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A certain approach to the study of issues of society, and democracy as its most important element, is called the scientific method. It helps...
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European democracy

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Democracy or the rule of the people is one of the grounds of the European Union. All members of the Union always have the right to vote, and...
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Since several years of the Center’s existence, we have accumulated a large amount of experience and knowledge in the field of lobbying, PR,...
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The existence of modern European democracy is impossible without the protection of civil, political, sexual, national and minority groups....
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Prizes and fellowships

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The development of internship programs and scientific Partnership (Fellowship) is one of the main activities of the Center. Engagement of scientists...
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About Us

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The European Democracy Study Center is an independent center for academic research focusing on various aspects of modern democracy in Europe,...
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Doctor Oleg Kozerod: “The Ukrainian-Jewish relations could be better”

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At present, the history of Eastern European Jewry in particular is a popular field of scientific studies. Our correspondent has had an interview...
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Methods for European democracy studying

Methods for European democracy studying Methods for European democracy studying
A certain approach to the study of issues of society, and democracy as its most important element, is called the scientific method. It helps...
Read More...

European democracy

European democracy European democracy
Democracy or the rule of the people is one of the grounds of the European Union. All members of the Union always have the right to vote, and...
Read More...

Political Journalism School

Political Journalism School Political Journalism School
Since several years of the Center’s existence, we have accumulated a large amount of experience and knowledge in the field of lobbying, PR,...
Read More...

Minorities and European Democracy

Minorities and European Democracy Minorities and European Democracy
The existence of modern European democracy is impossible without the protection of civil, political, sexual, national and minority groups....
Read More...

Prizes and fellowships

Prizes and fellowships Prizes and fellowships
The development of internship programs and scientific Partnership (Fellowship) is one of the main activities of the Center. Engagement of scientists...
Read More...

About Us

About Us About Us
The European Democracy Study Center is an independent center for academic research focusing on various aspects of modern democracy in Europe,...
Read More...

Doctor Oleg Kozerod: “The Ukrainian-Jewish relations could be better”

Doctor Oleg Kozerod: “The Ukrainian-Jewish relations could be better” Doctor Oleg Kozerod: “The Ukrainian-Jewish relations could be better”
At present, the history of Eastern European Jewry in particular is a popular field of scientific studies. Our correspondent has had an interview...
Read More...

Dmitry Fomenko: Different-thinking team for real reforms needed

Dmitry Fomenko: Different-thinking team for real reforms needed Dmitry Fomenko: Different-thinking team for real reforms needed
     Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Finansovyi Soyuz Bank (FSBank) considers that bringing up the issue of the national banking...
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In anticipation of the Jewish Book Week in London, we interviewed Oleg Kozerod, author of several books on Jewish history, D.Sc. in History, a member of the European Association for Jewish Studies in Oxford.

 

Corr.: You are one of the experts in the Russian Civil War history, author of the book “Denikin’s rule and Jewish population in Ukraine: 1919-1920”. What is your evaluation of the extent of the tragedy during mass pogroms in that period?

 

О.K.: The sweep of anti-Jew events conducted by the White movement was unparalleled in human history. Anti-Semitic military units made 887 major and 349 minor pogroms during the Civil War until 1921, as estimated by historian S. Dubnov. At the Genoa Conference (1922), Soviet diplomats revealed the scope of killings of the Jewish people during the Civil War. Half a million of Jews suffered from pogroms in only Podolia, Kiev, Volhynian and Chernigov Governorates. Among them 200 thousand were killed or injured and over 30 thousand women raped. That is how White movement soldiers interpreted the motto “For Faith, Tsar and Fatherland” (photo by Juhani Sierla).

 

Corr.: It is clear that Civil War events exposed the processes that were running within Russian elite of that time, which surely was a failure of the Russian idea and Russian intelligentsia. And ethnic mass slaughter was a constituent of that process. Could the scope of anti-Jew campaigns have been more extensive?

 

О.K.: Imagine the situation that the White movement won the Russian Civil War. The whole Russia would have been covered with communal graves of the Jewish people. The mass murders by Denikin’s army and other White movement units was the second largest death toll of the Jewish people in the world history apart from the Holocaust, according to American professor Kenez. Millions of Jews would have suffered if the counter-revolution in Russia had succeeded.

 

Corr.: Did White Guard soldiers persistently kill Jews for their national identity only?

