war crimes in Ukraine

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“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2004, #09


The Chernigiv oblast. “Labazov’s Case”

On 11 August the appeal complaint was considered regarding the legality of choosing preventive punishment for Viktor Labazov (see details of this case in the issue of “Prava ludyny” for July). By the decision of Priluki town and district court, Mr.Labazov was kept in Chernigiv preliminary prison. The resonance of this case was explained by the presence of 9 opposition people’s deputies of Ukraine in the courtroom, as well as representatives of central and local mass media, regional leaders of opposition political parties and human rights organizations. The advocates pointed out in their speeches the violations of the norms of domestic legislation, Articles 6, 10¹ and item 3² of the Protocol to the European Convention. Owing to independent position of the court, the decision on Labazov’s immediate release from custody was interpreted as restoration of violated law. After the decision was pronounced, column of picketers moved to the preliminary prison, where the meeting was organized. MPs of Ukraine Ivan Spodarenko, Boris Tarasyuk, Lilia Grigorovich and others spoke at the meeting. MP Yuri Karmazin told about the problem of human rights in Ukraine emphasizing on the violations not only of domestic norms, but also of international standards, in the course of current election process. Released Labazov was greeted with cheers and flowers. Yet, criminal case against V. Manko, V. Labazov and M. Kireyev is not closed. Today the investigation is finished and accused are permitted to familiarize with the case materials. The Chernigiv Public Committee of Human Rights Protection rendered an advocate to the one of accused, who would represent his interests at the trial.

In response to the criminal prosecution, Viktor Labazov addressed to Aaron Rouds and Vladimir Weissman, representatives of International Helsiniki Foundation for Human Rights, regarding the violation of domestic legislative norms and norms of European Convention in the course of election process of Ukraine.

On 13 August a column of demonstrators went along Chernigiv streets protesting against violation of electoral law by law-enforcing organs and state officials. This action was organized by the coalition “Sila narodu” (“People’s Power”); socialists also took part in it. The participants of the march approved two appeals on inadmissibility of violation of laws and human rights by power and law-enforcing organs – to Chernigiv Regional State Administration and militia. MPs Vladyslav Atroshenko and Ivan Drach took active part in this action. Viktor Labazov could not be present there, since at that time he was summoned to prosecutor’s office for interrogation.

In general, “Labazov’s case” made the political forces to speak openly about the state of the observance of human rights in Ukraine during election 2004 and attracted attention of Ukrainian and international community to possible violations during election and persecution of opposition representatives. Like the events in Mukachevo, the political conflict in Priluki evidence that the power applies force methods for the achievement of its goals.

Appeal of Sevastopol human rights protecting group.

During the presentation of the Sevastopol town public headquarters of candidate to President’s post V. Yanukovich the reports were read out “on the activities of coordinators of districts, parties, religious confessions, on relations with mass media, etc.”

The fact that the public headquarters of V. Yanukovich listen to the reports of the pre-concerted actions of “coordinators” from “religious confessions” evidences on violation of the principles of legality of election process.

In accordance with part 8 of Article 5 of the Law of Ukraine “On freedom of consciousness and religious organizations”, religious organizations have no right to take part in the activities of political parties and carry out agitation. Any Ukrainian Churches, any religious organization may not participate in election process and the political life of the country as a whole. Involvement of the Church in the election process is inadmissible, because it contradicts the constitutional principle of separation of the Church and religious organization from the state (part 3 of Article 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine). The Church is not a political organization and it may not take part in the election campaign. Involvement of religious organizations in the election races, use of their dependent state is not only illegal, but also immoral.

The election process should be realized on the basis of principles of legality and prohibition of illegal meddling in this process, unbiased attitude of organizations and their leaders to candidates to the post of the President of Ukraine (part 2, items 1 and 7 of Article 11 of the Law of Ukraine “On election of the President of Ukraine”).

We are turning with the open appeal on the observance of principles of superiority of right by the participants of election process and urge to the conduction of honest election.

Sevastopol human rights protecting group

Crimean Autonomous Republic. Telephones of adherents of Viktor Yushchenko are wiretapped in the Crimea

Valeriy Probiy-Golova, the empowered person of candidate to presidency Viktor Yushchenko in territorial electoral circuit No. 1 and the head of his Crimean headquarters, turned to prosecutor of the Crimea Volodymir Galtsev with the demand to institute a criminal case after the fact of wiretapping of his home telephones by militia.

“I learned from competent and trustworthy sources that my home telephones were illegally wiretapped, which brutally violated my constitutional rights. Article 32 of the Basic Law prohibits the collection, storage and use of confidential information about a person without his/her consent”, stated V. Probiy-Golova.

In his appeal to the prosecutor of the Crimea Mr. Probiy-Golova pointed out that there had been no legal grounds for meddling into his private life. “It is obvious that the people, who are wiretapping my phones, commit the crime envisaged by Article 97 of the Criminal-Procedural Code of Ukraine”, reckons the empowered person of the candidate to President’s post. “More and more frequent the facts evidence that militia, in contrary to laws and interests of the society, practice the political persecution instead of protection of public order”, remarked Valeriy Probiy-Golova. He also reminded that prosecutor’s office still had not started the criminal case after the fact of illegal supervision over Viktor Yushchenko in the Crimea. “Unfortunately, there are place-hunters and corruptioners in law-enforcing organs, who are ready to execute the criminal orders of power. Yet, I also know that there are many honest professionals among law-enforcers, who would not act against the interests of citizens and Ukrainian people as a whole. These people would, in the near future, form the image of the renewed militia and other force structures”, believes the head of Viktor Yushchenko’s headquarters. According to his words, the regime of Kuchma-Yanukovich turned Ukraine into a police state, where the number of militiamen is larger than the number of soldiers, and the level of crime is very high. “It is not surprising, since, it seems, the acting power orders to law-enforcers not to protect citizens from criminals, but to protect the regime from citizens by any means”, said Valeriy Probiy-Golova.

“Soon, at once after the victory at election of the people’s candidate to President’s post, militia will focus its efforts only on the fulfillment of their direct duties concerning the protection of public order, life, property and rights of citizens”, stated the head of Yushchenko’s headquarters.

Information sent by Roman Romanov

Some peculiarities of the election campaign in Kharkov

The Kharkov power, which has followed the tolerant and rather sensible policy during last 10 years, behaves, in the course of current election campaign, not only brutally, but also, in our opinion, demonstratively violates Ukrainian legislation under the pretext of petty, insignificant problems.

On 9 September, during the conduction by the Ukrainian People’s party of a mass action (charity concert in support of candidate to presidency V. Yushchenko) in the village of Voloska Balakliya (the Shevchenkovo district of the Kharkov oblast), a group of 10-12 persons of criminal appearance rushed into the village culture center. These persons committed hooligan actions against the spectators, artists and technical personnel, thus brutally violating the public order.

In particular, the hooligans threw raw eggs at the artists and spectators and damaged the audio equipment. The people, among whom there were many children and elderly persons, began to leave the room in panic, some of them fell on the floor. Meanwhile the hooligans left the building unimpeded, got in two cars and disappeared from the place of crime. When the cars drove 30-50 meters from the building, four shots were made from the car “Daewoo” towards the minibuses, by which the concert brigade had come. The second car of the criminals, “Gazel”, had no registration number.

MP of Ukraine Sergiy Oleksiyuk sent a deputy’s request to V. Sinchuk, the prosecutor of the Kharkov oblast, and to S. Sitnik, the head of the USS directorate in the Kharkov oblast, in which request the MP described the events that had occurred on 9 September. The request was titled “On the commitment of crime and passivity of the officers of the Chuguev town directorate and the Shevchenkovo district directorate of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine”.

