Check out list of alternate sites for election day Oct. 31 for Maidan:
for Ukraiinska Pravda:
Yakshcho vy ne zmozhete vyjty na nash sajt http://www2.pravda.com.ua/, sprobujte vyjty na
Old style military parade on Khreshchatic in
the middle of the day October 29, two weeks before the actual anniversary
of the liberation of Kyiv. Putin apparently did not appreciate the minimal
attendance of citizenry which seemed to indicate their lack of
appreciation for Russia's interference in Ukraine's elections.
|Zvernennia Yushchenka i Tymoshenko do ukraiintsiv||TOP|
|Zaiava fraktsiii Nasha Ukraina z pryvodu pidhotovky vykonavchoii vlady do zryvu vyboriv 31 zhovtnia 2004 [Ukrainian text]||TOP|
|A warning to citizens of Ukraine that the
government is planning to carry out criminal acts against its citizenry.
Special forces along with existing militsia are in place. Others are going
to provoke situations disguised as Yushchenko supporters which will, in
turn, provide government forces with an excuse to use force and arms
against citizens. They plan to cut off cell phone and internet use.
There is a particular appeal to all those who serve in uniform to stay true to their pledge to serve their country acting in accordance with the law and the constitution and refuse to carry out criminal orders.
To see the Ukrainian text, click
|Zhurnalisty pryiednuites! [Ukrainian & English texts]||TOP|
Shchob pidtrymaty initsiatyvu televiziinykh zhurnalistiv i postavyty svii pidpys pid zvenrnenniam, potribno vkazaty svoie imia ta prizvyshche, orhanizatsiu, v iakii pratsiuiete, i rehion, dlia tsioho natysnit:
Dlia unyknennia mozhlyvykh provokatsii, prosymo povidomliaty adresu abo telefon, za iakymy mozhna bude ziasuvaty dostovirnist vashoho pidpysu.
|Call, email the CBC, etc. about its non-coverage of upcoming
elections in Ukraine
From: Zorianna Hrycenko-Luhova <email@example.com>
A 7 day word search at Globe and Mail of - Ukraine Election 2004 - turns up many articles.
If you do the same at National Post and at Toronto Star - you will get 0 articles.
This is shameful!
asking why there is/was NO coverage BEFORE the election?
Call this toll-free number to
register your disappointment that the CBC has not been covering the
elections in any sigificant manner (only occasional reports from
To record your message, call
|Open letter from Oksana Zabuzhko: The tinderbox that is Ukraine
& English text]
From: Oksana Zabuzhko <http://www.zabuzhko.com/>
This letter also appeared in the Globe & Mail:
Oksana Zabuzhko is a well-known Ukrainian writer and journalist.
I'm writing you this from
the country, now haunted with the gory prospect of being forcefully
turned, in a week, into one of the most terrible thugocratic dictatorships
that Europe has witnessed since Hitler and Stalin. You may find this an
exaggeration, yet it's not. It's usually so human, to refuse to believe
the worst - until it's too late. Besides, from my recent conversations
with my friends and journalists from EU, I know how little information can
be found in the European media on the situation in Ukraine - and, as a
result, how little understanding there is of what is really at stake here
Last night the first blood
was spilled on the Kyiv pavement. The autocratic post-Soviet regime, which
since the late 1990s has been smothering the budding Ukrainian democracy,
and is by now wholeheartedly hated by the vast majority of population
(from 67% to 85%, according to the polls!), has given us its final proof,
that there'll be NO - however heavily falsified - "free elections" on
October, 31. There'll be a WAR - an open war, launched against the people
of Ukraine by the handful of gangsters now at power, whose only goal is to
stay at power after the 31st - at ANY price.
Until last night they've
been using the "cold-war" methods (to skip the case of an attempted
poisoning of the oppositional candidate, Victor Yushchenko, whose chances
to win the elections in an honest game are undeniable). There's been a
disgusting and overwhelming campaign of lies in the media (most of them,
with very few exceptions, controlled by the power), there've been all the
dirty, illegal tricks used (payments, threats, repressions etc.), as well
as cheating with the voting lists (with, say, tens of thousands of the
dead included on them, etc). Nothing of these, though, proved efficient
enough to guarantee next Sunday the smooth and peaceful victory to the
"candidate of the power" - the present-day Prime Minister (appointed by
the president), a former (?) criminal, back in his youth twice convicted
for robbery (no kidding!).
Yesterday, the grand
"orange" manifestation (orange being the colour of the oppositional
candidate) of some 150000-200000 people filled the square in front of the
Central Election Committee, under the slogan "For honest and transparent
elections". It's been a warm, tranquil sunny day (do you know how
beautiful is Kyiv in the fall?), and the 3-million city was all
celebration - of joy, and hope, and solidarity. It's been a long time
since I've seen so many happy, smiling faces in the streets - in fact,
since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yet then, in 1991, as the past 13
years have proved, our celebration was definitely premature. With no
change of the political elite, with just very small burgeons of civil
society, with - well, why don't I put it plainly - no REAL revolution,
Ukraine, after a while, started sliding back into the dark shadow of
Sovietization. It's only now, that the dragon of Soviet totalitarianism -
in the meantime considerably shrunken, losing one part of his body after
another (Eastern Europe - the Baltics - then, last fall, Georgia...), all
rotten up to the marrow of his bones (its true - criminal - skeleton now
fully exposed!) - is REALLY agonizing. And the convulsions of the dragon
could be terrible - isn't the case of Russia conspicuous
Vladimir Putin, who has so
quickly turned his country back into a concentration camp, fully
browbeaten with the fear of terrorism, now serves as the major support for
the Ukrainian thugs. Small wonder, as criminals and the KGB officers used
to belong together since good old Gulag times. The whole presidential
campaign of our "candidate of the power", Victor Yanukovich, is a
brainchild of Moscow professionals. Politically and intellectually, Kyiv
now more and more looks like the city under Russian occupation.And what
exactly have they plotted to ensure "the succession of power" in Ukraine,
has become visible last night.
About 23.00, after the
singing "orange" crowd in front of the Central Election Committee
dispersed, and only some 150 people - among them women, and senior
citizens - stayed to wait for the results of the session (which was held
inside) to be announced (on the agenda was an attempt to falsify some 2
million voices, due to the machinations with the voting lists!) - the
dragon has bared his teeth for the first time. Some 50 black-leathered men
appeared out of the darkness, and attacked people, who were waiting on the
park benches, with clubs and knives. There was no police around (!), but
three of the attackers - when the parlamentarians and the bodyguards ran
out of the building - were caught and handicuffed. According to their IDs,
they all appeared to be disguised policemen - of the specially trained
Yes, there've been rumours
circulating before - of some "special detachments" arriving from all over
the country and concentrating around the city. Of some strange, and highly
suspicious manoeuvres noted by the city-dwellers in some areas. Now, next
morning after the "night of the long knives" (as a result of which, 11
peaceful demonstrators were taken to the hospital, some of them seriously
wounded), there's no doubt left: the war has been announced. The gangsters
at power aren't going to leave in any case. They are going to fight - most
probably, after the voting-booths will be closed.
Could any, however
"specially trained", groups of murderers REALLY work against hundreds of
thousands of people? (For people ARE going to go into the streets on the
election night, and Ukrainian internet is now boiling with the discussions
on how and where to meet, how to protect oneself against the attacks,
etc.). Well, maybe they couldn't. And Ukrainian army will hardly agree to
turn its guns against its own people, either. But on October, 28 - three
days before the elections - there'll be a military parade (!) in Kyiv
(nothing like this was ever held before on this date!). And Russian
president Vladimir Putin is coming to Kyiv - allegedly, to take part in
the parade (?). And to stay in Kyiv for 5 (?) days more. Again, there're
rumours - oh, these rumours! - that he'll be bodygarded by some bayonets.
More precisely - with two divisions being particularly famous of their
operations in the Caucases...
Maybe Ukraine has only one
week left. One last week of the electrifying autumn of free political
discussions in the cafes and clubs, of gatherings, manifestations, and -
well, of hope. For, despite everything, there's an extremely strong, and
growing hope, I even daresay, an upsurging belief, that the Ukrainian part
of the dragon will be killed next Sunday with the free will of the people.
Today the anchorman on the last Ukrainian free TV channel yet unclosed
(Channel 5) was smiling the same way people were yesterday in the streets.
(For quite a while persecuted, now sued, Channel 5 is under the threat of
being closed tomorrow night - but the anchorman was smiling like a
winner.) Now covering no more than 30% of the country's territory, Channel
5 was the only one which gave a full report on the events of the last
night. Characteristically, none of the beaten witnesses sounded
"victimized" - they all talked indignantly, but righteously: that is, like
people aware of their rights, and ready to protect them.
It's a totally irrational,
yet overwhelming feeling: that "we", the people, are stronger than "them",
the corrupted power. And that it's "them", not "us", who is
On the night of the
elections I'll be in the streets, too. I don't know what is going to
happen there. That is, what forces will be turned against us, and what
will be the final result. Yet, even if the worst happens, and the Putin's
bayonets help to turn my country, for God-knows-how-long, into a
criminal-presided reservation of the degraded Stalinist type, we'll be in
the streets - if only to be able to say, that THIS IS NOT OUR
Knowing how easily (and,
more than once, eagerly!) does Western press buy the "made-in-Russia"
political myths on the current Ukrainian situation (on Ukraine being
allegedly "split" into East and West, "pro-Russian" and "pro-Western",
Russian-speaking and Ukrainian-speaking parts, each of them allegedly
delegating its own candidate for the presidency), I just wanted to let you
know how the things look and feel here in the reality. By spreading the
truth further, you'll make your own contribution into killing the dragon.
For, as we all know from this old guy Orwell (WHO on earth has ever been
so careless to have claimed him outdated?) - what the dragon needs most
badly for its survival, is precisely the fake, artificially constructed
mental picture. And - needless to say that - the agony of the dragon
should by no means be lightheartedly taken as a local process
It's not a farewell letter -
it's a letter of hope.
Please keep your fingers for
us this week!
About Oksana Zabushko
|Send this op-ed
piece for publication to news media
From: Michael M. Naydan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
|Here's an op-ed piece that I
wrote this morning and am trying to place with Knight-Ridder.
If anyone has any other possible outlets for it, feel free to forward it along.
Dr. Michael M. Naydan
|The ugly face
of fascism in Ukrainian election politics
While we in the United States are openly enjoying our First Amendment right to express our opinions and to freely and peacefully choose our next president, the dark cloud of fascism hangs over Ukraine, which on October 31 is supposed to "elect" its new president in its 13th year of freedom from Soviet domination. The only problem is that on that date a fascist (Viktor Yanukovych) will win the election--regardless of the actual vote. This has all gone under the radar in the US because, somewhat understandably, our country is occupied with its own hotly contested political issues. But the election in Ukraine will be a watershed in Eastern European politics and demands the immediate attention of the world. It will determine whether Ukraine continues on the path to become a western-oriented democracy or a vassal of Russia's expansionist desires. For those of you who do not closely follow such things, since Ukrainian independence in 1991, Russia by means of its aggressive foreign, fiscal and cultural policy has been obsessively striving to return Ukraine under its control. It wants what Russia openly and historically has called its Ukrainian "little brother" to return to the fold. It longs for its empire to be restored--at least the Slavic part of it. If that should happen, an imperialist, fascist, colonizing Russia will become even more dangerous to Europe and the rest of the world.
Mr. Putin has swiftly destroyed democracy and a free press in Russia and has become what Zbigniew Brzezinski calls "Moscow's Mussolinni" (Wall Street Journal 9/20/04). He has consistently striven to wield Russian influence on Ukraine. He has openly supported the corrupt regime of current Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, who deserves prison or worse for his crimes against the people of Ukraine, which include stealing from the public coffers, graft, corruption, and even the beheading murder of the opposition journalist Georgiy Gongadze. Mr. Kuchma clearly fears a truly democratic government in Ukraine, because a truly democratic government might prosecute him and his cronies for their crimes, hence his support for his current Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who promises to return Ukraine to repressive Soviet-style rule.
The election politics of Kuchma and Yanukovych have taken a violent turn during the past few weeks. The pro-democracy candidate Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned, in all likelihood with ricin, leaving his face disfigured. Opposition party election offices, the voices of democracy, have been searched and trashed by the Kuchma-controlled secret police with evidence planted for future arrests and show trials. Voters are being intimidated by threats and secret goon squads; and the television press has come under complete government control with the last opposition channel (channel 5) being threatened with a shutdown in the next few days. And most recently the Kuchma/Yanukovych band of hooligans turned to violence on the night of October 24 in the capital city of Kyiv. On that night, called the Ukrainian "night of the long knives" by one Ukrainian writer, nearly 200,000 people peacefully demonstrated outside the election commission offices to demand a fair election. When the crowd had mostly dispersed, leaving about 150 mostly elderly individuals outside the offices, a band of 50 or so knife-wielding thugs wearing black leather coats attacked the remaining crowd, sending many to the hospital. Sources suggest that dozens if not hundreds of such killer squads are being trained to intimidate voters throughout the country. The violence is escalating--and promises to get worse, threatening to end up in an outright civil war.
A courageous group of twelve eminent Ukrainian intellectuals in an open letter recently wrote:
"Yanukovych would be a return to a marionette-like dictatorship, Yushchenko the promise of democracy.
Yanukhovych would be a corrupt, criminal, Russo-centric regime, Yuschenko a force for the rights of citizens and freedom.
Yanukovych is a Soviet-style opportunist and criminal, Yushchenko the possibility of cultural plurality.
Yunukovych stands for isolation from Europe and the world, Yushchenko--for the overcoming of barriers and mutual understanding.
The election of Viktor Yushchenko would be a pro-European choice, and not a pro-Russian one.
The election of Viktor Yushchenko would be the choice of free individuals, and not terrified zombies."
I urge the world to take a good hard look at what is occurring in Ukraine and do everything it can to shine the light of truth on the election politics of the corrupt Kuchma/Yanukovych regime. World opinion may be the only way to remedy the worsening situation.
Professor Michael M. Naydan
|Union of Ukrainian Students in Germany petition [Ukrainian, German,
From: Marko Suprun <email@example.com>
Information about the campaign of the Ukrainian
Students Union in Germany against massive abuse of human and civil rights
and freedom of the press in Ukraine.
The human and civil rights
situation in Ukraine has become more unbearable the last few years and
especially the last few weeks and days. In response to this, The Union of
Ukrainian Students in Germany is organizing a campaign to draw world's
attention to this matter and to call upon the western press for more
exposure about the state of affairs in Ukraine.
In Germany there has been
very little coverage of the Ukrainian presidential elections, especially
in the most recent weeks which have seen many shocking events. The last
democratic principles are being deliberately destroyed in Ukraine. In the
meantime the western world, which so strongly seeks out to support
democracy globally, chooses to ignore this.
