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.

Freedom of expression

The USS intends to tail the Internet users.

’The USS would like every Internet user to register’, said Viktor Radchenko at the briefing in Kyiv, according to the agency ’Interfax-Ukraine’. He explained that such a registration ’is similar to compiling a book of telephone users, where all the telephone numbers are listed’. According to Mr. Radchenko, this is necessary ’to block anonymous sites and piratical traffic’. ’We need a register. The Internet is just another tool of communication’, he pointed out. At the same time the USS head refuted the information of some mass media about the USS intention to control the Internet.

Authorities vs. Ludmila Kucherenko.

Well-known journalist Ludmila Kucherenko considers that the National council in charge of TV and radio broadcasting of Ukraine dismissed her from the post of a representative in the Poltava oblast absolutely without any grounds.

By the way, deputy head of the National council Viktor Leshik refused to sign the dismissal order, since he regards it as illegal. He advised Kucherenko to appeal against the order in court.

It is Kucherenko, who more than others bothers the local authorities. She uncloses its financial machinations. She gives indisputable proofs of their irresponsibility and incompetence in solving social problems. Kucherenko not only shows an exemplary behavior of a journalist, she also, as the president of the Poltava media club, supports the professional level of the oblast journalists by holding regular training seminars, unites the democratic press for protection their right for the freedom of speech. Besides she is the chief editor of the media club newspaper ’Novy den’ and prepares materials for radio ’Liberty’.

As a representative of the National council, L. Kucherenko protected the rights of viewers of the TV company ’ЮТА’, whose translations were stopped by cable companies by the order of the authorities. That happened because ’ЮТА’ resolutely opposed the activities of some men in power. L. Kucherenko, in her interview to the informational agency ’Poltava-fact’, said that she has enough experience and knowledge for protecting her own rights. ’I see that more and more journalist, fixed in the vice by authorities, see the light and join the ranks of fighters for the freedom of speech, said Ludmila Kucherenko.

Ukrainian mass media are not prepared for the freedom of speech.

The majority of the Ukrainian mass media are not prepared for an unbiased elucidation of hot topics. Oleksandr Chekmyshev, the vice rector of the Institute of journalism, the head of the committee ’Equality of opportunities’, told that the investigation of the mass media objectivity was conducted in the end of 2000 – beginning of 2001, i. e. At the time when several hot topics were discussed: Gongadze’s disappearance, Yulia Timoshenko’s case, protest actions of the opposition, implementation of the referendum results. As the investigation showed, the Ukrainian mass media appeared unable to elucidate these topics in order to enable Ukrainian citizens to draw reasonable and adequate conclusions. The results of the investigation showed that the most unbiased sources of information are TV news ’Reporter’ at ’New channel’. TV programs TCH (ֵ+1’ channel) and ’Vikna’ (CTB) were found to be more or less objective and of good quality. Regional mass media appeared to be rather confined because their journalist activities are constrained by the influence of local financial and political groups. The investigation uncovered the system of concrete orders, prohibition to elucidate certain topics or mention certain names. In general, the conclusion of the investigators was that the modern economic situation in Ukraine does not enable mass media to be an independent business, i.e. to exist on its income. That is why the publishing policy of mass media is formed by financial and political groups, which control them.

Property of the newspaper 㤝 vek’ arrested

In the end of January of the current year the Zhovtnevy district court of Lugansk took a decision, in which it satisfied partly the claim of V. Landik, the head of the Labor party, against the independent newspaper 㤝 vek’ that is distributed in the Lugansk oblast. According to the court decision, the newspaper must published the refutation of the article, which was regarded as spreading untrue information abusing honor and dignity of Landik. The newspaper also had to recompense the moral damage by paying Hr 2025.5, as well as court expenses of several hundreds hrivnas.

Yu. Yurov, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, treated the decision as a pressure on the independent press and did not obey the decision. In May the court issued another decision to force the newspaper to fulfil the verdict. In order to guarantee the fulfillment of the decision, some property of the newspaper evaluated at Hr 2500 was arrested.

The newspaper did not appeal against the decision.

Journalist Oleg Velichko attacked in Lutsk

In the small hours of the morning of 12 July some strangers attacked Oleg Velichko, the President of news agency ’Corporation ’Avers’’, in the doorway of a house in the V. Chornovil street. Velichko got grave injuries.

According to Evgeniy Komarnitskiy, the head of urgent surgery department of Lutsk town hospital, the journalist got two ribs broken and cerebral brain concussion, this state is grave. Velichko’s colleagues, working with him at the TV company ’Avers’ are sure that the accident is connected with Velichko’s professional activities.

UNIAN comment. ’Corporation ’Avers’’ includes the TV company ’Avers’, which is a leading company in he Volyn oblast. Oleg Velichko participated in the creation of the company and has been heading ’Corporation ’Avers’’ up to the present day.

In summer 1999 Volodymir Sinkevich, the manager of the TV company ’Avers’ was also attacked. The criminal case was started, but up to now it has brought no results known to the public.

Eduard Gurvits on Igor Aleksandrov’s death

’The situation with the protection of citizens’ lives and rights remains critical in Ukraine. It concerns not only journalists. Millions of people feel themselves unprotected. It becomes especially vivid when journalists are attacked.

The fact of murdering for a word, opinion or conviction is especially unbearable.

The country must do everything possible to ensure citizens that they are reliably protected, that the crimes of this kind will be uncovered by all means and the criminals will be punished. Nowadays it is not so. People see that even the most loud crimes, when politicians and journalists, the most well-known people in the country, perished, are uncovered up to now... All this causes great alarm’.

Journalist Igor Aleksandrov was beaten to death in Slaviansk.

On 3 July about 8 a.m. Igor Aleksandrov was attacked near the entrance to the TV company TOP. On 7 July he died without regaining his consciousness. In recent years the Igor Aleksandrov participated in the long court process. In 1998 MP Aleksandr Leshchinskiy (now a member of the fraction ’Regions of Ukraine’) handed a claim, in which he complained that Aleksandrov offended him in one of his TV features. In the same summer the court prohibited Aleksandrov to go in for journalism during five years. Aleksandrov tried to appeal against the verdict several times, but only in 2000 the verdict was acknowledged as illegal. The case was stopped since the claimant refused from his demands ’because the case was already not actual for him’.

The fact that after President Kuchma had been included by the world public to the list of ’enemies of press and the freedom of speech’ combined with recent events in Ukraine connected with the freedom of speech and another fact that Kuchma took Aleksandrov’s case under his personal control testify that the power in Ukraine is irresponsible and helpless.

In our opinion, in this decision there is a tint of cynicism of the power too. We mean the President’s remark that in the whole world people perish in scores, but the hue and cry about Aleksandrov’s death will be fanned especially energetically. What did the Guarantor of the Constitution mean? Maybe purges in Chechnya and Kossovo? Hardly so...

What must be the number of Ukrainian killed journalists, which will make our President acknowledge that it is under his rule not only the freedom of speech, but even the right for life are brutally violated?

Our informant

Prohibition of discrimination

TB is spreading in the Lugansk oblast.

According to the message of ’Lugansk-press-inform’ agency, which refers to the Lugansk oblast center of health, 20 million people in the worlds are sick with TB, eight thousand of them dying annually.

In the Lugansk oblast 1756 patients were found to have TB for the first time in 2000 (this is 13% more than in the previous year).

In the first quarter of 2001 the number of TB cases grew by 32.3% compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

In this respect the worst places appeared to the town of Brianka, where the growth was by 2.4 times, as well as Kirovsk (by 83.3%), Stakhanov (67.3%) and Rovenki (44.5%). As to various districts of the Lugansk oblast, the most dangerous districts are Stanichno-Luganskiy (2.3 times), Kremenskoy (3.8 times) and Lutuginskiy (2 times). The open form of TB is widely spread in Brianka, Stakhanic, Alchevsk, Lisichansk, as well as in Stanichno-Luganskiy, Kremenskoy and Perevalskiy districts.

