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Archive for June, 2009

First state officials congratulated Ukrainians on Day of Constitution

Posted by the Editor on June 30, 2009

News / 30 June 2009 | 10:16

First state officials congratulated Ukrainians on Day of Constitution

President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko, PM Yulia Tymoshenko, VRU chairman Volodymyr Lytvyn and PR leader Viktor Yanukovych congratulated the Ukrainians on Day of Constitution which took place on June 28, the ForUm’s correspondent informs.

In particular, Viktor Yushchenko said in his greeting” This holiday concerns all of us. Constitution is not just a document. Constitution is we. This is our agreement, how we arrange our life. This is our rights, obligations, main national principles.” The Presidents wants the Ukrainian people to be free and independent.

In turn Yulia Tymoshenko also congratulated Ukrainians on 13th anniversary since the day of Constitution adoption. She is convinced that everything will be good in our country. “We are the great state and strong nation.”

The VRU speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn in his greeting noted that after adoption of the Constitution in 1996 the legal formation of the state was completed. Lytvyn considers that now it is important to make politicians and power of Ukraine to live in accordance with the Constitution and using its positive potential to provide development of Ukraine as democratic, social and legal state.

The PR leader Viktor Yanukovych sincerely congratulated the Ukrainians on the state holiday – Day of Constitution of Ukraine. According to him, adoption of the Constitution in 1996 opened legal way to formation of our sovereign country.


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Yushchenko believes in victory at election

Posted by the Editor on June 30, 2009

News / 30 June 2009 | 10:00

Yushchenko believes in victory at election

 President Viktor Yushchenko, the political leader of Our Ukraine, is sure of the victory of his party at the future election.

“We’ll go to election, and I want you to know that we’ll win as a political force, which has the formed national strategy and which has something to propose and show to our nation,” he said at the congress of the People’s Union-Our Ukraine party in Kyiv on Saturday, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

The president also said that his party would win the election, as it takes care about future generations and the future of Ukraine.

Yuschenko expressed confidence that the present party’s congress would be a historical one. He said that the party would restore its members and would start its revival.


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Ukraine wary of KGB terror files

Posted by the Editor on June 29, 2009

Analytics / 29 June 2009 | 12:00

Ukraine wary of KGB terror files

Ukraine wary of KGB terror files

Ukraine is opening up part of its old KGB archive, declassifying hundreds of thousands of documents spanning the entire Soviet period.

But the move to expose Soviet-era abuses is dividing Ukrainians, the BBC’s Gabriel Gatehouse reports from Kiev.

Deep in the bowels of Ukraine’s former KGB headquarters there is a deathly silence. Thousands of boxes, piled floor to ceiling, line the walls. Each box is carefully numbered and each one contains hundreds of documents: case notes on enemies of the former Soviet state.

Behind each number, there is a story of personal tragedy.

Volodymyr Viatrovych, the chief archivist, pulled out a brown cardboard folder stuffed full of documents: case number 4076. At the centre of the case is a letter, dated 1940 and addressed to “Comrade Stalin, the Kremlin, Moscow”.

“Dear Iosif Vissarionovich,” the letter starts. Nikolai Reva wanted Stalin to know the facts about the great famine of 1932-33, when millions died as a result of the Soviet policy of forced collectivisation.

Like many at the time, Mr Reva believed that Stalin was being kept in the dark, and that if only he knew what was happening, he would surely put a stop to it.

But his letter landed him in the Gulag. He was eventually rehabilitated – 25 years later.

Many met a harsher fate.

Leafing through one of many macabre photo albums, Mr Viatrovych pointed to a picture of Ivan Severin, shot in the head by the Soviet security services. Under the picture, in very neat handwriting, is written: “Liquidated, 3 April 1947”.