This presidential election
will distinguish Ukraine as either a country moving towards the west:
democratic and economically advancing, with hope of one day joining the EU
or as a country rooted in the east: leading to further stagnation,
political isolation, deep-rooted civil and human-rights abuses. Before the
next president of Ukraine is elected on October 31st 2004, we want to take
a stand against the repeated abuse of human rights, and against the
ignorance, inaccuracy and one-sidedness of the western media on these
There has been enough
We can no longer keep quiet
because the government of Ukraine today attacks peaceful demonstrators
with hammers and knifes, deploying for this purpose the national militia
against its own people, for whom it was originally created to protect. If
today they resort to such brutal methods, what should we expect
We appeal to you to join our
campaign, because we can all contribute to making the world a more just
This petition is going to be
sent to numerous authorities, institutions, organizations and mass media.
Among others are UN, European Parliament, European Council, European
Commission and Deutscher Bundestag.
We thank you for your
Hintergrundinfomationen zur Kampagne des Bundes
ukrainischer Studenten in Deutschland e.V. gegen die massive Verletzung
der Menschenrechte und der Pressefreiheit in der Ukraine
Aufgrund der zunehmenden
Verschlechterung der Menschen- und Bürgerrechtslage in der Ukraine in den
letzten Jahren und insbesondere in den letzten Wochen und Tagen, hat sich
der Bund ukrainischer Studenten in Deutschland e.V. dazu entschlossen, in
einer Kampagne die Achtung der Menschen- und Bürgerrechte in der Ukraine
einzufordern und sich für eine bessere Informationslage in der westlichen
Im Zusammenhang mit den
anstehenden Präsidentschaftswahlen gelangen in Deutschland kaum
Informationen an die Oberfläche, obwohl sich die Ereignisse der letzten
Wochen geradezu überstürzten. Die letzten demokratischen Grundsätze in der
Ukraine werden bewusst vernichtet, und die westliche Welt, die sich so
gerne auf ihre demokratischen Grundsätze beruft, ignoriert diese
scheint eine Art Richtungsorientierung zwischen West und Ost zu werden,
zwischen einer Weiterentwicklung des Landes und einer europäischen
Integration oder einer weiterführenden Stagnation und politischen
Isolation mit groben Verletzungen der Menschen- und Bürgerrechte. Im
Vorfeld der Präsidentschaftswahlen am 31. Oktober 2004 möchten wir ein
deutliches Zeichen gegen den Verstoß der Menschen- und Bürgerrechte in der
Ukraine setzen und gegen die Ignoranz oder allzu einseitige Darstellungen
der Ereignisse in der westlichen Presse vorgehen.
Es wurde schon genug
Wir können aber nicht weiter
schweigen, denn heute geht die ukrainische Regierung gegen friedliche
Demonstranten mit Hämmern und Messern los. Zu diesem Zweck missbraucht sie
die ukrainische Miliz, die eigentlich dem Schutz des Volkes dienen sollte.
Wenn bereits heute derartige Maßnahmen erfolgen, was wird dann morgen
Wir rufen auch Euch zur
Teilnahme an unserer Kampagne auf, denn wir alle können dazu beitragen,
dass die Welt von morgen gerechter sein wird!
Die von Ihnen unterzeichnete
Petition wird an zahlreiche Behörden, Institutionen, Organisationen und
Medien versandt, unter anderem an die Vereinten Nationen, das Europäische
Parlament, den Europarat, die Europäische Kommission, den
Petitionsausschuss des Deutschen Bundestages, an die deutschen
Wir danken für Ihre und Eure
|Zvernennia diaspory do prezydenta Kuchmy ta kerivnytstva Ukrainy||TOP|
Prosymo Vashoho spryyannia u rozpovsyudzhenni tsioho zvernennia (v
prychepi) z metoyu zboru pidpysiv vid Ukr orhanizatsij diaspory. Chasu
obmal' - bazhano do suboty nadislaty joho do adresata. My ne mozhemo
movchky sposterihaty, yak na nashij istorychnij Batkivshchyni chynytemtsia
Zvernennia ukrayinskykh orhanizatsij, tym bilshe yakshcho masovyj,
matyme svij vplyv, a najholovnishe - nashi braty i sestry v Ukrayini
zantymut', shcho my pidtrymuyemo yikh u tsej vyrishalnyj dlia Ukrayiny
chas. Zaproponujte orhanizatsiyam, do yakykh Vy nalezhyte, pidpysaty tse
zvernennia i nadislaty joho adresatu. Pidpysane zvernennia prokhannia
takozh nadislaty na firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> - razom iz
pidpysamy my oprylyudnymo joho u ZMI.
Yakshcho Vy ne nalezhyte do ukr. orhanizatsij, prokhannia peredaty tym,
Ne stijmo ostoron', shchob potim nasha bezdiyalnist ne zalyshylas na
Hromadskyj komitet vybortsiv (Toronto).
|Appeal from Ukrainian Association of Public Organizations and the
Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union
Association of Public Organizations and the Ukrainian Helsinki Human
Rights Union Ukraine, Thursday, October 21, 2004
Satement of Appeal to the UN
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, European Committee for the
Prevention of Torture (CPT), International Human Rights
The Presidential election campaign, which is under way in
Ukraine, is mired with grave violations of the fundamental human rights
and basic freedoms. The recent events demonstrate that the Ukrainian
authorities have resumed persecution of independently minded people, using
law-enforcement agencies as a tool of the political
of the law-enforcement agencies are used for harassment of the
opposition-leaning citizens and forgery of criminal cases against
activists of the opposition movements.
On 16, 17, and 18
October 2004, police officers carried out unauthorized searches on the
premises used by youth civic information campaign "Pora!" [It's time!],
"Studentska Khvylya" [Student Wave], "Studentske Bratstvo Lvivshiny"
[Fraternity of the Lviv Region], and the National University "Kyiv-Mohila
Academy." Earlier, there were searches in several regional headquarters of
the opposition Presidential Candidates. The searches were conducted under
far-fetched pretexts, such as search for explosive devices or examination
of anonymous information claiming that those organizations were involved
in terrorist activities. Several activists of those organizations were
detained throughout Ukraine. The most of the detainees were released in a
few hours. According to them, during the interrogations, they were
questioned about the contents of the distributed publications, critical to
the current authorities.
During the search of
a Kyiv office of the All-Ukrainian youth civic information campaign
"Pora!" police officers allegedly found an explosive device. That finding
became a basis for taking Yaroslav Godunok, the premises' tenant and a
member of the opposition Ukrainian People's Party, into custody. It is
very doubtful, whether that explosive device ever existed or belonged to
the organization, because it had not been found during an earlier close
search with the use of a police dog and at the presence of Members of the
Parliament. The device was found only when the police officers remained
alone in the room, where the previous search had failed to discover
It demonstrates a
high probability of the deliberate provocation committed by the
law-enforcement agencies. In the room, there were also 3 tons of the
opposition literature, which was left sealed after the search. Although
only that rather questionable evidence had been found, the All-Ukrainian
organization was publicly proclaimed a paramilitary formation, charged
with terrorism. On these grounds, a great number of oppositionists are
The next day there
was held a press conference at the General Prosecutor's Office, where
conclusions as to the possible connection of the political opposition to
the terrorist acts were made public. This way the General Prosecutor's
Office does more than breaches a presumption of innocence of those, who
are being charged. The reckless disclosure of the "confidentiality of
investigation," disclosure of which is a criminal act, demonstrates that
the activities carried out by the law-enforcement agencies in this
instance aim not at the maintaining of law and order, but at the supply of
compromising information for the benefit of certain political
Most Ukrainian TV
channels produce their news programs following press releases issued by
the state authorities (so called "temnyky"). The published "temnyky"
demonstrate that the authorities try to create in the society an
impression of terrorist nature of activities carried out by youth
opposition organizations "Pora!" and "Chista Ukrayina" [Clean
information from all regions of Ukraine that the Security Service of
Ukraine calls for questioning activists of those organizations,
predominantly young people, who have never been noticed in illegal
activities. It is becoming a routine practice of the law-enforcement
agencies to detain scores of public activists during visits by Viktor
Yanukovich, Presidential Candidate and Prime Minister, to various regions
of Ukraine. According to our information, just for the last two days,
October 18 and 19, during his visits to Chernihiv and Poltava, 17 people,
who took part in disseminating of printed materials critical to the Prime
Minister, were detained.
In most cases, during
the detention, no detention reports are compiled. The detained activists
are advised to stay aside of politics. In some incidents, they are
threatened to face criminal prosecution. For instance, in Chernihiv,
Oleksandr Kovalenko, the detained member of "Pora!" was accused in
distributing false money. Others were threatened to face accusation in
stealing mobile phones and rapes.
of the code of criminal procedure take place during searches and
detentions. Relatives are not informed on the detentions and lawyers are
not allowed to meet their client's right after detention. For instance,
the lawyer of Oleksandr Kovalenko was allowed to meet his client only 6
hours after the detention of the latter.
On October 19 the
office of the youth civic information campaign "Pora!" in Chernihiv was
searched. Tetyana Pekur, a representative of "Pora!", was beaten by police
officers when she tried to phone and tell about the search. The search
resulted in finding of counterfeit currency and explosives. The activist
of the aforementioned organization Oleksandr Lomak was detained. Similarly
to the finding of explosives in the Kyiv office of "Pora!", it is obvious
that these explosives are a result of provocation on the part of
law-enforcement agencies. It is a general knowledge that Ukrainian police
has a huge experience in framing criminal cases based on "finding" drugs,
arms, and counterfeit currency.
We believe that these
simultaneous, systematic, and mass actions carried out by the
law-enforcement agencies would have not been possible, unless they were
sanctioned by the leadership of the Ministry of Interior, General
Prosecutor's Office and Security Service.
We believe that the
practice of these mass and simultaneous short-term arrests of
oppositionists, which last up to 72 hours (until a deadline for bringing a
formal accusation), has nothing to do with a free election campaign, has
nothing in common with the principles of democracy, and has to be
The above facts, in
our opinion, unequivocally demonstrate that the activities carried out by
the Ukrainian law-enforcement-agencies clearly constitute the political
persecution of the civic activists, violate the law, contradict the
premises of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(CCPR) and European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
We appeal to
international organizations to officially warn the government of Ukraine
that it is inadmissible to violate the human rights in order to reach
one's political aims.
We appeal to
international and foreign non-governmental organizations to support the
actions carried out by the Ukrainian human rights organizations as to the
protecting rights of persons, who fell victims to the arbitrary
detentions, arrests, and other forms of political persecution carried out
by the Ukrainian law-enforcement agencies.
of Public Organizations "Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights
about "Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union" The purpose of creating and
functioning of the Association is provision and protection of the rights
and fundamental freedoms through ensuring of practical execution of the
humanitarian articles of the Helsinki Final Act (1975) of the Organization
on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OCSE), other documents adopted as
its follow-up, and all other obligations taken by Ukraine in the field of
human rights and fundamental freedom.
|Global Vote2004 Ukraine - please spread!
"Oleh Kyriyenko" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
On the 31 October 2004 people in Ukraine - a nation of 48 million in the centre of Europe - will go to the polling stations to elect new President. By all counts it is the most crucial election in recent Ukrainian history and it will have an impact not only internally but also on the regional and European scale.
Now you can also participate! A youth civic movement PORA! is pleased to announce a launch of the website GlobalVote2004 Ukraine where anyone can cast a vote for the favourite candidate in the Ukrainian Presidential elections 2004. You have a chance now to express your opinion and attitude to the processes taking place in this European country!
Please spread this information and thus help raise awareness of the importance and the outcomes this election will have for Europe's future.
|The PORA student organization is seeking signatures beneath a letter calling for free and honest elections in Ukraine||TOP|
A warning to activists of PORA and ZNAYU (as well as others) has just been posted on the Maidan website. They have it on good information that in the next few days the police will be attempting to arrest as many activists as possible throughout Ukraine.The idea is to "immobilize" them for three days, through the election, so as to make it impossible for them to contribute organizationally on the night of October 31. After which they will be released with an "oops so sorry!" Activists are advised to change their usual residence so as to confuse the police.
George Knysh <email@example.com>
|The letter is at this website:|
The signature form is at the bottom of the middle column, scroll down.
|New York and
Chicago: Dinner and luncheon for rector of Ukrainian Catholic University
-- Nov. 6 & 14
From: Matthew Matuszak <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Meet Ukrainian Catholic University Rector in New York and Chicago
New York -- Nov. 6
Fr. Borys Gudziak, Ph.D., rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) in Lviv, will concelebrate the Divine Liturgy with Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Basil Losten of the Stamford Eparchy at 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 6, at St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church in New York City. A Rector's Dinner will then be held at 6:30 p.m. in the school auditorium, 215 E. 6th Street. The dinner is to benefit the university and admission is $100.00, though additional gifts are encouraged. Tax deductible checks should be made out to the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation (UCEF). Ticket requests should be made by October 30th and sent to St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church, 30 East 7th Street, New York, NY, 10003, tel: (212) 674-1615.
Chicago -- Nov. 14
Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Richard Seminack of the Chicago Eparchy invites the public to a Rector's Luncheon for Fr. Borys Gudziak. The luncheon is to benefit the university and will be held at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Chicago, 2247 W. Chicago Ave., on Sunday, November 14, at 1 p.m. Tickets are available for $25.00 per person, though additional gifts are encouraged. To order tickets or for further information, contact the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation, (773) 235-8462
Those who are unable to attend but would like to make a contribution can send checks to the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation, 2247 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL, 60622 or donate online at:
|Calgary: Ukrainian Halloween Zabava featuring Taran Music Ensemble (from Winnipeg) -- Oct.30||TOP|
|Niagara Falls: Internment camp plaque unveiling -- Oct. 30||TOP|
Unveiling of a trilingual
memorial plaque at the Niagara Falls Armoury, marking the use of that
facility as one of the concentration camps into which Ukrainians and other
European "enemy aliens" were herded during Canada's first national
internment operations of 1914-1920.
For details on the event,
please refer to: http://www.uccla.ca/pressreleases/internment/press086.html
For more information on the
to host polling station for Ukrainian presidential election -- Oct.
|Western Canada's Ukrainian expatriate community
is set to participate in the most important election in Ukraine's history
since it gained its independence in 1991 on Sunday October 31, 2004.
For the past number of months, Calgary's Ukrainian community has been working with the Canadian and Ukrainian governments to establish a polling station in Calgary for western Canada's 1,300 Ukrainian expatriates. Calgary is home to Ukraine's only western mission and under Ukrainian law, polling stations can only be opened in jurisdictions where such missions exist. Accordingly, organizers are expecting over 250 people from Edmonton, Saskatchewan and British Columbia to participate in the vote.
Oksana Dawid, a lead organizer of the polling station stated that "1,300 notices about the election were sent to Ukrainian expatriates living in Western Canada. Due to logistics, unfortunately many will not be able to participate. However, those who can, will be demonstrating their support for democracy in Ukraine."
Voting will take place at the office of Ukraine's Honorable Consular General, Mr. Ed Southern, on Sunday October 31, 2004 between 8 am and 8 pm at Suite 260, 435 - 4th Avenue SW.
