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#169966 11/29/04 08:24 AM
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To remind people that all this started because it appeared that in some eyes the election was unfair , I paste in what I have just read in today's Telegraph Bulletin [ which I get by e-mail each morning.] This was apparently filed yesterday

Revealed: the full story of the Ukrainian election fraud
By Tom Parfitt in Kiev and Colin Freeman
(Filed: 28/11/2004)

It was 5.30pm on election day in Ukraine when the thugs in masks arrived armed with rubber truncheons.

Vitaly Kizima, an election monitor at Zhovtneve in Ukraine's Sumy region, watched in horror as 30 men in tracksuits stormed into the village polling station.

"They started to beat voters and election officials, trying to push through towards the ballot boxes," he told The Telegraph.

"People's faces were cut from blows to the head. There was blood all over."

The thugs - believed to be loyal to the pro-Russian presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovich from his stronghold, Donetsk - were repulsed only when locals pushed them back and a policeman fired warning shots.

The catalogue of abuses in the contest between Mr Yanukovich, the prime minister, and his opponent, the pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko, is growing longer by the day.

Ukraine is split, with the western, Europe-leaning regions voting overwhelmingly for Mr Yushchenko while the eastern part of the country - where many speak Russian - backing Mr Yanukovich.

Maya Syta, a journalist working at polling station 73 in a Kiev suburb, witnessed ballot papers destroyed with acid poured into a ballot box. "The officials were taking them out of the box and they couldn't understand why they were wet," she said.

"Then I saw they started to blacken and disintegrate as if they were burning. Two ballots were wrapped up into a tube with a yellow liquid inside. After a few moments they were completely eaten up."

In her polling station, 26 ballots were destroyed and had to be invalidated. Six other cases were recorded of ballots destroyed by acid.

The most common trick was "carousel" voting, in which busloads of Yanukovich supporters simply drove from one polling station to another casting multiple false absentee ballots.

In another brazen fraud recorded by observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, voters were given pens filled with ink that disappeared, leaving ballots unmarked and invalid.

Mr Yushchenko has refused to accept the election results, which gave him 46.61 per cent of the vote against 49.46 per cent for Mr Yanukovich. The figures are due to be reviewed tomorrow by the Supreme Court, although it cannot reverse them.

Diana Dutsyk, a member of Mr Yushchenko's campaign team, claimed that "dead souls" - late citizens' ballots used by imposters - were also used to augment his opponent's share of the vote.

And late last week Mr Yushchenko's headquarters released an audio recording in which senior members of Mr Yanukovich's campaign team were allegedly caught red-handed discussing how to fix the election result.

In the telephone conversation, a member of the team can be heard saying that he ordered a local election commission to disqualify votes.

Mr Yanukovich denies rigging the vote and claims that a "small clique" of his opponents is trying to divide Ukraine.

But mediators, including Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy chief, have hinted that a new election should be called and President George W Bush, said the world was "watching very closely" after Washington called the result into doubt.

Both candidates enjoy genuine support but election observers say that Mr Yanukovich's team used its bureaucratic muscle to rig last Sunday's election in his favour.

"The openness and cynicism of the manipulation was unprecedented," said Olexander Chernenko of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine (CVU), an American-funded organisation that has monitored elections for more than a decade.

About 11,000 complaints have been lodged so far with regional courts.

Mr Yanukovich has described the protest movement as an attempt at an "anti-constitutional coup"; Mr Yushchenko sees it as the "people's self-defence". But the scale of the indignant response from hundreds of thousands of protesters who swept onto the streets - and the extent of the election fraud - are a reflection of larger forces at work.

The state of almost 50 million people, crunched between East and West, was once Kievan Rus - the proto-state that gave birth to the Russian nation. Many in Moscow still think of the country as a southern province.

In recent years, a resurgent Russia under President Vladimir Putin has sought to reassert control over Kiev. Ukraine is an important pipeline route for Russian oil and gas, and a friendly regime will not impose high transit fees.