Criminal prosecution

Mr Viatrovych and his team are helping people to find out what happened to relatives and loved ones, often decades after they disappeared.
But the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), now in charge of the files, is declassifying them selectively.
They are concentrating on older cases, like that of the “liquidated” Mr Severin, who was part of a guerrilla campaign against Soviet rule in western Ukraine after World War II.
The authorities are preparing to mount a criminal prosecution in relation to the famine, or Holodomor, as it is known in Ukraine, though it is doubtful whether there is anyone still alive to stand in the dock.
But SBU head Valentyn Nalyvaichenko hopes this is just the beginning.
“As soon as Russia starts to open and uncover its archives, there will be more and more truth about the real history,” he said. At the moment, he added, Russia is not being especially co-operative.
But there is another obstacle to complete disclosure, and that is the Ukrainian Security Service itself. They are the ones deciding which files to declassify.
I put it to Mr Nalyvaichenko that the SBU is, after all, a successor to the KGB. He came out on the defensive.
“First and most important for me – we are not a successor to the KGB. That’s according to the law,” he said.
Could he state categorically that no-one working for the SBU today had formerly worked for the KGB?
He could not, admitting that 20% of his employees were former KGB officers. Some analysts in Ukraine believe that is a conservative figure.
It seems unlikely that SBU officers who worked for the Soviet KGB in the 1970s and 80s will be enthusiastic about declassifying documents that could incriminate them. Even if, as Mr Nalyvaichenko pointed out, the SBU is trying to recruit younger staff.
‘Not worth it’
But not all young Ukrainians have an exclusively negative view of their 20th-Century history.
In Kiev, there is a vast monument to the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany: a sprawling bronze relief of soldiers bearing guns and bayonets.
“We love our history,” said Svitlana, a young schoolteacher from the southern city of Odessa, on an outing with her class.
She was not keen for the children in her charge to be forced to examine the darker chapters of Soviet history.
“The past is the past,” she said. “The history of the famine, the killings, all the things Stalin did. I don’t think we should bring them up. There’s enough violence today as it is. If we start blaming each other… It’s just not worth it.”
‘Witch hunt’
The idea of airing the past as part of a healing process, and excluding members of the former regime from positions of authority – a process known as “lustration” – is being actively promoted by some in the Ukrainian administration.
But it is highly controversial. Dmytro Tabachnyk, a historian and opposition lawmaker, thinks the notion is absurd.
“It’s a witch hunt,” he said. “To start a process of lustration after 18 years of independence would lead society to the brink of civil war.”
In a forest just outside Kiev, the tree trunks are tied with thousands of white scarves.
The scarves are embroidered in the traditional Ukrainian way, with red-and-black geometric patterns, and each one symbolically represents a life lost to Soviet oppression.
Under Stalin, the Soviet secret police would bury executed political prisoners at Bykivnia. No-one knows exactly how many bodies lie buried in this wood, but some estimates put the figure at more than 200,000.
But, says Nico Lange, the German director of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Kiev, Ukrainians must stop blaming the Russians for their past, and start looking inward.
“Ukrainians have a tendency to perceive themselves as only victims of those historical processes,” he says.
“But coming to terms with the past really starts when you start uncovering also your own involvement: the oppressions by your own state, the offenders who are from your own people. If you do this work, this very painful work, the truth will finally set you free. And you will not invite new dictators to oppress you again.”
The Germans have experience of confronting their own past, both following World War II, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
But it will take a lot of united political will for such a process to get under way in Ukraine.
And it may be that, for the moment, there are still too many people alive and in positions of power, who were involved with the Soviet regime in one way or another.
Source: BBC


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Tymoshenko sure she will win presidential election

Posted by the Editor on June 26, 2009

News / 26 June 2009 | 17:41

Tymoshenko sure she will win presidential election

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has said that she will definitely participate in upcoming presidential elections, and has no doubt about her victory.

She said at a press conference in Lviv on Thursday that she would run for president to realize the ideals of the Orange Revolution of 2004. “After four-and-a-half years, I want to finally realize the ideals of the orange Maidan [Independence Square in downtown Kyiv where protests were held in 2004]. I’m trying to realize them despite colossal resistance,” she said, according to UkrInform.

