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US diplomats in their cables refer to the captial of Ukraine as Kyiv

As was revealed by Wikileaks, in their cables US diplomats referred and refer to the capital of Ukraine as Kyiv.

 

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KYIV4187 2006-11-03 17:26 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
VZCZCXRO9235
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #4187/01 3071726
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 031726Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0280
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KYIV 004187 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/03/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PREL UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: PM YANUKOVYCH ON COOPERATION OR 
CONFRONTATION, REQUEST FOR A "NEW START" 

REF: KIEV 3463 

Classified By: Ambassador, reason 1.4 (b,d) 

1.  (C) Summary.  Ambassador met with a confident PM Viktor 
Yanukovych Nov. 2 to discuss Yanukovych's planned trip to 
Washington in December and the current domestic political 
situation.  Yanukovych centered the conversation around two 
options going forward vis-a-vis President Yushchenko - 
cooperation or confrontation.  He preferred a partnership 
with Yushchenko, but warned the window was closing, with 
confrontation in the offing as "radicals" in Regions pushed 
for action.  Yanukovych portrayed himself as a man of 
principle who had been embarrassed by Kuchma, deserved a new 
start, and could be trusted to foster good relations with the 
U.S.  In response to the Ambassador's suggestion that 
Yanukovych take steps on WTO, the NATO information campaign, 
anti-corruption, VAT refunds, and wheat exports, Yanukovych 
replied that movement WTO was underway, but that his team 
would take action according to its own schedule.  He brushed 
off DPM Tabachnyk's recent anti-American article in a Russian 
newspaper, claiming Tabachnyk was distracted by a young wife 
and may have not even read the article before cosigning.  End 
Summary. 

Upcoming trip and possible positive steps 
----------------------------------------- 

2. (C) PM Yanukovych hosted Ambassador for a one-on-one 
working lunch November 2.  Yanukovych was clearly focused on 
the domestic situation (below) rather than his upcoming trip 
to Washington planned for early December.  Ambassador raised 
the positive steps the USG like to see Yanukovych's 
government take in the near term: WTO legislation; NATO 
information campaign; anti-corruption efforts; VAT refunds; 
an end to wheat export restrictions. 

3. (C) Yanukovych replied that he appreciated our advice, and 
the U.S. would see actions on WTO; however, "we" would take 
action according to "our own schedule."  He had made 
statements on the WTO and would stick to the timeline. 
However, such actions would not be pushed through; there was 
a need to convince people on the merits. 

Personal pitch: man of principle deserving a new start 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 

4. (C) Yanukovych was at pains to convey the sense that he 
was a man of principle who could be trusted to deliver on his 
word.  From the very beginning of his life, starting as an 
orphan without a family, he had struggled to succeed, set a 
pattern of working hard in office as Donetsk governor -- all 
a very different background than Yushchenko's.  On 
his/Regions first stint in power (2002-04), he stated: "we 
know our past and do not deny it, but now we must start from 
scratch and put the past behind." 

5. (C) Yanukovych said he understood U.S. policy towards 
Kuchma; he claimed he personally had been embarrassed by 
Kuchma, but could not change him, and wanted to be seen 
separately from Kuchma. "Our views" had changed since 2004. 
Stating that he "harbored no grudge" towards the U.S. for 
having supported Yushchenko in the Presidential elections, he 
suggested that now a new history could be written with the 
U.S.  He would be a good partner, fulfilling promises made. 
Ambassador noted that Washington had read his early October 
op-ed in the Washington Post and would indeed expect that he 
would follow-up. 

6. (C) Note: Yanukovych's effort to burnish his reputation 
using personal anecdotes from his deprived childhood and 
brushes with the law followed closely in line with journalist 
Yuliya Mostova,s psychological portrait of Yanukovych 
provided to visiting A/S Fried in early September (reftel). 
On this occasion, Yanukovych shared two new anecdotes about 
his family being harassed by people "in black shirts and 
guns" which he claimed were police.  The first (undated) 
involved his son.  Someone had killed "a peasant," the corpse 
then thrown in front of his son,s car in an attempt to 
implicate him.  His son swerved and did not hit the corpse 
but had been so unnerved that he fled temporarily to Russia. 
The second involved his wife, in 2005 when he was out of the 
country at a Czech spa.  She was sitting in their courtyard, 
stroking their cat on her lap, when armed black-clad 
personnel burst in and allegedly hit her with the gun butt. 
His bodyguards, bigger than the intruders, appeared and ran 
them off.  Yanukovych's intent in sharing these two stories 
was not entirely clear. 

