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написано 26 Ноября 2004 13:50ИнфоПравкаОтветитьIP

Ukraine vote on hold after court ruling


Nick Paton Walsh in Kiev and Ewen MacAskill
Friday November 26, 2004
The Guardian

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, yesterday accused the US and the European Union of encouraging "mayhem" on the streets of Ukraine, and warned them against interfering further in the current election crisis.
Speaking after a failed EU-Russia summit in the Hague, he told the international community to let the Ukrainian issue be decided in the courts.

His remarks came as the Ukrainian supreme court blocked Viktor Yanukovich, Russia's favoured candidate who was declared the winner on Wednesday by a 3% margin, from assuming the presidency.

The court said the results could not be officially published until after a hearing on Monday into dozens of complaints from the opposition into alleged election fraud.

Mr Yanukovich cannot become president until the results are officially published.

The opposition leader, Viktor Yushchenko, hailed the court's ruling when he addressed tens of thousands of supporters crowded into Kiev's Independence Square for the fifth day in a row. "This is only the beginning," he said. "It is proof that it is society that always wins. It is small compensation for the suffering that we have endured."

The crisis has the potential to produce the biggest rift between Mr Putin and the US since the Iraq war last year and increase existing tensions between Russia and the EU.

The row overshadowed an EU-Russia summit which was intended to put together a package of measures covering security and trade but which broke up without agreement.

At a press conference afterwards, Mr Putin issued an implicit rebuke to both the US and the EU, though he did not mention either by name. The US has said it will not accept the results as they stand, and the EU has said Sunday's poll was seriously flawed.

Mr Putin suggested they stand aside. "We should not introduce in the practice of international life a means of addressing similar disputes through mayhem on the street," he said. "All claims should go to the courts.

"We don't believe it is our right to interfere in any way in the electoral process or impose our opinion on the Ukranian people."

Relations between Russia and the EU have been tense much of this year, with Mr Putin unnerved by expansion eastwards of the EU towards Russia.

Moscow overtly supported Mr Yanukovich throughout the campaign. Mr Putin, who visited Kiev twice during the campaign, yesterday sent congratulations to Mr Yanuk-ovich and anticipated him bringing "the Russian-Ukrainian strategic partnership to a new level".

A general strike and campaign of civil disobedience, called by the opposition earlier this week and scheduled to begin yesterday, produced only patchy responses.

Markian Bilynskyj, an opposition analyst, said that if the supreme court failed to produce the right result for Mr Yushchenko, his supporters would set about paralysing the country's communications network. He suggested army units in the west could disrupt pipelines carrying Russian gas and oil to Europe.

Ruslana Lezhychko, the Ukrainian winner of the Eurovision song contest, announced a hunger strike in support of the opposition. Hundreds of state TV journalists also began protesting. And last night, approximately 100 members of a police unit went over to the protesters' side - one of them read a statement of support and the crowd shouted "Good guys!"

As the crowd showed no signs of ebbing - despite a temperature of minus 6C - hopes of a political compromise that would satisfy both sides seemed to fade.

Mr Yushchenko also ap peared to reject backroom deals saying any negotiations would be "transparent".


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написано 26 Ноября 2004 13:52ИнфоПравкаОтветитьIP

Ukraine's postmodern coup d'etat


Yushchenko got the US nod, and money flooded in to his supporters

Jonathan Steele
Friday November 26, 2004
The Guardian

Oranges can often be bitter, and the mass street protests now going on in Ukraine may not be quite as sweet as their supporters claim.
For one thing the demonstrators do not reflect nationwide sentiments. Ukraine is riven by deep historical, religious and linguistic divisions. The crowds in the street include a large contingent from western Ukraine, which has never felt comfortable with rule from Kiev, let alone from people associated with eastern Ukraine, the home-base of Viktor Yanukovich, the disputed president-elect.

Their traditions are not always pleasant. Some protesters have been chanting nationalistic and secessionist songs from the anti-semitic years of the second world war.

Nor are we watching a struggle between freedom and authoritarianism as is romantically alleged. Viktor Yushchenko, who claims to have won Sunday's election, served as prime minister under the outgoing president, Leonid Kuchma, and some of his backers are also linked to the brutal industrial clans who manipulated Ukraine's post-Soviet privatisation.

