Search site
Action Ukraine Report

An International Newsletter
In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis, and Commentary

"The Art of Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World"


Ukraine's Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk has been making the rounds
in Washington, D.C. late this week. Tarasyuk said, "It is my great honor
to be the first Ukrainian official to visit the United States after the
election of the new President Viktor Yushchenko and appointment of
the new Government."

Minister Tarasyuk is an outstanding diplomat and one that Ukraine
and all those interested in Ukrainian matters can be proud of and
work with. He is well known in the international arena and especially
in Washington. Tarasyuk has long fought for Ukraine to be integrated
into the Euro-Atlantic Community and to be a member of WTO,
NATO and the European Union. Many of those who heard the
Foreign Minister speak commented about how fortunate Ukraine is
to be represented on the world scene by Borys Tarasyuk. (EDITOR)

Washington, D.C. and Kyiv, Ukraine, FRIDAY, March 11, 2005

Major International News Headlines and Articles"

Speech by H.E. Foreign Minister of Ukraine Borys Tarasyuk
At The International Republican Institute (IRI)
Luncheon Reception, the Madison Hotel, Washington, D.C.
and Lecture at the Cloyd Heck Marvin Center,
George Washington University, 4. p.m.
Washington, D.C., Thursday, March 10th, 2005

Secret Team Helped Find Dioxin Poisoning
By Glenn Kessler and Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writers
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C,
Friday, March 11, 2005; Page A01

Impressed by Government's Efforts on Road to Recovery
By Orest Deychakiwsky, CSCE Staff Advisor
U.S. Committee for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE)
CSCE Digest, Vol. 38, No. 4
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, March 8, 2005

By Natalia A. Feduschak in Kyiv, The Washington Times
Washington, D.C., Friday, March 11, 2005

People's Union "Our Ukraine" party announced in Ukraine
By Taras Kuzio, The Eurasia Daily Monitor
Volume 2, Issue 47, The Jamestown Foundation
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 9, 2005

What else is on the Gongadze tapes and where are they?
By Taras Kuzio, The Eurasia Daily Monitor
Volume 2, Issue 59, The Jamestown Foundation
Washington, D.C, Friday, March 11, 2005

U.S. Ambassador describes Armenian historical massacre as "genocide"
By Emil Danielyan, The Eurasia Daily Monitor
Volume 2, Issue 46, The Jamestown Foundation
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Speech by H.E. Foreign Minister of Ukraine Borys Tarasyuk
at The International Republican Institute (IRI)
Luncheon Reception, the Madison Hotel, Washington, D.C.
and Lecture at the Cloyd Heck Marvin Center,
George Washington University, 4. p.m.
Washington, D.C., Thursday, March 10th, 2005



It is my great honor to be the first Ukrainian official to visit the United
States after the election of the new President Viktor Yushchenko and
appointment of the new Government.

I guess that you expect me to share my thoughts about Ukrainian revolution
and which direction my country is taking after the political miracle we have
witnessed through November and December last year.

Being an insider and participant of this "miracle", I would like to briefly
comment on its immediate reasons and ensuing consequences, and then
I shall move to Ukraine's perspectives.

THE FIRST AND FOREMOST REASON of the revolution: Ukrainian people
have proved to be better and stronger than their government. The people
stood up not for a piece of bread, but in defense of their dignity and

The people had courage to confront gun muzzles, because they perceived
democracy not as an empty shell but a profound personal aspiration.

THE SECOND REASON is that the middle class has sprouted in Ukraine.
Not only workers, but also the clerk community, students and small business
owners rose up against injustice.

Ukraine as a nation refused to tolerate oligarchy - when some individuals
controlling the economy are in collaboration with other individuals
controlling politics.

A so called "oligarchic economy" might quite well fit "quasi-democracy".
However, for Ukraine "quasi-democracy" was not enough.

THE THIRD REASON is that degradation of the former Ukrainian Government
has reached its highest peak. The dirty wave of murders, harassment,
corruption, suppression of mass media flooded Ukraine.

The murder of the independent journalist G.Gongadze in 2000 revealed how the
Government was incurably sick. When in 2004 V.Yushchenko barely escaped
the poisoning death, it was a sign that cynicism and cruelty knew no

The Government crossed the line, and as a result was punished by its people,
thereby sending a warning to all existing tyrannies.

THE FORTH REASON is that after long years of being devoid of true moral
leadership, Ukraine has got a strong leader - Victor Yushchenko, a person of
noble ideals, adamant principles and deep belief.

For him the presidential campaign turned out to be like nine circles of
Dante's inferno, for his life, family and relatives were put at stake.

As Victor Yushchenko succeeded to get safely through the circles, instant
courage imbued millions of Ukrainians. His valor and fortitude gave him
credentials to be a moral leader of the nation for the years to come.


Was Europe ready to meet a new Ukraine? I doubt that. As a diplomat and
politician I can observe that the Orange revolution has instilled Europe
with new dynamics while coming for many as a surprise.

After many years of being considered an eternal "ugly duckling" in Europe,
Ukraine has suddenly immersed as an important actor in political process.

Without being either the EU or NATO member, Ukraine has invoked in Europe
a slightly forgotten feeling - the feeling of the wind of change.

Unanticipated yet peaceful revolution next to the EU doors has reminded that
this wind still blows, although sometimes not from windows of headquarters
in Brussels.

Let us acknowledge - the year of 2004 turned out to be a real disaster for
political scientists specialized on Ukraine. This is one among rare moments
when out of 1000 forecasts made in November last year 999 went to a waste
bin in December. The forecasts ranged from "the third term" of Kuchma to
"quiet falsification" Ukrainians would meekly swallow; from separation of
Western Ukraine to bloody suppression of the resistance akin to Tiananmen
massacre in 1989.

However, no one could predict that the Ukrainian revolution would become as
"Washington Post" pithily pointed "something in between the demise of the
Berlin Wall and the Woodstock festival". No one could predict that after
wide-scale falsification the outcome of elections would be decided not only
on barricades, but also in the Supreme Court that, moreover, would take the
side of justice and rule a re-voting.

