Election and fight with crime
During the last fortnight several prominent businessmen, deputies of local councils and executives of the local power were arrested in several towns of the Crimea. This time Evpatoriya, Feodosiya and Kerch were purged. In particular, Konstantin Bielomyzov, a deputy of Evpatoriya town council and the director of the private firm ‘Alliance-90, was arrested on the suspicion of illegal keeping of firearms and extortion.
Beforehand, in December 1998, Nikolay Kotliarevskiy, a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Crimea and Evpatoriya town council, was arrested. The search is started of Yuri Mikhaylov, a deputy of Kerch town council and the manager of ‘Interjust Ltd.. Besides, a massive revision of commercial firms is carried out, because, according to official sources, they did not pay taxes.
The campaign looks rather intriguing. At first Yuri Kravchenko, the Minister of Interior, visits the Crimea and tells the newsmen that in the nearest future some top executives in the East Crimea would be arrested. Along with it, the Minister tells the newsmen that all well-known paid killings are disclosed, in particular the killings of the Vice Prime-Minister of the Crimea Aleksandr Safontsev, head of the property fund Aleksey Golovizin, the first Vice Minister of resorts and tourism Dmitriy Goldich and manager of the firm ‘Krymteplokommunenergo Valeriy Kuzin. However, the Minister refused to name either killers or those who hired them.
Meanwhile, some observers explain the events in the Crimea not only by the fight with crime. If one recollects previous militia raids in Yalta and Simferopol, one will recall that they were conducted during the parliamentary election, and their aim was ‘to prevent electing criminal elements. According to the reports of militia bosses, the law enforcing agencies were successful. It is worth while to recollect the methods by which militia executed the task set by the Kyivan clique. On the one hand, mass arrests were carried out, on the other hand, a solid number of law enforcers became candidates. It is noteworthy to pay attention to the last statements of the Minister of Interior. In particular, he promised that in the nearest future ‘energetic operative and detective activities would be applied to executives in Kerch and to the people who work in shadow business and cause strain in the region. It follows from such statements that militia becomes the carrier of the real power in the Crimea. If one recalls that this October Ukraine will undergo a new test of Presidential election, then the activity of militia appears to be useful to those people who issue edicts and resolutions, or just give oral orders or even hints to militia bosses.
Certainly, it is difficult to prove directly the connection between militia actions to enforce order and future Presidential election. However, nobody will argue that transgressions in work of any official can be easily found, and any businessman can be caught in violating tax laws. What is interesting, that restrictive measures and arrests are applied to a selected few. In general, the border between political and criminal activities is far from being distinct. So, the opportunities to solve various problems by means of law enforcing agencies are very wide.
Having returned from the Crimea, the Minister of Interior declared in Kyiv that his Ministry intends to carry out massive inspections in all large regions and in Kyiv. It seems that another form of government is expected in Ukraine. A criminal country intends to become a militia country. Will citizens gain something from the change? Very doubtful.
PL commentary.We agree with our corespondent in the main point. Raids on officials guilty of different crimes will not achieve the desired purpose if our laws and law-applying practice are not categorically reformed. The shadow capital can be returned only by decisive changes of the operating tax laws and other purely economic measures. Our economy saves itself in the shadow because of excessive taxes and permanently changing rules of economic activity. In fact, the legislation itself builds the basis for its total violation. That is why the actions similar to those carried in the Crimea are neither satisfying nor hopeful.
The editorial board also agrees with Romanovs opinion that the actions carried out by law enforcing structures must be rigidly controlled by deputies, judicial power, and civil society. A police state is not more attractive than a criminal state, sometimes they are identical. The example is granted by several countries of the Latin America. This is not the ideal standard for which Ukraine must strive.