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.


Faked lists of signatures in Kharkov

Faked list of signatures for the candidature of Moroz appeared in Kharkov. It was told at a press-conference by Andrey Belogrishchenko, the first secretary of the Kharkov region committee of the socialist party. He said that several faked lists were taken from the collectors. The faked blanks differ somewhat from the genuine ones, but it cannot be decided while seeing, as it practically happens, only one blank. The collectors introduce themselves saying: ‘We are from the house management’, and do not show any documents confirming their right to collect signatures. The collectors said that they were promised 20 grivnas for one sheet, but they do not confess who hired them.

Besides, the facts of intimidating genuine collectors of signatures have been observed.To members of the socialist party, who collected signatures near a subway station, a group of men came and threatening them, demanded to take away posters and stop the collection of signatures.

Leaflets discrediting Moroz are distributed in carriages and passages of subway, are thrown from cars in the streets of Kharkov. Similar leaflets are distributed in district centers of Kharkov regions, such as Chuguev, Izium, Lozovaya, Kupiansk. According to representatives of the region committee, law-enforcers pretend not to notice these actions.

Andrey Voytsekhovskiy, the press-secretary of the regional committee of the socialist party, declared that the list of violations of the law on election may be prolonged. So, at Malyshev works, at Shevchenko plant, as well as in Kharkov University and Medical institute meetings were held, during which signatures were collected in support of Kuchma. In a number of Kharkov schools parents meetings were held. They were peculiar meetings, for the parents had to bring passports and put their signatures for Kuchma, otherwise their children were promised not to be transferred to the next grade.

Leonid Kuchma should go

Representatives of political parties, unions and public organizations of Odessa region directed an appeal to President Kuchma. This appeal was signed by 14 prominent politicians of the region. The authors of the document depicted the grave situation, which developed in Ukraine during the presidency of L.Kuchma. They ask President Kuchma ‘to behave honestly, with the feeling of responsibility for the destiny of the people, to be true to his word and to take the decision not to participate in the coming Presidential election’.

The authors remind the President that in the autumn of 1997, in his address to the people, the President declared that if the situation in the country does not drastically improve during his rule, then he will not put out his candidature at the next election. During the years of Kuchma’s presidency the situation deteriorated in all directions. This was a five-year period that led to a catastrophe, with which neither the host of prime-ministers nor the guarantor of the Constitution know how to fight. And the people in power must keep their word and must carry the responsibility for their decisions. That is why the best way out for the President and his team is to go and not to block the way to those who will really labor for the good of Ukraine and her people.

The right to life

Does the death penalty contradict the Constitution?

The Collegium of judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine approved the open discussion of the case handed by 51 MPs about the question indicated in the heading. The death penalty is mentioned in a number of articles of the Penal Code of Ukraine introduced into operation on 1 April 1961. The press service of the Constitutional Court informed the UNIAN agency that head of the Constitutional Court Ivan Timchenko appointed the discussion at the plenary meeting of the court on 22 June. The reporter will be judge Petro Martynenko.

. Den., No.106, June, 1999

Women’s rights

Land and freedom

Thinking about the prospects of development of such social institute as human rights, one must analyze the problems of the legislation. State laws are a juridical guarantor of realizing rights and freedoms of citizens. The historical experience of democratic legislation on the territory of the former Russian Empire is negligible since it counts only 46 years (from 1864 to 1917), whereas in Western Europe such legislation started in 1215 (the Magna Charta).

Legislation produces two types of laws. The first type adequately reflects the existing relations and serves to ensure the protection of individuals. Such laws are obeyed voluntarily by the vast majority of the law-abiding population, because to obey the law serves one. s interests. This kind of laws is protected by the state (which defines the violation of such laws as crime), church (which calls it sin) and morals (which call it evil).

A law of another kind does not serve interests of individuals. it serves the interests of a state and is obeyed by individuals in such a measure which can be achieved by the state control. Such, for example, are custom rules.

The modern stage of legislation in out state is difficult because our state has a little experience in creating democratic laws and has no state ideology (without which any state cannot function), and our people is not accustomed and willing to obey the laws of the government which they dislike.

The legislation affects human rights, especially the most important one.

One of drafts of the Constitution of Ukraine contained a statement that the private property is the main guarantor of freedom. Unfortunately, this statement did not enter the operating Constitution. Although Part 5, Article 41. The right of private property is inviolable., at the first glance, satisfies the world democratic standards, its implementation is lagging behind. Especially, it is true concerning the most important phenomenon. the right of private property for land. The world juridical practice developed a fundamental concept that to be a proprietor is to own, to use and to manage the property. As to the property for land, the Ukrainian citizens cannot manage land since they have no right to alienate land plots (to sell, to gift and to mortgage). The Land Code of Ukraine declares:. Citizens acquire the property right for land plots in cases of purchasing, receiving a gift and exchange. (Part 2, Article 6). However, the operation of this Article is suspended, thus the right of property is truncated.

One can understand fears of the legislative power, if they give to citizens the right to sell land. There were historical precedents. For example, during the first half of this century the land in Palestine was purchased from local sheiks by American Jews and later became the property of Israel.

This does not threaten Ukraine. The Constitution of Ukraine reads that land, bowels of the earth, atmospheric air, water and other natural resources situated on, under and above the territory of Ukraine, national resources of her continental shelf and maritime economic zone are objects of the property right of the Ukrainian people (Part 1, Article 13); the Ukrainian law. On property. stipulates the same (Part 1, Article1); the Land Code of Ukraine stipulates that all the land of Ukraine is owned by the state, except the land passed to the collective or private property (Part 1, Article 4). There arises the question: who owns the land. people or state?

What is stipulated by the Constitution is difficult to change. According to Article 156, Part 1, the first part of the Constitution of Ukraine may be changed, if the proposition of change is presented to the Supreme Rada by the President of Ukraine or by two thirds of the Constitutional composition of the Supreme Rada and later adopted by at least two thirds of the Constitutional composition of the Supreme Rada and confirmed by the all-Ukrainian referendum appointed by the President of Ukraine.

So, after all, the owner of the land is the Ukrainian people, and it is the prerogative of the people to solve finally the question of the property for land, one of the main human rights.

Law-enforcers or accomplices in violating law

Is it you who complained?. That was the first phrase which a representative of the association. Zeleny Svit. heard in the city prosecutor. s office last Wednesday.. Yes, that is us.. The complaint in question was handed to Lugansk region prosecutor. s office for the actions of Severodonetsk prosecutor. s office. The object of the complaint is amazing even for our troubled times.

On 12 March Severodonetsk town council took a decision, according to which the right for a free transportation within the town, which is stipulated by a number of Ukrainian laws, shall act only during 4 hours a day. In other time handicapped, war and labor veterans, members of Chernobyl salvation teams had to pay for their transportation as other people. This openly illegal decision did not cause much resistance of 40 thousand of people whose interests were impaired. These people flocked into trolleys during the four permitted hours. In the remaining time trolleys transported atmospheric air.

Local human rights protection activists from. Zeleny Svit. were interested not so much in privileges, as in the principle which establishes the superiority of law. A law must be obeyed, even if one is quite sure that the law is bad, otherwise we shall have chaos. So. Zeleny Svit. turned to V.Gubanov, the head of the Severodonetsk town court, with the complaint at the illegal decision of the town council, basing upon Part 2, Article 248(1) of the Civil Procedural Code of Ukraine. Simultaneously, according to Part 3, Article 248(4), we suggested to suspend the decision of the town council from the day of handing the complaint until the court decision. We appended to the complaint a copy of the. Zeleny Svit. statute which states the right of the association to turn to state organs for defending rights of its members (we have within our organizations veterans and Chernobyl liquidators). The reaction of the judicial power was fast. Next day judge T.Kovaliova ordered to refuse our complaint, referring to Chapter 14 of the Civil Procedural Code, which exactly stipulates the rightfulness of such a claim. She proposed to turn to the arbitration tribunal. We complained about this decision to the town prosecutor. s office, which did not hurry with the response, but at last gave birth to a response which struck us with the degree of knowledge of the Ukrainian legislation. It read:. & the resolution by the judge of Severodonetsk town court T. Kovaliova is legal, well-grounded and may not be cancelled, since, according to your claim, the decision of Severodonetsk town council is contrary to the Constitution, but, according to Part 1, Article248(3) of the Civil Procedural Code of Ukraine, the decisions of executive and judicial power having to be considered as to their accordance with the Constitution lie outside the competence of the courts... Zeleny Svit. decided to appeal to the region prosecutor. s office. Now the town prosecutor. s office is unhurriedly collecting materials to answer the region prosecutor. s office, and all that, we suspect, will take much time. And meanwhile the laws of Ukraine are cynically trampled, and the decision of the town council continues to act, already for three months. As we see, not without assistance of the court and prosecutor. s offices.