Why did Ukrainian events unexpectedly puzzle the brightest minds in Europe
and world? My answer is that the brightest minds underestimated Ukrainians
as a nation. It was the case when all attention was focused on politics but
not on the people.

The decorations on the political stage had not been changing for years.
Ukraine was a corrupt post-Soviet country that liked to play EU and NATO
against Russia for quite a long time. The country was ruled by the old
Soviet nomenklatura repainted as nationalists.

Except for growing economy Ukraine still made an impression of terra
incognita and considered in practical terms only as a possible buffer zone.

With its European aspirations Ukraine resembled a person who is craving to
study at the university only because of living on the opposite side of the
street. That is what one could see 'on the political scene.'

However, the most important events were developing 'behind the curtains,'
where a new European Nation was growing - beautiful, strong, civilized even
in its rage.

I recollect the words attributed to the Orange revolution by the former
German Minister of Defense Volker Ruhe who said: watching the TV broadcast
from the Independence Square we felt that the heart of Europe was beating
in Kyiv.

Ukraine's striving for freedom and justice was during the revolution as
strong as the one of Poles at the times of "Solidarity" and of Germans at
the times of the Berlin Wall fall.

All stereotypes of some European politicians, why Ukraine "does not belong
to Europe in terms of civilization and culture", vanished in a matter of

All references that Ukraine did not live through the age of Enlightenment
and bourgeois revolutions and therefore was not ready to accept modern
democracy proved to be inconsistent.

The assertions that psychologically Ukraine is closer to Asian despotic
regimes rather than European liberal system lost any arguments.

Ukraine illustrated the belief of President George Bush that deep inside
every person lives a natural desire to be free.

However, here comes ever-lasting dilemma of big politics: how to marry
personal convictions and geopolitical calculations.

Ukraine has transformed from European outsider to the European moral
leader. But it hasn't alleviated the burden of international strategists,
particularly those who are shaping European integration.

It is easy to decide the fate of an "ugly duckling". However it is difficult
to do this if the "duckling" comes to be a prodigy, but university has no
place for him.

Some say that at international conferences with participation of European
officials one of the rules reads as follows: "talk whatever you wish, but do
not mention Ukraine".

Why is it so? Because new official position to Ukraine is still in the
fetus. It is clear with the EU, since too many voices should be integrated
in what would later become the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy.

It is clear that the global politics is a "big chessboard" where Ukraine is
still seeking its place. But the point is not the game. The point is freedom
and justice that are equally shared, for instance, by Ukrainians and

It is about the nation that has overthrown the tyranny almost at the same
time when the US President spoke about it taking the oath for the second
term in the Office. I believe that this fact turns Ukrainian nation into a
natural partner of the United States as a recognized global democratic
leader. Let me remind you that the U.S. President George Bush equated
Viktor Yushchenko and his role in Ukraine's history with that one of George

Developments in Ukraine revealed not only the intensity of human aspiration
for freedom. They also exposed how some people could cynically resort to
indiscriminate tools to suppress this aspiration.

While America was watching the revolution with astonishment and admiration,
the former administration in Ukraine concocted a myth that this revolution
was brought from American shores. Absurd as this myth may look, it
nevertheless captured many minds.

That brings me to a few observations. Modern democracy indeed traces its
roots to the United States. However, to say that George Washington and
Thomas Jefferson are fathers of the Orange revolution would be some

It is conventional wisdom that the United States being global player and
democratic leader is important for any democracy in the world. However, this
does not mean automatically that developments in Ukraine were masterminded
by Washington.

What was America for us in the Ukrainian opposition? It was an ideological
partner, guarantor that the democratic world would not turn a blind eye on
flagrant violation of basic human rights.

American idealists like John McCain helped the world to keep Ukrainian
elections in close focus, while American pragmatics like Richard Lugar
stepped in resolutely to defend democracy in Ukraine. They were not silent
when the government attempted to rig the elections, and they did not make
any concessions behind Ukrainian people backs.

As Ukrainian revolution was unfolding, the United States took a posture
innate to world democratic leader. So, for this - and NOT for an imaginary
"financing of the revolution" - I wish to extend my appreciation.


Ukraine invites the United States to the strategic partnership.

Democracy, justice and faith are binding Ukrainians and Americans. We share
the common goals: global promotion of democracy, fight against terrorism,
strengthening of European and Transatlantic security and ties. We actually
have no interests that are conflicting. Our views of future Europe are
converging. Our economic relations could be harmoniously intertwined.

I can see many arguments in favor of elevation of our relations to strategic
partnership. No argument against this idea is in sight. I see the future of
our relations as "partnership for democracy". This is not an alliance
against a third party. This is the alliance for promotion of high human
values that have become victorious for Ukraine in December 2004.

Ukraine presented the world with an attractive alternative and a viable
concept of "soft power", which could be more instrumental in making this
world a better place to live.

This should be the ideology to underpin our relations. As to its mechanism,
it is obvious that we have to resume dialogue on the highest political
level. The forthcoming visit of Viktor Yushchenko to the U.S. will be such a

I see bright prospects for development of our parliament-to-parliament
cooperation. As a former member of the Ukrainian legislative, I am aware
of a crucial role played by legislative branch in our nations. I am in favor
for stronger relations between the Rada and Congress.

American policy resides in the White House, but it is born on the Capitol
Hill. Therefore, it is twice as much pleasant for me that the US Congress
turned into the driving force of Ukrainian-American partnership.

The most encouraging words in support of democracy were emanated from
the Congress. The Congress sent unequivocal warning messages to those
who wanted to subvert the democracy. We find the most enthusiastic and
influential friends in the Congress now when it is high time to make steps
to each other.

To clear the hurdles that have hampered the development of our relations
in the past years is an important precondition for our successful relations.
Ukrainian Government works to ensure that every investor could feel
confident in Ukraine. Ukrainian parliament takes up the adoption of
intellectual property protection legislation as the highest priority.