The race for Ukraine's presidency is hotly contested between Viktor Yuschenko, a pro-western reformist, and Viktor Yanukovych, the current regime's hand picked successor to outgoing President, Leonid Kuchma.
A hospitality centre will be open for out of town voters at the Ukrainian Youth Centre (409-9th Avenue N.E.) from 11 am to 11 pm.
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress is the umbrella organization for the Ukrainian community in Calgary.
October 29, 2004
For further information, please contact:
Ihor Bohdan, Director
Ludmila Sereditch, Executive Director
perenesennia myrnoii manifestatsiii na Maidan Nezalezhnosti -- 1
Kyiv: Peaceful Manifestation at Independence Square - Nov.1
Please distribute this information among your colleagues and friends!
Help to prevent the provocations and possible street conflicts in Kyiv!
STATEMENT of Civic Campaign PORA On the Peaceful Manifestation on November 1st
CIVIC CAMPAIGN PORA ANNOUNCES THAT THE PEACEFUL MANIFESTATION OF PORA CAMPAIGN TO PROTEST THE ELECTIONS RESULTS ON NOVEMBER 1ST WILL BE CONDUCTED AT THE INDEPENDENCE SQUARE AND NOT NEAR THE CENTRAL ELECTION COMMISSION.
THE MEETING WILL START ON NOVEMBER 1ST AT 11 A.M.
Such a Statement is based upon a high social tension and constant threat of provocations towards peaceful citizens.
PORA Campaign underlines its non-violence status and it cares about health and security of Ukrainian citizens and Campaign activists.
Because of changing the meeting place, PORA calls back the request of 16.10.2004 sent to Kyiv City State Administration to permit the citizens' meeting near CEC.
We appeal to all the citizens of Ukraine, PORA activists in all the regions with a request to spread the information that in order to avoid possible conflicts and street fights which the authorities can provoke, the meeting will be conducted at Independence Square and not Central Election Commission.
Despite of the fact that police is involved in political resistance and provocations and repressions against activists of civic movements, we hope that they will be able to provide the civic order when the results of the elections are declared and massive actions are conducted on November 1st.
PORA Campaign appeals to Mass Media representatives to spread this information through all possible channels.
PORA Campaign is against violence!
We cannot be defeated!
For more additional information contact
Yevhen Zolotariov +38 067 505 0002
Open Letter to the Academic Community of Ukraine [Ukrainian text]
From: "Olexia Basarab" <email@example.com>
|Kennan Institute and Comparative Urban Studies Project publish report on Kyiv immigrants||TOP|
The Kennan Institute and Comparative Urban Studies Project of the Woordow Wilson Center recently published the results of a 2001-2002 study on "Nontraditional Immigrants in Kyiv." The study highlighted the demographic changes that have affected post-Soviet Ukraine as whole and Kyiv in particular since the country became a destination for migrants from countries outside of the CIS. The report provides extensive sociological data on Kyiv's nontraditional immigrant communities. Copies of Nontraditional Immigrants in Kyiv may be requested from the Kennan Institute, and the publication is available for download at www.wilsoncenter.org/kennan.
New Contact Information for the Kennan Kyiv Project Please note that the Kennan Kyiv Project has moved to a new office. Their new contact information is:
|Ukrainian-language classes in Russia [Russian
From: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Behalf Of Vitaly Chernetsky
An unusual experiment is taking place in School No. 91 in the city of Voronezh, where Ukrainian is being offered as a foreign language. It turns out that more children want to learn Ukrainian than French or German, reports YTPO.ru. See the Russian language text below.
|Register for 2005 IAUS Congress via Web site||TOP|
Ukraine List (UKL) #246
The International Association of Ukrainian Studies (IAUS) has created a website (http://www.mau.org.ua/), through which individuals can now register online for the Sixth Congress of the IAUS.
The Sixth Congress will convene at Donetsk State University in Donetsk, Ukraine from June 29 to July 1, 2005. The work of the Congress will be organized in three formats: sessions (panels) roundtables, and presentations of publications and research projects.
An online registration form, as well as paper, panel and roundtable proposal forms, can be found on the IAUS website at http://www.mau.org.ua/2005/announcement.html.
THE DEADLINE FOR ALL PROPOSALS IS JANUARY 20, 2005.
Preference will be given to those proposal forms that put forward ready-made panels, roundtables, and presentations . In addition to the customary fields, the Organizing Committee encourages forming sessions on the following thematic blocks: history and culture of southern and eastern Ukraine; regional and local problems of Donbas; Ukrainian-Russian borderlands; ethnic groups in southern and eastern Ukraine; industrialization, urbanization and worker's movements; the history of science.
The IAUS website will be continuously updated with additional information concerning the Congress. Additionally, the new website will continue to be improved and expanded in the near future to include a Ukrainian-language version, as well as additional links, photos and other information.
further information about the IAUS website or Congress, please contact
Diana Howansky, Columbia University Ukrainian Studies Program, at (212)
854-8624 or email@example.com.
|'KYIVAN RUS' - A new historical educational bilingual Ukrainian
From: Andy Malycky <firstname.lastname@example.org>
e-POSHTA subscriber Andy Malycky writes:
I'd like to introduce you to an educational resource for Ukrainian School, Youth and Cultural organizations, designed to increase the level of appreciation and familiarity among Ukrainian youth, for a vital, but little known period of Ukrainian history.
It takes the form of a historical strategy game called "Kyivan Rus'" that I have developed with the help and sponsorship of several Ukrainian organizations. The product is a 2, 3 or 4 player card game that is modeled on the large and powerful ancient East Slavic political state of the same name.
Kyivan Rus' was centered on the Ukrainian city of Kyiv from the late 9th to the mid 13th centuries and rose to become the largest and one of the most powerful states in Europe during the middle ages.
The game covers about 140 years of this history from the second to the sixth generations of ruling princes and presents a fun and challenging educational experience for those of Ukrainian background (or anyone with an interest in the history of Eastern Europe).
The game is simple, easy to learn and quick to play. Most importantly it exposes the participants to some of the historical, geographical and cultural aspects of the ancient Kyivan state including the ruling princes, principalities, military campaigns, nomadic raids, foreign invasions and cultural milestones of the era.
The product presents an aspect of Ukrainian history in a distinctly Ukrainian themed manner, for an era that is almost always exclusively and mistakenly associated with Russian history.
The game is completely bilingual, in English and Ukrainian. If you are interested in this product please check this web site www.geocities.com/amalycky here you will find images of the game and information on how to contact me for more information or to arrange purchase.
Please note that the
game was over three years in development and the cost of the game is
solely to offset the considerable expense of publishing the product. Also
note that all images that are subject to copyright in the game are either
used with permission or licensed from the copyright holders. Makes a great
Ukrainian themed Christmas gift as well!
|Unanimous House of Commons Motion urges democratic and fair
Ukrainian presidential election
[English & Ukrainian texts]
From: Yvan Baker <email@example.com>
OTTAWA - In response
to disturbing reports of escalating intimidation and violence against
opposition candidates and their supporters in the Ukrainian presidential
election, Canada's Parliament today cast aside partisanship and sent a
strong message to the Ukrainian government to clean up its
Introduced by new Etobicoke
Centre MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj, the House of Commons motion urged the
federal government to make it clear to the Ukrainian Government that it
needs to ensure a democratic, transparent and fair election process for
the Ukrainian presidential election on October 31, 2004 and the probable
second round election on November 21, 2004.
In a surprise show of
non-partisanship Liberal Wrzesnewskyj's motion was supported by Government
House Leader Tony Valeri, Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew, the
Liberal Defence and Foreign Affairs Caucus, the opposition House Leaders
and the Foreign Affairs Critics. The motion follows the public warning of
Canada's Ambassador to Ukraine that the Ukrainian presidential election
will fail to meet democratic standards.
Commenting on the importance
of the motion, Wrzesnewskyj stated:
"This election will show if
Ukraine will follow the path of democracy and whether it is ready to join
the Western community of nations. With the numerous reports of dirty
tricks, intimidation, political malfeasance, violence, and even the
probable poisoning of the opposition frontrunner in the Ukrainian
presidential election, alarm bells have sounded in many quarters. Canada
was among the first countries to recognize Ukraine's independence and has
always taken a proactive role in supporting democratic development and
institution building in the country from which 1.1 million Canadians draw
their origin. A strong message from the Canadian Government to authorities
in Ukraine represents a continuation of that special
While underscoring the
importance of working together in this minority Parliament, Wrzesnewskyj
"I want to thank all the
opposition House Leaders and Foreign Affairs Critics for endorsing my
motion. I also want to thank Government House Leader Tony Valeri, Foreign
Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew, and my colleague the Hon. Walt Lastewka
for supporting my efforts to send a strong message to the Government of
Ukraine. The fact that all parties supported the motion should make it
clear to the Ukrainian government that democracy is the only way
Read text of the motion below:
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Private Members' Notices of
M-156 - October 12, 2004 - Mr. Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Centre) - On or after Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - That, in the opinion of this House, the government should impress upon the Government of Ukraine to ensure a fully transparent election process by: (a) providing free access for Ukrainian and international election observers, multiparty representation on all election commissions, unimpeded access by all parties and candidates to the media, freedom of candidates and media from intimidation or harassment, a transparent process for complaint and appeals through electoral commissions and the courts; (b) guaranteeing election monitors from the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, other participating States of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Ukrainian political parties, candidates' representatives, non-governmental organizations, and other private institutions and organizations, both foreign and domestic; and (c) providing unobstructed access to all aspects of the election process for the Ukrainian presidential election of October 31, 2004 and a potential second round election for November 21, 2004.
Avis de motions émanant des
M-156 - 12 octobre 2004 -
M. Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke-Centre) - À compter du mardi 26 octobre
2004 - Que, de l'avis de la Chambre, le gouvernement devrait inciter le
gouvernement de l'Ukraine à assurer un processus électoral pleinement
transparent : a) en garantissant le libre accès aux observateurs
électoraux ukrainiens et internationaux, la représentation multipartite au
sein de toutes les commissions électorales, l'accès sans restriction de
tous les partis et les candidats aux médias, la protection des candidats
et des médias contre toute intimidation ou tout harcèlement et un
processus transparent d'examen des plaintes et des appels par les
commissions électorales et les tribunaux; b) en garantissant la présence
d'observateurs électoraux du Bureau des institutions démocratiques et des
droits de l'homme, des autres États participants de l'Organisation pour la
sécurité et la coopération en Europe, des partis politiques ukrainiens,
des représentants des candidats, des organisations non gouvernementales et
des autres institutions et organisations privées tant étrangères que
nationales; c) en assurant le libre accès à tous les aspects de l'élection
présidentielle ukrainienne du 31 octobre 2004 et de l'éventuel deuxième
tour du 21 novembre 2004.
Ukrainian translation of motion (M-156, Borys
Wrzesnewskyj) passed unanimously
|Call for the Government of Canada to Register an Official Complaint to the Government of Ukraine over Election Violations + OSCE Interim election report + Media monitoring report||TOP|
|Call for the Government of
Canada to Register an Official Complaint to the Government of Ukraine over
Election Violations. Click
Canadian Government responds to UCC's call to action to ensure a free a fair election in Ukraine. Click here.
OSCE Interim election report. Click here.
EOM media monitoring. Click
|Ukrainian television journalists continue hunger strike||TOP|
Ukrainian television journalists continue hunger
|National Union of Journalists protests treatment of media in
From: Taras Kuzio <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The National Union of Journalists of Britain and Ireland has delivered
a sharp protest to the government of Ukraine about the treatment of the
media in the run-up to Presidential elections at the end of
The letter came as Ukraine was disgraced in an international report on
press freedom. The French press freedom NGO Reporters Sans Frontieres
(RSF) has today placed Ukraine 138th equal (with Mauritania) out of 167 in
the world in its annual assessment of all countries. Ukraine is the lowest
placed European country in the report; all below it are in Asia or
The NUJ has delivered its protest to the Ukrainian Ambassador in
London, Ihor Mitiukov. Union leaders had a meeting with him on September
16, the fourth anniversary of the disappearance of slain website editor
The letter drew attention to attempts to suppress reporting on the TV
Fifth Channel, the website Maidan and the news agency Unian.
The text of the letter is below. For more information telephone Tim Gopsill on (44) 207 843 3701, email email@example.com
For the RSF report, go to www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=11715
25th October 2004
I write, further to our meeting on 16 September about the Gongadze case
and press freedom in Ukraine. At that meeting you assured us that the
Ukrainian authorities are doing their best to defend and encourage press
freedom. In this respect we bring to your attention reports we have
received of serious attacks on press freedom in the course of the current
presidential election campaign in Ukraine.
We are gravely concerned about the problems faced by the Fifth Channel,
an important source of independent news reporting. The recent decision of
the Pechersky district court to freeze the station's bank accounts, and
decisions of the National Television and Broadcasting Council that could
lead to the channel being denied a broadcasting licence amount to an
attempt to silence the channel. We ask you to convey our strongest
possible protest against these actions, which amount to
The actions against the Fifth Channel take place in a context of other
attacks on press freedom in the course of the election campaign. Those
brought to our attention by our Ukrainian colleagues and by organisations
monitoring the Ukrainian media include:
We request that the Ukrainian authorities take urgent action to end
these attacks on press freedom, without which no development of democracy
James Mace and the Holodomor topic of Chicago speech
From: nick mischenko <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For Ukrainian text click here
Katya Mischenko-Mycyk's keynote address at the 71st Anniversary of the Ukrainian Genocide Famine Commemoration - September 19, 2004 in Bloomingdale, Illinois Metropolitan Chicago area
As we gather here to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the Ukrainian Genocide Famine, we must recognize a man who made it his life's work to be the voice of the 10 million Ukrainians who perished during Stalin's Genocide Famine against Ukraine. Without a doubt this one man contributed more to raising international awareness of the Ukrainian Genocide Famine than any single researcher, historian or journalist in the world. The man I speak of is the late Dr. James E. Mace.
Dr. Mace was born in 1952 in the State of Oklahoma. His heritage was that of Native American Indian. Yet over the course of his life he planted his roots in Ukraine, mastering the Ukrainian language, adopting Ukraine as his homeland, and treating the Ukrainian people as his own brothers and sisters under God.
Dr. Mace developed his interest in Ukraine during early 1980's while he was a post doctoral fellow at the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. His research at the Institute focused on the Soviet Ukraine during the period of 1918 to 1933.
Engrossed by Ukraine's tragic suffering during that period, Dr. Mace began to focus his research on the 2 most devastating years of Ukraine's history: 1932 and 1933. His following studies focused in-depth on the Famine of 1932-33.
As a result of his vast research on the Ukrainian Famine, in 1986, Dr. Mace became the staff director of the United States Commission on the Ukraine Famine. His Commission generated the first oral history project of its kind, documenting over 2000 pages of eyewitness accounts from hundreds of Famine survivors. The Commission published a 524 page report to the United States Congress which decisively proclaimed in its findings that the Famine of 1932-33 was an act of Genocide committed by Stalin and those around him against the Ukrainian People.
