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06KIEV2247, UKRAINE: SEA BREEZE JUNE 8 UPDATE

June 8, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV2247 2006-06-08 16:11 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
VZCZCXRO2500
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #2247/01 1591611
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 081611Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9804
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KIEV 002247 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/08/2016 
TAGS: PGOV MARR PREL NATO PINR UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: SEA BREEZE JUNE 8 UPDATE 

REF: A. KIEV 2208 
     B. KIEV 2207 
     C. KIEV 2190 

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires, a.i., Sheila Gwaltney for reasons 1.4 
(b,d) 

1. (C) Summary:  Defense Minister Hrytsenko defended his 
ministry's preparations for the U.S.-Ukraine bilateral 
military exercise Sea Breeze and determined, with the UK 
Embassy Defense Attache, that the joint Ukraine-UK Lone Knot 
exercise would need to be cancelled.  Parliament's 
provisional presidium decided against holding a special 
session, which meant that the Rada would not consider 
authorization for international military exercises before 
June 14.  Party of Regions MP Hanna Herman said Party of 
Regions leader Yanukovych intervened to ask certain Regions 
MPs to soften their statements.  Although Yanukovych decided 
against visiting Crimea, a group of mostly Regions and 
SDPU(o) MPs arrived in Crimea June 8 to support demonstrators 
protesting the U.S. military presence, and two Regions MPs 
gained access to USG containers at the port containing 
ammunition for the Sea Breeze exercise.  The June 8 crowd of 
demonstrators in Feodosiya was larger than normal.  End 
summary. 

DefMin's Defense 
---------------- 

2. (C) In a June 7 meeting with DATT and UK Embassy DATT, 
Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko reiterated the importance 
of Sea Breeze to Ukraine, saying that President Yushchenko 
had endorsed the National Security and Defense Council's 
decision to continue preparations for Sea Breeze, and 
defended the Ministry of Defense's preparation for the 
exercise.  Hrytsenko said relevant authorities were properly 
informed well in advance, including a briefing to the Crimean 
Autonomous Republic officials and Feodosiya's mayor.  There 
had also been articles in the regional press and tours of the 
exercise areas.  Hrytsenko and the UK DATT determined that 
the Ukraine-UK Lone Knot bilateral exercise could not take 
place according to schedule; they discussed coordination of a 
press release regarding Lone Knot's cancellation for 2006. 
Lone Knot was scheduled to start next week. 

Parliament's Status 
------------------- 

3. (SBU) Parliament's (Rada) provisional presidium voted June 
8 against a motion from 176 Rada deputies (mostly, if not 
all, Regions Party deputies) to hold a special Rada session. 
Party of Regions Parliamentary Deputy Volodymyr Makeyenko 
told us that, in the event, technical reasons would have 
prevented the holding of an extraordinary Rada session. 
First, the Rada Speaker convoked special sessions, and there 
currently was no Speaker.  Second, according to Article 12 of 
the Rada Rules of Procedure, the parliamentary gazette must 
publish an announcement regarding the special session three 
working days beforehand and, with the June 12 Holy Trinity 
holiday, the next scheduled Rada session on June 14 was now 
only two working days away. 

Embassy Action 
-------------- 

4. (C) Charge spoke June 8 with both Bloc Yuliya Tymoshenko 
MP Andriy Shkil and Party of Regions MP Hanna Herman to 
underscore our concerns about Rada deputies intruding into 
the sanatorium housing the U.S. military reservists after 
acting Defense Minister Leonid Polyakov told us that 
Yanukovych and Shkil planned trips today to Feodosiya.  Shkil 
made clear that he supported Ukraine's NATO aspirations as 
the only choice for its future.  While he said he was not 
planning a trip to Crimea, he could see the value of an MP 
visit that he could lead in his capacity as the former head 
of delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.  Herman, 
like her Party of Regions colleague Leonid Kozhara (ref A), 
stressed that Party of Regions and its leader Viktor 
Yanukovych continued to support Ukrainian cooperation with 
NATO; Regions opposition in this case was aimed at the 
Ukrainian government's unconstitutional actions in allowing 
foreign military to enter Ukrainian territory.  She said the 
fact that Yanukovych and Regions MP Raisa Bohatyreva, 
contrary to some media reports, did not go to Crimea spoke 
for itself and opined that only a meeting between Yanukovych 
and President Yushchenko had the potential to defuse the 
controversy.  She said Yanukovych was following the situation 
in Crimea closely and had asked certain Regions MPs to soften 
their statements.  Charge reminded Herman that Regions 
deputies continued to demand access to the Marines and to 

KIEV 00002247  002 OF 002 

U.S. exercise cargo at the port.  Regions deputies and flags 
were also prominent at the continuing demonstrations outside 
the Feodosiya sanatorium.  Herman promised to relay our 
concerns to Yanukovych. 

Further Crimean Developments 
---------------------------- 

5. (U) Despite Yanukovych's decision to stay put, Ukrainska 
Pravda reported June 8 that a group of more than 20 Regions 
MPs (and also including Crimean Parliament MP Nestor Shufrych &#x0
00A;from the SDPU(o)-led Ne Tak bloc) had arrived in Crimea to 
provide moral support to the demonstrators.  MP Yevhen 
Kushnaryov said the group intended to thank Crimeans for 
"protecting the Ukrainian constitution and Ukrainian 
sovereignty."  The group would also ensure the welfare of the 
demonstrators and that the authorities did not infringe on 
their rights.  Kushnaryov said any attempts to limit the 
rights of free speech and assembly would be severely 
punished.  According to a later news report, a group of 
300-350 demonstrators drawn from Regions, the Progressive 
Socialist Party, the Russian bloc, and Union (Soyuz) party 
gathered before the Feodosiya port to demonstrate and greet 
the MP delegation.  Shortly thereafter, a group of 15 
pro-democracy Pora Party activists unfurled party flags and 
banners with slogans such as "NATO is Ukraine's guarantee," 
sparking a scuffle between the two groups.  The Pora flags 
and banners were torn. 

6. (U) The June 7 (Wednesday) evening protest in front of the 
main gate of the sanatorium was the larger than normal with 
300 to 400 participants.  A non-violent crowd of mostly older 
people with some younger participants chanted, listened to 
speeches and played music.  The crowd swelled further the 
following day, June 8.  Interfax reported the number of 
demonstrators was 1,500, but RSO on the ground estimated the 
crowd at 800-1,000.  RSO said the demonstrators appeared to 
include a larger percentage of young people, perhaps bussed 
in from other locations such as Sevastopol and Odesa.  A 
larger crowd might also have been attracted by Yanukovych's 
rumored arrival. 

7. (U) RSO reported Kushanaryov addressed the crowd by first 
apologizing that Yanukovych had been unable to appear 
personally, then reported he had seen open containers with 
contents evidently missing during his visit to the port.  He 
vowed to open a parliamentary investigation to account for 
the cargo.  RSO also reported that inflammatory leaflets 
bearing Progressive Socialist Party leader Nataliya 
Vitrenko's picture were circulating.  One leaflet had Hitler 
giving a Nazi salute to a NATO soldier holding an axe before 
a river of blood with heads and arms appearing and labeled 
"Yugoslavia," "Afghanistan," and "Iraq."  Another leaflet had 
a NATO soldier with a bloody knife next to a prostrate figure 
labeled "Mother Ukraine." 

8. (U) Visit Embassy Kiev's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Gwaltney

Wikileaks

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