We are aware of restitution of religious communities' property, and my
country would resolve this matter in a civilized and consistent manner.
Manifestations of anti-Semitism, racism and other ideology of hatred are
very rare in Ukraine.

On the whole, it is high time to adopt a new and overarching agenda for
relations between Ukraine and the United States. I am visiting Washington to
declare this aspiration of my nation, and to share my views how to bring it
into life. I believe that our ideas find response and support. So when the
President of Ukraine comes to Washington these ideas would be blessed
on the highest political level.


Touching upon the new agenda, I cannot but expound the most pressing issues
that to our mind could be resolved already now.

It is with satisfaction that I observe increasing number of politicians in
Washington who support the graduation of Ukraine from the Jackson-Vanick
amendment, establishment of normal trade regime relations, and accession to
the WTO. I think it is beyond doubt that application of Jackson-Vanick
amendment to Ukraine is to be reconsidered. For modern Ukraine to be an
object of this legislation is like wearing clothes of a dead person
notorious for its dreadful taste and character.

Normal trade relations are equally indispensable part of partnership as
normal political relations.

The spirit of the new Ukrainian Government is to convert "political
miracle" into "economic miracle". "It's economy, stupid" - reflected Bill
Clinton at the presidential elections in 1996. However humorous this
principle may sound, it is perhaps still universal.

In the modern world the success of the nation is measured not in ideological
slogans, but economic indicators. Therefore, whoever wishes success to
Ukrainian democracy should think in economic terms.

The first question that comes to my mind in this regard is the accession of
Ukraine to the WTO. The President of Ukraine listed it among priority issues
for this year.

Speaking about 'precious time,' I would like to briefly reflect on yet
another aspect of Ukrainian-American relations. Those closely watching the
relations between Ukraine and the US can confirm that we have already heard
the abundant rhetoric on partnership. That was ten years ago, when
independent Ukraine voluntarily renounced its nuclear arsenal, and was
celebrated in the United States for this step.

What happened next was abysmal disappointment both for the United States
and democratic pro-European forces in Ukraine. In the nineties we fumbled
with many opportunities, but that lesson did not pass unnoticed. New
Ukrainian Government believes that in modern politics the main virtue is not
simply to say glibly what you are expected to say, but honesty and

For instance, we do not keep in secret the fact that Ukraine is going to
withdraw its troops from Iraq. This was the demand of Ukrainian voters. This
is the promise of the Ukrainian President to his people. However, there are
many aspects that we are constantly keeping in focus.

Ukraine will remain the US partner in the global war against terrorism.
Ukraine consistently supports the US efforts to prevent proliferation of
nuclear, chemical, biological and other types of the weapons of mass

We shall not take any step that might let down the Iraqi people and our
brothers in arms in Iraq. The United States and Poland that are Ukraine's
most consistent western allies. We shall do our best to ensure that there
will be no vacuum of security after the withdrawal. We shall substitute a
military component with our diversified presence in Iraq.


The new wind coming from Ukraine is bringing changes to Europe. At
present, two parts of one whole have to be married.

These are (1) European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Ukraine and (2)
non-readiness of the European Union and NATO to meet them.

We regard the European and Euro-Atlantic integration not as a political
fetish. We even do not consider it as a ticket to an elite club that would
bring panacea for all.

We know that the Orange revolution has strengthened our convictions that
only we could be masters of our prosperity and democracy.

Under such circumstances the EU and NATO are crucial for us because of
the following considerations.

FIRST, in the modern world these two organizations are equated with Europe
and "Western civilization", the one Vaclav Havel so well described in the
following words back in 1991:


That said the leader of the Czech Republic. The nation that had long been an
integral part of European civilization, and then for a couple of decades was
parted from it.

Alienation of Ukraine from Europe lasted much longer. However, Ukrainian
roots are traced in European civilization.

Where could we place the Kyiv Rus - one of the biggest European nations in
the times of Karl the Great? Could we send into oblivion Prince Yaroslav the
Wise, who was father-in-law for the big lump of Europe because kings of
Hungary, France and Norway married his daughters? Could we ever erase
from European history his daughter Anna who was the Queen of France?

Therefore, for Ukraine European and Euro-Atlantic integration is a
historical rather than political move.

SECOND, the European and Euro-Atlantic integration will mean final
recognition of Ukraine as a European nation. It ensures that Ukraine would
no longer be considered as a former colony.

THIRD, Ukraine in the EU and NATO will be a showcase of success in
political and economic terms.

In this regard I would like to address American political pundits. I know
that recently it has become a fashion to mention Ukraine as a "Eurasian
country". It suffices just to look at the map to learn that it is
geographically wrong. It is enough to look into textbook to learn that it is
historically wrong. In December it was enough to watch CNN headline news
to realize that it is politically incorrect.



When I reflected upon attractive examples that Ukraine found in the post-war
Western Europe and Poland of the 1990s, the United States were explicitly
and implicitly present in both cases. Supporting democracy in Europe has
become a historical tradition for your great nation.

The US contribution into the post-war European history is so significant
that your nation might be regarded as European as well as Asian and African.
Some criticize America for its "omnipresence". But millions of people have
grounds to look at the United States with admiration and gratitude.

One American writer joked that should advertising slogan be invented for the
US he would suggest: "Twenty millions of illegal immigrants can not be

To put it more seriously, America is one of the places on the planet where
the word "justice" is not a hollow promise. We may agree or disagree with
how Americans understand justice but we can not doubt your sincerity.

Now it would be just and fair to support Ukraine - the nation that
has overthrown a tyranny and builds its statehood on the same principals as
America does. Nation that can and should be a strategic partner of the
United States in the coming decades.

