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Press Release

Address by President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ivan Plyushch and Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko to the Ukrainian nation

February, 13, 2001 #10

Dear fellow citizens,

We address you because of the attempts to put Ukraine to a severe ordeal and to drag the country into a whirlpool of sickening emotions. Those attempts are being made at the time when we begin to recover from a prolonged economic crisis, and when real hopes for the better appeared in the nation.

Speaking plainly, today our state is subjected to an unprecedented political campaign that has all features of psychological warfare.

Ukraine and the world are yet to find out who ordered, organized and performed this provocative action and what was the moving force of it. However, now we can see the involvement of domestic politicians and political forces who pursue nothing but their own interests and ambitions, egoistic aspirations and expectations. They foment hysteria and psychosis in hope that they would be able to shake up legitimate institutions of the state and get to power at any cost.

This time the disappearance of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze and the so-called "tape scandal" have been used as a pretext for triggering public unrest, that was followed by loudly made conclusions that media and democracy were suppressed in Ukraine. As those who orchestrated those actions admit, if those pretexts were unavailable they would have found other ones instead.

We sincerely and deeply sympathize with the family visited by a misfortune and we apologize for some of the actions by law enforcements adherence to the requirements of procedural law must not run into conflict with perception of immeasurable human grief.

Unprofessional actions in the investigation into the disappearance of journalist Heorgiy Gongadze are quite obvious and regrettable. Today all feasible measures are being taken in order to get to the bottom of that case as fully and as soon as possible. After all the circumstances of the case are clarified most serious conclusions will be made.

At the same time we completely disagree and we will never agree that this tragedy has become a playing card in the cynical political speculations and has been used to disgrace our country in the eyes of the Ukrainian people and international community. We will never allow information illegally obtained, unchecked or faked-up to be spread with impunity. We will never agree that under the slogans of protecting democracy they play political games, in which the very existence of Ukraine, its territorial integrity and public peace are put at stake, and push through scenarios fraught with destructive consequences and new trials for the Ukrainian people.

In a democratic society everybody has the right to his or her opinion and a right to express it in public. However, there is a line that nobody has the right to cross under any circumstances. That is the Law and responsibility for every word.

"Black PR" technologies are common in the modern world with its cruel methods of political fight. But even against that background - discredit of statesmen, politicians and political organizations, blackmail of the government bodies and manipulation of the public opinion that take place in Ukraine stand out for their cynicism, defiance of the rule of law and morals.

Today they are openly counting on misled mutes. Since the absolute majority of the Ukrainian people do not respond to the provocative calls of the "professional revolutionaries", they have nothing to do but appeal to the extremist forces, to the excited crowds using them as a ram and a means of intimidating common people with ominous analogies. Its enough to take a closer look at their symbols and slogans, attributes, used for theatrical political shows, to understand that we deal with a Ukrainian kind of national-socialism.

Recently a "forum of national salvation" has been created on unknown grounds and it was loudly introduced. Leaders of this multi-colored conglomerate having a grudge against their political defeats and failures are indeed seeking salvation. However, it is not salvation of the country and of the nation that they are looking for, but salvation of themselves from political bankruptcy and oblivion. And some of them seek salvation also from criminal liability.

Each and everyone, dear fellow citizens, must understand that those peanut politicians, who have already burned the bridges behind them, have only one hope they want the sparkles of hostility, irreconcilability and exasperation to set fire to the entire society, to your homes and your destinies. Trying to revive the threat of a full-scale civil conflict, which Ukraine has avoided at the most complicated stages of its coming into being, they hope that they will manage to stay afloat in a state of chaos, uncertainty, anarchy and disorder. Such "rescuers" are either blindfolded or they do not want to see to what trouble their reckless, imprudent actions may lead.

Undoubtedly there is no need to dramatize the situation. Compared with the whole society and its life this commotion is nothing but microscopic, short-lived anomalies, and they will not determine the future of Ukraine.

But at the same time one cannot but see that the attempts to agitate disorderly crowds, to use openly provocative means, with the help of which they wish to deepen the rift in society, to push the authorities to forceful counteractions, pose a real threat to national security.

We should not forget lessons from history. Let us recall that where were the roots of fascism.

We declare that in the interests of the people, society and the state, such attempts will be actively and resolutely countered by all means envisaged by the law. There must be no illusions about that.

Anarchy, despotism and lawlessness will not pass!

The leadership of the state remains open for political dialogue and maintains it, but only with those who really want such a dialogue, who are capable of conducting it, and regard dialogue as the only right and feasible way to settle differences and problems, strengthen political stability, resolve economic and social problems, and improve people's lives, which is now the most important, determining, and fateful task for all of us.

Dear fellow citizens, in everything that is being done for promoting democracy, accord and understanding within society, its unification around constructive ideas, we count on your understanding, assistance and support. That was the most powerful resource of Ukrainian people in the years of building-up and consolidation of our state. That is what we crucially need now also in order to suppress anti-state forces regardless of colors of their banners.

We will continue to direct the efforts of all branches and bodies of power at ensuring a peaceful and calm life in Ukraine today and its clear and predictable future.

This appeal testifies for the unanimity of our positions and approaches, our unambiguous determination to fight back political destructiveness.

For more information, please contact:
Taras Malyshevskyi, Press Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine
310 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J9
Tel. (613) 230-2961, fax (613) 230-2400,