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Ukrainian intellectuals to Yanukovych: Take your hands off Tymoshenko!

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Jan. 5, 2011, 2:58 p.m. |

Leading Ukrainian intellectuals have signed a letter urging President Viktor Yanukovych to stop persecuting Yulia Tymoshenko and other political opponents.

Editor’s Note: The following is an English language translation of an open letter to President Viktor Yanukovych signed and made public late in December by leading Ukrainian intellectuals. In the letter, the signees (listed below) urged Ukraine’s president to bring Ukraine back on a path towards democracy and end political oppression of oppositionists, starting with former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. On Dec. 15, 2010 democracy in Ukraine suffered a cruel blow. This is the date when political persecution reached new and dangerous heights. Democracy was trampled upon and the Party of Regions dictatorship showed its true face.

President Viktor Yanukovych’s team has showed that it continues to intimidate the opposition and civil society through repression and arrests. On Dec. 15, the Prosecutor General’s Office presented charges against Batkivshchyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko. By banning this politician who received 12 million votes in the presidential election from traveling abroad, the authorities have demonstrated their audacious intentions to permanently destroy the opposition and introduce authoritarian rule.


The authorities have demonstrated their audacious intentions to permanently destroy the opposition and introduce authoritarian rule.



It is clear that the accusations against the former prime minister are absurd and politically motivated.The criminal case against Yulia Tymoshenko is built on allegations that she used money from the sale of greenhouse gas emission quotas to pay pensions in the midst of the economic crisis. And despite the fact that the State Treasury confirms that all this money, down to the last kopeck, is still in these accounts, the authorities are threatening to put Tymoshenko in jail for 7-10 years.

It is understandable that Yanukovych ordered Viktor Pshonka, his crony and at the same time the Prosecutor General, to open a criminal case against Tymoshenko so as to remove the Batkivshchyna party leader from political activity and destroy the opposition. Yanukovych understands that it is Yulia Tymoshenko who will be his main competitor in future parliamentary and presidential elections, that it is Tymoshenko who personifies real resistance to anti-Ukrainian and anti-democratic policy that is being realized by the current regime.

The Ukrainian people have a bitter and tragic experience of being oppressed during the Lenin and Stalin regimes. We remember that, for the people, destroying freedom and alternatives in politics resulted in disfranchisement, poverty, famine, humiliation of dignity and spirituality and russification.


Take your hands off Yulia Tymoshenko!


Today we are on the eve of yet another era in which all that we survived in the 20th Century is starting to repeat. One party rules again. Political pressure is being put on civil society and the mass media. The opposition is being persecuted. Lawlessness and corruption are flourishing. Those in power are ceding national interests and ruining the grounds for both Ukrainian identity and independence of the state of Ukraine. A vicious attack in the parliament by lawmakers of the Party of Regions against lawmakers of the Batkivshchyna party illustrates again that members of the Party of Regions are acting as though they are occupiers of Ukrainian land.

We urge Ukraine’s President to stop political repressions, to get rid of the thugs from his inner circle, to preserve democracy and human rights in the country. We demand a stop to the political persecution of the opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, the head of the Batkivshchyna party.

Take your hands off Yulia Tymoshenko!



Signed by:

Yuri ANDRUKHOVYCH – writer, poet;

Ivan DZYUBA – former dissident, member of the National Academy of Sciences;

Irena KARPA – writer;

Myroslav POPOVYCH – member of the National Academy of Sciences, Director, Institute of Philosophy;

Dmytro PAVLYCHKO – poet, writer;

Bohdan HORYN – former political prisoner;

Vasyl OVSIENKO - former political prisoner;

Levko LUKIANENKO – former political prisoner;

Volodymyr VASYLENKO – professor, Doctor of Law, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine;

Yuri SHCHERBAK – writer, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine;

Ihor YUKHNOVSKIY – member of the National Academy of Sciences;

Maria MATIOS – writer, laureate of the Shevchenko National Prize;

Mykola ZHULYNSKY – member of the NASU, laureate of the Shevchenko National Prize;

Dmytro HNATYUK – opera singer;

Valeriy SHEVCHUK – writer, laureate of the Shevchenko National Prize;

Yuri MUSHKETYK – writer, laureate of the Shevchenko National Prize;

Volodymyr YAVORIVSKIY – writer, Head of the National Writers’ Union;

Pavlo MOVCHAN - writer, Head of Taras Shevchenko Ukrainian Union “Prosvita”;

Hrihoriy HALYMONENKO – professor, Doctor of Philology;

Volodymyr SERGIYCHUK - professor, Doctor of History, Head of International platform “Dialogue-Eurasia”;

Vasyl SHKLYAR – writer;

Vasyl HERASYMYUK - writer, laureate of the Shevchenko National Prize;

Larysa DENYSENKO – writer, lawyer;

Oleksandr SKIPALSKIY – public and political figure;

Mykhaylo RATUSHNIY - public and political figure;

Yevhen LUPAKOV - Deputy Head of Ukraine’s Officers’ Unit;

Volodymyr PYLYPCHUK – professor, member of the National Academy of Sciences;

Natalia OSMAK - public and political figure;

Vasyl TURKEVYCH – writer;

Volodymyr HARBUZ – artist, member of National Union of Painters;

Andriy TKACHUK – public and political figure;

Yuriy DOROSHENKO – publicist.
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 3:11 p.m.    

