war crimes in Ukraine

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“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2002, #02

Dnepropetrovsk authorities prohibited to place in the city any political advertisement except that of the bloc "For united Ukraine!" Administrative resource is used in Nikolayev Pre-election troubles in Odessa Not a single mass medium obeyed the moratorium on political advertisement Americans noticed in Ukraine violations of election laws Odessa law-enforcers against Yulia Timoshenko’s bloc Yulia Timoshenko’s bloc demands equal access to mass media for all candidates ELECTION-2002. How Yulia Timoshenko met voters in Kharkov Freedom of expression
"Freedom of speech" in the Nikolayev oblast A lady-journalist may become blind A TV channel is under threat of closure in Zaporozhye National TV company shall pay Moroz a big libel fine A Supreme Rada committee decided to clamp down on a TV showman "Nikopolskie Izvestiya" won in court the right to be printed during the election Journalists do not want to be tools in the hands of black PR agents Social and economic rights
Berliner Zeitung: Official data on the consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe were falsified Women’s rights
One third of court decisions in Ukraine are not executed Interethnic relations
A letter to ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva Army
The demand for literature on torture is growing Point of view
S. Teriokhin distrusts the official statistical data Victims of political repression
Feldman and his advocates were deprived of the right for defense Dissidents and their time
Free people in the unfree country Deported peoples
How Ukraine was purged of her population


Dnepropetrovsk authorities prohibited to place in the city any political advertisement except that of the bloc "For united Ukraine!"

The Dnepropetrovsk oblast organization of the party "Yabluko"

distributed the appeal with the information about the conference held on 19 February in the Dnepropetrovsk city executive committee. "Yabluko" informed that the conference gathered the representatives of the firms that specialize in placing outdoor advertisement. As the appeal reads, Evhen Zaets, the deputy head of the city executive committee, told the businessmen: "Up to 31 March there must be no political advertisement in the city streets, except the advertisement of the bloc "Za edynu Ukrainu!" ("For united Ukraine!"). The Dnepropetrovsk oblast has already determined its political choice – this is the bloc "For united Ukraine!", which includes many of our outstanding compatriots".

According to the quotas set by the city executive committee, the firm owning 70 big-boards must give 10 of them for the advertisement of the bloc "For united Ukraine!" gratis. As "Yabluko" asserts, E. Zaets, hinting at what will happen else, said: "For the long time we work with you side by side. I hope that you want to continue to work after 31 March too".

The oblast organization of the "Yabluko" party protested against the pressure upon the businessmen and the violation of the democratic norms. The party intends to turn to all instances. "We will not allow to turn the Dnepropetrovsk land into the a reservation of political terror and arbitrary actions of bureaucrats", states the appeal.

Administrative resource is used in Nikolayev

Nikolayev mayor Vladimir Chayka met with journalists. He informed the mass media about using against him the administrative resource (misuse of administrators’ influence for election agitation), since some administrators did not want him to be the head of the city.

First of all the journalists were familiarized with the report of the mayor about the activities of power structures. As it became known, the mentioned report would be distributed among Nikolayev dwellers to enable everyone to read about the achievements and drawbacks of the local rule.

V. Chayka also made public his appeal, in which the confirmed the intention to fight for the mayor’s post at the coming election. The six-year plan of the development of Nikolayev is already realized. Eighteen months of the attempts to realize the plan testify about its success.

For example the incomes to the city budget increased twice, many important for the city objects were reconstructed. Gas pipelines were laid to several districts. This work is being continued.

These achievements, V. Chayka told at his press conference, served as a stimulus for him to fight again for the post of Nikolayev mayor.

Too tell the truth, the oblast authorities had a grudge this decision.

The oblast state TV and radio company refused to sign the contract for elucidating the activities of the city administration. They refer for some technicalities.

By the way, a similar reasons were given when the retranslating news and other features of radio "Liberty" was stopped by the radio station "Mykolaiv". The "technicalities" are still not removed, although almost a year has passed.

Yet, V. Chayka intends to fight for his rights and has already sent the letter to Igor Timofeev, the editor-in-chief of the radio station "Mykolaiv", with the request to give him and his deputies transmission time.

"I am just curious how they will try to refuse me. It happened with us before and we shall live through it now", the mayor said. "Is it not the so-called administrative resource, when newspapers get orders to endorse only one candidate for mayor’s post, whom the oblast authorities like?"

In the opinion of Yuri Didenko, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Ukrainsky Pivden", "The current election is not quite gentlemanly, it is cruel and uses dirty PR technologies and the administrative resource. As the press conference testified, mayor Vladimir Chayka was the first, who suffered from it in Nikolayev".

Pre-election troubles in Odessa

"We have all the grounds to reckon that the events that occur in Odessa are deliberate again", declared Natalya Chaychuk, a deputy of the city council, commenting the last events in the pre-election life of Odessa.

She told: "Odessa voters lost doubly. First, the city mayor violated the proper term, opening the work of the commission accepting all propositions and claims of candidates.

Secondly, when on 14 January it became known that the mayor lost his right to accept such claims without voting at the session, he passed the right to from the commission to the Odessa oblast rada.

The city council was pushed aside from the process of forming the election structures, the session of the oblast rada had only to confirm this decision. The composition of the commission, which was at last formed, raises astonishment and nothing else!"

Natalya Chaychuk said: "Not a single candidate suggested by such participants of the election process as People’s Rukh of Ukraine, Ukrainian Popular Rukh, political party "Reforms and order" and others was included into the commission. The propositions handed by these political parties included the well-known lawyers, academicians, professors and other popular citizens of Odessa.

The only lawyer, who was admitted to the newly formed city election commission, appeared to be a privately practicing notary.

In the commission we see a housewife not belonging to any party. We see that the age limit was also not obeyed, since the representatives of party of pensioners are rather old.

What is also surprising, only one public organization (the fund named after Semen Kislina) was nominated out of numerous Odessa public organizations. So, the foreign charity fund got the right to suggest their candidates to the election commission.

I think that this is a law violation. Why foreign funds have the right to hand their propositions about the election process?

Thus, the city mayor realized the actions that were obviously deliberate and planned beforehand. He concentrated all his actions to force Odessa, city dwellers, representatives of political parties and blocs and of public organizations to be put aside from forming the city election commission – the organ that would influence the course of the election campaign.

First of all, I think that we will publish in mass media the lists of those people, whose names we handed to the election commission. We shall do it to make Odessa dwellers able to understand whom the mayor did not want to see in the election commission, and they are people well-known and respected in the city.

Secondly, the juridical service will work. I hope that we will find the proper solution of this problem. I do not know how we can coexist with such a commission! Free city of Odessa is made an obscure province, ruled by housewives. One cannot agree with this choice".


On 24 January the three-days-long trial finished in Odessa. The court considered the claim of several public organizations and political parties against city mayor Ruslan Bodelian. The plaintiffs believe that, while forming the city election commission, the city authorities violated a number of the operating laws. The claimants were represented in the court by Fedor Nariychuk, the head of the oblast branch of Yulia Timoshenko’s bloc, by Leopold Mendelson, a deputy of the city council, and Valeriy Kochetov, the president of the Odessa Academy human rights protection. Along with the claims already given to the court two more documents were added later: from the political party "Batkivshchina" and from the Odessa Academy human rights protection. The authors declared that "the formed city election commission is not independent and it will endorse only one candidate to the mayor’s post – Ruslan Bodelian".

The demands of the claimants were as follows: to bring to court the representatives of the oblast rada, to acknowledge Ruslan Bodelian’s activities as illegal and contradicting the operating laws, to cancel the decision of the Odessa oblast rada about the creation of the Odessa city election commission, to prohibit the election commission to execute any procedural actions until the court decision. Valeriy Kochetov reminded the judge that all normative documents of the local self-rule organs must be issues in Ukrainian language. The documents published in the newspaper "Odesskiy Vestnik" is in Russian, and this "restricted the right of the native Ukrainian citizens, who live in Odessa, to understand this documents concerning the election process".

