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.


The USS does not collect signatures for Marchuk

Since the election campaign and the collection of signatures began, the offices of Severodonetsk administrators saw a Molchanov, known as an USS officer. He did not disprove his affiliation and successfully got assistance in collecting signatures for the former USS chief Marchuk. The filled in signature sheets were brought to the building in 4 Lenina street.

Independent observers protested against the participation of the USS in collecting signatures. The USS checked itself and denied the accusation. They said that Molchanov had been a USS officer, but now he headed the town organization . Spivdruzhnist. , which protects former officers of USS. It was this organization that was placed in 4 Lenina street, whereas the USS has quite another address . 4a Lenina street, whose building is separated from another building by a fence. Thus, the USS has convincingly proved that this service has no relation to Marchuk. s election campaign.

Another arbitrary act of Crimean authorities: an appeal

We, Andrey Voynich and Aleksandr Suvorov, members of the Simferopol city union of youth, were detained for a day and night by militia of the Tsentralny district of Simferopol. Our homes were searched under a far-fetched pretext.

We were detained because we kept leaflets appealing to vote at 31 Oct. election against the current President of Ukraine.

In our . democratic. country we have (on paper) all human rights, among them the freedom of speech, the freedom of voting, the open access to information. But under actual conditions, when the most of mass media are controlled by the authorities, when the mass media show only the lacquered side of the power activities, all the attempts to bring crumbs of truth to the people via mass media are brutally blocked by the authorities, then there remains only one way . that, which we took. Our detention is an anti-Constitutional act, rudely trampling human rights.

Without the public control, without the free press election-99 will become a farce. We appeal to journalists, to human rights protection organizations, to the democratic public to protect the freedom of speech, democracy and human rights.

Andrey Voynich, Aleksandr Suvorov

A letter on brazen violations of Constitutional rights of citizens and the operating law . On Presidential election. by Severodonetsk militia

To colonel Frolov M.Yu.

Head of Severodonetsk Directorate of the Ministry of Interior

Copy to the Central Election Commission of Ukraine

On 9 August the Severodonetsk town committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine held a public meeting with S.I.Doroguntsov, a member of the Central Committee of this party. The latter agitated for the candidate to Presidency of the communist P.Simonenko. Posters, displayed in various districts of the town, invited to this meeting all inhabitants of Severodonetsk. Several members of the people. s democratic party and people. s democratic socialist party, 41 persons all in all, came to this meeting. But according to their convictions, they held posters of oppositional contents, which at first did not cause any clashes.

Yet, in 2 . 3 minutes militiamen came to the representatives of democratic parties and, under the guidance of Polikarpov, the deputy head of the Severodonetsk Directorate of Interior, began to oust the democrats from the square, accusing them in provoking unrest. Several extremists from communists came to help militia: they tore the posters and insulted the democrats.

I assess these actions by militia as a rude violation of the Constitutional rights of citizens and the operating law . On Presidential election. because:

Being inhabitants of the town and being invited to the meeting, the members of democratic parties had the right to participate in the meeting; hence the militia illegally stood in the way of using the right stipulated in Part 1 Article 39 of the Constitution of Ukraine.

In accordance with Part 1 Article 34 of the Constitution of Ukraine, citizens have the right to the free expression of their opinions and convictions, in particular, in a visual form . through posters, and the militiamen illegally impeded this.

The organizers of this meeting agitated for the candidate P.Simonenko; in accordance with Part 2 Article 31 of the law of Ukraine . On Presidential election. , citizens have the right to carry out agitation against any candidate; the militia impeded this lawful right, for which, according to Part 1 Article 50, they must bear responsibility.

Bearing in mind the above arguments, I demand to have a service investigation of this incident and punishing the guilty.

A.Svetikov, a citizen of Ukraine

Politics and human rights

The 51st session of the subcommission of protection of human rights

This subcommission of the UNO Commission of human rights held its 51 stsession in Geneva from 2 to 27 August. The agenda included a number of actual problems, in particular:

violation of human rights and freedoms, including racial discrimination and segregation;

rights of season workers and their families;


realization of economic and cultural rights;

realization of women. s rights;

abolishing of slavery;

rights of indigenous peoples;

prevention of discrimination and protection of minorities;

court justice and human rights.

The mentioned subcommission is the main working organ of the UNO Commission of human rights. The subcommission was created at the 1 stsession of the Commission in 1947. The competence of the subcommission covers investigations on the fulfilling of the Universal Declaration of human rights, as well as the preparation of recommendations in the sphere of prevention of any kinds of discrimination, guaranteeing fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens, the protection of minorities. The subcommission consists of 26 hand-picked experts representing Africa (7 persons), Asia (5 persons), Latin America (5 persons), Europe (6 persons).

Session-99 was carried out at the times when many problems and conflicts in the sphere of human rights in several large regions of the world makes its work and decisions quite actual.

Additional information can be obtained from the Internet by the address:

The information was obtained from GLOBAL-INFO

The judicial reform is skidding

Politicians keep making noises and persuading the Council of Europe that the judicial reform is successfully advancing together with law-applying practices. Yet the latter actually remains such as before.

As before a man suspected in committing a crime and put in the dock is found guilty almost automatically. According to the data of the Ministry of Justice, in 1998 the total number of the convicted was 232598, while the number of the non-guilty was 884 (0.38%). In the first half of 1999 the corresponding figures were 114551 and 399 (0.35%).

The most of the condemned to incarceration committed slight crimes. they were sentenced for terms not longer than three years. In the first half of 1999 their proportion is 59.26% (in 1998 it was 59.1%).

In spite of the sad fact that penitentiaries are overcrowded and the inmates have great problems with food and medication, Ukrainian judges apply incarceration as the most frequent measure of punishment (37.5% in the first half of 1999 and 37.2% in 1998).

During the first six months of the current year 8868 minors are convicted, which makes 7.74% of the total number, in 1998 the proportion was 7.8%. The proportion of the convicted women steadily oscillates about 15%.

Although the Council of Europe sternly demands to abolish the death penalty, the rate of pronouncing death penalties is not decreasing. In the first half of the current year 71 such verdicts are passed (in 1998 the figure was 131). At present about 410 criminals are awaiting execution in Ukraine.

A closer look at Presidential Decrees

The legislative activity of the President of Ukraine embodied in issuing decrees has been recently often criticized. Having read some opinions of Leonid Kuchma. s political opponents, I decided to draw my own conclusions, attempting to be quite objective. To this end I tried to generalize all the decrees issued by the head of the state in recent 18 months. Having reached the web-site of the Supreme Rada in the Internet, I got a list of 833 Presidential decrees issued from January 1998 to July 1999.

At once I found that the largest group of the decrees concerns appointing and replacing the officials. The President. s passion to replace and change state officials like gloves is quite explainable. The work of the executive power, judging by the real situation in the country, is hardly efficient. Very frequent replacement and changes of the personnel confirm that the President assesses the situation as unsatisfactory.

The next numerous group of the decrees (about one third) concerns awarding citizens with orders, medals, honorary titles, etc. Soon, perhaps, we shall have more people awarded with the Ukrainian order . For distinguished work. than the population of several European countries rolled together. This is a tradition from our recent glamorous past, the tradition preserved and multiplied by the head of the Ukrainian state.

More than 30 times the President had to change, cancel, specify and even interpret his previous decrees. There are some curious ones. For example, the decree . On confirmation the operation of the decree of the President of Ukraine of 8 August 1996 No. 671. . The order of coming to effect and terminating normative acts is determined in the legislation. Yet, relative his own decree, the President decided to establish a special procedure.

The contents of 24 decrees are quite unknown, because they bear the note . Not for print. . The rate of issuing secret decrees varies in time. For example, in February 10 secret degrees were signed. So we must hope that our guarantor of the Constitution obeys Article 57 of it, which stipulates that any normative legal acts treating the rights and duties of citizens come into effect only on their publication.