On some issues Yushchenko may be a better potential president than Yanukovich, but to suggest he would provide a sea-change in Ukrainian politics and economic management is naive. Nor is there much evidence to imagine that, were he the incumbent president facing a severe challenge, he would not have tried to falsify the poll.

Countless elections in the post-Soviet space have been manipulated to a degree which probably reversed the result, usually by unfair use of state television, and sometimes by direct ballot rigging. Boris Yeltsin's constitutional referendum in Russia in 1993 and his re-election in 1996 were early cases. Azerbaijan's presidential vote last year was also highly suspicious.

Yet after none of those polls did the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the main international observer body, or the US and other western governments, make the furious noise they are producing today. The decision to protest appears to depend mainly on realpolitik and whether the challengers or the incumbent are considered more "pro-western" or "pro-market".

In Ukraine, Yushchenko got the western nod, and floods of money poured in to groups which support him, ranging from the youth organisation, Pora, to various opposition websites. More provocatively, the US and other western embassies paid for exit polls, prompting Russia to do likewise, though apparently to a lesser extent.

The US's own election this month showed how wrong exit polls can be. But they provide a powerful mobilising effect, making it easier to persuade people to mount civil disobedience or seize public buildings on the grounds the election must have been stolen if the official results diverge.

Intervening in foreign elections, under the guise of an impartial interest in helping civil society, has become the run-up to the postmodern coup d'etat, the CIA-sponsored third world uprising of cold war days adapted to post-Soviet conditions. Instruments of democracy are used selectively to topple unpopular dictators, once a successor candidate or regime has been groomed.

In Ukraine's case this is playing with fire. Not only is the country geographically and culturally divided - a recipe for partition or even civil war - it is also an important neighbour to Russia. Putin has been clumsy, but to accuse Russia of imperialism because it shows close interest in adjoining states and the Russian-speaking minorities who live there is a wild exaggeration.

Ukraine has been turned into a geostrategic matter not by Moscow but by the US, which refuses to abandon its cold war policy of encircling Russia and seeking to pull every former Soviet republic to its side. The EU should have none of this. Many Ukrainians certainly want a more democratic system. Putin is not inherently against this, however authoritarian he is in his own country. What concerns him is instability, the threat of anti-Russian regimes on his borders, and American mischief.

The EU should therefore press for a compromise in Kiev, which might include power-sharing. More importantly, it should give Ukraine the option of future membership rather than the feeble "action plan" of cooperation currently on offer. This would set Ukraine on a surer path to irreversible reform than anything that either Yushchenko or Yanukovich may promise.

Sceptics wonder where the EU's enlargement will end, but Ukraine is undoubtedly a European nation in a way that the states of the Caucasus, of central Asia and of north Africa are not.

The EU must also make a public statement that it sees no value in Nato membership for Ukraine, and those EU members who belong to Nato will not support it. At a stroke this would calm Russia's legitimate fears and send a signal to Washington not to go on inflaming a purely European issue.


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написано 26 Ноября 2004 13:57ИнфоПравкаОтветитьIP

US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev


Ian Traynor
Friday November 26, 2004
The Guardian

With their websites and stickers, their pranks and slogans aimed at banishing widespread fear of a corrupt regime, the democracy guerrillas of the Ukrainian Pora youth movement have already notched up a famous victory - whatever the outcome of the dangerous stand-off in Kiev.
Ukraine, traditionally passive in its politics, has been mobilised by the young democracy activists and will never be the same again.

But while the gains of the orange-bedecked "chestnut revolution" are Ukraine's, the campaign is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes.

Funded and organised by the US government, deploying US consultancies, pollsters, diplomats, the two big American parties and US non-government organisations, the campaign was first used in Europe in Belgrade in 2000 to beat Slobodan Milosevic at the ballot box.

Richard Miles, the US ambassador in Belgrade, played a key role. And by last year, as US ambassador in Tbilisi, he repeated the trick in Georgia, coaching Mikhail Saakashvili in how to bring down Eduard Shevardnadze.

Ten months after the success in Belgrade, the US ambassador in Minsk, Michael Kozak, a veteran of similar operations in central America, notably in Nicaragua, organised a near identical campaign to try to defeat the Belarus hardman, Alexander Lukashenko.

That one failed. "There will be no Kostunica in Belarus," the Belarus president declared, referring to the victory in Belgrade.

But experience gained in Serbia, Georgia and Belarus has been invaluable in plotting to beat the regime of Leonid Kuchma in Kiev.