The request also read: “In spite of the fact that on 9 September 2004 my assistant-consultant V. Kozoriz had informed in writing the head of the Shevchenkovo district militia directorate about the conduction of the mass action in the village of Voloska Balakliya (incoming No. 18/2 of 9 September 2004), the latter did not take the proper measures for the protection of public order in this settlement. Moreover, V. Morozko, a deputy head of the Shevchenkovo district militia directorate, and district militia officer S. Litovko, who were present at the beginning of the concert, left the building five minutes before the hooligan pogrom and returned only after the criminals went away.

V. Morozko and S. Litovko did not react to the demand of the victims to take measures for immediate detention of the participants of the attack.

I have the testimony that, several minutes before the attack on the culture center, S. Litovko proposed his acquaintance to leave the building with her child. I also have the information that the hooligan pogrom in the village of Voloska Balakliya, committed with especial insolence, was committed by a group of “turnskins” – militia officers with the aim to intimidate the people, who endorsed candidate V. Yushchenko. These actions violate the rights and freedoms of citizens guaranteed by the Ukrainian Constitution and are envisaged by Articles 293 and 296 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Yet, the report, registered on 9 September 2004 by an officer-on-duty of the Shevchenkovo district militia directorate, reads that public order was not broken during the incident in Voloska Balakliya. So, my assistant-consultant V. Kozoriz handed the appeal about the commitment of crime to the Shevchenkovo militia directorate (reg. No. 686).

I also want to turn your attention to the fact that it was not the first provocation with participation of hooligans, directed against the agitation-concert group of the Ukrainian People’s party, which works in the Kharkov oblast. On 7 September 2004, during the concert in the village of Eskhar of the Chuguev district, several strangers attacked the minibus “Mercedes” of the concert group, broke the side window and escaped from the place of crime. On 7 September 2004 the appeal about the commitment of the crime was registered in the Chuguev town militia directorate, but nobody investigated this case.

In this connection and in accordance with Article 15 and item 5 of Article 17 of the Law of Ukraine “On status of MPs of Ukraine” I ask you to institute the criminal case on the fact of commitment of hooligan actions in the villages of Eskhar and Voloska Balakliya and to bring to responsibility the officers of the Chuguev and Shevchenkovo militia directorates, who did not take the appropriate measures for the protection of public order during the conduction of mass actions.

I ask to inform me and the Supreme Rada Committee of legislative provision of law-enforcing activities, a member of which I am, about the progress of consideration of this request”.

On 11 September, about 20:30, at the entrance to Kharkov from the direction of Kyiv, at the road post “Pesochin”, road militia stopped a truck “MAZ”, which transported a run of social-political weekly “Bez tsenzury”. The road militia officers checked driver’s documents, documents for the load, inspected the truck and, although they found nothing and had no claims to the driver, detained the truck. The militiamen did not give any explanations, but said in a private talk that they disliked the photo on the first page of the newspaper, where a billboard with Yanukovich’s portrait was photographed through the grid of a fence. It seemed to militiamen that V. Yanukovich looked “like behind the bars”, so, in their opinion (but not from the viewpoint of law), this was an insult of the state official.

Assistants of MP Volodymir Filenko, workers and lawyers of the regional headquarters of V. Yushchenko arrived to the place of incident – they tried to clear up the reasons of the detention. Yet, several high militia officers, who came to Pesochin from Kharkov, could explain nothing.

Militia and USS officers came to the place, and detained the truck till 3 a.m. of 12 September. The vehicle was sealed and transported to the Zhovtnevy district militia precinct of Kharkov.

The next morning MP Volodymir Filenko turned to the prosecutor and the head of militia directorate of the Kharkov oblast with the request about the arrest of the truck. The same morning road militia officers phoned to the headquarters, made excuses and informed that they would return the truck and the entire run of the newspaper.

The militiamen asked to give one copy of the newspaper “Bez tsenzury” to each of them as souvenirs. Well, this is one of possible methods of distribution of opposition press among law-enforcers.

Provocateurs from Yanukovich’s headquarters were caught “red-handed” in Kharkov. On 18 September, about 20:00, activists of regional headquarters of Viktor Yushchenko disclosed some leaflets of national-fascist contents in Kharkov downtown. These leaflets discredited V. Yushchenko. The dateline with information about the run of the leaflets and address of printing shop was absent. Jointly with militia patrol the activists caught the “executors” of the provocation, who had no documents. These people explained to militiamen that some strangers had asked them to stick the doubtful leaflets and promised to pay 20 hryvnas for that. However, while the militiamen ascertained the circumstances, a young man approached one of representatives of Yushchenko’s headquarters. Thinking that this was a militiaman, he showed certificate No. 505 of V. Yanukovich’s headquarters. He was detained too. The “No. 505” had to show the law-enforcers his documents and confirmed that it was he, who hired the people for sticking the leaflets.

Our informant

Administrative resource mobilizes!

Along with Kharkov militia, Kharkov judges also started to struggle with opposition.

The local court of the Leninskiy district of Kharkov chaired by judge V. Lazarev refused to consider the complaint of A. Kvasha and V. Shcherbina, the empowered persons of candidate to President’s post V. Yushchenko. The claimants demanded to acknowledge as lawless the actions of the newspaper “Offitsialnye Vedomosti” (founded by the Kharkov oblast administration). The newspaper illegally published the agitation materials in favor of only one candidate – V. Yanukovich. The court issued a very strange decision, which, for some reasons, contradicted the Law of Ukraine “On election of the President of Ukraine”. Section XII, Article 91 reads: “An empowered person of a candidate to the post of the President of Ukraine may be a subject of turning with a complaint on behalf of the candidate”. However, our court reckons that an empowered person of a candidate to President’s post has no right to claim against activities of passivity of mass media…

Reasoning from the logic of the representatives of Themis, V. Yushchenko, who is not quite healthy yet after the poisoning, must quit his work, personally visit various regions and complain against numerous violations committed by local mass media in the interests of the pro-power candidate…

Yet, we are not going to give up!

We have handed the proper documents to superior bodies. I believe that we would be able to prove our case, and the offenders would be punished.

Press-service of the Kharkov regional headquarters of V. Yushchenko

Kharkov. Law of Ukraine “On election of the President of Ukraine” in the context of activities of mass media and distribution of agitation materials.

Consideration of practical fulfillment of the Law “On election of the President of Ukraine” reveals numerous violations of legal norms and factual absence of punishment for such violations.

The danger also exists of not-legal punishment of those, who try to fulfill the demands of this Law.

Such pressure is exerted upon mass media by the organs of state power, and in Kharkov and Kharkov oblast – by the organs of local self-government, which is a violation of item 2 part 4 of Article 3 (Equality of rights and possibility of participation in election process are guaranteed: … 2) by prohibition of interference of organs of state power and local self-government in election process, except the cases envisaged by this law) and item 1 part 2 of Article 11 of the Law (Election process is carried out on the basis of: 1) legality and prohibition of illegal interference into this process).

Although part 1 of Article 60 reads that the pre-election agitation with use of mass media of all forms of property should be conducted with observance of the principle of equal conditions and according to the order envisaged by this Law, but even now, before the end of the election campaign, one can state that the principle of equal conditions is violated during this election, as well as a number of norms of the Law.

Besides, the use of printed editions of the organs of state power and organs of local self-government for pre-election agitation in favor of one of the candidates also violates item 2 part 4 of Article 3 and items 6, 7 part 2 of Article 11 of the Law (Election process is carried out on the basis of: … 6) freedom of pre-election agitation, equal opportunities of candidates to President’s post as regarding the access to mass media; 7) unbiased attitude of organs of executive power, organs of local self-government, enterprises, establishments and organizations, their heads, other officials to the candidates to presidency).

