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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Lukashenka’s interview with Russian Press, Sex Maniac finally found, Polish misuse of funds, Colored revolutions

The refinancing and interest rates of the National Bank of Belarus will reduce to 11 per cent on November 25. The decision is contained in resolution #160 of the country’s major banking establishment. As BelTA was told in the information department of the National Bank, the rates are reduced in line with the main guidelines of the monetary policy of the Republic of Belarus for 2005 and in order to cheapen bank loans and extend their availability for people and companies.

From the Top

А.Лукашенко: Надо идти от жизни и думать об интересах народа. Не бояться откровенничать с простыми людьми.
On November 23, President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko held a press conference in Minsk for mass media representatives from Russia’s regions, which was attended by more than 80 journalists from more than 50 regions of the Russian Federation. The meeting of the Head of State with the Russian journalists took more than four hours and was televised live on all Belarusian TV channels at 9 p.m. Excerpts from the interview from BELTA, ONT and Charter ‘97 are as follows.


“Belarus is an international republic that closely observes migration processes”, the head of state underscored.

According to the president, every year Belarus welcomes about 30 thousand people. About 1,5 thousand leave the country. As Alexander Lukashenko underlined, many Russians and Ukrainians arrive in Belarus to live. Belarus totals about 3,5 thousand Muslims. All these processes have been put under special control of the state.

Belarus will have no preconditions for ethnic and religious clashes. “In this respect there is a stable situation in the country”, president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko stated at today’s press conference with representatives of the Russian regional mass media outlets.

The Union state

There is no hampering of creation of Union State on the part of Belarus, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko said at a meeting with the Russian journalists.

Alexander Lukashenko said Wednesday that there could be attempts to destabilize the situation in the country before presidential elections in summer 2006. "There will be attempts to aggravate and disrupt the situation," Lukashenko said at a news conference in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, adding that a major attack of the opposition would most likely begin after the elections.

He said, however, that the number of Western politicians, including in the United States and in Europe, who consider exerting pressure on Belarus ineffective, had been increasing.

Lukashenko said Belarusian authorities would preserve stability in the country, since he

had been supported at three nation-wide referendums during his presidency, but added that he saw the upcoming elections as a test.


Asked if Belarus will manage to maintain stability during the presidential election campaign in 2006 Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko said that the outcome of the election will be determined solely by the people of this country.

“There are no symptoms whatsoever that any kind of destabilization will take place in Belarus, - Alexander Lukashenko stressed. – Stability we will maintain”. Belarusians see what has been done during the recent ten years and what has been mapped out for the future, the president noted.

Alexander Lukashenko drew the attention of the Russian regional mass media representatives to the fact that the West-sponsored information war on Belarus has escalated. Certain opposition leaders are seeking for support in Russia. In this respect the head of state thanked the Russian foreign ministry for its firm position on many political issues which concern Belarus.

If the present-day authority in Belarus loses, this will be a serious blow for Russia, Alexander Lukashenko said. He reported that today many people even in the USA, Europe and the United Kingdom believe that the present-day attempts to exert pressure on Belarus are counterproductive.

“Today an informational war unleashed against Belarus. The West has no scruple to pay for it, including [the campaign] in Russian media,” Alyaksandr Lukashenka said on Wednesday in Minsk at a press conference for Russian provincial mass media. “There are certain forces in Russia as well, who are gladly supporting our nationalists,” he added.

A.Lukashenka said that the essence of anti-Lukashenka opposition is that it is barefaced nationalism. “The so-called single opposition candidate (Alyaksandr Milinkevich) is a person from the Belarusian Popular Front”. “According to our information, he has made a tour around Russia and now he is shouting that he had almost been received by Putin. I would like Putin to receive you and he could see what kind of man you are,” Lukashenka said.

Lukashenka also warned against a stupid idea that the fate of presidential elections could be decided outside Belarus, at least in the Kremlin”. “The result of the Belarusian elections is to be decided only in Belarus and by the Belarusians,” he underlined.

At the same time, as said by him, “today we see, judging by some attacks that they want to stir us up and incite us, in order to accuse the authorities later, that this and that is bad. But we are getting ready for that, too,” Lukashenka said.

About Ukraine

Alyaksandr Lukashenka states that Belarus has “fairly good” relations with Ukraine, though the leadership of this country looks at Belarus with envy and jealousy. “We had fairly good relations with Ukraine and are going to have such relations forever, as well as with Russia. The leadership there [in Ukraine] takes a special position, and it was a special position before. To show their success, they speak unfavourably of Belarus and criticized it undeservingly,” A. Lukashenka said on Wednesday in Minsk at a press-conference for representatives of Russian mass media. “On the on hand, it is jealousy, on the other it is envy,” the Belarusian ruler thinks. “The Ukrainians know the policy of the leadership of our country very well. In Russia they know that Belarus is the last bastion of Russia in the West, it’s the land that had never let the tanks pass through it to Moscow, however the major mass media are pouring much mud on us. The same is done by Ukraine,” the president continued.

