Сто років існування церкви св. Архістратига Михаїла (аудіо)
CBC Interview with Timothy Snyder, author of "Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin"
Заява Івана Дем'янюка
Ukraine : l'impossible choix entre l'Union européenne et l'orbite russe (CÉRIUM)
Presentation to Finance Minister Goodale re the cutbacks to Ukrainian language broadcasting by Radio Canada International at The Round Table chaired by Borys Wrzesnewskyj
LEBANESE INSPIRED BY THE ORANGE REVOLUTION
Lebanon shakes off the excitement prepares for political moves ahead (London Daily Telegraph)

PUTIN FEARS THE ORANGE REVOLUTION
Kremlin creates youth movement
New organization reminds some of pre-war Germany's Hitler Youth (Associated Press)

Ukrainians Push Stalin Wine Off Canadian Shelves (Reuters)
Sgro took a last kick at the can
Law would punish Canadians who were teens when they were forced to join Nazi groups during World War II (Toronto Sun)

LETTER RE CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP COALITION
KITKA COMES A-CAROLING (Montreal Gazette)
HE BELIEVES GIVERS RECEIVE (Montreal Gazette)
Theresa Sokyrka named Saskatchewan Centennial 2005 Youth Ambassador
Theresa Sokyrka's
Official Fan Club Site!

Moderate Christians benefit from Ukraine's determined fight for democracy (Keston Institute)
BACK CHANNELS: A CRACKDOWN AVERTED
How Top Spies in Ukraine Changed the Nation's Path (New York Times)

Montrealer takes know-how to Kyiv (Montreal Gazette)
The Cossack's Last Laugh (The Wall Street Journal Europe)
UKRAINE: REAL VICTORY STILL TO COME (Montreal Gazette editorial)
ORANGE REVOLUTION CAN'T HAPPEN HERE (Moscow Times)
VESHNYAKOV: NO RUSSIAN REVOLUTION (Moscow Times)
UKRAINE THE LATEST TO TEST AN OLD ADAGE (Montreal Gazette Dec 23, 2004 editorial)
YUSHCHENKO SPEECH NOW A RAP ANTHEM
UKRAINE AND THE LESSONS OF HISTORY
THE CASE FOR YUSCHENKO
IN PUTIN'S KREMLIN, IT'S ALL ABOUT CONTROL
MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL: DEC. 6
MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL: DEC. 5
MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL: DEC. 4
MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL: DEC. 3
MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL: DEC. 2
MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL: DEC. 1
MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL: NOV. 30
MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL: NOV. 29
MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL: NOV. 28
PORA: Their name means "It's Time". Why Russia, the U.S. and Europe care so much about Ukraine's disputed presidential election
Long Live Ukraine! (Slava Ukrainy!)
Canada, U.S. reject Ukraine's voting results MONTREAL - THREE HUNDRED UKRAINIANS DEMONSTRATE AGAINST FALSIFICATION OF THE ELECTION RESULTS IN UKRAINE
Kyiv, SVP, not Russian "Kiev" (Letter published in the Montreal Gazette)
RASSEMBLEMENT POUR MANIFESTER CONTRE LA FALSIFICATION DES RÉSULTATS DES ENCOURUE LORS DES ÉLECTIONS PRÉSIDENTIELLES EN UKRAINE
PROTEST RALLY AGAINST FALSIFICATION OF THE ELECTION RESULTS IN UKRAINE
Jews in Ukraine split vote as election hangs in the balance
Hundreds of thousands march on Ukrainian presidential palace
Tens of thousands protest in Kyiv against flawed presidential vote in Ukraine
Local Ukrainians following vote, protest on Net
Tens of thousands protest in Kyiv against flawed presidential vote in Ukraine
An Open Declaration
By a Group from the Diplomatic Corps of Ukraine

Le scrutin ukrainien non conforme
Des observateurs canadiens dénoncent des «tentatives d'intimidation»
WCU, UCCA, UCC Recognize Yuschenko as President
Don't curb shortwave RCI
Who speaks for the Jews of Canada?
18 cases were detected thanks to camera that can catch condition in early stages Montreal Gazette feature on Dr. Paul Harasymowycz
INTERVIEW: Yurij Luhovy on the making of a film about Bereza Kartuzka
Poison Politics in Ukraine
Porter wins Idol, Theresa still first in Saskatoon's eyes
Saskatoon - Thousands gather to see Canadian Idol finale
Students who take part in various extracurricular activities often perform better academically, educators say
The Drafting of Michael Bossy
Écoute commentée avec Paul Merkelo
The Victoria Cross's long journey home
Troubled hero's medal comes home
Buy me! I have no trans fat. Snack food pitch. Manufacturers scrambling ahead of mandatory labelling
Church Growth and Evangelism
Music does seem to soothe the savage breast
СПІЛЬНА МОЛИТВА УКРАЇНЦІВ І ПОЛЯКІВ
Sokyrka in a league of her own
IN MEMORIAM: PHILIP HOLOWKA 1978-2004
ЗГАДКА ПРО БЛ. П. ФИЛИПА ГОЛОВКУ 1978-2004
Letter sent by the Ukrainian Canadian Congess, Montreal Branch to four parties, which are fielding candidates in Quebec in the June 28, 2004 Federal Elections & one response
Turkish Historian argues that recognizing the Armenian Genocide is a political necessity
JACK PALANCE REJECTS RUSSIAN AWARD
Salov takes Montreal International Musical Competition Grand Prize
ЗАКЛИК ДО ГРОМАДЯН УКРАЇНИ ЗА КОРДОНОМ
Гаряча лінія. Все про вибори - Ukrainian Elections Hotline
125 РОКІВ З ДНЯ НАРОДЖЕННЯ СИМОНА ПЕТЛЮРИ
RUSLANA WINS EUROVISION 2004
CSL SHIP FIRES CANADIANS, HIRES CHEAPER UKRAINIAN CREW
PUT MEDAL IN WAR MUSEUM
SOME THOUGHTS ON ”THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST”
ДЕЯКІ ДУМКИ ПРО ФІЛЬМ ”СТРАСТІ ХРИСТОВІ”
SHEDDING LIGHT ON SEX TRADE
CLIMBING FOR THE CHILDREN OF CHORNOBYL



Сто років існування церкви св. Архістратига Михаїла


В 2011 році громада церкви св. Архістратига Михаїла святкувала 100 років свого існування. Історія Храму св. Архістратига Михаїла - це не тільки історія парафії, це відзеркалення історії української громади в Монреалі загалом . Матеріали Релігійної рубрики Української Католицької Церкви в Монреалі, що подаються в рамках радіопрограми Український час, знайомитимуть вас з подіями українського життя нашого міста, що відбувалися протягом останнього століття. Послухати ці програми, які записала Валентина Ґоляш, ви можете на вебсторінці церкви за адресою StMichaelsMtl.com

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CBC Interview with Timothy Snyder, author of "Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin"


This Week on Ideas CBC Radio One (88.5 in Montreal)
Listen to BLOODLANDS, which aired on Tuesday, February 1, 2011
In twelve years, in a zone between Berlin and Moscow, the Nazi and Soviet regimes deliberately killed 14 million people.
Historian Timothy Snyder (Yale University) reflects on this central tragedy of modern history, as he surveys the motives and methods of Hitler and Stalin.
History and its woes: How Stalin and Hitler enabled each other's crimes (The Economist)
Stalin's world is still with us (The Globe and Mail)

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Заява Івана Дем'янюка


01.12.2010

З рішенням щодо продовження цього процесу, судді, які на це не мають будь-яких юридичних підстав і тому, що Німеччина є спадкоємицею Третього рейху, котрі є морально некомпетентні, порушують принципи справедливого судового розгляду, правди, закону й концепцій самого правосуддя.
У Нюрнберзі, як і в пізніших судових процесах, які відбувалися в Німеччині, жоден прокурор, жоден суддя не наважився б так спотворювати закон й факти, як це зробили тут. Справді, відмова німецької влади взяти на себе відповідальність за тортури і смерть мільйонів радянських військовополонених, за нелюдські умови, в яких ми перебували, - це відмова німців від повної відповідальності за Голокост. Я звинувачую суддів Aльта, Ленца та Пфлугера. Судді ігнорують дані, щоб зробити з мене простого військовополоненого, «власника німецької посади», знаючи, що всі удокументовані дані без жодного сумніву підтверджують, що це є безглуздям. Судді переписують історію й фальсифікують польське рішення, мовляв, у ньому йдеться виключно про Треблінку, а зовсім не про Собібор.
Судді нехтують ізраїльським, американським, польським, російським і українським доказовим матеріалом про мене, побоюючись, що в ньому міститься якнайбільше доказів моєї невинності. Вони приховують факт, що мою справу раніше досліджували, а відтак судили за Собібор у Польщі й Ізраїлі, та що я вижив усупереч 7,5-річному незаконному позбавленню волі. Усе це свідчить про те, що судовий процес у Мюнхені проти мене є протиправним і неправильним.
Судді порушують закон і витворюють нові правила тільки для того, щоб переслідувати виключно мене, а не тих, кому можна було б закинути, що був «травніком» і допомагав нацистам. Дотепер жодного «травніка» чи когось подібного не було засуджено в Німеччині за допомогу нацистам. Нагадаю, що співвітчизники суддів були виправдані, а то й навіть не примушені до суду.
Свідомо й без примусу судді вибрали свідків-експертів, які раніше давали свідчення OSI (Бюро спеціальних досліджень при Департаменті юстиції США). Судді були впевнені, що ті свідки-експерти будуть свідчити під впливом і за вказівками OSI, кримінальної інституції, яка обманом вислала мене в Ізраїль. OSI надіялося на мою страту, яка мала б здійснитися всупереч безлічі виправдувальних доказів, що неодноразово були підтверджені судами США. Нині не залишився в живих жоден зі знаних свідків, які підлягали б перехресному допиту та які очистили б мене від звинувачень.
Як свідка-експерта судді вибрали Чарльза Сіднора, хоч його публічні заяви підтвердили, що він упереджено ставиться до мене. Оскільки на початку 1989 року висловив бажання «бачити мене повішеним на шибениці», а також вірить, що я був справжнім монстром.
Окрім того, звертаю увагу на всі заяви, які мій адвокат д-р Ульріх Буш направив до суду від мого імені. Рішення продовжувати цей судовий розгляд є злочинним порушенням права з метою позбавлення мене волі. Цією заявою я звинувачую суддів Aльта, Ленца й Пфлугера в порушенні закону, а також у посяганні на мою свободу. Я прошу, щоб мою заяву передали урядовим чинникам для розгляду та відповідних висновків щодо цих серйозних звинувачень.
Іван Дем'янюк
P. S. Хто хотів би зв'язатися із оборонцями Івана Дем'янюка, можe написати їм на адресу:: Help.JohnD@gmail.com

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Ukraine : l'impossible choix entre l'Union européenne et l'orbite russe (CÉRIUM)


Magdalena Dembinska (Université de Montréal)

La Chronique du Centre d'études et de recherches internationales (CÉRIUM), 22 janvier 2005 Après une longue attente et l'annonce officielle des résultats suite à la reprise du deuxième tour de l’élection présidentielle du 26 décembre, Victor Iouchtchenko, le leader de la révolution orange, est assermenté dans ses fonctions de Président depuis dimanche, le 23 janvier.

Plusieurs dignitaires étaient présents dont le Secrétaire d’État américain, Colin Powell. Le Président russe Vladimir Poutine, qui a félicité le Président élu (une troisième fois en espace de trois mois) a refusé d’assister à l’événement. C’est le nouveau Président Iouchtchenko qui effectuera sa première visite diplomatique à Moscou dès ce lundi 24 janvier. Le lendemain, le Président ukrainien est attendu à Strasbourg à l’Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil d’Europe puis le 27 il présentera une communication au Parlement européen à Bruxelles.

L’Union européenne ou la Russie ?

Lors de ses visites européennes, Iouchtchenko parlera de l’avenir de l'Ukraine en Europe. Des proches du nouveau Président ont récemment déclaré que leur objectif était d’entreprendre des démarches dans le but de faire adhérer l'Ukraine à l'Union Européenne. À Moscou, Iouchtchenko devra donner satisfaction à des attentes incompatibles avec cet objectif. Le choix entre une alliance avec l'Occident et avec la Russie semble déchirant, surtout compte tenu des régions pro-russes aux aspirations autonomistes de l’est et du sud de l'Ukraine .

Dans sa lettre de félicitations qu'il a envoyée à Iouchtchenko, Poutine exprime les attentes de son gouvernement à endroit de son voisin, autrefois membre important de l'Empire soviétique. Moscou désire qu'au plan politique, l'Ukraine reconnaisse explicitement le rôle stratégique d’un partenariat avec la Russie ; qu’au plan économique, elle participe au développement d’un espace économique commun, base d’une nouvelle communauté postsoviétique dont le centre serait Moscou. Ce faisant, Poutine s’est placé en situation d’opposant aux aspirations occidentales de l’Ukraine. Une adhésion éventuelle de l’Ukraine à l’OTAN est vue comme un cauchemar à Moscou.

Iouchtchenko est donc devant un choix. Il semble impossible à l’Ukraine de jouer sur les deux tableaux, l'adoption des lois et règlements (l'acquis communautaire européen) qu'implique une adhésion à l'Union européenne étant en plusieurs points incompatibles avec une participation à la sphère économique (et politique) de la communauté postsoviétique.

Même si la majeure partie des exportations de l’Ukraine s’effectue vers l’Europe, le pays reste dépendant de l'approvisionnement russe en pétrole et en gaz. De plus, la division politique interne du pays complique les choses. Au moins, l'électorat des Républiques Baltes à la fin des années 1980 et au début des années 1990, étaient presque unanime - y compris leurs minorités russophones - sur le projet de rupture avec la Russie soviétique. En Ukraine, les régions de l’est et du sud s’opposent à l' "européisation" et brandissent la menace d’une sécession. Notons que quelques dizaines de tentes bleues - couleur du candidat pro-russe déchu - sont déployées dans les rues de deux grandes villes à l'est et les quelques dizaines de campeurs atterrés attendaient hier le retour au bercail de leur leader défait, Ianoukovitch.

Ce dernier a annoncé son intention de passer dans le camp de l'opposition « dure » et il est probable qu'il s'alliera au parti de la Nouvelle Démocratie formé samedi dernier par Kouchnariov, l'ancien gouverneur de Charkov, une région de l'est du pays. Le parti vise la restructuration du pays en un État fédéral. Il devrait entrer au Parlement lors des prochaines élections en 2006. Une contre-révolution bleue est peu probable vu le manque d’envergure du mouvement. Néanmoins, ces aspirations locales peuvent être alimentées par Moscou, à l’image des tensions en Moldavie dans la région de la Transdniestrie pro-russe. C’est une carte entre les mains de Poutine lors des négociations.

Le contexte géopolitique de l'Ukraine ne lui permettra pas de faire un choix tranché. Garder l’unité du pays tout en se réformant de fond en comble nécessite une stabilité qui ne peut être atteinte que grâce à une politique équilibrée entre Bruxelles et Moscou. La tournée diplomatique de la semaine prochaine du nouveau Président semble indiquer une stratégie allant dans ce sens : un rapprochement avec l'Europe sans trop irriter la Russie.

L'auteure est candidate au doctorat au département de science politique de l'Université de Montréal.

le Cérium publie des chroniques, liées à l’actualité étrangère, de professeurs, chercheurs et étudiants de troisième cycle de l’Université de Montréal qui travaillent sur des sujets internationaux. Les propositions sont bienvenues, à cerium@umontreal.ca

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Presentation to Finance Minister Goodale re the cutbacks to Ukrainian language broadcasting by Radio Canada International at The Round Table chaired by Borys Wrzesnewskyj


by Myroslava Oleksiuk

Feb. 25, 2005

Transcription of presentation as per video

Myroslava Oleksiuk:
I would like to address the third paragraph in your budget speech, which was the very welcome recollection of the Ukrainian Orange Revolution and, which I am sure, was uplifting not only for Ukrainians, but for world humanity. The issue that I want to connect it to is the cutback in the department of the Ukrainian language at RCI [Radio Canada International]. Two and half years ago the programming was an hour every day into Ukraine via short wave. Today it is Saturday and Sunday for half an hour, no longer on short wave, which means only two provinces have access to that. Now, this is not strictly a Ukrainian issue because, as you yourself have acknowledged and others, of course have - you have pointed out that what happens in Ukraine from this point on is very much something that the other countries of the former Soviet Union are looking toward. If Ukraine succeeds, and it still is a precarious situation, then we have leaped so far ahead in world peace and democracy. So our attempt to communicate further our ideals of Canadian democracy to the population, particularly in view of the fact that 40% did not vote for the ‘democracy candidate’, it would seem to me that it would be premature at this point to let that cutback take place.

Now, I know that that cutback was planned to take place prior to the Orange Revolution and as things evolved Minister Pettigrew stepped in and prolonged the funding to enable that cutback not to proceed. But now, indeed at the end of January I believe that has been a fact. I would like to impose upon you to look into this matter and I would be happy to remind you or your assistant of this issue. [Showing an envelope with documentation in it.]

Perhaps a judgment could be made that if a country, for example, 30% of the people are using internet, then that’s the time to cut back and let them go loose.

But in this instance it’s not. And in view of the central significance of democracy and the fact that Russia is still predominantly not democratic and such a huge influence in the eastern part of Ukraine, I would ask you to address this issue.

Minister Ralph Goodale:
Well I don’t know the specifics, but I am certainly happy to look into it. There was a meeting a month or so ago of Ukrainian leaders in Winnipeg, where I think the same point was made. At this delicate point, and you are quire right, December 26th is a great day, but it’s not over yet.

Canada, no doubt, in its collection of international activities, I think would want to find the ways to encourage the democratic tradition to really take hold and to succeed for the long-term. This may be one of the ways in which we can help – I’m not sure of the details, but I certainly would be glad to receive your representation and see if there is a way we can help.

Myroslava Oleksiuk:
It would be such a minimal amount.

Minister Ralph Goodale:
Do you know what it is?

Myroslava Oleksiuk:
The cutback? I think it is $250,000 a year.

Minister Ralph Goodale:
$250,000 a year.

Myroslava Oleksiuk:
$250,000 to half a million. I’ve been given the figure of $250,000.

Minister Ralph Goodale (enthusiastically):
All right. Let me see the envelope.

[The room bursts out in laughter and the Minister jokes to the effect that if that is all that he has to spend, then there is money still left over for lunch.]

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PUTIN FEARS THE ORANGE REVOLUTION

Kremlin creates youth movement
New organization reminds some of pre-war Germany's Hitler Youth


JULIUS STRAUSS

London Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, March 1, 2005

With President Putin's popularity in sharp decline, the Kremlin has set up a Russian youth movement to control the streets in the event of mass anti-government protests.

Hundreds of youths, many belonging to the president's cultural society, "Walking Together," held a meeting in a house owned by the Kremlin Property Department to launch the group this weekend. The organization was christened "Nashi" (Ours), a word that, in Russian, has chilling nationalist overtones. When two outsiders sneaked into its founding conference, they were humiliated and one was beaten.

This Kremlin move comes after claims it has been using infiltrators to cause trouble at anti-government rallies, giving the police an excuse to disperse them.

In the eyes of many, the tactics are more reminiscent of the Hitler Youth of pre-war Germany than of the supposed democracy in Russia, whose health Putin defended when he met U.S. President George W. Bush last week.

"Scared by the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the Kremlin is trying to form a Putin Jugend to suppress future opposition," said Andrei Pointkowsky, director of the Centre for Strategic Studies. "People are finally beginning to realize that the emperor has no clothes."

Ilya Yashin, youth leader of the opposition party Yabloko and one of the two liberals who gate-crashed the conference, said, "Our apprehensions about the Kremlin's intentions to form assault units to fight the opposition have been confirmed. Under the Nashi slogan, the Kremlin is forming brigades of storm-troopers so that they can use force against the opposition."

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LEBANESE INSPIRED BY THE ORANGE REVOLUTION

Lebanon shakes off the excitement prepares for political moves ahead


By SAM F. GHATTAS

March 1, 2005

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - Lebanon's president was taking on the task of forming a new government Tuesday, while opposition leaders shook off the jubilation of using people power to force out a pro-Syrian Cabinet and sought to ensure the next one is less beholden to Damascus.

A few diehard activists remained in tents overnight and about 400 protesters joined them midmorning, but Lebanese soldiers had been withdrawn from the area where the day before 25,000 flag-waving demonstrators demanded - and got - Prime Minister Omar Karami's resignation.

"We will be here every day until the last Syrian soldier withdraws from our land," one activist said through a loudspeaker. The crowd, blowing whistles, chanted back: "Freedom, Sovereignty, Independence."

They sang in rhyming Arabic: "We are all, Muslims and Christians, against the Syrians."

Elsewhere in the country, shops, businesses and banks reopened after a one-day strike Monday to protest the Feb. 14 assassination of former prime minister and billionaire businessman Rafik Hariri, whose killing was the catalyst for the massive, peaceful protests demanding Syria release its military and political hold.

Syria keeps about 15,000 troops in Lebanon and all key political decisions get a stamp of approval from Damascus, but pressure from Lebanese as well as from an international community led by the United States has led to talk of a troop withdrawal.

Syria's government has remained silent about the rapidly changing atmosphere in Beirut, the protests or the resignation. Syria's state-controlled state media reported the resignation but did not mention the protests against the pro-Syrian government or show pictures on TV or in newspapers of the massive protests.

"Lahoud accepted the resignation of the Karami government," said the headline in the Syrian ruling party's Baath newspaper.

In Beirut, demonstrators vowed to carry on, demanding the resignation of pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud and the withdrawal of Syrian soldiers. Hariri's parliamentary bloc issued a statement late Monday demanding the departure of Lebanese security and intelligence chiefs.

Opposition leaders - a diverse group of Muslim, Druse and Christians - were expected to meet later Tuesday to chart their course. It wasn't clear if they would seek to keep up the street pressure or - as some have urged - step back to work through the political process to ensure a new government less tied to Damascus.

They have demanded a neutral government to organize parliamentary elections this spring and to investigate Hariri's murder, which they blame on the pro-Syrian government and Syria. Both governments have denied involvement.

The dramatic developments - reminiscent of Ukraine's peaceful "Orange Revolution" and broadcast live across the Arab world, including Syria where some people have access to satellite TV - could provoke a strong response from Syria. There are fears it also could plunge this nation of 3.5 million back into a period of uncertainty, political vacuum or worse.

The White House welcomed Karami's resignation, saying it opens the door for new elections "free of all foreign interference" from Syria, but called again on Damascus to pull out its soldiers.

"Syrian military forces and intelligence personnel need to leave the country," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. "That will help ensure that elections are free and fair."

The State Department dubbed the events in Lebanon a "Cedar Revolution" - a moniker that bringing the country in line with Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution, Georgia's Rose Revolution, and Ukraine's Orange Revolution.

Lebanese carrying it out, however, call it their peaceful "independence uprising." They wave Lebanon's red-white flag with the Cedar tree in the middle and wear red and white scarves.

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Ukrainians Push Stalin Wine Off Canadian Shelves (Reuters)


Thursday, February 10, 2005

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Wine labeled with a photo of brutal Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin was pulled from shelves in the Canadian province of Manitoba this week after complaints from the local Ukrainian community, a spokeswoman for government-owned liquor stores said. The sherry and port from the Massandra winery in Ukraine featured a photo on the bottles' labels of Stalin seated with former U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

The wine commemorated the Yalta Conference, held at a castle near the winery 60 years ago this week, where the leaders decided on the shape of Eastern Europe after World War Two.

"I don't want Stalin to be forgotten. I want him to be remembered for exactly what he was: a genocidal mass murderer," said Lubomyr Luciuk of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

The Yalta agreement forced hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans living in Western Europe to return to countries controlled by the former Soviet Union, where many were killed, Luciuk said.

"I don't think anyone in Canada would welcome a Hitler Riesling or a Stalin sherry or a Pol Pot port or a Mao Tse-tung merlot," Luciuk said.

About 3 percent of Canadians, or more than 1 million people, identify themselves as ethnic Ukrainians in census surveys. About 40,000 Ukrainian political refugees moved to Canada after World War Two, Luciuk said.

The Manitoba Liquor Control Commission had ordered 14 cases of the wines, priced at C$38 ($30.60) a bottle, but only six bottles had been sold before the wines were pulled, said Diana Soroka, a spokeswoman.

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Sgro took a last kick at the can
Law would punish Canadians who were teens when they were forced to join Nazi groups during World War II (Toronto Sun)


By Peter Worthington -- For the Toronto Sun (Sun, February 13, 2005)

One of Judy Sgro's last acts before resigning as immigration minister last month was to recommend to cabinet that a bunch of aging Ukrainian-Canadians be stripped of their citizenship and deported. In doing so she apparently ignored the federal Court of Appeal's unanimous decision that revocation of the citizenship of Kitchener's Helmut Oberlander, without appeal or legal representation, violated the Constitution and potentially made every naturalized Canadian second-class.

The Sgro recommendation applied to Oberlander and Toronto's Wasyl Odynsky, and a couple of other aging Ukrainian-Canadians who have Alzheimer's. All were teenagers in World War II who were forced to join Nazi auxiliaries.

None participated in war crimes or committed crimes against humanity (as determined by a government-appointed judge). But because they "probably" withheld details of their record when they entered Canada after the war the government has ruled they can be stripped of citizenship and deported.

Why the Liberal government is so intent on punishing these people, who have impeccable records as citizens, is puzzling.

Last month, representatives of some 25 ethnic organizations held an informal meeting in Toronto to discuss what to do about the feds' proposed new Citizenship Act, which will allow the minister the power to order such revocations and deportations without the right of an explanation or appeal.

One fighting it is Andrew Telegdi, Liberal MP for Kitchener-Waterloo, who is the elected chairman of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration that is to tour Canada for opinions on the proposed law. Telegdi and others (including me) think some basic principles should apply to citizenship:

All Canadians, be they citizens by birth or choice, should have the same rights and obligations.

Citizenship should not be revoked by politicians -- only by the courts.

Citizenship should be revocable only after guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt" has been established.

All rights of appeal that are available under the Canadian legal system must also be available in cases involving revocation.

Legal representation should be available to every accused.

None of the above seems very radical. In essence, it's what the three justices of the Court of Appeal said when they ruled the government did not follow its own guidelines of fairness -- that if "evidence of individual criminality ... cannot be proven, no proceeding will be considered."

A previous court ruled that "no punishment should be inflicted upon a suspected war criminal unless his or her guilt is fairly established by Canadian standards of justice."

Those slated for revocation and deportation were just men, trapped by war as teenagers, who sought to survive and protect their relatives by submitting to the enemy.

As it stands now, the proposed new act is supported by Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, a former Nazi hunter, and Deputy PM Anne McLellan. But with their government holding only a minority in Parliament, there's a chance Telegdi's committee can make the case for this draconian legislation to be scrapped.

After all, before he died, famous Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal publicly announced that all major Nazi war criminals had been convicted or had died, and any who were still alive would have been too young at the time to have had much power.

If it's good enough for Wiesenthal, it should be good enough for Canada.

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LETTER RE CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP COALITION


Dear Members of the Canadian Citizenship Coalition,

First of all, I would like to congratulate the excellent preparation and presenation by members of this committee who appeared before the Standing Committee on Citizenship in Ottawa last Tuesday February 10th. This was televised and shown on CPAC this past Saturday afternoon.

Members of the group were: Dr. Ulrich Frisse, Paul Grod, Ameena Sultan, Khurum Awan and Bill Pidruchney of Edmonton.

I would like to remind you to find individuals from each of your respective communities or organizations to make representations to the Cross Country Hearings which are coming up. The deadline to apply is FEB. 22. 2005.

Contact Mr. William Farrell - 613- 995-8525 or Denyse 613-947-6846 or at cimm@parl.gc.ca The best thing to do is send and email stating that you would like to appear before the Committee. Provide your complete name and contact information; the organization or community group that you represent and state why you would like to appear. ( one or two lines will do).

Please copy me on your emails olyaod@sympatico.ca, so that I can make sure everyone is included. REMEMBER FEB. 22 is the DEADLINE.

Mon. April 4 - Winnipeg
Tues. April 5 - Regina
Wed. April 6 - Calgary
Thurs.April 7 - Edmonton
Fri. April 8 - Victoria
Mon. April 11 - Vancouver
Tues. April 12 - Vancouver
Wed. April 13 - Toronto
Thurs.April 14 - Toronto
Fri. April 15 - Kitchener- Waterloo
Mon. April 18 - St.John's
Tues. April 19 - Halifax
Wed. April 20 - Charlottetown
Thurs. April 21 - Fredericton
Fri. April 22 - Montreal


Please see:
Sgro took a last kick at the can
Law would punish Canadians who were teens when they were forced to join Nazi groups during World War II

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KITKA COMES A-CAROLING

Eight-member a cappella group brings Wintersongs lineup here Saturday, putting a new twist on eastern-European Christmas folksongs


BERNARD PERUSSE (Montreal Gazette), Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Christmas might be a memory, leaving only a pile of bills in its wake, but that doesn't mean we have to say goodbye to seasonal songs just yet. Kitka, an eight-woman vocal ensemble based in Oakland, Calif., plans to sing us through the cold darkness that still lies ahead.

Their a cappella voices will join together Saturday night to present their Wintersongs repertoire, made up largely of songs from last year's disc of the same title, as well as selections from their three other albums. The show is part of the group's first visit to Canada.

But those who can't stomach another note of Christmas music need not worry: the material in Kitka's set lists is mostly eastern European in origin, and audiences will be offered folktales from such places as Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Belarus - in their original languages - instead of Silver Bells or White Christmas. Medieval Sephardic songs, Slavic folk carols and Eastern Orthodox sacred choral works are among Kitka's specialties.

Shira Cion, one of the group's vocalists and its executive director, said the richness of the region's music drew the many women who have passed through the group's revolving-door lineup over the years. Kitka - the name means "bouquet" in Bulgarian and Macedonian - was formed in 1979 as an offshoot of a Bavarian dance project put together by the Westwind International Folk Ensemble in the San Francisco Bay area. "The group kept gathering informally for many years in peoples' living rooms and, over time, it evolved and eventually turned into a professional touring ensemble," Cion said - one that now performs to standing-room-only audiences in its home base.

Five women took part in the Westwind project, but none of the original singers are still in Kitka. Cion, who joined in 1988, is one of the longest-standing members, and some have joined as recently as last year. All have been attracted by the haunting music that has become, for them, a lifelong love affair.

An open-voice technique, which parts ways with Western operatic and pop singing by losing much of the vibrato, is crucial to the group's sound, Cion said. Strong harmonies and unusual rhythms are also a trademark. "(Unexpected time signatures) produce a mesmerizing, hypnotic groove in slower tempos. In faster tempos, it becomes a very driving, almost maniacal kind of rhythmic pattern - and we love that," Cion said.

For source material, some of it pre-Christian, the group sometimes goes into the field. A trip to Bulgaria and Macedonia in 2002 was their most recent excursion and a mission to Ukraine and Belarus is planned for this summer. "In general, people in eastern Europe sing more as a part of everyday life. Standard inhibitions about performance or singing in tune don't apply. And one thing that's so challenging about collecting these tunes is that, often, they're not sung the same way twice by our source people over there," Cion said.

The trips also present economic challenges - not only to raise funds, but to adapt to a different standard of living. "Often, I feel expeditions combine camping and roughing it with lessons in how privileged and spoiled we are in our North American lifestyles," Cion said.

Although the members of Kitka speak a variety of languages, that doesn't always help decipher regional speech patterns. "Many of the folk songs we collect are actually not in standard, academic contemporary languages or dialects," Cion said. "There's always the challenge of reconciling the Bulgarian you studied in a course or in a book with the way people actually speak and sing over there." Ethic communities in North America also help the group uncover material.

Once some previously unheard music is in the bag, the members decide on their approach to singing it. That could mean sticking to the tune as they heard it or coming up with their own arrangement. "We really enjoy picking a folk melody - and we'll often hear more layers or harmonies or interesting ways of setting it that spring more from our imaginations than from the traditional performance style," Cion said.

As for the final sound, Kitka works with each member's strengths and assets as a vocalist, Cion said. "We work tirelessly to achieve an ensemble blend that incorporates all of the voices and all the different colours," she said.

Kitka performs at Maison de la Culture Ahuntsic-Cartierville, 10,300 Lajeunesse St., Saturday, February 5, 2005 at 8:00 p.m. Admission is free, but call to confirm there is still space available. Call (514) 872-8749.

www.kitka.org

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HE BELIEVES GIVERS RECEIVE

Mitch Joel of Twist Image doesn't spend a lot of time in the office, giving about one-third of his workday to the community


STEPHANIE WHITTAKER, Freelance (Montreal Gazette), Monday, January 31, 2005

Mitch Joel has a philosophy that has guided how he runs his life and his business. "There are people who can give and those who must receive," he says. "I'm damn grateful that I'm one of the people who can give."

Joel, a partner in Twist Image, a Montreal marketing and communications firm, spends about one-third of his workday giving his time and efforts to the community.

"I work for about 10 or 12 volunteer organizations and spend a lot of my day doing that," Joel said.

He's discovered the karma of business. "Givers gain," he said.

His approach has been a two-way street. While Joel, 33, is out of his office doing community work, the goodwill it generates attracts business to his company.

Joel discovered the joys of community volunteerism about 10 years ago.

A university dropout, he's had a varied career that includes publishing a rock magazine and freelancing for alternative weekly newspapers. He also spent two years editing In Montreal magazine, a publication that focused on young Jewish Montrealers, which led him to a gig with search engine Mama.com.

"I met someone who was in business development at Mama.com. I helped build the company and was there through several buyings and sellings of it."

What followed was a series of positions, first as director of marketing and communications at Airborne Entertainment, the co-founding of a music label and a gig with a public-relations firm before he met Aubrey Rosenhek and Mickael Kanfi, the founders of Twist Image, 21/2 years ago.

"I thought of working as a consultant for Twist Image, but within two weeks, the partners and I realized we had the same vision and goals and we decided to work together," he said.

Housed in a hip open-office space in the Plateau, the company has attracted such clients as Bombardier, Insight, McGill University, iPerceptions, Mount Sinai Hospital, SNG Chartered Accountants and K-Way, which Twist is rebranding.

"We do everything from branding and advertising to marketing, communications and Web," Joel said. The company now employs about 10.

Joel doesn't spend a lot of time in the office, though.

Back when he was working for In Montreal magazine, he discovered he wanted to dedicate time to his community.

"When I left that job, I knew that I would continue to do volunteer work for Federation Combined Jewish Appeal," he said. "I had never done any volunteer work at all, but I started getting involved in events and various other nonprofit groups.

"I would meet people and it felt very liberating. Once you start doing that, it's like a tectonic shift. You almost want to quit your day job."

His community involvements, which have won him a raft of awards, are many and include working for Youth Employment Services, Federation CJA and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

How does business gain from giving time to community causes?

"The community benefits," Joel said. "If I ask someone to speak at the Youth Employment Services entrepreneurship conference, I'm getting that person involved in community. They get to network and we grow our connection."

"I call this kind of work being socially responsible," said Stephen Goldberg of Optimus Performance, a West Island firm that does training and development and coaching in the corporate milieu.

"When we work with business leaders, we encourage them to adopt social responsibility. How much importance they place on it depends on the health of their businesses. When a company is in survival mode, it can't always focus on the community."

But healthy companies that can afford the time and resources to shore up their communities do benefit, Goldberg said.

"Your ability to generate business depends on the health of your locality," he said. "We have to look at creating healthy environments to nourish businesses."

He said healthy communities produce productive workforces.

"But even if business owners understand that concept, how much they'll devote to improving the community depends on their values," Goldberg said.

There is, however, a big payoff for businesspeople when they network through community work, he said.

"Anytime you're out with people, you're exposing yourself and your business," he said.

"All things being equal, people will do business with people they know and trust and, all things being unequal, people will do business with those they know and trust."

Working for one's community also demonstrates to potential business contacts "that you're genuine," said Goldberg, who also gives his time to various kinds of volunteer work.

"And the rule of abundance is that whatever you give, will come back to you."

What's more, volunteering can forge deeper connections with others than those gained from simply attending networking events and handing out business cards, he said.

Like Joel, Goldberg believes that helping the community is its own reward.

"The idea is we can create a better world by starting as individuals," he said.

Ann Coombs of Vancouver-based Coombs Consulting Ltd. and the author of The Living Workplace (Soul, Spirit and Success in the 21st Century), applauds people like Joel who devote their time to community pursuits.

"Social responsibility hit the corporate world about 15 years ago and everyone got on the bandwagon, giving employees time off to do volunteer work.

"Now, this encompasses other things, such as employee-wellness and environmental issues.

"I think the essence of creating living workplaces is that you can't ask people to leave their life purpose and values behind when they arrive at work. Organizations have to become sensitive to what people feel rather than just what they think.

"After doing volunteer work, people bring a renewed perspective on compassion, listening, dialogue and empathy to work."

When the example starts at the top, it percolates down.

"Shortly after the tsunami in southeast Asia, one of our employees suggested instead of going out for lunch, we should brown bag it and donate what we would have spent on lunch to the tsunami victims," Joel said. "The employees collected $250 and the partners doubled it to $500."

Joel's other key philosophy is that "we have a short time on this Earth. That's why I do what I do. I want to make sure that when I draw my last breath, I'll have made a difference.

"My business life and my personal life are intertwined. I can't pull the wires apart and say that one part is separate from the other."

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Sokyrka named Saskatchewan Centennial 2005 Youth Ambassador


January 1, 2005

Theresa Sokyrka was born in Moose Jaw and now lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her interest in music started at an early age being born into a musical family. Sokyrka was very active in her Ukrainian culture, attending the province's only Ukrainian bilingual program at St. Goretti School. Sokyrka also studied dance, violin and voice.

A graduate of Saskatoon's Holy Cross High School, Sokyrka added oboe and bassoon to her list of talents. In her senior year, she was the lead in "My Fair Lady." Sokyrka enrolled in the music program at Red Deer College where she took special interest in jazz vocals, taught herself to play the guitar and began to write and perform her music arrangements.