V. Kochetov declared that he demanded to regard the activities of the city mayor as illegal, and the normative act that regulates the terms and procedure of putting out candidates to the election commission, issued by the mayor, as disagreeing with the operating laws and contradicting the Constitution. One of the plaintiffs, Fedor Nariychuk, called the trial "a traditional perversion typical of Ukraine". "The political perverts, who belong to the so-called administrative resource, provoked this trial. This insolent behavior of the current power is based on the conviction that every sin will be pardoned. They believe that if the superior power may violate laws unpunished, then they, the local power, may do the same. This is not a new tactics. The Odessa mayor bred by the communist party preserved his old habits. The3 political parties, which remained outside the city election commission must demonstrate to the whole world that such phenomena, as occur in Odessa, must not exist in a society".

The claim of political parties and public organizations was not accepted, and the court decision "must be executed at once".

V. Kochetov believes that "the judge of the Zhovtnevy district of Odessa demonstrated that our city is ruled not by the force of law, but by the force of power". The decision is illegal in toto, and the qualifying commission of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Council of justice would have to learn this decision by heart. This decision shamelessly abused the rights stipulated by Constitution and the Universal Declaration of human rights.

If the judge is sure that the decision of the state official, which is obligatory for execution by the inhabitants of an almost one-million city, is not a normative act, but an administrative documents, the qualification of the judge is to bad to be true.

As during the previous election, they formed Odessa the obedient election commission, whose main task is not guaranteeing honest and independent election, but the achievement of the results needed by the people at the top. This commission may have only one motto: "It does not matter how they vote – it matters how we count".

But this is not the end of problems…

V. Kochetov told that "according to the Civil-Procedural Code, a court has three days for preparing the protocol after having taking a decision. The decision was announced on 24 January, and we have not seen the protocol yet. I and my colleagues came to the court to familiarize with the protocol and learned that the main document, in which they had to register our visit (the journal for registering documents given out to visitors) was absent. It did exist all recent years and now it disappeared as if in the thin air. Thus, our presence and activities in the court office could not be fixed in writing".

The representatives of the political parties turned to the clerks of the Zhovtnevy district court with the request to solve the raised problem. During two hours the clerks actively searched the office for the register. The superior clerks explained that "Ukraine suffers from the shortage of paper and cannot afford to keep registers". The strange detail is that this shortage exists only in the Zhovtnevy district court, where the city election commission works.

The request of the claimants’ representatives about compiling the protocol on the absence of the register was ignored for a long time. The chairman of the court refused to be present at compiling the protocol.

"I have suspects that the organs of the judicial power connive with Odessa mayor R. Bodelian, whose illegal activities we intend to denounce", said the president of the Odessa Academy human rights protection. Advocates V. Kochetov, V. Aseev and L. Mendelson wasted much time to meet with the head of the Zhovtnevy district court. His secretary tried not to admit them to chief’s office and said that the judge’s reception day is Monday, so any hope to see him before is unreal. The wrangle lasted about ten minutes.

When the judge appeared he demanded from the advocate to go away to the hall. "We have not and will not have the register. The Ministry of Justice does not supply us with enough stationery. We shall not compile any act with you present. And switch off your dictaphone!", head of the court Oleksandr Golovchenko said.

In the opinion of L. Mendelson, "in the Zhovtnevy district court they brutally abused the procedural norms of conducting civil affairs: they have no register of giving out the case materials. A great danger follows from the situation: it would be impossible to prove that somebody got familiarized with the case, that the case materials consisted of so many pages and that no changes were introduced later.

By today there are already several violations in the described case, which we cannot prove.

Moreover, the court decision has not been signed yet, the date of its compilation is not given. Thus, the neglecting the laws, which was observed during the trial, is continued.


Interesting TV features again disappear from the Odessa air. And again it happens before the election. The popular feature "Hotline" has become a consequent victim.

The disappearance of the feature "OKO" transmitted by the TV company "Odessa plus" with two showmen Igor Grinshteyn and Sergiy Kovalinski made a lot of noise in its time.

The journalists were refused in the further joint work after they took interviews from MPs Yuri Karmazin and Viktor Shishkin.

Now the TV company "Odessa plus" has another owner, who even created the fund and named it after Boris Derevianko, the murdered editor of the newspaper "Vechirnia Odessa". As it is known, the 26th TV channel is now controlled by Oleksiy Kostusev, the present head of the anti-monopoly committee of Ukraine.

This common participant of various elections in Odessa, while promising the better future and the best mayor in his own person to the city inhabitants, seems to treat in a rather queer way the freedom of the press concerning mass media he controls. A bright example is the3 lot of the authors’ collective of the popular TV feature "Hotline".

According to journalist Marina Kolmykova, "from the very beginning Oleksiy Kostusev actively endorsed the idea of the renaissance of the feature "Hotline", which once had been closed on the TV company "MOST". He certainly understood that in this way he could increase the rating of the TV company "Odessa plus" controlled by him.

We did not get any pay for our work. Producing the feature occurred for our expenses and on our equipment.

Yet, in a month Mr. Kostusev changed the policy of the TV company. We were told not to elucidate any positive events in the city, only crimes and drawbacks, to criticize all what was happening and to search negative aspects, and to tell how great and good is Oleksiy Kostusev and how lucky will Odessa be having his in the capacity of the mayor".

Marina Kolmykova informed that several meetings with Kostusev and his deputy were held, where the personnel was criticized for they did not do what they were told to.

"We formulated our position that we did not want to take part in this dirty policy, which was practiced on the 26th channel, in that flow of sewage that flooded the city. A Kostusev’s representative visited us without warning and informed that they did not want to cooperate with us any more. They even did not permit us to go to air for the last time to inform the audience about our closure", told Ms. Kolmykova.

It became known about the anonymous threats to Ms. Kolmykova. She was warned that, if the information about the "internal" conflict that appeared spread, then not only her own life, but the life of her family might be endangered. By the way, Marina Kolmykova is a mother with many children.

She told that she was ready to turn to court and to seek another city TV channel to adopt the feature "Hotline".


The first victim of the Odessa voters commission was Fedor Nariychuk, the head of the oblast organization of the political party "Sobor" and an assistant of MP Viktor Shishkin. He is refused the right to be elected as a deputy of local rada in the 27th electoral district, since he "does not work and does not reside in this electoral district".

Representatives of many political parties and public organization in Odessa demonstrated their worry about the composition of the city voters commission, formed, in their opinion, by mayor Ruslan Bodelian with violations of the Ukrainian Constitution and operating laws. The Zhovtnevy district court considered the claim of the political parties "Fatherland", "Reforms and Order", Popular Rukh of Ukraine", "Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists", Odessa Human Rights Protection Academy. The claim was rejected.

And here is a result.

As Odessa advocate Volodymir Pasichny said, "It is the violation of the operating laws that regulate the elections to local radas".

Fedor Nariychuk himself called arbitrary the actions of the territorial voters commission.

"The behavior of and activities of the "pocket" voters commission was not difficult to forecast. I can risk predicting that, more probably, all candidates to radas of various levels will be pressed upon, if they are not liked by city mayor R. Bodelian", Mr. Nariychuk believes.

He intends to appeal against the mentioned decision of the voters commission in court, although there is not much hope for justice.

By the way, Fedor Nariychuk represented in the Zhovtnevy district court of Odessa, the claimants who demanded to change the composition of the city voters commission "formed with violation of law".