Thank You -30-
FOOTNOTE: I attended the luncheon sponsored by the International
Republican Institute (IRI) and the lecture at George Washington University.
Foreign Minister Tarsus's presentations were not exactly the same at
the two events but both of them contained the major themes and points
found in the above written text. The written text was obtained from an
assistant to the Foreign Minister, Myroslava Shcherbatiuk, who works in
the Office of the Minister in Kyiv and who was in Washington with the
Ambassador for this first official visit. EDITOR
Secret Team Helped Find Dioxin Poisoning

By Glenn Kessler and Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writers
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C,
Friday, March 11, 2005; Page A01

A team of U.S. doctors, headed by a University of Virginia professor,
secretly flew to Vienna in mid-December to assist in the treatment of
then-Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko, according to U.S.
officials, two of the doctors and the head of the Austrian clinic visited by

The team's role in Yushchenko's recovery from an apparently deliberate case
of massive dioxin poisoning has been undisclosed until now, largely because
U.S. officials and the doctors did not want to appear to interfere in the
political drama of the Ukrainian elections. Yushchenko, whose once-youthful
face was mysteriously transformed into a blotch of lesions after the
poisoning, visited the private Rudolfinerhaus clinic between the election
that was declared fraudulent and the election that resulted in his
presidential victory.

Yushchenko's election was a bitter blow to the Russian government, and even
today U.S. officials are reluctant to officially say they assisted the
medical team. Gregory Saathoff, the lead doctor and executive director of
U-Va.'s Critical Incident Analysis Group in Charlottesville, would confirm
only broad details after saying he received permission from the family to
discuss it "on a very limited basis." He said the U.S. government was not
involved in his team's work.

"It was clear that the U.S. government had no interest or ability in being
involved in this situation because this would be interference in the
election of another country," Saathoff said. "The U.S. government was
notably hands-off." But a senior U.S. official directly involved in the
operation said it began with a request from Yushchenko's family for
assistance, via an official in the Pentagon, and the State Department
provided logistical support during the doctors' overseas trip. He said
Saathoff kept in touch with the State Department in Washington, at one point
informing officials they suspected they were being followed -- by police or
even Russian intelligence agents -- and would cut their stay in Vienna short
by a day.

The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, John E. Herbst, and the U.S. Embassy in
Vienna also provided assistance, officials said. Herbst declined to comment

Michael Zimpfer, director of the clinic, said it was not experienced in
treating poison cases or bioterrorism and initially did not detect the
dioxin when Yushchenko first fell ill in September. He said the U.S. team
provided expertise for a "difficult, vexing case" and also a "qualified
second opinion" that helped determine Yushchenko's treatment.

Zimpfer was the public face of Yushchenko's care at the clinic, frequently
briefing the press. "He was the greatest cover because he was so willing to
take credit for everything," the U.S. official said.

Saathoff was recruited by Washington lawyer Robert A. McConnell and his
wife, Nadia, who runs the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation; the couple have been
friends with Yushchenko for more than a decade, McConnell said yesterday.

He said he found Saathoff through an informal recommendation from someone in
government, whom he declined to name. "When the poisoning took place, they
were having trouble getting any breakthroughs in Europe, so they asked us if
we could help," McConnell said.

In the fall, a member of the Ukrainian parliament traveled to Washington to
meet with McConnell and his wife, and also gave hair, nail and blood samples
from Yushchenko to Saathoff for analysis.

"They didn't want it to be known it was being done in the United States
because a major part of the campaign against him was anti-Americanism,"
McConnell said. The CIAG, located within U-Va.'s School of Medicine, is a
think tank that focuses on helping the public and government respond to
emergencies. Saathoff said he organized a team of about six U.S. doctors
in various specialties, including dermatology, neurology, toxicology and
neuroradiology. He would not name the other doctors, except for the
toxicologist -- Christopher Holstege of U-Va.

After reviewing Yushchenko's records with the help of interpreters from
U-Va.'s language department, Holstege said he sent an e-mail to Saathoff
on Oct. 31, in which he said dioxin was at the top of his list of culprits.
"It's not every day that you're asked to evaluate someone of this stature.

It's probably the poisoning of the century," he said. In December, Saathoff,
Holstege and another doctor traveled to Vienna to meet Yushchenko and
consult with his doctors. During the trip, Holstege's diagnosis was
confirmed by a lab in the Netherlands.

Dioxins are organic compounds that contain chlorine and are a byproduct in
the manufacture of many industrial chemicals. Zimpfer said the Dutch lab
determined that the level of dioxin in Yushchenko's blood was greater than
100,000 picograms per gram of fat; he said the maximum tolerable level is
believed to be about 30 picograms. A picogram is one-trillionth of a gram.

The U.S. official said there are indications that the substance found in
Yushchenko's body was similar to highly concentrated dioxin produced by a
Russian lab earlier in the decade. Zimpfer declined to comment, except to
say that prosecutors are working to identify possible sources.

Another U.S. official familiar with the Vienna trip said the possible
connection to the Russian lab did not mean the Russians were involved, since
the material could have been stolen. "We are not embarrassed by the truth,
but at bottom no one is able to say who did it. We just don't know," he

The trip ended with an amusing cloak-and-dagger coda. On Dec. 12, as the
doctors stood outside their hotel to head to the airport, a black, unmarked
car arrived and the driver announced, "Dr. Saathoff, this is your car." They
started to put their luggage in the trunk but suddenly became worried, since
they had not ordered a car. They quickly withdrew the bags and flagged a
cab to speed them to the airport.

The car had been arranged by the U.S. Embassy. -30-
PHOTO: Viktor Yushchenko as he appeared in July 2004, left, and in
December, right, after his face was disfigured by what was later determined
to be massive dioxin poisoning. (Efrem Lukatsky -- AP)
Impressed by Government's Efforts on Road to Recovery

By Orest Deychakiwsky, CSCE Staff Advisor
U.S. Committee for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE)
CSCE Digest, Vol. 38, No. 4
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, March 8, 2005

United States Helsinki Commission Co-Chairman Rep. Christopher H. Smith
(R-NJ) and Ranking Commission Member Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) met
with Ukrainian officials, non-governmental organizations, and religious
leaders in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 26-27, 2005. The delegation also laid
wreaths at the Memorial to the Victims of the 1932-33 Terror- Famine and at
the Babyn (Babi) Yar memorial.

