Ukrainian News | 17Jan2013 | Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Ukrainian Best & Worst List 2012
Almost everyone has favorite lists this time of year -- best movies,
books, persons… For the10th year, here is my annual list of the BEST
and WORST issues, events and personae that have impacted on the global
Ukrainian community in 2012.
10th Anniversary Edition
- Ukraine’s opposition leaders -- for agreeing
back in January 22, 2012 -- Ukraine’s historic day of unification -- to
offer a single list of candidates in the October parliamentary
elections. It worked!
- Ukrainian diaspora women’s
organizations -- for catching fire after Rada Speaker Mykola Lytvyn
opined that women are on a lower rung of development than
men. He cited Christian teachings as a basis for this ‘fact’
on the eve of International Women’s Day, the ‘holy’ day of Communism, a
system that oppresses women but mouths equality.
- Government of Canada -- for continuing to
demonstrate Canada’s friendship for Ukraine while taking a tough stand
on its government’s disregard for democracy.
- The people of Mykolajiv, Ukraine -- for their
rage and protest against government inaction when sons of justice and
government officials beat up and burned Oksana Makar. She has
- The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church leadership;
its Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shewchuk) -- for welcoming Ukrainian Orthodox
believers refusing to worship in churches under the direction of the
Moscow Patriarch and his questioning of Ukraine’s legislation favouring
the allocation of church properties to Moscow affiliates thus posing "a
clear threat to the interdenominational peace and agreement”;
and Cardinal Lubomyr Husar -- for his thoughtful and ethical writings
in support of justice and democracy in Ukraine .
- Rock diva Madonna -- for supporting Ukraine’s
incarcerated political opposition leader during a 100 thousand plus
concert in Kyiv; and Johanna Frändén, the foremost EURO 2012
broadcast’s face of Swedish TV -- for sporting a braided hairstyle “to
show solidarity to Yulia Tymoshenko”.
- Luba Goy, Canada’s premier comedienne -- for her
outstanding one-woman show “Just Luba” depicting life in Canada of the
traumatized post WWII immigrants.
- Ukraine’s media: journalists -- for mounting a
strike to oppose owner-directed editorial content; TVi -- for not
buckling to government intimidations to cease existing as one of the
last vestiges of Ukraine’s free media; and Inter TV
-- for promising to move towards greater media freedom.
- Ukraine -- for pulling off the Euro Cup.
- Dr. Ulrich Busch -- for the feisty defence of
the near life-long persecuted John Demjanjuk whom the Central Office of
the Judicial Authorities for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes
ultimately and posthumously considers innocent due to the absence of
the legally binding verdict.
- United States of America -- for passing
legislation to name and shame persons from non-American jurisdictions
who violate their office, and punish them by revoking travel visa to
the United States. Among the first is Deputy Prosecutor
General Renat Kuzmin, disgraced by his performance at the trials of
- Evhenia Tymoshenko -- for a daughter’s love and
fight in the international arena to free her incarcerated mother, Yulia
Tymoshenko, and return her to Ukraine’s politics as a key opposition
- The Ukrainian people -- for standing-up to its
government’s institutionalized poverty and oppression, incarceration of
political leaders and endless violation of human rights by bringing in
a numeric victory for the opposition parties in the latest
parliamentary election despite government efforts to control the
process and falsify results.
Oksana Bashuk Hepburn writes on issues designed to promote
democracy in Ukraine. She was a former Director Canadian Human Rights
Commission. She may be reached at [email protected]
- President Viktor Yanukovych and the Party of
Regions -- for failing to provide good government to their people and
stifling Ukraine’s progress towards democracy.
- Again, President Yanukovych -- for failing to
live up to his constitutional requirements to mount a free and fair
election, and for perpetrating corruption and cronyism in
- Deputy Prosecutor General Renat Kuzmin -- for
corrupting Ukraine’s judiciary by conducting improper trials for
opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko -- incarceration during her trial,
the testimony of witnesses when she had no counsel present, and the
court’s refusal to call certain defense witnesses -- and Yurij Lutsenko
to prevent their candidacies in the elections.
- Moscow’s Patriarch Kirill -- for meddling in
political affairs of Ukraine and allowing Kremlin to use the
church as a political instrument -- just as it was in the hands of the
KGB in Soviet times -- to subjugate Ukraine.
- Metropolitan Yurij, primate of the Ukrainian
Orthodox Church of Canada -- for banning Ukraine’s Patriarch Filaret
from churches and institutions in Canada thus acknowledging the
sovereignty of the Moscow Patriarch over them, a development the UGOC
has withstood since its founding nearly a century ago.
- Volodymyr Shapoval, Chair Central Elections
Commission in Ukraine -- for posting election results then removing
them in order to falsify findings as in polling station #132 where
opposition candidate Arkadij Kondradskyj was elected.
Annulled by the Commission, he must compete anew in a
by-election. Meanwhile his life has been threatened; his
family forced into exile; and his accountant Ludmila Nikitkina abducted
off the street and incarcerated for months without being accused.
- Bloomberg -- for publishing a piece by Tim Judah
seemly determined to undermine the Svoboda Party and its understandable
victory in light of the abominable politics of the ruling oligarchs and
their determination to destroy political opposition and thereby
- Ukrainian diaspora organizations -- for failing
to mount a robust campaign, based on their knowledge of democratic
practices, supporting incarcerated political leaders to prevent others
from becoming regime’s victims and ensuring justice for all.
- Jerusalem Post -- for failing its readers with a
nasty editorial following a popular vote victory for the opposition
which resorts to discredited stereotyping instead of addressing today’s
reality in Ukraine where the Jewish community is thriving in the
political arena and leads in the list of its billionaires.
- BBC decision-makers -- for using an isolated
stadium brawl to falsely accuse an entire people of racism and
hooliganism; a premise not borne out by facts but, rather, motivated by
hate-mongering and image-destroying on the eve of the Euro Cup in
- Prime Minister Mykola Azarov -- for failing to
dismiss the unqualified Education and Science Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk
for anti-Ukrainian rants which cause strife in the country.
- Education and Science Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk
-- for allowing pro-Communist material -- an ideology that aimed to
eradicate Ukrainians even before the Nazis copied it to pursue their
own evil goals -- into grade-schools; and hero-worshiping Lenin and
Stalin, the fathers of Soviet crimes against humanity.
- Ukraine’s leaders of all stripes -- for failing
to make a push to learn English, today’s lingua franca, and make their
messages available to the world.