Not a single mass medium obeyed the moratorium on political advertisement

Yuri Nesteriak, the president of the Association "Spilny prostir" ("Common space"), commented the results of monitoring mass media activities in January 2002. The monitoring was intended to determine to what degree citizens have the access to the political processes and obtain the information sufficient for make a conscious choice. Yu. Nesteriak pointed out that that by January most mass media have already made their choice and demonstrated it in a more or less open manner. Mr. Nesteriak said that the broader spectrum of political parties and blocs figured in the newspaper "Ukraina Moloda". Nonetheless, even this newspaper was not dispassionate: it preferred some political parties and blocs too. According to Oleksandr Chekmyshev, the head of the Committee "Rivnist vozmozhnostey" ("Equality of opportunities"), during the moratorium for political advertisement those subjects of the election process won, who worked in the state power structures, since they were not prohibited to inform about their activities in this period.

Americans noticed in Ukraine violations of election laws

The American Center of strategic and international studies has remarked numerous violations of election laws in Ukraine. This is said in the report of the working group that has studied the situation in Ukraine at the eve of the parliamentary election.

As Deutsche Welle informs, the materials of the working group confirmed the serious anxiety of the West. The report reads that a long time before the election campaign started, state officials in many regions tried to influence the results of the future election.

Among violations they observed: free distribution of various goods and victuals, agitation for some political parties, pressure on independent mass media, coercive enlisting to some political parties, distribution of the materials discrediting competitors, etc.

The American Center of strategic and international studies has recommended to the governments of the USA, Canada and Europe to appeal to conduct transparent election at every meeting with Ukrainian representatives.

1 February 2002

Deutsche Welle

Odessa law-enforcers against Yulia Timoshenko’s bloc

On 24 February militiamen from the Kyivskiy district precinct of Odessa tried to impede holding of an agitation meeting of Yulia Timoshenko’s bloc. The militiamen attempted to detain and take to the precinct Volodymir Gumeniuk, an activist of the bloc.

They failed only because of the interference of MP Viktor Shishkin.

In the opinion of Fedor Nariychuk, the deputy head of the election headquarters of Yulia Timoshenko’s bloc, "the election campaign in Odessa is conducted in the conditions awful for opposition".

Political parties and blocs supporting the President and local authorities have much more opportunities in Odessa.

Unfortunately not a single TV channel agrees to accept agitation materials of Yulia Timoshenko’s bloc, explaining the refusal with the prospect to be closed or deprived of license.

Yulia Timoshenko’s bloc demands equal access to mass media for all candidates

The appeal of the bloc to the Central Voters Commission contains the request to take measures at once to guarantee the equal opportunities of the access to mass media for all political parties and election blocs. The bloc states that the TV channels "1+1", "YT-1", "Inter", "ICTV" daily broadcast positive information and demonstrate pre-election agitation clips of such parties and blocs: "For united Ukraine", Social-Democratic party (united), the Green Party of Ukraine, "Women for future", "Democratic union", "Yabloko". The Timoshenko’s bloc, as the document reads, sent the appeals to the National TV committee, to the administration of the TV channels "1+1", "Inter", "ICTV", "Novy kanal" and "STB" about placing its pre-election agitation. Yet, these appeals were in vain. "Such a position of the TV channel administrations deprives us of our constitutional rights, brutally violates election laws and confirms that the President Administration prohibited to place any positive information about our bloc on the all-Ukrainian TV channels", the appeal asserts. The documents also remarks that "the passivity of the Central Voters Commission concerning the brutal violations of election laws makes us turn to the Supreme Court of Ukraine and the corresponding international institutions". The bloc representatives intend to try to place their agitation in regional mass media, including radio channels.

ELECTION-2002. How Yulia Timoshenko met voters in Kharkov

On 26 February a meeting was planned of Yulia Timoshenko, the head of the bloc BYT (which is called "beauty" by some more educated people), with voters in the "Ukraine" hall in Kharkov. Kharkov election headquarters of Yu. Timoshenko concluded the contract in time and paid the rent – 3 thousand UAH. No one could anticipate any obstacles for the meeting – a week before Natalya Vitrenko also met with voters in the same hall. Yet, the doors of the hall appeared to be not penetrable for Ms. Timoshenko… According to Anatoliy Zdorovy, the head of the union of political prisoners, who is a member of Timoshenko’s election headquarters, the hall administration cancelled the rent contract and refused Yulia Timoshenko on the order of the oblast authorities, who, in their turn, got the orders from Kyiv. There is another version that the meeting was cancelled after the decision of the conciliatory commission of the city executive committee.

We believe that it is not especially important who personally took this decision, which is very far from being called reasonable and well grounded. The meeting with the BYT representatives Yulia Timoshenko and Anatoliy7 Matvienko was held outdoors near the "Ukraine" hall. The meeting lasted almost the whole day long, and occasionally about 3 thousand persons were present.

Yu. Timoshenko must be obliged to the authorities for good advertisement, and we, for the umpteenth time, must state that we, Ukraine, still have a long way to go to a law-abiding state and honest election.

By the way, those, who came to the meeting being not sure that they would vote for Timoshenko’s bloc, returned Timoshenko’s fans. The reason is the attitude of the power not only to Yulia Timoshenko, but also to the citizens, who want to make their choice consciously.

Head of the Kharkov oblast administration Evhen Kushnariov commented the situation to the "Ukrinform" informational agency: "Timoshenko got the refusal to hold the meeting with voters in the "Ukraine" hall on because this hall is not suitable for holding the meetings with political figures". Now Kharkovites are at a complete loss, since everybody knows that the hall is regularly used for the concerts of Russian songsters.

So we wonder if E. Kushnariov regards Natalya Vitrenko, an MP and the head of one of Ukrainian socialist parties, not a political figure, but a music-hall singer, in contrast to Yulia Timoshenko?

Freedom of expression

"Freedom of speech" in the Nikolayev oblast

The Nikolayev oblast authorities stirred up their activities in the struggle with the freedom of speech on the eve of the parliamentary election-2002. Such an orgy started in the region, which could not be imagined in the past. In all cases the victims are consoled by explaining about "technical problems".

The freedom of speech and the attitude of the local authorities to democracy in the Nikolayev oblast were brightly illustrated during the visit of Viktor Yushchenko, the head of the bloc "Nasha Ukraina" ("Our Ukraine"). It will suffice to tell that, for the first time in the history of the oblast TV, the TV-air was switched off five minutes before the beginning of Yushchenko’s speech. During 20 minutes the oblast inhabitants observed only flickers on all channels.

Only Yushchenko’s insistence and his readiness to come on the air later changed the situation. The authorities hesitated, "technical problems" were correspondingly liquidated and Mr. Yushchenko at last got the opportunity to communicate with voters. In the opinion of the bloc "Our Ukraine", the regional power widely uses the "administrative resource" (that is the capabilities of the power to use their position in order to influence the election) and presses on independent mass media.

The all-Ukrainian newspaper "Ukrainsky Pivden" published in Nikolayev also has now some problems.

According to the words of Yuri Didenko, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper. "only a part of the newspaper run with the report about Yushchenko’s visit was printed. After the oblast authorities, who are made to endorse the bloc "Za edynu Ukrainu!" ("For the united Ukraine!"), learned what was published in the newspaper, the printing of the second part of the newspaper run was stopped "because of technical problems" again.

Yuri Didenko explained the reasons of the calamities in the following way: "The newspaper permanently publishes the materials not only from Nikolayev, but also from Odessa and Kherson. We do our best to objectively describe our current life. Mostly, the local authorities do not like it, and they do what they can to prevent the publication of the newspaper "Ukrainsky Pivden", which Ukrainian in spirit and language.

A lady-journalist may become blind

The protest of "Reporters without frontiers"

In their letter to Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma "Reporters without frontiers" expressed their indignation about the attack at Tetiana Goriacheva, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Berdiansk Dilovoy", which happened on 28 January.

