war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.


Are violations involving disclosure of state secrets really so frequent?

A document under the title “On some results of the work of the Security Service of Ukraine during the first half-year of 2005”, which can be found at , reads: “One person was sentenced for high treason, criminal cases were instituted against three persons”. 56 cases were disclosed of involving of citizens of Ukraine into the cooperation with foreign special services and law-enforcing organs in the course of counterespionage work in the Armed Forces; 32 terrorist acts and emergency situations were prevented on the objects situated in the zone of responsibility of Ukrainian peacemaking contingents in other countries”.

Well, I do not believe in these 56 cases, since, if there would be something serious, criminal cases would be started and brought to court.

As to the state secrets: “The USS also executes the functions of a body of state power in the sphere of protection of state secrets. Since the beginning of the year the Service disclosed and prevented 665 violations of laws, court verdicts were issued regarding 960 persons. The access to state secrets was terminated for more than 100 persons. The number of posts with the access to state secrets was decreased for 25 thousand, which allowed to diminish the expenditures for secret activities for the total sum more than 30 million hryvnas”.

On the one hand, it seems that state secrets never were divulged so intensively. On the other hand, the number of people with the access to state secrets has been decreased, which is, undoubtedly, a positive change.

The following numbers also attract the attention.

“Since the beginning of the year, in the sphere of protection of state economics the state obtained more than 596 million hryvnas of profit in the form of confiscated property and valuables and in the form of fines; currency and material values for the sum 86.4 million hryvnas were returned from abroad.”

Let us compare these data with similar ones on 2004.

On state secrets. “Criminal activities were stopped of 6 Ukrainian citizens, who tried to pass to representatives of foreign states the data related to state secrets and confidential information owned by the state. The criminal cases have been instituted against these persons in compliance with Article 111 (“high treason”) and Article 330 (“passing or collection of information related to state secrets and confidential information owned by the state”) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine are now considered by courts.

Realization of illegal intentions of 10 citizens of Ukraine connected with passing abroad of the information related to state secrets was prevented. 45 Ukrainian citizens and 3 foreigners involved in cooperation by special services and law-enforcing organs of foreign states obtained, in accordance with Article 8 of the Law of Ukraine “On counterespionage activities”, the official warning from the Ukrainian Security Service about inadmissibility  of the illegal actions.”

There the information is more concrete. Yet, where these 6 criminal cases have disappeared? Maybe they are still considered by courts?

On returning of funds. “As a result of law-applying activities of the Department of counterespionage protection of state economics, the Security Service of Ukraine returned to the state budget abut 115 million hryvnas, material values for the sum greater than 300 million hryvnas were returned to the ownership of the state, currency and material values for the total sum about 110 million hryvnas, which were located abroad illegally, were returned to Ukraine.”

Well, it is a strange fact: 960 persons were sentenced during 6 months for violation of laws on state secrets. Very strange…

Most probably, the mentioned court decisions concerned the administrative offences after Article 212-2 “On state secrets” of the Administrative Code of Ukraine, but why this number is so large?



13 thousand were given in Sumy for victor of Yanukovich


The prosecutor’s office of the Trostianets district of the Sumy region has completed the investigation of the criminal case against the head of the joint-stock company “Spartak”, who is accused of brutal violation of election laws.

“Interfax-Ukraine”, referring to the press secretary of Sumy regional prosecutor Oleksiy Derevyanko, communicates that the head of the company is accused of bribe-taking, committed repeatedly, and impediment to realization of the election right.

These articles envisage the punishment from 2 to 5 years of incarceration. The criminal case with the accusation materials has been directed to the Trostianets district court.

We have got the information that before the first tour of the election of the President of Ukraine the head of the company obtained a package with money from some person near the building of the regional state administration; he had to give this money as remuneration to representatives of district election stations for the successful conduction of the election in favor of Yanukovich.

“He paid the illegal remuneration to seventeen heads of district election commissions for the total sum of 13.1 thousand hryvnas”, is pointed out in the message.

Besides, according to the words of the press secretary, before the first tour the head of the company gave bribe to the heads of nine district stations for the total sum of more than 5 thousand hryvnas, and before the conduction of the run-off election he gave to the head of a democratic of the district state administration two off-list tickets without the names of voters for voting in favor of Viktor Yanukovich.



How Yushchenko’s words were interpreted in Artemovsk

After the conflict of the President with a journalist many mass media predicted that this would be a bad example for the authorities. And it happened just so.

The authorities of Artemovsk interpreted this situation as a command “attack”. Lidiya Shepeleva, a journalist with the 15-year experience, the editor and presenter of local radio programs, became the first victim. The town administration disliked the journalist since the election, when she dared to give the floor (without consent of ‘the authorities) to representatives of all political forces of Artemovsk, to activists and to all people indignant at the actions of Yanukovich’s team.

The “watchdogs” of the Artemovsk mayor waited for the moment for a long time, and on 2 August they broke loose. When Lidiya Shepeleva came to her workplace, she was surprised both by the number of people waiting for her near the door of the office, where the programs were made, and the serious equipment of this group.

The group included two district policemen, the manager of communal TV and radio company and a team of cameramen. First of all they demanded from Shepeleva to give them the keys of the office. She refused. Then the manager tried to take the keys away by force. The policemen silently observed this obvious hooliganism. The end was trivial: Shepeleva bit one of the attackers and ran away. Naturally, the conflict is not exhausted yet. The authorities will do their best to realize their threats concerning the removal of the disobedient journalist from her work. Yet, would this be a benefit for the Artemovsk dwellers, the people, whose taxes feed both the authorities and the administration of the TV and radio company? No benefit, only damage. We will not listen every morning to the voice of Lidiya Shepeleva, who, with her selfless enthusiasm, managed to preserve the wire radio in Artemovsk, who during 15 years served faithfully to common people.

However, is there new power in the region and in Kyiv? Who will punish the Artemovsk mayor for persecution of journalists (the story with Shepeleva is not the only example)? Who will ask the police head, on which grounds he sent the policemen for participation in the “storm of the office”?

Freedom of expression

The authorities of the Zakarpatska region try to take over the control of the only all-Ukrainian Hungarian-language newspaper “Karpati igaz so”

The only all-Ukrainian Hungarian-language newspaper “Karpati igaz so”, which has celebrated its 85th anniversary this year, has now more than 10000 subscribers, more than other newspapers in the region. However, after the revolutionary events in Ukraine and in the Zakarpatska region, new authorities, in particular new head of the regional state administration Viktor Baloga, decided to take over the control of the independent Hungarian-language press, which dared to elucidate the events in the light negative for state officials. So, since February 2005 Oleg Gavashi, the first deputy of the head of the regional state administration, more than once “asked” editor-in-chief of the newspaper Elemir Kevsegi to dismiss on his own wish. Yet, when the newspaper collective expressed the unanimous support to its editor-in-chief, the regional authorities began the open attack. In order to settle this conflict, workers of the newspaper repeatedly turned with the open letters to governor Viktor Baloga, but, unfortunately, contrary to the Law of Ukraine “On citizens’ appeals”, he did not react to these letters.

