Skip to comments.Ukraine PM rejects traitor accusations: report (Tymoshenko seeks Putin's Political Support)
Posted on 08/20/2008 4:29:11 PM PDT by GOPGuide
Ukraine's Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Wednesday refuted allegations of treason levelled by the presidency which hinted that she sided with Russia over the conflict in Georgia, a report said.
Tymoshenko, who is locked in a bitter feud with her erstwhile ally President Viktor Yushchenko said she wanted to "immediately refute this declarations," according to the Interfax news agency.
In a statement from administration official Andri Kyslynsky, the presidency said earlier Wednesday, "the actions of the current prime minister show signs of high treason and political corruption."
Kyslynsky offered no proof, but said that "we are handing over materials in our possession to the security forces for a detailed examination."
He said suspicions centred on Tymoshenko's silence over Russian actions in Georgia, whose president, Mikheil Saakashvili, is a close ally of Yushchenko.
He also said that Tymoshenko was seeking the Kremlin's support ahead of a bid for Ukraine's presidency in an election due between 2009 and 2010.
Analysts and the media in Ukraine have raised concerns that Russian troops will target the country's Crimea peninsua as long as Yushchenko continues to openly support Tbilisi in the Georgia-Russia conflict.
Crimea is home to the naval port city of Sevastopol where Russia's Black Sea fleet has been based since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. It also has a large Russophone population with pro-Moscow sympathies.
Last week, Yushchenko heightened fears that Ukraine, a close ally of Tbilisi, could be caught up in the conflict when he imposed new restrictions on the Black Sea fleet.
In a veiled criticism of the president, Tymoshenko on Wednesday called for a more considered approach.
"Concerning the tensions between Ukraine and the Black Sea Fleet... I think that the Ukrainian authorities should behave in a more responsible way and not lead Ukraine into military conflicts," Interfax quoted her as saying.
A criminal investigation into the poisoning of the Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko began yesterday after tests showed that his blood contained 1,000 times the normal level of dioxin.
The poisoning caused the severe chloracne which led to the disfigurement of his face.
The results of the investigation are likely to prove politically explosive amid feverish speculation that Mr Yushchenko was the victim of a Cold War-style poisoning by members of the country's intelligence services.
The inquiry, announced by the Ukrainian authorities last night, will be led by a prosecutor general who recently took on his post as part of a deal between the opposition and the authorities aimed at ending the country's political stand-off.
Several officials have recently defected from the government to Mr Yushchenko's camp, increasing the likelihood that the truth behind the apparent attempt to kill him will be made public.
Last night Mr Yushchenko, who returned to Kiev from a private clinic in Vienna with his wife, Kateryna, and baby, sought to draw a line under the case until after a new round of presidential elections on Dec 26.
"I don't want this factor to influence the election in some way, either as a plus or a minus" he said. "This question will require a great deal of time and serious investigation. Let us do it after the election. Today is not the moment."
He went on to praise the tens of thousands of Ukrainians who demonstrated for weeks in sub-zero temperatures until the authorities agreed to a new vote. "We haven't seen anything like that for the past 100 years. I think it would be appropriate to compare this to the fall of the Soviet Union or the fall of the Berlin Wall."
Viennese doctors said at the weekend that tests showed Mr Yuschenko had ingested a near-fatal dose of dioxin, probably in his food or drink.
Confirmation that he was poisoned is likely to improve his chances in the run-off. Doctors have given him the go-ahead to return to the campaign trail but said it may be years before his face returns to normal.
The disclosure that Mr Yushchenko had ingested dioxin, an extremely rare poison, has increased suspicion that the regime of the outgoing president, Leonid Kuchma, which had the most to gain from his demise, may have been involved.
Mr Yushchenko fell mysteriously ill in September after a late dinner at the country house of Volodymyr Satysuk, the first deputy chairman of the SBU, Ukraine's intelligence service and the successor to the KGB.
Other senior security officials were present including Ihor Smeshko, the head of the SBU. Mr Yushchenko began suffering agonising abdominal pains the day after the dinner. He partially recovered but his face has been left bloated, covered in lesions and turned bluish-grey.
A Ukrainian parliamentary investigation concluded that there was no evidence he had been poisoned and suggested that his liver became infected after the party ate sushi that had not been refrigerated properly. Government officials privately dismissed his claims that he had survived an assassination attempt, saying he had probably drunk too much brandy or contracted herpes.
However, suspicions that members of the intelligence services could have been involved grew yesterday after doctors disclosed that the poisoning was only confirmed because of a newly pioneered test and would otherwise have been untraceable. Dr Michael Zimpfer, director of the clinic in Vienna that treated Mr Yushchenko, said it was only after blood and tissue samples were sent to Amsterdam that doctors were able to confirm their suspicions.
"Until recently there has been no testing available. This may be one of the reasons that this kind of poisoning, if it was a criminal act, was chosen." Some opposition politicians have voiced suspicions that the Russian security services may have been involved in an attempt to incapacitate Mr Yushchenko, who has called for closer ties between Ukraine and the European Union and Nato.
