war crimes in Ukraine

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Politics and human rights

Opinion of human rights protection activists about the Constitutional reform

On 24 March 2004 the Kharkov group for human rights protection, with the support of the International Foundation «Vidrodjennia», held in Kyiv the scientific-practical seminar «Constitutional reform in Ukraine: expert analysis». The book with the same title was distributed at the seminar. A number of Ukrainian lawyers, people’s deputies and politicians discussed the legal aspects of the Constitutional reform.

The majority of the participants were unanimous that the procedure of introduction of changes to the Constitution was realized with numerous violations of legal norms, and the suggested changes could exert very negative influence on the observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms because of the scientifically ungrounded and unpredictable repartition of power. The process of adoption of the amendments to the Constitution is accompanied by regular violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular, the right for freedom of expression, right for peaceful assemblies and demonstrations, election rights, etc. The expert conclusions made public at the seminar confirm that the procedure of voting and discussion of law drafts has been violated more than once, which is inadmissible during the adoption of legal documents, which are so important for the country, and raises doubts in the legality of this process and its compliance with democratic principles.

We believe that the fulfillment of the operating Constitution should be guaranteed in Ukraine, in particular, through the adoption of the laws «On the President of Ukraine», «On the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine», «Regulations of the Supreme Rada of Ukraine» and many others. The adoption of these drafts is blocked now in the Parliament, and some of them have been already vetoed by the President. The adoption of these laws will promote the establishment of the effective system of government, which will obviate the need in the changes to the Ukrainian Constitution. Thus, absolutely all modern political conflicts are generated not by drawbacks of the Constitution, but emerge as a result of the absence of guarantees of the execution of operating constitutional norms.

The fact that the authority to realize the general supervision is given to prosecutor’s office is very disturbing. This contradicts to the European standards, recommendations of the Council of Europe and the common practices of the work of this organ in democratic countries.

We also want to draw the attention to the attempts, reflected in all drafts, to weaken the judicial branch of power, which branch is the weakest even now. For instance, there are tries to cancel the norm about the appointment of judges for the term of life and the reinforcement of the dependence of judges on the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

We want to point out the necessity to supplement the law drafts on the changes to the Constitution with the norms concerning the acknowledgment of jurisdiction of the International criminal court for ratification of the Statute of this international organ.

The provisions on social-economic rights of citizens should be also changed. Now the majority of these provisions are absolutely declarative and do not agree with ones about the direct action of the norms of the Constitution of Ukraine.

In what follows we will quote several opinions of human rights protection activists.

Vsevolod Rechitskiy, a candidate of jurisprudence, the Constitutional expert of the Kharkov group for human rights protection:

«Taking into account the reform as a whole and separate forms and methods, applied by the official structures of Ukraine for its introduction, one can make the conclusion that the constitutional reform, in its present political and juridical form, does not meet the interests of Ukrainian citizens either in the actual sense or in the abstract future perspective. It is inconsistent by its principles, insincere by its moral and political contents, problematic by its juridical quality and unpredictable by its civil and political consequences».

Viktor Kolisnyk, a candidate of jurisprudence, an assistant professor of a department of constitutional right of Yuroslav Mudry National juridical academy:

«The analysis gives the sufficient grounds for the conclusion that the preliminary approval of the law draft on introduction of changes to the Constitution of Ukraine was carried out in the Parliament with the violation of certain legal norms (first of all, procedural ones), which stipulated the introduction of such changes.

Fedor Venislavskiy, a candidate of jurisprudence, an assistant professor of a department of constitutional right of Yuroslav Mudry National juridical academy.

«The draft of the law on introduction of changes to the Constitution of Ukraine does not solve a number of essential problems that may appear after the reforming of the system of state power. In particular, nobody knows how to settle the situation, if the President of Ukraine, after getting from the coalition of deputies’ fractions the proposition about presentation to the Parliament of the appeal about the appointment of the Prime-Minister of Ukraine, would not fulfill his duty and would not present this candidature to the Parliament within the proper term. The above-described situation is not incredible, since, in spite of the constitutional demand on the approval and publication of a law, in the connection with which the Supreme Rada overpassed the President’s veto, the head of the state did not do that in many cases.

Yet, in our opinion, the constitutional reform does not solve the problem of disbalance in the interrelations of legislative power, executive power and the President».

Ruslan Topolevskiy, an expert of the Kharkov group for human rights protection, lecturer of the department of theory and history of state of the National University of internal affairs:

«The Constitution should stipulate the juridical limits of functioning of the society for a long term, to serve the interests of this society, but not the interests of certain social groups. Stability of the Constitution is one of the bases of the stability of social interrelations, and introduction of changes to the Constitution only 8 years after its adoption evidences, in my opinion, both about the dilettantism and incompetence of the creators of the Constitution and about the wish of politicians to turn the situation in the political space of the country to their own advantage. The Ukrainian state figures often regard the Constitution (and laws) as a tool for achievement of some political goals, and in the cases, where certain legal norms contradict the goals, these norms are ignored or interpreted in the needed sense.

Certainly, much time would be wasted for solving the eternal Russian question «Who respects whom?» The introduction changes of the operating laws, together with redistribution of authorities between the legislative and executive branches of power, as well as inside the executive power branch (between the President and Prime-Minister), weakening of the judicial power, weakening of civil society and other factors, will result in new political and juridical wars «everybody against everybody». The country, which should concentrate all efforts on the economic reforms, will peer into TV screens with the hope to find a person, which would have at least a bit of political responsibility under the conditions of permanent constitutional revolution. It should be also pointed out that, although almost eight years have passed from the moment of the adoption of the Constitution, a great number of its provisions are still declarative and not supported by proper legal acts (in spite of the fact that more than two hundred laws are adopted annually). I think, everybody understands that such situation will not promote the overcoming of legal nihilism, but will encourage new non-legitimate ideas. In other words, «If the Constitution is not legitimate, then everything is permitted»».

The complete texts of the experts’ notes are placed on the site in the section «Позиція правозахисників: конституційна реформа» («Position of human rights protectors: Constitutional reform»).

P.S. The book «Constitutional reform in Ukraine: expert analysis» can be ordered by the address of the Kharkov group for human rights protection.

Implementation of European Law

Remarks and propositions on the drafts of Law of Ukraine «On introduction of changes into the Criminal Code of Ukraine» No. 4179 of 19 September 2003 presented by MPs G. Buyko and V. Stretovich and No. 4280 of 17 October 2003 presented by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine

After 1998, when the responsibility for human traffic was introduced to the Criminal Code of Ukraine, the norm envisaging this responsibility permanently draws the attention of scientists and experts. Not many articles of the Criminal Code generated such great number of suggested changes and alternative drafts. Some of these changes and drafts were published in special editions, and some of them were directly passed to the corresponding committees of the Supreme Rada. In spite of such activity around the norm that prohibits human traffic, it was changed only once, and new version, which is operating now, was created in the connection with coming into effect of the Criminal Code of Ukraine of 2001. On the one hand, the process of introduction of changes into the criminal legislation is stimulated by the necessity to improve it. On the other hand, the criminal law can be observed effectively and correctly only if it is stable. So, it is extremely important to assess the necessity of introduction of changes, the perfection of this norm and its concordance with the system and structure of the domestic criminal right.

Considering the law drafts on the criminal responsibility for human traffic, I want to point out that these laws almost verbally repeat the definition of human traffic contained in the Protocol on the prevention of human traffic of the UNO Palermo Convention. It should be noted that the verbal (or almost verbal) quotation of the text of international documents in the domestic legislation is not always useful. It is obvious that every branch of right in different countries has its own traditions, peculiarities and rules, and needs the special approach for introduction of the proper norm into the national laws.