In April 2004, Sokyrka was one of 9,000 people to audition for Canadian Idol. After 21 weeks of competition, Sokyrka emerged as the runner up in the talent competition. During those weeks, Sokyrka captivated the hearts of millions of Canadians with her vocal artistry, unending diversity, natural elegance and genuine personal modesty. With her cheerful and friendly personality and her genuinely wholesome demeanor, she attracted legions of fans and has become a refreshing positive role model for young Canadians and a deserving recipient of the title Saskatchewan Centennial 2005 Youth Ambassador.

Throughout 2005, Sokyrka will have the chance to share her talent and her Saskatchewan spirit with the province and nation. In her role as youth ambassador, Sokyrka will promote the province and share her unique perspective and experiences with Saskatchewan youth.

Theresa Sokyrka's
Official Fan Club Site!

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Moderate Christians benefit from Ukraine's determined fight for democracy


by Michael Bourdeaux (Keston Institute)

IN EARLY November last year the staff of Viktor Yushchenko, soon to be installed as Ukraine's new President, found a stock of some 10,000 unsigned leaflets in an Orthodox church calling him "a partisan of the schismatics and an enemy of Orthodoxy" and his American-born wife, Kateryna Chumachenko, a "CIA agent".

These were on the premises of the Holy Assumption Church in Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky, an undeveloped rural region in southwestern Ukraine, adjacent to the independent state of Moldova. Further copies were distributed in the more populous regions around Odessa.

This was the worst, but by no means the only, instance of a church-based scurrilous campaign against the eventual winner of the recent elections. In Kyiv itself on November 11, Orthodox priests led a procession of some 2,000 people between Ukraine's two most ancient Christian sites, the Monastery of the Caves and St Sofia's Cathedral, carrying not only icons, but also political banners proclaiming anti-Nato and anti-American slogans. This was a strong visual component in the anti-Yushchenko campaign on television before the falsified election in which his rival, Viktor Yanukovych, would prematurely claim victory.

So did the Orthodox Church take a united stand against the man who has now been elected and who is reportedly a member of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (as is his wife)? The answer is no.

There is schism among Ukrainian Orthodox, with three separate jurisdictions within the same territory. Before independence in 1991, the Moscow Patriarchate stood alone in Ukraine, dominating church life there as surely as the Kremlin and communism ruled the political sphere. Just before this, Moscow had suffered a devastating blow: the relegalisation, during Mikhail Gorbachev's last days, of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in the West, that part of Ukraine which had not been under Soviet control until the westward march of the Soviet Army in the Second World War. In 1946 Stalin's henchmen liquidated the Church of the people there, once designated as "Uniate" -- a Church which celebrated the liturgy according to the Orthodox model, had a married priesthood (though celibate bishops), but was also fiercely loyal to the Vatican. Moreover, it contained a nucleus of Ukrainian nationalism. Stalin believed that by forcing the Greek Catholics to become Orthodox and imprisoning all the bishops, he could force people to transfer their loyalty to Moscow. Although some of the clergy, fearing for the lives of their families, yielded, Stalin had buried a time bomb, which ticked away for 40 years until Gorbachev's policies opened the way for the old wrongs to be righted.

The Moscow patriarchate, in retreat, nevertheless continued to dominate the majority of the churches in the Russian-speaking areas of central (around Kyiv) and eastern Ukraine. However, a strong minority established a schismatic jurisdiction, the Kyiv Patriarchate, which supported Ukrainian independence.

Yet a third jurisdiction came into being, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, which traced its origins back to the brief years after 1917 when Ukraine was an independent state and before it was liquidated after the imposition of Soviet control. These churches offered mostly tacit support for Yushchenko.

However, on November 20, the day before the rigged election, the head of the Moscow jurisdiction, Metropolitan Volodymyr, perhaps recoiling from President Putin's blatant interference in the process, seemed to feel a chill wind. He called on both candidates to "stand together against those who want to sow discord" and quoted the words of the great poet Taras Shevchenko: "Love your Ukraine and pray for it." Opposition voices within the Moscow jurisdiction then became stronger. Early last month, three priests and a group of laymen circulated an open letter calling on President Kuchma and Yanukovych to resign.

After the falsified election, events in church circles were now moving as fast as in the political sphere. Amid the turmoil, Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, head of the Greek Catholic Church, pointed out on December 5 that "the root of the crisis remains an immoral regime which has deprived the Ukrainian people of their legitimate rights and dignity", but ten days later his synod of bishops issued a statesman-like call to their clergy "not to take part in election campaigning and not to limit the rights of the faithful".

There was one remarkable ecumenical Christian intervention from outside. Anticipating, as it were, the visit of President Saakashvili of Georgia to congratulate Yushchenko on December 31, a group of three clergymen from Tbilisi occupied the rostrum on Independence Square earlier in the month and addressed a rally. By now Ukrainian TV was carrying the full story of the demonstrations, so the sight of these three -- two Georgian Orthodox clerics, Fathers Basil Kobakhidze and Zaza Tevzadze, unofficially led by the head of the Georgian Baptist Church, Bishop Malkhaz Songulashvili -- carried a strong message. These men had been prominent in the movement for democracy in Georgia a year earlier and Bishop Malkhaz had several times suffered physical assault from fanatical elements in the Orthodox Church.

Absent from the reports about activities on Independence Square is any account of the significant relief work and nurture of demonstrators which the various Protestant churches (strong in Ukraine) carried out in two tents. They called on demonstrators not to fuel their protests with vodka. This had an effect on some of the Yanukovych supporters brought from Donetsk for whom strong drink was on tap. Apparently, some listened to the message, even its Christian content.

The three most senior Protestant leaders (of different churches) co-signed a statement on December 2 condemning the falsification of the recent election results. They were joined by Cardinal Husar and Patriarch Filaret, head of the Kyiv patriarchate, in an unprecedented ecumenical gesture. Protestant leaders also offered prayers from the platform on December 5.

The Moscow patriarchate, like Putin himself, has lost an immense amount of face. Patriarch Aleksei II in Moscow issued a defensive statement last week in which he said: "I expect the new President of Ukraine will have enough wisdom to go the way of unity and not confrontation" -- which is being interpreted in Kyiv as both directive and patronising. Authoritarianism has taken a sharp blow, while independent Christian voices have shown themselves both moderate and effective, raising their stock in Ukrainian society.

Canon Michael Bourdeaux is the founder and president of Keston Institute, Oxford, which monitors religious freedom in the communist and former communist countries (www.keston.org)

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BACK CHANNELS: A CRACKDOWN AVERTED

How Top Spies in Ukraine Changed the Nation's Path


By C. J. CHIVERS

January 17, 2005 New York Tims

KYIV, Ukraine, Jan. 16 - As protests here against a rigged presidential election overwhelmed the capital last fall, an alarm sounded at Interior Ministry bases outside the city. It was just after 10 p.m. on Nov. 28.

More than 10,000 troops scrambled toward trucks. Most had helmets, shields and clubs. Three thousand carried guns. Many wore black masks. Within 45 minutes, according to their commander, Lt. Gen. Sergei Popkov, they had distributed ammunition and tear gas and were rushing out the gates.

Kyiv was tilting toward a terrible clash, a Soviet-style crackdown that could have brought civil war. And then, inside Ukraine's clandestine security apparatus, strange events began to unfold.

While wet snow fell on the rally in Independence Square, an undercover colonel from the Security Service of Ukraine, or S.B.U., moved among the protesters' tents. He represented the successor agency to the K.G.B., but his mission, he said, was not against the protesters. It was to thwart the mobilizing troops. He warned opposition leaders that a crackdown was afoot.

Simultaneously, senior intelligence officials were madly working their secure telephones, in one instance cooperating with an army general to persuade the Interior Ministry to turn back.

The officials issued warnings, saying that using force against peaceful rallies was illegal and could lead to prosecution and that if ministry troops came to Kyiv, the army and security services would defend civilians, said an opposition leader who witnessed some of the exchanges and Oleksander Galaka, head of the military's intelligence service, the G.U.R., who made some of the calls.

Far behind the scenes, Col. Gen. Ihor P. Smeshko, the S.B.U. chief, was coordinating several of the contacts, according to Maj. Gen. Vitaly Romanchenko, leader of the military counterintelligence department, who said that on the spy chief's orders he warned General Popkov to stop. The Interior Ministry called off its alarm.

Details of these exchanges, never before reported, provide insight into a hidden factor in the so-called Orange Revolution, the peaceful protests that overturned an election and changed the political course of a post-Soviet state.

Throughout the crisis an inside battle was waged by a clique of Ukraine's top intelligence officers, who chose not to follow the plan by President Leonid D. Kuchma's administration to pass power to Prime Minister Viktor F. Yanukovich, the president's chosen successor. Instead, these senior officers, known as the siloviki, worked against it.

Such a position is a rare occurrence in former Soviet states, where the security agencies have often been the most conservative and ruthless instruments of state power.

Interviews with people involved in these events - opposition leaders, chairmen of three intelligence agencies and several of their senior officers, Mr. Kuchma, a senior Western diplomat, members of Parliament, the interior minister and commander of the ministry's troops - offer a view of the siloviki's work.

The officers funneled information to Mr. Kuchma's rivals, provided security to opposition figures and demonstrations, sent choreographed public signals about their unwillingness to follow the administration's path and engaged in a psychological tug-of-war with state officials to soften responses against the protests.

Ultimately, the intelligence agencies worked - usually in secret, sometimes in public, at times illegally - to block the fraudulent ascension of Mr. Yanukovich, whom several of the generals loathe. Directly and indirectly, their work supported Viktor A. Yushchenko, the Western-oriented candidate who is now the president-elect.

Many factors that sustained the revolution that formed around Mr. Yushchenko are well known. They include Western support, the protesters' resolve, cash from wealthy Ukrainians, coaching by foreign activists who had helped topple presidents in Georgia and Serbia, the unexpected independence of the Supreme Court and cheerleading by a television station, Channel 5, which Mr. Kuchma never shut down.

Each influenced the outcome to various degrees. None by itself seems decisive. The full extent of the siloviki's role is unknown, although Oleg Ribachuk, Mr. Yushchenko's chief of staff, called it "a very important element" that aided the opposition "professionally and systemically." "They were doing this like a preventive operation," he said.

Opposition Inside the S.B.U.

The support did not start with the protests. Long before the election, the siloviki and the opposition opened quiet lines of communication, including General Smeshko's assignment last summer of an S.B.U. general as secret liaison to Mr. Ribachuk.

The 38,000-member S.B.U. is Ukraine's descendant of the Soviet K.G.B., and has been sullied by its reputation for blackmail, arms trading and links with Russian security services and organized crime. It remains highly factionalized, with cliques loyal to different political camps, and with remnant ties to its old masters in Moscow.

Its previous chairman, Leonid Derkach, was fired under international pressure after being accused of organizing the sale of radar systems to embargoed Iraq. Mr. Kuchma appointed General Smeshko, a generally Western-oriented official and a career military intelligence officer as S.B.U. chairman in 2003. The general had previously been posted to embassies in Washington and Zurich; the move was regarded as an effort to smooth relations with the West.

Some of the siloviki who worked against the fraudulent election and resisted the crackdown are part of General Smeshko's military intelligence circle and had spent parts of their careers working in Western countries or as liaisons to Western governments.

Mr. Ribachuk said that he ultimately had several S.B.U. contacts, and they met regularly, sometimes nightly. The officers leaked him documents and information from Mr. Kuchma and Mr. Yanukovich's offices, he said, and were sources for much of the material used in the opposition's media campaign.

Whether the collaboration was a convergence of political aims, or a pragmatic understanding by the siloviki that Mr. Yushchenko's prospects were rising, is subject to dispute. Yulia Tymoshenko, another of Mr. Yushchenko's closest allies, said many S.B.U. officials, including General Smeshko, merely hedged their bets. "This was a very complicated game," she said.

Mr. Ribachuk saw it differently. "They are clearly our supporters," he said. "They risked their lives and careers."

The officers themselves express several motivations.

One, said Lt. Gen. Igor Drizhchany, who runs the S.B.U.'s legal department, was simple. "At all times we talked of our desire to prevent the shedding of blood," he said.

But there are also signs that among some officers a desire to block Mr. Yanukovich was authentic. Having been prime minister for two years, Mr. Yanukovich was well known. Several S.B.U. officers said the premier, who was once convicted of robbery and assault and has close links to the corrupt eastern businessmen who have acquired much of Ukraine's material wealth, was a man they preferred not to serve, especially if he were to take office by fraud.

S.B.U. officials and Mr. Ribachuk also said that roughly a week before the Nov. 21 election, General Smeshko was disgusted enough after a personal meeting with Mr. Yanukovich that he sought to resign, and vowed never to work for the premier.

Mr. Kuchma did not accept the resignation, telling the spy chief that if he left, then a general loyal to Mr. Yanukovich would assume the post, and the nation would risk bloodshed, General Smeshko and Mr. Kuchma said.

It is not clear whether the president was certain of this, or simply outmaneuvered General Smeshko to avoid pre-election turmoil. But the spy chief stayed on.

Sending Signals

The siloviki's unease with Mr. Yanukovich's candidacy deepened on Nov. 21 when early results indicated the premier was winning the election, but through widespread fraud.

The S.B.U.'s leadership met in General Smeshko office. Among those present were General Romanchenko, General Drizhchany, Maj. Gen. Oleksander Sarnatskyi, the chief of S.B.U.'s cabinet, and Col. Valery Kondratyuk, chief of liaison to foreign intelligence services.

The group contemplated a public resignation, but decided to try steering the gathering forces from a clash, and to fight from within. "Today we can save our faces or our epaulettes, or we can try to save our country," General Romanchenko and General. Sarnatskyi said they remembered the spy chief saying.

Whether the full extent of the position and activities of the S.B.U. leadership was understood at this point by Mr. Kuchma is unclear; S.B.U. officers said that given the competing factions in their service, and its infiltration by Russian agents, elements of its work were certainly known.

Kyiv was tense. As protests began on Nov. 21, the opposition had the money and organization for long-term civil disobedience. General Popkov, the interior commander, said he knew this, and had scheduled an exercise that massed 15,000 troops in the capital and nearby. He sent several thousand to barricades and posts at government buildings, and kept more than 10,000 in reserve.

The government swiftly tried drawing the intelligence chiefs into an image of state solidarity. On Nov. 22, the prosecutor general's office released a statement scolding the opposition for organizing the rally. It said the authorities and the S.B.U. were prepared "to firmly put an end to any lawlessness."

General Smeshko said he was furious and called the prosecutor to tell him not to speak for the S.B.U. "It was a falsification," he said. The S.B.U. countered with a statement saying that it disagreed with the prosecutor, that citizens had the right to exercise political freedoms and that political problems could be solved only by a peaceful path.

It was a public crack in Ukraine's law enforcement bodies, and an omen.

On Nov. 24, when the election commission met to certify Mr. Yanukovich's nominal win, Kyiv was so fully blockaded that Mr. Kuchma was unable to work in his office.

He called for a meeting outside the city, where his government celebrated its win and several politicians declared that if crowds continued to block the government, troops should disperse them, three people in the meeting said.

As General Smeshko sat quietly, his spy agency was delivering a shadow blow.

Even as the election commission deliberated over Mr. Yanukovich's victory, Ukrayinska Pravda, a news Web site, posted transcripts of conversations from among members of the Yanukovich campaign.

The officials were discussing plans to rig the election, including padding the vote. One conversation, recorded on election night, was between Yuri Levenets, a campaign manager, and a man identified as Valery.

Valery: "We have negative results."

Mr. Levenets: "What do you mean?"

Valery: "48.37 for opposition, 47.64 for us."

Valery later added: "We have agreed to a 3 to 3.5 percent difference in our favor. We are preparing a table. You will have it by fax."

Mr. Yanukovich won by 2.9 percent. In an interview, Mr. Ribachuk said he gave the transcripts to Pravda after receiving them from the S.B.U., which had bugged the Yanukovich campaign.

General Smeshko refused to discuss the tapes in detail. "Officially, the S.B.U. had nothing to do with the surveillance of Yanukovich campaign officials," he said. "Such taping would be illegal in this country without permission from the court. I will say nothing more."

But a member of the siloviki, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the taping was illegal, acknowledged the surveillance but said it was too delicate for General Smeshko to confirm. "Those who did this, they did not intend to become heroes," the officer said. "They wanted only to prevent a falsified election."

Not long after Pravda posted the transcript, General Smeshko left the meeting with Mr. Kuchma and headed to a S.B.U. safe house in Kyiv for a secret liaison with Mr. Yushchenko, the opposition leader.

The meeting had self-evident ironies. Mr. Yushchenko, nearly incapacitated after being poisoned by dioxin in the summer, a crime that remains unsolved, had publicly linked the poisoning to a meeting with General Smeshko and another S.B.U. general.

Now he wanted another talk. The group met in a tiny room, behind a drawn yellow curtain, and ate fruit. Present were General Sarnatskyi, General Smeshko and General Romanchenko, as well as Mr. Yushchenko, Mr. Ribachuk and another Yushchenko ally.

Two agreements were struck, both sides say.

Mr. Yushchenko requested more security for his campaign. General Smeshko agreed to provide him eight specialists from the elite Alpha counterterrorism unit - a highly unusual step - and to arrange former S.B.U. members to guard the campaign.

Then the group also agreed that the S.B.U. must publicly show that it was on the side of the law, not a candidate - an implicit message the agency was unwilling to abuse power for the premier.

As the meeting ended, Mr. Yushchenko, who is an amateur artist, gave General Smeshko one of his landscape paintings. The spy chief and the opposition leader embraced.

Back at the S.B.U. headquarters, General Smeshko and the siloviki decided that to send a signal to the public they would send officers to read a statement to the protesters. Mr. Yushchenko appeared the next night, Nov. 25, with five members of S.B.U.

Their statement was indirectly but clearly pro-opposition. It said concerns about the election were valid, and addressed the Supreme Court, which had just announced that it would review complaints of electoral fraud. The officers urged the judges to work objectively.

Then they addressed police officers and soldiers. "Do not forget that you are called to serve the people," their statement said. "The S.B.U. considers its main assignment is to protect the people, no matter the source of the threat. Be with us!"

It was a rare moment for officers used to anonymity and reflected how deeply opposition sentiments had reached into Ukrainian society. In interviews, two officers from the stage, Lt. Gen. Oleksander Skibinetsky, a reservist, and Lt. Gen. Oleksander Skipalsky, who is retired, were asked if their families influenced their decisions.

"Both of our wives were in the square," General Skibinetsky said.

General Skipalsky said: "My wife. And my daughter, too."

The signal seemed to have had its desired effect. The next morning, cadets from the Interior Ministry's academy joined the opposition, marching to the barricades to try to persuade the officers on duty to join them. A few carried flowers.

The Battle for Kuchma

The state was leaking power. The next day, Nov. 27, Mr. Kuchma summoned General Smeshko to a meeting at Koncha Zaspa, a government sanitarium outside Kyiv.

In a conference room were Mr. Yanukovich and politicians from eastern regions supporting him, with the leader of the Interior Ministry, or M.V.D., Mykola Bilokon, one of Mr. Kuchma's loyalists, who made no secret of his support for the premier.

Mr. Yanukovich confronted Mr. Kuchma, asking if he was betraying them, four people in the meeting said. Then came demands: schedule an inauguration, declare a state of emergency, unblock government buildings.

Mr. Kuchma icily addressed his former protégé. "You have become very brave, Viktor Feyodovich, to speak to me in this manner," he said, according to Mr. Bilokon and General Smeshko. "It would be best for you to show this bravery on Independence Square."

General Smeshko intervened to offer the S.B.U.'s assessment of the situation, warning the premier that few of Ukraine's troops, if ordered, would fight the people. He also said that even if soldiers followed an order, a crackdown would not succeed because demonstrators would resist. Then he challenged Mr. Yanukovich.

"Viktor Feyodovich, if you are ready for a state of emergency, you can give this order," he said. "Here is Bilokon," he continued. "The head of the M.V.D. You will be giving him, as chairman of the government, a written order to unblock the buildings? You will do this?"

Mr. Yanukovich was silent. General Smeshko waited. "You have answered," he continued, according to people in the meeting. "You will not do it. Let us not speak nonsense. There is no sense in using force."

Mr. Kuchma left the room to take a phone call, then returned with a state television crew. Mr. Yanukovich slammed down his pen and left.

The government's position was set: there would be no martial law. It was formalized the next day, on Nov. 28, when the National Security and Defense Council voted to solve the crisis through peaceful means.

"This was the key decision," Mr. Kuchma later said. "I realized what it meant to de-block government building by force in these conditions. It could not be done without bloodshed."

Fighting a Crackdown

Although there seemed to be a consensus at the council, a crackdown remained possible, either as a response to opposition provocation, or by secret, unexpressed agenda.

Emotions had been rising and falling in Kyiv, and within hours of the council meeting, they surged again when Ms. Tymoshenko, a Yushchenko ally, warned demonstrators that there would be an effort to unblock the government buildings. She urged more people to defend them.

General Popkov, the commander of interior troops, said he was notified of Ms. Tymoshenko's words and the crowd's restlessness, and ordered the alarm. The mobilization began.

Precisely what followed, and why, remains unclear, as does who gave the order, and by what means. General Popkov insists that he alone was engaged in a calculated bluff, and thus made certain his signal would be instantly seen.

Holding up his mobile phone, he said, "I deliberately gave the order on this phone, which is bugged."

Whether General Popkov's phone was bugged is not publicly known. But General Romanchenko said his agents in the interior units watched the preparations; simultaneously, S.B.U officers said, their agents in the Interior Ministry's communications center heard radio traffic about preparations to march. Bedlam, and battles of nerves, ensued.

Reports of the alarm were relayed to the S.B.U. command, which notified the opposition, its officers on Independence Square, and then the American Embassy.

The opposition called the American ambassador John E. Herbst, who called Viktor Pinchuk, Mr. Kuchma's son-in-law, to find out what was happening, Mr. Pinchuk said.

Mr. Pinchuk said he called Viktor Medvedchuk, chief of Mr. Kuchma's administration, who called the interior minister at home. Mr. Bilokon said he did not know what was happening. "I was really worried," Mr. Bilokon said, in an interview. "How, without my knowledge, was this order given?"

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell soon telephoned Mr. Kuchma, who did not take the call.

Outside, the S.B.U. was mobilizing. Several hundred intelligence officers were already among the protesters, S.B.U officials say. Some were pretending to be demonstrators themselves. Concealed surveillance teams were videotaping the crowd. Snipers peered down from roofs. Counterterrorism teams huddled in nearby apartments and unmarked trucks. Groups in vehicles roamed the roads to Kyiv, trying to determine the direction of the troops' advance.

Among the protesters' tents, an S.B.U. colonel who had spent the week as a liaison to the demonstration organizers alerted the organizers that troops were on their way.

His next mission was to meet the troops as they drew near, he said, to warn their officers that a crackdown without written orders was illegal. He said he also planned to warn them that the S.B.U. had surveillance units watching Kyiv, and all actions would be videotaped for use as evidence later.

The fear, he said, was intense. Some intelligence officers thought of China's crushing of the pro-democracy protesters in 1989 in Beijing. Others thought of the Romanian revolution in 1989, when, after troops fired on demonstrators, the people fought back, eventually capturing and killing President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife.

"We could not believe it could occur to somebody to draw the first drop of blood, which would have been the detonator of a big explosion," said the colonel, a deputy chief of Ukraine's counterterrorism forces, who by Ukrainian law is forbidden to have his name published. "It could unleash a civil war in our country. Absolutely, sincerely, we were prepared to do everything in our power to stop it."

While all sides pressed for information and advantage, a group of the siloviki and Ms. Tymoshenko met at the headquarters of the military intelligence service, the G.U.R.

Among them were Mr. Galaka, the G.U.R. chief, General Drizhchany, Colonel Kondratyuk and General Romanchenko, who said he called the S.B.U. headquarters for instructions. "Chairman Smeshko told me to call General Popkov, and find out why the alert had been called," he said.

An extraordinary exchange followed. The counterintelligence chief called the troop commander, whom he had known for years, and asked what were the grounds for the alert. "He said it was his decision," General Romanchenko said. "I said to General Popkov that he had to have a written order to raise troops on full alert, and since he did not have this order he would have to call back the troops."

Simultaneously, from his office at S.B.U. headquarters, General Smeshko called Mr. Bilokon, who sought assurances the opposition would not seize buildings, both men said. General Smeshko called him back and gave that assurance, shifting responsibility to himself if buildings were overrun.

Other officers said that after about an hour, Col. Gen. Oleksander Petruk, the army chief of staff, arrived at the military intelligence service's office. The intelligence officer pressed him for help. He said the army would not deploy inside Ukraine. "He said it would not be done," Colonel Kondratyuk said. General Petruk's staff did not return phone messages seeking an interview.

Ms. Tymoshenko said she watched with amazement as the siloviki and then General Petruk made calls and warned the Interior Ministry "that they are on the side of the people, and will defend the people, and that the M.V.D. will have to deal not only with unarmed people and youth if it comes to Kyiv, but with the army" and the special forces inside the intelligence agencies.

Eventually, General Popkov folded. "He said he was carrying out orders and he was not a key figure," Ms. Tymoshenko said. First the trucks stopped on the shoulder of the road. Then the alarm was called off.

General Drizhchany, and others, said that because so many calls were made that night by and to so many people, it was impossible to tell which calls were decisive. More likely, he said, was that the calls had a cumulative effect.

While different accounts of the mobilization agree on many points, they clash on critical questions. Who ordered the alarm? Who called the troops back?

General Popkov said both decisions were solely his. This is the official version, which the siloviki, the opposition and the Western diplomat dismiss as absurd. "What he did was not a drill," said Mr. Galaka.

Only three people, they say, had authority to give such an order: Mr. Kuchma, Mr. Yanukovich and Mr. Medvedchuk. Mr. Kuchma denies a role. Mr. Yanukovich and Mr. Medvedchuk did not reply to requests for interviews.

Ms. Tymoshenko said she witnessed a turning point. Once the siloviki thwarted the alarm, the administration learned that it did not have sole influence over the last guarantor of power: the men with the guns.

After a peaceful uprising in Georgia in 2003 deposed President Eduard Shevardnadze, in part with help from the authorities, she said she was envious of a country with officers willing to resist corrupt power.

"I had always thought that all of our generals were very loyal to Kuchma and were pragmatic," she said. "All of a sudden I made this discovery. We had generals on the side of the people."

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Montrealer takes know-how to Kyiv


PEGGY CURRAN, The Gazette

January 13, 2005

Chris Mota knows her way around a crisis. A public relations officer at Concordia University, she has spent too much of the last three years at the bull's-eye of the country's most stormy campus politics.

Efficient and unflappable, she earns her keep unruffling feathers, unravelling logisitical knots and trying to polish the school's bruised image.

No surprise, then, that as the fall term ended, she jumped at a chance for a busman's holiday tackling a very different struggle - using her Ukrainian background, local contacts and language skills to act as an unofficial liasion for North American reporters dispatched to cover Viktor Yushchenko's "Chestnut Revolution" in Kyiv.

In mid-November, as Yushchenko's battle for control of the Ukrainian parliament caught the imagination of Western media outlets, Mota began getting calls from Canadian journalists eager to pick her brain before heading overseas. Quick to recognize a goodwill opportunity, Mota's boss told her to hop on a plane for Kyiv, where hundreds of thousands of Yushchenko supporters had set up tents demanding their candidate be granted the reins of power.

"I covered the fall of the Berlin Wall for the CBC, and I know how important a big event like that can be in developing expertise and getting perspective," said Evelyne Abitbol, director of public affairs and government relations at Concordia.

Mota had been to Ukraine only once before - a sentimental journey with her parents last spring, only months before her mother's death. Yet the Greenfield Park native felt right at home immediately. "I could live there in a heartbeat," she said.

Understanding the political landscape is ingrained in her family tree. Mota's uncle, Mykola Plawiuk, was a key organizer of the World Congress of Free Ukrainians and leader of the Ukrainian Nationalist Movement. He held the title, largely symbolic, as president of the Ukrainian national government-in-exile when the country broke from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in August 1991.

For 10 days in December, Mota, a former radio reporter, camped in her uncle's apartment and offered journalists help in finding their way around. She also took to the streets to scout out her own stories for Ukrainian Time, a Montreal-based radio Webcast, appeared as a commentator on Canadian news broadcasts and soaked up atmosphere.

"In Independence Square one night, I realized I was standing in the middle of history," Mota said.

"When Yushchenko spoke, there wasn't a sound. Yet the minute he stopped, the chanting started - more than half a million people in a rousing chorus of the national anthem."

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2005

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The Cossack's Last Laugh


By Jacek Rostowski
(January 6, 2005, The Wall Street Journal Europe, A8)

The massive demonstrations on the streets of Kyiv, which forced President Leonid Kuchma to concede free and fair elections in Ukraine, and which have now been crowned by Viktor Yushchenko's victory, were only the latest act in a 500-year old conflict between constitutional government and autocracy in the lands stretching from the Vistula river to the Ural mountains. It is usually forgotten in the West that Eastern Europe long had its own, homegrown constitutional forms of government. From the 13th century the city of Novgorod was a wealthy trading republic that came to rule a quarter of Russia. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was an elective monarchy with a powerful parliament and autonomous provincial diets, and Transylvania elected its Prince and had self-governing cities within its borders. Even the Duchy of Prussia had a functioning Diet (local parliament) in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Of course, in these constitutional regimes voting rights were limited to the nobility or rich merchants, but that was also largely the case at the time in Britain and Holland. For three centuries, the voting (noble) population of Poland-Lithuania exceeded that of Britain several times over. The onslaught against constitutionalism in the region was launched by Ivan III (the Great), the Grand Duke of Muscovy, who conquered Novgorod in 1477. Over the next 300 years Muscovite Russia, later joined by the autocracies of Austria and Prussia, destroyed one East European constitutional regime after another, until the last of them disappeared with the third partition of Poland in 1795. There is little doubt that the triumph of imperial autocracy in the 18th and 19th centuries helped pave the way for communist totalitarianism in the 20th century.

A key turning point in these developments was the Cossack uprising in Ukraine in 1648. The Sich Cossacks, a self-governing community of escaped serfs turned warriors, wanted voting rights and autonomy within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Blind class hatred prevented the Polish nobility from accepting these demands for equality, and in 1654 by the Treaty of Pereiaslav, just over 350 years ago, the Cossacks placed themselves under the protection of the Russian czar. Not surprisingly, with time they were deprived of the freedom they had sought. This background makes what has happened in Kyiv all the more fitting. Many of the lands in Eastern Europe that experienced constitutional government in the past have now recovered it. With the triumph of freedom in Ukraine, despite the best efforts of an increasingly autocratic Russia, constitutionalism has recovered most of the losses it suffered over the past 350 years. There is now reason to hope that the Ukrainian example will spread to Russia itself, bringing democracy back to Moscow, the historical heart of autocracy in Eastern Europe.

- Mr. Rostowski is professor of economics at the Central European University, Budapest and a trustee of the CASE Foundation, Warsaw.

(Copyright (c) 2005, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)

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UKRAINE THE LATEST TO TEST AN OLD ADAGE


The Montreal Gazette (Editorial)

Thursday, December 23, 2004

In November, as the street drama in Kyiv neared a climax, Viktor Yushchenko said a strange thing. At the height of the contest of wills over the disputed election, Yushchenko was rejoicing in a court ruling that helped his case. "This is only the beginning," he told thousands of cheering supporters in Independence Square. "It is proof that society always wins."

"Society always wins." A Ukrainian needs a highly developed sense of philosophical detachment to make a statement like that. In the last 100 years or so, an ocean of blood has been spilled in the Ukraine, by Hitler, by Stalin and by their governing henchmen, foreign and domestic.

Government and society: They aren't opposing forces, exactly, but they're certainly not the same thing, either. The African proverb "it takes a village to raise a child" acknowledges that society - the association of individuals, in all the boundless complexity of that phrase - has always been central to human experience.

But the Hillary Clintons of this world use that old saying rather differently: To them it is a justification for centralizing the work of society in the hands of government. It's all well-intentioned, no doubt, if a little self-serving. But if the century just ended taught us anything, in the Ukraine and elsewhere, it taught us that too much centralized authority leads straight to oppression and from there, often, to disaster.

In Yushchencko's sweeping claim we hear the secular echo of Pope John Paul II's magnificent exhortation to his fellow Poles when they languished under the yoke of Communism: "Do not be afraid," the Pope said. This fall, it was the turn of Yushchenko to urge his followers to conquer their fear. They did so, and society rose up and rejected an unjust, unloved and undemocratic regime.

That regime, it must be acknowledged, chose not to order the guns. This was mere prudence for a regime unable to trust its soldiers to shoot their brothers and sisters. Still, the ancien regime could have tried some head-breaking, and did not.

That pattern became familiar a decade and more ago as successive Soviet-bloc states withered and fell. When the time is right for society to assert itself, against a government revealed as rotten, then society mobilizes itself, and mere armoured regiments cannot defeat it.

"Society always wins." It's a lovely thought, but it's true only in the long term, if then. Potent forces are always ready to subjugate society, as we have been seeing in the Ukraine's big neighbour, Russia, where the forms of democracy, set up in Boris Yeltsin's heady time have been steadily eroded by the KGB man Vladimir Putin.

Society is going to have to win all over again in Russia, and many other places around this weary globe. Still, the events in the Ukraine this fall - culminating in new elections this Sunday - offer tantalizing promise that Victor Yushchenko had a point: Society exists, independent of government, and in the long run society is the master, not the servant, of government.

For all those countries where the opposite is still true, the Ukraine has this year become a beacon of hope.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2004

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UKRAINE: REAL VICTORY STILL TO COME


The Gazette Editorial

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

With one in every eight Canadians able to trace part of his or her ancestry to Ukraine, few countries watched the unfolding of the dramatic election rerun there on Sunday as closely as our own. Canada had 1,500 people on the ground as election observers, including former prime minister John Turner. His endorsement of the credibility of the voting process was featured prominently in international news reports yesterday, and should be seen as a barometer of the continuing international regard for Canada's good name.

Even Canadians who don't have a branch of the family tree extending back into Ukraine would have identified with the election for reasons having to do with what could be called bigbrotheritis. Where Canada lives in the global shadow of the United States, the proverbial mouse next door to the elephant, so Ukrainian history has been defined by the fact it has been joined by geography to the hip of old Russia/cum Soviet Union/cum new Russia of Vladimir Putin.

On those thankfully few occasions when Canada gets hurt because of the United States, it is invariably the result of American self-absorption wrapped up in some kind of political clothing, such as trade protectionism. The elephant sneezes; the mouse rolls. The relationship between Ukraine and Russia has been exceedingly more grim, as history has shown very vividly. One can only hope the Orange Revolution that led to opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko's election victory Sunday will provoke a new era of genuine co-operation between Ukraine and Russia.

Sadly, that is not likely to happen.Winning the election was the easy part for Yushchenko. He can and should expect Putin to do everything possible, on a clandestine level, to undermine the orange julep of political hope overflowing in Ukraine. For the better things go in Ukraine, the more likely it will be the appetite for genuine democratic reform will spill over into other former Soviet republics such as Kazakhstan and Moldova and, ultimately, Russia itself. Putin has no interest in seeing that happen.

One is tempted to say dark forces might try anything short of poisoning Yushchenko to undermine democracy in Ukraine, but, well, we all know about that.Once there was independent confirmation that Yushchenko's pocked face was the product of dioxin poisoning, it was all over for incumbent president Viktor Yanukovych.

Yushchenko looks to be smart enough to know he'll have to take things very slowly, and not get the corrupt Ukrainian oligarchy and bureaucracy too nervous too quickly. He'll also need to reassure Ukraine's important Russian-speaking minority of its future in a truly free Ukraine. Most of all, he'll need some good luck. And if he can find a place that gives lessons in wrestling Russian bears, as opposed to American elephants, he should sign up. As John Turner would put it, Yushchenko is in for the fight of his life.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2004

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ORANGE REVOLUTION CAN'T HAPPEN HERE


Tuesday, December 28, 2004. Page 8

By Boris Kagarlitsky for The Moscow Times

The Orange Revolution in Ukraine has inspired hope in the hearts of the liberal opposition in Russia and struck fear in the heart of the Kremlin. The last few weeks saw countless seminars, round tables and discussions dedicated to a single topic: Could it happen here? Liberal publicists are naturally insisting Russians learn from their Slavic brothers . State ideologues are terrifying the public and each other with the revolutionary phantoms conjured by gangs of young people in the pay of the Soros Foundation.

A real panic seems to have hit the government. Kremlin experts immediately attempted to figure out who the Russian version of Viktor Yushchenko might be. Former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov almost fit the bill: Like Yushchenko, he was also fired from his post and was none too pleased about it. Though Kasyanov never announced any political ambitions publicly, authorities weren't about to take chances. Temuraz Karchava, the president of the Natsional VIP Club and Kasyanov's personal financial manager, wound up behind bars. This may have been a subtle little hint from the administration.

The fear of exported revolution was not the only reason for panic, however. The Kremlin politicos who blew it in Kyiv managed to rack up a huge amount of expenses. Now they have to answer for more than their diplomatic failures. There could be unpleasant questions as to where all the money went. The easiest excuse is to refer to some almighty power behind the Orange Revolution. The absolute evil embodied by the Americans can come into any country, plop down big bucks and organize a revolution in five minutes. Russian politicos can then say that in the fight against absolute evil, even the huge amount of money dedicated to the Ukrainian elections proved too little: We're talking about absolute evil here! We need more money!

At the same time, a simple comparison of the situation in Ukraine and Russia reveals that there is no reason to expect a repeat of the Orange Revolution. First of all, in Ukraine and in Georgia, neo-liberal reforms were implemented more gradually and less completely than in Russia. Ukrainian society has remained extremely Soviet. Ukraine is less capitalist, resembling Russia in the mid-1990s. This defined the nature of the mass mobilizations on both sides. Viktor Yanukovych's supporters in the east were still able to use Soviet methods. The directors of various enterprises could control their employees and get them to demonstrations in the finest Soviet style. The crowds in Kyiv, on the other hand, resembled Moscow's passionate mass demonstrations of the early 1990s.

