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

Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion, Economics,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World    
Will the next government support the major reforms needed
for real economic development, for increased investment,
to create move Ukraine and her people forward?
Mr. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer Emerging
Markets Private Equity Investment Group,
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

Analysis & Commentary: by Nadia McConnell, President,
U.S.-Ukraine Foundation; Co-Founder, Baltic-Black-Caspian Sea Initiative
U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF), Wash, D.C., Sat, Jan 16, 2010
Analysis: by Adrian Karatnycky
New Atlanticist Policy and Analysis Blog
The Atlantic Council, Wash, D.C., Fri, 15 January 2010
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, January 15, 2010
Interview with Ariel Cohen, The Heritage Foundation
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, January 16, 2010

Only one thing's for sure in Ukraine's election: the winner won't be Russia, no matter what it says.
By Owen Matthews and Anna Nemtsova 
Newsweek magazine, New York, NY, 11 January 2010

In Sunday presidential elections, Ukraine appears poised to shift back toward Russia, just five years after
the Orange Revolution. Polls show its pro-Western leader Viktor Yushchenko with only 3 percent support.
By Fred Weir Correspondent, Moscow, Russia
Christian Science Monitor, Boston, MA, Fri, Jan 15, 2010
With elections set for Jan. 17, Ukrainians have as little hope as ever in democracy.
Opinion: By Taras Kuzio and Rakesh Sharma
Special to GlobalPost website, Sat, January 16, 2010 

Commentary: by Alexander J. Motyl
Professor, Political Science, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ
Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia, Friday, 15 January 2010

Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Sat, Jan 16, 2010

Commentary: By Irena Chalupa
RFE/RL, Prague, Czech Republic, Fri, Jan 15, 2010
Commentary: By Nikolas Gvosdev, Atlantic Council contributing editor
Member of the faculty of the U.S. Naval War College. 
New Atlantist, Policy and Analysis Blog, The Atlantic Council
Washington, D.C., Friday, January 15, 2010

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1301 gmt 12 Jan 10 
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, January 12, 2010 
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, January 12, 2010
By Douglas Birch, The Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Sat, Jan 16, 2010
Dmitry Solovyov, Reuters, Buzova, Ukraine, Sat, Jan 16, 2010
By Gregory Feifer, RFE/RL, Prague, Czech Republic, Sat, Jan 16, 2010
Commentary: Edward Lozansky, President, American University in Moscow
Russia Blog, Moscow, Russia, Friday, January 15, 2010
RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Sat, Jan 16, 2010
Yanukovich says to consign Orange Revolution to black pages of our lives.
By Clifford J Levy in Dneprodzerzhinsk,
ScotlandOnSunday, Edinburgh, Scotland, Sun, Jan 17, 2010

Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, December 24, 2009
Article by Dr. Alexander Belyakov, Ukraine.
UK journal "Critique", London, UK, Jan, 2010

Commentary: by Nadia McConnell, President, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation
Co-Founder, Baltic-Black-Caspian Sea Initiative
U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF), Wash, D.C., Sat, Jan 16, 2010

Recently an EU official made the intriguing comment that he was waiting for a successful presidential election before moving forward in relations with Ukraine. Intriguing because this implies previous elections were unsuccessful and because it reflects the wait and see position of most Westerners as if this Sunday's presidential election presents a realistic opportunity for the winning candidate to transform the intermittently dysfunctional national government in Ukraine immediately.

This assumption is false and unless rejected will lead to more disappointment. Unrealistic expectations are being placed on whoever will serve as president, and not enough recognition is accorded the process the process of successful democratization in civil society.

The Orange Revolution, a massive protest against election fraud in 2004, was not only about the public desire to see a particular individual elected.This remarkable display of civic solidarity was primarily a rebellion against the unfulfilled promises of the first phase of a Revolution that, although
unnamed, began in the mid 1980s.

If the world community fails to understand Ukraine within the context of this ongoing process of change and act accordingly, the results of the upcoming election are guaranteed to be seen as unsatisfactory.

In 1991 President George H. W. Bush was ill served by advisors who informed him Ukrainian independence was both improbable and potentially disastrous. We saw this point of view dramatically displayed in his Chicken Kiev speech and again 4 days before the citizens of Ukraine voted by a majority, 93 percent for independence.

President Bush during a meeting with leaders of the Ukrainian-American community commented several times that if Ukraine votes for independence. The use of if was telling, his closest advisors were still advising the President the vote was in doubt.

The vote in 1991 was the first phase of the yet-unnamed Orange Revolution a rejection by Ukraine's civil society of the repressive, inept and corrupt government in Moscow. President Bush had only focused on one part of that rebellion, the desire for an independent Ukraine, or in his words suicidal

He failed to understand that this rebellion was driven no less by anger about the Chornobyl disaster, desire of the faithful of the banned Ukrainian Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches to worship freely, and the rage of mothers who saw Ukrainian soldiers disproportionately being put in harm's way in the war in Afghanistan. Ukraine's independence was a seismic rebellion of different fears and furies coming together at one time.

If phase one of this coalesced anger was the successful rejection of a corrupt and indifferent central government then found in Moscow, phase two in 2004 was a civic rebellion against a corrupt and indifferent central government now found in Kyiv.

Five years later, rebellion against corruption and indifference continues. There is widespread evidence that Ukrainian voters do not see any of the current candidates as the answer to the needs of their country. The people know the process which they have undertaken is difficult and will take time, but it is one they have genuinely embraced.

The West should be no less realistic and, in considering the strategic interests of their own countries, must support the development of civil society in Ukraine's phase three of the Orange Revolution.

While bitter infighting among Ukraine's elected officials is exasperating, if the expectations of Western leaders are to be met, then the button must be reset from wait to engaged fully. The citizens of Ukraine are going to deliver a successful election one where the results are not predetermined and one that will be followed by a peaceful transition of power.

Western engagement must expand beyond telling Ukraine's leaders reform is necessary; significant focus needs to be given serious and strategic involvement in efforts to assist citizens of Ukraine in their efforts to hold their governmental leaders accountable.

Some of the most successful assistance programs provided Ukraine have been those directed specifically at local governance and civil society.  The distractions of the dysfunctional national government has hidden the remarkable changes that have taken place below the radar, changes that energize the on-going revolution.  Such assistance needs to be continued regardless of who wins national elections.

Let us hope that President Obama and Vice President Biden have wiser counsel than did certain of their predecessors as they reengage in Ukraine and the region.  Regardless of how disappointing one or another political leader has been, Ukraine's civil society must have our commitment.

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Analysis: by Adrian Karatnycky
New Atlanticist Policy and Analysis Blog
The Atlantic Council, Wash, D.C., Fri, 15 January 2010
NEW YORK - Ukraine votes in the first round of presidential elections on Sunday, January 17th. 
Ukraine does not permit the release of polling data in the two weeks prior to the contest.  But I have obtained reliable polling data from colleagues, based on polling conducted last week for internal use by campaign officials, which suggests that Viktor Yanukovych leads incumbent Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko by 8 to 10 percent, a narrowing from two weeks ago, when Yanuokvych led by 12 to 15 percent:
Yanukovych         34.0?
Tymoshenko        24.5?
Tyhypko             12.5 ?
Yatseniuk             6.5 ?
Yushchenko            5.5?
Symonenko           4.0 ?
Lytvyn          3.5 ?
Tyahnybok          2.0 ?
Hrytsenko            1.0?
Others and Against Everyone  6.5
This is not so much a surge in support for Tymoshenko as the growing strength of Serhiy Tyhypko, a multi-millionaire banker, who is gaining strength primarily in Central, Southern and Eastern Ukraine, largely at Yanukovych's expense. If polls are to be believed, Tyhypko will win well over 10 percent and emerge as an important new force in Ukrainian politics.
Incumbent President Viktor Yushchenko, the vastly unpopular hero of the Orange revolution of 2004,  will struggle to reach 5 percent support and may finish as low as 5th.  There will likely be a second round with Yanukovych and Tymoshenko squaring off.
Russia's media are presenting the support for Yanukovych as a repudiation of Ukraine's European and Euro-Atlantic path. But that is far from the truth. While Yanukovych will seek to reduce Ukraine-Russia tensions, he and the oligarchs who back him seek a strong, sovereign Ukraine and will pursue a path toward European integration. Indeed, if elected, Yanukovych is likely to challenge Russia to revise the terms of the current gas deal, which he believes is harmful to Ukraine's interests.
While NATO membership will be placed on the back burner by the next likely president, all major candidates will work to defend and strengthen Ukraine's sovereignty and build strong relations with the US and Europe.
The biggest challenge for the next president will be dealing with a mounting state budget deficit amid a long-term economic recession, with GDP down nearly 15 percent in 2009.

This will require a pragmatic normalization of relations with Russia, and deeper cooperation with the US, the EU, and the IMF.
NOTE: Adrian Karatnycky an Atlantic Council nonresident senior fellow, is Managing Partner at the Myrmidon Group LLC and co-director and co-founder of the Ukrainian-Jewish encounter. [email to:]
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U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC):
From 22 to over 100 Members in Two Years, Join Today
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, January 15, 2010

KYIV – Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Dominique Strauss-Kahn has stressed the possibility of resuming cooperation with Ukraine under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) after the presidential election in Ukraine is over.

