November 13, 2013
For journalists, writing about politics in Ukraine, it is customary that the characters of their publications act against them. The representatives of the authorities of different levels often do this. This time the leaders of the opposition factions in the parliament acted against the popular Lviv newspaper “Express”.
It is well known that the unbiased press – is the first aid of an opposition politician, of course, if it does not write about the business, connected with their not always correct activities. Lviv can fairly claim to bear the name of the second political capital of Ukraine, and the local journalists did not go into raptures because of the actions of the popular in the West of Ukraine Svoboda party.
The newspaper with the largest circulation, the Express, having worked in the newspaper market for over 20 years, has published a series of investigations about the activities of the Svoboda leader, Oleh Tiahnybok, and his associates. It is clear that nobody likes it when the party financier is found out to be a person with a criminal past and the ardent female nationalist – turns out to be a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. However, the unusual reaction has been urged by the last investigation of the Express, signed by the editor-in chief of the newspaper, Ihor Pochynok. It must be remarked that the Express specializes in investigations, in particular, the newspaper managed to expose the dangerous rogue “Doctor Pi”, Andriy Slisarchuk, operating upon people without any medical education.
The Express newspaper has recently announced that the arrested in Austria Vasyl Novytskiy, charged with fraud, had been Oleh Tiahnybok’s business partner for a long time. This partnership lasted for about 15 years and its foundation looks very interesting. Novytskiy called himself the inventor of the cure for cancer with the symbolic name of “Ukraine”, which was allegedly the panacea for Oncological diseases. Taking into consideration that Ukraine is one of the European leaders by the number of cancer patients, it can only be imagined what profits Novytskiy has gained speculating on people’s problems. It seems that the part of the money ended up as the party funds of the Svoboda.
The oppositionists preferred to avoid reasoned response to the criticism on the part of the press and to act as the united front against the Express newspaper, having signed a joint statement which claims the beginning of the information war against the opposition forces. However, the representatives of the Batkivshchyna and the UDAR have decided not to post this statement on the official websites of their political forces. Perhaps, the parties understand that they are absolutely in the wrong. The approach to the problem resembles the decision by the Pechersk Court in the times of Yulia Tymoshenko’s being the premier when there was made an attempt to forbid any criticism of the actions by the government, headed by the Batkivshchyna leader.
It is significant that the leaders of the opposition parties in the case with the Express have acted together for the first time since May 2013, when within the framework of the campaign “Stand up, Ukraine” they declared their intention to change the power in the country. The desire to avoid criticism does not increase a politician’s chances to get a victory, whatever he might be – oppositional or pro-governmental. I am sure that such methods of responding to criticism by the press have little to do with the European political principles. I hope that the partners of the Ukrainian opposition in Europe (the Batkivshchyna and the UDAR are the observers in the European People’s Party) will manage to explain the fallacy of their stand.