Undoubtedly, decriminalization of prostitution is common for both drafts and is very correct. The mistake of legislators, who regarded prostitution as a crime, is obvious and must be corrected as soon as possible.

Neither of these drafts changes the title of Article 149, so each of them should mention the human traffic. The use of the word «traffic» implies the sale or other paid delivery of people. The analysis of the articles demonstrates the absence of the features of sale or other paid delivery, so the title of the article («human traffic») is not quite conforming to its text. By the way, the definition of human traffic used in the Protocol on the prevention of human traffic of the UNO Palermo Convention specially points out that the delivery must be paid. In our opinion, the legislators should either stipulate the payment for the delivery of people as a necessary component of this crime, or change the title of the article: to call it, for example, «exploitation of people».

I also want to point out that involving of a person into prostitution by means of application of violence or threatening by violence will be considered not only by the first part of Article 303, suggested by the drafts, but also by part 1 of the suggested Article 149 as exploitation of the person in the form of prostitution. At that, this would not be a cumulative crime, because both articles concern the same actions. The punishment envisaged by part 1 of Article 149 is much more severe than one envisaged by part 1 of Article 303. So, both articles provide the responsibility for the same action, but the punishments differ. It is impossible to acknowledge that one of these norms is general, and other is special, since neither of them has the features peculiar only to it and absent in other one. Such problem exists because the characteristic of sale or other paid delivery is not regarded as imperative for human traffic. In our opinion, this very characteristic must distinguish the human traffic from involving into prostitution, exploitation of children, swindling, violation of laws on labor and other crimes. This discrepancy can be liquidated either by the conceptual change of the text of Article 149 in law draft No. 4179 and stipulation of the responsibility for «purchase and sale or other paid delivery of people», or, if the general conception of Article 149 is really the struggle with exploitation of people, but not human traffic, by elimination of the word «involving» from the text of the article.

Article 149 of draft No. 4280 may be regarded as special relatively to the general norm stipulated by Article 303, since Article 303 does not mention such method as coercion. At the same time, the criminalization of involving into prostitution without any coercion or deception does not seem advisable, because the level of social danger of these actions is obviously insufficient. So, it should be expedient to envisage in the law draft that various forms of coercion or deception are the necessary characteristics of involving into prostitution. After this the recommendations mentioned in the previous paragraph for draft No. 4179 would be actual also for the considered law draft.

The non-ambiguous solution of the question about such characteristic as taking a person across the state frontier of Ukraine should be regarded as positive moment. The authors of the drafts do not mention this characteristic, so they consider it as optional. The existence of human traffic inside Ukraine, without crossing the frontier, confirms the appropriateness of this step.

Such method of human traffic as «destruction or damage of property», which is mentioned in draft No. 4179 by G. Buyko and V. Stretovich, may not be regarded as a tool for involving, transportation, delivery, hiding or getting of a person. Most probably, «the threat of destruction or damage of property» should be considered.

«Destruction or damage of property» is not mentioned in draft No. 4280, but this draft contains another method – «breach of confidence». I believe that it is not correct to consider the transportation or involving with the use of breach of confidence as human traffic in all cases, even if these actions are committed with the purpose of exploitation. So, it is obvious that the laws should concern not «involving, transportation, delivery, etc», but «sale or other paid delivery of people».

The authors of all law drafts call exploitation the final purpose of human traffic. The draft of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine proposes to regard as exploitation the involving into criminal activities, debtor’s slavery, use in armed conflicts. Naturally, these actions can be the final purpose of human traffic, but they hardly correspond to the concept of exploitation. Maybe, it would be more expedient to state that the final purpose of human traffic is the illegal use of people, that is the use of their physiological (body or internals), social (ability of a child to be adopted) or mental (skills and experience) qualities? In this way we will bound the sphere of the final purposes of human traffic with the actions that restrict the rights and freedoms of citizens stipulated by the Constitution and other legal acts. Besides, one must remember that the sale of people with the purpose of legal use is not a crime, for example, the transfer agreements concerning sportsmen or traditional bride-money.

We believe that this is inexpedient to quote, verbally or almost verbally, in the Criminal Code of Ukraine the definition of human traffic adduced in the Convention. The complicacy of the construction of the norm, peculiar to the international definition of human traffic, is contrary to such important and traditional for the Ukrainian criminal right principles as the principles of exactness and laconicism, which lie in the basis of formulation of the texts of criminal juridical norms. Instead of the too cumbersome operating article, the authors of the draft propose to introduce another article, not less cumbersome, but new and unknown to the judicial and law-enforcing organs. Besides, it does not seem wise to regard involving, transportation or hiding of a person as human traffic, independently of the methods and purpose of these actions. These actions may be considered only as a preparation to human traffic or the participation in human traffic, whereas sale or other paid delivery of people should be acknowledged to be human traffic.

So, on the basis of all above-said we want to suggest the following text, which takes into account the remarks stated in this material.

Article… Human traffic

1. Purchase and sale or other paid delivery (getting) of a person with the purpose of illegal use, -

are punished with the restriction of liberty for the term up to two years or by deprivation of liberty for the same term.

2. The actions envisaged by part 1, committed by means of deception, breach of confidence or threatening, or by the person, on whom the victim depended materially or otherwise, -

are punished with the deprivation of liberty for the term from three to five years.

3. The actions envisaged by parts 1 and 2, committed by means of using the helpless state of person, application of physical violence or deprivation of liberty, or committed against several persons, or repeatedly, or against a minor, -

are punished with the deprivation of liberty for the term from six to nine years with confiscation of property or without it.

4. Human traffic that resulted in factual slavery of the person, or caused the grave consequences, or was committed by an organized group, or was committed with the purpose of seizure from the victim of organs or tissues for transplantation, or coercive getting of donor blood, -

are punished with the deprivation of liberty for the term from eight to fifteen years with confiscation of property.

The suggested text of the article gives the opportunity to differentiate the responsibility for human traffic committed in different ways. The methods of the commitment of this crime correspond to four variants of the state of freedom of person, and this combination (method and state of freedom) characterizes the level of gravity of the crime.

The first variant is characterized by the free will of the sold person. In that case the criminal uses the vulnerable state of the victim and sells the latter for the illegal use by his/her consent. The responsibility for human traffic by the person’s consent is envisaged by part 1 of the presented article. Taking into account the low level of social danger of this variant of human traffic, it should be regarded as a not-grave crime.

Another variant envisages the falsification of the will of a person by deception or breach of confidence. Since the deception or breach of confidence, stipulated by part 2 of the article, are more socially dangerous methods of human traffic, it is proposed to regard them as a crime of medium gravity.

The third variant implies the ignoring of the will of the victim. In contrast to the previous variants, where the illegal agreement was made with the consent of three sides (seller, purchaser and the victim of the crime), there the agreement is concluded only by only two sides (seller and purchaser). Moreover, the victim and his/her interests are roughly ignored, the helpless state of the victim is used, or he/she is kidnapped or deprived of liberty. The human traffic under such circumstances should be regarded as a grave crime and envisaged by part 3 of the article.

The fourth variant is connected with the exertion of criminal influence on the will of the victim by threatening, blackmail, using of the material or other dependence, accompanied or not accompanied with physical violence. Depending on the character of the criminal influence on the will of the victim, different methods of this kind are described in parts 2 and 3 of the suggested article.

Part 4 of the article envisages the most dangerous types of human traffic, which are, by their character, especially grave crimes.

We believe that copying in the national legislation of the «spirit», but not the «letter» of the international Convention would not deteriorate the quality of implementation, on the contrary, that would raise it to more professional level.

Does Ukraine fulfill the decisions of the European Court of human rights?

On 11 February the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted the Intermediate Resolution on the fulfillment of the court decision on the case «Sovtransavto Holding» vs. Ukraine. The resolution is called «intermediate» because Ukraine has not fulfilled the decision completely yet.

