Statement by Elena Bondarenko—People’s Deputy of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
Statement from Sept 10, 2014, translated and published in English on Slavyangrad.org, April 18, 2015. Original in Russian here.
Introduction by Slavyangrad.org: Below, we publish a translation of a statement made by Rada deputy Elena Bondarenko on September 10, 2014 . The statement was originally published on her Facebook page but went largely ignored at the time. The recent spate of assassinations in Ukraine has given the statement a new, grizzly relevance, and it is for this reason that we are publishing a translation of it at this late date. Translated by Alya & Alan Bailey, edited by Olga Luzanova.
I, Elena Bondarenko, a deputy of Partiya Regionov [Party of the Regions –ed.], which is in opposition to the governing party in Ukraine, would like to make a statement about the fact that the government is directly threatening with assault opposition politicians, depriving them of freedom of speech in the parliament and in other places, as well as conniving in the crimes against opposition leaders and their children.
Persistent threats, an undeclared ban on opposition parties appearing in the majority of Ukrainian mass media, purposeful baiting—these are everyday things in the life of the opposition in Ukraine. Everybody who calls for peace in Ukraine immediately becomes an enemy to the regime as it was, for instance, in 30-40’s Germany or in the USA during the McCarthyite era.
A few days ago the Ukrainian Internal Affairs Minister, Arsen Avakov, said: “When Elena Bondarenko ascends the parliamentary tribune, I want to reach for my gun.”
I emphasise the fact that those are the words of the person who has the main authority over the police in the country. Exactly a week ago the Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, Alexander Turchinov, banned me from the parliamentary tribune as a representative of the opposition Party of the Regions. It was done solely because of my words, that “a regime that sends its army to bomb peaceful cities is criminal.” After that, he kindly allowed the parliamentary radicals to call for the shooting of the opposition .
I remember last year, when Kiev was flooded with extremists, my car was shot at. I reported this fact to the police. I take such threats to myself very seriously. I also would like to inform everyone who is not aware yet, that the regime protects the criminals who dared to raise their hand against the son of another opposition politician—Vladimir Oleynik. Ruslan Oleynik, a district public prosecutor, was beaten up in his work place, putting his life and health under threat. Instead of investigating the attack and threats against the politician and his family, the regime fired the prosecutor. My colleagues complain weekly about their assistants being beaten up, their supporters’ offices being searched, their lives, health and possessions threatened.
Ukrainian cyberspace is almost totally censored of this information, and ordinary Ukrainian citizens have no idea of the criminal fight against the opposition and of the fact that the constitutional right to freedom of speech is suppressed in many ways. The mass media who tell the truth in spite of their fear constantly get attacked by nationalist groups, and hooligans who assault publishing offices are never prosecuted, even when they are identified by video and photographic proof of their involvement is available.
I call upon international organisations who proclaim their democratic principles to not only pay attention to these facts but also to join the fight for democratic rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens. The methods used by the Junta in their struggle for power in Ukraine have nothing to do with democracy. Inactivity of the international community towards these outrageous facts looks like complicity and silent approval of all the crimes being committed in Ukraine. The free world is losing another outpost—Ukraine. All those who fight for democracy, peoples rights and freedoms, can bring about many changes together. Only together can we stop the Junta and the fratricidal war in Ukraine!
People’s deputy of Ukraine, Elena Bondarenko
September 1o, 2014
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