In 1987, Dr. Mace found and disclosed compelling evidence which supported the theory that the New York Times, Walter Duranty and the Soviet Government were cooperating in an effort to censor information about the atrocities occurring in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. He was the first person on record to cite the declassified US State Department document which linked the New York Times to the Soviet Government, and in essence to the Soviet cover-up of the Ukrainian Genocide Famine.
In 1990, Dr. Mace moved to Kyiv and continued his work on the Genocide Famine. He shared his knowledge and understanding of Ukraine's past and current history with his students at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy National University where he was a highly regarded professor. He challenged the mindset of the Ukrainian public through his thought provoking and critical editorials for the Ukrainian newspaper "The Day".
And when asked why he had bothered to come to Ukraine -- Dr. Mace simply replied "Your Dead Have Called Me". He felt he had a moral obligation to be the voice for the millions who died in the genocide against Ukraine.
Dr. Mace brought the Genocide Famine to a new level of national awareness in Ukraine. Not only did he successfully persuade the Ukrainian Government to officially recognize that a Famine occurred in Ukraine, but he was critical in persuading the Ukrainian Government to declare that it was an intentional act of Genocide by Stalin and his Administration. And it was Dr. Mace who successfully led the fight to have a permanent memorial to the victims of the Genocide Famine built in Kyiv.
Dr. Mace was pleased last year to hear that members of the US Senate had introduced a Resolution with the potential to stimulate the United States to recognize the Famine of 1932-33 as an act of Genocide. Sadly, five months ago, with the Senate Resolution 202 still in committee, Dr. Mace passed in his adopted homeland of Ukraine. He died an untimely death at the age of 52.
I ask you to join me in a moment of silence and reflection on all that Dr. Mace - Ukraine's crusader for truth - did to honor the victims of the Genocide Famine.
OBSERVATION OF A MOMENT OF SILENCE
Dr. Mace's work is far from complete - There are still many in the world who continue to deny the Ukrainian Genocide Famine occurred and there are even more who have never heard of it. There are still those in the media who continue to walk in the footsteps of Walter Duranty and the New York Times, by obstructing the truth about the Genocide Famine from reaching the public.
When was the last time you read about the Ukrainian Genocide Famine or its survivors in the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, or even Newsweek? When do you ever turn on the news and see a story about the legacy of our survivors? It's amazing, because what happened to the Ukrainian nation in 1932 and 33 is undeniably the deadliest act of Genocide in modern history. 10 million Ukrainians died because Stalin deemed their Ukrainian nationalism to be an obstacle to his Soviet collectivization campaign. Yet apparently this kind of genocide is not worthy of media coverage.
I ask you today - Is it worthy?
Because if we agree that the Ukrainian Genocide is worthy of coverage then we must commit ourselves to following in Dr. Mace's footsteps and becoming crusaders for the truth. We must commit ourselves to educating the world about the Genocide which claimed our brothers and sisters in Ukraine.
Behind me stands a sign - "Sin of the Century" - the real sin of this century is for us, who have a voice, to turn our backs on the millions whose voices were muffled by Stalin's genocide. It's our legacy, to make their voices heard, today - tomorrow - 100 years from now.
There are over 100,000 Ukrainian-Americans living in Chicagoland. And look around... how many of us are here today? How many of us actually care about the Ukrainian Genocide? Where are your grandchildren... your children... your sisters... your brothers... your cousins... your aunts and your uncles? Why is this not important to us?
We need to change!
And how can we do this? For once, we have to stop using terms which misrepresent the genocidal nature of the famine and confuse non-Ukrainians. I'm referring to terms that we're all familiar with:
These terms make no reference to the fact that what happened to our nation was an act of genocide.
And then there are the terms HOLOD and the HOLODMOR - We have used these Ukrainian words loosely when we speak in the English language. These words are foreign to the majority of the world and aren't even found in any English Dictionary. Let's start calling it what it really was. It was GENOCIDE. It was a GENOCIDE FAMINE. This is a term which the world can understand.
16 years ago, Dr. Mace's and his Congressional Commission gave the US government proof that the Famine that occurred in Ukraine was an act of Genocide, yet 16 years have passed and our United States Government has sat on that information, unwilling and unmotivated to make an official declaration of Genocide in Ukraine.
Just last week, the United States government declared Genocide in Sudan. President Bush, in a statement on the Genocide in Sudan, said "the world cannot ignore the suffering of more than 1 million people". Yet, apparently the world can continue to ignore the suffering of 10 million Ukrainians.
Right now Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, the Chairman of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, continues to stall the United States' official declaration of Genocide in Ukraine. For the past 13 months Senate Resolution 202, which would finally put the U.S. Senate on the record declaring the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 an act of Genocide, has been held up in Senator Lugar's Committee. Senator Lugar refuses to move the Resolution out of his Foreign Relations Committee and onto the full Senate floor for a vote even though it has support from the majority of the Committee
The Ukrainian-American community needs to send Senator Lugar a strong message. We need to let him know that the world can no longer ignore the suffering of 10 million Ukrainians and that he is doing an injustice to the Ukrainian-American people not acting on Resolution 202.
Senator Lugar is just one of the many challenges we face in our quest to educate the world about the Genocide Famine. One of our biggest challenges has been the lack of information and coverage about Ukraine and Ukrainian history in the text books and in classrooms of K-12.
I can still remember the day my Fourth Grade Social Studies teacher corrected me when I said I was Ukrainian. He told me that Ukraine was not a country -- that my family was from the Soviet Union - and that therefore I was Russian. To this day I can't blame his ignorance, because the Social Studies textbook confirmed his belief. According to the pages of the text book there was no country named Ukraine on the map and all the people of the Soviet Republics were Russians.
Fortunately, things have changed in the past few decades and today's textbooks portray a more accurate depiction of the former Soviet Republics. Ukraine has reappeared on the map. But what hasn't changed is that most classrooms still lack is any study of the Ukrainian Genocide.-
Across the nation laws require children to learn about the Nazi Holocaust which claimed the lives of 6 million Jews, yet only 2 states - New Jersey and New York - encourage or require teachers to educate their students about the Ukrainian Genocide.
The Ukrainian Genocide Famine Foundation is not going to wait until there is mandate in place to begin preparing Illinois teachers to teach their students about the Ukrainian Genocide Famine. We have initiated an accredited seminar program for high school teachers this year so that teachers have the knowledge and tools to begin educating their students about the Ukrainian Genocide Famine today.
One of those tools is the Internet - unarguably the most accessible and widespread means of mass communication today. To help students, teachers and anyone interested in learning about the Ukrainian Genocide Famine, the Foundation will be launching a website in the coming months. The website will provide the world with one centralized hub for Genocide Famine information both in English and Ukrainian and with links to resources and documents.
I urge you to be active in this process of expanding awareness of the Ukrainian Genocide Famine. Write or call Senator Lugar and tell him to stop sitting on Resolution 202. Stop using vague terms like the "Great Famine" or the "Terror Famine" and call it what it was - Genocide Famine. Support the Ukrainian Genocide Famine Foundation's education initiatives. Working together we can honor the memory of the late Dr. James Mace and preserve the memory of those who perished in the Genocide Famine.
In closing I'd like to read you with a an expert from an editorial Dr. Mace wrote last October in the Ukrainian newspaper, The Day:
Dr. Mace wrote: "After All, the greatest gift a child can give is to provide something his or her parents can be proud of. Those who have worked so hard for the memory of the millions who perished in Ukraine have given those who came before them something to be proud of. After all, the memory of what was is the key to creating what will be. May those who came before look down upon us with some reason for pride. May we look up to them in the hope that we have done something worthwhile".
Let's heed Dr. Mace's words and work together to give those who came before us something to be proud of.
Other election + Holodmor news alert
From: Marko Suprun <email@example.com>
This article mentions the Holodomor in the context of the upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine. Please take a moment to pen a thank-you to the author, kindly noting in your emails that the the genocide he mentions is called "Holodomor."
following sentence could be used for example, "The Holodomor is known as
the genocide of Ukrainians under the Soviet Union (aka Communist Russia).
Through an artificial famine that spanned decades (from the late 1920s to
the 1940s where the apex of atrocity happened during the 1932-33 period),
the Communists sought to kill as many Ukrainians as they could. The
Holocaust of WWII is rarely referenced as "the gassing" by journalists.
Please consider this in the futre when referring what is perhaps, the
darkest page of humanhistory."]
The Other election
The United States isn't the
only country having a presidential election in the next few days. There is
also an important vote coming up in Ukraine on Oct. 31. The election there
will be far more momentous for that country than ours will be for us.
Whoever wins here, our basic policies will not change fundamentally. In
Ukraine, by contrast, the election could be revolutionary.
Like many of the former
republics of the old Soviet Union, Ukraine has struggled, politically and
economically. It has no history of either democracy or self-government,
having been a vassal of Russia long before the communist takeover. And
because of communism, Ukraine's economy never developed naturally so as to
exploit those industries and businesses most appropriate for its location
and resources. Under central planning, production was guided by political
whim, with the result that much of the industry located in Ukraine at
independence was inherently unviable in a free market.
Ukraine also suffers in
other ways from the communist legacy. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant is
still a mess, and the nation has never fully recovered from the awful
famine inflicted upon it by Josef Stalin in the 1930s that is estimated to
have killed as many as10 million people -- far more than died in the
However, other former Soviet
republics and even Russia itself have also had to deal with the
consequences of communism and most have done a better job than Ukraine has
done. This is primarily due to abysmal leadership. Its current president,
Leonid Kuchma, is highly corrupt and a thug, as well. There is strong
evidence that that he may have had a journalist killed a few years ago for
looking too deeply into his affairs. Fortunately, Kuchma is not running
for re-election. But he is backing someone -- Viktor Yanukovych -- who
looks like his clone.
Thankfully, there is an
alternative. Viktor Yushchenko, a former prime minister and head of the
central bank, is leading a reform bloc that has a good chance of winning
if the election isn't stolen from him -- or worse. Just a few weeks ago,
it appears that he was deliberately poisoned in an effort to thwart his
As it happens, I know
Yushchenko's wife, Katherine Chumachenko, an American of Ukrainian
descent. She and I met in the late 1980s when she was working in the human
rights bureau at the State Department. Later, we worked together at the
White House, where she was in the Office of Public Liaison, and the
Treasury Department, where she worked in the executive secretary's
Kathy -- she is now known as
Kateryna -- is one of the brightest, most dedicated conservatives I have
ever known. She has an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and is well
versed in that school's free market economics tradition. The first time we
ever met was at a Heritage Foundation event.
Anyone who encountered Kathy
quickly discovered that the liberation of Ukraine from communist tyranny
was her primary mission in life, to the exclusion of almost everything
else. So it was no surprise to me when she moved to Kyiv soon after it
broke free of Moscow's control in 1991. I helped get her a position there
with KPMG, an American consulting company, where she trained Ukrainians in
Western methods of banking, accounting and other fundamentals of a market
Kathy married Viktor five
years ago, while he was still running the central bank. In that position,
he was one of the few Ukrainians who was trusted by foreign investors. He
has a reputation for honesty as well as competence -- the former perhaps
being more important than the latter, given the widespread corruption in
Ukraine. A new report from Transparency International ranks Ukraine as one
of the most corrupt nations on Earth. In December 1999, Yushchenko was
named prime minister. By all accounts, he did an excellent job, helping to
implement economic and political reforms. This did not endear him to
President Kuchma or the oligarchs who have robbed the country blind, so he
was sacked in April 2001. Since then, he has been a member of Ukraine's
parliament, where he has continued to press for reform.
Ukraine should naturally be
aligned with Poland and other Eastern European countries that have
implemented reforms and prospered in the post-communist era, becoming
strong allies of the United States in the war against terror. Only its own
rotten leadership has held it back. If Yushchenko wins, its promise will
be much closer to becoming a reality. Regretfully, if he loses, it could
fall even further behind.
The vote on Sunday is
unlikely to produce a winner. More than likely, Yushchenko and Yanukovych
will meet again in a runoff three weeks later. That vote will determine
Ukraine's future for many years to come.
Bruce Bartlett is a senior
fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a Townhall.com member
|Poison and death threats won't stop journalist Anna (Mazepa)
From: Marta D. Olynyk <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Politkovskaya was born in New York, where her Soviet Ukrainian parents were UN diplomats, in 1958, five years after the death of Stalin. She was sent back home to be educated and after school entered one of the most prestigious university departments in the USSR, the journalism faculty of Moscow State University. Among its other advantages, her parents' diplomatic status enabled them to smuggle banned books into the country for her, and she was able to write her dissertation about a normally forbidden poet, the emigre Marina Tsvetayeva."
Dispatches from a savage war
Poison and death threats won't stop Anna Politkovskaya from reporting the truth about Chechnya. She talks to James Meek
Anna Politkovskaya was born into Soviet high society; the kind of privileged, metropolitan elite that knew abroad better than it knew the factories of the Urals, and whose children were guaranteed comfortable jobs in the rambling bureaucracies of Moscow.
Half a life later, in her 40s and a mother of two children, Politkovskaya found herself alone at night in the Chechen hills, fleeing through the darkness. She was running from the Russian security service, the FSB, which wanted to arrest her, but out there in the highlands of a lawless region steeped in bloodshed, she could have fallen victim to anyone or anything; Chechen bandits, Russian or Chechen government death squads, a broken neck. It was Europe, in 2002.
"I walked the whole night," she says. "I wanted to stay alive! It was terrifying. I reached the [Chechen] village of Stary Atagi at dawn. I stayed there for a day and a night, keeping my head down ..." She talks about it for a while, then seems to check herself, feeling perhaps that telling a stranger about one of the numerous occasions in her career as a journalist that she faced a threat of imprisonment or serious harm is irrelevant to the serious business of reporting. "These are just details," she says, finally.
In the bland setting of a publisher's London flat, you can see in Politkovskaya, one of the bravest of Russia's many brave journalists, the different ages of her life, and her looking serious in each of them: the bookish student of the 1970s, the earnest, curious young Soviet reporter, the journalist who embraced the freedoms of perestroika in the late 1980s, the veteran of Russia's recent conflicts who returns time and again to Chechnya to enrage the Kremlin leadership as it seeks to make of Vladimir Putin an infallible khan.
Her seriousness is not just her frown, her severe glasses and full head of grey hair. It's the tension, anger and impatience in her whole body, making clear that her sense of the continual injustice being perpetrated in her homeland never leaves her, that she can't shut it out in a way almost all British journalists, even the campaigning, radical kind, can. It's a surprise, then, to see her start to laugh and make fun of the Guardian's photographer when he gets her to pose for him. "Photographers always do that," she says, in her hesitant English. "They get people to do things they don't normally do." The photographer gets quite annoyed and you realise that Politkovskaya is still young (she's 46). And still hopeful. The author picture on the back of her new book, Putin's Russia, is so self-consciously tragic, and its subject matter so bleak, that I ask her whether she thinks it might take generations for her country to become truly free.
