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UKRAINE NEWS Translation for 140 languages by ALS

An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article

The Orange Revolution parties, mired in infighting, reached an impasse with
pro-Russia Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, spurring emergency elections.
By Fred Weir, Correspondent, The Christian Science Monitor
Boston, Massachusetts, Friday, September 28, 2007
Similar to the red-blue political split in the US, it has brought the
government to a standstill - forcing emergency elections Sunday.
By Fred Weir, Correspondent, The Christian Science Monitor
Boston, Massachusetts, Friday, September 28, 2007


Vakarchuk defends Orange Revolution ideals, asks people to be patient
Kostis Geropoulos, New Europe Issue 749
Brussels, Belgium, Wed, 26 September 2007

Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, September 27, 2007

By Ron Popeski, Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu Sep 27, 2007

Daniel McLaughlin in Lviv, Ukraine, Irish Times
Dublin, Ireland, Irish Times, Thursday, Sep 27, 2007

Country faces enormous economic challenges as it heads to the polls.
Commentary: By Bruce P. Jackson, The Daily Standard
Washington, D.C. Thursday, September 27, 2007

By Roman Olearchyk and Stefan Wagstyl, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, September 27, 2007

Analysis: By Jim Davis, Business Ukraine magazine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 24, 2007

By Conor Humphries, Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, September 27, 2007

Commentary: Peter Dickinson, Business Ukraine magazine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 24, 2007

Associated Press (AP), Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Sep 27 2007

By Jan Maksymiuk, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, September 27, 2007

Feature: Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, 27 September 2007

'September 30 Elections Vital to Advancing Democracy'
U.S. Helsinki Commission, Washington, D.C., Mon, Sep 24, 2007


October 16-17, 2007, Ronald Reagan Building, Washington, DC
Steering Committee, Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood
Roundtable VIII, Ukraine-EU Relations,
New York, New York, Friday, September 28, 2007

Europarl.europa.eu, Brussels, Belgium, Thu, 27 Sep 2007

Ukrainians can expect the discord to continue
By Jan Maksymiuk, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, September 27, 2007

Briefing: Oxford Business Group, London, UK, Tue, 25 Sep 2007

Analysis & Commentary: By Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, September 27, 2007
Analysis: By Yaroslav Varyvoda, UCIPR project expert
"Civic Education in the 2007 Parliamentary Elections".
Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007
By Sebastian Smith, Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday September 27, 2007
Commentary: Andrei Levkin, Polit.ru, Moscow, Russia, Thu, Sep 27, 2007
Real test for Ukraine's warring parties will come after this weekend's election
The Economist print edition, London, UK, Thu, Sep 27, 2007
Commentary: Samuel Charap, International Herald Tribune (IHT)
Paris, France, Thursday, September 27, 2007
Political problems run deeper than another set of elections can possibly fix.
Analysis and Commentary: by Ivan Lozowy, Transitions Online (TOL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, 26 September 2007
Ukrainian novelist Andrey Kurkov discusses the early parliamentary
election on Sunday, the unfulfilled promise of the Orange Revolution
and the real powerbrokers in Ukraine.
Opinion: By Andrey Kurkov, Ukrainian Novelist
Der Spiegel Online magazine, Germany, Thu, Sep 27, 2007

By Stefan Korshak, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)
Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 26, 2007
The Orange Revolution parties, mired in infighting, reached an impasse with
pro-Russia Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, spurring emergency elections.

By Fred Weir, Correspondent, The Christian Science Monitor
Boston, Massachusetts, Friday, September 28, 2007

LVOV, Ukraine - A little thrill swept through the thousands assembled on
Lvov's main square when Yulia Tymoshenko, dressed in a flowing pink robe
and her hair in her trademark peasant braids, took the stage.

To warm up, the heroine of the 2004 "Orange Revolution" sang a patriotic
song with one of the country's top rock groups.

Then she launched into a passionate, 85-minute speech to convince skeptics
that Ukraine remains on the path to democracy and integration with the West,
despite the past three years of debilitating political crisis.

A victory for her Fatherland Party (BYuT) in this Sunday's emergency
parliamentary elections could bring a breakthrough, she insisted. "I will do
what needs to be done, I promise you that," she said, to scattered applause.

Ms. Tymoshenko is not alone in billing this campaign as a battle for
Ukraine's soul, between the Western-leaning Orange parties led by herself
and President Viktor Yushchenko, and the pro-Russian "Blue" Party of
Regions headed by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich.

But some voters say they're exhausted, and increasingly skeptical, because
this is Ukraine's fourth election in less than three years, and most surveys
suggest the lineup in the 450-seat Supreme Rada is unlikely to change.

"It's impossible not to feel disillusioned," says Nikolai Zhupylo, a social
psychologist with the independent Socionika Center in Lvov. "There is a
growing part of the population that will never again be interested in
politics. Now people are more concerned with solving their own personal

All surveys taken in early September, before a ban on publishing preelection
polls came into effect, put Mr. Yanukovich's party in the lead with about a
third of the votes.

Tymoshenko's BYuT comes second with up to 23 percent, while Mr.
Yushchenko's Our Ukraine coalition trails with under 15 percent. Of 20 or
so small parties in the running, only the Communists appear poised to hurdle
the 3 percent barrier for winning seats in the Rada.
Recent elections in Ukraine have been deemed clean and fair by international
observers, but concern about voter fraud - thought to have been banished by
the pro-democracy Orange Revolution - have resurfaced during the current

Under Ukraine's election system, voters cast their ballots for a national
party rather than a locally-based candidate. Thus, authorities in the
heavily Orange west and Blue east have inducements to maximize their party's
showing by any means possible.

"Half of Ukraine supports Orange, and the other half Blue, so a tiny
additional margin added by cheating could make all the difference," says
Roman Koshovi, Lvov chairman of the Committee of Ukrainian Voters, an
independent monitoring group. "The temptation to fix some ballots will be
very strong on all sides."

Last week Ukraine's SBU security service, which is controlled by Yushchenko,
accused regional authorities in the eastern region of Kharkov of registering
almost 100,000 nonexistent persons on the voter rolls.

Tymoshenko has alleged that recent amendments to election laws introduced by
Yanukovich's government could deprive more than 1 million Ukrainians of
their right to vote and enable corrupt local authorities to stuff ballot
boxes. "Ukraine is again facing the threat of massive falsification," she

All three big political parties are already pitching tents and positioning
supporters on Kiev's central Maidan square - where the Orange Revolution
unfolded - in order to launch mass protests if Sunday's results show any
suspicious gains for either side.

To avoid such turmoil, Ukraine's nongovernmental groups intend to carry out
four separate nationwide exit polls, and the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe has sent 600 election observers to monitor the
Many Ukrainians blame Yushchenko for fumbling the opportunity handed to him
by the Orange Revolution, which vaulted him into power with a mandate to
introduce sweeping market reforms, take Ukraine into NATO and prepare it for
eventual membership in the European Union.

Instead, the Orange coalition dissolved as Yushchenko quarrelled with, then
fired, Prime Minister Tymoshenko. Parliamentary polls last year brought
Yanukovich back as president. Most of the time since has been consumed with
infighting between president and parliament.

Though Ukraine's economy boasts an estimated growth rate of 7 percent this
year, reforms are on hold pending resolution of the political deadlock.

A recent survey by the Kiev-based Institute of Social and Political
Psychology found that corruption is rampant, with over half of Ukrainians
reporting that they regularly pay bribes to officials to get things done.

"A lot of public money is supposedly directed at fixing up this city's
infrastructure, but the results suggest that much of that money just goes
missing," says Igor Gulik, editor of the liberal daily Lvivskaya Gazeta in
If the Orange and Blue forces are evenly matched, experts say, much will
depend on the ability of the fiery Orange populist, Tymoshenko, to cobble
together a large enough parliamentary coalition to become prime minister; if
not, the pro-Moscow technocrat Yanukovich is likely to return.

Both rivals of Yushchenko, Tymoshenko and Yanukovich are already angling
for the main prize: to unseat him when the next presidential polls roll
around in 2009. Some experts suggest that it might be better to get that over
with sooner.

"I don't see the outcome of these elections solving Ukraine's crisis of
power," says Anatoly Romaniuk, a political scientist at Ivan Franko
University in Lvov. "If the crisis deepens, it will push Ukraine toward
early presidential elections, and that might provide a clear resolution and
a way forward."
LINK: http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0928/p04s01-woeu.html
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Similar to the red-blue political split in the US, it has brought the
government to a standstill - forcing emergency elections Sunday.

By Fred Weir, Correspondent, The Christian Science Monitor
Boston, Massachusetts, Friday, September 28, 2007

It's similar to the red-blue political divide in America - except it's
orange-blue. And there's a much longer history behind it.

Ukraine's bitter west-east schism is reflected in the political deadlock
between its "Orange" and Blue parties that has nearly paralyzed the state
for the past year.

As the country of 50 million heads into parliamentary elections Sunday
intended to break the stalemate, the two sides remain separated by language,
religious traditions, societal histories, and geopolitical preferences. Some
analysts suggest that, given such divisions, political standoffs could
perpetually reoccur.

According to the independent Kiev International Institute of Sociology,
people in Ukraine's eight western provinces, who make up about a quarter of
the electorate, are eight times more likely to vote for the "Orange" parties
headed by President Viktor Yushchenko and former Prime Minister Yulia
Tymoshenko, which stand for integrating with the European Union, joining
NATO, and keeping Moscow at a distance.

In the three eastern provinces, also containing a quarter of the electorate,
people are eight times more likely to vote for the "Blue" Party of Regions,
headed by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, which wants to make Russian
the second official language, forge closer economic ties with Russia and
stay out of NATO.

"The electoral forces supporting the two sides are almost equal, ensuring
that any parliamentary majority will be small and fragile," says Oleksander
Shushko, an analyst with the independent Institute for Euro-Atlantic
Integration in Kiev.

"These deep divisions in the country ensure that the political standoff will
keep returning, and the best way to deal with it is to hold more elections."
The western part of Ukraine, known as Galicia, was part of the Catholic
states of Austria-Hungary and Poland for hundreds of years before Soviet
dictator Joseph Stalin forcibly annexed it to the Soviet Union after World
War II. Decades of brutal Soviet repression have left powerful anticommunist
and anti-Russian feelings that still linger here.

Oleksandr Gumeniuk is a veteran of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which
fought a desperate guerrilla war against Soviet forces in the forested
Carpathian mountains near here - with covert help from the US - for more
than 10 years after the end of World War II.

Though the USSR vanished 16 years ago, Mr. Gumeniuk and a dwindling
handful of survivors from that shadowy conflict remain one of the most
explosive issues on a list of flashpoints that profoundly divide Ukrainians
and have kept the country in a state of rolling political crisis for the
past several years.

While many here in the Ukrainian-speaking, nationalist west think the
anti-Soviet veterans should be given military pensions and treated as
Ukrainian patriots, their demands provoke fury in the heavily Russified east
of Ukraine, where most accepted Soviet rule and millions served in the Red

"Ukrainian independence today is a direct consequence of our struggle," says
Gumeniuk, head of a local veterans' group, who was captured by the Soviet
secret police and spent 12 years in a Siberian prison camp after the war.
"We just want to be recognized. History should record that we fought for
Ukraine's freedom."

Three years ago, when news came that then-presidential candidate Mr.
Yanukovich of the Blue side may have stolen the election from the Orange
champion Viktor Yushchenko, thousands of people in Lvov boarded buses and
headed for the capital, Kiev, to protest.

"I was one of the first to arrive in Kiev, and the streets were already full
of people passionately supporting Yushchenko," says Anatoly Romaniuk, a
political scientist at Ivan Franko University in Lvov. "For many of us, it
was the moment when we would finally begin to build a truly independent and
democratic Ukraine."

The Greek-Catholic Church, an amalgam of Orthodox rites and Catholic dogma
that was banned during Soviet times has since revived, now holding the
allegiance of more than half of religious believers in western Ukraine, says
Andriy Yurash, a religion specialist at Lvov State University.

Along with two Ukraine-based Orthodox sects, the Greek-Catholic Church came
out in full support of the Orange Revolution. "During the Orange Revolution
the church held daily services in the main square of Lvov to pray for its
success," says Mr. Yurash.

In Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, the predominant Russian Orthodox
Church, which is led by the patriarch in Moscow, opposed the Orange
Revolution and has given its official blessing to Yanukovich in the current

"It is gradually becoming clear to us that this split between east and west
Ukraine has very deep civilizational roots and will not be easily overcome -
if ever," says Yurash.

Though Mr. Yushchenko was vaulted into the presidency in fresh elections
following the Orange Revolution, the hope that he might find ways to heal
Ukraine's divisions has fizzled out amid squabbling in the Orange camp and
persistent political crisis.

Following parliamentary polls last year, Yanukovich's party came roaring
back with a plurality of the Supreme Rada's 450 seats and, after a lengthy
Blue versus Orange struggle, a dispirited Yushchenko was compelled to name
Yanukovich prime minister. Opinion surveys suggest the current elections may
do little more than reproduce the same lineup.

Some experts fear popular exhaustion with democracy may play into the hands
of extremists, such as the radical nationalist Svoboda party, whose support
is growing rapidly around Lvov, or the old-line Communist Party, which is
still strong in the east.

Ruslan Koshulinsky, Svoboda's deputy chairman, says people in Lvov
increasingly want to see the half-hearted measures of Yushchenko and
Tymoshenko swept aside.

"In a spiritual sense, we are still under Russian occupation," he says. "We
respect freedom, but steps must be taken to unite the [Ukrainian] ethos, or
we will never be independent."

But, surprisingly, some of the toughest characters from Ukraine's tragic
past insist that the only route to salvation lies through compromise and

"In other parts of Europe people who were on opposite sides of the
barricades in civil conflicts have long since shaken hands and moved on,"
says Gumeniuk. "When is it going to happen here?"
LINK: http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0928/p04s02-woeu.html?page=1
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Vakarchuk defends Orange Revolution ideals, asks people to be patient

Kostis Geropoulos, New Europe Issue 749
Brussels, Belgium, Wed, 26 September 2007

As tired Ukrainians voters go to the polls on September 30 for the fourth
time in three years, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, front singer of the Ukrainian
band Okean Elzy, who is also on the list of Our Ukraine bloc (Nasha
Ukrayina), told New Europe "the main task of Ukraine is to unite everybody
no matter what the colour of flag they have" to avoid another political
stalemate after the parliamentary election.

What Ukraine needs is young blood in politics, he said. "In the nearest past
we saw that some political leaders do not treat agreements between different
parties as something saint. Today they sign it, tomorrow they resign, after
that the sign it one more time.

"That is the morality of the politicians and it's not a problem of one
party; it's a problem of this generation of politicians," he said in Athens
on September 24, the first stop of his musical tour titled "Ya yidu do domu"
(I'm going home).

"At this time I don't see a great difference between politicians in all the
political camps. And that's why our task is to take to the politics new
coming leaders who will solve this problem and unite all the people no
matter on what language they speak, no matter on what church they go, no
matter what historical past they had. We are all Ukrainians and we need to
be united," Vakarchuk said.

The leading band singer and ardent 'Orange' supporter was one of the first
people to gather with thousands of young Ukrainians in Kiev's Maidan Square
during the 2004 Orange Revolution.

Despite the mistakes of 'Orange' teams and people's disappointment in the
following years, Vakarchuk defended the ideals of the Orange Revolution.

"The lessons of history teach us the revolutions never yield immediate
results. We have many, many examples where at first the revolutions were
treated by people as a panacea for all problems but then came some

"It was the same in Ukraine with the Orange revolution. Certainly your
demands for the revolution are very high and then, if it doesn't work out,
you are disappointed, but what I think is that in spite of this
disappointment, we have done a great job because the mentality begun to
change. Before that we were a typical post-Soviet society.

"That was a society partly breaking the rules of the Soviet country, but not
breaking the Soviet mood. And after the Orange Revolution, people began to
understand that from this time they were the masters of their future and
that is very, very important and that may be the main goal of the

"Talking about political and economic changes, they certainly don't come
immediately after the revolution," Vakarchuk said.

"Now we have this unstable situation. That is why we have different
elections because there is internal fight in Ukraine for the future."

The Okean Elzy singer laughed when New Europe pointed out that during a
July journalists' trip to Ukraine a 75-year-old woman, Maria Tsymbal, in the
village of Viktorivka, said she would vote for the Yulia Timoshenko bloc
because of its leader's notorious hairstyle.

"Yes, people like leaders. It's normal for every country," he said. "But the
problem is that sometimes the parties give you the same things in their
programmes. The problem is not that people don't know the content of these
problems, the problem is this content is the same."

He said that Regions Party, Yulia Timoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine block, are
more-or-less centrist parties with left or right leaning tendencies. He said
that unlike Europe there is also a second dimension in addition to right or
left and that is pro-European or pro-Russian.

Vakarchuk said the party he supports, Our Ukraine, wants to build a strong
country that participates in European structures. He explained that while
most Ukrainians are familiar with the EU, they are confused over NATO.

"About the EU they are more certain. About NATO the situation is even funny
because if you ask them: 'Do you like NATO?' They say, 'no.' But if you ask
them: 'Do you like North Atlantic Treaty?' Sometimes they say, 'yes.'"

He said the issue of NATO in Ukraine is very complicated. "Firstly, there
were 50 years of Soviet propaganda. It's absolutely normal that for Soviet
people who were born at that time NATO was treated like an enemy.

"It was the same thing like for Americans when the Warsaw Treaty was treated
like an enemy. It is normal. But after 1991 what happened?

In some countries like the three Baltic countries or Central European
countries like Poland or the Czech Republic the propaganda stopped and
people were allowed to have a lot of information about then real situation
in the North Atlantic Treaty and that's why in some years after that they
managed to take the right decision," Vakarchuk explained.

"In our country we have lack of information about NATO. It doesn't matter if
the information negative or positive but there is a lack and people do not
know different things.

"Sometimes I have meetings with students...and I ask them a question: Do you
know if the NATO forces are present in Iraq or not? And 95 percent of
students with high education, they think that NATO is present in Iraq as an
organisation. Only five percent thinks that is not.

"And when I say to them that they are absolutely incorrect and only the
United States separately or British armies are present there and not NATO
they are very surprised.

"If students are surprised, imagine other people...We are not ready for a
professional discussion. We need to have much more time top learn about
NATO. But it is very strategic thing about Ukraine."

Regarding the EU, Vakarchuk told New Europe it is not as controversial from
the point of view of Ukrainian structure. "European Union is clear because
it is a union of economic and political union of western countries," he

He noted that joining the EU and NATO are fundamentals of Ukraine's foreign
policy. "This discussion needs to be treated as a civilisation choice.

"That's why I think the first problem for us is the problem of NATO and only
the second is the problem of the European Union because we are very far from
the European Union.

"I'm absolutely honest and clear about that and it's not a question of some
politicians from Europe like (EU External Relations Commissioner) Benita
Ferrero-Waldner or somebody else who need to say to us that it is an unreal

"We need to understand it ourselves...We are Europeans and that's why we
need to solve such unpleasant problems like visa problems," he said.

He lashed out at western embassies denying Ukrainians visas for convenient
excuse. "In our country some people are very angry about what some embassies
of European Union countries do, especially Schengen countries about visa.
Sometimes the behaviour of these embassies is not the behaviour of
partners," Vakarchuk said, adding that the EU should step up and solve this

He stressed that it is in the interest of the whole Europe to have a strong
Ukraine. "Europe must be interested in a strong Ukraine and if somebody is
not interested, it's because of internal European problems and when Europe
will be absolutely strong by itself, the next step will be to take Ukraine
in," he said.

Regarding relations with Russia, Vakarchuk said Moscow often tries to use
gas prices to influence Ukraine. "It concerns not only Ukraine, it concerns
all of Europe especially Eastern and Central Europe," he said.

"In the highest level, Russian politicians they don't accept the 100 percent
independence of Ukraine. They understand the political independence of
Ukraine because they understand that the time has come and we are a separate
country. But they do not want to accept the whole independence.

"That is why they try to influence us with economic rules, but the stronger
they do it, the stronger we become. I'm very happy that two years ago Russia
gave us market prices for the gas because the earlier they do it the earlier
we will become stronger and we manage to do something without these
dictations," he said.

The Okean Elzy lead singer downplayed concerns about divisions between
Ukraine's east and west. "We are an ethnical country," he said. "Other
problems are historical and maybe sometimes political but these problems can
be solved with the help of new leaders," he said.

And the Ukrainians are going to the polls this Sunday to do just that!
LINK: http://www.neurope.eu/articles/78121.php
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, September 27, 2007

KIEV, Ukraine - President Viktor Yushchenko and sometimes ally Yulia
Tymoshenko called for unity Thursday, staging a televised meeting just days
before Ukraine's crucial parliamentary elections.

The two politicians, who joined forces during the tumultuous 2004 Orange
Revolution, have repeatedly indicated they are trying to mend fences.

Top officials with their political parties had agreed that whichever of
their two parties won the most votes in Sunday's election would name the
prime minister.

In an apparent effort to woo liberal-leaning voters, Yushchenko warmly
greeted Tymoshenko and he tenderly kissed her hand in the televised meeting.
"We have only one option and that is forming a democratic coalition,"
Yushchenko said.

Polls have suggested a three-way split among the country's main parties,
raising the prospect of protracted coalition talks.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko, along with Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych,
are all calling for changes in the constitution to break the political

The pro-Western Yushchenko and the more Russian-leaning Yanukovych have
been wrestling for dominance since 2004, when Yushchenko led the Orange
Revolution - massive street protests denouncing fraud during the
presidential election in which Yanukovych was initially declared the winner.

The Supreme Court threw out the results, and Yushchenko won a rerun.
Tymoshenko became his prime minister until he fired her in 2005 amid
widespread disillusionment.

In March 2006, Yanukovych's party gained the most seats in parliamentary
elections, propelling him back into the prime minister's post and ushering
in a Cabinet that has opposed Yushchenko and brought forth the current
political paralysis.

Despite Thursday's meeting and their similar politics, it remains unclear
whether the fragile relationship between Yushchenko and Tymoshenko will

In a statement released earlier by Yushchenko's press service, he again
conjured the image of the Orange Revolution and the thousands of protesters
jamming Kiev's Independence Square in calling for solidarity with his former

"All the forces of democracy, including those that stood shoulder to
shoulder on Independence Square have drawn serious conclusions from
our most recent history," Yushchenko said according to the press service.

The task "we're faced with today is to send a clear signal to the people
that the democrats are ready to act together and to implement national
priorities together."
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Send in names and e-mail addresses for the AUR distribution list.

By Ron Popeski, Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu Sep 27, 2007

KIEV - President Viktor Yushchenko, newly reconciled with "Orange
Revolution" heroine Yulia Tymoshenko, embraced her on Thursday and urged
liberals to set aside past quarrels and unite to win a weekend parliamentary

The early election on Sunday is intended to end months of political deadlock
pitting Yushchenko against the rival he defeated in the 2004 upheaval, Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovich.

Yushchenko was shown on television embracing Tymoshenko, the prime minister
he sacked from his first "orange" government, and making it plain she could
return to office if voters returned an "orange" majority.

"We have only one option and that is forming a democratic coalition. Period.
And I mean period," Yushchenko said.

The "orange" camp, he said, had to "agree on an effective and fast policy
for people ... so that voters understand that victory would justify all
their expectations."

Hoarse and sporting her trademark braid, Tymoshenko looked moved. She
said the alliance was a logical step after the 2004 rallies when they stood
together in Kiev's Independence Square.

"What we started together in the square was only the beginning," she said.
"It is certain the democratic forces will win ... I support your thinking
300 percent."

Sunday's election is certain to produce a close finish and spawn long,
difficult negotiations to form a stable majority in the 450-seat assembly
able to form a government.

Polls put Yanukovich's Regions Party, its support based in Russian-speaking,
eastern Ukraine, in the lead with 30 percent support. His communist allies
are also likely to win seats.
But the combined tally of "orange" groups - Tymoshenko's bloc followed by
the pro-presidential Our Ukraine party - is right behind, backed in the
nationalist west and the centre.

No other group among 20 on the ballot is likely to clear 3 percent of the
popular vote to enter parliament. Some polls give an outside chance to a
bloc led by a centrist former parliamentary speaker, Volodymyr Lytvyn.

Yanukovich, blunt in addressing crowds, denounces Tymoshenko as reckless
while sparing the president from criticism.

On Wednesday, he told television viewers in eastern Ukraine: "Everything
that happened after the Orange Revolution has been a nightmare ... It is
clear to us that the orange hordes want once again to use their populism to
dupe the Ukrainian people."

Both Yanukovich and Tymoshenko plan mass rallies in central Kiev for Friday,
the final day of campaigning.

Yushchenko took office in early 2005 after mass pro-Western "orange"
protests helped overturn a rigged presidential poll initially won by
Yanukovich, backed at the time by Russia.

He appointed Tymoshenko prime minister and embarked on an ambitious plan to
move Ukraine closer to the West. But the two fell out and she was dismissed
within eight months.

Yanukovich rebounded to become prime minister after his party took first
place in last year's election, leaving advocates of the revolution divided
and disillusioned.

Yushchenko dissolved parliament and called the election after accusing
Yanukovich of an illegal power grab.

This campaign has removed nearly all distinctions of orientation towards
Moscow or the West. Both sides pledge to uphold national interests and boost
living standards.

Yanukovich, whose government presided over growth of 7.1 percent in 2006,
describes himself as pro-European.

Many analysts, remembering four months of coalition talks after last year's
election, suggest Yushchenko may opt for a "broad coalition" between Our
Ukraine and the prime minister's party to bridge Ukraine's east-west gap.

Tymoshenko denounces such a pact as "betrayal" and the president backed
away from the notion as the campaign closed.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Daniel McLaughlin in Lviv, Ukraine, Irish Times
Dublin, Ireland, Irish Times, Thursday, Sep 27, 2007

UKRAINE: Beneath the broad trees that line Lviv's main boulevard, the old
men played on, regardless. Nothing interrupted their chess or their
dominoes: not the falling chestnuts that bounced around them nor the sensory
bombardment of a Yulia Tymoshenko campaign rally.

At one end of the boulevard stands Lviv's grand opera house, at the other,
the square that was taken over yesterday by Tymoshenko's final appeal to
voters in her western Ukrainian stronghold to deliver victory in Sunday's
general election.

If the old men had looked up from their games, they would have seen a huge
stage flanked by screens and loudspeakers, fluttering banners and booths
handing out Yulia merchandise to all - from toddlers to pensioners - in this
city of 650,000 people.

Her party's symbol, a red heart on a white backdrop, was everywhere, on
flags, T-shirts, stickers, postcards, balloons and, until a tousled rocker
in a white suit appeared to warm up the crowd, it was displayed on screens
that glowed through the mist.

Tymoshenko would cut a striking figure on any political scene, let alone the
turgid post-Soviet stage, and she has presence to match her looks.

Her speech in Lviv, delivered in a voice husky from weeks on the hustings,
was clear, impassioned and witty, in contrast to the dry and sometimes
dithering efforts of President Viktor Yushchenko and the monotonous drone of
prime minister Viktor Yanukovich.

Tymoshenko focused on deriding Yanukovich's Regions Party - which leads
opinion polls on the back of overwhelming support in largely
Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine - and calling for a ruling alliance with
Yushchenko's Our Ukraine party.

"With one voice, we must vote against this anti-Ukrainian party, these
anti-Ukrainian politicians," said Tymoshenko of the bloc led by Yanukovich,
who capitalised on disputes among his rivals to bounce back from defeat in
the 2004 "Orange Revolution".

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko were at loggerheads after he fired her from the
post of prime minister and eventually accepted Yanukovich as her
replacement - but she vowed yesterday to do her utmost to forge a working
alliance with the president.

She also vehemently denounced suggestions that Yushchenko's party could form
a "grand coalition" with the Regions Party, something she said would be a
betrayal of the Orange Revolution, which overturned Yanukovich's fraudulent
election "victory".

Tymoshenko attributed the orange team's shambolic post-revolution efforts to
govern to "too much political optimism and romanticism", but asked for
another chance with an imprecation for "everyone who loves Ukraine to unite
as one team".

However, as dozens of white- and-red balloons swirled up over Lviv, and
Tymoshenko waved her goodbyes, many people left for home still weary of
Ukraine's politics.

"We were all for Yushchenko and Tymoshenko in 2004, but nothing improved,"
said Roman (44) who refused to give his surname.