Destructive forms of TB among those, who were newly registered, make 40.2%, 9% of them in the advanced form. The mortality rate has grown by 10.4% (260 people died).

Some remarks concerning medical reform

Earlier we made some remarks concerning the package of legal documents on the insurance medicine. Unfortunately the Supreme Rada postponed considering these documents again.

In what follows we make public the generalization of responses to our questionnaire distributed among ’Prava ludyny’ readers. The answers were sent to us only by 10.4% of our readers, who obtained the questionnaire (73 out of 700).

It should be noted that the number of responses would be even smaller, if we were not assisted by Mr. Torosh from Rivne and Mr. Stepanenko from Chortkiv. They distributed the questionnaires among medical workers, with whom they were acquainted. The editorial board of ’Prava ludyny’ is thankful to Mr. Torosh and Mr. Stepanenko.

In what follows we publish the results of the poll about the system of medical aid and the present state of our so-called ’health protection’.

60% of the pollees supported the mixed system of financing this important branch, i. e. they support the existence of the medical insurance and even system of payments taken from rich patients, but they insist on the free medical aid for children and pensioners.

20 % approve the pure insurance medicine.

13,7 % approve the free medicine.

5,5 % approve the chargeable medicine.

The majority of our pollees regard the existing system of health protection as one contradicting the right for life. 98% of them consider that our medicine violates Article 2 of the European Convention on human rights. Almost all pollees accuse our state and medics of irresponsible attitude to the life and health of people.

The poll showed: all understand quite well that our medicine is neglected. Not only common Ukrainian citizens, but even human rights protectors have not enough information about the insurance medicine, which is widely spread in the world. This ignorance prevents our society to understand how to construct the system of the insurance medicine. If to account for a low level of trust to any official organs, then we shall see that to reform the system of health protection will be very difficult, since all changes will be regarded by the population with suspicion. That is why in order to introduce any reforms the authorities must have the will and wish and knowledge of what must be done. Lately we have learned that an experiment commenced in Kyiv and the Kyiv oblast of introducing the insurance medicine. The local authorities decided not to wait until the legislators will present us with the fruits of their meditations.

We appeal to the readers of ’Prava ludyny’, first or all professionals (physicians, lawyers and economists), to send us their ideas and propositions about the Law ’On insurance medicine’. That will enable us to debate the question in more solidly. The most interesting propositions will be sent to the appropriate commissions of the Supreme Rada and published on our site.

We are looking forward for your letters, dear readers!

Children’s rights

Militia kills a Crimean Tatar

The prosecutor’s office of the Crimea intends to conduct a through investigation of the circumstances under which a 26-year-old Crimean Tatar Niyazi Gafarov suspected of robbery was shot in the Kyivskiy district militia precinct of Simferopol on 12 July. The murder brought the Crimea to the brink of ethnic clashes.

’The case has more question than answers’, deputy prosecutor of the autonomous republic Volodymir Rebrov told journalists. The prosecutor’s office of the Crimea started inspection of the militiamen involved. According to Mr. Rebrov, the prosecutor’s office has ’many question to the militiamen about the legality of their actions, starting from the moment of the detention of the suspect’.

We remind the reader that Niyazi Gafarov got a mortal wound in the Kyivskiy precinct, to where he was taken as a suspect in robbery of a Simferopol dweller. According to the information of the PR directorate of the Ministry of Interior in the Crimea, during the interrogation the suspect unexpectedly produced a knife a stabbed a militiaman and stabbed thrice the robbed man, who recognized him as the robber. Preventing the escape, the wounded militiaman took out his gun and mortally wounded Gafarov.

This tragic accident incited people in the region. Last Friday Gafarov was buried in his native village of Kamenka. The funeral almost turned to interethnic clashes. It became known that a forensic expert found on the body not only bullet wounds, but also many other injuries: haematomas, bruises and distinct prints of handcuffs. On the funeral day a group of Crimean Tatars conducted a protest action in front of the Kyivskiy precinct. They demanded a just investigation of the accident and punishment of the guilty. Tatars blame militia for brutal treatment of their nation.

Meanwhile the Crimean Prime Minister ordered the heads of local administrations and mayors to personally control the situation on their territories, as well as to conduct meetings with heads of law-enforcing organs, prosecutor’s offices and the USS. Sergey Kunitsyn declared that he would not permit any clashes between different nations on the peninsular. He promised to personally control the investigation of this accident.

Emine Avamlieva, the head of the League of Tatar lawyers ’Initsium’, who is the advocate of Gafarov’s family, told about a ramified system of tortures existing in Crimean militia, as well as about traditionally brutal attitude of law-enforcers to Crimean Tatars. According to her, the murder of Niyazi Gafarov is only the top of enormous iceberg of lawlessness, which exists in law-enforcing organs. After the statements of the Prime Minister and the prosecutor about the additional investigation of the accident and the promise to punish the guilty the strain in the region diminished. Yet, the Medjlis anticipates the possibility of further protests.

Ukrainian authorities are less anti-Semitic than Russian.

Representatives of the American NGO ’Union of committees for protecting Jews in the former USSR’ made public the report devoted to the anti-Semitism on the post-Soviet space. The problem of violating rights of other national and religious minorities is analyzed as well in the report. The authors reported that, in contrast to Russia, there are no Ukrainian top authorities or public figures, who openly demonstrate their anti-Semitic attitude. Nonetheless, such attitude exists in Ukraine. Here is a quotation from Leonid Stonov, the head of the Union: ’We have a bureau in Lviv. UNA-UNSO exists in West Ukraine. On the other side of Ukraine, in the East (especially in Kharkov), the anti-Semitism has roots partly in Russia, for example, in Barkashov’s organization’. Stonov’s colleague Mike Naftalin, surprised journalist with the information that Russia fights in Chechnya with anti-Semites. At least, this, according to Naftalin, is the reason given by Russian President Vladimir Putin. ’To justify persecution of the whole nation with such arguments is a crime’, the authors of the report point out.

On refugees

Patriarch of the Odessa journalist beaten

Some strangers beat the oldest Odessa journalist, octogenarian Yakov Levit, in downtown of Odessa at 6 p.m. He went to a bread-shop. His wife was watching him from the balcony – the reason was that Levit had recently undergone a complicated ophthalmologic operation and had problems with his eyesight. There is a bar on the ground floor of their house and several customers made awful noise. Yakov’s wife asked them to be a little more quiet. In response she got a volley of bad language, which her husband, just returning home, could not stand. He asked: ’Why are you insulting my wife?’ and was beaten.

The veteran covered with blood managed to get to the nearest militia precinct. The militiamen listened to him very politely and advised first to register the bruises at the nearest hospital and then to turn to militia. Yakov Levit recollected a long list of beating journalists in Odessa and quietly went home.

A robust door saved Valentina Vasylchenko

Vladimir Mayakovsky, a classic of the Soviet poetry, once exclaimed with pride: ’My militia’s guarding me!’ Since those days militia guards us not so vigilantly. Here are two stories, when journalists were attacked, maybe not in the capacity of journalists.

On Sunday about 23:30 journalist Valentina Vasylchenko heard a buzz at her door. A woman’s voice asked: ’Please, open the door. I need to see Vlasik, Oksana I Yulia’. The sleepy Valentina, thinking that somebody confused the door, answered: ’You are mistaken. These people do not live here’. Yet the voice repeated the request to open the door, although Valentina told several times that it was a mistake. Valentina heard low voices on that side of the door... The disappeared only after Vasylchenko promised to call militia. It event could be taken for a irritating misunderstanding. Yet, 15 minutes later the buzz sounded again. It was followed by a crashing sound. Someone kicked the door all the time pressing the buzzer. Valentina asked: ’Who is there?’ A man’s voice commanded: ’Open the door! Militia!’ ’What do you want’, asked the Valentina. ’Open the door and then we shall tell you!’.