On both sides, economic status had little effect on individuals' political decisions. In Kyiv, wealthy playboys and impoverished pensioners praised democracy side by side, while in the east, miners risking their lives for pitiful pay and the directors embezzling their wages protested in chorus. A similar situation is difficult to imagine in Russia, which has already gone through capitalism's school of hard knocks.

On the other hand, Russia's political system is much stricter than Ukraine's. There would be no shocked protest of rigged elections, as no serious opposition candidates are allowed to participate in elections in the first place. The Russian Yushchenko would not even be allowed to raise his head on the political scene.

Does this mean that the panic ruling the Kremlin is completely groundless? Not at all. To understand it, however, we need to turn away from political science and do some Freudian psychoanalysis. The crisis in Ukraine allowed the Russian political elite to express its subconscious fears. The elite has been divided, and the united bloc that brought President Vladimir Putin to power has fallen apart. Rival political factions are raring up to battle each other, and they will not be using democratic or "orange" methods. Cruel and shadowy people will fight this fight, and it will be far more frightening than any Orange Revolution.

Boris Kagarlitsky is director of the Institute for Globalization Studies and a columnist for The Moscow Times.

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VESHNYAKOV: NO RUSSIAN REVOLUTION


The Moscow Times

Tuesday, December 28, 2004. Page 1.

By Nabi Abdullaev, Staff Writer

As politicians cheered or jeered the apparent victory of Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko on Monday, Central Elections Commission chief Alexander Veshnyakov vowed that an Orange Revolution would never happen in Russia and President Vladimir Putin, who had once strongly supported Yushchenko's opponent, remained conspicuously silent.

Moscow lobbied hard for Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych ahead of the first election in October and the Nov. 21 runoff vote, and his evident defeat in Sunday's repeat runoff threatens to deliver a stunning blow to its policy efforts in other former Soviet republics.

Veshnyakov told reporters that the mass protests that swept Ukraine in recent weeks would never happen in Russia and that the Russian voting system is too sophisticated to be rigged.

"There are no opportunities or political prerequisites for [protests] here. Moreover, our legal and technical conditions for elections are much better," Veshnyakov said.

He said Russia's computerized voting system, for example, was able to count all the ballots in March's presidential election in just 6 1/2 hours, while it took Ukraine 10 days to count its ballots in the runoff. "And we can show the results from every polling station, which disarms our opponents and does not give anyone a chance to rock the situation as it has been in Ukraine," he said.

Opposition parties complained of vote-rigging in last year's State Duma elections, but their challenge was dismissed by the Supreme Court earlier this month.

Despite his criticism of the Ukrainian election system, Veshnyakov said that he would trust the official results of Sunday's vote.

Putin, who congratulated Yanukovych before official results declaring him the winner were announced in November, made no public comments about the election Monday. During a trip to Germany last week he said he was ready to work with Yushchenko if he won and invited him to visit Moscow. Yushchenko said his first foreign trip as president would be to Moscow.

Putin on Friday fiercely denied meddling in Ukraine's election and accused Western countries of playing an active role in its electoral process.

"We haven't engaged in any behind-the-scenes policymaking in post-Soviet space, and that to some extent limits the instruments we can use to defend our interests," Putin told a meeting of the State Council, a grouping of Cabinet members and regional leaders.

Following Putin's line of accusing the West of meddling in the elections and speculation that Ukraine might be included in NATO, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday urged the United States to be more open about its military presence near Russian borders.

After praising Moscow and Washington's cooperation on countering terrorism, Lavrov said Russia "needs clarity in our relations with the Americans because our country's security depends on it," Itar-Tass reported.

Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov expressed optimism Monday that Russia and Ukraine will find a common language despite "the stain of the Orange Revolution."

The leader of the nationalist Rodina party, Dmitry Rogozin, called on Yushchenko to strengthen Ukraine's ties with Russia and allow Russian language and culture to develop on a par with the Ukrainian language.

He said he has discussed his viewpoints with Yushchenko, and the Ukrainian had "treated them with understanding."

However, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party, said Moscow should adopt a harsher policy toward Kyiv and urged Yanukovych to challenge the results of the election in court. "The main thing is to stop our assistance. We need to pursue stern and dry politics toward Kyiv," he said.

Liberal politicians Irina Khakamada and Boris Nemtsov said Yushchenko's apparent victory is a lesson for Russian civil society.

Moscow faces a backlash over its attempts to intervene in Ukrainian politics, said Sergei Karaganov, a former Putin adviser and head of the Council for Security and Defense Policy. He said a Yushchenko government will feel even more compelled to turn to Europe, which in turn will be more willing to offer it membership in NATO and the European Union. "Thus it may cause substantial complications for Russia," he told Interfax.

A membership offer from NATO is very probable and would seriously hurt Russia's close cooperation with Ukraine in defense matters, and put back in limbo the status of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, which is based in Ukrainian ports, said Vyacheslav Nikonov, head of the Politika Foundation think tank.

Nikonov and Karaganov agreed that Yushchenko would probably pull out of a Putin project to set up an economic union between Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan in 2005.

Just how strained ties might grow depends on whether Moscow "will orient itself toward rapprochement with Europe or further strive to create a 'soft underbelly' to protect itself from the West," said Igor Bunin, head of the Center for Political Technologies.

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YUSHCHENKO SPEECH NOW A RAP ANTHEM


Thursday, December 23, 2004

Anna Melnichuk (Associated Press)

To TV viewers the world over, Ukraine's revolution has been coloured orange. People who have found themselves in Kyiv know it has a strong beat, too - thanks to a speech by opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko that fast morphed into a rap anthem.

"Together, there are many of us and we cannot be overcome," Yushchenko said to the cheering crowd one night last month from the stage on Independence Square that became the epicenter of the revolution.

"Together, there are many of us and we cannot be overcome," the crowd roared back.

It took Oleh Laniak, a disc jockey from the Zakhidnyi Polus radio station in the western city of Ivano-Frankivsk, just a couple of hours to add a few lyrics.

"No falsifications, no lies, no machinations/Yes Yushchenko!/Yes Yushchenko!/This is our president. Yes! Yes!" he wrote in Ukrainian.

"We are not cattle/We are not goats," he went on - invoking prime minister and presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych's dismissal of the protesters as "kozly," a rude word that translates into goats or members of a mindless flock.

"We are Ukraine's/Daughters and sons/Now or never, enough of waiting!"

Roman Kalin and Roman Kostiuk, a singer and guitar player from a pop group called Hryndzholi, or Sleds, wrote the melody.

The anthem has good revolutionary credentials: It echoes the legendary Che Guevara's slogan, "Pueblo unido jamas sera vencido" - "A united people will never be overcome."

"The song emerged at the absolutely right time," said Ivan Piteliak, a law student from Ivano-Frankivsk.

"The guys managed to catch our mood, and they found a proper music form for us, young people, many of whom like rap."

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UKRAINE AND THE LESSONS OF HISTORY


By Alexei Bayer

December 6, 2004

Alexei Bayer, a New York-based economist, writes the Globalist column in Vedomosti on alternate weeks. He contributed this comment to The Moscow Times.

The post-election standoff between the government of Ukraine and the opposition may be decided not at the negotiating table or in the streets of Kyiv, but 800 kilometers to the northeast, in Moscow. This is because the Ukrainian political crisis was engineered by Russia. As a result, whether it ends with a compromise, degenerates into violence or triggers a breakup of Ukraine may well depend on President Vladimir Putin's next move.

How far Putin is prepared to go, and how the West, especially Washington, reacts if Russia intervenes directly, could reshape the global political map for a long time to come. Perhaps in a less dramatic fashion, U.S. foreign policy may be facing in Ukraine its greatest challenge since the Cuban missile crisis four decades ago.

And yet, Moscow's direct intervention in Ukraine would merely mean completing a full circle since the fall of communism and the breakup of the Soviet Union into 15 new nations in 1991. The U.S.S.R. was soundly defeated in the Cold War, but its defeat was eerily reminiscent of the capitulation of the Central Powers at the end of World War I. Just like Germany and Austria-Hungary, post-communist Russia lost its colonial possessions and, in a much-reduced state, was bounced from the ranks of great powers.

But in neither case did surrender come as a result of a decisive battle. Neither the Central Powers nor the Soviet Union suffered serious military destruction or endured occupation, nor did they see the full horrors of the wars their leaders had helped to unleash. True, by 1918 Germany and Austria were too exhausted to fight fresh U.S. forces pouring onto the Western front and, moreover, they faced growing unrest at home. Nevertheless, although surrender was inevitable, it eventually gave rise to the myth of "a stab in the back," which facilitated the rise to power by the Nazis.

In Russia during the 1990s, the sellout myth was also remarkably prominent. Mikhail Gorbachev, the great Soviet reformer, remains unpopular to this day, and a surprisingly large number of Russians blame him for undermining the Soviet Union on orders from Washington. Similar accusations against Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first post-communist president, have been standard fare on the Russian Internet for the past decade.

There were frightening similarities between Yeltsin's Russia and the post-World War I Weimar Republic in Germany. Both suffered a bout of hyperinflation when they were first established, which decimated private savings and undermined popular support for democracy. Both regimes were corrupt and inefficient, and characterized by poverty and hardship at one end of the income spectrum and conspicuous consumption at the other. Both ended up giving democracy a bad name: In Russia, it has received a derisive moniker, dermokratiya, which can be rendered in English as "democrapcy."

As a consequence, when after an economic cataclysm -- the Great Depression in one case and default and ruble devaluation in the other -- anti-democratic forces came to power in Germany in 1933 and in Russia in 2000, few supporters in either country were willing to defend democracy. Worse, plenty of people welcomed "strong" regimes and their crackdown on "capitalist bloodsuckers" -- Jewish department store owners in Germany and (mainly Jewish) oligarchs in Russia.

Adolf Hitler had been a corporal during World War I, whereas Putin rose to the rank of KGB colonel in the Cold War. Despite the obvious disparity in military rank, they were both frontline soldiers who had fought in a lost war. From their standpoint, their side had not been defeated. They had lost because they were betrayed by corrupt politicians back home. Hitler harbored a deep resentment of Czechoslovakia and Poland, which he considered mongrel states carved out of German and Austrian territories at Versailles. He was determined to wipe them off the map -- even if it meant unleashing World War II. Putin, too, seems to have difficulty accepting the independence of former Soviet republics. His administration was notoriously virulent about the popular uprising in Georgia in November 2003, which brought to power a young pro-American reformer, Mikheil Saakashvili. To undermine his government, Russia has spent the past year fomenting separatist troubles in Georgia.

Post-World War I borders left millions of ethnic Germans inside newly created nation-states. Similarly, millions of ethnic Russians have been trapped in former republics, providing a rallying cry for Russian nationalists as well as a convenient pretext for the Kremlin to meddle in the affairs of its neighbors. Actually, some 22 percent of Ukraine's 50 million people identify themselves as ethnic Russians. Former Soviet territories are still commonly referred to in Russia as the "near abroad," implying a qualitative difference from genuinely foreign lands.

Historic parallels can be taken too far, of course. The current Russian regime is certainly nowhere near as murderous as the Nazis were from the start of their rule, and it also lacks a virulent racist creed. Moreover, members of Putin's entourage, though mainly ex-members of Soviet security forces and Cold War veterans, seem to be chiefly concerned with lining their own pockets and appropriating juicy assets, such as Yukos. If Russia gets tangled in Ukraine, the resultant conflict with the West may greatly hamper such highly lucrative efforts.

Nevertheless, history suggests that Russia is likely to assert its dominance in the post-Soviet space, which it regards as its own backyard -- and it may do so with force of arms. In this case, the West needs to be prepared to stand up to Putin and his regime. This is what learning a 60-year-old European history lesson really means.

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THE CASE FOR YUSCHENKO


By Yevgenia Albats

The Moscow Times, November 11, 2004

I'm writing this column the morning of the runoff in Ukraine's presidential election. The result will not be known for at least 24 hours, and it's hard to predict who will win: opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko or Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. In the first round, Yushchenko edged out his rival by less than 1 percent. And I'm picking him to prevail in the runoff as well.

I don't have an explicit preference for either candidate. Yanukovych, chosen by both Kyiv and Moscow as the heir apparent to outgoing President Leonid Kuchma, represents the status quo -- a mixed bag of chronically corrupt bureaucracy, competing oligarchic groups and unprecedented economic growth of nearly 13 percent annually.

Yushchenko has run as the agent of change. He promises to push forward with political and economic reforms and integration with Europe, suggesting a departure from the authoritarian path chosen by the other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States. His nationalist rhetoric could, however, lead to conflict and bloodshed in this ethnically and geographically (east vs. west) divided country, ushering in an era of lasting instability that would scuttle all of his good intentions.

So why do I give the nod to Yushchenko in a very tight race in which both candidates have their pluses and minuses? As a nation, Ukraine has developed a strong sense of self-esteem during 13 years of independence. From the start of the campaign, Moscow openly supported Yanukovych, treating Ukraine as little more than a province of Russia. The Kremlin has demonstrated imperial ambitions and a cynical approach to politics, throwing dozens of its top spin doctors and hundreds of millions of dollars into the effort to defeat Yushchenko. Even President Vladimir Putin has promoted Yanukovych.

The Kremlin's tactics have widened the divide in Ukrainian society between those who want closer ties with Russia and those oriented toward the West. This blatant display of petro-dollar power and disregard for the right of a sovereign nation to choose its own leader is certain to backfire. Ukraine is not a failed state, after all. It is a rapidly developing country that needs no guidance from its neighbors.

Russia has legitimate interests in Ukraine, and therefore has a stake in this election. But the Kremlin's interests do not necessarily coincide with those of Russia. Imagine that Yanukovych wins the runoff but Yushchenko refuses to concede. Yushchenko has already demonstrated his ability to rally hundreds of thousands of supporters to take part in street demonstrations. How would the Kremlin respond? Would it send troops into Ukraine, treating it as another Chechnya? And how would the United States and the rest of Europe react in that case? Would we have a new Cold War on our hands?

But let's say that Yushchenko becomes president. How would the Kremlin deal with a leader whom it has savaged throughout the campaign? No wonder Russian business, while bankrolling the Kremlin's pro-Yanukovych campaign, privately hopes for a clear-cut Yushchenko victory. Neither turbulence in Ukraine nor the expansion of the Kremlin's authoritarian rule over that country serves the business community's interests.

Despite his public pronouncements, it seems that Kuchma has finally realized the challenge as well. And this is another reason why I think Yushchenko will prevail in the runoff. Like their Russian counterparts, the Ukrainian authorities have plenty of tools at their disposal to manipulate the course of a general election. Yet in recent months Kuchma has repeatedly shown that he recognizes the cost both to the country and to himself of excessive state intervention.

Whatever promises the Kremlin might have made to Kuchma regarding his life after leaving public office, its war in recent years against the Yeltsin-era elite and its assault on big business must give him pause. And he is certainly not eager to become an outcast in Europe. Hence Kuchma and his administration have opted to leave the choice of his successor to the people, leaving Yanukovych to sink or swim on his own.

Whatever reservations one might have about Yushchenko, one thing is clear: If the Kremlin's choice, Yanukovych, wins, Ukraine will join the ranks of the authoritarian countries, making change in this part of the world even less likely. A Yushchenko victory, on the other hand, could promote political mobilization and resistance to the omnipotent, cynical politics that prevail in Russia and Belarus, thereby encouraging regime change in those countries as well. And this is another reason to get behind Yushchenko.

Yevgenia Albats holds a Ph.D. in government from Harvard and is professor of political science at Moscow's University -- Higher School of Economics.

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IN PUTIN'S KREMLIN, IT'S ALL ABOUT CONTROL


By Yevgenia Albats

The Washington Post - Sunday, December 12, 2004; Page B03

MOSCOW

The Kremlin's rough intrusion into the Ukrainian elections, including its heavy-handed lobbying on behalf of a convicted criminal, has startled the West on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet for those who have been paying attention to Vladimir Putin's Russia, this should not have come as a surprise. Quite the contrary. The Kremlin's approach to Ukraine's elections is a logical extension of Putin's policies at home over the past four years.

Allow me to remind you of what Putin has accomplished since Boris N. Yeltsin left the presidency on Dec. 31, 1999, and anointed Putin as heir apparent. While declaring himself and Russia a friend of democracy and of the West, Putin has slowly and systematically extended the state's control over society and tightened its grip on Russia's most important institutions.

He has obliterated the media, leaving almost no room for dissent. The national television networks are under strict government control. Just as under the Soviets, editors are summoned to the Kremlin on a weekly basis to be given outlines of what news should be covered and what should not, which guests should be invited to appear on which (pre-recorded) shows and for how many seconds, and which should not. Nothing goes live; spontaneity would be dangerous. Even Kultura, the cultural affairs channel, was recently given a list of unwelcome guests, according to people inside the station.

The slightest deviation can result in punishment. The Kremlin decided that Raf Shakirov, the editor of the national daily Izvestia, covered the hostage crisis in Beslan too emotionally in September because he ran a photo of a dead child on the front page, and he was promptly fired.

No one dares criticize Putin or his politics to a nationwide audience. Thus, the Kremlin can prevent the emergence of an alternative to Putin who might challenge his politics. This absence of an alternative, by the way, is an important reason for Putin's high popularity rating inside the country.

Putin has abolished the system of checks and balances, turning the parliament into a body of yes men, by exploiting Russia's weak party system and manipulating media campaign coverage, determining which candidates get favorable news coverage and which do not. Dominating parliament was not enough for him. He used the fear sown by the Beslan attack to abolish the democratic election of governors. Now, he is going to appoint leaders of the 88 regions, violating the essence of the federation making up Russia.

The academic community has also been targeted, with the jailing of scientists Igor Sutyagin (15 years of hard labor for analyzing publicly available information) and Valentin Danilov (14 years in a high-security labor camp, without the possibility of pardon, for selling scientific information that his defenders say is in the public domain). Both were charged with treason.

Business is under attack as well. Putin has been at the forefront of an assault intended to redistribute the nation's most lucrative properties and cow any businessmen who might fancy too much power and independence for themselves. We are reminded of this when we periodically see Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, Russia's richest man, sitting in a cage in a courtroom.

Khodorkovsky, head of Yukos Oil, was arrested more than a year ago on charges of tax evasion. He has been in prison ever since, and his trial -- on most days a farcical reading of charges -- winds interminably on, as Yukos, the nation's biggest and most successful company, is slowly destroyed. In a matter of two weeks, its major assets are to be acquired for one-third their market value by the state gas monopoly Gazprom.

Much of this bears the shadowy but unmistakable imprint of the security forces. Putin has saturated the bureaucracy with former and current officers of the FSB, the Federal Security Service and successor to the KGB. Many people thought that these new strong hands would do something about the corruption of the Yeltsin years. They did. Things got worse: The cost of bribes went up by at least 30 percent. "They even charge us [former colleagues] more than Yeltsin's guys did," a retired KGB general who is now in a financial business told me in astonishment. Apparently, he expected his former pals at arms to offer him a discount. They haven't.

This record can be summed up in one word: Control.

By training, Putin is a man of control. He spent a major part of his life in the KGB, whose leaderships and agents were entrusted by the Communist Party with safeguarding the regime. The KGB taught its soldiers well; its institutional culture has not been easily thrown off and its imperatives have proved stronger than Putin's leanings toward democracy.

Democracy, which requires a ruling party to submit to the inevitable loss of an election, represents an unacceptable threat. A successful people's revolution in Ukraine is a threat twice over, serving as a dangerous example to the people of Russia. Putin and his entourage are perfectly aware of this danger. Regardless of what Putin says in public (or to President Bush in private) about his vision of the special way of democratic development in Russia, he is taking every precaution to ensure that true democracy never exists in his land.

Putin intends to reassert control over all aspects of life, turning the country back into "an ultra bureaucratic state," where bureaucrats are answerable to no one but themselves, in the time-honored Soviet tradition.

Why should national borders limit an obsession with control, when the Kremlin desires dominance over the former Soviet republics? Komsomolskaya Pravda, a widely circulated newspaper closely connected to top officials, states the goal clearly: "to reinstitute a great empire feared by everyone in the world," just as the U.S.S.R. was.

Why should a twice-sentenced criminal, current Ukraine Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, deserve such fierce support from Putin, who visited Ukraine on two occasions to publicly promote his presidential campaign? Because Yanukovych is easy to manipulate and control precisely because of his criminal record. His rival, Viktor Yushchenko, on the other hand, has proclaimed his intention to draw Ukraine closer to the European Union and NATO and would obviously resist the expansion of Kremlin-type politics into Ukraine. He would be difficult for "Big Brother" Russia to control.

Why do Russia's state-owned media relentlessly portray the democratically elected president Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia as an enemy of Russia while the Belarusan dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, comes across as a good friend (if a little bit out of his mind)? Because Saakashvili became a president as a result of popular revolution against a fatally corrupt bureaucracy. His first reforms have been aimed at broad change in administration, and a purge of old communist officials.

Saakashvili and Yushchenko are real threats to Putin -- leaders capable of inspiring democratic development beyond their borders, across the lands of the former U.S.S.R.

So, what is in the cards for us? If my reading of Russian politics is any good, we should expect much tougher policies coming from the Kremlin, both domestically and internationally, and a growing resistance to them in Russian society.

The former is already under way: A planned law on terrorism will allow for suspension of constitutional freedoms for as long as 60 days. As Ludmila Alekseeva, who leads the Moscow Helsinki Group, a human rights watchdog, says, "Russian authorities are taking precautions in case anything like the orange revolution in Kyiv should come to Moscow."

A month ago, Mikhail Yuriev, chairman of the board of the Evrofinance group, a financial institution believed to be closely connected to the Kremlin's bureaucrats in epaulets, outlined the program for Russia. Two major goals lie ahead, he wrote in Komsomolskaya Pravda: The reconstitution of the Russian empire, and turning a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country into one nation, ethnically Russian and religiously Orthodox. "The interests of other nations should be of little concern to us," he said.

Both goals require a clear definition of "enemies of the state" (the euphemism widely used under Stalin). Such enemies are: those who speak in favor of negotiations to end the war in Chechnya; those who are receptive to the advice of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as well as "to the teaching of the West as to how we should construct our politics and economics." Russia's enemies also include those who speak in favor of a professional army; and those who are against the teaching of the Russian Orthodox religion in public schools; those who are in favor of a free media; and those who are against the scapegoating of business. To put it bluntly, anyone who stands against the regime and its politics should be pronounced an enemy of the state.

Yuriev's article would not be worth mentioning if it didn't reflect the thinking that exists in the Kremlin, according to those who have access to it. Yet as frightening as this sounds, the idea beneath all those harsh proclamations is a simple one: to prepare public opinion for the forceful redistribution of property from those not completely loyal to the Kremlin to those who are. (Some hawks suggest a variant, taking all "non-Orthodox" companies -- owned by Jews and Muslims -- and giving them to those who belong to the religious and ethnic mainstream.)

How far this politics of property redistribution will go depends upon Putin himself: whether he will be willing to resist pressure from the bureaucrats in epaulets -- affiliated with the security forces -- or whether he chooses to submit to the interests of the corporation that groomed him, the KGB.

As for the possibility that political resistance will spread from Ukraine to Russia, the odds are harder to predict. Unlike Ukraine, Russia stretches along nine time zones, which makes it much harder to mobilize the nation around an alternative politician if all electronic media are in the hands of the state. New and restrictive laws on political parties, as well as new rules for parliamentary elections, don't make the task any easier.

Still, I feel restiveness among listeners of Echo Moskvy radio, where I have a Sunday political talk show. Middle-sized businesses wonder whether they will be seized next. Intellectuals are unhappy about restrictions imposed on the press. The abolition of many state services, the trimming of the old welfare state, which hit the poorest the hardest, the luxuries provided to state officials, has made many formerly fierce Putin supporters think again. Despite what Westerners may think, Russians are not averse to democracy; time and again polls show that a majority of Russians would like to live in what they call "a normal country," meaning European-type prosperity and democracy.

Clearly, change won't come from the outside. Russians should not expect any help from big or small brothers in the West. The task of making the country free is in our own hands. I need to believe we can do it.

Author's e-mail: albats@post.harvard.edu

Yevgenia Albats is a professor of political science at the Higher School of Economics, a Moscow-based university. She has a doctorate in government from Harvard University. She was the first Soviet journalist to investigate the Soviet political police and the KGB while the Communist regime was still in control. She is the author of The State Within a State: KGB and Its Hold on Russia, as well as three other books. In 1989 she received the Golden Pen Award. She was an Alfred Friendly fellow in 1990 and a fellow of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University in 1993. Albats testified before the U.S. Congress on human rights abuses during the war in Chechnya, which she covered. She has master's degree and doctorate in political science from Harvard University. She taught courses on Russian and Soviet politics at Yale University in 2002-2003, and was a fellow at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. Albats is now an independent columnist and freelance feature writer for Russian and foreign publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Guardian. Albats is a member of the Center for Public Integrity's International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

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MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL


Chris Mota is a Greenfield Park, Quebec resident who is accompanying Montreal journalists in Kyiv to cover the "Chestnut Revolution".

Kyiv, Ukraine – December 6, 2004

Today is my last day in Ukraine.
Last night I received a phone call from Luba, a distant cousin in Lviv, who is coming to Kyiv today with her 15 year old son Taras. She wants him to see what is going on in this city. Although, she has been to Kyiv before, she has never really walked around the city, so I meet them early in the morning and we wander around taking in the sights. In the afternoon I part company with them for a few hours because I need to take care of a few things before flying out tomorrow.
La Presse’s Agnes Gruda has just returned from Donetsk where she has spent the last 24 hours trying to get the other side of the story. She tells me that the mood in the eastern Ukrainian city is quite different from that in Kyiv. She also says we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the position of Yanukovych supporters in the region as naïve or uninformed.
Yes, there are those who really don’t have the facts, and still others who voted for Yanukovych out of fear for the jobs or their safety. But there is a substantial number of people who truly believe Yanukovych is the best man for the job. Most believe he won the November 21st run-off fairly and predict he will win on December 26th.
But what happens if Yushchenko wins? Most of the people Agnes speaks with tell her they will support the will of the majority but will fight for more regional powers. In the scheme of things, that seems like a reasonable position.
I catch up with Luba and Taras later in the day and we scour the streets looking for “symvolika” – basically anything that has Yushchenko or PORA on it or is orange. The street vendors here are making a killing. The minute they sell out their stock another shipment arrives. They have everything from scarves, caps, T-shirts, buttons to air horns and the like.
It is cold tonight, colder than it has been all week. Although I feel like I am coming down with a cold, we stay on the Maidan waiting for the nightly appearance of Viktor Yushchenko, his supporters and his family, who have become a fixture on the stage. But Luba is out of luck. Their bus leaves for Lviv at 8 p.m. and there is still no sign of our candidate. We say our farewells and I head off to do the same with old friends and new at Baraban.
I am amazed at the hold this city and these people have over me after such a brief time. Of course, such circumstances tend to bring people closer together and forge friendships that will last long after we all head off to our respective homes. There’s a sense of “comrades-in-arms”, even if this revolution is a peaceful one.
Tomorrow morning, Anatolij will pick me up at 5 a.m. and drive me to Boryspil Airport for the long flight home. I will bring back with me much more than I ever imagined and I will gladly share it with anyone who is interested. I will also encourage anyone who has the opportunity to be a part of the December 26th election process to do get involved.
After all, this is history in the making and we should see it as both a privilege and a responsibility to be a part of it.

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MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL


Chris Mota is a Greenfield Park, Quebec resident who is accompanying Montreal journalists in Kyiv to cover the "Chestnut Revolution".

Kyiv, Ukraine – December 5, 2004

Today is Sunday and there is a sense that this city is taking a much needed rest after weeks of frantic activity.

My morning activity consists of laundry. Since arriving here one week ago, my clothes have taken on a bizarre odor. It’s a combination of wood smoke, diesel fuel, cigarette smoke and fried onions. Not an attractive combination at best, but particularly troubling when you know you will shortly be sharing limited space on an overseas flight.

Laundry done, I head to Andrijivskyj Spusk to pick up some last minute gifts. In one of those coincidences I have come to associate with this trip, I run into Danylo Hawaleshka, a senior writer at Maclean’s Magazine who has just arrived in Kyiv to write about the current situation. He is of Ukrainian origin, but doesn’t speak the language, hasn’t applied for a press pass yet and needs to hook-up with a translator. I suggest he drop by Baraban this evening and I will introduce him to some people who can help.

When I get back to Khreshchatyk, Vasyl Pawlowskyj calls me. He is sitting in on a PORA strategy meeting at a nearby restaurant and invites me to join them. They are on the second floor of Shato, at the best table in the house. There is also a private session going on in a back room. This is one example of how businesses in this city have opened their doors to the movement, supplying whatever they can. Vasyl tells me that just before I arrived a huge pot of hot soup was carried out of the kitchen onto the street.

My next stop is right next door – the offices of National Radio. Ihor Stratij, host of the program “Kultura” (Culture), has invited bandurist/singer Ostap Stachiw and me to join him on his weekly Sunday evening broadcast.

Next stop – Baraban. Vasyl is already there and Danylo joins us a few minutes later. The regulars start arriving and within the hour, Danylo has a notebook full of story ideas, contacts, information on fast-tracking a press pass and a host of interviews lined up. He thanks me profusely and wonders how he can possibly repay me. I jokingly ask him what he can do about Concordia University’s ranking in the Maclean’s Universities Survey. “Wish I could! But instead I’ll buy you dinner the next time I’m in Montreal”. Oh well, I tried!

The crowd erupts as Viktor Yushchenko arrives at the Maidan. On stage he is surrounded by the leaders of all the faiths represented in this country – Christian, Jewish and Muslim. It is a very powerful and inspiring image.

They have come here together to voice their support for him and to further disprove the notion that Ukraine is a nation divided. They have co-signed a document calling on all Ukrainians to pray for a positive outcome to the political crisis. They ask everyone to pause daily at 5 p.m. to say a prayer and light a candle in their window as a sign of solidarity. I head to the metro to make my way home. Kyiv’s metro system is a quick, efficient and inexpensive (approx. 15 cents Cdn per trip) way to get around. However at peak times, such as when Yushchenko finishes speaking, you take your life into your hands when you take the metro. Kyjany are serious “shovers”. You can literally move through the system without having your feet touch the ground, borne on the sheer momentum of the moving crowd.

It’s bed time. Tomorrow will be my last day in Kyiv…….this time around.

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MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL


Chris Mota is a Greenfield Park, Quebec resident who is accompanying Montreal journalists in Kyiv to cover the "Chestnut Revolution".

Kyiv, Ukraine – December 4, 2004

Today I meet with Vasyl Pawlowsky, a former Montrealer who has called Kyiv home for the past five and a half years. He has arranged some interviews for us. The first is with Rostyslav Pavlenko, an associate professor of political science at the University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.

Dr. Pavlenko paints a number of scenarios on how the political arm wrestling could play out. He believes that justice will prevail, but that there will be many twists and turns in the weeks ahead. The bottom line is that Ukraine is in the middle of a process which is unprecedented and even the political analysts don’t always agree.

He can’t see the tent-city remaining on Khreshchatyk until December 26th, at least not in its present form. However, there has to be a constant presence, he cautions, even if minor, to serve as a daily reminder to Kuchma and Yanukovych. One false step and the Maidan will swell to its current population.

We then head to Khreshchatyk to get some interviews with Yushchenko’s supporters. Apparently we have just missed a wedding which has been performed in the tent city. Earlier this week, we heard about two doctors who met in the course of their relief work and will be married next week. So much for rumors of violence! Actually authorities here say they expect a baby-boom come September. Ah, the passion of youth.

We head up to the Verkhovna Rada. Parliament has just adjourned until December 14th. The Yushchenko side is pushing for electoral reform. Yesterday, the socialist and communist parties, as well as representatives of regions which support Yanukovych, said they would support this motion if Yushchenko agreed to constitutional reforms which would substantially limit presidential powers. The talks end at an impasse.

Our next stop is another tent city – this one set up in Marijinskyj Park, next to the Verkhovna Rada. This is the command post for PORA, the student movement which rallied the Yushchenko supporters and spearheaded the widespread demonstrations. The post is here, rather than on Khreshchatyk, because managing thousands of people is a difficult task and it can’t be done properly amidst the activity there. Here I meet Vasyl Boychuk.

Vasyl is a quiet unimposing man in his early thirties, but he is treated with awe and deference by the younger people around him. His command post looks like something out the TV show M*A*S*H. It is huge and there are mattresses and sleeping bags laid out on Styrofoam pallets, about 18 inches high. There is a heater in the tent and it is warm enough to remove our coats.

Vasyl is a member of the old guard. As a student, he was one of the driving forces behind the student hunger strikes of the early 90’s. He recalls those days and compares them to what is going on now. “Ukraine is a different nation today. When we protested, we were alone. The older generation looked at us as an oddity. But, today, there is no generation gap. The streets are filled with Ukrainians from 18 to 80.”

Although he is a husband and father with young twins at home, he knows his place is here, where he can use his experience to guide the young. And he is not alone. Friends he made during those early days of activism, and whom he hasn’t seen in many years, have also heeded the call and are here with him today. It is true that friendships made under the most difficult circumstances are the ones which last a lifetime.

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MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL


Chris Mota is a Greenfield Park, Quebec resident who is accompanying Montreal journalists in Kyiv to cover the "Chestnut Revolution".

Kyiv, Ukraine – December 3, 2004

Sun! Finally, the sun has cut through the haze and clouds which have hovered over this city since I arrived. And after a few cold days, the temperature is 5C.

I grab my camera and head downtown. I drop by Bill Atamanchuk’s and take some photos of Khreshchatyk from his 8th floor balcony. Then I go into the tent city to take some more.

The tent dwellers have been shivering in the damp cold for 12 days. Most of them stay the night on the street but there are others who trade off with friends because they need a break. They head to Dim Ukrainy (Ukraine House) which has become a relief centre. The volunteers here have set-up an operation which sees 60,000 people walk through their doors daily. Here they distribute warm clothes donated by those who support them but are unable, for whatever reason, to join them. They also provide medication and vitamins. Cellular phones can also be recharged here so the demonstrators can communicate with family members who are anxious about there health and safety. All these services are free.

Today I see “housekeeping” activity in the tent city. Damp sleeping bags are dried by bonfires and heaters operated by antiquated generators. One young man is drying his boots over an open fire. Additional food supplies arrive and thousands of garbage bags are hauled away.

“The sun is out. It’s a good sign. I sense good news in the air,” says one young man from Dnipropetrovsk. Little does he know how prophetic his words are.

I take advantage of the weather and do some sightseeing. On my way to St. Sophie’s Cathedral I pass the Zoloti Vorota (the Golden Gates), the historic gateway to Kyiv. I salute the statue of Hetman Bohdan Chmelnytskyj as I head to St. Michael’s. It is a picture perfect day and I am asked by numerous visitors to take photos of them. (See? I must have an invisible aura that eminates: “Ask HER!”)

Back in my apartment, I turn on the TV. After 5 days of hearings, the Supreme Court judges have been in deliberation for almost 6 hours. When they emerge, the city holds its collective breath. Within minutes they have the news they have been waiting and hoping for. The results of the November 21st run-off are deemed invalid and a second run-off will take place on December 26th. This is a huge and unprecedented victory for Viktor Yushchenko and his supporters.

Within seconds of the announcement, the city erupts in a frenzy of celebration. Cheering, chanting, car-honking and air horns fill the air. But the euphoria is best expressed by the silent tears of those who have given so much both physically and emotionally to this struggle. For the first time there is a real sense that justice has and will prevail in this country.

I walk up to the Canadian Embassy on Yaroslaviv Val, where the Ambassador, Andrew Robinson, hosts a casual get together every Friday evening for Canadians living here as well as visitors to the city. The talk centers on the court decision and the work that still lies ahead. One of the issues is the timing of the second run-off: December 26th. Many Canadians will be heading home for the Christmas break and there is a real concern that Canada will not be able to supply the number of international observers needed to monitor the voting process. They ask us to take that message home with us and encourage Canadians to sign up as observers.

I head over to Baraban to see what the mood is like there. We watch Yushchenko on TV as he addresses the crowd telling them “December 26th will see the birth of a new nation.” He also calls on Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, the members of his cabinet and the members of the disgraced Electoral Commission to resign, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.

I finally make my way home. As I get ready for bed, I get a phone call from CFRB-Radio in Toronto asking me to do a review of the days events live on-air with their host John Moore, an old friend of mine. It is 11:45 p.m. in Kyiv. It is the first time I do an interview in my pyjamas. What we will do for our cause!

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MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL


Chris Mota is a Greenfield Park, Quebec resident who is accompanying Montreal journalists in Kyiv to cover the "Chestnut Revolution".

Kyiv, Ukraine – December 2, 2004

For anyone reading my journal entries it is obvious that these are personal impressions and certainly not unbiased journalism. My political position is quite clear and I am proud of it.

Although Kyiv is painted orange, there are some Yanukovych supporters in this city. On the day I arrived, I saw a cluster of about 30 of them outside his shtab (headquarters). The largest gathering at the Vokzal (train station) has dissipated. Occasionally I see a lone Yanukovych flag bearer surrounded by a crowd of Yushchenko supporters. They are never abusive nor condescending. They simply see it as their duty to educate these poor lost souls and bring them into the fold.

As the days go by, I see fewer Yanukovych supporters on the streets. Perhaps comments such as those made publicly by Yanukovych’s wife Ludmilla have made them uncomfortable. Speaking in eastern Ukraine earlier this week she said that the youth on the streets of Kyiv have been drugged. According to her, the Americans have injected drugs into the oranges they are eating. Believe me, even in my most creative moment, I could not have dreamed that one up! This legitimately came from the Prime Minister’s wife.

