More proof that good work pays off: The Konrad Adenauer prize of the city of Cologne goes to Vitali Klitschko (who else?)
The article originally appeared at Internetz-Zeitung. Translated for RI by Alexander Samarkin
The internationally renowned athlete and current mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko (43), is the honored recipient of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation prize of the city of Cologne in 2015. The members of the board of trustees of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation unanimously voted for Klitschko at their last meeting. Mayor Jürgen Roters informed Klitschko of the decision on December 9, 2014. Klitschko thanked the board of trustees and the city of Cologne for the high honor and said he will accept it joyfully. The award ceremony will take place in spring 2015 in the historic town hall of Cologne.
With the Konrad Adenauer prize the city of Cologne recognizes outstanding contributions and achievements of individuals “living and working in a big city, making innovative and courageous contributions to the development of a livable city worldwide, working for European integration, or for maintaining and strengthening local self-government in integrating Europe.” These areas reflect the life work of Konrad Adenauer as a local politician, statesman and convinced European.
With the award the trustees will be honoring the “unprecedented commitment” of Klitschko to peace and democracy in Ukraine. His “extraordinary career” from former world boxing champion to politician and mayor has convinced the board, as well as his “courageous and dedicated manner of handling problems,” said Mayor Roters in the letter to the award winner.
Klitschko has been active for many years in the politics of his home country. In spring 2006, he ran for mayor of Kiev and for the Ukrainian parliament for the first time. In 2010, he became chairman of the newly formed Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) party and played an important role in the Euromaidan protests against the administration of Viktor Yanukovych. In May 2014, he was elected mayor of Kiev.
“With the award we want to support the brave search for a peaceful settlement in the current conflict in Ukraine taken on by Vitali Klitschko,” said Mayor Roters. Board member Konrad Adenauer, grandson of former West German chancellor Konrad Adenauer, emphasized: “Vitali Klitschko, a world-renowned athlete who is very popular in Germany, has used the persuasiveness of his personality for the good of his country, Ukraine, and continues to do so as mayor of Kiev.” The city of Cologne endowed the Konrad Adenauer prize in 2002 in memory of the achievements of Konrad Adenauer.
Despite his support for the fascist Azov battalion that wages war against its own people in eastern Ukraine, the right-wing populist and Nazi crony Klitschko is a favorite of the political class in Germany.
The Ukrainian Nazi organization known as the Ukrainian Insurgent Army UPA has claimed responsibility for a long list of recent assassinations of government critics such as the journalist Oles Busina. In the letter claiming responsibility for his killing, the authors threaten the “complete extermination of the enemies of Ukraine.”
In e-mails to the opposition bloc of the parliament and to the well-known political scientist Vladimir Fesenko the organization threatened to kill more “anti-Ukrainian” people, if they didn't leave the country within 72 hours. “The time of public rage has come,” it said in their statement.
The UN has called for a thorough investigation of the murders. The crimes are disturbing said a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Said Raad al-Hussein, in Geneva.
The Ukrainian journalist and author Oles Busina was murdered in Kiev. He is the most recent person on a long list of murdered and “suicided” people in Nazi-occupied Ukraine.