Protest actions of the opposition and reaction of the authorities
President Leonid Kuchma approved the destruction of the tent camp on 1 March by saying that the militia acted according to the law. Ivan Pliushch, the speaker of the Parliament, and Viktor Yushchenko, the Prime-Minister, in fact expressed disagreement. Pliushch declared that ‘not all opportunities to negotiate have been used and that he did not approve of the forcible methods on any side. Yushchenko was in London at that time; he pointed out that ‘until all peaceful methods were used, the application of force was inadmissible.
Sergiy Buravliov, a judge from the Starokyivskiy district court, considered an administrative case concerning 14 out of 40 activists of the action ‘Ukraine without Kuchma detained on 1 March (Article 185 Part 2 of the Administrative Code of Ukraine). The court session was held in the building of the Pechorskiy district precinct, where the culprits were held in the isolation block. Having considered the materials given by militia and having heard to the testimony of eye-witnesses, the judge closed the case since he did not see any violations of the Administrative Code in the actions of the accused.
It should be mentioned that the legal aid to the accused was given, without any preparation, by a peoples deputy Yuri Karmazin, who accidentally happened to be at hand. The other detained were not so lucky: their cases were considered without legal aid, and the majority of the accused were condemned to fines.
Oleksandr Rozhko, Kyiv
After the clash between the militia and the participants of the action ‘Ukraine without Kuchma on 9 March in Bankovaya Street the law-enforcers detained several persons suspected in the participation in the clash. It happened in the evening of the same day. Servicemen of the elite militia unit ‘Berkut broke into the office of the UKRP party, as it rumors, without search and arrest warrants. They broke some property of the party, detained all, who were in the office, brutally beating many of the detained (information by ‘Helsinki-90 committee).
According to various data 60-70 persons were detained.
At the same time the militia started raids at the railway and bus stations in Kyiv, detaining young people, mostly students. Only at the main railway station about 100 of suspects were detained.
According to ‘Helsinki-90 committee, in the evening, after 8 p.m., militiamen began to detain students in hostels of State University, Polytechnic institute and Economic University; in the process they made searches without search warrants.
The total number of the detained is not exactly known. The militia acknowledged that they detained not less than 203 persons, but ‘Helsinki-90 committee asserts that this number is about 250. Moreover, the relatives of the detained were not informed about the event.
Some activists, as eyewitnesses told, were dragged from the crowd by some plain-clothed agents. The activists were taken to a place unknown with their eyes tied closed; in several hours they returned home, so nobody knows where they had been taken to.
On 10 March judges of district courts were summoned to precincts. Directly in the cooler they announced the verdicts about committing violation of the administrative law (Article 173 of the Administrative Code) and about the administrative arrest for the term of 3-15 days. But later the head of the Kyiv city court cancelled all the decisions by procedural reasons.
Yet, several criminal cases according to Article 71 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (‘Mass clashes) were started.