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DONBASS RESIDENTS APPEAL TO UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT FOR PROTECTION FROM SEPARATISM

DONBASS RESIDENTS APPEAL TO UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT FOR PROTECTION FROM SEPARATISM

Donbass News has received an open letter from city residents to the interim President of Ukraine Aleksandr Turchinov:

We, the residents of Donetsk Region, are deeply concerned about the current situation in Donetsk and the region resulting from the criminal activities of anti-Ukrainian organisations on the territory of our region.

Since early March our city has been the scene of regular rallies organised by aggressive protesters under Russian flags who have engaged in criminal activities with utmost cynicism and impunity: they openly call for separatism, seize administrative buildings, beat and humiliate city residents of pro-Ukrainian persuasions, debase and vandalise the national symbols of Ukraine, block roads and disrupt the work of public transport, damage and destroy property with Ukrainian national symbols.

In a provocative, brazen and abrasive manner, the perpetrators commit crimes against the national security of Ukraine, public order and morals, against people’s lives and health. Such actions incur criminal liability and are punishable by Article 293 of the Criminal Code Group violation of public order, Article 294 Mass disorder, Article 296 Hooliganism, Article 338 Desecration of the national symbols, Article 341 Seizure of state or public buildings and institutions, Article 110 Threats to territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine.

Many of the city’s residents suffered injuries and at least one person died in the result of the attack on the pro-Ukrainian activists at the rally on March 13, 2014. In the past month there have been numerous attacks on the members of the inter-confessional prayer marathon “Praying for Ukraine”; pro-Ukrainian female activists have been badly beaten for flying the Ukrainian flag; participants of a bicycle caravan in support of Ukraine’s unity have also suffered attacks.

These facts became public thanks to media reporting and represent only the tip of the iceberg. Unlawful actions against pro-Ukrainian citizens in Donetsk and the region are not random attacks, they are of mass and systematic character; they have created an atmosphere where it becomes life threatening to publicly support Ukraine’s unity or to openly carry Ukrainian national symbols.

Regretfully, the authorities’ declarations about criminal liability for such actions have often remained strictly rhetorical and have not incurred any punishment for the perpetrators. A few individual cases when the perpetrators have been brought to justice have had little public impact and fail to correspond to the real scope of the events. Such a continuing tepid response of the law-enforcement authorities is incapable to bring about a serious change in the situation in the region, and is instrumental in creating the greenhouse conditions for fomenting the artificially implanted ideas of separatism and further exacerbating crime in the region.
As the result of this situation, the residents of the city feel unprotected and abandoned at the face of the current problems.

We address you, as the guarantor of our state’s integrity, the observance of the Constitution, human rights and freedoms, with the appeal to deal with the indecisive actions or even the complete lack thereof of the state authorities in response to such activities, which pose a direct danger to the residents of the region, as well as the whole Ukrainian society, and gravely threaten Ukrainian sovereignty, territorial integrity and Constitutional order.

We appeal to you to make use of all available administrative, human and law-enforcement resources in order to take concrete measures and ensure the security of Donetsk region’s population, to create favourable conditions for the realisation of the residents’ rights and freedoms, and to take under your personal control the work of the law-enforcement agencies in protecting law, order and the state interests of Ukraine. With hope for a better future and faith in Ukraine,

Residents of Donetsk region.        

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