Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Ukraine, aren't you ashamed?"

There was a memorial rally at Maidan today, marking eight years since Heorhiy Gongadze's disappearance, but I came an hour late, at the very end of it, missing the eight minutes of silence:


There seemed to be more journalists than ordinary people there by the time I showed up; later, I heard on the news that about 200 people attended the event:

Sadly, I was reminded of the opposition rallies at Pushkin Square in Moscow - very few protesters/activists and crowds hurrying by past them and their posters to the metro and nearby stores and restaurants. In Moscow, however, there are way too many cops standing around at such events - while here there were just a couple of them, involved in some kind of a brawl with a bunch of guys.

Mykola Melnychenko was there, talking to Channel 1+1:

As I was taking pictures of him, a middle-aged man standing next to me said: "He's a good man, isn't he?" I shrugged, but he nodded with grotesque passion and went on: "Yes, he is a very good man."

I haven't followed the tapes affair in a very long time, and I'm not even sure if Melnychenko's recordings are considered crucial part of the investigation of Gongadze's unsolved case anymore. In a TV interview today, he said that the Ukrainian prosecutor general's office didn't have the equipment necessary to confirm the authenticity of the recordings. I've made a little video of Melnychenko, too, and here's the part where he says that now that the FBI has withdrawn its support, it would take PACE a couple years to find qualified experts to evaluate the tapes:

Honestly, I've no idea what to make of it all. But I wonder if Melnychenko is seeking publicity again, to score some points in case yet another election does take place after all and he decides to run again.

1 comment: