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 time when the lost dreams return

On 26 April a new hope was born in Ukraine. For the first time after the autonomous Ukrainian state was restored a political figure appeared, who is trusted by common citizens, who is supported by the West and is capable with his authority to unite distinct political groups of national-democratic direction. Strange as it is, but the birth of Viktor Yushchenko as a politician and a potential democratic leader began with his dismissal from the post of the Prime Minister. His work at this post made him popular among the population. Unfortunately, the system of relations at the top is such that the popular support did not assist the government head, but, on the contrary, became a reason of his fall. Once Prime-Minister Evhen Marchuk overdid, in President Kuchma’s opinion, his efforts to create his political image and… lost his post. Yet, the dismissal of Viktor Yushchenko looks somewhat otherwise. Yushchenko’s authority and his support by the majority of various oppositional forces did not promise any good to the President, if he risked to dismiss the Yushchenko due to such motives. It was difficult to find other reasons for the dismissal. But the figures of popularity ratings and trust ratings of the President and the Prime Minister led to unambiguous conclusion, once being the motto of Choronovil’s Rukh: ‘Changes are needed’. The Ukrainian political elite with great pleasure got rid of Yushchenko. His wish to change the system that had been supported by his predecessors, that was based not on professional, but on personal relations, which weight much more than laws and morals, had to cause the protest of the authorities. Yushchenko’s attempts to change the system were not radical and they were sometimes unnoticeable. Oles Daniy, a representative of the present anti-Presidential opposition and a well-known participant of the students’ hunger-strike of 1990, once said that he did not see any principal difference between Kuchma and Yushchenko. He even called Viktor Yushchenko ‘a Kuchma in a smoking’. His actions often looked inconsequent: sometimes, using lengthy and incomprehensible phrases, he expressed his disagreement with the actions of the structures directly subordinated to the President, or, on the contrary he declared his support of the President and criticized the opposition. Yet, even after the notorious statement with President Kuchma and speaker Pliushch, few believed that Yushchenko’s position in this document was genuine. The only question was who and how could make him to sigh the document, thus disappointing a great number of his backers. That was a complicated search of admissible compromises, but the boundaries of them are already reached. Yushchenko’s obstinate refusal to make substantial personnel changes in the government marked these boundaries and demonstrated his firm political character.

One may say about Yushchenko that he was a successful Prime Minister. Economic achievements of the government headed by him are undoubted. One year and a half ago it was difficult to believe that any positive changes were possible. The economic growth in Ukraine that began in 2000 and continues now is one of the most dynamic in East Europe.

The trouble with Yushchenko was that he could not afford to be an economist only. The democratic political elite is too weak and cannot provide the political support of economic reforms. That forced Yushchenko to become also a politician, but he failed, since the post of the Prime Minister in modern Ukraine does not permit it. The system based on the full personal devotion to the head of the state is intolerable to independent politicians. It tries to annihilate them. Yushchenko managed to dodge any acute conflict with the power. For this he was just pushed to the roadside, and that was the mildest measure he could expect.

Now much would depend on Yushchenko himself. He got a unique chance to become a leader, who is the embodiment of the new Ukrainian dream for many citizens. He has a great capital for the start. His authority in national and democratic layers is doubtless. Will he be able to find the common language with all his real and potential partners and allies? The time of election is steadily approaching, and the question is whether he will preserve the support, to say nothing about its increase. Yushchenko’s personal and organizational features will determine his future as a politician.

If one assesses Yushchenko’s activities in the economic sphere, in particular, his methods of filling the budget, one gets an impression that the Prime Minister understood that he was very limited in time to create the Ukrainian ‘economic miracle’. His successors will have many troubles, in particular, in the budget sphere: Yushchenko’s government have already used a significant part of the state budget income for several future years. We mean that income that was guaranteed (for example, the licenses for trade in alcoholic drinks and cigarettes).

The dismissal of Yushchenko and his government caused a government crisis. The chances to appoint a new government are not great, taking into account the difficulty of uniting interests of all Yushchenko’s opponents. It is easier to vote against a government than to agree various contradictory interests and elect a Prime Minister. The anti-Yushchenko coalition is situational, it may not be long-living.

The present political elite of Ukraine is rooted in the communist-time nomenclature. It consists of those, who were trained in the Soviet economy, and those, who got accustomed to the conditions and relations of the present day. Since 1991 there was no outstanding political figure in Ukraine not connected with the socialist past. Now we observe the birth of such a politician. This causes the appearance of mass dreams and illusions about the civilized and democratic way of Ukraine. Many people have already begun to idolize Yushchenko. Unfortunately, Ukrainian society has accustomed to live in an illusory world and requires illusions. The success of a politician depends much upon his ability to create positive illusions in citizens’ minds. Up to now any illusions melted fast after the election. Cruel reality remained that did not resemble any recent hopes. Yet, perhaps for the fist time one can speak that the illusions connected with V. Yushchenko have some real grounds confirmed by the experience and achievements in economy.

One year of work under Viktor Yushchenko’s guidance is, in my opinion, a demo-version, that is the work of a program gratis for some time, but the user must pay, if he wants the program to work further. For the Ukrainian society the term of free work of the program ‘Viktor Yushchenko government reforms’ is over. We must pay for the further work. The only opportunity to pay for penniless Ukrainian citizens is to vote at the election. That will be not a charity, but a fast capital investment. The program seems to be profitable, so it is worth of pooling capital!

Freedom of expression


Dear friends,

We are pleased to present you the summary of the report from the interregional project of monitoring of the accessibility of courts to Ukrainian citizens. The monitoring was conducted by the regional public foundation of human rights ‘Right and democracy’ (Lviv, Ukraine) in Lviv, Vinnitsa, Simferopol, Chernigiv. The project was sponsored by the Helsinki foundation of human rights in Warsaw, the International fund ‘Vidrodjennia’, Open Society Institute (Budapest).

The results of the monitoring are very disturbing since, at the brink of the court reform that, according to the Constitution, has to completed by 28 June 2001, the Ukraine does not fulfil even partly Article 6 of the European Convention of human rights.

The foundation ‘Right and democracy’ plans to continue the work in this direction.

We shall be grateful to everybody for the feedback.

You can get additional information from Zinoviy Siryk, the President of the foundation ‘Right and democracy’, Lviv, tel. (0322) 728-987; e-mail [email protected]

An appeal of deputies of the Lugansk town council to the governor

The deputy group ‘Luganchane’ (the minority that supports Anatoliy Yagoferov, the dismissed Lugansk mayor), in their letter to governor Aleksandr Efremov, thanked him for creating the public committee for pacifying the conflict in the Lugansk town council and suggested measures to improve the work of the committee. They suggested to include into the committee some lawyers with practical experience and heads of the minority and the majority in the town council. They also suggested that the governor should head the committee.

An appeal to presidents

The town public committee for protecting local self-rule sent the letter to Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and to President of the PACE Lord Russell Johnson with the appeal to meddle into the complicated situation in Lugansk. The letter reads: ‘...our town is ruled by lawlessness... the state of things is destabilized in the entire Lugansk oblast... not quite honest people... on whom criminal cases are started... compete for power in the oblast’.

Lugansk court again prohibited the public action

Responding to the request of the Lugansk town executive committee the Leninskiy district court of Lugansk prohibited conducting the hunger-strike and erecting tents in front of the town council building organized by the public committee for protecting local self-rule. This decision was based on the supposition of the executive committee that such action may lead to public disorder. The decision was also based on the still operating decision of the executive committee that all protest actions must be held at a large distance from the organs, against which the action is directed, for example, in the stadium ‘Avangard’. Three of the participants obeyed the court decision and stopped the hunger-strike. But they warned that on 14 May they would resume the action on the same place, near the executive committee building. Besides they handed a cassation to the oblast court.

The Lugansk branch of the all-Ukrainian voters’ committee points out that Lugansk courts systematically take decisions restricting the citizens’ right for the freedom of gatherings. We are sure that having such justice Ukraine violates Article 11 of the Convention on protecting human rights and basic freedoms, and that the Council of Europe must take into account these facts while assessing the execution of the obligations by Ukraine.