"I wouldn't ever want to say it would take generations," she says. "I want to be able to live the life of a human being, where every individual is respected, in my lifetime."
Politkovskaya was born in New York, where her Soviet Ukrainian parents were UN diplomats, in 1958, five years after the death of Stalin. She was sent back home to be educated and after school entered one of the most prestigious university departments in the USSR, the journalism faculty of Moscow State University. Among its other advantages, her parents' diplomatic status enabled them to smuggle banned books into the country for her, and she was able to write her dissertation about a normally forbidden poet, the emigre Marina Tsvetayeva.
After graduation, Politkovskaya worked for the daily Izvestiya, then moved to the in-house paper of the state airline monopoly Aeroflot. "Every journalist got a free ticket all year round; you could go on any plane and fly wherever you wanted. Thanks to this I saw the whole of our huge country. I was a girl from a diplomatic family, a reader, a bit of a swot; I didn't know life at all."
With the coming of perestroika, Politkovskaya switched to the independent press which began to emerge and flourish: first Obshchaya Gazeta, then Novaya Gazeta (New Newspaper). None of the terrible things that have happened in Russia since the coming to power of the reformer Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 have persuaded Politkovskaya that it would have been better to preserve the USSR.
"From an economic point of view, life became very difficult," she says, "but politically it wasn't shocking at all. It was simple happiness, that you could read and think and write whatever you wanted. It was a joy. You need to endure a great deal in the way of economic hardship for the sake of freedom."
Hardly had the new countries of the former Soviet Union begun to stand on their feet, however, than a series of internal wars broke out. The most savage of them, continuing to this day, involves various attempts by Russian government troops to regain control over the small region of Chechnya. Politkovskaya became one of the most dogged reporters of that conflict.
Russians speak of two Chechen wars: the first, under Yeltsin, from 1994 to 1996, ended with a peace deal and troop withdrawal under pressure from the media and public. When Putin invaded for a second time, in 1999, he took steps to ensure that the media would not embarrass him with reports about the reality of Russia's brutality in Chechnya. If, as Politkovskaya believes, stopping the first Chechen war was the Russian media's greatest achievement in the relatively free Yeltsin years, the second Chechen war has been its greatest disaster. Once an independent voice among many, Novaya Gazeta is now among the few Russian media outlets which have not yet been intimidated into toeing the Kremlin line.
The second Chechen war began by costing Politkovskaya her marriage. She returned home to Moscow one day in 1999, fresh from reporting on a long-range Russian rocket attack in Grozny which had hit a market and a maternity hospital, killing scores of people, including women and children, to hear her husband tell her: "I can't take this any more." Recently, it almost cost her her life, when, on her way to Beslan in the early hours of the school hostage crisis, she was slipped poison in a cup of tea. In between, she has experienced countless death threats from Russian troops, Chechen fighters and the other, more shadowy armed groups operating in the margins of the war. The kidnappings, extrajudicial killings, disappearances, rapes and tortures she has reported on in Chechnya have left her convinced that Putin's policies are engendering the terrorists they are supposed to eliminate.
"To this day there's torture in any FSB branch in Chechnya, like the so-called 'telephone', where they pass an electric current through a person's body. I've seen hundreds of people who've been through this torture. Some have been tortured in such an intricate way that it's hard for me to believe that it was done by people who went to the same sort of schools that I did, who read the same textbooks."
Politkovskaya has no regrets about the times she has stepped outside the role of reporter in recent Chechen terrorist attacks - as a negotiator in the Moscow theatre siege, and as a would-be negotiator at Beslan, before she was poisoned. "Yes, I went beyond my journalistic role," she says. "But it would be quite wrong to say that doing so was a bad move from a journalistic point of view. By setting aside my role as journalist I learned so much that I would never have found out being just a plain journalist, who stands in the crowd along with everyone else."
She has harsh words for what she sees as the west's kid-glove treatment of Putin and Russia. "Most of the time they forget the word Chechnya. They only remember it when there's a terrorist act. And then it's, 'Oh!' And they start their full coverage up again. But virtually nobody reports on what is really going on in that zone, in Chechnya, and the growth of terrorism. The truth is that the methods employed in Putin's anti-terrorist operation are generating a wave of terrorism the like of which we have never experienced."
The Bush-Blair "war on terror" has been of enormous help to Putin, Politkovskaya says. Many people in Russia gained perverse comfort from the pictures of US abuses in Abu Ghraib prison. "I've heard it many times. In Russia you hear people talking about it with pride: that, 'We treated the blacks like this before the Americans did, and we were right, because they are international terrorists.'
"Putin's begun to try to prove on the world stage that he's also fighting international terrorists, that he's just a part of this fashionable war. And he's been successful. He was Blair's best friend for a while. When, after Beslan, he began to state that we were seeing virtually the hand of Bin Laden, it was appalling. What's Bin Laden got to do with it? The Russian government created these beasts, brought them up, and they came to Beslan and behaved like beasts."
The only way for the west to regain moral authority, Politkovskaya argues, would be for it to treat Putin as it treats Alexander Lukashenko, the autocratic, bullying president of Russia's neighbour Belarus - not sanctions, but a more personal, tailored form of ostracism. "It's impossible to talk on the one hand about the monstrous scale of victims in Chechnya and the spawning of terrorism and then lay out the red carpet, embrace Putin and tell him: 'We're with you, you're the best.' That shouldn't be happening. I understand, our country's a big market, it's very attractive. I understand it very well. But we're not second-class people, we're people like you, and we want to live."
Russia by Anna Politkovskaya is published by
|Chornobyl: Postcard from hell||TOP|
Postcard from hell
Eighteen years ago, it was the site of the world's worst nuclear reactor disaster. Now Chernobyl is becoming a tourist attraction. Imogen Wall takes a trip.
Mariana Kushnir was just a little girl when reactor four exploded. As with everyone else in Ukraine, it was days before her family had any idea what had happened. She remembers coming home after playing outside with her brother and being caught in the rain, and her mother insisting that they strip and wash all their clothes immediately. She also remembers that for weeks afterwards, not allowed to go outside, they looked longingly through the window at the spring sunshine.
Eighteen years later, Kushnir is PR manager for the Ukrainian tourist board. She has criss-crossed the country as part of her job, but until now has never made the trip to what is almost certainly Ukraine's most famous spot, and is becoming one of its hottest tourist destinations. For $250 (£139) per person, Kyiv-based tour agencies have begun to offer all-inclusive day trips to the scene of the world's biggest nuclear power station disaster, Chernobyl. "Observe object sarcophagus - concrete-and-steel shelter covering radioactive masses and debris left after the explosion," enthuses one travel agent's website. The price includes transport inside the zone, the military permit required to enter, and they promise to return you safely to your hotel by 6pm, in plenty of time for dinner.
It was late into a spring night, April 26, 1986, when an explosion ripped the roof off Chernobyl's fourth reactor, causing the building's walls to bend like rubber and hurling tons of radioactive waste into the air. The red light could be seen from miles away: some said afterwards it looked like it was coming straight from hell. No one, though, knew what it was they were looking at, as the authorities did not tell them: the only thing on the government's mind was how to cover up the fact that the whole of Europe would shortly be sitting under a radioactive cloud. So effective was the political strategy that even today the death toll is not known: casualty figures range from 40 (official Soviet figure) to over 15,000 (the UN estimate).
Kushnir is taking this trip out of a mix of duty and curiosity. As we turn on to the main road out of the city and its outskirts of identikit slab-grey housing blocks, Chris Rea's Road to Hell comes on the radio. She leans forward and turns it up. "Good song, no?" she grins, nervously.
The road to Chernobyl, which lies around 70km north of Kyiv, winds through a set of country scenes as pretty as they are unexpected. There are wide fields of ripening crops, dotted trees heavy with fruit, postcard perfect little farmer's houses and horses clopping home in the summer sun. But the nearer we get to the 30km exclusion zone that surrounds the site, the fewer the people and houses, until even the sunlit forests start seeming a little sinister in their emptiness.
At the entrance to the zone, there is a roadblock. It used to be easy to get in here: visitors a few years back reported that a $20 bill, a packet of cigarettes and a bit of chat would do the trick. These days, soldiers man the gate 24 hours a day, checking our government passes against our passports.
The first sign of human habitation is a set of houses; once the homes of villagers, they are now occupied by the hundreds of scientists and plant workers who still operate here, studying and monitoring the site. Our guide, a portly Ukrainian gentleman called Mykola Dmitruk, climbs into our van - travel within the zone is only allowed in closed vehicles, because there is still a lot of radioactivity in the site's dust. Some tours make you change into protective clothing but Dmitruk waves such suggestions away: the site isn't dangerous, he insists. "The dose of radiation you receive here is the same as the exposure on the flight over." All we take is a battered old Geiger counter. "Now," he says pleasantly. "We go to the reactor."
Our tour bus bumps through a post-apocalyptic landscape of rusting, skeletal pylons. "On your right," says Dmitruk, in the sing-song tone of tour guides the world over, "we see the remains of reactors five and six." These were being built at the time of the disaster, and haven't been touched since. The first three reactors are fairly intact - they actually carried on operating until 2000 when they were closed down under intense pressure from the EU. But it is reactor four that we have come to see.
It does not look like a power station now. All that can be seen, beyond a wire mesh fence, is the vast, concrete block that covers the devastated reactor. It is painted white but stained with rust. Birds swirl around it: they nest, says Dmitruk, in holes in the brickwork. Terrifyingly, underneath this crumbling hulk is around 90 tons of radioactive waste. Our Geiger counter is clicking, registering levels around 10 times those at the edge of the zone. We pose in front of the reactor, feeling for the first time a little uncomfortable about being here. There are plans for a new concrete cover, but the money is coming not from the penniless Ukrainian government, which still resents that it is stuck with this deadly, expensive mess, but from the EU. At present, it is all mired in paperwork, and while the bureaucrats bicker, the sarcophagus decays. This, says Dmitruk, is the real reason the Ukrainian government is letting visitors in: they want visitors to maintain pressure on Europe to help protect and monitor the site. "If we let people in, tell them the truth, they and their governments will not be able to forget."
Yet for all this waste, one of the oddest things about Chernobyl is that it is not entirely a wasteland. Most of it looks more like a nature sanctuary, with abundant forests, lush grass and herds of a rare species of wild horse. The lack of human activity has allowed wolves, foxes, wild boar and myriad other species to flourish. That does not mean, says Dmitruk, that they have not been affected: he cites a study involving fruit flies exposed to the blast in which problems of genetic mutation did not emerge until the 26th generation. But in the meantime, the flourishing ecosystems have prompted the UN to suggest that Chernobyl should be developed as, of all things, a nature reserve and ecotourism destination.
Our next stop is the abandoned town of Pripyat. Built in the 1970s for the workers at the site, Pripyat was home to 48,000 people and with its communal living blocks, cultural centre and sports stadium, was a model Soviet town. It wasn't evacuated until 36 hours after the disaster: for two days all 48,000 men, women and children went to school, did the washing and relaxed in the town square. Then 1,200 buses were brought up from Kyiv and the army forced people to board them. No one was ever allowed back.
Today, the schoolrooms are a damp, rotting tangle of rusting children's chairs and desks. Outside some flats, tattered washing still flutters on the line; in the silent town square poplar trees have sprouted through the concrete. At the sports stadium, the track is barely discernable and the football pitch has become a small forest. Everywhere is broken glass, and inside the buildings feet crunch on fallen masonry and rotten ceiling insulation. The first tour groups here were so unnerved by the total silence that they asked to leave. It is a modern Pompeii, messy as the disaster that created it.
We wander down deserted streets and into the old cultural centre on the town square. On the second floor we find what must have been the town library: a room now open to the elements stacked high with rotting books, their pages flapping in the wind coming in through the broken wall. Trying to find our way out, we creak open a door leading to the back of the building and walk gingerly into what we soon realise is an old theatre. Faded scenery is stacked at the back of the stage, and out in the auditorium, stripped of its chairs, there are glimpses of gold on the ornate curls adorning the dress circle. There is no museum exhibit, no tour guide that could explain as eloquently as this the awfulness of such abandonment.
For foreigners, Chernobyl is easily added to a long list of tourist attractions whose fame turns on tragedy or disaster. Millions a year visit Auschwitz, and no trip to Cape Town is complete without a day on Robben Island. But for those in Kyiv, who live daily with the knowledge that their surroundings and probably their bodies are poisoned, such a perspective is hard to explain. "This is not a right place for tourism," says Dmitruk. "It was a place of tragedy, and is a place of tragedy still." As we drive back to Kyiv, Kushnir is silent. It has, she says, been a long day. She is glad she came, but is exhausted and can't see herself returning.
Back in Kyiv, the
Ukrainian tourist board's executive director Iryna Gagarina smiles wearily
when asked about Chernobyl. Her frustration is understandable: Kyiv, with
its leafy streets, hills, curling river and cobbled streets is one of the
prettiest cities in Eastern Europe, a place where golden onion domes mix
with untouched Soviet architecture and the beer is ridiculously cheap. It
could and probably will become Europe's new hot weekend-break destination
before long, and yet all people seem to want to talk about is the site of
a national disaster. "The name Chernobyl is better known than Kyiv, or
Ukraine itself," she says. For her, as for most in Kyiv, the memories are
too raw for exploitation. "Chernobyl is not a historical place," she says.
"It is a sleeping lion. And when the lion is sleeping, you don't open the
|Voice of America: Ukraine election called 'Battle Between Democracy
VOA's Ukrainian Service broadcasts two hours of radio every day, as well as the weekly television program Window on America and a daily, five-minute television news program that launched on October 18, 2004. Programs can also be accessed on the Internet at
Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia
international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through
the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours
of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to
an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs
are produced in Ukrainian and 43 other languages.
more detailed VOA Ukrainian language service coverage of our panel
discussion, click on: http://www1.voanews.co
October 26, 2004 - Taras Kuzio, a professor at the Elliott School of
International Affairs at George Washington University, joined several
political analysts today in expressing concerns about the upcoming
presidential election in Ukraine and what it means for Ukraine's future.
"The authorities in Ukraine never intended - and I stress, never intended
- to hold a free and fair election," he declared. If they did, he added,
opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko would win in the first
Kuzio participated in a
panel discussion at the Voice of America (VOA) on "Defining Ukraine's
Future: the 2004 Presidential Vote." Ukraine's presidential election on
Sunday is being contested by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who is
supported by current President Leonid Kuchma, and opposition leader and
former Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko. The panelists said both
candidates had dramatically different plans for the
"We have seen backsliding in
Ukraine's strategic goal of integration into NATO and the European Union,"
said panelist Orest Deychakiwsky, staff advisor at the U.S. Commission on
Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission). He contended
that a Yushchenko victory would reverse this trend. Deychakiwsky also
described the upcoming election as "a battle between democracy and
Nadia Diuk, Program Director
for Central Europe and Eurasia at the National Endowment for Democracy,
said that harassment of the few independent media outlets still available
in Ukraine had had a negative impact on outside sources of information
such as VOA, Radio Liberty, BBC, and Deutsche Welle, by limiting their
ability to rebroadcast within the country.
|Chotyry porady ukraiinskomu prezydentovi
(ukraiinski i rosiiskyi teksty)
From: Nelia Pasichnyk <email@example.com>
Rosiiskyi tekst znakhodytsia tut (Russian version)
|Ukraine's sinister atmosphere alive in days before election||TOP|
Fri Oct 15, 8:03 PM ET
By Georgie Anne Geyer
KYIV, Ukraine -- This beautiful but worn city in the vast plains of Ukraine could be glorious if it had a little money and a lot of care. It has once-elegant, old buildings, winding streets and flowering trees.
