Kyiv Post | 30Dec2010 | Oksana Bashuk Hepburn

Ukraine's best and worst in 2010

Almost everyone has a favorite list this time of year --best movies, books, persons of the year. For the 8th year, here is my BEST and WORST list comprising governments, individuals, publications and organizations which had an impact -- for better or for worst -- on the global Ukrainian community in 2010.


1. Ukraine’s Kyiv Appellate Court for finding Joseph Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Lazar Kaganovich, Pavlo Postishev, Stanislav Kosior, Vlas Chubar, and Mendel Khatajevych responsible for Holodomor, the genocide starvation of some 10 million Ukrainians, and then -- President Viktor Yushchenko for calling for the creation of an international tribunal on Communist crimes.

2. Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper for showing Western states how to deal with Ukraine’s threatened democracy: raise trade issues without compromising democratic values.

3. Independent-minded Ukrainian journalists for ongoing resistance to pressures undermining objective reporting, in particular their decision to boycott Mychailo Checherov, Party of Regions, for lying about its members beating up four opposition deputies in parliament; and Reporters Without Borders for monitoring and warning against the decline.

4. Fox News and Glenn Beck for global exposure of atrocities committed by Communist regimes including Holodomor, in the series Holocaust: Live Free or Die.

5. President Viktor Yanukovych for reversing his position on Holodomor by partially reinstating the information on the president’s website in response to citizen’s pressure; a good sign in a democratic leader

6. Patriarch Filaret, Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchy for mounting a robust 1021 nniversary of Christianity celebration as an antidote to the state’s Moscow Patriarch-adhering-Orthodox-only event with Russia’s religious and political hierarchy in attendance.

7. Vera Fermiga for using her considerable global vantage point as an Academy Award nominee actor to cheer her Ukrainian roots.

8. Rev. Dr. Borys Guidziak, rector of Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, for documenting the state’s intervention in the right of assembly creating a world-wide reaction to limitations on freedoms imposed by the government.

9. Commentators like Evhen Sverstiuk, Alexander Motyl and Askold Lozynsky for providing opinion leadership on important yet underexposed issues vital to Ukraine as well as global peace and security.

10. Timothy Snyder, Yale University historian, for shedding much needed light on the horrific toll of World War II in Ukraine and the gargantuan evils of two dictators equally responsible for the crimes, in his book "Bloodlands: Between Hitler and Stalin."


1. ‘Patriotic’ Ukrainians for failing to deliver a pro-West president by denying Yulia Tymoshenko the 5 percent needed to beat pro-Russia’s Victor Yanukovych; in particular, members of President Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party, women voters and the so-called "elite" including writer Oksana Zabushko, who wasted her vote and served as an example for others by voting for no one.

2. Ex-President Viktor Yushchenko for ensuring the elections of a pro-Russia president by endorsing Constitutional changes three days before the vote; urging voters to invalidate their ballots by voting "for no one" and relentlessly undermining the pro-West contender, Yulia Tymoshenko, including calling her "the worst mistake of my presidency."

3. Kharkiv Agreement for legitimizing a pro-Russia rather than a what-is-best-for-Ukraine option including the 25 year extension of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and dropping NATO membership consideration.

4. Dmitry Tabachnyk, minister of education, science and sport, for reverting to blunt Sovietique governance minimizing Soviet abuses; dismissing Galicians as being non-Ukrainians; changing history texts to favour Russia’s world view.

5. President Viktor Yanukovych for failing to dismiss anti-Ukrainian ministers who openly spread discord among citizens, act as the fifth column for Russia, and humiliate Ukraine globally.

6. Moscow’s Patriarch Kirill for ‘bad guest in Ukraine behavior’ by mixing politics and religion, preaching reunification of Ukraine with Russia, and demanding a name change to Hetman Ivan Mazepa (anathema to Russia’s past and current czars) Street.

7. Western states, in particular France and Germany, for consistent refusal to bring Ukraine, the largest European country, closer to the West via NATO and the European Union, thus granting carte blanche to Russia hegemony in the neighborhood, a tenet central to its "one Russia world."

8. Michael Ignatieff, Canada’s leader of the opposition, for ongoing faux pas with the Ukrainian Canadian electorate starting with slurs in his little book followed by an inadequate apology; a no-show at their half-million attendance festival; and no appointments from the group to his shadow cabinet.

9. The decision-makers at the Canadian Human Rights Museum for signaling out two groups for preferential treatment thus undermining the experiences of others suffering human rights abuses.

10. Canada’s former Ambassador to Ukraine and later Russia, Christopher Westdal, for undermining Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s defense of human rights in Ukraine and thus one of the central pillars of Canada’s foreign policy.


A special citation for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for turning Russia into a bad neighbor, lately sniping that Russia did not need Ukrainians to win World War II. If he keeps up the antagonism he may find himself on the BEST list next year as Ukrainians wake up en masse to the nastiness behind the "big brother" facade particularly those with family members in the Red Army who fought from Berlin to Stalingrad: that’s most of the population!