Week in memoriam of Georgiy Gongadze

The action under this motto devoted to the birthday of Gongadze is conducted by some Lugansk journalists and politicians. They put up six tents in front of the building of Lugansk executive committee. The newspaper ‘XXI vek’, ‘The independent order of journalists’, parties UNR, PRP, ‘Young Rukh’, public committee ‘For truth’, Public committee for protecting local self-rule and Communist union of youth take part in the action. The executive committee turned to the Leninskiy district court with the claim to prohibit the action, demanding to conduct it in the stadium ‘Avangard’. On 15 may the court decided that the action was illegal and that the tent camp had to be removed. Yet, on the same day the organizers of the action handed the second request to have the same action on the same place. They consider that this is another action, and it should be prohibited by another court decision. They plan to hand such requests everyday, if needed. It is noteworthy that the majority of Lugansk newspapers describe these events in the tone offensive for the participants of the action, asserting that it was organized to support town mayor Anatoliy Yagoferov, whose power was suspended by the town council.

Our commentary: we are sure that a number of court decisions prohibiting peaceful gatherings of citizen that were taken in the Lugansk oblast (we have information about five such decisions) testify that the Ukrainian court system violates universally acknowledged human rights. We appeal to human rights protection activists of Ukraine with the proposition to consider the expediency of turning to the Council of Europe with the joint suggestion to exclude Ukraine from this organization as a state that does not fulfil its obligations concerning human rights protection. At the same time we must confess that the participants of the Lugansk actions did not fulfil the court decision, thus ignoring the law like the town council. This is a dangerous situation, gentlemen, when the both sides ignore the law.

MP Edward Gurvits considers that the current state of the Ukrainian press is very hard

In his opinion, ‘the majority of printed editions and TV channels have already got new masters, who determine the contents of the media. This can be easily seen, if one opens practically any Ukrainian newspaper, which reflect the viewpoint of this or that clan’.

As Edward Gurvits affirms, ‘the fact that President Kuchma has succeeded to get to the world list of enemies of the free press for the second time on end is a very unpleasant fact both for Ukraine and for the President himself. It would be better, if he tried to improve the situation with the freedom of speech in Ukraine’.

Ten leaders

On the International Day of Freedom of the Press the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) made public the list of ten most bitter enemies of the press in 2001, thus focusing the attention on leaders responsible for the most serious violations of freedom of the press in the world. This year Liberian President Charles Taylor joined Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatola Ali Homeini and Chinese President Tsian Zhemin, who occupy the first positions in this list for several years.

Homeini, the Iran religious leader, who has the unlimited influence on all main institutions of his country, is an initiator of the merciless campaign against the progressive press, as a result of which scores of newspapers were closed, and the most oppositional-minded journalist were thrown to prisons. In Liberia President Taylor used censorship, arrests, imprisonment and threats in order to make silent independent mass media. Tsian Zhemin appeared in the CPJ list for five times on end for his role in the attempts, permanently carried out by the Communist party, to establish the absolute monopoly on spreading information; among the methods they use imprisonment of disobedient journalists for unusually long terms. At present China is the world leader as to the number of incarcerated journalists.

This year, along with Liberal leader, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Columbian chieftain Carlos Castaco appeared in the CPJ list for the fist time. The CPJ did not forget Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, who already figured in the list in 1999. Besides, the list is decorated with the names of permanent abusers of freedom of the press: President of Cuba Fidel Castro (for the last seven years), President of Tunisia Zin al-Abdin Ben Ali (four years) and Prime Minister of Malaysia Magatir Mohammed (for the third time).

‘Although three most bitter enemies of the free press of the last year, rebel leader Fodey Sanko from Sierra-Leone, President of Peru Alberto Fuhimori and President of Yugoslavia Slobodan Miloshevich, lost their positions, there is no shortage of candidates to replace them in our list’, Ann Cooper, the executing manager of the CPJ, declared. – ‘Independently of their methods, secret or public, they all have one goal: to preserve their political power in their countries by means of establishing stern control over information and suppressing every dissent action’.

‘President Putin, for example, publicly declares that he supports freedom of the press in Russia, but actually he stealthily centralizes the control over mass media and destroys the independent press. Others, like Magatir in Malayzia even do not attempt to conceal their intentions with lip service’, Cooper said. – ‘We hope that by naming publicly these ten tyrants of the press, we shall be able to focus the attention of the world public on their activities and, due to it, to improve the situation in their countries’.


•  Ayatola Ali Homeini, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hot sermon against the press by Homeini in April 2000 inspired the campaign of merciless repressions against Irani progressive press, which lasts up to now. Lately conservative courts of Iran have prohibited more than 30 newspapers and convicted to incarceration the most popular liberal journalist. When the Irani parliament was discussing the question of canceling the repressive articles of the notorious law on the press, Homeini stopped the process that any softening of the law would harm ‘the interests of the system and the revolution’. Thus, the law on the press remained unchanged, and at least nine journalists (including Mashall Shamsolvaezin, the laureate of the CPJ prize ‘For a Contribution to the Development to Freedom of the Press’ of 2000) stay in prisons.

  • Charles Taylor, the President of Liberia. Since Taylor became the president of this African country in 1997, he steadily conducted the policy of suppressing the independent press. He framed and incarcerated disobedient journalists, censored many mass media and closed some of them by using illegal financial inspections. In March 2000 he closed the popular ‘Star Radio’. On 3 August at least eight journalists were condemned to incarceration allegedly for espionage. In September Taylor, known by his stern policy, promised to ‘punish cruelly’ those mass media, which would not support his policy. Several newspapers had to stop to exist after journalists began to escape from the country in masses.

    •  Tsian Zhemin, the President of People’s Republic of China. Tsian Zhemin is the leader of the country with the most elaborated system of controlling mass media in the world. In the end of the last year 22 Chinese journalists stayed in prisons for their professional activities, more than in any country. Being afraid that the Internet will undermine the monopoly for information of the Communist party, Zhemin spent enormous resources to control the on-line information. His campaign of the increase of ‘ideological responsibility’ resulted in closure or reorganization of many mass media, which tried to be somewhat independent.

    •  Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe’s government conducted a total war against the independent press, using various methods: from court trials to the application of brutal force to independent journalists. On 3 January 1999 two local journalists were tortured, and two foreign journalists were extradited. Besides, the security services regularly control e-mail and on-line publications with the aim to defend the ‘national security’. Bomb explosions twice ruined the building of the independent newspaper ‘Daily News’. The second explosion happened soon after the appeal of the Minister of information to force ‘News’ to ‘be silent forever’. At the same time Mugabe actively uses the court system for the punishment of independent journalists for the alleged damage of honor and dignity.

    •  Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia.Since his coming to power in 2000 Vladimir Putin has headed the campaign for exterminating the free press in Russia. The Kremlin introduced censorship in Chechnya, started the court persecution of owners of private mass media and passed to the security services prominent rights in controlling information. Contrary to Putin’s declarations about his intentions to establish superiority of the right, numerous attacks at journalist throughout the country remain unpunished. This April, after a dramatic and ill-promising opposition the Kremlin-controlled company ‘Gazprom’ seized ‘НТВ’, the only nation-wide independent TV company. Recently a successful stratagem of ‘Gazprom’ resulted in the closure of the well-known Moscow daily ‘Segodnia’. In spite of insistent declarations of ‘Gazprom’ that the reasons of the changes were pure business, Putin appeared to be the main victor: his critics have become silent at last.

    •  Carlos Castaco, the leader of the United Armed Forces of Columbia (AUC). Even on the background of the civil war in Columbia, in which every side of the conflict regards journalists as targets, Carlos Castaco distinguishes himself as the most merciless enemy of the press. As the leader of the AUC, a right military organization that applies very cruel methods, Castaco was officially accused of giving the order to murder political commentator and satirist Haime Garzon in 1999. The AUC is also suspected in killing at least four other journalists and at least one case of torture.Besides, Castaco uses a sly practice of public relations: he often gives interviews to the journalists, who support his violent activities, and, at the same time, he persecutes and threatens to those journalists, who oppose him.