On refugees


Frequent publications about torture applied to our citizens, who had the ill luck to come in touch with out valiant militia, made the independent Cherkassy newspaper. Fakty. carry out a public poll. The newspaper turned to the citizens who on their own experience know the methods of law-enforcers and to law-enforcers themselves with the following questions:

Is it true that militiamen apply beating?

How far may law-enforcers go in applying force?

What (who) can stop them?

Here are some instructive answers.

Viktor K.
Condemned for theft (conditionally) after 4 months in a preliminary prison:

. They do beat! From the moment of detention they press on you morally and physically. The vocabulary of the investigators contains exclusively expressions of the type:. Out with it, you motherfucker!.,. Stick your rights to your ass, you, bastard!.,. You. ll confess what you never done, you, brute!. Any mention of one. s rights makes them furious. No one can stop this.

Oleg N.
Never tried, twice detained. for the appearance in a public place in a drunken state. :

. Militia patrols treat our citizens as if they were a patrol of occupying troops. God save you from any protests or mentioning your rights. you will be clubbed and handcuffed. Then you will be taken to the sobering-up station where they will. examine. you as to the degree of the intoxication, of which procedure they have the most approximate ideas. To complain against militia is as stupid as to piss against the wind. I tried.

Stanislav K.
Twice condemned. Spent 6.5 years in penitentiaries:

. Cops cannot fancy how to talk with a detained without using fists. Their professionalism is zero. They have little time for detection and their work is assessed by disclosing crimes. So the only way left is to beat out a confession. In their arithmetic the crime is considered disclosed not when the man is sentenced, but when they squeeze a confession from him. How far can they go? As far as they wish, there are no limits. To stop beatings is impossible since the needed laws are absent. The only way out is to sign everything they wish. Otherwise they will beat you to death.

Senior lieutenant V.,
a detective:

. Militiamen have no restrictive factors prohibiting them to apply force. On the contrary, that who does not beat causes suspicion from colleagues and commanders. The reason is one. the index of disclosures, i.e. the proportion of confessions. As to other proofs, that is not what a detective must get. I do not remember a single case when someone was made responsible for brutal methods. How to stop it? To exchange the personnel. By 100%.

Mykhaylo Skobets,
a lawyer of the newspaper. Fakty., stayed 8.5 months in a preliminary prison, found non-guilty by the court:

. They did not risk to apply illegal methods of the ODA to me. They pressed by trifles: a parcel was lost, a meeting was not permitted and so on. But I saw and I know. During 22 years of lawyer. s work I witnessed much.

Application of force is a routine in our militia. One may be beaten by a cop, or by a detective, or by a convoy, or by a guard of the preliminary prison, or even by your brother convict. The reason is one: in our country a human being, its life and health never existed as a value. No one ever was responsible for arbitrary and cruel actions. They may injure you physically and morally. there are no restrictions. The brain of an average law-enforcer is not contaminated with such nonsense as human rights or the presumption of innocence. And if you want to explain to a cop that it is you, a tax payer, who supports him, and not a state, and that he must guard you even if you return from a wedding, then you must have an oxygen bag, since the cop may faint from astonishment. Compare: if you put into the cellar your mother-in-law to prevent her to bother your watching a football match on TV, you will get up to three years for an illegal detention; a militiaman also may be sentenced for this, but only up to one year, under the irreal condition that you have enough health to prove the illegality of the detention.

To stop the arbitrary actions under the existing system is impossible. The authorities do not have objective or subjective reasons to stop torture. Different things happen. For example, in the town of Smilia a new head of the district department, O.Chuprin, came and tried to stop cruel treatment. It reduced, but laws, not people must rule the state. Alas, there are no laws.

Interethnic relations

The situation in Crimean prisons remains difficult

On 17 June in the House of the government a conference of the Coordinating Committee for fight with corruption and organized crime was held, chaired by the Prime-Minister of the Crimea Sergey Kunitsyn. Among the questions discussed at the conference one should point out the problem of the survival of the Crimean penitentiaries. As Vasiliy Loban, the deputy head of the penitentiary system of Ukraine, said, the situation in the Crimean penitentiary establishments remains very complicated. By the state on 1 April there are more than five thousand inmates, in particular, about three thousand in the preliminary prison in Simferopol, which exceeds the capacity in 1.5. 2 times. Because of the insufficient financing, the critical situation arose with purchasing and transportation of food products, medication, and communal services. Every fifth incarcerated is ill with TB of different forms, among them more than one hundred people are ill in the open form. There are 43 people who are AIDS-infected. The mortality among the incarcerated grows steadily. There is a grave necessity to continue the construction of the preliminary prison in Kerch, which was suspended in 1996 because of the lack of finances. Sergey Kunitsyn suggested to assess the work of the administration of preliminary prison in Simferopol as inadequate, since they could solve many questions themselves, without the interference of the coordinating committee

Court practices

Propositions of the participants of the seminar

The participants of the international seminar on having listened reports pronounced at the seminar agreed as to the following:

the operating laws of Ukraine about military problems contradict in many points the Constitution of Ukraine and the norms of the international right; that is why they form an obstacle in realizing the Constitutional right to a citizen who seeks protection of his rights and freedoms;

annual pre-term release of 4-5 thousand from the armed forces, because they had before recruiting the 3rd-4th degree of able-bodiness, brings immense material damages to the state, damage to the health of these young people and causes unpredictable remote consequences of the military service; besides it forms a very negative public image of the conditions of military service;

absence of principal changes in the already approved Articles of War and in the draft of the law. On universal military service. ; as a result of this law only 6% of the recruiting age will be taken to the army, which causes a complex of. second-sort people. in those young men who will get to the armed forces;

unpredictable remote consequences of the army service, the growth of such consequences, inaccurate pay, procrastination in passing and paying insurance, which is incomparably smaller than analogues sums paid to members of the Ministry of Interior and the security service, negatively affect servicemen, their parents and relatives, who, under the influence of these reasons, form a negative public opinion of the army;

problems of legal counseling of recruits, servicemen and former servicemen, who suffered from the remote consequences of the army service, have a great theoretical and practical importance for ensuring Constitutional rights and for supporting in military units the absence of dedovshchina; all these problems require principally new approaches for their solution.

The. Main principles concerning the role of lawyers. were adopted by the 8 thUNO Congress (1990) on preventing crime and treatment of culprits; in particular they contain the following suggestions:

governments shall appoint sufficient finances and other resources for juridical counseling of those who are unable to pay for the juridical aid;

governments and trade unions of lawyers must support the program of informing people about their rights and duties, and about the important role of lawyers in protection main freedoms of citizens;

in all cases, when it is required by the interests of the right, every person, who has no lawyer, has the right for the legal aid of a lawyer, whose experience and competence is adequate to the character of the offence.

Having in mind the agreement of the operating laws of Ukraine on military topics with the Constitutional norms and realizing the Constitutional right for free legal aid to recruits, servicemen and former servicemen, who suffered from the remote consequences of the army service, the participants of the seminar suggest:

Develop a codex of laws on military service. To this end, the President should issue the edict for creating a commission for the development of the codex. Professionals of different specialties, both military, civil and representatives of public organizations, shall be included to this commission.