"It is inadmissible, when journalists, who refuse to serve the interests of some VIPs and fulfil their modest task merely to inform the public, become victims of revolting acts of violence", stated Rober Menard.

According to the information of "Reporters without frontiers" Tetiana Goriacheva was attacked when she was returning from her job. A stranger splashed acid into her face. The journalist’s face, eyes, cornea and conjunctiva were burned, and she may get blind unless she will have urgent surgical aid. The criminal case is opened.

Sergiy Belousov, the chief editor of "Berdiansk Dilovoy", believes that the attack is due to the professional activities of Ms. Goriacheva and has a goal to neutralize the newspaper at the eve of the local and parliamentary elections. The victim informed "Reporters without frontiers" that she did not see her attacker and that she had not been threatened before.

She recollected that a conflict had happened between the newspaper and sea port manager Anatoliy Reznikov.

Several days before it the latter asked "Berdiansk Dilovoy" to print the material compromising Dmitriy Bero, a candidate for the mayor’s post, and got the refusal. The article was published in another newspaper, and "Berdiansk Dilovoy" printed an note by the candidate. Anatoliy Reznikov reacted in a very acute form and warned Bero that he would pay for it. In five days D. Bero and S. Belousov became victims of a road accident and got body injuries.

A TV channel is under threat of closure in Zaporozhye

Today one of the most popular and favorite TV channel of Zaporozhye "Hortitsa" is on the brink of closure. The reason is that the channel is said to work without license longer than for a year. Yet, the channel administration reckons that the channel became a prey of the local authorities. O. Mukhin, the manager of "Hortitsa", certainly regards the closure of the channel as "a blow on the freedom of expression". In his opinion, "the absence of the license is only a pretext to liquidate the channel, which did not kow-tow to the local powers".

The administration of the TV channel "Hortitsa" reckons that the channel is not guilty of having no license for broadcasting. The matter is that the previous license expired as early as in 2000, and to obtain the new one, they had to take part in the tender for the right to use this frequency. Yet, during all this time the National Council in charge of TV and radio broadcasting did not open the tender. "Hortitsa" more than once turned to the National Council and got answers that the channel is not guilty of the situation.

National TV company shall pay Moroz a big libel fine

On 4 February the Shevchenkivsky district court of Kyiv took the decision, in which the court established that the National TV company presented false information about Oleksandr Moroz, the leader of the Socialist Party of Ukraine, in six issues of the feature "Aktsent" in June 2000. The court ruled to fine the TV company for 50 thousand UAH and hand the money to O. Moroz.

A Supreme Rada committee decided to clamp down on a TV showman

Igor Ostash, the head of the Supreme Rada Committee in charge of foreign affairs, promised to send a letter to the profile committee of the Russian Duma concerning the statements of Mykhail Leontyev, a Russian journalist and a showman of the "ORT" TV feature "Odnako" ("Yet"), who refused to obey the decision of the Shevchenkivski district court of Kyiv on the protection of honor and dignity of Katerina Chumachenko, the wife of former Ukrainian Prime-Minister Viktor Yushchenko. I. Ostash intends to request the head of the Duma committee to take measures to stop insinuations, which seriously harm Russian-Ukrainian relations". As I. Ostash believes, M Leontyev refused to fulfil the court decision "in an extremely brutal form using cynical and offensive expressions". I. Ostash is sure that, in fact, it was an extreme demonstration of Ukrainian phobia. Leontyev, in particular, said that "such a state as Ukraine does not and cannot exist" and that "Ukraine needs to be protected by a stronger and more cultured state". Mr. Ostash believes that such statements of a journalist, who works on "ORT" channel, which actually is a mouthpiece of the Russian power, must be "sternly punished both by the Ukrainian and Russian politicians". He also pointed out that the insinuations of Leontyev were a queer "introduction" to the Year of Ukraine declared by Russia (2002). He believes that it is "an affair of honor of Russian politicians" to do their best for the fulfillment of the court decision, according to the Convention on legal aid in civil, family and criminal affairs within the CIS signed in 1993, and for the proper political assessment of the Russian journalist’s words. Ostash also hopes that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will issue the proper note in this connection.

"Nikopolskie Izvestiya" won in court the right to be printed during the election

We want to remind our readers that the printing house, whose founder is the Dnepropetrovsk oblast council, refused to print the newspaper "Nikopolskie Izvestiya" from 1 January to 1 May 2002. The printing house explained its refusal by the need to conduct the thorough repairs. On 25 December judge Natalya Troyan approved the decision: to suspend the order of the manager of the printing shop about the refusal to print the newspaper. Konstantin Liashchenko, the manager of the enterprise "Kanal-5" – the media holding, which publishes "Nikopolskie Izvestiya", informed the Institute of Mass Information that the interests of the publishing house were represented in court by the Dnepropetrovsk Association of advocates. The advocates came to the court session from the distance of 120 kilometers in the car owned by the oblast council (car number 3024 ДНА). "This is a very eloquent fact", said Mr. Liashchenko. The newspaper "Nikopolskie Izvestiya" has the largest run in the town – about 12 thousand copies. It, as well as another branch of the media holding – the TV channel "Kanal-5", often published interviews with the opposition political figures. "Kanal-5" now has legal proceeding with the National Council in charge of TV and radio broadcasting about obtaining the license for broadcasting. The Institute of Mass Information

Journalists do not want to be tools in the hands of black PR agents

The Commission of journalist ethics regards publishing the "cassette materials" as the act of PR manipulations. "Using the illegal methods of obtaining information, biased nature and unbalanced presentation of information enable us to perceive this activities as those having nothing in common with professional journalism", this thesis is contained in the statement of the Commission. The statement about publishing the phone dialog between Viktor Yushchenko and Aleksandr Omelchenko by Dmitriy Ponamarchuk, a member of the Popular Rukh, also contains the idea that "the beginning of 2002 became the first stage of new tests for the Ukrainian society and Ukrainian mass media". Journalists believe that "with the beginning of the so-named "cassette scandal No. 2" the election campaign with the application of black PR technologies has really started". The Commission representatives regard that it was mass media that became weapons in this war. In the opinion of the authors of the appeal, "using journalists as weapons in the PR battles, on the one hand, and the readiness of the journalists themselves to be used as weapons, on the other hand, may become a very explosive mixture". "What is understood as an exception in a civilized society, may become (and, in fact, is already becoming) a norm in Ukraine", reads the Commission appeal. Election-2002, in the opinion of the Commission, "may become the test for survivability for the independent Ukrainian journalism". "We appeal to the Ukrainian journalists to do their best to pass this test with banners flying". The Commission of journalist ethics unites the representatives of about 300 Ukrainian mass media. Journalists themselves remark that they "acutely feel their responsibility for the role of mass media in conducting the just and free election in spring-2002, for presenting to voters the information sufficient in size for taking responsible decisions, for honest observance of professional and ethical norms".

Social and economic rights

Berliner Zeitung: Official data on the consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe were falsified

Dear readers!

We publish here an interesting material sent to us by Vadim Goncharuk ("InterEco", Vinnitsa).

Fifteen years after the Chernobyl catastrophe we even cannot estimate how much nuclear fuel (and, correspondingly, accumulated decay products) flew away from the 4th reactor and how much remained on the spot. The estimates do not agree: maybe almost all flew away and maybe almost all remained.

The former point of view became publicly known only recently. I heard it long ago from well-information people. They asserted that the measurements in the reactor indicate that it is practically empty. I am not an expert in this branch, but combining what I read and what I heard, I created for myself such a picture.

Most of the fuel flew away during the second explosion of the reactor in the small hours of 26 April 1986. The first explosion happened because, as a result of construction drawbacks and the personnel errors, the reactor for a short time passed to the supercritical state. The chain reaction generated too much heat in a moment. Although this quantity was too small to create the "fire ball" typical of a nuclear explosion, it sufficed to destroy many boxes, instantaneous boiling of water in tubes and their burst.