    •  Leonid Kuchma, the President of Ukraine. Leonid Kuchma increased his usual attempts to censor oppositional newspapers, as well as threats and attacks at independent journalists. The disappearance and the suspected murder of Georgiy Gongadze, the editor of an independent Internet-newspaper, turned the attention of the world public to the difficult existence of Ukrainian journalists. The facts that testify that Kuchma may personally order the killing of Gongadze initiated the political crisis in Ukraine, which may finally lead to the retirement of the President and his government. Besides, Kuchma’s administration repeatedly attempted to constrain the number of publications, which that critically treated Gongadze’s case and the political crisis that followed.

    •  Fidel Castro, the President of Cuba. Fidel Castro’s government continues the active campaign against Cuban independent journalists, arresting and interrogating them, tapping their telephones and interrupting their phone calls, restricting their movements and periodically punishment them with home arrests, thus preventing their work. They apply a new tactic of intimidation: they arrest a journalist and release him many kilometers from his home. As to the journalists, who live abroad and write critical articles about Cuba, they are regularly refused entrance vises. In the beginning of the current year Castro promised several representations of international information agencies on Cuba that they would be driven from Cuba for ‘spreading lies and insults’. Cuba is the only country in the Western hemisphere, where journalists are put to prisons for their professional activities. For example, Bernardo Arevalo Padrin continues to do his six-year term for the publication of his critical reports about Fidel Castro and the Communist party of Cuba.

    •  Zin al-Abdin Ben Ali , the President of Tunisia. Zin al-Abdin Ben Ali practically subordinated Tunisian mass media by using strict censorship and intimidation during last ten years. Newspapers are closed, journalists are sacked or not accredited, they are tailed and forbidden to leave the country. Some of them underwent bodily violence. If not to say about several desperados, the rest of the journalists were intimidated. The totalitarian policy of the police regime headed by Ben Ali gave birth to a reptile press, which sings endless hymns to his imagined achievements in the development of human rights and democracy. Last year Ben Ali hypocritically reproached Tunisian journalists for their self-censorship. ‘What are you afraid of?’ – the President queried.

    •  Magatir Mohammed, the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Magatir Mohammed never conceals his contempt to freedom of the press. He capably manipulates with Malaysian mass media in order to strengthen his own position in power. Recently he has hinted about his plans to settle a sterner control over the press, already more than sufficiently controlled. His new target is the Internet, the most important means to convey independent news and ideas in the country, where conventional mass media are permanently controlled by Magatir administration. Now Malaysian politicians are considering the laws on controlling on-line information. Well-known by his sensitivity, the Prime Minister regularly maltreats the foreign press for its allegedly biased description of events in the country. Last year he several times prohibited distribution of foreign mass media that published critical articles about Malaysia.

    Additional information about the ten bitterest enemies of the press and the detailed analysis of the violations of journalists’ and mass media rights in various countries of the world may be found on the CPJ Internet-site (

  • Women’s rights

    Needed documents, if any, are not accessible

    L. Andrusenko turned to the public historical-educational and human rights protecting organization ‘Donetsk Memorial’ with the complaint on the violation of his citizen’s rights.

    According to his complaint, in November 1997 the trade union brought a suit against the administration of the mine ‘Pivdenodonbaska’ No. 3 about the compensation due to him caused by the professional trauma. The Uglegar town court was considering this civil case for more than two years. At last, on 1 February 2000 the court took the decision that was sent to the Maryinskiy district prosecutor’s office for investigation and making a decision on bringing Andrusenko to criminal responsibility.

    Andrusenko and the trade union more than once turned to the Maryinskiy district prosecutor’s office with the request to inform them about the results of the investigation and to pass the materials to court, where he could defend himself, as it is stipulated by Article 55 of the Ukrainian Constitution. The prosecutor’s office ignores the requests for more than a year, which deprives Andrusenko of the right to defend himself from the false, as he believes, accusation. During this time he was twice summoned to the Ugledar town precinct. They proposed him to write an application for amnesty, after which they promised to close the case, but he refused the proposition. When Andrusenko for the umpteenth time asked to let him look at the case documents, the senior investigator explained that there were no documents at all, except the mentioned court decision.

    ‘Donetsk Memorial’ sent a letter to the General Prosecutor of Ukraine, where they described the circumstances and events connected with Andrusenko’s case. A. Bukalov, the ‘Donetsk Memorial’ head attracted the attention of the General Prosecutor that the described actions of the local prosecutor’s office are typical bureaucrats red tape and violation citizen’s rights. In particular, it violates the European Convention that guarantees the right for a just trial.

    In its request ‘Donetsk Memorial’ asked the General Prosecutor to check carefully the described facts and to inform about the results in the law-determined term, to provide Andrusenko with the motivated response, to inform of the investigation results and give him the copies of the decisions on starting the criminal case against him.

    As it often happens, the General prosecutor’s office sent Bukalov’s request for the check to first deputy of the prosecutor’s office of the Donetsk oblast V. Galtsov. It was on 27 April of the current year.

    On the same day a response to Bukalov was mailed. It read:

    ‘According to Article 16 part 5 of the Ukrainian Law ‘On citizens’ complaints’, a complaint for defending a citizen is handed by his commission, written in the from stated by law.

    According to Article 16 part 6 of the Ukrainian Law ‘On citizens’ complaints’, the complaint must be appended with the decisions of this matter that had been taken before or copies thereof, as well as other document necessary for considering the complaint.

    According to Article 5 part 2 of the Ukrainian Law ‘On citizens’ complaints’, the complaint must contain the name and address of the citizen.

    You have not presented any document confirming that you empowered to represent the interests of Mr. Andrusenko in civil and criminal matters. Your request is not appended with the copies of the documents that testify that Mr. Andrusenko more than once turned to the Maryinskiy district prosecutor’s office, which, according to your information, ignored these complaints and has not taken any decisions up to now. You ask to send the motivated answer to Mr. Andrusenko without giving his address.

    Your request does not agree with the demands of the Ukrainian Law ‘On citizens’ complaints’, and thus will not be considered’.

    The answer was signed by O. Degtiariov, the head of the department of control of the prosecutor’s office of the Donetsk oblast.

    This response is a typical bureaucratic trick: the complaint on the absence of documents is not considered because it is not appended with the missing documents. This trick is often applied to requests sent by human rights protection organizations.

    ‘PL’ commentary.
    It should be noted that the response of the Donetsk oblast prosecutor’s office to ‘Donetsk Memorial’ is highly erudite. Yet, naming the three reasons why the request was not considered, the author of the response did not account for some facts:

    •  ‘Memorial’ is not an advocate’s office, but an human rights protection NGO and among the documents that empower the organization to turn to state organs for protecting citizens’ rights it is not necessary to have a proxy for representing the client’s interests in civil and criminal matters (which is directly stated in Article 16 part 6 of the Ukrainian Law ‘On citizens’ complaints’ of 2 October 1996). Moreover, this article directly mentions, among various organizations having the right to protect interests of citizens, labor collectives, which can be hardly imagined as conducting civil or criminal trials;

    •  the fact that some document are absent in the appendix to the request may be explained by the absence of these documents in possession of the citizen. If such decisions were taken, their results could be communicated to Andrusenko orally or not at all. This contradicts to Article 19 of the Law, but is common in the practices of Ukrainian state organs. In any case, even if such decisions do exist in the written from, their absence, as we shall see below, do not impede the consideration of the substance of the request;

    •  the strongest objection of the prosecutor’s office is the absence in the ‘Memorial’ request of Andrusenko’s address. Really, in Bukalov’s request there is no address of the citizen, on whose behalf he turns to the prosecutor’s office. Yet, Articles 5 part 2 and 16 part 5 of the Law require to indicate the name and address of the author of the request and not the address of the person, on whose behalf the request is sent. Besides, ‘Memorial’ is a human rights protection organization, that is among its statutory tasks there is protection of human rights, and this means that this organization has a legal right to get ‘from state bodies, the information needed for realizing its goals and tasks’ (Article 20 of the Law ‘On unions of citizens’ of 16 June 1992), i.e. ‘Memorial’ could be the only receiver of the information on the state of human rights in this case;

    •  last, but not least. Article 8 of the Law ‘On citizens’ complaints’ precisely describes the reasons for a refusal to consider a written request: absence of the home address, absence of the author’s signature, or the impossibility to resolve the anonymity. Not a single reason out of the mentioned is valid here: Bukalov’s request contains the postal address, it is signed, and Bukalov’s authorship is obvious. Therefore, ‘Memorial’ had the legal right to get a motivated response (although it could be negative) to the substance of the matter.

