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Friday, December 25, 2009

Get a “Russkie Card” for Christmas!

Medvedev, Yanukovych and NGOs play
Russian language card in Ukraine elections

"Russian Card"

Russian president Dmytri Medvedev said his country does not have its “own” candidate in Ukraine’s 2010 presidential contest. But he made it clear that Moscow does not like incumbent Victor Yushchenko. Speaking in his year-end address to Russians, Medvedev said that his country will respect any choice the Ukrainian people make when they go to the polls on Jan. 17 (as long as it’s not Yushchenko). Medvedev did say that he hopes the new president will not, among other things, harm the Russian language.

Russia is looking to avoid the international embarrassment caused in 2004, when then-president Vladimir Putin congratulated Victor Yanukovych with victory prior to the announcement of official election results. After Ukraine’s highest court found the elections to be fraud-ridden and ordered a repeat round, Yanukovych lost to Yushchenko. This time around, Moscow has been careful not to endorse any single candidate, putting its eggs into as many baskets as possible – except Yushchenko’s.

With Russia’s help, Yanukovych has made “Russian as a state-language” a campaign issue, although polls show voters are more concerned with the economic and social issues (high prices and unemployment) than with Russian language rights.

But instead of overtly backing a candidate (Yanukovych or Yulia Tymoshenko, Moscow has prepared something else for Ukraine: an NGO.

Beaten by Ukrainian NGOs in 2004, the Kremlin began imitating successful civil society practices to serve its own, twenty-first-century-fascist ends. Moscow created “civil society” and “non-governmental” organizations like “Nashi” for youth at home.

In Ukraine, the Interregional Movement ‘Russian-language Ukraine’ (IMRU) is handing out “Russia is my fatherland” cards and offering material support to card-carrying members.

“Russian people” – by IMRU’s definition – are not limited to citizens of the Russian Federation. Rather, the term “Rus” is a broader concept that includes neighboring Ukraine and Belarus. The concept has religious overtones: Moscow Patriarch Kiril I defines the Orthodox union of the three countries as “Holy Rus”.

On the back of the card, the definition of what being “ruski” is provided: “Ruskey – is a concept simultaneously ethnic and spiritual political and cultural-historic.” Cardholders are simultaneously defenders of Ruski world and civilization.

By applying for a ‘Russia is my fatherland’ card, Ukrainians are the NGO implement the Russian State Duma Law on helping out Russians living in the near abroad (read: former Soviet republics.)

IMRU names the fund that is supporting its activities: the Russian “Russkie” Fund: Addresses and applications are available on the “Russian-language Ukraine” website: The international movement has its own social network site:

Here’s a quick translation of the recent Ruski Card announcement from IMRU’s website:



Esteemed countrymen!

The “Interregional Movement ‘Russian-language Ukraine’” Civic Organization is informing compatriots that everyone who wants a “Ruski card” – a document that designates Russia as his/her historical Fatherland – can turn to the following addresses:

“Ruski card” distribution points: [Three addresses and coordinator contact numbers in Donetsk, Slaviansk, Alchevsk in Luhansk oblast. See original for details (below).]

The owner of a “Ruski card” has the right to:

1. Obtain information on the activities of the “Interregional Movement ‘Russian-language Ukraine’” and the “Russkie” Fund for the Unity of Rus’ people

2. Receive informational support of the “Russkie” Fund on the territory of Russia

3. Apply for aid in social matters to the offices of IMRU

4. Receive legal aid within the competencies of IMRU

5. Receive support from IMRU in education and employment in the countries of the near abroad
6. Receive support from IMRU to independently provide decent life [standards] for himself/herself and families.

7. Participate in IMRU’s programs and projects, including:
a. Small and medium business development Project
b. IMRU’s “Reunification” Program (family search in Russia and CIS)
c. Obtain information and participate in the Russian Federation State Program on Aid for Volunteer Resettlement of Compatriots.


Olga K...
Director Donetsk

According to, the All-Ukrainian civic organization “Human rights civic movement ‘Russkoyazichnaya Ukrain” (RU) was registered by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine on Aug. 10, 2009. Its founding members include Russian Orthodox and Party of Regions leaders and activists.


The smoking Russian gun original of the Ruski Card announcement in Ukraine:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

24: Land and bread as election tools

"Congratulations on receiving your state act"
distributed with property deeds in Ukraine

Whoever said election faslifications are a thing of the past, are very wrong. Transit servers and "carousels" may be gone, but the other [political] technologies have become commonplace, especially in provincial Ukraine.’