The reaction of vapor with the burning hot metal caused the creation of the large quantities of hydrogen, which combined with oxygen into a detonating mixture. It caused the second explosion. The explosion was so powerful that it annihilated the entire upper structure of the reactor, destroyed the walls and roof of the 4th block. The explosion threw outward the rector bowels – boxes with nuclear fuel and accumulated radioactive decay products, pieces of boxes, graphite blocks from the inner walls. All that was scattered tens of meters around the reactor, in particular on the roofs of the 3rd and 4th blocks. Later these roofs were scratched off by soldiers, who were appointed to be bio-robots by top and intermediate communist party bosses.

Later the reactor was burning for more than a week, and dumping from helicopters did not change the situation much.

The blast-furnace process was actually occurring in the reactor. The difference was that graphite served as coke and uranium dioxide from boxes served as iron ore. The metallic uranium obtained in the process partly flowed down and partly evaporated. Together with other volatile products it was carried away by winds, in particular, in the form of so-called "hot particles".

As a result little nuclear fuel and decay products remained in the reactor. In this manner almost all radioactive staff flew to the environment and what remained is much less than the official version is.

The official point of view, which dominated the late 15 years, asserts the contrary: there was a harm inflicted on the environment, but the most part of the nuclear fuel and decay products remained in the reactor and is very dangerous. Correspondingly during 15 years the attention and financing were focused on the object "Sarcophagus". Researchers, technicians and bureaucrats, who were fed by the version were not interested in refuting such a standpoint.

But, after all, the alternative point of view elbowed its way to the international level. Which of the two versions is nearer to truth can be established by science. Yet, the interested parties will try to impede the research, since the sarcophagus cost and brought millions.

Public cannot fulfil the functions of scientists, but the public attention in this situation may promote the search of the truth.

Along with the question how much fuel remained in the reactor another question is actual: which actually was and is the real damage to the environment and people health. Recently a series of publications devoted to the topic "end of the Chernobyl myths" appeared in the press. The publications were initiated by the UNO report in the consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe. But that we will discuss elsewhere.

I only want to remark that it is a shame that both in the report and in the publications there are references to international and Russian experts, not to the Ukrainian ones. The reason is not only the insufficient financing of the Ukrainian science. The money obtained by Ukrainian scientists for the Chernobyl set of problems would certainly suffice to prepare answers for some fundamental questions.

Sergiy Fedorynchik, the head of the information center of the Ukrainian Ecological, ssociation "Zeleny svit"

Berliner Zeitung: Official data on the consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe were falsified

Russian and Ukrainian experts doubt the expediency of building the second sarcophagus for the protection of the destroy reactor in Chernobyl. In the documentary film devoted to the catastrophe in 1986, which was recently shown by the German TV channel ZDF, experts explained that the official governmental data about the consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe were falsified, writes Frank Nordhausen in the German newspaper "Berliner Zeitung" of 4 February.

Besides the data about the fatal consequences of the catastrophe for the population health are somewhat neglected, not only by the Ukrainian side, but also by foreign organizations and authorities.

The Berliner Ministry of environment stated that they regard such opinions as not serious. The Ministry believes that the second sarcophagus is necessary, since almost all nuclear fuel still remains in the first shabby sarcophagus.


The documentary is based, first of all, on the results of the researches by Konstantin Checherov, a physicist from the famous Kurchatov Moscow atomic institute, who until 1996 was a member of the Russian commission for investigating the cause of the catastrophe at the Chernobyl atomic station and now continues to work in the institute.

K. Checherov stated that in 1986 not only the emission of 3% nuclear fuel from the reactor to the environment, but the explosion happened inside the reactor. In the process about 95% out of 200 tones of uranium and plutonium evaporated.

Since June 1986 K. Checherov attended Chernobyl about one thousand times, the results of his researches are described in more than 100 publications. "The reactor is absolutely safe for the Western Europe", he says, "The second sarcophagus is not needed".

In the documentary shown by the ZDF Vladimir Usatenko, a consultant of the Ukrainian government in the Chernobyl problem, called the Western aid for building the second sarcophagus a "cash dispenser ": only a small proportion of the finances are used properly. He told that during the period until 1995 Europe gave out for this purpose about 565 million USD, but only 30% of the expenditures were confirmed by documents.

Russian institutes and Western organizations assert since 1986 that 96% of highly radioactive fuel remained within the sarcophagus.

"Western experts were never admitted inside the sarcophagus, but they managed to make their own measurements", told Valentin Kutsiy, the former head of the Chernobyl object "Sarcophagus".

The data approved by the Soviet political bureau in May 1986 are copied thoughtlessly. The Federal Ministry of environment believes that the Soviet data were correct. "The statements in the documentary are disappointing and seem dubious".

Sebatian Pflugbeil, a Berliner physicist and the president of the Society in charge of protection against irradiation, believes that Western experts did not risk to acknowledge that the kernel of the reactor not only melted, but fully exploded: "That would have some consequences also for the Western concept of safety".

Women’s rights

One third of court decisions in Ukraine are not executed

"One third of court decisions in Ukraine are not executed, but there are no so-called "political" ones among them", said MP Vasyl Onopenko, the head of the Ukrainian social-democratic party. According to MR. Onopenko, this happens in spite of the rather serious rights of the state executive service, for whose work the Ministry of Justice is responsible. He is sure that Ukraine will need the international experience in this problem. "The main thing is to determine distinctly and to make public the reasons that resulted in such a situation. In my opinion, the reason is, first of all, the absence of strict control or even penal sanctions. Because the majority of the unexecuted decisions are alimonies, social assistance or salaries unpaid. The paradox is that the so-called political decisions (that is the decisions on the ordered political cases) are executed at once and without detainment", declared V. Onopenko, who is also a member of the Superior Council of Justice of Ukraine.

Interethnic relations

A letter to ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva

To: ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva

From: political prisoner Oleg Boyko staying in preliminary prison No. 13, cell 127

I turn to you and ask you to stand up in defense of rights, human dignity and democratic in out State. Quite accidentally I became an eyewitness of the conditions under which the detained are treated in the emergency ward. Having lost my senses in the courtroom because of the hunger strike with political demands, I was quickly transported to the emergency ward. There I was placed in a room on the second story. I shared the room with four other men. They were transported from different militia precincts, so their guilt was not proved since the investigation had not begun yet. All of them us were handcuffed to beds and had to lie all the time. The handcuffs were not removed even when food was brought. It is difficult to describe the impression, when you carry a chunk of bread to your mouth pulling simultaneously the chain. When a patient is taken to a doctor, they put a pair of handcuffs on the wrists, and by the other pair they pool one as a dog on a leash. Ms. Karpacheva, I turn to you as to a woman: imagine how much more it was difficult for two girls that stayed in the adjoined room, also handcuffed to beds. The guard is much more numerous, vigilant and diligent than FBI agents guarding witnesses. According to my evaluation, we, five convicts, were guarded by four shifts, and the number of guards was about 50. (Imagine such a scene: barred windows, two guards are walking in the room with clubs and tear-gas sprays, the third guard is standing outside the bars armed with a pistol, another door, behind which there Kalashnikovs and the senior guard, who has the keys from our handcuffs; one more armored door separates us from the common hospital.) I want to say that I have no pretensions to the guards, since their attitude to us was humane. I understand that such decisions as to lead us on a chain are made at the top, and the guards only obey the orders. Medical personnel also treated us well. During the medical examination it appeared that I had a sore spine. Before it I had repeatedly to the prosecutor’s office complaining that in spring I was beaten by the special militia squad "Berkut". Every time I got the answer that the expertise did not find any traces of beating. Once I was examined, 10 weeks after the beating, and the doctors said that pains in the back were caused by an uncomfortable coach in the USS.