A.Lukashenka also added that Belarus “has not bowed; is not dancing attendance on anyone. We are pursuing a policy to the benefit of our own nation”.

Lukashenka is convinced that Belarus “has occupied a certain position in this overcrowded and sometimes inhospitable world”. “Maybe we have pushed somebody by our shoulder when we were taking our place after the collapse of the Soviet Union, maybe we have made somebody move up. Everything will be alright, neither Balts, nor Poles, nor Ukrainians would be aggravated,” Lukashenka said.

About the former Soviet Union

Alexander Lukashenko said Wednesday that the breakup of the Soviet Union had been orchestrated and paid for. "Such things do not just happen in politics unfortunately. A lot of money was paid for that," Lukashenko said.

The leaders of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine met in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha Natural Reserve in Belarus in 1991 and signed an agreement, founding the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The agreement said all the members were sovereign and independent nations and, thereby, effectively abolished the Soviet Union.

Stanislav Shushkevich, the former speaker of the Belarusian parliament, who signed the agreement for Belarus, did not have the right to do so, Lukashenko said.

"This was Shushkevich`s initiative. He should have received permission from Belarus` parliament for signing the documents."

According to Lukashenko, this was a tragic mistake. He said there had been no reasons for the USSR to disintegrate. If the union were to collapse, it would have collapsed later for objective reasons, he said.

"The Alpha [commando unit] should have gathered the Belovezhskaya Pushcha signatories, wrapped them up with barbed wire and let them call and report back to Bush senior what they were signing," Lukashenko said.

Village revival

Village revival is vital for Belarus to enter WTO.

In this respect the country does a lot to boost agricultural production and curb production costs.

Mr. Lukashenko reminded that Belarus adopted a village revival program: “This is a program to save the village, - the president pointed out. – We are modernizing processing companies and inventing new types of products and building agro-towns”.

Today Belarus is fully satisfying itself with agricultural products and sells a half of the total output to Russia. “We have systematized the whole agriculture bearing in mind specialization of all regions”, the head of state stressed.

Relations between Russia and Belarus

Alexander Lukashenko also stated that the relations between Belarus and Russia should have less “book-keeping” issues.

According to him, at present Belarus improves its anti-aircraft defense to be able to protect Russia as well. Nevertheless, Russian surface-to-air missile system S-300 is transferred to Belarus not at the gratuitous basis as the majority of mass media outlets informed. “Belarus and Russia has a single anti-aircraft defense. It turns that we should pay for protecting Russia”, the head of state underscored.

“It has gone so far as when several S-300 divisions were simply left outdoors. We propose to restore them, to defend our union territory, but we are said that we won’t receive them for free,”

The president noted that Belarus purchases Russian raw materials except natural gas at the world prices. The revenues make only USD 180 million, while Belarus renders to Russia services at the total amount of USD 900 million a year including in the customs and military sphere.

The Union State

“We are by no means torpedoing the process. It is highly beneficial for us, - the head of state stressed. – This is a necessary condition for well-being of the peoples of Belarus and Russia”. At the same time, according to the president, many in Russia do not want the union to take shape. But such people understand that to openly come against the union means to lose trust of the Russians, this is why they accuse Belarus of protracting the unification processes, Alexander Lukashenko noted.

According to the head of state Belarus is ready to make part to the Union State but only on the principle of equal rights. If natural gas costs USD 200 for 1 thousand of cubic meters than let it be the price for all. But today the gas is sold to the Russians for USD 22, whereas for Belarus – for almost USD 50. The republic is purchasing everything in Russia at world prices except for natural gas. The benefit Belarus derives from the latter is USD 180 million. “We do not demand to sell it cheap for Belarus, but let the price be the same for everyone”, Alexander Lukashenko said.

The head of state also favored imposition of a single currency. But it can be imposed only in the Union State, once the Constitutional Act is signed, the Belarusian leader stressed.

On setting up an office of the president of the Belarusian/Russian Union State

Alexander Lukashenko refuted the information on the possibility of setting up an office of the president of the Belarus-Russia Union State. The Belarusian leader told Russian journalists during today’s conference that the draft Constitutional Act has no such post.

Answering questions of the journalists Alexander Lukashenko stressed that at the recent meeting with Vladimir Putin “we have made it definite that we have no such post and there is no use in dwelling on it”.

Belarus will keep pursuing its socially-oriented policy while a part of the Union State, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko said answering questions of Russian journalists.

