed account of Anna Nelasa and her family: her great-grandparents,
grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers, and sisters.

She told me who had married whom and when, and said that after the girl
became an orphan, she was first raised by her Aunt Serafyma, who later put
her in an institution (the village’s nickname for the boarding school was

She said the orphanage was located in Lytvynove and that the children
continued to attend school in Kozliv. Anna was a clever girl, a good
student; she wanted to have an education.

Her next statement didn’t tally with what we knew from the letter written by
Anna Nelasa’s son. He had written that his mother, together with other
orphans, had been evacuated to Saratov (Russia).

The old woman whom I interviewed was convinced that the girl had left
Lytvynove because she wanted a good education: “She packed her books and
left, just like that.” Getting ahead of this story, I must note that Anna
Yevgenievna had imagined the story about her evacuation, rooted as it was in
her adult fears.
Both of the old women said that Anna’s father Yevhen had died in a mud-hut.
From my rather considerable experience of collecting data from Holodomor
eyewitnesses, I know that when the Soviets were organizing the collective
farms, they divided the peasantry into bidniaky (poor peasants), seredniaky
(middle peasants, of average means), kulaks, and pidkurkulnyky (subkulaks).

The first two categories were comparatively lucky, as they were herded into
collective farms without too many problems.

Peasants in the third category (as a rule, capable, well-to-do farmers with
large families, who worked their plots themselves and hired seasonal workers
only in summer) were sent to the Solovky Islands.

The subkulaks – intelligent, hard-working, and efficient farmers – were
evicted from their homes and left with literally nothing.

Unable to travel anywhere (no one had a passport, and in 1932 armed
detachments were deployed to apprehend fleeing peasants and return them to
their villages to starve to death), they had to build mud-huts some distance
away from their villages in order to survive the winter.

When the Soviet-engineered famine began in 1932, these people walked around
like shadows, staggering through the fields picking frozen potatoes and
onions, and then dying.

Anna Yevgenievna’s parents must have perished in this terrible manner. I
arrived at this conclusion after both old women mentioned the word
 “mud-hut.” The stories I had heard in different villages in our oblast were
too similar.
Here is an excerpt from Bezkishkina’s account:
“The Nelasy family was dekulakized and settled in a mud-hut, where they all
died, the parents and four children. Anna was the only child that survived.

I also remember how my granddad and grandma, my uncle and aunt starved
to death here in the village.”
Bezkishkina : Because they [the Soviets] took away all the grain and shipped
it abroad. But then collective farmers also started dying, along with the
“individual farmers.”

“Then they were dekulakized…People lay dead in a row like sheaves. So
many, many people died! At the time there were many houses in Lytvynove,
and now there is nothing. “

The dead were not buried because the living had no strength for this. The
same picture existed in neighboring villages and those farther away from

My further correspondence with Vladimir Monakov has shed light on certain
events in his mother’s life.

The history of Ukraine’s national tragedy in the 20th century is reflected
in her life story.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
A comparison between Ukraine’s 1932-33 Holodomor and the
famine in the USSR in 1932-33

By Stanislav Kulchytsky, Deputy Director of the Institute
of Ukrainian History, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
The Day Weekly Digest #30, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, Oct 16, 2007

The book “Chomu vin nas nyshchyv” (Why Did He Destroy Us?) by the
historian Stanislav Kulchytsky, The Day’s regular contributor, is the latest
addition to our newspaper’s Library Series.

Professor Kulchytsky’s book, which is being carefully studied in various
regions of Ukraine, examines the causes and strategy of the Stalinist regime
vis-a-vis Ukraine in the early 1930s. Parts of this book were serialized The
Day in 2005-07. The main subject of the book is the 1932-33 Holodomor.

There is another problem that has become the subject of heated debates,
especially among Russia’s historians, who have produced a comparative
analysis and assessment of the Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932- 33 and the
famine that was suffered by Russia in those very same years.

It is difficult to refute the fact that hundreds of thousands, even
millions, of people died in many regions of the former USSR during this
period, precisely the point that is emphasized by the uncompromising
opponents of recognizing the Holodomor in Ukraine as an act of genocide
against the Ukrainian people.

Not so long ago, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine formally
requested Professor Stanislav Kulchytsky to prepare data that would include
a comparative analysis. He did so and has now kindly agreed to allow its
publication in The Day.

The debate on the Holodomor in Ukraine dates back to Robert Conquest’s
“The Harvest of Sorrow” (1986). Some say that peasants were destroyed,
while others insist that it was Ukrainians who were targeted.

Other cases of genocide, against the Armenians and the Jews, have left their
mark on this polemic, which was politicized from the very outset, and
neither side is hearing the other.

What made the situation worse was the fact that Stalin used Aesopian
language when he was writing to his associates and that he carefully and
skillfully concealed his crime against the inhabitants of the Ukrainian SSR
(of course, primarily Ukrainians).

Finally, this polemic was triggered by the fact that neither side is
familiar with the specifics of the Leninist-Stalinist revolution “from
above,” which lasted from 1918 until 1938.

The Holodomor in the Ukrainian SSR and the Kuban area (at the time these
regions were united under the term “Ukraine”), the famine in Kazakhstan
(which stemmed from a different source and was not a terror by famine), and
the Great Terror of 1937-38 are all elements of communist construction in a
multinational country created by “iron and blood” [author’s emphasis].
Ignorance of the history of the Holodomor is only one instance of our
practically total amnesia. Another striking example is the celebration of
Victory Day on May 9 or the claim that fascism existed in Germany.