Meanwhile, on 22 April 2005 the regional authorities, using their rights of “founders”, dismissed Elemir Kevsegi (head of the Union of Hungarian journalists of the Zakarpatska region) from the post of editor-in-chief of the newspaper, while he was on an official leave. After this head of the regional administration Oleg Gavashi officially assured the workers of the newspaper that the opinion of the collective would be taken into account at appointment of new editor-in-chief. Yet, in spite of the repeated official and public declarations about such intention, on 29 July 2005 new editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Karpati igaz so” Gabor Erdei was appointed without any agreement with the collective. In 1994-2003 Mr. Erdei industriously served to Kuchma’s regime as the editor-in-chief and is not acknowledged by the collective (30 persons). In the connection with the situation around the editor-in-chief, the work of the newspaper is blocked now, and the regional administration, together with deputy of the regional council Brenzovich, prohibits publication of the newspaper already for two weeks.

Unfortunately, on the regional level our capabilities are already exhausted, since the newspaper stays not only in the functional blockade, but also in informational isolation. So, during the visit of vice-Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Tomenko to the Zakarpatska region, after the press conference (where the press service of the regional state administration even did not invite our newspaper and did not give to our correspondents the opportunity to put their questions), we managed to describe briefly the essence of the conflict to Mr. Tomenko, who, by the way, did not react.

The collective considers this incident as a doubtless provocation of ethnic-national character, which can essentially influence the interethnic relations and stability in the region. That is why we are turning to the Ukrainian journalistic community with the appeal to help us in protection of our professional rights.

Collective of the editorial board of the Hungarian-language newspaper “Karpati igaz so”

9 August 2005

Access to information

Striving for information

The newspaper “Litsa” told the detailed story about its striving for information on the checks of legality of use of land areas located in the Dnepropetrovsk region.

The Main department of land resources of the Dnepropetrovsk regional state administration announced in mass media about the conduction of such checks. In particular, the newspaper “Litsa” published this information on 13 July. And a month later, on 16 August, the newspaper turned into the above-mentioned directorate with the request about the information on the results of the checks; first of all, the newspaper was interested in the facts of violations of laws. A representative of the press service of the Main department of land resources promised to prepare all needed reports and to render them next day, on 17 August. However, the correspondent, who came for the documents, got the advice to send the informational request addressed to department head Igor Uzhvak. The editorial board does not believe in this idea, because they already have the experience of relations with the officials of such level by means of informational requests. On 23 June 2005 editor-in-chief of “Litsa” E. Garagutsa directed a request to the department of capital building of the regional state administration in connection with the construction of Dnepropetrovsk subway. A week later she obtained the response from O. Rudvolga, a deputy head of the department, who recommended to turn for the answers to all questions to the direct customer of the building and reconstruction of subway – the regional state administration. On 13 July the editor-in-chief sent the second request about the subway, attaching to it the copy of the previous request and the obtained formal reply; that time the request was directed to V. Mandrievskiy, the head of the regional department of informational politics and relations with mass media. The newspaper waits for answer until now.

As to the department of land resources, it is rumored, as the newspaper writes, that the enormous number of violations has been disclosed in the course of the checks, but the department has not decided yet, which materials would be passed to the prosecutor’s office, and which cases would be hushed up.

Newspaper “Litsa”, 24 August 2005

Prohibition of discrimination

World War II veterans may lose their hospitals

The events that happen around the all-Ukrainian medical-social Center, situated in the village of Tsybli of the Kyiv region, can result in its liquidation.

In accordance with Edict of the President of Ukraine No. 357/96 issued in 1996, the Center got the status of a National establishment and is patronized by the President of Ukraine.

There is a memorial plate near the entrance with the engraving: “Ukrainian State medical-social Center of War Veterans”.

We have learned from mass media, in particular from the article “Leave alone veterans’ hospitals” published in the newspaper “Veteran Ukrainy” (No. 12, June 2005), that, in connection with transformation of the hospital to a usual patronage establishment for aged single people, dismantling of medical equipment will be carried out, as well as reconstruction of rooms, change of personnel and dismissal of head physician Yu. Grinenko, who heads this center during 25 years out of 30 years of its existence.

Disturbing situation has also formed in Odessa. During several past years state agencies has old the land around the Odessa hospital for the WW2 invalids. The hospital is located on the 15th Station of Bolshoy Fontan, near the sea beach “Zolotoy bereg”, and now private many-storied cottages are built there around the clock.

The hospital exists for 16 years, its capacity is 1000 persons per year. The hospital recovers health of veterans and invalids of the WW2 – about 26% of inhabitants of the Odessa region. Honored doctor of Ukraine Z. Kulibaba heads the hospital from the very moment of its foundation in 1991, candidate of medical sciences V. Zozulia occupies the post of the head of medical department. Staff of the hospital consists of highly skilled doctors and medical personnel.

In spite of the fact that the medical equipment and furniture has not been renewed during all these years, all patients are provided with necessary medicines free of charge. Although there is no hot water in many districts of Odessa, hospital has it permanently. The nourishment is satisfactory taking into account the current prices. The care of patients is good, first of all thanks to attentive and sympathetic personnel.

The actions of the Ministry of health protection, in our opinion, is just another attack against the rights of war veterans, brutal violation of Articles 22 and 49 of the Constitution of Ukraine, as well as the existing laws of Ukraine concerning medical services.

At the instance of veterans and 1st group invalids of the WW2,
Member of the international organization of human rights – Ukrainian section
1st group invalid of the WW2 V. Pluzhnik

The mental health of Ukrainians is worsening

During the past ten years the state of mental health of Ukrainian citizens has noticeably deteriorated – this negative trend has been reported by Ukrainian psychiatrists.

In particular, according to words of Roman Nikiforuk, the head doctor of Kyiv psychiatric hospital No. 1, “before 2000 one could observe the apparent increase of suicidal attempts, especially in the army, and only in past 5 years this tendency has started to decrease a little”.

Roman Nikiforuk connects this fact with the reduction of armed forces and the decrease of military service term.

Besides, according to the statistical data, suicide rate among the workers of law-enforcing organs has grown from 13 persons for 100000 of population in 1990 to 21. The invalidity in connection with psychical diseases has also increased from 500 to 522 for 100000 of population.

By words of Roman Nikiforuk, Ukrainian psychiatrists are especially anxious about the increment of number of alcoholics and drug addicts among Ukrainians. “During past 10 years, only by the official data, the number of drug addicts has become 3.3 times greater. Yet, unofficial number is ten times more”, says the doctor.

He also points out that the number of alcoholics has increased twice in comparison with 1995. The main features of such increase are, in his opinion, the mortality from cirrhosis, number of suicides, road accidents and crimes committed in the state of alcoholic intoxication. This situation is caused by the low living standard, unemployment and propaganda of alcohol, in particular, by advertising. The cases of suicide in the state of alcoholic intoxication are most frequently fixed in big industrial cities and in countryside.

By the data of psychiatrists, the rate of mental deficiency among children is also growing. In particular, the proportion of children registered as psychiatric patients has increased for 30%. Among adults the number of people, who are on the verge of nervous breakdown, has risen very much.

