Human Rights in Ukraine


To everybody!


I want to turn to everybody! To every citizen of Ukraine! To foreigners who stay on the Ukrainian land! To international human rights protection organizations! To Ukrainian and foreign journalists!

We have declared that we shall not stop. We shall not stop fighting with the cynicism and crimes of the authorities, with the concealment of truth, with protracting the investigation of the disappearance of journalist Georgiy Gongadze!

I do not want to use bright epithets to describe the crimes of our authorities, their disregard of laws, the cruelty of the law-enforcing organs. All know this.

On 19 December 2000 at 11 a.m. the demonstration will begin. But nobody knows when and how it will finish. Awful accusations are presented to President Kuchma and minister Kravchenko, who has under his command the most numerous bodies of law-enforces. If the accusations appeared to be true, there will be no retreat. Compromises and reticence are impossible here. A beast driven to a corner will desperately fight. That is what the agonizing power is doing.

The situation is not critical yet, but the tension is growing every day. Until nothing is proven officially the power will not apply forcible methods. Yet we observe that the power has recently resorted to the most desperate and senseless means, which cannot be explained by any sound logic. Personal search of MPs, the attack at the picket near the palace ’Ukraine’ committed in the presence international public, sending protesting law-enforcers to the Nezalezhnost Square. All this proves that the power is loosing nerves. So it is probable that violence will be applied against peaceful protestors. And nobody dares to anticipate the degree of its brutality.

I personally am not frightened. Other participant of the action ’Ukraine without Kuchma’ cannot be frightened too. We know what we are doing and we are prepared to all. But our column will contain several hundreds of boys and girls of 18-19 years old. The majority of them are students. They have had to time do anything in their life, to form their families and to give offsprings. They have everything in the future, and it will be tragic, if the future will be terminated by force, at least for one of them.

They are full of daydreams and illusions, they cannot imagine the life in the country ruled by criminals. They are still children, who close their faces with kerchiefs, when fearlessly going upon bayonets, because they are afraid of their mummies, who can learn that their children are risking their lives. Regardless of their youth, they have demonstrated adult wisdom and made their decision. Nobody can stop them, they will not obey anybody: neither parents, nor deputies. All the same they will march in this column, for they know that the truth is in their ranks.

I appeal to all with a demand to protect their youth. And there is one way to do it: to come on 19 December to the Nezalezhnost Square and to take part in out action.

On 15 December 2000 there was about a dozen of leaders of various political parties at the meeting. What speeches they delivered! What words were pronounced! What appeals were uttered!

Gentlemen! Where are you now? Why have your words been not supported by real actions? Why most of you have never come again to our tent camp? Where are your people? Why those members of your parties, who came to the tent camp, came there by their own initiative? Why do you passively observe how young girls, who never gave birth to children, catch cold sitting on the cold granite? Are you so poor that you cannot provide 2-3 tents, a dozen of camp beds, sleeping bags and mattresses from each party?

I appeal to the rank and file members of the parties! If you leaders, who once bravely and even heroically fought for independence and democracy, are unable now to do something real, come without them, come for your own money, for here not the lot of L. Kuchma or O. Moroz is decided, but destiny of Ukraine.

I appeal to members of all three Rukhs. To the block, which plans to become the new center of the unification of social-democrats. Where is your bravery and resolution, which flows in torrents from the pages of your party newspapers? Why do you hide your head into sand like ostriches?

After all, the aim of our action is to check the veracity of the denunciating materials and to raise the curtain of secrecy. What are you expecting? A further development of events with the aim to attack later the lower dog?

I guarantee that you will fail this time!

It Kuchma looses without your participation, you will find yourselves on the political rubbish heap, if we loose, you will find yourselves in the same place. The oligarchs then will not need you. Use your heads, gentlemen, join our action! Join us regardless of your intentions (to learn the truth and regain justice, not to give the all the glory to the left, to revenge for your personal humiliation), but do not stand aside! Your silence becomes incomprehensible!

I appeal to the Democratic Union, to the People Democratic party, to the party ’Labor Ukraine’! You also know where the truth lies. Do not pretend that you do know this, do not make a laughing stock out of yourself. Your hand are clean of blood, keep them clean!

I appeal to my former colleagues in the students’ hunger-strike of 1990! Where are you hiding, you, who were called the flower of the nation ten years ago? Why not all of you are present here? Why many of those, who came to the meeting on 15 December, did not remain in the tent camp? Have you petrified as out authorities, against whom we fought then?

Oles, Marek, Oleg, Slavko! Drop all you current affairs! Call together our former combatants, lead them here! Here you will see such children like we had been on that hunger-strike. They, like we, want a better Ukraine.

I appeal to Dmytro Korchinskiy! We both were members of the students organization ’Gromada’, when all current great patriots were hiding in cracks. You came to us on 15 December, gave many interviews and disappeared. You called your organization ’The shield of Motherland’. It is a tall order! I wish you to be worthy of this high title. On 19 December you will have the opportunity to confirm this title. Be the shield protecting the children, who will march to the President’s palace.

I appeal to all people! Never believe the misinformation that flow from TV and radio channels, and newspaper channels of the mass media controlled by the government! Do not look for the mythical sponsors and orderers of our protest! Come to our tent camp, and I will personally show you the conditions under which we exist. If we had those, who ordered the protest to throw down the President, we should surely have more tents (we sleep in shifts), sleeping-bags, camp-beds and warm clothing.

You could say that our sponsors are economical here as well. But it is easier to buy this comparatively cheap equipment, instead of hiring new people to substitute those who got to hospitals because of excessive cold. Come to us and you will see that there is no hint of sponsors’ money, these people have come to the square by the order of their hearts, having dropped their work and education, having risked with all. One cannot by such people!

I appeal to the members of foreign embassies, of international human rights protection organizations, Ukrainian and foreign journalists! You speak and write much about the freedom of speech and democracy. We are weaponless. Go with us! We do not need support, just stand by our side and observe. You have nothing to be afraid of! Nobody will touch you! If you were plenty, no one will dare to spill blood!

I appeal to law-enforcers! Boys! You are human like us! You also have children, brothers and sisters. You, like ourselves, try to survive. We have nothing against you! We know that most of you sympathize with us. In civil clothes you come to our tents and express our sympathy in whispers. But on Thursday you will be given an order. You have time to come to a bookshop and buy the Constitution of Ukraine. You have the time to learn that nobody under no circumstances is obliged to execute criminal orders. You gave an oath to serve Ukraine, not to Kuchma or Kravchenko! Keep your oath!

I appeal to Viktor Yushchenko! Everybody knows that law-enforcing ministers are not your subordinates. Yet your word may be weighty on the balance. Nobody needs public speeches! Just have a personal talk with Kravchenko and Derkach and ask them to be reasonable.

I appeal to Yuri Kravchenko and Leonid Derkach! Your guilt is not proved yet. If you are innocent you have nothing to be afraid of! And even if you have already committed some sins, do not multiply them, do not let you dogs out of kennels!

I appeal to everybody! Come to Nezalezhnost Square at 11 a.m.! We shall march to the President under any circumstances! But if we were few, something incorrigible may happen. But if the people marches, not a handful of braves, everything will end well. And entire Ukraine will be the winner!

Mykhaylo Svistovich,

A participant of the students’ hunger-strike of 1990,

A participant of the action ’Ukraine without Kuchma’

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