According to rule No. 7 of the Regulations adopted by the Committee of Ministers for the application of part 2 of Article 46 of the European Convention on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms (obligatory fulfillment of Court decisions and the Committee of Ministers’ authorities in the surveillance over the fulfillment), the intermediate resolution is adopted mainly for rendering the information about the progress in the fulfillment of the decision and, in case of need, for making remarks and recommendations concerning the fulfillment of the decision.

Some time ago, when the Parliament did not adopt the law about the fulfillment of decisions of the European Court of human rights, Minister of Justice Oleksandr Lavrynovich stated that, in spite of the absence of such law, decisions were fulfilled all the same. He was right in a certain sense. Yet, the considered resolution shows the erroneousness of such statements.

There are two obligatory ways of the fulfillment of decisions of the European Court of human rights: the fulfillment in relation to the victim (individual measures, such as compensations, reconsideration of cases in accordance with new circumstances, restoration of rights, etc.), and the general measures (fulfillment of the decisions in wider sense, such as introduction of changes into legislation or administrative practices with the purpose to prevent similar violations in future).

When the minister said about the fulfillment of the court decision, he meant only the first part: the individual one. As to the second part, the system of taking the necessary general measures for the prevention of future similar violations is absent in Ukraine, which is vividly illustrated by the resolution of the Committee of Ministers.

Against torture and ill-treatment

Arbitrary actions of militiamen discredit the entire executive power

«Arbitrary actions of militiamen discredit the entire executive power», reads the appeal of MP Sergiy Oleksiyuk (the fraction «Our Ukraine») sent to General Prosecutor of Ukraine Gennadiy Vasylyev.

The creation of this appeal was caused by the complaint of Vasyl Vishniakov, a dweller of the village of Pyatigirsk, the Balakleya district of the Kharkov oblast, and his son Vladimir. The complaint was handed to the public reception office of the MP situated in Kharkov.

The state of Vladimir’s health was so grave that he could not speak, but his father informed that on 9 March about 8 p.m. his son had been brutally beaten by three officers of the Balakleya town militia precinct. After this Vladimir was handcuffed and transported to the Balakleya district precinct, where the administrative protocol against him was falsified. On the next day judge of the town court Nosov considered this protocol and issued the decision about the administrative arrest of the detained for three days.

«I was not admitted to the court sitting, and the judge even did not ask why the young man had damaged face, torn ear and hardly could stay», told Vasyl Vishniakov. He also told that the officers of the district militia precinct, where he came together with his wife, did not allow him to write the complaint against the arbitrary actions of militiamen, who, according to his words, had been drunk.

«Unfortunately, this is not the first case, when inhabitants of the Kharkov oblast turn to me with the complaints against the arbitrary actions of militia officers», tells Sergey Oleksiyuk, a member of the Parliamentary committee in charge of the legislative provision of law-enforcement activities, «but I was shocked with the last case, because two of the militiamen, who beat Vladimir, were his coevals and, what is more, former classmates. Yet, this did not stop them.»

S. Oleksiyuk also told that he would demand from the General Prosecutor to give the legal assessment of the actions of the militiamen, who exceeded their commission, since these actions discredited not only the law-enforcing organs, but the Ukrainian executive power as a whole.

By the way, when Vladimir was released after the three-day arrest and turned to the Balakleya district hospital for the medical aid, the doctors refused to hospitalize him, although he had the cerebral brain concussion. Only owing to the interference of the assistant-consultant of MP Vasyl Tretetskiy Vladimir was taken to the Kharkov oblast clinical hospital, where he still stays.

Sergey Oleksiyuk also sent the corresponding appeal concerning this fact to the Minister of health protection of Ukraine.

Viktor Kozoriz, Kharkov
17 March 2004
E-mail: [email protected]


New draft of the law on monitoring was presented to mass media

In the opinion of the authors of the draft (the Internet Association of Ukraine, Ukrainian Internet-community, Kharkov group for human rights protection and the Ukrainian Union of entrepreneurs and businessmen) the draft is an alternative to the version created by the USS.

On 26 March MP Valeriy Lebedivskiy, a member of the Supreme Rada Committee in charge of questions of the European integration, presented to the Parliament the law draft «On interception and monitoring of telecommunications», which stipulated the legal basis of the interception and monitoring in the course of the detective, intelligence and counterespionage activities, and the pre-trial investigation.

This question was discussed on the press-conference of the international public organization «International League of the protection of rights of the Ukrainian citizens» and all-Ukrainian public organization «Ukrainian Internet-community».

The law draft envisages the creation of the system of automatized remote interception of telecommunications – a special protected telecommunication network supplemented with technical means for interception, mounted directly in the networks of communication operators, absolving terminals, installed in court organs, which would issue the permissions for interception, operative terminals, installed in the detective departments of law-enforcing organs, and protocol terminals, installed in the ombudsperson’s office.

At that the USS gets the authorities of the special organ in charge of interception and must organize the creation of the mentioned system of automatized interception, has the right to obtain technical information from the communication operators, to realize the control over the works connected with the development and introduction of the system of remote interception, to determine the order of the development, application and modernization of such systems.

The term of interception may not be more than 6 months (for reference: in France the maximal term is 4 months, in Germany – 3 months, in Finland and Sweden – 1 month). The interception is applied only to the physical persons, who are suspected of the commitment or organization of grave and especially grave crimes. According to the draft, the person, to whom the interception was applied, must be informed about the terms of this action and the contents of the collected information.

Besides, the ombudsperson must publish the annual statistics about the interception of telecommunications in the newspaper «Golos Ukrainy» and other mass media.

This law draft was submitted as an alternative to the law draft «On monitoring of telecommunications» (presented by the Cabinet of Ministers), which is now considered by the Parliament and was assessed negatively by the Committee in charge of questions of the European integration.

Unfortunately, the law draft created by the Cabinet of Ministers does not agree with the normative acts of the European Union and the Council of Europe in the sphere of human rights protection.

«The approval of this draft will result in impossibility of further integration of Ukraine into the European processes. That is why we propose to replace it by the draft created with the participation of public. Our draft, for its turn, guarantees the opportunity to the special services to fulfill their functions efficiently», reckons V. Lebedivskiy. «Our draft takes into account the experience of the European countries and promotes the European integration».

According to the conclusions of the Parliamentary Committee of European integration, the draft developed by the USS does not contain the limitations of the term of monitoring and does not stipulate the guarantees against the arbitrary actions of law-enforcers, since the activities of the corresponding department of the USS are controlled by another department of the same agency. The control and public reporting of law-enforcing organs about the quantity of interceptions and their effectiveness are also not envisaged.

Igor Diadiura, the head of the UIC, stated that «the functions are distributed in the draft «On interception and monitoring of telecommunications» in order to prevent the concentration of these functions in one hands». The inadmissible situation is also liquidated, when an organ, which has the competence to realize the interception, controls itself, as it is stated in the governmental law draft «On monitoring of telecommunications».

The law draft «On interception and monitoring of telecommunications» of the UIC suggests another state organ for the coordination of technical side of interception (cooperation with operators, licensing, etc.). The authors of the draft believe that these authorities must be rendered to the State Committee of communications and informatization, but not to the USS.


Freedom of expression

Claim against the newspaper «Vecherniy Lugansk» costs 5350 hryvnas

S. Snagovskiy, a deputy of the Lugansk town council, turned to court with the claim on the protection of honor and dignity against the newspaper «Vecherniy Lugansk». The deputy values his moral sufferings, caused by the publication of the materials about his conflict with neighbors, at 5350 hryvnas.