So, the editions issued by the organs of local self-government in Kharkov and the Kharkov oblast more than once published the appeals of the Prime Minister to citizens, which were not subjected to part 3 of Article 58, since they were not official messages about the activities of candidates to President’s post connected with the fulfillment by them of their service duty, envisaged by the Constitution of Ukraine and laws of Ukraine, and contained photographs.

At the same time, such practices directly violate part 4 of Article 64, which declares that, during election campaign, state and communal mass media, their officials and creative workers may not agitate for or against the candidates to President’s post, assess their election programs or give preference to them in any form in the materials and features, which were not envisaged by the agreements concluded in accordance with part 9 of Article 61 and part 6 of Article 63 of this Law. In the case of violation of this demand the work of these mass media can be temporarily ceased by court decision after the appeal of the Central election commission or corresponding territorial election commission.

Although the communal mass media of Kharkov and the Kharkov oblast more than once have given preference to V. Yanukovich, the Central election commission does not consider necessary to suspend the activities of these mass media.

Besides, the announcement of the Pension fund about the rise in pensions may be also considered as indirect agitation on the side of the organs of state power. In particular, this announcement reads: “Government of V. Yanukovich (author’s underlining) issued the decision about the raise of pensions to the level of cost of living”.

It should be noted that, although Article 6 of the Law envisages the conduction of free election and creation of the conditions for free forming of people’s will, and prohibits deception as a method of influence on the position of voters (part 2 of Article 6), and part 4 of Article 13 obliges mass media to elucidate the course of election campaign impartially, but during the current election these norms mainly remain only good intentions, and their infringers (either candidates to presidency or mass media) are not, in fact, brought to responsibility for such actions.

Part 2 of Article 6 also prohibits the use of coercion, threats, graft and other actions impeding free forming and free expression of will by voters.

Besides, there are the facts of threatening the businessmen, who place the agitation in favor of Yushchenko in their shops.

One of more glaring examples of the actions of the organs of state power aimed at impediment to free forming of will of voters is the incident that occurred on 11 September at the entrance to Kharkov from the direction of Kyiv, at the road post “Pesochin”. At about 20:30 road militia stopped a truck “MAZ”, which transported a run of social-political weekly “Bez tsenzury”. The factual reason of the detention was the picture in the newspaper: placard of V. Yanukovich photographed through a fence grid. After long discussions and appeals the truck was returned, but that happened only in the morning of the next day.

Under the threat of dismissal, which is applied to the workers of budget sphere (medics and teachers), they are made to distribute agitation materials for V. Yanukovich, to conduct the so-called polls and talks with the aim to incline their interlocutors to vote for the mentioned candidate and to spread the so-called “mandates of a voter”. There were cases, where the agitation materials for Yanukovich were spread by workers of post offices.

One of the aspects of using mass media during the election is connected with the authority of Central election commission to carry out the enlightenment work connected with Presidential election (item 7 part 2 Article 25), but this is not, in fact, conducted. In this connection one may say that the CEC is not interested in enlightenment of citizens about the basic principles and order of the conduction of election, its role in the life of the society and state, procedure of voting, rights and duties of voters and, what is the most important, as it was demonstrated by the course of the election campaign, the mechanisms of control over the observance of laws on election of the President of Ukraine. However, the absence or lack of information about peculiarities of the laws on election of the President of Ukraine is a prerequisite for possible falsifications.

Part 1 of Article 58 states that pre-election agitation may be realized in any form and by any means, which do not contradict the Ukrainian Constitution and laws of Ukraine. Yet, we have the information, according to which Kharkov law-enforcers more than once detained distributors of mass media and agitation materials in favor of candidate to presidency V. Yanukovich under the pretext of checking dateline of the distributed materials. After some time the detained were released.

Although part 8 of Article 59 of the Law reads that the local organs of executive power and organs of local self-government must, not later than 120 days before the day of voting, install stands and bulletin boards for placement of agitation materials by the candidates to President’s post, such boards and stands are practically absent in Kharkov.

As to the pre-election TV debates between the candidates (Article 62 of the Law), it is obvious that too great number of candidates makes the conduction of these debates under the conditions stipulated by the Law (in particular, limitation of the number of participants) uninteresting both for TV organizations and for TV and radio audience.

Production and distribution of printed agitation materials, which contain no data about the enterprise that have printed these materials, about the run and the persons responsible for publication, are practiced very widely (part 7 of Article 59 of the Law reads: “printed agitation materials must contain the data about the enterprise that have printed these materials or the information that the materials were printed with use of the equipment owned by the corresponding candidate to President’s post or the party, as well as their run and information about the persons responsible for publication”, and part 16 of Article 64 prohibits to distribute the materials, which do not contain the above-listed data). This norm is merely declarative and results in the situation, when the persons responsible for publication try to conceal the very fact of printing. There were many cases of distribution of such printed materials in Kharkov and the Kharkov oblast. Some of them contain the appeals on behalf of opponent to kindling of interethnic enmity and propaganda of war, which violate part 3 of Article 64 of the Law. Yet, even in the cases, where the persons, who made and distributed such materials, became known to law-enforcing organs, they were not brought to responsibility. For example, on 18 August 2004 the activists of Kharkov regional headquarters of V. Yushchenko disclosed the leaflets of national-fascist contents, discrediting Yushchenko, and detained, together with militia patrol, the persons, who pasted these leaflets. Naturally, the data about run, publisher and responsible persons were absent. It appeared later that the detained persons were the activists of V. Yanukovich’s headquarters (service certificate No. 505).

Thus, it should be noted that the level of observance of the Law of Ukraine “On election of the President of Ukraine”, in particular, in the part concerning the activities of mass media, production and distribution of agitation materials, is extremely low. In our opinion, this is connected with several moments:

1)  use by the candidate from power of administrative resource (organs of state power and local self-government), involvement of the workers of budget sphere in distribution of his agitation materials;

2)  dependence of mass media on their owners;

3)  existence of large quantity of declarative norms and absence of adequate mechanisms of responsibility for violation of norms of the Law;

4)  direct neglect by power organs (and their officials) of demands of the law, selective application of law to the candidates from opposition.

The KhG Group for monitoring of the election campaign

The Ternopil oblast. We say “power” and mean “administrative resource”

On 8 October 2004 a special session of the Chortkiv district council was not carried out because of the absence of quorum. The session was initiated by a group of deputies and called in accordance with the Law “On local self-government” with the aim to turn the attention to the illegal cases of use of administrative resource during the Presidential election campaign. In particular, the facts were mentioned of meddling of the officials of district state administration into the course of pre-election agitation, as well as the facts of biased attitude to placement of informational materials from different candidates to presidency on the side of editorial board of the district newspaper “Golos narodu”, founded by the district council and the oblast state administration.

In the draft of the decision presented for consideration of the session the members of initiative deputies’ group pointed at participation of the head of the Chortkiv district administration in pre-election agitation, in particular, in favor of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, which violated the Law “On election of the President of Ukraine”. So, the state officials regularly escort the empowered persons of V. Yanukovich during the meetings with labor collectives, give instructions on placement of corresponding agitation stands on fronts of state and communal enterprises, exert pressure on the heads of budget organizations, “proposing” them to carry out the agitation in favor of the pro-power candidate, openly agitate for him on the pages of district newspaper “Golos narodu”, etc. Publications in this edition are absolutely subordinate to the goal of creation of media illusion of nation-wide support of politics of the President and government. At the same time “Golos narodu” is silent about the really mass public actions conducted by Chortkiv inhabitants in the support of opposition candidate to presidency V. Yushchenko. In the mentioned draft of the decision of the district council it was suggested to the organs of executive power, organs of local self-government and mass media to stop the violations of election laws. Yet, as we see, the draft was not approved by the district council.

