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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, September 23, 2010, 9:00 AM ET

    Protest Against Yanukovych at Ukraine's UN Mission in New York

    image
    Photo © Brama, Inc.
    Protest in New York City at the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations, 9/22/2010.
    SLIDESHOW

    New York, September 23, 2010 — Yesterday evening, Tuesday, September 22, protesters gathered in front of Ukraine's Permanent Mission to the United Nations on East 51st Street in New York City. Estimates range around 200 at any given time, although with people flowing in and out, the numbers were more likely as high as 250-300. The gathering was organized by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA.org) as a protest against actions taken by Ukraine's president, Viktor Yanukovych, that they say compromise Ukraines national identity and sovereignty. Mr. Yanukovych was in town for the United Nations Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

    Beginning at 5:30 p.m. and lasting for two hours, protestors chanted, sang, and gave speeches. New York City allocated and cordoned off space for the protesters in the street, although it was tight, and there were plenty of uniformed police patrolling the area.

    No representatives of the Mission came out to acknowledge the group, and except for a shadowy figure obscured by a curtain, no one made any appearances in the four-story building's windows. Only an open window on the top floor hinted at the possibility that anyone was listening.

    The accusations against Yanukovych and his regime include (but are not limited to):

  • the unconstitutional extension of the lease for the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea;
  • the rising dependence on Russia to provide for Ukraines security and stability which poses a definite threat to Ukraines sovereignty;
  • the denial of the Holodomor as an act of genocide and its removal from the official presidential website;
  • recent censorship of the press, particularly targeting several independent Ukrainian television stations;
  • the new governments move to control the judicial system by granting the president power over the hiring and firing of judges;
  • the non-block status of Ukraine which threatens Ukraines EuroAtlantic integration and future NATO membership.

    With respect to the third bullet point, the Holodomor (the deliberately imposed famine of 1932-33) section was just reinstated on the president's website. However this is looked at skeptically as an attempt only to temporarily assuage the increased displasure with the current president of Ukraine and his government's actions.

    image
    Photo © Brama, Inc.
    Protest in New York City at the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations, 9/22/2010.

    Many analysts describe the previous president, Viktor Yushchenko, as being ineffectual, corrupt, and having lost opportunities to strengthen Ukraine's economy, but is acknowledged as a leader who propelled the country toward democracy and freedom. Recent news about arrests of scholars in Ukraine and the disappearance of a journalist suggest that Yanukovych's current policies have reverted to authoritarian and repressive ones practiced by the communist regime of USSR days. Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

    Yanukovych has apparently taken notice of the attitudes toward him, not only by reinstating the Holodomor pages online, but also by responding in writing to the UCCA. In a letter dated 9/20/2010, as reported by the Kyiv Post (published on the president's website), Yanukovych said that he "wants to have a constructive dialogue with all members of the Ukrainian diaspora."

    image
    © UN Photo/Aliza Eliazarov
    Viktor Yanukovych, President of Ukraine, addresses the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Convened by the General Assembly, the Summit is aimed at spurring action towards achieving internationally agreed goals to reduce hunger, poverty and disease. 22 September 2010. United Nations, New York

  • Statement by Viktor Yanukovych, President of Ukraine at the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals [in English], 9/22/2010
  • WEBCAST Statement by Viktor Yanukovych, President of Ukraine at the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals, 9/22/2010 [select 'Russian' for the Ukrainian language webcast].

    Copyright © 1997-2011 BRAMA, Inc. All rights reserved.
    The images and information contained in BRAMA News and BRAMA Press reports may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of BRAMA and/or author/photographer. The views and opinions of authors expressed on Brama.com do not necessarily state or reflect the views of Brama - Gateway Ukraine or its officers, directors or associates.


  • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

     

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