"I am confident that as soon as this normally shaky electoral period will be over, it will be possible to resume a normal relationship," he said at a press conference in Washington on Thursday.
"It's not a secret that the program in Ukraine has run very well until three months ago and then, which could have been expected because of political constrain and the election coming, the situation has been a bit more difficult," he said.
"So we're working very closely with the Ukrainians. We worked with them during the whole month of December," he said. "At the end of the day, we succeeded; and having all the payment especially the international payment, namely the gas payment to Russia being done."
In his words, the situation in Ukraine is quiet, even if there is some pressure on the economy.
"We're expecting that this [the second round at the end of the first week of February] will go smoothly and then of course with a new executive power, we're expecting that normal relation can start again," he said.
"There is no reason why the different commitments which have been made by the different candidates, which are in some way converging – everybody's saying that we want to go on with the IMF program – will not be fulfilled," he added.

As reported, the IMF in autumn 2008 decided to disburse about $17 billion under the SBA. Since then, Ukraine has already received three tranches worth almost $11 billion. The first $4.5 billion tranche was given to the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) in November 2008.
The IMF's second tranche - worth about $3 billion - was extended in May 2009. The funds were split between the NBU and the government of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. The third tranche (worth $3.5 billion) was provided in August 2009 and was at the disposal of the Tymoshenko government alone.

The allocation of the fourth tranche, worth $3.8 billion, was scheduled for November 2009 following the third review of the IMF's cooperation program with Ukraine. The IMF mission ended its work in Kyiv late in October 2009, but did not issue a positive statement on the completion of the review. The IMF said repeatedly that it expected a consolidated position from the Ukrainian authorities in the question of implementing anti-crisis measures.

After the Ukrainian government received the third tranche, it also used about $2.1 billion through the conversion of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocated by the IMF as part of a general allocation of SDRs among all the IMF member countries.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Interview with Ariel Cohen, The Heritage Foundation
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, January 16, 2010

WASHINGTON - A senior U.S. analyst predicted that Ukraine would improve its relations with Russia and would not be in a hurry to join NATO no matter who wins the Ukrainian presidential election on Sunday.

Relations with Russia are one of the issues for which Sunday's election is crucial, Ariel Cohen of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative American think tank, told Interfax.  Others are the future of Ukraine's natural gas pipeline system and the future of the Russian Black Sea Fleet's bases in Ukraine, he argued.
He expressed a surmise that Russia will try to take control of Ukraine's gas transmission system, which handles 80% of the gas that Europe receives from Russia's Gazprom.

Russia is also seeking an extension of a treaty with Ukraine that allows the Black Sea Fleet to keep its base in Sevastopol in Ukraine's region of Crime until 2017, he said.
He also argued that today's Ukraine is more democratic than Russia but that the global financial crisis has had a more powerful impact on the Ukrainian population than on ordinary Russians.
He claimed that Ukraine possesses all the necessary resources to become a liberal democracy but that its population shows a lot of political apathy and that this may lead to the country losing its democratic achievements and sovereignty.
He also said many of the members of the Ukrainian political elite have pro-American sentiments but that U.S. President Barack Obama is partially sacrificing the United States' relations with Eastern European countries such as Ukraine to be able to pursue his policy of "resetting" American-Russian relations.
Cohen expressed confidence that Ukrainian-Russian relations would improve and Ukraine would not be in a hurry to join NATO that no matter who the next Ukrainian president is.
Cohen also argued that the Kremlin had for a long time been charging Ukraine prices for gas that were below market levels in a bid to gain control over the Ukrainian government but that by today Ukraine pays market process for gas.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC):
Promoting U.S.-Ukraine business relations & investment since 1995.
Only one thing's for sure in Ukraine's election: the winner won't be Russia, no matter what it says.

By Owen Matthews and Anna Nemtsova 
Newsweek magazine, New York, NY, 11 January 2010
NEW YORK - No one can say who will win Ukraine's presidential election later this month. But one thing is sure: Russia won't waste time declaring itself the victor.     Ever since the 2004 Orange Revolution brought hundreds of thousands onto the streets of Kiev to overturn the rigged result of Ukraine's last presidential vote, Russia has been itching for a rematch.

For Vladimir Putin, seeing his man ousted in favor of a pro-democracy coalition that promised to take Ukraine into NATO and the EU was the "single worst strategic setback" of his presidency, according to Putin biographer Andrei Kolesnikov. Russia has spent the intervening five years ensuring that no such revolution can take place at home and that the Orange coalition in Ukraine would fail.

These efforts, such as energy cutoffs and stoking separatism among Ukraine's 20 percent Russian minority, worked devastatingly well—especially combined with the greed and shortsightedness of Ukrainian politicians. Viktor Yushchenko, the Ukrainian president and Orange leader, now limps along with single-digit approval ratings, while Viktor Yanukovych, the Moscow-backed candidate ousted in 2004, leads the polls.
But while a Yanukovych victory might look like a huge win for Moscow, there's far less to it than meets the eye. In many respects, he is no longer Moscow's man. And Ukraine has changed so profoundly that no one could turn it back into Russia's vassal if they wanted to.

Orange methods of "Ukrainization," such as banning Russian on national television and in university entrance exams, have effectively created a distinct new national consciousness. And intimate experience with people power has given ordinary Ukrainians a sense that they have a right to participate directly in politics—even if they've lately used that right mostly to blast Orange politicians. The real winner of the upcoming vote, then, is likely to be neither Russia nor the United States—but Ukraine itself.
The sea change in Ukrainian attitudes can be felt across the political spectrum. Yanukovych's closest challenger is Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. One of the original leaders of the Orange Revolution, she quickly fell out with Yushchenko. Yet her supporters are quick to emphasize her anti-Russian credentials.

"The Orange Revolution pulled the last nails out of the edifice of Soviet authoritarianism in our country," says Sergei Teryokhin, a former economy minister and a legislator in Tymoshenko's bloc. Even the head of Yanukovych's party in Parliament, Mikhail Chechetov, now echoes such talk. "The democratization process we have gone through is irreversible," he says.

The most objective indicator of what Yanukovych will do if elected is his brief record as prime minister last year. He did attempt several Russia-friendly moves, such as suggesting an economic-cooperation zone and making it easier for Russian companies to acquire chunks of Ukraine's heavy industry. But there were also countervailing signs. Yanukovych never challenged some of the most controversial Orange innovations, such as the ban on Russian on TV.

And none of his pro-Moscow measures actually made it into law. Now, even if he wins, his party will still control a minority share in Ukraine's Parliament, the Rada, all but ensuring more compromises.
Moscow has no one to blame for this but itself. Russia has tried hard to recover its lost influence over its former empire, using tough-guy tactics ranging from outright invasion (in Georgia) to running summer camps aimed at stirring up ethnic Russian consciousness in the Ukrainian province of Crimea. But Moscow's fight for respect has probably alienated more people than it's won over.

Georgia, for example, remains implacably anti-Russian, and Moscow's relations with its formerly close ally Belarus have deteriorated so far that Minsk recently threatened to cut off electricity to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. Turkmenistan last year broke Russia's monopoly on Central Asian gas supplies by opening a direct pipeline to China, and Kazakhstan recently opened a similar oil pipeline.
As for Ukraine, it remains deeply divided over key issues such as support for Georgia and evicting the Russian Black Sea Fleet from the Crimean port of Sevastopol. Some polls show that good will toward Russia has actually risen. But the number of Ukrainians considering themselves "European" has also risen, to nearly two thirds of the population, and the numbers of those pining for the good old Soviet days have fallen to 12 percent.

This doesn't mean that the coming election will be a shining victory for democracy. A recent survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center concluded that Ukrainians were among the most bitter citizens of ex-communist countries. Just 30 percent said they approve of the change to democracy, and only 36 percent voiced approval of the move to capitalism.
Nor does Russia's loss of influence here mean a clear victory for the United States. The real lesson of the past five years is that anyone trying to rule the country from outside its political center will quickly run into trouble. Leaning too far to the east—the Russian-speaking and sympathizing Donetsk Basin—doesn't work, as Yanukovych proved. But neither does leaning too far to the West, as Yushchenko has proved.
Ukrainians want a balanced approach. While ordinary Ukrainians profess to feeling more Western, support for NATO membership, despite Yushchenko's enthusiastic advocacy, has never topped 30 percent.

Yushchenko also demonstrated the costs of confronting Russia too forcefully: the successive "gas wars" under his tenure, which left Ukraine and swaths of Europe bereft of heat in midwinter, showed how dangerous Moscow can be. Ukraine's best chance of prosperity and security lies in entente with both sides.
In this sense, while Yushchenko is likely to be crushed in the upcoming vote, his Orange Revolution has succeeded in one way: by recalibrating the values of Ukrainians. "We have brought up the whole generation on EU values,"says Teryokhin. "Even people of my age have changed."

