Ukraine

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Overview

Located in Eastern Europe, Ukraine was once part of the Russian, then Soviet empire, from the late 18th century until the end of the Cold War. For a brief period toward the end of World War I, Ukraine declared autonomy, which was followed by three years of civil war. The civil war ended with the western part of Ukrainian territory being incorporated into Poland, and the larger, central and eastern regions being incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1922. As Stalin rose to power in Russia, the Soviets began to impose draconian restrictions on Ukraine, creating an artificial famine and starving millions to death. When the Nazis and Soviets invaded Poland in 1939, the western part of Ukraine was incorporated into the Soviet Union. In 1941, the Nazis invaded Ukraine as part of Germany’s larger attack on the USSR. At first, some Ukrainians welcomed the Germans as a liberating force from Communism, but eventually they realized the true brutality of the regime. Hitler killed hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian Jews, ethnic Ukrainians and others. After World War II, the Soviet Union regained control of Ukraine, dominating its politics for the next 40 years.

 
On April 26, 1986, an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine contaminated large areas of the country. Combined with the Soviet’s efforts to conceal the extent of the catastrophe, this was a watershed for many Ukrainians. Ukraine became an independent state on August 24, 1991, and was a co-founder of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. From 1991 to 2004, presidents Leonid Kraychuk and Leonid Kuchma ruled the country. Following Kuchma’s retirement, elections to choose a new president were tarnished by allegations of fraud by supporters of the former president, who tried to install his hand-picked successor. The dispute resulted in street protests that became known as the “Orange Revolution,” and the opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, eventually took over the presidency. In addition, Ukraine had to deal with tense relations with Russia over the issue of natural gas pricing.
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Basic Information

Lay of the Land: Ukraine is the largest country located wholly in Europe, with an area of 233,000 square miles. Kiev, the capital, has a population of 2.8 million. The terrain is bounded by the Carpathian Mountains in the southwest and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the south.

 
Population: 46.0 million
 
Religions: Ukrainian Orthodox – Kyiv Patriarchate 77.8%, Ukrainian Orthodox – Moscow Patriarchate 26.1%, Ukrainian Greek Catholic 8%, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox 7.2%, Roman Catholic 2.2%, Protestant 2.2%, Muslim 2.1%, Jewish 0.6%, other 1.1%. Due to its communist legacy, religious participation remains low; as many as 40% of respondents described themselves as non-denominational believers.
 
Ethnic Groups: Ukrainian 77.8%, Russian 17.3%, Belarusian 0.6%, Moldovan 0.5%, Crimean Tatar 0.5%, Bulgarian 0.4%, Hungarian 0.3%, Romanian 0.35, Polish 0.3%, Jewish 0.2%, other 1.8%.
 
Languages: Ukrainian (official) 65.1%, Rusyn/Ruthenian 1.2%, Romanian 0.5%, Hungarian 0.4%, Urum 0.2%, Jakati 0.06%, Greek 0.01%, Romani (Carpathian, Vlax).
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History

Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, and Goths were the first groups to settle in what is now Ukraine, arriving throughout the first millennium BC. Each group was known to Greek and Roman traders, and each set up trading outposts that eventually became city-states.

 
In the 6th century AD, Slavic tribes occupied eastern Ukraine and helped to develop Kyiv. In 988, Kievan Rus Prince Volodymyr converted the Kievan nobility and most of the population to Christianity, and this helped Kyiv and other cities to thrive in the Kievan Rus.
 
In the 11th century, Kievan Rus was the largest state in Europe. But conflict that had been brewing among the feudal lords in Ukraine led to the state’s decline in the 12th century. By the 13th century, Mongol raiders were able to raid and capture Kyiv.
 
Most of the territory now known as Ukraine was annexed by Poland and Lithuania in the 14th century. However, during that time, Ukrainians began to see themselves as a distinct people. This growing nationalism was enhanced by the Cossacks, who were Ukrainian peasants who had resisted the Polish effort to force them into servitude. The Cossacks became known for their fighting spirit and fierce independence.
 
In 1667, Ukraine was partitioned between Poland and Russia. In 1793, the country was again divided up when Poland was partitioned. At that time, much of modern-day Ukraine was absorbed into the Russian empire.
 
During the 19th century, Ukraine was largely agricultural, with few cities and centers of trade. It existed under the tutelage of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the west and the Russian Empire everywhere else. Throughout the country, writers, intellectuals, and artists echoed the growing nationalist spirit. Some were determined to form a Ukrainian state. Taras Shevchenko elevated the Ukrainian language and culture through his work as a poet and artist. Imperial Russia, however, imposed strict limits on Ukrainian culture, even banning the use and study of the Ukrainian language.
 
During World War I and the Russian Revolution that followed closely thereafter, the Habsburg and Russian Empires were shattered. In 1917 the Central Rada proclaimed Ukrainian autonomy. Following the Bolshevik seizure of power in Petrograd in 1918, the Ukrainian National Republic declared independence under President Mykhaylo Hrushevsky. Three years of civil war followed, ending with the western part of Ukrainian territory being incorporated into Poland. The larger central and eastern regions were incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1922, as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
 
The idea of Ukrainian nationalism remained throughout the 1920s, but as Stalin rose to power on a platform of forced collectivism, the Soviets imposed a campaign of terror that ravaged the intellectual class. The Soviet government under Stalin also created an artificial famine (called the Holodomor in Ukrainian). Estimates of deaths as a result of the famine range from three to seven million.
 
When the Nazis and Soviets invaded Poland in 1939, the western part of Ukraine was incorporated into the Soviet Union. In 1941, the Nazis turned around and invaded the USSR, including Ukraine. At first, some Ukrainians welcomed them as a liberating force from communism. However, as they came to understand Hitler’s aims, most changed their minds. Nazi brutality was directed principally against Ukraine’s Jews (an estimated 1 million were killed), but also against many other Ukrainians. Babyn Yar in Kyiv was the site of one of the most horrific Nazi massacres of Ukrainian Jews, ethnic Ukrainians, and many others.
 
The Soviet Union regained control of Ukraine after World War II, and armed resistance against Soviet authority continued until the 1950s. Under more liberal periods, such as those under Khrushchev and Gorbachev, Ukrainian communists tried to advance a nationalist agenda.
 
On April 26, 1986, there was an explosion at the Chornobyl (Chernobyl in Russian) nuclear power plant, located in the Ukrainian SSR. The Soviet government’s initial efforts to conceal the extent of the catastrophe from its own people and the world became a watershed for many Ukrainians in exposing the severe problems of the Soviet system. The fallout from the disaster contaminated large areas of northern Ukraine and areas of Belarus.
 
Ukraine became an independent state on August 24, 1991, and was a co-founder of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This followed a demonstration on January 21, 1990, in which more than 300,000 Ukrainians made a human chain for independence.
 
From 1991 to 2004, two presidents ruled Ukraine: Leonid Kraychuk and Leonid Kuchma. Violent demonstrations rocked Ukraine in the winter of 2001, with protesters demanding the resignation and impeachment of Kuchma. Critics accused the authoritarian leader of involvement in the murder of a journalist who had been critical of government corruption.
 
In 2004, Kuchma announced his retirement. A presidential election pitted Viktor Yushchenko, the former reformist prime minister, against Viktor Yanukovich, the current prime minister and Kuchma’s chosen successor. The campaign was an especially dirty one. Yushchenko was nearly fatally poisoned with dioxin and had to be hospitalized for several weeks shortly before the election. In the November 21 runoff election, Yanukovich received 49.5% of the vote and Yushchenko 46.5%. International monitors declared the elections massively fraudulent. Hundreds of thousands of Yushchenko’s supporters took to the streets of the capital and other cities in protest, and what became known as the Orange Revolution (after Yushchenko’s signature campaign color) continued full strength over the next two weeks.
 
On December 3, 2004, the Ukrainian Supreme Court invalidated the election results. Five days later, parliament voted in favor of an overhaul of Ukraine’s political system. They amended the constitution to reform election laws and transferred some presidential powers to the parliament. In the final presidential runoff on December 26, Yushchenko won 52% of the vote to Yanukovich’s 44.2%.
 
On January 23, 2005, Yushchenko was sworn in. Fellow reformist Yulia Timoshenko became the prime minister. But later that year, Yushchenko’s reformist reputation was tarnished by his administration’s infighting and allegations of corruption. He fired Prime Minster Timoshenko and her entire cabinet in August 2005. The crisis shook the public’s belief in the Orange Revolution, and Yushchenko’s continued inattentiveness to governmental corruption further disillusioned the public.
 
By 2006, Ukraine was governed by a coalition of communists, socialists, and members of the Party of Regions. On April 2007, Yushchenko dissolved the Verkhovna Rada because members of his party were defecting to the opposition. This prompted an outcry from the opposition, but Yushchenko took steps to remove three of the court’s 18 judges for reasons of corruption, stopping any real protest from taking place.
 
Russia suddenly quadrupled the price of gas sold to Ukraine in January 2006, which triggered an energy crisis in the country. Ukraine maintained that Russia, angry at Ukraine’s growing pro-Western stance and its loss of influence in the region, was attempting to damage its economy. Russia maintained that the rise in prices was purely a commercial consideration. Russia briefly stemmed the flow of gas to Ukraine to force the country to accept the higher prices, sending alarms throughout Europe—at the time, a quarter of Europe’s gas supplies came from Russia via Ukraine’s pipelines. A compromise was eventually reached, with Ukraine agreeing to pay about double its current price.
 
A dispute over debts and pricing of gas supplies between Russia and Ukraine led Gazprom, the major Russian gas supplier, to halt its gas exports to Europe via Ukraine, affecting at least 10 EU countries in January 2009. Russia and Ukraine blamed each other for the disruption to Europe’s energy supply.
 
History of Ukraine (Wikipedia)
History of Ukraine in Facts (Web-Portal of the Ukrainian Government)
History of Ukraine Toronto Ukrainian Genealogy Group)
Ukraine (Virtual Jewish Library)
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Ukraine's Newspapers
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History of U.S. Relations with Ukraine

The first wave of Ukrainian immigrants came to the US in 1877 as strikebreakers to the industrialized northeast; before World War I, 70% of the 350,000 Ukrainian immigrants lived in Pennsylvania. The inter-war immigrants numbered only 15,000, and assimilated more easily than their predecessors. Another 80,000 came as displaced persons, refugees from war, and the oppressive Soviet regime.

 
Pennsylvania still hosts the largest Ukrainian population, followed by New York, and New Jersey. Although the western half of the country is relatively bereft of Ukrainians, California ranks fourth in the size of its Ukrainian population.
 
On December 25, 1991, the United States officially recognized the independence of Ukraine. It upgraded its consulate in the capital, Kyiv, to embassy status on January 21, 1992.

The US worked with Ukraine throughout the 1990s to help it make strides towards greater democracy and a market economy. In 1999, following a period of high inflation and over-reliance on state controls, Ukraine took steps to bring about economic reform.
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Current U.S. Relations with Ukraine

US officials supported the “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine in late 2004 and early 2005, warning the former regime against trying to impose fraudulent election results, and hailing Yushchenko’s ultimate victory. President Yushchenko visited the United States from April 4-7, 2005, and had meetings with President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Yushchenko’s address to a joint session of Congress on April 6 was interrupted by several standing ovations.

 
US officials remained upbeat about Ukraine’s successes in some areas, such as adopting legislation needed for WTO membership and in improving media freedom, while acknowledging
difficulties in others. Bush administration officials also praised Ukraine’s efforts to hold a free and fair parliamentary election on March 26, 2006. However, protracted wrangling over forming the new government forced President Bush to cancel a proposed visit to Ukraine in June 2006.
 
President Yushchenko withdrew Ukraine’s troops from Iraq in December 2005, in fulfillment of a campaign pledge, but promised to continue participation in Iraqi troop training efforts. Ukraine has not contributed troops to Afghanistan, at least in part due to bad public memories of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.
 
On January 23, 2006, the United States reinstated tariff preferences for Ukraine under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Ukraine lost GSP benefits in 2001 for failing to protect US intellectual property, particularly against CD and DVD piracy.
 
The Bush administration also publicly endorsed the idea of Ukraine joining NATO, even though such a move was not welcomed by Russia.
 
Additionally, the Bush administration was sharply critical of Russia’s behavior during the January 2006 natural gas standoff between Russia and Ukraine.
 
In February 2006, the United States granted Ukraine market economy status, and in March, the US terminated the application of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to the Trade Act of 1974 to Ukraine, providing Ukraine permanent normal trade relations status.
 
In the 2000 US census, 892,922 people identified themselves as Ukrainian.
 
In 2006, 111,446 Americans visited Ukraine. Tourism has grown rapidly since 2002, when 38,370 Americans traveled to Ukraine. In 2006, 30,125 Ukrainians visited the US. The number of tourists has increased consistently since 2002, when 12,169 Ukrainians came to America.
 
Ukraine (Council on Foreign Relations)
Crisis in Ukraine: US Interests under Threat (by Ariel Cohen, Heritage Foundation)
Ukraine (Brookings Institute)
Cheney to Ukraine: US Supports Your Security (by Maria Danilova, Associated Press)
Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy (by Steven Woehrel, Congressional Research Service)
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Where Does the Money Flow

From 2004 to 2008, US imports from Ukraine included iron and steel mill products (semi-finished), increasing from $536.9 million to $991.8 million; drilling and oil field equipment and platforms, moving up from $44.9 million to $165.8 million; fuel oil, rising from $51.1 million to $143.4 million; and steelmaking and ferroalloying materials, increasing from $106 million to $278.7 million.

 
US imports from Ukraine that declined included spacecraft, engines and parts (except military), decreasing from $59.9 million to $34.2 million; apparel and household goods (cotton), moving down from $21.6 million to $19.8 million; and civilian aircraft, decreasing from $8.8 million to $8.3 million.
 
American exports to Ukraine included meat and poultry, increasing from $85.6 million to $225.2 million; metallurgical grade coal, rising from $71.9 million to $135.3 million; agricultural machinery and equipment, moving up from $256.4 million to $388.3 million; and passenger cars, increasing from $163.4 million to $204.6 million.
 
US exports on the decline included fish and shellfish, decreasing from $66.8 million to $53.9 million; tobacco (unmanufactured), falling from $96.8 million to $8.2 million; industrial engines, dropping from $32.4 million to $21.1 million; and industrial machines, decreasing from $34.4 million to $30 million.
 