“We will support education and mostly retain budget-funded medicine, - Alexander Lukashenko explained. – We will never renounce this position and I am confident that Russia, too, will soon come to it”.

“Social policy is a priority for any state”, the Belarusian leader underlined. According to him, Belarus will never agree to create such a Union State where overriding principles are neglected.

The president of Belarus also noted that the Union State should provide foreign, defense policy. The Constitutional Act is expected to include all the abovementioned issues.

Raising the cost of gas

Alexander Lukashenko told Russian journalists Wednesday that he did not see any problem with Russia raising the price for natural gas supplies to Belarus to world levels. Belarus currently saves $180 million per year by purchasing gas at the Russian domestic price. This is not a crucial sum for the country`s economy, Lukashenko said, adding that Belarus buys all other energy sources from Russia at world prices.

Belarusian debt for Russian gas totals about $30 million, and the country is maintaining regular payments for current gas supplies, the president said.

"You [Russia] pay $190-$200 million every year for Baikonur [a space center that Russia rents from Kazakhstan], and we have two major [military] bases, one customs center, and a border. This is all maintained at our expense, and these services that we provide to Russia are worth $900 million," he said.

Belarus currently buys Russian gas at $46.68 per 1,000 cu m. This rate will be maintained until the end of 2006 and then be raised in 2007.

Housing adjustments

Relations between Russia and Belarus

Alexander Lukashenko also stated that the relations between Belarus and Russia should have less “book-keeping” issues.

According to him, at present Belarus improves its anti-aircraft defense to be able to protect Russia as well. Nevertheless, Russian surface-to-air missile system S-300 is transferred to Belarus not at the gratuitous basis as the majority of mass media outlets informed. “Belarus and Russia has a single anti-aircraft defense. It turns that we should pay for protecting Russia”, the head of state underscored.

“It has gone so far as when several S-300 divisions were simply left outdoors. We propose to restore them, to defend our union territory, but we are said that we won’t receive them for free,”

The president noted that Belarus purchases Russian raw materials except natural gas at the world prices. The revenues make only USD 180 million, while Belarus renders to Russia services at the total amount of USD 900 million a year including in the customs and military sphere.

Private property

Time has come in Belarus to make a decision: three children – a dwelling for free. This is the only way for us to tackle the demographic problem, Alexander Lukashenko said answering questions of Russian journalists. According to the president, this measure is presently being mulled over.

The president also noted that Belarus will shortly come up with a comprehensive program to support mothers and children. According to the Belarusian leader the state intends to set forth in legislation that parents who abandon their children should make up 120 per cent for the state spending to raise such children. This can be implemented by means of setting up labor camps. Some 32 thousand children in Belarus are supported by the state in children’s homes. There are no homeless children in Belarus, the head of state stressed.

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko is convinced that “private property should be under state control”.

“Property owners think more about their profits than about the state and the people. The state should not neglect these processes, especially, when private property is the result of privatization. I welcome the property created by hard work of its owner. I am against any fake combinations with private property”, Alexander Lukashenko underlined at today’s press conference with representatives of the Russian regional mass media.

On Bureaucracy

“We would like to make the state work for the people of Belarus”, president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko stated at today’s press conference.

Earlier the country had to make quick decisions on major issues in order to save the production. The state had to save the economy to give people an opportunity to earn.

Today’s major task is to eliminate bureaucratism in the state and make it work for people, the president considers. This issue should be settled in the next five years.

Alexander Lukashenko underlined that Belarus is constructing a socially-oriented state. People should be of top priority in the model of the country’s socio-economic development. According to the head of state, “we have never neglected the interests of people and always fought for their rights”.

A statement from Vladimir Kuchko

The information area of Belarus is of high importance for Russia as the two states are involved in establishing a Union State, deputy general director of ITAR-TASS Vladimir Kuchko believes.

He told BelTA that the Russian citizens are displaying keen interest in Belarusian developments and in attitude of Belarusians towards their Russian neighbors. In this respect the leadership of the biggest information agency on the territory of the former Soviet Union attaches great importance to expansion of information flow from the fraternal country. At the same time, according to Vladimir Kuchko, one should not forget about the information war which is raging in the world. The specialist noted that the war has become much more cruel towards such independent countries as Belarus. “The West is tapping deep into its great mass media potential to disseminate its ideas”.

Asked what he would do if he would not be elected president, Lukashenka quipped:

“If I won’t be a president, most probably I won’t work at all. In case I’ll be given a certain sum of money, I’ll retire on pension,” A. Lukashenka said on Wednesday in Minsk at a press conference for Russian journalists. “I won’t hinder anybody, I won’t interfere with anything. I won’t meddle, though I still have 10 years for the retirement age,” Lukashenka continued.

