Journalist Vasyl Klymentsyev - missing. Last seen 11 August 2010.

According to the website of the UN, the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, said last night that solidarity between States, mutual support and responsibility were essential to the world’s well-being.  He reaffirmed the will of Ukraine’s new political leadership to reach the Millennium Development Goals and said that Ukraine had reduced the number of people living below the poverty line and “had done quite well in education and health care”, with a reduction in child mortality and improvement in maternal health.
Earlier in the day, and irrespective of the highly suspicious disappearance in August of the editor of “Novyy Styl” (“New Style”), Vasyl Klymentyev, Mr Yanukovych claimed that there was no pressure being borne on the media in Ukraine and denied that there was any deterioration in freedom of speech.  Moreover, he said that it would be of interest to the American elite to discover his interpretation of true democracy.

Meanwhile, the Chair of the Supreme Court in Austria (who is also the Chair of the Association of EU Supreme Court Judges) said that the reduction in Supreme Court Powers of Ukraine will be detrimental to the Ukrainian population – depriving the citizens of Ukraine of their rights and freedoms. 
At the same time a leading member of the opposition in Ukraine was being called in by the Procurator General’s office for questioning, another opposition MP was being beaten up in Kharkiv by “unknowns", the Secret Services were giving the “Democratic Alliance" party a good going over and this morning we learn that the Secret Services have begun "discretely enquiring" about a female journalist working for the "Ukrainska Pravda" newspaper.

Equally worryingly, members of the Central Election Commission wrote to the President to say that there are a host of matters that indicate that the forthcoming local elections will not be free and fair in accordance with international standards....

This is merely the tip of the iceberg view.  We have simply randomly selected some events in Ukraine that took place around the time of President Yanukovych's very public pronouncements on freedom and democracy whilst in the US. 

We have not mentioned here the issues surrounding the Constitutional Court which give cause for particular concern and merit a separate article.

In a nutshell, it is all very well for President Yanukovych to speak of "true democracy", free press, and to imply that there is total transparent freedom in today's Ukraine.   We as an organisation and community in the United Kingdom would rather see it than hear about it!!!

Such abuses as cited above have absolutely no place and can in no way be justified in a civilised society!!!

Ukrayinska Dumka


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