The priority task of reforming the armed forces must not be a restructuring of the army, but such a reform, which shall be based on the humanization of relations between all categories of servicemen.

Amend the regulations about the recruitment procedure, which was introduced by the order of the Minister of Defense. Approve the new regulations by the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers, including into the regulations the obligations of state officers in concrete solving recruits. problems, that can negatively affect their service.

Introduce into each recruiting commission and independent lawyer, who would represent a juridical organization or the local administration. This lawyer must control the observance of law during the recruiting campaign and provide legal aid to recruits.

Introduce into the armed forces the institute of juridical aid for protection rights of servicemen.
To this end, create within the structure of the general military inspector at the President or at the Cabinet of Ministers the service of juridical protectionwith corresponding territorial substructures without submission to commanders of military units or garrisons. The duty of this structure shall be rendering legal aid to servicemen and former servicemen, who suffered from the remote consequences of the army service.

Taking into consideration the fact that the system of psychological service is insufficient in the armed forces today, start the preparation of specialists in psychology and psychiatry.

Develop and adopt the law which shall give the rights to the former servicemen, who suffered from the remote consequences of the army service, to get medical aid in military hospitals.

The age. ceiling. for recruits lowered to 25

The age upper limit for recruits will become 25 instead of 27 years, as it was before. This novelty is confirmed by the Ukrainian law. On universal military service. adopted on 18 June by the Supreme Rada. The law also states that the formation of the armed forces will be done by the mixed system: on contract and on the base of the universal military service. The list of circumstances that give the right for the postponement of the military service is made more exact.

. Segodnia., 19 June 1999


An open letter to the funds ‘Counterpart’, ‘Vidrodzhennya’ and similar organizations

Since 1994 a human rights protection union ‘Antimafia’ has been operating in Dnepropetrovsk region. All this time we have been trying to get some financial support in the forms of so-called grants in various funds, such as ‘Counterpart’, ‘Vidrodzhennya’, etc.

All such organizations make a lot of noise about the aid which they render to independent public organizations. We thought: how good! Is there in Ukraine a more independent organization than ours? Our organization was created by the initiative ‘from below’, by people who knew what is a violation of human rights on their bitter experience. ‘Antimafia’ aids the poorest and aids absolutely free of charge, ‘Antimafia’ openly and bluntly criticizes the authorities. Only in 1998 our union organized eight hunger-strikes in the center of Dneprodzerzhinsk, with the aim to protest against pay arrears. We have won, and now our helpless and corrupted authorities hate us, but we even have no office — the authorities will not give it, and we have no money for the rent.

We want to have our own independent human rights protection newspaper, a tribune from which we can inform people about crimes of the authorities, about concrete lots. Yet we cannot get any help. Businessmen are afraid, they say that if the authorities know that we gave money for your newspaper, they will ruin us. We tried to collect donations of the simple folks and collected 64 grivnas. And then we learned about the Soros fund, ‘Counterpart’ and dozens of others. We started to beg, paying the last penny for paper, xerox, mail. And we received answers: sorry, the grant is conferred to another organization.

What are these organizations? Name them. Tell about their activities in detail. We shall learn.

‘Antimafia’ does not want to offend anybody, but we have the impression that all grants were distributed beforehand. And not among independent organizations, but among government-supporting organizations, created ‘from above’. We have such an impression that ‘Antimafia’ and similar organizations are needed only for creating the background for the illusion of the competition. It seems that the authorities allow the corresponding funds to exist not without some strings attached.

PL commentary.
We have combined the three previous articles on purpose, because they are devoted to one topic and complement each other.

We, as well as E.Grinberg, I.Shevchenko, V.Kyrmyzy, and, we hope, all our readers, regard Denda’s activities as such that discredit human rights protection organizations. If our organizations take money from the people, who turned to us for assistance, we shall become commercial organizations. I can tell many amusing stories about how our group refused from presents brought to us by grateful plaintiffs after the successful end of their cases. Maybe we were tactless, but right, because, as a rule, very poor people turn to us. And, in order to stand independent, we do not permit ourselves to take anything from the authorities. We do not take it in any forms, direct or indirect, say, as privileges in renting a place or in paying communal services.

Then you may ask on which money a human rights protection organization can exist. If all work without pay, then they will have to contribute their own money. That was the way in which our organization worked from 1988 to 1992: we all had jobs somewhere and paid a proportion of our salaries for the needs of our organization. By and by we understood that we had come to the limit: in order to work better we had to become professionals, i.e. we had to find money for the work, office, equipment, stationery, library, money for salaries of technical staff, etc. We began to turn to charity funds.

Recently I have found our first request of 1992. How naïve and non-professional it was! It goes without saying that we got a refuse. But we continued to try until we succeeded. Since the first success our organization has noticeably grown: we have 20 full-time workers and more part-time ones. The search for money has grown into a permanent work, which must be done well. A professionally compiled request is a necessary condition for obtaining financial aid. We are not the only ones who learned the trick. Organizations appeared which can write a well-grounded project, such that even experienced workers of the funds cannot see that they are fishy. So grants are sometimes obtained by the organizations which have the only goal — to pack their pockets. Yet I would not risk to assert, like Sergey Miloslavskiy, that all organizations obtaining grants are such, and that all grants have been distributed beforehand among those who are loyal to the authorities. The situation is much more complicated. Certainly, the authorities do not set any conditions on the funds working in Ukraine. Moreover, many organizations get money from the funds situated in other countries and having no representatives in Ukraine. But there is another side: organizations, which call themselves human rights protection ones, are often noisy, incompetent and have a rather fuzzy impression on human rights and related topics. A convincing example is the organization headed by V.Denda. That is why the funds a priori are very vigilant, and that can be understood.

As to our experience, from one third to one half of our requests are supported in various funds, the rest is rejected. For example, we have not got a single grant from ‘Eurasia’ fund (although we handed out projects six times). The same failure we have had with ‘Counterpart’ (handed projects three times). But I never blamed anyone except myself. One must understand how the funds work, why they rejected your project, which projects were accepted. This information might help next time. Our expert Vsevolod Rechitskiy is a brilliant scholar of the world caliber, but he won a grant for a mission abroad only after eight attempts! Such examples may be multiplied.

Perhaps, there appeared a necessity to teach activists from human rights protection organizations the technology of preparing requests for grants. Maybe this will diminish the probability for good organizations to be refused. But where to take money for this training?!

Eugen Zakharov

I know how V.Denda works

Practically he carries out no work. As to his education, I was told that he finished four grades and has a certificate of a welder. I saw in his possession a pile of blanks: ‘Helsinki-96’, ‘International human rights protection assembly’, ‘Odessa branch of the international Union of human rights’ and some others. I asked him what he was doing and who are his consultants. He answered nothing concrete. I saw in him a man manipulating with different blanks. He has no office. I asked him from where he took money, for example, for stationery. I myself pay my own money, about 10-15 grivnas per month for mailing letters to various agencies, and I have never tried to ask for money or chisel money from my clients. People, who turn to me, are mostly old, from 60 to 96 years.

We have to turn to various organizations. I compile letters and mail them, I type them on my typewriter. Recently it got out of order, and I had to mend it. For this I paid 50 grivnas of my own money. I sympathize with people, since I myself was fired from eleven jobs and ten times I was restored by court. I never hired an advocate, so I had to learn the labor laws by myself. Now, when I consider other people’s cases, I turn to professional lawyers in difficult questions. My consultants are Anatoliy Bazeliuk, a friend in misfortunes, because he was also fired several times. Another consultant of mine is a former judge Vladimir Zavtonov. They know me well, they understand that I never take money from the clients, and they consult me free of charge. Rich people do not come to us. Our clientele are mainly pensioners who get 40-60 grivnas per month.

