war crimes in Ukraine

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A public committee in defense of partly rehabilitated

Vasyl Ovsienko, Kyiv
This is the name, which assumed the public organization consisting of four people. The committee set a concrete goal to achieve the rehabilitation of the two former political prisoners: Georgiy Moskalenko and Viktor Kuksa, who had been condemned according to Articles 62 and 222 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (UkrSSR).

According to the data provided by the All-Ukrainian union of political prisoners and the repressed (AUUPPR), about 30 thousand of former political prisoners are registered now in Ukraine. Only a part of them were rehabilitated according to the Law of the UkrSSR of 17 April 1991 "On rehabilitation of victims of political repressions in Ukraine". This part mainly consisted of those, who were condemned after Article 62 ("anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda"), 187-1 ("spreading false rumors that discredit the Soviet state and social system") and after some other articles. Other categories of former political prisoners and, in particular, the participants of the armed struggle for independence, are not rehabilitated yet by this independent country. Other fighters against the Soviet system still bear the brand of criminals. Especially those, against whom the criminal accusations were fabricated from political reasons ("resistance to militiamen", "dealing with narcotic drugs", "violating the passport regime", "attempt of rape", etc.), as well as those, who had "accompanying" accusations like the "May pair".

The essence of the case is as follows.

In the small hours of 1 May 1966 Viktor Kuksa, a 26-year-old worker, and Georgiy Moskalenko, a 27-year-old worker and student of the evening department of the Kyiv institute of people’s industry (now Kyiv national economic university), took the red flag from the roof of the institute and replaced it with the yellow-blue one. The braves thought that in the morning many people would see the flag, since it was the place, where the columns of students and workers were formed for the May demonstration. The flag was sewn from two women scarves, in the middle of the flag they fixed the national trident and wrote a passage from the national anthem:

"The Ukraine is still alive,

It is not murdered yet!


This invented abbreviation meant "Democratic Party of Ukraine" (to lead the suspicions from the OUN underground), and the passage from the anthem meant that the struggle for independence continued.

The flag was taken off as early as at 8 a.m. and passed to the KGB. The criminal case was opened at once. The "criminals" were found only 9 months later. They were arrested on 21 February 1967 and condemned on 31 May by the Kyiv oblast court to 3 (Moskalenko) and 2 (Kuksa) years of incarceration in strict regime colonies. They were also accused of carrying arms. The "cold steel" was the knife, with which V. Kuksa cut down the red flag, and the "fire-arm" was a metallic tube packed with match heads. This "weapon" was intended for warning the man on the roof in case of some danger, but it was not used.

According to the Law on rehabilitation, the Plenum of the Supreme Court of Ukraine ruled on 20 May 1994 to cancel the court decisions concerning the verdict against G. Moskalenko and V. Kuksa after Article 62 part 1 of the Criminal Code of the UkrSSR. The criminal casein this part was closed basing on item 2 Article 6 of the Criminal-Procedural Code of Ukraine because of the absence of corpus delicti. Yet, the two dissidents are still considered the convicted after Article 222 of the CC UkrSSR. This means that, owing to the political rehabilitation, they became pure criminals!

The described fact is not unique. For example, Volodymir Marmus and his friends also displayed four national flags and 19 leaflets in Chortkiv of the Ternopil oblast on 22 January 1973. They were also rehabilitated after Article 62. Yet, they had some weapons, from which they trained to shoot in the forest. The criminal record after Article 222 was cancelled five years after their release that is in 1987. But V. Marmus’ son might not enter a military institute in 2002 because of the criminal record of his father! He is a son of an "enemy of the people"! After this it is not clear whether our state is Ukrainian.

That is why on 18 March 2002 the public committee for rehabilitation of the "May pair" was created in Kyiv. The committee members became: Sergiy Tauzhnianskiy, the co-head of the Kyiv Rada of Unions of Citizens (KRUC), Volodymir Grysiuk, the head of the Kagalitskiy district organization of the Green Party of Ukraine, myself, Vasyl Ovsienko, a former political prisoner and now a coordinator of the program of the Kharkov Group for human rights protection, and Valeriy Kravchenko, a former political prisoner, the head of the Kyiv oblast organization of the Democratic Party of Ukraine (DPU), who initiated the campaign. The committee gathers in the office of the Kyiv oblast organization of the DPU by the address: 3-Б Yaroslavskiy passage, Kyiv, 04070 (Ярославський пров., 3-Б, Київ, 04070), tel.: (044) 229-20-66.

The committee wants to create a precedent of the complete rehabilitation of these two repressed to have the opportunity to demand later the rehabilitation of all the people of the described category. The reason is that out country is Ukrainian only nominally, and every concession must be taken by force from the enemies of our country, who remained in power. The former communist judges occupied seats under the yellow-blue flag and trident, and the people (heroes!), who fought for these symbols, are still criminals in their eyes! Mr. Leonid Kuchma, who had never dreamed in his nightmares to become a Ukrainian President, has another opinion about who are real heroes of Ukraine. They are: Heroes of the Soviet Union, Heroes of socialist labor, deputies of Supreme Soviets of the UkrSSR and USSR. In fact, they are the bitterest enemies of the independent Ukraine and the most faithful servants of the occupants.

Understanding that now there are no juridical grounds to rehabilitate G. Moskalenko, V. Kuksa and other people of that category, the Committee began to from the public opinion around this problem. The goal is to change the law or at least to make courts reconsider such cases and issue non-guilty verdicts. Because the oppressed people have the right to fight for independence not only with kitchen knives and metallic tubes stuffed with match heads, but with real weapons.

The Committee organized a number of radio transmissions and press publications (see, for example, the newspapers "Shliakh Peremogy" of 15 May and "Ukraina Moloda" of 23 May 2002). On 1 May the Committee, jointly with the KRUC, DPU, AUUPPR and the chorus "Gomin", organized the meeting, where G. Moskalenko and V. Kuksa delivered speeches. In order to attract the public attention to our campaign we plan to conduct the following acts: meetings with the students of Kyiv economic university, press-conference, displaying a stand and collecting signatures, picketing state agencies and even a spot action – a Marathon along Kyiv streets with slogans for rehabilitation of the political prisoners.
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