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Archive for October 15th, 2008

Antimonopoly committee is going in with raiders of oil products

Posted by the Editor on October 15, 2008


News / 15 October 2008 | 17:50

Antimonopoly committee is going in with raiders of oil products

Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) began thorough inspection of activity of raiders of oil and oil products in Kyiv Region concerning possible plot of setting of simultaneous equal price of A-95 petrol, the press service of the AMCU informs.

According to the results of monitoring of the market of light oil the Committee fixed synchronous price rise of the A-95 petrol up to UAH 6.15 at the most part of refueling stations of Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast.

Taking into account that for importers and producers components of fuel price are different, the AMCU will study grounds for fixing of just this price, the press service states. 

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Carpathian Region preparing volunteers for Maydan?

Posted by the Editor on October 15, 2008


News / 15 October 2008 | 17:00

Carpathian Region preparing volunteers for Maydan?

500 volunteers from Ivano-Frankivsk prepare for going to Kyiv to the Maydan 2008. according to the source of information, youth and public organizations of Ivano-Frankivsk Region discuss participation of their activists in the anniversary of Maydan.

Traveling expenses and losses for food and habitation will be covered. Information about measure is spread out on telephone and in close e-mail letters. People must be ready to go to Kyiv, pickup will be detailed in the near future.  

They did not give names of organizers of the anniversary of Maydan.

 

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There will be no elections on December 7 – Ukrainian Voters Committee

Posted by the Editor on October 15, 2008


News / 15 October 2008 | 16:14

There will be no elections on December 7 – Ukrainian Voters Committee

There will be no elections on December 7. Even if on Friday the court unblocks the elections process, it will be unreal to organize them, even if there are necessary means.

Oleksandr Chernenko, speaker of the Ukrainian Voters Committee stated at a press conference.

According to him, the prolongation of elections is benefit for many, even if not for all political parties, including initiators of these elections.

“While the date of the elections is postponed, everybody will work in the regime of election campaign, agitating and holding negotiations concerning composition of participation in the elections,” Chernenko considers.

According to the speaker of the Ukrainian Voters Committee, elections will not take place, if the BYuT doesn’t want this, as the most important for today is availability of means for elections.

Chernenko reminded the law on elections where it is said that elections are financed at the expense of the State budget and means must be allocated from the budget.

“Most likely elections will be after the New Year, in the second half of January or at the beginning of February,” Chernenko summarized.

 

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Tymoshenko to hold consultations on stabilizing situation in Ukraine

Posted by the Editor on October 15, 2008


News / 15 October 2008 | 15:10

Tymoshenko to hold consultations on stabilizing situation in Ukraine

Tymoshenko to hold consultations on stabilizing situation in Ukraine

After the visit to Brussels, Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko will hold consultations on stabilizing the situation in Ukraine.

According to UNIAN, she claimed this to a news conference in Brussels, after a meeting with Javier Solana, EU Council Secretary General, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Yulia Tymoshenko stressed that the issue of coordinating activities of Ukraine and the European Union for overcoming the world financial crisis consequences will be seriously discussed during her today’s visit to Brussels.

“As soon as I return in Ukraine, I will organize another round of consultations with the President, the opposition leader, and all factions leaders, for they become responsible for fixing al elements of politics, and, consequently – for they consolidate their activities to prevent the world financial crisis consequences”, Yulia Tymoshenko said.

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Sponsors will save money at the elections

Posted by the Editor on October 15, 2008


News / 15 October 2008 | 14:20

Sponsors will save money at the elections

Due to repeated elections the sponsors of the main political players will revolt. Leading politicians and experts of Ukraine expressed their opinion at the press conference.

In particular, Our Ukraine deputy Yaroslav Djodjik considers that all these attempts to appeal the presidential decree on dismissal of the parliament are caused by the “sponsors’ strike.”

According to him, those who paid for the list places now say that they paid for 4 years, not 1, “and these sponsors are pressing the leaders of the blocs to fight against re-elections.”

At the same time, the president of “Penta” political research center Volodymyr Fecenko noted that the parties’ sponsor have not compensated the money spent at the previous elections, “and now they are thinking about future presidential election.”

