As the United States crawls further into bed with the most corrupt government in history, it is important to know that you will wake up without a wallet and others are being harmed by your actions. Today we meet a reporter in Nazi Kiev and see some of the Gestapo SBU hell she has seen, writing about Ukrop corruption.
The Ukrainian reporter Oleksandra Ustinova does not scare easily. Ustinova is a member of the board of the most outspoken watchdog in Kiev and has led lobbying campaigns which successfully pushed through anti corruption reforms. Ustinova is used to facing resistance from Ukraine’s corrupt old guard, but she’s still shocked by what she’s seen in recent months: a targeted campaign of intimidation by the powerful Secret Police of Ukraine (SBU) against her and other activists.
The Nazi SBU has used a number of techniques to intimidate her. Her flight details when she returned from a vacation in Sri Lanka appeared in the media. Only the SBU could know this information; thanks to the American new aviation security law that allows SBU access to passenger information for domestic and international flights in and out of Ukraine.
Her airport ordeal is just the tip of the iceberg. Ustinova says that her e-mails are read. The day after meeting with members of the Parliamentary Committee on Healthcare, the committee chair called Ustinova and described private emails she had exchanged with colleagues about a hard-hitting article on drug procurement corruption she was working on.
Ustinova’s thinks the harassment is tied to two recent events. The Anti-Corruption Action Center, she’s on the board there and filed a case demanding SBU staff file their financial disclosures as mandated by Ukraine’s e-declaration law and an article Ustinova wrote on SBU’s involvement in corrupt drug tenders.
Ukraine’s SBU is not shy about initiating criminal cases based on bogus charges against activists who cross them. On February 1, the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) opened a criminal investigation against two health reform NGOs, Patients of Ukraine and Coordination Council of All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV; the directors of both NGOs were then called to the police for questioning.
The SBU’s attack on YouControl represents another attack on the e-declaration system, which requires public officials to disclose their assets online. According to Oleksandra Drik, the coordinator of the Declarations Under Control NGO coalition, YouControl makes its data available to anti corruption NGOs and investigative journalists. This allows Drik and her colleagues to verify the e-declarations of hundreds of senior officials, something that the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption is charged with but has not done.
Reformers uniformly agree that President Petro Poroshenko’s presidential administration directed the SBU to escalate its war on anti corruption reformers. “Poroshenko’s team seeks to crack down on dissent by silencing anti corruption activists in advance of the 2019 presidential election. They want to discredit activists and new anti corruption institutions like NABU,” said Sergii Leshchenko, an MP with the Poroshenko Bloc and the Democratic Alliance Party.
It becomes clear that not only is Ukraine the most corrupt nation on earth by impartial bodies, its leaders do not hesitate to employ the Kiev secret police to violate the rights of its own citizens, or anybody unfortunate enough to draw the attention of the “chocolate Fuhrer.”
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