It is noteworthy that in June 1999 the President signed more decrees concerning social and economic aspects, than in all previous months of this year. It is natural: soon the election campaign will begin. Under the conditions of the permanent financial crisis the President increases the minimal pension (decree No. 753/99 of 28 June); he also orders additional measures aimed at liquidation of pension pay arrears (decree No. 750/99 of 28 June); he cares about the compensation of losses for citizens as a result of the devaluation of deposits in the Saving bank (decree No. 756/99 of 28 June); he takes measures for supporting pharmaceutical industry (decree No. 757/99 of 28 June) and high school (decree No. 762/99 of 28 June); he stabilizes the social-economic situation in Dnepropetrovsk region (decree No. 719/99 of 26 June). The regional elites obtain form the President unprecedented opportunities. Throughout Ukraine the President began to create territories . with the special regime of investment activities. . The President never granted regions such financial privileges. It is interesting how will the local authorities and businessmen express their gratitude to the President for his generosity?

The President is not quite consequential. For instance, the decree . On the Day of church unification in Ukraine. goes side by side with the decree . On the Day of defenders of Motherland. , and the decree giving the top state award to the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro goes along with a number of decrees on the concordance of internal laws with the obligations to the Council of Europe. It is not quite clear how the President plans to agree the integration of Ukraine to the Council of Europe (degree No. 151/99 - ?i of 27 June) with the friendship with Castro and Lukashenko.

It is worthwhile to dwell on one of the Presidential decrees. While in Russia the suggestions of Stanislav Govorukhin on the creation of public councils for protecting morals were energetically rejected, the similar structure in Ukraine, state-obeyed and having wide powers was created by the Presidential decree without extra noise. The name of this organ is clumsy as usual: . All-Ukrainian coordination council in charge of the development of spirituality, protection of morals and shaping the healthy way of life. . Branches of this council are created at local state administrations in all regions of Ukraine, in the Crimea, in the cities of Kyiv and Sebastopol. Now tax-payers will feed bureaucrats who will breed among us the . social optimism, patriotism and toilers. moral. , as well as . will implement the energy and efforts of citizens in useful public initiatives. . The newly formed organization must oversight public and religious organizations and activate their work to make them . carry out the propaganda of the best achievements of the Ukrainian society, to breed pride of the citizens with their Motherland. . It seems that rights protecting and ecological organizations have to look for another Motherland, such that they will be proud of it. The decree anticipates the introduction of censorship, the President entrusted the newly formed council to prepare changes to the current laws . On television and radio broadcasting. and . On the national Council of Ukraine in charge of television and radio broadcasting. .

This February the President issued the decree . On measures for perfecting legislation activities of the executive power. . This is a worthy occupation.

The Two Augusts

Mystically, most destiny-forming events in the passing century happened in August. . The real 20 thcentury. , as Anna Ahmatova said, began in August 1914 when WW1 broke out. In August 1939 WW2 started. The atomic bombardment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 marked the beginning of the atomic era, of the cold war and of the arms race. In August 1968 Soviet tanks trampled the dreams of those who hoped to build the . socialism with human face. . The August revolution of 1991 in Moscow brought the end of the . empire of evil. .

Sixty years ago the Molotov . Ribentropp act was signed, and we would like to dwell on the Ukrainian ramification of it. The more so that President Kuchma signed decree No. 437/99 . On celebrating 60 thanniversary of unification of Ukrainian lands in one Ukrainian state. . How may one celebrate the 60 thanniversary of the event that resulted in mass repressions?! Even a cursory glance at the documents of various state bodies of those times shows a picture of continuous and synchronous actions of the NKVD and militia under the guidance of party organs. One sees massive slaughter and coercive removal of millions of innocent people to the Siberia and other Far Eastern and Asiatic regions of the USSR.

In 1939 . 41 in West Ukraine and West Byelorussia about 10% of their population (about 1,25 million) were deported to remote regions of the USSR. The most part of the deportees were Poles. The first to be deported were refugees. Those who tried to escape were shot down on the spot. A part of this campaign was notorious mass executions of Polish officers, officials and intellectuals in Katyn, Mednoye and Kharkov. Later the Soviet authorities ascribed these executions to Germans, thus deceiving the world public.

In 1939 all participants of the Ukrainian national liberation movement in Poland were arrested . communists believed that nationalists were their irreconcilable enemies. In June 1941 all remaining Ukrainian nationalists were arrested by Gestapo and sent to concentration camps. In 1942 the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UIA) was created and it begin the armed struggle against German occupants.

From the very beginning of the German occupation the coercive removal of the population for work in Germany began. By its cruel methods it differed little from the Soviet repressions. All in all, 2.2 million were removed from Ukraine, in particular, about 900 thousand from West Ukraine.

When the German troops were driven from the territory of West Ukraine, the large-scale repressions against Ukrainians resumed. The UIA turned weapons against the Soviet army and continued its struggle for six years without any support from outside. Thousands of soldiers of the UIA perished, hundreds of thousands of soldiers and sympathizers were sent to concentration camps for the standard term of 25 years. It happened that entire villages were exiled as accomplices, all in all about 2 million.

The total losses of West Ukraine are immense. In 1930 . 31 the Ukrainian population of the regions united to the USSR was 7.9 million, and in 1970 the population was 7.82, i.e. during 40 years it did not increase, but decreased. Counting the mean growth of the population, it can be concluded that about 20 million were lost.

And now, instead of considering the UIA at least equal in the rights with the Soviet army, instead of recollecting the innocent victims, the Ukrainian government proposes to celebrate the 60 thanniversary of the unification. How tactless!

There are situations when it is impossible to choose the least evil out of two: both are worse. The choice between the brown and red totalitarianism was tragic. Now, thank God, we do not have such a choice. But many decades must pass before we shall understand the 17 thof September as a day of realization of the natural right of the Ukrainian people for a single Ukrainian state. Today it is impossible.

On the contrary, 24 August 1991 is felt like a holiday (although it would be more natural to celebrate the 1st of December as the Independence Day), because there were no victims. Somehow, we are not happy. This holiday leaves a bitter aftertaste when one sees how the hopes for the better step by step were replaced with depression and apathy, how the young state, at first quite suitable to live in, ossified and separated from the people, how the state passed to serving itself, how the emigration (of the younger and more gifted) increased, how the society became more cruel. When one looks around, one wants to write the book titled . Ukraine in shadows. .

Could it be otherwise? Perhaps, not. The Ukrainian people was bled white by its losses in the struggle with the totalitarian regimes of fascist Germany and communist Russia, the Ukrainian people lost millions in the two world wars. Perhaps, no other people in the 20 thcentury lost as many human lives. So we could not give birth to a massive anti-Communist movement, as Poland, or prepare a new political elite, capable of replacing the all Soviet nomenclature, as Poland, Czechia or Hungary. As Vladimir Bukovskiy justly said, communism in the USSR was not defeated, it just collapsed under its own weight. Let us recall how the communist majority of the Supreme Rada decided on a compromise and declared the independence in order to preserve the power of the Soviet nomenclature. Ukraine was doomed to independence because of the deterioration of the USSR, but it appeared unprepared to independence. This independence came before the proper time, it did not come as a result of victory of the Ukrainian national democratic movement. It just realized by the whim of her majesty history. Unexpectedly (who could fancy that this will happen during our lifetime?) we got a country without a political nation, with different people living in the West and the East, although they both believe in false myths, where the majority of the people is disoriented and unable to understand what has happened. Most people believe that the three politicians met in Belovezhskaya Pushcha and split the great state, which can be glued again.

Are we closer to real independence than eight years ago? In spite of all said above I dare to say that we are closer. During 90s the new generation without experience of the life in the USSR was shaped. These girls and boys are much more opened and relaxed. All of them are Ukrainian patriots, although many speak Russian as before. For them the USSR is the cut-off history. The older generation is getting accustomed to the new way of life. After the great disappointment in 1992 . 94 because of the abrupt deterioration of the living standard, when many, who had voted for independence on the referendum of 1 December 1991, were prepared to change their decision, a Chechnya war broke out, after which the decision to join Russia greatly decreased. This is confirmed by the last year election to the Supreme Rada of Ukraine: politicians insisting on the existence of the new union lost. Besides, a step-by-step mutual understanding between East and west Ukraine is occurring, although slowly. By and by people stop to hope that the state is obliged to care about them and begin to act for themselves.