“It is a problem for them now to spend big money for the early parliamentary elections. I would say that even if the elections take place, the campaign would be more economical, even ‘ascetic’ than the previous ones, for example,” Fecenko noted.

According to him, the parties and blocs will fight for the victory, but will look for the variants which requires less expenses.

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Opinion: Every third Ukrainian will become unemployed

Posted by the Editor on October 15, 2008


News / 15 October 2008 | 12:40

Opinion: Every third Ukrainian will become unemployed

As a result of the economic crisis every third Ukrainian can become unemployed. Vice president of “Industrial union of Donbass” Oleksandr Pylypenko expressed his opinion in an interview with “Kommersant-Ukraine.”

“This crisis is systemic. The problem will touch everybody. The matter will concern not only metallurgy or “Industrial union of Donbass”, but the whole country. We are facing the situation occurred in the United States in 1929. I think every third Ukrainian will become unemployed soon,” Pylypenko.

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SBU opens Information Center in Kyiv

Posted by the Editor on October 15, 2008


Analytics / 15 October 2008 | 12:02

SBU opens Information Center in Kyiv

SBU opens Information Center in Kyiv

In order to facilitate the impartial coverage of the Ukrainian history, consolidation of society and exposure of stereotypes and myths about the events of the 20th century, the Security Service of Ukraine, SBU, has engaged in the systemic work to declassify and publicize its archive documents throwing light on the operations of Soviet security services and the liberation movement in Ukraine.

Working group of historians to study OUN/UPA activities

In early 2008, a working group of historians to study OUN/UPA activities was set at the SBU. The group was made up of members of various state and public organizations: the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, the State Committee of Archives of Ukraine, the Institute of History at the National Academy of Sciences, the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University, the SBU National University, the SBU archive and the Memorial Society.   

According to work group members, their research will focus on the liberation movement in Ukraine from 1920 through 1991. As separate aspects, the dissidents’ movement of the 1960s – 1970s as well as the democratic movement of the 1980s – 1990s will be examined. As a priority task, the group will study the documents of the SBU central and oblast archives. 

The work group goal is to attract scholars for the examination of archive materials and the implementation of joint research and publication projects.

The group’s chair is SBU head’s adviser Volodymyr Vyatrovych, Ph.D (History). His contact phone is (380 44) 239-70-93

Center for the study of documents related to the history of the Ukrainian liberation movement

At present, the SBU is possessor of the largest amount of materials related to OUN/UPA activities. However, these materials have been studied inadequately and were not accessible to the public. Given highly mixed and controversial feelings on these issues existing in Ukraine, the declassification and publication of archives is of crucial importance. 

Accordingly, the center for the study of documents about the history of the liberation movement was set up in June 2008. The center is part of the SBU state archive. The center’s main purposes are:

[1] searching, studying, systematization and declassification of archive materials related to the history of the liberation movement;

[2] creation of an annotated electronic directory of materials; 

[3] implementation of publication projects, preparation of books and articles, organization of public hearings related to OUN/UPA activities;

[4] enrollment of NGOs in the study of documents about the liberation movement, cooperation with domestic and foreign research and public organizations involved in the study of OUN/UPA history.

The center can be reached at: phone: (044) 256-98-32, fax: (044) 253-13-86, email: arhivsbu@ssu.gov.ua

SBU information center launched October 2, 2008

Oct. 2, 2008, the Security Service of Ukraine, SBU, launched its Information Center (IC) [in Kyiv] including an open electronic archive – to simplify access to materials stored in the SSU archive. [I attended this event in Kyiv, AUR Editor]

Over the past several years the SBU has been actively involved in declassifying documents related to the operations of Soviet security services and the history of liberation movement in Ukraine.

The IC provides an opportunity to get acquainted with electronic copies of archive documents. All documents have been arranged according to various topics (1932-1933 Holodomor, OUN/UPA Activities, Repression in Ukraine, Movement of Dissidents, etc.)

The IC also gives access to a large number of photographs, scientific journals and books, electronic versions of exhibitions and presentations. At present, the IC has 8 workplaces. The IC’s easy search system will be convenient to scholars, journalists and students of Ukrainian history working with original materials.