The Belarusian ruler said that in a conversation with Vladimir Putin he discussed these issues. “Vladimir Vladimirovich said: As I have understood, you are going to stand for election? I say: you have understood that right. “That’s right, Putin continues, “I think that you are not able to do anything except politics,” Lukashenka said.

As said by Lukashenka, he is in politics all his life. “10 years of presidency. 5 years as a MP. But I have majored in history and economy. However it does not mean that I will sit in an office and count with a calculator. I have been working as a director of an industrial enterprise; in the sphere of agriculture, I won’t stay unemployed,” Lukashenka said.

News from Belarus



The Belarus/Lithuanian border will open some 11 checkpoints with simplified crossing for people living in a radius of 30 kilometers
Belarus is the only country among the CIS states that works on demarcation of its borders, chairman of the State Border Troops Committee Alexander Pavlovskiy stated November 23 in the course of the session of the Chamber of Representatives.

Alexander Pavlovskiy noted that as for today the border demarcation with Lithuania has been practically completed. At present Belarus is holding talks with the Lithuanian side on signing all necessary documents. According to the plan, they should be signed in 2006.

Alexander Pavlovskiy also informed that by June-July 2006 the border demarcation with Latvia would be finished.

Since 1997 the Belarusian government has allocated USD 5,5 million to the border demarcation. The head of the State Border Troops Committee underscored that the demarcation was held by the Belarusian companies which work was highly praised.
Alexander Pavlovskiy noted that in 2006 the Baltic part of the border will open some 11 checkpoints with simplified crossing for people living in a radius of 30 kilometers from the border. At present the sides are considering the issue on mutual reduction of the cost on one-year visas to EUR 15.



The “Bolsheviks” of the Commonwealth of Independent States
A sitting of the Council of the CIS heads of government will take place November 25 in Moscow. Belarus will be represented by prime minister Sergei Sidorskiy, a BelTA correspondent was told in the embassy of Belarus in Russia.

The sitting’s agenda will highlight the concept on forming a common electric energy market of the CIS states, measures to promote competitive production of the national companies on the CIS domestic market and third countries markets, consideration of a plan of actions dedicated to the forthcoming Year of the Commonwealth of Independent States and an issue on granting a status of the basic CIS organizations to a number of educational establishments: in particular, to Belarusian State University, Belarusian National Technical University, Belarusian State University on Informatics and Radio-electronics and Ecological University n. a. academician Sakharov.

The sitting is set to consider a number of budgetary issues: the CIS draft budget for 2006, implementation of the budget for 2004 and specifications of this year’s budget. The latter issue is connected with the increased financing from Russia and Kazakhstan. Moreover the previous sitting of the CIS Economic Council proposed to change ways of making the CIS budget contributions.

On the eve of the meeting the Russian side proposed to consider the implementation of the agreement on humanitarian cooperation signed at the summit of the CIS heads of states in Kazan.

The sitting is set to sign five documents including an agreement on cooperation in combating human organs and tissues trafficking. Two agreements have been initiated by Belarus: on cooperation in the work with young people and on cooperation in combating hijacking.


Charter ‘97

The Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC) has filed a complaint with the Supreme Economic Court about the authorities` refusal to allow the organization to use $1,000 donated from abroad.

The Presidential Administration`s property management department turned down the BHC`s application for official registration of the financial aid provided by the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights.

As BHC Executive Director Oleg Gulak told BelaPAN, Aleksandr Lukashenko`s decree that banned the use of unregistered foreign aid clearly specifies for what purposes donations from abroad cannot be used. "We don`t question the bans, and we didn`t plan to use the money for political or anti-constitutional activities. We clearly indicated that we need the money for paying the office rent and phone bills, and organizing a conference. Since the organization is registered, we believe that we have the right to receive the aid," he stressed.

According to the activist, the court has ordered that the property management department present official grounds for its decision.

The court will hold a preliminary hearing on November 25 to consider the case.



80% of housing should be supervised by the state
The government of Belarus intends to adjust the existing system of housing construction in the country in 2006. As prime minister of Belarus Sergei Sidorskiy has stated at a sitting of the Council of Ministers on November 22, the construction of 80 per cent of housing should be supervised by the state, 20 per cent should be built on a commercial basis.

Today the situation is quite different with commercial housing accounting for 80 per cent of new housing. “We should change the situation in this sphere”, the prime minister stressed.

Sergei Sidorskiy informed that the government is working out proposals to reduce the cost of housing construction. The program on reducing the cost of rural houses has already been launched.

According to him, housing construction in the country should be carefully surveyed. “Only in that way we will be able to hold back the growth of prices for housing”, Sergei Sidorskiy is convinced.


From ONT

Почти полгода вечерний Пинск считался зоной повышенной опасности. Задержать преступника помог случай и муж очередной потенциальной жертвы.

