FOR THE RECORD: Ukrainian students' declaration
Following is the text of the declaration of the Union of Ukrainian Students in France and the Union of Ukrainian Students in Germany united under the banner "For a European Ukraine."
We, the Ukrainian students of France and Germany, wish to express our complete solidarity with the pro-European forces of Ukraine and especially with the Ukrainian students and young intellectuals in Ukraine who are peacefully defending their right to live in a democratic country. Like other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, from Poland to Serbia, Ukraine wants to and will become a prosperous and democratic European country. It is these young Ukrainians who most aspire to be part of Europe and respect the universal values of democracy.
With the persistence of certain members of the old nomenklatura in command of the country during the first 10 years of its independence, Ukraine offered a sad image of political immobility, economic quagmire and social inertia. The assassination of an opposition journalist, Heorhii Gongadze, in autumn of 2000, and subsequent revelations of recordings implicating President [Leonid] Kuchma, shattered this disastrous status quo, inciting many Ukrainians to demand their president's resignation.
Government propaganda is trying as hard as it can to present the members of the opposition as "extremists of the left and the right" or as a "brown plague," although the opposition is a grouping of various moderate political forces. The Forum for National Salvation, the opposition's coordinating group, aims to introduce a legislative procedure to limit Ukrainian presidential power in order to create a more democratic, balanced and transparent political institution.
On the occasion of a new debate on the situation in Ukraine in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, on April 24, 2001, we wish to let the European people know of our concern in the face of the increasing authoritarianism of a clannish and corrupt regime. The pro-European forces of Ukraine need the support of the Council of Europe and the European Union, of the governments, political and intellectual elite, as well as of European public opinion.
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, June 3, 2001, No. 22, Vol. LXIX
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