Ukrainska Pravda

11 August 2005

Court practices

The Military prosecutor’s office of the Kharkiv garrison has begun a campaign against “dedovshchina”

According to the information given by senior lieutenant of justice S. Trubchaninov, a deputy of the military prosecutor of the Kharkiv garrison, during 2005 the officers of military prosecutor’s office of the Kharkiv garrison regularly took the preventive measures against the illegal relations between servicemen (the so-called “dedovshchina”). The speeches were delivered to servicemen, as well as individual talks. As a result, no facts of dedovshchina were registered during the first six months of the current year.

Yet, in spite of the work carried out in this sphere, in July 2005 a deplorable incident happened in a higher military school.

On 8 July 2005, about 2 p.m., junior sergeant A. Kovalenko applied physical force to his subordinate private S. Bilousov: he twice hit with his fist the soldier’s head thus injuring to the latter the severe physical pain.

A. Kovalenko continued his criminal deeds, when on 11 July 2005, about 7 p.m., staying in the common room in the barrack, he hit private Bilousov with the right fist in back and head, inflicting slight bodily injuries.

Besides, on 8 July 2005, about 10 p.m., in the same room, sergeant Kovalenko beat private P. Ivanchenko.

On 10 July 2005, about 4 p.m., in the common washroom, Kovalenko delivered a strong blow in the chest to private O. Levosiuk, and 11 July again beat the soldier injuring the severe physical pain to him.

After consideration of the criminal case the military local court of the Kharkiv garrison sentenced junior sergeant A. Kovalenko to incarceration in the guardhouse for the term of 4 months.

“Prava ludyny” commentary. Our edition believes that it is its duty to cooperate with the military prosecutor’s office of the Kharkiv garrison for the purpose of protection of servicemen from dedovshchina. The bulletin “Prava ludyny” permanently cooperates with the representatives of the Kharkiv oblast union of soldiers’ mothers, which carry out, for several years, the monitoring of violations of the rights of servicemen. We also published the book “Monitoring of violations of the rights of servicemen” on the results of this monitoring.

Yet, the Kharkiv oblast union of soldiers’ mothers is a non-governmental organization. It can only attract the attention to the painful problems of our army. The fact that the military prosecutor’s office has started, judging from the letter to our bulletin, the systematic struggle against dedovshchina is a feature of our time. We have written more than once that dedovshchina is a terrible social disease, inherited by our army from the Soviet time.

The illegal relations very frequently result in invalidity or death of servicemen, breakdown of psychics of boys, who, after their return to the society, continue the chain reaction of violence.

The impunity of these monstrous relations in the army gave no opportunity to change the situation for the better.

Today we see that the will and wish have appeared to relieve the army from the shameful display of violence. We hope that this work would be systematic and efficient. We, for out part, promise to publish all materials rendered to us by the military prosecutor’s office. Besides, we are turning to our colleagues from mass media, but not special juridical editions like our bulletin, with the appeal to elucidate this topic in their publications. We want to emphasize once more: the entire society is interested in the struggle with violence in the Ukrainian army.

Inna Sukhorukova


Open letter from human rights organizations of CIS countries to OSCE and governments of participating countries

Voted for in Moscow, August 1, 2005 at the International round-table meeting "30th anniversary of Helsinki Agreements: results and prospects"

Today, at the 30th anniversary of signing of Helsinki Agreements we, representatives of human rights organizations of Russia and other CIS countries would like to draw attention of OSCE and governments of participating countries to necessity to strengthen the organization’s role in the area of human rights protection.

In 30 years OSCE has become an acknowledged leader in peacekeeping and promotion of democratic values and freedoms. It is particularly important that the organization’s success was based on the implementation of key principle which has priority today: "protection of human rights regardless of state borders".

However, we cannot be content with what has been achieved so far. The efforts made still have not resulted in creation of truly efficient mechanisms of human rights protection. Today, the level of human rights abuse is still intolerably high. We are disappointed to see that CIS countries where we work are among the ones where the situation with human rights is the least satisfactory. Typical for these countries are such flagrant violations of human rights as:

§  tortures and cruel treatment, large-scale physical violence;

§  extrajudicial executions and kidnappings, arrests without warrants;

§  discrimination on political grounds;

§  lack of court independence;

§  restriction of freedom of speech and freedom of conscience;

§  restriction of freedom of press and freedom of association;

§  unreasonable restrictions the state applies to property rights.

Unfortunately, the governments of our countries still have not made human rights a priority in their internal policy. They often perceive activities of OSCE and other international institutions in monitoring of human rights as interference with their internal affairs.

It is notable that Russian delegation in its speech at the Council of Foreign Ministers of OSCE on December 7, 2004 did not even mention human rights as an OSCE priority.

Thereby we believe that decisive actions must be taken to protect main provisions of humanitarian articles of Helsinki Agreements and such actions should be based on political will of governments of participating countries and their citizens’ will.

We declare our absolute commitment to the most important principle of modern international relations, according to which "observance of human rights is not internal affair of a state”.

We support CIS countries’ endeavor to increase the role of OSCE in political, military and economic cooperation.

In future, OSCE can play an important role in resolving other modern problems, such as drug trafficking, HIV-AIDS spreading, human trafficking, etc.

However, all this should not lead to decrease of activity in traditional for OSCE humanitarian areas. On the contrary, we believe that further development of dialogue and cooperation in the human rights protection area is the most important issue that requires significant activization.

OSCE and human right organizations of participating countries should analyze critically the tendencies appeared in connection with fight against terrorism and threatening to limit human rights and liberties. And here OSCE should pay particular attention not only to CIS countries, but also to other OSCE members.

Therefore, OSCE should significantly broaden its monitoring activities.

We believe that the following OSCE mandates in the area of humanitarian cooperation should be included (broadened) in the process of OSCE reform:

1. Creation of mechanism of rapid reaction to large-scale human rights violations in the participating countries (sending inspecting teams in 24 hours after notification and confirmation of violation):

2. Development of mechanisms of cooperation with appropriate structures of UN and Council of Europe in order to exchange information concerning observance of human rights and civil liberties;

3. Permanent presence of OSCE missions in the worst problem areas, first of all Turkmenia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Chechen Republic of Russia;

4. Measures aimed at promoting ombudsman institution in the participating countries, as well as supporting ombudsmen cooperation with OSCE agencies and non-governmental human rights organizations.

We believe that without active involvement of NGOs and citizens, neither OSCE nor governments of participating countries will be successful in fulfillment of the commitments undertaken. For our part, we will also make efforts to develop cooperation in this area.

We consider open discussion of the principles of OSCE reform to be an important factor and insist that NGOs representatives should be invited to participate in the process of drawing up suggestions. We entrust Moscow Helsinki Group with formation of working group for development of suggestions on behalf of NGOs.

Stable international security can only be achieved in the environment of respect toward judicial and democratic values.

The letter is open for signing until August 15, 2005.

