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PRESS RELEASE


New Frame-up Attempt Against Vitrenko in Ukraine

Feb. 9, 2017 (EIRNS)—-In a video posted yesterday, titled "Ukrainian Terror instead of European Democracy," Ukrainian economist and former MP Dr. Natalia Vitrenko presented the latest evidence that the Ukraine Security Service (SBU) is attempting to silence her through a politically motivated frame-up on criminal charges of separatism. Ukrainian law defines as a crime "infringement of the territorial integrity of Ukraine." The law was instituted after the U.S.-backed coup that overthrew Ukraine’s elected President Victor Yanukovych, the third anniversary of which comes in two weeks.

On Oct. 28, 2016, the offices of Vitrenko’s Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine (PSPU) were raided and occupied by paramilitary forces, acting in a real estate dispute involving the building’s landlord. The contents of the office-property of the PSPU, its newspaper, associated organizations, and individual members-were carted off and sequestered by the SBU. In November Vitrenko warned that the SBU could be combing through the confiscated computer files for evidence to use in reviving a 2014 criminal investigation of the Gift of Life women’s organization, and Vitrenko personally as its head, on false charges of "infringing the territorial integrity of Ukraine." This is Article 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, which carries a penalty of 10 years in prison.

Apparently the SBU did not find what it wanted. Instead, on Feb. 4 Vitrenko learned through a media article with the incendiary headline "Court seizes property of organization headed by Vitrenko: infringement of the territorial integrity of Ukraine suspected," that the SBU is plunging ahead with a court case based on entirely fake evidence. The article claimed that on Jan. 23 a Kiev court, having reviewed a motion filed by an SBU investigator, had ordered the seizure of property belonging to Gift of Life. The court order, however, cited a list of property confiscated at a different location in Kiev, and to which the Gift of Life organization had no connection whatsoever: tents, sleeping bags, bottles ("Are they trying to make it sound like a Molotov cocktail factory?" Vitrenko asks in her new video), and a large number of boxes of dried pasta.

Pointing out that the Ukrainian Constitution guarantees citizens protection against false accusations, Vitrenko in the video details what the human rights defense activity of Gift of Life actually was in 2012-14, at which point it had to cease operations because the SBU caused its accounts to be frozen.

She wages a polemic in the video, that if her economic program had been adopted by Ukraine in the mid-1990s, when as a member of Parliament she issued it in opposition to International Monetary Fund-prescribed deregulation and privatization, Ukraine would have been a thriving nation today; there would have been no economic hardship, such as made people fall for the "better life in Europe" slogans of the coup organizers; thus there would have been no coup, no loss of Crimea, and no uprising in the Donbass leading to the deaths of 10,000 people. Thus, far from "infringing" anything, Vitrenko states that her program would have protected Ukraine and guaranteed its future prosperity in cooperation with Eurasian development overall.

Vitrenko has demanded a retraction of the Feb. 4 article on the Glavkom website.