Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
28.11.2018. Prague. Parliament. A round table for the deputies of the Parliament is held by the international human rights platform “Global Rights for Peaceful People”.
Topic: “Political rights and freedoms in Ukraine”.
Ukraine was represented by Sergey Markhel, Mikhail Tyasko, and Oleg Muzyka.
Among other things, the deputies of the Czech Parliament are presented a report:
“POLITICAL REPRESSIONS IN UKRAINE ON THE EXAMPLE OF THE PERSECUTION OF THE POLITICAL PARTY ‘UNION OF LEFT FORCES’ AND ITS LEADER VASILY ALEKSANDROVICH VOLGA”.
The “Union of Left Forces” (ULF) is a political party based on scientific Marxism, Christian ethics, and the experience of the world labour movement.
The unifying Congress of “ULF” was held on March 26th, 2015 in Kiev. Many well-known politicians of Ukraine, who before this were a part of the Communist and other political parties of Ukraine forbidden today, became party members. Vasily Aleksandrovich Volga was elected as the Chairman of the Party.
This Congress was surrounded by radical nationalist combat groups, which did not attack the delegates of the Congress only because of the presence of invited foreign guests, members of the European Parliament, the Bundestag, and the French Parliament. The authorities were forced to send in special forces, who surrounded the building of the hotel “Tourist”, which hosted the Congress, with a solid ring, thus not allowing and attack.
The first (trial) participation of the Party in local elections in the Kherson region showed a high electoral potential of the Left idea in Ukraine. 5% of voters voted for ULF. In some districts of the region the result was more than 30% of the vote.
It is precisely this success that was the beginning of the persecution of the “ULF” leadership and its activists by media controlled by the authorities and radical Ukrainian nationalists.
The situation was continuously heated and reached its apogee on April 22nd, 2016, when an attempt was made on the life of the “ULF” leader Vasily Volga in the city of Zaporozhye. During the campaign trip, he and his companions were attacked by more than 300 hundred people armed with melee weapons and firearms. The attackers were members of radical nationalist groups controlled by the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine: “Azov” and “Patriots of Ukraine”. By pure chance, Volga remained alive, having received serious physical injuries. How the attack committed by radicals happened can be seen in the videos on the Internet.
Almost all the central TV channels of Ukraine showed it almost live. Moreover, all reports presented the event not as an attempt on the life of a politician, committed by a group of persons via prior collusion, and even with humour: “Look how the inhabitants of Zaporozhye meet Communists and separatists”. Those who directly attacked Volga and beat him were interviewed, they were asked as if they were heroes whether or not they are going to file a lawsuit in court against Volga because he came to Zaporozhye and provoked “activists” into committing illegal actions?!!
Despite the appeal of the Volga to the police, a criminal case on the fact of an assassination attempt still hasn’t been initiated.
Many thanks to our colleagues from Die Linke (Germany). Thanks to the invitation of Gabriella Zimmer, after receiving treatment Vasily Volga was invited to Brussels, where he had a meeting with Gabriella Zimmer and the faction of deputies of the European Parliament “European United Left–Nordic Green Left”, and also had the opportunity to speak at round tables in the Bundestag and in the Italian Parliament on the topic of political freedoms in Ukraine.
As a result of these meetings and speeches, the President of Ukraine and the Minister of Internal Affairs were sent letters demanding to bring to justice those responsible for the crime, but these letters and appeals were left without any reaction. A criminal case still hasn’t been initiated even to this day.
The next attack on “ULF” committed by the state took place after May 9, 2017, when the “ULF” held the “Immortal Regiment” event in Ukraine. The next day several “ULF” activists were detained, among who there was the Deputy Chairman of “ULF” Bondarchuk Ivan Nikolaevich. Volga was not arrested only because at that time he was on a working visit in Russia. Volga was able to return to Ukraine only in 2018, when criminal cases were initiated against activists of the “ULF” has not been closed in connection with absence of signs of a crime.
On this day it must be recognised that the purposeful work aimed at destroying “ULF” and the demoralisation of its activists has yielded results. While Volga was in forced emigration, almost all regional branches of the “ULF” were destroyed by nationalists. People are scared. Mass political activity is impossible.
Despite this, having returned to Ukraine, Volga is active in publicistic activities and takes part in television talk shows, to the extent that it is possible (when it is more or less safe) and holds meetings with voters.
But it seems that the Ukrainian government decided to finally destroy the “ULF” and its leader. On November 6th, 2018, in the house where Vasily Volga lives with his family the SBU carried out a search. On this same day more than 20 searches were conducted, including at the home of well-known human rights activist Elena Berezhnaya. Volga, Berezhnaya, and about two dozen public figures are accused of being involve in the commission of crimes stipulated by articles 109 and 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Calls to overthrow the current government via an unconstitutional way and state treason. The sentence for such offences is between 10 and 15 years of imprisonment.
In the ruling for the search, which was issued by the Pechersky court of Kiev (No. 757/49329/18-K) it is said: “Volga leads mass protests near the government institutions of the city of Kiev under the cover of socio-economic slogans”.
According to the Ukrainian authorities, it is precisely this protest against the modern oligarchic anti-social policies that is indeed treason to the Motherland.
The criminal case in which the “ULF” leader Vasily Volga is persecuted is pure falsification and political repression.
Volga is not going to ask for political asylum and leave Ukraine. We will prove that the SBU in this case opted for an unprecedented falsification of a criminal case and is the executor of the political will of President Poroshenko. We will prove that Poroshenko uses the SBU as an instrument of political repression and is guilty of mass crimes against the citizens of Ukraine.
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