Liudmila Alekseyeva, Moscow Helsinki Group

Lev Ponomarev, All-Russia public movement «For Human Rights»


Work of the program “Hippocrates” in the Rivne region

In connection with active discussion of patients’ rights in the recent numbers of the bulletin “Prava ludyny”, we want to propose to our readers the brief information about the work of the program “Hippocrates” in the Rivne region. We also want to tell about our successes and failures and to present our propositions aimed at development of human rights protection movement in the Rivne region. Besides, we are inviting for cooperation and exchange of experience the organizations, which work for prevention of violations of the rights of patients and medical staff.

In March 2005 the Rivne regional department of the International charity foundation named after Saint Ksenia Peterburgska elaborated and realized the program ““Hippocrates” – school of rights and duties of patients and medical staff”.

The program was realized by efforts of the initiative group, without any help on the side of state and other organizations and agencies. Now many specialists are taking part in the program: experienced lawyers, medics and psychologists, as well as volunteers.

We are sure that the program “Hippocrates” will become a pilot project, which has started in the Rivne region and will extend over the whole country.

The main goals of the program ““Hippocrates” – school of rights and duties of patients and medical staff” are:

-  increase of activity of civil society;

-  change of attitude of people to their rights and duties, creation of the idea of personal responsibility for one’s health, responsibility of parents for health of their children, responsibility of bosses for health of their subordinates and responsibility of the state for health of the entire nation.

-  explanation to citizens of their rights and teaching them to protect these rights in state medical establishments, to demand from administration of medical establishments distinct determination of medical services, which must be rendered free of charge in state medical establishments according to the Constitution of Ukraine (taking into account the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine), and substantiation of paid services in state medical establishments with the detailed calculation of prices for these medical services;

-  change of the attitude of population and medics to the idea that the source of filling of doctor’s purse is not the almost empty purses of patients, but adequate remuneration, at the expense of the state, of the work of people, who are responsible for the greatest value – health of citizens;

-  promotion of activities of the movement of medical staff for defense of honor and dignity, social protection and respect to the people in the white smocks, who came into medicine by the dictate of their heart and live now in poverty;

-  rendering, in public reception office of the program “Hippocrates”, consultations on the instances, where one should turn for solution of certain problems, with the obligatory control of the process of consideration and taking decisions on the handed propositions, applications or complaints.

By now “Hippocrates” has given a great number of free oral and written consultations to medics and their patients; a number of letters (applications, complaints, informational requests) were prepared and sent to the organs of state power, prosecutor’s offices and state medical establishments.

Among the questions, which were brought up by “Hippocrates” in its appeals and letters, there were: violations of labor laws, ungrounded creation of temporary staffs of medics, violation of the conditions of coercive treatment of patients in psychiatric hospitals, awful conditions in some medical establishments, cases of persecution of medics that did not agree with the misuses of administration of the establishments, work of hospital cash desks, guaranteeing of citizens’ right for obtaining of free urgent medical aid, etc. Besides, a lawyer of “Hippocrates” took part in defense in court of the rights of a doctor, who was a subject of disciplinary punishment because of his active civil position and disagreement with the actions of hospital administration.

When “Hippocrates” sent a request on availability, list and grounds of paid services in the state medical establishments, ALL medical establishments answered: “… we do not render paid services…”

The only exceptions are the sanitary-epidemiological stations, which render the paid services on the basis of the tariffs approved by the Cabinet of Ministers, and the anonymous departments of dermatovenerologic dispensaries.

So, a logical question appears: why patients are forced to pay their money at every step in a hospital? If it is a charity contribution, then why its amount is fixed? The legislation clearly reads: charity is voluntary and does not imply obtaining of any services or compensation for the paid sum, the amount of charity contributions cannot be regulated. Why different hospitals demand different sums for the same type of examination? How these “charity contributions” are registered and spent?

The demands of the operating laws, which oblige state officials to respond to the appeals of citizens and organizations, are frequently violated too. “Hippocrates” has not received any answers from several medical establishments until now, although all terms have already expired. Now we are preparing the appeal to the organs of prosecution with the description of these violations and demand to bring the guilty to responsibility.

There are many interesting stories about the doctors, who work in medicine by their vocation and refuse to fulfill obviously criminal orders of administration concerning the coercive payment of “charity contributions” by patients. Such doctors are called “rara avis”, they are victimized, because, allegedly, they are guilty of absence of most necessary drugs and equipment in hospitals.

Well, is it a duty of medics to procure money for the needs of hospitals? Why the situation is common, when, by the oral order of head physician or administration of the hospital, medics realize current, and sometimes even capital, repair of hospital rooms at their own expense? I do not believe that medics, with their misery salary, can afford to have one more item of expenditures, such as “repair of workplace and hospital building”.

Minister of health protection M. Polishchuk states that it is normal, when a patient gratifies his doctor, but we believe that the best gratitude for a medic, who helps and treats, but not only earns money, must be good health of his patients and adequate payment of his work by the state. Why a doctor must count patient’s money in order to assess his ability to pay for “free” medical aid?

We also may not ignore the problem, which is not regulated either on legislative level or on the level of branch norms. Accurate differentiation is absent in Ukraine of the concepts “medical aid”, “medical service”, “obligatory medical examination” and “additional medical examination”. It is also incomprehensible what is included into the sphere of urgent aid.

Absence of such differentiation and legal definitions was pointed out by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in its decisions No. 15-рп/98 of 25 November 1998 and No. 10-рп/2002 of 29 May 2002. Yet, in spite of obligation of these decisions, no competent organ (the Supreme Council of Ukraine, Cabinet of Ministers, State committee of statistics, State committee of standards, etc.) regulated this question in proper way.

Medics of the Rivne region introduced their own interpretation of the term “medical service”: application of phonendoscope or sensor of the ultrasound apparatus, insertion of probe, incision of skin during surgery operation, stirring of blood in test-tube and so on. So, there is a service, and it is rendered “free of charge”, but one must pay for all components of this procedure, or, what is even more frequent, the components must be provided by the patient. At the same time, the medics do not give any grounds of quantity of materials and drugs, which must be brought for examination (operation, delivery), their practical necessity and expediency of such quantity. We know a vivid example, when it was proposed to a patient to bring 60 (sixty!) meters of gauze for insignificant operation.

However, “Hippocrates” SUPPORTS the existence of insurance medicine, hospital cash desks, paid medicine and, especially, private medical establishments (where it is clear to whom and for what you pay), but with plain and transparent system of tariffs and well-grounded calculation of cost of services.

We do not understand the position of the state, which, on the one hand, creates the extremely thorny path to legal private medical practice (complications with registration and obtaining of licenses, noticeable taxes, large quantity of inspecting and controlling organs, etc.), ignoring the untaxed incomes of medical staff from the pockets of patients and their relatives, and, on the other hand, regularly says about budget deficit and absence of funds for proper financing of state medical branch.

“Hippocrates” supports the establishment of the distinct amount of aid and examinations, which should be guaranteed to every citizen, especially in critical situations, and rendering of all additional services or examinations by patient’s wish and for separate pay.

Unfortunately, today the number of questions essentially exceeds the number of answers. And the problem is not in the honest medics, who try to survive for scanty salaries, which are even lower than the cost of living. The problem is in consciousness of all citizens, in attitude to this question of everybody, independently of his role in this situation.

