Politics 2023-09-15T06:06:22+03:00
Ukrainian news
Human Rights Activist Zakharov Considers Possible Adoption Of Law On Oligarchs As Ukraine's Slide Towards Auth

Human Rights Activist Zakharov Considers Possible Adoption Of Law On Oligarchs As Ukraine's Slide Towards Authoritarian Regime

human rights activist, oligarchs, law on oligarchs, Yevhen Zakharov, authoritarian regime, dictatorship, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Kharkiv human rights group

The board chairperson of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, director of the Kharkiv human rights group, Yevhen Zakharov, believes that the adoption of the law on oligarchs will mean Ukraine's slide towards an authoritarian regime, even a dictatorship.

He announced this in a commentary to Ukrainian News Agency.

He noted that a sufficiently large number of people can meet three out of four criteria for including a person in the register of oligarchs (participation in political life, significant influence of a person on the media, possession of a monopoly on the state market), since, in his opinion, the criteria are quite evaluative.

"In my opinion, this bill will offend a large number of people, and this is the top of the business. And the adoption of this law will mean that the state is very actively interfering in business, because inclusion in the register of oligarchs severely restricts these people," Zakharov said.

He noted that Ukraine is the only country in Central and Eastern Europe that has a large business, independent of the state.

“I believe that the presence of large capital, which does not depend on the state, is a virtue, not a disadvantage of Ukraine. This carries quite a lot of consequences. In particular, this is one of the reasons that whenever we have an attempt to establish an authoritarian regime, it fails, because the rest understand that this will threaten their business, unite against such an oligarch and eliminate such attempts," the human rights activist added.

Zakharov believes that if the "Maidans" were not supported by the oligarchs, they would have less chances to survive.

“Let's not forget that our President knows very well how he won the election. He had a significant influence on the media and thanks to this he rose from zero rating, and many people believed in him - precisely thanks to an active, carefully thought out, well-done campaign in the media," he said.

Zakharov believes that the bill on oligarchs can be viewed as what Zelenskyy is already thinking about future election and is cleaning up the political and media space.

“He just actually wants to remove from political life and from the media market his possible opponents in the next future elections - both presidential and parliamentary. This is exactly how I regard it. And in fact, if it is adopted, in such a context, this is a slide Ukraine to an authoritarian regime, even to a dictatorship. It is quite possible," said the human rights activist.

He noted that there are many evaluative concepts in the bill.

"The National Security and Defense Council will decide who is an oligarch and who is not, in the end. These criteria are not so unambiguously defined. These are continuous assessments. Just like in Russia, where someone who takes part in political life, which is interpreted very broadly, is appointed as a foreign agent," he added.

Zakharov also stressed that the bill does not imply an appeal against this decision, which violates the Constitution, since, according to Article 55, everyone has the right to appeal against the actions or inaction of state bodies in court.

“There is a threat here that they will appoint as oligarchs whoever they want, namely opponents ... Roughly speaking, this is an attempt to eliminate political rivals on the sly that this is a fight with oligarchs, because everything is bad because of them. This is an irresistible desire to suppress, imprison, punish in the heads of the current elite, which wants to solve complex problems with simple methods, which is impossible," he said.

As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy proposes the Verkhovna Rada identify as oligarchs persons who simultaneously meet four criteria: they are participants in political life, have significant influence on the media, own a monopoly on the state market and assets in excess of a million living wages.

The bill proposes, in particular, to prohibit the oligarchs from financing political parties and participating in privatization, as well as to oblige public servants to declare contacts with oligarchs.