Today is a quiet day in Kyiv, politically speaking. Parliament is not is session. The high court continues its deliberations and it is becoming more interesting to watch. Today one of the judges sits with stacks of election ballots in front of him and reads the names of a handful of voters. “Ivan Wasylovych - one, two three four, five, six, seven ballots. Petro Ivanovych – one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten ballots.” When a lawyer asks him if these are copies, he says “No, these are the originals and they follow a numerical sequence.” So, they appear to have been handed out in blocks. The deliberations continue tomorrow.

I drop in on Bill Atamanchuk, a fellow Montrealer who has been here for 6 weeks as an international observer. He is staying in a prime location, on the eighth floor of a building on Kreshchatyk facing the street. He shares some of his experiences and vows to stay until his visa expires in January.

I spend much of the evening talking to residents of the tent city. As their numbers grow, there are more cities and regions represented. At 8 p.m. I head over to Baraban, a popular nightspot for local and international journalists. Bill is there and so is Montrealer Roman Karpishka, who is in Ukraine for his 12th visit. By 9 p.m., more fellow Montrealers arrive – Agnes Gruda of La Presse, Marco Fortier of le Journal de Montreal and Olenka Cechmistro who is here as his translator. We are joined by some Americans and Ukrainians and we share our impressions of what is unfolding here.

As I head home at 11 p.m. the crowds are still in the streets. They shout “Yushchenko – Nash President” – Yushchenko – Our President. They vow to remain there until he is.

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MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL


Kyiv, Ukraine – December 1, 2004 It was 13 years ago today that the citizens of the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine voted in a referendum to declare their independence. Today they are again on the streets of Kyiv to ensure that democracy is part of that independence.

The crowds start gathering outside the Verkhovna Rada before the 9 a.m. session o f parliament begins. By noon, word trickles out that the deputaty have narrowly won a vote of non-confidence against Prime Minister Yanukovych and his government. The vote was 229 in favor, 3 more votes than required. However, President Kuchma has to sign off on this in order for it to go through. If they want to achieve their goal without Kuchma’s support, they will need 301 votes, or two thirds of the eligible votes.

The crowd outside the Rada is elated and well informed. They know each member by name and as each pro-Yushchenko member exits the building they shout out his or her name as they make their way toward the demonstrators.

The crowd lined up at the fence is at least 5 people deep. This makes it difficult for all 5 feet nothing of me to see what is going on. But the minute I say I am from Canada, the crowd opens up and lets me through to the front for the best view. They are amazed that someone from Canada is here to observe their struggle. They are even more amazed that I speak the language as well as I do and am informed about what is unfolding.

Everyone wants to share their story. I strike up a conversation with a man named Andrij, whose family comes from Lviv and Ternopil, the same cities my parents come from. “We are like family then!” he says, introducing me to his friends. He asks me how old I think he is. This is always a tricky question. I say anywhere between 40 and 50. “Close. I am 39, but we look older than people in the west. Life has been difficult for us”, he says.

I head up the street and he catches up to me a block later. He wants to take a picture with me to show his family, since he now considers me one of them. A passerby takes our picture and I promise to mail him a copy. The people here never cease to amaze me.

There is news now that President Kuchma is in favor of a brand new election, not a second run-off election. The Yushchenko camp, clearly convinced that they won the November 21st run-off, wants to hear nothing of it, because under the Ukrainian Constitution neither Yushchenko nor Yanukovych can run in a new election – only new candidates.

I head to Khreshchatyk to get a bite to eat. On the metro a man comes up to me to tell me he is from Donetsk and that he also with us. What is it about me that people always choose me to talk to? I have given more directions to lost people this week than probably most Kyany have!

I am sitting alone at a café when the people at the next table invite me to join them. They are from Lviv and basically adopt me for the evening. As we head out of the café, we see the crowds running towards Independence Square – Yushchenko has arrived. He speaks for about half an hour, updating us on the events of the day. He tells the protesters he has agreed to a request to cease their blockade of the government buildings but that he wants the protest to continue in Independence Square.

He ends his speech by leading the crowd of more than half a million people in a rousing chorus of the national anthem – Sche Ne Vmerla Ukraina – and as we near the end of the anthem the sky erupts in a massive fireworks display. When the spectacle is over we turn back to the stage.

Yushchenko is gone. Off to fight another day.

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MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL


Kyiv, Ukraine – November 30, 2004

Today is the first really cold day in Kyiv since I arrived. But the cold hasn’t affected the determination of the pro-Yushchenko supporters. The crowd doesn’t seem any smaller in Independence Square, and I can see a large crowd gathered in front of the Verkhovna Rada, where the government is meeting to debate a number of contentious issues. Although there is a parliamentary TV channel here, for the first time ever, Ukrainians can watch the proceedings live on the popular TV5. There are also large screens set up at various locations across the city where protesters gather.

I spend a good part of the day watching the proceedings on TV. It is confusing at best. Viktor Yanukovych survives a non-confidence vote and the deputaty (members) vote to overturn the declaration they made last week calling the Nov. 21 election invalid.

Much of the attention is focused on eastern Ukraine, Yanukovych’s stronghold, where rumblings of separation have been making the news. However, the governor of Donetsk has now said the proposed referendum on separation will be pushed back indefinitely.

Yanukovych also announces that, should new elections be called, neither he nor Yushchenko should run. The Yushchenko camp rejects that option and pulls out of any further talks.

The sense on the streets of Kyiv is that the threat of separation is all smoke and mirrors, an effort to deflect attention from the reality of the situation They also feel that Kouchma and Yanukovych are playing a political game – pretending to be part of the process while stalling for time in the hopes that the protest movement will tire and fall apart.. So far, there is no sign of that happening.

Each time I hear Yushchenko speak, I sense a heightened determination in the man. His oratory is more forceful and dynamic. When a small group of his supporters pushes through a police cordon at the Verkhovna Rada and is repelled, he speaks to the masses reminding them of the importance of protesting within the parameters of the law.

The Supreme Court continues its deliberations and it isn’t clear when any decision will be handed down. The people watch and wait. They gather at various locations and chant “Yush-chen-ko”, and all the other slogans which have become part of their vocabulary. Even the cars honk three times in the Yush-chen-ko pattern. This is an extremely noisy city!

The protesters have been asked to meet in massive numbers in front of the Verkhovna Rada tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. when the next parliamentary session begins.

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MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL


Chris Mota is a Greenfield Park, Quebec resident who is accompanying Montreal journalists in Kyiv to cover the "Chestnut Revolution".

Kyiv, Ukraine – November 29, 2004

I wake up at 11 a.m. Today is the first day I try to make myself useful.

Kyiv has come a long way over the last few years, but it is not “journalist friendly”. Getting Canadian cell phones to work here is virtually impossible so the journalists have to buy new ones. Maybe it’s all just a sales tactic. Internet access is a nightmare – the access card won’t work and the folks who sell them to you can’t explain what you should be doing. Trying to find an adapter to link to the internet is another adventure. Well, enough of that – I am heading to Khreshchatyk (where I actually find an adaptor!).

I am even more impressed with the numbers today than I was yesterday, after all this is Monday afternoon. I make my way to the tent city which has been growing daily down the length of the wide central boulevard with the arrival of newer and larger tents. But it’s the original section that interests me.

The tents here are small, pathetic looking things, jammed up against each other and sagging under the weight of the new snow. The entire tent city is surrounded by yellow cord. It’s not much of a barricade, but it is respected. I approach one of the volunteer security guards stationed at its inner perimeter and ask for access to the area. I tell him I am from Canada and want to send some pictures back home. I am invited in and left to roam around as I wish.

I slither my way through the tightly packed tents to the narrow aisle which runs down the central length of the tent city. The first group which catches my attention is from Lviv. One of the young people, Olya Klimchuk, invites me share the crate she is sitting on. They are huddled around a bonfire in an empty oil drum and are roasting “shashlik”, a Caucasian shish-kebob. I tell her I am impressed with their stamina. She laughs, telling me “this is the easy part. Getting to Kyiv was the tough part”.

She tells me how she and her friends tried to purchase train tickets for Kyiv only be told there were no tickets left. Then they watched the nearly empty trains leave for the capitol. The bus was another option, but some of the Kyiv-bound buses mysteriously had their tires punctured by a variety of strategically placed hazards. When they finally get on a bus, the driver takes them to a city within 50 km of Kyiv and then refuses to go any further. They prepare to go the rest of the way on foot, but a more sympathetic driver arrives and gets them to their destination.

I wish them luck and as I get up to leave, she reaches into her pocket and hands me a pear. “In case you get hungry”. Incredible.

I then come across a group of about 10 young men, also huddled together around an oil-drum bonfire roasting shashlik. They are students from Lviv and Ternopil. When I tell them I am from Canada, a stool is immediately vacated for me. I have many questions but they have even more. “What are they saying about what is going on here? What does Canada think? I hold up my orange Youshchenko ribbon and tell them “This is what Canada thinks”. They slap each other on the back, rejuvenated. They know they are making a difference.

The next thing I know, one of them places a paper plate on my lap filled with shashlik and bread and another one appears with a plastic fork. When I jokingly say, ”What? No napkin?” a third one disappears returning with a stack of paper napkins printed with a Ukrainian embroidery pattern.

These young men are bright, charming, talkative, inquisitive and true gentlemen – traits which permeate Ukraine’s youth. If they are the nation’s future, she is in very good hands. We chat, we laugh. I take their picture, they insist on talking some with me. They crowd around me, grinning ear to ear. Their optimism is infectious. They finally let me leave when I promise to come back for another visit.

I head to the central square where they are broadcasting live coverage of the proceedings in the Supreme Court. This is followed by some live speeches leading up to the cultural pat of the evening. A speaker gets the crowd cheering as he lists the names of new converts to the cause. These include some senior military people, and the crowd chants “Armiya z narodom!” – The army is with the people.

The next speaker is a well known journalist with TV5, Mykola Veresenj. He praises journalists who are living up to the journalistic code and chastises those who are not. He tells the crowd, which is estimated this evening at about 750,000, “When I was driving to my job this morning, I was worried that the crowds would make me late. Then I thought – If there are no crowds then I am not doing my job”. I guess that pretty much sums it up.

Viktor Yushchenko addresses the crowd at around 8:30 p.m. He asks them to hang in for another few days, convinced that a solution to the political crisis will be found within a matter of days. He cautions them to stay the course – not to let the agents provocateurs provoke a negative response or reaction. “We are the only ones functioning within the law. Don’t give them the slightest reason to draw a drop of blood.”

Tomorrow will be another historic day. For the first time ever, the Ukrainian people will be able to watch the functioning of parliament, when the session is broadcast live on TV5.

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MOTA'S KYIV JOURNAL


Chris Mota is a Greenfield Park, Quebec resident who is accompanying Montreal journalists in Kyiv to cover the "Chestnut Revolution".

Kyiv, Ukraine – November 28 2004

I arrive at Kyiv’s Boryspil airport on a mild, wet, and foggy afternoon. I am met at the airport by Anatolij, a friend I made on my first trip here last spring. Before we have walk through the parking lot to his car, he has me sporting an orange pro-Yushchenko ribbon. Welcome to Kyiv.

I am here for a number of reasons which all came together at an historic time. My first trip here had a huge impact on me. The minute I left Ukraine, I knew I would be back – I just didn’t know when, and under what circumstances. Those circumstances ended up being the recent events in Ukraine which have grabbed the world’s attention.

As a former journalist, I began receiving calls from the media over recent weeks. Knowing I am Ukrainian, they asked for help in finding contacts to interview both in Montreal and in Ukraine. As the situation intensified, they asked me for advice on getting a visa quickly, finding accommodations in Kyiv and locating credible contacts there to act as everything from spokespeople to guides and interpreters.

Since my job at Concordia University is in large part assisting journalists, and our department’s mandate includes public affairs, the decision was made on Friday at 1 p.m., to send me to Kyiv to act as a liaison for the Montreal journalists who were flying there on Saturday. After a dash to the Ukrainian Embassy in Ottawa on Friday afternoon to obtain a visa, I was on a flight to Kyiv via Amsterdam at 6 p.m. on Saturday. La Presse reporter Agnès Gruda is on the same flight and we immediately examine ways in which we can work together. At the airport in Amsterdam, I meet the Canadian observers representing our Parliament which are headed back to Ukraine, as well as a Parti Québécois MNA, who his traveling there out of personal and professional interest.

As Anatolij and I head into Kyiv and towards the apartment I am staying in, I am immediately aware of the atmosphere which has taken over this city. Our first attempt to get there ends at a roadblock because of a protest in front of the Electoral Commission. Our second attempt is foiled by a second roadblock due to a pro-Yushchenko demonstration. Finally, thanks to some stellar driving, Anatolij drives through a demonstration and we make it to our destination.

After dropping off my bags I hit the streets of Kyiv with Agnès. As we walk down Hrushevskoho to Khreshchatyk we are surrounded by pro-Youshchenko supporters heading to Maidan Nezalezhnosty (Independence Square) chanting “Razom nas bahato, nas ne podolaty” – Together we are many, we won’t be defeated. The closer we get to the Verchovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) we hear the sound of beating drums. On the crest of a hill in Mariyinskij Park, facing the Minister’s Building are dozens of young men and women beating on makeshift drums – metal garbage cans and oil drums. Their job is to disrupt the workings of government by peaceful means. I question the “peaceful” part, but they are probably effective.

We arrive on Khreshchatyk and it is a sea of orange. Estimates place the numbers at approximately 500,000. The atmosphere is celebratory. There are musical performances on stage and occasional speeches to keep the crowd’s spirits up. After speaking to some of those gathered there, it’s time to call it a very long day.

I crawl into bed. The last thing I hear is the tribal beating of the makeshift drums.

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PORA: Their name means "It's Time".


The student activist organisation Pora has 10,000 members and has been thrust into the spotlight - by its activism and by the accusations leveled against it by authorities.

Authorities have made daily arrests of Pora activists, who make no secret of their pro-Yushchenko sympathies, accusing them of plotting to overthrow the government. Armed police raided their Kyiv headquarters and evicted them after claiming to have found explosives.

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Why Russia, the U.S. and Europe care so much
about Ukraine's disputed presidential election


W O R L D

The Orange Revolution

By PAUL QUINN-JUDGE/MOSCOW; YURI ZARAKHOVICH/KYIV

From the Dec. 06, 2004 issue of TIME magazine

It was both a symbol and a symptom of the revolution that rippled across Ukraine last week. On Thursday, as the presenter of state-controlled UT1's main morning news program was updating viewers on the Central Electoral Commission's decision to declare Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych the winner of the country's Nov. 21 presidential vote, Natalya Dmitruk, the woman who translates broadcasts into sign language, decided to send a very different message. "When the presenter started to read the news," Dmitruk tells TIME, "I said, 'I address all deaf viewers. Yushchenko is our President. Do not believe the Electoral Commission. They are lying.'" In a week filled with remarkable acts of political protest, Dmitruk's silent rebellion was one of the most defiant.

Independent Ukraine's fourth presidential election since the collapse of the Soviet Union was supposed to reach a conclusion in the Nov. 21 runoff. On Monday the Electoral Commission said preliminary tallies showed Moscow's favored candidate, Yanukovych, ahead by 3 percentage points. But immediately there were widespread accusations by Ukrainian and foreign monitors of massive fraud — including voter intimidation, physical assaults and the torching of ballot boxes. Yet the state-controlled media, which had backed Yanukovych through the five-month campaign, were reporting no major violations. Convinced that the election was being stolen from the rightful victor, supporters of Western-leaning opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko poured into Kyiv's Independence Square to demand that their man be recognized as the winner. City residents mixed with swarms of protesters from across the country, all wearing something orange, the color of Yushchenko's Our Ukraine party. Despite heavy snow and freezing temperatures, the crowd was in a festive mood, eager to embrace Yushchenko's orange revolution against the country's Moscow-backed old guard. When a mob of students took over part of the nearby Ministry of Education building, staff members served them tea and cookies.

Yushchenko, his face disfigured by what he claims was an attempt by government authorities to poison him in September, urged people not to leave the square until the commission's ruling was overturned. "We appeal to citizens of Ukraine to support the national resistance movement," he told the cheering throng. "We should not leave this square until we secure victory." And his supporters did just that. On Saturday evening, after six days of nonstop peaceful protests, the state and its candidate were forced to back down. In a nonbinding vote, Parliament declared the poll results invalid but did not recommend a date for the rerun, although many deputies expect that to happen in mid-December. The Supreme Court, which has final jurisdiction over elections, will examine the fraud allegations and make its ruling this week. But news that Yanukovych would not be inaugurated caused jubilation in Kyiv, where hundreds of thousands continued their vigil. "Nobody will stop us now," exulted Vasily, a Kyiv engineer. In a race that was fought largely over whether Ukraine would pursue Western-style reforms and closer ties to Europe or stick with state control and a tight relationship with Russia, coming that far was a remarkable achievement for Yushchenko. But even if he does ultimately prevail at the ballot box, that doesn't mean the crisis is over. Rather like red-state-blue-state America, Ukraine remains a divided and distrustful nation, with the Russian-speaking, industrialized eastern part of the country backing Yanukovych and the more nationalistic, agricultural west wanting Yushchenko. The two camps are as polarized as the reporting on UT-1's morning news broadcast.

While Yushchenko's voters celebrated in Kyiv and the West, a wave of rallies rolled through Yanukovych strongholds in the east to protest what people there saw as a stolen election. Political leaders, defiant of Kyiv's authority, angrily rejected the decision to hold another poll and called for the creation of a new autonomous region. Some even threatened to join eastern Ukraine with Russia. The electoral impasse could crack the country along the acute cultural and political rifts that divide it. "We are dealing with a deep split in the country," says Andrzej Zalucki, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Poland, which shares with Ukraine a border that stretches more than 250 miles. "It's worse than just a political partition. It's ethnic and nationalistic. God forbid there's any kind of stupidity."

There's also the risk that a wayward Ukraine could damage relations between Moscow and the West. During the campaign, Russian President Vladimir Putin made no secret of which side he was on: he visited Ukraine twice to broadcast his support for Yanukovych. Political consultants and media specialists close to the Kremlin played a major role in shaping the strategy and message of the Yanukovych campaign, and according to specialists like the Carnegie Endowment's Anders Aslund, Russia pumped millions of dollars into his election bid. On Monday, Putin was the first world leader to congratulate the Prime Minister on his victory, a full two days before the Electoral Commission declared him President-elect.

Sources well briefed on Kremlin affairs tell TIME that as protests in Kyiv gathered momentum, Putin urged discredited outgoing President Leonid Kuchma — eager to secure a safe retirement amid charges of corruption and political violence — to declare Yanukovych the winner. The sources say Putin made it clear that a Yushchenko victory would not be acceptable. If the Russian President sticks to that hard line, it could provoke serious trouble, not only abroad but also at home. "The Russians have raised the stakes," says Stephen Sestanovich of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations. "They've made this a very emotional issue domestically, and there will be a lot of people on Putin's nationalist flank saying, 'Are you going to take this lying down?'"

Yanukovych, 54, has made no secret of his pro-Moscow leanings. Just as important, Ukraine's business and political elites have flourished in one of the world's most corrupt economies, and they trust that he won't rock the boat. If Yanukovych seems a throwback to the Soviet era, Yushchenko, 50, wants to bring Ukraine into the free-market age. In opposition, he turned Our Ukraine into a powerful bloc that's threatening to undo the current ruling clan's lock on power.

Almost before the final votes were tallied, international election monitors raised allegations of widespread fraud. According to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which sent in observers to watch the balloting, there were "highly suspicious and unrealistic" turnouts in key Yanukovych areas. Monitors recorded acts of harassment, intimidation and multiple voting and noted that the list of the country's eligible voters mysteriously grew 5% on Election Day. The OSCE investigated and dismissed as groundless complaints of multiple voting and ballot fixing leveled against Yushchenko's campaign by Yanukovych officials. Senator Richard Lugar, who represented the U.S. at the vote, was scathing in his assessment: "A concerted and forceful program of Election Day fraud and abuse was enacted with either the leadership or cooperation of governmental authorities."

With each day of drama and denunciations, more and more Ukrainians poured into Independence Square to challenge the official outcome. The whole capital was, in the words of a Russian TV correspondent, "one big demonstration." Pro-Yushchenko organizers, some of them trained by the same dissidents who helped coordinate successful electoral revolutions in Serbia and Georgia, rallied volunteers with rock music, puppet shows and free food. Even famed Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa made an appearance, telling the crowd, "I opposed the Soviet Union, and I opposed communism, and I came out victorious. Ukraine has a chance!"

In fact, the institutions of power were already showing cracks. Olexandr Skibinetsky, a general in Ukraine's Security Service, told demonstrators that he shared their "well-founded doubts" about the election. Lieut. General Mikhail Kutsin, the military commander for western Ukraine, said his men would not "act against their own people." In other parts of the country, cities and towns created strike committees and announced campaigns of civil disobedience. As the tumult in the streets escalated, Yanukovych seemed at a loss. At first, he tried to pretend nothing was wrong. Then he disappeared from public view until last Friday, when he told a crowd of 6,000 miners and metalworkers who had been transported by bus and train to Kyiv's central station from the east: "I'll give it to you straight. A creeping coup is taking place. We must do everything possible to prevent this coup from happening." After Parliament called for a fresh vote, many felt that the coup had succeeded. "This is banditry," said Irina, 39, a waitress in a Kyiv cafe. "I voted for Yanukovych. He was legally elected. They should have let him start working. I'm scared to think what will become of us now."

However the disputed election finally plays out, it has undermined the Bush Administration's cozy relations with Putin, at least behind the scenes. In his first term, George W. Bush was willing to give Putin a free hand in what Russia calls the near abroad, the states that spun off from the broken Soviet Union. At the same time, Bush has made encouraging democracy around the world a central pillar of his presidency. In Ukraine those two policies clash mightily. Washington spent much of Ukraine's bitterly fought presidential campaign studiously avoiding confrontation with Putin and stuck to that line in the early days after the vote. But at midweek, Secretary of State Colin Powell made clear Washington's support for Yushchenko, saying the U.S. was "deeply disturbed by the extensive and credible reports of fraud." The next day, at an European Union-- Russia summit, Putin emphasized that the dispute should be settled without outside interference. No other country has a "moral right to push a major European state to mass disorder," he warned.

The Kremlin regards countries like Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus as vital buffers between Russia and the West. Like Russian rulers for the past two centuries, Putin "equates security with well-defined zones of interest," says James Sherr, an Eastern Europe specialist at Oxford Uni-versity. Those zones have shrunk in recent years as the Baltic states and Georgia turned sharply toward the West. Putin doesn't want to see the same thing happen in Ukraine.

But analysts in the U.S. are worried that Putin may have overplayed his hand. If he were seen to be encouraging the east in its secessionist plans, the protests could turn violent. As the Ukraine Supreme Court weighs its decision, there will be opportunities for Russia to stir up separatism. Whether that happens will depend on Putin's ability to reconcile traditional Russian interests and fears with the reality of modern Europe, says Michael Emerson of the Center for European Policy in Brussels. "The more Putin pushes realpolitik," he says, "the more Ukrainians will want to go in the other direction."

Those who want Ukraine to one day join the European Union watched last week's events with special interest. The country has been caught in a kind of catch-22, says Andrew Wilson, a lecturer at University College London and author of The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation. "Brussels has been reluctant to give an invitation until Ukraine internalizes European values in politics and business, and Ukraine has been unwilling or unable to reform until that invitation is given." The current crisis could prompt both sides to break the impasse. In Independence Square, Taras Kuchma, a physician from Drogobych, in the west, sarcastically thanked Yanukovych and Putin for having achieved the impossible. "They finally forced the Ukrainians to unite to become a nation," he said. But that unity was not in evidence last week, and it may still turn out to be an impossible dream.

— With reporting by Massimo Calabresi/Washington; Helen Gibson/ London; Valeria Korchagina/ Moscow; Tadeusz L. Kucharski/Warsaw; Andrew Purvis/Vienna; Jonathan Shenfield/Paris

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Long Live Ukraine! (Slava Ukrainy!)


by Valeriy Panyushkin
Special correspondent for Kommersant (Moscow)

26 November 2004

posted on gazeta.ru

[translated by Lisa Koriouchkina for UKL]

I am in Kyiv. I saw people rejoicing. I saw a city square full of people wearing orange scarves and jackets. One cannot glance over a sea of people . I saw cars honking in rhythm with the slogan "Yushchenko! Yushchenko!" It is happening not only downtown but also on any street of the city. And it happens not only to encourage one's supporters but to express one's joy as well. There are people on top of cars waving flags and shouting. My feelings of joy of revolution were mixed with jealousy over the fact that I would never see anything like that happening in Moscow. And I prayed to God that I would live a little longer to see something similar to what is happening in Kyiv take place in Moscow.

Exuberant city. Peaceful, smiling, kind, united people. But most importantly - they are free. Free! Free! I experienced jealousy and pride for the fact that I am standing among these free and peaceful people. And these people were not forcing me out despite the fact that I came from Russia, a country whose minister of Foreign affairs is low enough to make an official statement about NATO's geopolitical claims to Ukraine.

Listen, you, minister, come here, to Kyiv. Go to Maidan and despite any orders from Kremlin, you would not be able to utter a word about NATO's geopolitical claims. There are many more of these people - young men and women, children and elders, - than a Minister or a President of Russia could ever imagine in their wildest dreams when they think about a category "people". They might be fragile in body, but they are strong in spirit. And do not deceive me that there are no Russian troops in Ukraine. They are here. But if even one of them ever makes a single shot, as a citizen of Russia I could never clear myself from shame and will never be pardoned for this sin.

Yes, I realize that my statements are full of pathos. And pathos is not used in Russian journalism. But you should understand me because I am in the heart of a revolution while you are stuck in boring Moscow offices. Come here, go to Maidan - and you will understand me.

For the last five days every meeting at Maidan begins with a prayer. And they sincerely pray to God to grant them freedom. This is a revolution that neither Vladimir Putin nor Viktor Yushchenko can stop. Only God can.

Vladimir Putin can spill blood here. He can spill a lot of blood. But before giving an order about military actions, a president of Russia should have come to Kyiv, to Maidan and breathed in this air. It is stronger than any army. One could send even the most cynical bastard from President administration to Kyiv and he would return wearing an orange scarf.

With his genuine soft-heartedness and inclination towards compromise, Viktor Yushchenko could consent to negotiate with Leonid Kuchma or Russian representatives. However, Maidan will not accept negotiations. People will not leave Maidan until and unless Viktor Yushchenko is pronounced President of Ukraine. The fact of the matter is that it is not about Yushchenko. It is about freedom.

No, I very well understand that politicians in Moscow cannot comprehend how the whole people could be drawn to the city square not due to the PR technologies but to defend their freedom. But do come to Kyiv, go to Maidan and you will believe it.

I have not been happier in my entire life. I have not experienced greater love than the feeling I experience towards every single person I meet on Kreshchatik.

God damn it, how can I make the officials in Russia believe that they cannot win here in Kyiv but can only cover themselves with shame? How can I make them believe that freedom does indeed exist if they believe TV anchor Mikhail Leontiev's lies whom they paid to lie in the first place? There is no way I can make the officials in Russia believe that freedom exists. But come to Kyiv, go to Maidan before Manezh Square turns into Maidan.

I understand that my enthusiastic words are not in line with Russian journalistic style, but you should try to understand me. I stopped by the hotel to write this column while the city is rejoicing behind the windows of my hotel. I am sitting in the hotel room scared that some bastard in Moscow gives an order to shoot.

But I will finish this article, go back to Maidan and will stop being afraid.

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Canada, U.S. reject Ukraine's voting results


CTV.ca News Staff

Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan says Canada cannot accept the results in Ukraine's presidential elections.

"Canada rejects the announced final results. The government of Canada calls for a ... transparent review of the election process and Canada will have no choice but to examine its relations with Ukraine if the authorities fail to provide election results that reflect the democratic will of the people of that country," McLellan said Wednesday to a standing ovation from both sides of the House of Commons.

Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said his country couldn't accept the election results either. He said there would be "consequences" in relations between his country and Ukraine as a result of the situation.

"I underscore our strong support for a fair investigation of the election, and the absolute importance that no violence is used against the Ukrainian people," he said.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso also warned of consequences if there wasn't "a serious, objective review" of the results.

All this comes as Ukraine's Central Election Commission declared the Russian-backed candidate the winner of last weekend's presidential vote.

The day after ballots were cast on Sunday, the Central Election Commission said Viktor Yanukovych had narrowly beaten Liberal opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko, despite exit polls that suggested otherwise.

According to the commission, Yanukovych got 49.61 per cent of ballots cast, compared to 46.61 per cent for his challenger.

Monitoring reaction in Kyiv, CTV's Ellen Pinchuk said declaring Yanukovych the winner of the contested vote comes as no surprise.

"However there had been many requests from international bodies ... to very carefully examine and investigate the way these elections were conducted before any official announcement was made," she added, noting those calls were not heeded.

On Tuesday, Yushchenko rejected the official results and claimed his own victory. His symbolic oath of office prompted outgoing Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma to call for negotiations involving all parties.

Although there were reports that Yushchenko was initially open to talks, on Wednesday, pro-Yushchenko legislator Mykola Tomenko told a crowd of shivering supporters that the only thing up for discussion is Kuchma relinquishing authority.

"We are ready to negotiate only about the peaceful handing over of power to Yushchenko by Kuchma,'' he told a crowd holding vigil in the capital's central Independence Square.

Nevertheless, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said late Wednesday that he has been invited to mediate the political dispute.

"I have been invited by both Yushchenko and Kuchma to come to Kyiv but no decision has been made, because I should go only when there is material for a serious discussion," Kwasniewski told reporters.

Fear of violence looms

With the crowd of pro-Yushchenko supporters numbering in the tens of thousands, a newer camp of Yanukovych backers is reportedly growing on a wooded slope less than a kilometre away.

According to Pinchuk, there are fears the declaration of what many regard as a premature or inaccurate result could set off tensions between the two groups.

"Really, it does only take a few shots to be fired to radically change what is now a relatively calm situation," Pinchuk said, characterizing the looming fear hanging over what has, so far, been a peaceful protest.

"We really hadn't even seen any military presence near the demonstrators until last night," she added, describing a group who approached the presidential office, only to be met with a crowd of riot police.

"But their meeting was very peaceful. In fact, the demonstrators brought flowers and stuck them in the shields of the riot police."

Pinchuk said that same aversion to violence seemed to be hanging in the Kyiv air following the commission's declaration on Wednesday.

"A loud waves of boos together with a large wave of cheers resounded as those results were read out," she said, noting all eyes are now watching to see how the crowds, estimated to number in the hundreds of thousands, will ultimately respond.

Canadian reaction

Former transport minister David Collenette, who was in Ukraine to monitor the vote Sunday, is just one of the observers who has concluded the election was seriously flawed.

"We don't have time to go through the whole litany of things," he told CTV's Canada AM in an interview from Ottawa on Wednesday.

"There were people bussed in, there was mass use of absentee ballots, there were people removed from the list, there was physical intimidation.

"In the poll that I was in, there was invisible ink used in the pens before Yushchenko's people discovered it, and we've got one of the pens."

In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin branded observers' criticism "inadmissible'' ahead of official results. Ukraine "doesn't need to be lectured,'' he said through an interpreter during a visit to Portugal.

With more than one million people of ethnic Ukrainian origin now living in Canada -- representing approximately three per cent of the former Soviet Republic's overall population -- outrage over the election result has sparked protests here as well.

On Tuesday, pro-Yushchenko rallies were held in Regina, Edmonton and Vancouver. More demonstrations are planned for Winnipeg and Montreal later today. And in Toronto, a crowd of protesters is continuing their overnight vigil at the Ukrainian consulate, demanding Ottawa refuse to recognize the election results.

Canada summoned the Ukrainian ambassador to demand that Kyiv immediately probe "allegations of serious fraud" in the second-round vote.

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MONTREAL - THREE HUNDRED UKRAINIANS DEMONSTRATE AGAINST FALSIFICATION OF THE ELECTION RESULTS IN UKRAINE


PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL, November 24, 2004

Up to 300 people gathered in Square Victoria, which is located in Montreal's financial district, to show solidarity with the one million demonstrators in Ukraine. Ukraine held their runoff presidential elections on Sunday, November 21. The Central Election Committee has officially claimed Viktor Yanukovych winner, despite widespread fraud. A Canadian Parliamentary Delegation, which included Senator David Smith, and Members of Parliament Borys Wrzesnewskyj and David Kilgour, visited Ukraine November 8-14, 2004 and issued a scathing report stating that the Delegation "is shocked by the level of intimidation and electoral fraud documented by Canadian observers". (November 17, 2004) No government has accepted the results.

Montreal demonstrators supported Viktor Yushchenko by shouting "Yushchenko - President"and many other slogans. Various people presented speeches, including Eugene Czolij, vice-president of the Ukrainian World Congress, who stated, "The Ukrainian World Congress, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and Ukrainians worldwide are manifesting to denounce the gross illegalities committed by the current regime during the electoral campaign and on the days of the vote". The Montreal demonstrators kept an open telephone line with Mr Yushchenko's office in Kyiv, expressing support. People waved signs and flags. They sang Ukrainian patriotic songs as well as the Ukrainian National anthem and recited poetry. The rally began at 8:00 a.m. and ended one hour later.

The protest rally was a community effort.

The mass media (French and English) picked up on the press releases, which were sent out the previous day, and they showed up in force to cover the protest rally.

Side note: Another issue, which concerns Canadians, is the CBC decision to curtail Ukrainian-language daily one-half hour programming at Radio Canada International. Today it was announced that the decision to cutback to two weekend, half-hour programming effective December 1, 2004, will be delayed to January 2005. No doubt the events transpiring in Ukraine influenced this decision. This is the continuation of another battle.

- 30 -

Simon Kouklewsky
www.UkrainianTime.com
info@ukrainiantime.com
Tel.: (514) 620-9494
Fax: (514) 620-6248


For a Ukrainian-language photo reportage, please visit: http://www.quebec-ukraine.com/

An audio report for Ukrainian Time will be available by Saturday evening, after the 6:00 p.m. broadcast on Radio CFMB 1280 AM.

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Kyiv, SVP, not Russian "Kiev"


Letter to the Montreal Gazette

Published November 24, 2004

I was pleasantly surprised to see the preferable English spelling of Kyiv, although you seem to be confused regarding which form to use (Gazette, Nov. 22, "Two sides claim Ukraine runoff irregularities"). In the story you use "Kyiv" and "Kiev." Last week you used "Kiyev."

"Kiev" reflects the Russian pronunciation of Ukraine's capital city. "Kiyev" seems to reinforce this pronunciation. "Kyiv" is the preferred form for the Ukrainian embassy in Ottawa and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

Please be respectful of Ukrainian-Canadian sensitivities and drop the Russian form. Your article is a painful reminder that after 13 years of independence from Moscow, Ukraine is still struggling with bullies like Vladimir Putin, who visited Ukraine on several occasions and actively supported the presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych.

Simon Kouklewsky
Pierrefonds

© Author 2004

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RASSEMBLEMENT POUR MANIFESTER CONTRE LA FALSIFICATION DES RÉSULTATS DES ENCOURUE LORS DES ÉLECTIONS PRÉSIDENTIELLES EN UKRAINE


COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE

La communauté canadienne ukrainienne de Montréal tiendra un rassemblement pour manifester contre la falsification des résultats encourue lors des élections présidentielles en Ukraine. Cette manifestation se tiendra au Carré Victoria (station de métro Square Victoria, sortie rue St-Jacques, en face de la station TQS), ce mercredi 24 novembre à 8:00 heures du matin.

Le 21 novembre 2004 les citoyens ukrainiens se sont présenté aux scrutins afin d’élire un nouveau président. Malheureusement, lors de la deuxième ronde de votes, ils ont rapidement constaté plusieurs preuves de fraude électorale et de violation des droits des électeurs. À titre d’exemple, dans certains secteurs du pays les autorités ont falsifié le décompte des votes.

D’ailleurs, plusieurs observateurs internationaux ont laissé savoir que l'élection n'a pas répondu aux normes internationales en la matière. Une délégation parlementaire canadienne, incluant le sénateur David Smith, ainsi que les membres parlementaires Borys Wrzesnewskyj et David Kilgour, ont visité l’Ukraine entre le 8-14 novembre 2004 et ont publié un rapport accablant déclarant que la délégation "est choquée par le niveau de l'intimidation et de la fraude électorale documenté par des observateurs canadiens". (17 novembre 2004)

Le gouvernement du Canada devrait également agir rapidement afin de condamner cette manipulation d'élection en Ukraine. Après tout, le Canada a été le premier pays occidental à reconnaître l'indépendance de l'Ukraine. Le gouvernement du Canada est invité à soutenir les millions d'Ukrainiens qui souhaitent vivre dans une vraie démocratie, telle que nous le vivons ici au Canada. La communauté ukrainienne de Montréal invite et presse le gouvernement du Canada à prendre de promptes mesures au nom des canadiens afin de condamner la fraude électorale ainsi que de souligner l'illégitimité des résultats publiés par le Comité électoral central de l'Ukraine.

Personnes à contacter :

Hélèn Cechmistro, téléphone. : (514) 593-3989, cellulaire: (514) 242-0468

Dr. Ihor Kutash, téléphone. : (514) 276-2477, cellulaire: (514) 591-5329

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PROTEST RALLY AGAINST FALSIFICATION OF THE ELECTION RESULTS IN UKRAINE


PRESS RELEASE

Montreal’s Ukrainian Canadian community will hold a rally to demonstrate against the falsification of the runoff results of the Presidential elections in Ukraine. It will be held at Square Victoria (Square Victoria Metro Station, St-Jacques Street Exit, across from TQS), on Wednesday November 24th 2004 at 8:00 a.m.

On November 21, 2004 the Ukrainian people went to the polls to elect a new president. Unfortunately what they quickly realized was that in the second round of voting there was once again a great deal of evidence of electoral violation and voter fraud. For instance, in certain areas of the country the authorities manipulated the outcome by increasing the reported turnout.

