The “web” and falsifications in district 46 of the Donetsk region during the March 31 election: Who implemented it and how

The “web” and falsifications in district 46 of the Donetsk region during the March 31 election: Who implemented it and how

The “Uspishna Varta” human rights platform publishes information about the functioning of the “web” project in territorial constituency No. 46 (Bakhmut) on the eve of the day of voting on March 31st. We received the information from a source who wished to remain anonymous for security reasons. All the information published below was also verified through other sources, including open registries and data.

Based on analysis of the results of voting in constituency 46, the functioning of the “web”, supposedly aimed at bribing voters, as well as direct falsifications carried out in this district (ballot stuffing, voting more than once via the so-called “carousel”, falsification of protocols), led to a significant distortion of the results of the will of citizens in the first round of the 2019 Ukrainian presidential.

The “Uspishna Varta” human rights platform sent the following information for verification and response to the following bodies and institutions:

  • Central Election Commission of Ukraine
  • District election commission of territorial constituency No. 46
  • Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine
  • General Directorate of the National Police in the Donetsk Region
  • Bakhmutsky City Council
  • Soledarsky City Council
  • Limansky City council
  • Chasovoyarovsky City Council
  • Municipal non-profit enterprise "Multidisciplinary hospital for intensive treatment of Bakhmut", etc.

As a reminder, according to Article 158 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, the falsification of electoral documents, voting results, or data from the State Voter Register entails a sanction of imprisonment from 2 to 10 years. In addition, Article 160 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine - “Voter Bribery” - implies a sanction in the form of imprisonment for up to 7 years.

"ANOMALOUS" STATIONS IN TERRITORIAL CONSTITUENCY No. 46

Territorial constituency No. 46 in the Donetsk region covers the city of Bakhmut (formerly Artemovsk), as well as the Limansky and part of the Bakhmutsky district. In total, there are 163 polling stations in the district, where 150,483 voters had the right to vote according to the voter lists.

Data from the CEC website

According to data published on the CEC website, 91,152 voters took part in voting in this constituency (the turnout was 60.57%), from which 12,519 voters (13.73%) voted for the current president, Petro Poroshenko. The average turnout in the Donetsk region was 59.47%, and support for the candidate P. Poroshenko - 12.64%.

Data from the CEC website

Based on the results of voting in the context of the 163 polling stations in this district, at 78 of them (47%) the turnout exceeds the average for the region. At 20% of districts (33 districts), support for President Poroshenko exceeds the average for the region. In those districts where turnout ranges from 35-59% (the average for the region and below), support for the president (except for a few stations) is also in the range of 2-6%.

Thus, the percentage of votes cast for the incumbent President Petro Poroshenko is significantly higher in precisely the polling stations that have a turnout exceeding the regional average.


District No. 46. City of Bakhmut (Donetsk region) from the "Uspishna Varta" human rights platform

For example, in district No. 46, a number of front-line villages (Verkhnekamenskoye, Zaitsevo, Zvanovka, Kalinovka, Vozrozhdenie, Yagodnoye, Zelenopole, Pokrovskoye) stand out against the others since both their turnout and level of support for the current president are much higher than the average for the region. For example, in the villages of Vozrozhdenie and Mednaya Ruda (station 140063), turnout reached 86%, and the support for the current president — 32.8%. At the same time, in the town of Seversk located in the same district, the turnout figures correspond to the average for the region (46-55%), while support for Petro Poroshenko fluctuates at a level of 2-4.5%.

Of the 37 sites located in the largest city of the district - Bakhmut (formerly Artemovsk), at 13 stations the support for the current president exceeds the average for the region (the so-called "anomalous stations").

At the same time, in the smaller towns of Soledar, Chasov Yar, and Liman both the turnout and support for Poroshenko (with the exception of a few stations) correspond to the average for the region (support for the current president ranges around 1-5%). The exception is station No. 140661, located in the municipal enterprise "Multidisciplinary hospital for intensive treatment of the city of Bakhmut" (turnout - 100%, support for Poroshenko - 61.29%). The director of this medical institution is Svetlana Leonidovna Melnikova, and the owner is the Bakhmutsky City Council.

In addition, there are a number of “anomalous” villages in the district where the support for the current president Poroshenko is much higher than in other localities, as is the turnout, respectively.