Just over a month ago, for instance, the pro-European candidate, Viktor Yuschenko, who promises to draw Ukraine closer to the European Union (news - web sites), suddenly became deathly ill, as if a severe virus or a stroke had hit him.
But when he was rushed to a special clinic in Vienna because his campaign did not feel Ukrainian medical care could be totally dependable politically, doctors there feared he had been "poisoned," not by a chemical agent, but perhaps by a biological or bacteriological agent.
"The doctors in Vienna said this was an unprecedented case," Medvedev Oleg Oleksandrovich, a leading adviser to Yuschenko, told me. "They couldn't find anything like this in their files. If he had not been flown in, he would have died -- if he had gotten to Vienna 24 hours later, he would have died."
And non-party people of impeccable credentials back up the poisoning story. "It was not just a trick," Konstantin Vondarenko, a leading social scientist and director of the Institute of National Strategy, said over lunch here. "He was very sick and the case is being investigated by Ukrainian and Austrian intelligence services. There was no chemical poisoning, but it could have been other types."
Oddly enough, Yuschenko, a generally healthy man who is challenging the old Soviet holdover political regime, had met just the day before with the "special services," or intelligence of the government. The theme of the meeting was how those services should be divorced from politics.
But it is not only the Yuschenko case -- he was so smitten that he was able to return to campaigning only last week -- that makes Ukraine sometimes feel like a cross between Shakespeare and Stalin.
There is constant talk of a "third force" outside of candidates Yuschenko and Viktor Yanukovych, the "pro-Eurasian" or pro-Russian politician chosen to carry on the 10-year hard-line rule of President Leonid Kuchma. This ethereal force seems to be an always shifting melange of oligarchic and criminal elements and conspiracies designed to keep the country on edge (which it certainly has accomplished).
One intention may be to perpetuate the general assumption that President Kuchma could make a last-ditch attempt before the Oct. 31 elections to grab another term, something he made provision for by constitutional means last spring.
In fact, the campaign is full of so many tricks -- there are only these two truly potential winners, but there are an additional 25 candidates, at least half of them put up only to discredit Yuschenko -- that one can hardly keep up with them.
Even at this late date, with Yuschenko barely having recovered and both sides hedging their bets between each one's fealty to East or West in order to fool observers, many analysts expect some last-minute tricks by one or both sides.
Everyone remembers all too well the case of the journalist who suddenly disappeared five years ago. Never solved, the case has only a headless body still in the morgue -- and a mountain of questions as to the why, what, how, when and where of Georgi Gonzaga.
Why Ukraine? Even in Moscow itself, still the metropole of the confused post-Soviet world, there are not such obvious and grossly sinister doings. This country of 49 million, geopolitically crucial in its setting and in its potential, seems a pocket of Soviet memories and habits, somehow left behind and ruled by criminal elements with little adherence to any laws.
Why so sinister? "Because," explained an American diplomat, "things are in play. On the one hand, you have people in power with the old ideas. On the other, people with new ideas."
sometimes be translated as movement toward better things. It can be seen
as the grappling of new forces with old. Supposing, of course, that
|Amnesty International: Ukrainian opposition activists arbitrarily
INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE
Ukraine: Opposition activists arbitrarily detained
It is particularly important
that Ukraine demonstrate to the world that it respects the right to
freedom of expression in the run up to the presidential elections later
this month, Amnesty International said today.
Recent events seem to
demonstrate a disappointing disregard for this right," the organization
Amnesty International is
concerned by reports that members of the youth opposition organization
PORA (It is time) are being subjected to arbitrary arrest and harassment
for the legitimate exercise of their freedom of expression. PORA is a
social campaign that distributes leaflets and runs a satirical website
encouraging people not to vote for the government presidential candidate
Viktor Yanukovych. Reports monitored by AI include the
* Andrij Kulibaba, an
activist in the Vinnytsya branch of the youth opposition campaign PORA was
detained by police on 20 October without any explanation. On 21 October he
was sentenced under the Code on Administrative Infringements for
"intentional disobedience to demands of the police" to 10 days' detention.
It was claimed that he pushed a police officer and tore off a button from
his jacket. He was released suddenly on 23 October and told that his
sentence had been reduced to a fine.
* Alexander Pugach was
detained in Vinnytsya on 21 October and tried for allegedly refusing to
give his name to the police, but the witness statements were contradictory
and he was acquitted. Within minutes as he stood on the steps of the court
house he was detained again in front of witnesses, held for four hours in
the police station and then told that a criminal case had been started
against him for "hooliganism".
* In Kirovograd Alexander
Tsitsenko was detained by masked police on 21 October as he was collecting
leaflets and stickers produced by PORA for distribution. He was also
accused of "intentional disobedience towards the police", but the charges
were dropped and he was released on 25 October.
* Volodymyr Zakalyushny was
detained in Kyiv on 23 October while distributing leaflets critical of
Viktor Yanukovych at a concert. He was taken to the Shevchenkovsky police
station in Kyiv and accused of stealing a mobile phone for which he could
face two years' imprisonment.
The number of such
detentions that are taking place across Ukraine and the numerous
violations of procedures raise concerns that these young people may have
been detained for their legitimate and peaceful opposition activities. If
this is the case Amnesty International would consider them prisoners of
conscience and call for their immediate and unconditional
"We call on the Ukrainian
authorities to respect the right to freedom of expression and assembly and
to allow the legitimate expression of opposition views," Amnesty
Presidential elections will
be held on 31 October. A big demonstration over the weekend in support of
the opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko demanded fair
During the last few weeks,
searches and detentions of opposition activists from a range of
organizations have increased. On 14 October police claimed to have found
bomb-making equipment in the headquarters of PORA in Kyiv although a first
search during which the police were accompanied by others turned up
nothing, and the equipment was only found when the police returned alone
to the office. Following this there were other searches and in Chernigiv
Oleksandr Lomakov a member of PORA is awaiting trial on weapons charges
for which he faces two to five years' imprisonment. Police allegedly found
a brown substance in his flat which may be an explosive.
The Parliamentary Assembly
of the Council of Europe has expressed its concern about the conduct of
the election campaign and has called on the Ukrainian authorities "to
conduct the election process with absolute impartiality and respect for
Council of Europe standards and to allow all candidates to compete on fair
and equitable grounds."
For latest human rights news
|Putin's Unchallenged Imperialism -The Washington Post||TOP|
25, 2004; Page A19
Imagine that an
imperial-minded president resolved to aggressively intervene in a
strategic country with a fragile democracy to ensure the election of a
favored client. To do so, he summoned his nominee and publicly embraced
him; channeled hundreds of millions of dollars to his campaign; arranged
for television stations broadcasting in the target country to openly boost
the favorite and slander his opponent; opened hundreds of polling stations
in his own country so that "expatriates" could vote; and, to top it off,
scheduled a trip to the foreign capital three days before the election to
stump in person.
Even Hamid Karzai or Ayad
Allawi would be shamed by such a campaign, if it were launched by
President Bush. What's more, the rest of the world would loudly condemn
American interventionism. Yet Viktor Yanukovych, prime minister and
presidential candidate of Ukraine, has humbly welcomed all this and more
from Russian President Vladimir Putin -- and Western governments have
responded with a studied silence. What's strange about this is that
Ukraine's outgoing president, Leonid Kuchma, was probably right when he
recently boasted that the election of his replacement on Oct. 31 would
rank second only to Iraq's upcoming vote in geopolitical importance. The
contest between Yanukovych and challenger Viktor Yushchenko will likely
determine whether a European country the size of France, with 50 million
citizens, remains an imperfect democracy or slides toward authoritarian
rule. And it may well resolve whether 2004, like 1947-48, is remembered as
a year when a Moscow-orchestrated mix of rigged elections and dirty tricks
turned several Eastern European countries into satellites.
Sound exaggerated? Consider
what has been happening in Belarus and Ukraine, which lie between Russia
and the expanded European Union and NATO. Last week Belarus held a
referendum on making strongman Alexander Lukashenko, who already has
agreed to reunite his country with Russia, the equivalent of
president-for-life. An exit poll conducted by the Gallup Organization
showed that the proposition failed. But when Belarusan authorities
announced it had passed with 77 percent of the vote, Russia quickly
pronounced the vote free and fair.
In Kyiv, meanwhile,
Yanukovych was pronouncing himself touched by the news that Putin would
travel to Kyiv this week to appear with him at a parade celebrating the
city's capture by Soviet troops 60 years ago. "I will forever be
grateful," said the burly prime minister, who was publicly kissed by Putin
at his home in Moscow this month.
He should be. According to
opposition sources, Russia has supplied half of the $600 million that
Yanukovych is spending on his campaign -- including a $200 million payment
from the Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom. Russian state
television, which is seen by most Ukrainians, has campaigned unrelentingly
for Yanukovych. Pro-Yanukovych billboards have appeared across Moscow, and
expatriate Ukrainians will have the chance to vote at some 400 polling
places in Russia. Russian political advisers have arrived in Kyiv to
conduct on-the-spot spin. Russian pop singers are touring the country and
boosting Yanukovych at concerts. In return, Yanukovych promised Putin at
their last meeting that he would end Ukraine's policy of seeking
membership in NATO, promote an open border and dual citizenship for
Russians and Ukrainians, make Russian the country's second official
language, and subordinate Ukraine's bid for membership in the World Trade
Organization to the requirements of forming the "single economic space,"
the Putin initiative to create a new union with Ukraine, Belarus and
Yanukovych would also
entrench Putin's brand of authoritarian politics in his country. Already
Ukrainian media, like their Russian counterparts, are delivering
orchestrated and one-side support to Yanukovych, while many opposition
media outlets have been closed down. Yushchenko's rallies have frequently
been disrupted by thugs, and the candidate himself fell mysteriously and
gravely ill last month -- the result, he says, of a poisoning meant to
In spite of all this,
Yushchenko continues to hold a single-digit lead in the polls. That's
because the former banker and prime minister is responsible for many of
the free-market reforms that have allowed the Ukrainian economy to
flourish, and because he promises that he will continue to lead an
independent and democratic country toward partnership with the West. The
Bush administration and other Western governments hope for his success,
but privately expect that Yanukovych will win or steal the election in a
mid-November runoff. Putin, they know, will aid and abet that fraud -- and
then set about integrating Ukraine into his authoritarian
No one has challenged the
Russian president on his aggressive imperialism -- which probably means
that it will grow.
|Russia and the US going head to head in Ukraine (elections)||TOP|
"'I'm not suggesting that Mr. Yanukovych is another Milosevic, but if he is beholden to [the security forces of Russia and Ukraine] for winning this election, it will be a very bad precedent,' says Adrian Karatnycky at Freedom House, an NGO that will send 1,000 election observers for a likely second round on Nov. 21. The battle has begun."
A presidential race again pits Russia against the
It's a shadow war
reminiscent of cold-war conflicts in Third World countries. Russia and the
United States are going head to head in Ukraine, the former Soviet
republic that holds a pivotal presidential election on Oct. 31. The two
sides' arsenals don't include Kalashnikovs or Stinger missiles anymore.
Rather, dollars from Washington and political advisers from Moscow are the
weapons of choice.
The battlelines could not be
starker, nor could the stakes be much higherfor Ukraine or the region. Of
24 candidates, only two have a chance. One: Viktor Yanukovych, the current
prime minister (and protegé of the retiring President Leonid Kuchma), who
pledges close ties to Moscow. The other: Viktor Yushchenko, who vows to
attack corruption and take the country further toward democracy. The
reform-minded Yushchenko is the darling of the West. Yanukovych has the
support of the country's powerful business clans and the security forces,
as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin. "For Ukraine," says
opposition parliamentarian Pyotr Poroshenko, "this is a crucial
It promises to be bruising
and dirty. International watchdog groups accuse the government of
preparing to rig the vote. The state has used tax laws to harass
Yushchenko and his supporters. Opposition campaign events have been
disrupted, and pro-Yanukovych propaganda flows from state-controlled
Ukrainian and Russian television stations. Employing tactics imported by
their Russian political consultants, top government officials deliver
daily instructions--temnyki--to news executives concerning what issues to
cover and how. "The temnyki are our work," boasts Sergei Markov, a Kremlin
adviser to Yanukovych.
More brutal Soviet-style
tactics are also coming into play. Earlier this fall Yushchenko was
apparently poisoned. "They were absolutely trying to kill him," says an
aide, who rushed with him to a Vienna hospital. State courts are now
threatening to close the country's last independent TV station, which
supports Yushchenko. Meanwhile, Putin-hugely popular in Russian-speaking
eastern Ukraine has all but endorsed Yanukovych, announcing he would come
to Kyiv just three days before the vote.
Western NGOs are working
hardand spending freelyto ensure the election is fair. Just last Friday
special police raided several of their offices.
"Before today I was
reasonably optimistic about the election," says Sam Coppersmith, a former
U.S. congressman working with the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation.
Given a free choice, most
Ukrainians would probably opt for closer ties to the West. Ukraine
contributes 1,600 troops to the U.S.-led occupation in Iraq. Kuchma has
said he would like to see the country join both NATO and the EU, which it
now borders. But the fact that those doors seem closed has hurt
Yushchenko's cause and strengthened those like Yanukovych who gravitate
toward the East. Russia's interests in Ukraine are
Sevastopol is home to its
Black Sea Fleet; most of its western-bound natural-gas pipelines pass
through Ukraine. Its membership in the
If Yanukovych wins, there
will be widespread accusations that he stole the election, much in the
manner of the stage-managed referendum by which President Aleksandr
Lukashenko of Belarus granted himself the right to run for another term
last week. The results could be bloody. Ukrainian youth organizations plan
to put 50,000 demonstrators on the streets of Kyiv on election night. If
that doesn't help produce an honest result, they will mobilize as many as
2 million protesters, hoping for a repeat of the Rose Revolution in
Georgia last year that overthrew the regime of President Eduard
Shevardnadze. The government says it will forcibly put down
Whatever happens, Ukraine's
election will set a new standard of democracy, either higher or lower, for
post-communist states. "I'm not suggesting that Mr. Yanukovych is another
Milosevic, but if he is beholden to [the security forces of Russia and
Ukraine] for winning this election, it will be a very bad precedent," says
Adrian Karatnycky at Freedom House, an NGO that will send 1,000 election
observers for a likely second round on Nov. 21. The battle has
|Ukraine elections and the West||TOP|
By Robert E. Hunter
Robert E. Hunter is a senior advisor at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization. He was U.S. ambassador to NATO from 1993 to 1998.