I shall describe you several examples illustrating that we live in a police state. The doctor, who operated a 63-year-old pensioner, demanded to permit his patient to get unchained and walk and got a refusal. The doctor was afraid to make his name known. Beside the doctors, who treat the patients a man often appears, from his doctor’s smock one can see legs of his uniform (he appeared to be O. A. Zhelekovskiy). He took part in a round, and after that all the handcuffs were made tighter. The operated pensioner was (even before removing surgical stitches) transported to a district precinct, from where he was returned in one day, but in a very grave condition.

What kind of a country are we building, when everything is controlled and administered by militia? Kravchenko has been exchanged for Smirnov, but the repressive machine continues to grow, and, if it ever works at the top power, it would be impossible to guarantee that any citizen will not get into the meat grinder. You must understand that the data given by Potebenko (in Ukraine the level of uncovering crimes in 97%, whereas in the USA – only 67%) mean that it is achieved in such a manner: a suspect is beaten until he/she will confess in committing 5-6 crimes.

During my stay in the hospital my wife paid for tomography, since doctors said that my spine needed examination. They did not show me the medical conclusions, the militia passed the conclusion to prison doctor. He answered my questions that, since the medical case history is written in Ukrainian, he could not translate it to me. This was obviously an attempt to protect their colleagues from "Berkut".

It also rumors that during the inspection from your organization the handcuffs were temporary taken off from the sick and hidden.

I ask to assess my letter as a collective application from all the detained, who were staying in the prison hospital together with me. Are not we worth of a better life?


The demand for literature on torture is growing

It seems that the publication of the Kharkov Group for human rights protection "Against torture" became a bestseller among state officials. The USS was the first to react. Representatives of this agency came to the Kharkov Group several days after the parliamentary hearings on torture and asked to give them 30 copies of the book for distributing to all USS oblast directorates. Later we had the honor to be visited by representatives of Kharkov military garrison, who also took a copy. This morning an officer from the Kharkov Institute of tank troops came to the Group office and asked: "Is "Protocols of rapes" published by your organization. It rumors that something is written there about our institute?". We agreed the "Protocols of rapes" would be a more interesting reading, but we disappointed the visitor: "We published the book "Against torture", which actually contains the material about the events in the Kharkov Institute of tank troops". The officer was not taken back, but laboriously leafed through the book and stopped at the part "Against torture. Review of complaints". Yes, he agreed, he needed namely this book, his commander was informed about it from Kyiv. Besides, the visitor’s tongue slipped and he told that the commander reckoned that something in the book was written incorrectly.

We got the impression that all, or most, personages of our book got the order to "refute the untrue information". It should be noted that the book "Against torture" was issued in two volumes. The first volume contains the legal documents ratified by Ukraine on the problem of torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment and punishment; the second volume deals with the concrete cases of torture described in mass media. Why then the personages got interested in these facts just now? If one suggests that they decided to fight with torture, it will be more logical to read the first volume, in which the international normative acts are presented. Why the facts that had been already published and then did not cause any reaction got everybody intrigued? A similar story happened with Vladimir Giliarovskiy, a Russian journalist and writer of the 19th century, who decided to collect his sketches on the life of tramps that were published in newspapers into the book "People of the slums". The book was prohibited by censors.

There is progress in our life! In the beginning of the 21st century our book was published, whereas in the beginning of the 20th century it could be banned.

Point of view

S. Teriokhin distrusts the official statistical data

MP Sergey Teriokhin, a member of the party "Reforms and order" (a party from Viktor Yushchenko’s bloc "Nasha Ukraina" ("Our Ukraine")), believes that "an alternative statistical service" must be created in Ukraine, along with the State Statistical Committee. The alternative service would conduct independent statistical studies of economic processes, since the actual soaring of prices for victuals (in particular, bread, milk and meat) does not agree with the indexes of consumer prices published by the State Committee.

In Teriokhin’s opinion, the reason is that the statistical organs are directly subordinated to the executive power. "Statistics is a convenient tool for manipulating the public opinion, and during elections this tool is used to reach need political goals", he stressed.

S. Teriokhin reckons that the last President’s instruction on controlling the prices for bread makes doubtful the state statistical data about the low inflation rate in Ukraine.

As the center "LIGA" learned in the press service of the bloc "Our Ukraine", S. Teriokhin compared the present situation with that in 1996, when the government of P. Lazarenko directly ordered to give to high statistical indexes.

We remind the reader4 that on 29 January Ukrainian President L. Kuchma ordered Prime-Minister A. Kinakh and the heads of oblast administrations to take measures for strengthening the control over the prices of bread and bakery.

31 January 2002


Victims of political repression

Feldman and his advocates were deprived of the right for defense

The trial of the scandalous "bankers’ case", which is being held in the Artemovsk district court of Lugansk demonstrated another juridical nonsense on 7 February.

Nikolay Lavochkin, Lugansk

In the beginning of the consequent session judge Lubianoy, chairing the trial, turned to the representatives of the prosecution with the question if his had any request. The prosecutors had a request: they asked the court to deprive the defendant Boris Feldman and his advocates of the right to make any requests and remarks or to hand any complaints in the course of the trial.

Absurd, as it could seem, but the court satisfied the prosecutors’ request and deprived one of the accused of the constitutional right for defense in court by all legally admissible ways.

For the memory of future generations we shall list the composition of the court: chairman – judge S. M. Lubianoy, judges S. A. Kosminin and T. A. Storozhuk.

Moreover, when in the morning of 7 February Viktor Ageev and Andrey Fedur, the advocates of Boris Feldman, the vice-president of the bank "Slavianskiy", tried to come up to their client before the beginning of the court session, they were stopped by guards. The guard explained that they had the order of chairman Lubianoy not to pass Feldman’s advocates to their client. Advocate Ageev turned to the chairman. In this talk that took place about 11 a.m. in Lubianoy’s office in the presence of another judge (S. Kosminin), judge Lubianoy explained to advocate Ageev that he really ordered not to let advocates come to Feldman, since they have the opportunity to communicate with their client in the preliminary prison. Judge Lubianoy refused to communicate with the advocate beyond the courtroom, because, in his opinion, "respectful courts do not admit it".

On the same day, about 13:15, before the court dispersed for lunch, advocate Fedur turned to the court with the request to permit him to talk with Feldman during the break. Judge Lubianoy again said that he would not permit this and repeated that advocates may visit their client in the preliminary prison. Thus, the advocates are unable to consult their client on the days of trial.

On the days, when the defendants are transported to court advocates may not get a permission to meet their clients in the preliminary prison either. And the court sessions are planned to be held each weekday. In the Lugansk preliminary prison No. 17 visits are prohibited on Sundays. Therefore the advocates may communicate with Feldman only once a week – on Saturday.

Obvious, Feldman’s right for legal defense was brutally abused. The obstacles are created also for the professional activities of Feldman’s advocates and their rights stipulated by the Criminal-Procedural Code are violated. In particular, Article 266 of the Code ("Participation of an advocate in a trial") clearly reads: "An advocate assists the defendant in protecting his rights and legal interests. An advocate has the right for meetings with his client."

The described actions of court are brutal and obvious violations of the right for legal defense and is nothing but a direct obstacle to the professional legal activities of advocates.

For such kind of activities, according to the new Criminal Code of Ukraine, which became operable on 1 September 2001, judges must undergo criminal responsibility stipulated in the following articles.

Article 374. Violation of the right for legal defense.