It is indicative that none of deputies-state officials came to the session of the district council, as well as the heads of budget organizations, state or communal enterprises. The town mayor and village headmen, who are usually invited to plenary sittings of the district council, were not present too. Undoubtedly, breakdown of the session was planned by state officials, and it was proposed to the deputies to avoid the discussion by the council of the “inconvenient” political question.

In similar way, that is by means of manipulation by the actions of deputies, who depended on the power, two sessions of the Ternopil oblast council with the political agenda were deranged in 2002-2003. Evidently, the practice of impudent meddling of presidential administrations into the work of organs of local self-government is quite usual in the Ternopil oblast during several last years. It seems that the power cannot imagine its existence without the use of administration resource in all its forms.

Rivne. Propaganda during religious sermons in Rivne churches influences the electoral preferences of voters.

According to the words of Mykola Grishchenko, the head of the Rivne branch of the Voters’ committee of Ukraine, parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow patriarchy) tell that priests advice them for whom they have to vote and for whom they must not vote. The priests say that, after the victory of one of candidates, the head of the oblast would be appointed, who will take away all churches from the UOC (Moscow patriarchy) and will pass them to UOC (Kyiv patriarchy). The voters assert that such interpretation of the problem by priests changes their attitude to the candidate, whom they supported at the previous election.

Mykola Grishchenko thinks that “the influence of such “clerical factor” on expression of the will of voters is very important, since, according to all sociological polls, the church occupies the first place by the level of trust of population”. Mr. Grishchenko added that he doubted “whether the church would be able to retain such position for a long time, if it has joined in politics, which, as it is widely known, is one of dirtiest occupations of mankind”.

It seems that the priests have forgotten about their real tasks, and those, who instigate them to these actions, have not read law at all, since part 8 of Article 5 of the Law of Ukraine “On freedom of consciousness and religious organizations” reads that religious organizations have no right to take part in the activities of political parties and to carry out agitation. Any Ukrainian Church and any religious organization may not participate in election process and the political life of the country as a whole. Involvement of Church into the election process is inadmissible, because it contradicts the constitutional principle of separation of church and religious organizations from the state (part 3 of Article 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine). Church is not a political organization and it must not be engaged in election campaigns.

Sympathies and antipathies of “administrative resource” in the Lugansk oblast

From the beginning of July heads of the Lugansk oblast position themselves in their public speeches as adherents of Viktor Yanukovich. For instance, on 6 July Viktor Tikhonov, the head of the oblast council, very frankly expressed his opinion in the newspaper “Gazeta v gazete”: “I do not conceal my sympathy for Viktor Yanukovich. He as an experienced man; he embodies the continuity of the course of economic stability, to which our country confidently goes during the recent years. He pays attention to the development of relations with Russia, he also does not forget about the “European house”, where we want to be inhabitants with equal rights. Not the very fact of joining the European Union is important to us, but the achievement of proper living standard in our country! I also like that he originates from working-class. He attained everything by his own efforts, without aid and patronage of relatives. The only criterion of assessment of his work is the high quality of this work. I believe that Viktor Yanukovich can become and will become a real ruler, able to augment the successes and liquidate the existing shortcomings”.

Yet, the more significant fact is that the organs of local power and self-government completely assumed the organization of the election campaign of Viktor Yanukovich in the Lugansk oblast. On 7 July Aleksandr Efremov, the head of the oblast state administration, and Viktor Tikhonov, the head of the oblast council, were present at the conference of the Lugansk oblast public organization “Region”, in which all heads of towns and districts of the oblast took part. The conference was held in labor hours, and about 500 persons were present there. The conference adopted the appeal to voters on the support of Yanukovich and the decision about the organization of work in his support. After this the mass process started of creation of Yanukovich’s headquarters and conduction of agitation actions.

The oblast headquarters of the “only candidate” is headed by Mikhail Golubovich, the head of the main directorate of culture of the oblast state administration. Similar headquarters in some towns and districts are headed by the leaders of the organs of local self-government, for example, the secretary of Severodonetsk town council. Some headquarters are headed by pensioners, but, in fact, they are ruled by corresponding executive committees and the members of “Region”.

As a result, the administrative resource is used widely in course of agitation actions, and especially – of the collection of signatures in support of V. Yanukovich.

So, the newspaper “Luganchane” made public the facts of using the administrative resource in the Lugansk oblast. The newspaper informs that in many labor collectives the meetings were conducted in labor hours, where medics, teachers, state employees and militiamen learned that they unanimously endorsed Yanukovich. On 21 July general Krizhanovski gathered his subordinates in the oblast directorate of the Ministry of Interior and informed them, whose side militia had to take. An agitation brigade consisting of veterans of the Ministry of Interior was urgently created, a car was rendered to them. Enterprises and organizations get the orders on the number of people that should be “provided” for participation in meetings. They are also forced to make stands and placards in favor of the “only candidate”, naturally, at the expense of these establishments… The newspaper also wrote about an absurd case in one of villages of the Kremenskoy district, where the village headman gathered local dwellers and laconically enlightened them on the current needs: “If anybody of you, sons-of-a-bitch, would vote against Yanukovich – I will bury everybody”.

Owing to the use of means of the organs of local power and local self-government, the agitation campaign of Yanukovich is the most powerful one: it has almost complete support of communal mass media and significant advantages in the commercial mass media; the free of charge newspaper “Region-Post” is issued (run – 600 thousand copies), which publishes materials in his favor. Many placards and billboards with agitation for Yanukovich can be seen in every town and settlement of the oblast. The financial sources of these actions are not known. In August leaflets in support of the Prime Minister began to appeal in mailboxes of voters.

Numerous mass actions have been held in favor of Viktor Yanukovich, by the way, identical by the methods of organization. For example, on 26 July the oblast forum of democratic forces took place on the Teatralnaya square of Lugansk. After this similar forums were conducted in all towns and district centers of the oblast. However, there were some local “inventions”. For example, before the beginning of the forum of democratic forces in Kremennoy a peculiar registration of participants was held: the organizers recorded the name of a “collective participant” (enterprise or establishment) and fixed the number of people from this collective, who came to the forum.

On 26 July, at 16:00, a meeting of adherents of Viktor Yanukovich was conducted near the building of state enterprise “Luganskugol”. The participants of this action were transported gratis by buses of a communal transport enterprise. Later similar meetings were held in other towns and district centers of the Lugansk oblast. According to the information made public at the forum by Andrey Cherkasov, the chairman of the Lugansk oblast organization of the NDP, gatherings of labor collectives in support of V. Yanukovich took place at many enterprise of the oblast center. There were no meetings in support of other candidates.

Yet, the administrative resource was used most actively during the collection of signatures in the support of V. Yanukovich. As many as 500 thousand signatures were collected in the Lugansk oblast during two weeks! Severodonetsk enterprise “Azot” can be considered as an example of using the administrative resource for the collection of signatures within the legal bounds. Workers of “Azot” appended their signatures not inside the enterprise, but in immediate proximity to it: at the entrance checkpoints of the plant. Before this the workers were warned that the lists would get to the personnel department. As a result, the process of collection of signatures was rather active – queues formed near the tents. The workers were also warned that it was inadmissible to sign for other candidates. Thus, the collection of signatures for V. Yanukovich was completed in the shortest possible time.