The Commissioners had substantive and far-reaching meetings with Ukraine's
State Secretary Oleksandr Zinchenko, Foreign Minister Boris Tarasyuk,
Justice Minister Roman Zvarych, Minister of Transportation and
Communications Yevhen Chervonenko, and Chairman of the parliament's
Committee on Organized Crime and Corruption Volodymyr Stretovych. The
meetings covered many topics, including the lifting of the Jackson-Vanik
amendment and granting normal trade relations (NTR) status as well as
facilitating Ukraine's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Commissioners Smith and Cardin were impressed with the political will and
determination of Ukraine's Government officials as well as the
non-governmental organizations to work for positive change in Ukraine.

As an original cosponsor, Co-Chairman Smith noted the recent introduction of
a bill by House International Relations Committee Chairman Rep. Henry J.
Hyde (R-IL), which would grant Ukraine NTR. Commissioner Cardin affirmed
his support for NTR and Ukraine's joining WTO, noting that it was critical
for Ukraine to conclude intellectual property rights talks with the United
States. Discussions also centered on human trafficking, corruption, the
rule of law and human rights issues such as torture, the Gongadze case,
sustaining media freedoms, and on how the United States can best assist
Ukraine during this time of historic transition.

State Secretary Zinchenko expressed pleasure at the current state of
U.S.-Ukrainian bilateral relations, observing that both sides now have trust
in each other. He outlined President Viktor Yushchenko's priorities,
including combating corruption, extending a hand to business, protecting
private property, promoting respect for the rule of law - especially in
government entities such as the Interior Ministry, tax police and the
security services - as well as promoting the further development of civil

Secretary Zinchenko also emphasized the importance of U.S. investment in
Ukraine. The Commissioners and Ukrainian officials also discussed in detail
HIV/AIDS in Ukraine, which Zinchenko described as very acute and
far-reaching, and the proposed new Chornobyl shelter that will cover the
crumbling old sarcophagus.

Minister of Justice Roman Zvarych outlined the Justice Ministry's priorities
to encourage and ensure the rule of law. Securing human rights and
liberties would include such measures as getting the police to pay attention
to procedural norms and urging parliament to adopt necessary civil and
administrative procedural code changes. With respect to combating
corruption, Zvarych hopes to soon unveil a comprehensive "Clean Hands"
program, including a code of ethics.

Cleaning up the court system is another priority, and the Justice Ministry
has plans to take a variety of steps against judges engaged in corrupt
practices. The delegation and Zvarych discussed the issues of human
trafficking, torture of detainees, the Gongadze case, restitution of
religious property and national minority issues.

Chairman Volodymyr Stretovych and representatives of the International
Organization for Migration (IOM) gave a comprehensive briefing on the
problem of human trafficking in Ukraine, what steps are being taken by the
government and NGOs to combat this scourge and plans on further addressing
this important issue. A key concern was improving law enforcement
cooperation between Ukraine (as a country of origin for victims of
trafficking) and countries of destination.

U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Sheila Gwaltney hosted a meeting with
U.S. Embassy, U.S. Agency for International Development, and FBI officials
during which U.S. efforts to assist the new Ukrainian Government in
promoting the rule of law and combating human trafficking were discussed.
The delegation also visited an IOM-sponsored medical rehabilitation center
for trafficking victims. Human trafficking, as well as religious rights
issues, were also discussed in a meeting with Papal Nuncio Archbishop Ivan

Ambassador John Herbst organized and hosted a discussion with NGO
representatives from Freedom House, Institute for Mass Information, the
Chernihiv-based organization Dobrochyn and the Ukrainian Helsinki Human
Rights Union. Mykhaylo Horyn, former Soviet political prisoner and head of
the pro-independence movement Rukh in the early 1990s, also participated in
the meeting. The delegation met with Jewish representatives, including the
new Minister of Transportation and Communications Yevhen Chervonenko who is
also Vice-President of the Eurasian Jewish Congress. They discussed matters
pertaining to Ukraine's Jewish community, assessing them positively.

Foreign Minister Tarasyuk expressed gratitude to the Helsinki Commission for
its active work in support of democracy in Ukraine and stated that the clear
position of Congress and the U.S. Government, including support for a strong
contingent of international election observers during the recent elections,
effectively helped Ukrainian democracy. In raising Jackson-Vanik
graduation, market economy status, and the WTO, Minister Tarasyuk cited
strong readiness and willingness on the part of the Ukrainian Government to
remove obstacles on their part, including a promise to submit in the Rada
shortly a draft law on intellectual property rights.

Minister Tarasyuk and the Commissioners also discussed the vital importance
of ongoing OSCE election observation, Ukrainian-Russian relations, and
Ukraine's strengthened role in resolving the long-festering
Moldova-Trandniestria conflict.

The United States Helsinki Commission, an independent federal agency, by law
monitors and encourages progress in implementing provisions of the Helsinki
Accords. The Commission, created in 1976, is composed of nine Senators, nine
Representatives and one official each from the Departments of State, Defense
and Commerce. -30- (The Action Ukraine Report Monitoring Service)

By Natalia A. Feduschak in Kyiv, The Washington Times
Washington, D.C., Friday, March 11, 2005

KIEV -- Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma was questioned yesterday in
connection with the 2000 slaying of Georgy Gongadze, an Internet journalist
who investigated government corruption. Prosecutors said Mr. Kuchma came in
before lunch for questioning as a witness in the case, but they refused to
say how long the session lasted or what was discussed. It is not clear
whether he will be questioned again.

Mr. Kuchma's opponents have accused him of giving the order that led to Mr.
Gongadze's abduction in 2000. The journalist's decapitated body was found
more than a month later in a forest outside Kiev. Mr. Kuchma has denied all
accusations. "Kuchma has said that his conscience is clean before God, the
people and before Gongadze," the Associated Press quoted his spokeswoman
Olena Hromnitska as saying.