Nonetheless, the threat to our independence, in my opinion, is greater today than eight years ago. The main threatening factor is we ourselves. Our passivity, our expectations that someone will do something instead of us resulted in the situation when we rather survive than live. That is we who enabled our state organs to become quite irresponsible and uncontrollable. Who can guarantee that our top officials, wishing to remain at the top by all means, will not give for debts those enterprises which are capable to bring profit? What will be the cost of our independence then? We patiently observe tormenting of our older and handicapped people, when they did not get in time their miserly pensions, for which it is impossible to survive. Until when we shall patiently permit our bureaucrats to fool us and hide from us their actions in classified documents, which are . top secret. , . not for print. and . for service use only. ? From our bitter experience we know that in the classified documents they hide the immense difference of incomes of nomenclature and mere mortals or record rates of development of dangerous diseases. We must understand that either we set under control the actions of the state apparatus or the inner contradictions will accumulate and burst the country, as it happened with the USSR. The alternative is clear: either Ukraine will be developing into a democratic country or it will loose its independence.

It seems, God guards Ukraine. When it became especially hard inside, something dangerous occurred outside: the August putsch of 1991, October clashes of 1993, the Chechen war. But God helps to those, who help themselves. It is high time to begin to help ourselves.

Freedom of expression

The speakers brother threatens to prosecute a newspaper

The editorial board of the Cherkassy oblast newspaper . Nova doba. did not anticipate that the publication of a reader. s letter would have so unpleasant consequences. Mark Prozvanny, a newspaper reader from Cherkassy, wrote about Anatoliy Tkachenko, the deputy head of the Cherkassy oblast administration, who, by the way, is a brother of the speaker of the Supreme Rada of Ukraine. The reader of . Nova doba. accused the state official in . turning his office into a election headquarters of his brother Aleksandr Tkachenko. . The latter in his election campaign to presidency gives . free. presents to his pensioner electors at the expense of the state budget. The author of the letter criticized the pension age of Anatoliy and the manner of speech of the speaker Aleksander, who speaks neither Russian nor Ukrainian.

This letter was published by . Nova doba. No. 57 of 15 July. The response was lightning quick. Anatoliy Tkachenko, the deputy head of the Cherkassy oblast administration, sent to the editorial board the letter . On the publication of doubtful information. , which was duly printed in . Nova doba. No. 59. The state official rejects all the facts mentioned in Prozvany. s letter, but he does not quote a single document to disprove these accusations. Anatoliy Tkachenko doubts that the pensioner, who wrote the letter, really exists. In conclusion he threatens to prosecute the newspaper.

The editorial board was taken aback after receiving the official. s message, in which the pensioner. s criticism is called . a pack of cynical filthy lies. . The deputy editor-in-chief Sergey Khlibas declared that it was not the first attempt at pressure on the newspaper from the side of the speaker. s team.

Too much freedom of speech

On 11 August a faked newspaper was distributed in Cherkassy. Two hours before the reception of a subsequent number of the Cherkassy weekly . Antenna. some unknown pushers distributed free of charge an alleged fresh number of . Antenna. .

On the second page of this newspaper there was a rubric . Repentance. , which contained the address of the publisher of . Antenna. Valeriy Vorotnik to the readers. Under the heading . I repent and I accuse. the following was printed: . Today I, Valeriy Vorotnik, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper . Antenna. , beg the readers to excuse me because in my newspaper I printed so little truth. I did it for small donations, I had to do the most filthy and ungrateful work, incompatible with journalist. s ethics. I had to deliberately publish unchecked information, to distort facts, to slander respected people and to justify scoundrels. I took money from everybody. .

Further the editor-in-chief confessed that the newspaper . was bought by Cherkassy mayor and now a candidate to Presidency Vladimir Oleynik. . This confession was strengthened by the publication of several articles (signed by journalists of the actual . Antenna. ) criticizing and unmasking the Cherkassy mayor.

It should be noted that the real . Antenna. is rather loyal to the mayor and criticizes the activities of the region authorities as a whole, as well as President Kuchma and his team.

In other features the faked . Antenna. rather resembled the real one. On Friday, 13 August, the publisher of the real . Antenna. Valeriy Vorotnik gathered the press conference on the mayor. s office. He said that the editorial board has absolutely no relation to the faked newspaper. He added that the fake compromised the newspaper before its readers, compromised Vladimir Oleynik as a politician was aimed at quarreling the newspaper with the mayor.

Next day Mr. Vorotnik turned to the oblast prosecutor. s office with a request to start a criminal case according to Article 143 Part 3 of the Penal Code (fraud). Since Mr. Vorotnik did not believe in the objectivity of the investigation, he started the journalist investigation by newspapermen from . Antenna. . The first results of this investigation are as follows. The faked . Antenna. was, most probably, printed by the editorial board of . Fakty. , another Cherkassy newspaper. The articles, which tried to compromise the Cherkassy mayor, were reprinted from . Fakty. . Another argument is oblique: a year ago by the order of . Fakty. a faked special issue of Cherkassy newspaper . Misto. was published. The editor-in-chief of . Fakty. Mr. Suprunov personally visited the . Antenna. publisher, expressed his pity and declared that he had nothing in common with the faked newspaper.

The collective of . Antenna. appealed to its readers and informed them that the faked . Antenna. was not published by them, since it differed from the real publication by bad polygraphy, a smaller size (8 pages instead of 16) and the opposite contents. The collective of the newspaper considers the fact of publishing a faked issue as discrediting, compromising the newspaper and well-known Ukrainian politicians. So, for example, the newspaper supports Evgeniy Marchuk, but the faked newspaper contained materials discrediting this politician. When the faked newspaper was distributed it was given together with a calendar decorated with Kuchma. s portrait.

The editorial board of . Antenna. works also at another version, suspecting another Cherkassy newspaper with a small run.

Marchuk suggests to call up a commission for resuming transmissions of the four non-state TV companies of the Crimea

The direct and brazen pressure on mass media by the power is a manifestation of the complete impotence of the regime to cooperate with mass media. The state officials demonstrate their negligence to the free journalism, and where the freedom of speech finishes, there is one step to the dictatorship. That was the comment of Evgeniy Marchuk, a candidate to the Presidency.

MP Marchuk suggested to call up a special deputy commission for checking the decision to stop transmissions of the four Crimean stations and to take measures on resuming the transmission. In his opinion, this commission must be formed from the Supreme Rada Committee on the freedom of speech, from the Crimean MPs and from the National Council on TV and radio broadcasting.

It is not the first time when the executive power presses on mass media by using the state-controlled organizations. The power wants to demonstrate its muscles, but the final effect will be the opposite. Now people cannot be intimidated or deceived. Such zeal to support the current President in the election campaign with any means will turn against the President , added Marchuk.

Marchuk reminded that a similar situation occurred in Presidential election . 94, when the TV company. Gravis. , which supported Kuchma against Kravchuk, was closed. Kuchma. s team is unable to remember the elementary lessons and repeats the mistakes of Kravchuk. s team, made five years ago. , remarks the candidate to Presidency.

Our informant

Leonid Kuchma confirms his rating as a most dangerous enemy of press in the world

On 26 July the activities of four non-state-owned TV companies were stopped. The victims were the following TV-radio companies: . Black Sea. , . EOA’ (Simferopol), ’Screen’ (Djankoy) and ’Kerch’. There was a formal pretext: the TV-radio transmitting center, which transmits programs of these companies, had no permission from . Ukrchastotnadzor. . the organization managing the distribution of frequency channels. Nonetheless, few people in the Crimea and outside it consider the prohibition as a quite obvious political step. All the above-listed companies have licenses of the National Council of Ukraine in charge of television and radio broadcasting. It was quite unexpected when these companies received letters signed by Anatoliy Trushkov, the head of the State Inspection of electric communications of the Crimea, in which he ordered to stop the transmissions. At the same time the state-owned TV-radio company . Crimea. , having the same rights, continues transmissions without any restrictions.

