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The Ukrainian Weekly 2002-02

The Ukrainian Weekly 2002-02

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www.ukrweekly.com The Ukrainian Weekly was founded in 1933 to serve the Ukrainian American community and to function as a vehicle for communication of that community's concerns to the general public in the United States. Today the English-language newspaper publishes news about Ukraine and Ukrainians around the world; its readership, though mostly North American, is worldwide. The Ukrainian Weekly's editorial offices are in Parsippany, NJ. It is published by the Ukrainian National Association, a fraternal benefit life insurance society, based in Parsippany, NJ. Read more at www.ukrweekly.com

www.ukrweekly.com The Ukrainian Weekly was founded in 1933 to serve the Ukrainian American community and to function as a vehicle for communication of that community's concerns to the general public in the United States. Today the English-language newspaper publishes news about Ukraine and Ukrainians around the world; its readership, though mostly North American, is worldwide. The Ukrainian Weekly's editorial offices are in Parsippany, NJ. It is published by the Ukrainian National Association, a fraternal benefit life insurance society, based in Parsippany, NJ. Read more at www.ukrweekly.com

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Published by: The Ukrainian Weekly on Feb 15, 2013
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by Roman Woronowycz
Kyiv Press Bureau
KYIV– Soon Ukrainians will beable to determine for themselves whathas endeared a generation of kids to themagical Harry Potter and the series of books by J.K. Rowling about theyoung.On January 9, A-Ba-Ba-Ha-La-Ma-Ha, the respected publisher of Ukrainian language children’s books,announced it had purchased theUkrainian-language rights to the firstbook of the Harry Potter series and anoption on the rest.“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’sStone” caused a sensation in the pub-lishing industry – and among children,as well as adults, who purchased it innumbers that demolished previous salesrecords for children’s books – when itwas introduced in 1997. The series thatfollowed, three books to date, hasremained popular not only with theunder-13 crowd but with youngstersand oldsters alike.Ivan Malkovych, founder and presi-dent of A-Ba-Ba-Ha-La-Ma-Ha, thefirst private Ukrainian children’spub-lishing house established after the col-lapse of the Soviet Union – which willcelebrate 10 years in business in Augustsaid that while he didn’texpect salesinUkraine to attain the astronomicalrates that were seen in the West in theyear after “The Sorcerer’s Stone” hitthe racks, he is certain that a niche mar-ket exists.He said that he believes readersinterested in the fantasy genre devel-
Published by the Ukrainian National Association Inc., a fraternal non-profit association
$1/$2 in UkraineVol. LXXNo. 2 THE UKRAINIAN WEEKLY SUNDAY, JANUARY 13, 2002
“Harry Potter” in Ukrainian?Yes (soon), thanks to Ivan Malkovych
byRoman Woronowycz
Kyiv Press Bureau
KYIV– Ukraine’s Procurator GeneralMykhailo Potebenko remained in his poston January 9 after several uncertain daysduring which reports circulated that thecountry’s controversial chief prosecutorwould be dismissed.The rumor was based on several eventsthat had taken place during the prior week concerning Mr. Potebenko – most notablyan announcement that he had been placedon the Communist Party candidate list forthe upcoming parliamentary elections andthat his office had begun an investigationinto illegal arms sales by two formerchiefs of Ukraine’s intelligence service,the Security Service of Ukraine, known byits Ukrainian acronym, SBU.On January 9 Mr. Potebenko disclaimedthe report, which he said was floated bythose who would have his political head.Hedenied during a press conference thatanybody from above had indicated in anyway that he should resign.“This is a disgusting provocation bythose who either are trying to cover theircriminal dealings or those who are lookingto gain an advantage for the elections,”said Mr. Potebenko, who explained thathis agency would be intricately involvedin investigating election fraud during theparliamentary campaigns.He said that certain people would liketo see a vacant post and an agency throwninto confusion, which would allow them tocontinue in their lawless ways.Nonetheless, neither President LeonidKuchma, who appoints the country’sprocurator general, nor any other high-ranking official in the president’s adminis-tration has thus far publicly spoken out insupport of Mr.Potebenko.On January 7, the press office of thepresidential administration said it had noinformation on the matter because admin-istration officials were observingChristmas.Hearsay first