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Viktor Chernomyrdin declared to be a provocateur2008-11-18 09:42
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry has accused Russia's ambassador Viktor Chernomyrdin of provocation. The reason for this was an attempt by the Party of Regions and the Russian embassy to organize a showing of the film "War 08.08.08. The Art of Betrayal" in Kyiv.
"In the video material fabricated by the Russian secret services, everything is turned on its head. Cynical claims about the involvement of Ukrainian citizens in the conflict between Russia and Georgia, and "illegal deliveries" of arms by Ukraine to Georgia are thrust upon the viewer. The ministry is outraged by the actions of Russia's ambassador Viktor Chernomyrdin and embassy officials who were intending to take part in this disgraceful act and were trying to apply pressure onto the management of the Hyatt hotel, which had forbidden any showing of these fabrications," declared Ukraine's Foreign Ministry on 14th November.
Viktor Chernomyrdin was forced to watch the film on DVD. The ambassador called the situation "completely idiotic".
"Why should anyone be scared of this film? People should hear this point of view," was Chernomyrdin's reaction to what had happened. According to the diplomat, he had come to the showing specially because he had not seen "War 08.08.08" on the internet beforehand.
The Russian Embassy expressed surprise at the "coarse, insulting tone of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's declaration. The actions of the Ukrainian side clearly violate accepted democratic norms concerning the freedom of information." The embassy is expecting "thorough explanations" from Kyiv of the reasons for "such unprecedented opposition to the showing of the aforementioned film". Meanwhile the scandal has already extended beyond the realms of the foreign ministries. Dmitry Medvedev has accused the Ukrainian authorities and Viktor Yushchenko personally of following totalitarian ways and distorting history.
Georgia's leadership has already expressed its view of "The Art of Betrayal" as a thoroughly propagandistic and destructive film. Kyiv is in total agreement with them. Mainly because in the film it is suggested that Yushchenko should be hanged. Ukraine's security services (SBU) took the view that it would be better not to publicize this idea in society. Even without the film there are too many people who want to do just that.
To begin with, the showing was planned for 12th November in the main Ukrainian cinema. But Yushchenko's office suddenly decided to hold "urgent presidential functions" there. The same story was repeated with Ukraine's Palace of Arts. The showing was switched to the Hyatt hotel. They could not come up with another excuse about presidential functions for there, so the ‘Orange forces' changed tactics. A picket of protesting nationalists was deployed outside the building. And after those invited to the presentation had begun to gather at the hotel, reports came in that there was a bomb in the building. Whilst the dog handlers searched the hall with their dogs, one of the president's supporters stole the screen. A few hours later came the announcement from the Ukrainian security services that the showing had been banned in order to "avoid disturbances".
The chairman of the parliamentary committee of inquiry into the arms deliveries to Georgia Valery Konovalyuk told journalists that this film would now be shown in the Upper Rada. In reply the deputy was called in for questioning over divulging state secrets. Meaning that the popular representative had maliciously divulged the prices at which the president had sent arms to his close friend in Tbilisi, coming to the conclusion that this "export of democracy" had cost Ukraine half a billion dollars.