Tuesday, November 23, 2004

150 leading Ukrainian Diplomats Sign On to Support Yuschenko

At 8pm Markian Lubkivsky, the official spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that more than 150 leading diplomats signed on to support Yuschenko.

In English below:

An Open Declaration
By a Group from the Diplomatic Corps of Ukraine

We, Ukrainian diplomats, declare our resolute protest against what has become the transformation of the Presidential elections of 2004 into a disgraceful war against the people of Ukraine. Today when our families, our loved ones and our friends find themselves on Independence Square in Kyiv, we cannot remain silent.

Guided by our conscience, our professional pride and our oath to loyally serve the Ukrainian state, we express our solidarity with the voice of the Ukrainian people. That voice is an expression of protest against the violation of our citizens' right to elect a president by democratic means.

In spite of incessant threats, terror and massive fraud, the Ukrainian people have expressed their will. Their choice, however, has proven inconvenient for those representatives of the political elite in Ukraine who have for years ostensibly expressed Ukraine's European and democratic orientation. At this crucial moment, the actions of that same elite have proven that the expressions of European integration and democracy were merely empty slogans. The people of Ukraine, represented by a small portion freezing in Kyiv's Independence Square, deserve a different government than the one currently asserting itself.

We are convinced that our silence today, in the long-term, would continue to undermine and erode the authority of our state. This would effectively change the diplomatic corps into an instrument of service to a government whose legitimacy is already questioned by the world community. Once and for all, this would annul the international reputation of our country. Democratic nations of the world will turn away from Ukraine. We cannot quietly look away as Ukraine's future is buried along with the future of our children. We call upon all members of the Ukrainian diplomatic corps to raise its voice in defense of what we believe and hold dear: an independent, democratic and honorable Ukraine.

We, Ukrainian citizens, demand that the results of the elections reflect the true will of the people as the only source of power in Ukraine. We believe that other members of the diplomatic service will come to support this declaration.

Advisor to the Embassy of Ukraine to the United States O.V. Shcherba
Second Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine to the United States U. B. Parkhomenko
Advisor to the Embassy of Ukraine to the United States O.V. Potiekhin
Advisor to the Embassy of Ukraine to the United States V. M. Chuma

(An unofficial translation prepared by Mykola Hryckowian, Vice President of the
Organization for the Defense of Four Freedoms for Ukraine and Marko Suprun, Executive
Director of the Ukrainian American Civil Liberties Association)


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