The Kremlin campaigned hard for Mr Yanukovich ahead of the elections and President Vladimir Putin twice visited the former Soviet republic. At least one Russian analyst has disputed the diagnosis offered by the Viennese doctors.
Yuri Ostapenko, the head of the Russian health ministry's poison centre, said: "Dioxin is not a poison with immediate effect. Its toxicity builds up over years, dozens of years, and it is impossible to receive a dose one day that would poison you the next."
Yushchenko: Russia blocking poisoning probe
By Bonnie Malkin and agencies, September 12, 2007
Mr Yushchenko before and after the poisoning
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has said officials in Russia were hindering an investigation to determine who was behind his poisoning during the 2004 presidential election campaign.
The president told The Times Russian laboratories were refusing to provide samples of the dioxin poison, even though he had discussed the matter with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin. He also said Russia was refusing to extradite three suspects.
"Three laboratories in the world were producing dioxin of this formula. It is very easy to determine the origin of the substance; there is nothing magical about it," he told the Times.
"Two laboratories provided samples but not the Russian side. This, of course, limits the possibilities of the investigation process."
Mr Yushchenko, a pro-European politician who wanted to bring his country out of Russia's shadow, fell seriously ill on September 6, 2004 as he was competing in presidential elections against a pro-Moscow candidate, Viktor Yanukovich, now prime minister.
After months of tests in an Austrian clinic, it was determined that he had ingested a massive amount of the poison dioxin.
Although he survived, his face was left bloated and pockmarked, and he has had to undergo regular treatment to rid his body of the toxin.
In an interview with Le Figaro he said he believed the dioxin used to disfigure him was made in a Russian lab.
Mr Yushchenko did not directly accuse the Russian government of being behind his poisoning, but he did say he had "practically put all the pieces together" and the attempt against him "was not a private action".
"The investigators know when, what meal, where, who. There is information on three key people who are in Russia," he said, adding that he had spoken about the matter to Russian President Vladimir Putin last December.
"Since then, unfortunately, there has been no response. I am convinced that after these people are questioned the facts will be proved."
Mr Yushchenko told Le Figaro that his pro-European instincts were unchanged, and that he still intended to have his country one day join NATO.
That looks like a “color” tv set from the sixties. What does it have to do with the Ukraine?
Wheat and the sky.Ukraine.Belongs to the Ukrainians, that Ukraine does. Imagery that figures prominently their literature and film, you know,..............Overlay was created by a Ukrainian artist to illustrate the beauty of the region.............................
And to think what Stalin did there in 1932. AND how the New York Times tried to cover the whole thing up!
Ukraine Famine - 1932-1933 - 7,000,000 Deaths
Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, set in motion events designed to cause a famine in the Ukraine to destroy the people there seeking independence from his rule. As a result, an estimated 7,000,000 persons perished in this farming area, known as the breadbasket of Europe, with the people deprived of the food they had grown with their own hands.
The campaign to revoke Walter Durantys Pulitzer.
May 7, 2003
We will never know how many Ukrainians died in Stalin's famines of the early 1930s. As Nikita Khrushchev later recalled, "No one was keeping count." Writing back in the mid- 1980s, historian Robert Conquest came up with a death toll of around six million, a calculation not so inconsistent with later research (the writers of The Black Book of Communism (1999) estimated a total of four million for 1933 alone).
Four million, six million, seven million, when the numbers are this grotesque does the exact figure matter? Just remember this instead:
The first family to die was the Rafalyks father, mother and a child. Later on the Fediy family of five also perished of starvation. Then followed the families of Prokhar Lytvyn (four persons), Fedir Hontowy (three persons), Samson Fediy (three persons). The second child of the latter family was beaten to death on somebody's onion patch. Mykola and Larion Fediy died, followed by Andrew Fediy and his wife; Stefan Fediy; Anton Fediy, his wife and four children (his two other little girls survived); Boris Fediy, his wife and three children: Olanviy Fediy and his wife; Taras Fediy and his wife; Theodore Fesenko; Constantine Fesenko; Melania Fediy; Lawrenty Fediy; Peter Fediy; Eulysis Fediy and his brother Fred; Isidore Fediy, his wife and two children; Ivan Hontowy, his wife and two children; Vasyl Perch, his wife and child; Makar Fediy; Prokip Fesenko: Abraham Fediy; Ivan Skaska, his wife and eight children.
Some of these people were buried in a cemetery plot; others were left lying wherever they died. For instance, Elizabeth Lukashenko died on the meadow; her remains were eaten by ravens. Others were simply dumped into any handy excavation. The remains of Lawrenty Fediy lay on the hearth of his dwelling until devoured by rats.*
And that's just one village Fediivka, in the Poltava Province.
We will never know whether Walter Duranty, the principal New York Times correspondent in the U.S.S.R., ever visited Fediivka. Almost certainly not. What we do know is that, in March 1933, while telling his readers that there had indeed been "serious food shortages" in the Ukraine, he was quick to reassure them that "there [was] no actual starvation." There had been no "deaths from starvation," he soothed, merely "widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition." So that was all right then.
