One doesn’t like oranges in Chernihiv

To work at an executive position at a state administration and not to like oranges is at least not politically correctly. But the Chernihiv city council can presume such a dislike. To be more precise, in this case the matter concerns one “Orange” – a youth organization known far from Chernihiv by its vivid youth projects and a nonconformist public position.

A stumbling-block, as it often happens in relations between the state and public structures, became realty. Namely, the building where a youth center was to be opened. A complicated and more and more distorted by rumors story.

But personally I am alarmed even not by manipulations of the Chernihiv state administration with the building at 114, Shchorsa street – the time when Ukrainian functionaries will refuse from machination with the realty within their jurisdiction hasn’t come yet – but today I’m disturbed by a recurrent attempt of the government to trample our fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, the European Conventions on human rights. It seems that nothing has changed, and the main right for functionaries still remains the “phone right”, or as they say, “vertebral” right.

The “Orange” center is pressed by the city government. Moreover, the youth supporting the center is pressed too: pupils and students. By traditions of the “anti-national kuchmizm regime”. According to the information “Orange” possesses, young people supporting the protest action are threatened with expelling from schools, impossibility to enter higher educational establishments of Chernihiv, and a really absurd threat – initiating cases in the Safety service of Ukraine. “The pressure is done from the direction of the deputy mayor of Chernihiv on humanitarian issues V. Beshun and the head of the department on family and youth of the Chernihiv city council V. Holub through heads of extracurricular school activities and school directors”, – informs the head of “Orange” Iryna Cherenko. Since I’m personally acquainted with the management of this organization, I have reasons to believe the information deserves credit.

One can excuse most of “technical” blunders to the new government. But when it deals with such a cynical violation of our rights – the conflict becomes very important to shut eyes to it.

One could abstractly meditate on the ethics of relations between society and government. But I fear it has no sense. At least, today it is not topical. Until we have a chance to change anything (and we do have the chance now!), it’s necessary to act and demand from the government acknowledging us equal subjects of social relations. Expectations haven’t justified and the government hasn’t changed qualitatively. So, the response must be adequate. The society has no reasons to ingratiate with the government.  

“Orange” is not going to step back. A few days ago by the Chernihiv city hall a precautionary action “The youth center to youth!” was held. I think so far it’s difficult to judge how successful it was. But, in my opinion, the time for the action was unsuccessful. Our government used to make a joke of such actions anyway, let alone the youth protest on April 1st! Judging by the not numerous publications and feedback, this sincere, spontaneous, but not too numerous protest was not very convincing for the Chernihiv city administration. Of course, these were not angry grannies lead by furious Nataliya Vitrenko. These were only two hundreds of young people, half of which even don’t have the right to vote. Knowing functionaries’ habits, I fear lest the action should bring a reverse result, lest it should become the reason for even more intensive administrative pressure on youth activists and the “Orange” center. 

One cannot leave them alone in this unequal confrontation. How can we help? We can prevent provocations in the address of our colleagues. I’d like to ask everyone on behalf of your organizations or you personally to write a letter of support of the “Orange” center addressed to the mayor Oleksandr Sokolov with the request to investigate the situation. The letter should be sent to: The executive committee of the Chernihiv city council, 7, Mahistratska street, Chernihiv, 14000. It would be more efficient that abstract meditations. As the experience shows, having united this way, the third sector manages to assert its interests. The government is not going to change its attitude to us. At least, with its own initiative. So, we have to ask to do it. Earnestly ask. So earnestly that it is not able to refuse. As never we now have to continue longing for keeping to our rights in full.  


Kostiantyn Reutsky,

 «Postup» organization, Luhansk

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