The frustration Ukrainians express toward capitalism, democracy, and most politicians may actually be a positive indicator of heightened expectations. Today, many of Ukraine's standard-of-living indicators are as dismal as Russia's.

Yet according to polls, nearly two thirds of Russians are content with their lot, while Ukrainians clearly hope for something better. Add to that the fact that more than 60 percent of Ukrainians hope one day to join Europe and no longer look to Russia for support and protection. That's not a bad legacy for a failed revolution.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
In Sunday presidential elections, Ukraine appears poised to shift back toward Russia, just five years after
the Orange Revolution. Polls show its pro-Western leader Viktor Yushchenko with only 3 percent support.
By Fred Weir Correspondent, Moscow, Russia
Christian Science Monitor, Boston, MA, Fri, Jan 15, 2010
MOSCOW - Just five years after Ukraine's Orange Revolution, which saw hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians mobilize peacefully to reject electoral fraud and embrace open democracy and a Westward path for their country, the country appears poised to shift back into Russia's waiting arms.
In a shock to many in the West, the front-runner in Sunday's presidential election is Viktor Yanukovych, whose alleged rigging of the tense 2004 presidential polls triggered three weeks of street protests in Kiev's central Maidan square that brought an unprecedented third round of voting that elected current President Viktor Yushchenko.
Mr. Yushchenko, the leader of the 2004 "Orange Revolution" who pried open a historic window on the West and tried to drag his former Soviet nation through it, is in trouble, running at a dismal 3 percent support in most opinion polls.
His former political ally, the fiery populist Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, is faring a bit better. With an estimated 15 percent backing, she seems set to win second place on Sunday and go forward to a decisive second round that would be slated for Feb. 7.
But most experts agree that Ms. Tymoshenko, a talented and flexible politician, has since made her peace with the Kremlin and, if elected, would be unlikely to press ahead with key elements of Mr. Yushchenko's agenda that deeply angered Moscow, such as joining NATO and evicting the Russian navy from its Black Sea base at the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

An opinion survey published by a Russian agency this week suggested dark horse candidate Sergei Tigipko, a wealthy businessman who has spent $11 million to build his image, might possibly edge out Tymoshenko for the coveted second place slot on Sunday. But, like other front runners, Mr. Tigipko has stated no views that might cause offence in Moscow.
In fact, the Kremlin appears so pleased with the geopolitical turn of events in Ukraine that it announced this week it will immediately send an ambassador to Kiev, even though the post has remained vacant since last summer and President Dmitry Medvedev vowed not to fill it as long as Yushchenko remained in office.
"Russia has not offered any support to any candidate in the Ukrainian elections, but we do see that all the likely winners are people who take a more realistic view of cooperation with Russia [than Yushchenko]," says Andrei Klimov, deputy chair of the Russian State Duma's international affairs committee. "I am quite certain that after these elections, Russian-Ukrainian relations will improve markedly," he says.

Wedged between Europe's eastern doorstep and Russia's backyard, Ukraine – if it does indeed shift eastward – could add ballast to Moscow's tussles with Europe over energy, politics, and security issues such as NATO expansion.

Ukrainians: Yushchenko squandered historic opportunity
Many Ukrainians blame Yushchenko for squandering the historic opportunity created by the Orange Revolution. Yushchenko rapidly fell out with his main ally, Tymoshenko, whom he fired as prime minister within months of their joint victory. By last year, after Tymoshenko had clawed her way back into the premier's job through parliamentary action, the squabbling between the two had virtually paralyzed the government.
"Most Ukrainians remember the Orange Revolution with warmth as a moment of solidarity, enthusiasm, and genuine democracy," says Viktor Nebozhenko, director of Ukrainian Barometer, an independent Kiev think tank. "But there is a widespread perception that politicians only used it as an instrument to gain power, and then forgot all the promises they made during those days."
Critics say Yushchenko pushed pro-Western and Ukrainian nationalist ideas too forcefully for a country where opinion surveys show about two-thirds of the population oppose joining NATO and about 1 in 3 people is a native speaker of Russian.

"Yushchenko did not behave like the president of the whole people, but as if he were the leader of one part of the population acting to suppress the other part," says Mikhail Pogrebinsky, director of the independent Center for Political and Conflict Studies in Kiev. "By the end of his term he looked more like a nationalist and a Russophobe than a democrat, and that was not going to help him in a such a diverse country, where polls show only about 10 percent of the population support extreme nationalist ideas."
A hoped-for influx of foreign investment following the Orange Revolution never materialized, and when the global financial crisis hit last year it sent Ukraine's economy plummeting by 15 percent and slashed the value of its currency, the hryvna, by half.
Did Russia outmaneuver Yushchenko?
Moscow, stung by Kiev's westward turn under Yushchenko, soon dropped its earlier system of energy subsidies and demanded that Ukraine start paying global market prices for Russian gas and oil. In a series of bitter "gas wars," including pipeline shutdowns that sometimes left downstream European customers of Russian energy shivering, Moscow compelled Kiev to accept the new terms
Some Ukrainian experts ruefully admit that in the gas wars, and other geopolitical battles, the Russians outmaneuvered Yushchenko, leaving Ukraine looking to Europeans like a capricious and unreliable partner rather than a victim of Kremlin strong-arming.

 "When Russia talks to the West, they have the diplomatic, political, and other kinds of influence to move things their way," says Vira Nanivska, director of the City Institute, an independent political research center in Lviv. "Ukraine is like a baby compared to Russia in these matters. Our big achievement over these years is that Ukraine is still on the map."

Still, lasting positive changes
But Ms. Nanivska says Ukraine's open and competitive democracy, consolidated in the Orange Revolution, is a "solid historical fact" unlikely to be undone even if Ukraine takes a pro-Russian turn.
"You would not be seeing the possibility of the opposition returning to power if we did not have a fully functioning democracy," she says. "Today in Ukraine there is absolutely no fear of the ruling party, whoever they may be, and this is what the Orange Revolution gave us."
But there are concerns that Ukraine could be destabilized following Sunday's voting, especially if the results are close. One worrisome opinion survey released last week by the independent Ukrainian Sociological Service in Kiev found that 57 percent of Ukrainians think the election will be rigged. All sides have accused each other of preparing to falsify the vote tallies and threaten, if that happens, to summon their supporters into the streets to replay the Orange Revolution.
"There is a lot of suspicion out there, and some real possibilities for falsification," says Alexander Chernenko, chairman of the Committee of Ukrainian Voters, a grass-roots monitoring group.
"So we must hope for a clear result, and one that is open and transparent, or we might again face attempts to change the decision in the streets," he says.
Another dark episode that is, rightly or wrongly, associated with Mr. Yanukovych is the still unsolved dioxin poisoning of his main competitor Yushchenko early in the 2004 campaign, which has left the Ukrainian leader's face blotched and disfigured to this day.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
With elections set for Jan. 17, Ukrainians have as little hope as ever in democracy.

Opinion: By Taras Kuzio and Rakesh Sharma
Special to GlobalPost website, Sat, January 16, 2010 

WASHINGTON - On Jan. 17, Ukrainians will vote in their least promising presidential elections since the Orange Revolution brought Viktor Yushchenko to power five years ago. Amid failed reform efforts and endless domestic political squabbles, Ukrainians are losing faith not only in their leaders, but in democracy itself.

Several International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) surveys show that the majority of Ukrainians now have little or no confidence in any leading politician, and that all the major presidential contenders suffer from net negative perception ratings.

In January 2005, Orange became one of Europe’s largest protest movements since World War II, heralding the dawn of a new democratic era in Ukraine, and stirring hopes in the West that the country could become a shining example of economic and political reform among former Soviet republics.

Today, the Orange coalition’s pro-Western candidates are trailing badly in the polls. President Yushchenko’s popularity has slumped to single digits and his negative rating is over 80 percent, making it seemingly impossible for him to win a second term.

Orange’s other leader, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, remains a polarizing figure, and while observers expect her to advance to the second round in the election, she faces strong headwinds in winning the presidency. Meanwhile, in an almost complete reversal, the pro-Russian coalition headed by Viktor Yanukovych, who lost to Yushchenko five years ago — and whose stiff style and substance have changed little since — has become the undisputed front-runner.

What went wrong with the Orange Revolution?

At the most basic level, the Orange coalition, beginning with Yushchenko himself, failed to fulfill its primary mandate of fighting the country’s endemic corruption and reducing the influence of oligarchs. The coalition never managed to separate business and politics, and more importantly never enacted reforms to bring about greater transparency.

Ukraine’s international annual ranking on Transparency International’s annual corruption index improved slightly in 2005, when the government made some progress in stemming corruption by taking actions such as closing free trade zones used as loopholes for tax dodging and halting abuse of VAT refunds. But by 2007, these gains had been reversed, and today corruption in Ukraine is no better, and in some cases worse, than it was under Yushchenko’s predecessor, Leonid Kuchma.

Compounding this lack of action on corruption is the poisonous political conflict that has played out between President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Tymoshenko over most of the past five years. In-fighting over annual gas contracts has led to votes of no-confidence in two governments, provided Russia with the ability to play off Ukraine’s leaders and badly damaged Ukraine’s image in the European Union as a country unable to guarantee the transit of gas in winter.