A group of civic organizations has been conducting long term presidential elections monitoring. It's preliminary conclusion: the buying of votes, abuse of administrative resources and voter intimidation are back from extinction and actively used by key candidates' local campaign headquarters.'

In “Election faslificators: end to unemployment,” journalist Dmytro Hnap first takes aim at Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. He promises investigations into other candidates’ campaigns will follow. In this installment, he looks at the way Tymoshenko has used administrative means (adminresurs) to leverage her electoral rating.

Specifically, he looks at the five-month government program giving out property deeds – a move that cost tax payers 800 million hryvnia ($100 million) from the government’s stabilization fund.

The property deeds are gifted with pomp and circumstance and plenty of local media coverage. The deeds are distributed with the premier’s portrait “so the people won’t forget who gave them the land.”

In Ukraine’s northwestern regions, Tymoshenko’s heart and braid are plastered across “social stores” (sotlsialny magazyny) that offer the needy basic goods and foodstuffs at discount prices. The report, published on Ukrayinska Pravda website on Dec. 21, includes photos of the storefronts and interiors in Rivne and Zhytomyr oblasts.

A November elections monitoring report issued by Opora - a national network of civic activists - found that Tymoshenko and Victor Yanukovych used the distribution of medical goods at the height of the flu hype for campaign purposes. Victor Yushchenko has friendly oblast administrations installed in every oblast in Ukraine, except in the east that is loyal to Yanukovych. Tymoshenko’s eponymous bloc is a major force in oblast and city councils.

Thus the levers of administrative powers are in multiple hands for the 2010 elections (not like 2004!). In a way, the presidential elections are a dry run for the local self-government elections in March of next year.


See Ukrainian language original “Election faslificators: end to unemployment,” Dmytro Hnap, UkrPravda, Dec. 21, 2009,

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

25 days: Eight candidates pledge support for Ukraine Exit Poll

Exit Poll organizers plan to raise funds

among general public for Round Two

Ukrainian presidential hopeful Anatoliy Hrytsenko said that fellow candidates Inna Bohoslovska, Mykhailo Brodsky, Serhiy Ratushniak, Liudmyla Suprun, Serhiy Tihipko, Oleh Tiahnybok and Arseniy Yatseniuk have agreed to pitch in to pay for a national exit poll on January 17.

With less than a month to go, Exit Poll organizers said they needed at least another half million hryvnia (under $70,000) to conduct the alternative poll whose preliminary results would be announced on television immediately after polls close at 8 PM on election day.

Veteran exit poll organizers Democratic Initiatives Foundation, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KMIS) and the Razumkov Center for Economic and Political Research said they planned to poll 13,000 voters at 240 polling stations on the third Sunday of the New Year, giving the survey a 2.5% sample error.

Televised exit poll results have been a mainstay in Ukrainian politics since 1998 and have helped catch electoral fraud including the Ukraine presidential showdown five years ago when ballot box stuffing led to the Orange Revolution in late 2004.

The Ukrainian National Exit Poll 2010 has already secured financial support from a forum of international donors that include the International Renaissance Foundation, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ukraine, National Democracy Support Fund and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (USA).

DIF is conducting talks with other donors and recently scored some moral support from Madeline Albright who appeared on Ukrainian state TV on Dec. 20.

Other foreign donors, who have supported exit polls in the past, have cited “Ukraine fatigue” and lack of financial resources due to the global credit crunch as reasons for not backing the independent survey.

The support announced by Hrytsenko in Sumy on Dec. 22 would cover the first round of elections and exit poll organizers said they are still fundraising to cover the costs for the second round.

Ilko Kucheriv of the Democratic Initiatives Foundation said that he was in talk with banks to set up accounts for fundraising among the general public to pay for the poll. “If we get 50,000 people to donate 20 hryvnia each will raise 1 million hryvnia,” Kucheriv said.

Earlier this month the Kyiv Post reported that additional exit polls may be conducted by market research firms GfK, Research and Branding, FOM and SOCIS polling firms and the Opora civic activist group.

Exit Poll winners and losers

The eight (of eighteen) candidates who have announced their support for the exit poll are most interested in seeing the vote free and fair. There is no clear winner in the race with frontrunners Victor Yanukovych and Yulia Tymoshenko barely splitting 50 percent of the popular vote, according to recent predictions by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems.

With less than a month to go, polls show that the sixteen “outsider” candidates will split around 20 percent of the vote, with a high number (15 to 20 percent) of voters still undecided.

