Ukrainian Activists Launched a Campaign to Boycott Poroshenko

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Representatives of several Ukrainian public organisations and movements simultaneously initiated the declaration to the current President of the country Petro Poroshenko of a so-called “civil boycott”. The essence of the new action will consist of ignoring the speeches of Petro Poroshenko at ceremonial events and press conferences, blocking the accounts on the world wide web of his most close associates, and the continuation of the petition in favor of his resignation as the head of State. According to the authors of the idea, along with the protests of “Mikhomaidan” and the demonstrative trashing of Roshen shops, the aforementioned boycott will vividly show Petro Poroshenko the attitude of most Ukrainians towards him. Sceptics are rather afraid that the authorities will respond to this action with their own sanctions. The correspondent of the Federal News Agency tried to understand the situation.

The other day in Kiev a large scandal inflamed. A letter from a ten-year-old local school student arrived to “Saint Nicholas’ reception” (the program operates under the patronage of the President) with a small delay, who expressed their innermost dreams. Besides a request to gift him a modern gadget, the letter contained a request “to make it so that nobody is on friendly terms with Poroshenko, and that he leaves and remains in solitude”. Searches for the “frondeur” didn’t take a lot of time: the boy specified not only his home address, but also phone number. As it became subsequently known, the boy’s father is a former participant of the so-called ATO who couldn’t cope with peaceful life and committed suicide, having in the end blamed the President and Prime Minister Vladimir Groysman for his misadventures.

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The relevant structures held a preventive discussion with the school student’s mother, the content of which became known to journalists and bloggers, and they, in turn, reminded that the author of the letter is not alone in their desires. According to official information, just for the last two weeks the petition created by the public demanding the resignation of Poroshenko gained more than 100,000 signatures. It is supposed that soon the number of the supporters of Poroshenko’s “dismissal” who approve of the petition will exceed 500,000.

“Demonstrations for the impeachment of the President are becoming commonplace. Thus, often not only colleagues of the former governor of the Odessa region Mikheil Saakashvili in the ‘Movement of New Forces’ take part in them, but also ordinary Ukrainians who are far from politics. Single pickets (special permission for them isn’t required) take place outside the Verkhovna Rada, the building of the Presidential Administration, and the Government house in Kiev. Mass actions of an organised nature will soon take place in all large cities of the country, including Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, and Odessa,” stated the activist of the civil organisation “People’s Control” Stanislav Dobryansky in comment to the Federal News Agency.

However, it is possible to draw attention to the “civil boycott” against Poroshenko some other way. The day prior the “Bloggers of Ukraine against Oppression of Freedom of Speech” organisation addressed the UN, OSCE, and Human Rights Watch with an appeal to pay attention to the systematic violation of constitutional rights of the Ukrainian citizens.

“A total dictatorship of the President Petro Poroshenko was established in Ukraine. People vegetate in poverty, a great number of journalists are subjected to persecution, searches are carried out at the offices of publications,” it is noted, in particular, in this address.

“We reserve the right to block the sites and President’s forums, and also to disrupt his public statements as much as possible, but we will do this in a peaceful manner. Even if he won’t resign, our boycott will considerably spoil his mood,” noted to the correspondent of the FAN the representative of the social movement of veterans of the ATO Sergey I.

According to some information, activists of “Right Sector” and “National Corpus” intend to join the action.

“And in this case the protests obviously won’t have a peaceful character and will again turn into torchlight processions. Then the reaction of Bankova Street will be corresponding, and fines and even detentions await the participants of the same boycott,” noted the social psychologist Elena Aleksandrova.

By the way, Aleksandrova doesn’t exclude that Poroshenko’s colleagues will carry out work that is no less grand to whitewash the name of the leader and can also bring to the streets thousands of his supporters. Despite the fact that the latter becomes less, the most important thing is clear: the Ukrainian President won’t be alone. At least in the near future.

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