-- I heard several men voices on the landing, Valentina Vasylchenko told later. – The buzzer worked without stop. They kicked the door trying to break it. I understood that it was not a misunderstanding and dialed 㤊’. I gave my address and name to the militia officer and told on duty: ’Drive here! Somebody is breaking my door!’ ’Who?’, asked the militiaman on duty. How could I know? I said: ’They say that they are militia’. The man on duty advised: ’Ask them to give their names’. It was stupid, but I ran up to the door and asked: ’Militia is interested, who is breaking my door. Please, give your names’. They answered nothing and continued to break the door. I continued the dialog with the militiaman on duty. He appeared very curious and put me many other questions. I could not stay it any more and shouted: ’I bloody fool, call the patrol car!’ He answered: ’I will connect you with the officer on duty in the Sosnovskiy precinct’. It was a vicious circle. He asked, who was breaking the door, ask them to give their names, etc. Perhaps, they followed the same instruction. I wanted to break the telephone... In 20 minutes a patrol car did arrive at last. The attempts to break the door stopped ten minutes before. The arrived militiamen compiled the protocol, omitting my words that the breakers introduced themselves as militiamen. When I signed the protocol, I inserted this fact. What did the law-enforcers say to me? They advised to mend and strengthen the door and to turn to the department of the struggle with the organized crime when I come across with any difficulties. By the way, when the intruders were breaking my door, I phoned to this department too. It is 50 meters from my house. On the other end of the line I heard: ’Lady, do not bother us’. And the talk was cut short.

I believe that those, who tried to break my door, had one goal: to lure me out of the flat and then -- -- I am afraid to think of the consequences. Then militia would, as always, start the case according to Article 206, hooliganism. And if the strangers managed to break the door and rush into the flat, this would be Article 142, burglary and robbery, up to 15 years of incarceration’.

On 14 August 2000 at noon journalist Valentina Vasylchenko was attacked on the landing near the door of her flat. Two strangers wearing blazers and dark glasses brutally beat her on the head. Her life was incidentally saved by some people, who were walking downstairs. Almost a year passed. During this time militiamen did nothing, they even did not imitate an investigation. ’The file of my case contains only my complaints and applications to the General prosecutor’s office. What sort of investigation it is, if during all this time I was not permitted to read the forensic expertise results. I even stopped to come and ask, what is new in my case, since I understood that nothing is being done’, Vasylchenko said. It is interesting that the attempt at the journalist was committed after she made public at a press conference some materials about the ’Bull’s gang’, which is covered by top oblast authorities. The described attack at her door also happened after she wrote in the newspaper ’Antenna’ about the crimes of the same gang. By the way, several days ago ’Bull’ was released from the prison after a week imprisonment. So, militiamen certainly do not dare to interrogate such an ’revered person’ about petty journalist. It may be that ’Bull’ is not guilty here, and some other ’revered person’ just tries to frame him.

Horrible times for unprotected people!

Court practices

27 deserters are being searched in Kharkov oblast

Most of the deserters left their units long ago, before 1995. Recently a serviceman we detained, who left his unit and hid from the authorities for more than three years. He was blamed for physical violence toward his comrade at arms. He was tried and deserted on the day when his verdict had to be declared. As members of the militia prosecutor’s office said, Ruslan Markokhay was spoiled by his power: several months before his demobilization he was appointed a section commander and he misused his power. During two months Ruslan regularly tortured his six subordinates. The commanders learned about the situation and started investigation. After the desertion Markokhay was being searched for 3.5 years. As it became known later, he hid at his relatives’ place in the Donetsk oblast. He lived on accidental earnings and later found a job of a miner. Now the mine manager will be responsible for it. As to the culprit, he is waiting for the verdict in the preliminary prison. The investigating officer anticipates that Markokhay will get not less than 5 years of incarceration. Yet the final word shall be pronounced by the court martial – there were different precedents. The workers of the military prosecutor’s office recollect a deserter, who was hiding for 7 years, then was caught, tried and condemned to one year of penal battalion. The investigating officers are satisfied with the decline of the number of deserters by one quarter.

NGO activities

Pasko’s case-2.

On 12 July in the city of Vladivostok another trial of journalist Grigoriy Pasko accused of the high treason began. The prosecution considers him guilty of spying for Japan.

At 10:00 sharp judge Kuvshinnikov accompanied by two assistants (ensigns of the frontier guard) entered the courtroom. Several petitions were announced, in particular, on conducting the phonoscopic expertise of Pasko’s voice. The petitions were followed by some appeals, among them the appeals of Sweden and Belarus PEN-centers, where they demanded to immediately stop the shameful trial over a journalist, who merely fulfilled his professional duties.

To some surprise of the audience, all the petitions were satisfied except the main one: Pasko demanded to call Kuroedov, the Commander-in-chief of the Russia Navy, as a witness. Yet, everybody understood that this demand was a fantastic whim. Pasko himself refused to give any evidence, declaring that he did not understand of what he was accused.

Journalists were permitted to be present at the opening of the trial. Then they were deleted from the courtroom, and the state prosecutor began to read the accusation. It seemed that this document (which Pasko refused to read) had not been read by the prosecutor too, since he stumbled during reading, especially of long foreign words. Upon the whole the happening resembled the well-known novel by Kataev, where a speaking cat tried its best to pronounce the word ’neocolonialism’, could not do it and died in convulsions.

Pasko has been at large for two years, and all this virtual world full of figures, names, some documents, which were allegedly passed by someone to somebody, all these freight trains transporting used fuel, written off submarines, of which the prosecutor told the audience could impress the naive public.

We would like to comment several points of this top secret accusation act, which, by the way, is placed on many Internet sites. The main ’advantage’ of this new accusation act that it does not contain anything new. The accusation just hopes to stir the heap of the old garbage and throw it again at Pasko’s head. The only change is that some points are confirmed with expertise acts made within the native army system.

All accusations are rather fuzzy, they look approximately in such a way: somewhere someone saw in some unnamed place that Pasko attended the office ’Neichkey’, talked with the bosses and passed some envelope. Even from the accusation act one can see that Pasko went to forbidden zones only with the permission of his commanders, or even by their direct orders. The damage inflicted to the state security of Russia is not defined and mentioned, and this evaluation is the main factor determining whether the case will be considered in court. Yet, according to Article 19 of the international agreement, Pasko had the right to pass the information on the potential ecological catastrophe to a neighboring country. A lot of Japanese journalist are mentioned in the case, but there are no concrete proofs that they are connected with Japanese security services. Their interest was purely professional, as well as Pasko’s, and it did not concern the secrets mentioned in the Russian law on state secrets. All the proofs are based on testimony of witnesses, and we know that this testimony was given under duress.

The train with nuclear waste was photographed by Pasko by the order of his commanders. It had to serve as a proof that Russia fulfills her international obligations. All Pasko’s articles were approved by the military censorship, even contrary to the law on mass media. The arguments against the accusation can be multiplied without end. The general conclusion is as follows: journalist Pasko worked on a new level, such that had intimidated the military before (and now too). This is the reason why the case was appeared. Another reason is that the security service of the Pacific Navy understood that they do not need such a journalist as Grigoriy Pasko. They had to warn other journalists: we will not permit you to work in SUCH a way.
 A. Tkachenko, ’Novaya gazeta’, Vladivostok, 16 July 2001
 Source: a bulletin of the Union ’For chemical safety’
 All the bulletins are placed on the site

Open letter to Presidents and Prime Ministers of the ’big seven’ countries.

