October 6, 2010

Yanukovich's Party of Regions Beats Up People, Cuts Down Trees, and Auctions Off Public Park

Kharkiv, the second largest city of Ukraine, became a place for the blood-shedding stand-off between residents of Kharkiv and the Kharkiv mayor. On June 2, 2010, the mayor's security service stormed a camp of protesting Kharkiv residents. The Kharkiv police observed the battle without taking any sides. Protesters sought refuge in the standing-by police officers who denied them in protection. The protesters were insulted, beaten up, threatened with chain saws so they had to flee. The police arrested and removed the remaining protesters.

Kharkiv residents were protesting mayor's decision about real estate development of the city park, Gorky Park. The park's square footage is approximately five times as big as New York's well-known Central Park. According to the real estate development plan, the private contractor would built a highway across the park and gated residential communities with amenities such as tennis courts and swimming pools. The plan looks like a normal real estate development but it violates the law. The Gorky park is public property designated for recreational activities. It cannot be a subject for a real estate development. 
I watched the events closely because it's my hometown. I hoped that the common sense would take over corruption and lawlessness. It didn't! Kharkiv's deputy mayor Gennady Kernes and Kharkiv's governor Michael Dobkin who are members of the presidential party, Party of Regions, were ruthless and unstoppable.  
Here is a link to the documentary(CNN video) that shows how the stand-off between residents of Kharkiv and the Kharkiv mayor's office ended on June 2, 2010. It's shocking that the police officers did not protect citizens from unidentified security guards (thugs) who removed demonstrators from the designated area of real estate development. The video has comments from the crime witnesses. Subtitles have a correct translation.
Here is a link to the website of NGO Kharkov Forest.
Here is a map with the real estate development plan of the Gorky park, provided by the NGO Kharkov Forest.


  1. It is truly shocking how these clannish oligarchs assume public property for themselves. They do it because they can. They are criminals.

  2. They are criminals in our town.Our town was a town students,intelligentsia.But no ...

  3. I agree with your comments. I am so stunned with everything what happened that I cannot wrap my mind around it.