«Vecherniy Lugansk» informed in the last issue that during the past week the editorial board got the writ «packed with grammatical and stylistic errors, as well as with obvious nonsenses». For instance, the indignant deputy demanded from court to take away the license of the Ministry of the Press from the company «Vecherniy Lugansk»…

The publication, which became the reason of the claim, told how Sergiy Snagovskiy, a deputy of the Lugansk town council, head of a deputies’ fraction and one of the leaders of «The Union of medics and teachers for available education», bought two adjacent flats on the top floor of a house and began the reconstruction of these flats. Yet, he reconstructed not only the flats, but also the landing, where two solid walls with iron doors were built. Thus, the dwellers of the neighboring flat were isolated from stairs and could get home only by elevator, which, by the way, not always functioned.

The entire issue, in which this story had been described, was bought wholesale and did not get to retailers. So, the newspaper printed this article again in the next issue.

The talk with Snagovskiy’ advocate in court is planned to be conducted on the next Monday. So, «…to be continued».

«Miski visti» turned to court

Editor of the newspaper «Miski visti» Irina Chernobay handed the complaint to the Kremenna district court against the actions of the Kremenna district state administration, which refused to give accreditation to a journalist of this edition.

The complaint reads:

«On 6 February 2004 I, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper «Miski visti» (No. 5), directed to the Kremenna district state administration the application about the accreditation in the district administration of Tatyana Golubitskaya, a journalist of our newspaper.

On 20 February 2004 I received response of the district state administration No. 08-94, signed by head of the stuff L. Kolesnichenko, with the refusal to accredit the newspaper.

The reasons of the refusals were not explained in the response.

I regard these actions as illegal and violating my personal and professional rights on the basis of the following arguments.

According to Article 3 of the Law of Ukraine «On the order of elucidation by mass media of the activities of organs of state power and organs of local self-government in Ukraine», accreditation of journalists and technical personnel of mass media in the organs of state power and organs of local self-government is realized by registration on the basis of the official presentation of the mass media to the corresponding organ of state power or organ of local self-government, or by the application of journalists, or technical personnel supplemented with the documents confirming their professional belonging, or after the recommendation of a professional association of journalists.

Thus, accreditation is an informative, but not resolving, procedure, and the refusal to render the accreditation is illegal.

The arbitrary actions of Kremenna district state administration violated my right for information stipulated by part 2 of Article 34 of the Constitution of Ukraine and Article 29 of the Law of Ukraine «On information». Moreover, my professional rights of an editor of a mass medium, stated by Articles 23 and 26 of the Law of Ukraine «On printed mass media», were abused, since the obstacles were created to my work connected with the elucidation of the activities of local power organ».

The editor asks the court to recognize, on the basis of section 31-A of the Civil-Procedural Code of Ukraine, the actions of the Kremenna district state administration, which refused to accredit a journalist of the newspaper «Miski visti», as illegal and violating private and professional rights. Besides, the editor asks the court to oblige the Kremenna district administration to give the accreditation to the journalist of the newspaper «Miski visti».

The interests of the editor will be represented in court by a lawyer of the Lugansk oblast branch of the Voters’ Committee of Ukraine.

A forcible argument

Censorship in Ukraine is prohibited by the Constitution, but not everybody knows about that. At least, I have the reasons to doubt that V. Zhelezny, the head of the department in charge of the press and information, is aware of this norm.

In the end of 2003 the town council of Kremenna approved the creation of new newspaper «Miski visti». It should be incorrect to say that this newspaper became a beloved child of the Kremenna district administration, especially if to take into account the fact that the editorial collective headed by Irina Chernobay has rather independent position and is far from using the principle widespread among district newspapers - not to air the dirty linen in public.

Nevertheless, a journalist of the newspaper attended the sittings of the district administration, and after one of these sittings the material «Outcasts for truth are blessed» was published. That was a kind of drawing from nature: one of the heads of village councils had showed excess of zeal and was removed from the hall. The newspaper did not insist that this removal had been illegal or incorrect, but only objectively described the circumstances.

At the next sitting the journalist … was driven away from the hall. Naturally, this incident caused the publication «Outcasts for truth are blessed-2» in the subsequent issue of the newspaper («MV», No. 8, 8 February).

The newspaper stated the facts and supplemented the text with the short and discreet commentary: «According to Article 10 of the Law of Ukraine «On information», the right for information is guaranteed «with the duty of the organs of state power, organs of local and regional self-government to inform about their activities and decisions». The Law «On printed mass media» contains another interesting clause: «a journalist has the right, after presentation of editorial ID card or other documents confirming his belonging to mass media, to be present in the zone of natural and man-caused catastrophes, accidents, mass disorders, at meetings and demonstrations, as well as on the territories, where the state of emergency is proclaimed». Well, if a journalist has the right to be present in such places without any accreditation, then what can be said about the sittings in a provincial district administration…»

However, the conflicts between journalists and state officials emerge very often, so I believe that it would not be interesting for our readers. Yet, out story had an unexpected continuation. On 26 February Irina Chernobay, a representative of the well-known oblast edition, got letter No. 114 signed by Vadim Zhelezny, the head of the oblast department in charge of the press and information. In what follows I will quote this letter almost completely.

«The department got the control copy of the newspaper «Miski visti» (No. 5 of 5 February 2004), in which, under the title «Bitter truth», the material «Outcasts for truth are blessed-2» had been published. The publication interprets the provisions of the operating informational laws concerning the rights and duties of the subjects of informational relations rather inaccurately and in a biased way, which is inadmissible.

So, we consider necessary to point out that the duty of the organs of state power and organs of self-government to inform the public about their activities, stipulated by Article 10 «Guarantees of the right for information» of the Law of Ukraine «On information», may not be separated from Article 21 «Information of the state organs and organs of local and regional self-government» of the above-mentioned Law, which envisages the ways of presentation of such information to the interested persons: publication in official printed editions, spreading through informational services, etc. The presence of journalists at the sittings that concern the current work of the organs of executive power and organs of self-government is not stipulated by law and is possible only by the consent of these organs.

In this connection we want to inform you that the restriction of the access of journalists to the sittings of the district state administration is rightful from the viewpoint of the informational legislation, as well as the demand about the accreditation of the journalist in the district administration.

Such publications violate the demands of Article 44 «Duties of the participants of informational relations» of the Law of Ukraine «On information» and are especially inadmissible in the edition founded by the organ of self-government…

Taking into consideration the above-stated arguments, we demand to bring the work of the newspaper «Miski visti» to correspondence with the operating informational laws of Ukraine, to take measures for the prevention of the arbitrary interpretation of the operating informational laws of Ukraine and the violation of the norms of journalistic ethics in the published materials».

We will not comment the official’s passage about journalistic ethics: maybe, he sincerely believes that his authority in the journalistic circles is so high that he has the moral right to preach to them.

As to the interpretation of laws by V. Zhelezny, we cannot ignore this trick: Kremenna journalists wrote about elucidation of the activities of the power organ, and Mr. Zhelezny referred… to the norm regulating the access to the information of the power organ, that is to documents. Well, does it mean that a newspaper may not write about anything not connected with the documentation of this organ? Yet, it is interesting for me to learn, for instance, why the state organ created such document, but not another one, what alternatives were discussed, if any? And whether one or another local leader can speak normal language or only swear? Do I have the right to read about that in a newspaper? According to Zhelezny – NO!

One can only guess, on the basis of which law Mr. Zhelezny came to the conclusion that «… the restriction of the access of journalists to the sittings of the district state administration is rightful from the viewpoint of the informational legislation…» Article 26 of the Law of Ukraine «On printed mass media» states the opposite: a journalist has the right «to visit the organs of state power, organs of local and regional self-government…» Not a single law envisages any exceptions from this common right of journalists. Or maybe Zhelezny uses some other, unwritten, laws, according to which a head of power organ is not the person, temporarily hired by people, but a master of private firm, who manages the information about this firm on the basis of the right of private property?

