Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Insensitive Yanukovych will rile Ukrainophones
Today in Kharkiv a Radio Liberty correspondent asked president Yanukovych a question. He suggested the recently-passed controversial language law was divisive, and wanted the President to explain why he spoke only in Russian when he inaugurated a new Ukrainian Independence monument earlier in the day in the city.
A visibly annoyed president replied:"I always speak in any region in the language of the people who live there. And it is those who make such suggestions and raise such questions without considering the point view of people who live in this land, who split Ukraine. I've always been a supporter of the view that there should be understanding in the state and harmony, regardless of which region people live. Financing, attitude towards people and social programs for all will be the same ... And you, young man.. hear this...and tell everyone else: We will never divide people according to who speaks what language and in which region they live. All people are the same".
Note: According to the census of 2001 in the Kharkiv region 53.8% of the population consider Ukrainian their native tongue (3.3% more than in the 1989 census). The Russian language is considered native for 44.3% of the population (a decline of 3.8% since 1989)
Ukrainian remains the sole state language. Yanukovych is the president of Ukraine. Many Ukrainians consider their country's independence was denied for centuries by the rulers of the Russian, and latterly the Soviet empire, and that their language and culture devalued or oppressed by them.
And this From 'Tyzhden.ua':
Over the past two years nine highly-place officials from Yulia Tymoshenko's premiership period have been charged and prosecuted, but only the former PM and her Minister of Internal Affairs, Yuriy Lutsenko, are in prison.
Tymoshenko is facing further serious tax evasion and other charges dating back from more than a decade and a half ago.
Lutsenko was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment with confiscation of property for exceeding his authority, and was recently was given a sentence of 2 years confinement for allegedly approving unauthorised surveillance in the criminal investigation into the poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko.
Former Acting Defense Minister Valeriy Ivashchenko had been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment last April for abusing his office but a couple of weeks ago the Court of Appeal suspended his sentence and released him from custody.
Former Minister of Environment George Filipchuk was sentenced in April this year to 3 years imprisonment for abuse of power. However once Filipchuk gave back 1.4 million hryven to the state a Kyiv Appeal Court reduced his sentence to a 2 year suspended sentence.
Former First Deputy Justice Minister Yevhen Korniychuk has been released from criminal liability under an amnesty the law. Korniychuk is son in law of former Chief Justice Vasyl Onopenko.
Three senior officials were sentenced for illegally releasing 11 billion cubic meters of gas allegedly belonging RosUkrEnergo company.
Former first deputy chairman of "Naftogaz Ukraine", Ihor Didenko, had been sentenced to three years in prison but prosecutors later reduced charges against him. Didenko decided not to appeal against the guilty verdict and he was released.
Former head of the State Customs Committee Anatoly Makarenko received a 4 year suspended sentencence, as did the former head of the Kiev regional customs service, Taras Shepitko. They had been found guilty of illegal customs clearance of natural gas.
The case against Makarenko and Didenko Shepitko was opened after Ukraine failed to defend its case in the Stockholm Arbitration Court where RosUkrEnergo won a lawsuit against Naftogaz.
Naftogaz were ordered to return to RosUkrEnergo 11 billion cubic meters of gas and provide and extra 1.1 billion cubic meters of gas in damages for breach of contract.
Former head of the State Inspection for Control of prices at the Ministry of Economy, Tetyana Rud was sentenced in November 2011 to 5 years for bribery However, a court later reduced this punishment to 3 years probation.
The former head of State Reserve Committee Mykola Pozhyvanov, the former head of the State Treasury Tetyana Slyuz and former governor of Kharkiv, Arsen Avakov are currently being sought by law enforcement authorities. Avakov is in Italy.
Former Economy Minister Bohdan Danylyshyn has been granted political asylum in the Czech Republic.
LEvko thinks Yanukovych's wave of persecution is looking more and more like a vendetta against just the opposition's two biggest hitters...but everyone knows this anyhow...
And Yanukovych's insensitive attitude on the question of the Ukrainian language will cost more votes that it will gain him...