The management of the . Black Sea. company declared that . during several recent months both local and Kyivan officials negotiated with the company, convincing the latter that the only way for the salvation of the company is to sell the control share package to . interested people. . .

During the week from 19 to 26 July the management of the . Black Sea. company turned with complaints to the President of Ukraine L. Kuchma, to the Prime-Minister V.Pustovoytenko, to . Ukrchastotnadzor. , to the speaker of the Crimean Parliament L.Grach, to the Prime-Minister of the Crimea S.Kunitsyn , to the representative of the President of Ukraine in the Crimea A.Korneychuk, to the representative of the National Council of Ukraine in charge of TV and radio broadcasting A.Sivachenko, to various deputy commissions of the Supreme Rada of the Crimea and Ukraine, to international human rights protection organizations, to mass media, to citizens of the Crimea. But all these efforts could not shake the firm intention of the executive power to put under its control . the information space of the country. .

What happens now in the information sphere of Ukraine can be called a debacle of oppositional and independent mass media, which are suspected in becoming oppositional. The executive power, being not sure in its widely advertised high ratings of the President, tends to cut off the opportunities of any opposition (both right and left) to communicate with voters. The popular non-government TV channel . NOA. (Kyiv) is on the brink of closure. Its difficulties began when the channel . gave shelter. to the program . Parliament hour. , exiled from the national channel. The order is issued to terminate the use of the satellite by this TV channel, since it can . complicate. operations of the Ministry of Defense. The large-scale attack on the free press occurs in all regions of Ukraine. The publication of the oppositional newspaper . Politika. (Kyiv) is terminated again. The newspapers . Dneprovskaya pravda. , . Kirovogradskaya pravda. , . Poltavska dumka. and a number of others suffered from the sanctions of the executive power. Lately one of the most popular oppositional newspapers . Den. underwent 19 inspections!

On 15 July the Supreme Rada of Ukraine issued . The appeal to the Council of Europe, organizations on safety and cooperation in Europe, international parliamentary organizations, parliaments and governments of European countries concerning the dangerous situation in the information space of Ukraine. . Some representatives of international organizations, the OSCE, in particular, began to suggest that the financial aid to Ukraine must depend on the situation with human rights, in particular, with guaranteeing the freedom of speech.

In the end of May the American Committee of protection pressmen. s rights called Leonid Kuchma the enemy of the press No. 6 in the world. Then the press-secretary of the President promised to persecute the American NGO. While the election campaign is progressing, the latter promise becomes more and more funny.

Who called Kuchma . enemy of the press No. 6. ?

On 30 September 1998 at the press conference in Simferopol President Kuchma declared, referring to the security service of Ukraine, that the title of the enemy of the press No. 6, ascribed to him by the American Committee of press protection, was paid by one of the political parties of Ukraine. So, the Ukrainian President accused the independent organization of being corrupted.

The newspaper . Den. turned to the Committee of press protection, asking to comment these words and answer another question: why in this rating the President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko is absent.

Ms. Christine Lapichak, the coordinator of the European program of the Committee answered the request, and her response was published verbatim in . Den. No. 160:

. That is true that Ukrainian citizens do not know about our organization, although this year we attempted to widen our work and to cooperate with Ukrainian journalists. We, certainly, focus our attention on the states where the work conditions for journalists deteriorate especially fast. In Ukraine, . thanks to. the President, the conditions of work for journalists deteriorated most of all on the territory of the former Soviet Union. In the neighboring Belarus, inspite of all attempts of President Lukashenko to suppress all critical voices, independent professional mass media do exist, and many professional journalists are known to people outside Belarus. In Ukraine the press is made political and is unable to fulfil its important duty in the society. This is an objective fact. No negations and accusations can change the situation.

We have a good reputation among citizens of the United States and other states in the world. They know that we do our work objectively, professionally and ethically. Our aim is to defend journalists. rights and freedom of the press in the whole world. So let citizens of Ukraine, although their access to objective and alternative information is decreasing every day, decide whom to trust.

Our informant

On refugees

Alarming information from Bolgrad

The head of Ismail human rights protection group . Rutenia. , a member of the Union of Ukrainian journalists G. Bogomolova informs about facts of brazen violations of law by militia, administration and prosecutor of the town of Bolgrad.

As follows from the complaint of Ismail branch of . Rutenia. , lawyer Anna Kruzhkova, a human rights protection activist form Bolgrad, was arrested by five militiamen, who broke in her house and made a search without a warrant, and then detained Ms. Kruzhkova also without a warrant for arrest.

Ms. Kruzhkova was kept for a week in the precinct detention block, which nominally is intended for detention for the term not more than three days. Her mother was not given the right to see Ms. Kruzhkova and was forbidden to pass any parcels.

G. Bogomolova informs that A. Kruzhkova is accused of hooligan treatment of the five militiamen who detained her. No other accusations are presented.

The Kharkov Group for human rights protection intends to complain to the General Prosecutor. s office of Ukraine with the request to check Bogomolova. s complaint and take up necessary measures.

Court practices

More deserters

The parents of . subsequent deserters. turned to the Kharkov Union of soldiers. mothers. Privates C. and S. ran from the National Guard unit billeted in Lviv. Being asked about the reasons, the warriors mentioned dedovshchina and poor health. They were directed for examination to Kharkov region hospital, to the psychiatric department. Both of them were considered psychically diseased and not able-bodied for the military service (one of them had also a spine disease).

Seven out of eighteen . deserters. , who turned to the Kharkov Union of soldiers. mothers were considered to be psychic cases. they . managed. to pass through the filter of medical commissions for recruits. That is a pity that nobody is responsible for the quality of conscription.

Our informant

Here we quote several instructive documents concerning the situation in one, we hope not typical, military unit.

Here we quote several instructive documents concerning the situation in one, we hope not typical, military unit.

To the Prosecutor of Simferopol garrison
From the mother of a private from military unit A . 0492


My son, G.V., born in 1979, a private in military unit A-0492, billeted in the village of Perevalnoye, on 22 February 1999 was brutally beaten by older servicemen in the presence of lieutenant G.Vasilenko. After the beating my son, bleeding and with numerous injuries, went to his direct commander senior lieutenant Chubenko, who did not pay any attention. Having found no protection from his commander, my son, desperate and beaten, had to find protection of his parents. Next day he left his unit and, hitchhiking, on 4 March 1999 managed to come to Kharkov and came to his grandmother. On 5 March he, together with his parents, came to the recruiting committee, where he was advised to turn to the city military prosecutor. s office. Detective Pichugin wrote down the evidence and organized the medical forensic expertise. Before recruiting my son was absolutely healthy, now he complains of having grave headaches and giddiness, his moral and psychic state is bad. From a happy, healthy, communicable lad my son became pitiful and primed man.

I demand:

To send my son to the complete medical investigation.

If my son is found able-bodied, then I insist that he must be directed to another military unit.

To investigate this case, to protect other victims, and to punish the guilty.

Explanatory note of the mother of private T., who left his military unit A-0492 on 17 May 1999

My son began his service in 48 thtank brigade. From his letters I understood that he was very displeased with his service. After taking the oath, it became much worse. The older soldiers drew him to the village to work on vegetable gardens of local citizens. Officers confiscated cigarettes from soldiers, leaving them only one pack for a month.

Then my son got to the hospital with enteric disease. The diagnosis was salmonella infection. Doctors explained that it was the result of inadequate nourishment. My son permanently complained that in soldiers. canteen his food was taken by older soldiers, and he stayed hungry all the time. Then he wrote a letter that he was transferred to the training ground, where there were no older soldiers and where he had enough food. When he was returned to the barracks again, he deserted and soon was captured. Then he deserted again and was again captured. For the third time he deserted and did not return. He did not come home too. His father went to the unit and talked with soldiers and officers. They said that our son was close-mouthed. At home he had not been such. The commander said that our son was somewhere in the Crimea, but nobody knew where exactly.

A note from general-major Yu.Klinkin, the head of Kharkov region military commissariat

I inform that on 5 March 1999 private G.V. turned to me. The private, born in 1979, was recruited from Kharkov, served in military unit A-0492, from which he deserted on 23 February 1999.

