вторник, 27 ноября 2012 г.

воскресенье, 25 ноября 2012 г.

Pavlichenko case: thousands of people stand against the outrageous injustice

I heard about the Pavlichenko story several years ago when the family was thrown out of their home and I was shocked. What happened since then is even more shocking. So shocking, that it takes thousands of people to protest. 

Here is the story explained by the youngest in Pavlichenko's family. Please click CC for the subtitles in your language http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DzhGe9D4cs&feature=share

To sign a petition please visit https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/free-wrongfully-convicted-pavlichenkos-life-imprisonment-and-extend-scope-magnitsky-bill-ukraine/T50jlRLp?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

Please read and spread the word. The article is taken from the official support website


Kyiv, October 20, 2012, nice warm Saturday evening, luminous Olympiysky stadium. Crowds of kievites are rushing to it to see the Ukrainian Football Premier League’s match of the day – hosts Dynamo Kyiv play Kharkiv rivals Metalist.

Despite Dynamo has not performed really well during last few months, fans’ tribune is full. But atmosphere is more tense than usual, all are wearing mourning black. Strange, but nobody is shouting assaulting chants aimed at the visiting fans. The opponents also keep quiet, and it looks like a truce is concluded and something, much more important has united irreconcilable enemies. Hundreds of Dynamo fans are standing still and waiting for something.

Suddenly a huge banner comes down from the upper tier. The banner tells a sad story to all who is either at the stadium or watching the game on TV. When the banner is expanded, the fans’ stand lights red, a glow is seen even outside the stadium and dense smoke remains inside the bowl for several minutes until it dissolves. A second later a loud chant is shouted into the air: “Freedom to the honest! Free the Pavlychenkos!“ The chant is supported by visiting fans and some spectators from the central tribunes.

This action concludes 18-month long campaign of Dynamo fans seeking justice in respect of their mate. The campaign is supported by all football fans in the country. Nothing even close to this magnitude has ever happened in the modern Ukraine history.

But who are the Pavlychenkos and why Ukrainian football fans campaign for them so eagerly? Why thousands people from all over Ukraine take part in such widescale protest action?


49-year old Dmytro Pavlychenko had been living with his wife and two sons in an apartment located in an old building not far from Kyiv city cente. In 1996 Dmytro received a permission from the authorities and has built an extension to their ground floor apartment. Pavlychenko family have lived in their extended apartment since then and had no clue what misfortune is awaiting them.

At the beginning of the 21st century the Dutch company Gooioord B.V. was buying up all the apartments in the building. Probably, their idea was to demolish the old building and erect a modern business center on its place. Dmytro, who inherited the apartment long time ago from his relatives, refused to sell it as he did not consider the deal fair. Since then he started receiving threats over the phone from anonimous persons. He also got several civil complaints alleging him that the apartment extension was built without proper permission. 

Dmytro had defended his right to keep the extension and it seemed that he was about to win in the court. However, in 2010 the magistrate of the Shevchenkivsky district court Mr Sergiy Zubkov ordered to demolish the extension and moreover, Pavlychenko family to move out of the apartment! The decision was taken in Dmytro’s absence, he even had not received a notice to appear in the court! Following the decision, bailiffs and police entered the apartment on New Year’s eve, and forced Dmytro and his family to move out, literally to the street. At the same time they seized the family possessions, loaded them into several vans and set off in the unknown direction. 

Dmytro appealed to the police numerous times since then, but was unofficially told that his applications are to be turned down according to the instruction “from above”. Nevertheless, Dmytro decided to fight and called a press-conference where he appealed to the President of Ukraine to return his property and make the corrupted officials accountable.

However, all his attempts in the 2-month long court battle to revert he decision failed. But Dmytro was determined to fight using all possible legitimate means. Noone suspected the story would take another, quite unexpected turn. 