Observers suggest that in those stations where both the turnout and support for Petro Poroshenko exceeded the average for the region, we can start to talk about fraud in support of the incumbent through technology stuffing, buying-off votes via the so-called "web", as well as voting on behalf of others on unused ballots

HOW THE “WEB” WORKED IN DISTRICT 46 BEFORE THE FIRST ROUND OF THE ELECTION ON MARCH 31

"Uspishna Varta" received information about the work of the so-called “project” (“web”) in the interests of the headquarters of Petro Poroshenko in district No. 46 on the eve of elections and on election day. According to the information we received, the “web” covered 146 stations (out of 163) and included 2,441 promoters.

The head of the “web” (or, as it is named in the documents - the “project”) in district 46 is Tatiyana Nikolaevna Chernikova, head of the organisational department of the Bakhmutsky City Council. These official declarations are available here. According to open sources of information, Tatiyana Chernikova has been in her position since at least 2012.


Sergey Nikolayevich Bilyk, a leading specialist of the Bakhmutsky City Council Department for Civil Defence and Mobilization Work, was named deputy head of the “project” in terms of its organisational structure.

Vladimir Kozochkin is listed in the "control group" for the "project" in district 46. On the website of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention, he is listed as the former director of the “Metallurg” stadium, which is in communal ownership. Another head of the control group is 36-year-old businessman Sergey Khodakovsky. On public procurement websites there is information that his company won the tender and delivered 12 refrigerators in 2016 to the Artemovsk District Council for school canteens for 160,000 hryvnia.

The call center, which calls the potential voters of Poroshenko, has two leaders: Elena Kazimirova (chief specialist of the organizational department of the Bakhmutsky city council) and Ekaterina Dulneva (specialist of the 2nd category of the same organizational department of the City Council), who are directly subordinate to Tatiyana Chernikova.

In addition, in the structure of the “project” of Petro Poroshenko in district No. 46 there are “senior campaigners”, who manage the stations and senior promoters within their localities.


For example, Nadezhda Aksenchenko, referred to as the “senior campaigners” in the Bakhmutsky district, is the head of the Bakhmutsky organization of war and labour veterans, as well as law enforcement bodies. Previously she worked in the education department of the Artemovsk Regional State Administration.


The “senior campaigner” in Bakhmut Olga Frankovna Galenko is an individual entrepreneur, chief accountant of “Omega” LLC (cafe). Olga Galenko's daughter, Anastasiya Kasperskaya, is the head of the legal department of the Bakhmutsky City Council (according to her declaration on the website of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention).


Information about the "senior campaigner" in Liman Alla Yuryevna Lipovchenko is not in open sources. At the same time, according to our sources, the mayor of this city, Petro Tsimidan, actively participated in fraud in favour of Petro Poroshenko in Liman. In June 2017 the Slavyansky City Court arrested the property of the mayor of Liman Petro Tsimidan, who is suspected of including false information in his income statement. According to the Slavyansky court of the Donetsk region, information about this fact is included in the Unified State Register of Pre-trial Investigations and is being investigated by the police. At the same time, according to our sources, Tsimidan enjoys the patronage of the military-civil administration of the Donetsk region and was elected head of the Liman united territorial community.


The “senior campaigner” in Soledar is Svetlana Nikolayevna Redchenko, who is the secretary of the mayor of Soledar, Aleksandr Stepanenko.


Based on the information about the results of voting (see the tables at the beginning), in Liman and Soledar the “web” did not work effectively enough, when compared to the city of Bakhmut and the Bakhmutsky district.

CAMPAIGNERS AND FALSIFICATIONS ON ELECTION DAY

In addition, according to the information received, more than 2,000 campaigners are working in the district, each of which has a personal card (all the cards are also at the disposal of “Uspishna Varta”). For each station, within the framework of the “web”, a “senior” is appointed who directly supervised campaigners inside their station.

According to the information we received, on election day the function of the senior campaigner is to stand at the entrance of the polling station and personally mark and monitor each campaigner who, according to the preliminary list, must bring at least 10 people for a controlled vote in support of the candidate Petro Poroshenko. From 15 to 35 campaigners work at each polling station, each of who processes only 50 residents of the sector to which this campaigner is assigned.

According to our source, payment for the work of campaigners takes place through the "chiefs", who report on the work to the "white" party headquarters. After checking their work and scanning ID-cards, "senior" campaigners go to another room where payments are made. Payments are made in a closed room, the money is paid without witnesses. The work of the chief and campaigner is regulated by control groups from the district leadership (see above).