Более полугода преступник успешно скрывался от милиции. И вот попался на грабеже и неудачной попытке изнасилования. Первое заявление было подано в Пинский РОВД еще в начале апреля. Пострадавшую изнасиловали в извращенной форме и с тяжкими последствиями. Сотрудники внутренних дел сбились с ног в поисках преступника.

Начальник Пинского РОВД Анатолий Яхновец отметил, что большие силы бросались на поимку преступника в отрыве от основных мероприятий. Проводились засады и другие оперативно-розыскные мероприятия с применением специальных средств….

Преступления совершались в глухих районах, на окраине города. Сотрудники милиции обошли здесь буквально каждый дом. Прочесали все лесопосадки. В ходе следствия выяснялись все новые эпизоды. Милиции стало ясно, что череда изнасилований началась еще в прошлом году. Работники всех предприятий города были предупреждены об опасности. По Пинску поползи слухи.

Взять преступника не удавалось, несмотря на работу всех подразделений милиции в усиленном режиме. Помог случай. Очередной жертве удалось вырваться. Преступник успел только отобрать у нее деньги. Женщина вернулась домой избитая, испуганная, в состоянии шока. Сказала только, что человек был одет в серую куртку. Успокоив ее немного, муж взял автомобиль и отправился в то место.

Муж пострадавшей Сергей Буко сумел не только найти преступника на темной улице, но и задержать его. Сегодня правоохранительные органы выражали С.Буко свою благодарность.

В ходе следствия всплывают все новые случаи изнасилований. Многие женщины боялись огласки и не обращались в милицию. Часть преступлений – задержанный – 45-летний семьянин – уже признал. Остальное еще предстоит доказать.


From Charter ‘97

Anzelika Borys
Anzelika Borys, a leader of the Polish community in Belarus, was questioned on November 22 as a witness in connection with the alleged misuse of funds in the Union of Belarusian Poles (UBP).

The case was opened this past January. Ms. Borys has been questioned more than 50 times since then, according to her.

Ms. Borys was elected UBP leader at the Union`s March convention, which was declared illegitimate by the Belarusian justice ministry.

A Grodno investigator, Dmitry Labotsky, summoned her to appear on Tuesday. At the questioning, she reportedly confronted Tadeusz Kruczkowski who led the UBP before the convention in March.

"I am accused of allegedly misusing funds, handling finances, organizing a teachers` conference with sponsors` money and stealing something," Ms. Borys said. "However, the case was launched before all those UBP conventions, somewhere this past January. Investigators so far have not found anything and are unlikely to find because I didn`t handle the Union`s funds nor signed any financial papers."

"I think that investigators just want to put a psychological pressure on me and my supporters by summoning me on and on," she added.

After invalidating the Union`s March convention, the justice ministry ordered a repeat convention at which Jozef Lucznik was elected UBP leader. The Polish authorities have refused to recognize the election, while the Belarusian justice ministry has declared it legitimate.


From Kyiv Post

Tbilisi celebrates the anniversary of the “Rose Revolution”
TBILISI, Georgia (AP) - Thousands of Georgians jammed the main streets and squares of the capital Nov. 22 to mark the second anniversary of the Rose Revolution protests that drove out the country's longtime leader and brought Mikhail Saakashvili to office.

The protests over fraudulent parliamentary elections - which culminated when demonstrators rushed into the parliament, forcing President Eduard Shevardnadze to flee and then resign - were the first of the so-called "color revolutions" in former Soviet republics. Subsequent mass protests in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan also helped usher in reformist opposition figures.

Since Shevardnadze's ouster, impoverished Georgia has struggled to overcome corruption and a deteriorated infrastructure, and many of the country's people are disappointed - or outright angry - that progress has been slow. But many of those thronging the streets Nov. 22 said they think the country is essentially on the right track.

“Of course, the new leaders are far from ideal. But it is doing something," said Georgy Goletiani, a 35-year-old engineer. "Under Shevardnadze, the impression was that life came to a halt."

Mikhail Saakashvili

In his two years in power, Saakashvili eagerly has cultivated stronger ties with the West, seeking to move his country from under Russia's shadow. In May, U.S. President George W. Bush visited the capital, Tbilisi, in support of the country's democracy, giving Saakashvili a large boost.

The highlight of the commemoration was a Saakashvili speech from a rose-adorned stage outside the parliament.

"Normal states can be created only in conditions of democracy and freedom. Before the Rose Revolution, Georgia had been a defective state, and today all the world knows it as a democratic, successful country," he told the crowd massed outside.

"Two years ago we were together: Zurab Zhvaniya, Nino Burdzhanadze and myself. But the main role in the Rose Revolution belongs to you," Saakashvili said.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, whose country celebrated the first anniversary of its Orange Revolution on Nov. 22, traveled to Georgia to join in the festivities, along with leaders from Estonia and Romania.