    As to Ansdrusenko’s case, it is rather complicated, especially if one believes the investigating officer, who states that in the materials of the case there are no documents, except the court decision about the check of grounds to start a criminal case against Andrusenko. First, such a check may last not more than 10 days after an organ empowered to start criminal cases will receive the information on the availability of criminal features in the actions of the alleged culprits. Not later than in 10 days the organ must take either the decision to start the criminal case or to refuse starting it, and direct the decision taken to the proper recipient (Article 97 of the Criminal-Procedural Code of Ukraine). But in any case the file of documents had to contain at least one more document.

    Secondly, a prosecutor’s office must information the court on the measures taken or give a motivated refusal in one months term (Article 235 of the Civil-Procedural Code of Ukraine). It follows from the complaint that the criminal case is not started already for 14 months.

    Thirdly, summoning Adrusenko to interrogations looks very strange. At first he was summoned as a witness, but it is legal only after the case has been started, and the investigator took a decision to attract the person as a witness. Until the case is started, they may take from Andrusenko only explanations, which may not be used as proofs in a trial. To summon Andrusenko as an accused is nonsensical: before it they had to take the corresponding decision, to read out this decision to the accused in presence of his advocate (if he has one), to read the accused his rights, etc. Certainly, all this is possible only after the case is started. Beforehand Andrusenko might figure only as a suspect, that is a person, to whom one of the legal measures (arrest, obligation not to leave a place, bail, etc.) was applied until the resolution is issued about to treat him as an accused. In this capacity a person may stay for not more than 10 days. Before the expiration of this term the investigating officer must take a decision whether the case will be started and issue the order of considering the person as an accused, if he has sufficient proofs to do it (Articles 43, 43-1, 148 part 5 of the Criminal-Procedural Code of Ukraine). All this means that in any case the document had to be more numerous than the investigator states. 

    On refugees

    It happened on the Easter’s eve

    On the eve of the Easter, at night of 14 April 2001, when most inhabitants of our oblast hurried to churches, Roman Lozinskiy, the 44-years-old manager of the private firm ‘Business-club’, beaten black and blue and spattered with blood, was shaking in a dirty carriage, hoping that he would not faint and manage to get home in Briukhovichi. His head ached as if it was placed in a scorched cask, the body ached as if all the bones were broken. He breathed with difficulty, thousands of needles seemed to pierce his lungs at each gasp.

    Now he does not remember how he managed to crawl home. His wife and daughter ran up to meet him. The women were terrified with his look. Only on Friday, on 13 April, Roman joked and prepared all of them to celebrate the Easter. Now he looked as if he was taken from a cross: black and blue and with the swollen face. The man spent all his efforts for coming to his bed and then he fainted. The wife tried to revive him. The daughter called a motor ambulance. Doctors, having examined the victim, suspected that some bones were broken and entrails damaged. He was taken to an urgent aid hospital. After X-ray-examination doctors found that a broken rib and numerous bodily injuries. ‘Who did it?’, one of the doctors asked the wife. ‘Militia’, she answered. ‘When will they finish to torture people?’ -- commented the doctor. Doctors insisted on leaving the victim in the hospital, since they suspected a breach of the spleen. But Roman, being under the action of physical and psychical shock, thought that doctors were militiamen in white smocks, who wanted to keep him in the ward for further torturing. His snatched his wife’s sleeve and begged to take him home. He even signed a note that he himself refused from the hospitalization. He became worse at home. This time doctor did not hesitate and put him in the 1 stsurgical ward. Next day they found liquid in his lungs too.

    Now law-enforcers from Lviv accuse their colleagues from Lutsk: they did the thing – no let them be responsible. Although they are unwilling to explain how militiamen from Lutsk department of the struggle with economic crimes, having come to Lviv, managed to get assistance from their Lviv colleagues without any warrant, only on the basis of their intuitive suspicions, wrong as it now has appeared. The facts looked so: on 13 April a top officer from the directorate of the struggle with economic crimes phoned to the Shevchenkovskliy district precinct in Lviv and ordered to assist the neighbors. The local militiamen were not much interested in the goal of their colleagues’ visit and gave them an office. The cops from Lutsk hurried to Briukhovichi. It was 8 p.m. on the Good Friday.

    This time Natalya Lozinskaya and her daughter were baking Easter cakes. They did not lock the door because they often advised with their neighbors. Militiamen made use of the open door: they rushed to the kitchen and asked the master of the house. When he appeared they introduced themselves and proposed him to go to the precinct for a couple of minutes. They said that he must go for a check of some signatures. How could he know that there exists a special procedure, that it is done not at a precinct, but in a forensic lab. He had a habit to trust militia.

    When he came to the precinct he was taken to a room on the second floor. Two militiamen, Sh. and N, remained with him and started to strip to the waist. Roman was astonished. ‘First you answer,’ the militiamen said, ‘where is the press on which you make faked foreign banknotes?’ ‘Which banknotes?’ – the businessman was amazed. ‘Do not you understand?’ – asked a militiaman, ‘Then we shall show you what is what’. And the beating began. He was beaten for a long time, with fists and feet. They beat him professionally – on the kidneys, on the liver, on the ribcage. ‘You recollect? No?’ – the question was followed with more beating. When they got tired they changed each other. When the victim mentioned his wish to have an advocate present, they roared with laughter and beat him stronger. Nobody reacted to his screams. Now and then he fainted. In a hour Roman begged: ‘I’ll write what you wish, but stop beating me’. ‘No,’ answered his torturers, ‘tell where you make faked money. We tapped you telephone and know all’. ‘If you know all, go and take it,’ croaked Roman, hoping that they will stop the beating. ‘We will not stop until you tell about the press yourself’. Understanding that they would beat him to death, Roman began to shout loudly. His interrogators became angrier. They glued his mouth with scotch, handcuffed his wrists behind his back, put an iron rod between his hands so that he could not stand up and continued the torture.

    After five hours of the torture Roman began to vomit. They took of the scotch and he began to shout again. This time some militiamen came in and stopped the beating. Roman, lying on the floor, did not know that at 2 a.m. his wife and daughter went to the precinct and started a scandal. N. met Natalya and said that her husband makes faked money, this is known by his daughter and they both would be responsible. Having learned about the accusations of her husband and daughter Natalya phoned from the precinct hall to the president of the juridical firm ‘Feniks’ and to advocate Ivan Motrynets. Militiamen were worried. The woman was told that her husband would be released in the morning and that he was OK. You rather go home, they said, he will phone you. Roman really phoned, but his voice sounded as if from a grave. ‘They beat you?’ – Natalya asked. ‘Yes’ – he answered and the talk was interrupted at once.

    In the morning it became known that Roman had been taken to Lutsk. By this time both his wife and advocate knew that the militiamen acted without any official warrant. Meanwhile they showed Roman a man, who had phoned him – the man was P., a classmate of his daughter. It appeared that P. was detained with a faked banknote. P. told Roman that he was beaten when militiamen wanted to learn the origin of the banknote. In order to save himself from beating P. began to phone to his acquaintances in Lviv, asking where he could get the banknote. The first man he could reach by phone was Roman. The latter recollected the call, but he did not understand how it implied that he, Roman, faked money.

    In the morning advocate Motrinets phoned to Lutsk asking what was the legal basis of taking his client to another town without any provocation. He also demanded to examine his client to determine of he was beaten. In an hour the militia officer on duty in the oblast directorate phoned to Natalya, informed her that her husband would be immediately released and asked her to pardon his torturers in honor of the great religious holiday. She promised to forget all, if they would stop torturing her husband.

    In the Lutsk militia directorate we got the information that Roman Lozinskiy did not figure in any criminal case as an accused, and that he was summoned as a witness. They did not comment the beating. Now the prosecutor’s office started the investigation of the activities of the Lutsk militiamen.