The operation - engineering democracy through the ballot box and civil disobedience - is now so slick that the methods have matured into a template for winning other people's elections.

In the centre of Belgrade, there is a dingy office staffed by computer-literate youngsters who call themselves the Centre for Non-violent Resistance. If you want to know how to beat a regime that controls the mass media, the judges, the courts, the security apparatus and the voting stations, the young Belgrade activists are for hire.

They emerged from the anti-Milosevic student movement, Otpor, meaning resistance. The catchy, single-word branding is important. In Georgia last year, the parallel student movement was Khmara. In Belarus, it was Zubr. In Ukraine, it is Pora, meaning high time. Otpor also had a potent, simple slogan that appeared everywhere in Serbia in 2000 - the two words "gotov je", meaning "he's finished", a reference to Milosevic. A logo of a black-and-white clenched fist completed the masterful marketing.

In Ukraine, the equivalent is a ticking clock, also signalling that the Kuchma regime's days are numbered.

Stickers, spray paint and websites are the young activists' weapons. Irony and street comedy mocking the regime have been hugely successful in puncturing public fear and enraging the powerful.

Last year, before becoming president in Georgia, the US-educated Mr Saakashvili travelled from Tbilisi to Belgrade to be coached in the techniques of mass defiance. In Belarus, the US embassy organised the dispatch of young opposition leaders to the Baltic, where they met up with Serbs travelling from Belgrade. In Serbia's case, given the hostile environment in Belgrade, the Americans organised the overthrow from neighbouring Hungary - Budapest and Szeged.

In recent weeks, several Serbs travelled to the Ukraine. Indeed, one of the leaders from Belgrade, Aleksandar Maric, was turned away at the border.

The Democratic party's National Democratic Institute, the Republican party's International Republican Institute, the US state department and USAid are the main agencies involved in these grassroots campaigns as well as the Freedom House NGO and billionaire George Soros's open society institute.

US pollsters and professional consultants are hired to organise focus groups and use psephological data to plot strategy.

The usually fractious oppositions have to be united behind a single candidate if there is to be any chance of unseating the regime. That leader is selected on pragmatic and objective grounds, even if he or she is anti-American.

In Serbia, US pollsters Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates discovered that the assassinated pro-western opposition leader, Zoran Djindjic, was reviled at home and had no chance of beating Milosevic fairly in an election. He was persuaded to take a back seat to the anti-western Vojislav Kostunica, who is now Serbian prime minister.

In Belarus, US officials ordered opposition parties to unite behind the dour, elderly trade unionist, Vladimir Goncharik, because he appealed to much of the Lukashenko constituency.

Officially, the US government spent $41m (?21.7m) organising and funding the year-long operation to get rid of Milosevic from October 1999. In Ukraine, the figure is said to be around $14m.

Apart from the student movement and the united opposition, the other key element in the democracy template is what is known as the "parallel vote tabulation", a counter to the election-rigging tricks beloved of disreputable regimes.

There are professional outside election monitors from bodies such as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, but the Ukrainian poll, like its predecessors, also featured thousands of local election monitors trained and paid by western groups.

Freedom House and the Democratic party's NDI helped fund and organise the "largest civil regional election monitoring effort" in Ukraine, involving more than 1,000 trained observers. They also organised exit polls. On Sunday night those polls gave Mr Yushchenko an 11-point lead and set the agenda for much of what has followed.

The exit polls are seen as critical because they seize the initiative in the propaganda battle with the regime, invariably appearing first, receiving wide media coverage and putting the onus on the authorities to respond.

The final stage in the US template concerns how to react when the incumbent tries to steal a lost election.

In Belarus, President Lukashenko won, so the response was minimal. In Belgrade, Tbilisi, and now Kiev, where the authorities initially tried to cling to power, the advice was to stay cool but determined and to organise mass displays of civil disobedience, which must remain peaceful but risk provoking the regime into violent suppression.

If the events in Kiev vindicate the US in its strategies for helping other people win elections and take power from anti-democratic regimes, it is certain to try to repeat the exercise elsewhere in the post-Soviet world.

The places to watch are Moldova and the authoritarian countries of central Asia.


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написано 26 Ноября 2004 23:55ИнфоПравкаОтветитьIP

Спасибо, интересно. Особенно если сопоставить с некоторыми статьями в Российских СМИ.


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написано 29 Ноября 2004 13:02ИнфоПравкаОтветитьIP

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