Saturday, March 8, 2014

More What and Who

Besides the fact that there may be dozens or hundreds of other leads to follow besides the named organizations and individuals on the "New Citizen" member list, another difficulty I've run into is that the Translator doesn't always translate.

For example, on the last listing of the previous post (Centre for Development of Society) the text I was trying to translate came up with the first and last words of each sentence transliterated from the Cyrillic to Latin alphabets, but the words weren't translated. Odd. In order to make sense of the text, I had to re-transliterate each word that had been missed, then translate. A chore, to say the least. Sometimes, too, the translations are gibberish, and they have to be massaged in order to make any sense of them at all, and the process of massaging them can introduce errors. Some of the text that comes up gibberish, for example, may be idiomatic expressions that the translator software doesn't recognize, but I wouldn't know never having learned Ukrainian, and barely knowing Russian.

I point this out not to complain -- I couldn't have done this at all before the days of Google and other online translator wizardry -- but to explain why it's taking so long to get through this list.

The next is Committee of Voters of Ukraine. From what I can tell from a brief glance, the site largely parrots Western propaganda and the declarations of the "interim government" in Kiev, particularly with regard to the Crimean situation. At least in some American news media, the issues of voting and democracy and referenda and regional parliaments and such are not declared "settled" all the time. Questions can be and are raised on occasion. Not at the Committee of Voters, however. No, there, whatever the decree from Kiev, and whatever Western propaganda asserts, is not just "settled," it is essentially law. This harks back to a previous era somehow...

The Commitee's leaders are Alexander Chernenko (COB) and Vitaly Teslenko (Deputy Chair and Executive Director). I note that in the Teslenko piece, it is stated that the Committee is "an election monitoring group funded by Western donors..." Oh. I see... That may explain some of their devotion to Western propaganda...
Following is Center for Public Examination. (No link because of malware warnings). Their statement on their somewhat sketchy site pretty much says it all if you understand "think-tank-ese" and "consultant-ese". To wit:

Center for Public Examination - an independent think tank Ukrainian non-governmental and non-profit organization dedicated to informational, analytical and expert support effecting systemic changes in both the public and private sectors of Ukraine.

At its center building public examination is a network of independent experts. Institutional capacity of the Centre is based on the integration of knowledge, skills and experience of network members who are experts in various fields: economics, investment and regional policy, public administration, urban planning, practical sociology, law, and regulatory policy, business development, public finance, fiscal and social policy, civil society, information and communication and so on.

Specialists of the public examination have extensive experience as leaders of social and business projects, consultants, advisors, coaches, Kouchera. They are familiar with international standards of analytical performance and reporting: UNDP, USAID, CIDA, EC / TACIS, OSCE, Sida, SDC, DFID, MFA of Denmark, many international organizations, private and public origin, international consulting companies and more.

Center for Public Examination builds its activities in the project basis and serves as a platform for the implementation of various projects. Specializes in the Centre are research, development, consulting and infrastructure projects.

The Center public examination is to conduct various social topics and feasibility studies, design methodologies and creating innovative models of social processes and monitoring of market research, formation and maintenance of public ratings.

"Effecting systematic change...." Um-hum. "Projects..." Yes... "Familiar with international standards...." Of course... "Platform for the implementation..." Uh-huh... Even if it's not quite clear what this outfit is all about, it's clear enough that I would be skeptical even if they were folded in to the typical USA think tank model. The verbiage alone gives me the willies. I've seen too much of it...

The leaders are: Lubomir Chornij, Olha Romaniuk, and Konstantin Ryzhkov  (Romaniuk was deputy housing minister during the Yanukovych regime... hmmm.... Lubomir also seems to have housing ministry background. What I found on Ryzhkov was confused because there is someone with that name in Russia, a banker and probably oligarch, whereas the only one in Ukraine I could find was an AIDS activist with no stated connection with this outfit. So... who knows?)
Next up is the Media Law Institute a free speech and free press advocacy outfit run by Taras Shevchenko.
My! Elections! is next. It appears to be an online music/radio/candidate/elections site. Maybe propaganda? Who knows! The leader is Stanislav Shumlyansky. Interesting
Eastern Center for Civic Initiatives "Total Action for Human Rights and Democracy" is next. Their website is down, "Account Suspended", but this comes from the National Endowment for Democracy site, just as an FYI. This grant was in 2009. There appear to have been no subsequent grants from NED to this outfit.

Eastern-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives “Total Action for the Support of Human Rights and Democracy” Project
To facilitate citizens’ access to information, stimulate civic activity, and promote government accountability in Luhansk, a major city in eastern Ukraine. Total Action will provide training to local activists to carry out advocacy campaigns and will hold a series of roundtables, public hearings and seminars to promote access to the Luhansk City Council, encourage local government accountability and support civic participation.
It's in "grant-speak" so it's wise to take the statements with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, reading between the lines indicates that the funding may have been for propaganda purposes. The leaders are said to be Vladimir Shcherbachenko and Julia Rashupkina. 