President Viktor Yushchenko, whose December election victory ushered the
opposition into power, has said solving the Gongadze case was a matter of
honor for him and his administration.
"The world wants to know why [Mr. Gongadze] was killed and who organized
it," Mr. Yushchenko told European ministers meeting in Kiev, the Ukrainian
capital, about mass-media issues yesterday.

Last Friday, former Interior Minister Yury Kravchenko was found fatally shot
in an apparent suicide hours before his scheduled questioning in the case.
Mr. Gongadze's slaying and the release of secret recordings that purportedly
implicate Mr. Kuchma sparked massive street protests and became a rallying
cry that helped unite the opposition in this ex-Soviet republic, propelling
it to power last year. -30- (The Action Ukraine Report Monitoring Service)
People's Union "Our Ukraine" party announced in Ukraine

By Taras Kuzio, Eurasia Daily Monitor
Volume 2, Issue 47, The Jamestown Foundation
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 9, 2005

On March 4-5, President Viktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine bloc transformed
itself into a political party, the People's Union "Our Ukraine." The
original bloc was formed after parliament's April 2001 no-confidence vote
removed Yushchenko's government. The bloc, consisting of 10 liberal and
center-right parties, came first in the proportional half of the 2002
elections with 23.57%, handing the Communist Party (KPU) its first defeat in
an election.

The creation of the People's Union represents Ukraine's third attempt at
creating a party aligned with the executive. The first effort was Prime
Minister Valeriy Pustovoitenko's People's Democratic Party (NDP) in 1998,
but like Boris Yeltsin's "Our Home is Russia," it never became a reliable
ally for the executive branch. A half-hearted attempt to transform the "For
a United Ukraine" bloc into a party of power failed when it disintegrated
immediately after the 2002 elections.

Neither Yeltsin nor Ukraine's Leonid Kuchma took party creation seriously,
refusing even to head parties of power. Their successors have a much
different attitude. In Russia, United Russia became the leading party after
the merger of Vladimir Putin's Unity with the Fatherland-All Russia bloc of
former prime minister Yevgeny Primakov and Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov. But
while Putin has refused to head United Russia, Yushchenko agreed to be the
honorary head of the People's Union "Our Ukraine."

The outlines of the new party of power are already taking shape. Although
two successor wings of the Ukrainian Popular Movement (Rukh) are members
of Our Ukraine, both have refused to join the new party. Yuriy Kostenko's
Ukrainian People's Party (UNP) and Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk's Rukh
plan to enter the 2006 elections independently. But as more rank-and-file
members defect to Yushchenko's People's Union, leaders of UNP and Rukh will
likely realize they have little chance of crossing the 3% threshold in next
year's parliamentary race. If the threshold is indeed raised to 5%, pressure
will grow to merge with Yushchenko's group.

A recent Razumkov Center poll found that only five parties would pass the 4%
threshold used in the 1998 and 2002 elections. Yushchenko's party leads with
30%, six points higher than its finish in 2002. The Socialists and Yulia
Tymoshenko's Fatherland party obtain 4-5% each. Among the opposition, the
KPU has a miserly 4.8%, down from 20% in 2002. Former prime minister Viktor
Yanukovych's Regions of Ukraine came second overall with 17%.

A third group in the Our Ukraine bloc is more amenable to merging into the
new party of power. These political forces represent the more liberal,
pragmatic wing of the national democratic camp and are represented by Petro
Poroshenko's Solidarity, Oleh Rybachuk's Razom group, Viktor Pynzenyk's
Reforms and Order Party, and Kyiv Mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko's Unity party.
The Reforms and Order Party renamed itself "Our Ukraine" last summer but is
willing to surrender this brand name to Yushchenko.

Yushchenko's People's Union "Our Ukraine" will possess a more pragmatic
and civic nationalist political face than the romantic nationalism of Rukh.
The cultural intellectuals and Writers Union who played such a prominent
role in Rukh, giving it its romantic nationalist orientation, did not play a
prominent role in the 2004 elections.

During the founding congress of the new party, Yushchenko publicly appealed
for two other parties to be his allies in the 2006 election campaign. As
expected, one such potential ally is Prime Minister Tymoshenko's bloc. After
becoming prime minister, Tymoshenko refused to give up her party leadership,
but she has publicly accepted the idea of an alliance with Yushchenko's new
party. Yushchenko's other appeal was to parliamentary speaker Volodymyr
Lytvyn's People's Party of Ukraine (NPU). So far Lytvyn has not responded to
the invitation.

Lytvyn's NPU, the re-named Agrarian Party, was never enamored by Yanukovych
as a presidential candidate. Even though the Agrarians officially endorsed
Yanukovych, many rank-and-file members worked for the Yushchenko campaign.
Since the presidential elections the NPU parliamentary faction has grown to
be the fourth largest thanks to defections from other centrist parties.

Yushchenko is courting Lytvyn for two reasons. First, to thank him for
staying neutral during the 2004 elections, keeping parliament open, and
supporting the parliamentary resolution condemning the official result of
round two. Second, to prevent Lytvyn from aligning with centrists who now
oppose Yushchenko.

Nevertheless, courting Lytvyn has a price. It suggests that the Yushchenko
team does not believe Lytvyn will be charged with a role in the murder of
opposition journalist Heorhiy Gongadze.

Yushchenko hopes that the People's Union will inherit the spirit of the
Orange Revolution. The party also hopes to capitalize on popular measures
undertaken between now and the 2006 elections. Yushchenko's speech attacked
the oligarchs, suggesting he may mirror Putin's successful attack on the
former ruling elites.

Yushchenko remains very popular. A Razumkov Center opinion poll found that
55.1% of respondents believe that he defends Ukraine's national interests
and nearly 50% support his actions. Some 41.5% back Prime Minister
Tymoshenko. In comparison, Ukraine's "opposition" has very low ratings. KPU
leader Petro Symonenko is supported by 9.5% (but opposed by 55.3%), while
Yanukovych is opposed by 50.4%. (Ukrayinska pravda, March 3-7; Zerkalo
nedeli, March 5) -30- (The Action Ukraine Report Monitoring Service)
What else is on the Gongadze tapes and where are they?

The Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 2, Issue 59
The Jamestown Foundation
Washington, D.C, Friday, March 11, 2005

As an Interior Ministry colonel confesses to the murder of opposition
journalist and Ukrayinska pravda founder Heorhiy Gongadze, one major issue
remains; namely what evidence will the courts accept? (Segodnya, March 9)

Former presidential guard Mykola Melnychenko secretly recorded 700 hours
of tapes in President Leonid Kuchma's office during 1999 and 2000. During
Kuchma's reign the authorities first denied the tapes' existence and later
claimed they had been doctored as a "conspiracy" against Kuchma.
Prosecutor-General Hennadiy Vasylev refused to consider the tapes as
evidence and claimed they probably no longer existed (Ukrayinska pravda,
September 13, 2004).

Just before the 2004 presidential elections, the prosecutor-general's
officer paid 850,000 hryvni (approximately $70,000) for an "expert analysis"
of copies of the tapes (Melnychenko kept the originals) that concluded that
the voices could not be adequately identified and were probably doctored.

Five international media organizations (Reporters Without Frontiers, the
British National Union of Journalists, the International Union of
Journalists, Article 19, and the Institute of Mass Media) condemned the
results, noting "The expertise ordered by the Ukrainian government took
place in conditions of maximum secrecy" (Ukrayinska pravda, September 13,

Melnychenko responded by releasing new excerpts ahead of the elections.
These included a conversation in summer 2000 between Kuchma and then-
Donetsk governor Viktor Yanukovych about plans to create a Donetsk faction
in parliament. Both are heard scheming how to buy up deputies for the new
faction. They wanted 15-20 Communists and hoped to eliminate the Socialist
and Fatherland party factions (Ukrayinska pravda, October 2 and 21, 2004).

In an interesting twist, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that
the Ukrainian authorities were wrong to deny Melnychenko the 15th slot on
the Socialist Party list in the 2002 elections. If Melnychenko returns to
Ukraine, he will therefore have the right to take any vacant seat in the
Socialist faction (Ukrayinska pravda, February 1). Melnychenko's presence in
the Ukrainian parliamentary chamber would certainly make for lively
proceedings, to say the least.

Melnychenko has been given "guarantees" for his safety, were he to return to
Ukraine. Prosecutor-General Sviatyslav Piskun has closed the treason case
filed when he fled Ukraine in November 2000. Piskun invited Melnychenko to
return to Ukraine and conduct a joint analysis of the tapes with
international experts.

But Melnychenko, like Gongadze's widow, Myroslava, does not trust Piskun due
to his history with Kuchma (Piskun was Prosecutor-General in 2002-2003).
After former interior minister Yuriy Kravchenko was found dead on March 4,
Melnychenko feared for his own life. Exiled Russian oligarch Boris
Berezovsky sent a private plane to bring him from Warsaw to London, where
Berezovsky lives. Melnychenko claims that the FBI warned him on four
previous occasions that his life was in danger.

Melnychenko will not surrender the original tapes to Piskun. He believes
that Kravchenko's death is part of a deliberate cover up to shield Kuchma,
parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, and former Security Service (SBU)
chairman Leonid Derkach (Ukrayinska pravda, March 8).

Where are the original tapes and what is on the other 670 hours? Volodymyr
Tsvil, Ukraine's former consul in Munich and a former Socialist Party
member, helped Melnychenko escape from Ukraine by car into Poland and put
Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz in touch with Melnychenko in summer

According to Tsvil, most of the compact discs containing the taped
conversations are in a bank vault in Liechtenstein, not with Melnychenko.
Tsvil believes only a fraction of the conversations have been released,
because the tapes are actually owned by Melnychenko's still-anonymous
supporters (Kyiv Post, July 1, 2004).

In February 2004 Melnychenko, according to Tsvil, held secret meetings with
SBU officers who brought a $500,000 "inducement," that Melnychenko refused
(Kyiv Post, March 3). He also attempted to meet senior presidential
administration officials such as Serhiy Levochkin, who recently became an
adviser to Lytvyn.

Moroz and Melnychenko have both complained that President Viktor Yushchenko
is also disinterested in using the tapes as evidence in a trial, because two
senior Yushchenko officials are heard on the tapes. These two have not been
identified, but rumors suggest they are presidential administration chief
Oleksandr Zinchenko (a senior Social Democratic United Party member until he
defected to Yushchenko in mid-2003) and National Security and Defense
Council Secretary Petro Poroshenko (whose Solidarity Party had links to a
leading Donetsk member of Regions of Ukraine, Mykola Azarov, until
Poroshenko defected to Yushchenko in 2001).

Admitting the tapes into evidence would have several implications. Portions
of the tapes have been verified by both a U.S. company headed by a former
FBI expert (BEK TEK) as well as by an FBI laboratory. BEK TEK concluded that
Kuchma is indeed heard speaking to Kravchenko and Derkach about Gongadze,
while the FBI verified Kuchma's voice authorizing the sale of Kolchuga
radars to Iraq.

With no law granting ex-presidents immunity, Kuchma is unlikely to escape
blame. He continues to deny that he ever gave an "illegal order" to "deal
with" Gongadze and defended Kravchenko, who declared his innocence in his
suicide note. Kuchma's plan to be an elder statesman running his Ukrayina
Foundation may now be diverted to a quiet retirement in the dacha near
Moscow reportedly ready should Kuchma have to flee Ukraine. -30-
U.S. Ambassador describes Armenian historical massacre as "genocide"

By Emil Danielyan, The Eurasia Daily Monitor
Volume 2, Issue 46, The Jamestown Foundation
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, March 8, 2005

A senior U.S. diplomat has caused a stir in America's relations with Turkey
and Armenia by publicly declaring that the 1915-1918 killings of some 1.5
million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire was "the first genocide of the 20th
century." The statements by Washington's ambassador in Yerevan, John Evans,
contradicted a long-running U.S. policy that is widely perceived to be
pro-Turkish in Armenia and its worldwide Diaspora.

