Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Politics and human rights

Donetsk National University saga stretched and now dragged out


The Kyiv District Administrative Court has postponed the hearings scheduled for 25 January over the “Donetsk University Rector case” until 24 February. This is reported by Zerkalo Tyzhnya, citing Kateryna Kutnya, the lawyer representing the candidate elected, Professor Yury Lysenko.  

The candidate proposed by the Ministry of Education, Petro Yehorov, who lost to Yury Lystenko, remains Acting Rector.

As reported, the post of Rector became vacant after the Minister of Education, Dmytro Tabachnyk, in a controversial move, dismissed the former Rector in September.  Despite the Ministry making no secret of its support for one candidate, Petro Yehorov, Yury Lysenko was elected Rector by his colleagues on 10 December.  Just prior to the vote, the Deputy Minister of Education, Yevhen Sulyma, stressed that the staff could state their preference, but the Ministry would have the last say.  This, however, in accordance with the Law on Higher Education, was only if the candidate the Ministry preferred received more than 30%.  Yehorov gained 29.67%, one vote off and Yury Lysenko who got 48% was assumed the winner. 

During the following week Yury Lysenko’s wife, Tetyana Lev, who has also worked at DNU for 30 years, recently both as Vice Rector and Chief Accountant, was subjected to a number of checks by the law enforcement bodies.  The couple’s flat was searched, and a third search of Ms Lev’s offices took place with apparent procedural infringements through the night into 17 December.  On Friday 17 December,  the Prosecutor’s Office finally announced that a criminal investigation had been initiated, supposedly back on 9 December, following an application from the management of the University. That evening, Tetyana Lev was attacked outside her home by two men who apparently shouted that this was “for your husband, bitch”.  She was diagnosed as having concussion and bruises.

Then a third “candidate” whom nobody seems to have heard of suddenly emerged, with a law suit claiming that his candidacy (of which even the Deputy Minister of Education was unaware) had been ignored.  The court positively “prohibited” the Ministry from signing a contract with Professor Lysenko.  According to Kateryna Kutnya, the hearing was postponed at the request of the Ministry.  No reason is given, and the case grinds on …

New information reported here

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