surfaced after Mr.Potebenko was named to the 20th spot onthe candidate slate of the CommunistParty during its congress on January 5. Mr.Potebenko’s placement almost certainlyassures him a seat in Parliament becausethe Communist Party has historicallytaken some 25 percent, or just over 100seats, in parliamentary elections.Many political experts said Mr.Potebenko should have immediately ten-dered his resignation because it would beunethical for a member of the politicalopposition to hold a position in the lawenforcement arm of state authority, espe-cially around election time. Mr.Potebenkotold reporters that he had no intention of resigning until he was elected a nationaldeputy.Yulia Tymoshenko, the first vice primeminister who was dismissed from her gov-ernment post after Mr. Potebenko broughtcorruption charges against her at thebeginning of last year – incriminations thatwere later dropped by a Ukrainian highcourt – reacted to the inclusion of Mr.Potebenko in the Communist slate by call-ing the move “a logical and worthy end tohis career.”“The Communists and the officials inpower are a single entity,” explained Ms.Tymoshenko. “[Mr. Potebenko] buried allthe crimes of those in power today in thedepths of the Procurator General’s Office,so it is logical that he find his last shelterin the Communist Party of Ukraine.”The unfounded rumors of the politicaldemise of Mr. Potebenko could also havebeen the result of an announcement by theProcurator General’sOffice on January 4that it would open a criminal case into alle-gations of illegal arms sales by high-rank-
Controversial procurator generalremains, despite rampant rumors
(Continued on page 25)
Ukraine’s new samvydav: the Internet — page 2.The diaspora’s role in Ukraine’s parliamentary elections — page 8.Ukrainian Canadian writer tackles a difficult subject — page 15.
of the
will be held in Chicago, ILat Chicago Marriott O’HareHotel
Beginning May 24, 2002
In accordance with the By-Laws of the UNA regarding election of delegates to the Convention, the qualifications for delegates,the number of delegates from each Branch and the credentials of delegates are as follows:The election of delegates and their alternates must be held within 60 days of the announcement of the Convention. Since theConvention was announced on January11, 2002, the 60-day term for election of delegates and their alternates ends on March 11, 2002.Delegates and their alternates to which the Branch is entitled shall be elected at a regular meeting of the Branch by the memberspresent. Nominations shall be made from the floor and all candidates presented to the membership for vote. The candidate or candidatesreceiving the highest number of votes shall be elected delegates. Alternate delegates shall be elected by separate vote in similar manner.All tie votes involving alternates shall be immediately resolved by another ballot for the candidates involved. Each member shall be enti-tled to one vote for each delegate and each alternate authorized to the Branch. Delegates and their alternates must be elected at thesame regular Branch meeting. In the event that a delegate fails or is unable to attend a Convention, an alternate shall be seated in his orher place, and remain seated for the balance of the Convention. If a Branch has more than one delegate, the seats of the absent dele-gates shall be occupied by alternates in the order of the highest number of votes received in the election.Only UNA membersin good standing may be present at the meeting and vote for delegates and their alternates. A member in goodstanding is one who has a certificate of insurance in the UNA on which dues are being paid. A member who has transferred to extendedinsurance, or paid-up insurance, or is suspended, may not be present at the meeting nor can he (or she) vote. Members in good standingmay vote for delegates and their alternates only in that Branch wherethey pay dues to the Fraternal Fund. No vote by proxyshall be allowed.Only those membersmay be elected as delegates or alternates who arein good standing and have all the qualifications for an officer of
(Continued on page 4)(Continued on page 3)
Communists win legal victory
KYIVAUkrainian high court onDecember 29, 2001, rejected as unconsti-tutional a decade-old, blanket ban on theSoviet-era Communist Party, Reuters andother agencies reported. Leonid Hrach, aCommunist leader and the chairman of the Crimean Parliament, said, “Despitehuge regret that we needed 10 years tocome to this natural and evident truth,this is a great victory,” Reuters reported.Interfax said Mr. Hrach called it a “victo-ry for common sense.” In its ruling, how-ever, the Ukrainian Constitutional Courtrejected calls for Communist assets –which included dozens of governmentbuildings, rest homes and health facilitiesto be returned to the party. Only thecourts have the power to exclude politicalparties, the court said. The prohibition hasbeen largely ignored since it was imposedon the country, where the revampedCommunists are the largest party in the450-seat assembly. (RFE/RLNewsline)
