Mohylev: I’d set aside a big field on the edge of Kyiv for political rallies
In an interview covering a number of topics, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Anatoly Mohylev, was asked for his attitude to political rallies “which the opposition is increasingly threatening [to hold]”. Mr Mohylev’s understanding of political demonstrations in London would seem rather questionable, but this, we would politely suggest, is not the only quibble over the sentiments expressed, which come in the wake of President Yanukovych’s words in Dnipropetrovsk recently about “constructive opposition” which he distinguished from opposition throwing smoke bombs (khpg.org/index.php?id=1273231525)
Mr Mohylev’s response:
“It is the right of our citizens to hold political rallies. However on one condition – they mustn’t stop the normal activities of other people and institutions. By all means, hold a rally in a park, but don’t block the road. Don’t beat drums since someone’s working or resting, and you’re disturbing them. And so forth. The main demand for mass undertakings is to not disturb public order. Moreover those who organize these undertakings should answer for keeping the peace and for making sure that no crimes are committed – that’s what the law requires. If you don’t like the regime – wait for the elections and persuade the voters to vote for you. But you mustn’t use paid people to fire up emotions, block streets and executive bodies – that is a crime for which, I stress, the organizers, will inevitably have to answer. In general I would set aside some big field on the outskirts of Kyiv for political rallies where nobody will disturb anyone. And there scream as much as you want, like in London’s Hyde Park. There those who are interested in your ideas will come, you’ll gather supporters, not disturbing other people’s lives.
Are you not worried that detaining such participants and organizers of an event where order is disturbed, the police will become the political target, they’ll be labelled as settling political scores, political police and so on?
It’s true that people here like to stick labels. It’s a shame that in the law there is no norm of liability for such labelling, even the article on slander was revoked. However in any case we will maintain order and bring those who disturb it to answer.
Do you have operational information about the present events of the opposition - do you know how many people are travelling to Kyiv, and from where? How many are you expecting, by the way?
Of course we know everything. However I won’t name the figure in advance. If it turns out that I inflated it, they’ll accuse me of stirring up passions, if it’s too low, they’ll say I underestimated the situation. I can only say that everything will depend on the financial capacity of the opposition. There are after all whole agencies which for your money will give you as many people as you pay for. In short, all that you wrenched out of the people previously will now be used to return to power. The fear that our economic is really coming out of crisis forces the present opposition to get their money out of their pockets and organize all these political rallies and disturbances. It’s all very simple. “