The US sold $56.2 million of defense articles and supplies to Ukraine in 2007.
 
In December 2006, Ukraine signed a two-year $45 million threshold program with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), designed to fight corruption.
 
The US gave $96.5 million in aid to Ukraine in 2006. The budget allocated the most funds to Combating WMD ($22.8 million), Stabilization Operations and Security Sector Reform ($14.6 million), Health ($9.3 million, including $1.6 million for the Global HIV/AIDS Initiative), Infrastructure ($9 million), and Civil Society ($8.1 million).
 
According to the 2008 budget estimate, the US slightly reduced aid to $82.9 million.
 
The 2009 budget increased aid to $86.5 million, and distributed the most funds to Combating WMD ($20.2 million), Stabilization Operations and Security Sector Reform ($13.7 million), Civil Society ($8.2 million), Health ($8.1 million), Good Governance ($8.1 million), and Rule of Law and Human Rights ($6.0 million). The lion’s share of Peace and Security funding is dedicated to nuclear safety, specifically the Chernobyl Shelter Implementation Project, an internationally funded plan to a build a sarcophagus over the remains of the nuclear reactor.
 
Ukraine will receive funds through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) outside of the foreign operations budget.
 
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Controversies

Bush Suggested Ukraine Join NATO

In April 2008, President George W. Bush raised controversy when, on a trip to Bucharest, he urged Ukraine and Georgia to join NATO, saying he was firmly behind the measure. Few, if any, of the other 25 NATO member countries felt the same way. Russia, in particular, resented the move by the US, saying it would damage Russia’s relations with the West. Germany and France also opposed the two nations joining NATO, fearing an imbalance of power. Others, however, said that denying them entry would only appease Russia. This, combined with the US plan to build strategic missile shield in Poland, made relations between the US and Russia tense.
US, Russia spar on missiles; Ukraine eyes NATO (by Patrick Lannin and David Morgan, Reuters)
Ukraine and Georgia face uphill battle on NATO bid (by Paul Taylor and Mark John, Reuters)
 
US Does Not Recognize Ukraine Election Results
In November 2004, former US Secretary of State Colin Powell said that the US did not accept the results of Ukraine’s presidential elections, citing fraud and abuse. The election commission declared Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych the winner, but loser Viktor Yushchenko called for a nationwide strike. Powell urged the country to take steps to remedy the situation before violence broke out.
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Human Rights

Human rights groups asserted that in 2008 soldiers continued to kill other soldiers during violent hazing events. The Kharkiv office of the International Society for Human Rights reported that violent hazing continued to be widespread. According to the military watchdog group Mothers of Killed Soldiers, most deaths are labeled suicide or accident and were not investigated.

 
Ukrainian media reported two instances of security forces allegedly killing prisoners in custody during 2008. Police frequently employed severe violence against persons in custody. According to numerous human rights groups, law enforcement personnel used force and mistreatment routinely and with impunity to extract confessions and information from detainees. According to Human Rights Watch, police sometimes coerced testimony from drug users by withholding treatment for painful withdrawal symptoms while in custody.
 
Police officers were often not adequately trained or equipped to gather evidence and depended on confessions to meet ambitious quotas to solve cases. The law does not clearly prohibit statements made under torture from being introduced as evidence in court proceedings.
 
Police abused Roma and harassed and abused non-Slavic appearing persons. Representatives of these groups claimed that police officials routinely ignored, and sometimes abetted, vigilante violence against them.
 
There were several reports of self-inflicted injuries and violent incidents in prisons and detention centers. These incidents were frequently a result of harsh treatment of prisoners by facility staff, who beat prisoners and destroyed their food.
 
Overcrowding and poor conditions in pretrial detention have exacerbated the problem of tuberculosis (TB) among prisoners. HIV-infected prisoners were frequently not allowed to receive specialized medication.
 
In 2007, human rights organizations reported that there were long delays for detainees awaiting trial.
 
Police corruption remains a problem.
 
According to the State Department, lengthy pretrial detention remains a problem. “While the law provides that pretrial detention may not last more than two months, in cases involving exceptionally grave offenses a judge of the Supreme Court may extend detention to 18 months. It was reported that individuals remained in detention for month or years prior to being tried by the court. Human rights organizations reported that police continued to use the maximum term of 72 hours for pretrial detention to extract evidence, which could be used against the detained person. Often courts extended detention to 10 days to allow police more time to get confessions.
 
“Reports continued of police arbitrarily detaining persons, particularly persons of non-Slavic appearance, for extensive document checks and vehicle inspections. Although the law provides for bail, it was rarely used; many defendants could not pay the bail amounts imposed by law. Courts sometimes imposed restrictions on travel outside a given area as an alternative to pretrial confinement.”
 
The judiciary also suffered from corruption and inefficiency. There were indications that suspects often bribed court officials to drop charges before cases went to trial or to lessen or commute sentences.
The US State Department reported that “the judiciary’s lack of adequate staff and funds contributed to inefficiency and corruption and increased its dependence on the executive branch”.
 
In addition, the State Department noted the authority’s “failure to enforce court decisions in civil cases also undermined the authority and independence of the judicial system. During the year there were reports of pressure on Constitutional Court judges, in particular after the April presidential decree to dissolve the parliament. There were a number of corruption allegations involving its judges.”
 
Human rights groups reported that officials occasionally denied client-attorney privilege. Often free legal counsel was not available even though it is required by law. To protect defendants, investigative files must contain signed documents attesting that defendants have been informed of the charges against them, of their right to an attorney at public expense, and of their right not to give evidence against themselves or their relatives. However, officials sometimes verbally and physically abused defendants to obtain their signatures.
 
The judiciary suffers from corruption. Judges have immunity from prosecution and cannot be detained or arrested without the consent of parliament.
 
There were reports of intimidation of journalists, including by local officials. Both the independent and government-owned media continued to demonstrate a tendency toward self-censorship on matters that the government deemed sensitive. Although private newspapers were free to function on a purely commercial basis, they often depended on political patrons who could facilitate financial support from the State Press Support Fund. The private newspapers also received close scrutiny from government officials, particularly at the local level.
 
There were a number of anti-Semitic acts and several of them involved physical attacks. Synagogues, cemeteries, and Holocaust memorials were vandalized on several occasions, particularly in Kirovohrad, where the Choral Synagogue was vandalized at least three times during the year.
 
Corruption remains a serious problem in the executive and legislative branches of the government, including the armed services. According to the March survey by the organization Promoting Active Citizen Engagement in Combating Corruption in Ukraine, “almost 63 percent of respondents described public servants as very corrupt, and 19 percent of those polled said they engaged in corrupt activities with public servants to obtain state services in the previous 12 months”.
 
Spousal abuse is illegal but was common, and authorities often pressured women not to press charges against their husbands. Violence against women did not receive extensive media coverage despite the efforts of human rights groups to highlight the problem.
 
Prostitution is illegal but widespread and largely ignored by the government. Sex tourism rose as the country attracted greater numbers of foreign tourists. Laws criminalizing organized prostitution and penalties for human trafficking have had little effect because many convicted traffickers often do not end up serving prison time.
 
Trafficking in women for sexual exploitation was a serious problem.
 
Women’s groups reported that there was continuing widespread sexual harassment in the workplace, including coerced sex. While the law prohibits forced sex with a “materially dependent person,” which includes employees, legal experts regarded the safeguards against harassment as inadequate.
 
Industries dominated by female workers had the lowest relative wages and were the ones most likely to be affected by wage arrears. Women also received lower salaries and had limited opportunity for career advancement. Few women held top managerial positions in the government or in state-owned or private industry.
 
The problem of growing violence and crime in and outside of schools persisted, particularly in the notoriously violent vocational schools, which discouraged some children from attending school. Roma rights organizations reported numerous incidents of discrimination against Romani children in schools.
 
According to the US State Department, “children continued to be victims of violence and abuse. There were also many complaints of abuse of children related to child prostitution, pornographic video sales, child molestation, and illegal child labor. According to civil society groups, police often did not investigate parents who allegedly abused their children.”
 
Human rights organizations reported police violence against minors, including sexual violence. Commercial sexual exploitation of children remained a serious problem. According to domestic and foreign law enforcement officials, a significant portion of the child pornography available on the Internet continued to originate in the country.
 
The US State Department noted that “harassment of racial minorities was a continuing problem. There were reports that police occasionally detained dark-skinned persons for arbitrary document checks, whereas document checks of light-skinned individuals were rare.
 
“Persons with HIV/AIDS…faced widespread discrimination and lack of access to treatment. Although the country’s national AIDS law incorporates rights protections for persons with HIV/AIDS, implementation remained weak. Persons with HIV/AIDS continued to face discrimination in the workplace [and in healthcare]; job loss without legal recourse; harassment by law enforcement, prosecutorial, and judicial authorities; and social isolation and stigmatization within their communities.”
 
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors

Note: The United States recognized Ukraine Dec 26, 1991. Embassy Kiev was established Jan 23, 1992, with Jon Gundersen as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.

 
Roman Popadiuk
Appointment: May 11, 1992
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 4, 1992
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 30, 1993
 
William Green Miller 
Appointment: Sep 16, 1993
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 21, 1993
Termination of Mission: Left post Jan 6, 1998
 
Steven Karl Pifer
Appointment: Nov 10, 1997
Presentation of Credentials:
Termination of Mission: Left post Oct 9, 2000
 
Carlos Pascual
Appointment: Sept 15, 2000
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 22, 2000
Termination of Mission: Left post May 1, 2003
 
John E. Herbst
Appointment: Jul 1, 2003
Presentation of Credentials: Sept 20, 2003
Termination of Mission: Left post, May 26, 2006
 
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Ukraine's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Motsyk, Oleksandr

Oleksandr Motsyk was took over as Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States on June 11, 2010.

 
Motsyk was born on May 3, 1955, in the village of Horodets Volodymeretskoho, in the Rivne region of the Ukraine. In 1981 he graduated from Kyiv State University’s School of International Relations, Department of International Law, as an English language interpreter and international law specialist.
 
Motsyk entered the diplomatic service while Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union, via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (MFA), initially serving as Third Secretary, Consular Section, from July 1981 to May 1985. He then became Third and Second Secretary of International Organizations (May 1985 to April 1987); Second and First Secretary of the Personnel Department of the MFA (April 1987 to September 1990); and Director First Secretary of the Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs of the MFA (September 1990 to April 1992).
 
From April 1992 to August 1995, Motsyk served as Second and First Secretary, and Counselor, at the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations in New York. From August 1995 to November 1997, he was Director and Chief-of-Control of the MFA’s Contractual and Legal Department. In November 1997, he was appointed Ukraine’s Ambassador to Turkey, a post he held for four years.
 
From September 1999 to November 2004, Motsyk was Ukraine’s Representative to the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. In Ukraine’s MFA, he served as Deputy State Secretary (November 2001 to July 2003), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (July 2003 to July 2004), and First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on European Integration (July 2004 to February 2005).
 
From February to December 2005, Motsyk held the position of First Deputy State Secretary and First Deputy Head of the Secretariat of the President of Ukraine. He was then appointed as Ukraine’s Ambassador to Poland, a post he held until June 2010.
 
In addition to being ambassador to the United States, Motsyn represents Ukraine as its ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda.
 
Motsyk and his wife, Natalia, have two daughters. He speaks English, Russian and Polish.
 
 

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Ukraine's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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Comments

Doeski 10 months ago
Ukraine is the only former nuclear weapons(which had over 400 bombs, many ICBM's etc.)country, in history to sign the non-proliferation treaty; to become nuclear weapons free. But their security may be in jeopardy.

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U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

Pyatt, Geoffrey
ambassador-image

President Barack Obama on February 26 nominated a senior foreign service officer whose 22-year State Department career has focused on Asia and Latin America to be the next ambassador to the eastern European nation of Ukraine. Geoffrey Pyatt will succeed career diplomat John F. Tefft, who served as ambassador to Kyiv starting in November 2009.

 

Born circa 1963, Geoffrey Ross Pyatt grew up in the wealthy San Diego suburb of La Jolla, California, and earned a B.A. in Political Science at the University of California at Irvine in 1985, and an M.A. in International Relations at Yale in 1987.

 

Prior to joining the Foreign Service in 1990, Pyatt worked with The Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based think tank. At the State Department, Pyatt’s early career assignments included stints as economic officer and vice-consul at the U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, from 1990-9192; political officer at the embassy in New Delhi, India, from 1992-1994; staff assistant to the assistant secretary of state for Latin America in 1994; special assistant to the deputy secretary of state from 1995 to 1996, and director for Latin America on the National Security Council staff from 1996 to 1997.

 

Pyatt served as principal officer of the American Consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, from 1997 to 1999, followed by service as American consulate general in Hong Kong, China, from 1999 to 2002. Returning to India, from 2002 to 2007 Pyatt served at the embassy in New Delhi, first as minister counselor for Political Affairs and as deputy chief of mission from June 2006 to July 2007.

 

When WikiLeaks published State Department cables, Pyatt became embroiled in controversy because of a May 4, 2007, cable he sent recommending that K.V. Rajan, a secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs and a member of the Prime Minister's National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) visit Washington DC in order to help “feed” U.S. government views on Iran into the Indian system.

 

For his first European posting, Pyatt served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Mission to the International Atomic Energy Agency and Other International Organizations in Vienna, Austria, from August 2007 to May 2010, when he was named principal deputy assistant secretary of the South and Central Asia Affairs Bureau.

 

Pyatt and his wife Mary (née Detchmendy) have two children, William and Claire.

 

Official Biography

Obama Nominates Candidate for New US Ambassador to Ukraine (by Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv Post)

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

Taylor, William
ambassador-image

William B. served as the United States Ambassador to Ukraine beginning on May 26, 2006. Taylor graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. As an infantry officer in the US Army, he served in Vietnam and Germany.

 
Previously, he served in Brussels as deputy defense advisor at the US Mission to NATO, in Washington on the staff of Senator Bill Bradley, at the National Defense University and in the US Department of Energy.
 
In Washington, he served with the rank of ambassador as coordinator of US assistance to the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (1992-2002), and in Kabul, he was coordinator of US aid and international assistance to Afghanistan (2002-2003). From 2004-2005, he served in Baghdad as Director at the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office.
 
Until February 2006 he was the US government’s representative to the Quartet’s effort to facilitate the Israeli disengagement from Gaza and parts of the West Bank, led by Special Envoy James Wolfensohn in Jerusalem.