Besides, there exists the Edict of the President of Ukraine «On the preparation of propositions on guaranteeing of the publicity and openness of the activities of the organs of state power», which orders to the officials, in particular to V. Zhelezny, «to develop the cooperation of the organs of state power with mass media and public organizations in the questions of rendering to public of the reliable and thorough information about the activities of the organs of state power…» It is obvious that this text has the sense quite different from the right of officials to admit or not admit a journalist to the open sittings of district administration on the basis of their own wishes. Well, maybe Leonid Kuchma is not an authority for Zhelezny.

I can assume that Mr. Zhelezny has the right to interpret laws as he wants. If he would send this juridical opus to me, the head of public organization, we would read it, laugh and forget. Yet, in the last paragraph of the letter he demands «to bring the work of the newspaper «Miski visti» to correspondence with the operating informational laws of Ukraine». I want to point out that the matter concerns the evaluation of the facts, and, according to the recommendation of Zhelezny, from now on the journalists of «MV» should elucidate the facts not independently, but from the standpoint of the opinion of the oblast state administration. So, the question appears: who gave the right to the official in charge of information to meddle into the editorial policy of the newspaper? Who gave him the right to impose on journalists his, to put it mildly, not indisputable opinion? Such actions resemble censorship, which is, as we remember, prohibited by the Ukrainian Constitution.

Court practices

A farewell to arms

The word «reform» has already become usual, but for some people this word is repulsive. For example, for peasants, whose land is overgrown with weeds and covered with ruins of former kolkhoz buildings.

Since August of the past year this word nauseates the Ukrainian servicemen. There were some rumors that, at once after the celebration of the Independence Day, the President issued the secret edict about the reduction of the army. After 15 January 2004, when the commandments of army units were informed about the contents of the Order of the Minister of Defense about the subsequent stage of «reforming of the Armed Forces of Ukraine», the servicemen began to panic.

According to the Constitution of Ukraine (Article 85 item 22) the strength of the army is determined by the Supreme Rada. I reckon that President’s Edict and the Order of E. Marchuk were absolutely unexpected by MPs, since, as early as in 2001, they had decided that the strength of the Ukrainian army had to be 375 thousand, among them 295000 servicemen and 80000 civil workers. Now there are 265 thousand servicemen and workers in our Armed Forces. The President intends to reduce this number during the current year to 215 thousand (140 thousand servicemen). And one year later this number must decrease to 160 thousand (120 thousand servicemen). So, the army would be reduced more than twice. The rank of ensign is planned to be liquidated at all up to 2006.

The experts of the Razumkov’s center claim that such serious reduction can be conducted only during 5-6 years. The state would need not less than 2.9595 billion hryvnas for the successful realization of such reduction in 2004-2005. The Ministry of Defense asked to give from the state budget-2004 at least 500 million. Yet, the Law of Ukraine «On state budget-2004» allots only 368 million hryvnas for «The state program of reforming of the Armed Forces of Ukraine». At that, almost no money is allotted for social and professional adaptation of servicemen, dismissed in the connection with the new stage of the accelerated reduction of the army. The existing all-Ukrainian and regional programs of adaptation of the dismissed servicemen must be radically reconsidered. For example, in military units situated in the Ternopil oblast about 1000 officers and ensigns had to be discharged during 2004-2005, and now, according to prognoses, this number must be multiplied by five. The last session of the Ternopil oblast council approved the special appeal to the President and Parliament, which contained the proposition to suspend the reduction of the army until the State budget would be able to cover the losses for minimization of the social, legal, property, ecological, man-caused and other catastrophes caused by the so-called «reforming» of the Armed Forces. Yet, it is very doubtful that the Kyiv authorities will listen to the deputies of the oblast, which «incorrectly» votes at elections and whose budget for 70% consists of state subsidies.

Military unit No. A-4079, an air base situated in the town of Chortkiv, the Ternopil oblast, also got under the reform. It must be disbanded until the end of 2004: military equipment and ammunition will be passed to other units, and the servicemen will be dismissed. The land and buildings will be passed, according to the order, to the town council or sold by auction; the proceeds will be used for the development of the Ministry of Defense. There is a faint hope that the airdrome, located near the village of Yagilnitsa of the Chortkiv district, will not be destroyed. By the way, this is the only airdrome in the Ternopil oblast that can accept military and civil jet airplanes. Possibly, some other unit will be created there, for instance, a warehouse or the ground for utilization of military waste products. Yet, 2-3 years ago the airdrome was repaired. The neglecting of it would result in plunderage of the property and a number of ecological problems.

600 officers and ensigns should be discharged from unit À-4079 before the end of 2004. These people got accustomed to the salary of 1000-2000 hryvnas. And now they will be dismissed without any guarantees of the job placement, to say nothing about the re-education. The local education establishments would agree to realize the professional re-education of the former servicemen, but only if there would be the corresponding normative base and budget financing. Alas, these are only dreams yet.

200 families of servicemen in the garrison have no flats. Yes, they will automatically pass to the line for receiving flats at the town council. Yet, this will not solve their housing problems, since the town council does not carry out the building of dwelling houses for a long time. The officers of the pension age are luckier in this situation, but there are only 20% of such servicemen. Others, who are younger, will experience many hardships. The servicemen dismissed because of the army reduction will get 50% of salary for every year of army service (if an officer served for 20 years – he would get 10 salaries, if 8 – then 4). This will support them and their families for some time.

The majority of servicemen are perplexed and do not see the perspectives of civil life. They cannot even think about the protection of their rights or protest actions: these people are used to live according to orders. By the words of lieutenant colonel I. Kozachenko, a deputy of the commander of the unit, it became difficult to keep the proper level of military discipline after the beginning of the reforming of the air base, there are many petty internal conflicts, some servicemen gave themselves up to despair. They extremely need the psychological aid, which may be rendered only by the state. Yet, such aid is not envisaged by the operating laws. The commandment and psychologist of the unit do their best to support the servicemen, but it is insufficient. The rehabilitation should be carried out outside the military unit, former officers must separate themselves from the army service and begin to prepare to the civil life. Military pilots are very vulnerable. They, who always were regarded as elite, are not needed now by the Ukrainian army.

By the way, attitude of the professional servicemen to the projects of forced passage of the Ukrainian army to the contract principle is extremely skeptical. For instance, last year 50 persons had got to the Chortkiv unit by contract, and 40 of them were dismissed. Colonel Yu. Kryshtal, the commander of the unit, explained: «They were dismissed because they did not fulfill the conditions of the contract». There are many contract servicemen in this unit, who are studying by correspondence in higher education establishments and serve only with the purpose to earn money for education. And there are no guarantees that they will not leave the service after the graduation.

Is it possible that our army would be battle-worthy and morally healthy under such conditions? Would not we come across the spontaneous demonstrations of discontent and the increase in crime?

Servicemen do not believe that the so-called «reform» of the army is realized in the interests of its modernization and increase of the military efficiency of Ukraine. They also do not believe that our political elite cares for concrete defenders of motherland.

It seems that only merchants are seriously worried with the consequences of the «reform»: they will lost their clients, since the officers would have no money. The reforming of the military unit will, undoubtedly, undermine the local economics, will provoke the growth of unemployment and, as a result, of criminality. One thousand out of 12 thousand of the able-to-work population of the town serves in this military unit. It is almost impossible to find a job in Chortkiv. So, the discharged servicemen will, most likely, go to the shady business, or, at best, will go abroad like many other Chortkiv dwellers. And some of them would, maybe, try the doubtful «luck» serving by contract in Iraq, Sierra-Leone or Liberia, the countries, where they can lost their lives or, at least, health.

Privileges envisaged by laws must be granted

The situations are not rare, when communal services do not observe the norms of the legal acts, and citizens have to prove their rights, which are already stipulated on the state level.