    The newspaper ‘Vysokiy zamok’, 4 May 2001

    Attitude to the court power in Ukraine

    It appeared that half of the pollees never turned to court, this being so for all regions and all age groups. It is interesting that, if there arises a need of turning to the court, this is done more frequently by citizens with elementary school education, whereas people with higher education do it more seldom, although in the latter the need for this appears more frequently.

    In spite of such an attitude the court system is trusted most; it is followed by law-enforcing organs. It should be noted that the answers of the court technical staff are nearer to the opinion of common people than the answers of judges. Most judges (88%) guess that citizens prefer to turn to courts first, whereas the court staff, like common people, was less categorical about the trust to courts (55%) preferring law-enforcing organs (80%).

    We have the pleasure to report that public human rights protection organizations won the honorable fourth place. It is noteworthy that respondents with higher education would turn rather to criminal bosses (13%) than to law-enforcing organs (11%). Respondents with secondary education trust more to the USS, prosecutor’s offices and the President, respondents with elementary education – to religious organizations and militia. It is significant that the level of trust to the European court of human rights is rater high. As the poll showed, the main reasons that force people not to turn to court are: fear and ignorance of the procedure (67%), long terms of considering the case (11%) and financial difficulties in paying court expenses (3%).

    The poll also showed that in the opinion of the respondents courts defend interests of certain layers of the population (39%), state (26%), citizens (17%), those who are able to pay (10%). Nonetheless, the majority (41%) would sue the state organs.

    The above-mentioned facts are confirmed by experts (judges and court personnel), only 14% of whom acknowledged perfect the existing system of turning to court. One of the most painful problems of the Ukrainian court system is, according to experts, inadequate financing of courts and the court personnel. The results of the study demonstrate that the trust level to the organs of juridical power is low because citizens do not believe ion positive results of their suits against state institutes and organs.

    Yet, the experience of the public juridical reception office of the foundation ‘Right and Democracy’ confirms that the protection of citizen’s rights in courts is possible. To illustrate the point, the claim of Lviv pensioner B. Pidkova against the energy company ‘Lvivoblenergo’ was considered in summer 2000.

    The company regularly stitched off electricity in Lviv, thus violating consumer rights. According to Article 25 of the Law ‘On electric energy production’, Articles 17 and 19 of the Law ‘On protecting consumer rights’, item 43 of the Rules of consuming electricity for the population, the consumers have the right to get electric energy with the parameters indicated in the state standards. In this connection ‘Right and Democracy’ began the campaign and appealed the citizens to turn to court with the claim about compensating moral and material damage. The action was supported by the Lviv oblast mass media that, after the special press conference held by the foundation, published a sample of the application, the list of document necessary for turning to court, as well as contact addresses and phones of the public reception office of ‘Right and Democracy’.

    Pensioner B. Pidkova turned to the reception office with the complaint that switching off electricity caused him moral and material damage. For a long time he had suffered from bronchial asthma, and the disease became acute because of the cold. As a result, he had to stay in hospital and later was transferred from the 3 rdto the 2 ndgroup of invalidity. All the facts were confirmed by a medical certificate and a document that electricity was actually switched off. The plaintiff demanded to pay him a compensation.

    Judge J. Lakomska of the Lychakivsky district court, having heard the claimant, witnesses and representatives of the defendants, having considered the case documents and evaluated the proofs, ruled to satisfy the claim.

    The very fact of the opening the case and its successful decision confirms that the experts of the foundation rightly assessed the situation with switching off electricity and that the blame for the irresponsible attitude to consumers fully lies on ‘Lvivoblenergo’. The court decision became the first precedent of such kind in Ukraine.


    The main result of the monitoring was the confirmation of the presence, throughout Ukraine, of the population layer, for whom the Ukrainian courts are inaccessible, since they cannot afford it.

    The poll showed that only 34% of the respondents know about the possibility of having the legal aid free of charge and only 16% tried to get the free aid. The results show that the knowledge of the juridical procedure increases with the education level and directly depends on it.

    It should be noted that older people are more knowledgeable; 41% of them know about this problem, but they themselves need it in the least degree (7%). Meanwhile the knowledge of the procedures in younger groups is less: 36% in the younger group and 28% in the middle group. That is representatives of the latter group (31-55) turned for free legal aid in half of the cases.

    The situation with the realization of this mechanism is even worse. The total number of the people, who got the free juridical aid in all Ukraine, is only 72 persons (5% of the pollees). This state of things is partly a result of the citizens’ passivity, their inability to use the existing procedures and, mainly, imperfection of the existing mechanisms. This is confirmed by responses of experts. In particular, near 60% of judges and court personnel told that only every tenth citizen turns to them with the request about the postponement of the payment court expenses or for the free juridical aid.

    But the saddest is that 80% of judges and 50% of court personnel, to whom this handful of citizens turn, recommend them to turn to the local self-rule organs, without taking responsibility on themselves and thus increasing the bureaucrats maze. At the same time, a court or a judge, taking into account the client’s material state, may free him from the payment.

    As the monitoring results show, the question whether the population can afford turning to courts is the most actual. Yet, as it has been mentioned above, financial problems disturb not only common people, but also people, who work in courts. Some positive shifts in this sphere have already begun. Yet, without the wide support of the public and, what is more essential, without adequate reaction of other branches of power, we will be able to create the real rightful society not soon.


    The accessibility of courts for citizens and the real conditions inside the court building was a subject of another study conducted in 21 court buildings. The results show that courtrooms are accessible for people, but there are some obstacles.

    For example, it was established that almost all court buildings had been constructed for other purposes and then were reconstructed. That is why they do not respond to the modern demands. Besides the sizeable proportion of the buildings desperately need repairs. There are no special facilities for the handicapped. WCs are inaccessible for all except the personnel.

    The new feature of courts in Ukraine is the appearance of court guards before the buildings. This is a positive achievement, but needs to be perfected. The guards are not adequately equipped and properly trained. Unfortunately, the guards, instead of aiding citizens, stay in their way and try not to let them in. All observers noted long queues at the time of receiving documents from people, independently of the schedule: the reception is once a week or everyday. The clients must have in the process of handing documents the needed stationery, which serves as an additional obstacle. The time regime and placement of various services is unknown and badly explained. The knowledge of place and time of concrete trials leaves much to be desired; the trials begin late that the appointed time by the period from 15 minutes to 1.5 hours.

    Because of the insufficient technical equipment the minutes of the trial are recorded by hand; people, who want to use dictaphones must get the special permission of the judge.

    In all court buildings all criminal cases are considered in courtrooms, while the civil cases are usually considered in judge offices, which are small, have no suitable furniture and, as a whole, are absolutely unsuitable for this. Moreover, it was observed that sometimes judges of court personnel locked the office door, which is a rough violation of the openness of trials.

    Especially important are numerous complaints of citizens about the ungrounded long terms of the execution of court decisions. This painful question will be studies in other investigations.

    Interethnic relations

    An exotic jailbird

    Ludmila Nikulina, the wife of Aleksandr Nikulin, the major of Kirovograd, arrested three months ago for taking bribes, handed a complaint to the oblast prosecutor’s office and to the ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva. In this complaint she informed about the unbearable conditions of upkeep of her husband in the preliminary prison.

    Representatives of the opposition are sure that the major’s arrest is connected first of all with his behavior at the previous presidential election, when he dared to support not Kuchma, but another candidate – Cherkassy major Vladimir Oliynik.

    As Ludmila Nikulina wrote in her complaint, ‘the food is indigestible even for a healthy convict. Besides, electric energy in the cells is switched off regularly from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. since 15 March; running water is supplied only two hours a day’.

    The health of the Kirovograd major has deteriorated. His wife said: ‘I was not permitted to see my husband for three months. There must be reasons for it. Maybe, if I see him, I will not recognize him. What remains to me is to guess.

    I also have some reliable information from several sources that he is kept with people, who stay there for three years. They have been convicted for robbery. This is a clear violation of the law’.

    An arrested Lviv citizen may die

    Sergey Galchik from Lviv, who took part in the events of 9 March and then was arrested, may die in the dungeons of the USS. This was made public by his farther Volodymir Galchik, who has recently had a meeting with his son in the USS preliminary prison of Kyiv. As the farther noted, Sergey was several times examined in the hospital, because his duodenal ulcer inflamed.