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Overview

Located in Eastern Europe, Ukraine was once part of the Russian, then Soviet empire, from the late 18th century until the end of the Cold War. For a brief period toward the end of World War I, Ukraine declared autonomy, which was followed by three years of civil war. The civil war ended with the western part of Ukrainian territory being incorporated into Poland, and the larger, central and eastern regions being incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1922. As Stalin rose to power in Russia, the Soviets began to impose draconian restrictions on Ukraine, creating an artificial famine and starving millions to death. When the Nazis and Soviets invaded Poland in 1939, the western part of Ukraine was incorporated into the Soviet Union. In 1941, the Nazis invaded Ukraine as part of Germany’s larger attack on the USSR. At first, some Ukrainians welcomed the Germans as a liberating force from Communism, but eventually they realized the true brutality of the regime. Hitler killed hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian Jews, ethnic Ukrainians and others. After World War II, the Soviet Union regained control of Ukraine, dominating its politics for the next 40 years.

 
On April 26, 1986, an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine contaminated large areas of the country. Combined with the Soviet’s efforts to conceal the extent of the catastrophe, this was a watershed for many Ukrainians. Ukraine became an independent state on August 24, 1991, and was a co-founder of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. From 1991 to 2004, presidents Leonid Kraychuk and Leonid Kuchma ruled the country. Following Kuchma’s retirement, elections to choose a new president were tarnished by allegations of fraud by supporters of the former president, who tried to install his hand-picked successor. The dispute resulted in street protests that became known as the “Orange Revolution,” and the opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, eventually took over the presidency. In addition, Ukraine had to deal with tense relations with Russia over the issue of natural gas pricing.
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Basic Information

Lay of the Land: Ukraine is the largest country located wholly in Europe, with an area of 233,000 square miles. Kiev, the capital, has a population of 2.8 million. The terrain is bounded by the Carpathian Mountains in the southwest and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the south.

 
Population: 46.0 million
 
Religions: Ukrainian Orthodox – Kyiv Patriarchate 77.8%, Ukrainian Orthodox – Moscow Patriarchate 26.1%, Ukrainian Greek Catholic 8%, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox 7.2%, Roman Catholic 2.2%, Protestant 2.2%, Muslim 2.1%, Jewish 0.6%, other 1.1%. Due to its communist legacy, religious participation remains low; as many as 40% of respondents described themselves as non-denominational believers.
 
Ethnic Groups: Ukrainian 77.8%, Russian 17.3%, Belarusian 0.6%, Moldovan 0.5%, Crimean Tatar 0.5%, Bulgarian 0.4%, Hungarian 0.3%, Romanian 0.35, Polish 0.3%, Jewish 0.2%, other 1.8%.
 
Languages: Ukrainian (official) 65.1%, Rusyn/Ruthenian 1.2%, Romanian 0.5%, Hungarian 0.4%, Urum 0.2%, Jakati 0.06%, Greek 0.01%, Romani (Carpathian, Vlax).
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History

Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, and Goths were the first groups to settle in what is now Ukraine, arriving throughout the first millennium BC. Each group was known to Greek and Roman traders, and each set up trading outposts that eventually became city-states.

 
In the 6th century AD, Slavic tribes occupied eastern Ukraine and helped to develop Kyiv. In 988, Kievan Rus Prince Volodymyr converted the Kievan nobility and most of the population to Christianity, and this helped Kyiv and other cities to thrive in the Kievan Rus.
 
In the 11th century, Kievan Rus was the largest state in Europe. But conflict that had been brewing among the feudal lords in Ukraine led to the state’s decline in the 12th century. By the 13th century, Mongol raiders were able to raid and capture Kyiv.
 
Most of the territory now known as Ukraine was annexed by Poland and Lithuania in the 14th century. However, during that time, Ukrainians began to see themselves as a distinct people. This growing nationalism was enhanced by the Cossacks, who were Ukrainian peasants who had resisted the Polish effort to force them into servitude. The Cossacks became known for their fighting spirit and fierce independence.
 
In 1667, Ukraine was partitioned between Poland and Russia. In 1793, the country was again divided up when Poland was partitioned. At that time, much of modern-day Ukraine was absorbed into the Russian empire.
 
During the 19th century, Ukraine was largely agricultural, with few cities and centers of trade. It existed under the tutelage of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the west and the Russian Empire everywhere else. Throughout the country, writers, intellectuals, and artists echoed the growing nationalist spirit. Some were determined to form a Ukrainian state. Taras Shevchenko elevated the Ukrainian language and culture through his work as a poet and artist. Imperial Russia, however, imposed strict limits on Ukrainian culture, even banning the use and study of the Ukrainian language.
 
During World War I and the Russian Revolution that followed closely thereafter, the Habsburg and Russian Empires were shattered. In 1917 the Central Rada proclaimed Ukrainian autonomy. Following the Bolshevik seizure of power in Petrograd in 1918, the Ukrainian National Republic declared independence under President Mykhaylo Hrushevsky. Three years of civil war followed, ending with the western part of Ukrainian territory being incorporated into Poland. The larger central and eastern regions were incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1922, as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
 
The idea of Ukrainian nationalism remained throughout the 1920s, but as Stalin rose to power on a platform of forced collectivism, the Soviets imposed a campaign of terror that ravaged the intellectual class. The Soviet government under Stalin also created an artificial famine (called the Holodomor in Ukrainian). Estimates of deaths as a result of the famine range from three to seven million.
 
When the Nazis and Soviets invaded Poland in 1939, the western part of Ukraine was incorporated into the Soviet Union. In 1941, the Nazis turned around and invaded the USSR, including Ukraine. At first, some Ukrainians welcomed them as a liberating force from communism. However, as they came to understand Hitler’s aims, most changed their minds. Nazi brutality was directed principally against Ukraine’s Jews (an estimated 1 million were killed), but also against many other Ukrainians. Babyn Yar in Kyiv was the site of one of the most horrific Nazi massacres of Ukrainian Jews, ethnic Ukrainians, and many others.
 
The Soviet Union regained control of Ukraine after World War II, and armed resistance against Soviet authority continued until the 1950s. Under more liberal periods, such as those under Khrushchev and Gorbachev, Ukrainian communists tried to advance a nationalist agenda.
 
On April 26, 1986, there was an explosion at the Chornobyl (Chernobyl in Russian) nuclear power plant, located in the Ukrainian SSR. The Soviet government’s initial efforts to conceal the extent of the catastrophe from its own people and the world became a watershed for many Ukrainians in exposing the severe problems of the Soviet system. The fallout from the disaster contaminated large areas of northern Ukraine and areas of Belarus.
 
Ukraine became an independent state on August 24, 1991, and was a co-founder of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This followed a demonstration on January 21, 1990, in which more than 300,000 Ukrainians made a human chain for independence.
 
From 1991 to 2004, two presidents ruled Ukraine: Leonid Kraychuk and Leonid Kuchma. Violent demonstrations rocked Ukraine in the winter of 2001, with protesters demanding the resignation and impeachment of Kuchma. Critics accused the authoritarian leader of involvement in the murder of a journalist who had been critical of government corruption.
 