1. The prohibition to an advocate to meet with his client or, if the client has no advocate, not appointing an advocate, as well as other brutal violations of the rights of the suspected, accused or defendant for legal defense caused by an inquiry or investigation officer, prosecutor of judge – are punished with the fine from 300 to 500 untaxed minimum incomes, or with correcting labor for the term up to two years, or the incarceration for the term up to six months with the deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or to go in for certain activities for the term up to three years or without it.

Article 397. Interference into the activities of an advocate or representative of a person.

1. Impeding in any form professional activities of an advocate or representative of a person in rendering legal aid, or violating the legal guarantees of their activities and professional secrets – are punished with the fine from 100 to 200 untaxed minimum incomes, or with correcting labor for the term up to two years, or the incarceration for the term up to six months or restricting freedom for the term up to three years.

2. The same activities conducted by a state officer using his/her position -- are punished with the fine from 300 to 500 untaxed minimum incomes or restricting freedom for the term up to three years with the deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or to go in for certain activities for the term up to three years.

Prosecutor’s officials were not fully satisfied with the above-described scandal, and they demanded more. After their opponents were deprived of the right for legal defense, the prosecutor decided not to fulfil other legal rules. So, he freed himself from his duty to read the accusation act fully and made public only the resolution containing only the list of the accusation articles. This trick served to avoid reading aloud all the "pearls" of this document, which could give the audience true ideas about the quality of the tax investigation and the competence of the General Prosecutor’s office, which approved the accusation act.

Even the "sympathetic" judge Lubianoy could not approve such offhand attitude to law. He had to meditate a long while during a break to accumulate courage and to ask the prosecutor to observe the law. After this the prosecutor started to announce the accusation act. By today the first 62 pages out of 700 have been read.

Dissidents and their time

Free people in the unfree country

As a rule, we do not like various anniversaries, jubilees and noisy celebrations, but sometimes they happen to be very useful. Such rituals serve not only for recollecting outstanding events or outstanding personalities, but also as a stimulus for meditations, the comprehension of past events and their influence on our life.

From this viewpoints the consecutive project of the Kharkov Group for human rights protection seems very well-chosen. The Group together with the publishing house "Folio" issued the unique book in four volumes titled "Ukrainian Public Group for endorsing the Helsinki agreements". This action was devoted to the 25th anniversary of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group (UHG).

The events of the 70s of the last century seem to be remote past from today’s moment. This was the time with its painful problems of ideological, economic and military opposition of the socialist block headed by the USSR against the West, with the threat of nuclear war and search of the ways to peaceful coexistence and relaxation, which was called then with a fashionable word "detente".

In 1975, after long and sophisticated negotiations, thirty three European countries, as well as the USA and Canada, signed in Helsinki the Final Act of the Council of safety and cooperation in Europe (CSCE). The Helsinki agreement finally fixed the frontiers formed in Europe after the WW2. Besides, the USSR, which at that time was obviously loosing the economic competition, got the most-favored nation treatment in the trade with the West. In exchange the USSR promised to fulfil the humanitarian part of the Final Act, in particular, to observe human rights according to the UNO Universal Declaration of human rights of 10 December 1948. The Final Act of the CSCE had to be regarded on the equal basis with the internal legislation of a country, which provided quite a legal basis for fighting with the violations of the rights of people and nations referring to internal and international laws.

It is obvious that, signing the Helsinki agreement, the Brezhnev-Andropov communist camarilla did not intend to fulfil it. Yet, "naive" people existed, who treated the Final Act in earnest and made the state to treat seriously their activities. The Moscow Helsinki Group was the first to appear. It was created in May 1976. On 9 November 1976, after the initiative of Mykola Rudenko, Petro Grigorenko, Oksana Meshko, Oles Berdnik and Levko Lukyanenko, the Ukrainian Helsinki Group for endorsing the Helsinki agreements was founded.

Ukrainian human rights protectors demanded from the state to acknowledge rights of people and nations. They began to realize their rights for the freedom of speech, the press, meetings and associations without waiting for the approval of the state. To guarantee the fulfillment of the Helsinki agreements, the UHG set a purpose to inform the public about the UNO Universal Declaration of human rights (which at that time was a rarity and was not translated into Ukrainian) and raised the question about recognition of Ukraine as an autonomous state (the idea that Ukraine was an independent republic within the USSR was a pure fiction) by the international community. The Group accepted the complaints about violating human rights in Ukraine and passed the information about persecutions of dissidents and on penitentiaries to the mass media and to the governments of the states-members of the Helsinki agreements. Doing this, they risked not only their jobs and prosperity, but their freedom and sometimes their life. Mykola Rudenko, the UHG head, told: "…The novelty of this phenomenon was that Ukrainian intelligentsia and patriots for the first time spoke openly, in a clear voice, contrary to the official ideology and threats, ignoring the risk of incarceration: we declare to the whole world that we exist, that we know that you will arrest us, but all the same we will tell the truth. This was a courageous act. And it was not only courage: it was readiness to sacrifice themselves and to fight for their convictions to the very end. Yuir Orlov, the head of the Moscow Helsinki Group recollects: "The KGB men hated Ukrainians, it seems, more than all other political prisoners". Orlov also remarks that in Perm concentration camp No. 35, where he was incarcerated, Ukrainians made the majority of the prisoners. As other political prisoners recollect, the same situation was in every political concentration camp.

Here are some statistics given by Vasyl Ovsienko. 43 persons joined the UHG while it existed, 24 of them were condemned for the UHG membership. They stayed in concentration camps, prisons, in lunatic asylums and exiles 170 years totally. On the whole 39 members of the UHG were punished by more than 550 years of some king of incarceration. Five Group members perished: Mikhaylo Melnik committed suicide on the eve of inevitable arrest, Oleksa Tykhiy, Yuri Litvin, Valeriy Marchenko and Vasyl Stus were actually murdered in concentration camp No. 36 in the village of Kuchino of the Perm oblast. In spite of the awful persecutions and losses, the UHG did not stop the struggle and, in contrast to other groups, the Moscow one, for example, they did not disband.

It is difficult to stop these historical reminiscences, since the history of the Ukrainian resistance is breathtakingly interesting, more than the best detective stories, and tenser than the book of suspense. Rather we must return to the edition of the Kharkov Group for human rights protection, where, for the first time in Ukraine, they published the UHG materials and documents.

As the book compilers believe, the majority of the most important documents were included into the collection: basic documents of the UHG, its memoranda, informational bulletins, collective and several personal appeals of the UHG members, materials of the trials of dissidents, facsimiles of some documents, photos. The first volume contains a fundamental review of the history of the human rights protection movement in Ukraine, an interview with M. Rudenko, the UHG head, biographic information about all 43 Group members. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th volumes include various UHG documents in the chronological order.

The need to have such an edition in the modern Ukraine is undoubted. The Ukrainian Helsinki movement for human and national rights, which united, it seems, almost all opposition movement existing then, had the immense importance. Its influence on forming the independent public though, change of the entire social atmosphere in the country and, after all, on creating the independent democratic Ukrainian state still expects a serious scientific analysis. The publication of the UHG documents may be very useful for such analysis. It is also necessary for understanding and learning the truthful newest history of Ukraine, the struggle of the Ukrainian people for its rights and sovereignty, since extremely negligent attitude to the own state, inferiority complex, disbelief in own forces and in the fact that Ukraine had its own heroes still reigns in our country.

Banal as it sounds, but it should be noted that mastering and comprehension of the UHG activities is extremely important for shaping the civil society in Ukraine, the legal consciousness of Ukrainian citizens and for building of the genuine democracy.

Andrey Amalrik said that human rights protectors caused the revolutionary change in the consciousness of Soviet population terrorized during decades: they began behave in the unfree country like free people. Unfortunately, during ten years of the independent of Ukraine not all her citizens (maybe, because of ignorance of the newest history) could do this. We pray to God that the noble example of the heroic UHG members will inspire us to follow them.

