Revo­lu­tion on trial

Kyiv Post - - Opinion -

The Pros­e­cu­tor Gen­eral’s Of­fice in­dicted three ac­tivists of the Au­toMaidan car-based protest group on Sept. 10 and will send the cases to trial in the up­com­ing days. They were charged with throw­ing eggs at Oleh Barna, a law­maker from the 135-mem­ber fac­tion of Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko, at a protest in 2017. They face up to seven years in prison.

Mean­while, Lviv Oblast’s Lawyers’ As­so­ci­a­tion is sched­uled to con­sider on Sept. 20 strip­ping the Au­toMaidan’s lawyer Ro­man Maselko of his lawyer’s li­cense. He is ac­cused of vi­o­lat­ing a lawyer’s ethics by crit­i­ciz­ing the com­pe­ti­tion for the Supreme Court and sup­port­ing whistle­blower judges.

The ridicu­lous per­se­cu­tion of the Au­toMaidan shows that the author­i­ties are ac­tively crack­ing down on those who are ex­pos­ing their cor­rupt schemes and at the same time cov­er­ing up for those who spear­head cor­rup­tion.

One of the lucky un­touch­ables is In­te­rior Min­is­ter Arsen Avakov’s son Olek­sandr, thanks to his fa­ther’s pro­tec­tion.

On Sept. 11, Volodymyr Lytvyn, the scape­goat in the Hr 14 mil­lion em­bez­zle­ment case against Olek­sandr Avakov, was sen­tenced to a fiveyear sus­pended sen­tence af­ter con­clud­ing a plea bar­gain and giv­ing tes­ti­mony on an al­leged ac­com­plice who died in 2015.

Lytvyn claimed that Avakov’s son and his ex-deputy Ser­hiy Che­b­o­tar had not been in­volved in the scheme, and the case against Che­b­o­tar and Avakov was closed. This ver­sion con­tra­dicts a mas­sive amount of ev­i­dence, in­clud­ing the video footage in which Che­b­o­tar and Olek­sandr Avakov ne­go­ti­ate the cor­rupt deal.

The on­go­ing tri­umph of top-level cor­rup­tion and the crack­down on dis­sent re­sem­ble ex-Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych’s au­thor­i­tar­i­an­ism. More­over, the in­cum­bent klep­to­crats also have an ex­cuse for steal­ing and stalling re­forms that Yanukovych didn’t have: war.

The author­i­ties’ crack­down on the Au­toMaidan, which played a ma­jor role in the 2013–2014 EuroMaidan Revo­lu­tion and in oust­ing Yanukovych, sig­nals the ul­ti­mate vic­tory of the counter-revo­lu­tion.

Now it’s be­com­ing in­creas­ingly clear that the revo­lu­tion’s vic­tory was only an il­lu­sion. The hy­dra of Yanukovych’s cor­rupt regime has been de­prived of its head but it has grown new ones.

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