Yesterday law enforment officials stormed and dispersed a small tented protest camp in the centre of Donetsk. The 30 or so relatively elderly camp participants had worked on the clean-up after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident. They had been staging a hunger strike since mid-November demanding better pensions.
Tragically one of them, 70-year-old Hennadiy Konoplyov, died during the camp dispersal operation. The circumstances of his death are not clear but witnesses say a number of 'heavies' burst into their tent, doused their stove with water, then toppled the tents. The victim may have been trampled, or may have suffered a heart attack as a result of inhaling noxious fumes .
Check out this report entitled "Is this the saddest Occupy in the world? Desperate Chernobyl survivors huddle in one tent in protest against pensions", from the popular British 'Daily Mail' newspaper.
Iryna Stohrin, in her 'RadioSvoboda' blog exposes the cynical hypocrisy of Yanukovych and his thuggish 'sylovyky'.
In April 2005 the Kyiv City Council obtained an injunction banning a pro-Yanukovych tent protest [he was then in opposition] which was taking place in a central Kyiv park. The camp comprised about 150 tents and was causing great inconvenience to the park's regular users. The court's decision was ignored...
In April 2007 Party of Regions and its political supporters set up a large 'tent city' with military-style tents capable of housing many hundreds of demonstrators in Independence Square in the centre of Kyiv. Yanukovych himself visited and addressed the meetings which were held there. [Check out video at the 'RadioSvoboda' link above.] No-one interfered with this protest despite major damage caused to the Square's infrastructure.
Now Yanukovych is in power normal rules do not apply.
At a joint press conference with Polish president Komorowski, the Ukrainian president said: "I have recently heard a lot of comments from the lawyers of former Prime Minister Tymoshenko regarding Tymoshenko's detention in prison, and I have given instructions to all agencies that are dealing with this issue to create the conditions that are currently envisaged at the European level. The issue concerns medical treatment, examination and detention."
What I suppose he meant to say was "...I have given instructions to all agencies dealing with this issue to create conditions for Tymoshenko that are up to current European standards .."
Is it fair to assume, therefore that had Yanukovych's visitor, president Komorowski, not raised this issue, that twice-PM Tymoshenko, arguably the most famous Ukrainian in the world, would still subjected to maltreatment?
Does not all of the above only confirm the opinion some Europeans already have about the Ukrainian authorities? [see previous blog]