It should be noted that in August the headquarters of Yanukovich in the Lugansk oblast started to use new approaches, such as creation of public reception offices with the system of daily reporting, which permits to learn the problems and, what is most important, to get the benevolence of the paternalistically oriented electoral segment. An interesting new idea is realized since the end of August. This is the project “New interaction”, which is able to attract the attention of electorate with collectivistic propensity.

Thus, we have the reasons to state that the Lugansk oblast power mobilized all possible administrative resource for the support of V. Yanukovich. And we have no reasons to reckon that the team of Aleksandr Efremov “put eggs in different basket” – there is no information about the contacts of representatives of the oblast state administration with “Our Ukraine”.

However, it is noteworthy that, in spite of the “positive” interference of power into the election process in the oblast, we almost did not fix the actions, which obstructed the activities of the teams endorsing other candidates to the post of President of Ukraine. As a result, the oblast headquarters of Viktor Yushchenko, headed by Aleksey Danilov, a former mayor of Lugansk, realized several successful agitation projects, such as the campaign “Truth from hands to hands” (subscription to and distribution of the editions that supported Yushchenko), project “Grad” (the mobile group that carried out the agitation in rural areas) and the campaign for collecting signatures in support of V. Yushchenko. In the opinion of A. Danilov, these actions have raised the level of credence to Yushchenko in several times, and today 19-20% of voters are ready to vote for him (the rating of Yanukovich is 27-28%). Some representatives of regional headquarters acknowledge that Yushchenko’s rating appeared unexpectedly high for the Lugansk region, but the data, which are adduced, are essentially less than the results of calculations made by the head of Yushchenko’s headquarters.

Certainly, the Lugansk oblast is still one of the most “red” in Ukraine, and the number of votes, which will be given for Simonenko, will be significant there, although the agitation campaign of communists is rather passive that time.

On 24 September several attacks against agitators and headquarters of Viktor Yushchenko were committed.

On 24 September, about 1 p.m., several young men tore off one of agitation tents of Viktor Yushchenko and left in a white “Zhiguli”. The agitators, who were on duty, had time to write down the number of the car, which, according to the data of road militia, was registered in the Kherson oblast.

By the information we have, a group of militiamen, together with the agitators, came to the Severodonetsk headquarters of V. Yanukovich. The long-term observers from the OSCE were present there too. At that time some strangers threw stones to the windows of the headquarters. They also escaped in a car of light color, this time – with Donetsk registration number. This happened at 15:20.

Forty minutes later several men, who also came in a light car, poured black paint on one more V. Yushchenko’s agitation tent.

There is no information from militia about these events yet.

The Lugansk oblast department of Voters’ Committee of Ukraine

The Lugansk oblast. Events in Krasny Luch

On 25 September, at 13:20, in Krasny Luch of the Lugansk oblast, unknown persons spilt the solution of brilliant green on an agitation tent of V. Yushchenko’s headquarters.

The material evidence was found on the place of the event – a plastic cup with traces of this medical solution.

An empowered person of V. Yushchenko handed the appeal about this offence to the town militia precinct in accordance with Article 157 of the Criminal Code.

On the same day, about 17:00, a picket of representatives of the party of regions was held near the town headquarters of V. Yushchenko. 35-40 persons (A. Yarovoy and others) unfolded the transparency “We are against terror!” and cried out threats through a megaphone.

Well, the efforts of crisis-managers are successful: they have managed to scrape off a thin cultural layer from the soul of a Ukrainian voter, and now one can see a primitive fascist-schizoid face of a savage, who is very dangerous in politics, just like a monkey with a Tommy-gun.

Vinnitsa. Administrative resource at “Ukrzaliznitsa” – let us fight against the evil together!

In the evening of 25 September I, on the way to Vinnitsa, visited the Pivdenny railway station in Kyiv. Behind EVERY cashier placards from the series “Election-2004” with the face of Viktor Yanukovich hanged.

I came to the administrator-on-duty of the station and asked to give me the book for complaints and propositions. When she asked, for what I needed the book, I answered that, since the station belonged to the state railway enterprise “Ukrzaliznitsa”, the agitation there was prohibited by the Law “On election of the President of Ukraine”, so the law was violated and I wanted to complain against that. At first the young woman-administrator tried to refuse to give me the complaint book saying that they, allegedly, considered only the complaints concerning the work of railway ticket offices. Then I said that I would go to a post office and would send a telegram to General Prosecutor’s office, Central election commission and the Ministry of transport. After this the lady said that she had to consult with somebody, asked to wait for a while, closed the window and spoke on telephone for several minutes. Then she opened the window and said: “We are apologizing to you, these placards were placed by mistake by one of our cashiers, a fan of Yanukovich. I will remove the placards immediately”. And she went to the ticket office and really removed all placards. She said: “I beg you, do not complain, this will never be repeated”. I asked about the situation at the main, Central, station, but she answered that she knew nothing about that, since it was not her zone of responsibility.

So, I went there. Naturally, our beloved Prime Minister was seen behind the backs of cashiers! And there I behaved in other way.

I walked to administrator and demanded the book for complaints and propositions. The administrator invited me inside her office and asked to explain the essence of the matter. I refused to respond and said that they would be able to read about all, when I would finish to write the complaint. She began to phone somewhere, many people gathered, they did not want to give me the book saying: “And if you would spoil our complaint book, would write swearwords there?” I took out my passport and said: “Here is my passport, and if I would be so foolish to write swearwords, then you can turn to militia and they would bring me to responsibility”.

At last I got the book and began to write the complaint. When I wrote about a half, the administrator said: “Please, read aloud, we are curious”, and I began to read. When they understood the matter, the reaction was paradoxical and unexpected: “That’s right! Well done! We are tired of this whoreson and all his gang!” and so on. Finally, the women said: “If there would be some problems with tickets, turn to us, we would solve all questions”. After this I went to a post office and sent a telegram to the Central election commission.

Here are the texts:

1. COMPLAINT to the book for complaints and propositions:

“Today, at 4 p.m., in a ticket hall on the first floor of the Central railway station, the agitation materials for candidate to President’s post Viktor Yanukovich were placed behind the backs of cashiers. The agitation at state enterprises, organizations and establishments is prohibited by Law of Ukraine “On election of the President of Ukraine”. I demand to stop the violation of law immediately and to punish the guilty. Besides, I am going to send a telegram about this violation to the Central election commission.

Name, address.

2. Telegram:




DEAR READERS! Visit the railway station in your town and see, whether there are similar placards. If you would see the agitation, I ask you to write the complaint in the book for complaints and propositions.

On court composition for consideration of the appeals against the activities of district election commissions

The Supreme Rada committee in charge of policy of law considered the request of A. Yarema, a deputy head of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, who brought up the question about the court composition for consideration by local courts of the appeals against decisions, activities or passivity of district election commissions concerning the preparation and conduction of election of the President of Ukraine.

Head of the committee Vasyl Onopenko pointed out that Article 2436 of the operating Criminal-Procedural Code of Ukraine envisaged jurisdiction of the cases on the appeals against decisions, activities or passivity of district election commissions concerning the preparation and conduction of election of the President of Ukraine and court composition for consideration of such cases. According to this article, the appeals against decisions, activities or passivity of district election commissions are considered by the Supreme Court of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, oblast courts, Kyiv and Sevastopol city courts consisting of three judges.

Besides, part 3 of Article 2438 of the Code also determines court composition for consideration of the appeals against decisions, activities or passivity of district election commissions. In particular, the appeals against decisions, activities or passivity of district election commissions (except for the complaints against the mistakes made during forming of the lists of voters) are considered by corresponding courts consisting of three judges.

At the same time, remarked Onopenko, part 2 of Article 104 of the Law of Ukraine “On election of the President of Ukraine” of 18 March 2004 somewhat differently, in comparison to the CPC of Ukraine, determined the jurisdiction of the cases on the appeals against decisions, activities or passivity of district election commissions concerning the preparation and conduction of election of the President of Ukraine. So, according to part 2 of Article 104 of the Law, the appeals against the decisions, activities or passivity of district election commissions are handed to local general courts.

Thus, the question about jurisdiction of the cases on the appeals against decisions, activities or passivity of district election commissions is regulated differently by the Law of Ukraine “On election of the President of Ukraine” and the CPC of Ukraine.

The committee reckons that one should be guided by the norms of the Law of Ukraine “On election of the President of Ukraine”, since these norms came into force later than the corresponding provisions of the CPC (version of 1963). However, although this Law determines jurisdiction, it does not regulate the question about court composition for consideration of such cases. This question is regulated by the above-mentioned provisions of Articles 2436 and 2438 of the operating CPC of Ukraine.

As to the complaints against the mistakes made during forming of the lists of voters, the Committee pointed out, they should be considered according to the procedure stipulated by Chapter 30 of the CPC of Ukraine “Complaints against mistakes in the lists of voters and lists of citizens, who have the right to take part in referendum”. This Chapter is a special one to Chapter 30-Б of the CPC of Ukraine “Complaints against decisions, activities or passivity of Central election commission, territorial and district election commissions at election of the President of Ukraine and appeals on cancellation of registration of candidates to the post of the President of Ukraine”. Article 30 does not stipulate the court composition for consideration of the cases concerning the mistakes in the lists of voters, but, according to part 2 of Article 237 of the Code (this article is general regarding the cases that arise from administrative-legal relations), such cases are considered by one judge.

As a result of the discussion the Commission in charge of policy of law resolved that the appeals against the decisions, activities or passivity of district election commissions and their members should be handed to corresponding local courts (part 2 of Article 104 of the Law of Ukraine “On election of the President of Ukraine”). The appeals against decisions, activities or passivity of district election commissions (except for the complaints against the mistakes made during forming of the lists of voters) should be considered by corresponding courts consisting of three judges (part 1 of Article 2436, part 3 of Article 2438 of the CPC of Ukraine (version of 1963)).

The right to liberty and security

Students are detained without explanations.

On 22-23 September three men turned to the Podilskiy center of human rights, who asked to protect their rights in connection with the cases of violation by militiamen of the prohibition to collect information about a person without his/her consent. This information was communicated by Vladimir Dymar, the head of the Podilskiy center of human rights.

On 23 September 2004 in Vinnitsa two militia officers detained “for getting of information” a second-year student of the Vinnitsa state technical university. The detained was transported to the Vishenskiy district militia precinct of Vinnitsa. A senior lieutenant of militia informed the administration of the university about the need to detain the student, because the latter had to miss two practical studies because of this detention.

The head of the Podilskiy center of human rights arrived to the precinct in 15 minutes after the detention of the student. The senior lieutenant told that his name was Oleksandr Sidoruk and that he was the temporary acting head of the department of district militia officers of the Vishenskiy district militia precinct of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine in the Vinnitsa oblast. By the words of Volodymir Dymar, the behavior of the militiamen regarding the detained student was exaggeratedly benevolent. Yet, the militia officer refused to familiarize Mr. Dymar with the resolution, according to which information about the student was collected. He also did not give oral response to the question about the author and contents of the order, on the basis of which the student had been detained.

In this connection the Podilskiy center of human rights prepared the informational request handed on behalf of the Vinnitsa oblast organization of the all-Ukrainian society “Prosvita”, since the student was a member of this organization. Similar requests were compiled in two other cases too.

Freedom of peaceful assembly

Observance of the right for peaceful assemblies in Ukraine

Recently the institute “Respublika” has prepared the report on the observance in Ukraine of the right for peaceful assemblies in May-August of the current year. The first part of this report can be found on the site of the Internet-edition “ZMINA”. According to the report, the greatest number of violations of this constitutional right of citizens by law-enforcing organs was fixed during the conduction of mass actions of social character.

On 15 May the Kyiv militia applied force for dispersal of a picket of the action “SOS”, which was held near the building of the Supreme Rada of Ukraine. Participants of the action “SOS”, the parents of the illegally (in their opinion) condemned, informed, within the proper terms, the authorities about the action, and the action was not prohibited by court. However, the picket – several scores of elderly men and women – was dispersed. Participants of the picket got various traumas, which were confirmed by medical establishments, but the Pecherskiy district prosecutor’s office of Kyiv refused to institute the criminal case after the fact of beating of these people.

The greatest quantity of court prohibitions, application of force by militia and persecutions of the participants was connected with protest actions of students of Sumy universities, directed against integration of several local higher education establishments and appointment of MP O. Tsarenko to the post of the rector of the united university.

On 25 August several thousands of tradesmen of the Kyiv market “Troeshchina” protested against closure of this market and blocked the movement of transport across the Moskovskiy bridge. Militia did not interfere in the events, even when collisions arose among the participants of the meeting and drivers. However, on the next day several tens of the participants of this action (mainly the citizens of Eastern countries) were brought to administrative responsibility and incarcerated for 15 days.

The protest actions of tradesmen of the Kharkov Central market in May were held without any excesses.

In any case the participants of mass actions did not commit violent deeds either against law-enforcers or against other citizens.

It is strange, but none of the political meetings (including the meetings connected with the election campaign) was dispersed by militia.

 There are no data about quantity of such meetings in the official sources. The most mass meetings were the demonstration organized on 1 May by parties of different political orientation and the gatherings conducted on 4 July in Kyiv (nomination of candidate V. Yushchenko) and in Zaporozhye (nomination of candidate V. Yanukovich). By the estimation of “Respublika”, more than a thousand of such meetings were conducted in different towns of Ukraine, about 200 thousand citizens took part in these actions. In many cases courts of the first instance prohibited such meetings after the appeals of the organs of local self-government. Most often they prohibited the meetings of opposition parties, but sometimes (for instance, in Lviv) – meetings of the pro-power SDPU (u). The greatest number of court prohibitions concerned the meetings on 1 May (Kyiv, Lviv, Mulachevo, etc.), but such prohibitions were valid also after this day.

For example, the Ordzhonikidzevskiy district court of Zaporozhye prohibited the action of oppositional “Our Ukraine” on 15 May; the Suvorovskiy district court of Kherson satisfied the appeal of the Kherson town executive committee about the restriction of the right of the Kherson organization of the Ukrainian People’s party and other organizations for the conduction of a meeting on 17 June; the Gorodnianskiy district court of the Chernigiv oblast prohibited the Chernigiv organization of the Socialist party of Ukraine and the Chernigiv union of entrepreneurs to organize the tent camp in the village of Senkivka on 26-27 June during the international festival “Friendship-2004”.

“Respublika” fixed only two cases, where courts of the first instance did not satisfy the appeals of the organs of local self-government about “the restriction of the right for peaceful assemblies” (usually the term “restriction” used in court decisions means “prohibition”): on 19 May the Lutsk town court refused to satisfy the appeal of the Lutsk town executive committee, and on 9 June the Leninskiy district court of Kirovograd did not satisfy the appeal of the Kirovograd town executive committee. In both cases the local authorities tried to prohibit the actions of “Our Ukraine”.