Open letter to Presidents and Prime Ministers of the ’big seven’ countries

Dear sirs. I, Aslan Maskhadov, the democratically elected President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, am writing this desperate message on behalf of my people, which became a victim of war and genocide. Murders that happen daily at this war have not still stirred the consciousness of the world that you head. We are as unfortunate, condemned and enslaved as you are rich, mighty and free. Soon you will gather in Genoa among the gorgeous ceremonies suitable for your status among other countries. Guards of honor will greet you, you will meet in palaces, and the entire world will catch every your word. On my side, I write you from the land smelling of the death and spilt blood. I, like my brethren, is chased in my own country. I, like you, was elected by my people and the privilege and responsibility to lead my people, but Moscow calls me a bandit, a terrorist and a criminal. Outside my tiny country my words mean little, and the cry of my tormented people leaves you dumb-and-deaf. So I shall write until your silence is broken.

You will gather for summit talks to discuss the writing off debts of poor and undeveloped countries. This is a worthy enterprise, and it undoubtedly will give to millions hope that the acknowledgement of humanitarian problems will impel the strong of this world to put an end to the misery, to which the weak are destined. But if you acknowledge that misery is a form of the concealed violence over the poor and hungry, then why turn your eyes from us? Indeed, why we, dying in the fire of the Kremlin war, do not deserve compassion? What has made us invisible in your eyes? I am afraid that I know the answer. I am afraid that your passivity is caused by the cold-blooded demands of the ’Realpolitik’, and this makes us doomed. Not to damage the unstable relations with the new and unreliable Russia, you try not to notice the extermination of my people. From your viewpoint, our people may be sacrificed for the sake of great profits. And so you invite to your table the honorable guest, Russia President Vladimir Putin, you shake hands with him as with the leader of a great democratic country, greeting him as a reformer, who shares your values.

If you could only see the real face of Chechnya wriggling under the iron hill of the Russian occupation, could you then shower these praises sincerely? Once the population of Chechnya numbered one million, now one of seven Chechens is dead. Quarter of a million of our citizens are refugees. They are deprived of the most essential things, many of them are exhausted with diseases and undernourishment, especially oldest and youngest. More than 20 000 of peaceful citizen and warriors of the resistance are put to the new GULAG, to so-called filtration camps.

They under inhumanely filthy and primitive conditions, with negligible medical aid, the level of which is much lower than required by the standards of the Russian penitentiary system, or without any aid. Inmates of these camps are systematically tortured in a sadistic way. Such beastly methods as burning lighted cigarettes on their flesh, brutal beatings, suffocation, drowning in human feces, cutting off organs with knives, high-voltage electric shocks, sexual harassment do not exhaust the list of systematically applied tortures. Many convicts are killed after all. The death for many of them is restful and desirable.

Our women are group-raped. The applied war technique is the tactic of scorched land: villages are robbed and then wiped off, and men, including boys of 15, disappear tracelessly during purges. Any Chechen may be arrested without any warrant and be executed without any verdict. Mass executions is the everyday reality for man, women and children of all ages. The bodies of the executed are often mutilated and put to the public sight; it is forbidden to bury the bodies. Out deads turned to be a kind of currency. Russian soldiers chisel from relatives enormous sums of money for the bodies. Countless collective graves are hidden in the soil, spotted with ruined villages and burning ruins. The social infrastructure ceased to exist.

Only during the last fortnight scores of villages in South-East and West Chechnya again became victims of the terror, more than 300 peaceful citizens were killed during the purges, thousands are thrown to prisons, tortured and raped. We informed the Council of Europe, but in vain. This is another somber demonstration of the ’Realpolitik’. Terror, slaughter and insanity – that is the price we pay for the sober pragmatism of the international diplomacy.

In 1945 you defeated the evil of militarism, fascism and nazism. Those countries, which gave birth to the monstrous Holocaust of the world war, took the oath never to repeat their fatal errors and appeared to be capable of generating a new spirit to win the right to stand side by side with the old democracies. During half a century you have been founding new institutions of community, the UNO, NATO, EC and OSCE, as well as other regional and worldwide organs aimed at the creation of more just and safe future. You have prevented the Apocalypse of the nuclear conflict, your pressure destroyed the Berlin Wall, throwing down the yoke of communism, and stopped the long cold war. You dismantled your colonial empires and let the enslaved peoples to go their own way. You fought racism at home and abroad, and your voices helped to wash off the stain of apartheid. Again and again you protected democratic values and defeated dictatorships. Possibly, it began in Nuremberg, when you obeyed your noblest instincts and set the principles of the force of the right and of human rights as inviolable universal principles, according to which barbarians shall be responsible for their crimes by laws prescribing the civilized behavior.

Why do you positively treat the arrest of Slobodan Milosewic, who at last got to the dock in the Hague, and, at the same time, embrace Vladimir Putin as a respected partner? How could it happen that you mobilized your forces to repel the insolent aggression in the Persian Gulf, how could you struggle for stopping ethnic purges and atrocities in Bosnia, Kosovo, Timor and Sierra-Leone, and, at the same time, refrain from even pronouncing the world ’Chechnya’. You condemn and isolate the regime SLORC in Myanma and talibs in Afghanistan. You exert pressure on China for its actions in the Tibet and for persecutions of dissidents-intellectuals and supporters of religious cults, but say nothing about mass murders of peaceful Chechens. You conduct permanent diplomatic negotiations, trying to ensure peace in the Near East, North Ireland, Macedonia, Kashmir, Congo and even in Sudan; where are your peaceful initiatives concerning Chechnya?

On behalf of my exterminated nation I beg you not to leave us alone. I beg all of you to undertake steps for resuming peaceful negotiations and immediate stopping the war, guaranteed and controlled by neutral countries. I beg you to demand, according to the international right, to expand the system of humanitarian and medical aid, desperately needed by us. I beg you to require the unhampered return of human rights protectors, international observers and journalists, who now are forbidden to enter Chechnya. I address you as leaders of the free world in the hope that you will find moral courage to act according to the democratic traditions that you represent and that you took oath to obey. I hope that you will exert pressure on Russia to make them stop annihilating my country, to make Russia responsible for genocide of my people and to use sanctions against Moscow, if the Russian government do not obey.

The cruelty, from which we suffer is not new for us. We remember Stalin’s salt mines, watchtowers, barbed wire and anonymous graves. We already know the pain of the exodus and genocide. We know our brethren, who suffered as much. They are skeletons of Jews and Gypsies in the ovens of Dahau and Oswencim. They are people pierced with bayonets in Nantsin. They are ancient and naive people of Biafra. They are a woman with infant begging mercy standing before armed soldiers in the village of May Lay. They are the Arabs of Iraq suffocating in clouds of mustard gas. They are Tutsi of Ruanda, knifed on the road Kigali by cutthroats from ’Interhamwe’. All of them are out brethren in suffering, who became victims of senseless murders.

The difference is that our blood is spilt not in the past, but in the nightmarish present. Just think how many Chechens will die during the time when you read this letter! How many people will be buried during your summit talks? Do not be silent, for the sake of humanity and justice, act now! Act rightly or, after some time the history will inscribe you on the pages of shame. If you continue to stand aside doing nothing while my people perishes in the bloody meat chopper of the war, if you do not act with the sureness and resolution, as you did it in Ruanda, the ghosts of the murdered Chechens will stain your honor, as the honor of Russia.

Let god give you sagacity and insight for serving the cause of peace and justice.

Respectfully yours,

Aslan Maskhadov, the President of the Chechen Republic Ichkeria

19 July 2001

ENWL-info *Ecological North West Line* St.Petersburg, Russia

E-mail: [email protected]

Point of view

Members of miners trade union are threatened.

The independent trade union of miners of Ukraine (ITUM) held a congress in Kyiv and re-elected its leader Mykhaylo Volynets. Volynets considers that one of the reasons of his popularity is that he appealed to ambassadors and leaders of various countries with the request to react at the pressure of some government forces on trade unions activities.

Mykhaylo Volynets told that on the eve of the congress more than 30 members of the trade union turned to him and informed about threats. The miners independent trade union is a structure, which energetically supports the transparent from of payments in the mining industry.