National University of "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy" is next. It's a fascinating story of an institute of higher learning with a very long history in Ukraine, beginning in the 1600s. Much of that history seems to be extravagantly nationalist. But as there have been many changes over the centuries, the nationalism of the academy may be somewhat overplayed. It's gone through Jesuit and Russian periods, and it seems to be focused on business and science education for the moment. 
Ukrainian Reform Education Center is next. (The site is malware, so no link.) It seems to be primarily focused on media monitoring and land rights education. Irina Movchan is the person in charge. She seems pretty well connected with the EU... but then, under "New Citizen's" wing who isn't?
Next up is Europe Without Barriers mostly concerned, it would seem, with the complete integration of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia into the EU complex and removal of all visa barriers. And interesting note:


PASOS calls on EU to lift visa requirements for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia upon signature of association agreements

EU member states should show long-term commitment to Ukraine’s European integration by swift easing of visa requirements, followed by full visa liberalisation with Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia upon signing of association agreements, according to a statement sent to top EU officials and states by PASOS and member organizations.
“The dramatic events in recent days in Ukraine have demonstrated once again the high commitment of Maidan protesters and the citizens of Ukraine to become more closely integrated with the European Union. Ukraine now faces immense challenges in terms of democratic transition, territorial integrity and constitutional stability, as well as pressures, not least from Russia, in trade relations and energy security,” the statement reads.
“We call upon the European Council to recognise the need for a signal that the EU embraces the “European choice” of the Ukrainian people, and to de-link the issue of visas from conditionality on the Ukrainian authorities, just as it did so in 1990-1991 with regard to Central Europe. Poland, the Czech Republic and other post-communist countries did not have to meet elaborate conditions in order to see visas dropped; they met these conditions afterwards, and it is time for the EU to recognise the reforms already introduced in Ukraine and other Eastern Partner countries, and to drop visa requirements as they did with Central European countries.”
The statement was addressed to Herman Van Rompuy, President, European Council;  Catherine Ashton, Vice-President, European Commission, and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Council; Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy; Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner, Home Affairs; Martin Schulz, President, European Parliament; and the foreign ministers of EU member states.
The statement continues:
“One of the most negative and enduring perceptions about the EU in Ukraine, and other partner countries (Georgia and Moldova) that allow EU citizens visa-free travel to their countries, has been the strict visa requirements for travel to the EU. Since these three countries have all initialled association agreements with the EU, and embarked upon visa dialogue with the EU, and all have completed phase one of the dialogue (Moldova has in fact also completed phase two, so met all the technical requirements set by the European Commission), we call upon the EU member states and the European Council to bring forward full visa liberalisation to the date of signature of the respective association agreement with Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
With the release from prison of former prime minister Yulia Timoshenko in Ukraine, and the will of the interim government in Ukraine to sign the association agreement, the conditions are now in place for the EU and Ukraine to sign the association agreement, and for the EU to expedite signature with Moldova and Georgia. As the signing of an association agreement marks the beginning of intense co-operation between the EU and the signatory countries, the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of all three countries – all facing strong pressures from Russia concerning trade and territorial integrity, compounded by energy security in the cases of Ukraine and Moldova – is a necessary response to the clear “European choice” made by the citizens of the three countries in the face of strong pressures.
With immediate effect, the EU member states should demonstrate their support for the European choice of the Ukrainian people by introducing more favourable conditions for issuance of Schengen visas (including waiving visa fees, shortening of waiting times, and transparent terms of the procedure in compliance with the Schengen Visa Code). EU member states can also go a step further by issuing national visas to citizens of Ukraine with the minimum of delay and conditions.
The burden shouldered by the citizens of Ukraine since the Vilnius Summit requires a historic response from the side of EU member states, demonstrating that the EU actively supports fundamental freedoms, which should include the freedom to travel, and not least the opportunity for all citizens of Ukraine to visit the member states of the EU and to see the benefits of democracy, the rule of law, and freedom of expression.”
Download the statement in full in PDF format here.
Source: PASOS Secretariat, Czech Republic
OK then. Oleksandr Susko is the man in charge. He's quite well integrated with the EU/NATO already.
Stopping again. I've run into numerous sites that are red-flagged for malware (seems to be some connection in Romania that's setting off the claxons, but I don't know exactly). 

It's pretty clear by this point that "New Citizen" is principally interested in coordination of pro-EU, anti-Russia programs and propaganda on behalf of EU partners. Russian interest in Ukraine is ignored or denied. Even Russian history in Ukraine is largely expunged from the record. Nationalism is all. Looked at from the "New Citizen" perspective, Russia is an alien invader -- to the extent it is acknowledged at all. Most of the "educational" programs seem to be concerned with separating Ukraine from Russia once and for all, and intensely re-conditioning Ukrainians to accept EU rather than Russian "values." 

Obviously, this work has been going on for a long time. Many of those on the member list or on other lists connected with members are old hands, going back to the break up of the Soviet Union and the independence of Ukraine. They've been ringing this bell for years. It seems that the putsch came when these folks decided that the Ukrainian people had been conditioned sufficiently to accept the diktats of Brussels and Berlin. 

There seems to have been no comparable Russian effort, however. In other words, it appears that actually, Russia doesn't want Ukraine, at least not as a part of any imaginary revival of the Soviet Union. Russia wants its interests protected, but beyond that, no. 

As for what the EU wants with Ukraine... 

What do they want with Greece? Portugal? Italy? Spain? or Ireland? 

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