Many praise Saakashvili for bringing what they say were much-needed reforms in Georgia.
Kote Lursmanishvili, 25, who said he helped storm parliament two years ago, said he named his son after Saakashvili.

"There's less corruption and the criminals have their tails between their legs," he said.

More than 3,000 members of opposition groups, meanwhile, staged their own counter-rally, carrying red-and-white Georgian flags.

"We demand the resignation of Saakashvili and new presidential and parliamentary elections. Otherwise, Georgia will be sold (out)," said Georgy Metreveli, who heads the group "Justice." "The current leadership, in just two years in power, has driven the country into a dead-end. It is against the people and cares only about its own glory and its own relatives. This regime will soon fall."

Kakhaber Dolidze, who identified himself as an economist in his late 20s, called Saakashvili's presidency a "devil's regime."

"It is a continuation of Shevardnadze's regime's - only the declarations have changed," Dolidze said.

The London-based human rights group Amnesty International said in a report Wednesday that torture and ill-treatment of detainees in police custody continues to be a problem in Georgia and said efforts to combat the problem were weak outside the capital.


From Interfax

Igor Giorgadze: Saakashvili will be 'swept away'
MOSCOW. Nov 23 (Interfax) - The regime of President Mikheil
Saakashvili will be 'swept away' by the Georgian people, Justice
opposition party leader Igor Giorgadze told Interfax on Wednesday.

"What happened in Tbilisi in November 2003 and was named 'the rose
revolution' was actually an ordinary handover of power from one
totalitarian regime to another. A 'nettle revolution' to be staged by
the people is being prepared," Giorgadze said.

It is difficult to predict for how long Saakashvili's regime will
be able to continue ruling Georgia, the party leader said. "The scale of
mistakes and stupidities the authorities can commit is so unpredictable
that it is impossible to say for how long they will continue to eat from
the 'trough' of [U.S. billionaire and philanthropist George] Soros. Let
us take, for instance, their latest initiative to withdraw from the
CIS," he said.

"Saakashvili's advent to power has not brought any democracy to
Georgia. An authoritarian totalitarian regime is ruling the republic
that has changed the Constitution over the past two years and made the
president of Georgia a monarch," Giorgadze said.

Over a dozen opposition newspapers and three television stations
have been closed in Georgia recently, he said.

"The Georgian people have witnessed political trials of opposition
members, including parliament deputies," the party leader said.

"The economy and the spirituality and moral of the Georgian people
have been ruined. Tbilisi's aggressive policy cannot help but will cause
concern in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The autonomies cannot trust the
Georgian authorities. Consequently, Georgia cannot be unified as long as
this regime stays in power," Giorgadze said.


Editor’s note:
The following three articles from the Kyiv Post, the first a story about the one-year anniversary of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and the second a poll concerning Ukrains feelings of life after the orange revolution and an opinion by Sarah Guynn Lowman referring to Ukrainian architecture are here both because they are interesting news, but also because they explore themes posted yesterday on “BEING HAD- The Story


Kiev Celebrates at Independence Square
(AP) - Tears and recriminations marred the first anniversary of the Orange Revolution as the ruptured union between President Viktor Yushchenko and his one-time ally, Yulia Tymoshenko, turned the festivities bittersweet.

Tens of thousands of Ukrainians flooded Independence Square on Nov. 22, with many hoping for a reconciliation between the hero and heroine of last year's mass election fraud protests. But Yushchenko lashed out at Tymoshenko, and she cried.

"I swear to each of you, I am ready to do everything to restore our unity," a clearly frazzled Yushchenko told the crowd after a lengthy speech in which he criticized Tymoshenko's policies while prime minister. Some in the crowd responded with whistles - a sign of disapproval - and chants of "Yulia! Yulia!"

It was a far cry from last year's mass gatherings, when Yushchenko and Tymoshenko stood arm-in-arm on the Independence Square stage before gatherings that swelled above hundreds of thousands at times. The slogan then was: "Together We Are Many and We Can't Be Defeated."

Those protests, which broke out after Yushchenko's election victory was stolen, helped usher the then-opposition leader into power, and Yushchenko rewarded Tymoshenko for her help with the No. 2 job.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko
Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is carried through the crowd on her guards' shoulders in Kyiv's Independence Square on Nov. 22 during festivities marking the anniversary of the Orange Revolution. Both Tymoshenko and President Viktor Yushchenko were well-received, but Yushchenko was heckled by Tymoshenko's supporters. The former prime minister later cried onstage after the president, who was vocally annoyed by the crowd's chanting of Tymoshenko's name, criticized her in his speech.

Yushchenko's government had billed the Nov. 22 festivities as a day to celebrate the freedom they claim was the biggest achievement of their first 10 months in power. But the celebrations were underlaid with disappointment for many who expected the country would make a dramatic turnaround out of poverty and corruption.