The trade union, as an organization dissatisfied with state authorities, supported Yushchenko’s government and the work of former vice-Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko. That is why, along with economic, political reasons of the persecutions exist. ’The matter is that the persecutions of the ITUM began after we joined the Forum of national salvation and the action ’Ukraine without Kuchma’, informed M. Volynets. Most political analysts consider that it is a part of the campaign on the side of the Donetsk oblast rulers, who want to subdue the ITUM thus to master the miners electorate.

According to the UNIAN agency, the Kyiv militia tried to hamper the work of the 4th congress of the ITUM. Mykhaylo Volynets said: ’When the congress already commenced its work, militia appeared and demanded the mayor’s permission to hold the congress. The hall was blocked. MPs, delegates of the congress and leaders of foreign trade unions crowded at the entrance. Besides, faked miners in civil clothes were sent to the congress to upset its work. After all militia had to let the crowd enter the hall’. After this the congress continued its work at changing the Statute of the ITUM.

What do people write to the Ukrainian President.

Many letters received by Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma were devoted to the painful problem of law protecting in the country. These questions became domineering for the first time.

As the PR directorate of President’s administration informed, this question was raised in 11.3 thousand letters out of 51.5 thousand received in the first half of this year. In particular, the proportion of complaints against illegal actions of law-enforcing officers is 26.4%, and 20.9% against court decisions.

Ukraine trades in people.

Ukraine got into the list of 47 countries that, according to the definition of the US State Department, do not satisfy the minimal standards prohibiting trading in people as the American law demands.

The list contains countries of ’second category’. Ukraine shares this list with France, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Czechia, Hungary, Georgia and China.

The report of the State Department was prepared in response to the law draft adopted in October. This draft appeals to apply economic sanctions against the countries, which do not fight with slave trade and do not protect the victims of the trade, Associated Press informs.

23 more countries make another list of those, which do not apply energetic efforts against slave trade.

Some democratic countries close to the USA, such as Israel, Greece, Turkey and the South Korea, are included in the list.

According to the US State Department, each year about 700 thousand people are sold abroad for the work in brothels and construction sites.

The US State Department prepared this report for the first time by request from the US Congress. From now on such reports will become annual. If there will be no noticeable progress in this respect in the previously mentioned countries, then since 2003 economic sanctions will be applied to them.

A Ukrainian court applied for the first time punishment for a coup d’etat.

The criminal collegium of the Chernigiv oblast court finished to consider the first case of preparing a coup d’etat in Ukraine. Valentin Bulakhov, a 47-year old dweller of a forest hamlet, and Yuri Petrovskiy, a 42-year old dweller of Zaporozhye, were considered guilty in a complot aimed at the destruction of the constitutional regime in the country, public appeals to this, distributing printed matter ’under a collusion with a group of other persons’. These articles of the Ukrainian Criminal Code are applied for the first time since the foundation of the autonomous Ukraine. Bulakhov pleaded guilty and was condemned to 5 years of incarceration conditionally. Petrovskiy, who continues to state that the ’collusion’ was aimed at disclosure of the USS agent in the public organization of former army officers, was condemned to six years in strict regime colony with the confiscation of his property and deprivation of his officer’s rank. The provocateur’s task allegedly was to discredit the officer organization and preventing its activities in protecting civil rights of servicemen and their families. As to other participants of the event, the criminal cases were stopped. The criminal case against still another plotter, Aleksandr Kozlobaev, a Russian citizen, the head of permanently working organization ’Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR’, was separated from the other cases since the suspect is being searched.

UNO on the index of man’s development

On 10 July the UNO Program of Development (UNOPD) distributed in many countries the results of a consecutive investigation ’Reports on man’s development in 2001’. This document contents statistical data that characterize economic, social and humanitarian indices of about 160 countries, regions, groups of countries and the entire world. The UNOPD reports are used by governments of many countries when shaping their social and economic policy and influencing mass media.

The concept of man’s development accounts for the development as the main goal and criterion of social progress. Man’s development has three main goals: firstly, the longer life span with satisfactory health; secondly, getting education that suits modern conditions; thirdly, the access to sources that provide a dignified life standard.

The topic of the last report is the analysis of the influence of new technologies. The previous reports were devoted to multifarious problems: in 1991 – financing man’s development, in 1995 – gender problems, in 1999 – globalization with human face.

The most important index in the reviewed reports is the annual index of man’s development (IMD) in various countries of the world. This index is characterized with three most important features: life span, degree of literacy of population, GNP per capita with the account taken of the consumer’s basket that consists of several hundreds goods and services.

The current report is based on the statistical data for 1999. Ukraine has won the 74th place out of 162 countries. In 1993-94 Ukraine occupied the 45th place, 1995 – 54th, 1996 – 80th, 1997 – 95th, 1998 – 102nd, 1999 – 91st, 2000 – 78th. It should be noted that the insignificant raise in the rating of Ukraine during the last three years is due not to objective improvements, but to the changes in the methods of counting. The following countries have the highest IMD: Norway (0.939), Australia (0.936) and Canada (0.936). In Europe significant rating is possessed by the following post-Communist countries: Slovakia – 35th place (IMD=0.831), Hungary – 36th (0.829) and Poland – 38 (0.828). Among the former Soviet countries the best are the Baltic countries: Estonia – 44th place (IMD=0.812), Lithuania – 47th (0.803), Latvia – 50th (0.791). Among the CIS countries Belarus occupies the 53rd place (IMD=0.782), Russia – 55th (0.775), Armenia – 72nd (0.745), Kazakhstan – 75th, Georgia – 76th, Azerbaijan – 79th.

The index of life span is defined as a number of years that a newborn may live, if, during all his life, the mortality rate remains such as it was at the birth.

In Ukraine, according to the UNOPD data, this index equaled 68.1 years in 1999, which is a little larger than the index averaged over the world (66.7). About 10% of the dead in 1999 perished because of accidents, traumas or poisoning; men of the working age mostly belong to this group. The common demographic indexes in Ukraine are far from being favorable: in the beginning of 2001 the number of the children under one year of age was 381 thousand, while the number of people aged 74 was 409 thousand. As to the female sex, the number of babygirls under one year was 184 thousand, while the number of 77-year women was 206 thousand!

The education index in Ukraine is somewhat higher. The index is depends on two parameters: the level of literacy and the general coverage of the population with education.

The first parameter in Ukraine equals 99.6%, in Poland – 99.7%, in Latvia – 99.8%, in Russia and Belarus – 99.5%. The maximal coverage with education in Ukraine is 76-78%, which is close to similar date in the countries of East Europe and the CIS, but about 10 points lower than in the West.

Most of all Ukraine lags behind other countries in the GNP per capita. It equals 3458 USD, so, according to the consumer capacity, Ukraine has only the 96th place among 162 countries. The GNP per capita in Ukraine equals only 49.5% of the average world level. Our neighbors have somewhat better indices. So, in Poland the GNP equals 8450 USD, in Slovakia – 10591, in Hungary – 11430, in Romania – 6041, in Russia – 7473, in Belarus – 6876.

The GNP index is very important in the context of the intentions to join the European community. This index in 15 West European countries was 22204 USD in 1999, that is 6.42 times larger than in Ukraine.

We continue the discussion on suicide

In April issue of ’Prava ludyny’ V. Beloded initiated the discussion on the problem of suicides. To provoke a discussion the author treated the topic in a paradoxical way. Until now only one reader joined the discussion.

I tried to get maximally reliable statistical data on suicides in our region, but in vain. Even if such statistics exist in prosecutor’s offices, it is not accessible to laymen. I know that such statistics was not and is not accounted for in medical establishments. I suspect that ’official’ data on suicide in Ukraine now and then appearing in mass media are not quite correct. It is understandable, because the topic is profound and limitless, and it seems to be impossible to describe it by using exact methods of any science. Anyone, who attentively read Leo Tolstoy’s ’Anna Karenina’, would, perhaps, agree with me. As well it is evident that the problem shall be investigated in earnest, impartially and without any guarantees of success.

