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07.10.2006 | Inna Sukhorukova

Bugged rocks or how our peace is protected by the prosecutor’s office, the Security Service and the au-thorities as a whole

   

A wave of strange inter-religious conflict has recently swept Ukraine, conflict which was not seen even at the beginning of the troubled 1990s. Some “canonical Orthodox believers” seem to have woken up and suddenly understood only now that they are not living in a “sterile” spiritual environment. Extraordinary! Ukraine also has the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate [UOC KP], the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, Roman Catholics, Greek Catholics, and Protestants and even, oh horrors, Buddhists. Good morning, esteemed canonical friends!

Yet, there is something oddly familiar in this apparent total insanity. First of all, the similarities ad the way the “actions” are organized. The spitting image of those collective actions from Soviet times in support of Fidel Castro or not in support of America’s war in Vietnam. Or somewhere else

With only small differences in time around eastern and southern cities, and even in Chernihiv, these “canonical” Orthodox faithful organized pickets of churches of the UOC KP, “standing in prayer” and “prayer processions”. All their actions and statements on various TV channels and radio stations clearly fall under Article 161 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code, yet only lawyers and human rights groups see this. The prosecutor’s people and the SBU are asleep and dreaming, goodness knows about what since we don’t bug them, I assure you.

If this had happened before some election, if these pickets and “standing” had been headed by Ms. Vitrenko or, at least, Mr. Korchinsky, there would not be any questions. Even stranger things happen before and during elections! Yet in more peaceful time? Those, who do not remember Soviet times will not understand me. Yet, I believe that those, who remember, and even had occasion to communicate with the KGB, will understand at once. When something well-organized and directed nobody knows by whom appears suddenly, and nobody interferes, and the prosecutor’s office and the SBU look amicably up at the sky, one recalls Russian stones with bugs for bugging foreign spies.

Now the canonical faithful are taking time out for Kashpirovskiy. He’s not to their liking. Nor mine, however that’s no reason to picket him. I’m not going to waste time and energy picketing everybody I don’t like. What about work? What about housework? And I want to rest. Yet, there are people, who have enough “time” and “inspiration”. So, maybe this is their work? Then who pays for this work? And why don’t the authorities respond? You’ll see that in other cases they behave quite differently.

About three years ago representatives of the movement Falun Gong turned to us. This is a widespread non-religious movement, which is persecuted in China. This movement is absolutely peaceful, espousing only a healthy way of living, love and patience. In essence, this is a kind of the movement Tsu-Gong, only it is based on modern philosophy. They teach that the Universe is founded on three spiritual pillars: Love, Patience and Truth. And, naturally, there is only one truth in Chine – communism, which does not want to put up with some other truth, even absolutely innocent. So the poor Chinese followers of Falun Gong have ended up in terrible concentration camps facing torture, suffering and death… yet, this is separate topic, very painful for me, because the reaction of the so-called developed democracies to the events in China is just as inadequate as the reaction to the genocide committed by Stalin and Hitler in the 1930s.

Yet here we are speaking about our domestic problems. Straight after the entirely peaceful actions by Ukrainian followers of Falun Gong against the terror perpetrated by the Chinese regime, the authorities then headed by L. Kuchma, prohibited these actions. Followers of the doctrine have been shadowed, and even today they feel the attention of the Ukrainian Security Service. Then I wrote that such pro-Chinese politics of Ukraine seemed to be not very timely. China has yet to share a border with us, and we do not depend on them as on Russia and Europe. So, there could be no sense in persecuting those disliked in China, or in Japan, or in Guinea-Bissau. Strangely, however, the Security Service paid no heed.

This concerns not only peaceful followers of Falun Gong, who are given to understand that they are being watched and controlled, but also Uzbeks from the movement “Akromiya”, which according to human rights groups is also a purely peaceful association. In spite of this fact, 11 of them were arrested and deported directly into the clutches of the dictator Karimov, about whom it is known that he treats the citizens, disliked by him, not better than in China. Of course, the scale of repressions is less.

In extraditing these poor Uzbek refugees, Ukraine violated its international commitments, not to speak of domestic legislation. Yet this means nothing to our regime. Quite honestly, I feel that the Orange Revolution ended the day they were extradited, and harsh Ukrainian reality began, playing up to everybody, fearing everybody and putting your own dignity and interests last.

The extradition of the Uzbeks damaged Ukraine’s reputation which had stood high after the Orange Revolution. Why was nobody held responsible? Why were the President, the prosecutor, the management of the SBU, the Human Rights Ombudsperson and the opposition of all shades silent?

Why did nobody, nd, first of all, you, respected prosecutors not react to the complete absence of power, violation of all articles of the Criminal Code and Constitution of Ukraine, when the affair concerns our “canonical” believers? Why do you send formal answers to those, who complain about threats of pogroms and capture of buildings? Who are you afraid of? I think I know. You are afraid of our northern neighbour, Russia. Small Georgia is not afraid, Moldova too. And we are shaking with fear again. That is why absurd and inept, but dangerous language and religious scenarios are spread in Ukraine. And the people, who should be protecting us are poised in meditation.

It is time for our President, his Secretariat and the new Prime-Minister, if they are leaders of the entire country and not of some loyal parts, to think about who is playing these games on Ukraine’s territory and why. Or are they are interested only in interpersonal relations?

Why are they silent, when unlawful statements are being thrown around?

Ukraine was not split during the “criminal” Kuchma regime. I must acknowledge this despite my disdain for that regime. Ukraine was separated artificially, in the course of the political game, which is called “struggle for power”. It was split into West and East, Russian- and Ukrainian-speakers, canonical and non-canonical. This separation occurred during the election race of 2004, and nothing was done to improve the situation during the year before the next election. And the new election campaign completed the destructive process. Everybody suffers from destabilization: canonical and non-canonicals, Russian speaking citizens of Ukraine and Ukrainian speaking… Over the last 15 years I have never felt such unsteady ground under my feet. Who is governing the state? Who is protecting citizens? Where are you?!

Maybe I do not understand something? Yet, who would admit to the elections in any country of Europe Ms. Vitrenko, who has done everything to fall under the mentioned Article 161. She did that, when she organized the action against Lubomir Huzar in Kyiv, when she publicly stated that she wanted to drive out the “Tatar horde” from the Crimea, etc. One can mock the woman and compare her with Zhirinovsky. The latter has already played his part in the cultural-religious-ethnical disorder which Russia has been sinking in for a long time, and now it is the turn of Ukraine.

Shouldn’t every country protect its state and social order?

Or will we wait for war, our respected authorities? Like in Abkhazia, Trans-Dniester or Nagorny Karabakh. Ukraine is still peaceful? We will improve the situation. There are no grounds? We will create them artificially. And then we will accuse each other, or “villain” Putin, or “villain” Bush for disorder in our own house.

And we will continue to pretend that we are doing something for the state. We will persecute Falun Gong followers because they are disliked in China, Chechens because Russia doesn’t like them, members of “Akromiya” because they are not friends with Karimov… Maybe we can hunt down our pigs because they’re not kosher?

Well, how low is our national dignity, how vividly we sympathize with the interests and ideas absolutely alien to us! And the resources for this sympathy are, by the way, the same: moral and material acquisitions of the recent 15 years. 15 years in the life of independent and sovereign Ukraine, state officials. There are not so many of these acquisitions. But they do exist! And our people are able to prove that, when they’re driven to the edge. But is it reasonable to wait for this? Still more to bring it closer?

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