Private G.V. informed me that he did not want and does not want to dodge the military service. What he did was the result of the dedovshchina.

Private G.V. was directed to the military prosecutor of Simferopol garrison for the elucidation of the reasons of his desertion.

On 27 April private G.V. again appeared in Kharkov region military commissariat with the request to aid him. Being questioned, he complained at the state of his health and more that once strayed from the topic. He was directed to the military commandant. s office; the Kharkov Union of soldiers. mothers was informed. The commandant of Kharkov garrison directed private G.V. to the hospital.

The complaint of the Kharkov region Union of soldiers. mothers

To the military prosecutor of Simferopol garrison

Your assistant, major G.Atamaniuk, informed us of the refusal in starting a criminal case against junior sergeants A.Gerasim and I.Maksimov, serving in military unit A-0279. He advised us to lodge a complaint during seven days. Major Atamaniuk. s letter was sent on 20 May and received by us on 31 May.

We do not understand some details of this letter. First, we know that junior sergeants Gerasim and Maksimov serve in military unit A-0492, not in A-0279, as major Antoniuk asserts. Secondly, we demanded to start a criminal case against not only junior sergeants Gerasim and Maksimov, but also against lieutenants Vasilenko and Chubenko, who figured in the complaints of the three privates. These officers are blamed of beating, tortures and degrading treatment of single soldiers and entire companies. We also know that the dedovshchina in military unit A-0492 forced to desert two more privates: B.A. and T.R. Thirdly, we did not receive a copy of the criminal investigator. s resolution.

We request to carefully check all the materials on deserters, to cancel the resolution of major Atamaniuk and to explain why he refers to military unit A-0279, and not to A-0492.

The answer to the above-quoted letter

Chairperson of Kharkov region Union of soldiers. mothers

According to Article 18 of the law of Ukraine . On citizens. complaints. , I inform you that your complaint concerning the dedovshchina in the cases of privates G.V., K.N. and others was received by the military prosecutor. s office of Simferopol garrison. Prosecutor. s checking of your complaint was carried out, which established the following.

The case of private K.N., who several times deserted from military unit A-0279, was investigated by the military prosecutor. s office of Simferopol garrison. His criminal case was related to Article 240-A of the Ukrainian Penal Code; the investigation was terminated on 9 March 1999 according to Article 7 of the Criminal-Procedural Code because, according to the conclusion of the forensic psychiatric expertise, private K.N. was considered not able-bodied for the military service in peaceful time because of his psychiatric state. In the course of investigation the version of the dedovshchina as a cause of the desertion was studied, but not confirmed.

Private G.Z., who deserted from military unit A-0279, was investigated in the psychiatric department in the Crimean psychiatric hospital No. 1 and considered not able-bodied to the military service because of his psychiatric state and now has been demobilized.

As to private T.G., who also deserted several times, the criminal case is started against him by Article 240-A of the Penal Code of Ukraine, and he is now in search. Before starting this criminal case some workers of the military prosecutor. s office, in particular, major of justice G.Bukhtiyarov, interrogated private T.G. about the reasons of his desertion, and no facts of the dedovshchina were found out.

As to the desertion of private G.V., we carried out a careful prosecutor. s check, in the course of which we checked the version on the dedovshchina relations on the side of junior sergeants Gerasim and Maksimov. However, it appeared impossible to prove them guilty, since private G.V., after stationary treatment of neuro-circular distonia in military unit A-4614, again deserted. It was established that either in military unit A-1650 or in the hospital no dedovshchina relations was applied to G.V. Up to now private G.V. is absent and does not come to the place of his service. Besides, after examination in the psychiatric department of Kharkov military hospital, private G.V. was discharged from the hospital and directed to military unit A-1650, to where he did not come. This testifies that G.V. does not want to serve in the armed forces of Ukraine, and his testimony on the alleged beating him by Maksimov and Gerasim can be regarded as an attempt to justify his desertion.

After your complaint of 24 March we carried out a detailed prosecutor. s check of sergeants Maksimov and Gerasim and officers Vasilenko and Chubenko. The check did not show them

to practice the dedovshchina.

As to the code of the military unit, I inform you that military unit A-0492 is a subunit of A-0279.

Deputy military prosecutor of Simferopol garrison captain of justice A.Pronin

PL commentary.
The above-quoted documents convey a lot of interesting and dangerous information. According to the letter of captain Pronin, a bunch of psychiatric cases was found in the military unit, which, but the way, is a tank battalion. A madman in a tank can cause a lot of trouble, so it is very well that psychiatric cases have deserted. One can think that this is not a tank battalion, but a psychiatric hospital. The answer that no dedovshchina has been found in the unit contradicts to the results of the forensic expertise of private G.V. The expertise confirmed that the private was badly beaten and burned with lighted cigarettes. Did he torture himself? Private G.V. came to the office of our Union of soldiers. mothers. Every time when we touched the topic of his return to his native unit, he began to tremble uncontrollably. We asked to examine him in a psychiatric clinic. He was shortly examined in military unit A-3306, where the doctors found only . situational reactions of an accentuated person. . The further investigation was made impossible by . the absence of a characteristic from the place of service. . By the way, the military commissariat of Kharkov had given a brilliant characteristic of the recruit G.V. . the boy wanted to serve and dreamed of a military career.

As always, we come across with the unwillingness of the military to call a spade a spade. If any recruitment of a psychically abnormal to the army started a criminal case, if any case of the dedovshchina resulted in the punishment of the guilty, then the number of the killed and injured in our army would much decrease, and there would be much more security, much more order and much less wasted money.

I.Sukhorukova, Kharkov

NGO activities

Accusation against Vladimir Soyfer

Federal Service of Security (FSS) of Russia started a case against professor Vladimir Soyfer, a specialist in nuclear oceanology from Vladivostok. The FSS accuses Vladimir Soyfer, a 69-year-old professor, of high treason. On 3 July FSS agents searched Soyfer. s apartment and his laboratory, finding various secret documents and photo films.

The newspaper . Izvestiya. writes, referring to the FSS, that such documents may not be kept either in the apartment or in the laboratory.

The laboratory is sealed, and all the confiscated documents are passed to the 8 thDirectorate of the general headquarters (military counterintelligence). The experts of the 8 thDirectorate are studying the confiscated documents.

At present professor Soyfer is staying at the Moscow hospital of the Academy of Sciences, since he suffers from sugar diabetes. He is not officially accused yet. Professor Soyfer has been investigating the radioactive pollution of the ocean for 40 years. In particular, he investigated the consequences of the burial of the radioactive waste of the Pacific Navy in the Japanese Sea.

The press-secretary of the Pacific Oceanological Institute, where professor Soyfer works, told Reuter that the professor lately investigated the radioactive pollution as a consequence of the accident at the atomic submarine in 1985. On 10 August 1985 on the submarine K-314, during the compression of recharging reactors, because of violating the procedure, a non-controlled chain reaction occurred in the port-side reactor. As the result of the explosion ten members of the crew died and the shelf was polluted with radioactive substances. The pollution spot crossed the peninsular Dunay and by the sea it reached the shore of the Ussuri bay. Aerosol particles polluted the area up to 30 kilometers from the explosion.

In his investigations professor Soyfer had a lot of difficulties in getting information because of the counteraction of the Pacific Navy commandment and the FSS.

This spring he went to Moscow and met with academician Velikhov. The latter introduced Soyfer to admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, the commander-in-chief of Russian Navies. Admiral Kuroyedov wrote a letter to Mikhail Zakharenko, the commander of the Pacific Navy, asking him to help the research. Nonetheless, professor Soyfer was soon deprived of the security clearance. The FSS is displeased with Vladimir Soyfer even more, because Soyfer. s brother emigrated to the USA and now works as a professor in Washington, being one of the leading consultants of George Soros in questions of giving grants to Russian scientists and ecological organizations. The FSS used to assert that Soros tries to americanize the Russian society and cooperates with Western intelligence services.

In the press release of the social ecological union, published several days after the FSS action against Soyfer, it is said that instead of the protection of Russia from importing radioactive and toxic waste, the FSS prosecutes those, who cares of the ecological security of Russia.