"We thought the revolution was a fight we'd win at once, but it turned out to be only the first assault," said Tymoshenko, who split with Yushchenko after he fired her from the prime minister's job in September. On Nov. 22, he again slammed her economic policies, which he earlier had said brought this ex-Soviet republic to the brink of economic collapse.

But Yushchenko also told the crowd that Ukraine had accomplished much to be proud of during his time in office.

"My friends, as president, I maintain that we are on the right path, a path of justice, a path of freedom ... We achieved things which no one before us had, and I am proud of this," said Yushchenko, who was inaugurated in January after winning a court-ordered rerun election.

In an interview with The Associated Press before the festivities, Yushchenko acknowledged there was still more work to be done, but said "10 months is not enough to change the country."

Wet snow fell heavily on the crowds, bundled up in scarves of orange as they stood listening to an array of pop groups and waiting for Yushchenko to make his speech.
Chants of "Yu-shchen-ko! Yu-shchen-ko!" greeted the president as he stepped onto the stage surrounded by his family, all bedecked in orange.

Yushchenko, whose speech followed Tymoshenko's, greeted his one-time ally with a kiss on the cheek. But when the crowd broke into chants of "Yulia" as Yushchenko began speaking, he stopped and said: "Keep chanting 'Yulia' again, I will listen, then I will start my speech." When they persisted in chanting her name, Yushchenko snapped: "Be polite" and the crowd temporarily grew silent.

Many in the crowd had hoped for a reconciliation between the one-time allies. Politicians called on the pair to reunite. "Throw away your personal ambitions and interests, the people and Ukraine must come before everything," said Vitaliy Klitschko, the newly retired world heavyweight boxing champion and a possible Kyiv mayoral candidate.

All to no avail. Tymoshenko used her time to make what sounded like a political stump speech, her eye on regaining the prime minister's job after the March elections. Yushchenko responded with criticism. Tymoshenko stood behind him, her arms crossed and tears running down her face.

Yushchenko, who defeated Kremlin-favored Viktor Yanukovych, promised to bring Ukraine closer to the West and restore trust in this ex-Soviet republic's government. But a corruption scandal that touched some of his most senior aides earlier this year left many Ukrainians feeling disenchanted.

"They didn't justify people's hopes, that's true, but we do have more democracy now," said school teacher Iryna Rytikova, who held an orange balloon.

Others were not as forgiving, and some were seen leaving during Yushchenko's speech.
"The impression is that he's trying to persuade everyone and, particularly, himself that everything is not so bad as it can look like," said Dmytro Kundin, a 34-year old businessman.

Interior Minister Yuriy Lustenko pleaded with the crowd not to feel disillusioned, saying: "Let all the disappointed remember why we stood here a year ago ... not for salaries, pensions or a piece of sausage, not even for the person whom we made a president - but for freedom."

Note: Charter ’97 pointed out that the alternate (ethnic) red and white flag of Belarus was also on display at Independence Square and printed some good “inside” pictures which can be found by clicking HERE


Victor Yushchenko
(AP) - More than half of Ukrainians believe that President Viktor Yushchenko and his government have failed to live up to the promises of the Orange Revolution, according to a poll released Nov. 17.

In the nationwide survey of 1,993 people by Kyiv's Razumkov center, 37.5 percent of respondents said Yushchenko's team had fulfilled no promises at all, and 20.6 percent said the government acted contrary to its slogans from the Orange Revolution.

Nov. 22 marks the first anniversary of the mass protests over election fraud that came to be known as the Orange Revolution and helped usher Yushchenko into power.
During the protests, Yushchenko and his team pledged to combat corruption, restore trust in the government, improve living standards and win European Union membership for this nation of 47 million.

But his popularity has been dented by stalled reforms, a corruption scandal involving some of his closest aides, infighting in his administration and a slowing economy. The country has yet to receive any real movement on its EU membership.
The poll taken between Nov. 3-13 had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.

Of those polled, only 14.3 percent said they support Yushchenko, down from 46.7 percent in February, a month after Yushchenko became Ukraine's third president since 1991 independence. Nearly 60 percent of Ukrainians believe the country is on a wrong path, while 18.3 said it was on the right path, the poll found.

The survey also showed how weak Yushchenko's position is ahead of crucial parliamentary elections in March. The poll found that Ukrainians would be more likely to vote for the parties headed by losing presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych than Yushchenko's team if parliamentary elections were held this week.


