The Orange Revolutionary and Znayu organizer talks the nuts and bolts of revolt few reported what pro-democracy activists were actually doing to set the stage for the non-stop demonstration against voting fraud that erupted in Kyiv on Nov. 22 .
Dmytro Potekhin, who ran one of the million-dollar projects funded by Western donors, was available to talk in Kyiv on Feb. 22 about his non-violent civil campaign.
Having coordinating foreign donor election activities for the International Renaissance Foundation in 2002, the 28-year-old Kyiv native took stock of the campaign’s deficiencies in designing his own project, dubbed “Znayu” (“I Know”), in time for the 2004 campaign.
In addition to covering the costs of flying delegations of former U.S. Congressmen to Ukraine, the money emboldened voters and helped to smooth over a conflict between twin non-violent activist groups.
Potekhin, who studied international affairs at the Kyiv Humanitarian Institute, worked previously at the Japanese embassy as a political analyst. He left the embassy to join the Ukraine Without Kuchma (UWK) protests, which petered out after a bloody brawl in March 2001 led to the arrests of hundreds of protestors.