The Day of Victorious Impunity

Jul 4th, 2012 | By | Category: Against Absentee Voting of Members of Parliament, Crime, News, Politics, Ukraine

by Natalka Zubar, translated and adapted by George V. Pinchuk 

That was the day when the Verkhovna Rada (the parliament of Ukraine, a.k.a. Verkhovna Zrada, i.e. “High Treason”) adopted the so-called “Language Bill.”

Don’t try to read between the lines and seek for clandestine efforts of some secret manipulator services.

“We tricked these blind kittens.” “See how well we played these fools” (i.e. the opposition). These are direct quotes from the people who: 1. Have the power. 2. Demonstrate to everyone that they have the power, and 3. Show that giving up any part of their power is not what they plan. From members of Ukrainian Parliament.

And a handful of intellectuals sit there, wondering: just why, why does the Party of Regions need this “Bill” so badly. Guys, is it that you do not hear their direct speech, or that you do not understand their Pidgin Russian?

“We have promised this to our voters. This is what you get for your “Orange Revolution!”” Look, this is said by LEGISLATORS (!), not by some babushkas on a farm market. These legislators are successful pushing their semi-literate delirium into law, and the intellectuals do not believe their own eyes, looking for some inconspicuous motives.

But no one is hiding! Here is the exact message delivered to the Ukrainian people by those who pushed the infamous Bill: “We are the power. We will do whatever we want and by whatever means we want, and you will obediently bear with us!” Obviously, they could have used any other bill, turning it into law. However, they chose the “Language Bill,” knowing the psychology of the electorate and anticipating a reflex of resistance. This will make the above message only stronger!

 Now, what they have achieved – does it really mean that Ukraine now has a new law, carved in stone? No. This is a travesty, a caricature on a law. The procedure of its adoption was violated most brutally, without precedent in all of the twenty-one years of Parliamentarism of independent Ukraine. The discussion over the Language Bill was not on the official agenda of the parliamentary session. The MPs had preliminary hearings during which it was decided to not put the Bill there. Then, out of the blue, some MPs began to shout during the session that the discussion on the Language Bill must be put on the agenda (contrary to what had been decided during the preliminary hearings). The obedient Vice Speaker, Adam Martynyuk (a Communist), put this motion up for vote. The motion did not carry – there were not enough votes. When this became clear, someone from the audience shouted that no discussion was, in his opinion, even necessary.

So they began to push the voting buttons without even hearing what amendments or corrections should be introduced into the text. As the MPs “voted,” one of them climbed on the Speaker’s podium, shoved Martynyuk aside, and pressed the “Yes” button in his stand.

As this travesty was taking place, the doors of the press box were shut and locked. Reporters, journalists were denied the entrance. I am not even mentioning such small details as pushing of many buttons by one MP – that is already common in the Ukrainian Parliament. And this physical pushing of the Vice Speaker, what a glorious demonstration of power! Martynyuk most certainly got the message: “You are nobody. Your place is in the toilet, just like everybody else’s, except us.” 

Now, the “law” so illegitimately “adopted” already has a negative review of a group of experts, and was called fake by the Parliamentary Law Committee. But who gives a damn? It seems that in Ukraine just about everybody has lost any interest in whether or not our parliamentary representatives act according to some procedure. Only a handful of lunatics, like myself, care.

Yet, this time EVERYTHING we know about basic parliamentarism was violated, and that is really for the first time in our Ukrainian history as an independent state, parliamentary democracy. 

And today the Ukrainian “High Treason” Parliament puts its stamp even on international agreements, using just 70 “pianists” (pushers of the multiple buttons, which resembles pianists touching multiple piano keys). In the past, they did not allow this, summoning their friends, the known multi-millionaires, to vote on international matter. But it is over now. The masks are thrown away, the faces are open.

At last, our MPs can be themselves, wearing their trademark raspberry jackets and gym sweatpants. They are big fishes in a small pond. They are entitled to everything. Quite characteristically, the text of this new “law” includes a new expression, “a self-ruled unit.” Does it mean that a certain band of people is now free to “rule” whatever? Well, our parliament has already said, yes.” 