The clash between Yuschenko and Tymoshenko has fragmented the Orange camp, resulting in a prolonged period of ineffective governance, for which the coalition now stands to pay at the ballot box.

The ongoing battles between the president and prime minister have produced political instability, forcing the country to hold two parliamentary elections in only three years, with the threat of a third election narrowly averted. The in-fighting has also resulted in shifting, short-lived alliances and back-room dealings that serve the interests of political leaders rather than the Ukrainian people.

While Ukraine has progressed in some areas, such as holding free elections and media pluralism, these gains have been undermined by low public trust in state institutions. The Ukrainian people’s confidence in their political system is now as low as Yushchenko’s ratings.
Six IFES surveys conducted in Ukraine over the past five years indicate that public disillusionment has grown as corruption has continued unabated and political elites have left important national issues unattended.
Even if Tymoshenko were to win the second round of the presidential election, the majority of the population would still disapprove of her, and she would have little or no mandate to govern — hardly a recipe for sweeping reforms.
Since the Orange Revolution, Ukraine has become a tragic case of missed opportunities. Five years ago, the country had a chance to break free of corruption and oligarchic domination, consolidate its democratic gains, and show that former Soviet states can enjoy liberal government. Today, that dream is more distant.

Ordinarily, free and fair elections afford people new hope. On the eve of these presidential elections, most Ukrainians have no trust that their leaders are willing or able to take steps toward major reforms, and even worse, they equate democracy with chaos. There still exists a significant constituency in Ukraine for these reforms, but they await leadership that can make this change possible.

NOTE:  Taras Kuzio is a political consultant with long-term involvement in Ukrainian politics, senior fellow in the chair of Ukrainian studies, University of Toronto, and editor of the monthly Ukraine Analyst. Rakesh Sharma is director of the F. Clifton White Applied Research Center at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems.
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Commentary: by Alexander J. Motyl
Professor, Political Science, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ
Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia, Friday, 15 January 2010
As Ukrainians go to the polls on Sunday to elect a new president, Western observers should interpret the outcome in light of how the U.S. premier political scientist distinguished between good and bad government.
Back in 1968, in his now classic work “Political Order in Changing Societies,” the late Samuel P. Huntington, best known perhaps for his “Clash of Civilizations” thesis, claimed: “The most important political distinction among countries concerns not their form of government but their degree of government. … A government with a low level of institutionalization is not just a weak government; it is also a bad government.” After all, concluded Huntington, “The function of government is to govern.”
Ukraine has been a prime example of the acuity of Huntington’s insights. Ever since the Orange Revolution of late 2004 ushered in a democratic, pro-Western government in Kiev, Ukraine has suffered from incessant infighting and deadlock that have led some observers to suggest that it has become so weak as to approximate a failed state.
President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko , the heroes of the revolution, never fail to sabotage each other’s policies and forge alliances with the anti-Orange leader, Viktor Yanukovych. The destructive cycle of sabotage and betrayal has demoralized the population, increased corruption, strengthened the Kremlin’s position in the country and promoted “Ukraine fatigue” in the West.
The upcoming presidential election could break the cycle and place Ukraine on the path to a stronger government. Most polls and analysts suggest that Yanukovych and Tymoshenko will garner the most votes in the first round and will then face each other in a runoff three weeks later. Yushchenko’s almost certain departure from political prominence will immediately produce three stabilizing Huntingtonian effects.
[1] First, as Ukraine’s equivalent of former U.S. President George W. Bush, Yushchenko has come to be despised even by his supporters. Things have gotten so bad that everything he touches is deemed a bad idea. Just as Bush didn’t deserve all the opprobrium that was heaped upon him in his second term, so too Yushchenko isn’t quite the incompetent leader that he’s made out to be. But perceptions matter, and his departure will refocus the public’s attention from his person to issues and policies.
[2] Second, Yushchenko’s relationship with Tymoshenko has become self-destructive. He vetoes every one of her policies, and she counters by undermining his. Regardless of who is right and who is wrong and just why these two former allies have turned into mortal enemies, the fact is that Yushchenko’s departure will depersonalize Ukraine’s politics. This will clearly help lower the temperature in the country.
What will happen if Tymoshenko wins the second round? Her party will then control the presidency, the parliament and the Constitutional Court, giving her enormous powers. Moreover, Yanukovych will likely fall from grace and his party will almost certainly experience a deep crisis. Many Ukrainians fear that Tymoshenko, given her large personal ambitions, will try to establish a dictatorship, but their fears are greatly exaggerated.
Dictators need strong and large state bureaucracies, armies and secret police in order to rule, and Ukraine has none of these. An all-powerful Tymoshenko will not be able to become a dictator, but she will also have no one to blame if she fails to fix the economy and establish a strong government.
If Yanukovych wins, he will control the presidency and the Constitutional Court, but Tymoshenko will, in all likelihood, remain the prime minister. Their power struggle will likely continue — at least until parliamentary elections give one or the other an advantage in the parliament.
But their incentives to cooperate over policy will also be greater than at present. There will be no third partner to court, and whether the outcome is cold war or cold peace, some kind of detente over measures that address the economic and political crisis is likely.
Finally, whoever wins will likely change Ukraine’s constitution, which as currently constructed virtually guarantees perpetual conflicts between the president and prime minister. Experts generally agree that a presidential system is worse than a parliamentary one, but they also agree that a mixed presidential-parliamentary system such as Ukraine’s is by far the worst.
In the end, a Huntingtonian interpretation of Ukraine leads to cautious optimism about positive governmental change in the country. Establishing a strong government in Kiev will clearly be in Ukraine’s best interests, and it will also help strengthen the country’s relations with the West.
The United States and Europe could help resolve Ukraine’s strategic dilemma of being located in the no-man’s land between a hostile Russia and a weak Europe, while the European Union could pursue a relationship with Ukraine that is at least as close as its relationship with Russia.
Meanwhile, before Ukraine’s next president takes the oath of office, he or she would do well to read Huntington.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Sat, Jan 16, 2010

KIEV - Ukraine votes for a president on Sunday in an election marked by widespread disillusionment among ordinary people but one which will prove crucial to its relations with Russia and its place in Europe.

It is the first presidential election in the former Soviet republic of 46 million people since mass street protests in 2004, called the "Orange Revolution," broke the grip on power of a sleazy post-Soviet leadership.
In a historical irony, the frontrunner in Sunday's vote is opposition leader Viktor Yanukovich, once seen as a pro-Moscow stooge, whose rigged election in 2004 sparked those protests.
Opinion polls up to the start of the year, when their publication ceased under local law, have consistently put the 59-year-old Yanukovich, a towering, barrel-chested man backed by Ukraine's wealthiest industrialists, out in front.
Behind him, polls say, is Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a style-conscious, sharp-tongued populist who bested him in 2004 and who is now accusing him of preparing election fraud.
Tymoshenko, 49, portrayed herself on Friday as the only real possible saviour for Ukraine which, she said, teetered on a "razor-sharp edge of choice" and could tip into the abyss.
She openly sought to ridicule Yanukovich, who comes from a hard east Ukraine mining background, for his poor education. Yanukovich, who the media says has benefited from a western PR make-over since 2004, hit back.  In the five years he had known her, "she has not once told the truth either to me or the country as a whole," he said.

But he said that pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko had led the country into an impasse by ineffectual leadership. Yushchenko, the victor from the "Orange Revolution" has angered Moscow with his anti-Soviet interpretation of history.
He says both Yanukovich and Tymoshenko are part of a pro-Kremlin tandem that represents a real threat to Ukraine, but opinion polls suggest he has little real chance of re-election.
On the face of it, a run-off vote on February 7 between Yanukovich and Tymoshenko is on the cards. Polls open at 8 a.m. British time and close 12 hours later. First exit polls are expected very soon after that.
Surprises can not be ruled out. A Russian opinion poll has said that former central bank chief Sergey Tigipko has been creeping up on Tymoshenko and may have overtaken her.

Some fear in this case Tymoshenko might react sharply and challenge the result, either through the courts or even by trying to bring people out into the streets as she did in 2004.
A small army of international election monitors have arrived in Ukraine and are now in place across the snow-covered country. Analysts say it is crucial for Ukraine, which heavily depends on Russia for most of its energy needs, to navigate a prudent course in relations with its old Soviet master after the bad blood between the two powers during the Yushchenko years.
Any new future leadership will also have to revive a shattered economy and take control of collapsing state finances that have been propped up by a $16.4 billion International Monetary Fund bail-out programme.
Both Yanukovich and Tymoshenko have sought to balance their comments on Russia with the need to integrate the country into the European mainstream, though Tymoshenko has gone furthest.
She said on Thursday she wanted to take Ukraine into the European Union within five years -- an ambitious goal given the level of EU frustration at the political turmoil in the country.
Analysts say Yanukovich, whose main support comes from the densely-populated Russian-speaking areas of the industrial east and the south, will only feel confident of victory if he has well over 10 per cent more than his next rival in Sunday's vote.

