This respectable gentleman lives in one of the buildings on a street named after his father, General Chuprynka (an alias of Roman Shukhevych, Commander of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army - Ukr. abbr., UPA). Due to the Stalinist regime's adherence to the principle whereby children answered for their fathers' wrongdoings, Yuri Shukhevych served a long term in a prison camp, released in the late 1980s, physically exhausted, almost blind, but morally unbroken. Today, this courageous man is known not only as a veteran political prisoner, but also as an active political figure. Few rallies or other political events in Lviv pass without his attendance. He continues his father's cause - not with arms but with ardent penetrating words.
Yuri Shukhevych kindly agreed to an interview with The Day on the eve of UPA's 60th anniversary.
Q. When did you learn that the UPA commander General Chuprynka was your father Roman Shukhevych? Who let you in on the secret?
A. I learned that UPA commander General Chuprynka was actually my father Roman Shukhevych in 1947. I was at an orphanage in Donetsk and I ran away. Our family had been arrested two years before. My sister and I had been institutionalized (first in Drohobych, then Chornobyl, and then Stalino, which is Donetsk today). Our mother and grandmother had been imprisoned. After my escape, already in Lviv oblast, I got in touch with people in the Ukrainian underground and learned about my father's rank, although I already knew that he was a member of the OUN central provid leadership.
Q. Let's face it; not all in Ukraine regard the UPA as an army. Most people in the western territories consider it a national-liberation army, but in the central regions, in the south and east the attitude is less enthusiastic, mildly speaking, it is often openly hostile. Could you cite a few examples to demonstrate that it wasn't a guerilla force but a genuine national-liberation movement?
A. First, UPA was numerically quite strong - and I am not just referring to officers and men. For as long as the underground resistance network existed, it was constantly linked with the populace; people supplied it with food, gave shelter, and provided medical treatment... And evidence of this is not only to be found in our historical studies. Several years ago a Russian-language book titled The Insurgent Army was published in Minsk. The Moscow authors, referring to the 1940s-1950s, describe UPA as a belligerent side during WWII. More evidence is detailed in Abwehr agents' reports included in the two-volume German Chronicle of the UPA. Add there General de Gaulle's documented testimony. In a word, there is plenty of literature about UPA in the West, translated into several languages. Such literature is found even in China, Vietnam, Guatemala, and Cuba - in countries with their own national-liberation experiences. Another unbiased testimony cost Commissar Rudnev his life. I mean his Carpathian diaries with first-hand information about the insurgent movement. They were to be published, but the Moscow authorities loathed the commissar's objective view on the UPA. His female radio operator received a secret order from NKVD headquarters and shot Rudnev...
One other thing. During the war UPA was alleged to serve as a kind of espionage network developed by the Germans to combat the Soviet partisans and Red Army after they liberated Nazi-occupied territories. Later, we obtained conclusive evidence that it wasn't so. The resistance movement continued after the Third Reich capitulated. It existed longer than any others in Europe, after all the rest had been destroyed in the Baltic republics, Romania, Hungary, and Poland. The anti-Bolshevik movement in Western Ukraine lasted until 1956...
Q. We know that General Chuprynka - I mean your father Roman Shukhevych - led the movement in 1943. How did that come about?
A. He belonged to a generation that did not despair after the national liberation defeats of 1917-21 but continued with its struggle, led by Konovalets. Sometime in 1922-23, Roman Shukhevych, then aged 15-16, joined the movement, first as a sympathizer, then as a member of the Ukrainian Military Organization (1925).He joined the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists as soon as it was established, was a member of the Galician provid, its field referent executive. Then he was arrested and served terms in Polish prisons, then there was Carpathian Ukraine and the Ukrainian Legion... Finally, he went underground. In 1943, he headed the OUN and several months later becamecommander in chief of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. In other words, he took part in the liberation struggle from youth until his death at the village of Bilohorshcha near Lviv, March 5, 1950.
Q. Why do you think Russia and then Poland became so insistent in rejecting the UPA's status as a combatant in World War II?
A. Let's refer to history. The Poles and Russians would come to terms whenever Ukraine was at issue. It's a tradition dating from the 17th century. They divided Ukraine into Left and Right Bank, the former going to Polish and the latter to the Moscow crown. Later, Moscow would divide Poland between itself, Prussia, and Austria. And what happened in 1920? Didn't Soviet Russia and Poland, then independent, divide Ukraine between themselves? Didn't Poland receive Galicia [Halychyna] and Volyn, with the rest going to Russia? Less than 20 years later, Poland would be divided between Germany and Russia... In other words, whenever it came to dividing Ukraine, there would be no problems. But they both hated it when the Ukrainian people decided to determine their own destiny, so they joined forces to prevent it. I mean both Poland and Russia opposing the UPA, so, naturally, both would assess our liberation efforts quite negatively. By the way, according to their own logic, the same could be said of the Polish Armia Krajowa- or the Home Army. We all know what they did near Chelm [Kholm] and Nadsiannia. Therefore, we Ukrainians should be the ones to pass judgment to Petliura, Konovalets, and Shukhevych.
Q. Unfortunately, no one knows exactly where General Chuprynka was buried. Are there any leads?
A. Yes, several. One has it that he was buried at one of the NKVD penitentiaries in Lviv. Another claims that his body was taken to Kyiv and buried there somewhere. Another possibility is that they cut off his head, took it somewhere, and buried the body somewhere near Lviv [MO's emphasis]. An archival trace? Who can access those archives? If we had access, it wouldn't be difficult. I know - and other people confirm - that there is a Shukhevych photo album at the SBU, including photos of him as a student and then in the underground. A major Ukrainian weekly publication carried one such photo recently. It must be from that album. In that photo he is lying dead, obviously after shooting himself in the temple. Who could have taken that picture back in 1950 except an NKVD man?
