Washington Babylon — July 18, 2008, 8:20 pm

Ukrainian Press Calls Conference Attended by Karl Rove “Nauseating”

As I noted earlier today, Karl Rove can’t be bothered to honor a congressional subpoena, but he’s got time to fly off to Yalta to appear at a panel sponsored by a group that says it wants to spread democracy in Ukraine. Curiously, the group’s board includes one of the most notorious of all Ukrainian “oligarchs,” Victor Pinchuk.

Here’s how the local press described the conference Rove attended last week:

The two-page photo spread from Yalta in this week’s ‘Sobitiya’ magazine was nauseating enough. The saccharine images in this sister publication of Victor Pinchuk’s Fakty newspaper group show Pinchuk cutting an oversized cake with his wife, Olena Franchuk; of Franchuk sitting with her father, the foul-mouthed former president, Leonid Kuchma; of Franchuk being chatted up by U.S. Ambassador William Taylor…

The ostensible aim of Pinchuk’s 5th annual Yalta European Summit (YES) is to bring Ukraine closer to joining the European Union by inviting foreign dignitaries to mix with hundreds of flown-in journalists and other guests. Sadly, many of the journalists — still lacking professionalism and respectable expense accounts — allow themselves to be wined and dined at the host’s expense.

It’s not going to work, guys. Do you want to bring Ukraine closer to the European Union? Then stop pretending that Ukraine is a normal democracy. Start solving all Ukraine’s great unsolved crimes. Were the events exposed on the Melnychenko tapes true? Who poisoned Yushchenko? Who ordered Gongadze’s murder? Give us a full accounting of how the greasy oligarchs acquired their wealth in the slimy privatizations.

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