Tymoshenko, a powerful performer on television and in public who will get a strong vote in rural votes in the west and the centre, could catch him up if he becomes too complacent in the run-up to a second round, they say.
The level of popular disenchantment with the political elite remains high. With the euphoria of the Orange Revolution long evaporated, there could be some voter apathy.
"In these elections, there have been few vacant places for faith, hope, love, hatred, loyalty and passion. Their place has been firmly occupied by pity, habit, inertia, weariness, indifference and distress," Sergei Rakhmanin wrote in the weekly Zerkalo Nedely on Saturday.

"Some people are waiting for Yanukovich's long-delayed revenge, others for Yushchenko's well-deserved banishment, the third anticipate Tymoshenko's resounding defeat. A gloating willingness to square accounts with the past has supplanted any joyous expectation for the future," Rakhmanin wrote.
(Editing by Myra MacDonald)
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Commentary: By Irena Chalupa
RFE/RL, Prague, Czech Republic, Fri, Jan 15, 2010

One would think that out of 18 candidates in the January 17 presidential election, there would be at least one or two reputable and respectable ones from which an average, hard-working Ukrainian voter could choose. But, alas, it would appear not. At least that was the partial result of an experiment carried out by the UNIAN news agency.

In an effort to gauge the mood on the street and at the same time have a little fun, the agency set up a voting booth outside its office on a central Kyiv central thoroughfare and asked passers-by to cast their ballots. "Street Vote," they called it.

The results were rather surprising, to say the least.

The majority of the participants voted "against all," a uniquely Ukrainian approach to voting that allows one to cast a ballot but not endorse any particular candidate. Viktor Yanukovych, the candidate who has been leading in the polls and who lost to incumbent President Viktor Yushchenko in the last election, came in second. Serhiy Tyhypko, Yanukovych's former campaign manager, came in third. Yulia Tymoshenko, the fiery orator and controversial prime minister, did not make the top three, despite consistently coming in second in all polls.

I guess Ukrainian elections can hold surprises.

Much has been made in the Ukrainian media of a possible third force -- a dark-horse candidate who will surge on the wave of popular discontent to challenge either Yanukovych or Tymoshenko in a second round, which, if necessary, will be held on February 7. If we take UNIAN's "Street Vote" as an indication of the public mood, Tyhypko might be that dark horse.

Out Of The Shadows
But while Tyhypko has projected a fresh persona in this campaign, he is far from a political outsider. He hails from the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk, the city that launched the careers of former President Leonid Kuchma, former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko (who is currently in prison in the United States for graft and embezzlement), and Tymoshenko. The so-called Dnipropetrovsk clan was considered the most influential political and business group in Ukraine in the 1990s.

Tyhypko's road to fame and fortune mirrors that of most of the richest people in the former Soviet Union, many of whom were former communist insiders whose connections paved the way for huge financial benefits as the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991.

Tyhypko was a Komsomol activist, chairman of its "propaganda and agitation" section, and its first secretary. After establishing one of the country's first and largest private banks, he was summoned to Kyiv by Kuchma to serve as an economic adviser. Although Kuchma's presidency was tainted by corruption and the murder of journalists, Tyhypko was not directly or indirectly connected to any of those issues.

Tyhypko became economy minister in 1993, and three years later Kuchma appointed him chairman of Ukraine's National Bank. Although he expressed interest in a possible run for the presidency back in 2003, in 2004 he opted instead to run the campaign of Yanukovych, a candidate widely supported by the Kuchma regime.

Tyhypko got out of politics when the going was good. After seeing his former boss, Kuchma, branded a fraudster and ousted in an election, Tyhypko  disappeared from the public eye. He concentrated on his banking business, focused on his private life, and started a new family with a new wife.
Attractive, affable, well-dressed, even-tempered, and polite, Tyhypko is a marked contrast to the somewhat hysterical, mud-slinging politicians who call themselves Ukraine's elite. Compared to them, Tyhypko looks like a savior. That's why the "Street Vote" put him in third place.

Escaping The Gridlock?
Ukrainian politics are rarely about real issues or problems facing the nation; they are almost always about personalities. Electoral blocs are formed around personalities, such as the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc. These personalities have dominated the airwaves for years, their faces are ever-present on television screens, and they are constantly squawking on countless screaming-match-type talk shows.

And I think the people are just plain sick and tired of them. I know I am.

This self-destructive and paralyzing political background, coupled with the weak and disappointing presidency of Viktor Yushchenko, makes a candidate like Tyhypko seem full of promise and possibility. And that's why he may surprise everyone.

Because promise and possibility are driving forces in all our lives. Tyhypko's long absence from politics has saved him from that familiarity that breeds contempt, and may just convince Ukrainian voters that he's the man to carry the day.

NOTE: Irena Chalupa is director of RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service. The views expressed in this commentary are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of RFE/RL
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U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC):
Promoting U.S.-Ukraine business relations & investment since 1995.
Commentary: By Nikolas Gvosdev, Atlantic Council contributing editor
Member of the faculty of the U.S. Naval War College. 
New Atlantist, Policy and Analysis Blog, The Atlantic Council
Washington, D.C., Friday, January 15, 2010

President Viktor Yushchenko has little chance of engineering a last-minute election victory; after Ukrainians go to the polls this Sunday, the most likely outcome will be a February run-off pitting the two former prime ministers against each other: Yuliya Tymoshenko and Viktor Yanukovych. Some are portraying this contest as a choice between a "European future" versus a return to the "Russian past."

If Yanukovych should prevail, does this mean that Ukraine has been "lost" to the West?
Well, for starters, integration with the Euro-Atlantic community is on hold for the foreseeable future. The 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest was the high-water mark—pledging eventual membership for Ukraine in the alliance at some unspecified, distant point in the future. Since that time, there has been no push—particularly by the Western European continental members of NATO—to try and bring that "future" any closer to realization.
The expansion of the European Union is also stalled; in short, the EU doesn't want to bring in large new members that will be net recipients (rather than net contributors) into the coffers of the Union.
The observation that the EU will seriously consider Ukraine's bid for membership only when Ukraine's economy is capable of providing European-level living standards for the population is right on the mark. An election-day victory by either Tymoshenko or Yanukovych doesn't change these realities.

So is Ukraine's only other alternative to rush back into Moscow's waiting embrace? Not necessarily. Yanukovych is generally considered more pro-Russian than Tymoshenko (although Tymoshenko's new pragmatic persona indicates that she is also prepared to cut deals with the Kremlin), but if we take him at his word, there are definitive limits.
His remarks, published on Ukrainian Christmas, lay out the following: no membership in any alliance, including the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization; potential participation in the Common Economic Space, but on the basis of the "three plus one" initiative, not full membership and full integration; and a renegotiation of the 2009 Russia-Ukraine gas agreement, which he described as being unprofitable to Ukraine.

Does this provide some opportunities for the West? It certainly does.
Keeping Ukraine's economic links with Europe open and growing should remain a priority, by maintaining Ukraine's status as an intermediary between the EU and the Common Economic Space, so as to prevent Ukraine's full absorption into Moscow's economic sphere. And helping to ensure that Ukraine's neutrality is a robust one — meaning a state that has no foreign forces based on its territory.
If NATO expansion is effectively off the table, can this not help facilitate the transfer of the remaining units of the Russian Black Sea Fleet when the lease expires in 2017? (A separate issue here is ensuring that the Crimea has sufficient new economic opportunities by that point to make up the inevitable shortfall that comes whenever a major military base is moved away.)

Ukraine's elections don't have to be seen as a zero-sum contest. And it seems that whether Yanukoyvch or Tymoshenko wins, there will be a new realism in Kyiv. Nabi Abdullaev, writing in today's Moscow Times, even sounds a note of optimism. What may result is a workable modus vivendi where "Ukraine's inevitable integration with Europe - a priority announced by all of the presidential candidates - would not be made at the expense of Russia's national interests."

In the end, this outcome may the best not only for the West and Russia, but for Ukrainians as well.
NOTE: Nikolas K. Gvosdev [email], an Atlantic Council contributing editor, is on the faculty of the U.S. Naval War College.  The views expressed are his own and do not reflect those of the Navy or the U.S. government.  
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1301 gmt 12 Jan 10 
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Mon, January 12, 2010 

KIEV - Dnipropetrovsk Region - The leader of the [opposition] Party of Regions, Viktor Yanukovych, if elected president, will implement a foreign policy aimed at Ukraine's support of and participation in the implementation of Russia's initiative on creation of a new European security architecture.
Yanukovych was speaking in Dniprodzerzhynsk, Dnipropetrovsk Region, today, answering the questions by foreign journalists.
He said that from the very first day of its independence Ukraine has not been a member of any military-political blocs and has preserved its neutral status.
"But we are ready to support the initiative by Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev, which was also supported by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and take part in discussing the concept of a new European security system," he said.
He said that Ukraine has always cooperated with NATO and properly and fully implemented its programmes and tasks.

"We believe that such cooperation is enough as of today and this level of cooperation has support among Ukrainians," Yanukovych said, adding that no-one is talking about joining the alliance now and that his political party promotes Ukraine's not joining any military-political blocs.
Speaking about the prospects of Ukraine's joining the European Union, Yanukovych said that he would keep foreign policy in this direction. "But in the last five years the incumbent orange powers fulfilled none of the programmes and commitments to the EU. That is why we have not approached but rather went away from the idea of the European integration," he said.
He said that as the president he would face the task of finally starting the reforms and implementing Ukraine's commitments to the European Union. "I understand very clearly that much depends on Ukraine itself, not the EU," he said.
For successful joining the EU, Ukraine must raise the level of the economy, the social and technical standards and improve its laws, Yanukovych said.
He said that relations with Russia should be natural, similar to relations between the Ukrainian and Russian nations. "They should be very pragmatic and strategic in nature," he said.
Speaking about the USA, Yanukovych said that the relations with this country must also be strategic in nature, taking into account the weight and influence of this country in the global politics and economy.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, January 12, 2010

KYIV - Candidate for the presidency and Regions Party leader Viktor Yanukovych has said that the current level of Ukraine's cooperation with NATO is sufficient and that the question of the country's accession to the alliance is therefore not urgent.

"Ukraine has always cooperated with NATO, and Ukraine has always implemented its programs. We think that such a level of cooperation is currently sufficient, and the Ukrainian people currently support such a level of cooperation," he said in an interview with the New York Times given in Dniprodzerzhynsk on Tuesday.
Yanukovych said that Ukraine is currently ready to participate in building a new system of collective security in Europe. "And we're ready to back Russia's and France's initiatives," he said.
He also commented on whether he supports Ukraine's joining NATO. "The Ukrainian people don't currently support Ukraine's entry to NATO and this corresponds to the status that we currently have. We don't want to join any military bloc," Yanukovych said.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
By Douglas Birch, The Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Sat, Jan 16, 2010

KIEV, Ukraine -- Five years after the Orange Revolution inspired hopes for broad economic and political reforms, many Ukrainian voters expect little from Sunday's presidential election.

One recent poll showed a majority of voters are concerned the election could be rigged. Some wonder whether even an honest vote can make life here better after years of political paralysis and the country's deep economic recession.

Elena Galitskaya, a Kiev psychologist, said Ukraine's presidential hopefuls demonstrated their "scorn" of voters during the acrimonious campaign. "I don't know if I'll go to vote tomorrow, because, speaking honestly, I think that the elections won't give anything to our country," she said.

Former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych is expected to top Sunday's first-round ballot, but with 18 candidates taking part he is likely to fall short of the 50 percent needed for overall victory.

That would force him into a runoff with the second-place finisher, who is expected to be Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Yanukovych and Tymoshenko have spent much of the campaign attacking each other on personal and policy grounds.

In a December opinion poll, only 34 percent of Ukrainians said that they expected the election to be fair overall, while 57 percent said the results could be manipulated or were certain to be stolen. The rest couldn't say.  Many analysts and candidates this week warned of potential large-scale voting fraud.

As part of an international effort to bolster confidence in the election, foreign observers have fanned out across Ukraine to monitor voting in this country of 46 million people with 36.6 million registered voters.

Jens-Hagen Eschenbacher, a spokesman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said Saturday that about 600 OSCE election monitors are in place, in addition to thousands of other foreign observers.

Allegations of widespread fraud in Ukraine's 2004 presidential election led to the mass protests of the Orange Revolution. In the wake of those protests, Ukraine's Supreme Court threw out the results of the ballot and ordered a revote.

Voter disenchantment with the country's current political leadership could bolster the fortunes of candidates who cast themselves as outsiders.
One little known candidate, Sergei Tigipko, a former economics minister, has surged in the polls in recent weeks, in part by portraying himself as a fresh face and an outsider.

A recent poll showed him edging ahead of Tymoshenko for second place, which could put him in the runoff with Yanukovych. "I want very much to be the biggest sensation of this elections," he told The Associated Press on Saturday.

A key factor, he said, is whether he can make inroads against Tymoshenko in her rural base. "She is my main rival in getting into the second round, but the number one of course is Yanukovych," Tigipko said.
Another candidate appealing to disillusioned voters is Vasily Gumenyuk, 63, a former mayor from western Ukraine, who legally changed his name to Vasily Protivsikh, which translates as Vasily Againstall. He appears on the ballot under that name. The Ukrainian presidential ballot allows voters to choose "Against All."
In an interview with AP Television News, Protivsikh attacked the front-runners, Yanukovych and Tymoshenko. "Why are you lying?" he said, addressing his rivals. "You are making promises to the people, but why weren't you doing anything before?"
Like the other candidates, Protivsikh's $300,000 filing fee is non-refundable if he fails to finish first or second in the first-round ballot Sunday.
The Orange Revolution's failure to live up to its promise has also discouraged some of the tens of thousands of Ukrainians who thronged the streets of the capital, Kiev, day and night for weeks in 2004.

Roman Kalyn is a member of the rock group Grynjoly, also known as Greenjolly, which recorded the reggae-beat anthem of the Orange forces, "Together we are many - we will not be defeated!" The song blared night and day on loudspeakers in Kiev's Maidan, or central square, during the protests.
Kalyn said the leaders of the Orange-backed government seemed to quickly forget the spirit of those days. "When they didn't want us to play in 2005 during the first anniversary of the Maidan, I realized that politicians don't need such groups as Greenjolly," he said.
Not all voters are discouraged. Some Ukrainians feel that their next president will not face the same daunting challenges as the incumbent, President Viktor
Yushchenko, a pro-Western politician who waged a losing battle to impose sweeping reforms.
Voters blamed Yushchenko in part for the plunge in the Ukrainian economy during the 2008 global financial crisis. The next president could take credit for the recovery.
"I think this year the level of the economy will be increasing," said Alexei Sukachev, a Kiev marketing specialist. As a result, he said, Yushchenko's successor will find it easier "to come out of the crisis, easier to restore the economy." (Associated Press writer Simon Shuster contributed to this report.
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
Ukraine Macroeconomic Report From SigmaBleyzer: 
Dmitry Solovyov, Reuters, Buzova, Ukraine, Sat, Jan 16, 2010

BUZOVA, Ukraine - Tetyana Shevchenko is no longer proud she took part in Ukraine's 2004 "Orange Revolution" sparked by a rigged presidential election. In Sunday's poll, like many of her fellow villagers, she will not vote at all.
Five years after unprecedented street protests propelled pro-Western President Vikor Yushchenko to power, her life has only got worse, and ordinary people are embittered by politicians' unfulfilled pledges, she says.
"The worst that happened is that people have lost their faith in humanity," says the 53-year-old out-of-work shop assistant selling her modest household produce -- curds and sour cream -- on the roadside at her village of Buzova, 35 km (22 miles) from the capital Kiev.
She comes daily to the busy motorway to spend hours in biting frost selling dairy products to earn a few dollars to supplement her disabled mother's pension of 670 hryvnias ($84). Her paralyzed husband draws one of 1,200 hryvnias ($150).
"Yes, I was in Kiev's Independence Square then, and we chose Yushchenko. But what happened? Life is just so terrible in the village," Shevchenko said. "Whoever is elected this time, will he buy hay for my cow or pay for this expensive natural gas?"
Opposition leader Viktor Yanukovich is trailed by Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in the run-up to Sunday's election, according to opinion polls. Yushchenko, seeking a second five-year term in the vote, is widely viewed as an outsider.
Yanukovich, feuding with his arch foe Tymoshenko since his humiliating defeat in the 2004 rigged election, have exhorted voters to take part in the election, both painting grim scenarios for the impoverished ex-Soviet state if they lose.
Ukraine's uneasy relations with Russia, its aspiration to integrate into Europe and heavy debts to international lenders are all abstract notions for Buzova's desperate residents heavily reliant on their chickens, cows and pigs to survive.
Villagers, the most conservative and active part of the electorate, make up one third of Ukraine's population of 46 million. Rural residents seem to be among the ones hardest hit by the global crisis which is estimated to have slashed Ukraine's gross domestic product by 15 percent last year. Ukraine's GDP now stands at just around 60 percent of its size in 1990.
Signs of decay leap to the eye in Buzova, once part of a huge thriving state farm that produced meat and grew vegetables in hothouses all year around.
Roads clogged by recent heavy snowfalls have isolated the village of several hundred houses from the outer world, electricity supplies are erratic, jobless young people have moved to Kiev and even the village policeman has disappeared.
"These politicians, they have killed our minds and souls. They only want to shine like stars on television, nothing else," said pensioner Katerina
Dudorenko, 67, selling eggs and curds in the frosty wind. "I will not vote. Enough is enough."
In a vivid display of popular cynicism marking this election, many Ukrainians have posted offers in the Internet to sell their votes for up to 500 hryvnias ($63).  Braving the frost and snow to earn just a fraction of this sum, Shevchenko said firmly: "I will not sell my vote. And I do not need somebody else's. I just won't vote."
But Petro, a 56-year-old driver from the nearby village of Khmilna who declined to give his last name, said he would probably choose Yanukovich, a rough-hewn man whose two prison terms at a young age have been widely exploited by Tymoshenko's team to discredit him during campaigning.
"Yushchenko is a weakling, he has soiled his pants. Maybe Tymoshenko would make a good president in Finland, but all she does in Ukraine is make a lot of noise," he said.  "But Yanukovich has been toughened by prison. He is a hard man. We need him like (Soviet dictator Josef) Stalin to put Ukraine in order." (Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Richard Balmforth and Charles Dick)
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
By Gregory Feifer, RFE/RL, Prague, Czech Republic, Sat, Jan 16, 2010

KYIV -- It was another command performance by the woman who's portrayed herself as the very symbol of this country. Standing on stage in her latest glamorous white outfit, her trademark crown of braided blond hair in place, a confident Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko addressed a packed auditorium.

