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#Commentary of Vladislav Berdichevsky on Ukrainian bill on collaborators

On December 22, the Verkhovna Rada registered the so-called bill on collaborators, which is a package with the introduction of changes to the criminal code of Ukraine. According to the latter, for collaboration it will be possible to receive up to 15 years in prison. The draft laws are presented by the deputies of the Popular Front Party.

Let’s try to understand what kind of a bill it is. If we sort out the vague and unclear formulations of the document, it turns out that, basically, any citizen of Ukraine can be subjected to verification for collaboration, since it is enough to denounce a neighbour or any other ‘vigilant comrade’. Anything can serve as evidence of a ‘crime’, up to the posts in social networks. And it will not be the court to establish guilt but a certain committee that works according to the rules (!). That is, for this body of “moral authorities” the law is something to adhere to.

A separate issue deserves the question of who will have the right to conduct a check of fellow citizens. A commission of 50 people is proposed to be recruited on a competitive basis, and people with “high moral principles” will be admitted to it. “This person, whose opinion respects society due to certain professional, moral or other similar qualities of such a person, whose activity deserves public respect,” the bill says. But, what this expression means and how the level of respect for society by a person will be measured, even the authors of this definition could not explain to the Ukrainian press.

In addition to high-moral members of the commission, it will have to include two representatives from the president, the Verkhovna Rada, the Cabinet of Ministers, the Foreign Intelligence Service and the Security Service of Ukraine.

The law on collaborators has been spoken about in Ukraine for a long time. Even the opinion of Western curator does not stop the government in the intention to adopt it. So, several months ago Kurt Volker announced the US council to Ukraine: to prepare for the “amnesty” of the residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics – to which Arsen Avakov proposed to pass a law on collaborators. However, this is not the first mention of the odious bill. By and large, this topic is raised every time Ukraine needs to divert attention from pressing problems.

Summarizing all of the above, we see that this bill does not respond not to the norms of international law, but in general has a distant relation to legal activity. Intentionally or stupidly, its creators operate with vague concepts, being unable to define even the basic terms in their own bill. Reading the law, you do not know whether to laugh at its unprofessionalism or to be horrified by the anger that created him. Written by illiterate activists, ‘traders of patriotism,’ this bill shows the mental and moral degradation of the Ukrainian authorities.

I believe that this bill will not be adopted anyway. Too obvious are the consequences: tough criticism from international human rights organizations. But to inhabitants of the Donbass this document shows intentions of the most radical part of representatives of the Ukrainian power. And this is enough for us to move even further away from the country where such manifestations are possible.

Vladislav Berdichevsky, the DPR People’s Council deputy

Official website of the DPR People’s Council 

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