What next? In addition to locking up the press box, maybe they should bar the entrance of any journalists even in the parliament building? Or should they turn off the TV channel “Rada,” which specializes on showing the parliament sessions (albeit choosing such an angle for their cameras that the viewers cannot see the empty seats)? And will they, from now on, adopt ANY law about anything? It certainly is not about languages. Here’s what Lesya Orobets’, an independent MP, reports:

 “Empty chairs continue to breed “laws” that go against the Constitution. Just recently, for example, they “voted” “Yes” for the infamous Bill 9634, which prevents the representatives of media from any information about transactions in public procurement. These transactions are notorious because of corruption… See .”

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That’s how the “majority” (???) voted for the Bill 9634, which legitimizes the pocketing of some 250 billion hryvnyas (~ $30 billion) by certain smart people during the transactions in public procurement. Remember these faces, which are, obviously, so exhausted by their hard work of falsifying of the vote. Thanks to them, Yanukovych’s kleptomaniacs will have the opportunity to steal at least 70 billion hryvnyas more than they have been stealing previously from our taxes. The number of those who was physically present in the room (together with Martynyuk) was 73. (Out of 450 MPs. – a translator’s note.) You can count them, viewing this video. So, each of these button-pushers, “pianists,” costs us, you and me, one billion hryvnyas ($125 million) a year? 

Some intellectuals write that the language discussion is just a smokescreen to distract us from more important matters. No. There is a direct cause-and-effect relation between the “language bill” and the massive falsification of votes for trade agreement and public procurement bills.

The ruling clique has demonstrated its full force during the “vote” on the language bill, acting brutally and getting away with that. So, they will keep doing the same with the same impunity. Look, in just a couple of days they have changed the procedure of electing their Speaker. Maybe, as I am writing this, they have already “elected” Chechetov (one of the leaders of the ruling Party of Regions) their Speaker? The seventy pianists can easily do that and more…

And just what in the world can stop them? Can they be stopped by those who write long essays, titled, “Why Am I Not Going to Join the Public Protests,” or “This So-Called Opposition Is as Bad as Yanukovych Is?”

Last year we, a group of activists associated with the Web site “Maidan”, went through the entire legal process of fighting against falsifications of the parliamentary votes. And we did not get any serious support. People asked: “Why bother – will things change depending on whether each MP votes individually, or whether the practice of “pianism” continues?” Now, I believe we can rightly chide these folks. You see, we have given them the answer. We said, “Yes, something very important will change if the parliamentary procedure continues to be violated. The sense of impunity will continue to grow within the ruling clique. They will grow even more convinced that they can throw any law, any legitimate execution of their power down the toilet.”

Weren’t we right? This is exactly what has been happening, and this sense of impunity was completely victorious on July 3, 2012. Now just watch your local news: things have already started at the local level as well.

Last year, if our ranks, the ranks of those who flooded the various courts and attorney’s offices with written complaints about vote falsifications, included one thousand people, – then would things be different now? I do not know. Maybe.


Yet, there is one thing I know for sure. If we do not demonstrate our opposition to the ruling clique, if we stop our resistance against all these “self-ruling units,” – things will be much worse than they are now.

Just look at human rights and personal freedoms in Belarus, or in Russia, or inUzbekistan. You don’t believe that we can slide to that level, or lower? Well, I guarantee it. Seven years ago, at the peak of the Orange Revolution euphoria, I predicted certain things, so I guess I qualify for the role of Cassandra.

 So, even if you despise the Ukrainian language – support those who take it to city squares and streets, not for the sake of any language but because you value your personal freedoms. There are so few of these street protesters. They so badly lack your support. Even if you do not understand it now, they are fighting for your liberties. 

As a final note. The nickname of our parliament, “Verkhovna Zrada” (“High Treason”) has existed for so many years that I cannot even recall the exact date when it was used for the first time. However, we at the Maidan Web site used it on the very day when our site was launched (in 2001). And this nickname is as truthful now as it was before. Soon enough, there will be elections to this parliament. So maybe, just maybe we all should try to concentrate one more time, and eliminate this pathetic letter “z” from the name of our Parliament? And it just might become Verxovna Rada, literally – the supreme Conciliar Power of the People?

There are "officially" 250 of them voting. at Ukrainian Parliament today

PS. See the report on public reaction to that…

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One Comment to “The Day of Victorious Impunity”

  1. […] “About the Foundations of the Policies of the State in the Sphere of Languages”, with blatant violations of the parliamentary procedure, and a wave of protests swept across Ukraine. Rallies and other protest actions took place in all […]

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