Speaking for three hours, she laid out what she would do if elected in the country's presidential election on January 17. Her priority, she said, is to make Ukraine a strong, western-looking country. "I'll do everything so that during the five years I'm president," she said, "Ukraine will become a
member of the European Union."

Ukrainians are to vote for a new president for the first time since the Orange Revolution five years ago. Remarkably, the pro-Moscow candidate who lost the presidency over massive fraud allegations then is now leading the polls to win.

Ukrainians are disillusioned by their leaders' broken promises to clean up corruption and reform the economy. But Tymoshenko, the Orange Revolution heroine who's second in the polls, is hoping the freedoms it brought will convince Ukrainians to elect her.

She's promised to pull Ukraine out of deep recession and transform it into one of the world's most prosperous countries.

It's a tall order. Tymoshenko may have the backing of many pop stars and celebrities, an important factor in a country where people are likely to vote more for personalities than policies. But polls give Tymoshenko second place behind pro-Moscow frontrunner Viktor Yanukovych.

Among the 16 other candidates is Tymoshenko's erstwhile Orange Revolution rally, President Viktor Yushchenko, whose poll numbers of less than 3 percent have ruled him out of the race. Their infighting has mired Ukraine in years of political crisis, and deeply disillusioned Ukrainians over the
government's failure to tackle the country's endemic corruption and enact desperately needed reforms.

Tymoshenko's attacks against businessmen she calls corrupt and her demands for increased welfare spending have led to accusations of populism and authoritarian tendencies. Ties to her own circle of powerful billionaires have also brought allegations of corruption, as did her lucrative former job as head of a natural-gas company that made her a multimillionaire and earned her the nickname "gas princess."

But no one questions Tymoshenko's political skill and energy. In an interview with RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service after her talk on January 14, the exhausted-looking prime minister -- with shoes off and with her voice reduced to a hoarse whisper -- said she's never cheated Ukrainians, unlike her main rival Yanukovych.

"He's appropriated everything [he wants]," she said, "including the Mezhyhiria [state residence in Kyiv], as well as the biggest resort in Crimea, which he stole from the state and looks like a palace."

Orange Revolution Legacy
Yanukovych was the villain of the Orange Revolution, which drove him from power after street demonstrations against his victory in a tainted presidential election five years ago.

During a television talk show on January 15, Tymoshenko said Yanukovych was unfit to govern, warning his election would roll back the Orange Revolution's hard-fought democratic gains.

Yanukovych's main support is in the country's industrial, largely Russian-speaking east, where Tymoshenko has accused his Party of Regions of preparing massive electoral fraud.

Yanukovych denies the accusations, saying it's Tymoshenko who controls the government agencies conducting the election. Boris Kolesnikov, one of the leaders of Yanukovych's Party of Regions, says the Orange Revolution's leaders are "commonplace thieves."

"Ordinary people fought for the truth in the Orange Revolution," he says, "but the organizers forgot about them. The very next day, they rushed to
divide Ukrainian property and confiscate businesses from their rivals."

You wouldn’t expect Kolesnikov to praise the Orange Revolution. He was among those temporarily arrested afterward on the charges of electoral fraud that brought hundreds of thousands to the streets. He denies all allegations of wrongdoing.

Whatever the results on January 17, they're expected to be only the beginning of a protracted battle. If no candidate wins a majority, the top two finishers will face each other in a runoff election on February 7. But how many votes each candidate gets in the first round will be crucial for the backroom negotiations over gaining the support of the losers ahead of the second round.

Among the big questions is who will come third. Polls indicate it will be Ukraine's newest up-and-comer Serhiy Tihipko, a wealthy banker and former economy minister who once served as Yanukovych's campaign manager. Trailing him is 35 year-old Arseniy Yatsenyuk, President Yushchenko's former foreign minister.

Volodymyr Fesenko, director of the Penta Center for political studies in Kyiv, says Tymoshenko and Yanukovych will face a tough battle convincing the others to back them.

"The situation between the first and second rounds will be full of intrigue and unknowns," he says. "Tymoshenko can eventually win, but she'll have a number of difficult tasks before the second round."

Fraud Concerns
And there are serious concerns electoral fraud will derail the whole process, with all sides saying they expect violations by other parties. Even if the election ends peacefully, Ukraine still faces ongoing political instability: if Yanukovych wins the election, Tymoshenko will remain a powerful prime minister.

If Tymoshenko wins, Fesenko says, she'll face a serious choice. "Limit the power of big business and its ties with politics," he says, "or corruption and partisanship will destroy Ukrainian democracy."

On the snowy streets of central Kyiv, angry drivers stuck in traffic honk their horns at passing convoys of official black limousines on streets cleared of cars. Many here say they're fed up with officials' failure to address the concerns of ordinary Ukrainians, including high prices and snow piled on the icy sidewalks.

Marina Tatarenko says she's undecided over whom to vote for. "[The candidates] are all the same," she says. "It's just become impossible to live here."

But although many disaffected Ukrainians say they don’t care who wins the election, there's a lot at stake, and not just for Ukraine's future. The country of 46 million people is sandwiched between Russia, keen to reassert its influence over former Soviet republics, and western countries that want to see democracy established in Ukraine.

But while Yanukovych has vowed to keep Ukraine out of NATO -- which Moscow fiercely opposes -- experts say his powerful business backers have no intention of increasing Ukraine's dependence on Russia. Yanukovych now downplays his earlier opposition to membership in the military alliance and speaks chiefly about jobs, the top concern for the vast majority of Ukrainians suffering from the global financial crisis.

In the face of Ukrainian politics' seemingly endless chaos, sociologist Olga Bekeshkina says one thing is clear: despite the general disappointment, the Orange Revolution has made Ukraine a free country.

"You can go out on Khreshchyatyk [Kyiv's main street] and say whatever you want about the president, the prime minister, and anyone else," she says.

"No one will threaten you. Just try that in Moscow."
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Commentary: Edward Lozansky, President, American University in Moscow
Russia Blog, Moscow, Russia, Friday, January 15, 2010
MOSCOW - Five years have gone by as one day. Only yesterday, it seems, we saw jubilant crowds in Kiev celebrating the victory of democracy in Ukraine. Small wonder, too – the pro-Western Victor Yushchenko had contrived to wrest victory from his hateful namesake, pro-Russia Yanukovich.
The former, cruelly poisoned (allegedly by none other than Putin), had miraculously risen from the dead, won the election and was about to guide Ukraine to a life of plenty in the European Union and NATO.
The unimpeachable teaching of George Bush about the inevitable spread of democracy across the world had yet again been proved right. Besides, no less importantly, the Orange Revolution turned out to be relatively inexpensive to fund. Especially compared to the business of promoting democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq, where thousands of young Americans and Europeans from NATO countries continue to die and hundreds of billions of dollars continue to be spent.

According to Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, in Ukraine the price barely came to several dozen million dollars. However, as he lacked precise statistics, the actual sum could have been considerably larger. The congressman called on the White House Administration and the US General Accounting Office to look into the Ukrainian election’s cost to the American taxpayer, and what exactly that money had paid for, yet his appeals fell on deaf ears.
That so greatly incensed Ron Paul that he accused the US Government of hypocrisy. On the one hand, said the congressman, we are against external interference in another state’s election, but on the other we send money to Ukraine to sway the vote there.

It does not take a profoundly analytical mind to see that the main object of the Orange Revolution strategists was not democracy in Ukraine, but further weakening of Russia. In the contest between two schools of American political thought, one of which called for integration with Russia and the other, for its isolation and weakening, it was the latter that was confidently winning.
The views of those who warned that attempts to sever Ukraine from Russia would ultimately miscarry were blatantly ignored. The reasoning of those who pointed out that the historical, cultural and family ties between the two countries were much too strong and that the current policy, if continued, might end in civil war in Ukraine and the country’s breakup was likewise rejected out of hand.
As the Russian saying goes, it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good. The United States, as the principal sponsor of the Orange Revolution, has found itself in a predicament. Its status of the only remaining superpower after the fall of communism failed the test of time.
The economic crisis, the astronomical national debt and growing unemployment, as well as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, instability in Pakistan, Iran’s nuclear ambition, and the increasing threat of Islamic terrorism are inducing the new Washington Administration to take stock of its resources and opt for a more pragmatic policy.

So now it is the advocates of rapprochement with Russia for jointly tackling global problems that are beginning to prevail over those who would like to see Russia further weakened through NATO enlargement, the BMD system in Eastern Europe, funding color revolutions, and, most importantly, trying to break up Ukraine from Russia.