"Our politicians promise everyone the earth but, when they get power, they
just squabble among themselves."
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
The country faces enormous economic challenges as it heads to the polls.

COMMENTARY: By Bruce P. Jackson, The Daily Standard
Washington, D.C. Thursday, September 27, 2007

THIS SUNDAY'S parliamentary election in Ukraine shares at least one thing in
common with next year's Presidential election in the United States. During
overlong campaigns, in the parade of political personalities and the
blizzard of distortions and half truths, it is nearly impossible to remember
what either election is all about.

Although our candidates use the campaign to show off what they imagine to
be their attractive qualities (toughness, trustworthiness, and often only
good looks), the 2008 American election is about the foreign policy crisis
which this country has entered.

Basically, the average American is questioning his country's role and
purpose in international politics. The war in Iraq is the proximate cause of
this loss of national self-confidence, but the underlying question of what
the United States should do and not do both at home and abroad has been
simmering since the end of the Cold War.

In a nutshell, our Presidential debate is between those who think the United
States is like Winston Churchill's England in 1940: beleaguered, but brave
and fundamentally on the right side of history.

And others who think the United States should come to resemble Sweden;
well-adjusted, graciously multi-lateral, and content to spend more time at
home. But you would never know that to listen to our candidates this year.

In Ukraine, it is even harder to identify what underlying question will be
addressed in the upcoming election.

Some of the confusion lies in the truly staggering amount of political
shouting and personal vitriol which passes for campaigning in Ukraine, but
the fact that the elections were triggered by presidential fiat and not by a
constitutional schedule further confused the issue.

And none of Ukraine's candidates have gone very far out of their way to
explain to the voters how complex and difficult the challenges any
government in Kiev will face are.

Various theories have been advanced to explain the prolonged political
crisis in Ukraine, all of them at best partially true and most completely

[1] The original explanation was that Ukraine's frequent, indecisive
elections were part of the process of building a Ukrainian nation.

While there may be some superficial truth to the perception that people from
Lvov, Odessa, and Dnipropetrovs'k are not overly fond of each other,
everyone believes (even politicians) they are part of a Ukrainian nation and
are fiercely patriotic.

[2] About a year ago, a second theory appeared which held that the elections
would be a decision on whether Ukraine would be a pro-Russian state or a
pro-European state. This theory is demonstrably false and intentionally

The culture and history that Ukraine shares with Russia is a matter of
historical fact, and history cannot be rewritten by election or referendum.
Similarly, the intimacy of Ukraine's relations with Europe is established by
history, geography, and shared economic interest.

Ukraine will always be close to and independent of both Russia and Europe,
and there is nothing any of Ukraine's parties can do about it. We can be
confident that this election is not about violating the iron laws of

[3] The final theory and the one with the greatest following today is that
this parliamentary election is about political stability, and there is some
truth to this. We all hope that the next government of Ukraine can, well . .
. govern.

The government of Yulia Timoshenko performed poorly on the economy and was
dismissed after only seven months. The government of Victor Yanukovich did
better on the economy and joining the WTO, but failed to maintain the trust
of its coalition partners and was also dismissed.

Indeed so many ministers, judges, and parliaments have been dismissed since
2004, only Khmelnytskyy still holds his original position on St. Sofia

Certainly, Sunday's election is about political stability, but stability is
only a condition, not an objective. It seems to me that for the Ukrainian
voter the choice of the next prime minister and the coalition that provides
his government a political mandate is fundamentally a choice about Ukraine's
economic future.

Ukraine is on the threshold of entering the World Trade Organization, which
is the gateway to the global economy. Europe is prepared for the first time
in at least a century to consider opening a free trade zone with Ukraine,
something the European Union did with Turkey 40 years ago.

Moving Ukraine into international markets and opening European markets for
Ukrainian goods would make a far greater difference for the average family
in Ukraine than the distant possibility of NATO membership or whether
Ukraine's bureaucrats speak Ukrainian or Russian or both.

Today, major Russian companies are listed on the London Stock Exchange,
where they can attract investment and raise capital. No major Ukrainian
company is listed on any European or American exchange.

Over the last ten years, Ukraine has attracted a small fraction of the
foreign direct investment its neighbors, Poland and Slovakia, were able to
bring in. This factor alone has curtailed growth, depressed salaries and
cost Ukrainian workers job security.

In a few short years, students and workers from the Baltics, Poland, the
Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria will travel freely
throughout the European Union and the United States without visas.

But the next generation of Ukrainian students will be denied these
educational opportunities, and its workers will be prohibited from
exercising the mobility of their labor.

As a result, over the next generation, Ukrainian families will be
significantly poorer than they should be--unless, of course, the next
government in Kiev gets serious and gets to work.

These are the stakes on Sunday. The Ukrainian voters have to choose the
party list which they believe will best be able to get their wives and
husbands and children out of the economic trap into which Ukraine and
all of Eastern Europe fell after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Much of the campaign ignored the issues that affect the lives of ordinary
citizens: jobs, education, and growth.

The real question that will or at least should be decided on Sunday is who
is most capable of driving through the economic reforms and opening the
international markets that are essential if the sons and daughters of
Ukraine are to prosper in the 21st century.
Bruce P. Jackson is President of the Project on Transitional Democracies,
a bi-partisan non-profit organization based in Washington, DC.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

By Roman Olearchyk and Stefan Wagstyl, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, September 27, 2007

When Viktor Yanukovich, Ukraine's prime minister, hits the Black Sea port
of Odessa in the last days of campaigning before Sunday's parliamentary
elections, the crowd greets him with cheers, applause and a mass of blue

President Victor Yushchenko has called elections early, only 18 months after
the last parliamentary vote, to try to resolve his bitter three-year power
struggle with Mr Yanukovich.

Speaking in the city's Greek square, Mr Yanukovich urges voters to reject
his two main rivals: Mr Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko, the firebrand
ex-prime minister, who together led the 2004 Orange Revolution.

His voice hoarse after weeks of speech-making, he says: "We need to unite
and once and for all say No to this Orange horde. . . . to wipe them out of

The 3,000 supporters respond with a shout. But all is not what it seems.
Prominent among those with the blue flags of Mr Yanukovich's Regions party
are students who say they were paid to attend.

Alongside stand elderly people transported from the countryside, happy to
participate in ex­change for a day out. The Regions party denies mak­ing
such payments, saying the claims are "black PR".

On the same day as Mr Yanukovich's campaign, hundreds of students and rural
pensioners are gathered outsi de Odessa's Opera house waving orange flags to
welcome Mr Yushchenko.

The students at both events say the going rate is $10 - quite an incentive
in a country where the average wage is less than $200 a month. Mr
Yushchenko's bloc made no comment about the alleged payments.

The Russian-speaking city of Odessa has in the past been a hotbed of support
for Mr Yanukovich but years of pol­itical infighting have caused voters to
become disillusioned and apathetic.

Odessa is a significant city for election candidates, with a population of
1m against Ukraine's overall 46m, an estimated 20m-25m of whom vote.

Across Ukraine, politicians are struggling to generate enthusiasm. Voters
are not only jaded by three years of political turmoil but also frustrated
with business oligarchs manipulating politicians, and angry that rapid
economic growth is not, as they see it, benefiting ordinary people.

Back in Kiev, however, pre-election tensions rose this week. In an apparent
attempt to emulate the Orange Revolution of 2004, Mr Yanukovich's party took
control of Kiev's main square, setting up tent camps guarded by hundreds of
supporters to protest against electoral fraud.

Opinion polls, however, suggest Mr Yanukovich's Regions party could still
win 30-35 per cent of the vote and remain the largest parliamentary

Mr Yushchenko's Our Ukraine People's Self Defence bloc is fighting hard to
retain the 14 per cent it won last year but may be losing support to Ms
Tymoshenko, who could see the share of her party, BYuT, rise to 25-27 per

She is concentrating her attacks on Mr Yanukovich, hoping to use electoral
success to secure the prime ministership and persuade the president to
recreate the Orange alliance.

Ukraine's political landscape reflects an east-west divide. Mr Yanukovich, a
former lorry driver, hails from the industrialised east, where support is
stronge st for close ties with Moscow, for caution in relations with the
west and for wider official use of the Russian language alongside Ukrainian.

Mr Yushchenko, a former central banker, stands for rapid integration with
the European Union, Nato and the global economy. He is strongest in the
west, where anti-Russian sentiment flourishes.

Ms Tymoshenko is a maverick, who supported Mr Yushchenko in 2004 but then
fell out with him, partly owing to personality clashes and partly over her
populist anti-big-business policies.

Now she has toned down her rhetoric and built up her contacts in the EU and
the US, trying to supplant Mr Yushchenko in the west's affections.

All three main leaders have attempted to renew their appeal with help from
top US political advisers. At times the campaigning has changed in tone from
previous years, with less vitriol and more positive messages, such as
promises of econ­omic growth.

All three parties have retained a strong dose of populism, competing with
pledges to raise pensions, salaries and social payments.

But, as the vote has neared, Mr Yanukovich has resorted to divisive old
tactics to shore up his support in eastern Ukraine. In recent speeches he
has promised a combined referendum on Nato membership (which he
opposes) and on granting official status to the Russian language.

With a third of voters undecided, some fears of localised election fraud and
smaller parties picking up support, the result is unclear. As Renaissance
Capital, the investment bank, says in a report, "The political campaign has
brought no clarity on the likely outcome."
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

ANALYSIS: By Jim Davis, Business Ukraine magazine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 24, 2007

Ukrainian politicians are always sure to turn their attention to the
agrarian sector when elections are near - albeit temporarily
This year's crop of electoral promises is bountiful on the Ukrainian steppe,
but just which way the agricultural vote is headed is as uncertain as
tomorrow's weather forecast.

Ukrainian agriculture has never fully recovered from the horrors of
collectivisation under Stalin in the 1930s, but remains of enormous
strategic importance for all parties.

Even today, 16 years since independence and eight years past the time that
then-president Leonid Kuchma decreed the extinction of all remaining
collective farms, most major political parties continue to talk about the
village and agriculture as if one might be synonymous with the other.
Although the Our Ukraine website sets out the bloc's agricultural policies,
perhaps a recent visit by the president to Cherkasy gave greater clarity to
the presidential party's views.

Yushchenko's rhetoric naturally had a familiar ring as he told the crowd:
"Wheat for Ukraine is like oil for Russia. I see it as the nation's
strategic course."

Just as at all agricultural meetings, the president pushed his political
agenda with a statement that the government, "constantly interferes" in the
agricultural sector.

He called many of its grain policies, "remarkably absurd and negative," and
reprimanded the cabinet of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych for using
non-market methods.

He went on to say a state that does not promote commercial interests in
agriculture often has to import grain. He further derided the government's
administrative and restrictive measures as, ".unprofessional and

Our Ukraine's website gets into much greater specifics with talk of
"renewing Ukraine's villages.transparent registration of property rights on
land. decreasing land taxes for villagers."

As with most campaign manifestos, the site has a laundry list of goodies,
including a promise of UAH 20,000 in state aid and social housing for
university graduates who agree to work not less than three years in

In addition, there would be a 20% monthly salary bonus for village teachers,
doctors, cultural and social sphere employees; and every village can count
on a village dispensary or medical-aid station with a car.

Finally, the site says that Our Ukraine would assure that every pupil living
three kilometers away or more from school would get paid bus transport and
every village school would get Internet access by 2010.

Yuriy Lutsenko, leader of the Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defence Bloc, is
even bolder with his acknowledgements, telling a recent Vasilkiv news
conference that the moratorium on land sales must be abolished. He also said
pointedly that in spite of leftist opposition to land sales, ".nevertheless
it is on sale."

He added: "It is necessary to put agricultural land up for sale on an open
and fair market and pass the corresponding laws that will secure the peasant
from predatory buying of [agricultural] lands." A few years ago, a statement
of this type would have been a scandal; today it is considered to be
relatively normal campaign rhetoric.
The Party of Regions' platform statement on agricultural is very broad in
nature and rings many of the bells that resound with agriculturalists.

However, the Regions party is considered more industrially oriented and
bears the burden of having over the last year taken what many in the farming
community would consider very negative decisions about grain exports.

Echoing the historical concentration on the village as the center of
farming, the Regions manifesto calls for new effective forms of management,
wider implantation of rent and land mortgage policy, plus support of native
producers and products.

It goes on to call for modern equipment provision on a leasing basis;
formation of land and mortgage banks; support for private farmers, and
solving the price disparity between farm and industrial production.
Perhaps unique among Ukraine's politicians, Yulia Tymoshenko has a talent
for picking issues and pleasing crowds. Her website and campaign materials
make much of her support for agriculture, but where she lists specific
priorities, agriculture hardly receives mention.

However, in her frequent visits to villages in out-of-the-way places, she
seems to know the right buttons to push to get farmers and villagers

During recent village visits, she has claimed that residents pay four times
more for imported gas than locally-produced gas, saying that a solution
would only require a decision at governmental level. This suggestion of what
would in effect be subsidised gas prices for farm villages is a very popular
item on the rural hustings.

Tymoshenko continues to play the populist card when it comes to the sale of
land, telling villagers in one case: "Today they try to start a negative
plan for Ukraine, which, obviously, was worked out by non-Ukrainians, after
which they intend at first to distribute land, then cheapen it and sell it
so that common people could never again own this land in Ukraine."

"We consider that it is necessary to give land to peasants. If they lease it
out, they must get the payment they deserve from leaseholders," she added.

Tymoshenko has also promised that peasant farmers must be recipients of
cheap credit at interest rates of 3-4%, which she claims to be already the
case in western Europe.

On other village visits, she has made much of the fact that average salaries
in the agricultural sector are below the national average. She proposed
levelling this disparity with lower taxes for agricultural workers.

In some regions where the dairy farming tradition is strong, Tymoshenko has
complained that large dairies, which she refers to as "monopolists," control
the dairy industry. They buy milk from farmers for "kopecks.A litre of milk
is cheaper than a litre of ordinary water," she recently told one crowd.

When it comes to working the crowds who attend her frequent village
meetings, Tymoshenko is clearly skilled and she hopes to pick up a large
number of votes in spite of the fact that she is preaching an economic
policy that many see as being out of step with current Ukrainian realities.
The Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU) remains true to its traditional
principles, with government control of agriculture and high subsidisation of
peasant farmers forming the policy bedrock.

The CPU agricultural manifesto begins with a statement that at least 50% of
agricultural production would be subject to government order with funds to
support such orders earmarked at no less than 10% of the gross national

The CPU wants soft credit facilities, with interest rates not to exceed 5%
for support of the development of the country's agro-industrial complex.
Unsaid, but clearly implied, is that these soft credits would go only to
state-owned enterprises, as was historically the case.

State ownership of, ". land, mineral wealth, the atmosphere, forests, water
resources and other natural resources within the territorial boundaries of
Ukraine" remains a key part of the Communist agenda, with special emphasis
on opposing the sale of agricultural land.
Like the Communists, the Socialists have added no new strings to their
political bow and still argue for a return to a greater role for government
in the economy and increased ownership of essential elements of the nation's
productive capacity.

In particular, the buying and selling of agricultural land is anathema to
the Socialists, and control of priority branches of the economy remains part
of the Socialist manifesto, but according to polls it seems unlikely that
they will get the chance to implement their well-worn agricultural agenda
following the elections.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Conor Humphries, Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, September 27, 2007

KIEV - Ukraine's political scene has weathered three years of mass protests,
fights in parliament and the president ignoring the government. The business
world, meanwhile, has had an uncannily smooth ride.

Far from complaining that politicians aren't tending to the economy, many
are grateful they're too busy squabbling to get in the way.

"It has really had zero effect," Kiev-based magazine publisher Jed Sunden
said of the ongoing political crisis. "The disagreements ... have the
positive effect of limiting the government's caprices," said Sunden, the
American general director of KP Media and a veteran of the local business

Political turmoil has led to a third national election in three years, which
will be held Sunday. But the country's economy is booming, with chic cafes
vying for space with designer clothes shops on the capital's streets.

Growth rates are set to be more than double those of the European Union at
around 6.5 percent for this year, estimated Yekaterina Malofeyeva of the
Renaissance Capital investment bank.

Apartment prices in Kiev have more than doubled in two years, while direct
foreign investment was up 50 percent in the first six months of this year.

"I don't see any reason for a slowdown in the economy," Malofeyeva said.
"People in Ukraine are very much used to the levels of political risk. "The
government is weak, disorganized, so it can offer relatively few surprises,"
she said. "Things are predictable and in this sense rather stable."

Campaigning ahead of Sunday's elections, which are seen as unlikely to solve
the protracted crisis, has focused on how to share out of the proceeds of
the boom, boosted by high prices for the country's metal exports.

Despite the rapid growth, the average wage remains 250 dollars per month,
according to official statistics, just over half of the level in
neighbouring Russia and a fraction of those in the European Union, which
Ukraine eventually wants to join.

"All parties have social development at the top of their agenda," said
Yevhenia Akhtyrko, an economist with Kiev's International Centre for Policy
Studies. "Everyone is competing to promise the most."

Part of the reason for the largesse is the fact that many in the country
have tired of the endless political battles between pro-Russian Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych and western-leaning President Viktor Yushchenko.

The political strife dates back to the "Orange Revolution" in 2004, when
hundreds of thousands of Yushchenko supporters took to the streets to
overturn an election rigged in favour of Yanukovych.

Yushchenko's victory helped convince foreign investors that Ukraine was on
the way to eventual European integration, sparking an inflow of investment,
Malofeyeva said.

"Knowledge of Ukraine has expanded much more than before," she said.
"People see Ukraine as a country with political and economic problems, but
one that is moving in the European direction."

The picture is not all rosy, however.

Small businesses complain of stifling bureaucracy and rampant corruption,
while rapid changes in power mean it is difficult for businessmen to secure
the necessary contacts with those in power to quickly resolve conflicts,
Malofeyeva said.

Big business, meanwhile, is bracing for the possible return to the prime
minister's office of the firebrand Yulia Tymoshenko -- fearing a repeat of
her campaign to revise shady privatisation deals from the regime of
Yushchenko's predecessor.

And then there are the unlucky few who have to deal with the thousands of
political activists, often living in hastily pitched tents, who surround
government buildings at regular intervals.

"The unrest is very negative: we get fewer businesspeople, less tourists
come," said Larisa Trofimenko, General Director of the Kiev Hotel,
unfortunately located at the heart of the government district, overlooking
the parliament. "As soon as the political situation calms down, the hotel
fills up, people are calm again."
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

COMMENTARY: Peter Dickinson, Business Ukraine magazine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 24, 2007

With less than a week to go before Ukraine goes to the polls, there remains
much muttering and resentment that an election is being held at all. There
is, however, more cause for optimism than many believe

At first glance the election has all the makings of a serious setback for
Ukrainian democracy.

A worrying percentage of the population remain adamant that they will not
be voting at all, while others seem to be viewing their vote as a social
to their regional chieftains rather than a moral obligation or opportunity
to stand up for their personal beliefs or initiate change for the better.

The old mantra that the political classes are all the same has gained new
currency and campaign promises are largely regarded with unconcealed

There is little here that needs explaining, given the steady stream of
disappointments that followed the euphoria of 2004. However, the fact
remains that amid all the moans and groans, the fires of Ukrainian democracy
continue to burn despite numerous attempts to quash the flames with
bucketfuls of cynicism and sabotage.

Three years since the Orange Revolution shook the populace out of its
apathetic slumber, the idea that Ukraine's great democratic breakthrough
could somehow be reversed now lies in tatters.
At every level there have been indications of an emerging democratic culture
which holds promise for the country's European ambitions.

The election campaign has been well covered by the increasingly professional
and unhindered Ukrainian media, and the various parties have been accorded
their fair share of airtime without the mysterious electrical blackouts and
blatant propaganda of yesteryear.

Meanwhile, the institutionalised spoiling tactics and administrative
manipulation of previous campaigns have made random but mercifully brief
appearances, much like the fading symptoms of a once-sick patient well on
the road to recovery.

Whereas in 2004 Viktor Yushchenko found himself barred from landing at
airports throughout the country and his activists were harried and harassed
wherever government support was considered sufficient to allow it, this
year's campaign has seen opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko holding
massive public rallies in city centres throughout the government strongholds
of south-eastern Ukraine, an unthinkable development just a few years ago.

We will still doubtless be treated to all sorts of polling day tricks and
accusations, but the very fact that such irregularities are now seen as
potent political weapons by all sides of the political spectrum is evidence
in itself that fraud and falsification are no longer regarded as a valid
part of post-Soviet politics in today's Ukraine.

The historical fissures that scar the Ukrainian landscape remain a factor in
any political debate, but the move away from Soviet-style them and us
rhetoric towards policy issues that has marked this campaign suggests that
the ugly politics of ethnicity is losing its potency as a tool to divide and
polarise the Ukrainian population.

Ukraine has yet to reach the level of political maturity where ideas can
genuinely triumph over personalities, but this is nevertheless progress
worth noting.
If they are to entertain hopes of staying in office, Ukraine's politicians
must now reinvent themselves in line with the national dynamic.

Viktor Yanukovych will have to do a lot more than learn how to smile and
refrain from swearing in public if he wants the electorate to take seriously
the spin that he is somehow a new man.

Likewise, his party will have to add substance to the oft-cited refrain that
they are interested in embracing international business practices and moving
out of the shadows.

Attempts by the Regions-led coalition to return to the practices of old led
directly to the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada this year and if this
lesson is not taken on board there is no reason to assume that the exercise
could not be repeated.

Despite their long and loud protestations, the governing coalition
eventually accepted the president's decree and faced up to the inevitability
of new elections. They now need to demonstrate that other lessons have also
been learnt.

The shaky Orange alliance will have to overcome its childish infighting and
perceived populism if it is to regain power and, crucially, hold onto it for
any meaningful period of time.

Yulia Tymoshenko has responded to criticism over empty promises by focusing
much of her bloc's campaign on concrete policy objectives that have been
painstakingly spelled out for voters and others have found themselves forced
to follow her lead or be left behind in the process.

Ultimately, as they decide whether to vote or not, Ukrainians should bear in
mind that a healthy distrust of their political classes is part and parcel
of just about every functioning democracy in the world. It is a sign of a
strong, open society, not an indication that the situation is hopeless.
LINK: http://www.businessukraine.com.ua/progress-along-the-rocky-road-to
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.

Associated Press (AP), Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Sep 27 2007

KYIV - Ukrainians vote this weekend in the fourth national elections in
three years, attempting to break a political deadlock that pits seekers of
cautious change against bold reformers, Russian against Ukrainian speakers,
guardians of Slavic heritage against champions of European integration.

The cast of characters vying for control is the same as during the 2004
Orange Revolution: the Western-leaning President Viktor Yushchenko; his
archrival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych; and the glamorous opposition
crusader Yulia Tymoshenko.

Gone, however, is the hope that swept the nation three years ago when
thousands of protesters gathered in the bitter cold of Kyiv's main square
and stood up for democracy and reform.

In its place is a widespread sense of the futility of the political process.

"I am disappointed in everybody - they have no programs, they have no
shame," said Zinaida Ivanova, a 70-year-old retiree who supplements her
monthly pension of about $100 by selling cigarettes in downtown Kyiv.

The Sunday, Sept. 30 election "is not going to liquidate the deep crisis,"
predicted Vadim Karasyov, head of the Kyiv-based Institute on Global

Polls suggest a three-way split between the country's main parties, leading
to the prospect of protracted coalition talks. After the vote, all three
political leaders are calling for changes in the Constitution to break the
political paralysis.

Ukraine's Constitution, hastily revised during the Orange Revolution,
divides executive powers between the president and prime minister - leaving
it unclear who has the power to do what.

Last year, Yanukovych's allies blocked Yushchenko's choice for foreign
minister from attending Cabinet sessions for several weeks, provoking his
resignation. In the spring, Yushchenko fired his prosecutor general, a
Yanukovych ally. But police loyal to the prime minister prevented the
prosecutor's removal.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko want Ukrainians to decide in a referendum who
should hold more power, the president or the premier. Yanukovych, meanwhile,
wants to change the constitution to make Russian the second official
language and block any NATO bid.

But it seems unlikely Ukraine's bickering politicians will find it any
easier to rewrite the constitution than to govern together.
Ukraine's voters will pick from 20 parties, but no more than six are
expected to pass the 3 percent threshold needed to win seats in the
450-member Verkhovna Rada.

Of those six, just the parties led by Yushchenko, Yanukovych and Tymoshenko
are expected to gain enough seats to form the base for a potential governing

Yushchenko's ambition to bring Ukraine closer to the European Union and
implement pro-market reforms suffered a major blow in 2006, when his
plummeting popularity opened the way for the once discredited Yanukovych to
take over as prime minister.

Since then, neither has been able to impose his vision for Ukraine, with
Yushchenko putting his dreams of quickly joining the EU on hold and
Yanukovych moderating his pro-Russian stance.

Tymoshenko could hold the key to the hopes of Western-looking, self-styled
reformers. She aims to unite with Yushchenko's forces in Parliament and
return as prime minister - a post she held briefly until Yushchenko
dismissed her government in September 2005.

Smaller parties such as the communists and the socialists are likely to
drive hard bargains for their support, if they get in.
International observers praised last year's elections as Ukraine's most
democratic ever, but some fear this vote will not be as free and fair. It is
being run by the government of Yanukovych, whose 2004 presidential election
victory was declared fraudulent by a court.

The Orange Revolution that swept Yushchenko to power despite the Kremlin's
open backing of Yanukovych sent shock waves through Russia and the rest of
the former Soviet Union.

The image of Yushchenko - his face disfigured by dioxin poisoning - battling
on for victory inspired millions around the world. Yushchenko's victory led
some to predict that a tide of non-violent revolutions would turn out a
number of governments with strong links to the Soviet past.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders of other former Soviet
republics tightened controls on opposition groups and planned for ways to
prevent their own political upheavals.

In Ukraine, Yanukovych has staged a stunning comeback since the days when he
suffered the double stigma of being linked to a rigged election and seen as
a Kremlin tool.

Aided by Western consultants, Yanukovych reinvented himself. He began
courting the West, distanced himself from Moscow and praised the very mass
protests that denied him the presidency in 2004.

As Yushchenko's fortunes dimmed, Yanukovych's grew brighter. Korrespondent
magazine called the prime minister Ukraine's most powerful politician of

In the current race, Yanukovych, 57, has promised to raise pensions and the
current average wage of $258 (?190), increase child support benefits and
improve health care. His message: The Orange forces of Yushchenko and
Tymoshenko can only quarrel, but his team means business.

Tymoshenko, the former prime minister and heroine of the Orange Revolution
who wears her blonde hair in a halo braid, has led an aggressive campaign
dubbed "the Ukrainian breakthrough."

The steel-willed politician - sometimes described as "the only man in
Ukrainian politics" - describes herself as the only leader able to rein in
corrupt businesses and end what she called "the carving up of Ukraine."

The 46-year-old vows to tackle corruption, raise living standards, build
homes for young families and help Ukraine quickly catch up with the rest of

She has also vowed to annul the sales of a number of major enterprises,
which she contends were stolen from the state.

That drive alarmed investors when she was prime minister. But Tymoshenko
insists she will pursue recovery of state property to resell it in honest

Yushchenko's team has struggled. Faced with sinking support, his bloc has
sought to rebrand itself by paring an embattled business tycoon and other
unpopular figures from its list of top candidates. It has replaced them with
what it portrays as energetic reformers.

The days when the 53-year-old Yushchenko, a former central banker, might be
seen as a martyr to democracy are long gone. This time around, he has not
managed to inspire much enthusiasm.

His bloc promises to strip lawmakers of immunity from prosecution, with a
bespectacled president proclaiming from billboards that "there is one law
for all."

Voters don't seem impressed. People are too preoccupied with their
pocketbooks, analysts say, to worry about loftier concerns.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

By Jan Maksymiuk, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, September 27, 2007

KYIV - If Ukrainians are to believe the promises being made by the parties
participating in the country's early parliamentary elections, their lives
should improve regardless of who wins.

The major players in the September 30 polls have all made generous pledges
to the electorate. The question is how they plan to overcome the
mathematical impossibility of paying for all that has been promised.

There are three clear frontrunners among the 20 parties and blocs registered
for Ukraine's September 30 parliamentary elections -- the ruling Party of
Regions led by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, and the pro-presidential
Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense bloc and Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc -- two
former allies in the 2004 Orange Revolution.