Communists aim for majority in Rada
KYIV– At a congress on January 5,the Communist Party of Ukraineapproved its parliamentary election pro-gram and 225 candidates who will seek parliamentary mandates on a countrywidelist, Interfax and UNIAN reported. Thelist is topped by Communist PartyChairman Petro Symonenko and includesCrimean Parliament Chairman LeonidHrach (No. 11) and Procurator GeneralMykhailo Potebenko (No. 20). Mr.Symonenko told the congress that theparty’s task in the March 31 election is towin more than 50 percent of parliamen-tary seats in order to take control of theVerkhovna Rada and form a new govern-ment. (RFE/RLNewsline)
 Marchuk subject of investigation
KYIV– The Procurator General’sOffice has opened a criminal investiga-tion against National Security andDefense Council Secretary YevhenMarchuk; the former chief of the SecurityService of Ukraine, Leonid Derkach; andDerkach’s son, National Deputy AndriiDerkach; for alleged involvement in ille-gal arms trading, Interfax reported onJanuary 4, quoting Deputy ProcuratorGeneral Oleksander Otamaniuk. Theinvestigation was launched following aninquiry lodged by National DeputiesHryhorii Omelchenko and AnatoliiYermak. Mr. Marchuk has said the allega-tions of his involvement are provocationsaimed at discrediting him and theSecurity Service. (RFE/RLNewsline)
 Kuchma vetoes bills related to elections
KYIV– President Leonid Kuchma hasvetoed a bill obliging all candidates inpresidential and parliamentary electionsto take part in televised debates andrequiring that television companies,regardless of their form of ownership,broadcast such debates, Interfax reportedon January 8. Mr. Kuchma also vetoed abill on local elections that stipulated amixed system in elections to oblast-levelcouncils and a majority system in elec-tions to lower-level councils. (RFE/RLNewsline)
 Rada urged to pass CD copyright law
KYIV– Verkhovna Rada Vice-Chairman Stepan Havrysh said onJanuary 8 that President Leonid Kuchmahas urged the Parliament to pass a bill oncompact disc production to potentiallysoften the impact of U.S. trade sanctionsimposed for Ukraine’s failure to fight CDpiracy, Interfax and the Associated Pressreported. Prime Minister Anatolii Kinakhsent a similar appeal to the Parliament.(RFE/RLNewsline)
 District election commissions formed 
KYIV– The Central ElectionCommission drew lots on January 7 tocomplete the formation of 225 districtelection commissions in Ukraine, NewChannel Television reported. Under theelection law, the district election commis-sions will obligatorily include membersof the parties that won no less than 4 per-cent of the vote in the 1998 election orhave their own caucuses in the currentparliament. There are currently 17 suchparties. The representation of other par-ties in the district election commissions(which are to consist of 12-20 people)was determined by drawing lots. NewChannel Television reported that formerPrime Minister Viktor Yuschenko’s OurUkraine and presidential administrationhead Volodymyr Lytvyn’s For a UnitedUkraine electoral blocs got most of theseats on these commissions. (RFE/RLNewsline)
 Kuchma signs 2002 budget into law
KYIVPresident Leonid Kuchmasigned the 2002 budget for Ukraine intolaw on January 3, Infobank reported.Andrii Chyrva, the deputy head of Mr.Kuchma’sinformation department, saidthe president also sent a letter toVerkhovna Rada Chairman Ivan Pliuschthat urges national deputies to considerthe government’s proposals to strengthenmacroeconomic stability and broaden the
(Continued on page 17)
byTaras Kuzio
 RFE/RLMedia Matters
The rapid growth of the Internet inUkraine had largely escaped the authori-ties’attention until the December 6,2001, presidential decree that finallysought to rein in one of the country’s lastremaining independent media outlets.The Internet had become “the mostmobile medium and the least vulnerableto censorship,” according to the presti-gious weekly “Zerkalo Nedeli/DzerkaloTyzhnia.Internet use in Ukraine has increasedfivefold since 1999. From 2000 to 2001,it jumped by 30 to 40 percent. In recentyears, computer prices have dropped,since 85 percent of all computers sold inUkraine are now assembled domestically.Approximately 400,000 personal com-puters were sold in 2001 (an annualincrease of 22 to 25 percent) plus 10,000computer notebooks (an annual increaseof 60 percent). Due to increased competi-tion among Ukraine’s260 Internet serv-ice providers – which also increased theirrevenues through higher volume of Internet advertisements – the cost of Internet connection has dropped dramati-cally. Add to that