On January 17, 2010 the world will witness the inevitable defeat of Yushchenko, whose legacy, apart from a record economic slump and the hryvna devalued by 50 percent, will include monuments to Nazi collaborators and organizers of mass executions of Jews and Poles.

Let me say that those who feel like gloating over the difficulties America is experiencing fail to understand that many of U.S. problems are shared by the rest of the world. Therefore, it is in Russia’s interests to take a dignified high road policy and to seek and find ways of helping America in solving them.
The present moment is singularly auspicious for implementing real projects in the course of much hyped resetting, which, alas, cannot yet boast any tangible results. It is well known that in the wake of the Obama-Medvedev meeting, an impressive number of 18 (!) bilateral governmental commissions have been set up to coordinate the resetting process.
So far we did not hear too much about their activities or, most importantly, results, except perhaps just one, on cultural cooperation, headed by Mikhail Shvydkoi and US Undersecretary of State Judith McHale. Apparently, the other seventeen are still trying to decide what they are going to do. Don’t you think it’s about time you set to, gentlemen?
LINK: yushchenko-yanukovych.php
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RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Sat, Jan 16, 2010
KIEV - Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych has said that Kiev's attempts to blame Russia for the 1932-1933 Holodomor famine are unjust.

Ukraine, which says that more than 3.9 million people died during the famine, has been seeking international recognition of the famine as an act of genocide.

A number of Ukrainian nationalist parties say that Russia, as the legal successor of the Soviet Union, should bear responsibility for the famine.

"Holodomor took place, was denounced and the international society gave an evaluation of the famine, but it was never labeled as a genocide of the Ukrainian people. Ukraine's attempts to do so by blaming one of our neighbors are unjust," Yanukovych said in an interview with the Inter television channel.

Earlier in the week a court in Kiev found Bolshevik leaders guilty of genocide against Ukrainians during the 1932-1933 Holodomor famine. The court found dictator Joseph Stalin and several other senior Soviet officials guilty, but dropped criminal proceedings "due to the suspects' deaths."
Russia says the famine cannot be considered an act that targeted Ukrainians, as millions of people from different ethnic groups also lost their lives in vast territories across the Soviet Union.
Last year, the United Nations General Assembly refused to include a discussion of the famine on its official session agenda.
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Yanukovich says to consign Orange Revolution to black pages of our lives.
By Clifford J Levy in Dneprodzerzhinsk,
ScotlandOnSunday, Edinburgh, Scotland, Sun, Jan 17, 2010
DNEPRODZERZHINSK - VIKTOR Yanukovich was swept aside five years ago in the Orange Revolution, derided as a barrel-chested party boss and Kremlin stooge whose career was over as Ukraine embraced the West.

Today Yanukovich is close to exacting his revenge as the country goes to the polls in a vital presidential election, – a revolt against the revolution.

"Together, we have suffered through this Orange nightmare," Yanukovich told his supporters at a recent rally. "Let us consign this history to the black pages of our lives."

Yanukovich, a former prime minister, has capitalised on the Ukrainians' deep disillusionment with a limp economy and the Orange leaders, who promised to modernise the country and move it away from Moscow. Instead, they have been consumed with infighting that has paralysed government.

"Do we want to keep living as we have lived these five years?" Yanukovich asked. "When you know the answer to that, then you will know how to vote."

The Orange Revolution shook the former Soviet Union, ushering in a pro-Western government in Ukraine that seemingly stood as a model for the many post-Soviet states seeking to emerge from authoritarianism.

The movement broke out after protesters asserted that Yanukovich had triumphed in the 2004 presidential election over Viktor Yushchenko only because of widespread fraud.  A new election was held, which Yushchenko won. He had already garnered worldwide attention when he was poisoned and disfigured by dioxin during the campaign.

Opinion polls in Ukraine have been outlawed law since 2 January but the most recent data shows Yanukovich leading by between 10-15 percentage points. The race remains volatile. He is likely to be forced into a runoff next month against the other front-runner, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, with whom he traded insults in the final run-up to today's vote.

The prime minister ridiculed Yanukovich's poor education, saying he was not fit to lead a country that teetered on "a razor-sharp edge of choice". "I really cannot understand how a European country with such an intellectual level... could elect for itself a person who does not know the difference between Austria and Australia," she said on a TV talk show.

Yanukovich defended his refusal to meet Tymoshenko in a TV debate and accused her of lying. "I have been debating with Tymoshenko for five years. In those five years she has not once told the truth," he said.

If Yanukovich does become president, it will be a victory for the Kremlin, which has worked assiduously in recent years to discredit the Orange movement to prevent a pro-Western realignment.

But it might not result in the total victory the Kremlin hopes for. Since his defeat five years ago, Yanukovich has sought to avoid being pigeonholed as the Kremlin's candidate. Sounding somewhat like an Orange politician, he said he supported Ukraine's integration with Europe, as well as a robust, multiparty democracy at home.

But Yanukovich has said he would repair relations with Russia, which has been especially angered by President Yushchenko's attempt to seek Nato membership. Speaking of Russia, he said: "Relations should be natural, as they are between the Ukrainian people and the Russian people. They must be friendly, they must be pragmatic, they must be strategic."

The Kremlin, in fact, is trying to maintain ties with both front-runners, indicating that tensions may be soothed however the election turns out. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of Russia has had warm words recently for Tymoshenko, and she has reciprocated.

Left behind has been President Yushchenko, an Orange leader and Kremlin foe who, rightly or wrongly, has been widely blamed for the economic troubles.

He is seeking re-election, but his favourability ratings are in the single digits. Lately, he seems mostly intent on destroying the candidacy of Tymoshenko, his former ally, as if he would rather Yanukovich won than she.

Tymoshenko has been running a populist campaign, trying to paint Yanukovich as a front man for the country's business elite. "The oligarchs want a weak puppet leader who can be easily managed and ruled," she said. But political experts here said she faced a challenge overcoming the backlash against the Orange Revolution.

"There is this element of positive experience and timing," said Andrei Yermolayev, director of the Sofia Centre for Social Research in the capital, Kiev. "There is a certain stereotype that the years when Yanukovich was prime minister were years of success, and the years when Tymoshenko was prime minister were years of conflict and problems."

That is reflected in the fact that Tymoshenko's native region in Dneprodzerzhinsk is now a Yanukovich stronghold.

And there were people in the crowds who were once Orange backers. "I voted for Yushchenko," said Marina Sazonova, 44, a lawyer. "I was sitting home, breastfeeding my baby, watching with tears in my eyes our people getting up off their knees. There was this impression that everybody was united. "People hoped that it would make their lives better," she continued. "But nothing of the kind happened."

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Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, December 24, 2009
KYIV - The United States will be closely watching the presidential election in Ukraine and is ready to work with whoever the Ukrainian people choose as president, new U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Tefft has said. He said this in an interview published in Thursday's issue of the Segodnia (Today) newspaper, Kyiv's largest-circulation daily.
The diplomat quoted U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said at a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Petro Poroshenko that the U.S. hoped for a free and fair presidential election in Ukraine, which will produce an outcome that will be respected, both within Ukraine and around the world.

Tefft stressed that it is up to the Ukrainian people to choose the president they want. He declined to assess the performance of incumbent president Viktor Yuschenko, who is running for a second term in office.
Tefft said that he has already met with Party of Regions Leader Viktor Yanukovych and is planning to meet with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, another leading presidential candidate.
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Article by Dr. Alexander Belyakov, Ukraine.
UK journal "Critique", London, UK, Jan, 2010

This article will discuss the importance and direction of the media transformation processes in Ukraine in the light of freedom of speech, and will address recent developments in journalism and their consequences for politics. Media processes are analyzed based on the transformation theory.
The analysis particularly targets weak and strong points of changes, concentrates on predictions of further freedom of speech development in Ukraine and advocates further research on the similar processes across Eurasia.
Generally, this study shows unsatisfactory coverage (partial coverage, selective attention, high prejudice, etc.) of elections in the last years and analyzes the probability of similar actions during the forthcoming Ukrainian presidential election. This study also strives to understand how freedom of speech is influenced by ‘censorship by money’.
Further research is needed to determine how to maintain freedom of speech in light of the failure of ‘Orange Revolution’ ideas to be fully implemented.

NOTE: To read the entire article go to URL:
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Working to Secure & Enhance Ukraine's Democratic Future
A Free, Private, Not-For-Profit, Independent, Public Service Newsletter
With major support from The Bleyzer Foundation
Articles are Distributed For Information, Research, Education, Academic,
Discussion and Personal Purposes Only. Additional Readers are Welcome.
ARCHIVE, 2003-2009:
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs
Washington Office, SigmaBleyzer, The Bleyzer Foundation
Emerging Markets Private Equity Investment Group;
President, U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
1701 K Street, NW, Suite 903, Washington, D.C. 20006
Tel: 202 437 4707; Fax 202 223 1224
Needed: 'Vice Presidents in Charge of Revolution' 
To move the power & spirit of the 'Orange Revolution' forward 

Power Corrupts & Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.
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