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.

An open letter for parents, grandparents, and grandchildren

On persecution of the opposition youth in Ukraine. “The crimes committed by the authorities against an individual or laws inadvertently turn into crimes against humanness and humanity.”

On persecution of the opposition youth in Ukraine

“You’ll be digging your grave by yourself, pal!” militia officers shouted to opposition youth organization member Pavlo, whom they were beating and then violently shoved to a militia car. He was just taking pictures of the well-known events in the Podil area in Kyiv on so called “discovery” of explosives, which were furtively put by militia itself. The tenant of that office was a youth organization, “Pora!” [It’s Time]. It was the youth, against which, using law-enforcement agencies and youth groups specially created to initiate provocations (sometimes employing real students, but most often employing professionals, who are a sort of Fascist-oriented folks, or just disguised themselves as such, ready to crash and ruin everything they be assigned to by some high-ranking officials). In “politically correct language,” it is called the “use of administrative influence,” but for everybody who is thoughtful enough to see the difference between words, it is a usual “criminal influence” used by immoral people.

So far it is limited chiefly to the beatings, with or without the use of groups of provocateurs. Searches and brutal, arbitrary, and long-term interrogations take place throughout Ukraine on a large scale. They are accompanied by cynical, bluntly illegal and outrageous harassment of the opposition-leaning youth and their parents, when prosecutor’s offices open criminal cases on terrorism charges, having grave consequences.

The circle of hatred is about to lock. Those, who hate people, began with the terror against the Tsar, and today they have come to the terror against their children. Oh Lord, our authorities have experienced a little change since then: the same harassment, the same immoral and essentially illegal groups of provocateurs. And all that is for a sole purpose to prevent real self-organization of the civil society. People say, this breach of the law is under control of the government. Maybe today it is in fact under control and “dosated”. But it’s immoral and illegal. This way the authorities make themselves illegal and illegitimate. The crimes committed by the authorities against an individual or laws inadvertently turn into crimes against humanness and humanity. All of us must memorize this clearly.

Do the today’s words on digging graves sound different from those, which were fiercely shouted by Gestapo officers toward innocent victims of the race, national, and religious hatred at the Babin Yar? The same words were shouted by NKVD operatives in Bykivnya and elsewhere, who regularly used their “persuasive argument of a Mauser gun” at any expression of critical attitude toward the class, religious, and national hatred they were implanting. At least one of us, in a Novosibirsk prison as far back as in late 1978, heard from a local KGB operative in response to a complaint to a prosecutor’s office regarding the placement of the inmate not in the prison cell, but in a so called barrel, “You want observance of the law, don’t you?.. I’ll lead you out and shoot right away... I’ve shot thousands like you without a glitch.” That was the yelling of that outright hater of Ukrainians. “Beat Ukrainians!” shouted his successors – police officers in seemingly independent Ukraine – while scattering peaceful religious march of the Ukrainians at the Sophia Square in Kyiv. And they got away with it! The hatred felt by the authorities of a supposedly new nation toward its citizens has not diminished, but has risen. Because a new generation has already grown up, which is unwilling to live in the air of lies and hatred, in the air of cynical lawlessness, when the society is being forced to accept principles of an animal farm. It claims, “We are humans, not dogs!”

We’ll not guess, what was the color of the authorities’ hatred toward journalist Georgiy Gongadze – anti-Ukrainian, anti-Georgian, or anti-American, or simply anti-journalistic, if journalistic becomes embodiment of honesty and courage. And what kind of words did he hear from the executioners, before they cut off his head either by verdict or just in response to a vaguely formulated desire by the instigators of that terrible crime. By the verdict made absolutely lawlessly, maliciously, cowardly, and secretly. By the verdict made by those people, who, from the peak of their official posts hatefully call other people the “mob.” Those, who have turned the whole law-enforcement system of the nation into a system for defending and holding their power despite the will of that “mob,” so hated by the authorities.

The situation of all the haters is very simple: their outward hatred mirrors their inner uselessness. If such people have no power, it’s a little trouble; if they do, they turn into an outrageous social monster, extremely dangerous for the neighboring countries and all mankind. Hatred at any human level, each and every hatred, hatred on whatever basis – were, are and will be a great obstacle on the path to a civilized development of the mankind.

Why should haters care for any human beings, though? All chieftains and criminal leaders think only of themselves, indifferent to real problems of the country they govern, to problems of an individual citizen, to civilized development of the mankind. It is just because of our light-mindedness, they, fooling the most trustful, gradually manage to drive all the rest of us in their stall of hatred.

Today, for example, they still hope to deceive us with the idea of their own making that freedom and democracy are not acceptable for followers of the Orthodox Christianity. But the numbers of simpletons is on decrease, as well as it is on decrease in the Muslim World, regardless of the unprecedented would-be pure clash of civilizations. So, this worldwide movement toward democracy cannot be stopped by any immoral, anti-civilizing mobilization by fundamentalists. Neither old, nor new; neither there, nor here. The driving force for any societal innovation was, is, and will be the youth, especially the student youth.

Obviously, today we cannot be sure that parents of our opposition youth are ready to support the initiative of their offspring as unanimously, as did parents of the opposition youth in Prague, thereby providing for that other Coming, the Velvet one, the Prague’s Spring of October 1989. We cannot deny that such a possibility could emerge tomorrow, though. Tomorrow, when the convulsions of the immoral authorities will reach their peak, while provocations and groundless repressions against the student youth be halted and all the culprits, guilty in the anti-student hatred and in the use of criminal influence, be severely punished, punished under the current law. The chauvinism practiced by the authorities will not prevail. We are fed up with the domination of the immoral high and mighty.

All the people crave for freedom. The old slogan of solidarity – “For Your and Our Freedom!” was equally relevant both in Prague and in Warsaw, and the current authorities in Ukraine are doing everything possible to make it relevant in Kyiv as well. The result of its victory will inevitably be the dramatic diminishing of the zone of hatred and non-freedom in Europe, and, eventually, in the whole world.

Because the unprecedented 20th “century of death” does oblige world democratic nations, public organizations, and all people of good will to react against progeny of the “Evil Empire” and still survived supporters of cruel, non-democratic, anti-popular hierarchies of power attempting to restore the old order, contrary to the popular craving for freedom. We have to counterbalance the solidarity of evil, with the more effective - because moral – solidarity of good.

Grandchildren, For Your and Our Freedom!

Zinoviy Antonyuk, Genrikh Altunyan, Myroslav Gorbachuk, Yevhen Zakharov,
Sofiya Karasik, Mykhaylina Kotsyubinska, Irma Krein, Vladislav Nedobora,
Vasil Ovsienko, Irina Rapp, Natalia Skoblinskaia, Nadiya Svitlychna

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