The country's Black Sea port of Sevastopol is also home to Russia's southern naval fleet, offering easy access to the Mediterranean.

Moscow is pushing for the creation of a "joint economic space" in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine - a project that Mr Yushchenko has said would dilute the country's sovereignty.

Mr Yanukovich, who has a criminal record and links to shady business magnates, is backed by Mr Putin, and draws his support from Russian-dominated eastern Ukraine.

However, Western countries such as Britain and the United States support Mr Yushchenko - who promises a turn towards Europe and pursuit of Nato membership. His supporters have been wooed with millions of dollars from the United States.

In turn, Mr Putin did what he could to support his preferred candidate. Immediately before the election, he made two high-profile visits to Kiev to meet Mr Yanukovich and the Ukraine's President, Leonid Kuchma.

Russian advisers, including a leading Moscow spin doctor, Gleb Pavlovsky, were said to be in effect running the prime minister's campaign.

Despite talk of an East-West showdown, many Ukrainians protesting about the election result say that Mr Yanukovich's criminal background is unacceptable, not his bias towards Russia.

The prime minister was twice convicted for robbery and battery in his youth and is seen as the protege of a group of business oligarchs known as "the Donetsk fellas" from the eastern region where he was once governor.

"How could they dare try to impose such a bandit on us?" asked Yuri, who was ferrying protesters to Kiev's Independence Square yesterday in a car festooned with orange streamers. "We will never accept it."


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/11/28/wukra28.xml

#169967 11/29/04 08:33 AM
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Also from today's Bulletin - though parts of this I have seen before - please note one part that I have put into bold

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/11/27/wukra27.xml


Moscow accuses EU of meddling in Ukraine
Reports by Julius Strauss in Kiev
(Filed: 27/11/2004)

The European Union stepped in to mediate between rival political leaders in Ukraine last night, prompting a rebuke from Moscow that the West was trying to drag the country illegally into its orbit.

Even as the first face-to-face talks got under way, there were signs of the country's five-day-old crisis worsening. Hundreds of pro-government miners, some drunk and many carrying sticks, were congregating near the capital's railway station, but trouble was avoided.

In the east of the country, pro-Russian mayors said that if the election results were reversed they would hold a referendum on declaring autonomy, a much-feared step towards the possible break-up of the country.

In the capital, Kiev, growing crowds of protesters occupied Independence Square and the surrounding streets for a fifth day as the temperature rose a little to around zero.

They blocked the entrances to the presidential administration, the cabinet of ministers, where the pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovich, the prime minister who claims to have won the disputed elections last week, failed to get to work, and the parliament, severely hampering the government's ability to function.

The EU-mediated talks brought together the outgoing President Leonid Kuchma, Mr Yanukovich, and Viktor Yushchenko, the leader of the opposition.

Russia, which has unstintingly supported Mr Yanukovich and harshly criticised Western involvement in the crisis, reacted angrily to the arrival of the EU envoys.

Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said in Moscow: "In some European capitals there are some forces that are attempting to draw some new border lines across Europe."

He added: "We are alarmed at attempts by certain governments to steer the situation in Ukraine away from a legal path. Especially when certain European capitals are declaring that they do not recognise the elections and that Ukraine has to be with the West."

On the streets the pressure on the government to capitulate was building. For the first time scuffles broke out with riot police in the north of the country when a group of protesters, mostly pensioners, tried to disarm them. Police used tear gas to try to break up the crowd.

Mr Yanukovich, addressing miners from the Donbass basin who had arrived in the capital, said: "Dear friends, together we must do everything so that an unconstitutional coup in Ukraine does not happen."

There are now several thousand of his supporters in Kiev creating a highly-combustible mix. But opposition protesters appeared as determined as ever to carry their unfinished revolution to victory.

In Independence Square and the surrounding streets at least 100,000 were gathered by nightfall. Outside the cabinet of ministers thousands more protesters had gathered sporting orange flags, banners and ribbons.