Dmytro Pavlychenko reads a message to the President of Ukraine at the press conference:


Sergiy Zubkov, the magistrate of the Shevchekivsky district court, the man who took a decision to expropriate Pavlychenko’s property was found dead in the communal area of his apartment block in March 2011. He was brutally murdered by two killers: one attacked Mr Zubkov with cold arms in an elevator, another was waiting for him with a gun on the floor where his apartment was located. Mr Zubkov was stabbed numerous times and was shot into the chest four times. The killers were seen from close distance by several people – the concierge, the lift operator and a neighbor, who attempted to block them, but they managed to escape.

Two days after Dmytro Pavlychenko and his son Sergiy were arrested on suspicion of Mr Zubkov murder. Three month after police raided into Mr Pavlychenko apartment again, but this time they knocked down a door and broke windows of another apartment which Pavlychenko family rented. Police has arrested Dmytro and Sergiy Pavlychenko and detained them in Lukyanivka isolation ward. Few days later the prosecutor’s office and top police officials called a press-conference and announced the murder case closed and two killers, allegedly Dmytro and Sergiy Pavlyuchenko, were found and arrested.

Police investigation actually elaborated just one version – Pavlychenko’s vengeance to Mr Zubkov for the court ruling announced three month ago in regards of expropriation of Mr Pavlychenko property. Nevertheless, the case had many inconsistencies and ambiguities – the witnesses have not identified the father and the son as the killers who they have seen, no material evidences were found at the murder scene, weapons used to commit the murder were never found. There were several indirect evidences, though. But they looked quite odd. For example, at the murder scene police has found Sergiy’s sweatpants and sneakers which he allegedly removed from himself while wrestled with Mr Zubkov. Also police has opened Dmytro’s car without his permission and with absence of any witnesses and “found” there some items “similar” to the bullets found in the magistrate’s body.

The murdered magistrate Mr Zubkov

The key witness – a lift operator – who wrestled with one of the killers before they escaped, admitted that the investigator forced him to identify Dmytro Pavlychenko as a killer. And Dmytro himself explained that police tried to persuade him to admit the murder.

Dmytro says: “I was escorted from one room to another, no witness had ever identified me. Then a top police official proposed a deal - if I admit the murder, they would leave my family alone. In this case I would be sentenced to 10 years and released on parole after 5 years. If I refuse, they sentence me for life, my wife and elder son will be declared accomplices and sentenced as well , and my younger son will be placed in an orphanage. Sure, I had refused this “offer” as I am not guilty and all I did was to attempt to solve all my problems using lawful methods”.

In autumn 2012, eighteen month after Mr Zubkov was murdered, the court found Dmytro and Sergiy Pavlychenko guilty of murder. Dmytro Pavlychenko was sentenced for life and his son Sergiy got 13 years imprisonment. Sergiy’s mother who was left with her juvenile son, was ordered to pay compensation for the damage done in amount of 500 000 UAH (47 600 EURO) 

Most probably, the Pavlychenko case could be left unnoticed by the general public, as many similar cases. Few people would question the verdict as it seems that Dmytro had a clear motive (remember, he did not agree with Mr.Zubkov ruling and called a press-conference to appeal to the President just before the magistrate’s death). At the same time tens of thousands of innocent Ukrainians who have not even had motives are suffering in prisons thanks to Themis servants and most such cases do not get the media attention. But the football fans have made the Pavlychenko case well know to the public. 

TVI broadcast dedicated to the Pavlychenko case:

One might ask a question – why this particular case resulted in such actions?

The reason for that is quite obvious – Dmytro’s son Sergiy Pavlychenko is a longtime supporter of Dynamo Kyiv and he was frequent at the ultras stand. After the fans found out what was happening, they organized unprecedented campaign to defend their mate and his father.


ФDynamo fans have had supported the Pavlychenkos shortly after they found out about their detention. The more they learned about this case, the more they were outraged because it was clear that the investigation was conducted with numerous violations. They began to shout chants at stadiums during football games and to support it with respective texts on banners. They have created a group “Free the Pavlychenkos!” in a social network vk.com, а and a established a dedicated website which supports Ukrainian, Russian and English languages: theyarenotkillers.com The first ultras march to support the Pavlychenkos was conducted in June 2011.

