Traffic police and SBU again obstructing protesters?
On Tuesday outside the Verkhovna Rada supporters of the opposition are protesting against price increases on gas. However it has become difficult getting to the action with activists reporting pressure from the traffic police and heightened interest from the SBU [Security Service].
In response to a call from the united Ukraine Defence Committee supporters of the opposition have been planning to come to Kyiv from all regions of the country.
Supporters of (Tymoshenko’s) “Batkivshchyna” Party, as well as the rightwing “Svoboda” Party have complained of obstruction from the law enforcement bodies in leaving for Kyiv. Head of “Svoboda” Oleh Tyahnybok said that their party supporters from the Lviv region, Volyn and the Luhansk region had received refusals from transport firms to take them with the latter explaining that they were under pressure from law enforcement bodies which threatened to otherwise take their licences away.
The Head of the Lviv regional branch of BYuT (the bloc which “Batkivshchyna” is part of), Ivan Stetskovych, has reported that on Monday he was phoned by representatives of the SBU who asked about the trip to Kyiv. “To which I asked, since when has the SBU dealt with such things? Do we not have a Constitution which gives the right to free movement? Is this now done with the permission of the SBU?” That was the end of our conversation”. Stetskovych added that this was no isolated case. Similar calls have been received by other heads of party branches.
The Head of the Traffic Police Press Service in the Lviv region, Svitlana Dobrovoska, denied that any pressure was being exerted by traffic police officers. If the vehicle driver cannot travel, that means he doesn’t have the proper documents or the coach is not in a technically fit state. She asserts that there is no politics in this. The Association of Transport Companies of the Lviv area say that they have received no complaints thus far.