KyivPost

Boycott of Ukrainian embassy events is not the answer

Print version
Aug. 15, 2011, 8:49 a.m. | Letters — by Myroslaw Smorodsky
In a recent Kyiv Post article, a colleague, Taras Kuzio, has called for a Ukrainian diaspora boycott of Ukrainian embassy events in protest of the trial of [ex-Prime Minister] Yulia Tymoshenko and her Aug. 5 arrest. Although I wholeheartedly share his deep concern with the regression of the rule of law in Ukraine, I most respectfully do not concur in the notion that boycotts of Ukrainian diplomatic events are the appropriate response. Diplomatic outposts are not merely envoys of a country's political regime. They are ambassadors of an entire nation and its people as well. Diplomats are also charged with the duty of protecting the interests of their county’s citizens abroad and advancing the national interests of their home country’s populace as a whole – in cultural, educational, economic, and humanitarian fields. Further, diplomats are a communicational bridge between the societies of host and home country. A boycott will needlessly create a chilling effect and a disruption of the cooperative programs between Ukraine and its Diaspora that benefit ALL Ukrainians – including Tymoshenko supporters. History has shown that isolation of any regime is counterproductive and only further entrenches opposite sides into a Gordian Knot-like stalemate of non-communication ultimately ending in a deafening silence.

There is an ancient adage “Don’t kill the messenger!” Rather, it would be ultimately more productive to send -- in a persistent and ever more vociferous barge -- clear and unequivocal messages through the Ukrainian diplomatic emissaries that the present erosion of the rule of law in Ukraine is unacceptable, not merely to the Ukrainian diaspora, but more importantly to western countries. What better way to express these deep concerns than face to face in a frank but appropriate manner at Ukrainian diplomatic events.


Myroslaw Smorodsky
American attorney and governor of the Ukrainian American Bar Association
Mahwah, New Jersey, USA
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Anonymous Aug. 15, 2011, 9:30 a.m.    

Your right we should Boycott the Euro 2012 games in Ukraine instead.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Aug. 15, 2011, 9:36 a.m.    

We should pressure UEFA to hold the games only in Poland.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Aug. 15, 2011, 10:38 a.m.    

that is yulia's dream, to ruin euro 2012 and use it to launch her parliamentary party campaign on another populist platform. euro 2012 is the one clear example of this government doing something far superior to what she could accomplish (nothing for euro 2012) so she would like to sabotage it and destroy what small positives the country has, so there is nothing good at all, so she can take over the country and be reborn politically like a phoenix. rubbish short sightedness and pure self interestedness which is why ukraine is so hurting today all the politicians are vampires

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Aug. 15, 2011, 10:41 a.m.    

timoshenko wants things her way and if not she simply takes her toys and leaves the sandbox eh - if you can't beat em then don't bother playing it is her motto all the time

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Aug. 20, 2011, 7 p.m.    

So you disagree with Tymoshenko.. Does that justofy and warrant the mise and abue of office that is being palyed out in persecuting her? And what about Lutsenko and Ivaschenko? What does it say about Ukriane when the political opposition is intimidated atteceted and persecuted in such a maner? Like her or not this is an abuse of process. If Yushejnko was facing trail for his abuse of Office I might consider the process fair but he is not.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Aug. 15, 2011, 11:31 a.m.    

Altho Yulia will lead the government sooner or later....there is no evidence to suggest that she wishes to ruin the event for next year.

Furthermore, there is no evidence that the present regime is doing a 'superior' job to what yulia could do. Today's officials are massively over budget beause of their own thievery.....just like all the other officials in whatever party.

It is true however that all of Ukraine's politicians are 'vampires'....no matter the political party.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Aug. 15, 2011, 11:54 a.m.    

the construction is corrupt but at least some money went to construction unlike before 2010 elections. the budget during orange days for euro 2012 construction simply disappeared into thin air. yulia apologists will say yushchenko stole it. but it disappeared and nothing had any possibility of being built. at least now stadiums and roads and proper airports physically exist!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Aug. 15, 2011, 7:38 p.m.    

Ukraine is rapidly turning into one of the most corrupt dictatorships on the planet under yanukovych -

Please advise exactly what cooperative diaspora programs have benefitted ALL ukrainians in this context??

Better to comprehend that ukraine will never be free unless the mafia oligarchic regime is removed, and send this clear message to people of Ukraine .

Collaborating with these ukrainian oligarch's stooge ambassadors and expecting some positive change is as effective as trying to change putin's or likashenko's dictatorships ....

newsflash ! - ain't gonna happen!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Aug. 20, 2011, 6:56 p.m.    

It was not much better off under Yushenko either. In fact Yushchenko played a major role in the events that now beikng played out. Thanks ot Yushchenko the people pf Ukraine have lost heart and spirt. Yushchenko betrayed all who supported him. If I was he I would commit suicide rather than face the pain and angish that he has caused..

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Aug. 16, 2011, 12:10 a.m.    

Boycotting Ukrainian diplomatic missions closes avenues to the Ukrainian diaspora and other interested parties rather than the contrary. One must remember that the Ukrainian emissaries are required to report the good and the bad however that may be perceived by the ruling government in Kyiv. The true effect of the feelings of the diaspora and how this might influence local governments can actually be properly expressed by their actions during demonstrations and verbal interactions with Ukrainian Embassy personnel. There can hardly be much of a duel between one and a thousand. Message complete!

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Aug. 20, 2011, 6:52 p.m.    

They are ambassadors of an entire nation and its people as well.

I think you have littel understanding of Ukraine. Ukrains diplomats are not professonals as you might consider is the case in the USA, Canada or Australia. Far from it.

Whilst I do not agree with boycots I do think there is mkerit in using this event as a way of foucusing international governmensts attention to the problems Ukrainiansd are now facing. MY government has no idea what;s fgoing on in Ukraine. The so called Diplomats that have been given carrige of Ukraine have no nidea. I recently wrote to our Amassadore expressing concern on a number of issues and based on theoir reply I dount if they have eben visited the country let alsone understood in more detail what the issues are.

Yes to pretest no to boycotts

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Sept. 22, 2011, 2:45 a.m.    

Dear Myroslaw Smorodsky, you call this people DIPLOMATS, are you dreaming? do you ever call the Ukraine embassy in DC? They are rude, no class, they do not know anything, never give you the right answer, they are bunch of villagers from donbass, yanuconvict people, these pukes are perfect to represent the VILLAGE IDIOT, THE RAPIST,but they do not represent Ukraine, so dear sir, the right thing to do is BOYCOTT THE SUCKERS

{# <-- parent id goes here

KyivPost

© 1995–2014 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the www.kyivpost.com material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at news@kyivpost.com
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.