Tymoshenko said that earlier, she was not planning to run for president, and insisted that her team unite with the presidential team. She said that if there were a systemic work, she would have supported incumbent President Viktor Yushchenko for a second term. “But in recent months and last year, I did not see any desire by the president [to improve the team work with the premier]. And now, the president does not have any chance to win [presidential elections],” she said.

The parliament set January 17, 2010 as the presidential election date.


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Yuschenko positive about results of Ukraine’s first year in WTO

Posted by the Editor on June 26, 2009

News / 26 June 2009 | 17:00

Yuschenko positive about results of Ukraine’s first year in WTO

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has said he is positive about the results of Ukraine’s first year as a member of the World Trade Organization, Kyiv Post reported.

“I want to tell you that last year we had a $14 billion negative trade balance, -$17 billion in the commodities trade. [Now,] when we have a several hundred million dollars of positive balance in just five months, I think this is a victory and a great optimistic indicator of national trade policy modernization,” Yuschenko said at the National Security and Defense Council meeting on Friday.


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BYuT is convinced PR intends to dismiss VRU

Posted by the Editor on June 26, 2009

News / 26 June 2009 | 16:00

BYuT is convinced PR intends to dismiss VRU

The BYuT states that PR hopes to dismiss the VRU, and there fore they block the solution of staff issues. The leader of the BYuT faction Ivan Kyrylenko told journalists today, the ForUm’s correspondent informs.

According to him, in one of the interviews of PR member Mykola Azarov it is clearly described the plan of the PR – to hold early parliamentary elections at any cost. “The PR is blocking the VRU work now. Their demand on voting for law on increase of living wage and salary is only a pretext of not to consider staff issues,” he said.

Kyrylenko noted that it was impossible to adopt law on increase of the social standards without proper calculations, agreed with the government and position of the state budget and PR knew about it.

As a reminder, today the parliament should consider the staff issue on dismissal and appointment of Finance, Transport and Foreign Ministers and maybe some other Ministers. But the PR blocked the VRU work, demanding to consider and adopt the law on increase of living wage and salary. The VRU will continue its work on June 7.


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Yushchenko called politicians to think about people

Posted by the Editor on June 26, 2009

News / 26 June 2009 | 14:54

Yushchenko called politicians to think about people

The President Viktor Yushchenko is convinced that any changes into the Constitution should be taken by the consent of the people.

“Any change to the Constitution should be open and transparent, elaborated and adopted on consent with the people. This is a fundamental principle of democracy,” the President says in the article “New Constitution – our common step into the future!” publicized in Delo newspaper, the ForUm’s correspondent informs.

According to Viktor Yushchenko new rational Constitution, based on democratic principles, will allow us to overcome economic challenges due to unity and effectiveness.

The President called Ukrainian politicians to unite and think first of all about the people. “We should remember that we are one nation,” he added.


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Tymoshenko: Local budgets should administrate individuals income taxes

Posted by the Editor on June 26, 2009

News / 26 June 2009 | 14:28

Tymoshenko: Local budgets should administrate individuals income taxes

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has called for the transfer of the right to administrate income taxes of individuals to local budgets, she said at a meeting with chairmen of regional state administrations. according to Ukrainian News.

Tymoshenko said that new wording of the Budget Code envisions that 15% of the individuals’ income tax will be left at local development budgets.

At the same time, she said that this tax is a local one, thus it should be left in local budgets.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, on June 23, the parliament endorsed the new wording of the Budget Code.

The document envisions the formula-based system of transfer relations between the state and more than 12,000 local budgets.

The document also provides for introduction of new and clarification of the existing concepts and terms in the area of budgetary legislation, clarification of the functions of the distributors of state budget funds, and concretization of the provisions on operations with state and local debts.

The document also provides for clarifying the Budget Code’s provisions on the particulars of implementation of the state and local budgets in case of untimely adoption of a law on the state budget.

The document also details the provisions regarding the requirements on reports on implementation of the state budget.


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