I recollect that our professor of psychiatry A. Noshchenko began his lecture on suicide with such words: ’In the socialist society there no objective reasons to cause suicide. The reasons exist, there, in the capitalist world, where people are not sure of their future, where one man to another behaves as a wolf...’, and so on. Meanwhile, the lecturer’s face was sly, and until now I am not sure whether he was serious or made a clown of himself. When the situation did not demand to ideological cliches, professor Noshchenko made an impression of a sound doctor. ’It is rather difficult to understand another person’s unhealthy soul, but a psychiatrist cannot do his duty without this attempt’, this remark also belongs to him.

Not an outside observer, but even the person, who is going to commit suicide, cannot fully explain the motives. A lot of complexities and difficult questions appear immediately after the definition of a suicide as a premeditated termination of one’s own life. First of all, where is the exact boundary dividing a premeditated act from a spontaneous one. For example, a teenager girl is taken to the intense care ward, who took a lethal overdose of pills to protest against her mother’s prohibition to go to a dance. After several hours of treatment she already blames herself for the stupid act and cannot explain was it a premeditated act or she was going just to ’scare’ mother. So was it a genuine suicide or a piece of a family theater? Here is another recent example. A man, after a slight conflict with his wife took a poison intended for extermination of Colorado bugs. Next day he commented his act so: ’I do not know what struck me’. The experience shows that most suicides are committed in a fit of passion, and, if saved, the victims are sorry for their actions. It is difficult to describe this phenomenon better than Flaubert did in the scene of suicide of Emma Bovari.

Yet, the complexity of the problem does not mean that it should not be investigated. Each suicidal case must be investigated very seriously as a part of the great problem of death and life. We should investigate this problem in Ukraine not only because of certain growth of suicides and changes in the structure of suicide-causing factors, but also because ’man, his life and health... are proclaimed as the superior social value’ (Article 3 of the Constitution). Nonetheless, I have not observed even the initiative attempt of the state to collect the raw data.

Soviet psychiatry (as, maybe, criminalistics and sociology) obviously ’limped’ towards social simplification of the phenomenon. We were taught that the Western studies of suicide reasons were too ’biological’ and too ’psychological’. The both approaches contained a rational component. Some relations may be regarded as more or less statistically grounded, for example, the high level of suicides among jobless, servicemen, people condemned to incarceration, drug addicts, sexual minorities, etc. All this can be explained by social problems and features of the ’aggressive’ environment. Nonetheless, the comparison of the suicide level in the countries with the similar living standard (e. g. Denmark and the Netherlands) testifies against the exaggeration of social causes. In Denmark the level is 23-30 cases per 100 thousand population, whereas in the Netherlands the level is 6-9. It seems obvious that poetical, reflecting, imaginary people run a greater risk of suicide (let us recollect Esenin, Mayakovsky, Tsvetaeva, Khvyliovy), although the communist power is not quite innocent in these cases.

Western psychiatrists – Lambrozo’s followers, who proved the ’hereditary inclination to suicide’ in many genealogical lines and even analyzed its dependence on the from of the scull, also had a reason, I think, but their reasoning was also not without simplification. After all, the ’hereditary inclination’ is predominantly psychopathological features of an individual. This casts doubt on the use of the term ’suicide’ in the case of unconscious actions of a psychically unhealthy person (a person, killing itself hallucinations or depression is not considered as committing a suicide by definition, as well applying aggression to other people it is not considered as a culprit).

My colleague V. Beloded also somewhat simplifies the problem, explaining the growth of suicides with decreasing religious beliefs. One may agree with most Beloded’s arguments, but it is possible to believe ion God in different manners. Periods of religious fanaticism, when human life stopped to be a self-sufficient value, are just characterized with splashes of violence and suicide. History registered even peculiar ’psychical epidemics’ (more often in 14-17 centuries), when the believers committed mass ritual suicides in expectation of the Apocalypse. After all the civil war and the red terror in Russia may be regarded as a peculiar ’epidemic of violence’, as a suicide of the national scale...

I am not a professional psychologist, so I may be mistaken, but it seems obvious that it is absolutely impossible to explain all suicides with factor. It is possible to analyze only the risk factors of suicide; among them there will be biological, social and psychological factors in all possible relations and combinations. We must regard everything: age, profession, family conditions, hereditary factors and quality of nourishment. Maybe even the arrangement of stars and Moon must be taken into account, to say nothing of ecological factors. By the way the higher level of suicide in towns-satellites of atomic power stations, noted by Beloded, may be theoretically explained both by the traditional distrust to the ecological safety of atomic stations (named radio-phobia or ’post-Chernobyl syndrome of the doomed’) and by the toxic influence of small dozed of ionizing radiation on the nervous system. In every concrete case of suicide a combination of several causes may be observed that make an individual loose the goal of further living. I. Pavlov, a Nobel Prize winner in physiology, wrote: ’The life becomes worthless, when the goal of living is lost. In the notes left before suicide it is often written that the life became meaningless. Normally the goal of living is limitless and inexhaustible. The tragedy of those, who commit suicide, consist in short-term or long-term inhibition of the goal reflex’. Pavlov’s remark hits the nail on the head. Indeed, suicides are rarely committed by people, whose life is rich, meaningful and harmonic. The richness of life may have (consciously or subconsciously) different coloring: religious, artistic or philosophical. It may be named differently: ’Super-Ego’ by Nietzsche or ’self-elevating deception’ by Pushkin. The name is not important. It is important when this source of life energy is developed enough to overcome life problems. A man achieves this goal not at once, but by a long creative inner efforts. The fact that disproportionately more suicides are committed by young people may be explained by unshaped outlook and goals. The state, church, school, informational environment, closest friends and, as well as one’s own efforts – all this must help young people in the formation process. And what about nature? The weaker and impressive is a person, the warmer and softer must be the environment.

The fact that in the modern Ukraine the ruined ideological myths have not yet been replaced with new ones, more suitable to the current situation, causes a peculiar disorder in the minds of the young generation and obviously does not encourage the ’goal reflex’. I fully support the worries of V. Beloded that modern mass media abound in programs that cultivate the lack of soul and senseless consumerism, negate the fundamental spiritual values, including human life itself as a generous gift of the Creator (or Nature, if you prefer this version). But it is unreasonable to out into one pile drugs, rock and homeopathy. What concerns such forms of recreation as concerts, it is not bad in my opinion, provided that they encourage good-natured communication and develop soul and mind. The more positive values and connections a young person accumulates, the less is the probability that the person will want to stop life. The superior value of life is Life itself, it must be an axiom, together with another axiom of the absolute inadmissibility of taking one’s life.

Nonetheless, I do not pretend that the problem discussed has a radical solution. It is as impossible as the creation of a social system without problems, and ideal religin or the science that will make our life happy. While the mankind exists, there will exist paradoxes and contradictions in its life, and any attempts to cut the Gordian knot will result unpredictably. Myself, as a physician, is especially interested in the topic of physical sufferings and death. The latter often can do what doctors cannot – to stop the sufferings. I mean incurable diseases, in particular, oncological ones. I do not think that euthanasia in such cases is the ’less evil’. I do not know anything which is lesser evil... I know that it must be sought for, not only by professional physicians.

If colleague Beloded or some other reader of ’Prava ludyny’ will continue the discussion of the topic, I will greet it.

To conclude my notes I want to tell about one case that I observed 9 years ago. A patient named Yablon was directed from the preliminary prison to our hospital four times on end. Each time he cut open his veins in protest against the actions of the investigating officer (the term of the preliminary detention was overdue, besides, the convict suspected that he was framed). The preliminary prison administration regarded the suicidal attempts as tricks to make guilty the investigating officer and the administration. My first address to the prosecutor’s office was futile (’Doctor, whom do you protect? He is a criminal-recidivist’). Two later times the man was brought to us in a critical condition, and I addressed the oblast prosecutor’s office. It appeared that the illegal actions on the side of the investigating officer really took place. I heard that he was punished. Nonetheless, the culprit was convicted...