    By the way, the farther informed that, according to his son, he had been at first detained for three days by militia, and when this term expired, they even intended to release him. Yet, a conflict happened. When the boy had been detained, his jacket was taken, and when he was released from the precinct, he demanded to return his jacket. They mildly advised him to scram. But Sergey, instead of following the wise advice began to demand an advocate. Instead of giving him an advocate, they gave him a berth in a cell in the USS prison. By today, the farther said, Sergey was transferred to a solitary cell according to his own wish.

    Meanwhile in Lviv UNA-UNSO members continue the termless picketing of the USS building, since Kyivan authorities prolonged the captivity term of UNA-UNSO members for a fortnight. So, the term of incarceration for them has reached almost three months. As Ostap Kozak, the head of the UNA-UNSO Lviv organization, informed that they have no new demands. They did not formulate any new demands, when Oleksandr Ivanchenko, the deputy head of the Lviv oblast USS, came to negotiate with them. They plan to use only one new form of the protest – to go on a hunger-strike on 15 May. Representatives of the recently created Committee of protecting political prisoners, headed by Stepan Khmara, intends to support the event.

    The weekly ‘Postup’, No. 70 (728), 10-16 May

    Our militia does not guard us, even in a prison

    The people, who had troubles with militia, have lately often turn to me as to a journalist, who tries to be independent. The sad reality is that Ruslan Bodelian and his team, having achieved power in Odessa (through a decision of the Kirovograd oblast court), cannot fulfil their main promise – to provide order in the city.

    Recently we have learned that in the bright daytime a terrorist act was committed: as a result of an explosion of a mine a young woman, the wife of a local businessman, lost her leg. We observed a number of criminal acts before: an attempt at life of an assistant of a local MP, killing Boris Vikhrov, the head of the oblast arbitration court, and journalist Igor Bondar. We have listed only the crimes, about which some newspapers dared to write – the newspapers, which still are not afraid of different and already usual claims against mass media from various oblast militia bosses. The militia bosses have accustomed to defend their honor and dignity through courts… Unfortunately, almost all the trials finish in favor of so-called ‘law-enforcers’.

    Various reports brag about the decrease of the crime level in the city, but people die and many criminals are never found.

    I would not remind militia the names of many victims, whose lot is unknown since 1998. This is a consequence of kidnappings and unprofessional work of law-enforcing organs. The list of Odessa journalists, who were killed to tried to be killed is long: Igor Rozov, Boris Derevianko, Leonid Kapeliushny, Volodymir Bekhter, Ludmila Dobrovolska, Igor Bondar and others…

    But one feels the greatest horror, when hears about mysterious deaths in prisons – in the places, where human life must be carefully guarded.

    I shall remind our readers that some time ago the oblast organization of the Ukrainian republican party published the appeal, in which it demanded to bring to responsibility some bosses of the Odessa oblast law-enforcing bodies. The reason was understandable: the family of farmer Andrey Dekusar, a supporter of agricultural reforms, was brutally slaughtered.

    Very little time passed after this tragic act, and the militia reported that the criminal was found and soon would be tried. It was wishful thinking… The suspect committed suicide: hang himself on the mattress case, which had not to be in the cell at all. The oppositional TV company ‘APT’ was the first to make public the case, which caused displeasure of law-enforcers.

    Penitentiaries still remain the places inaccessible to independent journalists, to say nothing about any human rights of convicts. Nonetheless, intolerable conditions in many prisons, including those of Odessa, are elucidated both by former prisoners and human rights protectors. Meanwhile, militia officers continue to insist that ‘there are no violations’.

    Again about a crime. How can one describe such a fact. A young Odessa inhabitant Igor Markov voluntarily came to the Directorate of struggle with organized crime (DSOC), being summoned there. There he was detained for the illegal storage of marihuana in the quantity of a little more than six grams, that is according to Article 229-6 part 1 of the Criminal Code. The drug was found in his nightgown pocket, when he was absent, but in the presence of his mother.

    The mother reckons (and this she wrote in her complaint addressed to Odessa prosecutor Medentsev): ‘my son was arrested by the order of investigating officer Sergey Popov, who since 1997 had special antipathy to him, many times threatened him and promised to put him behind the bars…

    During the entire investigation Popov terrorized me both at home and at work. Three searches were conducted, during which the militiamen tried to find anything that will blacken my son…’

    Igor Markov’s mother, without trying to defend her son (she considers it to be a ‘duty of professionals’) tries to understand another, most painful problem – the cause of her son’s mysterious death.

    This is seen from the next quotation from the complaint:

    ‘On 18-19 December my son and his advocate finished to study the criminal case materials, and it had to passed to the district court.

    However, on 21 December 2000, without informing the advocate, investigating officer Popov transferred, owing to unknown reasons, my son to the detention block of the militia directorate situated in 44 Preobrazhenskaya St. Here ‘he was processed’ by cops and guards’.

    Later he was found hanged in the prison yard. At hand there were no tools for hanging.

    A forensic expertise was held, it showed the presence of amphetamine (a hallucinogenic drug) in his body.

    Up to now it is not clear what kind of confession the cops wanted from Markov. What did he know? Whom did he impede to commit crimes?

    I shall continue to quote the complaint: ‘On 22 December 2000 at 14:30 Popov;s colleague Dmitrenko informed about my son’s advocate, but nobody found it proper to inform me about the tragic death of my only son.

    The advocate demanded that mother should be informed, but Dmitrenko refused saying that he already had no official relation to Igor Markov, since he already came under the responsibility of the court. If that is true then it is not clear why Popov took my son from the preliminary prison to the detention block.’

    Markov’s mother does not understand up to now what has really happened with her son and why his body after an interrogation in the detention block was found in the yard.

    Neither it is clear why Igor committed suicide, if several days before he met with his mother, asked to bring him shaving tackle and some other hygienic things and was in good mood. The mother is still convinced that her son could not go from life by his own will, and she demands to investigate Sergey Popov’s activities.

    There are some other interesting facts.

    The case of Yakimenko, who escaped from the detention block of the USS still remain mysterious. The case became even more controversial after the General prosecutor’s office got the video record of Yakimenko’s confessions. It should be reminded that the latter case was also conducted by the Odessa city prosecutor’s office.

    Recently Vladimir Ruben, a member of the oblast Bar, spoke on TV. He was illegally prohibited to defend an accused Rudenko. Such violations of the right have unfortunately become, according to Mr. Ruben, quite common. Other advocates usually try not to notice such situations, but Ruben decided to fight for the right of an accused for legal defense.

    A day before two other advocates – Rozhkovski and Tepliakova – got a refusal to defend this very client. Ms. Tepliakova, with tears in her eyes, told that she would not be able to stand ‘such brutal behavior as demonstrated by Sergey Popov’.

    Meanwhile, it became Igor Markov’s mother insisted in her complaint that one of the reasons of persecuting her son became the desire to get some information about the case of the above-mentioned Rudenko.

    Another example of illegal actions of militia is framing innocent people by putting firearms and ammunition in the places of search. In this manner two women were framed and detained.

    Sergey Popov was more than once mentioned by businessman Maklakov, the owner of the cafe ‘Niagara’. This unfortunately businessman suffered much both from racketeers and militia, although the latter must protect from the former.

    Aleksandr Orlov, a Polish citizen, who was made to give a written undertaking not to leave a place more than a year ago, is waiting in vain for the trial. More than once he turned to top militia officers with complaints, where he described the activities of Sergey Popov and demanded to dismiss the officer at once and to bring him to criminal responsibility.

    All his demands were futile…

    Court practices

    More than 2000 recruits from the Kharkiv oblast

    ’This year during the spring recruiting campaign we plan to mobilize 2113 young people from the Kharkiv oblast’, Yuri Klynkin, the oblast military commissar, told at the press conference held in the building of the oblast administration. More than 1500 recruits will be directed to the armed forces, others – to various law-enforcing structures. 42% of the recruits will serve in their native Kharkiv oblast; even more – 60% -- are planned to serve in the oblast from the next autumn conscription. The number of recruits is diminishing: last autumn 2500 youths were recruited in the Kharkiv oblast. As Yu. Klynkin said, it is connected with the step-by-step plan of reorganization of the conscription on the contract basis. The reorganization must be completed in 2015. 30% of the armed forces will have to be filled with contract-basis servicemen by 2005, by 2010 – 50%. Since 1 January 2006 it is planned to diminish the service term from 18 to 12 months.