In 2004, Kuchma announced his retirement. A presidential election pitted Viktor Yushchenko, the former reformist prime minister, against Viktor Yanukovich, the current prime minister and Kuchma’s chosen successor. The campaign was an especially dirty one. Yushchenko was nearly fatally poisoned with dioxin and had to be hospitalized for several weeks shortly before the election. In the November 21 runoff election, Yanukovich received 49.5% of the vote and Yushchenko 46.5%. International monitors declared the elections massively fraudulent. Hundreds of thousands of Yushchenko’s supporters took to the streets of the capital and other cities in protest, and what became known as the Orange Revolution (after Yushchenko’s signature campaign color) continued full strength over the next two weeks.
 
On December 3, 2004, the Ukrainian Supreme Court invalidated the election results. Five days later, parliament voted in favor of an overhaul of Ukraine’s political system. They amended the constitution to reform election laws and transferred some presidential powers to the parliament. In the final presidential runoff on December 26, Yushchenko won 52% of the vote to Yanukovich’s 44.2%.
 
On January 23, 2005, Yushchenko was sworn in. Fellow reformist Yulia Timoshenko became the prime minister. But later that year, Yushchenko’s reformist reputation was tarnished by his administration’s infighting and allegations of corruption. He fired Prime Minster Timoshenko and her entire cabinet in August 2005. The crisis shook the public’s belief in the Orange Revolution, and Yushchenko’s continued inattentiveness to governmental corruption further disillusioned the public.
 
By 2006, Ukraine was governed by a coalition of communists, socialists, and members of the Party of Regions. On April 2007, Yushchenko dissolved the Verkhovna Rada because members of his party were defecting to the opposition. This prompted an outcry from the opposition, but Yushchenko took steps to remove three of the court’s 18 judges for reasons of corruption, stopping any real protest from taking place.
 
Russia suddenly quadrupled the price of gas sold to Ukraine in January 2006, which triggered an energy crisis in the country. Ukraine maintained that Russia, angry at Ukraine’s growing pro-Western stance and its loss of influence in the region, was attempting to damage its economy. Russia maintained that the rise in prices was purely a commercial consideration. Russia briefly stemmed the flow of gas to Ukraine to force the country to accept the higher prices, sending alarms throughout Europe—at the time, a quarter of Europe’s gas supplies came from Russia via Ukraine’s pipelines. A compromise was eventually reached, with Ukraine agreeing to pay about double its current price.
 
A dispute over debts and pricing of gas supplies between Russia and Ukraine led Gazprom, the major Russian gas supplier, to halt its gas exports to Europe via Ukraine, affecting at least 10 EU countries in January 2009. Russia and Ukraine blamed each other for the disruption to Europe’s energy supply.
 
History of Ukraine (Wikipedia)
History of Ukraine in Facts (Web-Portal of the Ukrainian Government)
History of Ukraine Toronto Ukrainian Genealogy Group)
Ukraine (Virtual Jewish Library)
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Ukraine's Newspapers
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History of U.S. Relations with Ukraine

The first wave of Ukrainian immigrants came to the US in 1877 as strikebreakers to the industrialized northeast; before World War I, 70% of the 350,000 Ukrainian immigrants lived in Pennsylvania. The inter-war immigrants numbered only 15,000, and assimilated more easily than their predecessors. Another 80,000 came as displaced persons, refugees from war, and the oppressive Soviet regime.

 
Pennsylvania still hosts the largest Ukrainian population, followed by New York, and New Jersey. Although the western half of the country is relatively bereft of Ukrainians, California ranks fourth in the size of its Ukrainian population.
 
On December 25, 1991, the United States officially recognized the independence of Ukraine. It upgraded its consulate in the capital, Kyiv, to embassy status on January 21, 1992.

The US worked with Ukraine throughout the 1990s to help it make strides towards greater democracy and a market economy. In 1999, following a period of high inflation and over-reliance on state controls, Ukraine took steps to bring about economic reform.
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Current U.S. Relations with Ukraine

US officials supported the “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine in late 2004 and early 2005, warning the former regime against trying to impose fraudulent election results, and hailing Yushchenko’s ultimate victory. President Yushchenko visited the United States from April 4-7, 2005, and had meetings with President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Yushchenko’s address to a joint session of Congress on April 6 was interrupted by several standing ovations.

 
US officials remained upbeat about Ukraine’s successes in some areas, such as adopting legislation needed for WTO membership and in improving media freedom, while acknowledging
difficulties in others. Bush administration officials also praised Ukraine’s efforts to hold a free and fair parliamentary election on March 26, 2006. However, protracted wrangling over forming the new government forced President Bush to cancel a proposed visit to Ukraine in June 2006.
 
President Yushchenko withdrew Ukraine’s troops from Iraq in December 2005, in fulfillment of a campaign pledge, but promised to continue participation in Iraqi troop training efforts. Ukraine has not contributed troops to Afghanistan, at least in part due to bad public memories of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.
 
On January 23, 2006, the United States reinstated tariff preferences for Ukraine under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Ukraine lost GSP benefits in 2001 for failing to protect US intellectual property, particularly against CD and DVD piracy.
 
The Bush administration also publicly endorsed the idea of Ukraine joining NATO, even though such a move was not welcomed by Russia.
 
Additionally, the Bush administration was sharply critical of Russia’s behavior during the January 2006 natural gas standoff between Russia and Ukraine.
 
In February 2006, the United States granted Ukraine market economy status, and in March, the US terminated the application of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to the Trade Act of 1974 to Ukraine, providing Ukraine permanent normal trade relations status.
 
In the 2000 US census, 892,922 people identified themselves as Ukrainian.
 
In 2006, 111,446 Americans visited Ukraine. Tourism has grown rapidly since 2002, when 38,370 Americans traveled to Ukraine. In 2006, 30,125 Ukrainians visited the US. The number of tourists has increased consistently since 2002, when 12,169 Ukrainians came to America.
 
Ukraine (Council on Foreign Relations)
Crisis in Ukraine: US Interests under Threat (by Ariel Cohen, Heritage Foundation)
Ukraine (Brookings Institute)
Cheney to Ukraine: US Supports Your Security (by Maria Danilova, Associated Press)
Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy (by Steven Woehrel, Congressional Research Service)
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Where Does the Money Flow

From 2004 to 2008, US imports from Ukraine included iron and steel mill products (semi-finished), increasing from $536.9 million to $991.8 million; drilling and oil field equipment and platforms, moving up from $44.9 million to $165.8 million; fuel oil, rising from $51.1 million to $143.4 million; and steelmaking and ferroalloying materials, increasing from $106 million to $278.7 million.

 
US imports from Ukraine that declined included spacecraft, engines and parts (except military), decreasing from $59.9 million to $34.2 million; apparel and household goods (cotton), moving down from $21.6 million to $19.8 million; and civilian aircraft, decreasing from $8.8 million to $8.3 million.
 
American exports to Ukraine included meat and poultry, increasing from $85.6 million to $225.2 million; metallurgical grade coal, rising from $71.9 million to $135.3 million; agricultural machinery and equipment, moving up from $256.4 million to $388.3 million; and passenger cars, increasing from $163.4 million to $204.6 million.
 
US exports on the decline included fish and shellfish, decreasing from $66.8 million to $53.9 million; tobacco (unmanufactured), falling from $96.8 million to $8.2 million; industrial engines, dropping from $32.4 million to $21.1 million; and industrial machines, decreasing from $34.4 million to $30 million.
 
