Tags: One | Reporter's | Opinion | The | Poison | Communism

One Reporter's Opinion @ The Poison of Communism

Friday, 31 December 2004 12:00 AM

During WWII, Kateryna's parents were forced to emigrate to Germany and work as slave laborers. They came to the United States in 1956 at the invitation of a Ukrainian Orthodox Church. She grew up speaking Ukrainian at home, learning the national dances and attending a Ukrainian school and Orthodox Church. Says Kateryna, "My parents felt they had to keep alive the culture and traditions they thought were being suppressed by the Soviet Union."

In the late 1980s to the early 1990s, she worked in the Human Rights office of our State Department. She also worked for the first President Bush in the Treasury Department. But her dream was always to help the Ukraine to become independent.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, she moved to Kiev. Her business degrees from the University of Chicago helped her land a job with the U.S. International Auditing Company, and she prospered training the company's economists in Western practices.

That's when she met Viktor Yushchenko, her future husband. He was part of a delegation of central bankers she brought to Chicago. He understood free markets, had a firm faith in God, and knew the right path for the Ukraine. Kateryna married Viktor in 1998 and this made-in-heaven marriage has brought forth three lovely children.

Yushchenko's victory comes after this pro-Western leader survived a dirty campaign. The pro-Putin forces have tried to eliminate him - first in a hit-and-run traffic accident and then by poisoning him. Indeed, the darkest moment for Viktor came when he was poisoned. After he was set up at a dinner party, at which his soup was poisoned with a chemical compound known as dioxin, he returned home complaining of what he thought was a case of the flu. His wife noticed a strange, metallic taste in his mouth, when she kissed him, that turned out to be dioxin.

And though Yushchenko has largely recovered, the poison has left his once handsome face tragically disfigured and the government has continued its three-year campaign to discredit him and his wife.

After he was poisoned, the state prosecutor opened an investigation into the incident and then attempted to smear Yushchenko by claiming he had a disfiguring case of Herpes. Yushchenko was portrayed as a fascist puppet of Western bankers and his wife, Kateryna, as an active CIA agent. Kateryna responded by winning a libel judgment against a Russian television station that had accused her of disloyalty to the Ukraine, and the government has since refused to process her application for Ukrainian citizenship.

Kateryna is indeed a consummate Cold Warrior! When she was growing up in Chicago, this all-American girl was called "Kathy." Now she is known as the first lady of the Ukraine. Her passion led this fervent anti-Communist to bringing democracy to her parents' homeland.

Confrontation still looms, though by actual count in the rerun election, Yushchenko held a 16-point lead over his pro-Russian opponent, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, with more than 63 percent of the country's precincts reporting the results: Yushchenko with 55.98 percent of the vote compared to 40.2 percent for Yanukovich.

But apparently Putin and Yanukovich are contesting Yushchenko's victory. However, Yushchenko is determined to go forward with his inauguration. He says: "Today we are turning the page on human disrespect, censorship, lies, and violence. People who were dragging our country toward the abyss are today stepping into the past."

It is important to note that Yushchenko's support is strongest in the agrarian nationalist Ukrainian-speaking west of the country pledged to lead the nation toward membership in the European Union and NATO, while the Yanukovich base is in the industrialized Russian-speaking east pledged to preserve and fortify traditional ties with Russia along with backing from Moscow and Putin.

Yanukovich, with the support of Putin, is determined to maintain his position and blames the U.S. for much of his present situation. But Yushchenko and Kateryna claim victory in the historic presidential election rerun, telling supporters: "The vote is a triumph for the country. We are now free from dominance by neighboring Russia. This is a victory for the Ukrainian people - for the Ukrainian nation."

During her husband's election campaign, critics tried to make an issue of Kateryna's American citizenship and implied that the CIA was trying to manipulate election results. Nonetheless, the United States, which has rejected accusations from Yanukovich and Russia that it financed Yushchenko's campaign, is absolutely thrilled with the Yushchenko victory and will support him to the end. But with a woman like Kateryna, how can he fail?

Indeed, behind every great man is a truly great woman. What a story! What a woman!

Kateryna said, "The poison disfigured my Viktor's face, but it will heal much as it leaves his body even as the country will recover from the poison of Communism."





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During WWII, Kateryna's parents were forced to emigrate to Germany and work as slave laborers.They came to the United States in 1956 at the invitation of a Ukrainian Orthodox Church.She grew up speaking Ukrainian at home, learning the national dances and attending a...
Friday, 31 December 2004 12:00 AM
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