Every vote counts for everybody running in the tight race. They will determine each candidates’ weight for the second round of elections – expected to be held within three weeks of the first. Then the “losers” from found one will trade endorsements for governmental posts and other crony-like favors with the two “winners” from round one.

The election results from round one will likely be challenged in the courts by “losing” candidates. Although exit poll results are not a legal substitute for official returns, the survey will show how the extent of the fairness of the first round.


Related links:

National Exit Poll 2010 website (Ukrainian):

Presidential candidates agree to assign funds for exit poll”, Dec. 22:

Election watchers worried by lack of independent exit poll; survey essential to deterring vote fraud.” December 11, Mark Rachkevych,

International Foundation for Electoral Systems Ukraine Survey:

Monday, December 14, 2009

“Vodka tastes better than blood”

“impaling loathsome lords on pitchforks is a time-honored tradition”

“whenever justice is served there is never enough beer”

The prospect of political upheaval will be higher in Ukraine over the next two months, with voters going to the polls unconvinced about any of the eighteen ladies and gentlemen vying for the presidency. With no clear leader, a key twenty percent of likely voters were still undecided in late November.
Ukrainian author Gustav Vodichka has weighed in on the imminent elections with an alarming view of another “revolution” should it occur. These elections will likely be fought in the courts, but if Ukrainians are p-o-ed to the point Vodichka says, then watch out! A “we won’t be fooled again” revolution will make the revolt of 2004 look like a casual afternoon stroll through the orange grove.
Gustav Vodichka (a pen name that sounds like “thick water” or “thick little vodka”) pointed to the potential of things turning ugly in his article “Horizon of vengeance” (Ukrayinska Pravda, Dec. 8) translated below.
Vodichka is an author worth listening to: in his pre-Orange Revolution work “Country of dreaming angels” he pinpointed Ukrainians as being more Gandhi than Guevara. Today, he sees a potential for things turning ugly in the short term if full-scale revolution occurs.

Horizon of vengeance

When Ukraine’s “nobles” start wagging their tongues it feels like they should all be swinging from a noose.

The destruction of the Ukrainian ruling class is a popular erotic fantasy: one interesting to fall asleep with, but frightening to wake up to.

Naturally, our conscience bothers us. It’s a sin to desire thy neighbor’s death. It’s hard to accept the fact that these people have long grown distant from us. But there is no difference between those who rule today and the ferocious enemy that once invaded the Fatherland.

When the Germans trampled Ukraine, they were well-groomed, wealthy, beautiful, adroit, loved their children and parents, worshipped Germany and sought to seize Ukraine’s natural resources. Just like our oligarchs! They too are well-groomed, wealthy, beautiful, adroit, love their children and parents and worship Germany and similar vacation destinations. They have succeeded in seizing Ukraine’s natural resources, turned the population into slaves, covered the country with ruins and are squeezing the last life-juices out of everything still breathing.

It’s the same as the days of [Nazi] occupation: foreign cars speed along streets, new cafes, restaurants and flea markets are opened. They let us pray to God, stage sporting events, concerts and go the opera theater… Only millions of people have disappeared somewhere and are not coming back…

Credit is due: everything the mighty German machine could not do was easily accomplished by the sniveling local. The same people with whom we once slurped common bowls of soup at pioneer [Communist youth] camp.

Did these select citizens spend their childhoods dreaming about “picking pockets” and publicly pissing on peoples’ heads? Of course not!

During the Nuremberg trials it came to light that the accused – for whom the gallows wept – were exemplary family men and law-abiding patriots. Perhaps that is a social paradox or a quirk of human nature. But there is a difference between a criminal and a criminal society.

Criminals can join forces or be put into prison. A criminal society, on the other hand, is often comprised of “decent” people who can only “be put” into parliament.

Why break the law when you can write criminal ones?

It’s hard to believe that the Ukrainian political “elite” are not all just thieves, fraudsters, sadists, looters, pedophiles and other types of maniacs. There are those that genuinely love their country. When they weep in public and say that they pain for Ukraine – it’s the real truth.

But it’s the same kind of pain a family “suffers” when the favorite calf is slaughtered: everyone eats in silence, weeping, stuff their faces with fresh kill. Weeping and eating… Mourning while stuffing their faces

A scene truly worth sympathetic condolences.

They all have a cherished dream or burning passion. Someone wants a dacha by the ocean, another a pile of money, a third likes to give it his all on stage and become the “national hero”… Nothing grossly amoral, except that panty hose and knick knacks mysteriously disappear from children’s changing rooms [in Crimea – SB] …

That’s the nature of the criminal society: there is theft but no thieves.

