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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, March 14, 2011, 9:00 AM ET


    An Open Letter to Viktor Yanukovych
    Friday, 11 March 2011

    By Bishop Paul Peter Jesep

    Dear President Yanukovych:

    As you must be aware from American diplomatic cables recently published by WikiLeaks Vladimir Putin does not have a high regard for you personally or as Ukraines president. Although much of the Ukrainian Diaspora doesnt either, it does, unlike Mr. Putin, want you to succeed as the democratically elected leader of a free Ukraine that respects civil liberties and the countrys distinct history and language.

    This Open Letter reflects personal views and not an official Church position.

    Despite all your efforts to make Mr. Putin happy at the expense of Ukraines culture, sovereignty, and fledgling democracy, youve been personally humiliated as reflected in the diplomatic cables. No one, especially the democratically elected leader of Europes second largest nation, should be treated as youve been. Even those of us in the Diaspora who are unimpressed with your Administration find Russias attitude toward you and Ukraine distasteful. There is, however, a difference. Were not surprised by it, but privately you probably are. Please dont go back for more.

    Hopefully, youve learned your lesson. Mr. Putin and the Kremlin are neither your friend nor Ukraines. Stop trying to get their approval. You dont need it. Nor do you need the approval of the secular Russian Orthodox Church which is a political tool of Moscows subversive foreign policy.

    You need the approval of the Ukrainian people and the blessing of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and all spiritual leaders who respect Ukraines national re-awakening and its right to be free without Russias interference.

    Sadly, yet I believe accurately, youve been perceived by Western leaders and much of the Ukrainian Diaspora as Moscows appointed governor in a regency reminiscent of Empress Catherine. Are you Russias appointed Little Governor or the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Europes second largest nation and potentially one of its wealthiest?

    As you must be aware WikiLeaks will be releasing more American diplomatic cables from Kyiv in the coming months. Your image as an independent leader could be bolstered if you start showing backbone. Although it is understandable that you want friendlier relations with the northern neighbor, dont put the country in Russias oppressive political shadow that obstructs the bright future that Ukraine deserves.

    In some ways, youve projected your own personal insecurities and self-doubts onto the entire nation. This has enabled your so-called friends in Moscow to exert an influence into Ukraines affairs that no other sovereign nation would allow. Your friends in the Kremlin are laughing.

    In addition, your self-doubts have encouraged allies with your approval or at least through your complacency to target political adversaries. This has especially hurt your image among Western leaders and Diaspora Ukrainians. Have you forgotten that in a fair election, albeit a very close one, you defeated the very people that are now being targeted for criminal investigations? You mock the very system that elected you. You confuse restricting freedoms with stability. You are not furthering stability. You are furthering authoritarianism and one party rule while forcing Ukraine to accept secular Russian Orthodoxy as the dominant faith.

    The ongoing criminal pursuit of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and her political allies is wrong. It must stop. It puts you, and rightly so, in a very unfavorable light.

    Your Administration is at a crossroads. If you actually believe in Ukraine, even with the perspective you bring from the Eastern part of the country, then please consider re-examining your policies and adjust them accordingly.

    Although Mr. Putins views about you personally and as president of Ukraine are known throughout the world, you still have an opportunity to show genuine leadership, a respect for Ukraines culture and language, and the confidence to change policies that threaten freedom of press, speech, and religion.

    In all sincerity, I wish you every success as president, but so far your policies and attitudes toward your own nation have left me and millions of Ukrainians throughout the Diaspora disappointed, under whelmed, and concerned about the short- and long-term damage you're doing to Ukraines democracy.

    Bishop Paul Peter Jesep
    Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church
    Designated spokesperson in the United States for
    His Beatitude Metropolitan Myfodii

    The views expressed here are personal and do not reflect those of the Church.

    * * * * *


  • Apr 22 12 - Op-ed: Aiding and Abetting the Moscow Patriarchate
  • Mar 23 12 - Friends of Ukraine Take Action
  • Feb 24 12 - Will Ukraine have Its First Modern Political Martyr?
  • Jan 23 12 - Holocaust Remembrance Day
  • Dec 30 11 - Ukrainian World – Praise for Major Archbishop Shevchuk
  • Dec 21 11 - Lessons from Muscovy
  • Aug 10 11 - Russian Truth
  • Apr 14 11 - President Yanukovych's Chance to Show Leadership
  • Mar 14 11 - An Open Letter to Viktor Yanukovych
  • Aug 27 10 - Independent Ukraine 2010
  • Jan 31 10 - Remembering Ukraine's Jews
  • Jan 15 10 - Orange Forever!
  • Aug 27 09 - UAOC Mourns the Passing of Senator Edward Kennedy
  • Jan 14 08 - UAOC Bishop Condemns United Fatherland and Union of Orthodox Citizens
  • Oct 25 07 - Bishop calls for Annual Holocaust Memorial Day
  • May 28 07 - Priests try to end anti-Semitism
  • Feb 12 07 - Statement on Anti-Semitism
  • Feb 5 07 - Kyiv Patriarchate Appoints U.S. Director of Public Affairs
  • Nov 23 05 - Archbishop Husar's Orange Revolution of Faith
  • Sep 12 05 - Yushchenko showed leadership
  • Sep 7 05 - Metropolitan Mefodiy of Kyiv to visit America
  • Sep 2 05 - UAOC issues strong condemnation of anti-semitism
  • Apr 28 05 - Yushchenko at the Kennedy Library
  • Apr 1 05 - Diaspora rebirth begins in dialogue
  • Mar 11 05 - The Politics of Orthodoxy
  • Feb 11 05 - The Diaspora's Future
  • Jan 21 05 - Ukraine, Orthodoxy, and the Greek Prelate
  • Dec 22 04 - Has the Diaspora failed? Can more be done?
  • Dec 22 04 - Russia will not leave Ukraine alone
  • Dec 14 04 - God, Faith and the Orange Revolution
  • Dec 8 04 - Ukraine must run the extra mile
  • Dec 1 04 - Cage the Russian Circus Bear
  • Nov 24 04 - Support liberty - Practical things you can do
  • Nov 22 04 - Ukraine's Election - NOW WHAT?
  • Oct 11 04 - Catholic Patriarchate in Kyiv
  • Sep 29 04 - Kuchma and the American presidential election
  • Aug 13 04 - Op-ed: Foreign churches cannot dictate a unilateral non-Ukrainian spirituality in Ukraine (Patriarch Filaret and Ukrainian Spirituality)
  • Jul 26 04 - Op-ed: Viktor Yushchenko and Ukraine's future (Ukraine needs a patriot as its next leader)
  • Mar 18 04 - Ukrainian influence in the 2004 American presidential election

    Email: VladykaPaulPeter(at)

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    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 do not necessarily state or reflect the views of Brama - Gateway Ukraine or its officers, directors or associates.

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


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