As declassification and conversion of materials into electronic form continues, the IC database is updated daily. Simultaneously, SBU has appealed to institutions, NGOs, and individuals who own archive documents related to the specified topics, asking them to make their materials available to IC visitors. 

The SBU Information Center is located at the following address: 4 Irynska St., Kyiv, Ukraine; Phone: 380 44 255-82-24.

Electronic archive of national memory

The SBU, jointly with the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, has initiated the formation of an electronic archive of national memory. The archive will make it possible to facilitate the study of liberation movement history and contribute to the emergence of its uniform assessment by Ukrainians.

At present, the bulk of related materials is stored in state and law-enforcement agencies archives as well as the archives run by NGOs and individual researchers, both in Ukraine and abroad. The purpose of establishing the electronic archive is to create a unified database allowing a comprehensive study of the 20th century liberation movement history. Stage 1 of such work which is already under way is to convert SBU archive documents into electronic form.

Archive materials are being arranged according to the recommendations of Ukraine’s research institutions and scholars. The final analysis of documents is carried out by the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, an authorized central executive body for restoring and preserving the national memory. The electronic archive database is to be published by the official sites of SBU and UINM.

Publication projects

A lot of attention is being given to the publication of documents from the SBU archive.

[1] The book titled “Declassified Memory. 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine as reflected by GPU/NKVD documents” was prepared by the SBU with the assistance from the “Ukrayina 3000” international charity foundation, the country’s academic institutes and scholars as well as the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory.

The book, for the first time in the Ukrainian history, presents a complete range of Soviet security services documents (the State Political department, GPU, and the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affaires, NKVD), unveiling the causes, strategies and consequences of the 1932-1933 Holodomor, the most severe tragedy which afflicted Ukraine in the 20th century.

The documents throw light on massive political repression by state security agencies, including efforts to quash the truth about the Famine and providing a credible source for the study of activities by central and local executive officials and party leaders in 1932-1933. For over 70 years these materials were classified and not accessible to researchers.  The book also includes research articles analyzing various aspects of the Holodomor.

[2] “Roman Shukhevych in the Documents of Soviet State Security Agencies” is a collection of materials about various aspects of the life of UPA Commander-in-Chief Roman Shukhevych. The book was published jointly with the Center for Ukrainian Studies at Kyiv Shevchenko National University.

[3] Another book on the 1932-1933 Holodomor is currently being prepared jointly by the Interior Ministry and the Administration of Poland.  It is the 7th volume to be published within the framework of the “Poland and Ukraine in the 30s and 40s of the 20th century. Unknown documents in secret services archives,” research/publication project between Ukraine’s SBU and its Polish partners.

The book titled “1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine in the documents of Soviet and Polish secret services” will come out in the Ukrainian and Polish ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor. The book’s presentation is scheduled in Kyiv as part of the events to mark the Day of Memory for the victims of holodomors. Later, the book will be translated into English and presented in the United States, Canada and Europe.  

Volume 7 will include documents and materials presenting the points of view on the Holodomor taken by Polish and Ukrainian researchers. The book is unique as the materials have been studied by an international team of scholars. 

The book will contain materials from the SBU archive and Poland’s military archive. The Polish documents include the reports by the Polish police and diplomats hitherto unknown to the wide public. The documents provided by the SSU archive have also not been published before. This research/publication project, whose first volume came out in print in 1998, is supported by presidents Viktor Yushchenko and Lech Kaczynski.

Public hearings

With the participation of the work group of historians, the SBU launched a series of public hearings of scholars, journalists and members of the public in order to shed light and discuss the Ukrainian liberation movement, attracting newly declassified documents.

In 2008, for instance, the following public hearin
gs were held: “Operations of secret agents and guerilla groups,” “UPA: its trail in history”, “Accusations against the Nachtigall Unit – historical truth or political games,” “OUN activities in Central and Eastern Ukraine,” “Role of Jews in the Ukrainian liberation movement.” Public hearings are open to interested individuals.   

Exhibitions

Based on declassified materials from SBU archives, three road-show topical exhibitions were arranged. Along with the already showcased “UPA: History of the Unconquered”, the two others are “Roman Shukhevych” and “Declassified Memory.” 