Many Armenians now wonder if Evans signaled a change in that policy. Some of
them expect the administration of President George W. Bush to become more
assertive in its efforts to get Turkey to drop its preconditions for
normalizing relations with Armenia.

Evans repeatedly referred to the mass killings of Ottoman Armenians as
"genocide" at a series of meetings late last month with members of the
influential Armenian community in the United States. "I think it is
unbecoming of us as Americans to play word games here. I believe in calling
things by their name," he stated at one of those meetings.

The Armenian-Americans must have been stunned with what they heard. They
have one of the most powerful ethnic lobbies on Capitol Hill and have spent
decades campaigning for official U.S. recognition of the Armenian genocide.
Former President Ronald Reagan was the only U.S. government official to
have described the mass killings as genocide before.

All of Reagan's successors avoided using the politically sensitive word,
anxious not to upset Turkey, which vehemently denies that the killings of
Armenians were part of a premeditated policy pursued by the last Ottoman
rulers. Bill Clinton, for example, went as far as to effectively block the
almost-certain passage of a Congressional resolution affirming the genocide
in October 2000.

Washington was quick to disown Evans's remarks. The ambassador himself
issued a statement on February 28 saying that they were an "inappropriate"
expression of his personal opinion. "What Ambassador Evans decided to do
really and truthfully was his own initiative that absolutely contradicts the
policy of the U.S. government as articulated by our president," a senior
Bush administration official told RFE/RL two days later. "He did not clear
his remarks with the State Department," the official added.

However, Armenian-American leaders believe that Evans's remarks were hardly
accidental or spontaneous. The diplomat, they say, is too experienced to
speak out on such a sensitive subject without consulting with his superiors.

Commentators in Yerevan agreed with this line of reasoning. The daily Hayots
Ashkhar wrote that the remarks were "undoubtedly agreed with the U.S.
administration." "The statement by Ambassador Evans was aimed at sending
a message to Ankara," claimed another paper, Azg.

That message, Armenian observers say, could be a renewed U.S. push for the
reopening of the Turkish-Armenian border -- something that the Americans
believe would substantially ease tensions between the two historical foes
and shore up stability in the volatile region. Ankara shut the border in
1993, at the height of the Armenian-Azerbaijani war for Karabakh, out of
solidarity with Azerbaijan. It has since made the lifting of the embargo
conditional on a resolution of the Karabakh conflict.

According to a government-connected American scholar who chaired the
U.S.-backed Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC), they nearly
yielded in the summer of 2003 when the Armenian-American lobbying groups
were trying to push yet another genocide resolution through Congress. David
L. Phillips writes in his recently published book, Unsilencing the Past,
that Vice-President Dick Cheney and other top administration officials
warned visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul at the time that the
White House will have trouble scuttling such resolutions if the
Turkish-Armenian border is not reopened. Phillips says the frontier remained
closed because U.S. pressure on Ankara eased in the following months due
to a deteriorating security situation in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Armenian-American lobbying groups are seizing upon the
controversy for a fresh attempt to win explicit genocide recognition from
the Bush administration in the run-up to the April 24 Genocide Remembrance
Day marked by Armenians around the world. While condemning "one of the
great tragedies of history," the current U.S. president until now has
stopped short of calling it genocide in his annual April 24 messages to the
Armenian community. What Bush says this time around could give answers
to the questions raised by his Yerevan-based envoy's pronouncements.
(RFE/RL Armenia Report, February 28, March 2; Hayots Ashkhar, February 28;
Azg, February 28) -30- (The Action Ukraine Report Monitoring Service)
Articles are Distributed For Information, Research, Education
Discussion and Personal Purposes Only
"Working to Secure Ukraine's Future"

1. THE BLEYZER FOUNDATION, Dr. Edilberto Segura, Chairman;
Victor Gekker, Executive Director, Kyiv, Ukraine; Washington, D.C.,
2. BAHRIANY FOUNDATION, INC., Dr. Anatol Lysyj, Chairman,
Minneapolis, Minnesota,
3. KIEV-ATLANTIC GROUP, David and Tamara Sweere, Daniel
Sweere, Kyiv and Myronivka, Ukraine, 380 44 295 7275 in Kyiv.
4. ODUM- Association of American Youth of Ukrainian Descent,
Minnesota Chapter, Natalia Yarr, Chairperson.
Zenia Chernyk, Chairperson; Vera M. Andryczyk, President;
Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania.
(UACC), Ihor Gawdiak, President, Washington, D.C., New York, NY
C. U.S.-UKRAINE FOUNDATION (USUF), Nadia Komarnyckyj
McConnell, President; John Kun, Vice President/Chief Operating
Officer, Washington, D.C.; Markian Bilynskyj, Vice President/ Director
of Field Operations, Kyiv, Ukraine. Web:
Yeutter, Cargill Inc., Interim President; Jack Reed, ADM, Interim
Vice President; Morgan Williams, Interim Secretary-Treasurer
7. ESTRON CORPORATION, Grain Export Terminal Facility &
Oilseed Crushing Plant, Ilvichevsk, Ukraine
"THE ACTION UKRAINE REPORT" is an in-depth news and
analysis international newsletter, produced as a free public service by
the Information Service and The Action Ukraine
Report Monitoring Service The report is distributed around the world
FREE of charge using the e-mail address:

If you would like to read "THE ACTION UKRAINE REPORT" please
send your name, country of residence, and e-mail contact information to Additional names are welcome. If you do not wish to
read "THE ACTION UKRAINE REPORT" around five times per
week, let us know by e-mail to
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs
Washington Office, SigmaBleyzer Investment Banking Group
P.O. Box 2607, Washington, D.C. 20013, Tel: 202 437 4707;
Senior Advisor; Ukrainian Federation of America (UFA)
Coordinator, Action Ukraine Coalition (AUC)
Senior Advisor, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF)
Interim Secretary-Treasurer, Ukraine-U.S. Business Council
Publisher, Ukraine Information Website,