cheap pirated softwareandcheaper computers. All in all, theInternet is more affordable and accessi-ble in Ukraine.Not surprisingly, Internet usage ismost frequent in large cities, particularlyKyiv, which accounts for half of theInternet use, and eastern Ukraine. Lvivrepresents the only relatively largeInternet use in the western part of thecountry.Rural areas and small towns suf-fer from more frequent electricity cuts,fewer computer terminals and worsetelecommunications infrastructures. Of the 18,301 websites registered in Ukraineas of April 2001, 5,772 were in Kyiv, fol-lowed by Odesa (1,309), Dnipropetrovsk (901), Kharkiv (722) and Donetsk (550).The fact that the Security Service of Ukraine (Sluzhba Bezpeky Ukrainy,orSBU) has recently hired 3,000 computerexperts is proof of official concern aboutthe expansion of a medium they do notcontrol. The authorities not only feared anew technology they did not fully under-stand, but also were concerned at Internetuse to promote opposition political par-ties and to expose official misdeeds.Students and young people – amongwhom English is the most popular for-eign language – are increasingly relyingon the Internet to conduct research aswell as to read the Western media.President Leonid Kuchma wasalarmed that during 1999-2001 theInternet became a key forum for opposi-tion to the executive branch of govern-ment. As independent print outlets wereincreasingly stifled, the Internet was“performing the role that samvydav[samizdat] did in the 1960s in theUSSR,” the newspaper Ukraina Molodawrote last year.Until the “Kuchmagate” scandal of November 2000, authorities were unper-turbed by the Internet because its audi-ence was limited, compared to the broad-cast and print media controlled by themand their oligarch allies. Only in 2001did the executive branch of the Ukrainiangovernment establish its own website(www.kuchma.gov.ua).The main Internet site to seize on the“Kuchmagate” scandal was UkrainskaPravda launched on April 17, 2000, byHeorhii Gongadze and its current editor,Olena Prytula – five months before Mr.Gongadze’s still-unsolved murder. The“Kuchmagate” scandal led to publicdemands for prompt and unbiased infor-mation. This is reflected in visits to theUkrainska Pravda site, which increasedfrom 3,000 per day to 80,000 during theDecember 2000 parliamentary delibera-tions over the scandal – exceeding thecirculation figures for the pro-presiden-tial hard-copy newspapers, such asKievskie Viedomosti.The authorities were also concernedthat the Internet allegedly provided anegative image of Ukraine to the outsideworld. During the “Kuchmagate” scan-dal, Ukraine’s international image drasti-cally worsened. But the authorities, byblaming the Internet for highlightingtheir misdeeds, show they do not under-stand the media’s role as the “fourthestate” in a democratic society. Forexample, President Kuchma recentlycomplained that the Internet was a“killer” because it was always pouringout “dirt” through “anonymous informa-tion.”Reflecting such official concerns, in2001 a special Internet Administrationwas set up within the State Committeefor Information Policy, Television andRadio. The SBU is also attempting totake over control of the “.ua” (theUkraine Internet country code since1992) domain-name registration. This“.ua” system is controlled by a SanFrancisco-based networks administrator,Dmytro Kohmaniuk, through the InternetCorporation for Assigned Names andNumbers (ICANN). On October 31,2001, the National Security and DefenseCouncil (NSDC) passed a resolution “OnMethods to Improve State InformationPolicy and Ensure Ukraine’s InformationSecurity.” This was followed by aNovember 12, 2001 meeting withInternet journalists where YevhenMarchuk, NSDC secretary and formerUkrainian KGB and SBU chairman,complained that the Internet constituted athreat to Ukrainian national security dueto its large volume of compromisingmaterial. Mr. Marchuk said, “the statecannot ignore a new developing phenom-enon, to just stand by and have no influ-ence on it.” Apresidential decree datedDecember 6, 2001 implemented theOctober 31 resolution, which in turn fol-lowed an earlier Internet decree datedJuly 31, 2000, and five previous “infor-mation policy” decrees in July 1997;April, July and December 2000; andApril 2001.The December 6, 2001, decree orderedthe Cabinet of Ministers to undertake arange of detailed measures within one-,two-, three-, six- and eight-month dead-lines. Within one month, the Cabinet wasto draw up a draft law on a “NationalInformation Policy Concept andUkraine’sInformation Security.” Amoredetailed licensing procedure for Internetservice providers was to be introduced,requiring that they retain copies of Internet traffic for six months. It is dis-turbing to note the SBU role in the licens-ing of Internet providers and potentialSBU access to Internet traffic in the“interests of national security.” The SBUwas instructed also to come up with pro-posals to improve its work against “infor-mation aggression and specialist informa-tion-propagandistic operations” undertak-en by foreign intelligence services.Arecent example of how the SBU maydeploy the notion that the Internet consti-
