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додано: 22-10-2004
Askold Krushelnycky: Ukraine opposition in 'terror tactics' claim

Версія до друку // Редагувати // Стерти // URL: http://maidan.org.ua/static/mai/1098445031.html


22 October 2004

Ukraine's main opposition bloc accused the government of using terror
tactics against its political opponents yesterday during campaigning
for the presidential election this month.

The build-up to the election, which could decide whether the country
charts a course towards the EU or follows the authoritarian route of Belarus, has been poisoned by dirty tricks, with both sides accusing each other of intimidation.

The administration of the Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovych, who has
the backing of the incumbent President, Leonid Kuchma, for his candidacy,
points to police discoveries of explosives caches to accuse the opposition of planning violence.

Supporters of the Western-leaning leader of the Our Ukraine opposition
coalition, Viktor Yushchenko, have been joined by human rights groups
in accusing the government of rampant corruption, abuses of press freedom,
murder and arms dealing to rogue states in contravention of UN
sanctions.

Many senior members of the administration fear they may be prosecuted
if they lose power.

Ukraine, with a population of 48 million, is Europe's second largest
country in territorial terms after Russia. It is also the essential component in the Russian President Vladimir Putin's plans to rebuild Moscow's might around an eastern common market bloc called the Single Economic Zone.

Mr Yanukovych is pro-Russian and enthusiastic about the Moscow-led
economic union, while Mr Yushchenko is a western-leaning advocate of entry into the EU and Nato. The latest opinion polls show them running neck and neck.

The opposition has accused the government of dirty tricks throughout
the campaign but in recent days events have taken a sinister turn with a
spate of explosions in the capital, Kiev, and other cities. So far nobody has been hurt. The government has attributed the blasts to Mr Yushchenko's
supporters.

Last Friday police claimed to have found grenades and dynamite at the
headquarters in Kiev of the opposition activist group Pora, or The
Time. On Wednesday, a Yushchenko activist was arrested after police said they found explosives in his car. The government has warned of the danger of civil war, and the capital's mayor yesterday talked of declaring a state of emergency.

The opposition says the explosives have been planted. The MP Yuriy
Kostenko said: "The opposition has no interest in violence and of course we're not involved in explosives or weapons. The government is behind this
because they want to create an atmosphere of fear. Or they can use it as a
pretext to declare a state of emergency and postpone or cancel the election."

The opposition complained that violent methods were being deployed
against them. This month a lorry containing opposition election literature was stopped by police and forced to a car park, where the papers were
burnt.

Mr Yanukovych's campaign co-ordinator, Stepan Havrysh, said the
opposition had committed more than 1,600 breaches of electoral campaign laws.

The opposition has called for a mass protest in Kiev tomorrow.

Версія до друку // Редагувати // Стерти // URL: http://maidan.org.ua/static/mai/1098445031.html




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