14:11 13.01.2022

Klitschko assesses searches in Chernihiv as political pressure on local govt

3 min read

Head of the Association of Ukrainian Cities, mayor of Kyiv, leader of the UDAR party, Vitali Klitschko, declares political pressure on local governments in view of the searches at the representatives of local government in the city of Chernihiv.

"The events taking place in Chernihiv region are noteworthy. Over the past few months, local authorities have been searched five times more than in the last six years. Everyone knows how the searches were carried out in the city of Kyiv - they did not find anything, and now they have come to mayor Chernihiv - to representative of the team of the UDAR party, Vladyslav Atroshenko. Both in Kyiv and in Chernihiv, the reasons for the searches are the same: the mayors should agree to 'fixing games' instead of representing the interests of their voters," Klitschko said at a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Thursday.

At the same time, he called such "political pressure" "unprofessionalism or sabotage", which can lead to instability or to chaos, since Chernihiv region borders on Belarus.

In turn, mayor of Chernihiv Vladyslav Atroshenko said that in December last year there were about 60 searches at enterprises that carried out work in accordance with the won tenders, the main managers of funds for which were the Department of Housing and Communal Services and the Department of Capital Construction of Chernihiv City Council.

"When I have read the decision of the judge of the Pechersky court to conduct searches, to be honest, I was surprised and took it as a joke: I was accused of creating an organized criminal group in Chernihiv city ... Searches are sometimes brutal, there are facts of threats to lawyers with physical violence right at the place of searches, there are facts of searches in the families of ordinary employees in front of their disabled children," he said.

According to Atroshenko, he received information that these searches may indicate political and forceful pressure in July 2021 after the Unity Forum in Chernihiv, at which he, together with Klitschko, signed a memorandum on joining forces and joint participation in elections on the basis of UDAR party.

"I received the first signals from the SBI that they were the ones who received the 'fass command' from the President's Office to work on Atroshenko, the mayor of the city of Chernihiv ... The second reason is that I publicly stated that the notorious memorandum on maintaining tariffs is a wrong decision, and the goal of maintaining tariffs must be technically and legally achieved in a completely different way, which will also save public funds. The third reason is the elections in the 206th constituency, to be held on March 27 (the Central Election Commission appointed interim elections of MPs in the electoral district No. 206 in Chernihiv region in connection with the death of MP Anton Polyakov]," explained Atroshenko.

He also noted that the President's Office was allegedly ready to ease the pressure on him if two requirements a re met: Atroshenko "had to back off from Klitschko" and "agree and surrender the 206th district."

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