"Knizhnik" review, No. 3 (36), February 2002

From "PL" editorial board:
The book "Ukrainian Helsinki Group for endorsing the Helsinki agreements" in four volumes won the third place in the nomination "Encyclopedia" of the all-Ukrainian contest "Book of the year".

Deported peoples

How Ukraine was purged of her population

The twentieth century was also an epoch of "the great transmigration of peoples". At least on the3 one sixth of the globe. West Ukraine survived several waves of deportations of the local population. In 1939-40 Polish families were sent to East: state figures, military officers, members of political parties, land owners. In 1940-41the terror rolled down upon the nationally conscious and civilly active Ukrainian intelligentsia, families of well-to-do peasants. The Nazi occupation fully exterminated the Jewish community in Galicia. We shall remind the reader that between the WW1 and the WW2 Jew made about a half of the population of Galician towns and settlements.

After he first three waves of the great terror and deportations only about one fifth part of the former inhabitants remained the towns of West Ukraine. The specific Galician town atmosphere, which was weak-cultured, was lost forever.

The period after the WW2 included two great waves of deportations: the first was connected with the coercive migration of Ukrainian from Poland and the reverse flow of ethnic Polish and Polish-cultured families from Ukraine. During the second wave, which lasted from 1946 to 1951, 20-30% of the population were coercively deported to East Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Siberia and the Far East. They were people suspected in ties with the OUN-UPA underground, those, who did not accept the kolkhozes, intelligentsia, Greek-Catholic priests. In the districts, where the authorities failed to suppress the guerilla resistance for a long time, whole villages were deported. The terms of exile and incarceration were from 1 to 15 years. A great proportion of the deported perished, many did not return yet to their native land. The more or less correct data on the number of the repressed and deported during 1939-1951 have not been published yet. We do not know any cases (at least in the Ternopil oblast) of finding and publishing corresponding archives of the NKVD, KGB and the Ministry of Interior.

The special commissions in charge of the repressed, which work at district radas during the last 4 years, established the number of the repressed, who now live on their territories. So, in the Chortkiv district they registered 629 persons, 203 of them – those, who were born in the places of deportation. 12 of them are the former UPA soldiers, who returned from the concentration camps. Most of them are rehabilitated now.

Oleksandr Stepanenko

How Ukraine was purged of her population

Mykhaylo Stepanenko, Chortkiv

This "mission" began from the summon to the communist party committee of the Ternopil oblast and the offering of an administrative job. (I was a physician and the party interest in any sphere was common.) More probably, it was a premeditated provocation. I refused, and second secretary of the party committee Titarenko said: "Do you want to be a general practitioner? We have a job for you – a mission to the Khabarovsk territory. You will accompany enemies of the people". This time I could not refuse.

By that time I knew about repressions not by hearsay (the repressions rolled over my family too), survived the famine of 1933 near Kyiv, served as a sapper in the WW2 and came to Czechia and Austria. Yet, the dreadful details of this mission are still vivid in my mind. Maybe the reason is that other people suffered, and I allegedly was among those, who inflicted these sufferings, although I did my very best to diminish their sufferings…

In early 50s after five post-war years of fighting with the UPA in West Ukraine, the Ministry of Interior organs were completing the immense campaign of deporting civil population from these regions, where they could not root out the guerilla movement. Sometimes entire villages were deported.

A part of this train, where I had to serve, was formed from the convict of the Berezhany prison, who were arrested for "ties with Bandera fighters". Mostly they were women, children, minors, old people, sometimes entire families. Young men were few. Some former soldiers in faded tunics occurred: if a relative was a guerilla, then no war merits were taken into consideration. Even one Russian officer, who carelessly married a Ukrainian girl, was among these "enemies of the people".

I came to the train before the departure; the train was noisy: hundreds cried and sobbed. In Berezhany they loaded 20 carriages with these unfortunates. 20 more carriages loaded at the station Krasne were hooked to the train in Ternopil. There were 40-50 people in each carriage. All in all, there were about two thousand. The carriages were freight cars, equipped with berths, iron stoves, window bars and hole in the floor instead of a toilet seat. The engines were supplied with machineguns, in every second car there were guards on duty armed with Kalashnikovs. The road to the place of destination had to last 29 days. The season was winter.

We transported cripples and babies too. A typical scene: the doctor is called to one of the cars since an old man is dying. I am coming: there is a plank bed with two children and a 85-year-old man, his legs are swollen – ascites. The man is crying: "Do not touch me, doctor! Why do they take me God knows where? Let them bury me here, in Ukraine! All the same I cannot help my grandchildren." I ask the children: "Where are your parents?" The answer: "They killed Daddy in the forest, and Mammy died in a prison". Oh, how can I keep my own tears?!

Real troubles started, when we appeared behind the Urals. Bitter frosts began: every day 20-30 centigrade below zero. Walls of the cars were covered with snow inside, the ceiling was a slab of ice. The coals for the stove were law-quality and the stoves extinguished. All that was given for a car per day was: a bucket of coals, a bucket of soup or cereal and a bucket of boiling water – "tea". People drank ice melted on the stove. "Passengers" were given food at night, when the train stopped. Fortunately, the train commander, captain Grechko, appeared to be humane. Every night he stopped the train and let me and nurses in search of additional coals, of medicines and bandages. It happened so that among my patients there were many beaten and burned. Some of them inherited their injuries from prisons, some got them anew falling from berths or burnt falling asleep near stoves. There was no food for sucking infants. Milk was not given and the exhausted mothers could not breast-feed their infants. I warned the commander: "All sucking babies will die, and we are responsible for them". And he permitted us during the every-night stop to wander to nearest villages for milk. So it happened that in the middle of the night, when the temperature was 30 centigrade below zero, we, I and nurses, walked to a village and knocked at doors, saying: "Here is a train at the station. It takes "enemies of the people" from West Ukraine. There are babies among them. They are starving, we have no milk". And the miracle happened: Siberian women opened the doors to strangers, milked their cows in the middle of the night and carried the cans wrapped in their shawls to the station. Every night we managed to beg about 30 liters of milk!

When we passed the Baikal, where the frosts were even stronger, two babies died. But the rest, if they certainly survived on the place of the exile, must be grateful for the mercy of Siberian women.

Near Irkutsk an escape happened. During night stop the women, who brought coals, water and food from the station, were permitted to leave the cars. A snowstorm lasted several days, the frost was about 40 centigrade, and one night several boys dressed as women left the cars. Near the station they got rid of their buckets and started to run. The guards either were bewildered or did not want to shoot at women. At night the local railway militia was alarmed and the escapers were caught. Interrogations began: "Who was the instigator?" No torture was needed, since one of the boys confessed at once: "Do not beat the boys, that was I, who instigated them". The officer in charge (senior lieutenant Volodka) took the instigator apart. I was called after the "talk": "Doctor, run, make the skunk conscious!" I did what I was told.

This horrible train arrived at Khabarovsk on 29 December 1950. Half of our load was left here, and another half was transported farther – north of Khabarovsk, to some railway dead end. There the people were taken from the cars to the unfinished barracks without doors and windows. Fortunately, much dry wood lay around.

During the way three of our "passengers" died and three were born (the babies were delivered in the moving cars), so "the total balance" was OK. Yet, it appeared that nobody cared to count the coming people. "What for must I count them?", asked the local commander, "many will die until winter is over. Then we shall count them".

The New Year of 1951 I met in the Khabarovsk railway station. The burden on my soul was so heavy that I could not fall asleep without drinking a bottle of vodka. On 1 January I was taken West by the "Vladivostok – Moscow" train. It was a quite another train. The passengers began a new year, they were full of hopes and optimistic plans. And what could bring this new year to all those people kicked from their native homes and thrown to the snowy taiga eight thousand kilometers from their homes and three months before spring?

“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2002, #02