Protesters call Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov to withdraw his support to Yanukovych

On Wednesday, Dec 18, Ukrainian community in London will held another rally in front of house of Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, located in One Hyde Park. 100 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7JL. The first rally in London took place on Dec 8, 2013.

Protesters will address Rinat Ahmetov to withdraw his support to President of Ukraine Yanukovych taking into consideration the violence, government used to protesters on Nov 30 in Kyiv. The rally is one of the methods of nonviolent resistance against the political regime of Yanukovych. According to Ukrainska Pravda, Ahmetov controls up to 50 members of Ukrainian Parliament making a decisive role in legislation process. On the other hand, Ahmetov’s reputation as an economical mogul is very sensitive in the eyes of international community. His backing of corrupted government brings question to Ahmetov business partners globally.

Two weeks ago, Ukrainian investigative journalists have published the corruption schemes of Yanukovych’s family. Journalists’s findings argue, that Ukrainian economy looses from $5 Billion to $10 Billion annually due to Yanukovych’s corruption.

A protester playing piano conftonting riot police

A protester playing piano conftonting riot police

A peaceful protestor playing piano confronting riot police on Bankova Street, a street that leads to the Administration of President Yanukovych in Kyiv on Dec 7, 2013. While the government relied on violence towards protestors, people practiced peaceful methods of protests, including creative like this one.

Photo by Oleg Matseh

President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych run away from journalists

Viktor Yanukovych did not stop to answer the questions of Ukrainian and international journalists regarding political crisis in Ukraine and responsibility for forceful dispersal of protesters in Kyiv on Nov 30.

After negotiations between opposition leaders and government during round table that took place on Dec 13, the President left the venue through rear exit not willing to talk to journalists. Dozens journalists were following Yanukovych, shouting questions and requests to answer them. Presidents’ bodyguards approached journalists to prevent them from asking questions.

The round table was not productive at all. Vitaliy Klychko, a leader of oppositional Udar party, said “The government did not accept any of your demands.”

DDoS attacks target media covering protests in Ukraine

Protests in Ukraine against government have originated from users’ online activities and have been fueled with online discussions and dissemination of information through Twitter, Facebook and news sites. While government looses control on information flow, it might be interested to counter activities in Internet.

Thus, it has happened in Ukraine. News sites covering protests have been placed under cyber attacks during last weeks. Unidentified actors try to silence some Ukrainian sites through distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks as attempts to make a site unavailable to its intended users.

On Dec 14,2013  journalists of Liga.net wrote on official page in Facebook: “We are currently under a very strong DDoS attack. Our technical team is fighting the whole night through.”

1_DDoS Screenshot at Dec 14 01-03-11

Another site Cityband.com.ua published in the beginning of December a map that showed key spots of protests in Kyiv. Now the site does not work. The notice on its front page says: “Our site is under DDoS attack. We had to close hosting. Sorry, friends. But we have created a more informative map on Yandex – Cityband Euromaidan.”

1 CITYBAND

Cityband Euromaidan Yandex Map shows in colors main locations  of Euromaidan supporters and their opponents in downtown Kyiv. It also provides brief explanations of locations.

yandex Screenshot at Dec 14 02-09-43

Earlier Ukrainska Pravda and Ukr.net announced they had experienced DDoS attacks on their sites.

Tips: How to use Twitter in Ukraine today

Twitter plays a significant role in dissemination of information about Ukrainian protests (#euromaidan, #євромайдан). Many new users have joined Twitter in Ukraine during last three weeks of protests.

To provide better understanding to users on how to use Twitter effectively, my colleagues in Internews Ukraine conducted an educational session today (trainer – Yevgen Demchenko, FRI). The session was also streaming online. A special attention was paid to the issue how to avoid misleading information in Twitter.

Hayden Panettiere and her fiance Volodymyr Klitschko visit protesters in Kiev

Volodymyr Klitschko and his fiancee, American actress Hayden Panettiere, address protesters on the Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) in Kiev, Ukraine. They came to support protesters’ aspirations for European future of Ukraine.