A message from human rights protection network

Point of view

What is the cost of our life?

13 kopecks for nourishment and 3 kopecks for medication are given to a TB diseased per day in Ukraine. It should be noted that during several recent years the rate of catching TB has grown by 72.5%, and the death rate ahs increased by 92.6%.

Newspaper . Vremia. , No. 98

Deported peoples

70 years of Larisa Bogoraz

On 8 August Larisa Bogoraz, one of the founders of human rights protection movement in the USSR, reached the age of 70. Her sharp and sober mind, her kindness, her aversion to violence, her readiness to help are well known to everybody who had the honor to contact this outstanding and remarkable woman. Whatever happened in her life . and there were very many bitter hours in her biography . Larisa Bogoraz always irradiated energy, vivacity and optimism. The Kharkov Group for human rights protection congratulates Larisa with her birthday and desires her to be healthy and fortunate, to write new books and articles. Here we print a short biography of Larisa Bogoraz prepared by Moscow . Memorial. for the international Biography Dictionary of dissidents. We have made several additions to the biography.

Larisa Bogoraz was born in Kharkov in 8 August 1929 of a family of party functionaries, who fought in the Civil War. She is a grandniece of the well-known ethnographer academician V.G. Tan-Bogoraz. In 1936 her father was arrested and convicted for . Trotskyist activities. . Having reached 18-year age, Larisa, contrary to her mother. s wish, went to her father. s exile. In 1950, on graduating from the philological faculty of Kharkov University. Larisa married Yuliy Daniel and went to live in Moscow. Before it she worked for several months in a village school

as a teacher of the Ukrainian language and literature. Then up to 1961 she worked as a teacher of Russian in schools of the Kaluga oblast and later on in Moscow. In 1961 . 64 she was a post-graduate of mathematical and structural linguistics at the Institute of the Russian language, later she did research in phonology. In 1964 . 65 she lived in Novosibirsk, teaching general linguistics at the philological faculty of Novosibirsk University. In 1965 Larisa defended her candidate. s thesis. The history of her academic degree is not simple: in 1978 she was stripped of her degree by the Highest Attestation Commission. In 1990 the same Commission reconsidered its decision and returned her the degree of Cand. Sci. (philology).

Larisa knew about the . underground. literary work of her husband and Andrey Siniavskiy; in 1965, after their arrest, she, together with Siniavskiy. s wife, started an active public campaign, protecting Daniel and Siniavskiy. This way they themselves started systematic human rights protection activities and involved many others, who took part in this campaign.

In 1966 . 67 Larisa used to go to the notorious Mordova concentration camps to see her husband. There she got acquainted with relatives of other political convicts and involved them into the circles of the Moscow intelligentsia. Her flat became something like a hotel for relatives of political convicts from other towns and for political convicts returning from the camps after the release. Among them were many Ukrainian convicts and their relatives. Larisa became friendly with the Ukrainian dissidents of the 60s, especially with Ivan and Leonid Svetlichnys and Evhen Sverstiuk. The Svetlichnys were old friends: Larisa and Yuliy made their acquaintance in the late 50s, when Yuliy Daniel translated Ukrainian poetry to Russian.

In her public appeals Larisa set the problem of modern political convicts before the public consciousness. After one of such appeals a KGB officer . in charge of the Daniels. said: . We have been always on the different sides of the barricade, but you were the first to open fire. .

These years made a period of consolidation of many dispersed opposition groups, circles and just friendly companies, whose activity began to turn into a public movement, later called human rights protection one. Due to Larisa. s concentration camp contacts, this process rapidly got outside one social group . Moscow liberal intelligentsia, although this group appeared in the center of events.

The turning point in the development of human rights protection movement was the appeal of Larisa (jointly with Pavel Litvinov) . To the world public. , issued on 11 January 1968. The appeal concerned the trial of Aleksandr Ginsburg and his comrades. It was for the first time when a human rights protection document appealed directly to the public opinion . it was in no way addressed to party or state bodies or to the Soviet press. The appeal was repeatedly transmitted by foreign radio, and thousands of Soviet citizens learned that in the USSR there existed people, who openly fought for human rights. Scores of people responded to this appeal, many of them became later active participants of the human rights protection movement.

Larisa Bogoraz signed many other human rights protection texts from 1967 on. In spite of the objections on the side of many well-known human rights protection activists (they persuaded her that, as a . leader of the movement. , she must not risk to be arrested), Larisa went to the Red Square to take part in the demonstration, which protested against the invasion into Czechoslovakia. The demonstrators were arrested and convicted by Articles 190-1 and 190-3. Larisa got four-year exile in the East Siberia (Irkutsk oblast, settlement of Chuna). There she worked as a rigger at a wood-working plant.

On returning to Moscow in 1972, Larisa took no direct part in the work of dissident public associations, but from time to time she started important public initiatives, herself or with co-authors. So, for example, she signed the so-called . Moscow appeal. whose authors protested against sending Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn from the USSR and demanded to publish in the Soviet Union . The GULAG archipelago. and other materials witnessing on the crimes of the Stalin epoch. In her (individual) open letter to Yu. Andropov she went still further: having remarked that she did not hope that the KGB would open their archives on their free will, Larisa declared that she intended to collect evidence on Stalin. s repressions herself. Later this idea was embodied in the samizdat historical magazine . Pamiat. (. Memory. ), which was published from 1976 to 1984 and in whose work Larisa took a secret, but rather active part. Actually, it was an attempt to create the organization which now bears the name of . Memorial. .

From time to time Larisa printed publicist articles abroad. Thus, in 1976, she, under the pen-name of M. Tarusevich, published (jointly with her second husband Anatoliy Marchenko) in the magazine . Kontinent. the article . Tertium datur est. , devoted to the problems of international razriadka in early 80s. A public discussion was provoked by her another text . an appeal to the British government to treat humanely the incarcerated IRA terrorists.

In 60s and 70s Larisa translated from Ukrainian to Russian materials for . The chronicle of current events. . Together with Leonid Plushch she was a connecting link between Russian and Ukrainian human rights protectors. When her Ukrainian friends were incarcerated, Larisa wrote letters to them in the Ukrainian language. There was another little-known event: Larisa went to the concentration camp to see Anatoliy Marchenko and the latter gave her Stepan Khmara. s note, where he wrote about the cash, where issues 5 . 6 of . Ukrainsliy visnyk. had been hidden. Larisa took her 8-year son and her grandson and went to Lviv where she handed the note. Up to now she is sorry that she had no chance to get acquainted with Vasyl Stus, whom she considers to be the greatest Ukrainian poet of the 20 thcentury.

More than once Larisa turned to the USSR government with the appeal to have the universal political amnesty. The campaign for the amnesty, which she began in October 1986 jointly with Sofya Kallistratova, Mikhail Gefter and Aleksandr Podrabinek, was her last and the most successful . dissident. action. This time the appeal was supported by a number of prominent figures of the Soviet culture. In January 1987 Gorbachev began to release political prisoners. Yet, Anatoliy Marchenko, Larisa. s second husband, did not survive to the amnesty: he died in Chistopol prison on 8 December 1986 after a three-month hunger strike. This day can be regarded as a real beginning of the so-called perestroyka.

Larisa. s public activity continued during the perestroyka years and afterwards. She participated in the preparation and work of the International public seminar (December 1987); on autumn 1989 she joined the Moscow Helsinki Group and for some time was its co-chairperson; in 1993 . 97 she was a director of the Russian-American project group in human rights. In 1991 . 96 Larisa was the instructor of the educational seminars in human rights for public organizations of Russia and the CIS. Larisa continues to write brilliant articles on the history and theory of human rights protection organizations.

These horrible words: Solovki, Sandormokh& V.

In early 30 sUkraine, weakened by the famine and repressions, already lay under Stalin. s high boots. It was the time to cut off her head. Having inspired Kirov. s assassination of 1 December 1934, Stalin personally prepared, and the legislative power approved the edict . On the procedure of preparation and execution of cases about terrorist acts. . According to this procedure, the investigation had to last not more than 10 days. The trial had to be performed without advocates, prosecutors and the accused; the verdict might not be cancelled and a victim might not be mercied. The verdict had to be executed without delay.