“Hippocrates” turns to everybody, who is not indifferent and wants to change the existing state in medicine, with the appeal: “Let us change our attitude to medicine and provide with adequate salaries the people in white smocks!” Then nobody would demand to pay for medical services under the pretext of low salaries and absence of proper financing.

“Hippocrates” plans to realize the following tasks:

-  informing of wide circles of citizens about their patients’ rights;

-  explanation of everybody’s duty to care about own health, to fulfill thoroughly the instructions of doctors;

-  persuasion of medics that it is necessary to demand from the state proper financing and adequate salaries on the European level, instead of obtaining the minimal wages, balancing on the verge of criminally punishable actions (bribe-taking, untaxed income, not-rendering of medical aid because of insolvency of patient, etc.) and looking for alternative between the welfare of their families and fulfillment of professional duty in accordance with laws.

We will be happy to receive letters from the like-minded persons and those, who want to change our medicine. We also are grateful in advance to those, who do not agree with us and have other opinion, since the constructive (objective and well-founded) criticism will help us and will promote better and more optimal solution of the existing problems.

We will consider the propositions on cooperation and united overcoming of difficulties in medicine, we are ready to join the existing projects aimed at solution of similar problems.

“Hippocrates”, in its turn, will readily share its ideas concerning the necessary changes and ways of meeting the crisis in the medical sphere of Ukraine, as well as the planned projects and actions.

“Hippocrates” will appreciate and will be thankful for any financial or material aid directed to its address by associates or philanthropists for the fulfillment of out tasks, since the program, started in the Rivne region, is aimed at rendering of free medical aid to the poor layers of population.

Civic society

Some problems of legal protection of citizens in Ukraine

It was written much about the absence of efficient protection of rights and interests of citizens in Ukraine. However, in spite of general declarations, intentions and promises to improve the situation, no concrete measures were taken: the operating laws were not changed, and new laws were not created. The vivid example of numerous violations of rights of citizens is the growing quantity of the complaints handed to the organs of state power and courts. The President even has had to create an additional bureaucratic organ – the system of President’s public reception offices, which have no juridical status and cannot influence any processes, diminishing, at the same time, the authority of local power. The officials should understand: if administration cannot settle a problem, then public reception offices cannot do that too, and workers of these offices will only direct citizens’ complaints to certain departments, establishments or organizations, from where the complainers will receive only formal answers. So, a round sum will be wasted for rent, salaries, equipment and stationery. The reception offices do not solve any problems except the political aspect (closeness to the people). So, some time later the need will arise to liquidate these offices, and the population will be disappointed, for the umpteenth time, with the methods of work of President’s administration. We want to point out that such organs do not exist and cannot exist in other civilized countries with the high level of executive discipline and responsibility. There the system of legal protection of individual has been created and works efficiently. Organization of the reception offices has confirmed again that the new power has no strategic and tactical approaches to the solution of legal problems.

One of efficient tools for protection of citizens’ rights, as it is done in democratic countries, can be the advocates’ association, although it cannot be regarded as a united integral organization. The advocates’ association was separated by various factors, but not only by the forms of activities: juridical consultations, private offices, bureaus, firms, etc. Some advocates successfully work in the corporative right, they attend to enterprises and firms, in particular, they deal with foreign investments. They are not directly connected with the protection of rights and interests of citizens and almost do not take part in consideration of criminal, civil and administrative cases; so, they cannot know the particulars of all existing problems. Yet, just these lawyers are most powerful, have the connections with top authorities and can influence them. They actively appear in the press and on TV, thus creating the image of advocates’ community as a whole. They work in the greatest industrial towns and in the capital. We want to remark without any envy that this category is the most high-paid. These advocates also serve the richest citizens of Ukraine, including top state officials.

Other lawyers are teachers in higher schools, workers of militia, prosecutor’s office s, the USS and other state agencies. They also actively cooperate, as a rule through public organizations, with power organs and international organizations; they also form the opinion about the activities of advocates. The lawyers-state employees do not practice advocate’s activities, although they have the corresponding documents. They assess the problems of advocates’ community from the viewpoint of international right, considering them, as a rule, only after formal features.

The most numerous group is the advocates, who realize the everyday reception of citizens, give the consultations, compile the appeals, complaints and petitions, take part in court consideration of cases. This publication concerns them, because this very category daily practices the human rights protection activities, bears the enormous moral, psychological, physical and intellectual burden, directly solving the problems of citizens. At any weather and time they stay in queues to investigatory isolation wards and temporary detention centers, they persuade the officers of militia, prosecutor’s office and the USS that Article 59 of the Constitution, which renders to everybody the right for legal aid, must be observed in these establishments. People tell them about violations of rights and misuses of power, and every lawyer has to be occupied with the problems of his client. Advocates are waiting for months, sometimes without any hope, for receiving from the organs of state power, enterprise, organizations and banks of a reference or a document copy, for creation of which only several minutes are needed. Yet, legislation does not envisage the responsibility for not-giving of answer or for a formal response.

It would be an overestimate to say that all advocates conscientiously and professionally fulfill their duty. Unfortunately, there are many examples that evidence about the reverse. Some advocates, who have noticeable work experience, are sure: the level of professional skill, responsibility and culture of advocates of 1970s-80s was much higher. Their intellectual level and their behavior were a model for following. The advocates were united with high spiritual level, feeling of responsibility and mutual support. Scores of lawyers, journalists, students and representatives of intelligentsia attended the appearances of the best advocates in court. The speeches in court were examples of oratorical mastery.

It is a pity, but the majority of Ukrainian population is poor. So the advocates of the considered category cannot figure on high remuneration of their work (this concept is, of course, relative, but, in opinion of the author, it is something about 5000 hryvnas). The difference in salaries is vividly demonstrated by the offices of juridical firms, which work in the sphere of corporative right, and the dilapidated juridical consultations or offices of advocates in Kyiv and regional centers, to say nothing about the offices of private notaries even in district centers. Many advocates cannot afford the rent for office and receive clients at home, in cafes and in other improper places. Other proof of poverty of advocates is the absence of representatives of this profession in many district centers (in the Soviet time at least two advocates were working there) and transfer to the posts of judges or other state service. Despite the fact that top state officials declare now and then about the intention to make the legal aid available, taxes and other payments still remain a heavy burden for the professional human rights protectors. So, an advocate must pay rent and communal services from the obtained remuneration. 32.3% are paid to the Pension fund (other citizens, including the President and Prime Minister pay 1%) and 13% are the income tax. So, the lawyer obtains less than 50% of his honorarium!

