Yanukovych says that he is holding a hand out to bloggers

07.08.2010 |

In reaction to the Security Service [SBU] measures against blogger Oleh Shynkarenko, Ukrainian bloggers have decided to hold a flash mob “I want to go to an SBU interrogation”. Each person wanting to take part writes in their blog that they “want to kill Yanukovych”.

According to the Ukrainian blog Watcher the action was suggested by Andriy Chobotaryov in the group “We’ll make Ukraine better”.

The blogger called on people to circulate the entries by Shynkarenko which were removed from his blog (by the SBU – translator) but have remained in search machine copies. They contained the words “kill Yanukovych” which supposedly drew the attention of the SBU.

“Ukraine’s blogosphere can’t let this matter rest, in my opinion. Since they need our entries at the SBU, then let them know that we don’t like them”, Andriy Chobotaryov proposes.

On 29 July Oleh Shynkarenko was summoned for questioning by the SBU over his blog entries on Live Journal regarding killing Yanukovych and some other officials. During an interview to the BBC Oleh wished the President good health and promised not to write such blogs again.  (See for more information about what he actually wrote, which was quite clearly no actual threat to kill a person – translator).

Yanukovych address bloggers, saying “I’m holding out my hand to you, let’s meet”

The President stated to the information agency UNIAN that he was pleased there were “active and daring lads” in the country who quickly react to the mistakes of the authorities. However he thinks that they shouldn’t ask to be interrogated.

“I agree with you that calling a blogger to interrogation is the last thing that the SBU should be involved in. I think that the Security Service has other important problems. And I should tell you that I am pleased with how they are breaking corruption, how much has been done in a relatively small amount of time to fight the drug mafia. However there are exaggerations, like the story with the blogger. I think that your position and mine on this will help the management of the SBU correct the style of their work.”

The President says that he is pleased that pleased there are “active and daring lads” in the country who quickly react to the mistakes of the authorities”. “A regime is bad when it does not correct its mistakes, does not react to society’s signals.”

He says that he would like to communicate with the bloggers openly, so that they don’t waste their talents. “Now where you shouldn’t want to be, lads, is at an interrogation. You’re young, talented and have style. You need to be involved in something interesting”.

He said that the country needed daring young people, the government in the first instance. “Therefore I am holding out my hand to you – let’s meet.”

It is interesting that President Yanukovych’s response to a Ukrainian blogger was published the day after a similar appeal by Prime Minister Putin of Russia to a critical blog from a Russian blogger. Putin also positioned himself as being critical to the failings of the authorities and suggested cooperation with the blogger.

Observers note that the regime in both Russia and Ukraine are trying to introduce wider control over freedom of speech on the Internet.

Russia holds the precedent for prosecuting a blogger of Ukrainian origin for an entry which the authorities decided was “inciting enmity”.

The BBC notes also that the murder of Georgy Gongadze remains unsolved.

A little adapted from the text at:

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