I want to ask the IUHR president and the editorial board of your bulletin: where do you take money at least for stationery and mailing expenditures? I tried to ask aid from Khmelniuk, the mayor of our Illichevsk. He considers himself the best mayor in Ukraine, but he never aided us. Moreover, he has not registered our organization, although we applied six months ago. Instead he looks for some compromising materials against me. In mid-eighties he was the first secretary of the Communist Party town committee, now he is a capitalist. Many his supporters hung Khmelniuk’s portraits in their offices.

To conclude I want to say that V.Denda’d methods are bad. The more so that he knows beforehand that he is unable to help people. People who work in human rights protection organizations must be humane and sympathizing, but all the same I want to ask, where can we take money for the most necessary expenditures?

Welder, guard and waitress

Several years ago I was advised to turn to Valentin M. Denda, the chairman of the Directorate of the International Union for Human Rights (IUHR). An organization with such a loud name deserves better administrators. The chairman of the Directorate is a welder, his first deputy, Leonid Brik, is also a rather illiterate man, a former guard of a shop, the secretary of this Union, Alina Gulinskaya, is a former waitress. There is not a single lawyer in this Union, and they have their ‘office’ in a basement of the building of a Sunday school.

The above-listed Directorate could not answer my question. Instead they asked me to become a member of their organization for a solid entrance fee. I did not agree because I think that within such an organization a lawyer must be present or at least a person having great practical experience in human rights protection.

Later I learned that Denda quarreled with his colleagues, and his office was expelled from this basement. Now Denda works alone with address unknown and practically he does nothing. He only introduces himself as the chairman of IUHR. I believe that this position must be occupied by someone with higher education. Denda and his assistants cannot compile a claim or an official letter to some agency. At first I thought that secretary Gulinskaya could write a claim correctly, but it appeared that she could only take tips and carry trays. Some time later I learned that one more human rights protection organization existed in Odessa. It is called ‘We shall defend ourselves’. In 1998 I came there and saw the same people. It appeared that Gulinskaya works as a secretary in IUHR and the deputy chairman in the society ‘We shall defend ourselves’. Again I asked her to compile a letter. She replied that I had to pay the entrance fee which, according to the order of the self-appointed chairman V.Biriukov, equals 12 grivnas for pensioners and two times more for other people. Then the former chairman S.Fayer came up to me and told that they should not demand any fees, except a symbolical sum from 50 kopecks to one grivna. The lawyer, recommended to me by Fayer, explained what to do and compiled a claim and a letter to the prosecutor’s office. As far as I understood, the only acting person in the organization was S.Fayer. I was told that he was the former chairman. I do not know why he lost his chairmanship.

Ukrainian ‘Memorial’: relaxed life threatens to turn into lethargic sleep

On 10 March in a luxurious hall a meeting to commemorate the 10 thanniversary of the activity of the ‘All-Ukrainian Memorial named after Vasyl Stus’ was held.

Les Taniuk made a speech which pretended to synthesize the report on the 10-year-long activity of the organization headed by him. Besides he pronounced blames at the address of those whose activity or passivity causes devaluation of national relics.

Less than a hundred of people listened to this report, which, God knows why, focused on the active work of ‘Memorial’ in 1989 – 1991. He also mentioned about three scores of books, a few scores of amateurish films and a number of enlightenment programs for the Internet created by a small group headed by Valentina Skachko. That was practically all.

Frankly speaking, I had no desire to right about this sad jubilee. What made me write this little note is our tragic inactivity, which we got accustomed to hide behind the state’s indifference, hard life, indifference of people and other so-called objective conditions.

But have a look at Russian ’Memorial’. It is alive and active under the similar conditions. So the reason is the inability of our leadership to organize the work. The author of this note is well aware of the activity of the Perm branch of ‘Memorial’. There we see a well-structured organization, closed contracts with international funds, with other region and foreign branches of ‘Memorial’, ‘Amnesty International’ and other public organizations which work in the similar sphere. In the Ukrainian case we see the hope that someone will work selflessly and enthusiastically.

Our people are capable of miracles and heroic deeds. This could be concluded from the report of Roman Krutsyk, the head of the Ivano-Frankivsk branch of ‘Memorial’. They created the Museum of victims of communist repressions which has already obtained the national status. They managed to force the region rada to give 15 flats for the families of the repressed. They initiated the draft of the law on compensation of the property for the families of the repressed, since in the operating laws this question is stated so fuzzily that this law does not act. When we listened to Roman Krutsik, we had an impression that the report of the ‘All-Ukrainian Memorial’ could be added to the report of its Ivano-Frankivsk branch as a small addendum.

The present state of ‘Memorial’ is even more disappointing if one reminds that ‘Memorial’ was the first public organization, which was officially registered in the USSR, in spite of its opposition to the communist regime. Now it is all forgotten. But when it began, we saw the overcrowded immense halls, where passions boiled, where communist ideologists tried to crawl into the organization, where we could defend our ideals by desperate struggle. Later it appeared that to fight with the rotting system is much easier than to organize the routine work. By and by activists disappeared, and the permanent orientation at the heroic, i.e. gratis, work left in ‘Memorial’ only a handful of fanatic supporters.

Maybe, this situation suits somebody. Yet, all of us need food, especially professionals that are accustomed to get paid well for the good work. This is normal and until we get some financing, we cannot expect any wide resonance from the activities of ‘Memorial’: we shall lack money for films, for distributing, for copying.

And without suitable ’polishing’ the collected materials about the crimes of communists upon our land will remain amateurish and will not have any chances to be accepted and understood by the coming generation. It must be done by all means and even by the practical reasons: we must force the current voters to compare the hard present with the crimes that were committed on our land several decades ago: without the comparison they will protest against the present by voting.

Valentina Skachko, a member of ‘Memorial’, said that very often mothers turned to their organization because their sons did not return from the army. This is a hot topic, but ‘Memorial’ does not take part in this activity because a few active workers cannot manage to do this work, along with what they already do..

We shall hope that the relaxed activity of the ‘All-Ukrainian Memorial’ will transform in the coming decade not into a lethargic sleep, but into sound and useful activity. But the author thinks that it can happen if the organization will not orient only to enthusiasm.

PL commentary.
We may only feel gratitude to Dmytro Stus who touched a very important and painful for us topic. Kharkov Group for human rights protection came from the Kharkov branch of ‘Memorial’ (we were a group of the latter before 1992). We inherited practically all directions of work from ‘Memorial’: historical enlightenment work, human rights protection, charity, protection of the rights of the rehabilitated. We work on all these programs and we have full-time workers. I think that if we reported at the meeting described by Dmytro Stus, we would look well. However, we were not invited and in general did not know about this meeting. Unfortunately, the Kharkov ‘Memorial’, as well as most branches of ‘Memorial’ in the East and South Ukraine, do not enter the ‘All-Ukrainian Memorial named after Vasyl Stus’.

It is worthwhile to dwell on the reasons of this schism. In 1990 and in 1994 at the meetings of the Kharkov branch of ‘Memorial’ we discussed the question of joining the ‘All-Ukrainian Memorial’ two times, and two times the meeting voted against. Most elderly people, who were afraid of ‘Bandera fighters’, voted against, as well as those who did not accept a too politicized activity which left too little energy and resources for purely ‘memorial’ work. This impression resulted mainly because Les Taniuk, the permanent head of the ‘All-Ukrainian Memorial’, was engrossed in politics and had no time for ‘Memorial’. This question: whether to join or not join the ‘All-Ukrainian Memorial’ even split local organizations in some cities into two or even three parts, which fact only weakened the organizations. It happened in Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk and other cities.

