08.12.2000 | S. Fedorynchyk, Kyiv

Arrests have begun


Late at night on 10 December Valeriy Popovich, the mayor of the town of Vasylkov (Kyiv oblast), was arrested. The reason of his arrest is the position at the recent presidential election. Before the arrest the mayor got insistent hints from the administrators of the oblast: ’You are not ours, you are from Moroz’s camp, write the application to leave your post or you will be arrested’. Lately the town mayor heard such persuasions more than once.

Yesterday it happened, and certainly the arrest will be well-grounded: misuse of power, corruption, bribe-taking, rape, at last. They are all time-proven reliable methods of the struggle with political opponents.

Author’s commentary. This piece of information came from the influential public organization - the Association of towns of Ukraine - on 11 December 1999. The Association had been headed by the Cherkassy mayor Volodymyr Oliynyk, one of the participants of the Kanev Foursome. If I am not mistaken, after the election he resigned from his post in order to facilitate the lot of the Association. Oleksandr Omelchenko, the mayor of Kyiv, has become the new head of the Association. Nonetheless, some mayors have difficulties connected with their sympathies not to the ’main’ candidate revealed in the course of the election, and this is dangerous for the future of democracy in Ukraine.

On 20 January I phoned to the Association and asked about the lot of mayor Popovich. I was answered that his case had been passed to Chernigov in order to provide more objective investigation. The Chernigov militia found nothing compromising the mayor and he was released.

In my opinion the case was completed objectively because of the active position of the Association of towns of Ukraine.

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