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06KIEV2500, UKRAINE: REGIONS LEADER YANUKOVYCH ON NEW

June 26, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV2500 2006-06-26 14:21 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
VZCZCXRO0669
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #2500/01 1771421
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 261421Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0160
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KIEV 002500 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/23/2016 
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PINR SOCI SCUL KIRF UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: REGIONS LEADER YANUKOVYCH ON NEW 
COALITION, ANTI-SEMITISM 

REF: KIEV 2462 

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

Summary 
-------- 

1. (SBU) In a lengthy June 23 meeting with an American Jewish 
Committee (AJC) delegation, Party of Regions leader Viktor 
Yanukovych claimed that anti-Semitic violence was infrequent 
in Ukraine and repeated the Soviet-era canard that such 
violence primarily occurred in "radical" western oblasts. 
Yanukovych committed to support communal property restitution 
legislation in the Rada.  He deferred to his press 
spokeswoman, Regions MP Hanna Herman, to answer questions 
about the anti-Semitic Inter-Regional Academy of Personnel 
Management (MAUP).  Herman asserted that Yanukovych had 
criticized the foreign-funded diploma mill and had called on 
President Yushchenko to stop MAUP from distributing its 
anti-Semitic publications -- a challenge the president had 
"failed to meet," Herman claimed.  Regions MP and foreign 
policy guru Leonid Kozhara pointedly blamed his nemesis, 
Foreign Minister Tarasyuk, for Yushchenko's "softness" on 
MAUP; Kozhara disingenuously claimed Tarasyuk protected MAUP 
and was to blame for Yushchenko postponing a planned July 
2005 visit to Israel. 

2. (SBU) On domestic politics, a still-smoldering Yanukovych 
criticized the coalition of Tymoshenko's bloc (BYuT), Our 
Ukraine (OU), and the Socialists formed June 22, saying it 
was comprised of people "who lacked the ability" to solve the 
country's serious economic problems, which would be 
aggravated by a looming hike in natural gas prices. 
Yushchenko had been "silly" not to green-light the formation 
of an OU coalition with Regions, Yanukovych said, adding that 
Yushchenko had bowed to "U.S. pressure" in opting to revive 
Team Orange.  The spurned Regions was now on the warpath; he 
vowed they would hinder the Rada's work, including coming 
votes on the new prime minister and Rada Speaker.  Regions 
was looking for a legal way to force new parliamentary 
elections and was already preparing for fall of the Orange 
coalition, Yanukovych boasted.  Yanukovych's comments on NATO 
and the controversy in Feodosia, Crimea over the Sea Breeze 
exercise will be reported separately.  End summary. 

Yanukovych Meeting With AJC: Anti-Semitism... 
--------------------------------------------- 

3. (SBU) In a June 23 meeting with a AJC delegation led by 
AJC Executive Director David Harris, Party of Regions leader 
Viktor Yanukovych asserted that there were "infrequent 
individual acts" of anti-Semitic violence in Ukraine. 
Repeating a Soviet-era canard, he claimed that such violence 
occurred largely in western Ukraine, where people were 
"radical"; people in southern and eastern Ukraine (i.e., 
where Regions' support is strongest) were "normal." 
Yanukovych vaguely added that all of Regions' 186 MPs would 
support communal property restitution legislation in the 
Rada, and related that Regions MP/entertainer Jan Tabachnyk 
would be the party's point man on Jewish community issues. 
(Comment: Yanukovych's assertion about anti-Semitic violence 
being centered in western Ukraine is wrong.  The last two 
major violent anti-Semitic assaults, in which Yeshiva 
students were seriously injured, occurred in Kiev and 
Dnipropetrovsk, a major eastern Ukrainian city.  End comment.) 