It happened so that the united up to 1991 ‘Memorial’ movement separated into several streams and became much weaker. There was one more objective reason: two directions of the ‘Memorial’ work out of the three, namely historical enlightenment and charity, began to be supported by the state too. Administrative commissions for recompensing rights of the rehabilitated were created, as well as editorial groups for preparation the series ‘Rehabilitated by history’. In many towns it was ‘Memorial’ members who manned these structures. The human rights protection angle and some other related questions were outside the state sphere, such as, for example, the history of the dissident movement in the 60s - 80s, search of the places where the executed were buried and the identification of the mortal remains. ‘Memorial’ although weakened, continued its work. Some branches of this organization are attracted to the International ‘Memorial’. They are branches from Kharkov, Donetsk, Lviv, Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Mariupol, Lugansk, Nikolaev, Aleksandria (some of them are members of the ‘All-Ukrainian Memorial’ too). Several belong exclusively to the ‘All-Ukrainian Memorial named after Vasyl Stus’. They are branches from Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil and Kyiv. I have named only those branches whose activity is noticeable and, in my opinion, fruitful. And although it is difficult not to agree with Dmytro Stus’s assessment, I hope that ‘Memorial’ has a promising future. My hope is confirmed by the successful activity of Russian branches of ‘Memorial’ which are not less successful than that from Perm. I mean ‘Memorial’ branches from Moscow, Sent-Petersburg, Riazan, Krasnoyarsk, Tomsk and others. We can only envy our Russian colleagues: most ‘Memorial’ organizations have offices, equipment, full-time workers.

What prevents Ukrainian groups of ‘Memorial’ to work efficiently? Perhaps, all taken together: general stagnation and tiredness, the necessity to work around the clock for earning one’s living, shortage of the public initiative… Maybe it would be reasonable, taking into consideration the not very successful past decade, to unite within ‘All-Ukrainian Memorial’ and try to resume the cooperation. What must be the main directions of the work of the ‘Memorial’ groups? It would be interesting to know the standpoint of other ‘Memorial’ members. We invite them for a discussion.

Evhen Zakharov

In February we published a note by E.Grinberg ‘If to call a spade a spade’. We have got two responses.

NGO activities

Medieval level of human rights


On 16 February a number of explosions sounded in Tashkent. As a result 13 were killed and 128 were heavily wounded. One of the explosions threatened the life of President of Uzbekistan Karimov. Such a crime is dealt with in Articles 155, 158 and 159 of the Penal Code of Uzbekistan and is punished by death.

On 15 March, one day after obtaining the sanction of the General Prosecutor of Uzbekistan, the four suspects were detained in Kyiv. They were Muhammedjan Begjanov (a brother of Sallih Begjanov, Dissident No.1 of Uzbekistan), Yusuf Razimuradov, Kobul Diyarov and Nimat.

After this President Karimov gave some comments in the local mass media. He said that the trial of the terrorists, who attempted to assassinate him, will be held in May. He again confirmed that his old implacable enemy Sallih Begjanov was involved in the crime. Sallih, the organizer of the practically demolished oppositional movement ’Erk’ now hides in Turkey. ’Now.,-as Islam Karimov said to the Uzbek channel of the BBC,-. the Interpol seeks for Sallih, and those, who are caught, will tell everything’.

The operation of capturing the Uzbek ’terrorists’ was carried out in utmost secrecy. Begjanov, Diyarov and Nimat were taken in the flat, when they counted the money earned by a day of trade at the market, since during four years they earned their living by selling goods at the market.


Representatives of the law enforcing agencies were extremely secretive about the names of the detained and about all correspondent details. Only three days after their extradition (that happened on 18 March) the newspaper ’Den’ managed to get the official confirmation of the fact. The newspaper got accustomed to such treatment on the side of the law enforcing agencies, but the families of the detained were treated no better: their wives learned about the place, where the detained were kept, the conditions of upkeep, kind of accusation and, at last, about he fact of the extradition from mass media.

What became the reason of such secrecy? In vain we turned to the Ministry of Interior, General prosecutor’s Office, to the Ombudsperson.Together with the wives of the detained we went to the Uzbek Embassy: the Ambassador Akmal Hakimov hid from us. So what are these monsters and how they became so dangerous?


Nina Lonskaya, the wife of Muhammedjan Begjanov, told us the following: ’We lived in Uzbekistan up to 1994. After Election-91, when Karimov became the president, the party ’Erk’ (Freedom) founded by my brother-in-law Muhamad Sallih began to feel pressure.

At first the party newspaper, also titled ’Erk’, was prohibited. Then Muhamad Sallih was detained for three days. He was well-known in Uzbekistan as a politician and a publicist.

Besides, people knew him just as an honest and educated man. That was why he was elected to the Parliament. But he left the Parliament because he disagreed with the policy of the President. In a year he had to emigrate to Turkey. My husband still remained, and he and Yussuf tried to prolong the existence of the party’.

Nina Lonskaya told that their family was under close observation.’ Our children were tailed, a vagon permanently stood before our house, the telephone conversations were tapped. We sometimes wrote notes instead of speaking aloud. A year later my husband was accused of anti-state activities and had to emigrate to Turkey. I remained in Tashkent with two children and pregnant with the third. They often summoned me to the Ministry of interior. One day they came for me in three cars, told me to take passport and documents for the flat. It was already evening. They took me to the regional executive committee. The workers of this committee, who were leaving their jobs, crowded around, since they were told that I was a criminal. I was kept there for five hours. I was made to write, where my husband lived, how long I resided in Tashkent, and if I had obtained my flat legally. Then they took the documents for the flat and said that I had got it illegally. I objected, but they ensured me that they would always find some reasons to regard the documents as illegal. They kept my passport too. In several days they try to burst into my flat at four in the morning, but they could not break the metal door. I was afraid to open the door, because they could secretly put some drug or use some other trick to frame me, and I did not open the door until some acquaintances of mine, whom I called through telephone, came. The intruders made a thorough search of the flat and found nothing. When the surveillance weakened, I and my children slipped to Ukraine via Kazahstan to my parents, who reside in the Ukrainian town of Starobelsk. There my third daughter was born. Soon my husband joined us. In 1995-96 he published the newspaper ’Erk’ and conveyed it to Uzkistan.’


Members of ’Erk’ in exile were respected and supported by the Ukrainian ’Rukh’. The both movements were created almost simultaneously and the both were planned as movements of the intelligentsia for development of democracy. Yussuf, who worked as a part-time correspondent at the. Liberty. radio station, and Muhammedjan often attended meetings and congresses of. Rukh.. Muhamad Salih was a close personal friend of Viacheslav Chernovil, the head of the. Rukh.. At a meeting with the leader of. Rukh. Muhamad Salih said that he was going to put out his candidature at the next presidential election in Uzbekistan. He said that this was the reason why he had not changed his citizenship and even did not ask for a political asylum. Chernovil was worried when he heard that Muhamad Salih was blaimed with the terrorist act. The members of. Rukh found an advocate for the detained and wanted to initiate parliamentary discussion as to the legality of the detainment of Uzbek political figures in Ukraine. But the crisis in Kosovo left no time for this discussion. As a reporter of the newspaper. Den. has learned, Viacheslav Chornovil phoned to Muhamad Sallih. s family and promised to raise the question at the meeting of the PACE and at the meeting of the Committee of human rights within this organization. But in three days Chornovil perished in a road accident.


. On 14 February, two days before the explosion, I and my children went to Tashkent... told Nins Lonskaya... My husband remained in Kyiv. Tell me, does it sound right that before the explosion a terrorist can direct his family to the place of the terrorist act? We knew nothing and went to our relatives to take some things, we had left. We learned about the explosions from TV. At first the Extreme Islamists were blamed. In a week the terrorists were found to belong to islamists and to. Erk.. Two village guys were shown on TV, who confessed that Sallih convinced them to go to Turkey and paid for their military training. This was all evidence. The authorities seemed not to know that we were in Uzbekistan otherwise they would arrest us. We hurriedly returned to Kyiv. My husband knew about the explosions, but calmly continued to sell at the market.. Shaira Razimuradova, told us some details about the detention.. They told me that my husband is suspected of the attempt at the assassination of President Karimov. Uzbek officers asked whether expensive things in our home, including a new computer, were bought for the money given by Muhammad Sallih. I answered that we honestly earned them by our work at the market..