Q. You have spent many years behind bars. Why? Perhaps just like the sisters of Stepan Bandera, Volodymyra and Oksana, just because of family connection with the OUN leadership?
A. Naturally, I was first institutionalized and then arrested in 1948 because my father was the UPA commander in chief. I was 15 at the time. I was tried once, twice, and then charged with anti-Soviet agitation. I've spent 31 years in prison and then in exile, adding up to almost 40 years. Vladimir-on-Klyazma, Aleksandrovsky Penitentiary near Irkutsk, Mordovia. I've been to the remotest parts of the Soviet Union, so I know geography at first hand. At times I thought I'd had it, but I survived by His will...
Q. We can't say that no tribute has been paid to the UPA in the years of Ukrainian independence, especially in Western Ukraine. Streets have been named for its commander and statues unveiled... There is a rehabilitation center for OUN- UPA veterans in Morshyn. But of course, this is not enough. Now is the time for the state to officially recognize the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. A lot is being said on the subject, nothing has been done.
Q. Why? Because what's happening is absurd. We all know that the 1917-21 movement was for the establishment of an independent Ukrainian state. Petliura, Skoropadsky, Hrushevsky, Vynnychenko, and a lot of others, among them such noted Western Ukrainian figures as Petrushevych, Tarnavsky, Vitovsky - they all did their best to make an independent Ukraine a reality. Are they really acknowledged today? Now and then we hear about Hrushevsky as a historian - and very seldom as the first Ukrainian president... But that's beside the point. Who do you expect to act contrary to what has been inculcated for decades, condemning everything associated with the Ukrainian national-liberation struggle? See what I mean? And so our Ukrainian history is what it is, distorted, scorned, falsified. Likewise, they can't bring themselves to recognize UPA, it just doesn't fit in the modern political context. It's as though the Ukrainian state existed but all those that had struggled for its existence were not recognized...
Q. Do you personally believe that the UPA will be eventually acknowledged?
A. What does it mean, recognizing or not recognizing history? Address the same question to Napoleon or Alexander the Great. See? History is objective, whether we like it or not. The UPA won't be acknowledged by all those characters who voted against Ukrainian independence on August 24, 1991. So they won't acknowledge the army now and won't mention it in school textbooks, and will continue to ignore Mazepa, Petliura, and Bandera. So what? These figures are still there in history. The time will come and the historical truth will triumph. By the way, do you know the difference between truth and falsehood? Truth can afford the luxury of being twisted and scorned, but sooner or later it will prevail. Falsehood can afford no such thing, because it is exposed once and forever. True, UPA veterans are currently in disgrace, but Ivan Franko wrote, "That's how we all join a community, hammer in hand, united by a sacred cause. Let the world condemn us and forget us, we'll crash that mountain rock and pave the way to the truth. Others will be happy after us..." Ten, maybe twenty years from now the truth about UPA will become known. It must be and it shall be.
Samtidig erklærede udenrigsminister Anatolij Zlenko fredag, at
Ukraine ser sin plads i det nye europæiske sikkerhedssystem "som
en østlig forpost, som stabiliserer Europa, og samtidig forsvarer
det". Ifølge ham udfylder Ukraine allerede denne funktion i kraft
af objektive geopolitiske omstændigheder, også selvom landet
endnu ikke har nogen udsigt til at blive medlem af EU
Ifølge ministeren er de ukrainske migrationsbygninger fyldt til bristepunktet med illegale immigranter, som man har fanget på den ukrainske grænse, og tusinde af flygtninge fra landene i Asien og Afrika bliver forplejet af det beskedne ukrainske statsbudget og bliver sendt hjem.
Ministeren er overbevist om, at konceptet om Ukraine som "en bufferzone mellem EU og ikke-EU ikke har nogen fremtid", oplyser UNIAN ifølge UP.
Leonid Kutjma sagde i går på et pressemøde i Simferopol på Krim, at han har tænkt sig at komme til Prag. Da han blev bedt om at uddybe, om han havde tænkt sig at deltage i NATO-Ukraine kommissionens møde, som bliver holdt på udenrigsminister niveau, sagde han, at det hele afhang af, om hvilken konklusion der ville komme på "Koltjuga"- rapporten, og at Ukraine endnu ikke havde modtaget nogen officiel henvendelse fra NATO om, at han ikke var inviteret. (Både den amerikanske ambassade i Ukraine, NATOs talsmand og NATOs generalsekretær har ellers tilkendegivet det i utvetydige vendinger, red.)
Putin switches support to Yushchenko
Putin may abandon Kuchma
Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma is embattled both domestically and internationally as his scandal-hit leadership comes under intense US scrutiny. Russia is his last remaining political lifeline. However, JID is receiving intelligence that President Vladimir Putin may not be willing to continue to offer support indefinitely.
Without Putin's backing, Ukraine's oligarchs would probably withdraw their support for Kuchma and he could be forced to resign, increasing the prospect of early presidential elections - currently scheduled for October 2004 - and his possible future prosecution if the opposition wins power.
Putin is increasingly uneasy about Kuchma and the Russian leader is not alone. A mid-October Russian opinion poll conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation revealed that 24% of Russians polled do not approve of Kuchma while just 9% expressed a positive opinion about him. Only Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze achieved a worse rating. Meanwhile, the most popular CIS leaders in Russia were the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Moldova.
Until now, Putin's strategy has involved the backing of post-communist oligarchs or communists throughout the CIS. The Kremlin's support for Kuchma has rested on the basis that he is attempting to build the sort of authoritarian 'super-presidential' regime which is common throughout the CIS.
