AZOV struggles against the illegal construction. On the detainment of Sergiy Filimonov (UPD)
Prehistory of the conflict
Since February 2016 the residents of the house #3 on Sviatoshynsky lane in Kyiv have been fighting against the illegal construction of the skyscraper in front of their home. This space is reserved for a children’s playground and parking, moreover, there was a landslide, which means that any kinds of construction, normally forbidden in the yards of the dwelling houses, become a crime. It’s only one of numerous cases of illegal construction across the city, often at the expense of destroying the historical face of Kyiv. It’s no wonder that many citizens approve of the moratorium on the further construction of the houses, both legal and illegal.
September 5 happened the annual protest action of the residents against the “building mafia” which was violently dispersed by anonymous hired thugs – the so-called “titushki” named after their iconic leader Titushko and widely known for an infamous role they played during the Maidan revolution. When the shocked citizens showed their smashed heads to the “Azovians” who support the residents’ demands, the AZOV Civil Corps couldn’t help coming to their rescue.
Stone Age-2. Epic yet risky battles of AZOV with the “building mafia”
September 8, activists of the AZOV Civil Corps participated in the next picket against the illegal construction in the area of Sviatoshynsky lane in Kyiv. The thugs started burning tires and throwing stones at the protesters. The latter, in turn, were storming the fence delimiting the field of illegal construction. They had to overcome 3 (!) lines of defense fortified with the barbed wire. In the end, over 30 activists were injured. One of them required 25 stitches for the head injury. Besides, “titushki” were shooting lead bullets with a traumatic pistol. Newly created police for some reason did nothing to stop them. However, in the end of the day the victory was on the protesters’ side. The AZOV Civil Corps ruined the fence and fortifications of the thugs, but understood: so far they won the battle, not the war, and it was only the beginning of the struggle.
Police disrupts the civil blockade of the “Kyivmiskbud” company
The next day, Sep. 9, the AZOV Civil Corps in the symbolic amount of 20-30 people brought physical proofs of the violence inflicted upon the activists during yesterday’s clashes to the building of “Kyivmiskbud” (“Kyivan urban construction”), having blocked all the entrances to the building. By preventing the workers from doing their job, AZOV substantiated the demand to get a list with the names of thugs who were hired by the company to beat the residents and their supporters. To the latter’s surprise, over 40 policemen dispersed the protesters, having beaten them and detained the ones within their reach.
In particular, one of policemen wearing the civilian clothes attacked the head of the Kyiv branch of the AZOV Civil Corps, Sergiy Filimonov, provoked the fight with him and got hit in response. Predictably, “Filya” is currently accused of assaulting a policemen, although the police brutality against him was filmed in the video.
Furthermore, the journalist protesting against illegal actions of the presumably reformed after the revolution and “civilised” law enforcement, got his nose broken by one of its employees. Finally, one of them shouted “We were killing you in the Maidan and will keep killing you!” The reforms are striking, aren’t they?..
The AZOV Civil Corps rallies in front of the police department
The AZOV Civil Corps did not give up and announced mobilization of all available activists and sympathizers in front of the Pechersk district police department. The rally lasted for several hours and was widely covered by the journalists. “One for all and all for one!” chanted Nazar Kravchenko, the head of staff of the AZOV Civil Corps, and its members repeated after him the classic slogan. Representatives of Right Sector, Svoboda and C14 also came to support the protesters. Andriy Biletsky, the leader of the AZOV movement and Oleg Petrenko, its longtime member and defender of political prisoners, as MPs of Ukraine, entered the department to release the detainees. As a result, all of them were freed except for Filya whose release is expected Sep. 10, after another solidarity rally in front of the court’s building.
“Kyivmiskbud” vows to suspend construction in the city
The reaction of “Kyivmiskbud” was immediate: the company threatened to suspend all construction works across the city due to the fact that AZOV does not let them do their duties (meaning the blockade of illegal construction on Sviatoshynsky lane, 3). Given that “Kyivmiskbud” is a privatized after the fall of Soviet Union state enterprise that receives billions of money, the AZOV Civil Corps must have spoiled quite a profitable for them corruption scheme. During the presidential cadence of Yanukovych, director of “Kyivmiskbud” Igor Kushnir was a deputy of Defense Minister Mykhailo Yezhel, who has fled the country after the revolution and is currently accused of destroying the Ukrainian army’s logistical support and selling out the armament. No doubt, one may only welcome the suspension of their activities thanks to a single protest action against the illegal construction by AZOV. Residents of the house #3 on Sviatoshynsky lane definitely share this opinion and gladly give all kinds of assistance to the activists of the AZOV Civil Corps who opened another centre of Public Reception of Andriy Biletsky at the place of liquidated illegal construction.
Rally in support of Sergiy Filimonov at Pechersky District Court
Sep. 10 at Pechersky District Court in Kyiv began the trial in the case of Sergiy Filimonov. Activists of the AZOV Civil Corps showed massive support to their comrade at the walls of the building. Andriy Biletsky and Oleg Petrenko, as MPs, appealed to the fact that the policeman was dressed in civilian clothes and thus has no right to charge Sergiy with violence against the police officer. They requested to bail Filya out of prison. The request was fulfilled: currently, Sergiy is free!
But the struggle with the “building mafia” goes on…