In the majority of cases political organizations did not execute court decisions, since they believed that these decisions violated Article 39 of the Constitution of Ukraine, which guarantees the right for peaceful assemblies, and militia, for its turn, did not apply force methods against them. At the same time, a number of the participants of oppositional actions experienced persecutions after the end of the actions. So, on 5 May two activists of “Our Ukraine”, Ivan Varchenko and Evhen Zolotariov, were condemned by the Kyivskiy district court of Kharkov to 10 and 15 days of administrative arrest in accordance with Article 185 of the Code on Administrative Offences of Ukraine (for “illegal march” during the action “The last shirt for Yanukovich” conducted by them on 1 May). Later, according to the resolution of V. Pletniov, a judge of the Kyivskiy district court of Kharkov, the term of administrative arrest of Varchenko and Zolotariov was shortened to 3 days. On 22 May Konstantin Sidorenko, who had taken part in protest actions, was detained in Mukachevo. On 25 May the Mukachevo town and district court condemned him after Article 185 of the Administrative Code (“resistance to law-enforcers”) to 5 days of arrest.

The meeting in Simferopol devoted to the 60th anniversary of deportation of Crimean Tatars (by estimate of law-enforcers, about 25 thousand persons took part in it) and series of meetings against the war in Iraq, which were held in May-June (in Kyiv, Sumy, Khmelnitskiy and other towns) and were organized by public and political (communist and socialist parties of Ukraine) organizations may be singled out into a separate category. There were no excesses during these meetings, and the power did not persecute the participants.

By the data of the PR Department of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine, during the period from 1 May to 1 September more than 10 thousand mass actions were held in Ukraine on the days of state holidays; more than 7 million citizens took part in these actions. All these actions took place practically without excesses (except the detention of several soccer fans after the match “Shakhtar” – “Dnipro” and several drunk persons).

During May-September more than 40 sittings of courts of the first instance were carried out, which considered the claims of the organs of local self-government (town executive committees) and local organs of state executive power (oblast state administrations) on restriction of the right of citizens, public and political organizations for peaceful assemblies. Almost in all cases, except two (in Lutsk and Kirovograd), the courts satisfied the claims of the local power organs. In all cases, which were analyzed by the institute “Respublika”, these decisions were groundless. These facts vividly evidence about the dependence of courts of the first instance on the local power organs. In several cases (Mukachevo, Sumy) organizers of the actions handed the complaints to the Appeal courts with the assistance of the institute “Respublika”.

The Appeal courts, as a rule, abrogated (in case of prohibition of meetings) or softened (in cases of administrative arrest of participants of the meetings) the decisions of district and town-district courts, which again confirmed the groundlessness of these decisions. In the majority of cases the courts of the first instance violated a number of procedural norms. For example, the Romny town-district court held its sitting in presence of only one side – a representative of the Sumy oblast state administration and in absence of representatives of students. So, the court listened only to arguments of the power, thus abusing the principles of impartiality and competitiveness. In many cases the courts ignored the presumption of innocence. Court decisions restricted citizens’ rights, that is the citizens were punished not for real violations, but for “probability” of such violations (in opinion of the claimants and courts), in other words, for the violations that were not committed.

Court resolutions on prohibition of peaceful assemblies are based on non-constitutional grounds, in particular, on the Decree of the Supreme Council of the USSR of 28 July 1988 “On the order of organization and conduction of meetings, rallies, street marches and demonstrations in the USSR”, which contradicts Article 39 of the Constitution of Ukraine, and the decisions of local councils on organization and conduction of mass actions on the territory of corresponding communities, which decisions, according to the Constitution, may not determine rights and freedoms of citizens.

Secretariat of the Council of human rights protecting organiza


All-Ukrainian conference “Ethical principles of the third sector”.

On 29-30 September 2004 the conference “Ethical principles of the third sector” will be held in Kyiv. The goal of the conference is to sum up the results of the discussion of the draft of Declaration of ethical principles of the activities of organizations of civil society of Ukraine, which discussion is carried out now in all regions of Ukraine, and to create the efficient mechanism of joining of organizations to the Declaration of ethical principles.

The draft of the Declaration of ethical principles of the activities of organizations of civil society of Ukraine was elaborated by the decision of the international conference “Ethical principles of the activities of organizations of civil society of Ukraine”, which had been held on 39-30 September 2003 in Kyiv (the detailed information about the conference, materials of plenary sittings and working groups can be found on the Internet site of the project UCAN: CDs with the materials of the conference (speeches, presentations, reports of working groups, list of participants) can be ordered by phone (044) 494-45-97 or by e-mail [email protected]. The detailed information on the discussion of the draft of declaration in the regions is placed on the Internet portal



We, organizations of the civil society (OCS) of Ukraine, which joined to the Declaration:

-  understand our role of active participants of the processes of development of safe, balanced and careful society, as well as transformation of the Ukrainian society on the way to democracy, in which the superiority of right and respect to rights and human rights and freedoms predominate;

-  want to make our contribution to the formation of democratic society in Ukraine, in particular by means of realization of the programs of civil education, protection of citizens’ rights and other directions;

-  agree that the base values of the work of the OCS are: independence, autonomy and ability to act for the sake of welfare of people, priority of the needs and problems of the target group and/or local community, equality and respect to an individual, acknowledgment of social-cultural variety.

So, we adopt this Declaration, which we will follow in our activities.


We agree that the principles of open democratic society are basic for our activities and assume the responsibility for the observance of these principles in our work:


Since OCSs work for satisfaction of various interests and needs of society,

1.1.  OCSs do their best for taking into account the interests and needs of society in the process of development and application of state policy;

1.2.  OCSs guarantee the democratic rule of the organizations by means of involvement of members of the organizations, representatives of target audience and community in its activities and the process of taking decisions.


Regarding openness and transparency as basic principles of formation and development of democratic society,

2.1. OCSs are going to adhere to these principles in their work and in relations with other sides, in particular, with members of the organizations, target group, organs of state power and local self-government, donor structures and other OCSs.

Publication of annual and financial reports on the work of OCSs and regular informing of public about their activities are possible methods for observance of the principles of openness and transparency in the activities of the OCSs;

2.2. OCSs reckon that honest competition is a necessary condition of their activities and propose the competitive approach to realization of the OCS programs. Under such conditions they take part in competitions, conduct the open competitions and spread the information about these actions.


Realizing their responsibility for formation and development of safe, balanced and careful society, and probable influence on the processes of transformation,

3.1. OCSs act according to their mission and the declared goals and principles;

3.2. OCSs carry out the activities and render services in the framework of their rights and competence in order to achieve the highest standards of quality and professionalism;

3.3. in their everyday work OCSs focus attention on the principle of superiority of right and contribute to the increase of legal consciousness of citizens;

3.4. OCSs compile honest and transparent budget, stick to its fulfillment and report about the financial activities to all interested sides;

3.5. OCSs use, responsibly and maximally efficiently, the financial, material, human, natural and intellectual resources for realization of their mission and achievement of their goals;

3.6. OCSs follow in their activities the principles of respect to author’s right and ownership of ideas and projects. Propaganda of the responsible use of intellectual resources among partners and prevention of plagiarism are important components of the work of OCSs.


Acknowledging the cooperation and mutual respect to be very important factors in the development of civil society,

4.1. OCSs base their relations with other subjects (OCSs, power organs, donors, clients, community) on the principles of benevolent and equitable partnership, tolerance and respect;

4.2. OCSs fulfill written and oral obligations regarding their partners, clients and society as a whole.


Joining of organizations to the Declaration evidences on the acknowledgement by the organizations, their members and workers of the declared values and principles, which they undertake to adhere by word of mouth and in practice.

Civic society

Commentary of the Kharkov group for human rights protection on the election-2004

As the Ukrainian mass media have already noted, the progress of the Presidential election-2004 is characterized by stiff, even savage confrontation, between candidates nominated by different political camps, as well as by ultimately law moral standards demonstrated by the acting executive power.