In contrast to masses of mob-mentality humans who don’t know what they’re doing, the criminal society is an intelligent organism. Everyone knows what she or he is doing and also knows the consequences of their actions beforehand. There are no “accidental” people. Everyone contributes their chunk of the action silently, according to unwritten rules. It’s the safest way of committing a felony. Everything is allowed. Personal profit exists but personal responsibility does not. Thus either everybody is guilty, or nobody is.

In fighting cancer it’s naïve to target individual cells. But cutting out the entire tumor is a difficult task. Sharp steel instruments are required. And not everyone has the resolve to conduct such an operation…

Ukraine’s ruling class is a criminal society that cannot be put behind bars. And that’s too bad.

Where legal norms don’t work, historical ones will. Where revolution is always unfair. Where peoples’ tribunals do not require paperwork to make decisions. Where party lists turn into execution lists. Where it makes no sense to cry “I never stole a cent”… If you sat beside someone who did, that means you personally blessed the legality of everything that went on. It’ll be pointless to argue “but you yourselves elected us!” That’ll be like saying that the Jews went to Babyn Yar on their volition.

In life many things happen that are “against the rules.” When a bayonet spears a well-to-do gentleman or lady square through their expensive linens and checkbooks that evokes surprise. As if a proud peacock, although magnificent, is not just another bird. One that can be plucked and cooked for supper. Today he’s puffing up his cheeks, tomorrow: clucking for mercy. It must be frightening to die sitting on a golden toilet seat…

Ukrainians are wise people. We understand that vodka tastes better than blood. We don’t want to run along Khreshchatyk [street] chopping up oligarchs. It’s better to fall sleep on a crate of bullets in the garden. It’s pleasant to watch the enemies of the fatherland strangle one another in our dreams.

But they’re not letting us fall asleep!

A collective of squanders is beleaguering the entire nation. They shove their riches under our nose: “Envy us! We’re drowning in bird’s milk [the crème de la crème]! We’re living the good life purely by chance! Envy us! The right to shit in and on the public is not accessible to you. We took advantage of your old age and consumed your children’s resources! We devalued the fruits of your labor and knowledge! Your diplomas and military insignias are worth nothing! Our children and woman are laughing at you! What else do we need to do for you to explode?!”

We look away and wait… impaling loathsome lords on pitchforks is a time-honored tradition. Koliyivshchyna is our heroic epic. Haydamaky – our dear legend. Makhnovshchyna – spirit of national pride. The nation’s prophet tells us directly: sharpen the axes so the blood flows to the blue sea…

It’s clear that letting the band live will leave us with zero chances of progress. Our kids shouldn’t go to school if a lesson in morality is not included in the history being written today.

The horror is that people’s thirst for vengeance is uncontrollable. When the flames start burning, there’s no stopping them. The borders with the ruling class have eroded. There’s an oligarch in every village. Those who think themselves lords want peace. Those left out want justice.

And we know very well that whenever justice is served there is never enough beer. Making the choice is tormenting: beer or justice? Except history will have its way… More likely than not, we won’t be going for beers.

A criminal society cannot dissolve on its own. It cannot change or back away. Its habits are passed on by inheritance. It’s planning on living forever.

When a colony of parasites attacks a body doctors don’t argue for the rights of worms and larvae. There are no environmental concerns. Negotiating with ticks that are sucking blood is absurd – the concerned parties’ interests are slightly different…

Once the destruction of the ruling class ceases to be a folk dream and becomes a banal medical procedure, the most difficult part begins. We’ll have to start living healthy, constantly look after our self and take precautionary measures. And say “no” to many things.

Otherwise it’s pointless. If the nation’s body is ill then it will always be a feast for parasites.

They say that “social crisis” means that God is taking humanity to court.

Where God is judging men, lawyers won’t help….
See Russian language original:
Ukrainian language interview with Vodichka:

Friday, December 4, 2009

44 days: Putin, Tymoshenko and Obama jokes

“I don’t support Yulia Tymoshenko for the presidential election,” said Russian leader Vladimir Putin. “But we have a great amount of experience as functioning prime ministers. There’s a plan of common work and we are executing it,” Putin said in a recent interview.

Putin noted that as far as party politics go, his United Russia – the ruling party of power that dominates his country’s Duma – has a special relationship with Victor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.

Tymoshenko and Putin have held several joint press conferences in Russia and Ukraine since last year’s natural gas wars. Putin, likely to seek a repeat resurgent Russian presidency in 2012, has used the occasions to take pot shots at Ukraine and her president Victor Yushchenko. Not once did Tymoshenko come to the aid of the Ukraine’s head of state, laughing along at the cheap jokes at the expense of her country’s honor.

