“UDAR”: Authorities “Employed” Postmen to Disseminate Defamatory Statements

22.10.2012 10:03

Commenting on the dissemination of yet another set of fake newspapers and newsletters against “UDAR” by “Ukrposhta” postmen in Odessa and Odessa Oblast, the Party said that this has turned into a large-scale smear campaign involving administrative leverage.

Printed materials of defamatory nature, i.e. brochures, newsletters, and newspapers are placed in mailboxes of Odessa residents by “Ukrposha” postmen directly. Valeriy Karpuntsov, Head of Legal Department of “UDAR” Party said, “These are 100% defamatory materials the distribution of which is found liable under the Criminal Code. They include Nazi propaganda, incitement to ethnic hatred, insults and slander against members of the “UDAR” Party. We will make this a public issue.” He also added that at the same time these materials contain a call to vote for the Party of Regions.

“UDAR” will file a request with the Central Election Committee and law enforcement agencies to identify contractors and bring them to justice, as well as to take a close look at “Ukrposhta’s” role in the campaign.

“UDAR” stressed that the last weeks of the election campaign had seen a growing number of anti-UDAR slogans spread across the country, with the number of dirty techniques used against the Party hitting a record high this week. In particular, Crimea is the next destination for the dissemination of “Slavic News” newspaper containing cartoons, false statements, myths and other defamatory information. This was already seen in other regions of Ukraine during the election campaign. Armed soldiers of special militia detachments known as Berkut ("Golden Eagles") controlled the dissemination of many thousands of newsletters discrediting Taras Kutovy in Poltava Oblast.

Through newspapers and newsletters, authorities are trying to split “UDAR” and “Batkivshchyna” in Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast. For example, a false statement on behalf of a “Batkivshchyna” candidate in district 97 that he hadn’t stepped down in favor of Pavlo Rizanenko, the “UDAR” candidate in the district, appeared in newspapers, newsletters and even on billboards. A number of defamatory statements were published against Victor Chumak, “UDAR” candidate in district 214 in Kyiv in the newspaper campaigning for a representative of “Chernovetsky’s young team” and protégé of the Party of Regions. In district 215, “UDAR” representatives regularly catch distributors of “Stolichnye vedomosti” (Capital News) newspaper, which publishes defamatory statements against Ihor Opadchy, as well as some other SMD candidates.

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