It was in the spirit of the teachings of Lenin, who said: . Be relentless, shoot, shoot them, asking nobody and without idiotic red tape!. . On 4 December the newspaper . Pravda. informed the Soviet people about unclosing the first batch of terrorists. At once the corresponding agencies started arrests of intelligentsia, in particular, of the Ukrainian intelligentsia, which, according to Stalin, . had not to be trusted. . The first death verdicts were pronounced and executed already in December. Among the suffered were many members of the . Ukrainization. movement. Its naive supporters dared to imagine a Ukrainian version of communism, for which they went to . Ukrainize. Solovki.

The Solovki Isles are situated in the White Sea and have the area of 300 square kilometers. In ancient time the islands were uninhabited, only pagans had their temples there and sailed now and then to hold their rites. In 1429 two monks of the Vallaam monastery, Savvatiy and German, came there for . noiseless life. . When Savvatiy died, another monk, Zosima, came to the Isles. In the 16 thcentury a monastery appeared. Now the Solovki district is a part of Archangel oblast. The nearest railway station is Kem, sixty kilometers by sea westwards.

For the first time I saw Solovki at midnight of 6 August 1999. The white walls of the Annunciation church and Transfiguration cathedral shone above the surface of the White Sea as a lighthouse and were seen at 20 kilometers. The citadel with bulky towers and walls made of granite boulders (12 meters high and 6 meters thick) hung over the Prosperity haven. The citadel was built in the end of the 16 thcentury under Father Superior Philip Kolychev. Later he became the Moscow Metropolitan, and later he was suffocated by Maluta Skuratov, the main henchman and hangman of Ivan the Terrible. The citadel and the churches were erected by monks, who sought and found there pacification of the sprit in serving God. There, in the North, where tundra meets taiga, they created life, grew orchards, bred domestic animals and bees, caught fish, extracted seal fat, painted icons, connected scores of lakes with channels, erected the dam between Solovetsky island and Great Muxalma island, built a large water mill and in the very beginning of 20 thcentury they built the hydroelectric station, perhaps, the first in Russia.

Vague rumors about the holy life of monks in Solovki came to Ukraine. But there was another rumor that Solovki was also the place of incarceration of heretics and state criminals. As the latter, Petro Kalnyshevskiy, the last headmen of Zaporozhye Sich, suffered: Catherine the Great destroyed Zaporozhye Sich in 1775 and sent Petro to Solovki. Now excursions are led to a hole in the citadel wall, which leads to chieftain Petro. s cell. I squeezed into the cell, it is rather spacious, but the inmate was not permitted out even to relieve himself. When the new czar Aleksander I, 25 years later, released the 110-year-old chieftain, he became blind. He remained here as a monk and died in two years. There are many tombs in the churchyard and one of them marks the grave of Petro Kalnyshevskiy, but excursion guides do not know which.

For 200 years of existence of the monastery prison 350 people were incarcerated there. In 1903 the monks asked to close the prison on order not to contaminate the holy place. The request was satisfied.

The Soviet power was less tolerant: during 19 years, from 1920 to 1939, more than 100 thousand were squeezed through Solovki, and nobody lived up to 101-year age . half of them died here. Among them were scores of thousands of Ukrainian peasants, from the total number of 1.2 million repressed as kulaks.

Every Ukrainian knows this horrible word . Solovki. , as everyone, who had the ill luck to be a Soviet citizen. Two years ago another horrible word . Sandormokh. rooted in the memory.

First of all the Soviet power disbanded monks and organized a sovkhozin the monastery. In the morning of 26 May 1923 a fire burst out in the citadel and devoured the work of many generations of monks. Nikola and Assumption churches burned down together with the archives and library. Anarchists, Mensheviks, esers, White Guard officers . the first incarcerated enemies of the Soviet power, all tried to extinguish the fire.

By the end of 1923 Solovki counted 2.5 thousand convicts, five years later . 22 thousand. Every building on Solovetsky island was made a prison. The Ascension church was made a lockup, from which nobody walked out . their dead bodies were carried. On the remote island Unzerskiy, in the Calvary-Crucifixion cloister, Bolsheviks organized the concentration camp of the same name. They also built a special prison for political prisoners in Isakovo. Here, in 1926, for the refusal to obey the new regime, the guards shot down political prisoners. This fact became known in the West. In 1939 the convicts were ordered to erect a three-storied prison, but it remained unpopulated . the WW2 began, and the convicts were driven to the continent.

By late 20s on Solovki, in contrast to other concentration camps, the political prisoners had some special status. Up to 1926 they were not forced to work and the food was acceptable. Later the special status was cancelled. The political prisoners felled the forest, and worked within the camp (to show them what is what the authorities detained about a hundred of monks). If the work was lacking, they were forced to carry water from one ice-hole to another. In 1926 part of the prisoners from Solovki were transferred to the continent to provide timber for export. The convicts were divided into companies according to their political . origin. (Mensheviks, Trotskyists, terrorists and the like). But then the barracks of different companies were not isolated from each other, and the existence was bearable. A journal was published, since in the 30s there were enough incarcerated writers; this journal was received by the libraries of the country; a theater was organized and Les Kurbas staged his plays there. In 1937 the liberal times ended, and the GULAG epoch began.

On 2 June of this notorious year the Ezhov purge broke out. It concerned the people at large and in the penitentiaries. This day the Political bureau of the party approved the document . On anti-Soviet elements. . Secretaries of party organizations of all ranks were ordered to examine all . kulaksand convicts. , who had returned from exiles and concentration camps, to select the most dangerous of them, to arrest and execute them. The campaign had to be carried, neglecting the usual judicial procedure, by troikas. . The Central Committee of the Party orders to send the composition of the troikasto the Central Committee within five days and to determine the number of persons, who must be shot and who must be exiled. (cited after the book: Ivan Chukhin . Karelia . 37: Ideology and practice of the terror. , Petrozavodsk, 1999, p.17).

The operation began by the order of NKVD No. 00447 on 5 August 1937 and had to be completed during 4 months (actually, it was terminated by the decision of the Political bureau of 15 November 1938). The plans of the repressions for I and II categories were sent down. The I category was shooting, II was exile; the ratio of the planned numbers was 3:1, respectively. The grass-root organizations reported that they over-fulfilled the plans, especially as to I category, and asked to increase the quotas.

The troikasjudged all categories of the population. Besides . kulaksand convicts. the repressions were expanded on . rebels. , . clerics. , . spies. , . Trotskyists. , . saboteurs. , . nationalists. and so forth.

Not to be accused of . nationalism. , I would quote the data for Karelia from the above-referred book:

. From 8605 repressed citizens of Karelia only 1215 (about 14%) were incarcerated. The initial . plan. for the republic was 3700 (2800 of the I category and 900 of II). The plan was over-fulfilled, and the ration of the categories was changed. It was not 3:1, as planned by the Political bureau, but 9:1. Finns and Karels were exterminated most energetically: among the executed they made about 90%, whereas their proportion in the population was 1/3 . (loc. cit. p.22).

. The people to be repressed were selected as follows. The people in charge took a list of the inhabitants of a settlement or the list of the employees of an enterprise. All people with names ending in . ski. were apppointed Polish spies, with names ending in . nen. became Finnish spies, people with German-sounding names were appointed German spies. NKVD-men with fancy found even Japanese spies. Anyone, who had been abroad or had there relatives and acquaintances was doomed. All former functionaries of the czarist power were arrested. In villages they found terrorists, saboteurs and members of the wide-spread network of rebels. The head of the Karelia NKVD Matuzenko (later he was shot down, of course) bragged at the XIV Party Conference: . Today on the territory of Karelia only one orthodox priest remained, and that happened because he has a gout and cannot walk. All other popsare finished (laughter in the hall). (loc. cit. p.40).

Further Ivan Chukhin studies the composition of the troikasin Karelia. A typical troikaconsisted of the secretary of the district party committee, the head of the district executive committee and the local head of the NKVD. All of then were occupants, quite illiterate (it is instructive to read their hand-written verdicts!) bolsheviks. Very few of them were Finns and Karels.