Also, many international observers have pointed out that the election did not meet international standards for elections. A Canadian Parliamentary Delegation, which included Senator David Smith, and Members of Parliament Borys Wrzesnewskyj and David Kilgour, visited Ukraine November 8-14, 2004 and issued a scathing report stating that the Delegation "is shocked by the level of intimidation and electoral fraud documented by Canadian observers". (November 17, 2004)

The government of Canada should also act quickly to condemn this election manipulation in Ukraine. Canada was, after all, the first western country to recognize Ukraine’s independence. The Government of Canada is being asked to support the millions and millions of Ukrainians who wish to live in a true democracy, such as we Canadians enjoy here. Montreal’s Ukrainian-Canadian community urges the Government of Canada to take prompt action on behalf of Canadians and condemn the election fraud and emphasize the illegitimacy of the results issued by the Central Electoral Committee of Ukraine.

-30-

Contact persons:
Helen Cechmistro, tel.: (514) 593-3989, mobile: (514) 242-0468
Dr Ihor Kutash, tel.: (514) 276-2477, mobile: (514) 591-5329

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Jews in Ukraine split vote as election hangs in the balance


Jewish Telegraphic Agency, THE JERUSALEM POST Nov. 23, 2004

Ukrainian Jews mirrored the rest of the country in this week's presidential elections - both in how they voted and in their strong reactions to the controversial results.

Many Jews, pleased with the status quo, supported Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, who was backed by the government in Sunday's runoff vote.

"I voted for stability in Ukrainian society," said Pyotr Rashkovsky, head of the Association of Jewish Communities of Small Towns of Ukraine, which unites Jewish groups in a dozen former shtetls in the central part of the country. "I know that most Jews in my region also supported Yanukovich."

But others echoed the sentiments of the estimated 100,000 to 200,000 Ukrainian voters who took to the streets of Kyiv on Monday after Yanukovich was declared the winner over the liberal opposition candidate, Viktor Yuschenko.

"After the total falsification of the results of the presidential elections, the people demand to announce Yuschenko the next president," said Eduard Gurvitz, a Jewish member of Parliament and former mayor of Odessa who supported Yuschenko.

The choice of the new president may prove crucial for Western and Russian strategic interests in Eastern Europe.

According to the Central Elections Commission, Yanukovich won about 49.4 percent of the vote and Yuschenko received 46.7 percent. In the first round of voting on October 31, Yuschenko led Yanukovich by less than 1 percentage point, according to the official results.

Many Jews are believed to have voted for Yuschenko and generally followed the nationwide pattern, with the younger, urban and better-educated voters favoring the opposition.

But with no valid data in existence, some observers believe probably as many, if not the majority, of Jews still backed Yanukovich - partly because they feared the rising Ukrainian nationalist sentiment.

Many Jews were afraid of speaking openly about their choice even after casting their vote, as were many Ukrainians. Up to 40 percent of respondents refused to talk to those conducting exit polls, local media reported.

"People are afraid of the authorities," one Jewish voter in Kyiv said. "And many Jews may have found themselves even in a more difficult situation knowing that many wealthy Jews sponsoring Jewish community programs support the authorities and particularly Yanukovich."

Indeed, some of the leading domestic sponsors of Jewish life in the region backed Yanukovich, reflecting the fact that many Jewish big business owners have played a prominent role in Ukraine's economy during the current regime.

For many of Ukraine's Jews, estimated at between 250,000 and 500,000, the election was a difficult choice between the liberal Yuschenko, who in the past has allied himself with politicians openly expressing anti-Semitic views, and Yanukovich, who has displayed authoritarian traits but has promised stability, which appeals to Jews in a region where instability has historically led to anti-Semitism.

Some Jews said they believed Yanukovich would be better at fighting anti-Semitism and xenophobia - partly because of his past statements on Jews and Israel, and partly because of Yuschenko's mixed record on Jewish issues.

"I'm sure that Yanukovich is able to prevent" radical nationalism from developing in Ukraine, said Aleksandr Naiman, a leader of the Ukrainian Anti-Defamation League, a group not related to ADL.

At the end of September, Yanukovich visited Israel. He met with President Moshe Katsav and members of the Ukrainian community to discuss the issues of dual citizenship and payment of pensions to Jewish pensioners from Ukraine now living in Israel.

Only 3,106 out of nearly 40,000 eligible Ukrainian voters in Israel cast their ballots.

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Hundreds of thousands march on Ukrainian presidential palace


by MARK MacKINNON

Globe and Mail (Canada), 23 November 2004

Kyiv - Hundreds of thousands of supporters of Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko massed in front of the presidential palace late Tuesday, shouting "Yushchenko is president."

The protesters flooded in from Kyiv's main square, where they have spent the past couple of days protesting against alleged election fraud, accusing authorities of rigging Sunday's presidential vote in favour of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Tension has been mounting since the election.

Thousands of police in full riot gear formed a cordon outside the palace during the protest, prompting the demonstrators to chant "Police with the people" in an attempt to convince the officers to stand aside so they could occupy the presidential residence. Some, apparently, were seen trying to force their way into the building.

Ukraine slid into deeper turmoil earlier in the day as Mr. Yushchenko declared himself President and called on the international community to support "the will of the Ukrainian people" as his cheering supporters occupied the streets of Kyiv and other cities for a third day.

Rejecting official results that showed he lost Sunday's presidential election to Mr. Yanukovich as "falsified," Mr. Yushchenko appeared before a special session of the country's parliament, the Rada, placed his hand on a 16th Century copy of the New Testament, and took the oath of office.

Warning that his country stood on the edge of civil conflict, the pro-Western reformer called on other countries to recognize his act.

"We appeal to the parliaments and nations of the world to bolster the will of the Ukrainian people, to support their aspiration to return to democracy," he said.

He told the parliament that he had won the election and that President Leonid Kuchma's "criminal" regime was attempting to steal that victory through ballot-box fraud. Mr. Kuchma is stepping aside after 10 years in office but has heavily supported Mr. Yanukovich, whom he hand-picked as a successor.

Mr. Yushchenko's declaration lacked legal force, however, since the session was attended by only 191 of the Rada's 450 deputies, leaving him short of the 226 votes required to pass legislation.

The Speaker of the Rada, Volodymyr Lytvyn, called the session "a farce" and said he had not expected to be attending a politcal rally.

"We are sliding toward the abyss. It is amoral and criminal to pretend nothing is happening in the country," Mr. Lytvyn said at the debate's start. The session, held in a chamber that still has the hammers and sickles of Ukraine's Soviet past, was broadcast on only one television network, Channel 5, which reaches only about 40 per cent of the country.

Nonetheless, the announcement that Mr. Yushchenko had declared himself president was greeted with wild cheering by the crowd of more than 200,000 in Kyiv's streets. Many of the demonstrators marched with Mr. Yushchenko through Kyiv's winding streets to surround parliament while he took the oath of office.

The scenes were reminiscent of those a year ago in Georgia, where pro-Western crowds stormed parliament and eventually forced Eduard Shevardnadze to step aside in the wake of a rigged election there.

Demonstrations in Kyiv have carried on non-stop since shortly before polls closed Sunday night, fuelled by the belief that the country's Central Election Commission had rigged results to deny Mr. Yushchenko victory. Most exit polls, including a study of 30,000 voters funded by Western embassies, indicated that he had won by a comfortable margin.

While final results have not been released, the official tally has the Russian-backed Mr. Yanukovich ahead by nearly three percentage points with counting nearly completed. Most international observers in the country view those results as tainted by abuses that occurred before and during election day, including media manipulation and outright ballot-box stuffing.

The election has been portrayed as a Cold War-style struggle over a country that is geographically and ideologically divided. Mr. Yushchenko's supporters, most of whom live in the west of the country, hope he will lead the country into the European Union. Mr. Yanukovich, who handily won the east, has promised closer ties with Russia.

The United States has warned that it will review its relationship with Ukraine if the charges are not investigated and the European Union has dubbed the election "fraudulent."

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who visited Ukraine twice in the last few weeks to campaign on Mr. Yanukovich's behalf, has already called to congratulate the Prime Minister on his victory.

Large protests were also reported Tuesday in other parts of the country yesterday, notably in the west. Kyiv's city council and the administrations of four other sizable cities - Lviv, Ternopil, Vinnytsia and Ivano-Frankivsk - have declared that they will ignore the official results and consider Mr. Yushchenko to be president.

The Russian news agency Interfax reported that a crowd of 50,000 Yushchenko supporters demonstrated in the eastern city of Kharkiv, marking the first time that the demonstrations have spread to the east of the country, where most residents speak Russian and have supported Mr. Yanukovich.

State news agencies said the crowd in Kyiv numbered only 40,000, and they and made no mention of protests in other cities. In televised comments, Mr. Yanukovich dismissed the demonstrators as a "small group of radicals" whose aim was to split the country in half.

Although police and the military remained on high alert, there was no sign of a response from the government, and analysts said it looked as though Mr. Kuchma hoped to wait out the demonstrators, guessing that dropping temperatures and the need to return to work would eventually thin out the crowds.

"Ukraine could be locked into this situation for weeks," said Markiyan Bilyinsky of the Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy.

Many of those occupying Kyiv's Independence Square and central Khreshchatyk Street are prepared for just that. Several thousand activists from the student group Pora (Ukrainian for "It's Time") spent Monday night sleeping in tents kept off the cold pavement by sheets of styrofoam and said Tuesday that they were ready to wait for weeks or months if necessary.

"We will wait until the people's choice becomes president," Ivan Schkelov, a 20-year-old computer programmer, said through an orange bandana covering the lower half of his face. "We just hope it will stay peaceful."

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Tens of thousands protest in Kyiv against flawed presidential vote in Ukraine


Canadian Press

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

KYIV, Ukraine (CP) - Tens of thousands of demonstrators jammed downtown Kyiv in freezing temperatures Monday night, denouncing Ukraine's presidential runoff election as fraudulent and chanting the name of their reformist candidate who authorities said was trailing in the vote count.

Viktor Yushchenko stood beaming on a platform with campaign aides and flashed a V-for-victory sign - even though the Central Election Commission said earlier that with nearly all the votes counted, he was losing to Kremlin-backed Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

"Yushchenko - our president!" chanted the crowd, many of whom waved orange scarves - his campaign colour in Independence Square. Others had set up a tent camp along central Khreshchatyk Street, and organizers were inundated with piles of winter clothes donated for protesters expected to arrive from other cities.

Official results, with more than 99 per cent of precincts counted, showed Yanukovych with 49.42 per cent of the vote to 46.70 per cent for Yushchenko. But several exit polls had found Yushchenko the clear winner.

The election commission's announcement galvanized widespread dismay and anger among many of the former Soviet republic's 48 million people. The capital's city council and several other municipal governments rejected the official results and a major chocolate factory closed plants in protest.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a statement to Yanukovych to congratulate him on the result, Russian news agencies reported.

But observers with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe said there were extensive indications of vote fraud in Sunday's balloting, including people apparently voting multiple times and voters being forced to turn over absentee ballots to state employers.

In Washington, the State Department echoed criticism by the European Union, the OSCE, Freedom House and others and called on Ukraine's government to investigate the allegations of fraud or risk a changed relationship with the United States.

Some demonstrators in Kyiv waved large Georgian flags, echoing the mass protests a year ago that drove then-president Eduard Shevardnadze from office in that former Soviet republic after a fraudulent parliamentary election.

"We will not leave this place until we win," Yushchenko said. "The people's will cannot be broken. People's votes cannot be stolen."

Support for the Yushchenko camp came from a number of organizations abroad, including the Winnipeg-based Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Ukrainian World Congress.

"Widespread violations and abuses . . .have directly benefited . . . Viktor Yanukovych," they said in a joint news release.

"He (Yanukovych) cannot be deemed to have been elected through a fair and free expression of the political will of the Ukrainian voters."

Ostap Skrypnyk, executive director of the Winnipeg-based organization, was one of those in downtown Kyiv with the protesters.

Speaking to the Winnipeg Free Press in an interview via his cellphone, Skrypnyk said that in one area celebrities were performing on a stage flanked by two huge screens at a peaceful event attended mostly by young people and their children.

Despite the "rather festive" atmosphere, the situation has a "great chance of violence," he told the newspaper.

"The stakes are very high. The authorities and Mr. Yanukovych's entourage have a lot to lose if he's not the president.

"This is serious stuff," added Skrypnyk, who co-ordinated the work of 70 election observers from Canada.

"Tomorrow they plan to go to the parliament" and demand that Yanukovych's win be nullifed and Yushchenko declared president.

As protesters milled outside the capital's city council building, its members inside passed a resolution calling on the national parliament to not recognize the election results.

By late Monday, many protesters had dispersed but thousands remained milling around in the square, shouting Yushchenko's name. Some of the protesters were drunk after drinking mulled wine and vodka, gulped down with salted fish.

The protest appeared peaceful but not euphoric. Demonstrators waved orange flags - the opposition's colour - and chanted "Yushchenko, president!"

"This is our unique chance to become better people, to preserve our dignity," said Oleh Krypko, 24, who went to the demonstration with his St. Bernard, whose leash was draped in orange cloth.

Four other sizable cities - Lviv, Ternopil, Vinnytsia and Ivano-Frankivsk - announced they recognized Yushchenko as president, news agencies reported. Some 20,000 protesters rallied in Lviv, Yushchenko's western stronghold region.

Yanukovych, in televised comments, called for national unity and criticized the call for public protests. "This small group of radicals has taken upon itself the goal of splitting Ukraine," he said.

© The Canadian Press 2004

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Local Ukrainians following vote, protest on Net


The Gazette November 23, 2004

Ukrainians in Montreal, who followed the election over the Internet and were unanimously behind Viktor Yushchenko, were as stunned as their compatriots at home at the result.

"We are all astonished. We were prepared to see Mr. Yushchenko elected. We knew he had a majority," said Roxboro resident Michael Logush, 88, who emigrated to Canada more than 50 years ago.

There were no polling stations in Montreal, but the community organized buses to Ottawa for both rounds of voting so those with Ukrainian citizenship could vote.

Intense voter-registration drives and special masses were held in the lead up to the election, said Marta Olynyk, political-affairs editor for e-POSHTA, a news listserve for the diaspora, and a former broadcaster for Radio Canada International's Ukrainian service. Locals, she said, are concerned authorities will use violence to quash the rallies.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2004

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An Open Declaration
By a Group from the Diplomatic Corps of Ukraine


We, Ukrainian diplomats, declare our resolute protest against what has become the transformation of the Presidential elections of 2004 into a disgraceful war against the people of Ukraine. Today when our families, our loved ones and our friends find themselves on Independence Square in Kyiv, we cannot remain silent.

Guided by our conscience, our professional pride and our oath to loyally serve the Ukrainian state, we express our solidarity with the voice of the Ukrainian people. That voice is an expression of protest against the violation of our citizens' right to elect a president by democratic means.

In spite of incessant threats, terror and massive fraud, the Ukrainian people have expressed their will. Their choice, however, has proven inconvenient for those representatives of the political elite in Ukraine who have for years ostensibly expressed Ukraine's European and democratic orientation. At this crucial moment, the actions of that same elite have proven that the expressions of European integration and democracy were merely empty slogans. The people of Ukraine, represented by a small portion freezing in Kyiv's Independence Square, deserve a different government than the one currently asserting itself.

We are convinced that our silence today, in the long-term, would continue to undermine and erode the authority of our state. This would effectively change the diplomatic corps into an instrument of service to a government whose legitimacy is already questioned by the world community. Once and for all, this would annul the international reputation of our country. Democratic nations of the world will turn away from Ukraine. We cannot quietly look away as Ukraine's future is buried along with the future of our children. We call upon all members of the Ukrainian diplomatic corps to raise its voice in defense of what we believe and hold dear: an independent, democratic and honorable Ukraine.

We, Ukrainian citizens, demand that the results of the elections reflect the true will of the people as the only source of power in Ukraine. We believe that other members of the diplomatic service will come to support this declaration.

Advisor to the Embassy of Ukraine to the United States O.V. Shcherba
Second Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine to the United States U. B. Parkhomenko
Advisor to the Embassy of Ukraine to the United States O.V. Potiekhin
Advisor to the Embassy of Ukraine to the United States V. M. Chuma

(An unofficial translation prepared by Mykola Hryckowian, Vice President of the Organization for the Defense of Four Freedoms for Ukraine and Marko Suprun, Executive Director of the Ukrainian American Civil Liberties Association)

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Premier Victor in Ukraine Vote; Abuses Are Seen


By C. J. CHIVERS

Published: November 23, 2004, New York Times

IEV, Ukraine, Nov. 22 - Ukraine approached a political stalemate on Monday, as vote counts of the presidential runoff election indicated that Prime Minister Viktor F. Yanukovich had won but international observers alleged systemic voting abuses and the opposition candidate refused to accept defeat.

With more than 99 percent of ballots counted, the government tally gave Mr. Yanukovich 49.42 percent of the vote to 46.7 percent for Viktor A. Yushchenko, whose supporters turned out in the tens of thousands in Independence Square here, vowing not to move until results were reversed.

"To victory!" said Nina Kovalevskaya, 53, who stood in the cold Monday evening air. "To our victory!"

With the opposition filling the landmark square, an international election observer mission - from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Parliament, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the Council of Europe - released a preliminary report that buoyed them, declaring that the election did not meet democratic standards.

The observers' findings were seconded by Senator Richard G. Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who had led an American mission to Ukraine to urge the departing president, Leonid D. Kuchma, to organize fair elections.

"A concerted and forceful program of election-day fraud and abuse was enacted with either the leadership or cooperation of governmental authorities," the senator said Monday in Kyiv.

At stake is not only the prize of the presidency of a nation of nearly 48 million, but also the direction of the overwhelmingly Slavic country during the next five-year presidential term. The outcome will decide whether Ukraine will draw closer to Russia, its historical and cultural partner, or move toward greater economic and military integration with the West.

Mr. Yanukovich is the personally selected successor of Mr. Kuchma, a former Soviet technocrat who ruled the country in a centralized fashion for 10 years, amid sometimes tense relations with Washington and allegations of corruption and abuse of power.

The prime minister has vowed to continue on Mr. Kuchma's course, and to steer the county closer to Moscow. The Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, telephoned Mr. Yanukovich on Monday from an official visit to Brazil to congratulate him, according to Interfax.

Mr. Yushchenko, himself a former prime minister, has described the incumbent bloc of state power as crooked and hidebound, and pledged to maintain ties with Russia while encouraging business and expanding Ukraine's relationship westward into Europe.

His support in the capital, and among young voters, is palpably high. His campaign - deprived of equal media coverage and pressured by the resources of the Ukrainian state, according to the reports of international observers - has adopted the tactics of the underdog.

The victory for the prime minister, by a margin of nearly 3 percentage points, that was given in official results diverged sharply from a range of surveys of voters at polling places that gave the opposition as much as an 11-point lead. Opposition organizers pushed for protest and mass action.

Mr. Yushchenko, addressing the public, began a multipronged effort to block Mr. Yanukovich's claim on office. He urged his supporters to remain united and in the streets, and called for an urgent session of Parliament to review extensive allegations of state manipulation of the election, and for the judiciary to investigate documented complaints.

"We express no confidence in the Central Election Commission because of its being a passive, or maybe a too active, participant in falsifications," he said.

Yulia Tymoshenko, a member of Parliament and one of Mr. Yushchenko's most visible supporters, called for a general strike.

Still, even while Mr. Yushchenko supporters tried to force a political confrontation, the state maintained a position of official calm. It appeared to have the upper hand through the crucial first day. The prime minister's once-crowded campaign headquarters declared victory and closed down before lunch.

"We won, and we are going to sleep," said Gennady P. Korz, a senior campaign spokesman.

And while the demonstration grew, the police presence in the capital remained light. State security agencies did release a joint statement saying they were on high alert.

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Le scrutin ukrainien non conforme


Le lundi 22 novembre 2004

Sylvie Briand

Agence France-Presse

Kyiv - La victoire annoncée du candidat du pouvoir à la présidence ukrainienne, Viktor Ianoukovitch, aussitôt félicité par le président russe Vladimir Poutine, a soulevé lundi une vague de contestation dans le pays, trois villes, dont la capitale, Kyiv, refusant de le reconnaître vainqueur, tandis que les Occidentaux dénoncent des fraudes.

Le candidat d'opposition pro-occidental, Viktor Iouchtchenko, a appelé ses partisans à résister «jusqu'à la victoire», lors d'une manifestation dans la capitale ukrainienne. Selon des journalistes sur place, quelque 60 000 personnes se sont réunies lundi en début de soirée sur la place de l'Indépendance, où l'opposition a planté des dizaines de tentes.

L'Assemblée municipale de Kyiv a refusé de reconnaître le résultat du scrutin et appelé le Parlement ukrainien à ne pas le valider. Deux villes importantes de l'Ouest de l'Ukraine, Lviv et Ivano-Frankivsk, ont également proclamé M. Iouchtchenko vainqueur.

L'envoyé du président américain George W. Bush en Ukraine, le sénateur Richard Lugar, a dénoncé lundi de vastes fraudes commises sous la direction ou avec la complicité du pouvoir.

L'Organisation pour la coopération et la sécurité en Europe (OSCE) a estimé que le scrutin n'avait pas répondu aux normes démocratiques européennes et l'Union européenne s'est dite «très préoccupée».

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Des observateurs canadiens dénoncent des «tentatives d'intimidation»


Le dimanche 21 novembre 2004

Agence France-Presse

Kyiv - Des observateurs canadiens au second tour de la présidentielle dimanche en Ukraine ont dénoncé des irrégularités et affirmé avoir fait l'objet de «tentatives d'intimidation» de la part des policiers ukrainiens.

«Il est très triste que les policiers se permettent des tentatives d'intimidation à l'égard des observateurs», a déclaré à la presse le parlementaire Borys Wrzesnewskyj qui fait partie d'un groupe d'une vingtaine d'observateurs canadiens ayant veillé au déroulement du scrutin dans les régions d'Odessa et de Kherson (sud).

À Mykolaïev, des observateurs canadiens ont notamment été retenus pendant près de trois heures par des policiers qui avaient intercepté leur voiture et relâchés seulement après l'intervention du gouverneur de la région, selon M. Wrzesnewskyj.

Les observateurs canadiens n'ont par ailleurs pas été autorisés à pénétrer dans plusieurs bureaux de vote de la ville de Kherson, a poursuivi le député canadien qui s'est dit «étonné» par le nombre d'électeurs s'étant déclaré malades et ayant demandé l'autorisation de voter à leur domicile.

M. Wrzesnewskyj a rapporté que plus de 300 personnes avaient été autorisées à voter dans un bureau de vote avec pour toute pièce d'identité une photocopie de leur passeport. Il a estimé que cela ouvrait la voie à des «falsifications massives».

D'autres observateurs étrangers ont également dénoncé de «nombreuses et graves violations» pendant le second tour de cette présidentielle sous haute tension, mettant aux prises l'opposant pro-occidental Viktor Iouchtchenko et le candidat du pouvoir et premier ministre pro-russe Viktor Ianoukovitch.

M. Iouchtchenko est donné gagnant par des sondages sortie des urnes contestés par l'équipe de M. Ianoukovitch, désigné par le pouvoir pour succéder au président sortant Léonid Koutchma et ouvertement soutenu par Moscou.

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WCU, UCCA, UCC Recognize Yuschenko as President

STATEMENT OF THE UKRAINIAN DIASPORA ON THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN UKRAINE



The Ukrainian World Congress and its member organizations in thirty countries, actively monitored the electoral process in Ukraine on November 21, 2004. Our conclusions are based upon the observations of some 250 international monitors, accredited by the Central Elections Commission from the UWC and our member organization the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America which included a delegation from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

Irrespective of the final result to be announced by the CEC, at this time it is clear, even assuming the current numbers of the CEC, that the tally for each candidate is similar. For this reason we feel that the violations which took place to benefit candidate Victor Yanukovich influenced the result submitted by the CEC. Should the CEC declare Victor Yanukovich president, he cannot be deemed to have been elected by the voters. Should the CEC declare Victor Yushchenko president, he will have overcome substantial obstacles and violations.

Among the violations we include such primitive ones as proxy voting, procurement of more than one ballot by some voters, attempts to stuff the ballot box by representatives of the local elections commissions or their friends, the so called carousel, flagrant bribing, etc. More significant were events such as suggesting a vote for candidate Yanukovich by the local elections commissions, remitting invites to vote with a pamphlet about candidate Yanukovich, personal advice on how to vote given by local election commission members, directors of establishments of employment and others in positions of influence. The most severe results were due to an egregious abuse by candidate Yanukovich of administrative state resources, not only from the government of Ukraine but also from non-democratic foreign governments, i.e. Russia and the not-recognized Transdniester. Additionally, we mention detainments and attempts to frighten Yushchenko’s monitors.

The Ukrainian Diaspora, whose activities are coordinated by the UWC, sends greetings to Victor Yuschenko as the winner of the election and offers him its support for the benefit of the Ukrainian people and an independent democratic Ukrainian state.

Kyiv, November 22, 2004 Askold S. Lozynskyj, President UWC
Victor Pedenko, Secretary General UWC
Michael Sawkiw, President UCCA
Ostap Skrypnyk, Executive Director UCC

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Don't curb shortwave RCI

Montreal Gazette Editorial

November 16, 2004

Radio Canada International is not exactly a headline fixture, even in Montreal, where the service is headquartered. But yesterday it was noted in The Gazette that the external broadcasting arm of the CBC plans to cut in half its weekend one-hour broadcasts in Ukrainian.
Who cares? Well, possibly the 2 million Ukrainians who, according to advocates in Canada, are faithful listeners to the program on shortwave and on the Ukrainian national network. Even if we settle for 25 per cent of that number, it is considerable. Anecdotal reports suggest RCI broadcasts in Arabic are also widely heard. It could be that RCI serves more listeners than CBC domestic radio broadcasts in French and English combined.
Less than 10 years ago, the CBC toyed with the idea of scrapping RCI as an irrelevant relic of the Cold War. But there are conflicts aplenty in the world. Canadians, as proverbial peacekeepers, should be involved.
Good information is a vital contribution to the welfare of nations, and one that will grow in influence along with access to the Internet. We have a huge resource in the form of the CBC, for which we pay dearly. Rather than constricting its dissemination, we should be expanding it.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2004

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Who speaks for the Jews of Canada?

JEFF HEINRICH (The Montreal Gazette)

Sunday, November 14, 2004

So which is it: the Canadian Jewish Congress or B'nai Brith?

Which really speaks for the majority of Canada's 350,000 Jews? Or does neither?

It's an old question that got a new focus last week, when the two organizations clashed on the issue of alleged anti-semitism on university campuses.

B'nai Brith announced last week it would complain to the Quebec Human Rights Commission over what it called "systemic" discrimination against Jewish and Zionist students at Concordia University.

That prompted condemnation by the Congress, which said it prefers behind-closed-door negotiations on the matter and argued going public just reinforced stereotypes of Jews as chronic complainers.

The general Canadian public might be excused for being confused as to who to believe.

Indeed, it might be unaware there's any difference between the two groups at all.

But, indeed, there is.

The cleavage was formalized last February when B'nai Brith quietly signed an agreement with the newly created Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) an arm of UIA (United Israel Appeals) Federations Canada, which funds the CJC.

In theory, the agreement was a kind of nonaggression pact. It laid out the principle that both CIJA and B'nai Brith could both claim to speak on behalf of the Jewish community in Canada, "without fear that such a declaration would be challenged," as B'nai Brith puts it.

In practice it hasn't worked out that way - yet.

CJC still portrays itself as the official established voice of Canadian Jewry, a broad-based agency for Jewish views. And that has brought out the gadfly in B'nai Brith, which is capitalizing on its longer history and knack for grabbing headlines.

Its time-honoured tactic: brook no compromise and stir up controversy by defending - some say overdefending - the interests of Jews and Zionists.

It got plenty of attention last week - and not just over Concordia.

On Monday, one of its senior officials in Ontario, Adam Aptowitzer, had to resign after saying on a TV talk show that Israel has a right to use "terror" tactics against Palestinian civilians - for example, by destroying their houses.

That was going too far for B'nai Brith, which disassociated itself from his comments. But they only came to light in the first place after Jewish groups condemned a Muslim speaker on the same show, Mohamed Elmasry, who said any Israeli over the age of 18 is a valid target for Palestinian terrorists.

As with other interest groups, there's a long history of Canadian Jews walking a tightrope between compromise and confrontation. And when times get tough - on issues like Israel, Quebec nationalism and anti-semitism - it's the CJC and B'nai Brith that take and generate the most heat on behalf of Canadian Jews.

Examples over the last two decades tell the story:

In 1996, the CJC negotiated a deal with Quebec's Office de la Langue Francaise to exempt kosher products sold at Passover from Quebec's French-labeling regulations. B'nai Brith's reaction? It accused the CJC of playing "language inspector" by agreeing to police the agreement.

Also in 1996, after a gift-wrapped package exploded at the Calgary Jewish Centre, mildly injuring a secretary at a Zionist organization, B'nai Brith created a panic in Montreal by saying the same thing might happen here. CJC discounted the warning, simply urging Jews to be calm and vigilant.

In 1990, B'nai Brith compared an attack by nine Iberville teenagers against Hasidic Jews in Outremont to the Holocaust. The CJC maintained it was an ugly incident carried out by wayward boys, not neo-Nazis.

In 1985, B'nai Brith hailed the criminal conviction of Holocaust-denier Ernst Zundel as a "delightful" vindication of the Canadian justice system, whereas the CJC in Quebec called it "a sad, miserable experience for Canada and a horrible experience for the survivors."

Though they're the largest, B'nai Brith and the CJC are by no means the only voices of Jewish advocacy in Canada. From hate-crime watchdogs like the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal, to Jewish-Palestinian dialogue groups like Shalom Salam, there are a wide variety. Some are independent; many are funded by major donors like Federation CJA (short for Combined Jewish Appeal) in Quebec.

In their diversity, Jews are no different from other Canadian minorities trying to get their views across, said McGill sociology professor Morton Weinfeld. Aboriginals, Quebec anglophones, blacks, Italians, Ukrainians, Muslims - none speak with one voice only, he said.

"Historically, the Canadian Jewish Congress has been recognized as representing the concerns of the mainstream Jewish community," he said.

"But that's not the same thing as representing the views of every single Jewish person. It's like saying: 'Does the Canadian government represent the views of every single Canadian on every issue?' And the answer is no."

Traditionally more of a fraternal organization (its name is Hebrew for "sons of the covenant"), B'nai Brith has emerged over the last couple of decades as a more populist-sounding, aggressive voice for Jews than the CJC, especially on the issues of Israel and anti-semitism.

It keeps its profile high through a biweekly newspaper, the Jewish Tribune, which claims 60,000 subscribers. And through its offshoot group, the League of Human Rights, allied with B'nai Brith's Anti-Defamation League in the U.S., it publishes an annual "audit of anti-semitic incidents" and maintains a 1-800 "anti-hate hotline."

If that activism puts it at odds with the more consensus-building style of the CJC, then so be it, some Jewish activists say.

For them, disagreements in the Jewish community - or communities, plural - is a sign of strength, not weakness.

"I see it as a healthy, wonderful, encouraging thing," said Ronit Yarosky, co-founder of the 100-member Montreal Dialogue Group, an independent peace organization formed a year ago.

"The Jewish community is not one monolithic entity - it's not The Community in capital letters. There's a plurality of opinions, even if people aren't always encouraged to have them."

Jewish organizations in Canada who they are, what they spend

These groups invariably support Israel, oppose anti-semitism, remember the Holocaust and raise money for

Jewish and Israeli causes. But the roles of Jewish organizations in Canada vary in degree and modus operandi.

THE LOBBY GROUPS

Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC)
www.cjc.ca
Founded: 1919
Self-styled "Jewish parliament"
that calls itself the prime voice of Canadian Jews. Activities include assisting Jewish immigrants and Holocaust survivors.
Spent in 2003: $3.9 million

B'nai Brith Canada
www.bnaibrith.ca
Founded: 1875
Feisty human rights organization that fights anti-Semitism, is advocate for Israel, educates about the Holocaust, runs summer camps and subsidizes housing for low-income elderly Jews.
Spent in 2002: $8.5 million

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal
Centre for Holocaust Studies

www.wiesenthal.com/about/office_canada.cfm
Founded: 1979
Canadian arm of Los-Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre. Monitors anti-semitism, hate crimes and Nazi war criminals in Canada.
Spent in 2003: $1.7 million

Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA)
www.cija.ca
Founded: Jan. 2004
A new group that co-ordinates the pro-Israel advocacy work of the CJC and the Canada-Israel Committee, another longstanding organization.

THE FUNDRAISERS

UIA Federations Canada (UIAFC)

www.jewishcanada.org
Founded: 1998
National fundraising organization for Jews in Israel, formed after the reorganization of the United Israel Appeal of Canada and the Council of Jewish Federations of Canada.
Spent in 2003: $44 million

Federation CJA (Combined Jewish Appeal)
www.federationcja.org
Founded: 1992
Montreal philanthropic organization for Canada and Israel, raising money for a number of Jewish causes. Originated in 1916 as the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies.
Spent in 2003: $56.4 million

THE BRIDGEBUILDERS

Canadian Friends of Peace Now

www.peacenowcanada.org
Founded: Jan. 2004

Affiliated with Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) in Israel (founded in 1978) and the CJC, it's a Zionist organization trying to bridge Jews and Arabs over the issue of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Other groups with that goal include Shalom Salam and Montreal Dialogue Group.

Sources: Organizations' official web sites; Canada Revenue Agency

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2004

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ОГОЛОШЕННЯ

ШАНОВНІ ГРОМАДЯНИ УКРАЇНИ!

Дільнична виборча комісія закордонної виборчої дільниці № 41 окремого закордонного виборчого округу запрошує вас взяти участь у повторному голосуванні виборів Президента України, що відбудеться 21 листопада 2004 року.

Голосування проводитиметься з 8 до 20 години.

Приміщення для голосування знаходиться за адресою Посольства України в Канаді: 310 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J9.

Межі виборчої дільниці: Національний столичний округ, провінції Квебек, Манітоба, Нова Скоша, Нью Брансвік, Ньюфаундленд та Лабрадор, Принц Едвард Айленд.

До уваги громадян України, які не були включені до списку виборців для голосування 31 жовтня 2004 року.

Щоб бути включеним до списку виборців для повторного голосування громадянин України, який проживає в межах виборчої дільниці № 41 і не був включений до списку виборців для голосування 31 жовтня, має до 13 листопада 2004 р. включно прибути до виборчої дільниці з паспортом громадянина України для виїзду за кордон, дипломатичним паспортом, службовим паспортом, посвідченням особи моряка або посвідченням члена екіпажу та подати члену виборчої комісії особисту письмову заяву про включення до списку виборців на цій дільниці.

Режим роботи виборчої комісії:

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Дільнична виборча комісія


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Doctor takes glaucoma screening clinic on the road


18 cases were detected thanks to camera that can catch condition in early stages

AARON DERFEL (The Gazette)

October 8, 2004

When Dr. Paul Harasymowycz wanted to screen people for glaucoma, he didn't wait for the patients to come see him at his clinic at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital.

Instead, he took his clinic on the road, visiting nursing homes and a church with a congregation of predominantly Haitian Montrealers - a group at higher risk of developing the eye disorder that can lead to blindness.

Using a sophisticated camera - the first of its kind in Canada - donated by the Lions Club, he discovered cases of glaucoma in the early stages that might otherwise have gone undetected.

Since more than half of those with glaucoma don't even know they have the condition - there are no painful symptoms - early detection is crucial. Eye drops and medications can help stop the progression of glaucoma, which damages the optic nerve.

"This machine's strength is not only in screening patients but in following them as well," Harasymowycz said yesterday of the $52,000 HRT camera.

"After the fourth visit, the machine can detect statistically if the patient is getting worse. Some studies have shown that it can do so even before the physician himself can detect that it's getting worse."

Until now, ophthalmologists have conducted eye exams with scopes. The HRT camera reproduces a 3-D image of the optic nerve and compares it with a database of 100 normal scans. Thus, the machine can notice the slightest discrepancy.

Harasymowycz screened 300 people and spotted 18 cases of glaucoma. One of those turned out to be a volunteer who was helping Harasymowycz.

"I didn't like the news, but what could you do about it?" said 78-year-old Jerry Horodecky, a retired armoured truck driver.

"I've been back to see the doctor a couple of times since. I put drops in my eyes at bedtime."

About 67 million people worldwide have glaucoma, caused by a buildup of pressure in the eye. Two per cent of the population is affected, but it's higher among those of African descent.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2004

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INTERVIEW: Yurij Luhovy on the making of a film about Bereza Kartuzka

by Fran Ponomarenko


Special to The Ukrainian Weekly

MONTREAL - The story of the infamous concentration camp, Bereza Kartuzka (1934-1939), where thousands of Ukrainian patriots were incarcerated without due process and in direct violation of the Polish Constitution is little known. Yurij Luhovy, a member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, is now close to completing a documentary film about this camp, a film based on authentic photographs, documents, archival footage, and eyewitness testimonials from survivors.

Part one of a trilogy dealing with Ukraine under three occupations - Polish, Communist and Nazi - this film will highlight the political situation in which Western Ukrainians found themselves under Polish rule between the first and second world wars. Award-winning Montreal filmmaker, Mr. Luhovy is best known for his work on "Harvest of Despair." He has, however, more recently made another documentary film titled "Freedom Had a Price" about the internment operations in Canada, which led to the detention of over 5,000 Ukrainians in 24 camps across Canada, and led to the designation of a further 88,000 civilians (the majority of whom also were Ukrainian) as "enemy aliens."

In addition to his documentary work, Mr. Luhovy has also worked in the mainstream industry on such films as "Khanehsatake: 250 Years of Resistance," "Show Girls," "Rocks at Whiskey Trench" and "Race for the Bomb."

Q: You are presently close to completing a film about the Bereza Kartuzka concentration camp. What brought you to this subject?
A: Actually, it was my father. He was imprisoned in Bereza. When I was a young boy I often heard him speaking with his friends, who were also incarcerated there, about the abuses they endured in the camp. They used to sit around our dining room table in Montreal and recount their stories for hours. They talked about their lives in western Ukraine in the 1930s. They all knew each other in Ukraine as students, or as former prisoners in Bereza Kartuzka, or from the DP [displaced persons] camps after World War II. In the 1950s some of them found each other again in Montreal.

