[Marxism] Key Supporters Driving Yuschenko's Bandwagon

Ernie & Jess mackenzie.tate at sympatico.ca
Wed Dec 1 11:55:29 MST 2004

Information on some of the forces behind Yuschenko.  I notice there is 
no mention of George Soros.

Ernie Tate

Key supporters driving Yuschenko's bandwagon

Nick Paton Walsh in Kiev
Tuesday November 30, 2004
The Guardian

In Kiev, it appears that oranges are the only fruit. The town centre is 
awash with the campaign colours - flags, overalls, ribbons - of the 
opposition leader, Viktor Yushchenko, supplied by wealthy supporters.

A vast infrastructure, also bringing in food kitchens and massive TV 
screens, has been created in part by sympathetic businessmen and local 
officials, but also by a few key wealthy backers to Mr Yuschenko. 
Analysts portray this handful of millionaires - or billionaires - as 
potential powerbrokers.

Firebrand deputy Yulia Tymoshenko has the most to lose if the 
pro-Russian prime minister, Viktor Yanukovich, comes to power. Wanted 
for extradition by Russia for allegedly bribing officials eight years 
ago, she allegedly made her fortune in the sell-off of various state gas 

She denies all wrongdoing, decrying the charges as political, being 
lodged just before the election.

Mikhail Pogrebinsky, a government adviser turned analyst, said: "She 
runs the radical element of the opposition who will take power any way."

He said MP David Zhvania, accounts of whose wealth vary, was another key 

The opposition plays down a split between Ms Tymoshenko's radical 
rhetoric and Mr Yushchenko's calm oratory. "There are differences," said 
a key Yushchenko backer, "but they are not that strong."

A key moderate in the team is the wealthy MP Petro Poroshenko, a 
confectionery giant and the co-owner of the main opposition TV Channel 
5. A second-hand car salesman in the 1990s, he moved into the juice and 
beer business and is now thought to be a key Yushchenko financier.

Alexei Pogorelov, editor-in-chief of the business journal Kompanion, 
said: "I have heard that ... he is progressive and listens to criticism. 
Unlike some other top managers in Ukraine, he won't throw an ashtray or 
mobile phone at a member of staff who mentions some inadequacies."

MP Yevhen Chernovenko is another moderate, a soft drinks millionaire and 
Mr Yuschenko's chief of security. A gruff yet warm man, he runs the 
Orlan consortium. The government has claimed he has an Israeli passport 
- forbidden under Ukrainian law - although he denies it.

"Poroshenko is the calm and considered one, whose real thoughts are hard 
to read", said Mr Pogorelov, "but Chernovenko is more emotional and can 
occasionally make an outburst." He said both men sought easier taxation 
and regulation for business to ease its development.

Mr Pogrebinsky said the key supporters were "a business clan that seeks 
access to power and administrative resources."

He claimed that some opposition leaders "want to close the criminal 
cases open against them that involve deceiving the state of millions".

Yet Yushchenko supporters portray his backers as reformist businessmen, 
keen on seeing the middle class develop and stripping away the 
monopolies and tax concessions for big business that benefit the natural 
resource giants behind Mr Yanukovich.

"Nobody who has been in the business climate of Ukraine over the past 
decade can say they are totally clean," said Markian Bilynskyj, an 
opposition analyst.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004

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