...MAUP... 
---------- 

4. (SBU) Yanukovych deferred to his press spokeswoman, MP 
Hanna Herman, and his foreign policy guru, MP Leonid Kozhara, 
to answer a question about the anti-Semitic Inter-Regional 
Academy of Personnel Management (known by its Ukrainian 
acronym, MAUP).  Herman claimed that Yanukovych "paid 
attention" to MAUP's activities and had publicly criticized 
the diploma mill, which receives significant funding from 
several Middle Eastern governments (note: we later asked 
Herman for citations of Yanukovych's remarks; she said she 
would send them to us).  Herman claimed that Yanukovych had 
called on the Yushchenko administration to stop MAUP from 
spreading anti-Semitic literature, a challenge that she said 
the president had "failed to meet."  Anti-Semitic material 
was easy to buy in Kiev, and was even available on 
Independence Square (the Maidan), Herman claimed, in an 
obvious reference to the site of The Orange Revolution 
protests. 

5. (C) Seizing an opportunity to bash his bete noir, Kozhara 
blamed FM Borys Tarasyuk for the Yushchenko administration's 
alleged "softness" on MAUP.  Tarasyuk still chaired MAUP's 
Institute for Euro-Atlantic Integration, Kozhara 

KIEV 00002500  002 OF 002 

disingenuously claimed, and Tarasyuk "does all he can" to 
protect MAUP and "allow it operate."  Taking another poke at 
Tarasyuk, Kozhara told the delegation that the foreign 
minister had been behind the postponement of Yushchenko's 
planned July 2005 visit to Israel; if he had been the foreign 
policy adviser, Kozhara added, "I would have urged Yushchenko 
to go."  (Comment: Tarasyuk cut his t
ies with MAUP in 2005, 
and the school only has an Institute for International 
Relations, not an Institute for Euro-Atlantic Integration. 
Kozhara neglected to mention to the delegation that his 
relations with Tarasyuk are extremely complex.  Kozhara 
bitterly -- but perhaps justly -- blames Tarasyuk for his 
unceremonious dismissal from the Ukrainian diplomatic service 
following the Orange Revolution--he was serving as foreign 
policy adviser to then-President Kuchma in the Presidential 
Administration. We understand that he was dismissed under 
terms that denied him a pension and other benefits. End 
comment.) 

...A "Weak and Divided" Orange Coalition.... 
-------------------------------------------- 

6. (SBU) Shifting to domestic politics, Yanukovych derided 
the new parliamentary majority which emerged June 22.  The 
coalition was comprised of people "who lacked the ability" to 
solve Ukraine's pressing economic problems, including a 
massive upcoming hike in the price of natural gas.  The 
coalition, according to Yanukovych, would not be effective 
and "would not last," as it had "serious internal 
contradictions" and could be easily divided. 

...Yushchenko's "Mistake"... 
---------------------------- 

7. (SBU) Reflecting on Our Ukraine's (OU) talks with Regions 
to form a so-called "Grand Coalition," Yanukovych said 
President Yushchenko had been "overconfident and silly" to 
spurn the powerful, professional, and united Regions.  The 
talks with OU had gone smoothly, and there had been no major 
differences between the two sides he claimed.  Yanukovych 
suggested that Regions might have even supported Yushchenko's 
reelection bid in 2009.  While stressing that Regions was not 
anti-American and would not oppose USG policy in Ukraine, 
Yanukovych nonetheless alleged that Yushchenko had bowed to 
"U.S. pressure" in opting to form an Orange coalition. 

...and Regions "On The Warpath" 
------------------------------- 

8. (SBU) Echoing what a moderate Regions deputy leader told 
us June 22 (reftel), Yanukovych declared that Regions was 
now "on the warpath."  Yushchenko, he ominously warned, now 
bore "full responsibility" for what happened in the country 
and would have to answer to the voters "in 2009 or earlier." 
According to Yanukovych, Regions would block the work of the 
Rada, only allowing passage of legislation that it deemed 
"non-political" and in the "national interest"; he predicted, 
moreover, that Regions would be able to prevent upcoming 
votes on the new prime minister and Rada Speaker.  Regions' 
short-term goal was to force early parliamentary elections, 
Yanukovych said, adding that the party was examining its 
legal/constitutional options.  Moreover, he boasted, Regions 
was already preparing for the fall of the Orange coalition, 
holding discussions with unidentified parties likewise 
convinced that Team Orange will soon falter. 
Gwaltney

Wikileaks

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