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.



We judge parents by their children and by their attitude to their children. We can say the same about society.

What can our youth say about their own State and its regime?

Some say «It’s not anything». Others – «It’s removed from us». A third group answer: «It is against us».

The judgments of young people are hard-hitting and demanding. But also honest. Young people want to live in dignity, to earn an honest living. When all they see around them are lawlessness, corruption and criminal behavior, this is a world they cannot respect and cannot accept. Our young people have been cheated.

If the authorities have no shame, if they refuse to apologize to young people, for whom they have failed to create the conditions for a decent life, then these authorities are bankrupt and criminal.

The student’s egg that was hurled at the Prime Minister, who is attempting to continue the grubby conquests of a malignant regime, was a fine metaphor. A well-nourished man fell to the ground. Why? Perhaps he imagined that thousands of eggs and thousands of curses for the fact that he wants to continue a criminal course of violence, intimidation and lies were about to follow? Better to fall immediately, than to wait until the whole nation begins to hurl abuse at him, as at Kuchma!

Ukraine is a country of contrasts. On the one hand a hard-working and economical nation, on the other – a lazy, boorish and venal mob recruited into a pseudo-socialist party in party.

It is this regime and this mob who hate our youth because the latter are trying to return our lives back to a path of dignity and lawfulness. They want a leader that Ukrainian people and the world will respect. They don’t want disgusting bankrupts who seem to have even had enough of themselves.

The murder of Georgiy Gongadze was a hint regarding state terror. Ominously suggestive murders of active citizens, the sentences of bandits with no trial, expulsions of students for worthy civic behavior, the use of killers and boorish «professors» against the moral resistance of students, arrests, searches and beatings, involving young people who serve in the police, using means of mass disinformation to bring trumped-up charges, the use of courts to deal with those who refused to obey – what decay, poison and destruction of the national organism by worms who will, tomorrow, perish without trace!

Stalin taught them to label academics, professors and poets terrorists. But he could, for further measure, shoot hundreds of thousands of them. And they can only «shove your head down the toilet[1]». Cowardly and low-life, they plan to use chemical means…

If the students proclaimed «Pora», then it really is time. They want to shorten the death throes of those whose own malice has turned gangrenous.

We, yesterday’s prisoners of conscience, are proud of Ukraine’s honest and courageous youth. Those who have never defended their honour and dignity, who have not fought for their right to a decent life and who have not become hardened through uneven battle, have never been young!

Such people are used and discarded.

We spent our youth in the struggle against an inhumane communist regime. Persecution, prison, exile were our school of life, from which we emerged crippled, yet honest and true to Ukraine. And we now pass to you young people the baton of duty and honour.

Do not lose hope! Believe us, your suffering will be shorter. However, be united and steadfast in upholding principles of justice, law and order. You are being attacked by monsters with yesterdays KGB and secret agents merged with criminal elements for whom any morality is alien. However the military and the police will not support them, because decent people there predominate and they too long for a change to a rotting regime that prevents them living and working with dignity.

The truth will prevail.

You are young, and it is for you to build our future.

Ukrainian Prisoners of Conscience

Yevgeniy Sverstyuk, Nadiya Svitlychna, Vasil Ovsienko, Mykola Gorbal, Genrikh Altunyan, Zinoviy Antonyuk, Yosyp Zisels, Levko Lukyanenko, Myroslav Marynovych, Levko Gorokhivskiy, Zorian Popadyuk, Petro Rozumny, Oles Shevchenko, Vitaliy Shevchenko, Igor and Iryna Kalyntses

22 October 2004

[1] A somewhat politer version of the original, which was what Vladimir Putin said Russia would do with all ‘terrorists’. (translator’s note)

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