As the result we have now the trampled Karelia, where only the Russian language can be heard, and side by side the blossoming Finland that managed to defend from the Russian bolshevik plague. Likewise, we have Ukraine, trampled physically and spiritually, where the remaining Ukrainians feel themselves rather uncomfortably.

Let us recollect that the NKVD (with changing names) in Ukraine was headed by non-Ukrainians: Vsevolod Balytskiy, Israel Leplevsky, Amayak Kobulov, Aleksandr Uspenskiy, Ivan Serov (all of them except the last were shot down). The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine was consequentially headed by Lazar Kaganovich, Pavlo Postyshev, Stanislav Kosior, Nikita Khrushchov.

In 1935 40% of the NKVD of the Ukrainian republic were Jews. In 1940 only 4% of them remained. They also were executed. The repressions concerned all the peoples that had the ill luck to live in the Russian empire with the new title of the USSR. Yet, nobody remembers about a single . Russian bourgeois nationalist. who stayed in concentration c as to . Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists. , they were the most numerous group in every political concentration camp, starting from the 30s and ending in the 80s.

Tell me, if in Karelia or in Ukraine they had their own, even the worst power, will it exterminate their own people so relentlessly? In order to make the enslaved people to be obedient and regard their . elder brother. with awe, the occupants deliberately, and in the Soviet times very energetically, carried out the Satan selection: they obliterated the most educated, able, productive part of the native population, leaving for propagation the worst. Besides, the authorities practiced additional populating: only in 1934 in the famine-cleaned villages of East Ukraine 240 thousand families were brought from Russia. In this way our leaders created . a new historical community . the Soviet people. . Thus, we have now a . population that does not speak any language and does not belong to any culture. . About one hundred peoples entirely disappeared during the Soviet rule: according to the census of 1926 there were above 200 peoples and nationalities in the USSR . the census of 1959 reported 101 peoples.

The first wave of prisoners in Solovki had moderate terms of incarceration: 5 . 10 years. Many of them had had communist illusions before, but after the prison they could become dangerous for the power. So, instead of releasing them in August 1937 it was decided to purge the concentration camps. New cases were started, mainly based on the information from stool-pigeons or on the characteristics from the administration. Many got longer terms, many got death sentences. In Solovki all the characteristics were signed by warden Eichmans. One gloomy October evening of 1937 in all . companies. guards called out many names. During two hours 1116 convicts were loaded on a barge. Mostly they were intelligentsia of all nationalities of the USSR. Ukraine was represented best of all: 176 convicts. Later nobody saw them. It rumored that they were taken to Kem transportation camp, where all their civil clothing was confiscated . in exchange they were given convicts. uniform without buttons and belts. It also rumored that they were drowned in the White Sea. The romor appeared incorrect, after all. Two years ago . Memorial. from St. Petersburg found the place where all this group had been shot down: Sandormokh, 19 kilometers from the railway station . Medvezhya gora. .

Later the corresponding document was found in Archangel Directorate of the FSS. It looks as follows:

Verdict date Minutes No. Execution date Convicted Executed
9 October 81 27 October 209 208
9 October 82 2 November 182 180
9 October 83 3 November 266 265
10 October 84 4 November 249 248
14 October 85 1 November 210 210
Total     1116 1111

Five verdicts were not executed, since one convict died and four others were sent to other concentration camps.

The executor of these verdicts was captain Matveyev, who was specially sent from Leningrad NKVD. His name was found accidentally in 1996 in a file with a criminal case of 1938 where Matveyev was reproached for exceeding his authority during an execution near Medvezhyegorsk. From this file it became known that convicts from Kem were transported by smaller parties to the prison of Belbalt camp in Medvezhyegorsk.

In the above-placed table there is a gap of executions between 27 October and 1 November, after this the executions occurred every day. The gap is due to an attempt of escape. After 27 October the transportation procedure was perfected: the convicts were stripped to underwear and tied in pairs.

Most of the Ukrainians were shot down on 2 November. One may fancy historian Matvey Yavorskiy tied with writer Miroslav Irchan, professor of philology, poet Mykola Zerov with the writer Mykhaylo Kozoriz, producer Les Kurbas with play-writer Mykola Kulish& This day the Minister of Education in the government of independent Ukraine Anton Krushelnitskiy was shot down, together with his sons Ostap (24-year-old) and Bogdan (31-year-old); the Minister of Finances of the Ukrainian Socialist Republic Mykhaylo Poloz, writers Oleksa Slisarenko, Valeryan Polishchuk, Pavlo Filipovich, Grygory Epic, Mykhaylo Yalovoy were shot down. They were young and middle-aged, they could have created remarkable spiritual treasures for their people, possessing which we would have reached the level of other civilized nations. Some of the victims could live even to our days. Mere presence of such people in a society improves the latter. But an illiterate butcher Matveyev, a brutal executor of the will of the communist power, changed the course of the Ukrainian history.

To protect myself from accusations in nationalism, I must recognize that outstanding people of many other nationalities ended their life in Sandormokh. Among them were a Russian A.Bobrishchev-Pushkin (the advocate of Beylis and Purishkevich), the creator of the USSR hydro meteorological service, a Dane A. Vangengeim, a Moscow literary critic N.N. Durnovo, a founder of the Udmurt literature Kuzebay Gerd, Belorussion minister F. Volinets, the Tartar public figure I. Firdevs, the head of Moscow gypsies G. Stanesko, Georgian princes N. Eristov and Ya. Andronnikov, the professor of communist party history, a Jew, Pinhus Gluzman, a Cherkes writer prince H. Abukov, a Korean public figure Tai Do, orthodox bishops Aleksiy (of Voronezh), Damian (of Kursk), Nikolay (of Tambov), Petro (of Samara), the leader of Soviet Baptists V. Kolesnikov, a Vatican legate P. Weigel, sent to the USSR to check the rumors of prosecutions of believers& One may fancy the latter, numb and frost-bitten, in underwear, driven barefooted to the grave, he perhaps understood that he got to the Satan. s czardom.

Two assistants put a condemned on his knees on the edge of the grave and captain Matveyev shot at the back of the head. the assistants threw the corpse to the pit. When the pit was filled, the dead bodies were covered with quicklime and then with earth. There are about 150 graves with dimensions 4x4x2 in Sandormokh. The described shooting was one of several. All in all 5 . 6 thousand were slaughtered.

And captain Matveyev was awarded with the order of Red Star and died in his bed in Leningrad in 1974.

On 27 October 1997 under the initiative of St. Petersburg . Memorial. supported by V.N. Stepanov, the head of Karelia government, the Memory Day was carried out in Sandormokh. Ukrainians also took part. Evgen Sverstiuk brought the wooden cross carved by Mykola Malyshko. Ivan Drach delivered a speech, the kobza player Mykola Litvin sang Ukrainian songs, a Ukrainian priest Pavlo Bokhniak served the office for the dead. In the press and on TV a number of articles appeared. The Security Service of Ukraine jointly with the Institute of Ukrainian archeography published three volumes of documents . The last address: 60 thanniversary of the Solovki tragedy. (Publishing house . Sfera. , vol. 1, 1997, vol. 2, 1998, vol. 3, 1999). Ukraine learned still another black page of her history.

This year the St. Petersburg . Memorial. held the Memory day on 5 August in Sandormokh. Members of governments of the CIS countries and foreign diplomats were invited. No members of the governments came, but the consuls of Germany and Poland in St. Petersburg were present. About 30 offsprings of the executed came. The Ukrainians brought a handful of Ukrainian soil from under Shevchenko. s memorial in Kyiv. We brought a little icon of Christ the Saviour, we tied a towel with the Ukrainian knitted pattern to the cross and put out national flag.

Since then, on 5 August, the Day of starting Ezhovshchina,people with gather under the memorial with the inscription: . People, do not kill each other!. .

The memorial meeting will be held for the offsprings of the executed.

For those, who feel themselves humane.

For those, who is going to restore the Russian communist empire and who already threaten us with new Solovki.

“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 1999, #08