A change of allegiance by Putin can be expected to have a major impact on Ukrainian politics. In the March elections Russia demonstrated its hostility towards the centre-right opposition Our Ukraine - led by former prime minister Viktor Yushchenko, who is the West's favourite candidate to succeed Kuchma. Moscow has also assisted Kuchma since the elections in launching an anti-corruption case against radical opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko who heads a populist, right wing bloc.
Backing the wrong horse?
Opposition protests against Kuchma resumed in September, this time with the participation of the Ukrainian Communist Party (KPU). With the KPU in the opposition camp, Putin's strategy towards Ukraine appears to have fallen apart. During the March parliamentary elections the only Ukrainian politician who Putin received in Moscow was KPU leader Piotr Symonenko. Their meeting took place in the presence of Russian communist leader Gennadiy Zyuganov. Now that the KPU has joined the anti-Kuchma opposition, Zyuganov is urging on Putin to end his support for Kuchma.
The Russian media, which is widely read in Ukraine, has devoted far more space to the opposition than has the Ukrainian media, where a policy of censorship has been re-imposed at the behest of the presidential administration. In a repeat of the what took place ahead of the 1994 and 1999 presidential elections in Ukraine, the Russian media is again debating whether Russia should continue to support the incumbent president or begin the search for an alternative candidate.
Kyril Frolov, head of the department dealing with Ukraine in the Moscow-based Institute of the CIS, has questioned whether it is in Russia's national interests to continue to back Kuchma. After publicly accusing Ukraine of exporting sanctions-busting military technology to Iraq, the US has obviously decided to ditch Kuchma (see JID 11 October 2002).
Frolov also points to numerous anti-Russian measures undertaken by Kuchma despite Putin's loyal support for Kuchma since the so-called 'Kuchmagate' scandal began. These seemingly hostile acts include Ukraine's application to join NATO, the 'Ukrainianising' of the state-run television network and the prevention of the Crimean communist leader Leonid Grach from standing for election to the Crimean parliament in March.
Frolov's advice is that Putin should distance himself from Kuchma in the same manner as the Russian president has done with Shevardnadze and follow Zyuganov's advice to switch Russia's backing to the Ukrainian left-wing opposition. Meanwhile, Ukrainian polls show that KPU leader Symonenko is likely to face Yushchenko in a second round of presidential elections.
Lobbying the Kremlin
Both the Ukrainian government and the opposition know the importance of lobbying Putin. Ukrainian parliamentary speaker and former head of the presidential administration Volodymyr Lytvyn and deputy prime minister Oleh Dubyn visited Moscow in September with this purpose in mind. In early October, on the eve of Putin's visit to Ukraine and just prior to the CIS summit in Moldova, the left-wing opposition KPU and Socialists, as well as the right-wing Our Ukraine and Tymoshenko blocs wrote to Putin requesting he also meet them when he visited Ukraine. Kuchma refused to sanction such meetings out of fear that he might lose Putin's support.
There are various reasons for the Russian president's current dilemma. The most significant crisis Putin has faced on Ukraine came with the arrest of a Russian citizen, the president of the Russian-Ukrainian joint venture Energy Standard Group, Konstantyn Grygoryshyn, after a pistol and cocaine were allegedly planted on him by Ukrainian police.
The special police unit used in the arrest roughed up both Grygoryshyn and a member of Ukraine's parliament Volodymyr Syvkovych. Syvkovych and four of his colleagues subsequently resigned from the pro-presidential parliamentary majority. This led to its collapse after only a week in existence. Until now, Kuchma has looked on the parliamentary majority as his insurance policy which enables him to thwart parliamentary impeachment proceedings.
The arrest of Grygoryshyn came at the express orders of his opponents within the Social Democratic United Party (SDPUo) which is headed by Viktor Medvedchuk, who also happens to be the head of the presidential administration and was until now Russia's favoured candidate to succeed Kuchma.
Putin's image makers, the Fund for Effective Politics led by Gleb Pavlovsky and Marat Gelman, worked through their Ukrainian counterpart, Mykhailo Pogrebynsky's Centre for Conflict and Political Studies, in support of Medvedchuk's SDPUo during the March elections. In arresting Grygoryshyn,
Medvedchuk wanted to remove a rival source of financing for Yushchenko in the 2004 presidential elections. Grygoryshyn had supported Our Ukraine in the 2002 elections after refusing to bankroll the SDPUo.
In the same manner as the Russophile KPU joining the anti-Kuchma opposition, the arrest of Grygoryshyn has thrown into confusion the Kremlin's strategy in Ukraine. Putin is now reported to be looking for an alternative candidate to Medvedchuk. The aim is to find someone who can be counted on to defend Russian business interests in Ukraine, while keeping the country firmly within Moscow's sphere of influence.
Yushchenko has seized on Medvedchuk's tactical error to step up the lobbying of Russian leaders in the hope they will switch their backing to him. On 22 October he headed to Moscow for talks with politicians and members of the Russian Duma. He has also resumed talks on creating an alternative parliamentary majority that would exclude Medvedchuk's SDPUo.
Yushchenko's lobbying for Russian support in his campaign to become Ukraine's next president is backed by the powerful Donbas Regions of Ukraine oligarchic group and some members of the Dnipropetrovsk Labour Ukraine clan, such as Kuchma's son-in-law Viktor Pinchuk. The political bosses in eastern Ukraine fear that Medvedchuk might attempt to take over their business interests if he were to win the election for the presidency.
With the West in the process of ditching Kuchma, Putin's support for
the beleaguered president also now looks increasingly questionable. Putin
may now be considering switching from Medvedchuk to Symonenko or even Yushchenko.