The Internet: Ukraine’s new samvydav 
An English-language newspaper published by the Ukrainian National Association Inc.,anon-profit association, at 2200 Route 10, P.O. Box 280, Parsippany,NJ 07054.Yearly subscription rate: $55; for UNAmembers — $45.Periodicals postage paid at Parsippany,NJ 07054 and additional mailing offices.(ISSN — 0273-9348)The Weekly: UNA:Tel: (973) 292-9800; Fax: (973) 644-9510 Tel: (973) 292-9800; Fax: (973) 292-0900
Postmaster,send address changes to:
Editor-in-chief: Roma Hadzewycz
The Ukrainian Weekly
2200 Route 10
Roman Woronowycz (Kyiv)
P.O. Box 280
Andrew Nynka
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Ika Koznarska Casanova (part time)
The Ukrainian Weekly Archive: www.ukrweekly.com
The Ukrainian Weekly, January 13, 2002, No. 2, Vol. LXX
2002 The Ukrainian Weekly
Taras Kuzio is a research associate atthe Center for Russian and EastEuropean Studies, University of Toronto.
(Continued on page 16)
In our “2001: Year in Review” supple-ment (January 6), the section titled“Noteworthy in Y2K+1: events, people,etc.” was missing a line from the listingof top Ukrainian heroes/heroines. No. 3on the list was: Ivan Franko (1856-1916), writer,scholar,publicist, andpolitical and civic leader.Also, the caption to a photo publishedwith the section titled “The Gongadzecase: a murder still unsolved” incorrectlyreferred to Lesia Gongadze as the wife of Heorhii Gongadze. As correctly noted inthe story, she is Mr. Gongadze’s mother.
Year in review: errata
The NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC)met in a defense ministerial session in Brussels on December 19 to review progress in NATO-Ukraine defense and mil-itary cooperation “in the context of Ukraine’s commitment to Euro-Atlanticintegration” and to discuss joint effortsagainst terrorism. Following is the text of astatement issued after the meeting
The NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC)mettoday in Defense Ministerial Session atNATO Headquarters in Brussels. NATOministers welcomed the newly appointedminister of defense of Ukraine, Minister[Volodymyr] Shkidchenko. Ministers dis-cussed the progress in the defense and mili-tary cooperation between NATO andUkraine in the context of Ukraine’s com-mitment to Euro-Atlantic integration. Theyalso reaffirmed their commitment to com-bating terrorism and discussed ways inwhich their combined efforts in this regardcould be made more effective. Ministersnoted that this year marked the 10thanniversary of an independent and sover-eign Ukraine. Ministers congratulatedUkraine on the destruction of its last SS-24missile-launching site, demonstratingUkraine’s status as a nuclear-free state.The commission noted Ukraine’s con-tinuing contribution to European securityand the measures taken by Ukraine in thefight against terrorism, including Ukraine’sdecision to open its airspace for overflightby U.S. aircraft. NATO ministersexpressed appreciation for Ukraine’s ongo-ing support for NATO-led operations in theBalkans and the participation of Ukrainianforces in the Polish-Ukrainian Battalion inKFOR. The commission reaffirmed itssupport for the successful development of the peace process in the former YugoslavRepublic of Macedonia.The commission approved the statusreport on activities under the Joint WorkingGroup (JWG) on Defense Reform.Ministers noted with satisfaction that theprogram of activities for 2001 had beenfully implemented and that the programplanned for 2002 included a broad range of activities aimed at supporting defense andsecurity sector reform. Ministers commend-ed the work of the Joint Working Group atproblem of price-competitiveness for hiscompany.A-Ba-Ba-Ha-La-Ma-Ha cannotafford the large initial print run that theRussians could, and does not have theinternational market that an offering in theRussian language does.In addition, Mr.Malkovych must con-tend with a Ukrainian value-added tax(VAT) of 20 percent. In Russia book pub-lishers are tax-exempt, which is a centralreason that Mr.Malkovych is consideringpublishing the book in Russia.