So, their stories were always in the back of my mind and overtime, I realized we didn't know our history. There were many other immigrants living in Canada and the United States that had spent time in Bereza. What also stayed with me is that such a docile, gentle man like my father could be beaten. His experiences, and those of others like him, were first-hand accounts of an untold story never yet filmed.

Q: What led to the incarceration of your father?
A: It was the political climate at that time. You have to place his story in the context of the tension between Poland and Ukraine in the late 1920s and 1930s. Western Ukraine was under Polish occupation and the Polish government progressively used severe measures to suppress and pacify Ukraine. By 1935 Poland became a completely authoritarian state and attacks against Ukrainian life again increased. My father's arrest was one of many.

We were never certain of the reason. None was ever given. Ukrainians were arrested by the Polish police "bez prava zakhystu," without the right of a defense. This was illegal, of course, even under Polish law, but it was done anyway. My father had just finished law school in Ternopil and had just married my mother. They decided to settle in Brody; the year was 1938. He was supposed to work for two years under a lawyer for no pay. However, to survive they opened a fruit store. Nearby, a Polish man also had one, and he saw his business dwindling. My mother always thought that the reason for the denunciation of my father was this person's jealousy. One day my mother came to the store to bring my father some lunch but he was not there. The neighbors said that my father was arrested and taken to the Bereza Kartuzka concentration camp. This happened in June or July of 1939. That day about 17 other people from Brody alone were arrested and imprisoned.

Q: What kind of people were usually picked up by the Polish police?
A: All persons active in Ukrainian national affairs were under constant surveillance, searched and often arrested. The Polish police especially looked for people that were in the Ukrainian underground, in the OUN [Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists], which, in retaliation, had organized a struggle against the brutality of the Polish occupation. They also targeted intellectuals. But criminals of various nationalities also were imprisoned there. This was done on purpose, to create dissension and conflict. There were also some Poles in Bereza who opposed Pilsudski's authoritarian rule. The Polish police also arrested Communists of Polish, Jewish and Belarusian origin. All these people were thrown together and that created lots of problems in the camp amongst the prisoners. There were even fights.

Q: This concentration camp dates back to the early 1930s, to the time when eastern Ukrainians were in the aftermath of the Famine-Genocide.
A: The 20th century wasn't very kind to Ukraine. Yes, eastern Ukraine was suffering brutal repression under Stalin, and western Ukraine was suffering under Polish control. Bereza Kartuzka began to operate from 1934. In the film, the historians who were interviewed put everything into a historical context. We see that problems began on June 28, 1919, when the Supreme Council of the Paris Peace Conference, just after World War I, allowed Poland to occupy all of Eastern Galicia (or western Ukraine). Poland never adhered to the points of the Treaty of Versailles.

A clear violation of Ukrainian rights was made in July 31, 1924, which excluded the Ukrainian language from use in governmental and in self-governing agencies. In addition, Poland embarked on an intensive process of colonizing Ukrainian territories with Poles from ethnic Poland. In the next 20 years, about 200,000 Poles were moved into Ukrainian villages and about 100,000 into cities of western Ukraine. The Polish regime also began a complete destruction of Ukrainian schools. For example, Ukrainian schools in Galicia dropped from 2,420 in 1911 to 352 in 1937. Polish schools on Ukrainian territories greatly increased. Ukrainian Catholics also were pressured to accept the Latin rite, to become Roman Catholic, which actually meant renouncing their Ukrainian nationality.

Then, in June 1934, the Polish Minister of Internal Affairs, Bronislaw Pieracki, was assassinated in Warsaw by Ukrainians in retaliation for his role in the brutal "pacification" of Ukraine. Three days later Bereza Kartuzka was opened. This means that the camp must have been planned much earlier because everything was in place.

The "pacification" of Ukraine was a reign of terror. People were beaten mercilessly, books were burned, Ukrainian institutions were closed, censorship was enforced. In the Ukrainian newspapers in Canada during the 1930s, you can read many accounts of what occurred. It was natural for Canadian Ukrainians to follow what was happening in their homeland, to their families and friends. Also, when you go through newspapers and archives of the 1930's, you see that the international press was aware of what was happening. The Manchester Guardian, for example, often reported about the terror being inflicted on Ukrainians. And photos depicting this did get out to the West. The West knew what was happening in Western Ukraine but did little. Q: Who took these photographs?
A: It was local people from different villages who took these pictures secretly. They wanted to inform the League of Nations about the conditions that Ukrainians lived in under Poland in order to persuade the League to intervene. The Polish government, claiming to be democratic, was somewhat sensitive when the West learned about the abuse of minority rights in Poland. Can you imagine? We were living on our own land and were considered a minority!

Q: What purpose was the concentration camp supposed to serve in the eyes of the Polish government?
A: Ukrainians were placed in Bereza to be "re-educated," that is, to learn not to oppose policies of Polonization and not to resist Polish rule. It was a way of terrorizing Ukrainians and trying to get them to stop attaining an independent homeland. Most of them were there for three months, but some for a year and a half. Some died in the camp. The camp commander was Col. Yanush Kostek-Biernacki and his subordinate was B. Grefner, who was later replaced by I. Kamalia. I might add that in a declaration of September 13, 1934, Poland denounced the treaty on the protection of national minorities at the League of Nations.

Q: You said earlier that various ethnic groups were incarcerated. Which group predominated in the camp?
A: Well, that depends on the year. Towards 1939 the majority were Ukrainians. In 1934 the population of the camp was about 250 people, but by September 1939 there were between 5,000 and 8,000 people, the majority of whom were Ukrainians. Just imagine the conditions, too. They used to sleep about 15 to a room when the camp first opened in 1934 but towards the end it was between 60 and 70 men to a room. Some even slept outside under the elements.

Q: Were you able to learn what the prisoners ate?
A: That also depended on the year. Towards the end, just as the second world war was beginning, the inmates were given buckwheat kasha with sand mixed into it. This was so that sand would lodge in their teeth and cause them pain. They were also given soup, or rather slop, of some sort. One witness told me that the female inmates were so hungry they would throw themselves into the large food cauldron to scrub out whatever might still be stuck at the bottom. Only their backsides and feet would be left hanging out and visible. And then they would be beaten with sticks and fists.

Q: How did you begin filming? A: Well, at first I needed to find out if I could actually do a film on this subject. I needed witnesses. Fortunately, here in Montreal I had two people whom I could interview: Jaroslaw Pryszlak, who was imprisoned in 1935, and Adolf Hladylowycz in 1939. Their memories were excellent and their stories unbelievable.

It was crucial to get more survivors of the camp. I found many young people whose fathers were in Bereza. But that's not the same, nor as powerful. So, I started to ask around. In the U.S. I found Demian Korduba but, unfortunately, after interviewing him I decided I couldn't use him in the film. He was elderly and his speech was too difficult to understand. He was half-paralyzed when I met him. It was sad because he, too, had suffered there. But he did give me the names of two other people that I could talk to. Just recently Mr. Korduba passed away and will never see the film completed.

In the film I have five witnesses, and all give compelling accounts. In Belarus I found three more. They were children at the time and saw prisoners getting beaten up. I also met survivors in Florida, among them Bohdan Deychakiwsky. He was excellent, but was not well enough to be filmed.

Fortunately, I started this project when I did. It would have been such a shame not to have recorded their stories. Once I filmed the witnesses, I knew the film could be made, but it was essential to visit the site and go through the archives in Warsaw and Lviv. Arrangements were made and I went to the former Bereza Kartuzka prison last summer.

Q: What was that like? How much of the camp is left standing today?
A: It was very emotional for me to walk where my father once did. I thought of him and all the other prisoners. There were originally two main blocks. But the prisoner's block is still there. However, the police block is almost in ruins. Whole sections of it, the roof and floor have collapsed. It was risky going inside the building because at any moment anything could come down. But I went inside, and at first I thought that was where the prisoners were. But, after seeing the book on Bereza by Wolodymyr Makar, I rechecked the layout of the camp and realized that I had filmed in the wrong building. So, I went back from Miensk to film again. At the site, they are planning to establish a museum about the Bereza concentration camp. You have to remember that Bereza Kartuzka is now part of Belarusian territory. Today, most of the prisoners' block has been converted to a children's activity center.

Q: What kind of arrangements did you need to make in order to film there?
A: I had to obtain special permission from the Ministry of External Affairs of Belarus. I arranged everything here in Montreal and in Ottawa. Needless to say, once I arrived in Belorus nothing was ready, even though I had faxed them that I was coming and even though all my papers were in order. Fortunately, a Belarus official in Miensk went out of his way to obtain the necessary minister's signature on a Friday at three in the afternoon. Without this, I couldn't film.

That afternoon, I also rented a car and then drove about four hours to Bereza Kartuzka with historian Dr. Roman Wysotsky from Poland. He also had never visited Bereza, although he was familiar with it. We enjoyed doing research together, and we both became united by trying to imagine what the former prisoners of Bereza must have gone through. I was very fortunate that Dr. Wysotsky was able to accompany and help me.

Q: What was the most frightening or the most dangerous moment you experienced?
A: The very worst part was when we were leaving Belarus and were at the Polish border in Berestia. The Belarus guard almost confiscated all my cassettes, regardless of my official press credentials. "I'll decide your fate in the next hour," he said. I was worried for the footage I had with me and for all the planning and effort that was put into this. There was a journalist who had disappeared in the area just the week before. It was very stressful, not knowing what was going to happen next. Eventually, someone higher-up asked me more questions and looked over all my documents again and then let us go.

Q: How much of the film do you have completed at this point?
A: Basically, I am finishing the editing and verifying details. I have a few inserts to shoot, and then the music and the sound effects have to be worked on. You know, I'm doing this film in my spare time, between work on other films from which I earn my living. So, I anticipate that probably sometime in March of this year the film will be ready for screening.

The biggest problem is purchasing the rights to some film archives. This is very expensive, it's $50 for each second plus lab fees.

Q: How is this film being financed?
A: This is one of the most difficult aspects. As you know, making a documentary is very expensive. As with my film "Freedom Had A Price," I began this film on Bereza Kartuzka, financing everything myself and hoping that eventually the project would get some further support. Because witnesses were elderly, passing away, and their stories disappearing with them, I knew this project could not wait any longer. I had to begin filming. No one had yet done a film on this subject, it's another first.

Eventually, several institutions, including the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko and some private donations, helped offset some costs. But this is far from the cost of the film. I still have hopes the project will get additional donations. Many people, whether in Canada, the U.S. or in Ukraine, have been very supportive of the project, and especially those that were in Bereza and their children. Once again, the story was almost forgotten, silenced forever.

It is difficult to get mainstream financing. So, either we Ukrainians are prepared to find ways to make these projects, or we lose the opportunity to record our history. And how can we not capture these stories?

Q: Could you tell us how your father finally got out of the Bereza Kartuzka concentration camp?
A: Ironically, it was because of the beginning of World War II and another occupation of Ukraine. In September 1939 the Germans attacked Poland. The Nazis and the Red Army met in Brest-Litovsk, or Berestia as it is called in Ukrainian. Berestia is now in Belarus, but it is ethnically Ukrainian territory. When the Poles in Bereza saw that the Germans were advancing, all the police guards fled the camp at night.

On September 18, 1939, the local people opened up the gates and released the prisoners. Believe it or not, that was my father's birthday. It was the best gift he could have ever received. He then began the two-week walk home to Brody, with the other prisoners. He walked without any shoes, with only rags around his bare feet. The moment he arrived home, he collapsed. He had been so weakened by the near starvation conditions in the prison. He was utterly exhausted. Occasionally people would give him a lift on a cart and give him some food. Unfortunately, my father never really wanted to recount his experiences to me. I wanted to know all the details of daily life in the camp, but he wouldn't talk. He just refused. He was one of 250 prisoners who were forced to dig their own graves because they were slated to be shot by the Polish guards due to the German advance. Then, at the last moment, somehow the executions didn't occur. Call it Divine Providence. Maybe it was the German planes in the sky. I don't know.

"Did they hurt you?" I once asked my dad when I was young. "No, they just tickled me," he replied.

* * *

Anyone wishing to support the making of the Bereza Kartuzka documentary, may send donations to: M M Luhovy Inc., 2330 Beaconsfield, Montreal, Quebec, H4A 2G8. Survivors may contact the filmmaker by calling (514) 481-5871 or e-mailing mmlinc@hotmail.com.

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, February 3, 2002, No. 5, Vol. LXX

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Poison Politics in Ukraine

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR TO THE NEW YORK TIMES

By JASON T. SHAPLEN

Published: September 25, 2004

Think this year's presidential campaign in the United States is nasty? Take a look at politics Ukrainian style. On Sept. 6 the leading opposition candidate in the presidential election disappeared from the campaign trail. The first news of Viktor Yushchenko came a week later: he had been in Austria, recovering from what aides initially thought was acute food poisoning but subsequently said was an attempt on his life. They quoted doctors in Vienna as saying his illness was due to "chemical substances not normally found in food products." At a rally upon his return to Kyiv a week ago, Radio Free Europe reported, Mr. Yushchenko's face was swollen and half-paralyzed; he had difficulty reading his text and was salivating excessively.

President Leonid Kuchma - who is backing Mr. Yushchenko's main opponent - laughed off accusations of foul play. The deputy head of his administration went a step further, suggesting that a Yushchenko aide should taste his food for him as they did with rulers in the Middle Ages. For its part, the state-controlled news media reported that Mr. Yushchenko might have had a stroke or heart attack with possibly lingering physical and mental effects.

The accusation of poisoning might seem frivolous were it not for the context of the campaign. The unpopular Mr. Kuchma is not running for a third term. Nonetheless, in a meeting in April, Mr. Kuchma made clear to several foreign policy experts and me that he intended to remain involved in politics after his term expired. In an effort to ensure this, he tried to pass a constitutional amendment in April that would have transferred power from the presidency to the Parliament, which his supporters control. Surprisingly, the amendment failed, falling six votes short of the two-thirds majority needed for passage.

The Bush administration - while admittedly focused on its own election campaign - should not ignore the Ukrainian contest. It should put more pressure on Mr. Kuchma to ensure free and fair elections, including balanced coverage of the candidates by the government-controlled news media.

This may be easier said than done. After holding Mr. Kuchma at arm's length for two years (after he was accused of authorizing the sale of Kolchuga aircraft-tracking radar to Iraq), the Bush administration recently began to re-engage him. President Bush met with Mr. Kuchma at a NATO gathering in June, and several other administration officials, including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Armitage, deputy secretary of state, have visited Kyiv recently.

The United States' interest in Ukraine is understandable. It sits at a crossroads with Russia to its east and an expanding Europe to its west. Since the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1991, Kyiv has been engaged in an extraordinary dance between the two. Against the odds, it has made remarkable changes in its military, economic, social and, to a lesser extent, political structure, while keeping both its eastern and western flanks relatively happy.

Its military transformation alone has been stunning: Ukraine has rid itself of all its all tactical and strategic nuclear weapons. In just 13 years, it has also transferred control of its armed forces from military leaders to a civilian defense minister and reduced its armed forces personnel from about 1 million to 350,000 (with further reductions to 200,000 planned by the end of next year). And it has established formal relations with NATO, which it would like to join. In addition to sending troops to Iraq, Ukraine has contributed forces to NATO missions around the world, including Kosovo, Bosnia and Afghanistan.

The changes on the non-military side of the equation have also been impressive. Ukraine's economy grew more than 8 percent last year, on top of 4 percent growth in 2002 and 9 percent growth in 2001. Inflation has also dropped to single digits from a high of 10,000 percent in 1993. While Kyiv is not quite a bustling metropolitan city filled with skyscrapers, high-end restaurants offer food on par with upper-end establishments in New York, middle-aged patrons fill sophisticated jazz clubs at night, and 20-something crowds can be found in the early morning hours on the floors of high-tech dance clubs.

Against such positive changes across so many sectors, the latest efforts by Mr. Kuchma to amend the constitution and the accusations of possible poisoning are troubling. The government-controlled news media's election coverage is dominated by pictures of Mr. Yushchenko's opponent, Prime Minister Viktor A. Yanukovich. Still, many people expect the election on Oct. 31 will result in a runoff.

While the Bush administration has carefully dealt with Mr. Kuchma so as not to push him toward Russia's waiting embrace, it must also address his attempt to cling to power. The United States provided $189 million in aid to Ukraine during the fiscal year that ended last September, including $55 million for democracy programs centered in large part around these presidential elections. Any efforts to disrupt the electoral process should be met with threats of curtailing or suspending current and future aid.

Washington has other tools at its disposal as well. To this day, Ukrainians bridle at the "Little Russia" moniker for their country, as demonstrated by the title of Mr. Kuchma's very own book, "Ukraine Is Not Russia." Ukraine desperately wants to be part of NATO and the World Trade Organization, aspirations that Washington could use to encourage Kyiv to turn toward the West and democracy. But it must also make clear that regardless of Ukraine's geopolitical importance it will not shy away from confronting it on matters of principle like free and fair elections.

Jason T. Shaplen writes frequently on foreign policy.

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Top of the pops: Porter wins Idol, Theresa still first in Saskatoon's eyes

Joanne Paulson

The StarPhoenix

Friday, September 17, 2004

TORONTO -- Theresa Sokyrka may not have been crowned Canadian Idol Thursday night, but she retained the title queen of grace as she hugged the winner with joy, and later faced the media with poise.

Medicine Hat's diminutive song prince Kalan Porter became the second Idol after Canadians voted 3.6 million times Wednesday night. In total, more than 32 million votes were cast over the course of the show -- approximately one for every Canadian, and 12 million more than last year.

In a news conference immediately after the show, Sokyrka came out smiling and composed. Asked how she was feeling, she admitted she was very tired.

"I am going to get some rest," Sokyrka said, with a little squeak in her voice. "I really need some rest, as you can tell by the sound of (my voice). And say good-bye to all these wonderful people that I've met, (and) get a bunch of contacts because they're wonderful people . . . and everybody is special. The whole shebang. They're such wonderful people."

Sokyrka said she did go into Wednesday's performance feeling less than confident.

"There was a lot of confidence issues yesterday. The first song (the Canadian Idol single Awake In a Dream) was a really hard one for me to get through. It's just a long song, and it takes a lot out of you. I was really worried about that one. But after the first song was done, the nerves sort of melted off."

Sokyrka's immediate plans are to do some sightseeing in Toronto, a city she has seen little of despite working there for months. She hopes to come home to Saskatoon in the next couple of weeks.

She said she did not predict the outcome Wednesday night.

"There was really no predicting. It felt like it was going to be so close. There was really no predicting on my part. I was worried that my voice wouldn't be in good shape today, and it isn't, really. So, I . . . didn't get much sleep yesterday. A lot of worrying, just a lot of worrying."

Porter was also very gracious in his words to the media. His new single as Canadian Idol hits the airwaves this morning, and his first CD, produced by BMG Canada, should be out by Christmas.

"It might sound a little over-diplomatic, but it's not at all. I really would have been just as happy if Theresa won. It was that kind of thing. We both felt like winners, and we were just so excited for each other. I wasn't really that nervous."

He also showed his sense of humour.

"When I found out (that he won), the first thing that went through my head was, 'Oh, crap, now I have to sing.' I was just trying to hold it together."

He was also asked how he feels about the adulation coming his way from thousands of young female Canadians.

"It's really strange for me because I really feel like the same, normal, average guy," said Porter. "But it's really flattering."

In introducing Sokyrka to the media, executive producer John Brunton said she had changed the lives of everyone involved in Canadian Idol with her wonderful personality. He also noted that she has had only one day off in the last eight or nine weeks, putting in incredibly long days.

"I just couldn't have dreamed up, in our minds, a more wonderful person to be in our top two."

Immediately after the performance, Premier Lorne Calvert walked onto the stage to talk to Sokyrka, and his words elicited a big hug from the young singer.

"I said, as follows, rather spontaneously, 'Theresa, you have a particularly beautiful spirit, and you have won the hearts of a city, a province and a nation,' " said Calvert.

He said it was great to be in attendance to see both Sokyrka and Manoah Hartmann of Regina, who was also in the top 10. He shrugged off accusations that he shouldn't have spent the money to come to Toronto, since he was a hop away in Ottawa for the premiers' conference.

"Imagine this. Two of the top 10 in Canada from Saskatchewan. We are three per cent of the Canadian population, we are 20 per cent of the Canadian Idols (top 10). To see that entire group of young Canadians tells me there is a great future for music in this country, for arts in this country and a great future for this country.

"To be present in the live concert where our Theresa performs and connects with the audience . . . one can sense it on television, but in the live audience, it's a real connection with people, a real connection with strangers. And when you think how this young woman connected with Canadians coast to coast, who will not have seen her until this program. I was part of a premiers' meeting and a prime minister's meeting in Ottawa. I heard the conversation in the corridors in Ottawa -- people were voting Theresa.

"She won. She won when she became one of the top 10, but what she has won are the hearts of Canadians, the love and the hearts of Canadians."

Judge Sass Jordan, asked if the right singer became Canadian Idol, said she couldn't narrow the field down to one.

"I think Jacob Hoggard, I think Shane Wiebe, I think Theresa. I mean, I love them all, I think they are all incredible. Kalan is . . . you can see why he won."

Sokyrka's musical life remains up in the air. She must wait three months before accepting any recording contracts, unless one comes from BMG Canada.

"We continue to control their appearances . . . for the next three months. We need to control the amount of attention that the top 10 get so we can focus on the winner," explained CTV publicist Scott Henderson.

Media requests and performances must be booked by CTV until the 90-day period is over. After that, the Idol competitors are free agents.

On the final performance night, dressed first in a pretty purple dress and then in jeans and green jacket, Sokyrka sang Smokey Robinson's Cruisin and Norah Jones's Come Away With Me, as well as the Idol single, Awake in a Dream.

During the weeks of competition, Sokyrka also performed Good Mother by Jann Arden, which she reprised Thursday; Song for a Winter's Night by Gordon Lightfoot, who was in attendance again Thursday night; and Ready for Love by India.Arie, among many other songs.

Thursday night's raucous two-hour live show featured appearances by last year's Idol Ryan Malcolm, and all of the top 10 competitors performing up-tempo medleys, as well as Share the Land by the Guess Who.

The show included clips from Saskatoon's Credit Union Centre, where 5,000 people showed up to cheer on Sokyrka, and from Medicine Hat's arena, where 4,000 people packed the place to support Porter.

"I can't believe how many people are there for one thing," said Sokryka, looking amazed. "I can't wait to come home and see you guys."

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2004

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Saskatoon idolizes Theresa
Thousands gather to see Canadian Idol finale


Shannon Boklaschuk (The StarPhoenix)

Friday, September 17, 2004

Dedicated Theresa Sokyrka fans expressed disappointment on Thursday evening, when Saskatoon's 23-year-old singing sensation was denied the Canadian Idol crown.

People of all ages filled Credit Union Centre before 6 p.m. to watch the final Idol show on two big screens.

At the end of the show, some fans appeared upset when Medicine Hat's Kalan Porter, 18, was declared the winner of the nationally televised singing competition.

"I'm a little disappointed," said 12-year-old Brenden Purdy, who blew a loud blue horn in support of Sokyrka throughout the two-hour show.

"But hey -- it was votes, and I think if it was up to the judges, Theresa would have won," he said.

"I still love Theresa. I still think she's the much better person overall."

Frances MacEachern, who sat in the Credit Union Centre stands, said she was "very disappointed" to see Sokyrka lose. MacEachern also felt that Sokyrka was a better competitor than Porter.

"I thought she had more poise than he did," she said.

Brittany McCaig carried a sign reading Theresa You Got Pizzazz, and had the words Go Theresa written on her face. As Porter's victory song emanated throughout the venue, 12-year-old McCaig described the show results as "just terrible.

"I wanted Theresa to win so badly," she said. "She was just an awesome singer. I had a doubt that she would win, but I had my hopes up."

Marcia Chernishenko wanted to see Sokyrka win, but said she also likes Porter. Chernishenko wasn't surprised by the show results, describing the competition as "a toss-up.

"They were both good," said Chernishenko, adding that she'll buy a Sokyrka CD if one comes out on the market. "I would buy Kalan's, too, but I will buy hers for sure."

The massive crowd was in a more festive mood at the beginning of the evening. Diehard fans waved a sea of colourful signs and screamed in delight whenever Sokyrka's name was mentioned on the TV program.

At times, it was difficult to hear the various singing performances and show commentary above the crowd's loud noise, chatter and shouting.

There's no doubt Saskatoon is smitten with Sokyrka.

Some fans wore homemade T-shirts emblazoned with phrases such as I Love Theresa and Go Theresa Go. Others carried sparkly signs with slogans such as Theresa You Cast a Spell on Me and Theresa Owns the Stage. Other signs included photo collages of Sokyrka and were decorated with the Canadian and Ukrainian flags.

The sight of Sokyrka on the big screens continually evoked ear-splitting screaming, clapping and cheering, and some fans jumped on top of their seats to get a better look at their hometown hero. At times, Credit Union Centre took on a New Year's Eve-like atmosphere, as fans carried balloons, blew horns, threw confetti and did the wave.

Sarah Harper, 12, wore a large fuzzy green hat and carried a blue hand-painted sign reading Go Theresa. She was happy to be part of the excitement.

"Right now, I have a headache from screaming so much," said the energetic fan.

Harper was joined by her friend, 12-year-old Emily Friesen, who also had a headache. Friesen said she'll remain a Sokyrka fan despite her loss.

"I really don't think Kalan is better than her, because she rocks."

Randa Schikosky, a registered nurse who works at St. Paul's Hospital with Sokyrka's mother, carried a Theresa sign and wore a Theresa T-shirt.

"I am a very big Theresa fan. I always said I would vote for my favourite all the way through, and it's always been Theresa," said Schikosky.

"I like the jazzy, bluesy sort of style."

Melanie Gonda, 24, got into the festive spirit by wearing a blue tinsel wig and a purple feather boa, and by carrying confetti. She said she was "really excited" for Sokyrka, and she plans to continue supporting her.

"She's already an Idol, and she's already going to make it," Gonda said.

"She's been consistent throughout the whole thing, which has been really good."

CTV estimated that a whopping 5,000 people packed Credit Union Centre on Thursday evening.

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2004

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Extra sources of success

Extracurricular activities are more than just a way to pass the time. Students who take part in various other projects often perform better academically, educators say

ANN CARROLL

The Gazette

Monday, September 13, 2004

It used to be enough for students to find Brazil on a globe and rattle off the country's exports. Now, they might be challenged to paddle the Amazon and save the rainforest to boot.

Students today are expected to pursue their personal best outside the classroom as well as behind the desk, educators say.

"That makes for a better-rounded individual," said Sam Bruzzese, principal at Riverdale High School in Pierrefonds.

"The more kids are involved, the better they do," Bruzzese said.

"The ones who will get into trouble are the ones who don't have things to do."

Students can pick from a smorgasbord of extracurricular activities - jazz band, cricket, salsa, computer club, fundraising - offered through schools, municipalities or private groups.

What students do in their free time often proves as valuable, in the long run, as their academic accomplishments.

"You need to balance yourself between academics and broadening your horizons," said multiple scholarship winner Navya Mysore, 18.

The Kirkland student plotted her admission to the highly competitive pre-med program at McGill University by signing up for leadership programs, classical Indian dance and volunteer work while still in high school.

"The ability and confidence you get from these activities is incredible," said Mysore, a graduate of John Abbott College.

There are other payoffs: a one-year Bank of Montreal internship in Grade 10, a $16,000 Millennium Excellence Award in Grade 11, three consecutive EMS Technology scholarships of $1,000 U.S. (for children of employees).

This year, she landed a $2,500 Canadian Merit Scholarship, and a McGill entrance scholarship of $5,000.

Among the accomplishments that gave weight to her scholarship bids:

- Academic averages of more than 90 per cent

- Membership on student council

- Participation in student leadership conventions in Ottawa

- Helping to feed patients at Lakeshore General Hospital

- Mastery of a classical Indian dance form, the Bharatha Natyam, at the Peali Arpana academy of dance

- Mentoring younger students on safe sex and drug abuse

- Volunteer work as editor and cultural director for members of her Indian community who speak Kannada

Rubbing shoulders with other high-achievers at the national-level interview for the Canadian Merit Scholarship was an eye-opener, Mysore recalled.

"It was a humbling experience to meet so many people who have done bigger, better and more things than you have," she said.

Although after-school activities dress up a resume, that shouldn't be the student's only motive for taking up sports, the arts or community work, Mysore noted.

"I started working to get into medicine, but over the years my goal became trying to better myself," she said.

Whatever the activity, studies suggest that students who participate in after-class programs do well in school and feel better about themselves.

A Statistics Canada survey that followed a group of 15-year-olds from 2000 to 2002 found that students who dropped out of school by age 17 had generally participated less in extracurricular activities than those who remained in school.

"By 17, only three per cent (about 9,000) had dropped out, but you can see a pattern," Statistics Canada researcher Tracey Bushnik said.

Researchers have yet to prove a cause-and-effect link between the two, Bushnik said, but "we definitely see a correlation between people who participated in activities and those who stayed in school."

In a separate Statistics Canada study made public in 2001, youth who took part in organized activities outside class tended to have higher self-esteem, interact better with friends and perform somewhat better at school.

"For children who are not meeting with the greatest success in studies, activities like chess or sports might be a way for them to achieve - and that rubs off on their whole attitude," said Sollie Gliksman, vice-principal at Lauren Hill Academy junior campus in St. Laurent.

Recent educational reforms now making their way from elementary

to junior high emphasize the importance of building the "whole personality" of a child, Gliksman added.

"We look at the wellness of the whole child," he said. "The more the child's time is well-used, the less chance of running into problems."

But coupling activities with schoolwork can be tricky.

When Zoe Poirier Stephens arrived at Internationale de Montreal, a French high school in Westmount, she was tempted by several after-class programs: photography, art, guitar.

"But there was a lot of homework, so I didn't enroll," the 15-year-old student said. "The next year around, there was almost nothing I liked."

At Riverdale, after-school sports, arts, music, leadership and tutoring programs are run by staff volunteers, Bruzzese said.

About one-third of the 1,100 students at the West Island school take part in organized sports; another third join other student-life activities.

The strangely named U.G.L.Y. (Unbelievably Great Looking Youth) club, for example, buys groceries, cooks and serves meals several times a year to men at the Old Brewery Mission.

"With the remaining 20 to 30 per cent of students, we try to go to them," Bruzzese said, citing lunch-hour access to non-competitive badminton and table tennis.

The school tracks participation in sports and after-school activities using a computerized point system, and awards the students a school letter for their uniform sweaters.

Former student Tommy Havas has only good memories of time spent with the U.G.L.Y. club and on student-council projects.

"There are always negative kids who put down activities," said Havas, 18, who plans to attend Dawson CEGEP next semester. "They say the five years at school were wasted, but that's not true if you make it your own.

"I miss high school."

acarroll@thegazette.canwest.com

- - -

The many benefits of participation

A national study of Canadian children age 4 to 15 suggests children who participate in organized after-school activities tend to have higher self-esteem, interact better with friends and perform somewhat better in school.

An estimated 87 per cent of the children who took part in the study said they were involved in organized activities outside of school.

Participation peaked by early teens, with almost 92 per cent of children age 10 to 13 participating in some kind of activity.

By age 14 to 15, an estimated one in five girls said they didn't take part in any activities, compared with about one in 10 boys.

At all ages, boys were more likely than girls to participate in sports, while girls took part more often in arts, music, clubs and groups.

The survey, developed jointly by Human Resources Development Canada and Statistics Canada, compared data collected from children and their parents between 1994 and 1999. More recent data have yet to be fully tabulated.

In the 1999 report, researchers noted that children who participate in activities generally gain and improve skills, and learn how to interact with others.

Teens who had never participated in organized sports during the years of the survey, for example, reported they were less likely to see their friends outside school, and were more than three times likely to report problems with friends.

Those who were active in organized sports, on the other hand, were more likely to report higher self- esteem and a positive outlook for their immediate future.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2004

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The Drafting of Michael Bossy

(August 10 – Excerpted from "Pride and Passion," by Stan Fischler and Chris Botta. Copyright 1996)

In 1977, the Islanders still were lacking a first-line sniper in a class with Montreal's Guy Lafleur and a top-line defenseman to take some of the load off the ubiquitous Denis Potvin. To those ends, Torrey executed two moves that produced spectacular long-term results.

To relieve Potvin, Torrey reached across the Atlantic where a gifted, 6-1 189-pound defenseman was starring for Bryans of the Swedish Hockey League. Torrey had drafted Stefan Persson in the 14th round -- 214th overall -- in the 1974 Amateur Draft. He had decided to allow Persson one more season of European experience in 1976-77 before promoting him to the NHL. That time had come.

In hopes of unearthing a "young Lafleur" Torrey and his scouts cast their eyes on the 1977 amateur draft. One of the more attractive forwards available was Michael Dean Bossy, a 6-0, 185-pound right wing who had played four seasons for Laval in the Quebec Junior Hockey League. Bossy had scored 75 goals in 61 games during his final year of juniors and came highly recommended by Henry Saraceno, the Islanders' birddog for Quebec province.

Saraceno, in fact, lobbied furiously for the Islanders to select Bossy, even bringing in a framed portrait of the young star to the Islanders' table when the amateur draft was conducted. There was, however, a downside to Bossy -- or so many pro scouts believed -- because he was perceived to be too fragile and unable to play a defensive game to complement his offensive assets. Torrey and his scouts wondered whether Bossy could develop into an able Grade A right wing.

Other clubs were thinking the same thing. Picking fifth, Cleveland opted for Mike Crombeen, the best right wing in the Ontario Hockey Association. For the eighth overall pick, the Rangers chose Lucien DeBlois. Two selections later Les Canadiens listed Mark Napier as their right wing hopeful. Still more right wings followed: Toronto plucked John Anderson with the 11th choice, the Rangers made Ron Duguay their second choice in the round and the 13th overall, and Ric Seiling was taken by Buffalo on the 14th pick.

"Everybody seemed to be after a right wing," Torrey said, "including me."

Now it was time for Torrey to make what would ultimately become one of the momentous decisions in Islander history. He had two names left on the prospect pad. One was Dwight Foster, a versatile forward who also could also play center and was an excellent penalty-killer. The other was Bossy.

"There was no question Mike had ability as a goal-scorer," said Torrey, "and that was the overriding factor in our decision."

There was another factor. Arbour asked Torrey for a re-cap of the abilities of Foster and Bossy. Foster was a better-rounded and more versatile player, Torrey explained, while Bossy was a home run hitter.

Said Arbour: "Let's go for the home run hitter."

The decision would pay dividends almost immediately, despite some reservations about Bossy's all-around play. What Bossy didn't know was that Torrey has played hockey with his uncle Leo before the young right wing was born and that the GM had seen Bossy play a few games and was convinced -- despite the critics -- that Mike could be taught the defensive part of the game.

"I was really worried," Bossy confessed, "because everyone was saying how I couldn't play defense. I didn't think it was true, but people were saying it."

Bossy also brought other baggage to the draft and Torrey had evaluated the reports before making the decision. "There were also questions about his willingness to work hard and whether he would be able to take the pounding he would get in the NHL," Torrey added.

As the Islanders' No. 1 pick and the 15th overall in the 1977 draft, Bossy came to camp under a cloud of questions and emerged in the bright sunlight of inspection. "I can make the team," Bossy predicted. "I think I can be a better player with the Islanders than I was in junior. I'm not saying I can score 75 goals, but I can score half as many and even more if I can adjust to the Islanders' style."

Bossy, it turned out, lacking nothing if not confidence. As contract negotiations teetered on the brink of collapse -- with the Quebec entry in the WHA also making a pitch for Bossy -- Torrey asked Bossy what he thought he could do for the team.

"I'm going to score 50 goals for you," Bossy said, without blinking.

Torrey chuckled, and with good reason. No Islander had ever scored 50. But Torrey knew that Bossy could still be the game-breaker he badly needed, so he relented and signed Bossy for the unspectacular sum of $50,000.

Bossy made the big club without having to spend any time in the minors and immediately solved one of Arbour's persistent problems -- finding a right wing to complement Clark Gllies and Bryan Trottier. Billy Harris had been considered the primary right wing, but his failure to progress at the same rate as his linemates convinced the high command that Bossy rated a chance to replace the club's original No.1 pick. When Al Arbour created the line of Bossy-Gillies-Trottier in the autumn of 1977, he couldn't have imagined how successful it would be.

Poof! Just like that, Bossy became the Islanders' leading scorer. He tallied five goals in the club's first nine games including the winner in a 4-2 triumph over Buffalo on October 29, 1977 at Nassau Coliseum and oozed with confidence. "I'd have had 10 goals if I'd only started doing things right in the first game," Bossy chirped. "At first I was hurrying my shots. Now I'm looking for openings and everything is starting to come together."

It came together so well that Bossy managed one stretch of 15 goals in 14 games and 18 in his first 21 games. His forte was a deadly-accurate, quick-release shot that overwhelmed goaltenders before they could brace for it. Bossy's so-called debits -- his alleged defensive shortcomings and lack of intensity -- were not apparent, although Bossy allowed that it was different in juniors.

"I'll admit I was a lazy player then," said Bossy. "I knew there were things I could get away without doing. It's a matter of concentration and I haven't been working on my checking. Now I'm happy with my all-around game."

So was the rest of the hockey world. Just before Christmas the unit -- appropriately nicknamed "Trio Grande" -- was featured in Sports Illustrated with Trottier on the magazine's cover. The Islanders had become a national story and for good reason: they had become one of the NHL's premier teams and Trio Grande had overshadowed the Stanley Cup champion Canadiens' crack unit of Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt and Jacques Lemaire. Over a period of 25 games, the line had scored the staggering total of 48 goals, 11 more than Lafleur's triumvirate.

Bossy was fooling everybody, including his own team. Though he was bilingual and had recently married a French-Canadian girl, Michael Bossy was part Ukrainian and part British. Quebec newspapers nevertheless always called him Michel and the Islanders drafted him under that name and referred to him that way in their press guide. The Islanders brass somehow got the idea that the name was merely pronounced "Michael."

After two months with the Islanders, Bossy finally clued in publicity man Hawley Chester. "It's spelled Michael, too," Bossy said. That's M–I-C-H-A-E-L."

From the New York Islanders website: www.newyorkislanders.com

An arena in Mike Bossy's hometown was named after him: Aréna Mike-Bossy, which is located at 163, boul. Sainte-Rose est, Laval, Québec.

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Écoute commentée avec Paul Merkelo

Par Isabelle Picard / 13 juillet 2004

Paul Merkelo, trompette solo de l'Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, présentait le 26 mai dernier aux quelques chanceux qui étaient à la boutique Audio Club de Montréal son dernier disque solo. Cette rencontre se faisait dans le cadre des écoutes commentées organisées par La Scena Musicale depuis quelques mois. Ces soirées ont lieu dans des boutiques d'équipement haute-fidélité, et permettent ainsi d'entendre des disques d'artistes d'ici dans un environnement de qualité avec des équipements exceptionnels. Mais l'intérêt va bien au-delà de ça. C'est surtout l'occasion de comprendre les choix artistiques des musiciens, d'échanger avec eux, de connaître leur point de vue (et non celui des critiques!) sur leur propre disque, sur les particularités du travail d'enregistrement ou sur la musique en général. En mai, Simon Fournier (chef du Chœur Radio Ville-Marie), Luc Beauséjour et Alain Lefebvre se sont également généreusement prêtés au jeu.

Sur son dernier disque, Baroque Transcriptions (paru chez Analekta en 2003, AN 2 9812), nous avons la chance d'entendre le trompettiste Paul Merkelo avec l'excellent musicien Luc Beauséjour à l'orgue et au clavecin. « Quand le producteur chez Analekta (Mario Labbé) m'a proposé ce projet, je ne connaissais pas Luc Beauséjour, mais il est devenu un très bon ami depuis. Nous avons essayé de créer quelque chose de spécial, pour ce disque. C'est une manière inhabituelle de présenter la musique pour trompette et orgue. Quand on pense à la musique baroque, on pense immédiatement à la trompette piccolo au son brillant et léger. Nous voulions emprunter un chemin différent, créer quelque chose de beau, avec plusieurs couleurs différentes, qui mette en valeur non seulement le son de la trompette, mais aussi celui de l'orgue. Nous avons essayé de faire quelque chose de « vocal ». D'imiter la voix autant que possible. »

Les défis techniques étaient grands pour parvenir à l'équilibre sonore recherché : « Je ne voulais pas avoir le son de la trompette au-dessus de celui de l'orgue. Je voulais que les deux instruments jouent vraiment ensemble. Il a fallu trouver une église dont l'orgue se trouvait au rez-de-chaussée et non sur une tribune. Nous avons finalement choisi l'orgue Wilhelm de l'église St-Matthias, à Westmount, mais le problème était que les tuyaux sont très hauts. Pour permettre aux micros de capter le son des deux instruments, il a fallu me surélever. J'étais sur une boîte assez haute, que je devais escalader pour être à la même hauteur que les tuyaux de l'orgue ! Tard dans la soirée je perdais un peu l'équilibre ! Je ne pouvais pas tellement bouger. Parfois quand je joue je ferme les yeux, je bouge... Mais là j'étais limité ! »

On ne réalise pas toujours la somme de travail que représente un disque. « Pour ce disque, nous avons enregistré pendant 5 jours, 6 heures par jour. Nous commencions à 18 h pour terminer à minuit... du moins en théorie, mais un soir nous avons terminé à 2 h du matin. Toute personne qui a déjà enregistré sait quelles difficultés ça représente. C'est une expérience excitante, mais je préfère de loin le concert! Quand vous allez dans une session d'enregistrement, quelques personnes sont là et vous disent quoi reprendre. Parfois on refait la même chose 10, 20, 30 fois! Il est difficile de jouer toujours avec la même inspiration, on finit par seulement essayer de faire les choses parfaitement. » Ensuite, il y a le choix des prises pour le montage. « Avec le producteur et Luc, nous avons passé peut-être 30 heures, rien qu'à écouter et choisir les prises. Il faut être attentif à tous les détails, l'intonation, l'ensemble, l'équilibre, les couleurs... Pour finir j'avais un gros mal de tête ! Mais pour moi il était important d'offrir à l'auditeur une expérience qui représente "la vraie affaire". Qu'il ait un peu l'impression que je suis là et que je joue pour lui. Je voulais pouvoir dire "voilà, c'est comme ça que je joue", alors nous ne voulions pas choisir que des prises parfaites. »

Le répertoire de ce disque est constitué de transcriptions de pièces du répertoire baroque. Autant dire que les possibilités étaient illimitées ! « Nous avons décidé de faire des transcriptions en nous basant sur le fait que les compositeurs de cette époque, dont Bach lui-même, pratiquaient la transcription. Pour moi, la priorité était de choisir de la belle musique. Toutes les pièces de ce disque sont des pièces que j'aime personnellement. Si je n'aime pas un morceau, je ne veux pas le jouer. Ce disque n'est pas pour prouver à quelle vitesse je peux bouger mes doigts ou ma langue... Il y a quand même de la virtuosité, mais le répertoire choisi est surtout lyrique. C'est ce que je préfère jouer. Ce projet est très spécial pour moi. J'ai fait une petite sabbatique cette année à l'OSM, et je ne savais pas si je continuerais la trompette. C'est ce projet qui m'a ramené. Pour moi, c'est comme un cadeau que je désire offrir. Si vous aimez quelque chose, n'importe quoi, de ce disque, si ça vous fait ressentir quelque chose, alors j'ai fait mon travail et c'est tout ce que je souhaite. Pour mon premier disque, j'avais vraiment essayé d'avoir un produit qui soit "vendeur". Mais vous savez, c'est de la musique classique! Nous devrions arrêter d'essayer de nous vendre et seulement être nous-mêmes. »

Juillet - Août 2004
Vol. 9, No.10

(c) La Scena Musicale 2002

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The Victoria Cross's long journey home

Back in safe hands at last. First World War medal stolen from museum was missing for 31 years before its return

GRAHAM HUGHES
CanWest News Service

August 24, 2004

The Victoria Cross won by Cpl. Filip Konowal is officially back in safe hands at the Canadian War Museum after being missing for 31 years, and Joe Geurts, the museum's CEO, promised it would not go missing again.

Following the ceremony to mark the medal's return, Geurts said "to have access to the medal, you would have to have two people to open the safe to get the medal out.

"It would then be in a supervised layout room, complete with camera controls, and it would be put back into the safe at the end of the day or at the end of that particular research."

When the medal went missing, Geurts said, it was from a room in the museum's basement where medals and other artifacts were managed by a group of individuals, with "absolutely zero security."

The RCMP seized the Victoria Cross from a London, Ont., auction house last spring after the museum asserted a claim of ownership.

Konowal was awarded the medal for killing at least a dozen enemy soldiers and seizing a German machine-gun in a battle at Lens, France, in August 1917. In the space of 48 hours in the Battle of Hill 70 he stormed two German machine-gun nests with his rifle and bayonet, was captured and escaped, and killed a total of 16 German soldiers in hand-to-hand combat before being shot in the face by a sniper.

"Your exploit is one of the most daring and heroic in the history of my army," King George V told Konowal as he recovered from his wounds in hospital.

Yesterday, the medal, along with several others awarded to the Ukrainian-Canadian, lay inside a plastic case, flanked by two security guards.

The ceremony was attended by Ukrainian ambassador, Mykola Maimeskul, representatives of the Ukrainian-Canadian community, the Canadian Legion and some of the corporal's descendants.

Brian Wright, an Ottawa firefighter and Cpl. Knowal's great-grandson, said family members were proud and excited to be at the ceremony.

"Filip did not talk much about what he did during the war, so most of the details we learned through reading about it," Wright said.

Lubomyr Luciuk, who has long campaigned for a series of plaques and monuments honouring the hero's legacy, said that for years, Cpl. Konowal was largely unknown in Canada and in his native village in Ukraine. However, his name did endure at Branch 360 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Toronto, named in his honour.

He is worthy of mention because he was a hero and typically Canadian - an immigrant, a forest worker, a volunteer soldier who persevered through many hard times, the Queen's University political geography professor said.

However, since 1995, his story began to resurface, and a proper headstone replaced the non-descript marker at his grave. Plaques honouring his memory have been unveiled at sites connected with his life in Canada, and a statue and plaque stand in his home village in Ukraine.

Ottawa Citizen

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Troubled hero's medal comes home

When King George V presented Corporal Filip Konowal with his Victoria Cross, he remarked that the Canadian soldier's exploits were among the most daring and heroic in the history of his army

LUBOMYR LUCIUK
Freelance

Monday, August 23, 2004

Too many of their grave markers are inscribed Known Unto God, placed over whatever remains could be salvaged. Many thousands of others were taken in a flash, one moment present - alive, young, brave or not, doing their duty - then exploded into morsels, composted into the roiling battlefields of the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Ypres.

One of the soldiers in The Great War was Corporal Filip Konowal, whose valour at the Battle of Hill 70 in 1917 earned him the Victoria Cross. When King George V presented him with his medal, he remarked that Konowal's exploits were among the most daring and heroic in the history of his army.

Today Konowal's Victoria Cross is being returned to its rightful owners, the people of Canada. Until this spring, some claimed it was only misplaced in the War Museum's collections. In truth, it had been stolen. How else could it end up at public auction? Who took it, when, where has it been? We don't know, because the RCMP are not laying criminal charges or providing any public explanation.

No matter, perhaps, for Konowal's VC was recovered, and will reappear in the new Canadian War Museum, a centerpiece in its First World War gallery, finally where it belongs.

But much still remains only Known Unto God.

Unscathed despite several days of close-quarter combat, dispatching 16 enemy soldiers with bayonet and grenades, Konowal was severely wounded by a sniper on Aug. 22, 1917, having exposed himself above the parapet wall. Suicidal, as every seasoned soldier knew.

Ivan Ackery was a stretcher-bearer who took Konowal out of the line that day. Decades later he wrote how intense shelling forced Konowal's rescuers to dig a funkhole for shelter in a slag heap. There they huddled for about an hour as, in heavily accented English, Konowal kept crying: "I killed 'em, keed! I kell 'em."

Ackery admitted he didn't really care what Konowal had done. He just wanted to keep the him quiet and low, so they wouldn't all get shot.

He and his mate knew if they survived until the barrage lifted and got to their aid station in a tunnel on the Lens-Arras road, "we kids would be given a chocolate bar and a drink of pop, and our mouths were watering in anticipation. Not very heroic, our motive, but we were just regular kids, and treats were few and far between." A true tale about how war recast the Dominion's boys into warriors.

Despite disfigurement, Konowal's fighting was not over. He was assigned as military liaison to the imperial Russian embassy in London, just as the Bolsheviks struggled to impose themselves throughout the collapsing Czarist empire. Officially taken on strength by the Canadian Forestry Corps, Konowal failed to show up. Inquiring what he was up to, the corps was told bluntly by the chief of the general staff to mind its own business. Konowal was held back for two weeks. We do not know why.

From October 1918 to June 1919, Konowal fought the Reds as part of the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force. Did he try to return to Ukraine? Perhaps, but he never made it. The Allied intervention failed and he was repatriated to Canada, having served overseas for three years and 357 days.

He was a hero then, and honoured. He led the peace parade through Ottawa to Parliament Hill on July 19, 1919.

But his descent began the next evening, in Hull, where he killed Wasyl Artich, a petty criminal and bootlegger who attacked Konowal's friend, Leonti Diedek.

Konowal didn't flee. Questioned by police, he incriminatingly if cryptically said: "I've killed 52 of them, that makes it the 53rd." During his trial, counsel advised him to plead "not guilty" by reason of insanity. He was so found and held in Montreal's Saint-Jean-de-Dieu Hospital, an asylum he shared with one of Quebec's great poets, Émile Nelligan.

Intriguingly, following inquiries in August 1926 by Soviet officials, who possibly requested his deportation, Konowal was spirited off to a facility outside Montreal and released several years later, during the Depression.

He became destitute, was cut off from his wife, Anna, who perished during the Great Famine, and from his daughter Maria. Stoic, humble, he somehow overcame these blows.

He married a French-Canadian widow, Juliette Leduc-Auger, cared for her two sons and invalid brother, making ends meet as a House of Commons janitor.

He returned to Europe only once, in June 1956, for the 100th Victoria Cross anniversary. In a photograph of Canadian VC winners he is seated front row centre, a hero among heroes.

Konowal died in 1959 and was buried in Ottawa's Notre-Dame Cemetery near Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier, a good man who opposed the internment and disenfranchisement of Ukrainians as "enemy aliens."

Fittingly, Konowal's record bears a final notation: "Died in service." He did. And his true story was buried with him, much of it likely to remain forever unknown, save to God.

Lubomyr Luciuk is a professor of political geography at the Royal Military College of Canada.

Canada and the Victoria Cross Canadians and people serving in the Canadian armed forces have won 94 of the 1,354 Victoria Crosses awarded since the medal was instituted in 1856 just after the Crimean War.

Second World War 16 VCs
First World War 70 VCs
Boer War 4 Vcs
Pre-Boer War 4

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2004

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Buy me! I have no trans fat

Snack food pitch. Manufacturers scrambling ahead of mandatory labelling


GREG BONNELL
CP

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Parents scanning supermarket shelves in search of snack foods for home and their children's lunch bags are encountering a sales pitch practically unheard of during last year's back-to-school shopping season.

"You walk by that aisle and some of the stuff screams at you 'no trans fat,' " said Donna Papacosta, a mother of two teenagers.

A longtime health food disciple and label reader, Papacosta avoids products that contain partially hydrogenated oils - the bearer of those controversial trans fatty acids. That has meant excluding almost all packaged baked goods, chips, commercial breads, frozen convenience foods - the list goes on.

Now, the Toronto-area resident can pick up trans-fat-free tortilla chips at the supermarket instead of making a separate trip to the health food store. "It's almost a way of telling the company, 'Yes I will buy your brand because you've done this.' "

That's the reaction the food industry is hoping for as manufacturers scramble to reduce or eliminate trans fat from their products in advance of new labelling regulations. Those regulations, which come into effect late next year, will make the listing of calories and 13 key nutrients - including trans fat - mandatory.

"Some companies started avoiding trans when they learned the science many years ago," said Dr. Bruce Holub, a nutritional scientist at the University of Guelph. "Other companies waited until they had to confess them.

"When you have to confess trans on food labels, everybody starts (eliminating them)," said Holub, who tabled his first report to the government on trans fat in 1980.

Although the public remained largely unaware of the issue for decades, developments in recent years - including a landmark study from Harvard University - have brought trans fat to the fore.

"Every one gram of trans increased the risk of heart disease by approximately 20 per cent," said Holub of the results published in the Harvard study.

"When you consider the average Canadian is consuming eight to 10 grams a day, you can see why we need to be really concerned about our extremely high trans intake in this country."

That concern is beginning to grow, albeit slowly.

"Parents are starting to ask questions about it," said Dr. Glenn Berall, who runs a pediatric nutrition clinic in Toronto. But it's not a common query, despite the fact that trans fat "is fairly ubiquitous in many of the foods that children like," Berall said.

As trans-fat awareness grows, people will need to look beyond the hype and turn to the nutrition facts label.

For companies holding out until December 2005 to disclose trans fat, check out the product's overall fat content. If, for example, total fat is five grams and the individually listed fats add up to four grams, something is obviously missing.

If the ingredient list includes vegetable shortening or partially hydrogenated oil, then "you've identified a product where the missing fat is trans," said Holub.

Learning to read nutrition labels, then, is a big part of knowing exactly what you're eating.

"We are encouraging people to look at labels," said Robin Garrett of the Food and Consumer Products Manufacturers of Canada.

"Consumers are much more interested in understanding the contents of their food and how that relates to their diet," said Garrett. That consumer demand is what is driving the food industry's push to remove the trans fat, she said.

"We expect to see that more products will be eliminating that particular fat."

Among the companies that have removed trans fat or declared their intention to do so are: Pepperidge Farms, the maker of Goldfish crackers; Frito-Lay; High Liner Foods; french-fry maker Cavendish Farms; Dare Foods; and Kraft Foods, maker of Oreo cookies.

That's good news for parents whose children are unlikely to submit to a complete ban on chips, cookies and other snack foods.

"If we try to get a kid to give up on it altogether, our success rate plummets toward zero," said Berall.

"We have to consider the effectiveness of whatever message we're going to get across to the kids."

While moderation is the mantra when it comes to healthy, balanced eating, Berall wouldn't necessarily advocate consuming a moderate level of trans fatty acids.

"But that would certainly be far better than ignoring the issue," he said. "Are we going to say to kids, 'You can't ever go out and have fast food' ?"

That could produce a revolt.

Holub advises that people shop around for alternatives.

"In any food category, you can do a trans-free product or extremely low trans, no problem at all despite what I'm hearing," he said.

"It's totally doable."

In May, McDonald's admitted to a Commons health committee that it failed to meet targets for reducing trans-fat levels in its cooking oils. New York Fries offers trans-free fries at all its Canadian locations.

Holub would like to see the issue settled once and for all - with a total ban on commercially produced trans fats.

"Why don't we just say there should be no commercial hydrogenation of vegetable oils leading to production of trans?" he said. "Then you don't need labelling, you'll have solved the problem."

Denmark has moved in that direction, forbidding the sale of processed foods in which trans fatty acids exceed 2 per cent of the total fat content - a minuscule amount compared to the amount of trans fat found in many North American foods.

For more information on reading nutrition labels, go to www.healthyeatingisinstore.ca

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Church Growth and Evangelism

Deacon Brian Vincent Lehr

The purpose of this web page is to bring together what I feel are some of the best resources available on the subject of Church Growth and Evangelism for the Orthodox Church. Since there are very few books and publications written on this subject from an Orthodox perspective, most of the material gathered here will have a decidedly Protestant flavor. Hopefully this is just a temporary situation. However, this in no way detracts from the important information available in these publications. The key is to eat the fish, and spit out the bones!

Study the principles, learn them, adapt them, and then apply them.

www.sthermans.ca/CHURCHGROWTH

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Music does seem to soothe the savage breast

JOE SCHWARCZ
Freelance

August 15, 2004

I'm not sure what a "savage breast" is, but I'd be willing to bet that music can soothe it. I doubt it can do much about the hardness of rocks, but I wouldn't rule out an effect on vegetation.

Of course I'm referring to a 300- year-old quote by British playwright William Congreve, which in its entirety reads: "Music has charms to soothe a savage breast, To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak."

Yes, the correct quote is "breast," not "beast," although the latter misquote is probably more common than the original. And savage beasts probably can be soothed by music.

Cows, except for some mad ones, may not exactly be savage beasts, but it seems they are affected by music. A herd in Indiana increased its milk production by more than 5 per cent when a Beethoven symphony was piped into the barn.

Country music had no effect, but when heavy metal was played, the animals didn't even want to enter their stalls. And when they did, they were not interested in giving milk. Production decreased by 6 per cent.

I don't know of any oak trees that have been bent by music, but back in the 1970s Dorothy Retallack made it onto the CBS evening news with her research about the musical tastes of plants.

Petunias apparently leaned towards a tape player in response to Ravi Shankar's sitar music but attempted to escape when rock and roll was played. An Illinois botanist even found that corn grew taller when exposed to Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. I wonder if it would grow as tall as an elephant's eye if it listened to Oklahoma.

Now let's get down to the kind of savage beasts, and I suppose breasts, that interest us the most. The human variety. There is no doubt that we are soothed by music. If you have to undergo a colonoscopy, according to recent research, you'll be less apprehensive and more co-operative if you can listen to your favourite music.

Even the doctor may perform better. When surgeons were given the task of counting backwards, subtracting the number 13 each time, they had a lower pulse rate and lower blood pressure and did the arithmetic faster when listening to music. Japanese researchers have shown that levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, decrease in response to music, but testosterone levels show a gender bias.

In men, music seems to lower testosterone but it increases it in women. So after dinner gentlemen may want to cue up Ravel's Bolero for their partner while they leave the room to do the dishes. Then they can come back for dessert and put on a Mozart sonata. Studies have shown that fewer calories are consumed when such soothing arrangements are played.

Ah, those Mozart sonatas! They can do more than cut down on calories. That's what Gordon Shaw, a physicist, and Frances Rauscher an expert in cognitive development at the University of California found back in 1993 when they designed an experiment to study the effect of Mozart's music on the brain. Rauscher was a former concert cellist who realized that music could change peoples' moods and wondered if it could alter their thought processes as well.

Three dozen students were asked to listen to the first 10 minutes of Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major before being given a paper folding and cutting test.

The students who listened to Mozart performed better than the ones who took the test after listening to a relaxation tape or after a period of silence.

These results captured the imagination of the lay press and spawned an industry. Articles appeared about IQs being increased after listening to Mozart, diseases being cured and children's reasoning ability being increased.

None of these were supported by solid research. In fact, nobody has been able to duplicate Shaw and Rauscher's original work. Critics suggested that music improves mood and that nobody should be surprised that people in a good mood perform better on certain tests.

In response to a study that seemed to show that kids who took music lesson had higher IQs, the critics maintained that it was probably because well-educated parents are more likely to send children for lessons, and children from such parents are more likely to have higher IQs, partly due to heredity.

But now, it seems, the critics may have been a bit too critical. Rauscher and Hing Hua Li, a geneticist at Stanford University, have come up with some new findings. They had rats listen either to Mozart, or to "white noise." The Mozarted rats performed better in solving a maze and, more interestingly, showed anatomical changes in their brains. They produced more compounds which are known to forge connections between nerve cells, connections which are critical to enhanced brain activity.

It seems that musical stimulation really may have measurable neurochemical effects. Some researchers are even suggesting that Mozart's compositions may have a special quality that mimics the rhythmic cycles in the human brain. Preliminary research does indeed show that Alzheimer's patients perform better on some spatial tests after listening to a Mozart sonata and that premature babies can be soothed by such music. Unborn babies have been seen to "dance" in the womb in response to Mozart's compositions. And now researchers at the University of Hong Kong have shown that children who receive musical training do better on verbal memory tests.

Personally I'd like to see some research on how Broadway tunes affect us. For me, listening to Andrew Lloyd Webber's Music of the Night or Love Changes Everything is positively therapeutic. Albert Schweitzer, I think, would have agreed: "There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats," the famed doctor maintained.

The music I'll buy, the cats I'm less sure about. Unless one of them is singing Memory on a Broadway stage.

Joe Schwarcz is director of McGill
University's Office for Science and Society
(www.OSS.McGill.ca).
joe.schwarcz@mcgill.ca

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2004

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Спільна молитва українців і поляків

BBC

08 серпня 2004 p.

Неподалік українсько-польського кордону в селищі Зарваниця Тернопільської області відбулася спільна молитва вірних римо-католицького та греко-католицького обряду. Як повідомляє наш кореспондент, близько ста тисяч українців та поляків взяли участь у спільній молитві за замирення між двома народами.

У спільній молитві взяли участь глава римо-католицької церкви Польщі кардинал Юзеф Ґлемп та голова Української Греко-католицької церкви кардинал Любомир Гузар.

У листі польського кардинала до голови УГКЦ, оприлюдненому минулого тижня, Юзеф Ґлемп написав про історію двох країн: "Правда інколи буває болісна, але потрібна."

Кардинал Ґлемп висловив сподівання, що наукові дослідження істориків покажуть "правду, яка не перекреслюватиме пам'яті і дозволить будувати краще майбутнє".

Кардинал Ґлемп наголосив, що замирення Риму і греко-католиків зміцнює українську державу, а кардинал Гузар під час свого останнього перебування в Польщі заявив: "ми готові простити вам усе погане, чого ми від вас зазнали."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ukrainian/index.shtml

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Sokyrka in a league of her own

Joanne Paulson - The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon)

Friday, July 23, 2004

Oh, little soul sister, you are truly in a league of your own.

No one can touch you. It isn't even close. Whether or not you win by vote, you are the one.

You have transcended Canadian Idol, Theresa Sokyrka.

I have never cared much for American Idol, Canadian Idol, Survivor, The Amazing Race, whatever. It's not my thing. I'd rather be at the theatre, listening to real music, or watching Law & Order.

I haven't really been converted, but this Sokyrka situation is a whole different story. It's a point of principle, of recognizing star power.

On Wednesday night, she sang Good Mother by Jann Arden, and almost had me in tears. Another lump in my throat appeared when she sweetly and emotionally accepted compliments from the judges and the extremely annoying Ben Mulroney.

"You're warm, you're beautiful, you're friendly," said Sass Jordan.

"I don't feel qualified to pass judgment on that," said Zach Werner, incredibly, dropping his Simon Cowell act for once.

"That may be the best thing I've ever seen on this show," said that Gold guy.

Correct. Bingo. Exactly.

In a sea of middle of the road, not terribly good pop music, Sokyrka shone with passion, showed her style, displayed her unerring instinct. She is so much better than everyone else it's incredible.

The judges, unfortunately, did not hit the nail on the head with all of their comments. They all liked Kaleb Simmonds' version of Bryan Adams' Everything I Do, I Do It For You, which absolutely reeked. He was flat, he was twitchy, he was terrible. Bizarre. This is important, too, because voters, apparently, listen to the judges.

Also terrible was Josh Seller singing Blue Rodeo's great song Try, described as "nice and mediocre" and "safe" by the judges. Shane Wiebe of Abbotsford should not even be on the Top 10, as Werner more or less pointed out. "That was terrible," was his comment on Wiebe's effort on My Song.

Manoah Hartmann of Regina did her best with Leonard Cohen's beautiful Hallelujah, but the emotion did not come through, and she was roasted by the judges. Jason Greeley's tight and uninteresting version of Cuts Like a Knife was just plain boring; but the judges seemed to like it.

Kalan Porter of Medicine Hat, said by some to be the front runner, did an interesting and edgy version of Born to be Wild, but he is not the singer Sokyrka is. He is a threat to win, however, because he does have a bit of star power, and because the girls probably love his cute face and blonde mop.

Elena Juatco of Vancouver and Jacob Hoggard of Abbotsford were also pretty good. Hoggard's quirky Paul Anka imitation, and Juatco's solid if slightly immature version of Mary Jane by Alanis Morrisette, were among the best performances of the night.

But Sokyrka rose above them all. She has it all. All the talent, all the passion, all the unaffected style, all the warmth, all the instinct, all the talent, all the talent, all the talent.

I'm past the point of hoping people vote for her because she is from Saskatoon. People should vote for Sokyrka because she is, absolutely, the best. She has chosen this route to try out her talents on the country, and we have to respect that, support her in it. But she's not just the best of this bunch. She could be a star anywhere.

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2004

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IN MEMORIAM: PHILIP HOLOWKA 1978-2004

The Ukrainian community in Montreal was shaken by the news that Philip Holowka, a young chap full of promise, was suddenly taken from us on July 5 of this year, in a motorcycle accident during a trip to the Maritimes with his brother and a cousin.

The enormous crowds at the funeral solemnities were a testimony to the impact of this tragedy upon us. The line-up of people seeking to offer respect to the mortal remains and offer condolences to the bereaved family extended from approximately Rosemount Boulevard to the Dallaire funeral salon on Bellechasse.

The reposed left behind to mourn him his parents Halyna and Evhen, his brother Stephan and sister Arianna, his grandfather and grandmother and a great deal of family in Canada and Ukraine. He also left behind in sorrow his beloved Oksana Zhovtulia with whom he was shortly to be engaged. And his friends and acquaintances numbered in the thousands.

How hard it is in such times of anguish to find words of comfort and cheer! It seems that one had best not dare say anything – that the best gift might be simply respectful silence before the reposed and the sorrowing.

And yet the Lord has given us words so that we might strive to speak. Thus, however difficult it may be it seems that one should nevertheless try to say something.

One could say so much about Philip. Cheerful, hard-working, energetic, talented, daring, friendly – these and many other adjectives would apply. Besides that, at a time when it is hard to find people who in the midst of the tumult of daily activities would find time and the will to volunteer to work for their neighbour, the late Philip dedicated his youthful energies and talents in zealous work for the community, for the Ukrainian Youth association CYM, for Camp Werchowyna, for the St. Volodymyr Cultural Society and for many other organizations and projects. He also worked as a substitute teacher in John Paul I School in Saint Leonard – among other things he also taught religion.

And here we find help in the good teachings of the Faith of Christ, which tells us that nothing good disappears, that no person vanishes without a trace. We have before us the image of the perfect Human, Jesus Christ, Who, also in His youth, agreed to take upon Himself the arduous pangs of death, and by them rescued the entire human race from despair and fear of the enemy, death, which He also conquered, opening the way to resurrection, to eternal life.

The eyes of faith show us that Philip’s energy, youthfulness and nobility are expressions of the Divine Image and Power in him. He did not waste this energy but continually renewed this Image of God by his good works and values. Thus we believe, as was written in the obituary in The Gazette, that Philip Holowka is in good hands. We shall mourn long and hard for him, but not as those who have no hope, as the Apostle Paul exhorts us.

We believe that his good works will be taken up by others inspired by his example. We believe that the Lord will ultimately wipe away every tear. We believe that we shall meet Philip again in the place where there is no pain or anxiety or sighing – but life everlasting!

Memory eternal to him!

Archpriest Ihor G. Kutash

09-07-04

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ЗГАДКА ПРО БЛ. П. ФИЛИПА ГОЛОВКУ 1978-2004

Українську громаду в Монреалі сколихнула вістка про те, що 5-го липня ц. р. нагло відійшов у вічність підчас подорожі з братом і другом мотоциклями в морські провінції Канади, молодий надійний Филип Головка.

Вияв удару по Громаді такої трагедії була небувала участь у Похоронних відправах. Черга людей, що бажали поклонитись тлінним останкам та висловити співчуття горем прибитій родині сягала майже від бульварду Розмон до похоронного заведення Даллера на вулиці Бельшас.

Покійний залишив у смутку батьків Галину й Евгена, брата Стефана та сестру Аріяну, дідуся й бабцю та багато родини в Канаді й Україні. Залишив засмучену і кохану Оксану Жовтулю, з якою мав заручитися. А друзів і знайомих можна б нарахувати мабуть тиясчі осіб.

Ох як важко в такі хвилини переживань знайти слова розради та заспокоєння! Таке почуття, що й не смієш нічого сказати, що мабуть найкращий дар – мовчання з повагою перед покійним та перед засмученими.

Але на те Господь дав нам слово, щоб ми його висловлювали. Отож як не важко б ну було, треба намагатись щось таки сказати.

Про покійного Филипа так багато можна б сказати. Ввічливий, працьовитий, енергійний, здібний, відважний, дружній – такі та ще й багато інших епітетів можна б додати. А крім того у час коли важко знайти людей, які серед метушні щоденних зайнять знаходять час і бажання добровільно трудитись для ближнього, покійний Филип посвячував свої молодечі сили й здібності у ревній праці для Громади, для СУМ. Для табору Верховина, для Товариства Св. Володимира та для багатьох інших установ та проєктів. Також учив затупаючи вчителя в середній школі Жан Поль – між іншим і в ділянці релійгійних знань.

Тут і приходить нам до помочі добра наука Віри Христової, яка нам каже, що нічого хорошого не пропадає, жодна людина без сліду не зникає. Перед нами образ досконалої Людини Ісуса Христа, який теж у молодому віці погодився прийняти на Себе важкі смертні муки, і ними визволив увесь людський рід від безнадії та страху перед ворогом смертю, якого й поборов відкривши двері до воскресіння, до вічного життя.

Очі віри показають нам, що енергія, юність, благородність Филипа – вияв Божого образу й сили в ньому. Він цю силу не марнував а образ Божий відсвіжував своїми добрими діламаи та вартостями. Тому й віримо, як написали в посмертній згадці в The Gazette, що Филип Головка в добрих руках. Будемо сумувати по ньому довго й важко, але не як ті що надії не мають, як про це говорить Ап. Павло.

Віримо, що його добрі діла перебируть другі натхнені його приткладом. Віримо, що Господь обітре на останку кожну сльозу. Віримо, що ми знову зустірнемось з Филипом, де не має ні болю ні журби ні зідхання – а життя безконечеє!

Вічна Йому пам’ять!

Прот. Ігор Ю. Куташ,
09-07-04

CYM dedication

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CANADIAN IDOL: THERESA SOKYRKA MAKES THE TOP TEN

July 2, 20004

Two new Idol finalists stand proud on Canada Day While the country celebrated Canada Day launching fireworks into the night sky, Canadian Idol launched two more singers into the Top 10 stratosphere. Saskatoon's Theresa Sokyrka and Abbotsford, B.C.'s Jacob Hoggard became the latest hopefuls to blast through to the finals, leaving only four more spots in the singing competition.

The two singers pulled off an Idol sweep with the four judges unanimously naming Sokyrka and Hoggard as their top picks to move on to the Top 10. More than one million viewers, who phoned or text-messaged their votes, placed Sokyrka first among the group of eight competitors.

When asked how she felt about being one of the judges' heavy favourites, Sokyrka tells Eye on Idol, "It was very exciting, the fact that they believe so much in me. It feels so good. It feels so incredible and the judges really do care."

The jittery 23-year-old claims she didn’t feel any pressure by the predictions and only tried to focus on the positive aspects while she waited for the results to be announced.

However, she admits that her nerves have made a comeback. "Today, they were actually not too bad. When I first got here they were really bad and it started to taper off a little. And now I think I have more nerves than I did when I got here," Sokyrka says after the show.

Co-favourite Jacob Hoggard, who gave Ben Mulroney a peck on the cheek as he walked on stage to join the other finalists, wasn't sure at first what to think of the judges' Top 10 forecast.

"Well, I was still under the impression it was a huge scam to completely embarrass me on national television," says the 19-year-old singer. "But, after that I kind of realized, 'Hey I left a pretty good impression. Not too shabby'."

Hoggard admits the Idol ride has been easier to handle with the support of his girlfriend, who cheered him on from the studio audience. "She's just brought a bit of home with her and it makes it a lot easier to cope, just to kind of be relaxed and at my senses."

But with the Top 10 set to reside in a Toronto mansion during the competition, it means Hoggard will be miles away from home and his girlfriend. "Well I'm bringing a Coleman pop tent and I'm gonna try and sneak her in the back alley and just kind of camp her out there," he jokes.

It is anticipated that the live recording of the Final will take place in September 2004. The selection of the winning Canadian Idol will be made by public vote following a live recorded performance.

Canadian Idol website

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Letter sent by the Ukrainian Canadian Congess, Montreal Branch to four parties (Liberal, Conservative, Bloc Québécois and New Democratic Party), which are fielding candidates in Quebec in the June 28, 2004 Federal Elections.

To read the letter and response (s), please visit the UCC, Montreal Branch website.

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Lessons in history: Controversial Turkish Historian argues that recognizing the Armenian Genocide is a political necessity for his country

LEVON SEVUNTS, Freelance

Saturday, June 26, 2004 (The Montreal Gazette)

It's sometimes hard to explain to non-Armenian friends the need to recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish government.

"Why don't you let it go?" I often hear. "Get on with your life. It happened 90 years ago, for God's sake."

But for Turkish historian Taner Akcam, the need to recognize and learn from the Armenian genocide is as acute now as it was when the modern Turkish Republic was founded 80 years ago, particularly in Turkey itself.

Akcam, a controversial historian at home whose views have made him the target of death threats, argues that Turkey is approaching a second crucial stage in its nation-building process and if it doesn't learn from past mistakes, it is bound to repeat them.

Akcam contends the collapse of the Soviet Union and the U.S. invasion of Iraq have reawakened the Eastern Question, the redrawing of the political map of the Middle East at the expense of the Ottoman Empire and now the Turkish Republic.

Equally dangerous, Akcam argues, is the reawakening of revanchist ideas among Turkey's military-bureaucratic elites. Coupled together, these tendencies could lead to another calamity, he warns.

From Empire to Republic is certain to create controversy, especially in Turkey, where discussions of the Armenian genocide are still taboo. But what makes Akcam's book stand out among other works on the subject - apart from the fact that the author is a Turk - is that it is the first serious scholarly attempt to understand the genocide from the perspective of the perpetrator, rather than the victim.

Akcam uses a curious mix of historical research, sociology and psychoanalysis to examine the cultural, ideological and political climate that led to the genocide and argues it was a carefully planned extermination, not an unfortunate byproduct of the First World War, as is the official Turkish position.

His analysis of Turkish national identity and its past and present propensity for political violence is shocking even for a reader who does not see the country through the rosy glasses of Turkey's tourism ads.

But Akcam is not a "self-loathing Turk." On the contrary, he comes across as somebody who cares deeply about his native country. In fact, one could argue that for Akcam, the issue of recognition of the Armenian genocide by Turkey is not just a question of a moral imperative, but of a political necessity for Turkey's transformation into a truly democratic country and its integration into the European Union.

"It is a quest for Turkish national identity," Akcam writes. "The emergence of this Turkish national identity was one of the important reasons for the occurrence of the genocide and today is one of the important obstacles on the way to integration with Europe. The existence of the same mindset that caused the Armenian genocide seems today a major hindrance to solving the Kurdish question, and, therefore, to membership in the European Union."

From Empire to Republic is also a passionate plea for a dialogue and reconciliation between Armenians and Turks.

Akcam's book is available online at www.zoryan.org

Levon Sevunts is a Montreal writer.

From Empire to Republic:
Turkish Nationalism & the Armenian Genocide
By Taner Akcam Zed Books, 273 pages, $32

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JACK PALANCE REJECTS RUSSIAN AWARD

declaring "I'm Ukrainian, not Russian", Palance walks out of Russian Film Festival in Hollywood

(NT) - A week of "Russian Nights" in Los Angeles culminated with an awards ceremony on April 22 at the prestigious Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. The gala event was held at the end of a weeklong "festival that celebrates Russian contributions to the world of art."