Heroes every one of them.

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 3:36 p.m.    

Arrest them all for sedition against the gov't.

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 4:35 p.m.    

This person has not idea of freedom of speech or expression. They can't even imagine such a freedom.

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 10:03 p.m.    

Is this your 'intelligent' comment to the discourse on this thread? Lord save us from fools!

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 3:36 p.m.    

Well at least the SBU will have a list to work from when they bring them all in for questioning for the crimes they will soon be accused of committing. Everyone has to feel good about saving money from the budget not having to spend money investigating who wrote this. Too bad no one will hear the words of this letter with the new media censorship. Viva UKRAINE!

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 3:44 p.m.    

These aren't intellectuals (writers, poets and lawyers aren't). Real intellectuals are mathematicians, economists, phycisians, biochemists etc. Everyone can be a poet!

Ukraine has no real intellectual elites and that's sad

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 3:52 p.m.    

Your anti-Ukrainian comment shows that you do not have the intelligence to understand the meaning of the word intelligentsia and therefore you must be a Moskal !!!

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 3:55 p.m.    

Someone who has called himself a poet doesn't mean he's a real reckognized poet. This protest is a joke if some basement &quot;intellectuals&quot; demand anything

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 3:49 p.m.    

I am sick and tired of these hypocrites using Ukrainian patriotism as a cover for their own interests. Most of these people are not Ukrainian patriots, they are sold-out scum. They will say whatever their pay-masters (in this case, Tymo) tell them to say. Real Ukrainian patriots do not support Yulia Tymoshenko.

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 5:01 p.m.    

In time it will be shown that people of low morals and intellegence were responsible for the fall of democracy in Ukraine, such as this, person who is a prime example.

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 9:57 p.m.    

Your sick and tired?...we're sick of 5th columnists like you! You have no clue what you're babbling about.

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 4:07 p.m.    

Moskali be afraid...

Many lists are being written right now, and their is one composed by OUN which will be the last list you criminals will ever see!

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Anonymous Jan. 7, 2011, 3:03 p.m.    

I certainly hope OUN is getting ready to read these lists.

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 5:07 p.m.    

This letter was written by Ukrainian intellectuals? God help Ukraine.

Are they proposing to just ignore the official complaint by the Government of Japan regarding the Kyoto money which started this whole issue in the first place?

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 5:14 p.m.    

Why not? They seem to have no trouble ingoring the official letters of protest from numerous states and the European parliament regarding political repression.

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 9:54 p.m.    

What 'official' complaint by Japan??? You're fabricating...state your source!

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 5:29 p.m.    

Too many of the comments here are so juvinile no wonder the ukraine parliment behaviour is what it is,,,more that becoming a kindergarten,,,where some one takes a toy and the others screams or fights for it...If the energy spent here, where one side calls the other was spent to promote better understanding and encourage teamwork for the betterment of Ukraine then results might be seen. Remember History is the past Future is what people as a society can make it,,,,work together for the better of all,,,

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 6:38 p.m.    

Where were these people during the last election......in Russia?

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 8 p.m.    

Is this the level of intellectuals and their arguments? Why is the petition specifically in favour of one particular person? Why shouldn't she be prosecuted it there was wrong doing? Surely the point lies elsewhere - that there seems to be a selective application of the law and that the newly appointed prosecutor has a past which makes him unfit for the post. With this petition they've turned themselves into Yulia's support group and nothing else.

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 9:35 p.m.    

Total nonsence! heh,heh,heh:D

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 9:31 p.m.    

Always surprised when anyone can say that this isn't political persecution.

Is Yulia clean? Doubtful.

Is Yush clean? Doubtful.

Is Yanu clean? Of course not, but you don't see them going after the members of PoR which is the most corrupt party in Ukraine.

If this wasn't about political persecution, you would see a good share of Ukraine's politicians being prosecuted, not just their main competition.

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Anonymous Jan. 5, 2011, 9:50 p.m.    

There is a principle involved here. If Yulia stole the money into her bank account...then she deserves condemnation. If she didn't

steal it but put it into another ministery for paying pensions...censure her action...but it is not criminal deed. Maybe a lack of judgement but certainly not criminal. You don't put someone on trial for that!

Otherwise Yanukovych and that whole corrupt PoR would be in prison for life for their thievery.

These brave souls signing this petition have put themselves in harms way. The bandits and thugs in power will do ANYTHING to quash the opposition. Ukraine's present 'government' are nothing more than russophile agents of russia trying to destabilise the country!

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Anonymous Jan. 6, 2011, 7:44 a.m.    

Well at least the SBU will have a list to work from when they bring them all in for questioning for the crimes they will soon be accused of committing. Everyone has to feel good about saving money from the budget not having to spend money investigating who wrote this. Too bad no one will hear the words of this letter with the new media censorship. Also everyone knows that to be an intellectual in Ukraine your Father must be an oligarch, deputy or you have stolen someone's business. Please get it right

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Anonymous Jan. 6, 2011, 8:17 a.m.    

It took this long for this letter to surface ??

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Anonymous Jan. 6, 2011, 8:20 a.m.    

The published video concerning the interrogation of the orange mafia mamasita oligarch Tymoshenko released to the press makes the xoxol &quot;intelectuals&quot; powerless whine looks comic, heh, heh, heh :D

Because all their lies about the make belief &quot;political prosecution&quot; bytes the dust and hits the ground with a big fat splat.

Oligarch Yulka is common thief, pure and simple.

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Anonymous Jan. 6, 2011, 11:21 a.m.    

Listen just wait, Yanu and his thugs will screw things up so bad in the next 9 months that Yulia will look like a princess!

I don't care what you all say about Yulia and it doesn't really matter what she did or did not do.

Yanu is clueless about politics he doesn't know how to control his own party, they are all power and money hungrey, they don't care about politics either.

Just wait it will get so bad that Julia will be back in the spotlight and all because Yanu and his thugs are incompetent!

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Anonymous Jan. 6, 2011, 12:41 p.m.    

And who cares, put the whole lots in front of a firing squad, and just get rid of them all. Put the farmers in charge of Ukraine - they have more brins than the existing politicians and more integrity than them. Stealers and mafiosos all of them - regardless of color and fraction.

Merry christmas to all Ukrainians left to be free or alive....

Good move to kill Odessa politicians just before christmas, just like good orthodox i guess.

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Anonymous Jan. 6, 2011, 8:06 p.m.    

Urge Yanukovych &quot;to get rid of thugs from his inner circle&quot;? But Yanukovych is the greatest thug of them all. He's the thug who punched two teeth out of the mouth of Transport Minister Kyrpa, remember, to inspire him to greater efforts to steal the 2004 election. It would make more sense to plead with the lesser thugs in the inner circle to get rid of the magnum thug, Yanukovych!

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Anonymous Jan. 7, 2011, 3 p.m.    

Can the visits of the Black Maria's at night be next?

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Anonymous Jan. 7, 2011, 4:39 p.m.    

It is obvious that intimidation and political motivated allegations is the strategy to destroy all opposition and critical journalists, in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Let's do what we can to stop this. I support the letter, not because Timoshenko is sinless, but because this country and this people need democracy

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Anonymous Jan. 7, 2011, 7:51 p.m.    

I feel sorry for the youth of Ukraine, they want a decent future like youth that they know in Europe and other countries from education and work exchanges. They see and know what kid of the life that they want to have for themselves and their future families. They are so disappointed in the political leaders of Ukraine that they are trying to decide to leave Ukraine and get a normal life somewhere else. They have no motivation to stay and fight such a bad system, they have so little interest that they do not vote. They say the election system is corrupt just like their education system, that depends on bribes in order to obtain a diploma or a degree that is not recognized by the rest of the world.

Ukraine is close to be sucked into the Russian empire again because the corrupt politicians are selling Ukraine assets at low price. When Ukraine needs money in the future,(which definitely will) Russia will gladly lend the money. When Ukraine is unable to repay the loans Ukraine will owe the Russian favours, and Russia will take more assets. Ukraine is close to selling Antononov to guess who, they will soon enter a very one side partnership with Gazprom. Which means they will lose control of their future energy supplies.

Ordinary Ukraine citizens see this situation, the overseas Ukrainian diaspora see this and a some foreigners see this. But the solution depends on Ukrainians in Ukraine. Do not be silent! We want you to be the vibrant,cultural country of good people that we know you are. You deserve a better government than this! Do not let them sell your country to anyone. Your children deserve a better future that this.

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Anonymous Jan. 7, 2011, 11:04 p.m.    

Yes, do not be silent!

It's time to act, before it is too late.

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Anonymous Jan. 8, 2011, 3:44 p.m.    

&quot;Get rid of the thugs in his inner circle&quot;...he would have to get rid of himself, because he is nothing but a criminal thug!

In my opinion it is too late for Ukraine! He and his ilk will hold onto power for ever.

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Anonymous Jan. 9, 2011, 1:51 p.m.    

Well, yes, but don't you see the problem?? Even if some irregularities happened in the elcetion, it was not basically rigged (like in Russia). The election was just sufficiently &quot;clean&quot; to say that the Ukrainians themselves elected Yanukovich... They did not want Timoshenko. If Timoshenko had received 55 or 59 % of the votes, there were enough international observers in the country to ensure that the will of the people was respected. But she didn't. The people chose. Now they have to live with it. I am furious about it, but there you are... those elections could not really be called undemocratic. Sad fact, but fact.

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Anonymous Jan. 10, 2011, 5:56 p.m.    

They even cancelled some anti-corruption laws so they won't be prosecuted for their evil ways. And the DEVIL himself initiated the deal.Yanukonvict! the criminal!,and his gang of thugs are indeed a danger and a destructive force to our country and people. We must stay strong and keep fighting the devil!

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