• Topics / Freedom of expression
• Topics / Social and economic rights
Leader of Donetsk Afghan Veterans links search of his home with protest actions
The home of Oleh Shulyak, head of the Donetsk regional branch of the national Afghanistan War Veteran organization “Nobody but Us”, was searched on Friday 17 February by tax police officers. Mr Shulyak was not home at the time, his wife and sons were there. The officers were polite enough and even said that they didn’t know why they’d been sent there.
The court order was linked with a criminal investigation supposedly initiated against a company “Donugol” [ugol is coal – translator] which Mr Shulyak was one of the founders of. He stresses that although a founder, he had no power to sign documents and was never involved in any financial issues, however the aim of the search would seem to have been to find any documents, stamps or money of the company.
He does, however, link the search with the protest action on 15 February by Afghanistan War Veterans when around 200 Afghanistan War veterans deliberately snubbed President Yanukovych and other public officials by demonstratively turning their back on them. As reported at the time, although both the veterans and the dignitaries were there to mark the 23rd anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet soldiers from Afghanistan, the veterans were forced to wait hours (in very cold conditions) until the dignitaries finally arrived, laid their flowers and left.
Mr Shulyak mentions that the criminal investigation over Donugol was initiated at the beginning of October 2011 and his home was searched in November.
On 20 September former Chornobyl clean-up workers and Afghanistan War veterans held a protest action against reduction in social benefits outside parliament which at one point they tried to make their way into.