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Kuchma   Letter 01   13-Mar-2000   What the world knows and doesn't know
"Bartow said he has found evidence that Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma manipulated the Ukrainian bond market using IMF funds, diverted the profits to overseas bank accounts and then used the money to solidify his political power." Sue Lackey
March 13, 2000
Leonid Kuchma, President
vul. Bankova, 7
Kyiv, 252005
Telephone: 291-5274


Leonid Kuchma:

The world knows that George Soros purchased the presidency for you in 1994:

Last May [1994], Leonid Kuchma came to the United States and paid Soros a visit.  He was at that time a candidate for President.  Soros was so excited by his conversation with Kuchma that he called Hawrylyshyn, in Bucharest, and put Kuchma on the phone to relay the outcome of their meeting.  Kuchma was rated an outsider in a large field of candidates, but in early July he won an upset victory.  Soros says that he had nothing to do with it.  However, Evelyn Herfkens, of the World Bank, says, "The Bank cannot support election campaigns of reformers; in the Ukraine, Soros did."  There was, at the least, a massive effort to level the playing field: the April, 1994, bulletin of the Soros foundation lists twelve grants, in the areas of civil society, education, economics, and mass media, eleven of them for amounts ranging from five thousand dollars to thirty-one thousand eight hundred dollars, with most in the lower range.  But the twelfth to support independent television stations' coverage of the Ukrainian elections was for $363,100, an extraordinary infusion of capital in Ukraine, and one that would be spent in a three month period.
Connie Bruck, The World According to Soros, The New Yorker, 23Jan95, p. 68.

The world knows that even after you became president, you remained under the influence of George Soros:

That he, a foreigner, has been able to stride so purposefully across the political landscape of this country [Ukraine] is probably due to a number of factors, among them his having arrived so early in its independence, and stayed; his partnership with Hawrylyshyn, who is widely admired, and trusted for his patriotism....  Still, it was not until his man became President that Soros was able to begin effectively mobilizing for the kind of change that he and others in the West had long envisioned.  ...  But Kuchma respects Soros, and Kuchma needs to be convinced by memos prepared by Soros."

Soros makes no bones about the interventionist nature of his role in Ukraine.  At one point, he remarked, jocularly, "If this isn't meddling in the affairs of a foreign nation, I don't know what is!"  ...  Soros commented, "I look at Ukraine with the same frame of mind as I look at REITs....  By my intervention, I make it happen!"
Connie Bruck, The World According to Soros, The New Yorker, 23Jan95, p. 70.

The world knows that you have used the office of president to become a thief:

Bartow said he has found evidence that Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma manipulated the Ukrainian bond market using IMF funds, diverted the profits to overseas bank accounts and then used the money to solidify his political power.
Sue Lackey, U.S. accused of ignoring Ukrainian abuse of IMF funds, MSNBC web site, 09Mar2000.

The world knows that your closest associates are gangsters:

Few people in Kiev will speak openly about Olexander Volkov, a top adviser to President Leonid Kuchma and manager of his campaign for re-election at polls to be held on Sunday.  One well known journalist will not even say his name out loud, preferring to write it on a scrap of paper.  He is a powerful man.

Mr Volkov, however, has become an issue in the campaign.  The president's opponents claim that Mr Kuchma's 5-year-old administration has been shot through with corruption and they place Mr Volkov at the heart of it.

In fact, they claim that with the help of Mr Volkov, Ukraine's industry has been carved up among sometimes unsavoury insiders connected to the Kuchma administration.  If Mr Kuchma wins a second term, these concerns are likely to escalate.

Mr Volkov's influence in the Kuchma camp is great.  After joining Mr Kuchma's successful 1994 presidential election campaign, he served as an official adviser to the new president from 1995-96.  In September 1998, he was appointed vice-chair of the Co-ordinating Committee for Domestic Policy, headed by Mr Kuchma, which currently functions as Mr Kuchma's election committee.

But concerns about Mr Volkov's business connections have persisted, including from abroad.  Two years ago, in response to a legal assistance request from Switzerland, a Belgian judge froze $3m in Mr Volkov's bank accounts in Belgium.  The prosecutor's office launched an investigation.

What they found was that $15m had transited Mr Volkov's Belgian accounts from 1993-97, and that he also had bank accounts in the UK, Germany, Monaco, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the US.
Charles Clover, Financial Times, 30Oct99.

The world knows that you are able to retain power only by suppressing freedom of the press:

Using tax and libel laws as instruments of his hostility to journalists, Kuchma runs roughshod over any expression of opposition.  His tacit acceptance of violence against the press has encouraged bombings of newspaper offices, assaults on reporters and editors, and a general climate of fear and self-censorship.  His tax policies force print and broadcast outlets without foreign support to seek financial aid from businesses and politicians who then extort favorable publicity.  Crushing fines forced three newspapers to shut down in recent months.
Committee to Protect Journalists, 1999 list of the Top Ten Enemies of the Press, 03May1999.

The world knows that you have blanketed Ukraine with shame:

"The imagery that exists of the Ukraine is what I call a kleptocracy," [U.S. Representative and House Banking Chairman Jim] Leach said, "even worse than Russia in some ways.  These countries that have become kleptocracies are robbing from their people and thus destabilizing the international system.  Money laundering is a crime, but how you accumulate the money to be laundered is likely to be a greater crime."
Sue Lackey, U.S. accused of ignoring Ukrainian abuse of IMF funds, MSNBC web site, 09Mar2000.

What the world does not yet know, and what it is waiting to find out, is what will be your punishment for the crimes that you have committed against the Ukrainian people.



Lubomyr Prytulak


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