“Declassified Memory” which portrays the 1932-1933 Holodomor was showcased in all the regions of Ukraine, attracting about 100,000 visitors. Exhibition materials have been handed over to the foreign ministry for translation into other languages and presentation worldwide. 

List of Holodomor perpetrators

The SBU publicised and placed on its website the first list of high-ranking Communist party and state officials who were heads of punitive bodies OGPU (United State Political Department) and GPU (State Political Department) in 1932-1933 as well as the documents signed by these officials that formed a legal and organizational base for perpetrating the Holodomor and massive political repression. 

The documents give conclusive evidence of the fact that the 1932-1933 Holodomor-Genocide was deliberately engineered by the totalitarian Communist regime. 

To make the archive materials on the organizers and culprits of Holodomor as well as the documents signed by them more accessible, SBU offered website visitors an opportunity not only to familiarize themselves with the list of perpetrators but also access orders, Communist party politburo protocols, secret instructions to party activists, instructions on how to apply the notorious “Law on the Five Ears,” directives on arrests in the rural areas, etc.  

Such kind of publication initiates a new project involving SBU archives, and the Security Service of Ukraine urged the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, the State Committee of Archives, lawyers, experts of other law-enforcement agencies’ archives, Holodomor researchers, members of NGOs to join in to evaluate the activities of Holodomor organizers and perpetrators and eventually bring them to justice for committing crimes in Ukraine.

Cooperation with other countries

The SBU is involved in cooperation with respective agencies in other countries of the world, primarily in the former CIS republics, with the purpose of finding and exchanging information about the victims of political repression by the totalitarian regime in the USSR.

Accordingly, the SBU cooperates with the Committee for National Security of Kazakhstan, having received information regarding 15,675 Ukrainians who were victims of repression and served their sentences in Kazakhstan in 1920s-1950s. 

Notably, the Kazakh security service provided a list of 7,103 Ukrainians and victims of the Steplah concentration camp and 915 victims of the Karlah camp (near Karahanda). In addition, regional branches of the CNS handed over lists of 7,657 Ukrainians who, according to their archives,  were kept in other concentration camps.

Simultaneously, the SBU handed over to Kazakh authorities a list of 85 natives of Kazakhstan who had been imprisoned or repressed in the Ukrainian SSR.  

Materials on the SBU website

Events announcements, news on SBU activities, electronic versions of publications and exhibitions, copies of archive documents, protocols of work groups and public hearings sessions are available on the SSU official site at www.ssu.gov.ua

Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, October 2, 2008

SBU material translated into English for the Action Ukraine Report (AUR)

Morgan Williams, Editor & Publisher, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 15, 2008

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Ukraine, other small nations face crisis alone

Posted by the Editor on October 15, 2008


News / 15 October 2008 | 11:50
Ukraine, other small nations face crisis alone

Ukraine, other small nations face crisis alone

While the world`s economic giants may have averted financial collapse through rescue plans and huge infusions of cash, some smaller countries like Ukraine seem to have stumbled with little help on the horizon, according to an article by AP.Among the most vulnerable states, it seems, are some of the young democracies born after the fall of the Soviet empire, which have seen their economies race ahead under democratic rule and capitalism — only to run smack into a global financial crisis.

Facing bank failures, turbulent markets and rapid inflation, Ukraine`s politically fractured government imposed a series of emergency measures this week to shore up the economy.

At a news conference Tuesday, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko dodged the question of whether Ukraine was seeking help from the International Monetary Fund, which would confirm fears about the state of Ukraine`s economy. Instead, she offered broad assurances that there was no need for panic.

“The Ukrainian government is doing everything possible and impossible so that the impact of the global crisis on Ukrainian life, the Ukrainian economy is minimized,” Tymoshenko said.

While the world`s major economies snap up banks and bail out brokers, many modest-sized countries don`t have such deep pockets.

Hungary`s currency has skidded 20 percent. Stocks have fallen in Poland. In Estonia, real estate prices have dropped 40 percent.

Iceland, where stocks fell almost 70 percent Tuesday before rebounding, is trying to negotiate a $5.5 billion loan from Russia.