JID has learned from well-placed sources that Kuchma's main fear is that
a closer US-Russian partnership could result in a joint agreement on a
presidential candidate who would not be from his increasingly discredited
Right at the top of the list four countries share first place - Finland, Iceland, Norway, and the Netherlands. These northern European states scrupulously respect press freedom in their own countries but also speak up for it elsewhere, for example recently in Eritrea and Zimbabwe. The highest-scoring country outside Europe is Canada, which comes fifth. [...]
The poor ranking of the United States (17th) is mainly because of the
number of journalists arrested or imprisoned there. Arrests are often because
they refuse to reveal their sources in court. Also, since the 11 September
attacks, several journalists have been arrested for crossing security lines
at some official buildings. [...]
By Taras Kuzio
Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma will not be invited to the NATO summit in Prague on 21-22 November. This is a major personal rebuff to Kuchma, who has been the most active CIS leader in cooperating with NATO since Ukraine joined the Partnership for Peace in 1995. Instead, NATO plans to send only a lower-level invitation to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Anatoliy Zlenko to participate in the summit. Kuchma's hopes of arranging an informal meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush on the sidelines of the NATO summit have been rejected by Washington.
The rebuff is a direct response to the claims made public by the United States in late September that Kuchma had personally authorized at a July 2000 meeting with Valeriy Malev, the head of the state arms-export agency Ukrspetseksport, to sell four Kolchuga radar systems to Iraq for $100 million each.
The revelations were first made public by former presidential bodyguard Mykola Melnychenko in March. Melnychenko defected to the United States in April 2001 after publicly releasing tape recordings made illicitly in Kuchma's office between 1999 and 2000. The Kuchma-Malev meeting is found on one portion of these tapes that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation authenticated this past summer. (Malev died in a suspicious car accident in April just as the Kolchuga scandal first unfurled.)
Initially, Ukraine denied outright that the July 2000 meeting had taken place. After the United States authenticated the tape, however, Ukraine switched its official position, saying the meeting had indeed taken place (implying that Kuchma had in fact authorized the sale) but denied that the sale had actually gone ahead.
A team of U.S. and British experts visited Ukraine in October to investigate whether all of the Kolchugas built by the Topaz plant in Donetsk could be accounted for. A U.S. official told AP last week that their visit proved inconclusive. The official added, however, that the U.S. administration has deemed that the taped Kuchma-Malev conversation is proof enough. The source also said the U.S. administration has tentatively decided to reduce its assistance to Ukraine further, in addition to a $54 million cut announced in September.
The rebuff to Kuchma may also dash Ukraine's hopes that the summit would lead to the signing of a Membership Action Plan (MAP) between NATO and Ukraine. The conditions set out by a MAP have to be fulfilled before a country is invited to join the alliance. Ukraine first announced its intention to apply for NATO membership in May, and then officially announced this during NATO Secretary-General Lord George Robertson's visit to Ukraine in July.
The Ukrainian armed forces have developed extensive ties with NATO since high-level cooperation began in the mid 1990s, which has helped prepare them for military reform and has reoriented them westward. Nevertheless, they remain vastly underfunded. Ukraine's expenditure of $590 million on the military is abysmal and would require a six or sevenfold increase. Hungary, with armed forces one-seventh as large as Ukraine's, spends twice as much on its military ($1.091 billion), while Poland, with a population only slightly less than Ukraine's, spends $3.58 billion.
NATO also remains concerned about the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) and the bloated Interior Ministry (MVS), which has more men under arms than the military and has large numbers of paramilitary units. Both the SBU and MVS have been largely untouched by NATO's cooperation with Ukraine, and they are still oriented toward cooperation with Russia and within the Commonwealth of Independent States. In postcommunist states, it has been the security services and interior ministries, not the military, that have been mainly involved in human rights abuses. In Ukraine, this has included allegations of organizing eight suspicious car accidents involving officials and opposition leaders and illegal political surveillance of parliamentary deputies and the opposition.
NATO also remains concerned that Soviet-era ties between CIS intelligence services could compromise shared intelligence between Ukraine and NATO. The SBU and the MVS have also been implicated in high-level corruption, including the illegal sale of weapons abroad. Former SBU Chairman Leonid Derkach, whom the parliament forced to resign in February 2001, allegedly assisted in the illegal sale of Kolchugas to Iraq in 2000, which has now brought Ukraine's relations with NATO and the United States to the crisis point.
Since the "Kuchmagate" scandal began in November 2000, Kuchma has been semi-isolated and has not been invited by any Western government on an official visit. (His only visits to the West have been to annual conferences of organizations or international forums.) With the refusal to invite Kuchma to the NATO summit, even this avenue for traveling to the West has been closed off.
Four further problems are likely to beset Kuchma. First, the United States is expanding sanctions it first launched in late September against Ukraine. A bipartisan U.S. Helsinki Commission letter to President Bush accuses Kuchma of committing a "hostile and reckless act" that should lead to the United States' examining of other illegal activities by Kuchma, including money laundering. The Financial Action Task Force is also instituting sanctions against Ukraine for its unwillingness to halt money-laundering operations.
Second, a court case was opened in early October in the European Court of Human Rights by the wife of murdered opposition journalist Heorhiy Gongadze.
Third, Melnychenko is planning to release even more incriminating material from the tapes.
Fourth, the trial of former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko is due to start in California. Lazarenko, who was stripped of his deputy's immunity but was suspiciously allowed to leave Ukraine, after which he sought asylum in the United States, is accused of money laundering. The trial is likely to reveal further unpleasant information about corruption in Ukraine.
President Kuchma has two years remaining before stepping down, unless he is forced to resign early. As Ukraine's foreign policy stagnates as the president is isolated around the world, Ukraine will be marginalized as NATO and the European Union enlarge to incorporate as many as seven and 10 countries, respectively.
