11.12.2000 | R. Romanov, Sevastopol

In Sevastopol the claim against the newspaper ’Sevastopolskaya pravda’ is satisfied


On 13 September 2000 I. V. Burchuladze, the judge of the Leninskiy district court of the city of Sevastopol, satisfied the claim of Vladimir Pilipenko, a vice-admiral, a hero of the Soviet Union, against the newspaper ‘Sevastopolskaya Pravda’ and its founder the city committee of the communist party of Ukraine. The claim was to defend honor and dignity of the vice-admiral. The court ruled that the newspaper must pay admiral Pilipenko Hr 10,000 as a compensation for libel, and the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Stanislav Galchinskiy, a deputy of the Sevastopol city council and the chairman of the commission on glasnost and mass media, must pay Hr 1000. The defendant handed a cassation to the Sevastopol city court. Admiral Pilipenko declared that he was going to transfer Hr 11,000, if the decision of the court comes into force, to the Sevastopol orphanage.

The reason of the trial was a number of anonymous publications in the newspaper ‘Sevastopolskaya Pravda’, which asserted that admiral Pilipenko broke his military oath and betrayed his comrades-at-arms. Admiral Pilipenko is the head of the Sevastopol organization of all-Ukrainian Union of the WW2 veterans. This organization makes efforts for pacifying all participants of the WW2 regardless of the side on which they fought. Sevastopol communists more than once protested against the activities of this organization. The newspaper ‘Sevastopolskaya Pravda’ several times published materials containing insulting expressions with respect to admiral Pilipenko. In the opinion of the authors of such publications, his ‘treason’ was expressed in his journey to Lviv, where he met with Mykhaylo Zelenchuk, the head of the Brotherhood of soldiers of the Ukrainian Rebel Army.

Vladimir Pilipenko is a hero of the defense of Sevastopol. Being in command of a torpedo-boat and being wounded, he shot down a German plane for which he was awarded the Star of a Hero of the Soviet Union. The admiral always took an active part in public life of Sevastopol. On creating the all-Ukrainian Union of veterans he agreed to head the Sevastopol branch of this organization.

The admiral’s interests were represented at court by a member of the Sevastopol human rights protection group advocate Valeriy Bartash. The legal aid to the admiral was granted free of charge. Speaking during the pleadings advocate Bartash said that the reason of the trial is a mere lack of civility among communists, who just could buy a bouquet of flowers and visit the war veteran in the hospital with expressing in a civilized from their genuine excuses. Hypocrisy of Sevastopol communists is expressed in the fact that the chairman of Sevastopol city council and the head of the Sevastopol city committee of the communist party Vasiliy Parkhomenko directed to admiral Pilipenko a congratulation card to his 70th anniversary, in which he praised the firm public position of the admiral, and, at the same time, his mouthpiece published insulting materials about the admiral. During the trial the sides expressed opposite opinions about the role of OUN-UPA in the Ukrainian history (OUN the organization of Ukrainian nationalists, UPA is Ukrainian Rebel Army. – Translator’s note). Now we are looking forward to the decision of the cassation instance.

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