A brief description of the topic in which the Ministry of Internal Affairs
is interested is found in my article “The Mysteries of the Ukrainian
Holodomor” (Polityka i chas, the journal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
no. 5, 2007, pp. 38- 45). Here you will find the most noteworthy theses.

There are monthly statistics that reflect natural movement of the population
according to region (to the raion level). In Ukraine this data is distorted,
especially in the months with the highest mortality rate because even civil
registrars were dying. However, a distortion can be corrected, and this was

Statistics show that in the European part of the USSR in 1932-33 the death
rate was higher than the birth rate in seven regions.

In three regions famine was observed in urban areas, while the countryside
had a positive balance in terms of the population’s natural movement (e.g.,
the Urals, the Middle Volga, and the North). In these regions famine was
caused by the fact that they had been struck from the ration card system.

This same famine factor was present in four other regions: the Ukrainian
SSR, the Northern Caucasus, the Lower Volga, and the Central Chernozem

But here, particularly in the Ukrainian SSR, the highest mortality rate was
in the countryside, and the famine was explained by the fact that grain had
been confiscated from the peasants.

The third famine factor is germane only to the Ukrainian SSR and the Kuban
(one of the 11 districts of the Northern Caucasus).

This factor existed at the same time as the others listed above, but only
for a limited period: November – December 1932 (on a comparatively limited
territory that had been placed on the “blacklist”; and in January 1933, in
those villages that had not completed the state grain delivery plan (i.e.,
more than in 90 percent of villages).
The essence of this operation, which the Chekists masked as state grain
deliveries and carried out with the aid of local poor peasants, was to seize
everything edible from the peasantry.

When the grain was taken away, peasants who did not have well-managed
farms, who had no other food starved to death. In the first half of 1932
famine in the Ukrainian SSR was the result of the ruthless state grain
delivery plans, which claimed some 150,000 poor peasants.

In order to stop it, Stalin curbed grain exports and purchased small amounts
of grain abroad. Discussions of the destruction of Ukrainians by famine
precisely because they were Ukrainians – like the Armenians in Turkey or the
Jews in Germany – are irrational.

The fact that poor peasants took part in the Stalinist action to confiscate
all food products in January 1933 is simply explained; they were given a
percentage of the confiscated food; otherwise they would have died. In the
second half of 1932 the state confiscated all the grain from Ukraine.

Foreign scholars, armed with numbers, are perfectly correct when they state
that the Ukrainian SSR and the Kuban received the lion’s share of the food
aid that the state issued to the starving regions of the USSR.

Proceeding from this data, they (Robert Conquest included) now cannot
believe that genocide took place. They do not understand that the nature of
the Ukrainian genocide is fundamentally different from the nature of the
genocides against the Jews or Armenians.

Stalin was confiscating food from the peasants in order to save them from
starvation by feeding them through the collective farms during the spring
sowing campaign of 1933 [ sic].

In the Ukrainian countryside, which was starving for the second year in a
row, a colossal social explosion was brewing (like the one in January-March
1930, when Stalin was forced to suspend collectivization for half a year in
the entire country).

To forestall this explosion, the peasantry had to be deprived of all
foodstuffs under the pretext of state grain deliveries, and then be hand-

The effectiveness of this policy had been tested in 1921, when grain was
being procured in the starving southern gubernias of Ukraine in order to
“put an end to kulak banditry.”

Terror by famine, which culminated in the Holodomor, cannot be considered
separately in isolation from other Kremlin actions: Postyshev’s persecution
of the Ukrainian intelligentsia in 19333, the halving of the membership of
the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine in 1933-37, and the destruction
of the Politburo of the KP(b)U in 1937 (except for H. Petrovsky, who
accidentally survived).

Ukraine was already a state within the USSR (in his correspondence with
Stalin in 1932 L. Kaganovich refers to it as a country).

After 1932-33, it became a Soviet republic. Stalin stopped fearing Soviet
Ukraine’s separatist moods and allowed the transfer of the capital city from
Kharkiv to Kyiv in 1934. An ethnographic Ukraine suited him.
Documents that confirm Stalin’s genocide against the citizens of Ukraine in
1932-33 have long been published, but they must be properly interpreted.

Stalin perpetrated this act of terrorism (like his Great Terror) with the
aid of a limited number of associates, who were subsequently purged (with
the exception of Kaganovich and Molotov).

In September 2007 my book “Why Did He Destroy Us: Stalin and the
Holodomor of Ukraine” was published as part of The Day’s Library Series.

Any number of copies can be printed. The complex problems relating to the
forcible implantation of communism, which are connected with the Holodomor,
are presented in a manner accessible to the average reader.

In my opinion, the genocide carried out against the Ukrainian people should
not touch on the Russians’ national feelings or the Russian Federation’s
state interests. However, all my attempts to have my version of these events
carried by Russian publications have failed.
In November 2007, Nash Chas Publishers will issue my book “The

Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine as Genocide: Difficulties in
Understanding” (1,128 pp.), compiled by the historian Ruslan Pyrih).
In collaboration with this publisher [The Day] the Institute of Ukrainian
History is planning to reissue the four-volume collection of Holodomor
eyewitness accounts that were originally collected by James Mace’s
commission and published in Washington in 1990. Both of these works
have a documentary base on which the conception of the Holodomor
as an act of genocide is constructed.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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return to index [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

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