Or was this just a personal rebuff?
Last week, NATO said it will not invite Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma to its summit in Prague on 21-22 November. Analysts say Kuchma was eager to attend personally. But NATO said Ukraine's meeting with the military alliance would be conducted at the foreign-minister level.
The snub is seen as a reaction to Kuchma's approval two years ago to sell a sophisticated radar system, called Kolchuga, to Iraq. Kolchuga is a "passive radar" system that, unlike conventional radar, can target U.S. and British warplanes flying over Iraq without the planes detecting that they have been spotted.
The U.S. government says that it does not know if the Kolchuga radar has been delivered, but in September it said it was convinced that secret recordings, allegedly of Kuchma approving the Kolchuga sale, were authentic. Kuchma has denied the allegations.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Anatoliy Zlenko has threatened to boycott the NATO summit and accused the United States of seeking to deny Kuchma a place at the meeting. He called the U.S. policy "misguided" but said Ukraine would not abandon its efforts to forge closer ties with NATO and the European Union. "The special relationship between Ukraine and the alliance is an integral element of European security. Therefore, the positive basis for our relationship remains unaltered, and we are not changing course. Second, I would not like the decision of the North Atlantic Council [NATO's top political body] to become the pretext for internal speculation within Ukraine. There is no crisis in Ukraine's relationship with NATO. There are certain collisions [differences] in the relationship with one of the alliance's members. But I'm sure that all of this is temporary. The collisions will pass, and the special relationship will remain," Zlenko said.
Valeriy Chalyy, the director of international studies at the independent Razumkov Center for Political and Economic Research in Kyiv, said the Ukrainian government should not react emotionally and that talks about Ukrainian membership in NATO could proceed at the foreign-minister level. Chalyy said cooperation with NATO had yielded tangible benefits for Ukraine, and it is important that these not be lost because of the present confrontation. "I'm very worried that in this situation we don't mix everything together in the same pile. We do have positive results from our work with NATO that involve many thousands of people who are committed to this work and who, in principle, see the positive prospects for Ukraine in this. I think it would be wrong to wipe out at all this with one stroke," Chalyy said.
Chalyy said the present situation should serve as a reminder to Ukraine that it must satisfy NATO political requirements for democratic practice, as well as the alliance's military criteria. "We didn't always pay attention, and we have talked about the military criteria while forgetting that the primary criteria for NATO membership lies within the domestic sphere, the political sphere -- the level of democracy, etc. And this present situation underlines the failure of Ukraine in these spheres. Therefore, I think that if a new level of ties emerges out of this situation, higher than those outlined in the existing charter, if the door is left open for Ukrainian entry into NATO, if cooperation continues to develop there between Ukraine and NATO, that's the most we should count on for the moment. And that would not be a bad result in the circumstances," Chalyy said.
The director of the independent Pylyp Orlyk think tank in Kyiv, Markian Bilynskyy, does not believe Ukraine's relations with NATO will suffer because of the accusations against Kuchma. He said, "what counts is the substance of dialogue and not who represents Ukraine at the dialogue."
"NATO as an organization is trying not to identify any personal disillusionment with President Kuchma with what's right for the relationship between NATO and Ukraine," Bilynskyy said.
Bilynskyy said Ukraine's relations with the NATO may have temporarily taken a turn for the worse, but in the long run the West wants better relations with Ukraine because of its size and importance. "I think it [the difficulties] will be a temporary issue, a temporary blip. The reason for this, I think, is that whether we're talking NATO or the EU or the World Bank, which is continuing to work here in Ukraine, we're talking about a country that is very important irrespective of the alleged machinations or moral and ethical peculiarities of its leadership. We have a country that is objectively a key player in Europe and, therefore, basing a policy on attitudes toward the personality of leaders is no way to construct a strategy," Bilynskyy said.
Kuchma has said Ukraine will continue to seek closer ties with Western Europe and its organizations. In the past he has signaled his displeasure at what he believes are unfriendly actions by the West. Bilynskyy said this may happen again, but such actions would not have a fundamental effect on Ukrainian foreign policy. "This is a not a reflection of any strategy but of the president's own whimsical personality and his perception of how much he is appreciated as a leader in the West. Nevertheless, it's episodic. It's not deep, and it doesn't mean there is a fundamental change in Ukraine's orientation. Besides, even if this president were to announce or articulate or pursue an alternative foreign-policy orientation for Ukraine, I feel it is too close to the end of his presidency, and there are too many powerful forces aligned against such a change in orientation for it to bear fruition," Bilynskyy said.
Washington has made it clear that the NATO snub is aimed at Kuchma.
The United States says it does not want Ukraine to withdraw its application
for NATO membership.
Walter Nazarewicz, President of the New York City-based UIA, said, "Kyiv Mayor Omelchenko is being honored for his great effort and achievements as the principal contributor credited with the Renaissance of Kyiv."
To celebrate and recognize the positive changes in Kyiv, the Ukrainian Institute of America (UIA) has designated 2003 as "The Year of the Renaissance of Kyiv." The Institute plans to hold a series of cultural and artistic events in the United States and Canada through- out the entire year of 2003 as part of this celebration.
The "Man of the Year" presentation will take place, according to UIA president Nazarewicz, at a gala banquet at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on December 9 at 7 p.m. "The Ukrainian community at large is invited to participate in this event," Nazarewicz said, "with his Honor Mayor Omelchenko and his entourage from Kyiv, community and political leaders, members of the diplomatic corps, as well as special guests from Ukraine, businessmen and the media."