 

О.K.: I’d like to recall the only evidence of history of those times – “Chapaev”, a novel by Furmanov that describes Chapaev’s army defeat and death of the famous Red commander. Let me quote from the book: “The resistance was not being maintained any more. Cossacks were chasing the running ones, caught and slashed them on the spot… – Kikes, commissars and Communists, step up! – And they stepped forward wishing to protect Red Army men from execution, but not always rescued them. People stepped out in front of their comrades, so proud and glorious in their silent courage, with exasperate lips and glowing rageful eyes, and died under shashka hits and rifle bullets, damning Cossack whips... Other victims were taken to fields to be shot with machine guns... There’re three huge brick pits outside the stanitsa filled with corpses of the executed to the brim…”.

 

At present, the history of Eastern European Jewry in particular is a popular field of scientific studies. Our correspondent has had an interview with an expert in this field Oleg Kozerod, Doctor of Historical Sciences, member of the European Association for Jewish Studies (Oxford).

 

From the sidelines, historians have always better ways to see what is happening in the today’s world. As the Ukrainian history expert, how would you assess the current situation with international relations in this country?

An experienced historian always assesses political processes against other times. Moreover, he always compares concurrent processes taking places in different countries. The present-day world is strongly diversified, and this has to be taken into account. The only unquestionable achievement by the current leaders of Ukraine, and I would like to stress the word “unquestionable”, is that one can hardly hear the voices of anti-Semites and racists. Authors and editors of anti-Semite articles are not put into prison yet, as distinct from Russia, however, at least the leaders have managed to establish a relevant silence. Remember what happed at the time of Yushchenko. Dozens of officially registered racist editions issued offensive articles on representatives of other nationalities on the daily basis; they revived the Beilis case and called for reprisal based on the nationality. A simple denial of the Holocaust was just a baby talk compared to the contents of these articles. At the same time, representatives of the Ukrainian intellectuals, professors, litterateurs…were taken to courts for trying to criticize this emergence.

And what is more... the courts decided in favour of the anti-Semites, and the elites did not want to deal with all this. I will tell you what saved Ukraine from the world scandal in the “orange” period: at the time, nobody could bring the observed situation to the world community’s knowledge. There was a couple of such cases, and the Ukrainian reporter, the author of one article published, as I remember, in the Jerusalem Post, was brutally beaten in the entrance hall, and thereafter other people no longer wanted to “raise the tide” on the issue in the West.

 

Yes, now it is clear why neither Ukrainian politics, nor representatives of the Jewish community preferably raise this issue in the West …

Certainly, they do not know who will come to power in the nearest 2-3 years (laughing). I have to review reports on anti-Semitism development in Ukraine and can admit there was no argument from Goebbels propaganda luggage that was missing in the Ukrainian mass media of 2000es. I will put it baldly: in the nearest future, we may be strongly nostalgic about Yanukovych regime. Every day of his ruling may be recalled as a light period of life in terms of international relations. At the same time, nobody cherishes illusions about present democratic processes in Ukraine, everyone knows about the list of “Die Zeit” stating a circle of dictators who may be overthrown in 2013 and later on.

 

However, is it possible that the United Opposition stands for the international piece, and only some representatives of radical organizations “muddy the waters”?

 For a country pretending to be a civilized state, it makes no difference who “muddies the waters”, as you say. If these occurrences take place, and people have a relevant courage and this life philosophy, nevertheless, nobody prevents the Opposition from making one page statement where it distances from these points of view. What do we have today? Svoboda leaders have been included in the list of leading anti-Semites, and no Opposition leaders are making any statements. What stops the present opposition leader from writing a couple of sentences even if she is imprisoned? Not to mention the Holocaust lessons for this country. Where is the European understanding of tolerance, where is the Christian Zionism, care of the Bible nation, after all? I would stress that nobody may call himself a normal Christian if he is hostile to the Jewish people. The chief ideologist of Svoboda, whom Tyahnybok is proud of, Law Professor at Kiev National University Mr. Alexander Shevchenko, has recently given an interview to Glavcom.ua. Nothing less than the Law History expert…he accused the Jewish nation of deception traditions. As Mr. Shevchenko admitted, “values of hucksters are not typical for Ukrainians; they are closer to traditions of the Jewish people”. I would like to cite one passage: “It’s only a traditional Jewish law stipulated that one may deceive a person while paying or making an agreement, but one has to warn that person: “Recount” or “Think it over”. If that person does not notice any deception, one has the right to appropriate his money. However, it is a unique case. Neither the Ukrainian law, nor traditional laws of other states have ever had a similar rule”.