Petro Baranyak, 28, a gas transport engineer who had travelled from Lviv in western Ukraine, had been holding a placard since 9am. He said: "It's cold but our spirit is strong. I'll be here until our victory is secure."

Sergei Rozora, 37, had closed his hotel in western Ukraine and left his family to come to the capital. He said: "The government is divided. Many people are now coming to our side. Finally they are beginning to understand the truth."

Meanwhile another member of the central election commission withdrew her signature from the document validating Mr Yanukovich's victory, bringing to six the number of members who have refused to sign off the results. If the government loses the support of two more members, the results will be declared invalid and the election may have to be re-run.

Yesterday's flurry of diplomacy began with a meeting between Mr Kuchma and the Polish President, Aleksander Kwasniewski, who has expressed growing concerns about the crisis in his country's eastern neighbour.

Mr Kuchma was then due to meet the opposition leader Mr Yushchenko in addition to Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, and Lithuania's President Valdas Adamkus for round-table crisis talks.

The president's office said Mr Yanukovich and the Russian parliament speaker Boris Gryzlov, President Putin's envoy, would also enter the talks.

"Calm your passions. The sooner this revolution, this so-called revolution, is over, the better it will be for the people whose fate concerns us so much," Mr Kuchma said.

In Washington President George W Bush warned Ukraine that the world "is watching very closely". He said: "The international community is watching very carefully.

"Hopefully, it will be resolved in a way that brings credit and confidence to the Ukrainian government."

#169968 11/29/04 10:50 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Halychanyn:

P.S. To all members - KAMIKAZE MEMBER ALERT! DO NOT ENGAGE! I REPEAT -- PLEASE DO NOT ENGAGE! wink
Good thing I saw your post before I hit the reply button for the last one... biggrin

Vie

#169969 11/29/04 02:09 PM
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To DJM,

I simply had to come back here to say that you should quickly learn to spell the city in which you live in correctly in English.

You know the one - the city that has proclaimed Viktor Yuschenko as its president.

You can also drop the old imperialist attitudes that denied Ukraine a right to exist.

If you won't acknowledge that, that is fine.

The new democratic Ukraine that is now emerging will allow you to continue to think the way you are.

Under the old system and regime that is now fading away, you could not have gotten away with your attitude.

And again, I'm surprised you have time to post here as you should be out there with your orange scarf demonstrating for the coming of democracy along with Ukrainian, Carpatho-Rusyn, Belarusyan, Russian and other supporters of His Excellency, Mr. Yuschenko, the President of Ukraine.

I don't know much about you as you refuse to give anything out on your forum ID - that is fine too, but it also makes a statement about your courage or lack of.

And to our friend JoeS - wake up and smell the coffee, Friend!

This is about the fall of gangster capitalism and the remains of the Russian empire.

That the Russian Orthodox Church under its name of "Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate" supports Yanukovych - this clearly puts this Church on the side of gangsterism and autocracy.

But it too will adapt in time.

I'm off to get my orange scarf and tie.

Alex

#169970 11/29/04 02:27 PM
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I will leave it that we will agree to disagree. I take my leave.

JoeS

#169971 11/29/04 02:43 PM
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Just picked this BBC report up
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4051641.stm

As this is rather long [ even I admit it biggrin ] I will just post a few parts of it
Quote
Wives of Supreme Court judges are reported to have complained that their husbands have been physically threatened to rule in favour of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.
Quote
Live broadcasts from the courtroom show 22 judges in maroon robes hearing arguments from the opposition, the pro-government camp and the Central Electoral Commission.

Their names were reportedly meant to be kept secret until the last minute to protect them from outside interference.
there is a lot to read on this item

Anhelyna

#169972 11/29/04 03:11 PM
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Dear JoeS,

Nothing personal, Sir!

As far as can be seen, Yanukovych hasn't given up just yet, so there is room for disagreement! smile

I was really reacting to DJM ("Dunce Just Mouthing?" smile )

God bless you - and I hope you stay on the Forum to enrich all its readers with your erudite wisdom!

Alex

#169973 11/29/04 04:17 PM
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Dear Alex:

Ignore him/her. He/she is not worth it.