Opinion polls suggest that none of the three forces is set to win an
outright majority in the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada. They also indicate that,
as in the March 2006 elections, the Party of Regions' performance will
likely be matched by Our-Ukraine-People's Self Defense and the Yulia
Tymoshenko Bloc combined.
If such predictions turn out to be true, the fate of a future ruling
coalition may hinge on the performance of two other parties that pollsters
envision being in the next parliament: the Communist Party and the Lytvyn

Most polls forecast that the Socialist Party, which obtained 5.7 percent of
the vote in 2006, will not overcome the 3 percent threshold for
parliamentary representation this time around.

In contrast to the 2004 presidential and 2006 parliamentary elections,
traditionally divisive foreign-policy thorns like Ukraine's potential NATO
membership or domestic irritants like making Russian the second state
language have been conspicuously muted or even eliminated as campaign

Instead, the election frontrunners have focused on outdistancing one another
in promises of socioeconomic windfalls.

Four expenditure items are present in the election manifestos of each of the
three frontrunners: substantial payments to families bringing new Ukrainians
into the world and monthly child support as a way to reverse the country's
demographic decline; an increase in student allowances and stipends; the
development of rural areas; and a considerable increase in military spending
as part of the effort to develop a professional army.
In addition, each party has added its own unique promises to the mix. For
example, the Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense wants to increase the
minimum wage and the average monthly wage by some 60 percent in 2008.

The Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc vows to return, within two years, more than $25
billion of savings lost by Ukrainians as a result of the collapse of the
Soviet Union in 1991.

The Party of Regions pledges to provide workers with apartments upon the
conclusion of 20 years working for the state.

The Communists want to increase the minimum pension level to 70 percent of
the average monthly wage, a measure that would cost the state an extra $20
billion per year. The Lytvyn Bloc proposes a dramatic wage hike that would
cost an extra $60 billion per year.

Four Ukrainian economic experts commenting in the September 22-28 issue of
the Kyiv-based weekly "Zerkalo nedeli" took the election promises at face
value and tallied them up.

Promises made by the Party of Regions would cost $40 billion, while those by
the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and the Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense bloc
were estimated at $20 billion each.

The most generous were the Communists, whose election program entails an
extra $60 billion in spending, and the Lytvyn Bloc, which would need no less
than an extra $90 billion to follow its program to the letter.

Adding a dose of reality to the situation, the four experts noted that
Ukraine's consolidated budget revenues in 2007 were expected to be just $40
A somewhat more realistic -- and no less populist -- goal is the solemn vow
of both the current parliamentary opposition and the ruling coalition to
cancel parliamentary immunity from prosecution, which is widely seen in
Ukraine as a shield for corrupt politicians.

But even on this tricky constitutional issue, the Ukrainian political class
could not avoid inflating the situation in an effort to garner cheap

The proposal to strip lawmakers of immunity initially came from President
Viktor Yushchenko and the Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense.

But this sound idea was subsequently blunted by the ruling coalition through
their calls for the abolition of immunity not just for legislators, but also
for the president, the prime minister, and other high-ranking officials,
including judges.

Making the initial idea appear even more incongruous, the ruling coalition
held a controversial parliamentary session earlier this month (which was
condemned as illegal by the opposition) during which it voted to abolish
immunity for parliamentarians and the president.

For whatever reason, the prime minister and other government officials were
ignored in the coalition's rush to contribute to the elimination of
corruption in the country.

But it would be wrong to condemn Ukrainian politicians for exploiting the
gullibility of the electorate to achieve political goals. As long as voters
fail to hold politicians accountable for their promises, such practices will
continue -- and not just in Ukraine.

However, what remains of utmost importance in Ukrainian politics is the
continued perception among Ukrainians that, following the 2004 Orange
Revolution, elections offer them genuine political choice.

such circumstances, one day Ukrainian voters may also develop a taste for
distinguishing between empty pledges and practical ideas.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

FEATURE: Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, 27 September 2007

KIEV - The first vote in Ukraine's election Sunday has yet to be cast - but
irrespective of who wins, the country's warring political clans intend to
object strenuously to the result.

On Thursday afternoon on Kiev's Maidan Square, site of Ukraine's dramatic
pro-democracy Orange Revolution in late 2004, campaign workers in green
military tents were girding for the long haul, a good 60 hours before voting

"We are here because the Oranges (opponents of the pro-Russia Regions
Ukraine party) will do anything to win," said Halina Kotovska. "We will
fight for Democracy - and stay right here until the votes are honestly

During the 2004 mass marches, some 15,000 pro-Democracy activists took up
residence in tents and public buildings in central Kiev to protest a rigged
presidential election.

Hundreds of thousands of Kievites took to the streets as well, forcing the
government to hold a repeat vote, eventually installing reform president
Viktor Yushchenko.

Modern Ukrainian protesting on Thursday was, by comparison, modest. The
warmly-dressed Regions faithful in the Maidan encampment was hugely
outnumbered, and quite ignored, by Kievites going about their daily
business. Police presence was negligible.

Two hundred metres from the Maidan down Kiev's main street the Khreschatyk,
some seventy students milled next to ten camouflaged dome tents pitched in
front of the Kiev city administration. They had pitched their tents to
protest the protest, students explained quite seriously.

"Those people on the Maidan are pitching tents in the centre of our capital,
how does that look to foreign visitors?" asked Oksana Vorobei. "So we are
demonstrating to force our mayor to force the protestors on the Maidan to go
away, and then we will go away too."

The Kiev mayor is a Regions supporter - and Regions, with its pro- Russia
and pro-oligarch programmes, is unpopular with many liberal- leaning
Kievites, especially students, who generally support market reform and
closer Ukrainian relations with Europe.

Vorobei, like Kotovska, denied she was being paid to demonstrate - a common
practice in Ukrainian demonstrations this election season, allowing some
activists to earn as much as twenty dollars a day.

All of which would be a tempest in Ukraine's political teapot, except that
the country's powerful political clans, all apparently preparing to
challenge the results of the upcoming vote, first by mobilising street
protests, and then in courts.

Oleksader Moroz, the speaker of the last parliament and notorious for
deserting an Orange coalition in 2006 and thereby bringing the pro-Russia
Regions to power, on Thursday declared his party lawyers already had
prepared suits contesting the outcome of the election, and that the
challenge could be filed as early as the Monday morning after the Sunday

Ukrainian election law allows any party gaining 3 per cent or more of the
popular vote seats in the legislature, but Moroz's Socialists, once the
country's political kingmakers, now stand at about 2.5 per cent, according
to the most recent polls. "We will challenge the results in any case," Moroz
said, according to a Korrespondent magazine article.

More worryingly for hopes of Ukrainian political stability, Viktor
Yanukovich, Prime Minister leader of Regions, earlier this week alleged his
pro-Europe opponents "are buying every single vote with money", and warned
that the only way Regions could lose big, is if the competition cheats.

But Yanukovich main opponent, the anti-corruption Yulia Tymoshenko of the
eponymous Block of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT), in campaign speeches this
week has been promising just that: a Regions tumble at the polls, because
Yanukovich's party allegedly lacks widespread popularity.

And if Regions cheats, or even if there is a sign of Regions cheating, of
course she will go to the courts, Tymoshenko told the Interfax news agency.

Ukrainian political analysts almost without exception are predicting weeks
if not months of political gridlock, once the Sunday election is complete.
"We are are not going anywhere anytime soon," Kotovska said.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
'September 30 Elections Vital to Advancing Democracy'

U.S. Helsinki Commission, Washington, D.C., Mon, Sep 24, 2007

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Chairman of the
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission)
and Co-Chairman Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), issued the following
statement regarding Ukraine's parliamentary elections that will be held on
Sunday, September 30.

A longstanding political dispute between President Viktor Yushchenko and
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich - rooted in weak constitutional
delineations of their powers - resulted in a political crisis in April and
May. After weeks of tense standoff, agreement was reached calling for early
elections to be held on September 30.

"Since the 2004 Orange Revolution, Ukraine has continued to make real
democratic gains. And yet, one cannot turn a blind eye to the serious
political uncertainty that has unfolded within the past year.

"Prolonged instability is neither in Ukraine's best interest nor in the
interest of the region and it is our sincere hope that, following the
elections, its political leaders can find solutions that will advance
political stability and democratic development.

"The consolidation of democracy and the rule of law in Ukraine will further
strengthen its independence and sovereignty, enhancing Ukraine's aspirations
for full integration with the West and serving as a positive model for other
former Soviet countries.

"It is our hope that these elections are free and transparent in keeping
with Ukraine's OSCE commitments. We wish the people of Ukraine much
success and look forward to continuing to strengthen U.S.-Ukrainian bilateral
relations," said Hastings and Cardin.

In July, Congressman Hastings, Senator Cardin and House Majority Leader
Steny Hoyer (D-MD) led a Congressional delegation to Ukraine for the 16th
Annual Session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's
(OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly.

During the trip, the delegation met with Ukraine's President Viktor
Yushchenko and other prominent Ukrainian officials, where they received
assurances that Ukraine would not backtrack on the path to political reform
and good governance.

The U.S. Helsinki Commission plans to hold a briefing focusing on Ukraine's
September 30 parliamentary elections in October, details for the event to
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the
Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency that monitors progress in
the implementation of the provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. The
Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine from
the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of
State, Defense and Commerce.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
October 16-17, 2007, Ronald Reagan Building, Washington, DC

Steering Committee, Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood
Roundtable VIII, Ukraine-EU Relations,
New York, New York, Friday, September 28, 2007

Dear Friend of the UA Quest RT Series,

You are respectfully invited to be a participant in the eighth annual
roundtable of the Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood series,
to be held at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in
Washington, DC on Oct 16-17, 2007. This year, the forum will be
entitled "Ukraine-EU Relations".

The two day conference will bring together government and key non-
government representatives of Ukraine, the EU and the US as well as
experts from the world of academia to examine and evaluate Ukraine's
capacity to "thrive alongside" its great Western neighbor as well as its
readiness, if asked to join, to eventually "thrive inside" the European

To facilitate the said examination, the event will run four regular sessions
featuring eight panels, six highlight focus sessions, two working lunches
and two conference receptions. In total, nearly seventy speakers are
expected to address the conference proceedings. The list of invited
speakers is provided below.

Former participants of the UA Quest Roundtable series include:
UA: B. Tarasyuk, O. Rybachuk, Y. Yekhanurov, A. Kinakh, V. Yanukovych,
I. Plyushch, A. Yatseniuk, V. Pustovojtenko, A. Hrytsenko, I. Mitiukov, Y.
Pavlenko, Y. Chervonenko, H. Nemyria, Y. Lutsenko, R. Shpek

EU & RU: P. Naimski, G. Jeszensky, J. Sherr, E. Koelsch, G. Burghardt,
A. Gross, C. Hartzell, J. Steinoff, R. Kacer, Y. Liuk, H. Wujec, V. Usackas,
M. Riekstins, P. Zurawski vel Grajewski, V. Igrunov, A. Lebedev

US: M. McConnell, C. Levin, P. Wolfowitz, J. McCain, R. Lugar, Z.
Bzrezinski, R. Holbrooke, P. Dobriansky, D. Fried, A. Wayne, D. Kramer,
C. Weldon, S. Levin, M. Hinchey, B. Taylor, C. Pascual, S. Pifer, W. Miller,
J. Herbst, K. Smith, W. Courtney, B. Futey, M. Kaptur, N. Lowey, C. Smith,
A. Cohen, M. Williams, C. Wallander, A. Aslund.

You are welcome to attend all of the specified plenary sessions. Your
presence will certainly enhance the proceedings you may choose to join.

In addition, you are welcome to partake in Roundtable's traditional
evening receptions. There is no registration fee for the Roundtable but
donations are encouraged to help cover the considerable expenses
necessary for such a Roundtable.

Tuesday, October 16 (Day One); Wednesday, October 17 (Day Two)
DAY ONE: Oct 16, Tuesday, Registration & Coffee: 8:00-9:00am
Opening Remarks: 9:00 a.m., Last Session: 5:00 p.m.
Conference Reception: 7:00 p.m.
DAY TWO: Oct 17, Wednesday, Registration & Coffee: 8:00-9:00a.m.
Opening Remarks: 9:00 a.m., Concluding Remarks: 5:00 p.m.
Patron Reception: 7:00 p.m.

ENTIRE PROGRAM OUTLINE: The entire Ukraine's Quest
for Mature Nation Statehood, Roundtable VIII, Ukraine-EU Relations
program outline can found at the following link:

Due to the time constraints involved with organizing such a large forum,
we kindly ask that you respond by Wednesday, October 10, 2007
concerning your acceptance to participate.

SUGGESTED DONATIONS: There is no registration fee for the
Roundtable this year but donations of 50 US dollars per day are
encouraged to help cover the considerable expenses necessary for
such a Roundtable. If donating, please make out your check to:
"CUSUR-UA Quest RTVIII" or use the system online when you
register to make a donation.

Fill out the online registration and submit online or print out registration
form and fax to 212 473 2180 or print-out registration form and mail.

All completed registration forms [and donations] need to be sent online,
by fax or by mail to: Center for US Ukrainian Relations
43 St. Mark's Place, New York, NY 10003
For further information, kindly contact Marta Kostyk, UA Quest RTS
Technical Coordinator, by phone: (212) 473 0839, fax: (212) 473 2180,
or e-mail: cusur1014@gmail.com, at your convenience.

William Miller, Co-Chair; Bob Schaffer, Co-Chair
Oleh Shamshur, Co-Chair; Walter Zaryckyj, Program Coordinator
Olexandr Aleksandrovich; Ilan Berman
Nadia Diuk; Olga Fishel
Katie Fox; Nadia Komarnycky McConnell
Elizabeth Knight; Ilko Kucheriv
Nico Lange; Orysia Lutsewych
Lewis Madanick; Marta Matselioukh
John Micgiel; Jan Neutze
Steven Nix; Ulyana Panchishin
Jan Pieklo; Herman Pirchner
Jeff Smith; Morgan Williams
Bob Schaffer (AFMC)
Paula Dobriansky (US Under Secretary of State)
Oleh Shamshur (UA Ambassador to the United States)
Andrii Veselovski (Dep. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine)
Orest Deychakivsky (CSCE)
Hryhoriy Nemyria (BUT)
Ellen Bos (Andrassy University)
Nelson Ledsky (NDI)
Steven Nix (IRI)
Bohdan Futey (US Court of Federal Claims)
Fred Kempe (Atlantic Council)
Kostyantyn Hryshchenko (RPU/APM)
Borys Tarasyuk (OU/IEAC)
Pawel Zalewski (FRC/Sejm)
David Kramer (DAS/EEA/DOS)
Adrian Karatnyckyj (Orange Circle)
Oleksandr Todiychuk (MOU/UA-EC)
Igor Chalupec (PKN-Orlen/Fmr. Pres.)
Friedemann Muller (Inst. for Int'l & Sec. Affairs)
Keith Smith (CSIS); Tom Spellman (Halliburton)
John Micgiel (Columbia University);
Janusz Reiter (PL Ambassador to the US)
Morgan Williams (SigmaBleyzer, US-Ukraine Business Council)
Yuri Yekhanurov (Fmr. UA Prime Minister);
David Sweere (Kyiv-Atlantic Farms)
Urszula Gacek (Senat Rzeczpospolitej)
Anders Aslund (Peterson Institute)
Nadia McConnell (USUF)
Mykhajlo Volynets (CITU/UA)
Robert Fielding (AFL-CIO/UA)
Marek Matraszek (CEC)
Keith Crane (RAND)
Jan Bugajski (CSIS)
Klaus Scharioth (DE Ambassador to the US)
Vitkor Nikityuk (UA DCM to the US)
Ilko Kucheriv (DIF)
Joao De Vallera (Ambassador of Portugal to the United States)
Jan Pieklo (PAUCI)
Yuri Sergeyev (UA Ambassador to the UN)
Audrius Bruzga (Lithuanian Amb. to the US)
Steve Pifer (CSIS)
Nico Lange (Konrad Adenauer Stiftung)
Roman Shpek (UA Delegation to EU)
Michael Gahler (FRC/Euro-Parliament)
Ariel Cohen (Heritage Foundation)
Herman Pirchner (AFPC)
Zbigniew Brzezinski (Senior Counselor/CSIS)
F. Steven Larrabee (RAND)
leksandr Biletsky (European Movement/UA)
Oleksandr Sushko (CPCFPU)
Vooldymyr Dubovyk (CIS/ONU)
Yuri Scherbak (Kyiv Mohylian University)
Hryhoriy Perepylytysa (Dipl. Academy/UA)
Lewis Madanick (Open World/LOC)
Bohdan Sokolovski (State Secretariat)
Bogdan Klich (Euro-Parliament)
Steven Sestanovich (Columbia University)
Ilan Berman (AFPC)
Yevhen Kaminsky (IWE/NASU)
James Sherr (Sandhurst)
Celeste Wallander (Georgetown Univ.)
William Courtney (CSC/Dyncorp.)
Angelos Pangratis (Dep. Head of the EC Delegation to the US)
William Miller (WWIC)
Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE)
Robert Bensh (Cardinal Resources)
American Foreign Policy Council; Atlantic Council of the United States
Center For US-Ukrainian Relations; Congressional Ukrainian Caucus
Columbia University/ECEC; Democratic Initiatives Foundation
Embassy of Ukraine to the United States; Harvard University/BSSP
International Republican Institute (IRI); Johns Hopkins University/SAIS
National Democratic Institute (NDI); New York University /LAP
UA Center for Strategic Studies; U.S.-Ukraine Business Council
(USUBC); US-Ukraine Foundation (USUF)
CONTACT: Marta Kostyk, US Quest RTS Technical Coordinator
Center for US Ukrainian Relations, 43 St. Mark's Place, NY, NY 10003
Tel: (212) 473 0839, fax: (212) 473 2180, E-mail: cusur1014@gmail.com
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Europarl.europa.eu, Brussels, Belgium, Thu, 27 Sep 2007

On Sunday, the Ukraine, one of the European Union's most important
neighbors, goes to the polls and a delegation from the European Parliament
will be there to observe whether or not the elections are up to
international standards.

The three main parties are led by President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych and Yulia Tymoshenko, former prime minister and
an ally of the President during the 2004 "Orange Revolution". The President
and Prime Minister agreed to hold early parliamentary elections in May after
a mounting political crisis.
European Parliament to observe elections
A delegation of 14 MEPs heads to the Ukraine on Thursday to observe the
elections. Kostiantyn Yelisieiev, the deputy head of the Ukraine Mission to
the EU, who participated in preparations for the visit said, "Ukrainian
society and politicians listen very attentively to what the EP is saying
(and would be) grateful if EP delegation would not only observe but also
articulate a message and give advice."
Recent political developments
In 2004 Ukraine underwent the "Orange Revolution", when large-scale popular
protests broke out after the presidential elections, which were officially
won by Viktor Yanukovich, who was backed by the outgoing president. The
result of the unrest was a re-run of the presidential election sweeping Mr
Yushchenko to victory in early 2005.

Yulia Tymoshenko, his close ally became prime minister. However their
alliance soon fell apart and the President sacked the Tymoshenko govenment
in September 2005.

In March 2006 Yanukovich´s party won the new parliamentary elections and he
eventually took office in August. He has since built a majority in the

Amid concerns that an increased majority would allow Mr Yanukovich to reject
presidential vetoes, make changes to the constitution, and impeach the
president, President Yushchenko dissolved parliament on 2 April and called
early elections.

Initially Parliament rejected his authority do so, but eventually the
President and Prime Minister agreed to hold elections on 30 September.
EU focus on Ukraine
After the EU-Ukraine Summit in September, EU leaders said that Ukraine's
move towards strengthening democracy, the rule of law and the respect of
human rights will reinforce political and economic links between the two. If
elections are free and fair, it's the best evidence of the country's ability
to accomplish the goal, they said.

In a July resolution, the Parliament called for the adoption of political
reforms, a fight against corruption and a reform of the civil service. It
has closely followed political developments in Ukraine.

It was among those denouncing irregularities in the 2004 election and a
Parliament delegation was in Independence Square in Kiev, which was at the
epicenter of the Orange Revolution. It subsequently sent an observation team
to monitor the re-run election. The EP was among the first of President
Yushchenko's foreign trips.
An important neighbor
Ukraine, a former constituent republic of the Soviet Union, became an
independent country in 1991 and is one of the EU's most significant
immediate neighbors.

It has a population of about 47 million and covers a geographical area of
603,700 square kilometer - about 10% greater than metropolitan France. The
country borders four EU Member States: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and
Romania. Its capital is Kiev. (www.Europarl.europa.eu)
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
You are welcome to send us names for the AUR distribution list.
Ukrainians can expect the discord to continue

By Jan Maksymiuk, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, September 27, 2007

If the mood in the days ahead of Ukraine's parliamentary vote is any
indication, voters have little reason to expect a reversal from the
political discord that led to the call for early elections in the first

As Ukraine's major political parties busy themselves accusing one another of
intending to falsify the September 30 early elections, fears have increased
that the postelection period could be mired in protests and litigations.

The Socialist Party has already announced that it will challenge the
validity of the vote in court whatever the results, and election monitors
have warned that some 1 million voters may find it difficult or even
impossible to cast their ballots on election day.
Earlier this week supporters of the Party of Regions started pitching tents
on Kyiv's Independence Square (Maydan) as part of their self-proclaimed
effort to ensure an honest vote.

In November and December 2004, the square served as the main venue for
protests against the falsification of the presidential vote in favor of
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Now Yanukovych's supporters are turning the tables by claiming that his
rival, President Viktor Yushchenko, intends to resort to falsifications in
order to prevent the Yanukovych-led Party of Regions from scoring a
"crushing" victory.

On September 20, the Party of Regions issued a statement accusing its
opponents of preparing "provocations" and threatening to boycott the

According to the statement, opponents of the Party of Regions intend to
"sabotage" the work of constituency election commissions in the party's
traditional strongholds of eastern and southern Ukraine.

By refusing to sign constituency voting reports, the statement claims, the
opposition seeks to declare voting in those regions invalid and strip the
Party of Regions of a hefty number of votes.

The opposition Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense and Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc
promptly cited the Party of Regions' accusations as proof that Yanukovych
and his supporters plan to contest election results they are certain to find

Exchanging vote-falsification accusations is an essential course on the
Ukrainian electioneering menu, but Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz's
declaration that his party will question the elections in court regardless
of their results is a new ingredient.

"We will appeal to the courts. This is necessary in connection with the
number of violations that occurred during the previous elections and that
are committed now," Moroz said at an election meeting earlier this week. He
did not elaborate.

Some of his party colleagues explained that the Socialists question not only
the fairness of the election campaign but also the legitimacy of
Yushchenko's decrees calling for preterm polls.
In April, Yushchenko issued two decrees on early elections, citing as
grounds the ruling coalition's acceptance of defectors from other factions.
Coalition lawmakers appealed against the decrees in the Constitutional Court
and Yushchenko subsequently retracted them.

The September 30 polls were decreed by President Yushchenko in June and
confirmed by another decree in August. These two decrees became possible
thanks to a political deal in late May between Yushchenko, Yanukovych, and

Nevertheless, the June decree was also challenged by coalition lawmakers in
the Constitutional Court, which has so far made no ruling on it.

Under the deal, more than 150 opposition deputies gave up their mandates in
the Verkhovna Rada, reducing its numerical strength to below 300 deputies
and thus making it illegitimate.

But Moroz insisted that in quitting the legislature, the opposition deputies
violated legal norms and procedures, thus casting doubt on the legality of
the preterm polls.

Moroz then continued to organize parliamentary sittings after the
opposition's withdrawal, despite the fact that Yushchenko and the opposition
deemed them illegal.

Some observers of the Ukrainian political scene predict that Moroz, whose
party has little chance of overcoming the 3 percent voting threshold, will
fight until the bitter end in order to prevent the installation of a new
legislature -- or at least to delay this as long as possible.

And some observers assert that Moroz may be not without supporters in his
fight, especially if at least one of the three election frontrunners -- the
Party of Regions, the Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense bloc, and the Yulia
Tymoshenko Bloc -- post election results that fall below expectations or

Pessimists even assume that if election complaints fail to prevent the
legalization of a new Verkhovna Rada, it can nevertheless be dissolved by
the same maneuver as the current one -- a party dissatisfied with a
postelection government might just ask its legislators to quit.

According to opinion polls, the Party of Regions and the Yulia Tymoshenko
Bloc both stand a chance of winning enough seats to make them singularly
capable of making parliament illegitimate by withdrawing deputies.
How long might it take for Ukrainian courts to deal with potential election

Serhiy Kyvalov, who was the head of the infamous Central Election
Commission that wanted to award the presidential victory in 2004 to
Yanukovych, explained publicly earlier this week that such a process of
postelection litigations could take as long as 55 days. Thus, official
election results may be announced no sooner than in the last week of

On top of all that, according to the Committee of Voters of Ukraine (KVU),
an NGO monitoring Ukrainian elections, problems with the current electoral
law -- which was hastily amended in June -- could lead to nearly a million
Ukrainians losing the right to vote.

Under the law, border guards must compile a list of those who have left the
country since August 2 and have not returned. The border authorities
transmit the names to local election commissions by September 27, which
subsequently strike them from the list of eligible voters.

This scheme is questionable for at least two reasons. According to the KVU,
an estimated 400,000 voters returning to Ukraine within three days of the
election may be disenfranchised.

Second, there is no central registry where departures from Ukrainian border
checkpoints are recorded. Thus, the provision intended to eliminate voting
by absent voters opens the way for new manipulations.

President Yushchenko questioned this provision in the Constitutional Court,
which has so far not issued any ruling. What if a court decision qualifying
this provision as unconstitutional comes after September 30? Will the
elections be repeated?
The amended electoral law bans absentee voting. Again, the provision,
which was originally intended to reduce vote falsifications, potentially
disenfranchises an estimated 500,000 voters, including students and
domestic migrant workers, who are away from their home constituencies.

The electoral law also toughens the rules for voting at home, which is
believed to have been a major source of vote falsifications in the 2004
presidential polls. But it does not eliminate the possibility of
falsification in such voting completely.

With more than 33,000 polling stations opened on September 30, mere handfuls
of ballots stuffed in mobile ballot boxes -- a move that would be very
difficult to detect -- could decide the outcome.

According to some election experts, the race is expected to be very tight,
and just 300,000-400,000 votes may decide who will win enough of the few
seats required to form a parliamentary majority.

Thus, the postelection period, instead of the restoration of political
harmony that is so craved by President Yushchenko, may bring more political
turmoil and an outburst of legal wrangling.

It is clear that in coming months both the Ukrainian political elites and
ordinary voters are facing a very demanding test of their maturity and
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

BRIEFING: Oxford Business Group, London, UK, Tue, 25 Sep 2007

Controversies swirling around the upcoming general election have again
brought into focus the strong links between Ukraine's political parties and
the business oligarchs who fund them.

The recent part-privatisation of Ukraine's largest thermal power plant,
Dniproenergo, sold to Rinat Akhmetov, a member of parliament who belongs
to Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich's Party of the Regions and is Ukraine's
acknowledged richest man, has drawn sharp criticism from Yanukovich's
prime rival, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of the Yulia
Tymoshenko Bloc and a rumoured candidate for the presidential election
expected in 2010.

In response, Yanukovich's supporters have drawn attention to controversial
deals made by the government during Tymoshenko's eight-month spell as prime
minister in 2005, and her own alleged ties to big business. Tymoshenko had
formerly been allies with President Viktor Yushchenko in the Orange
Revolution, which swept him to power in 2005.

Yushchenko had faced Yanukovich in the presidential election at the end of
2004, with the latter declared winner. However, after months of street
protests claiming corruption and vote rigging, a recount revealed Yushchenko
as the real winner and he was confirmed as president.

The election was seen as a victory for pro-Europeans over pro-Russian
factions in the government. However, others have interpreted the result
merely as the triumph of one group of business interests over another.

Tymoshenko was appointed prime minister in January 2005 but was dismissed
by Yushchenko in September, with allegations of her interference in a
privatisation deal cited as the reason for her dismissal.

There has been some behind the scenes rapprochement between the two
and she is likely being considered by the president for the post again.

Akhmetov has been a major sponsor of Yanukovich, who was appointed
prime minister after his party's victory in elections last year.

