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January 12, 2001

Letters to the Editor
Globe and Mail
letters@globeandmail.ca

Dear Editor,

Gongadze - Chechnya connection?

Two items in today's Globe, Scandal surrounds reporter's death and Aid worker kidnapped, agencies quit Chechnya, seemingly unrelated, may not be quite so. One is the murder of a journalist. The other, a possible ruse to remove foreign eye-witnesses before the final solution: the murder of the Chechen people.

Both are appalling; yet in real politic the lesser crime gives Ukraine a bad name while the protracted slaughter of the Chechens gives Russia a recent invite to Canada; seats at the G-8, G-20; a role of peace advocate in trouble spots of the world.

And who knows how involved Russia's government is in the murder of journalist Gongadze given the, pardon me,"thick as thieves" mafia leadership that country is currently providing throughout Eastern Europe, indeed the world? How familiar, all this, to Russia's horrific leadership of the USSR days when over 60 million people were destroyed in peace-time, in the name of, as Mr. Putin refers to in his new anthem, Russia's glorious past.

Plus que ca change...Canada could do well by launching a right-to- life global initiative aimed at dealing with states involved with murdering journalists or national minorities.

Warm regards,

Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
President
Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Federation