The US sold $56.2 million of defense articles and supplies to Ukraine in 2007.
 
In December 2006, Ukraine signed a two-year $45 million threshold program with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), designed to fight corruption.
 
The US gave $96.5 million in aid to Ukraine in 2006. The budget allocated the most funds to Combating WMD ($22.8 million), Stabilization Operations and Security Sector Reform ($14.6 million), Health ($9.3 million, including $1.6 million for the Global HIV/AIDS Initiative), Infrastructure ($9 million), and Civil Society ($8.1 million).
 
According to the 2008 budget estimate, the US slightly reduced aid to $82.9 million.
 
The 2009 budget increased aid to $86.5 million, and distributed the most funds to Combating WMD ($20.2 million), Stabilization Operations and Security Sector Reform ($13.7 million), Civil Society ($8.2 million), Health ($8.1 million), Good Governance ($8.1 million), and Rule of Law and Human Rights ($6.0 million). The lion’s share of Peace and Security funding is dedicated to nuclear safety, specifically the Chernobyl Shelter Implementation Project, an internationally funded plan to a build a sarcophagus over the remains of the nuclear reactor.
 
Ukraine will receive funds through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) outside of the foreign operations budget.
 
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Controversies

Bush Suggested Ukraine Join NATO

In April 2008, President George W. Bush raised controversy when, on a trip to Bucharest, he urged Ukraine and Georgia to join NATO, saying he was firmly behind the measure. Few, if any, of the other 25 NATO member countries felt the same way. Russia, in particular, resented the move by the US, saying it would damage Russia’s relations with the West. Germany and France also opposed the two nations joining NATO, fearing an imbalance of power. Others, however, said that denying them entry would only appease Russia. This, combined with the US plan to build strategic missile shield in Poland, made relations between the US and Russia tense.
US, Russia spar on missiles; Ukraine eyes NATO (by Patrick Lannin and David Morgan, Reuters)
Ukraine and Georgia face uphill battle on NATO bid (by Paul Taylor and Mark John, Reuters)
 
US Does Not Recognize Ukraine Election Results
In November 2004, former US Secretary of State Colin Powell said that the US did not accept the results of Ukraine’s presidential elections, citing fraud and abuse. The election commission declared Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych the winner, but loser Viktor Yushchenko called for a nationwide strike. Powell urged the country to take steps to remedy the situation before violence broke out.
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Human Rights

Human rights groups asserted that in 2008 soldiers continued to kill other soldiers during violent hazing events. The Kharkiv office of the International Society for Human Rights reported that violent hazing continued to be widespread. According to the military watchdog group Mothers of Killed Soldiers, most deaths are labeled suicide or accident and were not investigated.

 
Ukrainian media reported two instances of security forces allegedly killing prisoners in custody during 2008. Police frequently employed severe violence against persons in custody. According to numerous human rights groups, law enforcement personnel used force and mistreatment routinely and with impunity to extract confessions and information from detainees. According to Human Rights Watch, police sometimes coerced testimony from drug users by withholding treatment for painful withdrawal symptoms while in custody.
 
Police officers were often not adequately trained or equipped to gather evidence and depended on confessions to meet ambitious quotas to solve cases. The law does not clearly prohibit statements made under torture from being introduced as evidence in court proceedings.
 
Police abused Roma and harassed and abused non-Slavic appearing persons. Representatives of these groups claimed that police officials routinely ignored, and sometimes abetted, vigilante violence against them.
 
There were several reports of self-inflicted injuries and violent incidents in prisons and detention centers. These incidents were frequently a result of harsh treatment of prisoners by facility staff, who beat prisoners and destroyed their food.
 
Overcrowding and poor conditions in pretrial detention have exacerbated the problem of tuberculosis (TB) among prisoners. HIV-infected prisoners were frequently not allowed to receive specialized medication.
 
In 2007, human rights organizations reported that there were long delays for detainees awaiting trial.
 
Police corruption remains a problem.
 
According to the State Department, lengthy pretrial detention remains a problem. “While the law provides that pretrial detention may not last more than two months, in cases involving exceptionally grave offenses a judge of the Supreme Court may extend detention to 18 months. It was reported that individuals remained in detention for month or years prior to being tried by the court. Human rights organizations reported that police continued to use the maximum term of 72 hours for pretrial detention to extract evidence, which could be used against the detained person. Often courts extended detention to 10 days to allow police more time to get confessions.
 
“Reports continued of police arbitrarily detaining persons, particularly persons of non-Slavic appearance, for extensive document checks and vehicle inspections. Although the law provides for bail, it was rarely used; many defendants could not pay the bail amounts imposed by law. Courts sometimes imposed restrictions on travel outside a given area as an alternative to pretrial confinement.”
 
The judiciary also suffered from corruption and inefficiency. There were indications that suspects often bribed court officials to drop charges before cases went to trial or to lessen or commute sentences.
The US State Department reported that “the judiciary’s lack of adequate staff and funds contributed to inefficiency and corruption and increased its dependence on the executive branch”.
 
In addition, the State Department noted the authority’s “failure to enforce court decisions in civil cases also undermined the authority and independence of the judicial system. During the year there were reports of pressure on Constitutional Court judges, in particular after the April presidential decree to dissolve the parliament. There were a number of corruption allegations involving its judges.”
 
Human rights groups reported that officials occasionally denied client-attorney privilege. Often free legal counsel was not available even though it is required by law. To protect defendants, investigative files must contain signed documents attesting that defendants have been informed of the charges against them, of their right to an attorney at public expense, and of their right not to give evidence against themselves or their relatives. However, officials sometimes verbally and physically abused defendants to obtain their signatures.
 
The judiciary suffers from corruption. Judges have immunity from prosecution and cannot be detained or arrested without the consent of parliament.
 
There were reports of intimidation of journalists, including by local officials. Both the independent and government-owned media continued to demonstrate a tendency toward self-censorship on matters that the government deemed sensitive. Although private newspapers were free to function on a purely commercial basis, they often depended on political patrons who could facilitate financial support from the State Press Support Fund. The private newspapers also received close scrutiny from government officials, particularly at the local level.
 
There were a number of anti-Semitic acts and several of them involved physical attacks. Synagogues, cemeteries, and Holocaust memorials were vandalized on several occasions, particularly in Kirovohrad, where the Choral Synagogue was vandalized at least three times during the year.
 
Corruption remains a serious problem in the executive and legislative branches of the government, including the armed services. According to the March survey by the organization Promoting Active Citizen Engagement in Combating Corruption in Ukraine, “almost 63 percent of respondents described public servants as very corrupt, and 19 percent of those polled said they engaged in corrupt activities with public servants to obtain state services in the previous 12 months”.
 
Spousal abuse is illegal but was common, and authorities often pressured women not to press charges against their husbands. Violence against women did not receive extensive media coverage despite the efforts of human rights groups to highlight the problem.
 
Prostitution is illegal but widespread and largely ignored by the government. Sex tourism rose as the country attracted greater numbers of foreign tourists. Laws criminalizing organized prostitution and penalties for human trafficking have had little effect because many convicted traffickers often do not end up serving prison time.
 
Trafficking in women for sexual exploitation was a serious problem.
 
Women’s groups reported that there was continuing widespread sexual harassment in the workplace, including coerced sex. While the law prohibits forced sex with a “materially dependent person,” which includes employees, legal experts regarded the safeguards against harassment as inadequate.
 
