UKL453 (Kule Scholarships, Danyliw 2011, U of T Symposium 2012)

The Ukraine List (UKL) #453
compiled by Dominique Arel 
Chair of Ukrainian Studies, U of Ottawa
26 September 2011


**Still not teaching this semester, UKL will come out infrequently –DA**


1-Kule Doctoral Scholarships on Ukraine, U of Ottawa (1 February 2012 Deadline)

2-Danyliw 2011 Seminar Program, U of Ottawa (20-22 October)

3-Call for Papers: Graduate Symposium on Ukraine, U of T (10 October Deadline)

4-Call for Papers: ASN Seventeenth Annual World Convention (2 November Deadline)


5-Wall Street Journal: Ukraine President Signals He May Yield on Tymoshenko

6-RFE/RL: Ukrainian PM Azarov Plays the Moral Card

7-RFE/RL: Taras Kuzio, Yanukovych’s Selective Use Of Justice

8-World Affairs: Alex Motyl, The Regionnaires’ Image Problem

9-Kyiv Post: Kuzio et al, EU Should Get Tough Now with Yanukovych

10-OpenDemocracy: Rutland and Solonenko, Beyond Sticks and Carrots

11-Two Views on the Ukraine-Russia Gas Deadlock: Tkachuk, Aris


12-Stasiuk Blog: David Marples, Recent Surveys on Language in Ukraine

13-National Post: Ukraine Cleanses Its History Are We Really so Scary, or Why do Others See Us as Such?


**Ukraine in World Cinema**

15-Hollywood Reporter: In Darkness (Poland, 2011), Telluride Film Festival

16-Variety: Land of Oblivion (France, 2011), Venice Film Festival


17-Biblio: Kulyk, Lambroschini, Portnov, Risch, Shapoval

18-Conference: Twenty Years of Ukrainian Independence (Penn State, 30 Sep-1 Oct)

19-Call for Papers: Special Issue on Memory of World War II in Ukraine/FSU

20-Call for Papers: Conference on Higher Education in Ukraine (20-21 April 2012)


**Thanks to Orest Deychakiwsky, Svitlana Frunchak, David Marples, Alex Melnyk, Alexander J. Motyl, Andriï Portnov, Blair Ruble (Kennan Institute), Per Rudling, Peter Rutland, Oksana Tovaryanska, Cathy Wanner, and Roman Zurba**



Kule Doctoral Scholarships on Ukraine, 2012-2013

Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Ottawa

Application Deadline: 1 February 2012

The Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Ottawa, the only research unit outside of Ukraine predominantly devoted to the study of contemporary Ukraine, is announcing the establishment of the Drs. Peter and Doris Kule Doctoral Scholarships on Contemporary Ukraine. The Scholarships will consist of an annual award of $20,000, plus all tuition, for a maximum of four years.


The Scholarships were made possible by a generous donation of $500,000 by the Kule family, matched by the University of Ottawa. Drs. Peter and Doris Kule, from Edmonton, have endowed several chairs and research centres in Canada, and their exceptional contributions to education, predominantly in Ukrainian Studies, has recently been celebrated in the book Champions of Philanthrophy: Peter and Doris Kule and their Endowments.


Students with a primary interest in contemporary Ukraine applying to, or enrolled in, a doctoral program at the University of Ottawa in political science, sociology and anthropology, or in fields associated with the Chair of Ukrainian Studies, can apply for a Scholarship.


The application for the Kule Scholarship must include a 1000 word research proposal, two letters of recommendation (sent separately by the referees), and a CV and be mailed to the Office of the Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Desmarais Building 3210, 55 Laurier East, Ottawa ON K1N 6N5, Canada.


Applications will be considered only after the applicant has completed an application to the relevant doctoral program at the University of Ottawa. Consideration of applications will begin on 1 February 2012 and will continue until the award is announced.


Students interested in applying for the Scholarships for the academic year 2012-2013 are invited to contact Dominique Arel, Chairholder, Chair of Ukrainian Studies, at





The Chair of Ukrainian Studies is proud to announce the program of its marquee annual event— the Seventh Annual Danyliw Seminar on Contemporary Ukraine, to be held on 20-22 October 2011 at the University of Ottawa. The program is attached to this message and can also be downloaded from the Chair of Ukrainian Studies website at


The Seminar will take place in The Lounge, New Residence, 90 University Private, on University of Ottawa campus. The campus map can be accessed at 90 University Private is located in building “RCR” onm the map, across the pedestrian street from building “UCU”.


The Seminar will feature 16 presentations and bring together 27 scholars and doctoral students from Ukraine, Western Europe, the United States and Canada.


The first day, on October 20 (1.30-6.00 PM), will feature three papers on contemporary Ukrainian politics (on civic loyalty, the Far Right, and the European Union), as well as a special lecture by Maria Lipman, of the Carnegie Moscow Center, on Russian-Ukrainian relations.


The lecture will be followed by a public opening reception at Café Nostalgica, 603 Cumberland St., a five minute walk from the Seminar location.


On Friday, October 21 (9.00 AM-5.20 PM), all six presentations will focus on World War II and is contested memory, with papers on nationalism in literature, anti-Jewish violence, the Ukrainian police, Ukrainians saving Jews, and the Ukrainian insurgency.


On Saturday, October 22 (9.00 AM-4.45 PM), the Seminar will offer its first ever section on Education in Ukraine, with papers on historical guilt, regional diversity and disadvantaged youth, as well a closing afternoon session mostly touching on gender issues. Three of the Saturday presentations will deal with the Holodomor, in either its educational, commemorative or gender aspect.


As it has become customary in previous years, the Seminar will introduce new talents, with fifteen participants – including six doctoral students – making their first appearance in this annual event. As a sign of the vitality of Ukrainian studies, eleven of the participants are Ukraine-born, nine of whom currently living or studying abroad.


The 2011 Danyliw Seminar Program was prepared by an international selection committee comprised of Alexandra Goujon (France), Ioulia Shukan (France), Oxana Shevel (US) and Dominique Arel (Chair of Ukrainian Studies).


The Seminar is made possible by the commitment of the Wolodymyr George Danyliw Foundation to the pursuit of excellence in the study of contemporary Ukraine.


Since seating is limited, people interested in attending the Seminar must register by email ( as soon as possible. Registration is free. The Chair of Ukrainian Studies can also be contacted by phone at 613 562 5800 ext. 3692.


We very much look forward to seeing you at the Seminar!


Cordially, Dominique Arel

Chair of Ukrainian Studies


Seventh Annual Danyliw Research Seminar on Contemporary Ukraine


Chair of Ukrainian Studies

University of Ottawa

20-22 October 2011


The Lounge, New Residence

90 University Private

U of Ottawa Campus


Preliminary Program


Sponsored by

the Wolodymyr George Danyliw Foundation


Selection Committee

Dominique Arel (Chair of Ukrainian Studies)

Alexandra Goujon (France)

Oxana Shevel (US)

Ioulia Shukan (France)


The Chair also thanks

l’École d’Études Politiques/School of Political Studies

the Faculty of Social Sciences

the Faculty of Graduate and Postgraduate Studies

for their support


Thursday 20 October


Ukraine and Politics


1.30-3.30 PM


Stephen Bloom (Southern Illinois U Carbondale, US,

Stephen Shulman (Southern Illinois U Carbondale, US,

Does Nation-Building Increase the Strength of Citizen Loyalty in Ukraine?

Discussant: Monica Eppinger (St. Louis U, US,

Anton Shekhovtsov (Bell Institute Fellow, Ukraine,

The Rise of the Ukrainian Far Right: Determinants and (Possible) Explanations

Discussant: Ioulia Shukan (U of Paris Ouest Nanterre, France,


[Coffee Break]

4.00-6.00 PM


Iryna Solonenko (Renaissance Foundation, Ukraine,

When the EU Makes a Difference in Ukraine’s Reform Process:

The Cases of Public Procurement and Judiciary

Discussant: Anna Colin Lebedev (EHESS, Paris, France,


Maria Lipman (Carnegie Moscow Center, Russia,

Ukraine under Yanukovych and Russia’s Ukrainian Policy [Lecture]


Opening Reception

6.15-7.15 PM

Café Nostalgica, 603 Cumberland St.

U of Ottawa Campus


Friday 21 October


World War II and Memory


9.00-11.00 AM


Myroslav Shkandrij (U of Manitoba, Canada,

Nationalism and the Evidence of Literature in the Inter-War Period

Discussant: Janice Keefer Kulyk (Writer, Toronto, Canada,


Oleksandr Melnyk (U of Toronto, Canada,

Stalinist Justice as Counter Memory: Local anti-Jewish Violence in Kyiv’s Podil District in September 1941 through the Prism of Soviet Investigative Materials

Discussant: Ivan Katchanovski (U of Ottawa, Canada,


[Coffee Break]


11.20 AM-12.20 PM


John-Paul Himka (U of Alberta, Canada,

The OUN, the Auxiliary Police, and the Holocaust

Discussant: Jeffrey Kopstein (U of Toronto, Canada,


[Lunch Break]


2.00-4.00 PM


Kimberly Partee (Strassler Centre for Holocaust Studies, US,

Ukrainian Collaboration on Trial: The Case of the Trawniki Men

Discussant: Dominique Arel (U of Ottawa, Canada,


Orest Zakydalsky (Ukrainian Canadian Research

and Documentation Centre, Toronto,

Separating the Personal and the Political:

Ukrainians Who Rescued Jews during the Holocaust

Discussant: Anna Colin Lebedev (EHESS, Paris, France,

[Coffee Break]


4.20-5.20 PM


Serhiy Kudelia (George Washington U, US,

The Impact of Collectivization on Insurgency Mobilization

in Western Ukraine after World War II

Discussant: Jean-François Ratelle (U of Ottawa, Canada,


Saturday 22 October


Education and Identity


9.00-11.00 AM


Alla Korzh (Columbia U, US,

The Metamorphosis of the Role of Education in Ukraine Through the Prism of Ukrainian Disadvantaged Youth

Discussant: Ioulia Shukan (U of Paris Ouest Nanterre, France,


Antonina Tereshchenko (U of Porto, Portugal,

Regional Diversity and Education for “National” Citizenship in Ukraine

Discussant: Oxana Shevel (Tufts U, US,


[Coffee Break]


11.20 AM-12.20 PM


Tetyana Kloubert (U of Jena, Germany,

Holodomor, Holocaust, and the Massacre of Volhynia:

The Question of Historical Guilt in Ukrainian Adult Education

Maria Lipman (Carnegie Moscow Center, Russia,


[Lunch Break]


Holodomor and Gender


1.30-3.30 PM

Tatyana Zhurzhenko (U of Vienna, Austria,

The Contested Meaning of Holodomor Memorials in Ukraine

Discussant: Dominique Arel (U of Ottawa, Canada,


Oksana Kis (Institute of Ethnology, L’viv, Ukraine,

Agency vs Victimhood: Women’s Experience of the Holodomor, 1932-33

Discussant: Halyna Mokrushyna (U of Ottawa, Canada,


[Coffee Break]


3.45-4.45 PM


Maryna Bazylevych (Luther College, US,

“Beautiful” Medicine and Feminism:

Women and the Practice of Post-Socialist Biomedicine in Millennial Ukraine



Call for Papers

Ukraine in Global Context (Graduate Student Sympsosium)

27-28 January 2012, U of Toronto


The University of Toronto’s Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (CERES) is pleased to announce a call for papers for the fifth bi-annual Graduate Student Symposium entitled”Ukraine in Global Context” to be held in Toronto on January 27-28, 2012. This interdisciplinary Symposium will bring together aspiring young scholars for two days of presentations and intensive discussions on the study of contemporary Ukraine.


The goal of the Symposium is to present new research and innovative thinking that explores the political, socioeconomic, and cultural dynamics in Ukrainian society. Cross-national and cross-historical comparisons in the wider context of the post-communist space are encouraged. Submissions can focus on a variety of topics including,

but not limited to, the following:


.         Sociopolitical and Economic Development;

.         Identity and Regionalism;

.         National Security, Foreign Relations, Diaspora;

.         Language (translation, bilingualism, etc.);

.         Literature, Film, and Media;

.         New Approaches to National History and the Politics of Memory.


The Symposium is open to graduate students and recent PhD holders from North America and Europe. Please submit an abstract (maximum 400 words) and the attached curriculum vitae form to by October 10, 2011. Details and  updates will be available on our website .


We are looking forward to hearing from you!


Organizing Committee

Ukraine in Global Context: the 5th International Graduate Student Symposium

At Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

Munk School of Global Affairs

University of Toronto



Call for Papers

“The Wages of Nationhood: Conflicts, Compromises, and Costs”

17th Annual World Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN)


International Affairs Building,

Columbia University, NY

Sponsored by the Harriman Institute

19-21 April 2012


***Proposal deadline: 2 November 2011***


Contact information:

proposals must be submitted to: and


Over 140 PANELS on the Balkans, Central Europe and the Baltics, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Central Asia and Eurasia, the Caucasus, Turkey, China,

and Nationalism Studies



History, Politics, and Memory

Ethnicity and Violence

Religion and Multiculturalism


THEMATIC Panels on

Islam and Politics, Genocide and Mass Killing, Language Politics, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Autonomy, Gender and Identity, EU Integration, Migration, Borders and Diasporas, War Crimes and International Tribunals, Political Economy, Nation-Building, and many more…


SCREENING of New Documentaries




AWARDS for Best Doctoral Student Papers,

the ASN Harriman Joseph Rothschild Prize in Nationalism and Ethnic Studies,

the ASN Audience Award for Best Documentary


SPECIAL EVENTS for the ASN 40th Anniversary and sponsored by the ASN Journal Nationalities Papers


The ASN Convention, the most attended international and inter-disciplinary scholarly gathering of its kind, welcomes proposals on a wide range of topics related to nationalism, ethnicity, ethnic conflict and national identity in Central Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union, and Central Eurasia (including Central Asia, the Caucasus, Turkey, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq).


Prospective applicants can get a sense of the large thematic scope of ASN Convention papers by looking at the 2011 Final Program, which can be accessed at


The Convention also invites proposals devoted to comparative perspectives on nationalism-related issues in other regions of the world, as well as theoretical approaches that need not be grounded in any particular geographic region. Disciplines represented include political science, history, anthropology, sociology, international studies, security studies, geopolitics, area studies, economics, geography, sociolinguistics, literature, psychology, and related fields. Papers presented at the Convention will be made available for $10 on a CD to Convention attendees, but will neither be posted on the ASN website, nor be sold to Convention non-attendees.


The Convention is also inviting paper, panel, roundtable, or special presentation proposals related to three special thematic sidebars:

•“History, Politics and Memory,” on the construction and contestation of the memory of historical events in sites, political discourse and historical research;

•“Ethnicity and Violence,”on the conditions, mechanism, construction, implications and global perspective of violence perpetrated against “ethnic” or culturally-defined groups;

•“Religion and Multiculturalism”, on the social and political challenges related to the integration of religious-defined “old” and immigrant communities in modern societies.


Nationalities Papers, the ASN flagship journal, will hold the first Nationalities Debate, a high profile discussion on the state of the art, as well as a new edition of the roundtable “How To Get Your Article Published”, one of the most attended panels in the past two conventions. Nationalities Papers will also sponsor the opening reception.


For several years, the ASN Convention has acknowledged excellence in graduate studies research by offering Awards for Best Doctoral Student Papers. The winners at the 2011 Convention were Ljubica Spaskovska (U of Exeter, History, UK) for the Balkans, Christina Zuber (U of Köln, International Studies, Germany) for Central Europe, Kitty Lam (Michigan State U, History, US) for Russia/Ukraine/Caucasus, Leyla Amzi-Erdogdular (Columbia U, History, US) for Central Eurasia/Turkey, and Sarah Jenkins (U of Aberystwyth, International Politics, UK), for Nationalism Studies. Doctoral student applicants whose proposals are accepted for the 2012 Convention, who will not have defended their dissertation by 1 November 2011, and whose papers are delivered by the deadline, will automatically be considered for the awards.


The ASN Convention inaugurated in 2010 an annual ASN Harriman Book Prize—the Joseph Rothschild Prize in Nationalism and Ethnic Studies. The winner at the 2011 Convention was Carter Vaughn Findley for his monograph Turkey, Islam, Nationalism, and Modernity (Yale University Press, 2011). For information on how to have a book considered for the 2012 Book Prize, please contact Dmitry Gorenburg at, or go to


The 2012 Convention is also inviting submissions for documentaries made within the past few years and available in DVD format (either NTSC or PAL). The documentaries selected for the Convention will be screened during regular panel slots and, in several cases, will be followed by a discussion moderated by an academic expert. Films on the 2011 Program included Aghet—Ein Völkermord (Germany, 2010), Facing Genocide: Khieu Samphan and Pol Pot (Sweden, 2010), The Green Wave (Germany, 2010), Three Stories of Galicia (US, 2010), and Vlast (US, 2010). The full 2011 film lineup can be accessed at The Convention will also inaugurate an ASN Audience Award for Best Documentary. More details will be available later.


Proposal Information


The 2012 Convention invites proposals for individual papers or panels. A panel includes a chair, three or four presentations based on written papers, and a discussant. The Convention is also welcoming offers to serve as discussant on a panel to be created by the Program Committee from individual paper proposals. The application to be considered as discussant can be self-standing, or accompanied by an individual paper proposal.


There is no application form to fill out in order to send proposals to the Convention, but the three mandatory items indicated below (contact information, abstract, biographical statement) must be included in a single Word document (PDF documents will be accepted only if they are single-spaced). In addition, a Fact Sheet – downloaded from – is required.

A formal application email must thus include the attached Word document detailed above (contact info, abstract, bio), as well as the Fact Sheet (or multiple Fact Sheets in the case of panel proposals, i.e., one per panel member). Incomplete applications may not be processed. Applications for papers and for panels should be submitted in a single message. With the extremely high volume of correspondence, the Convention cannot process applications contained in several fragmentary messages.


Individual paper proposals must include four items:

*Contact information: the name, email, postal address and academic affiliation of the applicant

*A 300- to 500-word abstract (shorter abstracts will not be considered) with the title of the paper

*A 100-word biographical statement, in narrative form (one paragraph). CVs will be rejected.

Individual proposals featuring more than one author (joint proposal) must include the contact information and biographical statement of all authors and specify whether all co-authors intend to attend the Convention.

*A Fact Sheet, to be downloaded at (In the case of co-authors, only those intending to attend the Convention must send a Fact Sheet).


Panel proposals must include four items:

*Contact information (see above) of all proposed panelists.

*The title of the panel and a 200- to 300-word abstract of each paper.

*A 100-word biographical statement (see above) for each proposed panelist. CVs will be rejected

*A Fact Sheet for each panelist.

Proposals can also be sent for roundtables (with presentations not based on written papers) and book panels. The same four elements apply.


Proposals for documentaries must include four items:

*Contact information (see above)

*A 300- to 500-word abstract of the documentary

*A 100-word biographical statement (see above). CVs will be rejected.

*A Fact Sheet

Proposals for a roundtable following the screening of a film are most welcome. In these cases, the requirements of a panel proposal apply, in addition to the 300- to 500-word abstract of the film.


Proposals to serve as a discussant must include four items:

*Contact information (see above)

*A 100-word statement about your areas of expertise

*A 100-word biographical statement (see above). CVs will be rejected.

*A Fact Sheet (see above)

Proposals for applicants already included in an individual paper or panel proposal need only include the 100-word statement on areas of expertise.


IMPORTANT: As indicated above, all proposals must be sent in a single email message, with an attached proposal (contact info, abstract, bio statement) and an attached Fact Sheet (or multiple Fact Sheets, in the case of co-authors and/or panel proposals). Proposals including contact information, the abstract and the bio statement in separate attachments will not be considered. The proposals must be sent to AND


The receipt of all proposals will be promptly acknowledged electronically, with some delay during deadline week, due to the high volume of proposals.


Participants are responsible for covering all travel and accommodation costs. Unfortunately, ASN has no funding available for panelists.


An international Program Committee will be entrusted with the selection of proposals. Applicants will be notified by January 2012. Information regarding registration costs and other logistical questions will be communicated afterwards.