 

 

     Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Finansovyi Soyuz Bank (FSBank) considers that bringing up the issue of the national banking system with the international community is a hasty decision made by the Association of Ukrainian Banks. This was stated by Dmitry Fomenko, Chairman of the FSBank Supervisory Board, at a public meeting in the Center for European Democracy Studies. “Such steps taken by Ukrainian bankers contravene the conventional ethics of relationship between a banking system and government and could give rise to mistrust of international community in all Ukrainian financial and banking system. It’s hard to imagine that, for example, Swiss bankers could ever complain to international organizations about their national government. Who will take such banks and all our financial system seriously outside Ukraine after that?” the banker stressed in his speech.

      Mr. Fomenko thinks that the bankers’ having submitted a complaint about the draft law #0884 on bringing amendments to banking laws to the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy speaks for their sense of powerlessness and disbelief to strike a compromise, and that their address is unlikely to solve the problem. “Instead of seeking opportunities to participate in discussion of this law in Ukraine, the group of bankers tries to complain and find a kind patron abroad. At present, financial sector reforms are held globally. Experts consider them to be the deepest reforms ever put in place for several past decades. Increase of the charter capital can become one of the ways to consolidate the bank capital and it will enable to stabilize the situation in the banking system. The bank capitalization growth can also improve the protection of depositors and customers of lending financial institutions. However, bankers are aware of the correlation between the regulatory capital and a real reliability of a bank by the example of the collapse of large banks, as the regulatory capital is often created with so called instrumental methods,” Dmitry Fomenko underlined.

      “It’s worth mentioning that it’s not a remedy, because some available instrumental techniques and methods allow for creating financial fakes that give a deceptive impression of a real bank capitalization, which may cause directly contrary results. I think, the results will not take long to appear, taking into account the legerity acquired by our leading bankers in recent years. They can also use the artificial augmentation of capital by issuing loans to investors worth the amount of the bank capital.  So, a transparent dialogue between government and the banking community is required to reach a real reliability. Besides, a financial situation in Ukraine is intricate.  Unfortunately, Ukraine cannot enjoy the backing of powerful EC countries as, for example, Greece can, and we’ll have to tackle problems alone if something serious occurs.  The government has proved it can meet halfway, as it was with businessmen protests against the tax reform. The same situation can happen in the bankers’ case if banks do want to begin a dialogue,” the banker said.   

 As autumn comes closer, more talks emerge about a probable conclusion of an Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine that can come about in as little as a few months in Vilnius. In anticipation of this event, our correspondent interviewed an expert in the politics of Ukraine N., doctor of historical sciences, about the state of affairs in Ukraine and its future.

 

Being an expert in Ukrainian politics, could you answer why Ukraine marks time for many years and cannot decide which entity to join – the European Union or the Customs Union? By the way, Baltic countries needed very little time for self-determination.”

Unfortunately (or luckily), the world’s way is that clerisy cannot compete with criminal groups or big business guys. The latter will dominate in every instance as they have weapons and want to commit crimes; they are mastered in grim business and they reach after getting access to the national budget and material goods resulted from being in power. Everyone in the world would like to have money without working. To steal businessmen’s money on a regular basis through the medium of tax authorities and police…  What can be more alluring than this dream?

 

Does this only refer to the current government considered as a bad one by the global community? Does Die Zeit have a point when calling for overthrowing the existing dictatorship in Ukraine?

 

Unfortunately, this tendency is pertinent to both ruling power and the opposition in Ukraine.

 

Reforms suggested by the European Union are focused on eliminating richness as a result of coming to power. It is required to make sure the clerisy comes to power in this country. It is the only way to create miracle that took place, for example, in Romania. At that time, the national elite practically drew its country, where “people still ride in carts in the cities”, into the European Union.

 

No matter how educated and developed the Ukrainian nation is, it will reach nothing in the world of international competition and cooperation without a normal elite (photo by A. Franskoy).

 

However, how would representatives of unarmed Ukrainian intellectuals, modest writers, research officers and university lecturers (economists, lawyers, political experts) come to power?

