Trials of political prisoners and preparation for the early election Political and civil rights in Ukraine.  27 May – 2 June 2019

Trials of political prisoners and preparation for the early election Political and civil rights in Ukraine. 27 May – 2 June 2019


Ukraine has started to prepare for the early Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine election that will be held on July 21st 2019. As of May 31st, the Central Election Commission (CEC) announced a full package of 199 district election commissions, which include 3,582 people. By June 10th political parties must submit lists of candidates, and by June 20th candidates must be submitted by majority districts.

Like for the presidential election, “Uspishna Varta” is monitoring the electoral process. The corresponding permission from the CEC was received on May 30th 2019. In general, 50 public organizations have already received permission from the CEC to have official observers.

Among the positive aspects, it is necessary to note the simplification by the CEC of the procedure for changing the place of voting for citizens (CEC Resolution No. 910 from May 29th 2019). Now, not only IDPs, but all citizens only have to submit a passport and write a statement in order to change their place of voting. No other documents are required. This must be done 5 days before the day of voting, before July 15th inclusive, at the reference body of the Register of Voters. However, those citizens who change their place of voting will be able to vote only for a party. They will not be able to vote for a candidate in the majority district. A detailed algorithm of actions for voters to check and change their place of voting can be found in the material of “Uspishna Varta”.


The trials of the journalists and public activists who were previously charged under articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine from the section "national security" continue. Thus, on May 27th, the Supreme Court did not satisfy the appeal of the journalist Kirill Vyshinsky about the illegality of his detention. The full text of the decision has to be published by the court on June 3rd, but in the meantime the motivation of the judges remains unknown. The comment of the lawyer of Vyshinsky can be read here.

On May 30th during a hearing on the case of Vyshinsky the collegium of the Podolsky court of Kiev continued to hear the indictment of the prosecutor's office. At the moment 74 pages have been read. The next hearings on Vyshinsky’s case are scheduled for June 10th, June 18th, and July 3rd. The editor-in-chief of RIA “Novosti Ukraine” has been in jail for more than a year, since May 15th 2018. Details of the case of Kirill Vyshinsky can be read here.


The journalist Vadim Komarov, who was beaten up in Cherkassy, is still in a coma. The chairman of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, Sergey Tomilenko, appealed to help the victim by giving money for treatment. Recall that on May 4th in the center of Cherkassy an unknown person attacked Vadim Komarov, inflicted bodily injuries on him, and then fled from the scene. The police initiated criminal proceedings for deliberately causing grievous bodily harm, but then re-qualified the case for “attempted murder”. The journalist Vadim Komarov repeatedly wrote about corruption, embezzlement of budget funds, and illegal construction. Colleagues of the beaten journalist linked the attack with his professional activities.


The State Committee of Ukraine for Television and Radio Broadcasting banned the import of five books into the country from the Russian Federation “due to propaganda of the aggressor state”. In particular, it is prohibited to import the children's book of Evgeniya Popova and Lilu Rami “Find and Show. Who will I become? ”, Francis Raymond’s book “This Day in Business History”, Joline Godfrey’s book “Raising Financially Fit Kids”, and others.


In Ukraine a public conflict is flaring up between the former head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP) Filaret and Metropolitan Epifany of the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU). This church was created at the initiative of the former president Petro Poroshenko and was actively used in his electoral campaign. Filaret said he would not fulfil the three autocephalic conditions of Tomos. In response, Epiphanius stated that it is wrong to speak about the restoration of the Kyiv Patriarchate in fact and legally.

Meanwhile, new cases of temples of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) being captured by “activists” of the OCU, including with the support of the local authorities, continue to be recorded.

Thus, on June 1st in the village of Kruty in the Nezhinsky district of the Chernigov region, representatives of the Kiev Patriarchate and several people who did not attend divine services declared a meeting, posing as the Svyato-Mikhailovsky congregation of the UOC. Hundreds of believers of the Svyato-Mikhailovsky community, outraged by this deception, gathered to prevent a provocation. As it turned out, one of the provocateurs had documents prepared for transferring the religious community to the UOC-KP. Believers of the UOC demanded to end the Kiev Patriarchate’s encroachment on the religious peace in the village. One of the representatives of the Kiev Patriarchate, who was called a member of “Svoboda”, said that the believers are a “flock” and the locals are “not people”. More details about the conflict in the village of Kruty can be found in this video.

The violent confrontation over the UOC temples in the village of Povcha in the Dubensky district and in the village of Mashch in the Kostopolsky district, both in the Rovno Region, continues. On May 30th, on the territory of the Svyato-Troitsky Church of the UOC in the village of Ivanichi in the Kostopolsky district of the Rovno region activists of the OCU brought people from the surrounding villages - about two-dozen priests of the OCU and strong men of athletic build. Late in the evening the church was sealed off whilst the court resolves the issue of confessional affiliation. Earlier, on May 27th, in the village of Novaya Moshchanitsa, “activists” of the OCU threatened to expel the UOC cleric from his home.


On May 27th in Kiev “activists” thwarted a round table called “A Year after the Romani Pogroms: Can We Expect Punishment”, which was dedicated to the problems of violence against the Romani community in Ukraine. The provocations at the event were arranged by a former law enforcement officer, Maksim Yarosh, who monitored law and order at the railway station where one of the makeshift Romani camps was located and, among other things, recorded violations made by the Romani community. The event was held in the capital’s crisis media center and was intended to draw the attention of international and Ukrainian society to the cases of attacks on the Romani community in different regions of Ukraine and the impunity of such crimes.

On June 2nd in Kharkov representatives of nationalist organizations staged a protest against the congress of one of the political forces and demolished the monument to commander Georgy Zhukov. Despite the fact that law enforcement officers tried to stop the protesters and even used tear gas, the “activists” managed to demolish the Zhukov pedestal. Later, the mayor of Kharkov said that the monument would be restored.


On May 30th a regular hearing on the case of General Aleksandr Shchegolev took place in the Shevchenkovsky court of Kiev. The court collegium continued to examine the evidence of the prosecution. Prosecutors once again showed a video that was filmed on Independence Square in Kiev in February 2014. The lawyers said that the demonstration of films is designed to persuade the judges to make a decision on the case of General Shchegolev in favour of the prosecutor. The next hearing is scheduled for June 26th. General Aleksandr Shchegolev has been in jail for over 3 years. The details of his case can be read here.


On May 29th 2019 a regular hearing was held in the Kuibyshevsky district court of the Zaporozhye region on the case of the businessman Andrey Tatarintsev, who is charged under Article 258-3 - assisting a terrorist organization for the transfer of diesel fuel to a children's hospital on the territory of Donbass that isn’t controlled by Ukraine. Tatarintsev has been in custody for 1.8 years. At the beginning of the hearing, at the request of a lawyer, the court called an ambulance. Upon arrival, the paramedic recorded high blood pressure and a high sugar level. Despite the poor health of the accused, the court extended the detention of Andrey Tatarintsev for another 60 days. In connection with the start of the summer holiday season, the next hearing is scheduled for July 23rd 2019. The case will not be considered for two months.

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