war crimes in Ukraine

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Democracy of the Severodonetsk variety

Aleksey Svetikov, Severodonetsk

In autumn 1998 a new leader of the Lugansk oblast branch of the People-Democratic Party (PDP) appeared. He was the deputy head of the oblast state administration Vasiliy Nadraga. At the same time the well-known Severodonetsk businessman Sergey Muranov and the head of the oblast administration Aleksandr Efremov entered the PDP and were elected to the directorate to the oblast branch. By that time a rather efficient party group of the PDP acted in Severodonetsk headed by Anatoliy Terlovoy. The group published its own newspaper ‘Accent’ and sternly criticized Severodonetsk mayor Vladimir Gritsyshin.

In November 1998 V. Nadraga information the directorate of Severodonetsk town organization of the PDP about the complaint about its actions. The complaint was handed to the governor by the town mayor Gritsyshin. According to this information, the governor ordered V. Nadraga to solve this problem ‘in the PDP interests’. Some days later A. Terlovoy, who worked as a teacher at the local musical school (it was a municipal school), was sacked due to a staff reduction.

The trade union of the school at first did not agree with this order, since they considered that Terlovoy was a highly skilled teacher and as such had not to be reduced. Besides, by that time the governor had ordered not to reduce any workers paid from the budget. With these arguments Terlovoy turned to the oblast organization of his party hoping to get help.

However, nobody was in a hurry to help. V. Nadraga came to Severodonetsk only in January, after the trade union was ‘assured’ that if they did not sack Terlovoy, it will mean the closure of the musical school. Finally the trade union agreed and Terlovoy was fired.

The talk between the governor’s representative and the mayor lasted one hour and a half… After this talk Nadraga convinced Terlovoy to give up the post of the head of the town organization of the PDP and pass it to S. Muranov. The same evening V. Nadraga met members of the directorate of the town organization Terlovoy, Svetikov, Kirichenko and Korotkov in Muranov’s office. That is what Nadraga told us about his negotiations with the mayor (it is noteworthy that a part of this talk occurred with Muranov being present).

Gritsyshin declared that it was he, who ordered to fire Terlovoy, he also promised to fire Svetikov and finally send them to a lunatic asylum. To the mayor demanded to dismiss Terlovoy from the position of the head of the town PDP organization. He also demanded to make Svetikov withdraw his claims on the protection of his honor and dignity, in which he complained at the editorial board of the newspaper ‘Severodonetski visti’ for two slanderous publications in 1997. At last, Terlovoy had to publish the refutation in ‘Severodonetski visti’, where he had to declare that everything that the newspaper ‘Accent’ wrote about Gritsyshin was a rancid lie. These demands fulfilled, Terlovoy will be restored at his job. V. Nadraga did promise to fulfil all these demands (except the refutation).

I, as a human rights protector, was especially indignant with these talks in the mayor’s office. The agreement, concluded behind the back of the statutory organ of the town organization, trampled elementary norms of party democracy. That is why I protected directed during the meeting with Nadraga. Next day, at my urgent request, the directorate of the town organization adopted and sent to the town executive committee and to governor A. Efremov a decision, canceling the agreement between the oblast leadership of the PDP and the Severodonetsk mayor.

The full stop was put at the sitting of the directorate of the oblast PDP organization, where I told everything about the negotiations in the mayor’s office. Including the words of Gritsyshin that it was by his insistence that Terlovoy was sacked. V. Nadraga did not reject the fact of the talk, but he said that there were no witnesses. To my surprise, the directorate members not only were indifferent to the monstrous, in my opinion, human rights violations, but even tried to jam my speech. As a result they took a unique verdict: the Severodonetsk town organization directorate must change its decision and approve another that suits the oblast leadership. It was a demand to change their convictions.

What concerns Terlovoy, they praised him and advised to take his case to the court. After this I could not prolong my membership in the PDP.

And Terlovoy is still jobless!


In November 2000 it rumored among students of Severodonetsk technological institute that town mayor Gritsyshin ordered rector N. Tiupalo to fire A. Svetikov within half a year. Alas, these rumors are well-grounded.

Everything started on 2 November, when the collegium of the Lugansk oblast court in charge of civil cases rejected the cassation complaint of the Severodonetsk town executive committee and ruled the committee to pay Hr 1.5 thousand to recompense the damage inflicted by illegal actions to S. Dyakov, a referent of MP Annenkov.

The cassation consideration of the complaint of V. Sakyra, in which I officially represented (without pay, of course) the claimant as a member of the public reception office of the Voters’ Committee of Ukraine, was accidentally appointed at the same day.

On the same day someone phoned from the executive committee and demanded to fire Svetikov for the absence from work. Why, he said, Svetikov wanders to courtrooms in his work time?

Next day my administration demanded from me the explanatory note ‘about the reasons of my absence’. I wrote this explanatory note and registered it at my boss’ secretary’s office together with a copy for myself.

On 19 November rector of our institute N. Tiupalo and head of the trade union N. Kotliar were summoned to mayor V. Gritsyshin. N. Taldonov, the secretary of the town council, A. Moiseenko, the first deputy of the head of the executive committee, and tow advocates were also present in the mayor’s office. Here Gritsyshin, without choosing gentle expressions, for half an hour pressed on the institute administration to force them to fire Svetikov. One of the key sentences uttered by the ‘democratic mayor’ was: ‘This is a ‘bad’ (a stronger word was naturally used) institute, where they cannot sack a lousy assistant professor?!’

However, the institute administration, having previously consulted the lawyer, did not find the reasons not only for dismissal, but even for reprimanding Svetikov. Then an advocate present in the office suggested a compromise: not to prolong the contract with Svetikov, when the contract ends (next summer). This satisfied the both sides.

We are experienced people and we guess what will happen after this publication. This article will be passed to the General Prosecutor’s office, from where ‘normal’, as Gritsyshin said, people will come and write a ‘normal’ formal reply. The sense would be that the facts described here have not confirmed. Our court, independent of justice, would take the decision that the facts made public by me are not proved. But I do it on purpose, since one, who got under the press described, should not be afraid of an unjust court.

I find it my duty to make the pressure public. I believe that sooner or later purification will come to our country, when a spade is called a spade, a scoundrel is called a scoundrel, and criminals will be put in the dock, where they belong.
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