Ukraine, which has been locked in a political struggle with Moscow since it elected a pro-Western government in 2004, certainly can`t go begging to the Kremlin.

Ukraine`s inflation rate hit 31 percent in May compared with the same month the previous year, higher than any other country except Zimbabwe and Venezuela. The government scrambled and brought it down to a somewhat less shocking 16 percent rate as of September.

Faced with global economic uncertainty, depositors in Ukraine began frantically converting their local currency into dollars after the hryvna (pronounced HRIV-nyah`) dipped by almost 20 percent, before clawing back some lost ground.

Analysts said the fall was due to investors pulling money out of Ukraine and many other emerging markets. The rate plunge stripped the banking system of $1.3 billion in the first two weeks of October.

Some analysts say that the so-called emerging markets of the world`s vibrant young capitalist economies will bounce back quickly, because many are still shaking off the effects of decades of totalitarian rule.

Even so, many seem destined to ride an economic roller coaster in the short term, as real estate bubbles burst, banks go bust and consumer spending tanks.

Anders Aslund, an economic analyst, wrote in July that Ukraine`s economic plight was not as bad as that of Russia in 1998, which plunged the country into a deep, prolonged recession.

Ukraine`s state budget, he pointed out, had a healthy surplus, its public foreign debt was small and its national bank was flush with foreign currency reserves worth $36 billion.

But he still saw Ukraine facing “catastrophic” consequences if it failed to get inflation under control — and predicted that real estate prices could fall by half, while half of all banks might go bankrupt.

The country`s two leading magazines came out with nearly identical covers this week — Korrespondent showing a one-hryvna bank note going up in flames, and Focus displaying a one-hryvna coin melting down.

“Money is melting,” warned Focus. “Hello crisis,” Korrespondent announced.

Tymoshenko announced Tuesday that the government was freezing transportation costs, lowering natural gas prices and planning to cap electricity costs for the steel and chemical industries, an effort to boost the core sectors of the national economy.

The government`s measures follow a central bank freeze of selected retail accounts across the country, limits on loans and other measures to stabilize the currency. “It looks like the National Bank is in control of the situation,” said Volodymyr Dinul, an analyst with Renaissance Capital. “Let us hope that everything will calm down sooner rather than later.”

One key to the financial problems in Ukraine, experts say, is a falling demand for steel, the country`s key export commodity. Another factor is Ukrainians` mistrust of banks, founded on their painful experience with the hyperinflation following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, which wiped out their savings.

Tymoshenko`s government sought to compensate some of the losses from that long-ago crisis this year, but that proposal was stalled by her political feud with President Viktor Yushchenko.

One of the triggers for the current crisis was the trouble at two major banks, the sixth-largest Prominvest, which has been taken over by the central bank, and the seventh-largest Nadra, which has survived thanks to a $300 million central bank loan.

Fitch Ratings, a global credit rating agency, on Monday downgraded Nadra and noted that Ukrainian banks faced “challenging times” as near-term risks increased considerably.

Ukraine`s main stock index, PFTS, closed with a minuscule 0.8 percent gain Tuesday, following the positive global trend and reacting to the government efforts. The stock market has lost nearly 70 percent since the beginning of this year, after a record 130 percent rise in 2007.

Independent financial analyst Geoff Smith said an aid package adopted by the G-7 leaders bodes well for Ukrainian banks, since European banks had stakes in nearly half of local banks.

“After the G-7 rescue plan, I am cautiously optimistic the Ukrainian banking system will in general withstand the crisis,” said Smith.

Others remained concerned, saying the central bank`s drastic measures showed the banking sector was in deep trouble.

The crisis has been aggravated by Ukraine`s political deadlock, and the current crisis over control of parliament. That crisis deepened Tuesday, after Tymoshenko refused to heed Yushchenko`s order and release government money to pay for early parliamentary elections he called for Dec. 7.

Tymoshenko, seen as Yushchenko`s rival in the 2010 presidential vote, is battling to retain her office and avoid a third parliamentary ballot in three years. Yushchenko is determined to push through with the election and has abolished a court that froze election preparations.

AP

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