The new action of the movement “Ukraine Without Kuchma” started yesterday in Kiev. This movement is carried out a series of mass protests last winter, demanding the resignation of the Ukrainian president. The Ukrainian opposition is binding Kuchma’s name with the disappearance of journalist Georgy Gongadze, whose dead body is still in a Kiev morgue.
There has been the new tent city built on Independence Square in Kiev. There are about ten people living there constantly. They spent the night in their tents on the concrete slabs of the square. The protest is supported by the Ukrainian Radical Youth Movement of Nationalists, 18 members of which are considered to be the political prisoners. They are currently kept in one of the detention centers for their active participation in the demonstration on March 9 of the current year, which resulted in a brutal fight between the young radicals and the police.
As Mikhail Svistovich, the coordinator of the new action claimed, the current protest was devoted to the “anniversary” of those scandals connected with the name of the Ukrainian president. He added that the protests were going to continue during the spring. As Svistovich said, the goal of the action was to remind the authorities, Ukrainian citizens and society, and foreign countries about the continuation of the political pursuit in Ukraine. The beginning of the action coincided with the international day for struggle with the political pursuit, and this was not incidental.
There was a small meeting in the beginning of the action devoted to the anniversary of the UN Declaration for Human Rights. People put up two tents in the memory of the murdered journalists Georgy Gongadze and Igor Alexandrov and hung posters with the writing: “The Fortress of Freedom,” “Release Political Prisoners," and the like and strung barbed wire around that area. As the participants of the action say, there are human rights in Ukraine, but only behind that barbed wire. So far, their official demand is the release of the 18 young people who were detained during the anti-presidential demonstration of March 9, 2001.
The spokesmen for the administration of Kiev cit came to the site where the protest was taking place and claimed they could not find an application that should have been submitted to gain permission for the demonstration. Therefore, it seems that the authorities will make the tents "disappear" from the central square of Kiev.
Alexander Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
On the photo: Opposition activist takes part in protest in Kiev,Ukraine