As we already have said, on 18 March the detained were secretly sent to Uzbekistan. Thus,

they were devoid of all rights rendered to them by Ukrainian and international laws. The detained had the right to lodge a complaint against the prosecutor. s sanction and against the prosecutor. s refusal to permit them meeting with their advocate. But the fastness of the procedure did not enable them to do it. The Convention on legal aid in civil, family and criminal cases among the countries of the CIS asserts that the request for extradition must be received within 40 days after the detention, otherwise the detained must be released. Thus, there exists an upper boundary of the incarceration. But the lower boundary does not exist. So there is an impediment to slow work of the judicial machine (which is the common rule) and there is no impediment against the too fast work (which is a rarity, but worked in the case of the Uzbek refugees).

The authorities assert that neither the detained nor their advocate complained on inhumane conditions of their detention and upkeep. That is not witnessed by any neutral third side. The behavior of the officials, who took part in the action, confirm the suspicion. According to the words of Shaira Razimuradova, their advocate turned to the Ministry of Interior, and he was answered that. they do not need an advocate.. A correspondent of the newspaper. Den. asked Sergey Luzanovsky, the detective involved, why advocates were not admitted. The answer was simple:. I am not interested in it.. Shaira Razimuradova told that in a fortnight after the detention the officials in the Ministry of Interior told her that the confiscated precious things from their home are. being checked., but another official showed her an IOU signed by Captain of Uzbek militia Turgunov of 18 March, testifying that all confiscated things were moved to Uzbekistan. Sergey Luzanovsky rudely refused to show the copy of the IOU:. I won. t give you anything. Go and talk with your Uzbeks..

There is another side of the question. Ukraine signed a number of International documents, according to which a country should not extradite suspects to another country where the capital punishment and torture are practiced. The European Court of Human Rights prohibited Hungary to extradite a citizen of the USA to his native country, because he could be executed there. The UNO Convention on Prohibition of torture set even more stringent restrictions. Article 3 of this document stipulates that a country-member must not extradite anybody to another country if there are serious grounds to believe that torture may threaten the extradited person. (Recall Karimov’s phrase that. those who are caught will tell everything. ).

Here are some more facts illustrating the level of observance of human rights in Uzbekistan.

On the suspicion of a connection with the terrorist act, simultaneously with Muhammadjan, another brother Kammil Begjanov was arrested. He is forty-five-year-old, father of five children, who all his life worked in a village of Horezm region. Another brother Rashid is incarcerated. Militia found in a sack of rice, which he brought to a market, a package of drug. The arrest strangely coincided with the escape of his brother Muhammad.

Another illegal novelty was that Ukrainian law enforcers often just accompanied their Uzbek colleagues, who did in the capital of Ukraine what they wanted. Here is an example of the brutal treatment of an ethnic Uzbek, but a Ukrainian citizen Kirgizbay Muminov by a joint Ukrainian. Uzbek team (the Ukrainian part was from Vatutinskiy precinct). Citizen Muminov told the following: ’. Two my nephews from Tashkent came to me with the purpose to enter institutes. They lived in my wife’s flat. On 17 March I with my wife went to visit them. We decided to return on foot, because after three heart strokes I move very little. We walked along Balzac street. Suddenly two cars braked near us, and six men in civil clothes jumped out. We were frightened, thinking that they were gangsters. The wife started crying:. Don. t beat him! He is after his third heart stroke!. They pushed me to a car and started to beat. I was all covered with blood. My wife was thrown to another car, and we were taken to Vatutinskiy precinct. They told me to keep hands up. In the precinct I saw my nephews. One was in handcuffs. They kicked him on the shins and enjoyed when he could not stand up. They took my key and went to make a search of my flat. Later we found that fur caps and tickets for a football match were missing. In the precinct we were interrogated by Uzbeks. Certainly nobody told their names. They asked me why I live in Ukraine, how many children I have, when I was last in Uzbekistan. I said to them that I had been living in Ukraine for 37 years. We all were shown photos of some Uzbeks, whom we never saw. They asked about the four Uzbeks who are to be deported and about other contacts with Uzbeks. We were photographed en face and in profile and released after two hours. After this reception we summoned motor ambulance three times..

Soon the victims turned to the prosecutor. s office of Vatutinskiy district with a complaint about the brutal treatment. The man who tried to render them juridical aid soon refused from his noble initiative, since he unexpectedly got many problems with the tax inspection (a very popular scenario). So there is no hope that the thugs from Vatutinskiy precinct will be punished or even mildly reprimanded.


According to Yuriy Murashov, the Chairman of the Ukrainian branch of. Helsinki-90., an extremely dangerous precedent is created in the country. In Ukraine thousands of political emigrants and refugees found shelter. They are from Uzbekistan, Belorus, Russia, Georgia, Chechnia, as well as from Afganistan and other countries of the Central Asia. The extradition of the four Uzbek refugees means for all other refugees that they have lost the confidence in their status. Everyone of them may be captured any time and given to torturers.

Point of view

The freedom of consciousness is brutally violated in Sebastopol

In several high schools of Sebastopol foreigners teach languages. A Canadian citizen Helen Ray Blackburn had been teaching English during four years in the high school No.3. We know numerous positive opinions of parents and colleagues about Ms. Blackburn. s selfless work. She organized an excursion of her pupils to Canada, where they had the chance to learn about the life of Canadian children and practice in the English language.

However, the security service of Ukraine and Sebastopol prosecutor. s office got interested in the activities of Helen Ray Blackburn. The pretext was that Ms. Blackburn belongs to one of the ramifications of the Protestant church. The security service and the prosecutor. s office started to summon schoolchildren, other teachers and parents for interrogations. The interrogators hinted that Ms. Blackburn propagandizes her religion.

As a result, the Department of Visas and Registration (DVR) in the city of Sebastopol refused to prolong the term of sojourn of Ms. Blackburn in Ukraine. Moreover, without sufficient explanations she was informed on 25 June 1999 that by 4 July she must leave the territory of Ukraine and that her coming to Ukraine is prohibited for five years. The officials from DVR referred to the violation by Ms. Blackburn of Article 24 of the Ukrainian law. On the freedom of consciousness and religious organizations. and Articles 30. 32 of the Ukrainian law. On legal status of foreigners..

We possess the information that during lessons Ms. Blackburn never propagandized her religion. The very atmosphere of suppression, the rude form of communication, the ill-grounded cruel decision are abuses of human rights.

We turn to all human rights protection organizations for support and we ask them, without delay, to send letters with protests to the addresses:

Leonid Kuchma, President of Ukraine

7 Bankova St.

252220, Kyiv, Ukraine

Fax: 044 291 61 61

Leonid Derkach, Head of the security service of Ukraine

33 Volodymirska St.

Kyiv, Ukraine

Fax: 044 226 34 31

Yuri Kravchenko, Minister of Interior of Ukraine

10 Academician Bogomolets St.

252024, Kyiv, Ukraine

Fax: 044 291 17 33

Crime blossoms in Odessa

On 16 May, as almost everyday, shots sounded in Odessa. another assassination occurred. In daytime (around 15:00 hours) not far from his suburban villa Boris Vikhrov, the chairman of Odessa region arbitration tribunal, was shot from a Tommy-gun. He had a passenger. Igor Bondar, the director of the local TV company AMT. The passenger was killed too, perhaps accidentally, but as to judge Vikhrov, there were many reasons for him to be murdered. He was a candidate to the mayor of Odessa last summer, and then he took off his candidature, not by his own will, it rumors. He took part, or, to be exact, he did not take part in the recent scandal when one of the best ships of the Black Sea ship company. Taras Shevchenko. was sold at the auction in January to some British firm for the dumping price of 2 million 200 thousand USD (experts say that the ship costs at least five times more). The results of this criminal auction later were recognized illegal, but the region arbitration tribunal dodged from the consideration of this case.