The tycoon is seen as a potential future president for the Party of the
Regions and is counted as part of the "Donetsk clan" of oligarchs, the
steelmaking and machine building city in the east of the country from which
he and Yanukovich originate.

A BBC profile of Yanukovich commented, "Some see him as the figurehead
of Donetsk's political and business groups and associate him with local
oligarch Rinat Akhmetov," adding, "Supporters say Donetsk secured
unprecedented levels of investment during his governorship."

Rinat Akhmetov increased his stake in Dniproenergo in a debt-for-equity
deal. In late August, representatives of the state's interest in the company
agreed to a 52% increase in share capital, which increased Akhmetov's share
of the company more than four times to 40%.

His share is now estimated to be worth between $400m and $500m. Supporters
of the deal say it was necessary, given the plant's debts, but opponents
point to Akhmetov's close ties to Yanukovich.

In a recent comment piece in the local press, Tymoshenko attacked Yanukovich
and Akhmetov over the process of privatisation of Dniproenergo.

She slammed the actions of "Yanukovich and Partners" in allegedly fixing the
sell-off to Akhmetov, saying the company was undervalued and the tycoon
could now move to control the country's energy sector and increase
electricity prices significantly.

"It is Akhmetov who decides what the price per kilowatt-hour of electric
power for the population will be ...and he will not be engaged in charity
when selling the electric power," she said.

Tymoshenko claimed the "doomed" Party of the Regions coalition was
involved in a frantic sell-off of state assets before its impending election
defeat, and said, "that's why they are trying to steal everything that is in bad

Criticism over the Dniproenergo sell-off has been at the heart of
Tymoshenko's wider broadside against what she claimed has been the
government's enriching of its allies.

"It appears that it wasn't for nothing that Forbes wrote that during the
periods under Yanukovych's management, business circles close to the
government increased their turnover by $17bn."

However, Tymoshenko herself has come under attack for her alleged close
ties to Privat Group, a group controlled by businessmen including Igor
Kolomoisky. It is claimed that, while she was prime minister, Tymoschenko's
government favoured Privat. It is also claimed that the group has provided
financial support to both Yushchenko and Tymoshenko.

Meanwhile, Tymoshenko has been seen on the campaign trail riding in a
helicopter with Kostyantin Zhevago, a billionaire with assets in ore mining,
banking, truck manufacturing, hydrocarbons and real estate.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko fell out last year, partly over the latter's
actions over the ongoing privatisation of Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant. It is
claimed Tymoshenko tried to put the brakes on the sale of the majority of
shares to Interpipe, a long-term and bitter rival of Privat.

Furthermore, Interpipe is run by Viktor Pinchuk, the son-in-law of former
President Leonid Kuchma. Kutchma backed Yanukovich as his successor,
tying Interpipe to the latter's political fortunes in many people's eyes.

Tymoshenko's government also reversed the privatisation of Kryvorizhstal
steel mill, which was sold to Akhmetov for $800m in 2004. The following
year, the mill was sold to Mittal for $4.8bn.

Despite the heat and light, businesses remain confident in Ukraine's
progress, and its bid to join the WTO is expected to be completed by the end
of the year, further improving its standing.

Yanukovich's cautious balance between the EU and Russia has been pragmatic,
and critics of Tymoshenko point out that her government took a more populist
stance than the liberal and reforming path urged by the EU and International
Monetary Fund.

The message from the EU, outlined by European Commission President Jose
Manuel Barroso, has been "have the election, then continue with reform" with
whoever is elected.

Whether these encouraging noises will soothe the accusations and counter-
accusations after the election is a moot point.
General Enquiries mail@oxfordbusinessgroup.com
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, September 27, 2007

As Ukraine nears the Sept. 30 parliamentary elections, voters are splitting
three ways: one-third favors the Orange forces led by Yulia Tymoshneko's
bloc; one-third supports Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of
Regions; and the rest won't say.

Who will win depends on the undecided voters and their view of frontrunners,
like the Party of Regions. After18 months of parliamentary power, it can
reap the benefits of office.

In this time, the prime minister has projected a respectable image, shedding
the somewhat bumbling, goon-like image he had during the presidential
elections of 2004. Ukraine's robust economy favors him. Foreign investments
have surpassed $5 billion, almost three times the 2003 figures.

For Western-minded Ukrainians, his negatives include a wobbly stand on NATO
and charges of corruption. However, the most dangerous aspect of his
candidature is underscored in the taping of a secret meeting last month with
Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

Realnaya Polityka, a Russian website, reported Mr. Putin saying that "things
will not change in Ukraine. Yanukovych will be prime minister."

Whether the tape is real or not is a moot point: The issue is real. The
danger to the free election is Russia's determination to control it through
the Party of Regions regardless of Ukraine's national will. Why?

Because Russia needs Ukraine for its energy dominance, as a global
counterweight to the United States and the West, and for Ukraine's strategic
attributes, both geographic - proximity to Europe, the Black Sea, and
economic -agriculture, metallurgy, the space industry. Its empire-building
strategies depend on it.

The alternative to Yanukovych is Yulia Tymoshenko's bloc united with other
Orange parties and supported by one-third of the electorate and advancing.
Her power has grown steadily since being dismissed as prime minister by
President Viktor Yushchenko in the post-Orange Revolution government.

It surged after he signed a unity document with Yanukovych, called him to
form a government, and had his Our Ukraine party serve in his cabinet.

Yulia, as she is popularly called, and her bloc, went into opposition, the
lone standard bearers of the Orange Revolution values until other Orange
parties saw the writing on the wall and joined her.

She articulates Ukraine's national aspirations and couples them with
good-for-Ukraine economic policies, like promising to re-privatize Renat
Akchmetov's (on Fortune's richest list) recently purchased state energy
property. (She's already made him return a steel plant, reselling it at many
times his price, to bring some $4 billion into Ukraine's coffers). The
people love such measures of justice.

She is seen by the pro-West-minded electorate, to whom cozying up to Russia
smells of years of terror, economic deprivation and the Gulag, as its
champion. To her credit, she has cobbled a rapprochement among the Orange
forces - Our Ukraine and Yuriy Lutsenko's Peoples Self-Defense Party.

She achieved similar unity during the Orange Revolution only to see
President Yushchenko, to whom she handed power, turn on her. Many of the
undecided voters must be wondering whether there is a snake in the grass
once again.

There might well be. It's hard to believe that Russia will let her, and the
West, win outright. In previous Ukrainian elections, fraud occurred at all
three levels of voting, the greatest being in 2004 at the Central Election
Commission's headquarters, where Yanukovych supporters introduced false
results into the computer to give him a slight win. This precipitated the
Orange Revolution.

At the local poll station level, names of deceased have appeared on voters
lists; corrupt election officials have been taped adding rolls of ballots
during the count, and military academy commanders have insisted students
show marked ballots before depositing them in urns.

Now, there are complaints that the electoral lists vary by about as much as
20 percent from the previous year. Is the accusation real or not? Either
way, it can be used to trip the election.

Any transfer of ballots is open to abuse. Concerns about house voting, where
election urns are carried to the sick, need attention. Moving hundreds of
sacks of ballots and documents from local voting stations to regional
centers is an opportunity for massive falsification.

Political party observers need to be trained (to telephone headquarters
immediately with local results) and the electorate assured that there are
checks throughout the system preventing fraud.

Punishment of corrupt officials could be a deterrent. During the last
election there was only one television advertisement showing that election
law violation - threats of job dismissal for not voting as told- is
punishable with jail.

The real message to offenders lies elsewhere: Serhiy Kivalov, the dismissed
chief of Ukraine's Central Election Commission, went unpunished for running
two fraudulent presidential elections.

Instead, he was appointed head of the Odessa University's law department.
He also ran and sat as a leading member (Party of Regions) in Ukraine's
parliament. He is a running for office again.

The ultimate sabotage of the elections could happen after the vote; a
trip-up like the one the Orange forces experienced after their slight win in
the last parliamentary elections. At that time they were prevented from
taking office for months, by which time some of their parliamentarians
crossed over to the Yanukovych side.

This could happen again if there is pressure from outside forces - threats
to life or corruption could be persuasive. The alleged price for switching
sides in the last election surpassed $1 million.

The evidence was there - the extravagantly expensive cars, the giant Rolexes
and snappy Savil Row suits some parliamentarians suddenly boasted.

How to prevent this? The best enforcer of electoral law has been Ukraine's
free press. After the sign-language interpreter said she would no longer
spout the lies of the anti-Orange forces in the 2004 election, the
confidence of and trust in the media has been growing.

It needs to keep up the pressure on politicians to keep them honest. Make
them provide assurances that during the transition period Ukraine's wealth
is protected from raiders; that positions are not being offered to pals or
lubi druzi (good friends). The media needs to keep asking the hard

Will the Orange coalition hold? Will parliamentarians switch parties? Who
will comprise the cabinet? Will there be grand victory celebrations abroad
like there were before or will the new government get down to the business
of governing?

The post-election transition period is ripe with opportunities for Mr. Putin
to make a power play should Yulia and the Orange forces win.

The shenanigans following the last parliamentary elections support that. The
lack of leadership, and the abuses and stagnation that went on for months
was a considerable setback for democratic Ukraine.

It allowed Russia to capitalize by placing its people in high offices and
grabbing control of such crucial sectors as energy. Equally important, the
post-election chaos demoralized much of Ukraine's electorate - the one-third
that is holding this election in the balance.
Oksana Bashuk Hepburn is the president of U*CAN, a consulting firm
specializing in relations with Ukraine, and a commentator.
LINK: http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/oped/27436/
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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ANALYSIS: By Yaroslav Varyvoda, UCIPR project expert
"Civic Education in the 2007 Parliamentary Elections".
"Your Vote-2007". Issue 6. "Social Policy: Vision and Practice of Ukrainian
Political Forces, Represented in the Verkhovna Rada of the Vth Convocation"
Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

The social issue is always widely used by all political forces during
election campaigns. Though, on the eve of the early parliamentary elections
in September 2007, it has become a key one on the agenda of leaders of the
electoral race. Election programs are full of social promises.

Indicative is the situation with the commitment of parties and blocs to pay
child allowance (the highest stake was made by the Party of Regions ranging
from UAH 10,000 for the first child to UAH 50,000 for the third child).

Furthermore, politicians suggest increasing pensions (Yulia Tymoshenko’s
Bloc), raising the minimum wage (Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense) and
providing young specialists and budget employees with housing (the Party of

In its turn, the IMF forecasts that the focus on guaranteed social payments,
which became a usual practice of almost all Ukrainian political forces,
might lead to the essential growth of both prices for all commodity groups
and the national budget deficit.

By the way, however strange it seems but the Ukrainian law does not give a
clear definition for "social policy".

The Ministry of Labor and Social Policy as a respective body in the
executive system is responsible for the implementation of government policy
"in the area of employment and labor migration, social security of the
population, state compulsory social insurance, social-labor relations and
control of compliance with the legislation on labor, payment, work
measurement and promotion, classification of jobs and trades, labor
conditions, pension security, social services, collective and contractual
regulation of socio-economic interests of workers and employers and
development of a social dialogue" (the November 2, 2006 Cabinet resolution
No. 1543 "On the Approval of the Regulation on the Ministry of Labor and
Social Policy of Ukraine").

Under the Ukrainian law, social security shall be ensured "by means of
timely and address social support, including all types of public social
assistance in case of the loss of job, disability, retirement age and
others" (the November 2, 2006 Cabinet resolution No. 1543 "On the
Approval of the Regulation on the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy
of Ukraine").
Social Policy as Seen by MPs...
Legislative activity of parliamentary factions is focused mostly on the
satisfaction of needs of social groups that serve as a basis for their
voters. Specifically, lawmaking initiatives of the Communist Party’s faction
mainly concern veterans, pensioners and children of war.

MPs from the faction of the Party of Regions basically deal with state
compulsory social insurance, which is probably interesting for wage earners
and employers.

Another aspect of law-making incorporates problems relating to consistent
and sound policy of political parties. An indicative example is Our Ukraine,
whose deputies members of respective committees drafted just 3 bills.

Another example is Yulia Tymoshenko’s Bloc, whose legal initiatives on
social security of the disabled are launched by its new member MP V.
Sushkevych, who has been engaged in respective problems for long.

A comparative analysis of the declared commitments and the scope of
activities carried out over the year evidences that the most effective were
efforts of coalition party forces (first and foremost, the Party of Regions
and the Communist Party), which worked on legislative regulation of such
issues as state compulsory social insurance and social security of the
disabled and pensioners.

For a number of reasons, activity of the parliamentary opposition was
oriented towards other areas of government policy, whereas work in the
social sphere proved to be ineffective.

Attention must be paid to low effectiveness of social law-making of MPs from
the faction of Our Ukraine – they submitted only 3 bills, of which none has
been enacted (by the way, according to information posted on the official
site of the Verkhovna Rada, this political force appointed just by 1 MP to
sit in respective committees).

Eventually, in 2006, Our Ukraine went to the elections with liberal views
and did not undertake high obligations on social security of Ukrainians,
having limited its program to general declarations.

MPs from the faction of Yulia Tymoshenko’s Bloc paid attention to bills on
youth social protection, child allowance, various aspects of social
assistance to the disabled etc.

For some reasons, among which the faction’s being in opposition is not the
last one, this work is characterized by the low performance factor, since
the parliament supported just 4 bills, inclusive of the Recommendations of
the Parliamentary Hearings on the Youth Situation and amendments to the
three laws.

The Communist Party has a rather high level of law-making due to activity of
MP P. Tsybenko, who performed the Stakhanov’s norm having submitted 61
bills, of which 35 directly deal with the social issues. 6 bills became
normative documents, to say nothing about a number of resolutions on the
withdrawal of some bills and the adoption of others as a basis.

In general, Mr. Tsybenko concerned himself with social security of the
disabled, pensioners and war veterans, which is in line with the Communist
Party’s election platform and confirms its orientation to these categories
of voters. On the other hand, it is rather surprising that the Communist
Party delegated just one deputy to tackle such an important matter as social

Having appointed its three representatives as members of special
parliamentary committees, the Socialist Party also can boast about work of
only one deputy, I. Bondarchuk (59 bills, of which 26 concern social

Nevertheless, effectiveness of the Socialists in the area of social security
was low, for most bills are not enacted, whereas the adopted ones concern
procedural issues (the approval as a basis, defeat, revision etc.).

As for the Party of Region’s faction, a major share of respective work of
its MPs related to state social insurance (10 respective bills were voted
for at once).

The government’s efforts in the social sphere usually become more active
over the election period (this means attempts of a certain political force
to prove the fulfillment of its commitments and widen the circle of

Vision of "social policy" by key political forces of Ukraine is full of

The Communists and the Socialists address mostly their voters (pensioners,
veterans, children of war and others), the Party of Regions and Our Ukraine
guarantee the government support only to those, who cannot care about
themselves, whereas Yulia Tymoshenko’s Bloc promise to combat total
injustice and ensure equal rights to all citizens without exception.
This article is prepared within the framework of UCIPR project "Civic
Education in the 2007 Parliamentary Elections". The bulletin is "Your Vote-
2007". Issue 6. "Social Policy: Vision and Practice of Ukrainian Political
Forces, Represented in the Verkhovna Rada of the Vth Convocation" is
available on the UCIPR's site http://www.ucipr.kiev.ua.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Sebastian Smith, Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday September 27, 2007

KIEV - Ukrainians having nightmares involving a politician's death ahead of
parliamentary elections this Sunday should wake with a smile: an unexpected
sexual encounter awaits.

That's just one of a galaxy of predictions provided by astrologers in this
ex-Soviet country as they peer into crystal balls and try to add spice to a
poll mired in apathy.

In another one of his tips, self-described astro-political scientist Igor
Lepshin says anyone dreaming of parliamentary sessions could be in luck:
"There's a chance for making money."

But dreaming about sex with a politician is bad: "Your hidden enemies will
trick you," Lepshin warned this week in Segodnya, one of Ukraine's leading

Others have found ingenious ways to beat the boredom of Ukraine's third
national poll in as many years. A beauty salon in the south-eastern city of
Dnepropetrovsk is offering special manicures that leave clients boasting
portraits of political leaders and party logos on their nails.

"People are tired of having so many elections. We're trying to add some
interest," manicurist Olena Popova told AFP. The heavy-jowled current prime
minister, Viktor Yanukovych, is especially tricky in miniature, Popova said.

Another client "wanted logos of all the parties on different fingers,"
eventually settling for the top five -- with 20 parties contesting Sunday's
poll she'd have had to bring her toes into play.

Entrepreneurial clothes designer Igor Zaitsev has produced political
shoes -- orange for President Viktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine party, blue
for Yanukovych's Regions Party.

Fans of Yuliya Tymoshenko, a glamorous opposition leader aiming to oust
Yanukovych as premier, can squeeze into white stilettos emblazoned with her
trademark red love heart.

Not every money-making scheme bears fruit. The bookmakers Parimatch in the
capital Kiev said there are few punters for betting on the results. "A good
Barcelona-Zaragoza football match would get more bets than the entire
election," bookmaker Konstantin Zakharich told AFP.

"Betting people are rarely interested in politics and vice versa, especially
when you are talking about elections in Ukraine. I, for example, am
completely uninterested. It's like something on Mars."

Still, politicians are trying hard to grab attention. Tymoshenko has been
quoted comparing Yanukovych's pro-Russian coalition to a male rabbit mating
with a male squirrel.

Yanukovych, an ex-convict who brushed up his image with the help of US media
experts, hit back, describing Tymoshenko as a "cow on an ice rink."

And chances are they'll be taking those differences onto Kiev's main square,
the Maidan, soon after polling ends. In the 2004 pro-democracy "Orange
Revolution" the Maidan was where Tymoshenko and Yushchenko led hundreds
of thousands of people to challenge alleged vote-rigging by Yanukovych.

This time Yanukovych is a step ahead: an advance team of blue-flag waving
supporters has already occupied much of the Maidan. They even have their own
blue Regions Party basketball hoop.

Astrologers shrink from predictions about the country's political fate.
"Based on a politician's date of birth we can work out exactly what will
happen," astrologer Olena Osipenko told AFP.

"But there are others who stand behind these politicians and do not reveal
their identities," she said darkly. "Many politicians even change their
dates of birth."

Anyone really fed up might consider decamping to the village of Bakaivka,
east of Kiev. An eccentric group of locals have declared independence for
their vegetable-producing "sovereign municipality."

"The election does not affect us. We have nothing to do with Ukraine's
laws," Olexander Tolstoy, who described himself as a "plenipentory
diplomatic representative," told AFP by telephone.

But even politicians seem to know they are not wanted all the time. Asked by
journalists how she will spend Saturday, the last day before voting, when
campaigning is banned, Tymoshenko said: "I plan to sleep -- all day."
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

COMMENTARY: By Andrei Levkin, Polit.ru
Moscow, Russia, Thursday, September 27, 2007

Several days remain before the elections in Ukraine, but nothing special can
be said. Certainly, one can estimate chances of one or another candidate,
but no more. There are no changes; the present coalition and other have
even chances, things will become more definite during the very process.

It is quite clear that the result won't become the end. When votes are
summed up, one will begin forming the coalition, changing the Constitution,
etc. One can't say about any stability, and in the near future the situation
won't change.

But elections are a special episode. At least some figures will appear in
the chaos that reigns now, and it even doesn't matter what they will mean,
just figures. And, perhaps, they will turn out to be quite unexpected. As
for ratings, they changes now and then and sometimes seem to be just

For example, in the live broadcast in Cherson Victor Yanukovich was asked,
why his party had agreed to participate in the pre-term elections in spite
of the fact that they were unconstitutional.

Well, it is impossible that questions appear from nowhere, they are
prepared; so, it was important for Yanukovich that he would be asked this
question. He wanted to answer it.

He did answer. He claimed that the Party of Regions consented to pre-term
elections after Yushchenko had ordered the internal security troops moving
to Kiev.

There was really such an order and even some troops were transferred
somewhere, but in the whole there was a regular situation. The forces move
to Kiev and the entire world can observe Yushchenko playing in Boris
Yeltsin. Then everything would become clear.

Yanukovich came to another conclusion. "When we saw, that this orange
team together with the white fraternity will go to every expedient, even to
a civil conflict and, God forbid, to a civil war, we decided to participate in
the elections." (White fraternity - it is Julia Timoshenko Block).

"That's why the elections are the reality and on 30 September the people of
Ukraine will give a response to these populists, carpet-baggers, artists,
like they can be named, to these figures which, as I think, has lost their
political faces and pushed the country to political and economic

There is some discrepancy here. If people are going to give a response, it
will give it. But for what purpose five days before the elections Yanukovich
explains why the Party of Regions has supported this initiative of

Thus, figures can be rather unexpected. There is a statement of Bogatyreva,
the head of the parliamentarian fraction of the Party of Regions. Bogatyreva
decided to refute the information about the rating decline of the party.

The explanation was quite simple: "The increasing rating is eating our
political rivals up. While preparing themselves to the defeat and to work in
opposition, our rivals are searching for new tricks and using manipulating

"Our opposition is well informed that the Party of Regions is in the lead
with wide margin and the defeat of the opposition is inevitable."

But she didn't bring any figures proving the "inevitable defeat of the
opposition". And we all know very well, what can happen with parties fully
confident of their victory relying on ratings having ordered by themselves.

Thus if soon it turns out that just The Block of Yulia Timoshenko (BYT) and
Our Ukraine - People's Self-Defense (NUNS) will for the coalition, one
shouldn't be surprised. Generally speaking, simply arithmetic is in fashion

One should sum up BYT and NUNS and then the Party of Regions and the
Ukraine's Communist Party (KPU). The Socialist Party (SPU) obviously
won't pass; but, as it is considered, the Party of Regions and KPU will.
And then (as it is considered) there will be the coalition.

But is it really so? Will KPU really enter the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
(Parliament)? Or it is reckoned that the Block of Litvin will pass, and then
it is added to the Party of Regions. Well, maybe it will pass, but is it
right to add it just there? If to add it not there, a wonderful harmony is

Litvin is the speaker again, Timoshenko is again the prime minister, and
Yushchenko is the president. Then Timoshenko fights for the presidential
post and, sure, loses, since all people of good will will undoubtedly stand
up for their fatherland against her. But at the moment she doesn't guess
about this.

What will be after the elections? There certainly will be a full benefit of
the president Yushchenko; and he is ready for it. For example, in the
beginning of this week Timoshenko and then Tomenko (also a member of BYT)
began calling on Yushchenko to announce what coalition he wanted yet before
the elections, whether it should be NUNS+BYT or NUNS+the Party of Regions.

Certainly, Yushchenko himself gave cause for such questions. He doesn't
speak directly about the coalition with BYT, but mentions "wide coalition",
i.e. one with the Party of Regions. It makes BYT nervous but they understand
rather well, that now the president anyway won't say them anything.

So, this is just a PR at his cost, since they make the president out a
politician betraying "democratic values" again. And if it is so, BYT is the
only power, which can defend these values. Well, after all BYT and NUNS will
fight for the second place.

But why Yushchenko behaves himself just in that way? Well, it is important
for the coalition, how many votes will get NUNS and BYT, it will determine
who will become the prime minister. But the elections won't to put an end to
the crisis.

That's why Yushchenko doesn't regulate the elections but reflects on what to
do then. First you should understand what you want and only then announce
with whom you want to collaborate.

But at the same time Yushchenko became too enthusiastic about the NUNS, so
that the CEC even called him on 'keeping himself from agitation during the
election process'.

The CEC reckons that public appeals to vote for NUNS violate the suffrage.
Since Yushchenko doesn't participate in the elections, his behaviour is a
direct propagation of the administrative resource.

But Yushchenko decided not to explain in details but simply started the talk
off in a more common direction, claiming that he, being a president, must
participate in all political processes.

Well, there is something strange. If he hadn't become a main teller of NUNS,
the results of the election wouldn't be so important for him.

If NUNS received few votes, he could just step aside. He could say something
about 'the terrible defeat of the democracy', but then encourage teh world
by the fact that he, a true democratic president, is still on his post.

But he decided to participate in the elections as the main figure of NUNS.
Now bad result of NUNS can influence on his personal authority. But may not,
since he considers himself to be such a person for which all these fusses
are utter rubbish.

For example, hi was so indignant at the CEC, that during a pre-election
meeting in Sumy he claimed that he did not call Ukrainians on voting for one
or another political power.

'I don't tell anybody for whom to vote. I'm a free president and you're free
Ukrainian people. I fully confide in your choice and I'll accept any
challenge that you, being my compatriots will make'.

At the same time on 15 September in Lvov he said: "I ask you to support my
team, Our Ukraine - People's Self-Defense. I'm convinced, that, being the
president and a national, I have a right on such a request".

Evidently there are subtle psychological nuances. He really didn't say that
Ukrainians had to vote for NUNS, he just asked for it. Probably he sincerely
reckons that he hasn't made any appeal. And if to assume that he is sincere,
then he just mixes himself and his position up.

Well, in Lvov he called on voting for his team, but he spoke just as a
private person, Mr. Yushchenko. Well, he is always mixing V. Yushchenko and
the president up, and this know-how provides him for absolutely strategic

How else this know-how can be used? For example, on 1 October he can
discharge the government. Discharge, being a president. Because a private
person Yushchenko will count, that there can be a collision.

The Party of Regions and KPU will become the opposition and, treading in
steps of BYT and NU (Our Ukraine, that was before NS), they will refuse the
mandates. The Parliament is incapable, according to the law the next
elections can be held not earlier that in a year. Who rests in the country?

The president and the Cabinet of Ministers. Rada is also incapable, so one
can't approve another Cabinet. Does Yushchenko, as a private person, want to
find himself in such situation?

Certainly, he doesn't. but if to remove the Cabinet on 1 October, before the
official results of the elections, he will become the only power in the

And at that moment Yushchenko-the president and Yushchenko-private person
will become one figure. It is certainly rather a pretentious variant, but it
explains the actions of Yushchenko (of both Yushchenkos).

And it is a possible variant. Otherwise for what the Party of Regions has
occupied the Maidan. One won't occupy the Maidan beforehand because of
good premonitions. Alas, this activity resembles generals preparing for the
past war.
LINK: http://www.polit.ru/event/2007/09/27/ukrelection.html
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Real test for Ukraine's warring parties will come after this weekend's election

The Economist print edition, London, UK, Thu, Sep 27, 2007

KIEV - THE stage on Independence Square is set, the props are out, the
players are ready for the general election on September 30th.

There are blue tents for the Party of the Regions, led by the prime
minister, Viktor Yanukovich; orange ones for Our Ukraine, the party of his
rival, President Viktor Yushchenko; and white tents with red hearts for the
fiery Yulia Tymoshenko, Mr Yushchenko's first prime minister.

Ukrainians have seen this show several times. This is the second
parliamentary election since the orange revolution of 2004. The past three
years have seen lots of side-swapping, corruption and betrayal.

Much of the president's power has been transferred to parliament. In April
Mr Yushchenko called a fresh parliamentary election, leaving the country
largely ungoverned for almost six months.

The hope is that Ukraine's political system will now be rebooted. Yet the
results may be similar to the 2006 parliamentary election, when the big
winner was the Party of the Regions, followed by the Tymoshenko block
and trailed by Our Ukraine.

The real question is not over seats: it is whether the political elite can
create a functioning governing body. And that is also to ask if Ukraine,
with no tradition of statehood, can be a successful country.

From this perspective, the importance of this election goes far beyond
Ukraine. If the biggest ex-Soviet country after Russia can pull itself out
of this crisis, it will be an example for others, including Moldova and

In the 2004 presidential election the picture seemed clear. The orange
forces, led by Ms Tymoshenko and Mr Yushchenko, defeated the vote-
rigging Mr Yanukovich, who was backed by Moscow.

Ukraine was turned to the West. Since then the picture has become blurred.
Ideological divides, at least between the two Viktors, seem less important
and the fight for power and money more so.

As president, Mr Yushchenko failed to break the nexus between politics and
business and turned a blind eye to the murky brokering of Russian gas to

The orange revolution did not create the institutions needed for a
functioning state. Then Mr Yanukovich, the villain in 2004, staged a
dramatic comeback.

Unlike Mr Yushchenko, he never promised to cut links with business tycoons.
He is backed by Rinat Akhmetov, an MP and the country's richest man.