Washington, DC, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Three days before Americans go to the polls to select a president, Ukrainians do the same. These elections and the balloting in Afghanistan are perhaps the three most consequential elections of 2004. But while the U.S. voting is expected to be free and fair, the one in Ukraine is likely to be anything but that.
The outcome of the U.S. election can produce some differences in policy, but the way in which Ukraine's election is conducted -- at least as important as who wins -- can determine whether it continues its march toward post-Soviet democracy or slides back toward authoritarian rule. Corruption in Ukrainian politics -- and attention called to it -- largely explain why the current president, Leonid Kuchma, is not seeking a third five-year term. Even in a society still struggling to rid itself of its communist and apparatchik past, irregularities and worse were too much to bear. But as has happened in some other post-communist societies, it is not evident whether this whiff of reform, the rejection of one corrupt leader, will produce lasting change in Ukrainian politics or only give way to more of the same.
Already, the run-up to elections has been replete with more than the usual dirty tricks. Worst of all, the Kuchma faction has tight control of virtually all the electronic media and a large part of the written press, so that even Justice Louis Brandeis' prescription that "sunlight is the best disinfectant" is denied to most Ukrainians. Indeed, this faction in power has been taking a leaf out of the anti-democratic book of Russian President Vladimir Putin, both by example and by importing Russian "technical spin doctors" to poison the electoral well.
It is all the more remarkable, therefore, that the Kuchma candidate, the current prime minister, Viktor Yanukovych could, if elected, become a credible president. He has a reasonable record of economic and social reform, and Ukraine's economy has been taking off to a degree only dreamed of a few years ago. To be sure, Yanukovych has opened the sluice gates of public spending -- particularly pensions and other direct payments -- but that indirect form of "buying votes" is practiced in other countries, including the United States.
Yanukovych has also been playing the nationalist card with the significant fraction of Ukrainians who are either part (or all) Russian or who are drawn more to the East than the West. And his party has been producing posters designed to conflate the opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, with George Bush, notably in a composite photo that combines half the face of each man, another "humorous" tactic not unknown in the West.
Nevertheless, Yanukovych is far from incompetent, and his efforts as prime minister show awareness that reform of the Ukrainian economy is inescapable. In the new Ukraine, however, political process is beginning to matter, a definite good sign in the slow progress to full democracy. A rising middleclass -- visible in the stunning modernization of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv -- is bringing with it demands for a matching politics. Indeed, despite the sophistication of the current regime's politicking and its near monopoly of the media, the opposition candidate -- Yushchenko -- has a clear lead in every opinion poll and is even ahead in government-sponsored polling.
In addition to a widespread rejection of the old politics, this reflects the fact that economic growth began when Yushchenko was prime minister (until 2001) and he took on the politically dangerous task of ensuring that revenues flowing from the energy sector made it into government coffers instead of private hands, thus laying the basis for balanced budgets and sound fiscal and monetary policies.
The most dramatic evidence of skullduggery -- by someone unknown -- was the apparent poisoning of the challenger, who has still not fully recovered. This is not unknown in Ukrainian (or Soviet) politics and has reinforced concern that the election will be stolen.
To counter that prospect, a small legion of foreign election observers will descend on Ukraine, including more than 1,000 watchers funded by the U.S. government and organized by Freedom House -- some for the Oct. 31 vote, a much larger number for the likely run-off three weeks later.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation is sending others, but so is the Commonwealth of Independent States -- Russian dominated and thus promising to rubberstamp anything that Prime Minister Yanukovych's people choose to do.
Unfortunately, the European Union is passing up the chance to promote "clean hands." Clearly, far more non-Russian outsider observers are needed if Ukraine is to have a chance at a free and fair election.
The stakes in the
election are immense, including whether Ukraine will continue to immerse
itself in the West or risk being absorbed in a new Russian quasi-empire. A
stolen election would also significantly set back this society and its
politics, badly tainting both the new president and the entire process --
whichever "Viktor" is victorious. That clearly matters to the people of
Ukraine and to every one else concerned with its
journalists feels like "an invader" (elections in Ukraine)
From: Marta D. Olynyk <firstname.lastname@example.org>
We in Canada and USA know Vladimir Pozner as the apologist for every regime in Moscow since Brezhnev. He has appeared as an authority in our media - equally enamoured of Mr. Putin's policies as he was of Mr. Brezhnev's. - M.O.-Ed.
By Valery Panyushkin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Pozner, a prominent television journalist who hosts the political talk-show Vremena on the state-run First Channel, assured me a year ago that he would never abandon his journalism ethics. He promised that should the First Channel executives attempt to force him, Pozner, to forgo the principles of journalism, he, Pozner, would not forgo those principles, but would leave the channel and leave it with a bang.
I am not a judge of Vladimir Vladimirovich Pozner, perhaps, he had good reason to act the way he did, but in my opinion he deceived me. Last Sunday his Vremena show focused on the elections in Ukraine. So all the sides were represented in his show, Pozner had invited Kyiv-based supporters of the Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovich and Moscow-based supporters of the Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovich.
Supporters of Viktor Yushchenko, Yanukovich's rival, who has neither the Kremlin's nor the outgoing Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma's backing, did not take part in the show. Of course, I am not judging Vladimir Vladimirovich Pozner, but in my opinion, this was a disgrace.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the president of my country, headed to Ukraine to throw his support behind candidate Yanukovich. He addressed the nation with a speech broadcast by three leading Ukrainian television networks, and attended a military parade.
And here I am, again feeling like an invader. When I lived in the Soviet Union I felt like an invader in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine? I used to go to Vilnius or Tallinn and saw that people there did not welcome me, they did not like me because I represented a nation that robbed them of their national flag and their mother tongue.
As of next Monday, when president-elect Viktor Yanukovich opens up the borders and lifts custom barriers, I will again feel like an invader whenever I go to Ukraine, because the streets of my city were adorned with billboards urging people to vote for a presidential candidate of a foreign country; because our best TV host openly campaigned for a presidential candidate from a foreign country; because the president of Russia went to that foreign country to introduce order in his style, as if Ukraine were not a foreign country but just another Russian province. In my opinion, this is a disgrace.
In my opinion, I, being a citizen of Russia, must apologize to Ukraine for the disgusting conduct of my country. I want to say that not all Russians think that Russia has the right to meddle in the affairs of a neighboring state. I, for one, do not think so. I would rather see Ukraine free, even if a free Ukraine hates me as a former invader.
In the wake of the presidential poll in Abkhazia, the Belarussian referendum and the shameless Ukrainian campaign, in my eyes, in the eyes of its citizen, Russia seems to resemble a city hit by the plague, a city whose rulers urge their neighbors to come and bring food and medicine, while I know that if the neighbors do come, their cities, too, will soon be infected with the plague.
So I climb the city walls, waving the black flag of the plague and shout: Do not come here! Run away from here! Stay as far away as you can from us! Only a month ago Ukraine still had independent television. Ukraine's opposition still holds 40 per cent of the seats in parliament. The corruption rate in Ukraine remains so low Russia can only dream of anything like it. There is still no war in Ukraine. Don't come here! Get away! Stay away from us!
If a miracle happens despite Russia's campaigning and Ukraine still elects Viktor Yushchenko its president, I will feel relief similar to what a doctor in a plague-hit city would feel on seeing a wagon from a neighboring town notice the black flags on the city walls and turn homewards.
If a miracle happens despite all the Russian propaganda and Viktor Yushchenko becomes the president of Ukraine, I, being a Russian citizen, will gain nothing from that victory, nothing but a clear conscience.
If I happen to be in Ukraine, all right, I will stand in queue at customs. In Kyiv or Lvov, I will somehow manage to explain to a waiter in a cafe what I want in Ukrainian. I will be a bit confused with hryvnias, but a few hours later I will get used to the foreign currency. I may even put up with the Ukrainians' nationalist arrogance and rather indelicate reminders about how my country used to meddle in the affairs of their country.
I am ready to put up with that as long as I don't feel like an
|Russianization of Ukrainian security policy||TOP|
The Jamestown Foundation
Confirming the growing
Russianization of Ukrainian security policy, Defense Minister Yevhen
Marchuk was dismissed on September 22. Marchuk had only been appointed to
this post in June 2003.
His removal resembled that
of the pro-Western Foreign Minister Borys Tarasiuk in October 2000.
Tarasiuk claims that his dismissal resulted from pressure placed on the
Ukrainian Presidential Administration by the newly elected Russian
President Vladimir Putin. Tarasiuk's ouster came one month before the
Kuchmagate crisis broke, when tapes surreptitiously recorded in the
president's office revealed that President Leonid Kuchma had ordered his
interior minister to "deal" with opposition journalist Heorhiy Gongadze.
On September 16 and 17, 2004, Channel Five (http://5tv.com.ua), owned by
Our Ukraine businessman Petro Poroshenko, aired a two-part documentary on
the murder of Gongadze, which produced new evidence that the Russian
intelligence services were behind his death. Russia is the main country to
have benefited from Kuchma's subsequent international
On September 20, two days
before Marchuk's removal, the Russian state television channel RTR aired a
program that was critical of Marchuk. Coincidentally, the RTR program
focused on the very same two accusations that Kuchma laid out when he
removed Marchuk. On the same day as the RTR program, the Presidential
Administration sent a temnyk (secret instruction) to television stations
that also repeated the two accusations made in the RTR report (Ukrayinska
pravda, September 22).
Accusation one claimed that
Marchuk had no right to authorize the use of Ukrainian military
helicopters in Turkey. One of these aircraft crashed on September 3 while
extinguishing a fire. Accusation two claimed that Marchuk was sabotaging
efforts to de-commission military rockets (Ukrayinska pravda, September
One day later, and thus one
day before Marchuk's dismissal, the head of the Presidential
Administration, Viktor Medvedchuk, visited Moscow where he met his Russian
counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev (1+1 TV, September 21). The topic of their
discussions was not publicly revealed, but the meeting's importance could
be gauged from the fact that Medvedchuk met Putin
Writing in Ukrayinska pravda
on September 21, Oleksandr Palij found it incredulous that a foreign
country (i.e. Russia) was deciding cadre policy in an independent state
(i.e. Ukraine). This he blamed upon Medvedchuk, through his personal links
to the Russian presidential administration and his control over the
Ukrainian prosecutor-general's office. Since Medvedchuk became head of the
Presidential Administration in May 2002, he has also taken over the
management of Ukrainian security policy from the Ministries of Defense and
Foreign Affairs. This change has led to a progressive "Russianization" of
Ukrainian security policy.
Ironically, Marchuk learned
of the accusations made by the prosecutor-general's office from television
(UNIAN, September 21). He described the accusations as a "character
assassination." The practice of sending helicopters to other countries on
contract work had begun under his predecessor, Defense Minister Oleksandr
Kuzmuk. Marchuk confidently quoted his lawyers' opinion that he had not
infringed Ukrainian legislation.
It is difficult to argue
that Marchuk was dismissed because he was an ineffective Defense Minister.
NATO has been very complimentary about his work in this role. Ironically,
on Tuesday (September 21) the head of NATO's military committee, Harald
Kujat, was in Kyiv. After a meeting with Ukrainian defense officials, he
was quoted as praising progress in Ukraine's military reform and said that
the long-term plan for reform is "quite healthy" (Interfax-AVN, September
21). All of the participants in the meetings echoed these sentiments and
the new transparency, "openness, and sincerity" with which Ukraine made
its report on military reform. Marchuk fulfilled the military component of
the yearly NATO-Ukraine Action Plans, which was not the case with the
Two other factors explain
Marchuk's dismissal. First, Ukraine's security policy increasingly
resembles that of Russia. This process began after the Kuchmagate crisis
but sped up after Viktor Yanukovych became Prime Minister in November
2002. Until 2001-2004, Ukraine's security policy was cardinally different
from Russia's in that it sought EU and NATO membership. The Ukrainian
Foreign Ministry defined the policy as "Integration with Europe,
Cooperation with the CIS." Russia, however, has never sought membership in
these two structures. Since Kuchmagate and Yanukovych's appointment as
prime minister, both Russian and Ukrainian security policy can accurately
be described as "Cooperation with Europe, Integration with the
As secretary of the National
Security and Defense Council, Marchuk was instrumental in May 2002 in
lobbying Ukraine to adopt NATO membership as a goal. This ambition,
together with EU membership, was included in the new military doctrine
adopted in mid-June.
After failing to obtain a
Membership Action Plan (MAP) at NATO's Istanbul summit on June 30, Kuchma
issued a decree that removed these objectives from the doctrine
(president.gov.ua, July 15). NATO had refused to offer Ukraine a MAP until
after the October presidential elections.
One of the main reasons why
Ukrainian security policy is increasingly resembling Russia's is that the
Kuchma camp is aghast at repeated Western demands for democratization and
free elections in Ukraine. If Ukraine does not seek membership in the EU
and NATO -- like Russia -- then such Western demands will be fewer, Kuchma
and Yanukovych apparently believe.
Second, there was a need to
remove Marchuk and replace him with somebody loyal to Medvedchuk,
personnel changes that have already been implemented in the Interior
Ministry (MVS) and Security Service (SBU). Control over the armed forces
is important for two reasons connected to next month's elections. First,
Marchuk is on record as refusing to allow the Yanukovych camp to
manipulate voting within the armed forces, as was widespread in the 2002
parliamentary elections. Control over the armed forces is also important
should the government need to declare a state of emergency or to deal with
Georgian-style civic unrest after the elections. On August 22 a joint
statement by the MVS, SBU, and prosecutor-general's office warned the
opposition against "provocations." In an address to a MVS Internal Troops
spetsnaz unit in the Crimea, President Kuchma threatened the opposition
with unspecified measures for plotting to come to power in a "revolution"
during the ongoing election campaign (Ukrayinska pravda, September
The joint statement and
Kuchma's speech were both written by the Ukrainian Presidential
Administration, which has now cooperated with Russia to remove
|Desperation evident within Yanukovych campaign||TOP|
Desperation evident within Yanukovych
Tension builds as Ukrainian presidential election enters homestretch
On the eve of the October 31
Ukrainian presidential elections, the political situation in the country
may be spiraling out of control. President Leonid Kuchma cancelled a
one-day visit to Poland last weekend, blaming the "complicated internal
situation in Ukraine." On October 25 he again attacked the opposition for
their campaign activities, while staying conspicuously silent about
massive election violations (Ukrayinska pravda, October
The authorities believed
that by September the election momentum would have shifted in their favor.
Instead, challenger Viktor Yushchenko's lead over Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych has continued to grow, causing panic in the Kuchma
The government doubled
pensions to $53 per month (285 hryvnia), at a cost of an additional 1.1
billion hryvnia ($206 million). The move drove inflation up from 6.3% to
9%, created gasoline shortages, and triggered a rush on the hryvnia.