We speak, though, not only about the notorious “administrative resource,” undisguised compulsion, pressure and even intimidation exercised towards the population, which could hardly be assessed just as election campaign “for” and “against.” The pressure and intimidation are not new for the Ukrainian voters. The compulsion was a mass phenomenon in the Soviet times. The dissidents were compulsorily fed in mental hospitals; today the Ukrainian population is compulsory “fed” by the election big-boards with V. Yanukovich. It is not difficult to predict that the reaction to the informational compulsion will be similar to that to the nourishing solution compulsorily poured into Andrey Sakharov or Petr Grigorenko’s stomachs. “Love cannot be compelled,” says a Russian proverb, so one can only feel sorry for our authorities.

One of the most important moments of the present election is the obvious ethical confrontation between the authorities and civil society, and that confrontation is of moral and revolutionary nature, rather than of political and opposition one. Again the country’s air is filled with a breath of the “Prague’s Spring” and long-drawn Velvet Revolution. The masses do not want to go the old ways, while the leaders do want to go the old ways, but can’t do it properly.

In this connection we recollect a social and psychological theory on “logic of conscience” by V. Lefevre[AS1] . According to that famous Western professor, the Soviet establishment adhered to the following rule: “The end justifies the means; everything is moral, what serves the victory of Communism.” At those times, a well-known Stalin’s joke, “How many divisions does the Pope have?” looked quite witty.

Yet, despite the hundreds of divisions and iron discipline of the Communist ranks, the leader-joker was removed from the Communist mausoleum. The emotions of life defeated the totalitarian order, the divisions drifted away, like did F. Engels’s ash over the sea. In contrast, the Holy See still exists. And “Greenpeace” nowadays enjoys its respect only because it uses only its ethical power as explosive. V. Yushchenko also uses his ethical power under the present circumstances.

Therefore, the confrontation between V. Yanukovich and V. Yushchenko is a confrontation between the “state machinery” politics and common sense, rather than a confrontation between the authorities and opposition. It is the hypocrisy vs. sincerity; “paradoxicality” of Dzhangirov-Korchinskiy-Pikhovshek vs. intellectual honesty; bureaucratic ethos vs. people’s freedom.

Some time ago classics of political science V. Pareto and G. Mosca[AS2] , relying on the vast historical material, proved the inevitability of degradation of each and every elite. The most striking in their texts is the logical scheme of extinction of political classes. Morally exhausted elites resort to any means of self-preservation: engage the Armed Forces, hire spies, bribe and blackmail. But the process of their inner decay is unavoidable. After a while, speaking metaphorically, all canvases in palaces of the higher-ups turn into the portrait of Dorian Grey…

Something similar is happening today with the Ukrainian post-Communist authorities. Contrary to all official, rhetorical and ideological stratifications on the background of our independence, the image of the acting executive power resembles a false icon, “the old paint” refurbished in dull colors. Looking at the motives and real typology of the authorities’ behavior, we recollect W. Yaruselskiy and N. Chaushesku, rather than L. Walensa and V. Havel. As to the victims, the parallels are fairly close too: our G. Gongadze – their Ya. Palakh and Ye. Popelyushko…

So, it is not surprising that our political elite is losing the tone of healthy life. A series of tactical informational failures of the authorities continues their strategic failures with the “Referendum-2000” and “Constitutional Reform-2004”. We will not guess, whether the “only candidate from power” would fail, and whether today’s Ukraine will turn into even more living picture of Tolkien’s Mordor or Orwell’s Animal Farm.

However, we are recollecting one quite clear-cut statement by V. Medvedchuk in a recent interview: “Yushchenko will not become the President”. Taking into account the generally known further development of the events, we are curious: what was it in fact – a passionate wish, deep insight, or concrete plan?

10 October 2004

 [AS1]я не уверен в правильности написания

 [AS2]я не уверен в правильности написания

Deported peoples

“It is always the time for Calvary”.

On 8 October the two-volume edition of the Kharkov group for human rights protection “Three revolts of Sichkos” was presented in the Kyiv House of teachers.

It is sufficient for a man to take part in one revolt during all his life, especially if he will be condemned for this to 25, or at least 10, years of incarceration. The family of Sichkos participated in three revolts. Stefaniya Petrash (1925-1996) and Petro Sichko (born in 1926) became members of the Youth network of the Organization of Ukrainian nationalists as early as in years of “first Bolsheviks” and the German occupation. In 1944 they went underground. Although their generation did not win this fight on two fronts, they preserved their own honor and honor of their people. Petrash and Sichko were condemned in 1947, Petro – for 25 and Stefaniya – for 10 years. In autumn 1948 they got to Magadan (Kolyma), where, in 1954, they got acquainted – in spite of bars and barbed wire.

In 1956, when they were transferred from incarceration to the exile, they married without benediction of parents and church, but their marriage was registered on heavens. Soon their first son Vasyl was born.

At the beginning of Khrushchev’s “thaw” Petro and Stefaniya were released and celebrated the Easter of 1957 already home. They worked hardly to win some place in their enslaved motherland. Hundreds of thousands of rebels perished in battles and concentration camps. When the children of those, who remained alive, grew up, the red devil demanded the most expensive ransom: their souls. And some of them made a compromise with their consciousness. But not Sichkos. That is why their son Vasyl was expelled from the Kyiv faculty of journalism after two years, another son, Volodymir studied at mathematical faculty only for two years and a half, and daughter Oksana had to enter a medical institute in Latvia. So, it is natural that 21-years-old Vasyl Sichko joined the organized struggle for human rights: in 1977 he became a member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group. His 52-years-old father started his fight for the second time.

This was a period of renascence of Ukrainian national spirit. Yet, the revenge for the freedom-loving impulses was around the corner: the Group was disbanded, and on 5 July 1979, soon after the speech on the grave of Volodymir Ivasiuk, father Petro and son Vasyl got behind the bars. 20-years-old Volodymir followed them: he repudiated the Soviet citizenship and refused to go to the Soviet Army. Mother and wife Stefaniya lived between three camps and home. Only in 1981 she went to appointments and brought parcels for 33 times. Yet, the results of her visits were, more frequent, grievous: at the minute, when she appeared near the fence, her husband and sons were thrown to punishment cells.

This was a desperate 6-year war of the heroic family with the entire Empire of Evil. Then, owing to Stefaniya, who regarded herself as an undeclared member of Ukrainian Helsinki Group, the names of Sichkos became known to the entire democratic world. Sichkos won this war. The Empire of Evil started to stagger.

The third war of Sichkos began at once after their release. These were the years of the so-called perestroika. People always have need for somebody brave and sure of his rightfulness, who will go in the vanguard. The selfless heroes, like Sichkos, felt the spirit and needs of the time, and again they became the first -- and people followed them.

 This struggle did not finish with declaration of independent. It lasts even now. Stefaniya is already dead, 40-years-old Vasyl tragically perished, but the glorious family of Sichkos still exists.

The two-volume book “Three revolts of Sichkos” published by the Kharkov group for human rights protection in the printing house “Folio” in the series of memorial editions includes the tales of participants of the resistance movement, documents, letters and photos. It must be admitted that I rarely saw so artistically and spiritually perfect works.

Story of Sichkos’ family is a striking page of history of our people. They were the best representatives of this people, on which the all Ukraine stands. As many as possible young people should read this book and ask themselves: and how I shall live? And they may not say: “It was such time then” or “Now the times are different”. Well, every generation undergoes its own ordeals. Vasyl Stus said once: “It is always the time for Calvary”.

Vasyl Ovsienko,
Compiler of the edition,
Laureate of the premium named after Vasyl Stus

“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2004, #09