For example, among the “chiefs” on the cards of campaigners there is Lyudmila Kalitina, the director of Bakhmutsky secondary school No. 9. With a high probability, campaigners are employees of the same school. Another leader who is found on the cards of campaigners is Lyudmila Kalashnik, the head of the quarterly committee of residents of the neighbourhood “Bakhmut Vostochny”.

In station 140603 Roman Yuryevich Kravchenko is listed on the cards as a "chief", with 12 campaigners reporting to him. According to observers, at polling station 140603 on March 31st there was massive ballot stuffing (more details are in the video).


A similar falsification took place at stations No. 140628 and No. 140608, where the “senior” campaigners were Nataliya Alekseevna Doroshenko (employee of the municipal institution “Inclusive-Resource Center of Bakhmut”) and Elena Yuryevna Sitalo, respectively.


A so-called “carousel” was also recorded in Bakhmut - when the same people travel to different stations and vote for the correct candidate. This violation occurred at station No. 140604. A video was recorded with one of the falsification participants - he talks about how he moved around the city along with 4 other participants in the scheme, how he defined the tables that must be approached to get the next ballot. The 3 girls who were with this man acknowledged in the video that they received 150 hryvnia for each stuffed ballot. Carousel also covered areas 140616, 140612, and 140613.

Sergey Yakovich Boyko is indicated as the "chief" among the campaigners at station No. 140604.


At station No. 140615 (“Brigantine” school room) a “carousel” scheme was also organized. According to eyewitnesses (who sent information to “Uspishna Varta”), members of the commission at this site were employees of the local dental clinic. The head doctor of this medical institution was the organizer of the "carousel" scheme and paid the participants of the scheme 150 hryvnia per stuffed ballot. The "senior" campaigner at this station is listed as one Nataliya Vyacheslavovna Smorodina.


At polling station No. 140632, observers recorded how a participant in the “carousel” scheme came to vote at the same polling station several times. According to observers, the passports of those who participated in the fraud were marked with pencil marks, which served as an identifying mark for members. The "senior" campaigner at this station is Oksana Andreevna Selyutina.


WHO WAS IN CHARGE OF THE “WEB” AND FALSIFICATION IN DISTRICT 46

Thus, the “web” of Petro Poroshenko in district No. 46 and directly in the city of Bakhmut involves municipal and public organizations that are supervised by local authorities - from city council officials to school principals, housing department managers and community leaders of individual urban areas.

The head of the Bakhmutsky City Council and mayor of the city is Aleksey Reva, who has led the city for 25 years. Aleksey Reva’s son, Dmitry, is involved in trade, agriculture, real estate, and petroleum products, as well as transportation across the contact line.

In the summer of 2017 the houses of Aleksey Reva and his relatives were searched in the framework of a criminal investigation into the suspicion of abuse of power, abuse of official position, and official forgery. Searches were initiated by the Donetsk Regional Prosecutor's Office. On February 14th 2018 a judge of the Kramatorsk city court satisfied the request of law enforcement officers for access to the things and documents of the Bakhmutsky City Council. The investigators of the prosecutor's office and the SBU were interested in contracts between the city council and a number of enterprises, most of which belong to the family of the mayor.

At the same time, against the background of the electoral campaign, the investigation into the criminal case against the mayor of Bakhmut is not pursued. The sources of "Uspishna Varta" do not exclude that the case against the mayor of the city was initiated on the eve of the campaign in order to gain his loyalty in building a "web" and falsifying elections in the district in the interests of the current president, Petro Poroshenko.

In January 2019 the mayor of Bakhmut, Aleksey Reva, publicly announced his support for the current president, Petro Poroshenko.


Recall that, as was previously reported by the human rights activists of “Uspishna Varta”, there is a trend during the electoral campaign where the Prosecutor-General’s Office and the SBU make statements and carry out actions in the interests of the current president’s campaign, Petro Poroshenko.

“Uspishna Varta” calls on all persons mentioned in this publication, law enforcement bodies, and local authorities to state their position on the above information and thoroughly investigate all the facts of fraud in the March 31st election. We urge all participants of the electoral process to ensure an honest and transparent process of the expression of will in the repeated voting both in district 46 and in other districts of the Donetsk region.

In the next part of the investigation, the information we have about the functioning of the “web” project in district No. 60 of the Donetsk Region (Volnovakha, Mangush, the town of Nikolskoye) will be published.

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