Taking into account the mentioned circumstances and permanent growth of prices in the state, it is obvious that the price of services will be high. Naturally, it varies depending on the amount of work and region, but the qualified, professional aid should be paid for. This is the elementary respect to intellectual work. Now the work of, for instance, locksmith, technician or driver is paid much better. One more demonstrative proof of improper evaluation by the state of lawyers’ work is the size of remuneration for participation in criminal cases by appointment. So, it is not strange that advocates do not want to work in such cases, and even if they are taking part, they are present only during consideration of the case. Thus, the state only creates the appearance that it pays, and the advocates make a show that they work… We want to point out: lawyers have interpreted very painfully and critically the statement of Minister of Justice R. Zvarych that they would be obliged to render legal aid free of charge. First of all, advocates’ association is a public self-governing union and it is an unrealizable task to dictate some conditions of work to this category of citizens. Secondly, references to the examples of other countries are not only incorrect, but also evidence about the ignorance or disdain for real circumstances. Remuneration of advocate’s services in a district center or even in Kyiv noticeably differs from payment in other countries (the size of honorariums in the USA is shocking and seems to be unreal). We want to emphasize once more: only high payment of lawyer’s work can create the preconditions for the support and growth of his professionalism.

We also want to mention other aspects, which are founded on poverty of advocates. Of course, some of them have insufficient theoretical and professional skills. This is illustrated by the run of special juridical editions. If every lawyer subscribed to the newspapers “Yuridichny Visnyk Ukrainy” (“The Juridical Herald of Ukraine”) and “Yuridichna Praktika” (“The Juridical Practice”), as well as the magazine “Advocate” and other special magazines of the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Supreme economic court, etc., then the run of these editions would substantially increase. By the way, I believe that a lawyer cannot be called a real professional without reading such editions.

The majority of advocates (I think that abut 95%) cannot pay for educational seminars and so do not visit them. So, about what rising of qualification one can say? While judges, prosecution and police officers regularly raise their qualification, exchange experience and obtain special literature, the system of training of advocates practically does not exist. There we should mention the positive example of Olga Zhukovska, the vice-president of advocates’ association, who organized the training in questions of application of the European Convention, and administration of the “Program of legal protection and education of mass media”, which conducted a number of seminars on the problems of Ukrainian legislation regulating the activities of mass media.

There is one more factor of negative influence of the state. In accordance with Article 17 of the Rules of advocates’ ethics, the agreement about rendering of legal aid should determine the size of honorarium, as well as the order of its calculation (fixed sum or hourly pay) and payment (advancing, payment by results, etc.). Taking into consideration the fact that the clients have not sufficient means for advancing the full payment for advocate’s services and that the positive result cannot be guaranteed, just the “payment by results” must be used first of all.

Obtaining the advance an advocate would be interested in the most complete satisfaction of his client, because his honorarium would depend on the final result. Yet, this form of payment almost is not applied. The experience evidences that clients not always can pay the full sum in proper time, so the advocates have to turn to court. Along with the enormous moral burden, a lawyer must pay the legal expenses. At the same time, Article 3 of the Constitution “Human rights and freedoms and their guarantees” determines the contents and direction of activities of the state, Article 21 of the Basic Law reads that all citizens are equal in their rights, Article 24 of the Constitution guarantees the equal rights and freedoms and Article 43 envisages the protection by law of the right for timely remuneration of work. However, the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers “On state due” does not envisage privileges for advocates (which are given to other categories of citizens by item 1 of Article 4 of the Decree). Moreover, even if the due is paid and the written agreement is concluded, there are no guarantees of satisfaction of the claim, which is confirmed by the cases, where courts have decreased the amount of remuneration in several times. Thousands of letters to the Cabinet of Ministers (now and in previous years) with the propositions to introduce, as soon as possible, changes into the mentioned Decree and to cancel payment of due in the cases on demanding of honorariums (this concerns not only advocates, but also journalists, writers, etc.), are not considered. The position of government is not changing: it ignores the problem, thus losing the authority and budget earnings, since, in case of satisfaction of a claim, court would levy the expenses in favor of the state from the guilty side. Te above-listed conditions make the advocates to demand only the advancing of payments, which results in negative consequences.

The propositions are also not considered to introduce the single tax for lawyers, although, in the opinion of the author, it is not a panacea. For example, an advocate working in a district center, who must pay 600 hryvnas per three months, will go bankrupt soon. It seems that it should be more advisable to equalize lawyers with other citizens, who pay 1% to the Pension fund, and to oblige them to pay the income tax. The proposition to introduce the single tax at the rate 13-20% also seems reasonable.

Irresponsibility of law-enforcing organs and courts is a special problem. Let us consider several examples.

The officers of the Zinkivskiy district police station of the Poltava region detained citizen S. at his home in a village of the Sumy region. They transported him to the Zinkivskiy police station, placed him to the special detention center and compiled the resolution, which was sanctioned by the prosecutor, on the detention for 30 days for vagrancy. At that the policemen had S.’s military card; moreover, some officers of the district station knew him personally. The complaints directed to court, the Ministry of Interior and prosecutor’s office were ignored.

We know many examples, when investigation is carried out by not-procedural persons. These facts are ignored by the prosecutor’s office and court, as a result of which the demands of the Civil-Procedural Code and of Article 62 of the Constitution, which envisages proving of guilt in accordance with legal procedure, are violated. So, it was resolved in criminal case No. 1-27: the investigation actions were carried out by several persons without issuing of the resolution on proceeding of the case; the materials obtained by these people were acknowledged as proofs in the case; police officers were witnesses during the investigation actions; reconstruction of the place and circumstances of the crime was carried out “in the Poltava district of the Poltava region”, without mentioning not only of concrete address, but even of the settlement; the place of event was called in the protocol “house made of white brick” and another document described the same place as “a house of cream-red color”. Besides, it has appeared that at the place, which is pointed out as the place of the event, a house (of any color) is absent at all, and the land is allotted for building to quite another person (not a victim).

These and other essential violations of law are sufficient for cancellation of the verdict, but are ignored by the Supreme General Prosecutor’s office and the Supreme Court, where the cassation complaint and the appeals on revision of the verdict on the basis of exceptional legal proceedings have been sent. Circumstances of this case were the topic of a TV feature at an all-Ukrainian channel and of several critical publications in the press; attention of public was attracted to this story; an appeal to the European Court was handed. Yet, the law is ignored all the same.

We also cannot omit numerous violations of victims’ rights.  So, in early hours of the morning of 10 November 2003 (21 months ago) a road accident took place on the road Mirgorod-Khorol, as a result of which one person perished, and two others (including one child) became invalids. In spite of numerous complaints of the victims to the Police department of the Poltava region, the Ministry of Interior, regional prosecutor’s office and General Prosecutor’s office, accusation has not been preferred to anybody until now. The victims spent round sum for treatment, but they cannot demand the compensation of these expenditures, as well as the inflicted moral damage. Today we can state that prosecutor’s office not only does not guarantee the lawfulness of actions of police, but covers its passivity. The complaints to courts against the passivity of law-enforcing organs are considered for years. So, a lawyer is deprived of the efficient methods for protection of his client.

Under the mentioned conditions it is impossible to form the positive opinion of population about law-enforcing organs, courts and advocates, from whom people cannot obtain justice.