The UIA president stated, "We are also especially pleased to announce that Vitaly and Volodymyr Klitchko, world-renowned Ukrainian athletes, will join us on December 9 in New York City to honor their close friend and supporter Mayor Omelchenko.
More then 1,500 years after it was founded and following decades of decline under Soviet rule, Kyiv is once again thriving, according to the UIA. Since becoming the capital of an independent Ukraine eleven years ago, Kyiv is fast establishing itself as one of Europe's most vibrant cities. Crumbling historical and religious monuments are being restored while others that were completely destroyed are being resurrected, the UIA stated in their announcement.
Banks, apartment buildings and shopping centers are being built at an unprecedented pace. With much of the country's political, religious and business elite centered in Kyiv, the city is once again becoming a regional seat of power, the UIA believes.
"The time is appropriate to publicize the tremendous changes taking place in Kyiv in order to develop greater recognition within the Ukrainian-American and Ukrainian-Canadian communities and even more important within the non-Ukrainian public," according to UIA president Nazarewicz.
The first event will begin Friday, December 6, at the Institute's headquarters in New York City and will feature a multi-media exhibition showing the changes and beauty of the new Kyiv. This inaugural exhibition will run through January 31, 2003. Mayor Omelchenko will officially dedicate the multi-media exhibit on December 10.
Additional programs will follow at approximately two-month intervals on architecture, art, music, and fashion designers of Kyiv.
The inaugural multi-media exhibit will also be shown in major cities through out the United States and Canada, including Washington, Philadelphia and others.
In addition to the banquet dinner the Institute will issue a commemorative journal to mark the occasion, which will be distributed widely throughout Ukraine, Canada and the United States. The journal will be in color and contain photographs of the "new" Kyiv, brief histories of Ukraine and Kyiv, a biography of Mayor Omelchenko and greetings and salutations from various businesses, organizations and individuals from both North America and Ukraine.
"We have already received substantial subscriptions from numerous companies in Ukraine, which strongly support our efforts to recognize Mayor Omelchenko and to promote "The Renaissance of Kyiv.' " These companies include Aval Bank, the largest Ukrainian-owned bank, and Obolon, the leading producer of beer in Ukraine," Walter Nazarewicz stated.
"We urge everyone to join our Ukrainian friends to support this major
effort by coming to the banquet and taking out advertisements or sending
your greetings to be published in the commemorative journal. Your contributions
for such advertisements or greetings are tax deductible, " UIA President
Nazarewicz emphasized. The Ukrainian Institute of America, Inc. was founded
in New York City in 1948, for the purpose of promoting Ukrainian art, culture,
music, and literature. The Institute is headquartered in the Fletcher Mansion,
a French Renaissance style structure that is one of the most magnificent
and regal turn-of-the century mansions in New York City today. The Fletcher
Mansion was purchased by the UIA in 1955
In this case, actions by the National Council in Charge of Radio and Television Broadcasting (NCRTV) appear certain to inflame the already difficult relations with such internationally-known media rights organizations as Reporters Without Borders (RWB) and the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ).
Specifically, the NCRTV has decreed that beginning from November radio and TV stations broadcasting foreign programs will be obliged to obtain a license to continue those activities.
All appearances suggest this is nothing more than another way to put pressure on stations that rebroadcast such highly regarded foreign news sources as BBC World Service, Radio Liberty and others.
The net effect of this government action is to further bring into question the oft-repeated claims of government officials that Ukraine has a completely free press.
Story from the Kyiv Post Daily, November 1, 2002 distributed with permission.
Based on the information of the police, Kolomiets was a passenger on a Kiev- Minsk train, where he was identified by a female conductor. 'His conduct did not gave rise to anything strange,' said Evdokimov. The police established Kolomiets' movement after his arrival in Minsk on 23 October.
'He left with a bag to an area known to him,' said Evdokimov. In the words of the head of criminal investigation, police ascertained that on 22 October, the day of his departure, Kolomiets called his housemaid, saying that he was departing for a business trip, and that she should not come on 23 October to clean up.
Besides, during the period from 23 to 28 October, Kolomiets called his
acquaintance, Liubov Ruban, attributing his departure to difficult psychological
condition. 'He said that he does not want to continue his life,' said Evdokimov.
On Monday, 28 October, Kolomiets made clear to Ruban that he was going
to commit suicide, and also called his mother to bid her farewell and left
a message on the automatic answering telephone for the chief correspondent
of the agency, Yegor Sobolev. 'Since that time there has been no calls
and news from Kolomiets,' said Evdokimov. [...]
Washington, DC - U.S. Congressman Bob Schaffer (R-CO) today urged President George W. Bush against meeting Ukraine's president Leonid Kuchma at the November 21, NATO summit in Prague. NATO members and partner countries will discuss key issues affecting Euro-Atlantic security and stability, terrorism and membership enlargement.
"President Kuchma's consent to the sale of the Kolchuga system, an aerial surveillance system manufactured in Ukraine, to Iraq is the epitome of reckless behavior," wrote Schaffer in a letter he tendered to the American president and submitted in the Congressional Record. According to Schaffer, Kuchma's approval is a clear and direct violation of United Nations sanctions.
The Kolchuga system is a passive, aerial surveillance system, which tracks radio emissions of airplanes. The transfer of this technology to Iraq, according to Schaffer, "threatens U.S. forces patrolling the no-fly zone in Iraq and jeopardizes the security of the region. "President Kuchma's approval of the Kolchuga sale, and the subsequent denials by him and his administration despite irrefutable evidence to the contrary, indicate he has no serious intention of rectifying the crisis he has created," Schaffer wrote. "His denial further threatens the security of the entire Euro-Atlantic community as well as subvert the national interests of his country and people."
