News of the branches
A Present under the Christmas Tree: Pressure Put on the Zaporizhzhya Euromaydan Activists
They say wonder happens on New Year’s Eve, not only the good ones, but the bad ones, too. These “Christmas tree wonders” together with pressure and interrogations were just what the authorities decided to give not only to the Euromaydan Activists of Kyiv, Lviv and Lutsk, but also to those of Zaporizhzhya. Let’s recall the words of the governor of Zaporizhzhya region Peklushenko, who hasn’t been given the microphone twice at the popular assembly a couple of weeks ago: if you don’t allow me to speak, I’ll answer by the means of Law!
Less than a week after this high-flown governor’s response the head of Zaporizhzhya “Svoboda” Vitalii Podlobnokov has been summoned to the police station as a suspect of blocking Zaporizhzhya City Council on December 2. Then social activist Anatoly Shevchenko has been summoned also, suspected of “blocking” the city council, although in reality there was just a picket there, no blockade, everyone who wanted to could get into the city council.
Today, my colleague, a community activist Mikhail Fedorov, and I have been questioned by the police in the same case. With us came a public figure and human rights activist Igor Zubko, who waited for us on the first floor, because they didn’t let him in any further. The investigator B. asked the questions and I told him everything as it was. Then they started asking about various things: how do I earn a living, if I knew how to organize events; of course, I refused to answer specific questions about my personal affairs, because under the current Law that’s my right to do so.
They showed me a video and asked: "What do you mean, you don’t remember these people?”. They threatened my colleague with a conviction and me with the status change in the case (like they said I could easily go from a witness to one of the organizers of the event) It's intimidation, nothing more. After me others picket participants were interrogated.
Yesterday somebody doused the car of a community activist and one of the Zaporizhzhya Euromaydan activists Igor Artyushenko with acid. Who did this, we do not know. Igor has been held for questioning regarding the case for two and a half hours and then what? Do you believe that they will find the real criminals? I don’t! It will be just like when Berkut beat up the students, the customer is silent, the blame is thrown on the performers, but are they really the ones to blame?
Recently I have been invited to several TV shows:“In fact” ,”TR”, “Zaporozhye”. We talked about the conditions under which people will go away from Maydan, how to find a way out of this situation and why the revolutionary moods in Ukraine are so prolonged. It would all be fine, except that there were only three independent experts in the studio, all the others authority-oriented, and I was the only one from Euromaydan. A strange situation, right ?Where does such a balance come from, where is the democracy of which chirp every day and the mayor and the governor and all the Party of Regions , led by the Guarantor ? Despite this, the loyal members could not fill me up with their speeches , as expected, because I think in the terms of reality, I say everything as it is , and they talk about the myth of America's sponsorship of the Maydan, Customs Union and so on. It is ridiculous . I expected to hear new myths, but perhaps they have not yet been invented.
These are the Christmas tree gifts the authorities are giving us. Started pressure on the organizers Euromaydan is not the end of it. Nevertheless, I know that we are together, you and I, the real Ukrainians , patriots who are not cattle and slaves. Those who stand on Maydan do so not for 200 USD, not for bread , but for your future! So we have to live through this together, the victory will be ours! I hope that the New Year will bring us the greatest miracle, victory! Let’s hold on and fight! May the force be with us!
Kateryna Korotchenko, board member, head of Zaporizhzhya regional office EYU
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