The full list of panels from last year’s convention can be accessed at


The programs from past conventions, going back to 2001, are also online at


Several dozen publishers and companies have had exhibits and/or advertised in the Convention Program in past years. Due to considerations of space, advertisers and exhibitors are encouraged to place their order early. For information, please contact Convention Executive Director Gordon N. Bardos (


The ASN Facebook page will post regular updates on the ASN 2011 Convention. To become a follower of ASN on Facebook, go to and click on the “Like” option.


ASN has also inaugurated the popular ASN Nationalities Blog in 2010. The blog can be accessed at and blog updates are posted on Facebook.


We very much look forward to hearing from you and receiving your proposal!


The Convention Organizing Committee:

Dominique Arel, ASN President

Gordon N. Bardos, Executive Director

Sherrill Stroschein, Program Chair

Florian Bieber, Zsuzsa Csergo, Dmitry Gorenburg, Vejas Liulevicius, and Harris Mylonas, ASN Executive Committee


Deadline for proposals: 2 November 2011 (to be sent to both AND


The ASN Convention’s headquarters are located at the:


Harriman Institute

Columbia University

1216 IAB

420 W. 118th St.

New York, NY 10027

212 854 8487 tel

212 666 3481 fax



Ukraine President Signals He May Yield on Tymoshenko

By James Marson

Wall Street Journal, 16 September 2011

KIEV, Ukraine—President Viktor Yanukovych hinted Friday he might yield to increasing Western pressure and end the trial of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko by changing Ukraine’s criminal code.


Speaking at a conference in Yalta, Mr. Yanukovych distanced himself from the trial of the opposition leader, calling it “very painful.” He said he hoped that the criminal code would be “modernized” this year. Political analysts said such an overhaul could decriminalize the article under which Ms. Tymoshenko is being tried.


The criminal code dates to 1962, when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, the president said. “That, undoubtedly, is nonsense,” he said, according to a transcript of his remarks posted on his website.


The prosecution of Ms. Tymoshenko has threatened to hamper Mr. Yanukovych’s push for deeper economic and political ties with the European Union. Ms. Tymoshenko is accused of exceeding her authority as prime minister by allegedly ordering a subordinate to sign an unfavourable gas-purchase contract with Russia in 2009.


EU and U.S. officials have raised concerns that the trial appears politically motivated. Senior European politicians have warned that the failure to free Ms. Tymoshenko could lead to refusal by parliaments of some EU states to ratify an association agreement.

The trial judge called an unexpected two-week pause in proceedings Monday, three days after a joint letter to Mr. Yanukovych by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton raised concerns about the case.


Analysts said the recess gives Mr. Yanukovych an opportunity to find a way out of the prosecution of Ms. Tymoshenko, a longtime rival. She accuses him of carrying out a political vendetta and using the trial to remove his leading opponent from the political scene.


EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule said after a meeting with Mr. Yanukovych on Friday: “We have been fully assured about his commitment to finding a solution,” Reuters news agency reported. “We would like to see her being fully a part of political life,” Mr. Fule said.


As the EU’s criticism is sharpening, Ukraine’s eastern neighbor Russia is pressing Mr. Yanukovych to accept its competing offer of closer political and economic ties.

Russia’s leaders have tried to tempt Mr. Yanukovych with an offer of lower gas prices, which Ukraine has long sought, in return for his agreement to take Ukraine into a Moscow-led customs union.


On Friday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Mr. Yanukovych’s declared aim of joining the EU is “completely unrealistic,” Interfax news agency reported.


Mr. Yanukovych, who will travel to Moscow on Sept. 24, repeated his rejection of Russia’s offer.



Ukraine Says ‘Immoral’ To Link EU Integration With Tymoshenko Trial

RFE/, 17 September 2011

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has said it is “immoral” to link his country’s European integration aspirations with the trial of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.


Azarov told reporters in the Black Sea resort of Yalta, “These are such serious things that it would be not only wrong  but also immoral to link it to the concrete trial.”


His remark comes a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel telephoned Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to express concerns that Ukraine’s court system is being used as a tool against political opponents.


Merkel told Yanukovych that European Union assistance to Ukraine depends on visible commitments to democracy and rule of law.

Merkel’s spokesman said the chancellor specifically named former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is currently detained and charged with corruption.



