Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Partiya Regioniv showing their true colors?

Yesterday I wrote about events at the National State Tax Service Academy in Irpin', near Kyiv. The rector, Petro Melnyk, whose sacking had been revoked by a local court last week, organized the smashing in of doors ans windows of the Academy buildings accompanied by several hundred Partiya Regioniv demonstrators in order to gain access. A video of events can be seen on 5-iy Kanal website - he's the guy carrying a bouquet of flowers while the glass doors are being smashed!

Some reports claim that many of the demonstrators [including some skin-heads and thugs] were bussed in from other areas.

Melnyk, a local PR big-shot who is #143 on their March 2006 Parliamentary election list had been sacked for numerous legal transgressions, financial irregularities, and illegally agitating for Yanukovych amongst his students in the 2004 Presidential elections. At that time students in many higher educational establishments complained about pressure being applied on them in order they vote for Yanukovych.

The Ukrainian State Tax Administration, who I imagine run the academy condemned the court ruling reinstating Melnyk to his position of rector of the Academy, and will appeal against the decision. Today other reports say that Melnyk stayed overnight the Academy, and is constantly escorted by bodyguards.

Whatever the legal rights and wrongs of this case are, it is Melnyk and the PR who turned what should have been dealt with exclusively by courts and the police, into a political demonstration and show of strength. If he had been denied access to the Academy, then it is they should have handled the matter. As it was, Melnyk and his PR supporters showed their true 'bully-boy' colors. And the police were nowhere to be seen.

This may have been an attempt by PR to test the resolve of the pathetic law enforcement agencies. I wonder what a non politically orientated student of the Academy attending a lecture made of all of these events. Maybe it will serve as a reminder of what to expect if PR become the dominant political power after the VR elections.

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