“Unfortunately,we will probably beprinting in Russia. We can save nearly 30percent on the cost that way,” explainedMr. Malkovych, who underscored that thecreative process, including illustrations tobe done by Mr. Malkovych’s long-timeillustrator, Vladyslav Yerko, will takeplace in Ukraine.In addition to a competitive price, Mr.Malkovych believes a key to the book’ssuccess on the Ukrainian market hingeson the quality of the translation. Heintends to remain absolutely true to theoriginal story, as is required by his con-tract, but would like to see an element of Ukrainian culture and national psycheappear in the dialogue.For example he envisions the pleasantHagrid speaking in the native accent of the Halychyna region of Ukraine with thesame good-natured candidness oftenexhibited there.The persons tasked with fulfilling Mr.Malkovych’s vision are Viktor Morozov,aLviv philologist, and two editors, one of which is Toronto-born Motria Onyschuk,who previously had translated A-Ba-Ba-Ha-La-Ma-Ha’s “The Cat and theRooster” into English for Knopf Publishers, owners of the English-lan-guage rights.Mr. Malkovych, who would not dis-close what he paid for the rights to theblockbuster Harry Potter series, other thanto say that it involved a fixed fee plus apercentage of the royalties, explained thathe believes it is important that such aglobally popular book be published inUkrainian in order to keep Ukrainian-lan-guage speakers apace with the develop-ment of modern literature and to send asignal to Western publishers that theUkrainian language cannot be ignored intheir global distribution campaigns.And while that point was a primary rea-son he pursued the Ukrainian rights sovigorously, another more basic one wassimply that the book will sell because ithas universal appeal and will touchUkrainian children in the same way it hasaffected youngsters in much of the Westwho have now been exposed to four booksabout their beloved young wizard and hisfriends (and foes) at the Hogwarts Schoolof Witchcraft and Wizardry.“It is a modern book, which seems atfirst glance not to incorporate modernthemes, but it is quite the contrary,”explained Mr. Malkovych. “These are nor-mal kids who turn out to have magicalabilities. Our kids are given hope thatthey,too, might have magic within theirgrasp. It gives them faith in themselves.”
First million copy printing
Also in celebration of the 10th anniver-sary of A-Ba-Ba-Ha-La-Ma-Ha, Mr.Malkovych has re-issued seven of the mostpopular children’sstories and folk talesproduced by his company over the years. Itis the first ever 1-million-copy printing of children’sbooks in Ukraine, which wasmade possible by support of Ukraine’spostal service, UkrPost, in a joint projectcalled “Mini Dyvo” (Mini Wonder).The books are almost pamphlet-like insize, but more importantly they can be hadfor a single hryvnia each, which makesthem accessible to all Ukrainian children.And they will be available everywhere,almost literally, because UkrPost hasagreed to sell them in all of its more than15,000 post offices nationwide, which arefound not only in the largest cities, but alsoin the most remote and tiny villages.“Our books are often called the best, butmore often they are called the most expen-sive,” said Mr.Malkovych, explainingwhy he had decided to pursue the project.In 10 years A-Ba-Ba-Ha-La-Ma-Ha haspublished some 400,000 copies of nearly50 different children’s book titles, folk tales, fables and stories from lands nearand far, including, of course, Ukraine, butalso from Russia, Poland, Germany,Holland and England.Mr. Malkovych, who continues to writepoetry for adults and children alike andhas done many of the translations of for-eign folk tales found in the A-Ba-Ba-Ha-La-Ma-Ha collection, said the reason hestarted to publish was quite simple:“I wanted an alphabet book for my son,one that began with ‘Afor anhel’[(angel],
FORTHERECORD: Statementof NATO-Ukraine Commission
oped by other renowned British authorswho told stories of magical lands andencounters – such as J.R.R. Tolkien andLewis Carroll, who are famous, respec-tively,for “The Hobbit” and “Alice inWonderland” – would take to the books.The business deal comes after exten-sive and difficult negotiations, explainedMr.Malkovych, who was a poet and not abusinessman before becoming a publisherof kids’books.“Obtaining the rights took a lot of timeand a lot of correspondence,” explainedMr.Malkovych. “At first the British pub-lishers even kept mispronouncing thename, ‘Ukraine.’But then again, whyshould they be familiar with us?”Only after he made the publishersunderstand that Ukraine is a large countrywith a large market was the agreementcompleted.ARussian-language version of thebook has been out for about a year in aninitial run of more than 100,000, whichwill make selling the Ukrainian book more challenging because those inUkraine who couldn’twait to get theirhands on the story – and were not fluentin one of the languages in which it waspublished prior to that – have already readthe Russian edition. Mr. Malkovych saidhe would have to advertise loud and hardto get his Ukrainian version noticed.He explained that the low cost of theRussian-language version already on theUkrainian market also causes a potential
(Continued from page 1)
“Harry Potter”...