But, unlike Khrushchev, Duranty, a Pulitzer Prize winner, no less, was keeping count in the autumn of 1933 he is recorded as having told the British Embassy that ten million had died. ** "The Ukraine," he said, "had been bled white," remarkable words from the journalist who had, only days earlier, described talk of a famine as "a sheer absurdity," remarkable words from the journalist who, in a 1935 memoir had dismayingly little to say about one of history's greatest crimes. Writing about his two visits to the Ukraine in 1933, Duranty was content to describe how "the people looked healthier and more cheerful than [he] had expected, although they told grim tales of their sufferings in the past two years." As Duranty had explained (writing about his trip to the Ukraine in April that year), he "had no doubt that the solution to the agrarian problem had been found".
Well, at least he didn't refer to it as a "final" solution.
As the years passed, and the extent of the famine and the other, innumerable, brutalities of Stalin's long tyranny became increasingly difficult to deny, Duranty's reputation collapsed (I wrote about this on NRO a couple of years ago), but his Pulitzer Prize has endured.
Ah, that Pulitzer Prize. In his will old Joseph Pulitzer described what the prize was designed to achieve: " The encouragement of public service, public morals, American literature, and the advancement of education."
In 1932 the Pulitzer Board awarded Walter Duranty its prize. It's an achievement that the New York Times still celebrates. The gray lady is pleased to publish its storied Pulitzer roster in a full-page advertisement each year, and, clearly, it finds the name of Duranty as one that is still fit to print. His name is near the top of the list, an accident of chronology, but there it is, Duranty, Times man, denier of the Ukrainian genocide proudly paraded for all to see. Interestingly, the list of prizewinners posted on the New York Times Company's website is more forthcoming: Against Duranty's name, it is noted that "other writers in the Times and elsewhere have discredited this coverage."
Understandably enough, Duranty's Pulitzer is an insult that has lost none of its power to appall. In a new initiative, Ukrainian groups have launched a fresh campaign designed to persuade the Pulitzer Prize Board to revoke the award to Duranty. The Pulitzer's nabobs do not appear to be impressed. A message dated April 29, 2003 from the board's administrator to one of the organizers of the Ukrainian campaign includes the following words:
The current Board is aware that complaints about the Duranty award have surfaced again. [The campaign's] submission will be placed on file with others we have received. However, to date, the Board has not seen fit to reverse a previous Board's decision, made seventy years ago in a different era and under different circumstances.
A "different era," "different circumstances" would that have been said, I wonder, about someone who had covered up Nazi savagery? But then, more relevantly, the Pulitzer's representative notes that Duranty's prize was awarded "for a specific set of stories in 1931," in other words, before the famine struck with its full, horrific, force. And there he has a point. The prize is designed to reward a specific piece of journalism not a body of work. To strip Duranty of the prize on the grounds of his subsequent conduct, however disgusting it may have been, would be a retrospective change of the rules, behavior more typical of the old U.S.S.R. than today's U.S.A.
But what was that "specific set of stories?" Duranty won his prize " for [his] dispatches on Russia especially the working out of the Five Year Plan." They were, said the Pulitzer Board "marked by scholarship, profundity, impartiality, sound judgment and exceptional clarity ."
Really? As summarized by S. J. Taylor in her excellent and appropriately titled biography of Duranty, Stalin's Apologist, the statement with which Duranty accepted his prize gives some hint of the "sound judgment" contained in his dispatches.
""Despite present imperfections," he continued, he had come to realize there was something very good about the Soviets' "planned system of economy." And there was something more: Duranty had learned, he said, "to respect the Soviet leaders, especially Stalin, who [had grown] into a really great statesman.""
In truth, of course, this was simply nonsense, a distortion that, in some ways bore even less resemblance to reality than "Jimmy's World," the tale of an eight-year-old junkie that, briefly, won a Pulitzer for Janet Cooke of the Washington Post. Tragic "Jimmy" turned out not to exist. He was a concoction, a fiction, nothing more. The Post did the right thing Cooke's prize was rapidly returned.
After 70 years the New York Times has yet to do the right thing. There is, naturally, always room for disagreement over how events are interpreted, particularly in an era of revolutionary change, but Duranty's writings clearly tipped over into propaganda, and, often, outright deception, a cynical sugarcoating of the squalor of a system in which he almost certainly didn't believe. His motivation seems to have been purely opportunistic, access to the Moscow "story" for the Times and the well-paid lifestyle and the fame ("the Great Duranty" was, some said, the best-known journalist in the world) that this brought. Too much criticism of Stalin's rule and this privileged existence would end. Duranty's "Stalin" was a lie, not much more genuine than Janet Cooke's "Jimmy" and, as he well knew at the time, so too were the descriptions of the Soviet experiment that brought him that Pulitzer.
And if that is not enough to make the Pulitzer Board to reconsider withdrawing an award that disgraces both the name of Joseph Pulitzer and his prize, it is up to the New York Times to insist that it does so.
*From an account quoted in Robert Conquest's The Harvest of Sorrow.
** On another occasion (a dinner party, ironically) that autumn Duranty talked about seven million deaths.
and to think Russia plans to rule over them with an Iron Fist again.The beast wants to eat again.
Coat of Arms
Please remove me from your ping list I will be offline for 4 months or so. Thanks!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.