Sayeth Hayden: “Nothing compares to the undeniably deep souls of the Ukrainian people.”


Note: Hundreds of thousands people came on streets in Kiev on December 1st to protest against police violence and government refusal to sign the EU Association agreement, a political and economical tool to bring Ukraine closer to European nations.

Journalists publish corruption schemes of President Yanukovych

yanukovych1_eng
Ukrainian investigative journalists called the governments of the US and EU countries to use anti-money laundering standards of FATF against the family of the President of Ukraine. According to journalists‘ findings, Yanukovych’s family is involved into corruption schemes that bleed the economy of Ukraine.

The journalists request within the governments the following:
1. Law-enforcement agencies in the EU and the U.S. shall immediately freeze accounts of Viktor Yanukovych, his son Oleksander and companies of which they are beneficiary owners. Freeze correspondent banking accounts, used by business structures and affiliated financial institutions of the Yanukovyches to get access to the world finance market.

2. Financial institutions of the EU and the U.S. shall terminate serving businesses, which might belong to Viktor Yanukovych, his family members, in particular Mr. Oleksander Yanukovych, and their associates. Read the full statement and see graphics on: www.yanukovich.info

Protests in Ukraine continues for the third week, since Nov 21. Protesters demand the changes of political regime. Follow the news from Ukraine through Twitter – #euromaidan

Lviv students call the international community to pressure government of Ukraine

Hundreds of students in Lviv, located in Western Ukraine, have appealed to the international community to support peaceful protests in Ukraine and respond on government’s violent acts.

“We are standing on Euromaidan to show up our disagreement with the criminal acts of the government of Ukraine towards participants of peaceful rallies by abusing their human rights and civil liberties.”

“We appeal to the international community to take an active role in settling the situation in Ukraine, to impose sanctions to the President of Ukraine, to speak up in support of jailed protesters, to provide veracious coverage of events in Ukraine, to control bringing to justice of those, responsible for using the violence against protesters.”

Students appealing to the international community in Lviv:

Riot police knock down protesters in Kyiv:

Internews Ukraine: Ukrainian protests are peaceful, despite the provocation cases

Address to journalists in the EU and worldwide

Dear colleagues and friends,

International media NGO “Internews Ukraine” calls on you to disseminate the following two messages to your colleagues and friends. First, Ukrainian protests are peaceful. Second, the regime is cruel to its citizens and to the journalists.

Some of you might have watched videos about yesterday’s violence near the Presidential administration in Kyiv. One thing should be made clear: this violence is NOT the essence of the Ukrainian protests. It was a result of a special operation aimed at provoking violence on both sides of the confrontation.

The key idea of these provocations is to discredit the peaceful character of the Ukrainian protests, and to create an aggressive image of the will of the people. Some radicals can naively join them. But they do not represent even a tiny part in the Ukrainian protests.

Hundreds of thousands people who took on streets on December 1st, were peaceful.  They want the change of the regime but they don’t want blood. They want a free Ukraine, a non-violent European state respecting the rule of law and the fundamental freedoms. The huge manifestation was provoked by forceful disperse of peaceful pro-EU protesters by riot police early in the morning of November 30 in Kyiv.

The regime, however, is cruel. During the events on December 1st and November 30th it has attacked journalists. At least 40 journalists, including from the international media such as Reuters, Euronews, etc. have suffered from police assault (more information in Ukrainian is available here: http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2013/12/1/7004192/). These brutal acts are against the international law and conventions protecting freedom of speech.

Your support is highly needed and valuable. Together we should stay firm and stop violence.

Team of Internews Ukraine, an International Kyiv-based NGO

Permanent link: http://bit.ly/ukraineprotests

Backgrounder

internews ukraineInternews Ukraine is one of the leading media NGOs, working in Ukrainian media and communication market since 1996. Mission of organization is the promotion of European values in Ukraine through development of successful media. The organization empowers independent and pluralistic media in Ukraine; improves journalism standards and local media legislation; assists the development of full-fledged democracy and civil society in the country; journalism networking and communication support; new media and social journalism. Website: http://internews.ua/, Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/internewsukraine