"We have a different philosophy: we want to draw business into the running
of the country. Akhmetov and Yanukovich complement each other," says Yuriy
Miroshnychenko, a lawyer with the Party of the Regions.

Mr Yanukovich has also undergone a makeover by American consultants and no
longer takes instructions from Moscow. His main message is of stability and
growth. Demanding official status for the Russian language and opposition to
NATO membership are secondary.

Ms Tymoshenko calls for a revolutionary breakthrough and an anti-corruption
crusade. That inspires awe in her supporters and apprehension among some
tycoons. All three parties want Ukraine to get into the European Union, but
the EU offers little encouragement.

None of the parties will get an overall majority, so a coalition will be
necessary. One possibility is the reunion of Ms Tymoshenko and Mr

Another is a coalition between the Party of the Regions and Our Ukraine. Mr
Yanukovich and Mr Akhmetov have talked to Mr Yushchenko, who has not
ruled out a coalition with his opponents. Now negotiations are intensifying.

The test of this election will be the ability of the parties to do a
post-election deal. Oles Doniy, a supporter of Our Ukraine who fought for
independence in the early 1990s, says that "from the point of view of the
Ukrainian state, victory by Our Ukraine is not enough. The most important
thing is the functioning of the state."

For the election to be judged a success, he argues, the parties must not
cheat; whoever loses must recognise the victory of the others; and whoever
wins must allow the losers to function as a proper opposition.

Each of the three parties has accused its opponents of rigging the votes,
even before they are cast. None of the parties is ready to admit defeat. If
the Party of the Regions wins the most seats but is excluded from
government, Mr Yanukovich may bring people on to the streets; or simply
boycott parliament.

If the economy keeps growing fast, Ukrainians can afford to take little
interest. But with the world economy faltering, the next few years could be
tougher. A stalemate that blocks further reform could then lose all the
gains from 2004.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

COMMENTARY: Samuel Charap, International Herald Tribune (IHT)
Paris, France, Thursday, September 27, 2007

NEW YORK: On Sunday, Ukrainians will go to the polls to elect a new
Parliament. In a snap election called only a year and a half after the last
one, voters will be faced with a familiar choice: either President Viktor
Yushchenko's bloc, that of his erstwhile political ally Yulia Timoshenko, or
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich's Party of the Regions.

Many in the West mistakenly believe that this contest is merely a rerun of
the Orange Revolution, when the Yushchenko-Timoshenko team prevailed
against Yanukovich in what was seen as a bloodless coup against the old regime.

But they are wrong. The latest public opinion polls suggest that Yanukovich
will be returned to power, inevitably prompting officials in Washington and
European capitals to wonder, "Who lost Ukraine?"

After all, Yanukovich and his supporters were supposed to have been
vanquished by Yushchenko and his allies in the Orange Revolution.
Yushchenko was seen as a pro-Western reformer, his scarred face a
physical manifestation of the other side's nefarious ways.

The Orange Revolution was considered in the West to have been a victory
of "democratic" politicians over the purportedly corrupt, pro-Russian,
authoritarian forces represented by Yanukovich.

After the results of the next election come in, instead of hand-wringing
about Yanukovich's likely victory, policy makers in the West must try to
understand the motivations of the electorate. This will require a
reassessment of the Orange Revolution.

It is now clear that the "revolutionaries" were not Yushchenko and
Timoshenko but average Ukrainians revolting against the stagnation of the
post-Soviet period. The politicians' battles were of secondary importance.

Before 2005, Ukrainian society was typical of the post-Soviet region -
resigned to be ruled from above, incapable of self-organization and somewhat
closed to the outside world. Compared to this "prerevolutionary" period,
Ukrainian society has been transformed.

People debate politics in person, on TV and in the press. Politicians are
held to account by an increasingly active civil society. More and more
Ukrainians from all parts of the country have begun to think of themselves
as European - and to act the part.

Yet this sea change has been overshadowed by what the West preferred to
see as a binary political battle between "democratic" and "nondemocratic"
forces. This public embrace of the "Orange team" was a mistake.

Despite the countrywide movement that initially brought them to power,
Yushchenko and Timoshenko's power base lies almost exclusively in the
western and central regions. They have little support in the south and east
and never made a concerted attempt to reach out to this half of the country.

The West's embrace of these leaders alienated the population in the southern
and eastern regions of Ukraine, which overwhelmingly supports Yanukovich.

In our rush to support the Orange team, policy makers seem to have ignored
the fact that Yanukovich is a genuinely popular politician in the south and
east - and current polls indicate that he is now the most popular in the
country as a whole. His electoral base is larger than the other side's and
produces the lion's share of the country's GDP.

While we may not like everything they believe, we must acknowledge that
these Ukrainians are full-fledged and legitimate members of the polity. By
dismissing their leaders as enemies of democracy, Western leaders
discredited themselves.

We should have kept our distance from Ukraine's political battles but
maintained our solidarity with the real revolutionaries, who can be found in
all regions of Ukraine.

Since Yanukovich's electoral victory in 2006, the West has been assiduously
cultivating him and his allies, and insisting that we are only interested in
free and fair political competition and a thriving civil society - not the
victory of one side over the other. However, the damage has been done.

In this sense "Who lost Ukraine?" is the wrong question. A more appropriate
one is why the West shunned so many of the heroes of the Orange Revolution.
The answer is that we failed to understand that the politicians' battles
were just a sideshow to the real revolution in Ukrainian society.
NOTE: Samuel Charap of St. Antony's College, Oxford, was a visiting fellow
at the International Center for Policy studies in Kiev earlier this year.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Political problems run deeper than another set of elections can possibly fix.

Transitions Online (TOL), Prague, Czech Republic, Wed, 26 Sep 2007

KYIV, Ukraine - Ukraine is in the final stretch of yet another election
campaign notable for the lack of substantive debate on political challenges
and marred by the deep-seated personal animosities that have dominated
Ukrainian politics since the Orange Revolution three years ago.

The 30 September vote is being presented to the public as the solution to
the ongoing political crisis brought about by feuding between President
Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. This
expectation is bound to be disappointed.

Circling the two antagonists is Yulia Tymoshenko, the firebrand opposition
politician who hopes for another chance to sit in the prime minister's seat.
The root cause of the friction between the president and the prime minister
is a struggle for power and authority in Ukraine's political system. During
this election campaign the political struggles have been conducted almost
entirely on a personal level.

The platforms of the three main competing blocs hardly get a mention in the
media. Attention is focused intensely on one question: who will form a
post-election government coalition?

Political sources indicate that the presidential secretariat began preparing
for new elections at least as far back as January this year, when a tight
circle of consultants gathered to discuss the feasibility of dissolving
parliament. But it took three presidential decrees and an eventual political
compromise in May to set a firm election date.

Twenty parties and coalitions have registered their candidates' lists with
the Central Election Commission. These include the usual smattering of
temporary, minor business alliances, as well as a "Kuchma Bloc." In an
indication of how low expectations have sunk in the wake of a Orange
Revolution run aground, a Kyiv graffito urges former President Leonid
Kuchma, "Danylich - Come Back!"

Two established parties are unlikely to do well in the voting. The
Socialists may not even top the 3-percent cutoff to enter parliament, and
the Communists, currently rejoicing at the woes of their former adherent,
now Socialist leader Oleksandr Moroz, may not do much better.

The real battle will take place between the Party of Regions, headed by
Yanukovych, the Our Ukraine - National Self-Defense coalition supported by
Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko's eponymous bloc.
The Party of Regions is feeling confident, and for good reason. They are
polling at 36-38 percent, a marked improvement over their 32 percent result
in the 2006 election.

The party is pushing its main theme of dependability in the retro style of
the former "red" directors from the Soviet period who are key supporters.

The party's campaign chief, Boris Kolesnikov, has said that Regions would
seek a national referendum on Ukraine's possible entry into NATO and on
elevating Russian to a state language, on a par with Ukrainian. These
initiatives are aimed against the pro-Western Yushchenko and designed to
consolidate support from Ukraine's eastern, Russian-speaking regions.

Yanukovych's personal slogan - "What Yanukovych says, he does" - harks back
to Kuchma's main theme in his race for the presidency in 1994, when serving
President Leonid Kravchuk was lampooned as "all words," while Kuchma was the
"man of action."

As in the Kuchma-Kravchuk race, which Kuchma unexpectedly won, Yanukovych
is playing on voters' disenchantment with the serving president. In 2004,
just before the Orange Revolution, Yushchenko ran for the office proclaiming
"Not with words, but with action." But two years of Yushchenko's presidency
and his passivity, detachment, and inefficacy have turned away voters.

Yushchenko's supporters have gathered in a coalition which largely repeats
the format in which they ran in March 2006. Now, however, their bloc is
dominated by Yuriy Lutsenko, Number 1 on the bloc electoral list and a
politician who has built his political career largely on his animosity,
amply returned, towards the Party of Regions.

Lutsenko's anti-Regions strategy has allowed him to fill a political niche
thus far dominated by Tymoshenko. However, his personal poll ratings,
currently hovering at 6-8 percent, may not be enough to lift the Our Ukraine
coalition much higher than their dismal result of 14 percent last year.

Nor has the way he meekly entered Yanukovych's government just weeks after
publicly declaring he would never do so boosted his reputation as scourge of
the Party of Regions.
Tymoshenko, however, remains Ukraine's premier opposition politician.

In March 2006 the Tymoshenko Bloc won 22 percent of the vote and this time
around her results are likely to improve slightly, but based on the numbers
of people who dislike her hard-headed style - her negative ratings have
consistently been the highest among Ukraine's national politicians -
Tymoshenko may have reached the upper limit of supporters she can win over.

Tymoshenko's message is simple: give me another shot at running the country
from the prime minister's office. The problem with this scenario, however,
is that most people were not very impressed with her first time around, when
a meat crisis was followed by a gasoline crisis and privatized enterprises
were slated for nationalization.

Tymoshenko's main problem, however, is not so much the election as the
intentions of Yushchenko and his closest allies. The role that will be
played in post-election coalition talks by Viktor Baloha, the powerful head
of the presidential secretariat, will be crucial.

Rumors abound that Baloha himself is interested in the post of prime
minister. Though such an eventuality is somewhat far-fetched, Baloha will be
very reluctant to see in the job given her track record as a solo rather
than team player.
Some analysts are whispering about the possibility of a worst-case
scenario - the Party of Regions garnering more than half the seats in
parliament together with the communists, allowing them to form a government
on their own. The two parties have worked as solid coalition partners in the
Yanukovych-led government.

Others mutter that fraud may cloud the outcome of the voting. The Committee
of Voters of Ukraine, a non-partisan, Western-funded monitoring group, has
issued regular reports listing its concerns about such issues as the use of
central government resources to influence voting, irregularities in voter
registration lists, and inadequate regulation of home voting for disabled

Following the March 2006 elections, independent journalists uncovered
evidence of serious and massive voting falsifications in the Donetsk region,
the home base of the Party of Regions.

Over the past decade, local election commissions have become adept at
election fraud. Since election commission members are dominated by
representatives of local government, manipulation of voting results is

Whatever happens on 30 September will not resolve the ongoing struggle for
power between the Party of Regions and Yushchenko.

A "grand coalition" between these two antagonists looks likely to be
short-lived and the same goes for a Tymoshenko government. One result looks
certain: people will soon start talking about yet another election.
Ivan Lozowy is a TOL correspondent and also runs an Internet newsletter,
the Ukraine Insider.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Ukrainian novelist Andrey Kurkov discusses the early parliamentary election
on Sunday, the unfulfilled promise of the Orange Revolution and the real
powerbrokers in Ukraine.

OPINION: By Andrey Kurkov, Ukrainian Novelist
Der Spiegel Online magazine, Germany, Thu, Sep 27, 2007

President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko kisses the hand of the opposition
leader Yulia Tymoshenko on Thursday, prior to talks in advance of Sunday's
parliamentary elections.

It is January 2013. The new Ukrainian president is meeting for the first
time with his Russian counterpart in Moscow where, of course, Vladimir
Putin is still in power.

This is the first scene of my novel "The President's Last Love." The
Ukrainian complains to the Russian about the "nimrods" in his parliament,
whose members vote the way they happen to feel like voting.

"Show them the numbers of their foreign bank accounts!" Putin advises the
Ukrainian president. "Or don't you know where all the money from the
government's coffers is disappearing? I have dossiers on 40 of your

I wrote this novel before the Ukrainian presidential election in 2004, that
is, before the now-famous Orange Revolution.

But then some of the imagined events in my book suddenly became Ukrainian
reality: the parliament's intrigues against their own head of state, for
example; the poisoning of our president, which I anticipated in the book
half a year before it actually happened; and, finally, the conflict with
Russia over natural gas and the Ukrainian communists' desire to align
themselves with the orthodox members of the Moscow patriarchy.

Almost three years have passed since then. We still don't know who put
dioxin in Viktor Yushchenko's food. But the president himself has
highlighted the attempted assassination once again, accusing Russia of
obstructing the investigation into the case.

It's election time again in Ukraine.

The election Yushchenko called the "most democratic of all parliamentary
elections" happened only a year and a half ago -- an election in which the
successful revolutionaries captured the majority.

But then they were unable to agree amongst themselves, helping their
political adversary, the pro-Moscow Viktor Yanukovych, return to power.

It was undoubtedly a setback. But one thing is clear: This victory of
Yushchenko's opponents will not be more than a temporary one.

It appears to me that Ukraine has entered an era in which all victories are
fleeting. Its politicians may have learned to win, but they still lack the
ability to use their victories in a sensible way.

The next election, an early one once again, is approaching next Sunday.
According to the pollsters, Prime Minister Yanukovych's Party of the Regions
will capture a majority of votes.

The only problem is that the so-called democratic forces of the Orange
Revolution -- Yushchenko's Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense bloc and Yulia
Tymoshenko's bloc -- stand a good chance of attracting just as many votes as
the prime minister's party. In other words, we could see a stalemate.

I don't even want to think about the possibility that one in four Ukrainians
may not even go to the polls or may choose the "against everyone" option, a
bizarre feature of the post-Soviet election law.

It's the Ukrainian paradox. Out there in Europe, we win the Eurovision Song
Contest, and more and more foreign capital is flowing into booming Kiev. But
inside the country? Within a breathtakingly short period of time we have
worn out all of our political institutions.

The parliament -- 350 of its 450 members are dollar millionaires and brawls
in front of the cameras have become commonplace -- is paralyzed, the
Constitutional Court is incapable of action and the president is caught in a
political stalemate.

A few weeks ago, it seemed that the two camps were on the verge of deploying
the police and internal security forces against each other.

Politics in our country is not about seeking compromise. Instead, for our
supposed public representatives it is simply an opportunity to continue
doing business, just by other means. And Ukrainian politics is still
dominated by an eternally unchanging triangle: Yushchenko-Tymoshenko-

The attempt to find deeper ideological differences among these three forces
is fraught with many questions and few answers. The programs of all three
politicians are filled with promises that no one can fulfill.

The most popular promise: Mothers would receive the equivalent of 1,500 for
the birth of their first child, 2,000 for the second and as much as 7,000
for the third.

And this in a country where the average monthly wage is only 180!
Politicians who engage in this sort of populism are in fact apolitical. Our
parties rally around leaders, not ideas.

Viktor Yushchenko, the leader of Nasha Ukraina or Our Ukraine, still has the
best reputation. Unfortunately, the same thing can't be said for his party.
When Yushchenko began his political career, he portrayed himself as the
champion of a European future for Ukraine.

His pro-Western views and the desire to tear Ukraine away from Russia's
political and economic sphere of influence made him popular, especially in
western Ukraine, where the people have disliked Russia and the Russian
language since the Soviet days.

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych is poised to win Sunday's elections.The
center of the country, together with the capital Kiev, supported Yushchenko
as practically the only politician who could not be accused of corruption.

Many were impressed by his intelligence and, even more so, by his gentle
nature, an unusual trait among Ukrainian politicians.

Yushchenko's intellect became especially apparent during the Melnitchenko
affair of 2000. When Major Melnitchenko of the presidential bodyguards
released secret recordings of conversations within the innermost circle of
power in Kiev.

Every politician whose voice could be heard on the tapes, including then
President Leonid Kuchma, sounded horrifyingly uneducated, with their
conversations consisting of little more than gangster speak.

Fascinated by Yushchenko, politicians from other parties switched sides and
joined Nasha Ukraina, sensing that it had the makings of a completely new
party capable of winning power. But Yushchenko remained a man marked by
hesitation, a trait he retained later on when he assumed the country's
highest office.

If Yushchenko is a romantic, then Yulia Tymoshenko is the Trotskyite of
Ukrainian politics. The so-called gas princess and second icon of the Orange
Revolution attracted public attention when she was arrested and detained for
a few weeks in 2001.

She was accused of corruption related to business transactions involving
Russian natural gas, probably at Kuchma's instigation. She had hardly been
released before becoming his most ardent enemy.

Her bloc now has more support within the population than Yushchenko's,
mostly as a result of Tymoshenko's radical views on the country's oligarchs.
She promises a new, "honest" privatization of the assets that the "new
Ukrainians" acquired illegally in the 1990s.

When one considers that virtually all plants, factories and small businesses
were privatized illegally in the Kuchma era, the fulfillment of Tymoshenko's
current campaign promise would lead to total chaos in the Ukrainian
economy -- an economy that is finally enjoying an upswing.

Yulia Tymoshenko has never adhered to any concrete ideology. The words "In
God We Trust" recently began appearing on the masthead of the newspaper she
publishes in Kiev.

It's the same inscription that appears on every dollar note. She prefers the
Europeans over the Russians, even though she promises a radical improvement
in relations with Moscow.

Some of her ideas even give the Yushchenko supporters in her camp an uneasy
feeling, such as her promise to abolish compulsory military service by as
early as Jan. 1, 2008. Her motives are completely transparent: She wants to
capture the votes of parents whose sons are about to be drafted.

For Yulia Tymoshenko, next Sunday's election is nothing more than a
milestone on the road to victory in the 2009 presidential election. This is
far from impossible. She is more popular than ever and Ukrainians yearn for
a decisive leader and -- unlike the Russians -- would also accept a woman as

And what about Yanukovych, the last figure in this triangle? The man Kuchma
groomed as his successor, who represents the interests of big business in
southern and eastern Ukraine and who, in 2004, lost the presidential
election to Yushchenko amid charges of election fraud.

Yanukovych hasn't disappeared. On the contrary, he has learned new lessons.
He skillfully used divisions within the democratic camp last year to his
advantage, garnering the support of the parliament and thereby winning the
office of prime minister.

He hired American advisors, purged his speech of profanities and finally
acquired a Ukrainian, and public, sense of humor. His key campaign promise
is economic stability.

He has transformed himself from a "pro-Russian" into a "pro-Ukrainian"
politician but, more importantly, into a pragmatist. While Yushchenko wants
to see Ukraine join the European Union and NATO as quickly as possible,
Yanukovich says that Ukraine isn't ready for NATO and that the EU isn't even
interested in having Kiev as a member.

The real reason for the early election next Sunday has faded into the
background in recent weeks: the dramatically limited powers of the
president. Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko want to reverse the 2005
reform, a concession to their opponent at the time, which gave substantial
political power to the dollar millionaires in the parliament.

Now they want to see everything go back to the way it was. The two
politicians would push even harder for the plan if they could be certain
that Yanukovich wouldn't suddenly become president.

We still have the battle over the role of the president ahead of us. The
parliament is the issue for now, and the most astonishing thing is that for
once the country is behaving quietly and modestly.

The usual demonstrations and loud meetings are absent. Upon closer
inspection, what looked like political chaos from afar in recent months is
in truth merely a carefully controlled game of chess.

The oligarchs are the players and the politicians the chess pieces. Without
men like coal and steel barons Rinat Akhmetov and Sergey Taruta from the
Donetsk basin, or Kuchma's son-in-law the pipeline builder Viktor Pinchuk,
Ukraine would have fallen apart long ago.

These are men who need stability to keep their businesses thriving. As long
as they control the economy, the political theater in the country will have
no serious effects. (Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan)
NOTE: ANDREY KURKOV, 46, is Ukraine's most popular and well-
known writer. He has written 19 books and has been translated into 32
languages. His most successful novel, "The President's Last Love,"
caricatures the real lunacy of Ukrainian politics.
LINK: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,508312,00.html
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Stefan Korshak, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)
Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 26, 2007

KIEV- Her Luis Vuitton suits fit to a tee, her toilette is exquisite, she
tears about the country in a convoy of limousines, and she campaigns as
a defender of the poor and downtrodden.

Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine's top opposition politician and by all accounts
the country's best-dressed and most politically-powerful woman, is out to
get the rich and influential. She is taking no prisoners.

Tymoshenko, 46, is criss-crossing the land in, arguably, the former Soviet
republic's first-ever nationwide whistle-stop election campaign.

Wearing pure white down to her designer shoes and pearl earrings, she says
she is on nothing less than a crusade against corruption - a theme with
considerable resonance in Ukraine, by many accounts Europe's most corrupt

'Yulia,' as most Ukrainians call petite Tymoshenko, has spent the last 45
days on the campaign trail, mostly on the road, talking to voters, speaking
at rallies, and sleeping at best five hours a day.

'I have travelled the country from end to end, and people are getting tired
of getting lied to over and over again,' Tymoshenko told Fakty newspaper.
'And that is going to bring us support, far more than any one expects.'

Certainly her rallies are drawing them in. Since July the Tymoshenko
campaign cavalcade has rolled into hundreds of town and city squares, and
sometimes the crowds number in the tens of thousands.

Tymoshenko's ability to draw in listeners is unmatched by any other
Ukrainian politician, who in any case as a group prefer buying TV ads and
smear news reports, over active campaigning.

The Tymoshenko stump speech is, by the standards of modern electioneering,
surprisingly simple. There is a stage with red-and- white bunting, a
medium-power public address system, and booths with campaign workers
handing out brochures.

During the warm-up party functionaries appeal to the crowd for volunteers
and contributions, and - critically as Ukraine is a country where relatives
count - remind listeners that whatever they heard today, please, please tell
a family member.

Tymoshenko appears, as always her coiffure in a traditional, museum-perfect
Ukrainian peasant braid. Her oratory perhaps mesmerises some, but mostly,
Tymoshenko holds her listeners by saying out loud, what a substantial
majority of Ukrainians think about their politicians and their government.

Often, she rubbishes conventional wisdom on Ukraine in the process.
Throughout, she relentlessly hammers her thesis: Corrupt government must

The division of Ukraine into two supposedly incompatible ethnic halves,
Russian-speaking and Ukrainian-speaking, get this treatment:

'Ukraine is not a country divided into Russians and Ukrainians, that is an
artificial divide invented to frighten people ... Ukraine is divided into 47
million honest people, and a few hundred clans out to steal from the honest

Her intention to become the next Prime Minister, touted by her opponents as
unseemly ambition for a woman, received this broadside, recalling jail time
stemming from 2001 tax evasion charges, which were subsequently dropped: 'If
I had set myself the goal of being Prime Minister, I would have had that job
years ago, and held it still.

The thing is, the business clans gave me a choice, either stop making their
life difficult, or go to prison. I went to prison, but at least my integrity
stayed intact.'

The crowds have been friendly, supportive, and almost always either
unwilling or too polite to bring up unpleasant issues like Tymoshenko's
notoriously failed attempts to freeze petrol and food prices while she was
Prime Minister in 2000, her fortune made in government natural gas imports
during the 1990s, or the two dozen or so very wealthy businessmen on her own
party list.

'We are all tired of the rich clans using government to steal from us, and
making us poor,' her speeches often conclude. 'It needs to stop, and with
your help we can stop it together. Glory to Ukraine!' In town after town,
village after village, that sentence has received standing ovations.

Ukrainian pollsters are a bit sceptical, usually predicting Tymoshenko's
eponymous political party Block of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT) stands to
gather in 25 to 30 per cent of the popular vote, in a clear second place to the
currently ruling Regions Ukraine party, currently on track to take between
32 and 40 per cent of the vote.

'Do not underestimate the Ukrainian people,' Tymoshenko countered in a
recent interview. 'They have had enough.'
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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return to index [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
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Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.
Return to Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article

LEAD EDITORIAL: Financial Times
London, UK, Tuesday, September 24, 2007
Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), Kiev, Ukraine, Mon, Sep 24 2007

Ukrayinska Pravda website, Kiev, in Ukrainian 25 Sep 07
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 25 Sep 07
BBCC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Sep 25, 2007

Luke Harding, Ostroh, Ukraine, The Guardian
London, United Kingdom, Monday, Sep 24, 2007

Vasyl Losten, Antonij Shcherba, Morgan Williams, Oksana Lykhovyd
and Virlyana Tkach for their dedicated service to Ukraine
Action Ukraine Monitoring Service, New York, NY, Wed, Sep 26, 2007

INTERVIEW: With Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Foreign Minister, Ukraine
AP Worldstream, New York, NY, Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007

Electoral Pamphlet from the Party of Regions
Sent by Taras Kuzio & Translated by Lisa Koriouchkina for UKL
The Ukraine List (UKL) #420, Compiled by Dominique Arel
Chair of Ukrainian Studies, Univ of Ottawa
Ottawa, ON, Canada, 24 September 2007
UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 25, 2007

By Sebastian Alison, Bloomberg News
Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Press Office of the President of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, September 22, 2007

Large scale farming in Ukraine, 50,000 hectares by end of 2007
By Toby Shelley, Financial Times, London, UK, Monday, Sep 24 2007

Polish News Bulletin, Warsaw, Poland, Tue, Sep 25, 2007

Business Wire, Sweden, Monday, Sep 24, 2007

Top sources for servants: Philippines, Ukraine, Latvia, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.
By Roger Dobson, Independent, London, UK, Sunday, 23 Sep 2007

Interfax, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Sep 21, 2007

NEWS ANALYSIS: The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited
New York, NY, Thursday, September 20, 2007

By Ben West, Financial Times, London, UK, Saturday Sep 22 2007.

Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

French company Novarka and U.S. company Holtec International
Press Office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007
Interfax Ukraine Economic, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Boiko Meets with U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman in Vienna
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007
Jenny Booth & Agencies, Times Online, London, UK, Fri, Sep 21, 2007
By Ben Martin, Telegraph, London, UK, Saturday, Sep 22, 2007
By Marie Colvin, The Sunday Times
London, United Kingdom, Sunday, September 23, 2007
By Gene M. Burd, Marks Sokolov & Burd, LLC
Philadelphia, PA, Monday, September 24, 2007
"Why did He Annihilate Us?/Stalin and the Ukrainian Holodomor"
By Nadiya Tysiachna, Iryna Yehorova, The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, September 18, 2007
"This book is the quintessence of what we know about the Holodomor"
By Ihor Siundiukov, The Day Weekly Digest
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Security Service of Ukraine holds roundtable on declassified archival
materials about the Holodomor and political repressions in Ukraine
By Ihor Siundiukiv, The Day Weekly Digest,
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 4, 2007

LEAD EDITORIAL: Financial Times
London, UK, Tuesday, September 24, 2007

Ukrainian voters are understandably less than thrilled by the choice offered
in next Sunday's parliamentary elections.

In the three years since the 2004 Orange revolution, they have seen their
leaders quarrel, swap corruption charges and generally fail to establish a
stable government.

If the opinion polls are right, the election will not make a decisive
change: President Viktor Yushchenko, prime minister Viktor Yanukovich and
opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko will remain in charge of the three
biggest political blocs, with none having a majority. The only answer will
be more bickering and more bargaining.

Moreover, the country's business oligarchs wield more power than they did
under the authoritarian former president Leonid Kuchma.

Rinat Akhmetov, the richest, has an estimated fortune of $15bn-plus. That
puts him behind Roman Abramovich, Russia's wealthiest man, who has about
$19bn. But Russia's economy is five times larger than Ukraine's.

No businessman in the world has as much domestic economic clout as Mr
Akhmetov. Even if he abjured politics, he would inevitably have big
political influence. In fact, Mr Akhmetov is an MP and active backer of Mr
Yanukovich's Regions party.

With so much power in one man's hands, it will be hard for Ukraine to
develop a healthy democracy. Little wonder, voters are disillusioned.

Yet, Ukraine's political life is in far better shape than seemed possible
before the Orange revolution. The elections will doubtless be hit by
localised claims of ballot-rigging, but the days of nationwide fraud are
gone; the media are largely free; and there is real political competition
among the parties.

