Thursday, June 27, 2013

Why events in Chausove are so significant

Prominent journalist Serhiy Vysotsky on the site explains why the events in Chausove-2, [about which I have been blogging several times recently], are so significant.

Below is a summary of his article:

The use of skinhead thugs in political conflicts is fraught with unpredictable consequences. Non interference by security forces leaves citizens with no choice but to rely on themselves for self-protection. 

The money that a businessman Arkady Kornatsky invested in 'Batkivshchyna' for his nomination in last year's parliamentary election was not in vain.

It is rather baffling why in their attempt to extort Kornatsky's business, local competitors affiliated to top government figures have not utilised the normal power and law enforcement agencies. Most likely, this was not approved by Kyiv.

To press a candidate from the opposition so openly using the prosecutor's office, the police and the courts, months before an important Euro summit was risky. Therefore, given the greed and determination to 'break' the obstinate landowner, a "gangster scenario" was chosen.

At first glance nothing new happened. Property rights in Ukraine are often opaque, land registers suspect, and flexible judges can be bought off.

However, virtually all property raids until now have been given a veneer of legal legitimacy. Raiders always enlist the help of judges and make sure 'Berkut' special forces are on hand to assist. And the fact that in the case of Kornatsky the authorities (even thought they were local) did not resort to the normal raiding procedure but rather resorted to banal thuggery, suggests that we are beginning to deal with an unprecedented situation for the country.

It is believed that the power of states is inversely proportional to the level of corruption, crime rates and levels of illegitimate violence. An authoritarian regime as a rule, builds a strong state. Heavy regulation of the economy and suppression of crime are the classic characteristics of a monolithic repressive dictatorship apparatus. E.g. it is difficult to imagine that the Belarus authorities would use gangsters to solve their problems. Internal security forces do this on their own.

The current system of government in Ukraine is unique. It is a kind of mock state - an outwardly attractive stage set in which it is possible to stumble upon a secret door. An attractive painted backdrop encourages investors to invest in a promising country that has bright prospects in the European Union. But in reality behind the secret door lies 'obschak' [an organised criminal network], black accounting procedures, and hidden arsenals of weapons.

The state in this case is just a cover for organised criminal gangs - a huge shell company. Shell companies have their own accountants, managers, a pretty girl at the reception desk, as well as their own funds. But real purpose they serve for their shareholders is not true development (albeit by authoritarian or dictatorial methods), but rather the laundering of shady profits and transfer of money to secure hidden accounts. In such a state, everything gets turned upside down to the extent that the right of legitimate use of force is handed over by the police to thugs.

What happened on the Kornatsky farmland was a testing of the technology that will be used in 2015 during the presidential elections. The recipe is simple - the police do not intervene and do not interfere, as during the protest action on May 18 in Kyiv. On the contrary, people were dispersed on that day by unidentified "anti-fascists".

Observers during last autumn's parliamentary election were not ejected by 'Berkut' special forces but by muscular "journalists." Protocols of the election results were destroyed not by officials but by thieves who broke in through the window.

Security forces seem to cast a blind eye to all of these events. [Your blogger has been told by witnesses on the spot that this was indeed the case at disputed electoral constituency #223 in Kyiv.]

This technology is not new. In local elections in Mukacheve in 2004, bandit resources were employed by the Social Democratic Party when they clashed with supporters of the Baloha clan.

Use of skinheads and thugs in political conflicts is fraught with unpredictable consequences. When you are being attacked not the police but by a pack of thugs you are entitled to defend yourself and save your life by any means necessary. In this war is difficult to predict a winner. The opposition needs to be concerned not just about how to resist administrative pressure, but also bandit violence.

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