I met him several years later. He thanked me for the salvation of his life and said: ’I have been released for a week, doctor. It is terrible to recollect that I, a bloody fool, could kill myself because of some bastard.’

Victims of political repression

Demographic situation in Ukraine.

The general social and economic situation in Ukraine and especially the consequences of the mass crisis in the CIS countries continue to affect negatively the demographic situation. Negative processes dominate in the sphere of the reproduction of population. Mainly this is a consequence of the social instability and fall of the living standard.

1.By 1 January 1999 the Ukrainian population numbered 50.1 million, consisting of 67.9% (34 million) of the urban population and 32.1 (16.1 million) of the rural population. The proportion of women to men is 53.5% (26.8 million) to 46.5% (23.3 million), respectively.

2.According to the data by the beginning of the current year, the mean population density in Ukraine is 83 persons per one square kilometer. This index is the largest in urbane industrial East regions, as well as in those West regions, where the agriculture is mainly privately owned.

3.During the last five years the population is annually reduced by about 0.4 million persons. So, the Ukrainian population has diminished by 394.3 thousand in the current year. The reduction of the population was first fixed in 1993. The main reason of this phenomenon was and is the natural decrease of population, which, for example, equaled 300.7 thousand in 1998.

4.The main reason of the natural decrease of population is the low birth rate compared to the high mortality rate. The general birth rate has diminished by 31.4% compared with the one in early 90s. In 1998 it already equaled 8.3%. The birth rate in the country is unsatisfactory, since it does not provide the simple reproduction of the population: the net-coefficient of the reproduction was 0.578 in 1997-1998, whereas it must be not less than unity. Almost half of the families, which have children under 18, have only one child. There are more and more families without children or with only one child.

5.The birth rate greatly depends on the ratio of marriages and divorces. In later years in Ukraine one can observe a distinct tendency to diminishing the number of marriages (in 1988 6.2 marriages per one thousand were registered, while in 1991 this number was 9.5). At the same time the number of divorces remains more or less stable since the 70s (3.6 – 3.9 divorces per one thousand). Unregistered marriages become more and more frequent. The number of children born outside marriage bonds grows steadily; hence, the number of single mothers becomes greater; about 90% of the divorced women are the women in the fertile age. Families cannot afford the desired number of children, which is easily explainable: the less socially protected families are the incomplete families (usually without fathers) and families with many children. The income per capita in families with three children is 3-4 times less than in the families with one child.

6.The second reason of the natural decrease of population is the death rate. During the recent eight years the mortality rate has grown by 10.9% and reached 14.3 persons per one thousand in 1998. The growth of the mortality rate has occurred in all age groups of men, and in groups of women older than 20. The death of people in the able-to-work age is especially alarming. There is a strange peculiarity: the death rate of men in 20 to 50 age groups is three times greater than in the according groups of women. The mortality in the rural areas substantially exceeds that of the urban areas: 18.2 vs. 12.5 per one thousand.

7.The reasons of the growth of deaths and diseases lie in the changes of social and economic relations and of social stratification. These changes influence the behavior of people and their attitude to their own health. The health of children and capable-of-work adults is especially alarming. The level of professional illnesses and traumas is grows steadily.

8.The death indices in all classes of the reasons that shorten life have grown. Every second dead dies of cardiac and vascular diseases. And this tendency is permanently growing: since early 90s this rate has grown by one third. Men from urban areas aged 30-45, suffer from such diseases most frequently.

9.The oncological diseases and the number of deaths caused by them grow in Ukraine rather fast. Both men and women suffer from this. Yet, the mortality among men is 1.5 greater than among women. Tumors of thyroid and prostate glands, bladder, mammal gland and uterus occur most frequently.

10.In the Soviet times the death rate caused by parasitic and contagious diseases steadily decreased. Unfortunately, since early 90s the tendency reversed, especially in urban areas. The most dangerous situation is connected with TB, the mortality caused by which increased by two times in urban areas and 1.5 times in rural ones. Tramps and other people conducting an asocial life suffer from TB most often, and they make a source of infecting other people.

11.The AIDS is a new mortal threat. The overwhelming majority of the infected are young people, 15% of them are children and minors. Recently VDs (such as syphilis and gonorrhea), as well as new VDs, spread rather fast.

12.More and more frequently people die of so-called unnatural causes: accidents, murders, suicides and other external factors. This class of reasons is the third for men and the fourth for women as their consequences. It should be noted that the death level as a consequence of psychic diseases has grown almost twice.

13.Almost by 25% the mortality level has grown caused by the diseases of the endocrine system, nourishment system, metabolism and immunity. This is the result of the environment pollution, in particular, by the Chernobyl catastrophe. The liquidators of the catastrophe consequences, people, especially children, who were evacuates from the polluted area or still live there, children of the parents, who were affected by the radiation – all of them require especial attention.

14.During the last three years a slight improvement of the mortality situation is observed, although it remains bad. This period is also characterized with the slight diminishing of children mortality. The mortality among children aged under one year decreased from 14.7 per one thousand in 1995 to 12.8 in 1999.

15.In spite of the mentioned improvement in the children mortality rate, the medical studies witness that there is a steady worsening in their physical, psychical and intellectual health. The number of inherited diseases and hereditary defects become more and more frequent. Chronic diseases and so-called diseases of civilization (vascular distonia, neuroses, allergic diseases) spread. A high level of children invalidity remains, the frequency of contagious diseases (diphtheria, TB, syphilis) steadily grows.

16.Children mortality greatly depends on maternal health, life and labor conditions, nourishment, quality of medical aid, qualified obstetrical conditions, etc. The existing data on maternity conditions testify that the situation in Ukraine will not improve soon. For example, in 1998 the level of maternity deaths was 27.2 per one thousand of born alive children.

17.The expected life span at birth has decreased by three years since early 90s and made 68.08 years, but during the recent few years this index has slightly grown. The expected life span for men is 62.74 years, for women 73.5 years. The growing difference in life span for men and women may be considered as an indicator of bad medical and demographic situation in the country. It is caused mainly by a greater mortality among young males.

18.Certainly, the processes occurring in Ukraine lead to ageing of the population. During the last decade the average age of the Ukrainian population grew by 1.3 years and now is 38 years. The proportion of people older than 60 years grew by 1.4% and equals now 20.1%. In the rural areas the age distribution is very alarming: persons older than the able-to-work age make one third of the population. The number of people from unable-to-work age groups for one thousand workers is 1019 in rural areas and 669 in urban areas.

Thus, the main tendencies of the demographic situation in Ukraine are: ageing of the population; decrease of the birth rate with the comparably stable mortality rate; degradation of health of the nation (including reproductive health); worsening of maternity, babyhood and family conditions; bad ecological situation. Besides, there is a significant emigration flow, mainly of the able-to-work people.

Deported peoples

Ivan Dziuba is 70.

Ivan Dziuba is 70

On 26 July Ivan Dziuba, one of the most outstanding figures of the Ukrainian culture, a critic, a specialist in literary studies, the most known author of the n samizdat, reached his 70th anniversary.

Ivan Dziuba was born to a family of a quarry worker. His father was killed at the front in 1943, his mother was a hospital attendant.

In 1949 Ivan Dziuba entered Donetsk pedagogical institute, from which he graduated in 1953 majoring in Russian philology. In 1953 – 1957 he was a post-graduate of the Institute of Literature of the Academy of Sciences of the UkrSSR.

