Our Man in Kiev

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) - According to press reports, the German government would like to have boxing champion Vitali Klitschko run for president and bring him to power in the Ukraine. It would like to enhance the popularity of the opposition's politician by staging, for example, joint public appearances with the German foreign minister. For this purpose, a meeting is also planned for Klitschko with Chancellor Merkel at the next EU summit in mid-December. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation is, in fact, not only massively supporting Klitschko and his UDAR party. According to a CDU politician, the UDAR Party was founded in 2010 on the direct orders of the CDU foundation. Reports on the foundation's activities for the development of Klitschko's party give an indication of how Germans are influencing the Ukraine's domestic affairs via UDAR. Berlin's use of Poland in its policy toward the Ukraine is also increasing. Berlin and Warsaw are cooperating with the Ukrainian ultra right-wing Svoboda ("Liberty") party, which stands in the tradition of Nazi collaborators, who massacred 100,000 Christian and Jewish Poles during WW II.

On Behalf of the Adenauer Foundation

Vitali Klitschko - the man, who, if the German government has its way, should conquer the power in Kiev and lead his country into the German-European hegemonic sphere - is not only a political ally, but - in his current role - even a product of Berlin's foreign policy. As the CDU politician, Werner Jostmeier, reported about two years ago, Klitschko had been "instructed by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation" to establish "a Christian conservative party in the Ukraine."[1] UDAR ("Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms") was founded on April 24, 2010 and the CDU affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation's assistance for its development began immediately. Klitschko, spoke of his three day visit to Berlin in January 2011, remarking that the talks were "of great help" to the party's development: "We had many questions and found the answers" in Berlin. The foundation organized another working visit in Thuringia that fall, offering the boxing champion instructions on the implementation of local policies. Following supplementary assistance, Klitschko "explicitly" thanked the Adenauer Foundation and the CDU for their help in setting up the party.[2]

Ways of Influencing

The Konrad Adenauer Foundation's support for UDAR continues. Last June, it gave the UDAR party youth hints on "increasing their membership" and on electoral strategies. Four weeks ago, it organized a seminar on the EU Association Agreement, which clearly demonstrates how, at a lower level, the German government is using UDAR as an instrument for gaining influence in the Ukraine's political development. According to a report, the foundation "informed" young activists at the seminar, who, as "multipliers," should be spreading "the knowledge they had been receiving" from the German organization. At the same time, they were given the opportunity to "expand their political networks."[3] In late November, an UDAR delegation visited Germany, to inform itself on the means and methods of parliamentary work. The CDU organization explained that "advising the party also on its work as a parliamentary group," is "an important concern of the Adenauer Foundation." After all "relevant laws concerning the country's integration into the EU" must be introduced in the Verkhovna Rada by the end of the year.[4] It is in Germany's interest that the Ukrainian system of norms can successfully be adapted to the German-European system ("EU integration").

The Foreign Ministry's Candidate

Berlin's government authorities have been promoting contacts with Vitali Klitschko from the very beginning. In the prelude to Klitschko's early 2011 working visit to Berlin, the Adenauer Foundation had already announced that the world champion boxer would meet with "high ranking officials of the Chancellery and Foreign Ministry."[5] Since then Klitschko has even been meeting the German Foreign Minister on a regular basis. The foreign ministry has documented such official encounters, usually also with photos, in November 2012, June 2013 and October 2013. Last week Guido Westerwelle appeared in public with Kiev's opposition politician. Recent media reports show that these meetings not only serve for coordinating political maneuvers - bypassing the Ukraine's elected government - but also for public relations. The German chancellor would like to position Vitali Klitschko "as the leader of the opposition and rival candidate to incumbent President Viktor Yanukovych" and strengthen his standing "with joint public appearances." This is why the UDAR chairman should appear at the next EU summit meeting on December 19 and 20 and have highly publicized "consultations with Chancellor Merkel."[6] According to a report, the Adenauer Foundation's man in Kiev needs additional tutoring. He "still lacks rhetorical agility and political experience for waging a presidential electoral campaign."

Anti-Trade Union Violence

In addition to Berlins efforts to groom Vlitali Klitschko into a presidential candidate and eventually get him elected as Kiev's ruler, leading German politicians are also continuing their coordination with the extreme rightwing Svoboda Party. While, during his visit to Kiev last week, Germany's Foreign Minister Westerwelle was avoiding being photographed near the leader of the Svoboda Party, Oleh Tjahnybok to allude PR problems, Helga Schmid, the German assistant to the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, was busy negotiating with the head of that extremist rightwing party.[7] The fact that its followers have become violent, will not dampen the German-EU cooperation with Svoboda. Over the weekend, Svoboda followers destroyed a statue of Lenin and threw smoke bombs. It is now being reported that they have even assaulted members of the left. According to reports, "Svoboda followers, in plain view of one or their parliamentarians, recently demolished the tent of the independent trade union federation, wounding its activists with blows and pepper spray."[8]

German-Polish Cooperation

In its efforts to overthrow the government in Kiev, Berlin is implicating Polish foreign policy to a growing extent. According to a paper published in mid-November by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), "Berlin and Warsaw" must be "the main initiators" in the EU's Ostpolitik. Within the framework of a German-Polish "Partnership for Europe" a "close German-Polish cooperation is essential" - particularly in relationship to the Ukraine.[9] In their "common declaration" issued in late November, the foreign ministers of the two countries declared that they are "solidly on the side of the people of the Ukraine," who "could still benefit from the extensive European offer of a close political and economic cooperation" - referring to the EU Association Agreement.[10] In the course of their common initiatives for the Ukraine. Polish diplomats have met on various occasions, with Svoboda representatives. The Svoboda Party sees itself as standing in the traditions of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) Nazi collaborators and their Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). In mid-October, the party celebrated - allegedly with 20,000 participants - the UPA's founding October 14, 1942. In World War II, the UPA slaughtered up to 100,000 Poles - both Christian and Jewish - which is why Poland still officially registers it a "criminal organization."[11]

Other reports and background information on the current German policy toward the Ukraine can be found here: Problems of Eastward Expansion, A Broad-Based Anti-Russian Alliance and Expansive Ambitions.

[1] Jostmeier trifft Klitschko; www.jostmeier.de 12.12.2011
[2] see also The Boxer's Punch
[3] Seminar mit der politischen Partei UDAR von Vitali Klitschko; www.kas.de
[4] Studien- und Dialogprogramm für Parlamentsabgeordnete der Fraktion UDAR aus der Ukraine; www.kas.de 28.11.2013
[5] see also The Boxer's Punch
[6] Merkel kämpft für Klitschko; www.spiegel.de 08.12.2013
[7] see also Zukunftspläne für die Ukraine
[8] Reinhard Lauterbach: Braune Schläger in Kiew; www.jungewelt.de 09.12.2013
[9] Andrzej Olechowski, Adam D. Rotfeld, Rainder Steenblock, Rita Süssmuth, Karsten Voigt: Über Vilnius hinaus denken: Polen und Deutschland müssen die EU-Ostpolitik vorantreiben, DGAPstandpunkt No. 8, November 2013
[10] Deutsch-polnische Erklärung zur Ukraine; www.auswaertiges-amt.de 26.11.2013
[11] see also Between Moscow and Berlin (IV)