Relations w/ Yushchenko: Cooperation preferred... 
--------------------------------------------- --- 

KYIV 00004187  002 OF 002 

7. (C) Yanukovych claimed he personally had sympathy for 
Yushchenko and hoped that they could find a way to cooperate, 
"but Yushchenko must change."  Yanukovych's Regions team had 
skills to make government work that Yushchenko lacked. 
Yushchenko had a vision, but he was lazy; "if he worked for 
me, I would fire him."  A partnership and a broad coalition 
made sense; they had a shared vision, but different 
electorates.  Yushchenko competed with Tymoshenko and the 
nationalists, Regions with the Communists, Socialists, and 
Vitrenko. 

8. (C) Yanukovych claimed that Regions wanted a strong 
President and would not push Yushchenko around if he worked 
in partnership.  Yushchenko worried about losing his 
electorate if he struck a deal with Regions, but Tymoshenko 
would "bury him" he chose the other path.  Yanukovych 
complained that Yushchenko was not seeing him regularly; they 
needed to meet more often, be seen shaking hands and speaking 
out together.  There was still time to make a partnership 
work, but the window was closing; Yanukovych suggested 
resolution had to come by the end of the month.   He asked 
Ambassador to help engage Yushchenko on partnership, claiming 
Yushchenko "owes the Americans his job."  Ambassador replied 
that was nonsense. 

...but ready for Confrontation 
------------------------------ 

9. (C) Yanukovych said the alternative to cooperation was 
clear.  Yushchenko was gradually losing his representatives 
in the Cabinet; he suggested that could eventually include 
the MFA, MOD and the SBU chief (note: all Presidential 
appointees under the constitution).  Yushchenko was creating 
friction by suspending CabMin resolutions and appealing them 
to the Court; this was increasing the radicalism in Regions, 
Rada faction.  "I'm not a radical; I'm trying to keep those 
radicals down."  Those radicals, along with some Our Ukraine 
and Tymoshenko bloc MPs, he claimed, had come to him the 
night previously (Nov. 1) regarding removal of Interior 
Minister Lutsenko.  He thought he had dissuaded them, but 
they had initiated action in the Rada earlier that morning 
while he was meeting with the Kazakh Ambassador (note: 
Regions MPs voted unanimously in support of a motion by 
deputy Regions leader and firebrand Kushnaryev to investigate 
Lutsenko and recommend a two-month temporary suspension). 

10. (C) Yanukovych noted that he had said several times he 
would not run for President.  That would change, however, if 
Yushchenko forced through a Constitutional Court decision to 
overturn political reform which had devolved Presidential 
powers to the Premier, Cabinet, and Rada majority. Such a 
move, he warned, would end with Yushchenko leaving office 
early, either through early elections or impeachment.  The 
overturn of political reform would not benefit Yushchenko 
anyway, claimed Yanukovych, since he was a one-term 
President.  The only beneficiaries would be either Tymoshenko 
or himself.  He noted that new elections could also mean a 
higher threshold - seven or nine percent - turning Ukraine 
into a two-party system (Regions and BYuT). 

Tabachnyk - distracted by a young, new wife? 
-------------------------------------------- 

11. (C) Ambassador noted that Yanukovych's entire team was 
not on line with a shared vision of foreign policy and 
cooperation with the U.S., citing the recent article in the 
Russian newspaper "Rossiskiye Vesti" cosigned by DPM 
Tabachnyk and the paper's Ukrainian bureau chief.  Yanukovych 
suggested that Tabachnyk may have cosigned the article 
without even reading it; Tabachnyk, according to Yanukovych, 
was currently in the Maldives with his new 22 year-old wife, 
not focusing on anything "but her." 

12. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

Also notice that Embassy of Kyiv old web-address with the old name in it has been closed down: www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev

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Posted in Governmental, History.

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