Some dwellers of our district, whose sons perished during the army service, also got into such situation. These people have the right for privileges in payment for communal services, but, for some reasons, they cannot use these privileges.

We turned for explanations to Olga Timchenko, a deputy head of the Zmiyiv district directorate of labor and social protection of population. Ms. Timchenko told us the following:

-- According to item 6 of Article 12 of the Law of Ukraine «On social and legal protection of servicemen and their families», parents and other members of families of servicemen, who perished, died, disappeared or became invalids during the army service, get the 50% discount for the payments for dwelling (rent) and communal services (water supply, gas, electricity, heating, etc.) in the houses of all forms of property in the framework of the norms envisaged by the operating laws.

The directorates of labor and social protection of population deal only with the privileges given to veterans of was and labor, army veterans, veterans of law-enforcing organs, rehabilitated citizens, who became invalids as a result of repressions or are pensioners, and citizens, who suffered as a result of the Chernobyl catastrophe.

The operating laws do not assign the organ responsible for the privileges stipulated by the Law of Ukraine «On social and legal protection of servicemen and their families», but that does not mean that communal services may abuse the legal rights of this category of citizens. In case of violation of these rights citizens can turn to court with the complaint against the actions of the workers of communal services.

Recorded by Z. Serdiuk

Civic society

After the recalculation pensions of 71.9% of pensioners of the Kharkov oblast increased for less than 10 hryvnas

This information was rendered to the informational agency «Kontekst-media» by the Main directorate of the Pension Fund of Ukraine in the Kharkov oblast.

All in all, after the mass recalculation of pensions in the Kharkov oblast, which was completed in December 2003, the pensions of 723 thousand pensioners out of 795.5 thousand were increased. The pensions of 72.5 thousand citizens will be recalculated after 1 January 2004, since they are connected with special Laws of Ukraine: «On science and scientific-technical activities», «On state service», «On prosecutor’s office», etc.

By the data of the Pension Fund, pensions of 427.7 thousand oblast dwellers were increased on the basis of the Law of Ukraine «On general state pension insurance»; the pensions of 341 thousand pensioners increased for 4.2% in accordance with Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 1783 of 20 November 2003.

On 1 January 2004 10.3% of pensioners of the Kharkov oblast got the pension less than 100 hryvnas, 16.8% -- from 100 to 149.9 hryvnas, 52.7% -- from 150 to 199.9 hryvnas, 11% -- from 200 to 249.9 hryvnas and 9.2% -- from 250 to 4000 hryvnas.

26 February 2004

The Law of Ukraine «On general state pension insurance»

Law of Ukraine «On general state pension insurance» No. 1058-IV of 9 July 2003 was adopted, as they say, for the general public.

This Law regulates the pensions of the Ukrainian citizens, who will retire on pension since 2004. The citizens, who had retired before 1 January 2004, had to get the pensions recalculated in the accordance with this law. The people were waiting for this day, because the officials promised to increase the pensions for 25%.

Here we will pull up before the jump into the happy pension future and will recollect that the «general» Law, the functioning of which should be supported with the insurance contributions of all working citizens and employers to the Pension Fund of Ukraine, is supplemented with several tens of the so-called «special» pension laws.

In other words, the money are gathered into the «all-Ukrainian pension stock» on the basis of salaries, and then this sum is distributed reasoning from the «caste», to which the future pensioner belongs. And such distribution seems to be somewhat unreliable.

It was meant at the approval of the State Budget-2004 that the part of pensions, consisting of the contributions to the Pension Fund on the general grounds, would be paid at the expense of the Fund, and the difference between the «elite» pensions and «common» ones would be recompensed from the State Budget.

Yet, as early as in the beginning of the past year, the leaders of the corresponding agencies began to tell in mass media that the budget money for the compensation of special pensions were not received by the Pension Fund. The last amount of the deficit caused by this situation was about 2 million hryvnas.

On 29 November 2003 the newspaper «Zerkalo nedeli» wrote:

«… According to the data of the Ministry of Labor and Social Politics, the Ministry of Finance did not give about 1.5 million hryvnas for differentiation of the authorities in payments between the Pension Fund and State budget in 2004. Evidently, when the Pension Fund hinted that the additional sums would not be paid if they would not obtain money from the state treasury, Article 84-1 appeared in the second version of the budget: «In the case of insufficiency of the funds allotted from the State Budget for the budget programs, connected with differentiation of the sources of pension payments between the Pension Fund and the State budget, the pensions envisaged by legislation for the corresponding categories of citizens must be paid completely from the Pension Fund». Both Mikhail Papiev, the Minister of Labor, and Boris Zaychuk, the head of the Pension Fund, insisted that this article would not exist in the final version of the budget. However, the people’s deputies approved the resolution on the adoption of the budget in the second reading, which contained the same text, and there were no mentions that this article had been cancelled…»

The Law of Ukraine «On the State Budget of Ukraine for 2004», the operating version of 27 November 2003:

«Article 90. In the case of insufficiency of the funds allotted from the State Budget for the budget programs, connected with differentiation of the sources of pension payments between the Pension Fund and the State budget, the pensions envisaged by legislation for the corresponding categories of citizens must be paid completely from the Pension Fund».

The Cabinet of Ministers, which likes the so-called «manual control» of economic processes, instantly understood the situation and issued Resolution No. 1783 of 20 November 2003 «On the measures for improvement of provision of pensions of citizens».

Since this Resolution had quite other goals, but not the «improvement of provision of pensions of citizens», the supreme organ of the executive power of the country had to resort, firstly, to the falsification of the statistical data about the average salaries in 1958-1991, increasing them for 5-20 hryvnas per year, and, secondly, to «manual» exchange of the average salary for 2002, which is mentioned in Article 43 of Law No. 1058, for the «index of average salary» invented by the authors of Resolution No. 1783 of 20 November 2003.

By the data of the State Statistical Committee of Ukraine, the average salary in 2002 was equal to 376 hryvnas. According to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers this «index» decreased to 306.45 hryvnas (i.e. for 20%).

All pension calculations in the «pre-Yanukovich times» were made on the basis of the untaxed salaries.

This approach is used in Convention No. 102 of the International organization of labor, but our leaders are trying to interpret this Convention «after Yanukovich» too.

Pensions are recalculated, fooled pensioners are crying, queues have appeared in district offices of the Pension Fund, and doctors are on duty in some most progressive offices…

Resolution No. 1783 is supplemented with Order of the State Statistical Committee of Ukraine No. 5 of 13 January 2004 «On the approval of the Instruction on the statistics of salary», Order of the State Statistical Committee of Ukraine, Ministry of Labor and social politics, Ministry of Economics and European integration No. 472/352/398 of 31 December 2003 and Resolution of the Pension Fund No. 22-1 of 31 December 2003 «On the approval of the Temporary procedure of calculation of the indexes of average salary of the workers employed in the spheres of national economics for grating pensions according to the Law of Ukraine «On general state pension insurance»».

Everything happens as usual, in the «manual regime», and «young» pensioners are joining the «old» ones…

What one should done, what references should be ordered? People do not know, and inspectors do not know where is the boundary of the fantasy of power structures. The officials in some district offices demand from the persons, who were not working at the moment of fixing (recalculation) of the pension, the reference that this person is not a businessman. Oh, God! Well, businessmen can have the main job, even in the Supreme Rada, live in some small town (according to the registration) and own the private business for his own moral, and, maybe, material satisfaction, in any place, for instance, in Kharkov!