    Since this year every recruit must be tested on a computer for his fitness to serve in the armed forces or in some concrete kind of troops. To this end, for the first time in Ukraine, the oblast recruiting commission was equipped with the computer class for twenty places. In the nearest time representatives of all Ukrainian recruiting commissions will have practical studies in this class.

    Klynkin informed that half of the conscripted are not able-bodied enough to serve in the army. Many recruits learn about their maladies only at the age of 17, when they are examined by military commissions. This situation arose owing to inadequate work of adolescent doctors. Many of those, who appeared to be sick, come in a year with the same pathologies, so the commissions must give them a postponement for treatment or additional examination.

    There is another complication: the number of recruits, who have already got accustomed to alcohol and narcotic drugs, is growing. More than 3 thousand youths of the recruiting age have a criminal record. From 20590 youths registered this spring by recruiting commissions of the oblast, 2760 recruits are not suitable for military service in the peaceful time and conditionally suitable in the war time, 260 are unsuitable for the service and should be taken off the military registration, 1635 must undergo medical treatment. The number of those, who have only elementary education is 147, incomplete secondary education – 315, secondary education – 5.5 thousand; the rest learn in the finishing grades of common and vocational schools (those who completed 8 or less grades out of 11 are not taken to the army, those who completed 9 grades are taken with limitations). 384 youths have no parents, 2214 live without their fathers, 200 – without mothers. 178 people have criminal records, 173 are surveyed by militia, 61 are drug addicts.

    Answering questions from journalists, Yu. Klynkin told that the representatives of the Union of soldiers’ mothers were included to the oblast recruiting commission, they took an active part in its work. Each recruit gets a booklet of instructions how to protect their rights in a military unit in various situations. ‘We do our best to protect our boys in the army’, -- pointed out Yu. Klynkin.

    Klynkin Yuriy, the military commissar of the Kharkiv oblast — tel. 27-76-65.

    Kharkiv Union of soldiers’ mothers — tel. 43-64-55, 14-31-71.

    NGO activities

    Ministry of Justice of Belarus refused to register a human rights protection organization

    The Ministry of Justice refused to register the republican public union ‘Legal defense of citizens’.

    The motives of the refusal suit the formula ‘a good electorate is an illiterate one’. The Ministry in its response refers to the incorrect formulation of the goals and tasks of the organization and the fact that its name disagrees with the operating laws of Belarus. The Ministry reckons that the legal defense of citizens is not a function of public organizations. To confirm their position the authors of the response quote juridical encyclopedia dictionaries published in 1984 and 1992, in which it is said that the legal aid is conducted ‘in the framework of contracts concluded by states as to the cooperation of their juridical establishments in granting the legal aid in civil, family and criminal cases’. It is clear that the authors of the dictionary consider only the international component of the problem. Granting legal aid by the most progressive legislative system of the world to Soviet citizens was not an urgent problem. 10 years passed. A new state, the Republic of Belarus, appeared. The Constitution of this state guarantees the right to have legal aid to every citizen (Article 62). But the Ministry of Justice ignored the Constitution. As well as interests of citizens of the country.

    In fact, a profound legislation reform is going in the state. Recently a new Civil Code has been adopted, new Criminal and Criminal-Procedural Codes have become operable since 1 January 2001.

    Source: Human rights protection organization „Khartiya 97’ 

    Deported peoples

    Oleksa Tykhiy returned to motherland

    What is the Ukrainian world standing upon? On the piers, which are the martyrs of the Ukrainian spirit.

    Donbass that was totally russified in the 20 thcentury by liquidating Ukrainian education and transmigrating hundreds of thousands of alien population, the part of Ukraine, whose native population was decimated by famines and repressions – it was this land that gave Ukraine such outstanding personalities as Mykola Rudenko, Petro Grigorenko, Ivan and Nadiya Svitlychny, Ivan Dziuba, Vasyl Stus. It was them, who determined the profound Ukrainian spirit of this land. They like piers stood against filthy flows of communist propaganda that was carried out by thousands of cynical agitators. All spiritually alive people of the 60s-80s harked to their words, prohibited and jammed. Their works were distributed in samizdat, they sounded on the radio ‘Liberty’. The Ukrainians in Donbass knew that genuine and authentic, which they had, had national roots, since alien and foreign is temporary and fragile.

    In the constellation of the mentioned names the name of Oleksa Tykhiy is a brightest. Oleksa Tykhiy was a teacher and human rights protector, who perished in a Soviet prison in the Urals 17 years ago, on 6 May 1984. In 5 years, on 19 November 1989 he returned to Ukraine, in glory and honor, together with Vasyl Stus and Yuri Litvin. They were reinterred on the Baykovo cemetery in Kyiv. This event was anticipated by Stus:

    ‘Our remains will return,

    and we shall remain invincible.’

    The appearance of a Charity fund named after Oleksa Tykhiy in Druzhkivka confirms that he returned to Ukraine forever. He was born near Druzhkivka in the hamlet of Yizhivka on 27 January 1927, it was here that on 1 July 1977 he was condemned actually to death.

    This fund was created in December 1997 by the publishing house ‘Prima-press’ that publishes the newspaper ‘Okno’, insurance company ‘ASKO - Donbass-Pivnichny’, Druzhkivka organization of ‘Prosvita’ and several private investors. One of the investors is Mykola Yanko, a former teacher of Tykhiy, now a 90-years old member of the Ukrainian Geographical society.

    A bilingual (predominantly Russian) newspaper ‘Okno’ that has the motto ‘Quot homines, tot sententiae’ (‘As many people, so many opinions’) was the first local edition to give truthful information about their outstanding compatriot. Beforehand the name of Oleksa Tykhiy was ignored or mentioned in a negative sense. It is not surprising that such publications caused both praise and criticism, the newspaper was even called a ‘fascist’ one. The newspaper honestly published all these opinions.

    Another noticeable figure born in Druzhkivka is sculptor Oleksandr Skoblikov. Now he resides in Kyiv. He is the author of Gogol’s monument in Rusanovka, academician Vernadskiy’s monument, a co-author of the memorial to sailors of Kyivan river flotilla and -- it must be confessed – of the notorious monument of ‘reunification of Ukraine with Russia’. He also created scores of memorial plates and Taras Shevchenko’s monument in Charlette de Soir. Once in a talk with Sergey Bazanov, the manager of the O. Tykhiy fund, the sculptor complained that monuments created by him spread throughout the world, but no work of his stands in his native Druzhkivka. Then the fund proposed him to make the monument of Oleksa Tykhiy. O. Skoblikov has already sculpted several sketches. Architect Feshchenko, who constructed the monument of founders of Kyiv on the Dnieper bank, agreed to erect Tykhiy’s monument.

    A considerable sum of money is needed, about 20 – 25 thousand USD (or, as they say now, ‘conditional units’). It must be a tremendous bronze monument on a granite pedestal, that will decorate one of central squares in Druzhkivka – Oktiabrskaya (it shall be renamed to Oleksa Tykhiy’s square). This is a wonderful place: the monument will stand on the picturesque slope, on the background of the sky.

    The fund punishment a number of articles in the local and central press, a lively discussion started. The idea wins more and more supporters, some of them among the local authorities. The more so that the idea is backed by noticeable fellow countrymen: Vitaliy Keys, a co-chairman of the Committee of assistance to Donbass schools and a professor of the Rutger university (USA), Nadiya Svitlychna, a laureate of the Shevchenko National prize, Ukrainian organization ‘Verkhovinki’ from the USA represented by Roksolana Sira. All of them visited the fund. Academician Ivan Dziuba, an editor of the Encyclopedia of the Modern Ukraine, also supported the idea.