Industries dominated by female workers had the lowest relative wages and were the ones most likely to be affected by wage arrears. Women also received lower salaries and had limited opportunity for career advancement. Few women held top managerial positions in the government or in state-owned or private industry.
 
The problem of growing violence and crime in and outside of schools persisted, particularly in the notoriously violent vocational schools, which discouraged some children from attending school. Roma rights organizations reported numerous incidents of discrimination against Romani children in schools.
 
According to the US State Department, “children continued to be victims of violence and abuse. There were also many complaints of abuse of children related to child prostitution, pornographic video sales, child molestation, and illegal child labor. According to civil society groups, police often did not investigate parents who allegedly abused their children.”
 
Human rights organizations reported police violence against minors, including sexual violence. Commercial sexual exploitation of children remained a serious problem. According to domestic and foreign law enforcement officials, a significant portion of the child pornography available on the Internet continued to originate in the country.
 
The US State Department noted that “harassment of racial minorities was a continuing problem. There were reports that police occasionally detained dark-skinned persons for arbitrary document checks, whereas document checks of light-skinned individuals were rare.
 
“Persons with HIV/AIDS…faced widespread discrimination and lack of access to treatment. Although the country’s national AIDS law incorporates rights protections for persons with HIV/AIDS, implementation remained weak. Persons with HIV/AIDS continued to face discrimination in the workplace [and in healthcare]; job loss without legal recourse; harassment by law enforcement, prosecutorial, and judicial authorities; and social isolation and stigmatization within their communities.”
 
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors

Note: The United States recognized Ukraine Dec 26, 1991. Embassy Kiev was established Jan 23, 1992, with Jon Gundersen as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.

 
Roman Popadiuk
Appointment: May 11, 1992
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 4, 1992
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 30, 1993
 
William Green Miller 
Appointment: Sep 16, 1993
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 21, 1993
Termination of Mission: Left post Jan 6, 1998
 
Steven Karl Pifer
Appointment: Nov 10, 1997
Presentation of Credentials:
Termination of Mission: Left post Oct 9, 2000
 
Carlos Pascual
Appointment: Sept 15, 2000
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 22, 2000
Termination of Mission: Left post May 1, 2003
 
John E. Herbst
Appointment: Jul 1, 2003
Presentation of Credentials: Sept 20, 2003
Termination of Mission: Left post, May 26, 2006
 
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Ukraine's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Motsyk, Oleksandr

Oleksandr Motsyk was took over as Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States on June 11, 2010.

 
Motsyk was born on May 3, 1955, in the village of Horodets Volodymeretskoho, in the Rivne region of the Ukraine. In 1981 he graduated from Kyiv State University’s School of International Relations, Department of International Law, as an English language interpreter and international law specialist.
 
Motsyk entered the diplomatic service while Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union, via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (MFA), initially serving as Third Secretary, Consular Section, from July 1981 to May 1985. He then became Third and Second Secretary of International Organizations (May 1985 to April 1987); Second and First Secretary of the Personnel Department of the MFA (April 1987 to September 1990); and Director First Secretary of the Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs of the MFA (September 1990 to April 1992).
 
From April 1992 to August 1995, Motsyk served as Second and First Secretary, and Counselor, at the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations in New York. From August 1995 to November 1997, he was Director and Chief-of-Control of the MFA’s Contractual and Legal Department. In November 1997, he was appointed Ukraine’s Ambassador to Turkey, a post he held for four years.
 
From September 1999 to November 2004, Motsyk was Ukraine’s Representative to the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. In Ukraine’s MFA, he served as Deputy State Secretary (November 2001 to July 2003), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (July 2003 to July 2004), and First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on European Integration (July 2004 to February 2005).
 
From February to December 2005, Motsyk held the position of First Deputy State Secretary and First Deputy Head of the Secretariat of the President of Ukraine. He was then appointed as Ukraine’s Ambassador to Poland, a post he held until June 2010.
 
In addition to being ambassador to the United States, Motsyn represents Ukraine as its ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda.
 
Motsyk and his wife, Natalia, have two daughters. He speaks English, Russian and Polish.
 
 

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Ukraine's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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Comments

Doeski 10 months ago
Ukraine is the only former nuclear weapons(which had over 400 bombs, many ICBM's etc.)country, in history to sign the non-proliferation treaty; to become nuclear weapons free. But their security may be in jeopardy.

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U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

Pyatt, Geoffrey
ambassador-image

President Barack Obama on February 26 nominated a senior foreign service officer whose 22-year State Department career has focused on Asia and Latin America to be the next ambassador to the eastern European nation of Ukraine. Geoffrey Pyatt will succeed career diplomat John F. Tefft, who served as ambassador to Kyiv starting in November 2009.

 

Born circa 1963, Geoffrey Ross Pyatt grew up in the wealthy San Diego suburb of La Jolla, California, and earned a B.A. in Political Science at the University of California at Irvine in 1985, and an M.A. in International Relations at Yale in 1987.

 

Prior to joining the Foreign Service in 1990, Pyatt worked with The Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based think tank. At the State Department, Pyatt’s early career assignments included stints as economic officer and vice-consul at the U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, from 1990-9192; political officer at the embassy in New Delhi, India, from 1992-1994; staff assistant to the assistant secretary of state for Latin America in 1994; special assistant to the deputy secretary of state from 1995 to 1996, and director for Latin America on the National Security Council staff from 1996 to 1997.

 

Pyatt served as principal officer of the American Consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, from 1997 to 1999, followed by service as American consulate general in Hong Kong, China, from 1999 to 2002. Returning to India, from 2002 to 2007 Pyatt served at the embassy in New Delhi, first as minister counselor for Political Affairs and as deputy chief of mission from June 2006 to July 2007.

 

When WikiLeaks published State Department cables, Pyatt became embroiled in controversy because of a May 4, 2007, cable he sent recommending that K.V. Rajan, a secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs and a member of the Prime Minister's National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) visit Washington DC in order to help “feed” U.S. government views on Iran into the Indian system.

 

For his first European posting, Pyatt served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Mission to the International Atomic Energy Agency and Other International Organizations in Vienna, Austria, from August 2007 to May 2010, when he was named principal deputy assistant secretary of the South and Central Asia Affairs Bureau.

 

Pyatt and his wife Mary (née Detchmendy) have two children, William and Claire.

 

Official Biography

Obama Nominates Candidate for New US Ambassador to Ukraine (by Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv Post)

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

Taylor, William
ambassador-image

William B. served as the United States Ambassador to Ukraine beginning on May 26, 2006. Taylor graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. As an infantry officer in the US Army, he served in Vietnam and Germany.

 
Previously, he served in Brussels as deputy defense advisor at the US Mission to NATO, in Washington on the staff of Senator Bill Bradley, at the National Defense University and in the US Department of Energy.
 
In Washington, he served with the rank of ambassador as coordinator of US assistance to the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (1992-2002), and in Kabul, he was coordinator of US aid and international assistance to Afghanistan (2002-2003). From 2004-2005, he served in Baghdad as Director at the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office.
 
Until February 2006 he was the US government’s representative to the Quartet’s effort to facilitate the Israeli disengagement from Gaza and parts of the West Bank, led by Special Envoy James Wolfensohn in Jerusalem.

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