As to Law No. 1058, I cannot comprehend, on what logic the legislators grounded. Why the average salary for 1991 – 495 Soviet rubles, is considered to be equal to 306.45 hryvnas in 2002? How to understand the fact that a person, who earned 306.45 hryvnas per month in 2002 (that is average salary «after Yanukovich») has the coefficient less than one for this year, since the real average salary in 2002 was 376 hryvnas? At that a person with salary 376 hryvnas in 2002 is regarded as one earning 306.45, and the salary of 462 hryvnas in 2003 also turns into 306.45 at the recalculation in accordance with Article 43, although the contributions to the Pension Fund were paid from the sums equal to 376 and 462 hryvnas. It is comprehensible, when the Soviet salaries are «modernized» to the level of 2002 or 2003, explaining that by inflation. Yet, who can apprehend such logic of legislators!

Even in 2003, when Mr. Yanukovich was not so «progressive» yet, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine issued Resolution No. 1151 of 24 July 2003 «On the procedure of assessment of salaries for calculation of pensions and additions to pensions», according to which «… If the salary (income) is assessed in accordance with part 3 of Articles 65 and 69 of the Law of Ukraine «On provision of pensions» and item 2 of the Provisions of Law of Ukraine No. 854-IV of 22 May 2003 «On introduction of changes into the Law of Ukraine «On provision of pensions»», the average monthly salary (income) is calculated by division of the total sum of salary (income) for these months by the number of calendar months, which are considered…» The situation is meant, when the reference about salary for last two years is presented, as it was stipulated by the norms of the Law «On provision of pensions» changed on 22 May 2003.

The situation has formed, when, on the one hand, Letter of the Pension Fund No. ¹03/9645 of 3 December 2003 on the recalculation of pensions according to the new Law prolonged the right to present the reference about the job in two years after giving the pension, and, on the other hand, people lose great sums through the «modernization» of salaries. For example: a pensioner worked for two years (2002 and 2003) and got the salary twice more than the average one, that is 750 and 920 hryvnas, respectively. The calculation of pension would be realized on the basis of the sum of 306.45 hryvnas. That means that «after Yanukovich» the person got 612 hryvnas for these two years, and 750 and 920 were only a hallucination. The same wonders are waiting for those, who will turn for pensions in 2004.

At the same time Resolution of the Pension Fund No. 22-1 of 31 December 2003 «On the approval of the Temporary procedure of calculation of the indexes of average salary of the workers employed in the spheres of national economics for grating pensions according to Law of Ukraine «On general state pension insurance»» is operating. According to this Resolution, the statistical data about salaries must include only the sums, from which the contributions to the Pension Fund were paid. The talks that the income taxes should be also taken into account are ungrounded and illegal, and even head of the Pension Fund stopped to recollect about this idea.

When Resolution No. 1783 was adopted, the officials explained:

«…Earlier another sum – 376 hryvnas 38 kopecks, had been fixed as the average salary for 2003. Yet, the government takes into account that pension is, in a sense, a compensation of salary. So, the government considered as necessary to consider not the average salary, which was mentioned in documents, but the factual sums, which was get by people. Everybody knows that our citizens pay taxes and dues from their salaries. For instance, the income tax equal to 60 hryvnas 83 kopecks is levied from the salary of 376 hryvnas 38 kopecks, as well as the contributions to the Pension Fund, fund of employment of population and the fund of social insurance against the disability. So, after all takeouts the «pure» average salary equals to 306 hryvnas 45 kopecks».


Point of view

Ministry of Justice discovered illegal normative acts in the Ministry of Interior, State communication committee and State committee of nationalities and migration

The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine conducted the check of the observance of the legislation on state registration of normative-legal acts in the Ministry of Interior, State communication committee (SCC) and State committee of nationalities and migration (SCNM). Minister of Justice Aleksandr Lavrynovich informed that from 15% to 28.5% of the checked acts were not registered, so their use was illegal.

In particular, 12 unregistered acts for 2003-January 2004 were disclosed in the Ministry of Interior. This makes 28.5% of the total number of the acts issued by this agency, which had to be registered. The number of the unregistered acts in the SCC was 6 – 15% of the total number of the issued acts, which contained legal norms. 2 unregistered normative acts for the period from March 2003 to January 2004 were found in the SCNM – 25% of the acts that had to be registered, as well as 2 letters containing legal norms.

The press-service of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine communicated to LIGABusinessInform that the discovered normative acts affected the rights, freedoms and legal interests of citizens or had the inter-departmental character.

A. Lavrynovich also pointed out that, in the course of the check, all agencies took the necessary measures for liquidation of the violations. The disclosed normative acts were either presented for state registration or cancelled. In 2003 the Ministry of Justice checked the state registration in eight central organs of the executive power. During these checks the Ministry discovered 45 unregistered normative-legal acts – 30 acts less than in 2002. Oblast directorates found 348 unregistered normative-legal acts (822 in 2002), district directorates – 1216 (1773 in 2002). Last year all checked organs, where the violations were disclosed, except the Kyiv city state administration, took measures for the complete elimination of the violations. As to the Kyiv city state administration, the Ministry of Justice directed the complaint to the General Prosecutor’s office of Ukraine.

27 February 2004

Deported peoples

Mykola Rudenko, a famous human rights protector, died

On 1 April Mykola Rudenko died, a well-known Ukrainian poet, writer, philosopher, human rights protection activist and a founder of the Ukrainian Helsinki group (UHG).

This seems to be fantastic, but at the moment of M. Rudenko’s death 18 human rights protecting organizations of Ukraine continued his work and created the all-Ukraine union «Ukrainian Helsinki Union of human rights». The newly created organization will keep on the best traditions of the Ukrainian human rights protection movement. Ludmila Alekseeva, the President of the International Helsinki Federation of human rights, the head of the Moscow Helsinki group, was present at the initial sitting of the union.

Mykola Rudenko was born on 19 December 1920 to a miner’s family in the village of Yuryevka, the Lugansk oblast. He early lost his father, who perished in the mine in 1927. The family with three children decided to go in for agriculture. All of them worked hardly, but in a year the land and the cattle were passed to a kolkhoz, which Rudenko’s mother had to join. The famine of 1932-33 was never forgotten by Mykola. At the age of eight because of a trauma the boy stopped to see with his left eye.

He began to compose verses in his childhood, some of them were printed in newspapers for pioneers. M. Rudenko won a competition and got a scholarship from the Ministry of Education; thanks to that he entered the philological faculty of Kyiv University in 1939, but studied there only for two months. Rudenko entered the Communist Party in 1939 after finishing the secondary school, at the mine, where his father had worked. In 1939 was recruited to the army (he concealed that he could not see with one eye). On 4 October 1941, in the first battle near Leningrad, he was seriously wounded with an explosive bullet, which shattered the bones of pelvis and spine, and stayed in a hospital for a year. Doctors did not hope that Rudenko would be able to walk again, but he managed to recover. He was appointed a political instructor (politruk) of a near-front hospital. Rudenko got the Order of Red Star, the Order of Patriotic War of the 2nd grade and six medals. After the demobilization in 1946 he did not return to the university. In 1947 the collection of verses «Z pokhodu» («From the march») was published, and Rudenko was accepted to the Union of Ukrainian Writers (UUW). He worked as an executive secretary in the publishing house «Radianskiy pismennik», was an editor of the magazine «Dnipro», the secretary of the Communist Party committee of the UUW, a member of the Kyiv city committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine.

M. Rudenko is the author of many poetical collections, novels and narratives, in particular, «Veter v litso» (1955, «The wind to the face»), «Posledniaya sablia» (1959, «The last saber»), science fiction books «Chudesny bumerang» (1966, «The magic boomerang»), «Sledami kosmicheskoy katastrofy» (1962, «Following the tracks of a cosmic catastrophe») and poem «Khrest» (1976, «The cross») about the famine of 1933.