The economy is distorted by gross inequality but it is growing at its
fastest-ever pace. Ordinary Ukrainians may still not have much, but they
have more than at any time since independence.

Russia is backing pro-Russia politicians in the polls, but its efforts are,
fortunately, a far cry from its central role in Mr Yanukovich's scandal-hit
2004 campaign.

Meanwhile, the west has dropped its wholesale enthusiasm for Mr Yushchenko
for more measured support for politicians backing European Union-oriented
policies. Ukrainians will vote on Sunday mostly free of direct foreign

Voters must put pressure on party leaders to ensure the country pursues EU
membership with as much determination as possible. The country's leaders
must implement accession-linked policies - and seek support from businessmen
at a politically acceptable price.

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

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), Kiev, Ukraine, Mon, September 24 2007

KIEV - Officials from Ukraine's national intelligence agency the SBU accused
a provincial election council of registering close to 100 000 non-existent
persons on voter rolls, Korrespondent magazine reported Monday.

The alleged election fraud attempt took place in the eastern Kharkiv region,
said SBU spokesperson Andrij Mukhtaev, citing the results of a secret
investigation conducted by the spy agency. Ukraine is set for a September 30
national election to select a new parliament.

Most (94 000) of the discrepancies found in the SBU investigation were
duplications in two different voter rolls of a single
legitimately-registered voter, Mukhtaev said.

Oleksander Krivtsov, a Kharkiv province election official, conceded voter
rolls "are still being finalised" in the run-up to the Sunday election, but
argued the SBU - Ukraine's version of the KGB - had no right to enforce
election fraud law.

The voter roll errors were honest mistakes and regional election commission
would make sure the mistakes were corrected, Krivtsov said.

Many voter roll errors discovered by the SBU investigation are linked to
typographical errors stemming from spelling differences, as Kharkiv is a
Russian-speaking province but Ukrainian voter rolls must be in Ukrainian, a
language not so well understood in Kharkiv, he said.

The accusations and counter-accusations were typical of the tense run-up to
the vote, which will determine whether Ukraine's government will become more
pro-Europe and free market-oriented, or remain on its current pro-Russia and
big business-oriented track.

The election is a three-way battle between the ruling pro-business Regions
party, the anti-corruption Tymoshenko party, and the nationalist Our Ukraine
party. Currently, Regions is leading in polls with the Tymoshenko party
second and closing.

Leaders of all three parties have accused their opponents of preparing to
commit election fraud, although Ukraine's last parliamentary election, in
2006, was in general free and fair, according to international observers.

The close rankings in the current battle could make a few percentage points
decisive in determining which two party-coalition will control the next
legislature, and so the temptation to fix voting results is increased this
year, observers said.

Kharkiv is traditionally a strong supporter of Regions' pro-Russia party
platform. The province saw massive vote fraud in 2004, when local officials
allowed individual voters to cast as many as thirty ballots in favour of
selected candidates, a supreme court review later found.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in June ordered the SBU to make
prevention of internal election fraud during the 2007 vote a top priority
for the intelligence agency, whose normal missions are hunting down foreign
spies and terrorists.

Volodymyr Sivkovich, a serving MP for Regions, accused Yushchenko of
targeting the SBU's agents against Regions, because of Yushchenko's
opposition to Regions' pro-Russia policies.

Ukraine's Orange Revolution in 2004 came after millions of irate voters took
to the streets in response to a presidential election fixed in the Regions
candidate's favour. Mass demonstrations eventually reversed the election
result, putting Yushchenko into power. - Sapa-dpa
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Ukrayinska Pravda website, Kiev, in Ukrainian 25 Sep 07
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 25 Sep 07
BBCC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Tue, Sep 25, 2007

KIEV - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has accused his arch rival,
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, of plotting to rig the upcoming
parliamentary election. Yushchenko also said that appointing his erstwhile
Orange revolution ally Yuliya Tymoshenko as prime minister after the
election is a definite possibility.

President Yushchenko was speaking in Sumy during a live TV link-up to
Ukraine's central and northern regions on 25 September. No nationwide
Ukrainian TV channels were observed to carry the broadcast. It was entitled
"Tasks for the future government".

The Ukrayinska Pravda website quoted Yushchenko as saying during the
broadcast: "Why does Yanukovych speak of falsification at each of his
rallies? The reason is that he is planning falsification. It will happen.
What I'm talking about is how do we deal with this problem."

He said he was surprised that the prime minister "gets around by helicopter,
telling every rally that fraud is in the making".

"I'd like to tell Yanukovych personally and other colleagues as well that
the government is personally responsible for holding a free, fair and
democratic election," Yushchenko said.

Asked about the possibility of appointing Tymoshenko as prime minister,
Yushchenko said: "As regards the possibility that you mentioned, there's
nothing fatal about it. We can go back to it, it stands a lot of chance. The
important thing is that lessons get learnt," the Interfax-Ukraine news
agency reported at 1719 gmt.

Disagreements over the post of prime minister was a key reason why the
Orange coalition fell apart following the dismissal of Tymoshenko as prime
minister in 2005.

Yushchenko also said that Ukraine's army will become fully professional
starting from 1 January 2010, Interfax-Ukraine said in a separate report at
1648 gmt. He regretted that the army is becoming the subject of what he
called "dirty political demagoguery".

Ukraine is holding a parliamentary election on 30 September. Front-runners
are Yanukovych's Party of Regions, propresidential Our Ukraine-National
Self-Defence bloc and the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, in that order.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Luke Harding, Ostroh, Ukraine, The Guardian
London, United Kingdom, Monday, Sep 24, 2007

OSTROH - The scene is western Ukraine. It is mid-morning, and in an
attractive town square bathed in autumnal sun and lined with fir trees a
crowd is waiting.

A tall figure bounds on to a stage. His elderly supporters cheer and start
waving their blue flags. They chant: "Yan-u-kov-ich, Yan-u-kov-ich."

The man addressing them is Viktor Yanukovich - Ukraine's prime minister.
Three years after his victory in Ukraine's rigged 2004 presidential election
sparked the country's pro-democracy movement - the Orange revolution - Mr
Yanukovich is back.

Ukraine is now in the grip of another movement. This time, however, it is a
counter-revolution led not by glamorous students wearing tight-fitting
orange T-shirts, but by toothless old ladies in headscarves waving icons.

The battlefield isn't Kiev, with its blossom-filled boulevards, but a series
of dusty ex-Soviet provincial towns.

Next Sunday Ukrainians go to the polls following months of political turmoil
between Mr Yanukovich, the country's prime minister since August 2006, and
Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine's pro-western president.

In 2004 Mr Yanukovich was the villain of the Orange revolution after trying
to steal the presidential election using intimidation and fraud. Mr
Yushchenko won the re-run vote.

Since then, though, Ukraine's orange actors have fallen out and - largely
unnoticed by the west - Mr Yanukovich has made an unexpected comeback.
Polls put his Party of the Regions at 32.9% in the runup to Sunday's early
election - which Mr Yushchenko called in May after accusing his rival of
luring away his MPs and attempting an extra-constitutional parliamentary
coup. Mr Yushchenko appointed Mr Yanukovich prime minister in 2006 after
his own allies failed to form a government.

With its steep-walled medieval castle and gold-domed monastery, Ostroh is
part of Ukraine's orange-supporting heartland. If Mr Yanukovich represents
one strand of Ukraine - its Orthodox Russian-leaning east - Mr Yushchenko is
said to represent the other - its Catholic, pro-European west. Now, though,
Mr Yanukovich is picking up votes here too.

Up on stage two Ukrainian maidens present Mr Yanukovich with bread and
salt. He then launches into his speech, telling the crowd that his 13-month-old
government has brought stability to Ukraine and restored economic growth.

He attacks his rivals, dismissing the charismatic orange leader Yulia
Tymoshenko as a "cow on an ice rink".

After his speech, the prime minister tells the Guardian he hopes Sunday's
election will end the political conflict paralysing his country.

"We hope that after the elections the political situation will have
stabilised and that we won't have the problems we have right now between
different branches of government. The next step is constitutional reform,"
he said.

Aides insist the new Mr Yanukovich is nothing like the old one, and has
absorbed the lessons of his 2004/5 defeat. He is studying English, and plays
tennis with the US ambassador.

Far from being a Russian stooge he is, in fact, a Ukrainian nationalist,
they add. "He's very changed. He's become a democrat," Sergiy Lovochkin,
the head of his private office, says.

Mr Yanukovich himself insists he is not "pro-Russian" or "anti-western" but
believes in a pragmatic foreign policy that serves an independent Ukraine's
national interests. "Our aim is to become a reliable bridge between Europe
and Russia," he says.

He believes his good relations with Vladimir Putin's Russia have paid off.
In 2005 - when he was in opposition - the Kremlin turned off Ukraine's gas
supplies. "We will never repeat the same mistake as 2005 when the situation
with gas was very difficult," he told the Guardian.

Ukraine now had more than 26 billion cubic metres of gas reserves, he said,
adding: "Our relationship with Russia is clear, steady and predictable." But
he also wants "good strategic relations with the EU" - which Ukraine aspires
to join by 2017.

Moreover, Mr Yanukovich is now deploying the same modern techniques as
his Orange adversaries. In 2004 Mr Putin promptly congratulated him after his
fraudulent victory - in what turned out to be a PR disaster.

Mr Yanukovich has now hired his own firm of US consultants. Ironically, he
is the biggest beneficiary of the democratic changes he once tried to

Meanwhile, Mr Yushchenko's Our Ukraine-led faction is languishing in the
polls on 16.4%. Support for his ally, Yulia Tymoshenko - whom Mr Yushchenko
sacked as prime minister in 2005 - is 15.4%. Together the two orange
alliances could score a narrow election victory next Sunday, in which case
Ms Tymoshenko would get her old job back as prime minister.
Most analysts believe it is more probable that Mr Yanukovich's ruling
coalition will again control Ukraine's Rada or lower house. There are also
rumours that Mr Yanukovich could form a new parliamentary alliance with Mr
Yushchenko, despite profound personal and ideological differences.

Opponents say Mr Yanukovich has not been a good leader. "He's been a
disastrous prime minister," says Hryhoriy Nemyria, Ms Tymoshenko's foreign
affairs adviser and deputy chairman of her BYuT party.

The prime minister's party was old, corrupt and undemocratic, he said. It
was also unhealthily reliant on Rinat Akhemetov, a billionaire oligarch and
member of Mr Yanukovich's party, he alleged.

Many Ukrainian voters appear disillusioned with all three main political
leaders. "If politicians did one-tenth of the things they'd promised it
would be better.

But things haven't improved here at all," Valery - a mechanic - said,
speaking in the small town of Sarny, one of five places in western Ukraine
visited by Mr Yanukovich in his helicopter last Thursday.

Few political experts believe that the constitutional crisis that has
paralysed Ukraine will end next week. Legal challenges to the result are
likely. Nonetheless Ukraine is gradually evolving into something unthinkable
a decade ago: a competitive democracy.

"From the outside Ukrainian politics looks like a mess. But I think this is
normal for a country that only three years ago had a semi-authoritarian
regime and is now struggling to become a democracy," Natalya Shapovalova,
a political expert at Kiev's International Centre for Policy Studies, said.
She added: "I'm rather optimistic." (www.guardian.co.uk/ukraine)
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Send in names and e-mail addresses for the AUR distribution list.
Vasyl Losten, Antonij Shcherba, Morgan Williams, Oksana Lykhovyd
and Virlyana Tkach for their dedicated service to Ukraine

Action Ukraine Monitoring Service, New York, NY, Wed, Sep 26, 2007

NEW YORK - Five U.S. citizens received their Presidential Awards from
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk at a meeting and ceremony
held in New York City Monday evening at the Ukrainian Institute of America.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, was in New York attending
the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly. Minister Yatsenyuk spoke
about Ukraine's foreign policy and thanked the five awardees for their
outstanding service to Ukraine.

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

The five U.S. citizens who received their presidential awards in New York
on Monday were:

[1] Vasyl LOSTEN
, bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic diocese in Stamford,
CT, in 1997-2005, a US citizen, awarded the Distinguished Services Order
(3rd degree);

[2] Antonij SHCHERBA, head of consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox
church in the USA, a US citizen, awarded the Distinguished Services
Order (3rd degree);

[3] Morgan WILLIAMS, President, the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council;
Director, Government Affairs, Washington Office, SigmaBleyzer,
a US citizen, awarded the Distinguished Services Order (3rd degree);

[4] Oksana LYKHOVYD, art producer of the Ukrayinska rodyna group
of singers, New York, a US citizen, awarded the title of the Honorary
Worker of Arts of Ukraine;

[5] Virlyana TKACH, art producer and director of the Mystetska grupa
Yara theatrical group in New York, a US citizen, awarded the title of the
Honorary Worker of Arts of Ukraine.

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

President Yushchenko "Wished the awardees success and expressed
hopes they would continue to use their intellect to benefit Ukraine," in
his Independence Day statement.

The order "For the Distinguished Services" is awarded for distinguished
services in the economy, science, social, cultural, military, state, civil
and other sectors. The 3rd degree is reserved specially for decorating
foreigners" - the official document on state orders states.

Minister Yatsenyuk was introduced by Jaroslav Kryshtalsky, President
of the Ukrainian Institute of America. Ukraine's Ambassador to the
United States Oleh Shamshur, and the Permanent Representative of Ukraine
to the United Nations, Ambassador H.E. Mr. Yuriy Sergeyev, attended
the meeting.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is attending the 62nd
session of the UN General Assembly, met a number of counterparts there
on 24 September and also delivered a report on how Ukraine is implementing
the Kyoto protocol on climate change, the UNIAN news agency said on 25

In a report the UNIAN quoted Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andriy
Deshchytsya as saying that Yatsenyuk met Czech Foreign Minister Karel

They discussed the Czech Republic's visa policy ahead of the country's
accession to the EU's Schengen zone and agreed on bilateral consultations on
consular and legal issues, the agency said. It added that the two ministers
confirmed their interest in regional projects such as the Vysegrad group.

Yatsenyuk also discussed easing visa regulations with Slovak Foreign
Minister Jan Kubis, the agency said in the same report. They agreed to sign
an accord relaxing visa restrictions for residents of border areas similar
to the one signed recently by Ukraine and Hungary, the report said.

Yatsenyuk also met Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, who informed his
Ukrainian counterpart that an Iraqi embassy will open in Kiev soon.

UNIAN added that on the same day Yatsenyuk met Island's President
Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, Comoros President Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed
Sambi, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Monaco's Prince Albert II,
as well as the foreign ministers of Sweden and Mauritius.

UNIAN said that Yatsenyuk attended a high-level meeting on climate change,
which took place as part of the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly.

Addressing the meeting, Yatsenyuk said that a new organization should be set
up to bring about "environmental solidarity and responsibility and to create
an all-encompassing system of international environmental security".
He also spoke of Ukraine's efforts to implement the Kyoto protocol, the
agency said.
On September 23, 2007 in the framework of the visit to New York, Minister
for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk met with the U.S.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In the course of the conversation, the parties exchanged views on the state
and prospect of bilateral cooperation and in particular discussed the issues
of political dialogue, commercial-economic and branch cooperation,
interaction in the sphere of energy security, defense, counteraction to
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and regional security.

The heads of the foreign policy offices of the two countries discussed the
possible terms of visits at high and top levels. In this context, Mr.
Yatsenyuk renewed the invitation for Mrs. Rice to visit Ukraine in the near

In addition, the parties discussed the preparation of a new Roadmap of the
Ukrainian-American relations in which special attention will be paid to
educational programmes and students' and youth's exchanges.

During the meeting, Mr.Yatsenyuk and Mrs.Rice discussed the political
situation in Ukraine in the view of new election to the Parliament of
Ukraine on Sunday, September 30.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

INTERVIEW: With Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Foreign Minister, Ukraine
AP Worldstream, New York, NY, Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007

NEW YORK - Ukraine's goal of gradual integration with the European Union
will continue regardless of the results of Sunday's elections because this
is one of the few issues on which the rival political parties actually
agree, Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said.

But closer cooperation with NATO is a different matter due partly to
Russia's opposition, Arseniy Yatsenyuk said in an interview with The
Associated Press on Monday.

"Polls have consistently shown that more than 60 percent of Ukrainians favor
closer political and economic cooperation with the European Union,"
Yatsenyuk said. "And all major political parties _ including to my own
surprise the Ukrainian Communist Party _ now back this."

Yatsenyuk refused to speculate when Ukraine could join the grouping, saying
the nation must focus on implementing EU-mandated reforms.

Sunday's snap election is the product of a hard-won agreement between
President Victor Yushchenko and his rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.
It is meant to ease a confrontation that has paralyzed politics in the
country since the 2004 Orange Revolution.

At the time, street protests against fraud forced a revote in the
presidential election in which Yanukovych was initially declared the winner,
but which Yushchenko eventually won.

Yanukovych, however, staged a remarkable political comeback last year when
his party received the most votes in parliamentary elections and formed the
ruling coalition.

Yanukovych's party, which leads in the opinion polls, is seen as generally
closer to Moscow. But that will not affect the country's pro-EU policy,
Yatsenyuk said.

"No matter which party emerges as the largest or which coalition government
is formed, the political elites agree on the reforms needed to make Ukraine
more compatible with EU membership," he said.

But there is no such agreement on eventual membership in the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization, despite calls from some Ukrainian politicians for a
referendum on joining the alliance.

"There is a very low public awareness of what NATO means," Yatsenyuk
said. "Only about three percent of Ukrainians have any idea what it is."

Moscow, too, has repeatedly voiced concerns about the Western alliance's
eastern expansion to its borders since the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia
and Lithuania joined the bloc in 2004. "The Russians are very cautious on
NATO, sometimes even blunt," Yatsenyuk said.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Electoral Pamphlet from the Party of Regions
Sent by Taras Kuzio & Translated by Lisa Koriouchkina for UKL
The Ukraine List (UKL) #420, Compiled by Dominique Arel
Chair of Ukrainian Studies, Univ of Ottawa
Ottawa, ON, Canada, 24 September 2007
Dear Compatriot!

I found this letter in an old shoe box in the attic. A short stack of
pre-war letters tied with a frail rope. And yellowed letters from the front
line, folded into accurate triangles. Here’s one of those letters that
arrived together with a death notice.

I am writing this letter in a dugout, half buried with soil from
explosions. Today, we fended off five attacks, but with each attack there
were fewer of us left. But we knew what we were fighting for. For the
chestnuts of Pushkinskaya St.; for the evening shadows of Deribasovskaya
St.; for gentle waves of our bluest Black sea. For the right to be a free
man in his own country.

I am writing to you, my love. I am happy that I have you. That I had spent
the happiest days of my life with you. I used the past tense “had spent” and
it occurred to me. Yes, indeed, I had spent. And the close breath of death
makes me realize how much I did not have enough time to tell you. And
perhaps, ashamed to express my feelings, I would have never told you that,
but now I will. Do you remember as we were walking on the beach and seagulls
were flying over our heads. You know, I treasured every single minute I
spent with you. How could we let the enemy destroy all of this?

How could we give them our sea and our sky, our stars over the city where
you and I met? I am bequeathing you my life – live it for the both of us.
For our love, for the future. I ask of you – do save our son.

I am writing to you, son. Now, as you are reading this letter, you are an
adult. I am writing to you to make you realize that we could not do anything
differently. Because we had to defend our motherland, your future. So that
you would live in peace in a free country. Treasure it. Value freedom. Live
with dignity. Care for your mother. And remember that you are from Odessa.
Save the memory of us.

Every family in Odessa has letters like this one. After reading the letter
of a soldier who sacrificed his life 66 years ago for our blue sky and our
happy life, I wondered what he would have said had he seen nationalists and
descendants of Bandera walking the streets of Ukrainian cities.

Had he seen political heirs to Bandera and Shukhevych trampling over those
who died in the Great Patriotic War.

Had he seen Orange politicians re-writing our history and wanting to deny us
our genetic memory, the memory of our fathers.

Had he seen them surrender our lands to those who our fathers paid such a
dear price for to defeat.

Had he seen how the defenders are turned into criminals and invaders.

He would not have had second thoughts as to what he should do. He would
have risen to defend the future, because the enemy is already at the door.

Friend, do you remember how as a child you were standing at the monument
“Eternal Fire” with pure tears in your eyes and with your throat dry from
emotions, you whispered: “We will never betray you!”

Our duty today is to win!

The voting bulletin on September 30th is our weapon!

Let’s be worthy of a memory of fathers and grandfathers!

Let’s not betray them! Let’s defend Odessa!

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

UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 25, 2007

KYIV - Paul Manafort, who had been heading the political campaigns of the
Party of Regions since 2005, was sacked from the electoral headquarters.

The reason is that the party's rating began to fall. Now "regionals" are
working out two scenarios to frustrate the election, according
"Ekonomicheskiye Izvestiya" daily.

According to the newspaper's sources, the Party of Regions headquarters
made a final decision to sack the American spin doctor after the party
headquarters chiefs realized that the party's rating fell by 5-7% nearly 10
days ago.

Namely at that time, PoR recalled its old slogans - to give the state status
to the Russian language, and began to use anti-NATO rhetorics. On 19
September PoR claimed that it may refuse from taking part in the electoral

On the eve of it, Party of Regions adherents began to pitch tents and
construct a stage at the Maydan Nezalezhnosti Square in the center of Kyiv.
Besides, on 21 September the U.S. Senate adopted a resolution in support of
the orange revolution achievements in Ukraine.

Paul Manafort is close to the USA Republican Party. "The dismissal of
Manafort, who I know personally very well, was an expected decision", said
Victor Ukolov, BYuT spin doctor (#147 in the electoral list). According to
him, during the last three-five years, the Party of Regions' rating has
significantly fallen in the east of the country.

"During the last two weeks, the "regionals" have been looking for a
scapegoat, and chose Paul Manafort", V.Ukolov believes. "I was confident
that they would sack their HQ chief Borys Kolesnikov, or some of his
deputies, because Paul is a real professional, but "regionals" did not
listen to his advice", the BYuT spin doctor says.

According to the information of Taras Beresovts, chief editor of "Polittekh"
project, the decision to sack Paul Manafort from the electoral campaign was
made in the Party of Regions headquarter last week. "To blame foreigners for
the failure of the campaign is the simplest way, because blaming Kolesnikov
means blaming Akhmetov", the expert notes.

According to him, the party is now considering two scenarios of the further
developments: to cancel voting results in some western district on the basis
of alleged mass falsifications, and to resume talks about creating an
autonomy of eastern and southern regions of Ukraine.

Vassyl Khara (#28 in the Party of Regions list) could not say anything about
the dismissal of Paul Manafort. "I was against involving Americans in our
work since the very beginning.

This was the reason why I left the post of the HQ chief as early as in 2005.
It is hard for me to believe that the people, who do not know our special
features, and no one know who they are working for - for us or our rivals,
can be fair. If they were sacked, it happened too late", he stressed.
LINK: http://unian.net/eng/news/news-213712.html
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

UNIAN, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 25, 2007

KYIV - No staff shifts will take place in the team of the Party of Regions
headquarters' consultants before the election.

According to an UNIAN correspondent, Party of Regions political council
member Serhiy Levochkin claimed this to journalists today.

"This [the information about the dismissal of American spin doctor Paul
Manafort - UNIAN] is a provocation. Our opponents are trying to divert the
attention from the discussion of pre-election programs", S.Levochkin.
He explains this information appeared because the rating of the Party of
Regions' opponents has been falling, while the rating of the Party of
Regions has been growing.

As UNIAN reported earlier, today "Ekonomicheskiye Izvestiya" daily,
referring to its sources in the PoR HQ reported that the Party of Regions
sacked American spin doctor Paul Manafort because of the falling of the
party's ratings.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Sebastian Alison, Bloomberg News
Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine, Wednesday, September 26, 2007

YALTA - In 1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin
met in the Russian port of Yalta to redraw the map of Europe, in the process
setting the stage for the Cold War.

These days, Yalta -- now a part of independent Ukraine -- again finds itself
witnessing a possible geopolitical realignment as President Viktor
Yushchenko's Orange Revolution is about to be either rejuvenated or
overturned after three years of dashed hopes and political stalemate.

Yushchenko, swept into power after street protests overturned a rigged
presidential ballot, is gambling that Sept. 30 parliamentary elections will
strengthen support for his pro- Western views.

The man he defeated for the presidency, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych,
is seeking to solidify his power in order to pursue closer ties with Russia.

The election may determine ``whether the Orange Revolution has succeeded
or failed,'' said Taras Kuzio, research associate at the Institute for
European, Russia and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University in

Kuzio said the vote will be based on "regional and linguistic divides'' that
may give Yanukovych, 57, and his Party of the Regions an edge. The
Russian-speaking east mainly backs Yanukovych, while the more agricultural,
Ukrainian-speaking west is behind the Orange camp.
Russia has claimed an interest since the dissolution of the Soviet Union led
to Ukraine's independence. "Our economies are so interdependent, so mutually
complementary, we naturally cannot abandon the idea of furthering the
relationship,'' said Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir

While European Union foreign-policy chief Javier Solana said in Kiev Sept.
14 that "Ukraine is a friend of the European Union,'' Kuzio said such
statements aren't enough to refute suggestions that the EU has largely lost
interest in Ukraine. "They've refused, on every occasion since the Orange
Revolution, even to offer Ukraine a long-term prospect of membership.''

Nowhere is Ukraine's caught-in-the-middle position more evident than the
Crimean peninsula, which includes Yalta, a subtropical city of 80,000.

Crimea was actually a part of Russia until 1954, when Soviet leader Nikita
Khrushchev gave it to what was then the Ukrainian satellite republic. Most
locals are ethnic Russians, and Russian is the dominant language. All
election posters are in Russian, unlike in the capital, Kiev.
Yalta's landmarks, as well as the comments of its residents, reflect its
ambivalence. At the Livadia Palace, a white marble building constructed for
Tsar Nicholas II in 1911 and the site of the 1945 conference, the three men
who drew up the Yalta agreement are all revered.

Roosevelt, just two months short of death, was given rooms in the palace.
The billiard room has Soviet, British and U.S. flags on the table, as it did
when he hosted a breakfast there for Stalin and Churchill on Feb. 11.

Roosevelt "was such an educated man,'' said Margarita Poleva, a guide at
Livadia. "He was so instrumental in setting up the United Nations.''

Her words of praise for an American president contrast with the tensions
over issues such as U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense system in eastern
Europe; Russian criticism of its policies over Iraq and Iran; and Russia's
withdrawal from the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, limiting troop
Valery Andryushenko, 62, a Yalta taxi driver with a Ukrainian father and a
Russian mother, is certain that ``Ukraine should move closer to Europe.''

Europe "is more civilized and richer,'' he said. At the same time, "to break
contacts with Russia would be impossible.'' He's against NATO membership,
citing ties with former Soviet states. "To throw all that away and join NATO
would be a betrayal.''

A Sept. 1-10 survey of 2,004 Ukrainians by Kiev's Razumkov Centre for
Economic and Political Studies showed 33.9 percent support for Yanukovych's
party, to 13.1 percent for Yushchenko's Our Ukraine.

That kind of result would leave former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko's
alliance, which had 23.5 percent in the poll, holding the balance of power.

Yushchenko fired Timoshenko, 46, after the two fell out over the pace of
reform. Yanukovych had the largest parliamentary faction, forcing the
president to appoint him prime minister. Continuing tension between the two
men prompted Yushchenko to dissolve parliament and call this weekend's vote.
Yushchenko "really missed the boat'' by failing to establish his authority
more firmly after the revolution, Kuzio said. "He had the chance in 2005 to
demolish Yanukovych. He never took that chance, and it's coming back to
haunt him.''

Disillusionment with Yushchenko has thrown the spotlight on Timoshenko, says
Michael Emerson, a research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies
in Brussels. "She's the outstanding personality, who's younger, and has a
lot of popular support,'' he said.

Analysts say it's possible the elections will push the politicians closer
together. "Yanukovych has admitted that Ukraine needs a balanced
relationship between Russia and Europe,'' said Amanda Akcakoca of the
European Policy Centre in Brussels.

Yanukovych and Yushchenko "have recognized over the last 12 months that
they must work together'' and may move toward "a grand coalition'' that
would change the constitution to "make a clearer balance of power between
the president and the prime minister.''