Ukraine's National Bank, headed by Yanukovych's campaign manager Serhiy
Tyhipko, had to tap its foreign currency reserves to keep the hryvnia
stable. Interest rates are also set to go up. Still, Yanukovych has
persisted in trying to induce voters, offering interest-free loans for
property purchases and free cars for pensioners.
Doubling pensions and two
new policy initiatives (making Russian an official language and allowing
dual citizenship) brought Yanukovych an additional 10-15% in the ratings,
primarily from Communist supporters. However, Communist voters did not
stay with Yanukovych long. A Razumkov Center poll found that 62% of
respondents in eastern Ukraine and 74-76% in other regions believe that
the pension increase was a pre-election ploy to raise Yanukovych's
popularity (Ukrayinska pravda, October 26).
Communist Party candidate
Petro Symonenko continues to lead in two oblasts where Yanukovych must win
to enter round two of the elections. Worse still for Yanukovych, in
Luhansk oblast, which together with Donetsk makes up his Donbas power
base, coal miners are on strike demanding the payment of wage
Public rallies are becoming
more tenuous as the campaign winds up. Although President Kuchma had
admitted that "provocations" would take place, he called upon law
enforcement to "not react to provocations" (Ukrayinska pravda, October
25). In reality, law enforcement have been directly involved in
"provocations" throughout the campaign.
On October 23 a rally in
support of Yushchenko that ended outside the Central Election Commission
(CEC) attracted 100,000 people, despite numerous obstacles used to block
his supporters from traveling to Kyiv. That evening 200 demonstrators
remained outside the CEC to support the opposition members inside, who
were attempting to prevent the creation of further election stations in
Russia, which they fear will be fraudulently used by Russia on behalf of
One hundred plain clothes
"demonstrators" attacked the remaining opposition protestors that night.
They were brought to the CEC by a spetsnaz unit (Tytan) within the
Interior Ministry. Two of the "demonstrators" were later detained by the
opposition, after they were discovered to have identity cards showing them
to be Interior Ministry captains, suggesting the collusion of law
enforcement with Yanukovych's campaign (Financial Times, October
Despite widespread arrests
and intimidation of opposition and youth NGOs, these groups are fighting
back. A student rally on October 16 in Kyiv attracted 25,000 in support of
Yushchenko. In Lviv, 2,000 picketed the Interior Ministry and State
Administration to protest repression of youth groups and 10,000 attended a
Lviv rally on October 26 in protest at the arrest of youth activists.
Whenever police have attempted to enter student facilities without
warrants, they have been refused entry, such as at Kyiv Mohyla
The authorities have begun
to reveal their growing panic in four ways.
First, local authorities
have attempted to block Yushchenko's campaign tour of southern and eastern
Ukraine. In Kirovohrad a temporary zoo was even installed on the square
where he was meant to speak. Other cities have refused to let his plane
land in their jurisdictions.
Second, the authorities are
beginning to realize that only Yushchenko can bring out large crowds. A
pro-Yanukovych rally in Kyiv providing free alcohol still only attracted
Yushchenko and Socialist
leader Oleksandr Moroz have called upon their supporters to picket the CEC
and regional election commissions on election night to prevent fraud.
After Saturday's rally the authorities began building a fence around the
CEC. In response, the Socialist Party issued a statement that said, "The
authorities are scaring us with a 'Georgian scenario' when they themselves
are developing a 'Belarusian scenario' " (Ukrayinska pravda, October
Third, members of the
pro-presidential camp who are neutral between Yushchenko and Yanukovych
have fallen under suspicion. Both parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn
and former presidential adviser Oleksandr Volkov have recently complained
that the Security Service is following their movements. Both Lytvyn and
Volkov have warned of dire consequences if they or their families, who are
also under surveillance, are harmed. Former Interior Minister Yuriy
Krawchenko, who was dismissed in February 2001 because of his involvement
in the murder of opposition journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, has fled with his
family to Russia because of fears he might become a scapegoat to deflect
blame from Kuchma.
independent media outlets have come under assault. Both Channel 5, linked
to Our Ukraine businessman Petro Poroshenko, and Era TV, linked to
Dnipropetrovsk oligarch Andrei Derkach, have been threatened with closure.
The reason is their objective coverage of the elections: the authorities
fear that they will provide uncensored news on election day. Reporters
Without Frontiers ranked Ukraine 138th in its just-released Press Freedom
Index, the lowest in Europe apart from Russia which is 140th
It is little surprise that
tension is running very high. On October 14, the head of Yushchenko's
election campaign, Oleksandr Zinchenko, sent an open letter to the
National Security and Defense Council outlining how the authorities,
through their election violations, are threatening national security
(razom.org.ua). Our Ukraine also issued a statement outlining its fears of
the violent measures that the authorities were planning on election day to
forestall an opposition victory (Ukrayinska pravda, October
|Kyiv Mohyla Academy students show their solidarity [Ukrainian
From: Roman Senkus <email@example.com>
|Lyst solidarnosty do ukrajinskoho suspilstva
Open letter to the members of Ukrainian society, from Polish citizens [Ukrainian & Polish text]
From: Aleksandra Hnatiuk <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lyst solidarnosty do
ukrajinskoho suspilstwa, pid jakym pidpysalosia ponad 500 osib, w tomu
czysli - predstawnyky intelektualnoji ta politycznoji
Click here to read: Open letter to the members
of Ukrainian society
|Ukraine and China unassailable? (Chess Olympiad in Mallorca)||TOP|
Calvià: Ukraine and China unassailable?
24.10.2004 After nine rounds of the Chess Olympiad everything looks
like a start-to-finish victory for Ukraine in the men's section and for
the Chinese women, who are six points ahead of their nearest rivals. From
Calvià on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca we bring you games, results
and a spectacular pictorial report.
Men's Group: In round nine Ukraine tied with Armenia 2:2. Spain A got
slaughtered ½:2½ by the USA, with Shirov, Vallejo and Arizmendi lost to
Onischuk, Shabalov and Kaidanov respectively. India lost 1½:2½ to Russia,
with Anand beating Morozevich but Harikrishna and Ganguly losing to Dreev
and Zvjaginsev. Here are the full results of round seven.
Women's Group: China continued its rampage with a 3:0 victory over
Lithuania, Russia and Hungary played 1½:1½, the USA Dream Team beat Poland
2:1 (with Susan Polgar beating Radziewicz), while India did the same with
Ukraine (Humpy beat Zhukova). Full results of round seven.
Here are all the individual results of all rounds
Chess Olympiad 2004 Men's section
Panel of experts pick Ukrainian Brut as best sparkling
Canada, October 19, 2004.
sparkling wine (vintage 1998), from Ukraine, has just won the Gold
Medal in the International Wine Competition for the Ottawa Wine and Food
Show. Krimsekt White Brut was judged to be the best sparkling wine by a
panel of 30 experienced wine judges chaired by Michael Botner, a
well-known wine writer and critic for Wine Access magazine. The sparkling
wine category encompasses bubblies from all countries and regions of the
world (apart from the Champagne region of France).
The competition took place
on Saturday, October 9 in Ottawa, the national capital of Canada. The
award-winning wines, including Krimsekt, will be available for tasting at
the Ottawa Wine and Food Show (November 5, 6 and 7, 2004, at the Ottawa
Congress Centre). The Ottawa Food and Wine show is considered within the
industry to be among the most prestigious in Canada.
John Vellinga CEO of
Multiculture Bevco (Krimsekt's Canadian distributor), was extremely
pleased, but not completely surprised with the result. "It is our mission
to bring the best of Ukraine to the rest of the world", said Vellinga.
"Krimsekt is, by far, the best bubbly from the region, and one of the
finest in the world. This award reinforces our own opinions and experience
with this great product".
Krimsekt sparkling wines are
made in the champagne method. They are double fermented for three years to
create natural carbonation, hand riddled and crafted with the same
meticulous techniques as the great champagne houses of
The Krimsekt winery was
founded 54 years ago and is one of the only wineries in the world located
entirely underground: in a vast 25 hectare complex of deep caves and
cellars which was once a gypsum mine. Just like the chalk caves of
Champagne, these deep caverns keep temperature and humidity perfect for
producing and cellaring champagne-method wines year-round.
be proud that a product of such caliber hails from their homeland", adds
Victor Koszarny, National Sales Director for the company and a
Ukrainian-Canadian himself. "We have been assembling a suite of products
from Ukraine in cooperation with the LCBO, which are among the very best
in the world. Our beers have been extremely popular, our vodkas have
received rave advance reviews and it is deeply satisfying that Krimsekt is
now getting the recognition that it deserves".
German-Canadians are another
group of that are excited to have Krimsekt available. Germany is the
number one export market for Krimsekt and millions of bottles are consumed
by Germans every year. Many German-Canadians remember Krimsekt from their
visits or when they lived in Germany.
"German-Canadians have been
ringing our phones off the hook", said Oliver Dawson, Marketing Consultant
for the company and a Canadian of German descent. "They are among the few
North Americans that understand the superb quality of Krimsekt and call us
up delighted to find that they can now get it in Canada. In fact, the
wine's popularity among Germans explains its name. 'Krim' meaning
'Crimean' and 'sekt' meaning 'sparkling wine', in German".
Krimsekt is available as a
regular listing at select SLGA stores in Saskatchewan, at finer liquor
stores in Alberta. "We knew that we had a real winner on our hands when
the SLGA listed the product and when such fine wine stores as Willow Park
and Eau Claire (in Alberta) chose to sell Krimsekt", boasts
Krimsekt is not yet on the
shelf at the LCBO, but is available in Ontario through the private
ordering program. "We hope to get Krimsekt listed at the LCBO, but in the
meantime, people can still get it by the case of 6 though special order.
It makes a great Christmas or hostess gift, so getting six bottles at a
time is a good idea", said Koszarny. To make a private order, Ontario
residents need to contact the company directly at (800) 867-5978 (ext 5).
Customers can have Krimsekt delivered to an LCBO store near them. The
whole process takes only two or three weeks, but is worth the wait. A web
site also offers more information at http://www.krimsekt.ca/.
Multiculture Bevco also
imports other superb quality products from Ukraine including Slavutich and
Lvivske beers, which are currently available at the LCBO. The company is
also introducing two vodkas at the LCBO and across Canada and the US:
Slava Ultra-Premium, a four-times distilled luxury vodka that is due on
LCBO shelves in early December, and; Zirkova, a premium Ukrainian vodka
which will be available in LCBO stores in March of 2005.
Vellinga concluded by
saying, "As with our other 'best of Ukraine' products, Krimsekt is a key
part of our mission. We want everyone to experience the great things that
Ukraine has to offer and Krimsekt is obviously one of
Ukrainian heart girl back for more surgery
By KATE DUBINSKI, EDMONTON SUN
A 10-year-old Ukrainian girl was on her way back to Edmonton yesterday to prepare for heart surgery after an infection in her home country led to congestive heart failure. Oksana Oliynyk was born with a hole in her heart, and came to Edmonton in 2002 to have two valves replaced and one repaired.
"God, that's one little angel. Everyone who sees her falls in love with her," said Anne Munguia, who will host Oksana and her mother before the Oct. 22 surgery.
"She left here (in 2002) looking so good. But what can you do with medicine in a Third World country," said Munguia.
Oksana was brought over to Canada by Medical Mercy Canada in February 2002 after a Calgary-area nurse met the young girl on a medical mission to Ukraine. She went home but is now back in Canada for more surgery. She was being driven by her Calgary caregivers to Edmonton last night.
Pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Ivan Rebeyka, along with specialists in anesthesia, cardiology and pediatric intensive care, donated their time at the Stollery Children's Hospital to repair Oksana's heart .
Munguia, who speaks Ukrainian and works in the health-care field, hosted the girl and her mother the last time she was in Edmonton.
But organizers of her care fear the little girl could be sent back to the Ukraine without proper treatment after the surgery because her visa expires Dec. 1.
She will need at least eight weeks of post-operative care.
"It's very sad. We
don't want her to go back too soon. We're going to make sure her
convalescence is good," Munguia said.
From Our Mailbag!
The Ukrainian section of RCI
has recently run a series of three broadcasts in partnership with
Ukraine's state radio service, the National Radio Company of Ukraine -
I am very disappointed that
RCI has decided to work hand-in-hand with a mouthpiece of a murderous and
corrupt government, who as I type, is doing all it can, using all the
resources of state to subvert, falsify , and suppress a supposedly
democratic election campaign.
Is RCI, who I though t was
supposed to be a neutral organization, siding with the oppressive Kuchma
government and his minions in indirectly crushing a democratic election by
its partnership with the state-controlled broadcasting
There is a great difference
with RCI valid activities of reporting both sides of this tragic and
complicated election campaign, and actually working hand-in-glove with
this murderous government's broadcasting service, where the three
program's absence of any political exchange is glaringly absent. Seconds
prior to the first partnership program, your host mentioned the election
turmoil while visiting Ukraine - ironically only to have them completely
ignored during that actual partnership program.
Typical of former-Soviet
broadcasting, the state radio service avoids any critical mention of the
government's activities, keeping their own citizens ignorant of the tragic
events unfolding. RCI's partnership with these three programs fitted well
their policy - they must be rolling in the aisles laughing at our naivety.
As I listened to these three programs, I was sarcastically expecting at
any moment to hear a long list of statistics as per Soviet-type reporting
on the tonnage of wheat harvested, tonnage of this, tonnage of that,
tonnage mined, etc ., and how well everything is rosy-pink.
What is painfully ironic
with this partnership project with Ukraine's state radio is that it is one
of the only radio stations that actually uses the state's official
national language, Ukrainian - the rest being mostly in
May I remind you, even
Canada's ambassador to Ukraine recently, acting on our government's
instructions, criticized irregularities in the election campaign - I'm
sure with your massive resources via CBC-Radio-Canada you can verify
Sunday's third program of
the series dealt with Canada/Ukraine military partnership, with heavy
emphasis on language courses offered to Ukrainian military officers in
Canada. I sincerely hope that these same military colonels that were
interviewed by your correspondent in this sugar-coated report are not the
same ones who give the orders to shoot protesters during next week's
election - Ukraine's police has already showed its true colours by
massively interfering in the election process.
My comments are not to
criticize the efforts of your hard-pressed correspondent, who I'm sure
mounted this project out of good will and no doubt hard work. I am amazed,
to RCI and the government's shame, that your correspondents have so few
resources to work with - many programs-reports being produced seem to
occur while staff is traveling on vacation, for example.
Barring this indiscretion,
RCI's Ukrainian section is doing wonders, and I also demand that RCI
INCREASE its Ukrainian section, both in time of broadcasting and real
resources to properly do their job. Ukraine is a critical country and at a
critical crossroads in the continuing evolution of post-USSR politics,
which is rapidly sliding down a slippery slope with a Russian-Putin
dictatorship in the making, dragging Ukraine along.
If RCI through Heritage
Canada doesn't have the enlightened foresight to understand this, perhaps
funding should be sought through External Affairs or another ministry more
competent to express Canada's view concerning this part of the
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