Kyiv Post | 30Dec2010 | Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Ukraine's best and worst in 2010
Almost everyone has a favorite list this time of year --best movies,
books, persons of the year. For the 8th year, here is my BEST and WORST
list comprising governments, individuals, publications and
organizations which had an impact -- for better or for worst -- on the
global Ukrainian community in 2010.
1. Ukraine’s Kyiv Appellate Court for finding Joseph Stalin, Vyacheslav
Molotov, Lazar Kaganovich, Pavlo Postishev, Stanislav Kosior, Vlas
Chubar, and Mendel Khatajevych responsible for Holodomor, the genocide
starvation of some 10 million Ukrainians, and then -- President Viktor
Yushchenko for calling for the creation of an international tribunal on
2. Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper for showing Western states
how to deal with Ukraine’s threatened democracy: raise trade issues
without compromising democratic values.
3. Independent-minded Ukrainian journalists for ongoing resistance to
pressures undermining objective reporting, in particular their decision
to boycott Mychailo Checherov, Party of Regions, for lying about its
members beating up four opposition deputies in parliament; and
Reporters Without Borders for monitoring and warning against the
4. Fox News and Glenn Beck for global exposure of atrocities committed
by Communist regimes including Holodomor, in the series Holocaust: Live
Free or Die.
5. President Viktor Yanukovych for reversing his position on Holodomor
by partially reinstating the information on the president’s website in
response to citizen’s pressure; a good sign in a democratic leader
6. Patriarch Filaret, Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchy for
mounting a robust 1021 nniversary of Christianity celebration as an
antidote to the state’s Moscow Patriarch-adhering-Orthodox-only event
with Russia’s religious and political hierarchy in attendance.
7. Vera Fermiga for using her considerable global vantage point as an
Academy Award nominee actor to cheer her Ukrainian roots.
8. Rev. Dr. Borys Guidziak, rector of Ukrainian Catholic University in
Lviv, for documenting the state’s intervention in the right of assembly
creating a world-wide reaction to limitations on freedoms imposed by
9. Commentators like Evhen Sverstiuk, Alexander Motyl and Askold
Lozynsky for providing opinion leadership on important yet underexposed
issues vital to Ukraine as well as global peace and security.
10. Timothy Snyder, Yale University historian, for shedding much needed
light on the horrific toll of World War II in Ukraine and the
gargantuan evils of two dictators equally responsible for the crimes,
in his book "Bloodlands: Between Hitler and Stalin."
1. ‘Patriotic’ Ukrainians for failing to deliver a pro-West president
by denying Yulia Tymoshenko the 5 percent needed to beat pro-Russia’s
Victor Yanukovych; in particular, members of President Viktor
Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party, women voters and the so-called "elite"
including writer Oksana Zabushko, who wasted her vote and served as an
example for others by voting for no one.
2. Ex-President Viktor Yushchenko for ensuring the elections of a
pro-Russia president by endorsing Constitutional changes three days
before the vote; urging voters to invalidate their ballots by voting
"for no one" and relentlessly undermining the pro-West contender, Yulia
Tymoshenko, including calling her "the worst mistake of my presidency."
3. Kharkiv Agreement for legitimizing a pro-Russia rather than a
what-is-best-for-Ukraine option including the 25 year extension of
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and dropping NATO membership consideration.
4. Dmitry Tabachnyk, minister of education, science and sport, for
reverting to blunt Sovietique governance minimizing Soviet abuses;
dismissing Galicians as being non-Ukrainians; changing history texts to
favour Russia’s world view.
5. President Viktor Yanukovych for failing to dismiss anti-Ukrainian
ministers who openly spread discord among citizens, act as the fifth
column for Russia, and humiliate Ukraine globally.
6. Moscow’s Patriarch Kirill for ‘bad guest in Ukraine behavior’ by
mixing politics and religion, preaching reunification of Ukraine with
Russia, and demanding a name change to Hetman Ivan Mazepa (anathema to
Russia’s past and current czars) Street.
7. Western states, in particular France and Germany, for consistent
refusal to bring Ukraine, the largest European country, closer to the
West via NATO and the European Union, thus granting carte blanche to
Russia hegemony in the neighborhood, a tenet central to its "one Russia
8. Michael Ignatieff, Canada’s leader of the opposition, for ongoing
faux pas with the Ukrainian Canadian electorate starting with slurs in
his little book followed by an inadequate apology; a no-show at their
half-million attendance festival; and no appointments from the group to
his shadow cabinet.
9. The decision-makers at the Canadian Human Rights Museum for
signaling out two groups for preferential treatment thus undermining
the experiences of others suffering human rights abuses.
10. Canada’s former Ambassador to Ukraine and later Russia, Christopher
Westdal, for undermining Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s defense of
human rights in Ukraine and thus one of the central pillars of Canada’s
A special citation for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for
turning Russia into a bad neighbor, lately sniping that Russia did not
need Ukrainians to win World War II. If he keeps up the antagonism he
may find himself on the BEST list next year as Ukrainians wake up en
masse to the nastiness behind the "big brother" facade particularly
those with family members in the Red Army who fought from Berlin to
Stalingrad: that’s most of the population!