If they don't, she said, voter skepticism will only grow: "Most Ukrainians
don't trust anyone.''
Sebastian Alison in Yalta at Salison1@bloomberg.net .
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Press Office of the President of Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, September 22, 2007

[EuroNews] Mr President, welcome to EuroNews. Why did you initiate
parliamentary elections last spring?
[Yushchenko] The situation is simple enough. After honest and democratic
elections, parliament changed the results of the vote. The majority parties
began to buy the MPs from other parties by bribing them with money. First
two MPs, then another two and 13 more.

Then they announced that the following week there could be another 25. It
was a violation of the constitution. The Parliamentary majority had become
illegitimate, because it was not based on a coalition of parties, but on the
mandates of MPs. The constitution forbids that.

As President, I called on Parliament to stop these practices, and revert to
the status quo, but unfortunately that was not done. The only thing I could
do in that situation was to organise the early elections to bring legitimacy
back to the Ukrainian parliament.

[EuroNews] What do these elections mean to Ukraine?
[Yushchenko] They're very important for the country and very important for
Ukrainian politicians. And I am sure that after the elections, what is
happening in Parliament - this political corruption - will, in the main,

We will radically reduce the field of political corruption, about 'buying'
laws, and modifying election results. It is essential that the country
begins to understand that we can escape crises like these through democratic

[EuroNews] There's a feeling that since the orange revolution, Ukraine has
only seen political confrontation. But has people's quality of life changed
since then?... how is the economy developing?

[Yushchenko] I will say that after the Orange Revolution, there were changes
that the Ukrainian economy had not seen for fifteen years. In terms of
macro-economics, our Gross Domestic Product grew at 7, 7 and a half, 8 per

It is a stable parameter which has given us the opportunity to change lots
in terms of the budget. In 2005 - in just a single year - we increased
income revenues by 54 per cent, and in 2006 by 37 per cent. Ukraine has not
seen social discontent for 2 and a half years.

For example, the minimum wage and minimum pension are at the same level.
It is a very sensitive subject for Ukraine, especially for its 14-million
pensioners. In 2005, wages went up by 50 per cent, people's real incomes
went up by 21 per cent.

And many other things too - I'm very happy with the nation's economic
potential and the social and humanitarian potential of its people. They are
changes which the country has been waiting for for a long time.

[EuroNews] Why didn't you support the idea of a referendum on the status
of the Russian language, and on Ukraine's joining NATO?

[Yushchenko] I am not sure that the language of another country lets us
identify ourselves as Ukrainians. It is not even up for discussion.

Secondly, the linguistic politics which features in the Ukrainian
constitution gives precise details on the development of the Russian
language or any other minority languages. Our doctrine on language is
clearly inspired by the European language charter. It corresponds exactly.

Now, on NATO. No-one has asked us whether we want to join NATO or not.
The time will come when we will be asked and we will give a national response.
I have already said that for Ukraine, joining NATO or not is a question for a
national referendum. There are no discussions on that subject. The answer
will come from the people.

[EuroNews] Is European integration a national issue in Ukraine?
[Yushchenko] It is very current. Deep inside, society sees it quite simply.
Right now, the EU is the Ukraine's main trading partner. And each year,
these relations develop a little more. Each year we reach into new corners
of the European market.

It was very important for us to sign a three year EU/Ukrainian deal which is
proving a success. It already applies to more than 70 different fields. We
have signed a common energy system deal. There is the resolution adopted on
the Odessa pipeline - from Brody to the EU - there are agreements on outer
space, airspace and other fields.

Now, Ukraine is knocking on the door of the World Trade Organisation. We
believe that membership could improve relations with our neighbours - large
and small - but above all the EU. It is already a topical subject which
touches Ukrainian citizens in everyday life.

[EuroNews] Ideally, how do you see Ukraine's short-term future?
[Yushchenko] It is a European country. It is a democratic country. It is a
country where the principal democratic values are clearly and irrevocably
fixed - starting with the right to choose all the way through to freedom -
the freedom of speech.

It is a country which, I am sure, will set the standards in human rights and
law. We will bring corruption to an end - it will become a thing of the
past - an ill which touches all spheres of society. We talk publicly about
it and we publicly fight against it. And I am sure we will succeed.

I am sure we will be the country of affluence, and of human dignity - a
country which will enjoy fair, open and friendly relations with its
neighbours, be it in economic, social or humanitarian spheres. I am very
optimistic about Ukraine's prospects, because it's a country which has
always been at the centre of Europe.

When I talk about European values, I know my country has contributed to
them at great cost. Ukraine has helped shape European policy.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
If you are receiving more than one copy of the AUR please contact us.
Large scale farming in Ukraine, 50,000 hectares by end of 2007

By Toby Shelley, Financial Times, London, UK, Monday, Sep 24 2007

Landkom, which will launch plans for its initial public offering on Monday,
has a simple proposition - to grow high-value crops on an Australian scale
but on land of European fertility.

The intention is to raise £40m to fund land rent and equipment acquisitions.
Several existing investors, including a Credit Suisse investment fund, have
agreed not to dilute their stakes. Pre-IPO investors put £6.9m into the
company this year.

With 28,000 hectares under production this year, Landkom is on track to
control 50,000 ha by the end of the year. The target is to farm 10 times
that area in four years.

The land is rented on 15-year leases from tens of thousands of western
Ukrainian villagers to whom the state parcelled out land in the mid-1990s.
Much of it lay unworked for more than a decade because the owners lacked
the resources.

The company has right of first refusal on the plots in anticipation of the
lifting of a moratorium on sales put in place to stop landgrabs by wealthy

Land with comparable yields in Northern Ireland would cost £400 per ha a
year to rent. Richard Spinks, director and founder, said Landkom was paying
far under 10 per cent of that in Ukraine.

To that cost advantage is added the benefits of scale. The average UK farm
is 60 ha while Landkom grew 7,000 ha of rape seed alone this year. Mr Spinks
said Ukraine wheat could be grown at six times typical Australian yields but
on a comparable scale.

Mr Spinks argued that high agro-commodity prices reflected an upward trend
in demand. For example, the EU cannot meet its requirements for rape seed
oil to add to diesel, he said.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.

Polish News Bulletin, Warsaw, Poland, Tue, Sep 25, 2007

WARSAW - Grupa Kety from the aluminum sector is to officially open
today its factory in Ukraine operated by its subsidiary Alupol. Alupol is
to produce aluminum profiles for construction purposes.

Due to delays in obtaining necessary permits the factory commenced
production at the end of June this year, half a year later than initially

According to Adam Piela, deputy CEO and financial director of Kety, the
delay did not allow Alupol to win any major contracts this year as potential
clients could not wait any longer.

Alupol's capacity presently stands at around 8,000 tonnes of aluminum
yearly, which if fully utilised may allow the company to achieve revenue of

The factory in Ukraine was constructed cost ZL50m. According to Biela, the
investment should begin bringing in a profit in six years. Alupol's factory
opens new possibilities for Kety as aluminum consumption in Poland's eastern
neighbours is many times lower than in the EU.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Business Wire, Sweden, Monday, Sep 24, 2007

Alfa Laval (STO:ALFA) - a world leader in heat transfer, centrifugal
separation and fluid handling - has received an order for process solutions
to two breweries in Ukraine. The total order value is approximately SEK 50
million. Delivery will take place late 2007 and during 2008.

Ukraine has a very long tradition of brewing beer. It goes back more than
200 years. As the consumption of beer now is increasing the Ukrainian
brewery industry is growing and both of the two orders are to increase

"It is very satisfying that the brewery industry in Eastern Europe now is
investing again," says Lars Renstrom, President and CEO of Alfa Laval.

"Both these orders in Ukraine are a clear proof of that Alfa Laval's
solutions to the world's breweries are of highest quality and in demand."
The orders have a large scope and consist of many different products and
system solutions from Alfa Laval.

Did you know that Ukraine was the fastest growing market for Alfa Laval
during 2006, in terms of percentage? Annual sales in the country are
currently approximately SEK 200 million and the largest applications for
Alfa Laval can be found within food, steel industry and inorganic chemistry.
About Alfa Laval
Alfa Laval is a leading global provider of specialized products and
engineering solutions based on its key technologies of heat transfer,
separation and fluid handling. The company's equipment, systems and services
are dedicated to assisting customers in optimizing the performance of their

The solutions help them to heat, cool, separate and transport products in
industries that produce food and beverages, chemicals and petrochemicals,
pharmaceuticals, starch, sugar and ethanol.

Alfa Laval's products are also used in power plants, aboard ships, in the
mechanical engineering industry, in the mining industry and for wastewater
treatment, as well as for comfort climate and refrigeration applications.

Alfa Laval's worldwide organization works closely with customers in nearly
100 countries to help them stay ahead in the global arena.

Alfa Laval is listed on the Nordic Exchange, Nordic Large Cap, and, in 2006,
posted annual sales of about SEK 20 billion (approx. 2,2 billion euros). The
company has some 11,000 employees. www.alfalaval.com.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Top sources for servants: Philippines, Ukraine, Latvia, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.

By Roger Dobson, Independent, London, UK, Sunday, 23 Sep 2007

There was a time when the flustered British housewife of a certain rank
would look disdainfully at the dirty marks on her cutlery and despairingly
exclaim: "You just can't get the staff."

The good news for the overworked middle classes who are looking for help
with the chores is that now they can.

Migration from eastern Europe, Africa and Asia is creating a ready supply of
willing downstairs staff, with more and more being employed to watch the
kids and clean the bathroom in a kind of international class system,
according to a new report.

Just this week, the socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson revealed that she had a
"massive staff", mainly from Ukraine. "As I don't have a husband, I rather
look forward to having people around me. I have half the Ukraine here every
day. It's like the Russian army coming in to clean. I want to come back at
night and feel like I'm in a five-star hotel," she said.

The bad news for the migrants, however, is that high-powered executives and
business people are increasingly picky about who they employ, with white
women being the preferred home help, the study, by Bridget Anderson of
Oxford University, says.

Men are considered too much of a risk to be looking after young children,
especially girls, and black people are unpopular as au pairs.

While race was described by one agency as "the unmentionable", there are
also more complex reasons for the choosiness. The British middle classes are
looking for domestic help who can't easily pack up and leave, which means
employing people from war-torn countries or from non-EU countries whose
presence in Britain is dependent on their employment.

The top five sources for maids and butlers are the Philippines, Ukraine,
Latvia, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.

"It is legal for a private householder to refuse to employ someone on the
grounds of their colour, their nationality or their religion, and from our
interviews with employers, it is clear that they do," say the researchers,
whose work is to be published in the European Journal of Women's Studies.

"Employers are not only looking for generic 'foreignness', however, but
typically also seek particular nationalities or ethnicities of worker, which
can raise difficulties for agencies who are not allowed to discriminate on
the basis of 'race'."

Half of British households employ some form of domestic staff in an industry
now thought to be worth around £20bn a year. On average, each household
spends around £1,924 on chauffeurs, dog walkers, babysitters, nannies and

Relations with domestic staff do not always run smoothly, however. Sting's
wife, Trudie Styler, was sued by her cook, Jane Martin, earlier this year.

Ms Martin claimed sexual discrimination after being forced to work 14-hour
days while pregnant. The tribunal heard how Ms Styler, 52, abused her
domestic staff to make her "feel royal".

Where do they get their staff?
Main provider of cleaning staff in domestic households. Described by
President Gloria Arroyo as a nation that provides "supermaids".
Female domestic workers from the Ukraine are very popular with UK
working mothers looking for au pairs.
Zimbabweans mainly work as cleaners in schools and hospitals.
Many Latvians work as butlers due to the comparatively good salaries
compared with other domestic work.
Malaysians gravitate towards domestic work - many work as household
maids in the UK.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Interfax, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Sep 21, 2007

KYIV - The proportion of foreign [international] capital in the combined
charter capital of Ukrainian banks increased to 30.2% at the end of August
2007 from 27.6% at the beginning of 2007, the National Bank reported on its

The combined charter capital of Ukrainian banks increased by 34.8% to
35.393 billion hryvni in the nine-month period.

The number of banks with foreign capital remained at 42 on September 1
compared to 35 at the start of the year, with the number of wholly
foreign-owned banks remaining at 17. The National Bank said 173 of the 196
banks registered in Ukraine were operating on September 1.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

NEWS ANALYSIS: The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited
New York, NY, Thursday, September 20, 2007

Although the banking sector is generally sound, a number of structural
weaknesses remain a concern, as does the rapid rise in lending to households
and enterprises in recent years-particularly the extent of unhedged
foreign-currency lending to businesses, and increasingly to households.

The ratio of total loans to assets is estimated to have risen to around
two-thirds, and banks have been borrowing heavily abroad to meet demand.

The supervisory framework governing banks has nevertheless improved,
capital-adequacy ratios are still generally good, and the sector is finally
seeing significant inflows of foreign investment.

The ratio of non-performing loans (NPLs) fell from 30% at the end of 2004
to less than 18% by September 2006. Although this is still high, the ratio of
loans not being serviced is much smaller, at less than 5%.
Net banking sector assets have risen steadily in recent years.

The regulator has increased minimum capital requirements (albeit by less
than the IMF recommends). It has also tightened capital quality standards
and raised provisioning requirements for unhedged foreign borrowing.

The economic slowdown ended in early 2006, and real GDP growth is now
expected to average around 6% in 2008-09. A favourable economic environment
will help consumers and enterprises to meet their debt-service payments,
thereby maintaining asset quality.
Lending, particularly to households, is increasing rapidly. This has raised
concerns about the ability of enterprises and home owners to repay in the
event of external shocks, or a downturn in inflated housing prices in the
capital, Kiev.

Although capital-adequacy ratios are generally sound, at around 14% or
above in recent years, this is undermined by concerns about the lack of
transparency with regard to bank ownership.

The further increase in natural gas prices expected in 2008 will harm the
competitiveness of enterprises in certain key sectors, which poses a risk to
banks' asset quality.

Surging consumer lending doubled bank profits in 2006, but high overheads
continue to dampen profitability and ensure wide interest rate spreads.
Stable: The sector will become less fragmented, particularly as foreign
banks continue to deepen their involvement in Ukraine. A larger foreign role
will improve capitalisation, increase competition and bring down interest

Some of the sector's structural problems will nevertheless persist, which
increases vulnerability to external economic shocks and future bouts of
political uncertainty-both of which remain substantial risks in Ukraine.
[return to index] Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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By Ben West, Financial Times, London, UK, Saturday Sep 22 2007.

As second home buyers become more adventurous, moving into Croatia,
Bulgaria and even Romania, there is one country on Europe's eastern fringes
that almost everyone has overlooked.

Larger than France – indeed Europe's biggest country – it has stunning
coastlines, nice ski resorts and attractive towns and cities steeped in
history. But Ukraine, the former Soviet state that borders Russia, Belarus,
Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova, has a lot of bad press to

Best known as home to Chernobyl, scene of the world's worst nuclear
accident, the country also remains one of Europe's poorest, still recovering
from a 1990s economic collapse triggered by the fall of the Soviet Union.

In recent years news has been dominated by the 2004 presidential election –
during which the eventual winner, Viktor Yushchenko, was poisoned – and the
pro-western Orange revolution, which has had fewer lasting effects than
supporters hoped amid continued domestic power struggles and tensions with

In April Yushchenko dissolved the opposition-controlled parliament and new
elections are scheduled for September 30.

As in other former Soviet states, Ukraine's legal and political systems are
still evolving. Government initiatives since 1996 have fuelled a significant
economic recovery centred on oil, gas, mineral and vodka production but the
country of 49m people still suffers from rampant bureaucracy, corruption,
inadequate infrastructure and low wages, amounting to an average of 1,391
hryvnia ($280) a month.

So why on earth would foreigners want to buy there? Perhaps because it
offers a chance to get in on the ground floor of a market in which property
professionals see great potential.

There is hope that the election will end the political turmoil, pave the way
for permanent democratic reforms and create a more appealing climate for
international investment, which could eventually lead to the country joining
the European Union.

World Trade Organisation membership is just around the corner and visa
requirements for EU and US citizens have already been relaxed.

In the past three years some house prices have jumped by 500 per cent and
agents say there is still room for growth. "It's taken off quite
dramatically," says John Miller of property and construction consultancy
Thomas and Adamson, which has been operating in Ukraine for 12 years.
"Though there have been clashes with Russia and some political instability,
this shouldn't be a great concern for the residential buyer."

According to Alex Abramovych, director of Ukraine property specialists
UAProperty.com, flats and houses in Ukraine now cost $1,382 per sq metre, up
nearly 50 per cent from a year ago, while average rents are $251-$324 per
month, a 29 per cent increase over 2006. (Prices are typically quoted in
dollars, although euros and sterling are also used.)

Kiev is easily the most expensive market, with average sales prices nearing
$3,000 per sq metre and rents for most one-bedroom apartments at more than
$600 per month.

Buying activity has tailed off in recent months as a result of the steep
run-up in prices and many fear a correction is imminent. But Abramovych and
others remain bullish. "The economy has much improved and growth will
continue in Kiev and the resort zones, where dem and exceeds customer
requests," he says.

Ukraine's attractions are also not ­simply financial. Its cities are full of
beautiful gothic, Byzantine and baroque architecture and most towns have a
cathedral. The countryside is largely unspoilt and peppered with pretty
little villages.

The coastline is lined with ­early-20th century resort towns. And the
Carpathian mountain range, one of Europe's largest, provides a dramatic
landscape, with wild forests home to lynx and boar and snow-covered slopes
allowing for a long ski season.

So far, foreign buyers have focused on three areas: the capital Kiev; the
thriving tourist zones of the Black Sea coast in the Crimea; and the

Kiev has many historic landmarks. including churches, monuments and
archaeological sites, as well as shops, restaurants, cafés, nightclubs,
theatres and galleries. Enlivened by its river, the Dnipro, the Old Town is
particularly attractive.

"My first visit to the Ukraine was one and a half years ago," says Lou
Zidenberg, 60, who lives in California but also owns an apartment in Kiev.
"I was amazed when I saw the growth that was going on in that country. My
flat cost me $100,000 and I estimate it is worth about $350,000 now."

Other cities of interest include Sevastopol and Odessa in the Crimea. Yalta
is also a popular tourist spot on the southern coast, with about 80km of
beach attractively framed by mountains that dispel the cold northerly winds
and allow the region to benefit from temperatures averaging 25°C between
June and September.

UK-based John Parr, 51, a business manager for a telecommunications systems
company, often works in Russia and eastern Europe and has also invested in

With his wife Jackie, a teacher, he bought a one-bedroom apartment close to
the harbour in Balaklava in the Crimea in November 2005 and a plot of land
in the Carpathian mountains last year .

"We decided to invest in Ukraine because we visited Balaklava and really
liked it," he says. "It is beautiful and has a fascinating history. The
apartment is mainly for personal use but we rent it out for a few weeks in
the summer."

He acknowledges that there are challenges to owning in an unestablished
holiday-home market. "Language can be a bit of a problem even though I can
speak some basic Russian. And getting to Balaklava takes a while. It is a
three-hour flight from London to Kiev and then another one-hour flight to
Simferopol, then a one-hour car journey. There are no cut-price flight
operators going to Ukraine yet."

Still, he's happy with his decision. The apartment "cost $52,000, I reckon
we spent a further $18,000 on complete renovation and furniture, and now it
is worth about $100,000".

In the Carpathians, one- and two-bedroom houses can still be found for
$20,000-$40,000, though prices are higher at the new resort developments
being created by Ukrainian and Polish companies targeting a growing domestic
middle class as well as Polish, Russian and Baltic holidaymakers.

Activity is centred around the quaint village of Slavsk, the most popular of
Ukraine's mountain resorts with three distinct seasons: summer for hiking,
cycling and fishing; autumn for mushroom and berry picking; and winter for
skiing. The local government is also injecting $100m into road, slope and
lift improvements.

UK developer Hanroc has recently entered the market with the Eagle Valley
Mountain Resort, 75 apartments with a leisure and spa centre in a private
valley near one of the Slavsk lifts, due for completion in 2009. Off-plan
prices range from about $50,000 for a studio to $335,000 for a five-bedroom

Rental demand is strong since Slavsk attracts 50,000 visitors per day in
peak season but has only 150 hotel rooms, m any of which are booked up to
two seasons in advance. And, according to local estate agents, property
values are expected to rise by an annual 35 per cent or more for the next
three years.

Natasha Kravchuk of Thomas and Adamson's Kiev office warns that buyers
must still be cautious, however. "If you are buying new-build from local
developers, research them well as there have been a couple of high-profile

"Check carefully what permits the developer has and his obligations to
deliver the property on time. Most are delivered six to 12 months after the
agreed date and there is usually no clause in the contract for

Those in search of older homes should find a reputable estate agent and
think carefully about which areas they want to be in.

Builder James Jennison from Wales bought a two-bedroom rural cottage with
land near Melitopol about 3km from the Azov Sea. "People think that this
part of the world can be quite cold but when I visited in August it was over
40°C .

"The wildlife is fantastic; I've seen eagles. It is a wonderful country with
the friendliest people, beautiful countryside and beautiful architecture.
And [the house] only cost me £8,000."
Additional reporting by Roman Olearchyk; Local agents, UAProperty.com.
tel: +44 845-0944 650; www.uaproperty.com
Thomas & Adamson. tel: +38 04-4490 6064; www.thomasandadamson.com
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Interfax Ukraine News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

KYIV - The Chornobyl NPP state company and U.S. company Holtec
International on the construction of a spent nuclear fuel storage facility.

Chornobyl NPP Director General Ihor Hramotkin and Holtec President and
Chief Executive Officer Kris Singh signed the deal in Kyiv on Monday in the
presence of Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko and European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) President Jean Lemierre.

A joint, 52-month project to build a storage facility for spent nuclear fuel
with Holtec International is estimated to cost $200 million dollars, deputy
chief of the presidential secretariat Oleksandr Chaly said. The project
complies with International Atomic Energy Agency standards, he added.
NOTE: Holtec is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council
in Washington, D.C.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
French company Novarka and U.S. company Holtec International

Press Office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

KYIV - President Victor Yushchenko on Monday attended a ceremony to
sign a contract between the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the French
construction company Novarka to build the New Safe Confinement and a
deal between the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the American energy
technology company Holtec International to build Storage for Spent Nuclear
Fuel 2.

Yushchenko said today's ceremony was a "great historic event." "After
searching for engineering, political, technological and financial solutions
for twenty years we are now laying the first fundamental brick in this
project, which is called the construction of the safe sarcophagus at the
unit of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the storage for spent nuclear
fuel," he said.

Yushchenko said the event had "exceptional importance" for Ukraine and the
world. "On behalf of the Ukrainian state, I would like to thank all of you
for this wonderful job.

"I am convinced today we will be able to say frankly to the nation and the
international community, perhaps for the first time, that there has been a
response to the problem of building the New Safe Confinement at the
Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant," he said and added this was a "great step
in the cause to minimize the aftereffects of the Chornobyl disaster."

Yushchenko said the NSC would protect other countries as well: "We are
speaking about the unique planetary project, as the danger that has been
emerging from this place affects not only Ukraine [but also other states]."

The president thanked the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
[EBRD] and the donor states for making the project possible. He said Ukraine
had fulfilled its international obligations to close the Chornobyl Nuclear
Power Plant.

"Ukraine has completed the conservation of the facility, which will make it
safe for fifteen years, so any nuclear accident there is now impossible," he
said, urging Novarka and Holtec International to implement the project
"rhythmically and in solidarity."
LINK: http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/1_19003.html
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Interfax Ukraine Economic, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 18, 2007

VIENNA, Austria - Fuel and Energy Minister of Ukraine Yuriy Boiko and
U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman have met to discuss cooperation
in the energy sector between Ukraine and the United States.

Last Sunday they met in Vienna, Austria as a part of a meeting of the Global
Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) Organization.

During the meeting, the Ukrainian minister praised the initiatives of the
U.S. government and thanked Bodman for his personal contribution to
the creation of global nuclear energy partnership.

He said that Ukraine sees great prospects in the activities of the
organization in settling urgent problems and promoting the further
development of the world's nuclear sectors.

Boiko said that Ukraine and the United States have already had successful
experience in international cooperation in the nuclear sector, in
particular, the project on the standardization of Ukrainian nuclear fuel.

The minister thanked his counterpart for settling issues on additional
financing of the project, adding that the diversification of nuclear fuel
supplies is strategically important for Ukraine.
Boiko also said that another strategically important project for Ukraine is
the project to build a central nuclear waste storage facility, and noted
that the U.S. company Holtec had won the tender to build the facility.

He said that the realization of the project would help Ukraine to save $10
billion over 10 years. He said that an additional agreement on the
possibility to carry out a restricted volume of work before the Ukrainian
cabinet adopts a law on the building of the central nuclear waste storage
facility was signed in 2007 in order to speed up the realization of the

In turn, Bodman said he highly appreciated joint work of the two countries
on the standardization of nuclear fuel. Moreover, the sides discussed the
visit of Ukrainian specialist on alternative energy, which is scheduled for
next week.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Boiko Meets with U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman in Vienna

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

KYIV - Ukraine's Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Boiko predicts that the
realization of a project to construct a centralized spent fuel storage
facility for Rivne, Southern Ukrainian, and Khmelnytskyi nuclear power
plants will economize USD 10 billion in ten years.

Ukrainian News learned this from the press service of the Fuel and Energy
Ministry, which quoted Boiko at a meeting with U.S. Energy Secretary
Samuel Bodman in Vienna (Austria) on September 16.

The statement reads that the meeting took place in the frames of the Global
Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). Boiko highly assessed the initiatives of
the U.S. government and thanked Bodman for his contribution in the creation
of the GNEP.

The Ukrainian minister emphasized that Ukraine saw great perspectives for
the activities of the GNEP on the settlement of vital problems and further
development of the nuclear power industry in the world.

Boiko further said that the project to construct the centralized spent fuel
storage facility for Ukrainian NPPs, a tender of which has been won by
Holtec International (the United States), was of strategic importance for
Ukraine's energy security.

According to Boiko, an additional agreement on the realization of the
project was concluded this year about the possibility of a limited volume of
works ahead of the endorsement by the Ukrainian parliament of a law on the
construction of centralized spent fuel storage facility.

Boiko noted that Ukraine and the United States had successful experience in
international cooperation in the nuclear power industry, including within a
project on qualification of Ukrainian nuclear fuel.

The Ukrainian minister thanked Bodman for the settlement of issues related
to additional finance to the project and noted that the diversification of
nuclear fuel was strategically important for Ukraine.

Bodman highly assessed the joint work by Ukraine and the United States on
the qualification of Ukrainian fuel.

Bodman further said, according to the press service, that it was necessary
to secure transparent procedures of cooperation in the realization of a
project on joint exploration and submission of an application form by
Naftohaz Ukrainy national joint stock company and the U.S. Marathon
International Petroleum Ltd. to receive a license for exploration and
extraction of carbohydrates in the northwest part of the Dniprovsko-
Donetska depression.

Boiko and Bodman discussed a visit of Ukrainian specialists on alternative
energy to the United States to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
(NREL) in Denver.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, in December 2005, Enerhoatom and
Holtec International, the United States, signed a contract on construction
of the centralized spent fuel storage facility for Rivne NPP, Southern
Ukrainian NPP, and Khmelnytskyi NPP.

By the end of 2009, Ukraine intends to stop exporting spent fuel to Russia
after the centralized spent fuel storage is built.

The first stage of the facility has to save 2,500 reactors of VVER-1000 type
and 1,080 reactors of VVER-440 type. Zaporizhia NPP has a spent nuclear
fuel facility.

On September 16, Ukraine officially joined the Global Nuclear Energy
Partnership. Organization's principles are peaceful use of nuclear materials
and formation of joint view concerning use of relevant technologies,
increase of the nuclear reactor level and handling with nuclear wastes.

Besides, the cooperation accepts preparation of joint political decisions in
the field of nonproliferation of nuclear weapon.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

UNIAN News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, September 17, 2007

KYIV - International efforts to make the scene of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear
accident environmentally safe have taken a major step forward, according to
a press release, forwarded to UNIAN by EBRD.

Today Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant signed two important contracts, one to
build a new steel structure to seal off the damaged unit 4 with the Novarka
consortium and another one to complete the spent nuclear fuel storage with
Holtec International.

Currently unit 4 is protected by a shelter built immediately after the
accident in 1986 under extremely hazardous conditions and which, despite
recent successful stabilisation works, is decaying.