    In the end of 1998 the fund, in order to make its activities more popular and to encourage the authors who write about the human rights protection movement in Ukraine, organized a competition for the best publication of the similar kind, in particular, about the Ukrainian Helsinki group, one of whose founder-members was Oleksa Tykhiy. Next year the publications came mainly from Donbass, then only a third prize was handed. Many publications came by the end of 2000. The commission did not manage to evaluate all the works by Tykhiy’s birthday, so the prizes were given on the day of his death.

    On 19 May in Kyiv Sergey Bazanov, the manager of the fund, and Evhen Matushevskiy, the general manager of the insurance company ‘ASKO - Donbass-Pivnichny’ awarded the winners.

    The first prize was not awarded: the jury decided so because there were no fundamental works on human rights protection. By the way, the competition is carried out among newly created works reflecting today’s level of the topic.

    The second prize (Hr 1000) got journalist Vakhtang Kipiani for a series of articles in ‘Kyivskie vedomosti’ about human rights protectors Mykola Rudenko, Viacheslav Chornovil, about Solovki and Sandarmokh.

    The third prize (Hr 500) was awarded to the Kharkiv Group for human rights protection. As to the total volume, its output is much larger than any contribution, but, as S. Bazanov remarked, it is rather their professional duty. The prize was awarded, first of all, for the publication of the bulletin ‘Prava ludyny’, edition of three-volume memoirs of former political prisoner Mikhail Kheyfets and ‘Advocate’s notes’ by Dina Kaminskaya.

    A special prize (Hr 500) was given to Andrey Kudin for his book ‘How to survive in prison’ based on his experience of staying in Kyiv Lukyanivska prison in 1997-1998.

    Three encouraging prizes (Hr 200 each) were awarded. Oleg Orach of Donetsk origin, who wrote a book of memories about Vasyl Stus, writes now the book about this great friend. Journalist Yaroslav Tinchenko, along with a number of articles about human rights protectors, published, in ‘Kyivski vedomosti’, a very original interview titled ‘Son for father’ – the interview with Yuri Shukhevich, a son of the legendary commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Rebel Army general Chuprinka, who spent more than 30 years in prison and colonies. Lviv journalist Oleg Stetsishin published, in the newspaper ‘Ekspress’, the interview ‘The exchange of the century from the viewpoint of Valentin Moroz’ – about the exchange of five convicted dissidents for two Soviet spies on 27 April 1979.

    Oleksa Tykhiy’s family participated in handing the awards.

    The fund created its own site, where documents on the human rights protection movement are placed. The site is registered in almost all search systems of the world and is very popular. It contains, in particular, some document about Oleksa Tykhiy. The publications of the mentioned winners also will be input there.

    The competition is lasting. New contributions will be admitted until December of the current year. We must remember that the goal of the Oleksa Tykhiy Charity fund is noble: the erection of Oleksa Tykhiy’s monument in the town of Druzhkivka, the publication of his works and memories about him.

    The fund address: 26 Lenina St., 84202, Druzhkivka, Donetsk oblast; tel. (06267) 424-97, fax (06267) 456-68.

    E-mail: [email protected]

    Bank account: 26004301470173 в АК ПІБ м.Дружківки, МФО 334334, ЗКПО 24815184.

    On 21 May 2001 Academician Andrey Sakharov would have been 80...

    In our house archive we have several things, very valuable for me. One of them is a photo of Andrey Sakharov presented by him to Ksenia Velikanova, who, in her turn, presented it to me. It happened so.

    Ksenia or Asya, as her friends called her, died 14 years ago of cancer. She was an outstanding personality, courageous and firm. She participated in publishing ‘A Chronicle of Current Events’, was a member of the Moscow Helsinki group, she assisted much to the families of the arrested human rights protectors. Only her cancer saved her from being repressed, she lived with malignant tumors for the last ten years of her life. We were friendly with Asya, i always dropped to her coming to Moscow.

    In the beginning of June 1985 I came to Moscow. Asya was very worried: she did not know about the lot of Sakharov. On 1 May his colleague, a physicist, received a letter that Sakharov went on a hunger-strike and was taken to a hospital. The addressee of the letter happened to die some days before, and his relatives were afraid to part with the letter, they just whispered about it to their closest friends. Yet, there were photo-telegrams from Elena Bonner, Sakharov’s wife, to Galina Evtushenko, her trustee in Moscow, and to her children in the USA that read: all is right. On 21 May Irina Kristi (a mathematician and a close friend of Sakharov, who managed to speak with Sakharov a year ago, when Bonner was arrested and Sakharov went on a hunger-strike), who emigrated to the USA, declared that Sakharov was not on a hunger-strike in her interview to ‘The Voice of America’. Yet, Bonner’s children in the USA smelled something suspicious and made a graphical expertise of the telegrams. The telegrams appeared to be faked. What could be said about telegrams to Moscow?

    Asya gave me them. They read: ‘All is right here... Send me tights and nootropil for Andrey... Congratulations with the Victory Day, greet someone (alas, I forgot the name. – E. Z.)... I wake up and have a smoke, as a poet said. By the way, greet him too’. I recognized the quotation as that of Mezhirov. The complete quatrain sounds as follows:

    ‘He inhales his latest breath,

    He is on the brink of death.

    Horrified of what he spoke,

    I wake up and have a smoke.’

    Asya does not understand the hint. I recite her the verse. I said that censors did not catch the hint either. I myself, use this kind of encryption when I write abroad or to colonies.

    Asya became very worried. ‘What shall we do? If something happens with Andrey, we’ll never pardon ourselves! And nobody can go there!’

    That was I, who decided to go. I had a friend in Gorky, a mathematician Natalya Riabina. She could help, if needed.

    Asya showed me several photos to remind me how Sakharov looks and presented one of them. She named the address: 214 Gagarina Ave, drew the scheme of the street and the house, marked the militia post and Sakharov’s balcony on the ground floor, gave the time, when Sakharov ‘has a walk’ on this balcony.

    I went to the railway station, but there were no tickets for any day of the next week. I phoned to Natalya to Gorky. It appeared that she was in Moscow! I hurried to her. I learned that she knew a physicist, who was permitted to meet Sakharov, sometimes he told about Sakharov in the circle of his friends. On the same day Natalya returned home.

    Asya invented the following plan: Natalya shall learn all she can about Sakharov and describe it in a letter to Asya’s acquaintance, and then Asya will pass the information to the West. They agreed to call Sakharov as ‘uncle’.

    This channel worked to the very departure of Elena Bonner to the USA and later. We learned that Sakharov was kept in the oblast hospital. Before Sakharov’s appearance the entire ward personnel was changed: the doctors were sent on leave and nurses were transferred to other wards. Sakharov was fed coercively, and was not permitted to walk in the yard.

    Natalya even managed to get to this ward by attending her friend, who stayed there. Sakharov and even the number of his room was not mentioned in the list of patients hung at the entrance of the hospital. There were two KGB-men on duty at the entrance to the ward, one more at the room door, two stayed in the adjacent room, one more shared the room with Sakharov.

    Sakharov was on the hunger-strike from 16 April (stayed in the hospital from 21 April) to 11 July and from 25 July (in the hospital from 27 July) to 23 October. All in all the hunger-strike lasted 176 days (in 1984 he was on the hunger-strike in a hospital for 124 days); all this time he had not seen his wife. He accomplished what he wanted: Elena Bonner got a permission to go to Italy and the USA for medical treatment and meeting with her children and grandchildren. Yet, these hunger-strikes undermined his health.

    Meanwhile scoundrel Victor Loui demonstrated in the West a faked film intended for pacifying the Western public. The academician is eating, has increased his weigh, is having a walk, has got reprints... The frames taken in 1984 were related to 1985; frames taken with a disguised camera were inserted: medical examination in the beginning of April of 1985, a table talk...

    Andrey Sakharov and Elena Bonner were completely isolated from 4 May 1984 to 8 December 1986, when Anatoliy Marchenko died in the Chistopol prison after a long hunger-strike. This death opened the new time. On 9 December the militia posts were taken away and the telephone was installed. Gorbachev was the first who used the telephone: ‘Dr. Sakharov, return to Moscow and continue your patriotic activities’. In a week Sakharov and his wife returned to Moscow. He still had three years to live...

    “Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2001, #05