Letter to Poroshenko, US (2016)
To: President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko
Cc: US Embassy in Ukraine, embassies of the EU countries іn Ukraine
June 9, 2016
OPEN LETTER FROM THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE ANTI-TRUKHANOV MAIDAN IN ODESSA
Given the impact of Odessa on the situation in Ukraine and the whole Black Sea region, we consider it necessary to draw your attention to the mayor of Odessa, Gennadiy Trukhanov, known for his long-standing active links with organized crime, who has been one of the main figures of the Party of Regions in Odessa in the past, and is now relying on his own party, Doveryai delam (Trust Deeds).
In the period of the all-Ukrainian Euromaidan 2013-2014, Trukhanov, as a member of the Supreme Rada and also the Odessa City Council, de facto controlled by him, encouraged the crazy, brutal actions of Yanukovych and the latter’s government against the peaceful protesters in Kiev. After the flight of Yanukovych to Russia and Putin’s aggression in Crimea, the Odessa City Council for months expressed no official position on what was happening in our country. Trukhanov, at the same time, openly supported the Odessa separatists and the collaborators of the “Kulikovo pole” movement and collaborated with the pro-Putin party “Rodyna” (whose leaders later escaped to Russia one after another, or are now fighting in Donbass on the side of the Russian troops and the local separatists who are killing our citizens). This fueled the tension in the city and led to the bloody clashes on May 2, 2014, organized by the separatists. As many as 48 people tragically died.
Nevertheless, due to, inter alia, a dirty misinformation campaign aimed at shifting political liability onto his opponents, the real supporters of an independent Ukraine, Trukhanov managed in 2014 to become the mayor of Odessa, backed by city resources of all kinds that were controlled by him and the obvious partisanship of the electoral commissions. Trukhanov again became mayor in 2015, using the administrative resources in the campaign even more. The vote-counting in both cases was accompanied by the committing of crude violations and falsifications.
In 2016 Trukhanov’s name popped up in the Panama Papers, and new information about his direct involvement in international crime was obtained. In Ukraine, an important journalistic video investigation about Trukhanov, “Captain under the Tricolor” was released. The topic of Trukhanov’s reported Russian citizenship (which gives a citizen of the aggressor country access to Ukrainian state secrets) requires a separate, careful examination.
In April, citizens of Odessa came to an open protest against the mayor and organized a permanent non-stop Anti-Trukhanov Maidan. Which, unfortunately, is deliberately ignored by the many media outlets. On April 26 the beating of the Maidan activists and the destruction of their property occurred. Several criminals were caught quickly, but the investigation is going slowly and essentially has been sabotaged. The press conference of the activists in Kiev and their protest near the Presidential Administration on May 19 were hardly covered on TV. It is obvious that Trukhanov enjoys the undeserved support of some influential persons. Public opinion is being suppressed – at least 20 local TV channels in Odessa are under the control of Trukhanov and his allies, and are ignoring or falsifying the information.
Please contribute to an objective, international investigation of Trukhanov’s deeds and those of the criminals associated with him, which will eventually lead the case to legal consequences. Making Trukhanov liable for crimes is a necessary condition for improving the situation in Odessa. Ukraine should not be a thieves’, lawless country any more. The Euromaidan was not in vain!
Vladislav Balinskyy (chemist, biologist, the member of the journalistic-experts’ “May 2 Group”), Stas Dombrovskiy (poet), Sergey Ermoshkin (civil activist, lawyer), Mikhail Golubev (chess grandmaster, journalist), Shorena Kiknadze (civic activist), Oleg Mykhaylyk (civic activist, company chief executive), Vitaliy von Nordheim (citizen of Odessa), Leonid Shtekel (editor-in-chief of Odessa Daily)