Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A bad day for everyone

Today's events outside the CabMin's offices when Borys Tarasyuk was physically prevented from going into a cabinet meeting by PoR deputies, overshadowed what were, perhaps, more disturbing events.

It was announced that the former chief prosecutor of the Donetsk oblast, Viktor Pavlovich Pshonka, was today appointed deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine. He was Gennady Vasilyev's deputy when Vasilyev was Prosecutor General or Ukraine during the first premiership of V. Yanukovych.

Pshonka was the man, according to press reports, who on 28th November 2004 ordered Ministry of the Interior troops to advance on the Maidan.

Pshonka is also linked, according to some reports, to the murder of a Slovyansk journalist, Igor Aleksandrov, who was clubbed to death with baseball bats in 2001. Alekshandrov was preparing a TV program at that time that was to include a photograph of Pshonka's son Artem in the company of an organized crime gang. Video tapes of the program, together with photos of Pshonka himself in similar company, dissappeared after Aleksandrov's apartment was searched.

Psonka oversaw the highly dubious investigation of Aleksandrov's murder in which a vagrant who was allegedly being set up to 'take the rap' for the murder, himself died later in suspicious circumstances . There are lots more other unanswered questions raised in the links above.

Pshonka is a close friend of Yanukovych. His 30 year old son Artem is a now a PoR deputy, and a senior aide in the Donetsk prosecutor's office.

And in Simferopol, Crimean journalist, Norik Shyrin, a newspaper editor and leader of Crimean Tatar youth movement Birlik [Unity], was found stabbed to death today. He was also a member of the Crimean Rada youth council. Several days ago he had returned from Kyiv with official permission from the national TV and radio council of Ukraine to set up a radio station dedicated to serving young people in Crimea.

Tomorrow President Putin arrives in Ukraine. Wonder if Borys T will meet him too, or will PoR heavies block his path?


Anonymous said...

LEvko thanks for the posts and keeping people up to date with what is really going on. Also thanks for getting the word out into the english lang. Internet.

Although I am not a Yulia believer (wish I could be), I totally appreciate reading your posts. Esp. in light of how hard it must be write them sometimes (the news has been dreadful with the PoR juggernaut in motion.) Wanted to say thanks and how much it is appreciated and valued. All the best for the Holidays. Here's to a better Year!

LEvko said...

Thanks for the kind words. I try to write about stuff other English language sites maybe miss.

Its easy to forget that the roots of Ukraine's problems go back to the days of the Communist Revolution, the days of Holodomor, Stalin's purges, the savagery wreaked by the nazis in WW2, and the stagnation of the last years of the USSR when corruption really set in.

Anonymous said...

I actually think it goes back further to life under the Russian empire where bribes were part of daily life as wages were insufficient. (Read an interesting write up by a Peace Corps volunteer about this and even traced etymology of words used in such transactions.) Would love to the read the guide which the Finnish gov't publ. to assist business people to negotiate the system in Russia as corruption is almost unknown in Finland.