Yanukovych’s Selective Use Of Justice

by Taras Kuzio

RFE/RL, 12 September 2011


Barring an unlikely 11th-hour reprieve, it now looks inevitable that Ukraine’s former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, will find herself staring at a lengthy prison sentence. Yet prison bars will not silence her or those campaigning for freedom and democracy in Ukraine; a realization that is now dawning on authoritarian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Tymoshenko may be “pardoned” by President Yanukovych, who wants to appease the European Union in the face of Kyiv’s deteriorating relations with Russia. But the charge would still prevent Tymoshenko from running in future elections.

A “pardon” would do nothing to change the fact that countries respecting the rule of law do not criminally charge political decisions. Tymoshenko is accused of exceeding her authority and damaging the state when, as prime minister, she authorized a natural-gas agreement with Russia in the winter of 2009.

The January 2009 gas agreement ended a bruising, 17-day standoff that saw EU households shiver as gas supplies were disrupted. At the time, she was widely praised for resolving the dispute and removing the opaque intermediary company RosUkrEnergo from the gas trade, while transitioning Ukraine to European market prices for gas with a hefty 20 percent discount.

Not surprisingly, the trial, widely regarded as politically motivated, has prompted massive criticism from the international community and crossed a line that may have buried Ukraine’s hopes for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU. That was certainly the mood among American, Western, and Eastern European participants of the Krynica Economic Forum held on September 7-9.

The mood at the forum and in the EU as a whole is in favor of freezing the DCFTA during the ratification process until political prisoners are released. In Krynica, the Tymoshenko “show trial” was condemned as “barbarous” by some panelists.

No European or American government will accept the conviction of a defeated presidential opponent for making the “wrong” political decision. If politicians were tried for making bad decisions, itself a subjective view, there would be many sitting in the dock, blamed for everything from intervening in Iraq without explicit UN approval to bringing on the 2008 global financial crisis.

Turning All Against Him

The absence of a crime in Western eyes — something attested to by many legal experts and even by some of the former prime minister’s harshest critics — has not changed the policies of the Yanukovych administration, whose motives appear twofold.

Firstly, revenge for the personal humiliation of the 2004 Orange Revolution and for the removal of the RosUkrEnergo cash cow, which benefited highly placed oligarchs close to the president. Tymoshenko, unlike some other Ukrainian opposition leaders, has never been willing to play by their rules, and her removal is required to prepare Ukraine for a “managed democracy” where the ruling Party of Regions is faced by token opposition.

Secondly, giving Tymoshenko a criminal conviction and prison sentence stops her from running in next year’s parliamentary and 2015 presidential elections. A “pardon” or suspended sentence means she would stay out of prison, thus allowing her to campaign on behalf of others. The EU has already stated that, without opposition leaders allowed to run, it will be impossible to declare Ukraine’s 2012 elections as in accordance with democratic standards.

Today, Yanukovych finds himself on the horns of a dilemma of his own making.

Imprisoning the leader of Ukraine’s largest opposition party could jeopardize the association-agreement talks with the EU and ratification of the DCFTA with member states. German parliament deputies have already suggested they will be unwilling to ratify the agreement. Gernot Erler, a prominent member of the Social Democrats, issued a stern warning, “In places where election losers end up in jail because of political decisions, the European way has clearly been abandoned.”

Until now, the Socialist group in the European Parliament has been less critical of democratic regression in Ukraine than the center-right People’s Party. This is now changing, making it impossible for the European Parliament to ratify the DCFTA at a time when Ukraine has 40 political prisoners — twice the number in Belarus.

While Ukraine’s stock in Brussels is in decline, Yanukovych has very poor relations with Russia. Another gas crisis is looming this year, the third since 2006. U.S. diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks show that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has never held a positive view of Yanukovych. And Putin is most likely to be elected president in March 2012, meaning Moscow’s tough policies could become even harder.

A ‘Second Belarus’ In The Making?

Ironically, Yanukovych has succeeded in uniting 13 opposition parties and giving them a common purpose. Although self-preservation may be a motivational factor — if it’s Tymoshenko today it could be them tomorrow — this consideration is eclipsed by a genuine sense of outrage.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, no supporter of Tymoshenko, has called on Western governments to impose visa sanctions against leading members of the Yanukovych administration and for the opposition to boycott the 2012 elections

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