Let us turn the attention to other, not less important aspects of legal protection. So, along with lawyers, other citizens also render juridical services. Some of them have juridical education, but the majority has not. After familiarization with the text of the Civil Code they regard themselves as specialists in the sphere of law. Courts have no right to prohibit these persons to represent the interests of a side, since they have written or oral commission of the side. There are many examples of the professional attitude to a case among lawyers, but this number is very little among other persons. Frequently, compiling a complaint against a court decision or resolution, I think: it would be better, if the side represented its interests by itself…

On 25 June 2005 a Congress of advocates of Ukraine was conducted. However, the organs of state power factually ignored it and did not direct there their representatives. So, the problems of protection of rights of citizens, as well as the problems concerning the activities of advocates, were not heard. The work of the congress was suspended and the working group was created for final elaboration of the suggested projects.

I believe that just by establishing the contact with the working group the organs of state power would have a real opportunity to listen to concrete propositions concerning the improvement of legislation in the sphere of protection of citizens’ rights. Well, would the state use this opportunity?

4 August 2005

NGO activities

Russian communications operators will, from the beginning of 2006, have to provide the FSB with information on their clients

Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Fradkov has approved "Regulations of cooperation" between communication operators and authorized State bodies involved in investigative operations. “Rosbalt” received this information from the Department of official information.

In particular, in accordance with the document, the organs of the FSB (Federal Security Service) will receive, around the clock,  information on clients of communication operators.

According to these Regulations: “A communication operator must update on a timely basis the information on the databases on the clients of the operator and the communication services rendered by the operator. The mentioned information must be stored by the communication operator for 3 years and be rendered to the organs of federal security service or, in some cases, to the organs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs by means of twenty-four-hour remote access to the databases".

The document also specifies that “the databases must contain the following information on the clients of communication operator: surname, name and second name, place of residence and entries of the basic document identifying the person (for client-citizen) or name (name of the firm) of the legal entity, place of its location and the list of persons, who use the terminal equipment of the legal entity, attested by an authorized representative of the legal entity and containing their surnames, names, second names, places of residence and entries of the basic documents identifying the persons (for a legal entity client); the information on payments for the rendered communication services, on connections, traffic and payments of the clients”.

The Rules will come into force on 1 January 2006. The Ministry of informational technologies and communication of the Russian Federation must, by this date, present to the government the drafts of normative-legal acts on issues concerning the information on the clients of the networks of communication operators.

Reported plans afoot in Russia to widen control of the Internet

We have already reported on the Security Service’s plans for gaining control of the Russian segment of the Internet-space.  We have now received information suggesting that there are plans to impose such control over the entire CIS!   This can be seen in the creation, on the basis of the Russian program of the Internet-control “SORM-2”, of a center of electronic struggle with the “orange plague” and independent information sources in a number of countries of the former USSR. This program would concern not only Russia, but also Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

According to the information obtained from our source close to the Ministry of Interior of Russian Federation, recently special services of these countries have concluded a secret informal agreement on struggle with political opposition on the territory of the former USSR.

Along with the control over the electronic mass media and independent Internet-sites, special services of the above-mentioned countries undertook to trace the lists and addresses of the oppositional Internet users, who could arouse the suspicion of national security organs.

One of the most important items of the inter-governmental agreement is permanent exchange of such information between special services for termination of the practice of independent Internet-broadcasting from the territory of the third countries of the CIS (for instance, creation of obstacles in work, or even closure, on the Russian territory of the Internet-sites oppositional to Lukashenko’s regime).

In fact, the matter concerns the attempt to plug up with censorship the entire segment of electronic mass media in five countries of the former USSR, where governments, for various reasons, are afraid of repetition in their countries of the revolutionary events, which have already resulted in overthrow of governing regimes in Georgia, Ukraine and Kirhgizia.

Therefore, along with the informational “purge” of the Internet-space by hacker attacks against the independent sites irritating the authorities (as it regularly happens, for example, with the site “Kavkaz-tsentr”), the international agreement also envisages more serious measures for influencing the situation.

In principle, this agreement between the special services also provides the possibility of starting the direct “witch-hunting” in the CIS in the framework of struggle with the Internet-opposition.

Let us assume that some Uzbek oppositionist, who escaped to Russia from Karimov’s regime, opened there his site and enthusiastically defames the President of Uzbekistan, friendly to Kremlin. Moreover, this “malicious betrayer of his people” also propagandizes on his site some pro-Western (or even pro-American) democratic values, such as the freedom of speech, freedom of assemblies and other rights of his compatriots!

Naturally, such oppositionist deserves not only closure of his site in the Internet, but the secret arrest on the Russian territory and conveyance (in a bag!) to the friendly Uzbekistan.

This very scenario was applied this spring by Russian special services to a leader of the Tajik opposition, who was hiding near Moscow from persecutions in his native country and dared to open his site in the Russian segment of the Internet.

In this concrete case officers of the FSS of Russia secretly detained this political figure, secretly, without any warrant, pushed him into a Tajik military-transport airplane and delivered him directly into the clutches of the security service of Emomali Rakhmanov, the President of Tajikistan.

At the moment, when this story became known, it seemed to many independent journalists that this was a single instance, which happened only because the excessive zeal of certain Russian officials from Lubianka.

Yet, today, after the leakage of information about the secret agreement on control over the Internet in the CIS, this incident can be regarded as the beginning of mass “purges” of electronic space in the above-mentioned five countries of the Commonwealth, first of all in Russia!

If our supposition corresponds with the real state of affairs, then the greater would be the growth of political instability in Russia, Belarus and other countries, which have signed the secret agreement, the stricter would be the actions of authorities of these countries in their attempts to control, at any price, their segments of the Internet-space!

Almost nobody doubts now that this will happen very soon. Presidential election (or, to be more exact, re-election of President Nazarbayev) will be conducted soon in Kazakhstan, the conflict in Andizhan (Uzbekistan) has finished only recently, Lukashenko in Belarus has carried censorship to the point of absurdity – “purge” of animation, and Russia is preparing for the election to Duma in 2007 and presidential election in 2008. And the closer is year 2008, the less predictable is the behavior of our power structures and our brave special services.

Taking into consideration everything above-said, we have now no doubts that the agreement on inter-state control of the Internet will work at its full potential in the immediate future. And then the life of electronic mass media and independent journalists will be far from pleasant!

P. S. By the way, there is nothing new or original in such agreement of authoritarian states. The precedent of such secret agreement on inter-governmental struggle with political opposition was created in 1970s in the Latin America in the time of Chili dictator Augusto Pinochet. Then the special services of military regimes of Chili, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and several other states also concluded a secret agreement on joint struggle against representatives of political opposition and independent journalists on territories of their countries. Large-scale shadowing, illegal searches and attacks of “unknown hooligans” were organized. Special services hindered representatives of oppositional mass media from normal work and publication of their materials. Sometimes extreme measures were taken – the journalists were secretly abducted by special services and passed to “colleagues” in neighboring countries

This secret agreement was called “Plan “Condor”” and became known to wide public only after the overthrow of the dictatorial regimes in Chili, Argentina and on the greater part of the Latin America. At that time the Internet, naturally, was not included into the plan “Condor”, since the main tools of journalists of that epoch were pen and typewriter: personal computers appeared in the beginning of 1980s, and the Internet-boom began only in the end of 1990s. Nowadays just the Internet has become the segment of informational space, most independent of any authoritarian power, and, as a consequence, it is the most tasty morsel for various censors and state “law-enforcers”.

