Smear Campaign against Taras Kutovy in Poltava Oblast Covered Up by Berkut and Traffic Police

17.10.2012 00:29

Smear campaign against “UDAR” candidates is going on. In particular, on October 16 a newsletter discrediting Taras Kutovy, the only opposition candidate in district #151, was widely distributed in Lokhvytsia, Poltava Oblast.

Witnesses reported seeing over 20 buses packed with young people who were dressed as “UDAR” activists flocking to the district. During the day pseudo activists literally showered the district with glossy newsletters full of blatant lies, libels and insults addressed to Kutovy.

Locals noticed that the dissemination of many thousands of copies was under control of armed soldiers of special militia detachments known as Berkut ("Golden Eagles"). In addition, traffic police officers who were placed throughout Lokhvytsia secured smooth transit of the buses. Staff members of Taras Kutovy’s election headquarters said that two cars with Berkut soldiers kept them under close watch that day. Although the integrity of the local law enforcement officers is doubtful following these events now, Oleksandr Panchenko, an election agent of Taras Kutovy, filed a suit seeking protection of his honor and dignity.

On a side note, Lyudmyla Ovcharenko, the leader of “Moya Poltavshchyna” NGO, who is allegedly financed by People’s Deputy Andriy Verevsky of the Party of Regions, is Taras Kutovy’s major opponent in the parliamentary elections. Reporters of “Podiyi and komentari” (“Events and Comments”) local newspaper tried to get to know more about this NGO and its candidates; however, they instantly received threats. The wife of Oleksandr Lutsenko, the newspaper’s chief editor, was threatened to be physically abused by phone. The law enforcement officers were reluctant to document this case, so the chief editor had to take his wife and two little children to another city and hide them.

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