Opinion by Sarah Guynn Lowman, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Kyiv needs better
Lowman: Dies Kiev need to be a soulless, post-modern commercial center that lacks integrity and a palpable sense of history?
Andrey Slivka: I salute you for your truculent opposition to the construction of Olympic Plaza (“Save Kyiv from the architects!” Nov. 17). Kyivans have the right to walk their city’s streets without feeling alienated by commercial monstrosities, and they have the right to celebrate the remarkable history of their city – which survived invasions, fires, communist urban planning, and wars – through architecture. It would be a shame if present-day architectural depredations infringed upon those rights. Sadly, projects like Olympic Plaza threaten the integrity of the city and threaten to turn Kyiv into a cultural wasteland.

If Serhiy Babushkin and others – including venal city officials – are left to their devices, Kyiv may become the Charlotte, NC or Kansas City, KS of the Slavic world: A soulless, post-modern commercial center that lacks integrity and a palpable sense of history. That’s a scary prospect, indeed. Architects should embrace the city’s tenuous testaments to the past and avoid designing buildings, like Olympic Plaza, that detract from Kyiv’s heritage by overshadowing what’s already there. To do otherwise is utterly irresponsible.

In a statement that heads a Web site for renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, Marc Schoonderbeek says: “ is the task of architecture to map [human] knowledge and to add something that did not exist previously...Our relationship with [architecture] should not be reinstated, but reinvented from a different point of view, bearing in mind the experiences of the twentieth century.”

That’s a wonderful statement about what contemporary architecture should be; and not just what it should be in the Western world, but what it should be in Ukraine, too.

Clearly Olympic Plaza speaks to the redundancy, consumerism, and isolation of the twentieth century experience, but it even fails to do that well. After considering the devastations and triumphs of recent Ukrainian history, I’m amazed that this uninspiring shopping mall is the best the city’s architects can come up with.
While I agree with most of Slivka’s argument, I part with him on one point. Rather than encourage Ukrainian tycoons to commission buildings from high-profile international architects, why not encourage them to support local architects in their quest for greatness? I wonder what would happen if Ukrainians began encouraging their own to push the envelope and rise above the pedestrian schlock that we see going up in Kyiv today. After decades of Soviet urban planning, I’m surprised that local architects aren’t pouncing on this new opportunity for creative freedom. Given time, however, and probably an overhaul of the nation’s teaching institutions, they’ll rise to the challenge. Hopefully the future of Ukrainian architecture will be innovative, thoughtful, and respectful of the country’s tumultuous past.

Schoonderbeek concludes his statement by saying that, “although times are dark and complex, there is hope and we might be at the verge of a tremendous creative era.”
I’d like to think he’s right. Someone just needs to tell Babushkin.



KAZAN, November 23 (RIA Novosti, Irina Durnitsyna) - Stem cell treatment will soon be tested on eight residents of Tatarstan, a Russian republic on the Volga River, a local health official said Wednesday.

"The experiment will be conducted before the end of the year," Anas Gilmanov, the first deputy health minister of Tatarstan, said. "The test will be performed on eight volunteers who suffer from liver and blood vessel problems."

He added that cell therapy was a priority for Tartarstan's health ministry and that the republic's budget would earmark 1 million rubles ($34,700) for the project.
According to Gilmanov, the tests will continue into 2006.

Alexei Sozinov, the head of the ethics committee for the republic's health ministry, said only the republic's Stem Cell Bank was licensed to use the new cell technologies, but under strict control.

The bank, set up in March as part of the Medical University of Kazan, the republic's capital, received the federal license in November. The university is the first medical institute and the second government institution in Russia to receive such a license.

From the Editor’s desk:

As full a text as was possible to find from President Lukashenka’s televised news conference has been printed in today’s edition of the BEING HAD Times. The reason for this, as it is with the reprinting of articles both in favor of the Belarusian regime and against, is simply so that “full information” can be disclosed. Certainly both sides of the fence have their ways of manipulating information, as does the BHTimes, this is called editorial policy. But it is the view of this entity that having access to as much “original” information as possible is the only way to develop a real, true and hard opinion about Belarus, its leader and potential futures. And so in spite of criticisms that articles here are sometimes too long, take up too much space or seem to favor one side or another, it is the belief of the BHTimes that important recourses such as the president’s annual Russian press conference should be printed here in full rather than edited down or left as a simple “headline and link” so as to be more pleasing to the eye or conservative of space. Vladimir Kuchko, deputy general director of ITAR–TASS said that Russian journalists should battle against lies and biased reports using full and reliable information about Belarus. (we) firmly abide by principles of making unbiased and prompt coverage of events and try to forestall untrue reports about Belarus since “lies which comes before the truth are often received as the truth.” The BHTimes firmly agrees with this principal. And as such is also printing today several articles concerning Ukraine and one from Georgia on the anniversary of their “colored” revolutions while at the same time also printing stories regarding changes in government policy and news from oppositionist sources as well. It is hoped that the readership will appreciate the difference.