That is why the main goal of the considered agreement between special services of the CIS countries is the control of the Internet and independent mass media in the Internet-space of the Commonwealth. As to the concrete methods of struggle with the “Orange plague”, our native security organs did not invent a bicycle, but copied the notorious Chili plan “Condor”! Apparently, the methods (and the outlook as a whole) of General Pinochet is closer to present Russian political elite than the foolish liberal dreams about the freedom of people and the state accountable to its citizens.

Deported peoples

Evhen Sverstyuk: Letter to the editorial board of the bulletin “Prava ludyny”

Dear editorial board!

I want to thank you for the special issue of “Prava ludyny” in memory of Genrikh Altunian. To prolong his existence in our world, even by a kind word, is quite natural wish, the same as to prolong a summer.

Once I was naively surprised, when Genrikh said that his cadence in the Supreme Council was coming to the end. “How? Who then will represent Kharkiv? Who else can occupy the place of such person, to whom everybody trusts?” “Not everybody”, smiled Altunian, “They have their own people…”

Really, they have… Yet, Genrikh Altunian was indispensable because of his character. Honest thinking and decency were so organic for him that it was reflected on his face. The life is somewhat uncertain and uncomfortable without such people.

If to speak about the social confidence, on which all institutions are based, it is impossible to do without Genrikh Altunian: such people create the positive foundation of every construction and of every society. However, the cold water of Styx is washing out our bank, the bank on which our world of opposition to negative inhumane forces has been created. Thank God, this bank has been fortified by persons, whose image cannot be destroyed even by the waters of eternity. Let us believe that the real values will exist forever, dominating over the chimeras, which will disappear without leaving a trace. And this will be a buttress for those, who will continue the way upward.

I want to express condolence to all relatives and associates of Genrikh Altunian.

Evhen Sverstiuk

From editorial board of “Prava ludyny”: the special issue in memory of Genrikh Altunian (in Ukrainian) can be obtained in the Kharkiv group for human rights protection. Send your order to the address: POB 10430, Kharkiv-2, Ukraine, 61002 or [email protected].

Brief biography of Yuri Murashov

Yury Igorovych Murashov: a brief biography
From 1986 he was a teacher of English in School № 262.  He was Co-Chairperson of the Ukrainian Human Rights Committee “Helsinki-90” from November 1993, Deputy of the Podilsk District Council in Kyiv from December 1995, member of the Public Council of television and radio organizations “Public Broadcasting in Ukraine».
Yury Murashov was born on 3 May 1945 in the village of Apostolov in the Dnipropetrovsk region. In 1968 he graduated from the Faculty of Foreign Languages of the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv University as a translator and reviewer, then in 1974 from the History Faculty. In 1975 he completed a course in Arabic. From 1968-1977 he worked as an interpreter and tour guide, the head of the department of numismatics of the State History Museum of Ukraine. From the 1970s he took an active role in the human rights movement. From 1977-1983 he was a teacher of English and History in Schools № 197 and № 147 in Kyiv. Between 1983 and 1985 he was senior laboratory assistant of the Podilsk archaeological expedition of the Institute of archaeology of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences. From 1990 founding member of the Ukrainian Committee “Helsinki-90”. On 3 January 1990 he joined the Ukrainian Helsinki Union. From З May 1990 to 1992 he was the publicity secretary for the Kyiv regional organization of the Ukrainian Republican Party, and from 3 May 1992 to December 1993, the first deputy chairperson. From 1994 to 2001 he was a member of the Central Board of the Ukrainian Conservative Republican Party and chairperson of the Kyiv regional organization of the Ukrainian Conservative Republican Party. Author of many articles on human rights issues.

In Memoriam: Yuri Murashov

On 1 September 2005, our friend and colleague, Yuri Murashov, Chairperson of the Ukrainian Committee “Helsinki-90”, of the all-Ukrainian Society of Political Prisoners and Victims of Repression, and Deputy of the Podilsk District Council, was tragically killed in an accident.

Yury Murashov was a teacher of English in school, while at the same time being involved in a huge amount of civic work. Back in the years of struggle for Independence, Yury Murashov was always at the centre of events. Not a single mass event took place in the capital in which he did not take an extremely active role. He was always in political organizations with a national democratic philosophy: he was a member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Union, of the Ukrainian Republican Party, the Chairperson of the Kyiv organization of the Ukrainian Conservative Republican Party (UCRP). The leader of the UCRP, Stepan Khmara, spoke of Yuri Murashov, his first deputy leader, as “a friend, brother and comrade-in-arms”.

Yury’s humanity, his kindness and readiness to help those in need, won the deep respect of all those who knew him. He took an active part in the defence of victims of unjust persecution in spite of threats from the Kuchma regime.

Our sincere sympathy goes out to Yury’s wife Marya, his daughter Bogdana, son Igor and all relatives and friends. We have lost a wonderful man, an outstanding human rights activist and teacher.

Rest in Peace, Yury. Your memory will remain with us all.

The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

The human rights community of Ukraine have been devastated by the death on 1 September 2005 of the well-known civic and human rights activist, Yury Murashov, the Chairperson of the Ukrainian Committee “Helsinki-90” and of the All-Ukrainian Society of Political Prisoners and Victims of Repression. We have lost a man who achieved an enormous amount, not only for the human rights movement in Ukraine, but also for the building of democracy in our country. All of us who experienced his kindness felt drawn to his commitment and spiritual warmth, his passionate involvement and desire to protect the rights of all those who turned to him for help. He always provided a source of knowledge and experience which he was ever happy to share with his friends and colleagues.

Our thoughts are with Pan Yury’s wife, daughter and son, his relatives and close friends. There are no words able to comfort them at this time. Your loss cannot be expressed in words.
May he rest in peace.
The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union ***

From Father Sergiy Tkachuk
Dear Friends, I am a Priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate) and the son of Vasyl Tkachuk, a member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Union who died in 1995. On 2 September 2005 it fell to me to hold the funeral service of Pan Yuri, with whom I was always on good terms. The Deceased was the elder of the community of St. Tarasiy at Podol in Kyiv and was to have helped build the Chapel of St. Tarasiy on Priorka street. Those who would like to see the photos from Yuri’s funeral can find them on our site:
With grief in my heart, Father Sergiy

To our Friends in grief!
Yury Murashov has died. Harsh news. I bow my head in profound respect before a man of his stature.

In the middle of the 90s I had the opportunity to meet often with him in connection with the Democration Association “Ukraina”. Contact with such people gave us strength and the will to stand up for the Truth.

We pray to God for the soul of this deeply religious man who lived on this earth with such dignity and honour.
Mykola Korobko

On 1 September our colleague, Yury Murashov, died tragically in Kyiv. From 1990 our human rights organization had close cooperation and shared legal cases in Ukraine where Yury Murashov defended human rights and freedoms.
Our deepest sympathy to the family of Yury Murashov
Eternal Memory.
The President of the Ruthenia Human Rights Fund, Alla Korystovskyaya, Vice-President, Nikolai Rozovaikin

“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2005, #08