How were the demostrations in Toronto/Ottawa? I participated in both the one here in Chicago on Tuesday and flew to DC for the one this past Wednesday. Both were well-attended considering that they were in the middle of a weekday.

Apparently, Channel 5 in Ukraine picked up the stories on our efforts here and transmitted them to the Majdan. Reports are that this gave the demostrators in Kyiv a boost. Hoo-Rah!

Lots to discuss but, for now I can only say:

Нас багато, і нас не подолати!

Yours,

hal

#169974 11/29/04 04:28 PM
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Dear Hal,

I would be the first skeptic when it comes to things like this - but there were over 5,000 demonstrators in downtown Toronto last week - and a lot of Russians and Belarusyans and others who donned the orange in support of the demonstrators in Kyiv!

Even our national newspapers have all come out in support of what they are calling a "revolution" - which is what it truly is.

I've visited some stores who have sold out their orange ties and scarves . . .

This thing won't go away. And it shouldn't.

Alex
The Orangeman

#169975 11/29/04 04:56 PM
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CIX!

I was at the London pro-Yushchenko rally yesterday. I neither speak nor understand Ukrainian, but I wore my orange streamer happily - it's the right thing to do.

Having said that, I'm still obstinately sticking to using 'Kiev' when speaking English - that's been the accepted word for centuries... I still also say 'Peking', so...

#169976 11/29/04 05:04 PM
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Dear Alex:

There was an excellent panel discussion at the American Enterprise Institute this past Wednesday regarding the situation in Ukraine.

The Institute's director, Marek Sikorski, opened the discussion with a remark that, in his past life, he was a jornalist who covered the revolutions in the Czech Repliblic, Poland and Romania.

He commented that having seen these revolutions first hand,there was no doubt in his mind that the current Ukrainian situation is also a revolution.

Also, during Q&A, a young man stood up. I forget his name, but he indicated that he was with an organization for the defeat of Putin during the next Russian elections.

He asked that the panelists and everyone present not equate "Russia" and the Russian people with the Putin government. The room applauded.

BTW, the AEI is holding a day-long conference on Ukraine on December 10th. Check out their website for more details.

Нас багато, і нас не подолати!

Yours,

hal

#169977 11/29/04 05:11 PM
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Dear Edward,

Thank you for your support!

If you wear your orange streamer, then you can use whatever spelling you like when you speak English.

As I've never heard you speak English, it doesn't bother me . . . wink

Maybe we should have an agreement, you and I? You spell "Kyiv" properly and I'll stop wearing my "free Tibet" wrist-band! wink

I was wondering if the Administrator here had his orange tie or streamer?

And would he like one?

I guess our Irishmen here would object to wearing orange . . .

Alex

#169978 11/29/04 05:14 PM
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Dear Hal,

When we had the consecration of our chapels here yesterday, the Ukraine Consul guy came by and started to speak to us IN FAVOUR of Yanukovych!

He was roundly booed by everyone present - I wonder what was going through his mind when he saw all the orange in the crowd? Did he think it was a Julian Calendar Hallowe'en celebration? wink

Or perhaps he just doesn't watch the TV or read the papers?

Alex

#169979 11/29/04 05:32 PM
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What an idiot!

#169980 11/29/04 05:33 PM
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If these demonstrations in Kyiv's Independence Square escalate into a head-to-head confrontation between soldiers loyal to the current government (with the open support of some "powder-puff Blues") and the general public sporting the "orange" ties and streamers, then we shall see how the crisis will be resolved: violently or peacefully!

It ended peacefully once in a "revolution" backed by "People Power" at EDSA I in 1986 (in the Philippines). At the forefront were Nuns and Priests and seminarians armed with Rosaries and flowers versus the tanks and battle rifles of the overwhelmed soldiers!

I fervently hope and pray that the 2004 Ukrainian "people power" display in Kyiv's IS will be sustained and succeeds in launching a "bloodless revolution!"

Go Ukies!

Amado

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