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05/20/2004 | Andriy
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  • 2004.05.20 | peter byrne

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    Address to the nation
    Feb 15, 2001 16:00

    What follows is the text of an address to the nation signed by President Leonid Kuchma, Parliament Speaker Ivan Pliushch and Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko. The text was broadcast by national television channel UT‑1 on Feb. 13 and translated by BBC Monitoring service.

    Dear compatriots! We have been forced to address you by the attempts to put Ukraine through a great trial, to pull it into a whirlwind of unhealthy passions. Notably, this is being done at the point when we just started to overcome the long economic crisis, when the people have a real hope for improvement.

    We have to call things by their names: an unprecedented political campaign featuring a psychological war has been unleashed against our state.

    Ukraine and the world will eventually know the names of those who ordered, masterminded and carried out the moving forces of this provocation. However, we all see now the involvement in it of those Ukrainian politicians and those political forces who have nothing but personal interests and ambitions, egotistical aspirations and current expectations. They are instigating an atmosphere of hysteria and psychosis, hoping to put out of balance the legitimate state institutions and to get to power at any cost.

    This time, the disappearance of journalist Georgy Gongadze and the so‑called tape scandal have been used as a reason for social disruption. Later, far‑fetched statements on the pressure on the press and democracy in Ukraine followed. The directors of the current actions themselves acknowledged the fact that they would have found other reasons had they not had the present ones.

    We deeply and sincerely sympathize with the family that has been enduring trouble and apologize for some actions by the law‑enforcement bodies. Following procedural requirements under current legislation must not contradict the understanding of limitless human sorrow. The instances of unprofessional conduct in the investigation into the case of Gongadze are obvious and regrettable. Now, all measures are being taken in order to finish it as soon as possible and to the fullest extent. The results of the analysis of all the circumstances will lead to the most serious conclusions.

    On the other hand, we strongly disagree and will never accept making the tragedy a joker card in cynical political speculations and using it in order to defame our country in the eyes of the Ukrainian and the global community; free dissemination of unverified or falsified information received by illegal means; launching games under slogans of democracy which put the very existence of Ukraine, its territorial integrity and social peace at stake; pushing through scenarios leading to destructive consequences and more hard tests for the people.

    In a democratic society, everyone has the right to hold his own beliefs and express them publicly. However, there is a border that no one, under any conditions, may cross. This is the law and responsibility for every word.

    Dirty techniques are not rare in the current world, which is characterized by tough methods of political struggle. But even against such a background, the current events in Ukraine stand out by their cynicism and disrespect for moral norms: discrediting state officials, politicians and political forces, blackmailing the state organs and manipulation of public opinion.

    Todays unconcealed calculation is aimed at misinformed ordinary people. Since the absolute majority of the Ukrainian people does not respond to the provocative calls of professional revolutionaries, they have nothing left but to appeal to extremist forces, to the emotional crowd in order to use it as a ram and a means for threatening ordinary people with ominous analogies. It is enough to simply take a closer look at their symbols and slogans, the attributes they use in the theatrical political shows in order to see that we are facing a Ukrainian kind of national socialism.

    Recently, a National Salvation Forum has appeared, based on unknown foundations, and has been widely publicized. The leaders of this many‑colored conglomerate, resentful of their own political losses and fiascos, are indeed looking for salvation not for the state and the nation, but for themselves from political bankruptcy and disappearance and some of them from criminal responsibility.

    Each of us, esteemed compatriots, has to understand that the only hope of these petty politicians, who have already burnt all their bridges, is that the sparks of enmity, irreconcilability and anger will spread across the whole of society, enter your homes and your fates. Trying to give a new birth to the threat of a large‑scale civil conflict, which the Ukrainian state has managed to avoid during the most difficult stages of its development, they hope that in a situation of chaos and uncertainty, in the absence of power and order, they will manage to stay afloat. Such saviors do not see in their narrow‑mindedness, or do not want to see, the potential problems that their unconsidered and reckless actions will cause.

    Of course, we should not dramatize the situation. For the dimensions of the entire society and its life, all this fuss is nothing more than microscopic, a current anomaly, and it will not define the future of Ukraine.

    However, at the same time we must not overlook the fact that the attempts to instigate street elements, the use of blatant provocations that they use to deepen the split in society and push the authorities to the use of force, create a real threat to the national security of the state.

    We should not forget the lessons of history. You will recall how fascism started.

    We state that in the interest of citizens, society and the state, such attempts will meet an active and resolute counteraction with the use of all means envisaged by the law. No one should have any illusions with regard to this.

    Anarchy, arbitrary action and unlawfulness will not be allowed!

    The states leadership remains open for political dialogue and is continuously leading this dialogue but only with those who really want a dialogue, who are capable of a dialogue and who consider it as the only correct and the only possible way of resolving differences and disagreements, strengthening social stability, speeding up the resolution of economic and social problems and improving peoples lives, which is a priority, a decisive and all‑important issue for us now.

    Doing everything to further develop democracy, to ensure accord in society and to focus it on constructive and creative objectives, we are counting on your understanding, assistance and support, dear compatriots. It has been the Ukrainian peoples most powerful resource during the years of establishing our country. It is a vital necessity now in order to, among other things, rebuff the anti‑state forces, whatever flags these forces are flying.

    We shall keep focusing the efforts of the authorities and all of the branches and structures of power on ensuring a peaceful and quiet present and a clear, predictable future for Ukraine. The unity of our positions and approaches, aimed decisively at rebuffing destructiveness in politics, further support this statement.
  • 2004.05.20 | AN


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