Coverof the U.S. edition of “HarryPotterand the Sorcerer’s Stone.”
and not ‘Afor akula’[shark – which washow Soviet alphabet books began]. I alsowanted thick cardboard pages that smallchildren would not immediately destroy,”explained Mr. Malkovych.And thus A-Ba-Ba-Ha-La-Ma-Ha wasborn. The name, keeping true to Mr.Malkovych’soriginal intent, comes fromastory by Ivan Franko, “Hryts’s SchoolLesson,” in which a young school childwhen asked by his father what he hadlearned in school that day replies “a-ba-ba-ha-la-ma-ha,” when in fact meaning tosay “abetka” (the alphabet).Mr. Malkovych’s first book, “Abetka,”which still is available today,became athick, cardboard-paged success after awell-known book distributor bought 3,000of a very large run of 50,000 books.Ten years down the road, Mr.Malkovych said he believes that the highstandards he sets for himself and his co-workers and the quality they produce, arewhat has allowed A-Ba-Ba-Ha-La-Ma-Hato keep working for as long as it has.“Our credo has always been high quali-ty. We wanted kids to pick our booksbecause they were the most interesting –the cover,the illustrations and finally thestory they would read later – which would,not coincidentally,also be a Ukrainian-language book,” explained Mr.Malkovych. “We wanted those kids todevelop a fondness for Ukrainian books.”
(Continued on page 23)byRoman Kupchinsky
 RFE/RLCrime, Corruption and Terrorism Watch
The fight against organized crime isinseparably linked to the question of high-level government corruption. When a cor-rupt government forms an alliance withorganized crime, domestic law-enforcementagencies become cops on the beat – chasingdown muggers and pickpockets – whileaiding, and benefiting from, major criminalactivity. Only when the government/crimi-nal alliance is destroyed can the rule of lawreturn.Inthe former USSR such a situationexists today. The examples are numerousand brazen. The head of the department incharge of battling corruption at the RussianMinistry of Internal Affairs (MVD) recentlyfled abroad, fearing arrest for selling protec-tion to criminal groups. The head of Ukraine’s International Affairs Ministrywas fired by the president, and both are sus-pected of complicity in the murder of a journalist. Members of parliament inGeorgia have demanded the resignation of the internal affairs minister and the procura-tor general for corruption. AKorean busi-nessman recently confessed to having giventhe president of Kazakstan a bribe of $10million.Can the criminal/government alliance inthe former USSR be defeated? If so, bywhom?In the past four years the only seriousprosecution of corrupt officials fromUkraine has been undertaken by Westerngovernments. The United States is prepar-ing to try former Prime Minister PavloLazarenko on charges of money launderingand mail fraud. Mr. Lazarenko has alreadybeen convicted on money-launderingcharges in Switzerland. Belgium is continu-ing its investigation of the activities of Oleksander Volkov, a close adviser to
The government-criminal alliance 
 RFE/RLCrime, Corruption, anTerrorism Watch, reporting on organized crime, corruption and terrorism in the former USSR, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, was inaugurated in November 2001. The report is prepared by Roman Kupchinsky.
(Continued on page 23)

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