The "New Safe Confinement" will be an arch-shaped structure 105 metres high,
150 metres long and with a span of 260 metres. It will be constructed on the
site and later be slid over unit 4.

Construction work is expected to take 48-52 months and the shelter will then
create the conditions for the ultimate dismantling of Chernobyl's unit 4
which still contains 95 percent of its original nuclear inventory.

Construction of the New Safe Confinement is the most visible project under
the Chernobyl Shelter Implementation Plan (SIP) agreed between the
Government of Ukraine and the international community in 1997.

The plan contained many other elements which had to be completed over
recent years in order to allow work on the confinement to begin. The total
SIP cost is now estimated to be $1.39 billion.
A second contract which was signed with Holtec International is equally
important. Holtec's assignment is to complete the spent nuclear fuel storage
facility for more than twenty thousand spent fuel assemblies generated
during the operation of the Units 1-3 up to December 2000.

An approximately 1.5 year design and regulatory approval phase will be
followed by delivery and installation of the equipment.

The facility, to ensure safe and secure storage of the Chernobyl spent fuel
for one hundred years, is a key element of the overall Chernobyl
decommissioning plan.

International donors have made significant contributions to finance these
projects via donations to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund and the Nuclear Safety
Account, which are managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and

Together with the Government of Ukraine the Bank also ensures supervision
of the effective implementation of the projects.

EBRD President Jean Lemierre said this is an important day for Ukraine and
the world. "This shows what Ukraine and the international community working
together can achieve on a very difficult and complex issue.

"Everything that has been achieved so far is proof of the determination of
all parties concerned to work together, to overcome difficulties and to find
and implement joint solutions.

"The successful implementation of the project depends not only on the
progress of the construction work, but also on the continued commitment of
both the Ukrainian authorities and the international community."

As of end-June 2007, the Chernobyl Shelter Fund has recorded total
contributions of euro739 million from the following donors: Austria,
Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Community, Finland, France, Germany,
Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway,
Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom,
and the United States. Donations have been made by Iceland, Israel, Korea,
Portugal, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia.

The Nuclear Safety Account has so far received contributions of Euro285
million from: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the European Community, Finland,
France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland,
the United Kingdom, Ukraine and the United States.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

Jenny Booth & Agencies, Times Online, London, UK, Fri, Sep 21, 2007

Yulia Tymoshenko, one of the leaders of Ukraine's Orange revolution, came to
pay homage yesterday at the feet of Baroness Thatcher, the veteran former
leader of the Conservative party.

The two diminutive, blonde, female, former Prime Ministers sat down to tea
at the Goring Hotel in London to discuss the dark days of the Cold War - and
possibly also motherhood, pearls and iconic political hairdos.

Mrs Tymoshenko, whose advisers were cheekily billing the private meeting as
"Mrs T meets Mrs T", praised Lady Thatcher as Britain's saviour and thanked
her for championing freedom for the former Soviet bloc states of Eastern

Political observers say that Mrs Tymoshenko, the fiercely ambitious leader
of the Ukrainian opposition, may have been hoping for some of the Iron
Lady's stardust to rub off on her campaign, as elections near on September

Lady Thatcher's aims were less clear, although she is known to enjoy homage,
and to feel aggrieved that little of it is forthcoming from David Cameron
and the Conservative leadership.

There was plenty of praise from her tea companion.

"I have long admired Lady Thatcher, and drawn inspiration from her success
in transforming her country from being the sick man of Europe into one of
Europe's strongest economies, and raising UK living standards to one of the
highest in the world," said Mrs Tymoshenko.

"Her model has been followed and emulated by Tony Blair, Gordon Brown
and Nicholas Sarkozy.

"She was firm in adversity and stood up to oppression when others remained
seated. Her words spoke for countless millions across Eastern Europe who
had no voice.

"She helped write a new chapter for our nation and we remain indebted to her

A beaming Lady Thatcher appeared animated at the encounter, and even
permitted the Ukrainian politician to put an arm around her shoulders.

She wished Mrs Tymoshenko well for the future, expressed a hope that the
Ukrainian elections would be free and fair, and as the meeting ended
bestowed on her a signed copy of her political memoirs.

Last week Lady Thatcher caused a stir when she took tea with Gordon Brown,
once a vehement political opponent, thus directing the political limelight
away from Mr Cameron's efforts to launch a Conservative policy document
on the environment.

Some Tories claimed that Mr Brown had taken advantage of the "frail, lonely"
Lady Thatcher for a photo opportunity, but others asserted that the former
Premier knew perfectly well what she was doing.

Lady Thatcher appears to be fast becoming a political monument to whom it
is fashionable to pay tribute. US Republican presidential hopefuls Rudy
Giuliani, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney have all recently paid her a visit.
LINK: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article2505255.ece
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Ben Martin, Telegraph, London, UK, Saturday, Sep 22, 2007

Lady Thatcher met another iron lady of politics yesterday, holding talks
with Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko to discuss topics
close to both their hearts - economic reform and winning elections.

Mrs Tymoshenko, who became the Ukraine's first female prime minister in 2005
before her government was dismissed amid scandal just seven months later,
said she had long admired Lady Thatcher and thanked her for helping lift the
Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe.

Wearing the blonde, braided hair that is her trademark, Mrs Tymoshenko said
Lady Thatcher had transformed Britain from the "sick man" of Europe into one
of Europe's strongest economies.

"She was firm in adversity and stood up to oppression when others remained
seated," Mrs Tymoshenko said. "Her words spoke for countless millions across
Eastern Europe who had no voice. She helped write a new chapter for our
nation and we remain indebted to her courage."

Lady Thatcher responded by saying she hoped Ukraine's election, due on
September 30, would be free and fair and a "guiding light for democracy in
Eastern Europe".

"I wish for Ukraine to quickly complete its transformation and for its
people to enjoy the benefits of a prosperous democratic nation at the heart
of a modern Europe," she said. "The Orange Revolution gave hope to
freedom-loving people everywhere. Its spirit clearly lives on."

Lady Thatcher gave Mrs Tymoshenko a signed copy of her memoirs and
Mrs Tymoshenko presented Lady Thatcher with a boxed replica of a 2000
year-old Scythian artwork.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Marie Colvin, The Sunday Times
London, United Kingdom, Sunday, September 23, 2007

UKRAINE's former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, flew into London last
week to meet Baroness Thatcher, vowing to drag her country kicking and
screaming away from the Russian bear and into the European fold if she
returns to office after elections next weekend.

"Real women don't do U-turns," she said after the meeting, referring to
Thatcher's famous declaration that "the lady's not for turning".

Tymoshenko curled into the back seat of a car, dressed in a sleek cream wool
shift matched with 4in high heels. "I think I can be an iron lady and inside
still a human," she said. "It's about the ability to preserve the human

Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko, her party, is tipped to do well in the elections and
she is the favour-ite to be the next prime minister. With her trademark
braid curled around her head, hers is one of the two faces of the orange
revolution, a striking contrast to that of Viktor Yushchenko, the president,
who was disfigured by an attempt to poison him with dioxin, an act he
blames on the Russians.

She admits the braid is a "pin on". "I found the style simple," she said.
"It saves time, and it's very traditional."

Tymoshenko is pro-western and pro-free market, hence the meeting with
Thatcher, who was so taken with her that she told her she would have liked
to campaign on her behalf.

A billionairess who made her fortune in the free-for-all chaos of the
mid 1990s in Ukraine's gas business, she is brimming with confidence that
her party will win at the polls.

Tymoshenko, 46, was supposedly betrayed by Yushchenko when he went
back on a deal that saw her agree not to run for president if she could
serve as prime minister. He dismissed her after seven months.

He then suffered the ignominy of being forced to replace her with a
candidate approved by his arch-rival, the pro-Rus-sian Viktor Yanukovych.

Tymoshenko is passionate in her convictions and has no fear of Ukraine's
macho political style. "Women are stronger. Like Thatcher, I'm committed to
changing my country for the better," she said. She was delighted with a gift
of Thatcher's memoirs, inscribed "To Julia, Fighter for Freedom".

Her mission is "first, to preserve our hard-won independence and to get rid
of post Soviet bureaucracy". She promised to fight corruption, the single
most difficult issue and one that polls show is people's biggest concern.

Even Moscow does not scare her. "If the independence of the Ukraine is at
stake, then I will call people on to the streets."

It will be a tough fight. In parliamentary elections last year the single
largest share of the vote went to the Party of the Regions, led by

Tymoshenko flew back in a private jet to campaign in these very regions
where Ukraine's 17% ethnic Russian minority, many of whom pine for closer
ties with Moscow, are concentrated. A heady mix of beauty and brains, a
whirlwind of energy, like Thatcher she may change her country for ever.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

By Gene M. Burd, Marks Sokolov & Burd, LLC
Philadelphia, PA, Monday, September 24, 2007

On September 10, Yulia Timoshenko met with the representatives of the
Western business and legal community, foreign government representatives
and the media where she gave highlights of her economic policies and signed
a document entitled 'Contract with Investors'.

A copy of the Contract with Investors will be available at the web site of
Marks Sokolov & Burd, LLC (www.marks-sokolov.com) and via e-mail
from Gene Burd at (gburd@mslegal.com).

Ms Timoshenko said that she was confident that her alliance with Yushenko
will be victorious and stated that she intends to form a democratic
coalition consisting of three or four political forces (possibly including
communists) working together. She also said that her goal is for foreign
investors to understand developments in the Ukrainian politics.
The Continuing Privatization Efforts -----
Ms Timoshenko has been critical of the present government for its lack of
transparency during privatization. She contrasted the second privatization
of Krivorozhstal which she called "honest" with the recent privatization of
Dneprenergo which according to her was simply a transfer to Rinat Akhmetov.
She also mentioned the inadequate efforts toward the privatization of the
power industry and agriculture.

Ms Timoshenko said that she stands behind her past efforts to privatize 569
wholly or partially state owned companies and will pass laws to that effect.
Her primary concern is privatization of companies in the mining and natural
resource industries.
'Economic Zones' will be Replaced by 'Investment Zones' -----
Ms Timoshenko has also been critical of the former 'free economic zones'
regime which according to her "killed" competition and which was misused
for tax evasion.

Rather, she has proposed to implement a regime of 'investment zones' in
underdeveloped areas. Goods manufactured in these zones will be exported
duty free but subject to duty if sold in Ukraine.

Investment and technology for investments will be tax free for as long as
the investment zone regime exists. Components and spare parts will be duty
free for a period of five years. Ms Timoshenko has promised to adopt the
'investment zones' laws within one month of coming to power.
Acquisition Of Non-Agricultural Lands Will Be Streamlined -----
Ms Timoshenko has promised to streamline procedures for the acquisition
of non-agricultural lands. She said that the acquisition process currently
requires 126 signatures which need to be done twice - first when the
application is submitted and second when it is approved.

The new land acquisition law will require local governments to put the
requested parcel of land up for auction within 10 days of a request or if
unavailable to put up for auction a substitute parcel of equal value. She
said that the law will be adopted within four to six weeks after the
Less Red Tape -----
Ms Timoshenko said that she will fight bureaucracy by analyzing the function
of each bureaucrat and fire those who are unnecessary in order to destroy
the "corrupt bullion" of licenses and permissions. She did not specifically
name any licenses or permissions that she thought should be eliminated. Nor
did she present a time frame for their elimination.
Agricultural Land is Not for Sale -----
Ms Timoshenko said that until the laws regulating use of agricultural land
are implemented there will a moratorium on the sale of agricultural lands.
She stated that the present lack of legislation regulating the use of
agricultural lands will cause problems if the lands are allowed to be
privatized. For the meantime, these problems can only be avoided by
maintaining a moratorium.
Customs and Certifications -----
Ms Timoshenko stated that she wants to streamline customs procedures
wherein imported goods are checked and rechecked even if they have valid
certifications. She said she wants to implement a regime in which European
certificates of quality will be accepted.
Taxes -----
Ms Timoshenko has promised to significantly decrease payroll tax and VAT.
She said that the present VAT regime is a source of corruption and
inefficiency and that it can be substituted for by other taxes. However,
she did not explain specifically which taxes could substitute VAT and what
economic effects these taxes would have.

The decrease or even elimination of VAT is a common platform between the
Timoshenko Block and the Party of the Regions who are the main political
forces in Ukraine together with Our Ukraine.

These changes were promised in the previous elections, but so far they have
not happened. Moreover elimination of VAT would contradict certain EU

Answering questions from the audience, Ms Timoshenko said that no
politician in any country can assure which direction future legislation will
take. There has to be a legal system that works.

Lastly, she said that in order to force politicians to keep their promises
there has to be a democratic system in which they can be voted out of

It does not matter whether the system is parliamentary or presidential -
either one can work as long as the functions of each branch are clearly
delineated and a system of checks and balances is imposed.
Gene M. Burd is a member in the law firm Marks Sokolov and Burd, LLC
and the head of its representative office in Kyiv. He was born in Ukraine
and was educated in the United States where he also practices law.

Marks & Sokolov, LLC (operating in Ukraine as Marks Sokolov and Burd,
LLC) is a boutique law firm known for its ability to handle complex
litigation and commercial work in countries around the world including the
U.S., Russia and Ukraine. The firm has offices in Philadelphia, Moscow,
and Kiev and its lawyers are fluent in English, Russian, and Ukrainian.
NOTE: Marks & Sokolov, LLC is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine
Business Council in Washington, D.C.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
"Why did He Annihilate Us?/Stalin and the Ukrainian Holodomor"

By Nadiya Tysiachna, Iryna Yehorova, The Day
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, September 18, 2007

Yurii Logush, a well-known international company's chairman [Kraft
Ukraina], called to the editorial office one day and asked to find our
newspaper's issue containing the continuation of the material written by
Stanislav Kulchytsky and entitled "Why did Stalin annihilate us?"

It occurred that he was collecting all publications of his author's cycle.
(It is a steadfast tendency. Many respected Ukrainian historians,
philosophers, literature critics and linguists confessed that they had whole
piles of The Day's press cuttings, until they were incorporated into the
books Ukraine Incognita, Dvi Rusi, Wars and Peace, Day and Eternity of
James Mace, Apocryfy of Klara Gudzyk, and My Universities from our
newspaper's library.)

Obviously, a same thing is happening this time. In the first numbers of
September, the book by Stanislav Kulchytsky "Why did He Annihilate Us?/
Stalin and the Ukrainian Holodomor," based on The Day's publications
(2005-2007), was published.

It contains valuable photos from engineer Vinerberger' collection and from
the collection Famine in the Soviet Ukraine 1932-33, published at the
Harvard University in 1986 using the resources of the Central State Archives
of the Cinematic-Photographic Documents of Ukraine. The foreword was written
by Editor in Chief Larysa Ivshyna, and the book was published under her
overall editorship.

The afterword was written by Director of Ukrainian Sciences Department at
the Rome University "La Sapienza", writer Oksana Pakhliovska. The
presentation of the book by Stanislav Kulchytsky Why did He Annihilate
Us/Stalin and the Ukrainian Holodomor took place within the framework of the
14th Forum of Publishers in Lviv.

A roundtable "Holodomor in Ukraine 1932-33. Document Heritage" was held in
the Mirror Hall at the Lviv-based Ivan Franko National University. Novelette
Holodomor in Ukraine 1932-33: Documents and Materials was introduced too
(Kyiv Mohyla Academy Publishing House). It was compiled by Ruslan Pyrih.

"I have been studying this topic practically since 2004," Stanislav
Kulchytsky explains, "although I have been studying the Holodomor probably
since 1985. The thing is that today the question of the Holodomor as an act
of genocide has been broached, therefore, one has to reinterpret everything
in the view of this. Actually, the new book of " The Day's Library" is
revealing the topic of the Holodomor as an and act of genocide.

"Clearly, the famine of 1932-33 was an all- union one, however, it was much
worse on the Ukrainian territory than anywhere else. Everywhere the famine
was caused by grain- collections. But Ukrainians faced something else - not
grain-collection, but a punitive action of confiscation of all means for

"Since one could not buy food anywhere else (a rationing system was
implemented,) peasants started to day in masses (they did not receive the
ration cards.) What was the reason for this? In order to feed the peasants
afterwards. Thus, the state first had confiscated everything, and afterwards
started to feed them, so to say, from hands.

"Obviously, not all were fed, for millions died. This was a lesson taught by
Stalin to the Ukrainian peasants that were not eager to work for the state
for nothing, because everything they collected had been confiscated for
three years.

"However, Stalin also learnt a lesson. Starting from 1933, the base of
coexistence of collective farms and state economy were built in another way:
it was based on taxes.

"This meant that the state had recognized that produced good remained within
the ownership of peasants and collective farms, therefore, this was no slave
work, but that of a serf."

Stanislav Vladyslavovych responded in a laconic to the question, why the
book was published in Russian, "The purpose was to make people living in the
east and south of Ukraine in particular, and also in the Post-Soviet area,
read the book, "

Head of the Radio and Television Department at the Lviv- based Ivan Franko
National University Vasyl Lyzanchuk asked, in which way the scholar's
evolution develops in the view of such a dramatic theme.

"A well-known American Scientist James Mace, who studied the Ukrainian
Holodomor, published the article How Ukraine was Allowed to Believe in a
foreign magazine in 1994," Kulchytsky said, "The article consisted of nine
chapters, one of them devoted to me. I must say that at first there was a
misunderstanding between me and James, but afterwards we have reached a

For he wrote that Kulchytsky was a soviet professor at first, and became
simply a professor after starting to study the Holodomor."

In his turn, Head of the Ukrainian Revolution Department at the Institute of
the History of Ukraine of the NAN of Ukraine, compiler of The Holodomor in
Ukraine 1932-33: Documents and Materials Ruslan Pyrih explained that in 2003
the archives of the Russian President transferred the Political Bureau
materials that have never been published previously to the Russian State
Archives of the social-political history.

"It was resolved that I would take this project," the scholar went on. "The
collection is a synthetic one. The Russian study of early texts have
published many similar projects like Tragedy of Soviet Village or Lubianka
for Stalin. Ukraine has few of these books.

Therefore their most interesting documents and too the documents from the
Political Bureau, foreign intelligence services and Stalin, Molotov and
Kahanovych's correspondence have been included to my book. The materials
and documents from the total of 15 Ukrainian central and oblast archives and
five RF archives were included into the collection."

The associate worker of the State SBU branch archives, historian Dr. Vasyl
Danylenko, who took part in publication of Declassified Memory, said that
both books, Why Did He Annihilate Us and Holodomor in Ukraine 1932-33:
Documents Materials, belong to the decade's best ones for their significance.
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/187798/
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
"This book is the quintessence of whatwe know about the Holodomor"

By Ihor Siundiukov, The Day Weekly Digest
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 4, 2007

As The Day has already reported, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Publishers have
just published a fundamental study entitled Holodomor 1932-1933 r.r. v
Ukraini. Dokumenty i materially [The Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine:
Documents and Materials].

This compilation contains several hundred documents that provide evidence
of the Stalin's totalitarian regime's terrible crime against the Ukrainian
people and humanity in general.

The book has sparked great public and scholarly interest, attracting all
kinds of readers. The Day asked the compiler of the study, the historian
Ruslan Pyrih, to tell us briefly about the history of the book's creation.

This study is the result of the collective efforts of many individuals. Its
"birth" was not easy and took a long time. What can you tell me about the
background of this publication?
Here in front of me are two landmark books: Holod v Ukraini 1932-1933
rokiv [The Famine in Ukraine in the Years 1932-1933] (a collection of 248
documents; a pioneering scholarly work on the problems of the Holodomor,
which was published in 1990, the second-to-last year of perestroika, when
the ruling party realized that it was impossible to conceal the horrible
truth) - and this newly published study of the Holodomor.

I happen to be the compiler of both these books. Comparing these two
studies, one can see the immense and amazing path covered by our historical
science in these past 17 years.

In fact, all of us, scholars, had to resolve an enormous number of problems,
including limited access to the documentary sources available at the time
and a certain fear of drawing conclusions and bitter generalizations, which
was caused by well-known factors.

However, I must mention such valuable and useful works as Kolektyvizatsiia i
holod v Ukraini [Collectivization and Famine in Ukraine (published in 1992,
this is a collection of documents, materials, and articles), and Holod v
Ukraini (1932-1933 rr. Prychyny i naslidky [Famine in Ukraine in 1932-1933:
Causes and Consequences] (a collection of articles published by Naukova
Dumka in 2003 on the initiative of Academician Valerii Smolii).

By the way, 2003 was the year when hundreds of formerly highly classified
files of the 1920s and 1930s were transferred from the archive of the
president of the Russian Federation (the former Politburo archive) to the
Russian State Archive of Social and Political History, which made it
possible to put them into scholarly circulation, including in Ukraine.

Our new book was ready for printing in 2004, but it spent three years on the
list of "indispensable" publications that enjoy state support because there
were no funds to publish it. But all that is in the past.

I am especially grateful to the Ukraine-3000 Foundation, the Kyiv-Mohyla
Academy Publishers, the Naukova Dumka Publishing House, Ms. Olha
Bazhan, the legendary General Prystaiko, and many other people who helped
make this book possible.

[The Day] What makes this study unique?
You can judge for yourself. I will mention only a few statistics. Our book
contains 1,700 documents, both new ones and those that were published
earlier (1,200 pages). We can say that this is the quintessence of what we
know about the Holodomor today.

Typologically, these documents include materials of the Union organs (the CC
AUCP(b), Sovnarkom, and VUTsVK), documents from the corresponding
organs of the Ukrainian SSR, and those of local organs.
But this book contains certain documents - and this is important! - that
have never been published before.

These are documents of foreign diplomatic missions in the early 1930s,
foreign civic organizations, and the private papers of individual people
from those terrible years: letters, complaints, diaries (for example, one by
Dmytro Zavoloka, a Communist Party functionary, and another by a
Kharkiv-based teacher named Radchenko).

To my mind the documents of the Politburo included in the collection have
the greatest importance (about 100 resolutions, 65 of which have never been
published before).

What can we see from those documents? We see that the Ukrainian people
did not go mutely like lambs to the slaughter (for example, at least 50
district party committees protested against the decisions and resisted them).

We see that the arrival in Ukraine of "the heavyweights" (Molotov and
Kaganovich) was instrumental. We see that there was some relief given to
starving regions, but it was highly selective (it was not so much relief as

[The Day] A surprise question: what do you dream about now that the
book has been published?
I want the book to live a life of its own, independent of any institutions
or authors. Then I will be happy.
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/187308/
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Security Service of Ukraine holds roundtable on declassified archival
materials about the Holodomor and political repressions in Ukraine

By Ihor Siundiukiv, The Day Weekly Digest,
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, September 4, 2007

"For nothing is secret that shall not be made manifest." This is what
Hitlers, Stalins, Pinochets, Pol Pots and their ilk forget when they destroy
innocent people - from thousands and hundreds of thousands to dozens of

Ukraine needs to know the terrible documented truth about the millions of
our compatriots who were mowed down by Stalin's scythe of death.

This is no exaggeration because the Holodomor period (as well as the entire
stretch of the 1920s and 1930s) is a pivotal era of Soviet history, and the
attitude to this period depends to a large extent on its interpretation and

What is needed above all is the political will to make public the documents
about the crimes of Stalin's tyranny, which until recently were top secret.
We can now say that Ukraine's political leadership does have this will.

On Aug. 27, in pursuance of President Viktor Yushchenko's instruction to
make a further study of the history of political repressions against the
citizens of Ukraine and Ukrainians living abroad and the president's decree
"On Measures to Mark the 70th Anniversary of the Great Terror - the Mass
Political Repressions of 1937-1938," the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)
hosted a roundtable debate "The 1932-1933 Holodomor and Political
Repressions in Ukraine in Documents from the Archives of the Security
Service of Ukraine."

The organizers of the roundtable also launched the book Rozsekrechena
pam'iat. Holodomor 1932-1933 rokiv v Ukraini v dokumentakh GPU NKVD
[Declassified Memory: The Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine in the
Documents of the GPU NKVD], which contains declassified documents on
Soviet political repressions in Ukraine.

In his speech acting SBU head Valentyn Nalyvaichenko emphasized that
today there can be no secrets, cover-ups, or distortions with respect to the
political repressions.

"The Ukrainian secret service is opening up all the available archival
materials on this subject to the Ukrainian public and the world community
and is inviting researchers, historians, and all committed individuals to
cooperate," he noted.

"The SBU does not doubt that the Holodomor was anything but genocide of
the Ukrainian people, a pre-planned and pre-conceived crime, and documents
confirm this.

"Our task is to map out a strategy for reviving the Ukrainian people's
national memory, and we are pinning special hopes on the Institute of
National Memory, recently established in keeping with President Viktor
Yushchenko's decree."

As for the SBU's concrete actions to achieve this extremely important goal,
Nalyvaichenko announced that the SBU has already formally requested Russia's
Federal Security Service and its counterparts in the Republic of Kazakhstan
to help in the work of checking the lists of victims of repressions and
furnishing the required archival documents.

Vasyl Danylenko, deputy chief of the SBU archives, spoke about the history,
importance, and need for this publication. He noted that this study is the
first comprehensive publication of documents from the GPU NKVD on the
Holodomor, which will be of paramount scholarly and practical importance.

Researchers will be greatly interested in the documents that expose the
Holodomor's "triggering mechanism," including minutes of the AUCP(B)
Politburo meeting on Sept. 16, 1932, which laid down the procedure of
applying the draconian law "On the Theft of Socialist Property" (popularly
known as the "five ears law").

The documents contained in the book show that the GPU - both on the
All-Union and Ukrainian republican level - was actively involved in
suppressing the Ukrainian peasantry.

Ukrainian filmmaker Alexander Dovzhenko, whose comments were also recorded
by secret agents and reported to the authorities in 1933, said very clearly
at the time, "The Ukrainian countryside is dying. Ukrainian villages are on
the brink of extinction."

These documents are being published for the first time, as are the
photographs taken by a peasant from Baturyn, named Bokan, which are a
damning indictment of the terror by famine.

In her speech historian Valentyna Borysenko focused on the great importance
of oral testimonies in Holodomor studies because researchers throughout the
world value precisely this kind of information, especially when it comes
from children, who can memorize even the minutest details.

Borysenko noted that Robert Conquest and James Mace, the world-acclaimed
Holodomor researchers, had always relied on this kind of evidence.

Many of the roundtable participants spoke warmly and with extreme gratitude
about the late James Mace whose publications were frequently published in
The Day.

Askold Lozynskyj, head of the Ukrainian World Congress, recalled that Mace
used to tell him (and was prepared to bolster his view with figures) that if
there had been no Holodomor, the population of Ukraine would have reached
100 million by the late 20th century.

The audience listened with rapt attention to Dr. Bohdan Futey, a judge on
the US Court of Federal Claims, who summed up the findings of the
International Commission of Inquiry into the 1932-33 Famine in Ukraine
(Sundberg Commission, 1988-1990) which was set up on the initiative of the
World Congress of Free Ukrainians.

The documents of this commission as well as those of the US Congress-
sponsored Commission on the Ukraine Famine (in which Mace was the
powerhouse) are still important and necessary.

The Sundberg Commission, which does not, however, believe that the Soviet
leadership aimed to destroy the Ukrainian nation once and for all, arrived
at the following conclusion: "The majority of the commission believes that
the Soviet government deliberately used the Holodomor, once it began, to
pursue its policy of denationalization. This policy flouts the moral
foundations on which all of humankind rests. Without a doubt the top
leadership of the USSR bears responsibility for this."

Some speakers proposed that the actions of Stalin and his associates be
classified as "crimes against humanity" on the grounds that calling these
misdeeds "genocide" will raise some purely juridical problems because the
relevant UN convention that gives the definition of genocide was approved in

Therefore, it would have been a retroactive application of the convention to
the crimes that were committed well before it was adopted. However, others
presented a different, no less convincing, argument: the massacre of the
Armenians, which was committed by the Ottoman Empire even earlier, in 1915,
has been recognized as genocide by the vast majority of the world community.

Karl Jaspers, a prominent 20th-century German philosopher, wrote: "The
machine of terror becomes powerful when those who do not wish to have
anything to do with this machine also come to be terrorized."

To a large extent these words explain the causes of the terrible events that
were discussed at the SBU roundtable. The search for the truth must continue,
and new secret police archival documents must be revealed to the public.
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/187297/
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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return to index [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
III.Tours of Kiev and Surrounding Territories

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