war crimes in Ukraine

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Afghanistan War Veteran Leader’s Flat searched

14.10.2011    source:
On Wednesday a search was carried out of the flat owned by Alexander Kovalyov, leader of the Afghanistan War Veteran NGO “Nobody Except Us”. The search comes less than a month after major protests in Kyiv and an attempt by the war veterans to storm parliament over plans to cut benefits


On Wednesday a search was carried out of the flat owned by Alexander Kovalyov, leader of the Afghanistan War Veteran NGO “Nobody Except Us”.  Information about this was given on 13 October by the head of the Federation of Small and Medium-size Business Trade Unions, Viacheslav Roi. He announced that in view of this move, the Afghanistan veterans were declaring nationwide mobilization, but gave no further details.  A Forum of Civic Organizations organized by the veterans is planned for 14 October, though no further details have yet been given.

The Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Union of Afghanistan War Veterans, Viktor Ishchenko has dissociated his organization from the mobilization calls.  The Union had announced earlier that the Afghanistan War Veterans and Chernobyl Disaster rescue workers had called off their demonstrations since their benefits had not after all been removed.  On 30 September the Cabinet of Ministers and members of the relevant NGOs signed a Memorandum of Cooperation over Social Protection of these categories of citizens. This envisaged the creation of permanent consultation councils between the government and these organizations in order to jointly determine further action on raising the level of social protection.

As reported, on 20 September a large crowd made up mainly of veterans of the war in Afghanistan gathered outside parliament to protest against a draft law which would legalize reductions in benefits due war veterans, rescue workers whose health was seriously damaged at the site of the Chernobyl Disaster and pensioners.  Plans are underway to give the Cabinet of Ministers the right to determine the size of benefits which, according to the Constitution, are fixed by laws. 

Some of the protesters tried to storm parliament and broke through police cordons.  According to the Internet publication Ukrainska Pravda, whose correspondent was clearly present, tear gas was used by Berkut riot police in the scuffle that ensued.  The protesters apparently agreed to move back only after being assured by representatives of the ruling majority that the law would not be considered by parliament this week.

There is no indication as to the grounds for carrying out a search of a civil movement’s leader’s home.

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