Tymoshenko wants to show voters in the countries’ eastern and southern regions that she is capable of good relations with Russia – an important electoral consideration if she wants to win the presidency.

November polls showed Tymoshenko trailing her main rival Victor Yanukovych by up to ten percent. But the number of undecided voters is double that difference. The undecided will decide who scores highest in the 16-candidate race slated for Jan. 17.

Meanwhile, Tymoshenko wants the western world to know that she wants good relations with everybody. When asked about her first three steps as president, Tymoshenko joked about following US President Barak Obama’s example.

Tymoshenko said that during Obama’s first televised interview as president, he was asked about the “Book of Secrets, that only the President of the USA can read.”

“Barak Obama joked in black humour that he had, naturally, read the book [of secrets], but that he can’t tell the journalist what’s in it, otherwise he’d be replaced immediately,” Tymoshenko said.

“That’s why I can’t say anything about my first steps. So that nobody has time to flee. I’m joking, of course,” Tymoshenko told Korespondent magazine.

Holod '09: Unsettled about Resettlement

Source: Typescript, Raphael Lemkin's unpublished History of Genocide, NYPL

Raphael Lemkin’s exposure of the Soviet genocide of Ukraine describes how a people were targeted for death in four steps. The Holodomor of 1932-33 – when millions died of starvation in the breadbasket of Europe – was step number three in a process that was repeated and spanned decades.

“The systematic destruction of the Ukrainian nation” by the Soviets, according to Lemkin, began with a “blow aimed at the national brain – teachers, writers, artists, thinkers, political leaders were liquidated, imprisonment or deported” between 1920 and 1933.

Simultaneously Ukraine’s “soul” was targeted in an “offensive against the churches, priests and hierarchy” – a process Lemkin described as ongoing in 1945, when the Soviets established rule in Western Ukraine.

The “third prong of the Soviet plan was aimed at the farmers, the large mass of independent peasants who are the repository of the tradition, folk lore and music, the national language and literature, the national spirit, of Ukraine. The weapon used against this body is perhaps the most terrible of all – starvation. Between 1932 and 1933, 5,000,000 Ukrainians starved to death, an inhumanity which the 73rd [U.S.] Congress decried on May 28, 1934.”

Thus, the United States recognized the Holodomor. But back in 1934, the word "genocide" was not around to describe the grave crime against humanity. Only fifteen years later would the UN would adopt the 'legal' term genocide.

“The fourth step in the process consisted in the fragmentation of the Ukrainian people at once by the addition to Ukraine of foreign peoples and by the dispersion of the Ukrainians throughout Eastern Europe. In this way, ethnic unity would be destroyed and nationalities mixed. Between 1920 and 1939, the population of Ukraine changed from 80 percent Ukrainian to only 63 percent,” Lemkin wrote.

The criminal intent on part of the Soviet state is evidenced by its plan to re-populate the purposefully-depopulated areas. It shows that genocide was designed and executed by governmental order.

Evidence of this can be found (inter alia) in the documents of the aptly-named All-Union Resettlement Committee of the Council of Peoples’ Commissars. The documents – found in declassified Soviet archives in Russia and Ukraine – show that the government was literally counting on the deaths of hundreds of thousands in Ukraine in order to make room for “resettlers” from abroad. This was government-run ethnic cleansing.

A government resolution dated August 1933 orders AURC to “organize the resettlement of 10 thousand families to Kuban and Terek, and 15 to 20 thousand families to Ukraine… by the beginning of 1934.”

Four months later, the AURC reported the plan for resettling Ukraine was over-performed at 104 percent. The December 29, 1933 report is very detailed: “In total, 21,856 collective farm, 117,149 persons, 14,897 horses, 21,898 cows and 38,750 heads of other livestock have been relocated.”

A table in the doucment shows the “source” and “destination” oblasts. The sources are five oblasts in what are modern-day Russia and Belarus. The destination oblasts are four in Ukraine: Odesa, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk.

This is just one resettlement. In the course of seventy years, the Soviet Union not only killed millions of its own people, it forcedly resettled unfathomable millions as well. It was a great shuffle of humanity and cleansing of ethnicities on the quest to create a “denationalized” homo sovieticus.

For AURC reports, see: Holodomor of 1932-33 in Ukraine: Documents and materials (Kyiv, 2008). Compiled by Prof. Ruslan Pyrih, Documents #68 (p.116) and #73 (p. 121)