Yuri Kravchenko, the Minister of Interior, said at the press conference in Kyiv that during the inspection of judge Vikhrov. s property records were found of his expenditures that exceeded one million USD. Only on the plot of land in the country, which belonged to judge Vikhrov there were five big constructions and a three-storied house. His possessions slightly exceeded a salary of a state officer.

All written above does not mean that we feel that a corrupted judge deserved his lot. All people must be protected by law, and this protection in Odessa is as reliable and strong as a cobweb.

Yuri Karmazin, the head of the Parliamentary Committee, told journalists that law-enforcing bodies knew about the preparation of the judge Vikhrov. s assassination half a year ago. Yet our valiant militia, as is well known, does not come until the victim is dead.

The series of assassinations in Odessa is successfully going on. During a week after Vikhrov was murdered four other businessmen were murdered, two of them, probably, because they came to the city for purchases. This sad list can be prolonged.

General-major Ivan Grigorenko, the head of the directorate of the Ministry of Interior of Odessa region, refused to give interviews. Militia keeps silence. And they have their reasons because not a single of the loud assassinations, attempts at assassination and kidnappings have been disclosed. Here is the murder of the big businessman A.Tabachnik, kidnapping during the last year election of the head of a district administration I.Svoboda and the head of a department of the city executive committee S.Varlamov, as well as the attempt on the life of the chairman of the city election committee L.Kapeliushny and the candidate to the mayor. s post E.Gurvits. No guilty have been found in all these cases.

One case did come to the court. It was the case of the murder of B.Derevianko, the editor of the newspaper. Vecherniaya Odessa.. Although some people got behind the bars as the result of this trial, the trial was fishy. The culprits told at the trial by which methods militia convinced them to. confess.. Who ordered the crime was not established. The name of the intermediary was called, but she has disappeared and is wanted by militia. Yu.Ivanov, the public prosecutor from the editorial board, after the end of the trial declared that the case need additional investigation.

On the other hand, militia is very successful. At the press conference this March colonel V.Romanovskiy, the deputy head of the Odessa directorate of the Ministry of Interior, the head of the department for fighting with organized crime, reported that during five recent years one hundred gangs counting more than 800 criminals were disclosed, among them criminal gangs of Vishnia, Duda, Grigoryev, Roganov, Konstantinov were caught. But the daily crime chronicle convincingly shows that the crime rate is not diminishing.

Who will be responsible for the sad fact that Ukraine turned into a criminal state and Odessa into one of criminal leaders.

Deported peoples

Maryana Chorna, a well-known Ukrainian journalist, tragically died on 24 June.

Maryana Chorna. under this penname her readers and viewers knew the brilliant analyst. lately headed the informative-analytic department of the TV channel NOA. Her real name was Miroslava Aliokhina, she was 44-year-old.

In early 90s, after Ukraine got her independence, Maryana Chorna worked in a well-known Lviv newspaper. Post-postup. Her articles of that period will certainly become the priceless material for historians who will learn the events and situation in the Ukrainian society of that time. In 1996 she passed to the TV channel NOA where she headed first the department of news and then the analytic department. She was among those who created the TV project. Shadow sector, which became famous due to critical materials concerning the corruption in the Ukrainian business. Lately she has headed the project. Election-99. and on 27 June we all expected the first transmission of this project. The right to elect.

Lately she frequently told her friends and colleagues that she felt a pressure from several politicians, threats and propositions to leave the TV channel.

Maryana Chorna was buried in Lviv, side by side with her mother, who died last year.

The editorial board of. Prava ludyny. offers the condolences to the workers of the TV channel NOA, to friends and relatives of Maryana Chorna.

Editor in charge of the issue - Evhen Zakharov

55 years since the deportation of Crimean Tartars

On 18 May 1944 by the direct order of Stalin Beria’s henchmen headed by general Serov carried out an unprecedented action — during two days they deported from the Crimea all Tartars, together with assorted Greeks, Armenians, Karaites and Bulgarians. They all were accused of the collaboration with Nazis.

Nowadays, when supporters of the Communist party go to meetings and demonstrations with Stalin’s portraits, then one willy-nilly thinks how short is the peoples’ memory. How could they forget Stalin’s crimes, how could they forget the famine, the purges of 1937, the genocide of entire peoples. Cingis Aytmatov called the people, who have no memory, ‘mankurts’, and this is a great trouble for the people and for the country, if mankurts become a noticeable part of the society. That is why Aleksandr Tvardovskiy was right, when he said:

‘Memory!’. The worst that was

You must keep without a loss.

Now, when the Crimean Tartars with hardships return to the Crimea, and find the will and the resources to erect in the center of Simferopol the monument to Petro Grigorenko, the outstanding human rights protection activist, they win respect of the entire Ukraine.

I was at the meeting dedicated to the opening of this monument. I was standing side by side with the Crimean Tartars, who got enormous prison terms for their attempts to return to their motherland, side by side with the Ukrainians and Russians, who did their term in Krushchev – Brezhnev – Andropov concentration camps for their desire to be free citizens of the independent and democratic country, side by side with representatives of Moslem and Orthodox religion, side by side with ministers and people’s deputies of Ukraine.

Could Petro Grigorenko imagine, when he began to fight for human rights and for the rights of the repressed people, that thousands of people will come to the meeting to open his monument? I think not. Neither could he, a general, who was fighting through the Great Patriotic War, fancy that Aleksandr Tkachenko, the speaker of the Parliament of the independent Ukraine, could declare, with the Ukrainian President present; ‘Ah, Grigorenko!? But he is a spy. He defected together with Victor Suvorov!’ And this speaker became a candidate to the President of Ukraine! Oh, God, have mercy on our long-suffering land…

Unfortunately, the myth is still alive that the Crimean Tartars together with many peoples of the North Caucasus actively collaborated with Germans, so the deportation was the means to get rid of the fifth column.

Well, even if they collaborated, the blame could not be put upon women, children and old people, who made the overwhelming majority of the deported. How much the minds of people must be distorted to make them be silent when some people were made responsible for the sins of others (if there were any!). The attitude of the Crimean Tartars to Germans did not differ, on the average, from the attitude of other peoples.

The citizens of the Soviet Union had reasons, to put it mildly, not to love their power. The support of the occupants did not become massive because Hitler did not conceal his blood-thirsty intentions, introducing the new order by sword.

German successes in the beginning of the war resulted in millions of our soldiers becoming POWs. They were starving to death and were informed of the bestial orders of Stalin who called all the POWs traitors. This all put a dilemma: either death or collaboration with the enemy. The Germans formed military units form the POWs. Among them there were three battalions from the Crimean Tartars. One must bear in mind that regiments, divisions and even armies were formed from Russians and Ukrainians. On the other hand, the Crimean Tartars before the war counted about 25% of the Crimean population, while in the guerilla detachments in the Crime Tartars made about 40%.

Many years later a group of Crimean Tartars were tried in Tashkent, because they fought for the right to return to their motherland. The commander of a guerilla detachment was among them; during the war Germans gave many thousands marks for his head.

This little people sent to the front all its men. Most of them fought heroically and one of them, pilot Akhmedkhan, became a double hero of the Soviet Union.

Were there traitors? Perhaps. But was it a sufficient reason for deportation of all: women and children, communists and war veterans, invalids and old people. They all were driven to the load trucks within 24 hours and transported to the East.

Only after the declaration of independence by Ukraine the Crimean Tartars got an opportunity to return to the Crimea. The process is not smooth. More than 100 thousand of the returned do not have the Ukrainian citizenship yet, and this means that they have restrictions in acquiring the property, in finding jobs and so on.

Many tens of thousands cannot return from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia because they cannot sell their real estate or go from the citizenship of their present country. On the other hand, those who came have no money for building or buying living accommodation. They need help and if one takes into account that the Crimean Tartars is one of a few groups of the Crimean population, which support the independent Ukraine, it is clear, how important for the future of Ukraine is any help to the Tartars.