In 1953 – 1957 D. was a post-graduate of the Institute of Literature of the Academy of Sciences of the UkrSSR. From 1957 Dziuba worked as an editor of the department of literary studies and criticism of the magazine ’Vitchizna’ (’Motherland’). In 1959 he became a member of the Union of Writers of Ukraine.

In 1962 I. Dziuba was dismissed from the magazine ’Vitchizna’ ’for ideological mistakes’.

I. Dziuba took an active part in the work of the Creative Youth Club founded in Kyiv in 1960 under aegis of the city Komsomol Committee. By and by young creative intelligentsia, whose spiritual leader was Ivan Svitlychny, began to dominate in the work of this club. Ivan Dziuba and E. Sverstiuk became the intellectual leaders of the club.

On 31 July D. held the memorial evening of L. Ukrainka in the central park of culture and rest in Kyiv; the memorial evening was held in the park alleys, since the authorities actually prohibited the commemoration meeting. This fact D. reflected in the ’Poyasnitelnaya zapiska’ (Explanatory note) that was distributed in samizdat.

In 1964 – 65 I. Dziuba worked as a literary consultant of the publishing house ’Molod’ (’Youth’). He was dismissed for taking part in the protests against political arrests among the Ukrainian intelligentsia in 1965. The loudest protest action of those times was Dziuba’s sppech at the review of Sergey Paradzhanov’s film ’Teni zabytykh predkov’ (Shadows of forgotten forefathers). Instead of discussing the film he spoke on the secret arrests among the young intelligentsia. The speech brought panic in the ranks of ’the official representatives’ and embarrassment in the hall. He was supported by V. Chornovil, V. Stus, M. Kotsiubinska and others.

As early as in 1963 Dziuba planned to write a work on the national policy in Ukraine. According to him, there existed then an urgent necessity of such analysis.

In the end of 1965 I. Dziuba directed to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine (CC CPU) a letter with the protest against arrests among intelligentsia, explaining that this was not an adequate solution of the problems. He appended a manuscript that later became very well-known, it was ’Internatsionalism ili rusifikatsiya?’ (’Internationalism or rusification?’). Confining himself within the frame of the Soviet system, not refusing from the basic statements of the official ideology, Dziuba tried to draw the attention of the authorities to the state of the Ukrainian nation in the USSR. The strongest points of the book were the parts dedicated to the rusification, to the examples of the anti-Ukrainian phobias in the history of the Russian expansion and chauvinism.

The book was quickly distributed in samizdat, it was read throughout Ukraine. A real ’cult of Dziuba’ appeared among Ukrainian intelligentsia. The author himself, a very modest and delicate man, was not prepared to such popularity and such public role.

Rather soon the book ’Internatsionalism ili rusifikatsiya?’ got abroad, and in 1968 the publishing house ’Suchasnist’ (’Modernity’) in Munich published the work as a separate book. Later this book was translated to many languages and published in many countries, which resulted in persecutions of the author.

In summer of 1966 he was summoned to the CC CPU, where they proposed him to publish the refutation of the ’slanderous’ information printed in the West about the national problems in the USSR. Ivan Dziuba refused and then an article about him appeared in the press, where he was accused of ’bourgeois nationalism’. The Union of Writers of Ukraine was ordered to draw the proper conclusions concerning Dziuba. They held a ’friendly conversation’ with Dziuba, but it also did not give the desired result. On the contrary, a brilliant Dziuba’s report at the memorial evening devoted to the 30th anniversary of the poet V. Simonenko appeared in the foreign press.

In September 1966, on the day of mourning of 25 year since the mass shooting of Jews in Babiy Yar, Ivan Dziuba, together with Viktor Nekrasov, Geliy Snegiriov and Vladimir Voynovich, participated in the forbidden commemorative meeting and delivered a speech.

In 1967 Dziuba attended the court session where V. Chornovil was tried. After it Dziuba, I. Svitlychny, N. Svitlychny and L. Kostenko directed the letter of protest to P. Shelest (the first secretary of the CC CPU), where they characterized the trial as a brutal violation of the procedural norms and as an avenge to a man, who thinks otherwise and dares to criticize concrete actions of the concrete state organs.

The CC CPU organized the group, which compiled ’What and how does Ivan Dziuba defend?’. The brochure was signed with the pen name B. Stenchuk and was planned to be distributed abroad. Since it appeared very unconvincing, the distribution was cancelled. In 1069 V. Chornovil wrote the work ’What and how does B. Stenchuk defend, or 566 answers of ’internationalists’’, in which he uncovered the dishonest methods of the KGB work.

In December 1969 the Union of Writers of Ukraine started the process of expulsion of Dziuba. A meeting of the Union was held, but only two speakers demanded to expulse Dziuba, blaming him for divulging state secrets. The surprised Dziuba asked a question what secrets were meant: he had no access to any state secrets. One of the two speakers was indignant: ’Do not you think that disclosing the national policy of our party is not divulging a state secret?’ At this meeting the authorities failed to drive I. Dziuba away from the Union of Writers.

On 26 December 1969 Dziuba wrote a letter to the presidium of the Union of Writers, where he dissociated from his foreign publishers and commentators and condemned them.

The presidium took account of this letter and permitted Dziuba to remain in the Union, but warned him that he must take active part in the literary process on the basis of Marxist-Leninist theory and to fight without compromises against bourgeois ideology.

On 26 – 27 March 1970 leaflets were scattered in the Polytechnic and Construction-Engineering institutes in Kyiv. The leaflets expressed the protest against the expulsion of A. Solzhenitsyn from the Union of Writers of the USSR and against persecutions of Dziuba.

On 12 January 1972 Dziuba came to the home of Ivan Svitlychny during the search and arrest of the latter. Later Dziuba was taken to his home that was also searched. Then for several weeks on end Dziuba was called for interrogations. They confiscated the complete works of Lenin with marginal notes and underlined places.

In February new searches and interrogations followed.

On 2 March 1972 a meeting of the presidium of the Union of Writers was held devoted to Dziuba’s personal case. This time he was excluded from the Union ’for abusing the statute of the Union, preparing and distributing materials, which are anti-Soviet and anti-Communist in character, expressing nationalistic outlook, slandering the Soviet system and national policy of the party and Soviet state’. The decision was taken unanimously. In fact the authorities meant the book ’Internatsionalism ili rusifikatsiya?’ written in 1965, for which they had tried to expel Dziuba from the Union in 1969.

On 18 April 1972 Ivan Dziuba was arrested. The official accusation was the work ’Internatsionalism ili rusifikatsiya?’.

On 11 – 16 March 1973 Dziuba was tried at the Kyiv oblast court and condemned by Article 62 of the CC of the UkrSSR to 5 years of concentration camps and 5 years of exile. Dziuba fell gravely ill: he had an open form of TB and cirrhosis of the lungs. In October of 1973 Dziuba turned to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the UkrSSR with the petition for mercy. Taking into account his partial confession of the guilt, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the UkrSSR granted mercy to Dziuba and released him on 6 November 1973.

In 1974 – 1982 Dziuba worked as a corrector and as a literary correspondent of the Kyiv aviation plant newspaper.

From 1982 he focused on the creative work. He is the author of many books on literary studies.

From 1992 to 1994 he worked as a Minister of Culture of Ukraine.

Ivan Dziuba is a laureate of the O. Biletskiy prize (1987) and the State prize of Ukraine named after Taras Shevchenko (1991).

At present he is the academician-secretary of the department of literature, language and art studies in the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. He is the editor-in-chief of the magazine ’Suchasnist’ (’Modernity’), the president of the National Association of Ukrainian studies, a co-chairman of the main editorial collegium of the ’Encyclopedia of the modern Ukraine’. I. Dziuba is one of the most respectable and authoritative figures of the Ukrainian culture.


We send our hearty congratulations to revered Ivan Dziuba! We wish him sound health, creative inspiration and successes!

Editorial board of the bulletin ’Prava ludyny’
Kharkov Group for human rights protection

“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2001, #07