"Under the circumstances," Schaffer told President Bush, "isolation of the president and his associates, while improving relations with other Ukrainian officials, is the only logical diplomatic course for the United States. We must do all we can to avoid alienating the people of Ukraine or dampening their enthusiasm for a civil society and democratic reform. As the strongest advocate for improved U.S.-Ukraine relations in the Congress, and as a long-time acquaintance of Kuchma's, I regretfully recommend Kuchma be denied state visits at Prague."
Schaffer suggested the U.S. government should further clarify its position by ending all foreign assistance funding to the central government of Ukraine, redirecting it toward grassroots democracy programs, small and medium enterprise development and health initiatives. "One only needs to meet an average Ukrainian to know the return on this type of foreign aid investment will be tremendous," said Schaffer.
Congressman Bob Schaffer letter to President Bush:
October 25, 2002
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
The recently authenticated voice recordings of Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, approving the sale of the "Kolchuga" aerial surveillance system to Iraq is of extreme concern to me and other members of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus. President Kuchma clearly expressed his intention to violate United Nations sanctions imposed on Iraq, and in doing so approved an effort to subvert the national interests of his country and its people.
The question of whether the Kolchuga system has actually been deployed in Iraq is an important one, however distinct. If you have not already done so, I strongly encourage you to receive the same briefings I have from your staff regarding the system's presence in Iraq. Regardless, the disposition of Ukraine's president in this matter is firmly established. It is upon this fact, that I hereinafter base my recommendation for your immediate consideration.
President Kuchma's consent to the sale of the Kolchuga system to Iraq is the epitome of reckless behavior. Its fulfillment directly threatens the lives of U.S. soldiers and those of our allies. Moreover, the date upon which the president's approving conversation was recorded coincides with his personal assurances of cooperation in non-proliferation issued directly to U.S. officials, including the President of the United States of America, and to me. This disappointing and unfortunate episode calls the Ukrainian leader's credibility into question and places his personal integrity within reproach.
Therefore, I urge you to insist that all U.S.-Ukraine dialogue throughout the November NATO Summit in Prague be strictly limited to ministerial-level meetings. To welcome Mr. Kuchma to the same table with the U.S. President and other democratic world leaders would understate the severity of the Kolchuga scandal. It would signal America's tolerance for those who have reinforced the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and improved the lethality of his military architecture. Furthermore, it would undermine the objectives of authentic reformers in Ukraine who are today succeeding in their earnest struggle for a permanent, durable, and representative democracy.
As the strongest advocate for improved U.S.-Ukraine relations in the Congress, and as a long-time acquaintance of Kuchma's, I regretfully recommend Kuchma be denied state visits at Prague. President Kuchma's approval of the Kolchuga sale, and the subsequent denials by him and his administration despite irrefutable evidence to the contrary, indicate he has no serious intention of rectifying the crisis he has created. His denial also threatens the security of the entire Euro-Atlantic community.
In my capacity as co-chairman of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, I have been one of Congress' most ardent supporters of Ukraine's integration with the West. My personal extensive interaction with the Ukrainian people, Ukrainian leaders and witnessing Ukraine's impressive progress has convinced me the majority of Ukrainians support peace, democracy and free markets.
However, it has become abundantly clear, the worthy goal of Ukrainian integration will remain in jeopardy so long as this and other issues overwhelm the Ukrainian president's agenda. Under the circumstances, isolation of the president and his associates, while improving relations with other Ukrainian officials, is the only logical diplomatic course for the United States. We must do all we can to avoid alienating the people of Ukraine or dampening their enthusiasm for a civil society and democratic reform.
Ukraine is vital to the long-term security of the United States and to our NATO allies. It is in America's interest to support the people of Ukraine in their quest for permanent independence. Our government should further clarify its position by ending all foreign assistance funding to the central government, redirecting it toward grassroots democracy programs, small and medium enterprise development and health initiatives. One only needs to meet an average Ukrainian to know the return on this type of foreign aid investment will be tremendous.
Very truly yours,
Member of Congress
The Honorable Collin Powell
The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
The Honorable Joseph Biden
The Honorable Jesse Helms
The Honorable Henry Hyde
The Honorable Tom Lantos
The Honorable Jim Kolbe
The Honorable Marcy Kaptur
The Honorable Carlos Pascual
H.E. Kostyantyn Gryshchenko
Congressman Schaffer was first elected to Congress in November of 1996. He is a member of the Committees on Agriculture, Resources, and Education and Workforce. He is Vice Chairman of the Education Subcommittee on Education Reform, Co-Chairman of the Ukrainian Caucus, President of the Republican Junior Class, and the Speaker's appointee to the House Republican Policy Committee. His official Internet website address is www.house.gov/schaffer
Belarus is accused of training Iraqis in the operation of air defense missiles, while a Yugoslav arms company acknowledged reconditioning engines for Iraq's fighter jets and may have been helping Baghdad develop cruise missiles. Most disturbing is the evidence that Ukraine, a country that has announced its aspiration to join NATO and is the fourth-largest U.S. aid recipient, may have accepted $100 million in cash from Saddam Hussein in exchange for four sophisticated radar systems that could help Iraq shoot down American aircraft. The Bush administration has already condemned and isolated Belarus's dictator, Alexander Lukashenko; but that still leaves it with the difficult challenge of managing relationships with Yugoslav and Ukrainian governments that are worthy neither of trust nor of rogue-state treatment.
So far the administration has suspended $54 million in aid to Ukraine and canceled a planned summit meeting next month between NATO leaders and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma; Ukraine's foreign minister will instead be invited. Under heavy pressure from Washington, Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica has been induced to fire four senior officials involved with the Iraq deals. But these are cosmetic measures; the real question is how to respond to Mr. Kostunica and Mr. Kuchma, two politicians who say they want to lead their countries into the West yet refuse to respect its most basic norms.