To solve their strategic problems the Crimean Tartars once in three years hold a congress, called kurultay. At such congresses Tartars elect medjliss, the executive organ. Until now the Ukrainian authorities did not prevent Tartars to hold kurultay, although de jure they did not acknowledge it, seeing a competitor in this organ. Many European countries, as well as the USA and Turkey, acknowledge medjliss, unlike Ukraine. It must be stressed that today medjliss headed by Mustafa Dzhemilev expresses the interests of the moderate majority of Tartars.

Scornful and sometimes hostile attitude of the leftish leadership of the Crimea to the Crimean Tartars necessarily increases the position of the most impatient, offended and daring.

A month before the sad jubilee marches of the Crimean Tartars from all ends of the peninsula to Simferopol were organized with the aim of coming to the meeting at the central square of Simferopol on 18 May. In the morning not only the square, but all adjacent streets were crowded by the demonstrators. There were no drunken participants, there was no bad language. On 17 May the President of Ukraine and the speaker of the Supreme Rada of Ukraine met the Crimean authorities and the leaders of the medjliss. This meeting meant that the medjliss was acknowledged de facto. Besides the President of Ukraine issued the edict in which he created a Council of representatives of the Crimean Tartars as a consultative organ at his administration. Mustafa Dzhemilev was appointed the chairman of this Council, and the entire medjliss was incorporated into this council.

At the meeting of 18 May the edict was read by Sergey Kunitsyn, the head of the Crimean government. The edict and the accompanying speech by Kunitsyn were cheered. But little depends on Kunitsyn, because Mr. Grach, the speaker of the Supreme Soviet of the Crimea, says that it is unreasonable to deal separately with the problem of the Crimean Tartars. He argues that except Tartars other peoples were deported from the Crimea, and the attitude to all of them must be equal.

I believe that it is incorrect. The attitude must be equal to any individual, regardless of his nationality. We all are equal before law, but when we deal with the Crimean Tartars, we must understand that they have no other motherland, except the Crimea. That is why we must put into the agenda the question on restoring the national autonomy. The Crimean Tartar autonomous republic existed before the Great Patriotic War, and, by the way, it was created by Lenin’s order, and the first chairman of the republic was Dmitriy Illich, Lenin’s brother.

Summing up it should be stresses that on the position of the Ukrainian government, her President and Parliament, the issue depends, whether our country will remain one of the few on the post-Soviet territory, where the development proceeds slowly, painfully, but without shedding blood.

Let God make us elect such President and such Parliament, which would care about troubles of individuals and entire peoples!

PL commentary.
One of the tools, by which ‘the happy future’ was built in the Soviet times, was deportation of entire peoples. The coercive deportation of citizens of Ukraine during this time still remains ‘a white spot’ in our history.

The Kremlin leadership decided that the Crimean Tartars, as well as Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians, Turks were traitors of the motherland. On 10 may 1944 L.Beria reported to comrade Stalin: ‘Taking into consideration betraying actions of the Crimean Tartars against the Soviet people and basing on the impossibility for the Crimean Tartars to live at the frontier of the USSR, the NKVD asks you to consider the resolution about the deportation of all Tartars from the Crimea’. On 11 May this project was signed by ‘the father of the peoples’. Here we must note that in 1939 the Crimea populated 218179 Crimean Tartars, 20652 Greeks, 15353 Bulgarians and 12873 Armenians.

The deportation was started in the small hours of 18 May 1944. By 18:00 hours on 19 May L.Beria reported by a telegram: ‘165515 people have been transported to the stations. 50 trains carrying 136412 people have already departed’. By 16:00 hours 20 May the deportation was completed. ‘All in all 180014 people have been deported’, read the final telegram.

‘The NKVD finds it reasonable’ — L.Beria reported to comrade Stalin on 29 May, ‘to deport from the Crimea all Bulgarians (12075 people), Greeks (14300 people), Armenians (9919 people)’. The order No.5984 was signed by comrade Stalin on 2 June. The order was executed.

According to the order No.6100 of 24 June citizens of Turkey, Greece and Iran, who ‘had expired national passports’, were deported too to the Fergana region. All in all they were 3531 citizens of Greece, 105 of Turkey and 16 of Iran.

By 1 October 1948 other 7219 people were additionally exiled from the Crimea (they were the demobilized, repatriates and so on). The deported people were related to the category of the exiled forever. The edict of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 26 November 1948 stipulated that these deportees had to be punished by 20-year term in the concentration camps for the attempt to escape from their settlements.

As to the conditions under which the deportees from the Crimea lived, it is known that from the beginning of the deportation to 1 October 1948 the number of the born was 6564, while the number of the dead was 44887. In particular, in 1945 these numbers equaled 1099 and 15997, respectively.

The deportation and casualties during the war decreased the population of the Crimea by the factor 3.4: from 1196 thousand before the war to 351 thousand immediately after the liberation of the Crimea from Germans. After the deportation of the Crimean Tartars their national autonomy was liquidated: in 1945 it was transformed into Crimean region of the Russian Federation.

Because of the coercive deportation of the local population the economy of the peninsula began to degenerate. In order to save the situation the Moscow authorities organized the immigration from the internal regions of Russia. O.Silayeva, the head of a department of the State Archives of Russia, wrote: ‘In the villages of central Russia ruined by the war, in hospitals, people were agitated to move to the Crimea. Only in 1944 13966 families were moved to the Crimea, in particular from Krasnodar region — 3100, from Voronezh — 2001, from Rostov — 1995, from Tambov — 1953, from Stavropol — 1950, from Briansk — 1048, from Orel — 1024, from Kursk — 985. As it often happened, the experimenting of ‘the father of the peoples’ did not succeed: in 1945 1615 families returned home, in 1946 this number was 4203, in 1947 — 3156, in 1948 — 950. All in all 55% of the immigrants returned to Russia in 1944 – 1949. The reasons of the back flow were rather accurately described by Adjubey. He quoted one worker of the collective farm: ‘It would be great if they will give at least one Tartar to one collective farm, he would explain to us where to take water and what to plant’. The immigration to the Crimea continued in early 50s. From 1950 to 1953 as many as 10739 families went in, and 1687 families went out.

The data are taken from Igor Vinnichenko’s book ’Ukraine in 1920 – 1980: deportation, emigration, immigration’

News from the CIS countries

A six-volume works of Vasyl Stus have been completed

The publishing house. Prosvita. (Lviv) printed. Palimpsests. by Vasyl Stus. This is the collection of poems of the outstanding poet who died being 47-years-old in the lockup of a political concentration camp in the Urals on the 4 September 1985. This edition was prepared by the poet. s son Dmytro Stus.. Palimpsests. are published in two books and make the third volume of the collected works in six volumes and nine books. The edition has been prepared and published during 5 years under the editor-in-chief Mikhaylina Kotsiubinska.

The presentation of the book was held on 1 June 1999 in Kyiv Teachers. House with the support of the union. Prosvita. and charity fund. Ridny kray..

Dmytro Stus presented all the volumes of the collected works. The first volume comprises early poems written before the first arrest of 1972. The poems are grouped into collections. Winter trees. (prepared by Mykola Goncharuk),. Gay graveyard. (prepared by Valentina Makarchuk),. Whirlwind. (prepared by Dmytro Stus). The second book of the first volume comprises loose poems which were not included to any collection.

The second volume has a somewhat ironical title. Dichtenszeit. due to Goethe. These poems were written during 9 months after the first arrest and before the trial. All in all there are 200 poems and 200 translations (prepared by G.Burlaka and O.Dvorko).

The third volume comprises poems that circulated in samizdatunder the title. Selected poems.. It was these poems that Henrich Boel put out in 1985 for the Nobel prize. Alas, the Nobel prize may be awarded only to the living.

The fourth volume comprises articles, drama and publicism prepared by S.Galchenko and M.Goncharuk.

The fifth volume includes translations prepared by M.Goncharuk, O.Dvorko and A.Shatska.

At last, the sixth volume in two books comprises correspondence. It was prepared by M.Kotsiubinska, who also added a. Dictionary of names within letters..

“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 1999, #06