 

The revolution of elite is a key factor that will play a crucial part in the European and even Customs and Union Integration. Without it, our country will decay, and the population will work for a “company of one national-wide owner”. Press freedom, absence of selective justice, combating corruption - all these demands by the EU are needed to make sure representatives of the real elite come to power in Ukraine.

 

Nevertheless, it is a big issue how to move the current elite away from the state budget and easy money within power structures. Perhaps, the European Union may “squeeze out” a solution. As soon as corruption is overcome, it will be possible to beat injustice in courts, and criminal groups will leave the power. Since they cannot make money, there will be no sense for them to stay and “blow cover” yet again.

 

 

 

Specialized Oil-Loading Seaport Vitino captured by Russian security officials through hostage taking keeps on being a subject of carve-up and litigations by Russian and international companies.

 

The fate of Russian Specialized Oil-Loading Seaport Vitino located on the White Sea coast has been one of the most discussed Russia related topics in Great Britain for past months.

 

This case is accompanied with a chain of scandals and legal proceedings connected with a struggle for the port at the courts in Cyprus, Great Britain and Russia.

 

Co-owner of Vitino Seaport citizen of Kazakhstan Mr. Abliazov, known in Europe as enemy to the current government of Kazakhstan, struggles at the courts of European jurisdiction for one of Arctic basin’s largest terminals against his Russian ex-partners Maxim Pukhlikov and Sergey Sheklanov.

 

In February 2012, London’s Commercial Court adopted a decision to take into custody for the period of 22 months co-owner of the port, citizen of Kazakhstan Mr. Abliazov for the expressed contempt of court – for having refused to disclose his assets. Mister Abliazov appealed against the decision at the Supreme Court of London. Experts believe that the Commercial Court’s resolution may weaken the standing of Mr. Abliazov in his efforts for the Specialized Oil-Loading Seaport Vitino disputed at European courts.

 

However, the story of Vitino Seaport lies mush deeper. It dates back to the far year of 1993 that Russian businessman Zurab Musinyan made a bold venture to build Vitino Seaport in harsh environmental conditions of the north.

 

Specialized Oil-Loading Seaport Vitino successfully cooperated with Russian oil-producing companies, loaded and shipped 50-80-metric-ton tankers to Europe and North America. The port reached the peak of prosperity in 2005-2006. The port handled 4.76 million tons of oil products in 2006; the staff of over 1000 people received salaries in time, the trading volume reached USD 80 million a year, and capitalization – USD 400 mln. Ninety-seven percent of the port stocks was held by Zurab Musinyan.

 

That very time a story occurred, which laid the foundation of further events to become a subject of extended disputed and litigations at the courts in many countries.

 

The story began in Moscow. On a December day in 2005, Mister Musinian, the port owner, was approached on the street by officials of the Murmansk Regional Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia demanding making his property over to Alexander Mitrofanov (65 percent) and Dmitry Sorokin (32 percent), within a month. Upon his refusing to do so, FSB would initiate a criminal case on incitement to terrorism.

 

In April 2006, FSB searched Musinyan company headquarters. On 22 May 2006, Mister Musinyan was summoned for questioning in the city of Murmansk. An investigator at the Investigation Department of the Murmansk Regional Federal Security Service of Russia used to urge Mister Musinyan during the interrogation that he had to sign a document for making his company shares over, and all problems would be settled. Otherwise, Musinyan would have big problems, be charged with terrorism and imprisoned.

 

Mister Musinyan refused the investigator’s proposal to part with his business. On 22 May at 06:00 pm, he was seized and put into a one-man cell. At 08:00 pm, the official of Murmansk Regional FSB who had threatened harm entered the cell, handcuffed Musinyan to a prison bed, put a plastic bag on his head and demanded selling his company at a nominal price.

 

On 23 May, at 10:00 am, Mr. Musinyan was transported from the prison to the Head of the Investigation Department of the Murmansk Regional Federal Security Service of Russia, and the latter informed Musinyan that the prisoner’s daughter had been hijacked from a kindergarten, and allowed talking with her on the phone.

 

The Head of the Investigation Department of the Murmansk Regional Federal Security Service of Russia assured that upon Musinyan’s signing a sale agreement for 97 percent of shares of Specialized Seaport Vitino, at a nominal price of 97,000 rubles (appr. $3,000), whereas its market price was $400 mln, and the record of interrogation, Musinyan and his daughter would be released and his criminal case would be closed in near future.

 

deneme