The program of cinema, theater and music visual arts was sponsored in part by the Russian Ministry of Culture and enjoyed the support of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Scheduled to receive "narodney artyst" awards (cleverly translated as "the Russian People's Choice Award") were two Oscar winning actors: Dustin Hoffman and Jack Palance - both of whom trace their roots to Ukraine.

In accepting his award, Dustin Hoffman noted that his grandparents came from "Kiev, Russia" and expressed gratitude to the "Russian people" for helping defeat Germany. He thanked them for saving his grandmother who otherwise "may have ended up as a bar of soap."

Next in line for the Russian government's highest artistic award was Jack Palance. Born Walter Palahniuk in Pennsylvania in 1918, Palance won the Academy Award in 1992 for his memorable portrayal of Curly in "City Slickers". Palance, proud as a Kozak of his Ukrainian heritage, is chairman of the Hollywood Trident Foundation.

After being introduced, Palance said "I feel like I walked into the wrong room by mistake. I think that Russian film is interesting, but I have nothing to do with Russia or Russian film. My parents were born in Ukraine: I'm Ukrainian. I'm not Russian. So, excuse me, but I don't belong here. It's best if we leave."

Palance and his entourage proceeded to get up and go. He was accompanied by four other guests that included his wife Elaine, and the Hollywood Trident Foundation's president, Peter Borisow. Palance refused to accept the award, even in private, or to view "72 Meters", the movie being screened as the festival finale.

Speaking from Los Angeles, Borisow commented on Hoffman's statements: "I don't think it's necessarily Hoffman's fault. I think it's tragic that he doesn't even know his own family history. His ignorance of the basic facts is shocking. That Hoffman lends himself, hopefully unwittingly, to denigration of Ukrainians (and thus of himself), as he did by endorsing a festival that featured the highly offensive and racist movie '72 Meters' is very disappointing."

Borisow is referring to Vladmir Khotinenko's 2003 film "Syemdesyat-dva metra." A drama surrounding events on the submarine "Slavianka", the film portrays Ukrainians as bumbling fools and repeatedly refers to Ukrainians with the racist pejorative "kh" word. As part of the film's plot development, the Ukrainian submarine's Russian officers refuse allegiance to newly independent Ukraine, steal the ship and sail it to Russia.

"This is a continuation of a centuries old effort to invent a history and culture for Russia by hijacking first the Ukrainian church, then Ukrainian history and finally Ukrainian culture," Borisow said. Borisow considered the festival to be part of a "coordinated, worldwide campaign to promote Russia and Russian culture and, in so doing, to make Ukraine seem part and parcel of Russia. "I'm certain that in Russia, Jack's acceptance of the mislabeled award would have been sold as his accepting being a 'National Artist' of Russia, not a 'people's choice' - much like they sell "Russia" as a derivative of Kyivan 'Rus' instead of the Ukrainian word 'rossiyane', meaning, 'the scattered ones, the nomads'. Jack is very proud to be Ukrainian and will not let anyone hijack his name or persona."

In total, twenty films were screened at the Pacific Design Center's Silver Screen Theatre including Ukrainian filmmaker Oleksander Dovzhenko's "Aerograd" (1935). The festival program did not mention that Dovzhenko was Ukrainian, and instead described him as "the son of illiterate peasants" who "incorporates elements of peasant lore and pastoral tradition."

"This latest incident is just another part of a long history of genocide that killed 10 million Ukrainians in 1933 and continues in more subtle form to this day - all of it still actively promoted and financed by Russia," Borisow said. Putin knows there can be no Russian Empire without Ukraine, so he is pushing the assault from all angles: military, industrial, energy, economic, religious and cultural.

In addition to Russia's Ministry of Culture, other sponsors of "Russian Nights" included East-West Foundation for Culture and Education, LA Weekly, Panorama Media, 7 Arts, Adelphia, Rodnik Vodka, Samuel Adams Beer, Movieline's Hollywood Life, IN! Magazine and the National Bartenders School. The festival was organized by the Stas Namin Centre.

The festival's website includes letters of greeting from actors Leonardo Dicaprio, Liv Tyler and producer-director Francis Ford Coppola. Previously held once in Germany in 2003, "Russian Nights" are scheduled to descend upon New York between October 23 and 30 later this year. (NT)

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Ukrainian Pianist Sergei Salov takes First Grand Prize in the Montreal International Musical Competition

Saturday, June 12, 2004

The jury of the third Montreal International Musical Competition handed down its final decision last night, awarding the First Grand Prize, with its $25,000 in prizewinnings, to pianist Sergei Salov from Ukraine. The jury for this third edition, chaired by Competition President Andre Bourbeau, comprised world-renowned musicians Angela Cheng, Michel Dalberto, Akiko Ebi, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Mikhail Kollontay, Andre Laplante, Kum-Sing Lee, Benedetto Lupo and Arie Van Lysebeth. The finalists were accompanied in the final round by the Orchestre symphonique de Montreal, conducted by Maestro Jacques Lacombe.

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ЗАКЛИК ДО ГРОМАДЯН УКРАЇНИ ЗА КОРДОНОМ

Повідомляємо громадян України які перебуватимуть за кордоном в день виборів Президента України, 31 жовтня ц.р. або два тижні пізніше коли намічені повторні вибори, що згідно з Законом України про вибори, консульські представництва України повинні до 1 липня ц.р. виготовити список виборців. Це надзвичайно складне завдання зокрема тому, що громадяни України за кордоном не зобовязані зголошуватися на облік у консульських представництвах в час свого побуту за кордоном. Тому необхідно, щоби громадяни України за кордоном зголосили своє бажання приймати участь у виборах до 1 липня до найближчого консульського представництва, подаючи ім’я, прізвище, по батькові, дату народження та адресу місця проживання. Можна зголошуватися особисто, поштою, факсом та електронною поштою. Усі координати консульських представництв України можна знайти під інтернетною адресою: www.mfa.gov.ua. Просимо задержати посвідчення зголошення.

Світовий Конгрес Українців звернувся до Міністерства Закордонних Справ України та Центральної Виборчої Комісії з пропозицією відкрити додаткові закордонні виборчі дільниці поза дипломатичними представництвами в місцевостях більшого скупчення виборців. Для цього потрібно знати загальну кількість виборців в даній місцевості, тому просимо повідомити нас про Ваше зголошення на вибори на електронну адресу: congress@look.ca

За Світовий Конґрес Українців

Аскольд Лозинський, Президент СКУ
Юрій Даревич, Голова Комітету в справах виборів в Україні 2004
Віктор Педенко, Генеральний Секретар СКУ

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З 24 травня інтернет-сайт інформаційної служби "Гаряча лінія. Все про вибори" www.hotline.net.ua, переходить у режим вислітлення повторних виборів до Верховної Ради України по 136 виборчому окрузі міста Одеси. Відтепер на www.hotline.net.ua, окрім оперативної інформації про події в Мукачевому та Ужгороді, можна знайти: "Оперативну інформацію про події навколо повторних виборів у 136 окрузі мівста Одеси, "Інформацію про кандидатів у народні депутати, зареєстрованих у 136 окрузі, "Дані про виборчі дільниці 136 округу" Інформацію про діяльність громадських організацій України та міжнародних організацій в місті Одеса. Інтернет сайт має українську та англійську версії.

Since May 24, 2004 the Internet site www.hotline.net.ua - "Ukrainian Elections Hotline" provides information about the interim elections to the Ukrainian parliament "Verkhovna Rada" in constituency #136, ODESA. Data on polling stations, staff and official party programmes and candidate's biographies as well as information about Ukrainian and foreign NGOs' activities during the election campaign in Odesa is provided. The site has Ukrainian and English versions.

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125 РОКІВ З ДНЯ НАРОДЖЕННЯ СИМОНА ПЕТЛЮРИ УКРАЇНСЬКА ВСЕСВІТНЯ КООРДИНАЦІЙНА РАДА

ПРЕС-РЕЛІЗ

23 травня виповнюється 125 років з дня народження одного з фундаторів української державності, голови Директорії УНР, Головного Отамана Армії УНР Симона Васильовича Петлюри. У вівторок 18 травня у м. Києві з цієї нагоди відбулася презентація віртуального музею на його честь. Сторінку www.cymonpetlura.kiev.ua створено за ініціативою Всеукраїнського громадського комітету по відзначенню 125-ї річниці з дня народження видатного сина українського народу. Цього ж дня у Національному історичному музеї України відкрилася виставка „Симон Петлюра – Лицар української революції”, на якій представлені близька 250-ти експонатів, з яких понад 200 є оригіналами: документи, фотографії, особисті речі, що розповідають про героїчну і разом з тим трагічну для України добу початку ХХ століття, про постать самого С. Петлюри. Ввечері 18 травня у київському Будинку вчителя, місці, в якому діяла Центральна Рада, відбулася урочиста академія з нагоди ювілею. Вечір відкрив останній президент УНР в екзилі Микола Плав’юк. З привітанням і благословенням до присутніх звернувся його святість, патріарх Української Православної Церкви Київського Патріархату Філарет. З доповіддю про історичну роль С. Петлюри виступив доктор історичних наук, професор Володимир Сергійчук. Завершилася академія літературно-мистецькою програмою.

В рамках відзначення 125-тиріччя з дня народження Симона Петлюри у Національному університеті ім. Т.Г. Шевченка 20-го травня розпочне свою роботу наукова конференція. Низка заходів відбудеться і на Батьківщині Симона Петлюри у Полтаві – урочисте засідання у приміщенні Полтавської філармонії 20-го травня, та виставка, що відкриється у Полтавському краєзнавчому музеї. 22 травня о 10.00 в пам’ять Симонові Петлюрі до монументу Незалежності України представниками громадськості та політичних партій будуть покладені квіти, а у 12-й годині у патріаршому соборі Св. Володимира буде відслужено панахиду.

Всеукраїнський комітет по відзначенню 125-річчя з дня народження Симона Петлюри та спорудження йому пам’ятника в столиці України місті Києві було створено восени 2003 року. До складу комітету увійшли відомі науковці, громадські та церковні діячі з України та української діаспори. На жаль по сьогоднішній день українська держава за невеликими винятками не долучилася до підготовки відзначення ювілею видатного українського діяча та увічнення його пам’яті.

Так, Комітет звернувся до Київської міської Ради з проханням щодо виділення місця під встановлення пам´ятника Симонові Петлюрі у столиці України. Кошти на його спорудження готова пожертвувати фундація ім. Симона Петлюри у Великобританії. Як зазначив під час прес-конференції голова Комітету п. Микола Плав’юк, з цього приводу надійшла відповідь, що Київ готовий долучитися до цієї справи лише після відповідного рішення Уряду. Разом з тим, за словами Миколи Плав’юка, від Кабінету міністрів України і від Президента України до сих пір не надійшло відповідей на звернення щодо вшанування пам’яті Симона Петлюри на державному рівні. У Верховній Раді чекає свого розгляду проект постанови про відзначення цієї дати з розгорнутою програмою заходів. За словами представників Комітету, Міністерство оборони України усіляким способом уникає участі у вшануванні пам’яті Симона Петлюри, що викликає подив і обурення з огляду на те, що саме Симон Петлюра був першим міністром оборони Української Народної Республіки.

Для порівняння можна згадати як широко, на державному рівні, у 2003-му році в Україні відзначалася 85-та річниця з дня народження Володимира Щербицького – Першого секретаря ЦК КПУ, на період керівництва яким Україною припали посилення русифікації, арешти української інтелігенції, першотравнева демонстрація у Києві за п’ять днів після Чорнобиля. Ця подія викликала зливу протестів з боку української громадськості, інтелектуалів. Співставлення цих і багатьох інших фактів дає підстави зробити висновок про те, що сучасна українська владна еліта потребує якісного оновлення.

На думку Миколи Плав’юка „обережність” з боку чинної української влади пов’язана не в останню чергу і з так званим „комплексом Петлюри”, що виник внаслідок несправедливих звинувачень українського провідника в єврейських погромах в Україні. „Наша держава повинна зняти ці плями як з постаті Симона Петлюри, так і з усього українського національного визвольного руху”, - заявив Микола Плав’юк.

Українська громадськість усього світу вимагає від української влади гідного вшанування пам’яті синів і доньок України, що віддали своє життя у різні періоди визвольної боротьби. Особливо – тих людей, що стали символами прагнень українського народу до власної незалежної держави, символами мужності, героїзму та незламного духу.

СПІЛКА УКРАЇНЦІВ БРИТАНІЇ ЗАКЛИКАЄ
НАДСИЛАТИ ПРОТЕСТНІ ЛИСТИ ДО ПРЕЗИДЕНТА УКРАЇНИ


Союз українців у Великобританії звернувся до своїх членів та інших українських громадських організацій з закликом розпочати кампанію протестних листів до української влади з приводу належного відзначення ювілею Симона Петлюри. У зверненні зокрема, йдеться: „У травні цього року українці по цілому світу відзначатимуть 125 років з дня народження видатного політичного діяча, Головного Отамана Української Народної Республіки Симона Петлюри. Остання інформація з України вказує на те, що Уряд не збирається організувати ювілейні заходи в честь цього видатного національного провідника й великого державного мужа. Такий стан справ є незадовільним. Він віддзеркалює те, як ще далеко до того, щоб українська державність була сповнена українським характером і українським змістом. З метою привернення уваги Президента України до цієї події, що покликано позитивно вплинути на масштабність державних заходів в ювілейну річницю Симона Петлюри, СУБ організовує кампанію протестних листів, в яких буде міститься заклик до організації урочистих святкових заходів на найвищому державному рівні в честь сл. пам. Головного Отамана УНР”.

Звернення підписали Голова Ради СУБ д-р Любомир Мазур та Генеральний Секретар Федір Курляк. Адреса Президента України: Україна 01220 м. Київ-220 вул. Банкова, 11, Президентові України Кучмі Леоніду Даниловичу.

Прес-центр УВКР, 19 травня 2004р.

УВКР, вул. Горького, З-б, Київ, 01004, Україна.
Тел/факс:227-22-41, прес-центр: 234-03-17
Е-mail: uvkr@i.kiev.ua, uvkr@iptelecom.net.ua.
www.uvkr.org.ua


Додаткова веб сторінка: www.cymonpetlura.kiev.ua

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RUSLANA WINS EUROVISION 2004

www.eurovision.tv, Sunday, May 16, 2004

Ukraine’s Ruslana won the 49th annual Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night in Istanbul, Turkey.

Her Eurovision entry, “Wild Dances” received 280 points, closely beating Serbia & Montenegro’s Željko Joksimovic with 263 points and Greece’s Sakis Rouvas who came third with 252 points.

At a packed press conference after the Contest, Ruslana shook her head in disbelief, appearing not to be able to take in her victory.

She said: “There are just so many emotions going through me at the moment. I just feel happy!”

The raven-haired singer said she’d already received phone calls from the Ukrainian President and his family and promised to put on a great Eurovision show next year in Ukraine for the Contest’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

Over 40 countries, as far a field as Puerto Rico and Australia watched as Ruslana set the Abdi Apekci arena alight with her energetic performance inspired by the ancient Hutsul people from the Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine.

“When I got up on stage, I told myself ‘just be happy,’” Ruslana said of her performance which wowed the more than 7,500-strong audience in Istanbul.

She said the first thing she’d do on returning to Ukraine would be to kneel and kiss a piece of Ukrainian soil. “I love my country,” she said. “We have been working so hard to give a positive image of Ukraine.”

But Ruslana said winning Eurovision wouldn’t change her. “I’m a humble person, really,” she told journalists. “I’m still the same old Ruslana I was yesterday.”

You may view Ruslana's "Wild Dances" on UkrainaTV Premium: UkrainaTV.com

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CSL SHIP FIRES CANADIANS, HIRES CHEAPER UKRAINIAN CREW

RHÉAL SÉGUIN (The Globe and Mail) Friday, April 9, 2004

QUEBEC -- As workers in the Quebec Port stripped "Montreal" off the Canada Steamship Lines cargo ship Birchglen, the vessel was losing more than just a Canadian port of registry. It was losing its Canadian crew and the Maple Leaf flag that attached it to its country of ownership.

Canadian workers were being replaced with a cheaper Ukrainian crew and captain. The flag of Barbados -- a flag of convenience as it is known in the shipping industry -- will soon be flying on the ship's masthead. And a freshly painted "Bridgetown" will mark the ship's new port of registration in Barbados, a country used by shipping companies to lower taxes.

The practice is commonplace in the industry. And it would have gone largely unnoticed if it weren't for the fact that the vessel belongs to the shipping empire run by Prime Minister Paul Martin's family.

Mr. Martin transferred control of his Canada Steamship Lines Inc. empire to his sons last March, after he faced a storm of criticism that his business interests would place him in conflict with his official duties.

A total of 20 Canadian commercial sailors on the Birchglen were laid off and have been replaced with 22 Ukrainian crew members who will be paid lower wages and receive fewer benefits.

For Canada Steamship Lines parent company CSL Group Inc., the practice makes good business sense. The company argues that higher Canadian wages make it impossible to compete internationally. And because Canadian law requires a vessel registered in Canada to maintain an all-Canadian crew, the company says it had no choice but to register the ship in Barbados.

"If we don't have a foreign crew we will not achieve a certain level of competitiveness," CSL spokeswoman Martine Malk said yesterday.

"If we want to compete we need those lower wages."

Ms. Malk added that the Birchglen would remain a Canadian-owned ship. That will require the company to pay taxes in Canada on the ship's revenue overseas rather than the lower tax on profits -- 2.5 per cent or as low as 1 per cent -- paid to Barbados from the company's foreign ships registered abroad.

For the Prime Minister, being associated with a company that is hiring foreign workers to replace laid-off Canadians is giving the opposition ammunition to attack the Liberals for ignoring the needs of Canadians.

"The government has to put an end to a practice that creates unemployment for our workers here while allowing Canadian vessels to use cheap labour from foreign countries," said Roger Clavet, the Bloc Québécois candidate in the Quebec City riding of Louis-Hébert. "CSL can now stand for 'Canada's Shameless Leader.' "

The Bloc said it has built a case to demonstrate that as finance minister, Mr. Martin was in conflict of interest when his government adopted tax laws that allowed CSL to avoid paying $103-million in taxes to the Canadian government.

The Bloc was also poised to reignite the debate over the $161-million in business dealings that CSL had with the federal government over the past 11 years.

Mr. Martin has attempted to focus public attention on his ability to meet higher ethical standards, defending himself from renewed Bloc attacks on his personal integrity. But Bloc candidates remain convinced that Mr. Martin's former ties to the shipping empire he sold to his sons last year is an issue that has only begun to simmer in the minds of voters in Quebec, where Liberal support has slipped considerably in the past two months.

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PUT MEDAL IN WAR MUSEUM

The Montreal Gazette Editorial (Wednesday, April 07, 2004)

It appears Filip Konowal's Victoria Cross will soon be back in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. Or at least it will be if the medal that turned up on an auction block in London, Ont., is, indeed, the one King George V awarded to Corporal Konowal in 1917, and if the medal the museum bought back in the 1960s and lost in 1973 under unexplained circumstances was Konowal's original award.

But however all these puzzling and convoluted questions are answered, one thing is sure: Konowal's medal belongs in Canada's War Museum, for a number of reasons.

First, it's one of just 94 VCs Canadians have won since the medal was instituted during the Crimean War.

Second, there's the sheer reckless courage of the feat that earned Konowal the British Commonwealth's highest award for bravery. In the battle for Hill 70 at Lens, France, in August 1917, Konowal singlehandedly killed at least a dozen enemy soldiers and seized a German machine gun.

Finally, there's Konowal's provenance. He was born in Ukraine in 1888 and arrived in Canada just before the outbreak of the war. For a nation of immigrants he is close to the perfect war hero - a newcomer who risked life and limb for his adopted home.

The exploits of war heroes like Konowal are too often overlooked. Canadians sometimes seem almost embarrassed by the battlefield bravery of their soldiers, and many - especially among the young - seem to labour under the mistaken impression Canada is a pacifist nation.

Next fall's opening of the War Museum's magnificent new building on Ottawa's LeBreton Flats should go a long way to rectifying that. Its 45,000 square feet of exhibition space will be a fitting monument to the men and women of Canada's armed forces. And the perfect place for Konowal's Victoria Cross.

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SOME THOUGHTS ON ”THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST”

Archpriest Ihor G. Kutash


I went to see the film with some trepidation since I had heard about the horrible brutality of which the media spoke. I was certainly not expecting to literally see Holy Scripture on film. I knew it would be another retelling of the Story from the point of view of the film’s producers.

And indeed at times I had to cover my eyes and cringe in my seat. I am sure that if I had been present at the actual scene it would have been infinitely worse than the film portrayed. What the film did was make sure that the viewers saw the sufferings endured by our Lord as clearly as they could convey them. If this troubles people – well it should, I think. Just as the sufferings of any person on this planet should.

But there was a difference here. It was particularly well-conveyed by the moment where Jesus tells His mother who has rushed up to Him through the crowd as He lay fallen beneath the weight of the Cross (which He embraced!): “See, Mother, I am making all things new!"! It underscored the fact that, even from a strictly human point of view, a most wonderful thing was happening. A Man, entirely innocent of any crime, is being brutally abused and instead of responding to it in a way that would call at least for justification and exoneration if not bloody vengeance on the part of those who esteem Him, He prays for and forgives the evildoers. And inspires others to do the same! Why this example, even if on did not believe that Jesus is God incarnate, has the power to transform those who hear of and see it!

And the violence is interspersed by inserts of Jesus preaching the Sermon on the Mount and presiding at the Last (Orthodox say ”Mystical”) Supper. The peace and warmth of those moments is highlighted by the horror and cruelty of the seemingly never-ending abuse of our Lord. They also underscore His integrity. It is one thing to say and think warm and kind thoughts when things are pleasant – it is quite another to hold firm to this course in the furnace of adversity. Our Lord held firm to the very end.

I have heard many adverse comments about the film before and after seeing it. The most common one was that it seems to lay the blame for the crucifixion upon the Jews. I personally did not see any particular emphasis on this. The Roman Governor, Pilate, was as much to blame – even though he tried to absolve himself of the guilt by washing his hands. The Roman soldiers were generally most sadistic – alas, not an uncommon trait among humans of any ethnic origin, who lose touch with the fact that anything you do to anyone besides yourself you actually do to yourself. Mel Gibson is reported to have responded to this charge something like this: “Who’s to blame? Me, first of all!” Echoing the words of St. Paul who called himself “the first of sinners”.

But those who look for folks to blame overlook the most important meaning of the Passion – and you clearly hear Christ’s words in the film: “No one takes My life from Me - I give it Myself”! The Passion is the greatest love story ever told – or filmed. And the wonderful thing is that it is completely true! It is God incarnate offering Himself for His beloved creation – accepting the horrors and stings of cruelty, brutality and death wrought by sin and becoming the Way through these things to peace and love and life that cannot be extinguished or even stained by them.

The love story ends in the film (it never ends in reality!) with Jesus’ resurrection which I found to be treated with marvelous taste and imagination – no fanfare (although I love the fanfare involved in the celebration of the Resurrection) – just the grave-clothes gently falling in on themselves since there is no longer any Body for them to contain and Jesus, His body unmarked by the cruelty of the scourging, with only the holes made by the nails in His hands, walking out of the tomb.

To sum up: a great film, requiring some reserves to get through the scenes of the violence. Something to be thankful for. Another wake-up call for humanity. And very timely.

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ДЕЯКІ ДУМКИ ПРО ФІЛЬМ ”СТРАСТІ ХРИСТОВІ”

Прот. Ігор Ю. Куташ


Пішов оглядати фільм з певним побоюванням, маючи на ввазі те, що чув, що в ньому багато жорстокости. Звичайно я не сподівався бачити тотожність зі Св. Письмом. Я усвідомляв, що це буде переказ Розповіді з точкм зору тих, що виробляли фільм.

І справді були хвилини, коли треба було заплющувати очі і тремтіти. Я певний, що якщо б я був присутній на самій події, то було б набагато гірше, чим фільм показував. Фільм старався якнайвірніше показати глядачам страждання, яких переніс наш Господь. Якщо це турбує когось, на мою думку так і треба - як повиині занепокоювати нас страждання будькотрої людини на цій планеті.

Та була й різниця. Її дуже вірно передали сценою, в якій Ісус каже Своїй Матері, яка підбігла до Нього через натовп, коли Він лежав впавши ще раз під тягарем Хреста (якого Він обнімав!): “Бачиш, Мамо, Я все роблю новим!"! Підкреслює те, що навіть з точки зору тільки людської, відбувається щось надзвичайне. Людину зовсім безвинну жорстоко зловживають, і замість того, щоб не це відгукуватися хоть би закликом о справдливість і виправдання, якщо не о криваву відплату тими, хто Його поважає, Він молиться і прощає злочинцям! І наставляє других, щоб те саме робили. Цей приклад, навіть якщо глядач не вірить, що Ісус – Бог у тілі, має силу перетворити того, у кого уші, щоб почути та очі, щоб побачити.

І сцени жорстокости переплетені сценами, в яких Ісус виголошує Нагорну проповідь і очолює Тайну Вечерю. Спокій і тепло в тих моментах підкреслюються переданням жахів і жорстокости в тих наче б то невпинних нападах на Господа нашого. Вонитеж підкреслюють Його достовірність. Одна справа говорити й думати ласкаві думки й слова тоді, коли все гарно – а зовсім друга, коли приходиться дотримуватися цього в палаючій печі випробовувань. Господь наш витримав іспит до самого гіркого кінця.

Я чув різні негативні коментарів про фільм перед тим і після того, як я його побачив. Були такі, що говорили неначе б то євреїів обвинувачує в розп’ятті Христа. Я особисто не бачив особливого наголосу на цьому. Римський губернатор Пилат поділяв вину, хоч він старався оправдати себе миттям рук. А римські вояки виглядали, як дійсні садисти – на жаль цю властивість поділяють люди будьякого етнічного походження, які забувають або не усвідомлюють те, що все що ми робимо другій людині ми робимо собі. Кажуть що Мел Ґібсон відповів на цей закид ось так: “Хто винний? Я - перший!” Переповідав слова Св. Ап. Павло який себе називав “першим з грішників”.

Та ті, які шукають когось для обвинувачення, не звернули увагу на основне значення Страстей – а слова Христові ясно звучать у фільмі: “Ніхто не відбирає Моє життя – Я Сам його віддаю”! Страсті Христові – найкраща й найсильніша розповідь про любов, яку колинебудь висказали чи сфільмували. І вона ЗОВСІМ ПРАВДИВА! Бог у тілі віддає Себе за улюблене створіння, приймаючи жахи, удари жорстокости, брутальности та смерті спричинених гріхом – і стає Дорогою через ці перепони до миру, любови й Життя, якого не можна погасити ані навіть не заплямити ними.

Ця любовна розповідь завершується у фільмі (насправді вона НІКОЛИ не кінчається!) воскресенням Христовим, якого передають з надзвичайним смаком та уявою: без гуку, спокійно (хоч мені дуже подобається врочисте, гучне відзначення Воскресення) – просто плащаниця тихо западається, бож уже немає тіла під нею. А Ісус з тілом непозначеним жорстокістю побиття (а тільки видно дірки на руках від цвяхів) виходить з гробу.

В коротці – славний фільм, тільки що потрібно трохи спокійних нервів, щоб перенести сцени жорстокости. Виклик людству пробудитись! І дуже на місці.

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CLIMBING FOR THE CHILDREN OF CHORNOBYL

Montreal native, Bohdanna Zwonok has CLIMBED Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa on SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2004 to raise funds for Ukrainian children that are victims of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster.

Her climb has been endorsed by Children Of Chornobyl Canadian Fund who received her offer with great joy.

Accompanying Bohdanna is her friend Viviane Elferink, who is raising funds for The Children's Wish Foundation.

Bohdanna, a Plast alumni, plans to raise one dollar for every foot she climbs for a total of $19,335.60. (No Deadline.)

You can help Bohdanna reach her goal by sending your donation to:

The Children Of Chornobyl Canadian Fund,
2118-A Bloor Street West, Suite 200,
Toronto, Ontario, M6S 1M8
(Please specify: Kilimanjaro Project).
Tax receipts will be issued and a list of donors published on the CCCF web site.

For more information, log on to Bohdanna's and Viviane's exciting web site.

BOHDANA'S EMAIL UPDATES:

Monday, February 16, 2004 12:36 PM
Summit or the roof or Africa reached at 3:30 am (GMT) , just for the rising sun of my birthday. A glorious day it was !
The climb was the most difficult physical and mental challenge that both Viviane and I have ever faced.
The climb started at midnight (good thing it did, because we would have turned back had we seen clearly what was ahead) and lasted over 6 and a half hours in mostly total darkness on very steep, sandy, rocky and and snowy, slippery terrain. Without the windchill factor, - 15 celcius at the summit at 19 336 feet. Feeling high, to say the least, with almost all of the symptoms of acute altitude sickness at hand, we still made it. And back.
I honestly can write, that had it been only a personnal challenge, I would have probably turned back (at least a 1000times) during the brutal part of the climb(almost every step past 15000feet). What kept me going, was the humanitarian cause I was climbing for.
Thanks to the Children of Chornobyl, I had to surpass my personnal limits.
I wish to thank the Children of Chornobyl for their courage. They were my inspiration.
I also wish to thank my climbing sponsor, NORCAN Flexible Packaging ( they make the plastic bags for the ice packages you buy for your parties).
I am also very grateful for the generous donators that gave towards the CCCF in Canada , and towards the CCRF in the US. Our website will be updated with details of donations and adventures upon our return.
On behalf of the Children, I offer you my sincere and deep gratitude.
Back in a week, after a bit of a rest in Zanzibar. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers,

Love and blessings,

Bohdana "Mam Bo"

Tuesday, February 10, 2004 11:54 AM
The kili climb will start in less than 12 hours. I just came back from a warm up climb, of Africa"s fourth highest summit, Mt Meru. (over 15 000ft).
It is said that it is the best acclimatisation prep for Kili.Extremely difficult, with close to zero visibility, snow showers and icy-slippery conditions. Bring on the elements ! !! The harder now, the better on Kili !
Never felt more stimulated in any of my previous climbs. Never have climbed as difficult a mountain !
Will rest for 12 hours, then off to the highest peak. My spirits are higher than any of the African mountains. I am ready !
Will re-connect after the climb !
Thanks to all my supporters ! KYK Montreal has just joined the ranks of donators. The fundraising goal has not yet been acheived. Please show your generosity !
My hotmail: zwonok@hotmail.com

Regards,

Bohdana Mam Bo ( in Swahili, Mambo means OK)
Good omen! Ukrainians remember
Memorial marks Famine of 1932-33. Survivors call it a genocide, deliberately started by Stalin's agricultural policy


Kinda Jayoush (Montreal Gazette)
Sunday, November 23, 2003

Vera Wusaty, 73, could not fight back her tears recalling the horrible way two of her cousins died in the 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine. "There was absolutely nothing to eat and hundreds of people were dying every day," said Wusaty at a memorial held yesterday to honour about 7 million Ukrainians who died of starvation.

"The family had three children, but did not have any food. So, the parents had to make a decision. They picked one of their children and they gave him the small bits of food they had and left the other two to die. They had no other choice," she added.

But the memories of seeing their children die of hunger, haunted the parents for the rest of their lives.

"I never saw them smiling after the death of their children," she said at the memorial, which was held at the Ukrainian Youth Centre on Beaubien St. E.

Members of the Ukrainian community lit candles and prayed for the victims.

The memorial was part of activities held in Montreal to commemorate what Ukrainians say was one of the worst genocides of the 20th century.

They say the famine was deliberately started by the then Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, whose agricultural policy stripped farmers of their produce. Details of the tragedy remained hidden until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Another survivor of the famine, Michael Hayduk, 79, said villagers had nothing to eat but the grass.

"We used to go in the spring and dig for hours, hoping that we would find some frozen potatoes. The army left nothing in the villages, not even a handful of grain."

This month, a United Nation's declaration recognized the famine as Ukraine's national tragedy. Ukraine has announced November as a remembrance month. The Canadian Senate has agreed to designate every fourth Saturday in November as a day of remembrance.

Also, to commemorate the famine, Montreal's nine Ukrainian churches and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress collected food donations, which will be given to Sun Youth tomorrow.

Ihor Kutash, Montreal congress president, said Ukrainian churches here will ring bells today at noon to honour the victims.

"The lunchtime tolling is symbolic," Kutash said. "We wish to remind the people of the sad fact that millions had lost their lives because of the lack of food."

Present at the memorial yesterday was André Desroches, Episcopal Vicar for ethnic communities for the Diocese of Montreal and Rabbi Elina Bykova of Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom.

Photos snapped by Andrei Boris for quebec-ukraine.com

Existing and new members of Help US Help The Children and the Children of Chornobyl Canadian Fund
have established a focus group to determine how best to deal with issues identified in Victor Malarek's book, The Natashas: The New Global Sex Trade. The primary focus of this new initiative will be to explore ways to assist in eliminating, to the degree possible, the exploitation that many of these orphans may be faced with when they leave the orphanages.

Help us Help the Children is a project of The Children Of Chornobyl Canadian Fund
Tel: (416) 604-4611, E-mail: cccf@idirect.com

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SHEDDING LIGHT ON SEX TRADE

Crusading journalist Victor Malarek sees his book as a call to action in countries where even UN peacekeepers patronize brothels

PAT DONNELLY
The Gazette (Thursday, October 23, 2003)

Ditch that joke about the white slave trade.

According to Victor Malarek's new book, The Natashas: The New Global Sex Trade, that quasi-mythical evil your grandmother warned you about is now a growth industry. The world's oldest profession has been hijacked by greedy international criminals who know how to use the world's newest communications technology to maximize their profits from the bodies of young women illegally trafficked across international borders. Once these women have been enticed outside their home countries, usually by promises of legitimate employment, they are raped, assaulted, sold like cattle to pimps, and offered as R & R (rest and relaxation) to clients who include UN peacekeepers.

If they're from Russia, Romania, Ukraine or Moldavia, they're referred to as "Natashas."

Malarek, who paid a brief visit to his home town (and mom) in Montreal this week, says he has focused on the Natashas in his book because they make up the most recent "fourth wave" of the international trafficking of women. The first wave was made up mainly of south Asian women, the second of Africans, the third of Central and South Americans, he explained. Other books had already been written on those waves. Plus he's Ukrainian, and his ability to speak the language (passably) helped.

Malarek first heard about the "Natashas" from a friend who noticed a lot of blond, Ukrainian-speaking women working the streets in Istanbul. The friend also mentioned that many of the women were hooked on heroin. And they were young, very young.

That got Malarek going.

Since he began his investigative reporting career at the Montreal Star in the early '70s, Malarek, 54, has always championed the cause of troubled youth. That's because he was an abused child himself. After doing time (41/2 years) in the Weredale boy's home here and a briefer stay at the St. Vallier detention centre, he came out ready to throw the first punch. Anger became a defining characteristic of his cut-to-the-chase style. He's compelling on television (first on Fifth Estate, now on W5), riveting on the page.

The Natashas isn't just a book. It's a call to action.

Malarek began his research on the Internet. No shortage of Natashas for sale there, including a Ukrainian virgin up for auction. A plan for a book that would provide "a good, edgy, hard look" at the problem began to unfold in his mind. He opted to work on vacation time, rather than as a series of newspaper articles, because he wanted it to be fresh to press, "before the steam had gone out of me." To do his research, he travelled to Germany, Italy, Israel, Bosnia, Greece, Britain, the United States and Ukraine.

The point at which The Natashas became a very, very angry book took place in Bosnia, he recounted. "I couldn't believe what was going on," he said. "I think what triggered it for me was the UN peacekeepers and the international aid workers with the UN."

That the very people sent to solve the problems of a war-torn country were patronizing brothels staffed by enslaved women struck Malarek as doubly tragic, given that combatants from the Bosnian war had been sent to the Hague to be tried for war crimes including rape.

"Now the UN is in there with its peacekeepers and it becomes R & R," he said. "This is too frigging weird."

In the book, Malarek describes how members of both sides of the warring factions in the Balkan war are now peacefully collaborating in the sale of women. Which makes things seem even more weird. Apparently, a similar sign of "peace" might be detected in the co-operation between Egyptian and Israeli traffickers bringing eastern European women into Israel, which has a Natasha situation that's driving Israeli feminists to distraction.

While tagging along on a brothel raid in Kosovo, Malarek waited while the young women were taken away to shower and get rid of their makeup and working clothes. When they returned to be questioned, dressed in blue jeans and T-shirts, he was struck by how young they were - and how much they reminded him of his 18-year-old daughter, Larissa, and her friends. The book is dedicated to her.

Hell hath no fury like a protective father. Strangely enough, Malarek says, that even extends to pimps. He's talked to more than a few of them. And when they get on the subject of keeping their wives and daughters out of harm's way, they talk homicide. The foreign women they exploit, however, are treated like animals.

That's where racism kicks in, according to Malarek. Trafficked women are, by definition, foreign and, therefore, easily dismissed as trash, without family, friends or appropriate legal documents. If the "Natashas" are available as prostitutes, the logic goes, local women won't be sexually harassed.

This logic has even been used in legal arguments in Canada, which now has a special entry permit for "exotic dancers," Malarek said.

But that fact surfaced too late for inclusion in the book - which lets Canada off rather lightly, compared with places like Greece, Israel, Bosnia and Russia. This time, Malarek's intention was to write an "international" book, he said.

What can be done?

Well, investigation, for starters. But that has to be done by police. Corruption is a larger factor in some countries than others, but basically "this thing exists because of corruption," Malarek says. "Police officers too often have their hands out and often their pants down for a freebie. They keep their mouths shut."

Once the problem has been exposed, Malarek's suggested line of action is simple: Seize the assets of the traffickers and channel the money back to the women whose bodies were used to raise it. They need it. Especially the ones with AIDS.

"It's an absolutely horrific human rights crisis," Malarek said.

The Natashas: The New Global Sex Trade is published by Viking Canada. 274 pages. $36.

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