There's no evidence Mr. Kostunica had anything to do with the Yugoslav-Iraq deals; yet since ousting Slobodan Milosevic as Serbian leader two years ago, he has consistently refused to purge hard-core nationalists and war criminals from the military. Mr. Kostunica attempts a remarkable straddle: He appeals to the lingering Serbian nationalism stoked by Mr. Milosevic -- thereby winning elections over his more moderate opposition -- while simultaneously demanding that his country be treated as a respectable member of the European democratic community. He cannot be allowed to succeed. Until there is a decisive break with the past, discussions of European Union concessions or of including Yugoslavia in NATO's partnership for peace should be stopped.
The heart of the Ukraine problem is not its military but Mr. Kuchma himself, who was secretly taped while plotting the radar sale to Iraq. A U.S.-British commission sent to investigate the deal was stonewalled, and the head of the arms export agency was killed in a suspicious car crash. Previously leaked tapes captured Mr. Kuchma plotting the murder of an opposition journalist. For the Bush administration and other NATO governments, Mr. Kuchma has become untouchable. Yet his struggling country of 50 million probably cannot preserve its fragile independence from Russia unless it is nourished by the West. Aid to Ukraine should not be stopped. Instead it must be carefully channeled into building the moderate political movements seeking to peacefully remove Mr. Kuchma and his cronies from power.
© 2002 The Washington Post Company
The monument will be constructed by a leading Ukrainian sculptor from the diaspora who has yet to be chosen, explained Mr. Lozynskyj, and is expected to cost between $150,000 and $250,000 (U.S.). The diaspora will absorb the cost of the monument, while Kyivan workers will be responsible for erecting it at the Kyiv site.
A plaque at the site will note that the monument is a gift from the Ukrainian diaspora on the 70th anniversary of the Famine-Genocide.
The Ukrainian Weekly
Studiet: De ukrainske nyhedsbureauer offentliggjorde i dag en meddelelse om, at følgerne af Steven Pifers besøg i Ukraine er blevet modtaget negativt i Washington og London. Med henvisnign til en anonym kilde i den britiske ambassade oplyste Ukrinform, at man i Storbritanniens udenrigsministerium har betegnet den amerikanske vice-udenrigsministers pres mod den ukrainske ledelse som overdrevent og uheldigt i sin form, mens den reaktion, som han fik, viste sig at være de modsatte af det forventede. UNIAN citerer en unavngiven kilde i USAs forsvarsministerium for at sige, at Pentagon er bekymret for det fremtidige amerikansk-ukrainske militærsamarbejde, der er blevet truet af Pifers handlinger.
Studiet: Den amerikanske vice-udenrigsminster Steven Pifers besøg i Ukraine betragtes i Washington som ikke særlig heldigt. Ifølge nyhedsbureauet UNIAN, som henviser til en højtstående kilde i Pentagon, har minister Donald Rumsfields nærmeste omgivelser en yderst negativ vurdering af Pifers mission. Jeg citerer nyhedsbureauets meddelelse: "Hans klodsede handlinger truer reelt det succesrige militær-teknologiske samarbejde mellem Washington og Kyiv".
Ifølge UNIAN har højtstående embedsmænd i USAs forsvarsministerium givet en ret negativ vurdering af USAs vice-udenrigsminister Steven Pifers mission til Ukraine. En kilde fra minister Donald Rumsfields omgivelser mener, at Pifers klodsede handlinger reelt er blevet en trussel mod det militær-teknoligiske samarbejde mellem Rusland og USA, som har været en stor succes de senere år. Formanden for præsidentens administration, Viktor Medvedtjuk, vil i morgen offentliggøre Ukraines officielle holdning til de konklusioner, som de amerikanske og britiske eksperter er kommet med.
Viktor Medvedtjuks i ukrainsk sammenhæng ret afdæmpede begejstring
for Vesten er ikke af nyere dato, hvilket denne
artikel kan afsløre. Artiklen er et uddrag fra en bog skrevet
i 1999-2000, på et tidspunkt, hvor relationerne mellem Ukraine og
Vesten var mere venskabelige end i dag.
"Det er åbenlyst, at "Vores Ukraine" i 2004 vil opstille sin kandidat til præsidentvalget, og det er klart, at han har chancer for at vinde, ligesom det er klart, at hans navn er Viktor... og patronym - Andrejevitj", - sagde lederen af "Unionen af højrekræfter", Boris Nemtsov, på en pressekonference i Kyiv. Han tilføjede, at hans "formodning" kan gå i opfyldelse med 99,9% sikkerhed.
Ifølge Nemtsov kan Ruslands indsnævring af de politiske kontakter til alene at omfatte den "nuværende administration" i Ukraine få "uforudsigelige følger fremover" for Rusland.
Samtidig sagde Jusjtjenko i en kommentar til spørgsmålet om at stille op til præsidentposten, at der endnu bør gå noget tid, inden man kan stille det spørgsmål og besvare det.
Ifølge ham vil "Vores Ukraine" i 2004 handle "i overensstemmelse med situationen".
Onsdag underskrev "Vores Ukraine" og "Unionen af højrekræfter"
manifestet "Fælles syn på den strategiske udvikling af de ukrainsk-russiske
relationer i den europæiske integrations kontekst". Begge partier
går ind for et udvidet samarbejde med NATO og EU. Jusjtjenko sagde
bl.a., at det er vigtigere at være gode venner med sin nabo end med
sine fjerne slægtninge, idet han hentydede til forholdet til Rusland,
som er Ukraines største nabo. UP. Tonisinform.
Copyright (c) Dansk-Ukrainsk Selskab og Ivan Nester