For the first time he demonstrated the disobedience in 1949, when, under the pretext of criticizing «cosmopolites», the authorities crushed the Jewish writers. They demanded negative characteristics on such writers from Rudenko, who was the party secretary of the UUW, but he, being a gentle and benevolent person, firmly refused to fulfill the order, which, to tell the truth, did not facilitate the lot of the victims. Yet, in 1950 Rudenko was fired from all ruling positions, thus loosing all the privileges of the Soviet nomenclature. Nevertheless, «For a long time I remained a conscious party member», he said later in an interview, «I believed too much in the great affair of the Communist Party, I was a faithful Stalinist, I wrote many verses dedicated to our leader, I wrote even a long poem about Stalin».

Dethronement of the «personality cult» of Stalin at the 20th Congress of the CPSU made a terrible impression on Rudenko. He understood that the root of the problem has been not in Stalin; if a paranoiac and a sadist could head the state and party for so many years, then the doctrine laid in the basis of the state was deeply wrong. Studying the «Capital» by K. Marx convinced Rudenko that the Marxist doctrine was wrong at its fundamentals: in the understanding of the theory of the surplus value. This value is not created by the super-exploitation of workers, but by the solar energy (photosynthesis), adjusted with the labor of peasants and their cattle. Rudenko described his understanding of this problem in the philosophic works «Ekonomichny monologi» («Economic monologues», appeared in samizdat in 1975), «Energiya progressu» («Energy of progress») and in the novel «Formula Sontsia» («Formula of the Sun»).

In 1974 M. Rudenko was expelled for the Communist party, and in 1975 -- from the UUW. He had to sell his car and country house and found a job of a watchman.

In the early 70s Rudenko began to take the active part in the protection of human rights, including the national ones. He had close relations with Moscow dissidents, was a member of the Soviet branch of Amnesty International. On 18 April 1975 he was arrested for human rights protection activities, but was released during the investigation as a participant of the WW2 (this amnesty was connected with the 30th anniversary of the Great Victory).

In February-March 1976, when Rudenko tried to restore his invalid pension, he was coerced to the psychic examination in psycho-neurological hospital for war invalids. Only thanks to doctors’ decency he was not put to the lunatic asylum.

On 19 November 1976, after the consultations with P. Grigorenko, O. Meshko, O. Berdnik, L. Lukyanenko, I. Kandyba, O. Tykhiy, M. Matusevich, M. Marynovich and N. Strokata, Rudenko conducted a press-conference for foreign journalists at A. Sakharov’s flat in Moscow. At this press-conference he declared about the creation of the Ukrainian Helsinki group (UHG). In the same evening some people threw stones at the windows of Rudenko’s flat in Pushcha-Voditsa near Kyiv. O. Meshko, who spent the night in the flat together with Rudenko’s wife Raisa, was wounded in shoulder. In such way the KGB «saluted» the creation of the UHG. Soon Rudenko published the UHG Declaration and Memorandum No. 1. In the section «Typical violations of human rights» of the Memorandum he made public the data about the famine of 1932-33, the repressions of the 30s, the UPA destruction, the repressions against the figures of the sixties, the list of political concentration camps and Ukrainian political prisoners.

On 23-24 December 1976 M. Rudenko’s flat was searched; during the search 39 USD were stealthily put by the KGB. On 5 February 1977 he was arrested in Kyiv and sent by plane to the Donetsk preliminary prison, where the criminal case was started against him and O. Tykhiy. (The permission for the arrest of Yu. Orlov, M. Rudenko and T. Ventslova, the leaders of Moscow, Ukrainian and Lithuanian Helsinki groups, was given by the Political Bureau of the CPSU after the petition of P. Rudenko, the General Prosecutor of the USSR, and Yu. Andropov, the head of the KGB).

The trial was held on 23 June-1 July not in a courtroom, but in the «Lenin’s room» of the «Smeshtorg» office in the town of Druzhkovka of the Donetsk oblast. There were «procedural grounds» for this: O. Tykhiy had been born and lived in the vicinity. The signboard was removed from the office. The questioned witnesses were sent away from the improvised courtroom. One of the witnesses of the accusation was professor Illya Stebun, who once had been defended by Rudenko from accusations of «cosmopolitanism».

M. Rudenko was condemned by the Donetsk oblast court, according to Article 62 part 1 of the Criminal Code of the UkrSSR, to 7 years of strict regime colony and 5 years of exile. His publicist essays, fiction and oral sayings were qualified as slanderous. For example, about «Energiya progressa» the verdict stated that this was an «inimical work, since it contained insinuations against the Soviet administrative and social structure», the author of which «made the attempts to discredit the revolutionary achievements of the Soviet people and its vanguard – Communists». The verdict did not contain any proofs that Rudenko had the intentions to undermine the Soviet regime.

In 1978, by the special order of the UkrSSR Glavlit (state censorship committee), Rudenko’s creations were withdrawn from circulation (libraries and shops) – all in all 17 titles.

M. Rudenko did his term in colonies ÆÕ-386/19 (the settlement of Lesnoy) and ÆÕ-385/3 (the village of Barashevo, Mordovia). At first, since Rudenko was a 2nd group invalid of the WW2, he was not driven to hard physical works. At one of meetings with his wife Rudenko passed some verses at large, and after this, in September 1981, he was transferred to the camp ÂÑ-389/36 situated in the village of Kuchino, the Chusovskoy district of the Perm oblast.

On 5 May 1978 Raisa Rudenko held the demonstration near V. Lenin library in Moscow with the slogan «Release my husband, WW2 invalid M. Rudenko!» On 15 August 1981 Raisa was arrested for the work in the UHG and the protection of M. Rudenko. She was condemned according to Article 62 part 1 of the CC UkrSSR to 5 years of strict regime colony. She stayed in the women camp ÆÕ-385/3, the village of Barashevo, Mordovia.

M. Rudenko was often put to the punishment block for participation in prisoners’ strikes, tearing off the strips with his name and refusal to work. The head of the colony said: «You have lost the right to be called a 2nd group invalid of war». The colony administration qualified Rudenko as a 3rd group invalid and began to send him to hard works.

On 5 March 1984 Rudenko was sent to the place of his exile, the settlement of Mayma of the Gorno-Altaysk autonomic oblast. Three years later, having finished her term, his wife joined him. Rudenkos were released in December 1987, but it appeared that they had no place to return: their apartment in Kyiv had been confiscated after the arrest of Raisa. In the end of 1987 M. Rudenko and his wife left for Germany and then for the USA. He worked at the radio stations «Liberty» and «The Voice of America». In 1988 M. Rudenko was deprived of the Soviet citizenship. He headed the Ukrainian representation of the UHG.

In 1998 the Philadelphia educational-scientific center acknowledged Rudenko to be «Ukrainian of the year» for steadfastness in the protection of national rights and culture of the Ukrainian people. M. Rudenko was a member of the PEN-club. In 1990 he was elected as a Full Member of the Ukrainian Free Academy of Sciences (USA). He got the literary premium of the Ukrainian foundation of culture named after V. Vinnichenko (1990).

In September 1990 M. Rudenko returned to Kyiv. His citizenship was returned, and he was rehabilitated.

In 1991 his right eye also became blind, but six months later he began to see with the left eye, which had not functioned for 63 years.

In 1993 he got the T. Shevchenko literature state prize for his novel «Orlova balka» («The eagle’s ravine»). In 1996 Rudenko was awarded with the Order «For services» of the 3rd grade for great contribution to the development of the Ukrainian literature and for his human rights protection activities.

Rudenko was a member of the Ethics commission of the Ukrainian Republican party, and since 1997 -- a member of the Republican Christian party.

In 1998 the main Rudenko’s books «Naybilshe dyvo – zhyttia. Spogady» («The greatest miracle is life. Memoirs») and «Energiya progressu» were published.

The Kharkov group for human rights protection

Secretariat of the Council of Ukrainian human rights protecting organizations

“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2004, #03