The authority has deprived the opposition of the opportunity to take thousands of demonstrators to the streets. However, leaders of the action Ukraine Rise! aren’t disappointed at all, as they already know how to counteract.
The day of September 16, about which the opposition spoke so much since middle of the summer, has finally come. The day was fixed for beginning of an Ukrainian revolution. This day two years ago opposition journalist Georgy Gongadze disappeared, no traces of the man has been found yet: neither investigation, nor sorcerers can answer the question where the journalist is. The Council of Europe is also reflecting on the problem. So, this is a reason for the opposition to go in the street. The opposition claims that Georgy Gongadze was not the only person who disappeared in a strange way within the years of Ukraine’s independence; seventeen journalists, several politicians and people’s deputies are still not found. The authority had to admit that some kind of “a death squadron” had been operating in the Ministry for Internal Affairs; it consisted of thugs and criminals who sometimes were taken from jails for special operations. That is why people are so much dissatisfied with the present-day authority, which is even called a bloody regime (the name is said to be already justified to some extent). Besides, majority of the Ukrainian population lives below the poverty line, which is by the way a really strong motive for people to rebel.
Everything that happens in the country and what people are speaking about testifies that waves of protest may soon arise. Even actions of police demonstrate it. The opposition declared at a Supreme Rada plenary session on Friday, September 13 that it knew about the governmental order to limit access of the population to Kiev on September 16. It is also said that road police has taken driving licenses away from bus drivers so that they won’t be able to work on September 16. Suburb trains and diesel trains will follow their regular routes without stops, like special express trains.
Yesterday in the afternoon I drove my car along the Chop-Kiev highway and saw a rather unusual picture: people who had arrived to their summer cottages in the countryside fell into a trap. No buses made their regular routes to the Ukrainian capital after the noon on Sunday. People had no chance to get back home to Kiev. People even tried to get home with by-passing cars, and no buses could be seen. I saw only one bus at the Kiev entry check point, dozens of road policemen stood near the bus and examined the bottom of the machine. No doubt, in half an hour the bus was taken to the penalty parking.
Yesterday in Zhitomir I heard at the railway station that suburb trains to Kiev would be cancelled. It was said, the cancellation would be due to technical faults. I saw a column of military lorries with soldiers and armored vehicles. A well informed source told me the soldiers would leave the city and set up camps around Kiev. The soldiers were in the state of a complete war alert at that.
At 7:00 p.m., the headquarters of the Ukraine Rise! protest action gathered in the Socialist party office. Details of an upcoming operation are not clear yet, however, some definite scheme has been already developed. The schemes provide for response actions of the opposition in response to actions of the government if some are to take place.
It is an open secret that Ukraine’s Security Service is very active with collecting information in the opposition headquarters. Today Kiev will be once again filled with tents; according to my estimates, they will be built by communists, socialists and Julia Timoshenko’s coalition and amount to not less than 300. It is believed, Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine will also participate in the action. The organization held a so-called forum of democratic forces on Saturday and Sunday, about 1,500 people from different political parties and associations took part in it. Speech delivered by socialist leader Alexander Moroz became the culmination of the forum. He allowed sarcastic statements when described attempts of the government to join Our Ukraine and pro-presidential powers. He called upon the Ukrainian people to go in the streets. His every statement was greeted with cheers.
When a certain Nikolay Porovsky mounted the platform and tried to defile the opposition and it leaders, he was hissed off. A representative of Julia Timoshenko’s coalition, people’s deputy Anatoly Matviyenko was the next to make a speech at the forum. He called upon the audience to put to the vote whether to join protest actions on September 16 or not. And the audience voted for the action unanimously. Viktor Yushchenko, in his turn, ruched to the microphone and mentioned that the forum had been summoned not for that kind of voting. He stressed, each of the audience had to choose for himself whether to join the protest actions or not. Probably, he is right. Time will tell whether he is right or not.
Alexander Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/09/16/47093.html