Ukrainian farmers announce indefinite protest against land market opening
The joint headquarters for the defense of the native land has announced the beginning of indefinite protests against the adoption by the Verkhovna Rada of the law on opening the land market.
"On January 14, at 07:45, in the government quarter, we begin our perpetual strike. We will move on to a different plane of action. We will also initiate a popular assembly that has legal force and influence on the legislative and executive authorities. We urge all those who care to join so that we could defend our land by joint efforts under the walls of the Verkhovna Rada," Olha Khodakovska, the co-chairperson of the organization, said at a briefing in Kyiv.
At the same time, she voiced the list of requirements of the organizers of the protest: to withdraw the draft law on the land market as contrary to the Constitution of Ukraine, create a working group to develop a comprehensive land reform, and also hold a meeting with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, who "heard lobbyists from large multinational corporations and big businesses, but did not hear Ukrainian farmers."
President of the Association of Farmers and Private Landowners of Ukraine Mykola Stryzhak, in turn, said that the majority of Ukrainian citizens opposed the sale of land, and called on rural residents to organize themselves and resist the actions of the authorities.
"The incumbent government led to the current situation. They promised one thing, but they are doing the exact opposite. They force us, peasants, to come out, because in fact what they are offering us is a land reform with the elements of a slaveholding society," he said.
Head of the Agrarian Union of Ukraine Hennadiy Novikov emphasized that the adoption of the law on the land market in the form in which it is submitted to the parliament will leave the country without prospects.
"If we sell our land to transnational corporations, it will be they who will rule the country. Ukrainian people should rise and say decisive "no" to the sale of their own wealth," he stressed.