The Goons Shall Inherit Ukraine
Weeks before Ukraine’s presidential elections, hundreds of goons hired by Viktor Yanukovych set up a tent camp surrounding the Central Election Commission. It still stands there today, election day, a grim vigil and a sign of who will inherit Ukraine. These men will swell the ranks of the security services once Yanukovych takes power.
I walked around this camp on Friday and felt like I’d landed in a prison yard. These guys looked like former boxers, huge and disfigured, marching back and forth along the square in blue raincoats stenciled “Yanukovych – Our President”. On the hands of the older ones I noticed the tattoos of former convicts in the Soviet prison system. Yanukovych himself served 1 year and 7 months in a Soviet prison for robbery. He also faced charges for rape.
The interior minister said over the weekend that Yanukovych had bused 2,000 former police and security guards into Kiev to take part in his “vigils.” Aside from the election commission, the goons were posted at the parliament building and the presidential residence — I saw them there myself standing around the same blue tents. The minister said they were being paid $50 a day, a generous wage in Ukraine. And once Yanukovych takes office, I’m sure he’ll find a place for all of these men in his security apparatus. Ukraine will again become a police state.
What is most shocking to me is how easily the Ukrainian government has allowed these vigils to go on. Yanukovych does not currently hold a government post. He is an opposition figure. Why the fuck are his men surrounding the Central Election Commission on the day of the election?!