How it is all started…. The march to support the Pavlychenkos in June 2011:

Dozens of Dynamo fans were present at every court hearing. They gave moral support to their mate and his father as well as material one to Sergiy’s mother who was left alone with her younger son. Gradually the fans protest spread out among the other clubs supporters in Ukraine and beyond. Fans from Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Odesa, Chernivtsi, Sumy, Armyansk, Mykolayiv, Chernihiv, Lutsk, Symferopil and other large and smaller Ukrainian cities have joined the action. Even Dynamo everlasting rivals – Spartak Moscow fans displayed a banner with words “Free Pavlychenko!” on it during the Russian Premier League game. The action was supported in the opposite corner of Europe – in Portugal where fans of F.C. Porto who played Dynamo Kyiv in a Champions League game displayed the similar banner written in English.

One can guess that fans advocate Pavlychenko just because he is one of them. But it is not that simple. The goal of the protest is to highlight the fact that the investigation was conducted with numerous violations, in fact it was forged. Two men who were not dentified by the witnesses, who have not had a piece of evidence against them, were jailed illegitimately. Moreover, they were tortured and threatened during investigation. Ultras protest is not just to get their mate from jail, they want to highlight that nobody was interested to establish the truth in this resonant case.

Dynamo fans are sure that Sergiy and his father were set up and the real killers are still walking the ground. It is well known that Mr Zubkov conducted other cases related to the lawfulness of several real estate developments in Kyiv. It is also well known that shortly before his death Mr Zubkov took some decisions not in favor of some major real estate developers. It is quite possible that somebody else had good reasons to cut the judge’s life and the Pavlychenkos “apartment case” turned up just in time for them.

Dmytro Pavlychenko always declared that he would fight using only lawful methods and after he made the case public, he had no reason to kill Sergiy Zubkov at all, even considering his arguable court ruling. Dmytro, who was actively campaigning in the press would became the primary suspect in this case. Fans do not believe that Dmytro could do this and moreover, to engage his underage son thus breaking his life.

It should be noted that the campaign “Freedom to the Pavlychenkos!” is not a political one. It is not sponsored by any political party. All the actions were executed by volunteers, all the materials were purchased at the fans’ expense.


Different people take football fans differently. Some criticize them for making too much noise at the stadium and because of this “true” spectators cannot fully enjoy the game. Some do not like them for using fireworks and smoke bombs and they fear that a firework can burn a concrete stadium to the ground. Some are simply afraid of them because they assume all fans are hooligans and are dreaming of beating somebody up. But the latest events proved that no one can deny the fact that fans are truly united and are strong in mind.

Such graffiti can be seen all over Kyiv now

One should not idealize fans just because of this solidarity action. Passionate youth are not a very good example for others, especially children. However, in this particular case whole Ukrainian society should learn from them how to be persistent in their fight for the truth.

Unfortunately, this story has a sad end: life sentence for Dmytro Pavlychenko and 13 years imprisonment for his son Sergiy. But ultras do not surrender – an appeal will be lodged to revert the court decision and the tribune actions will be continued. We will hear Pavlychenko name shouted by fans at many stadiums and will read it again and again on their banners. The chances of the Pavlychenkos to be released from prizon are slim, but Dynamo fans will not give up. 

I suggest to watch a 5-minute video to see a moment when the verdict was read out to Pavlychenkos and then how Dynamo fans saw their mate and his father off from the court. Probably, no one had received such sincere and at the same time sad support, not even some famous Ukrainian politicians who are also in prison now…

Tymofejuk Andriy, bigmir.net

Protest in Kiev on 25 November 2012: Thousands of people chant "Free Pavlichenko"

Watch this video to see the scale of the protest: