Press Conferences in Sumy and Kiev at June 15, 2004
In Kiev, in the Center of National Renascence, the representatives of the
students protesting again creation of Sumy National University (SNU) have
conducted a press conference. The participants were students of Sumy State
University (SumSU), Sumy State Pedagogical University, a head of
department of SumSU and the head of the committee of mothers of Sumy. Among mass
media, the representatives of TV channels "5th channel", "Novy", "ICTV",
newspapers "Galytski Contracty", "Dzerkalo Tyzhnya", etc., were presented - in total,
The representatives of resistance movement have declared the ultimatum to
the President and Prime Minister of Ukraine. The ultimatum is as follows:
if the Decrees of President and Ministry Cabinet concerning creation of SNU
will not be abolished till the 1st of August, the protesting people will
march afoot from Sumy to Kiev. In Kiev, the students, under support of
people from other towns, will set up the tent camp and declare the start
of the all-Ukrainian action of civil disobedience.
The journalists were most interested to know: how SNU will influence the
life of students? The answer is destruction of scientific schools, control
over the students during elections, degradation of level of education,
because the new university is created without the project and analysis of
consequences. This situation is described in the report of the working
group of Verhovhaya Rada and Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.
The representatives of resistance movement have also rejected slanderous
rumors that the protesting students in the tent camp at the center of Sumy
are not from Sumy, are political provocateurs, hired strikers, drug
addicts and miserable students of no academic success.
LIVE TV BROADCAST. SUMY
At June 14, a shooting group of the local private TV company "Vidicon" has
visited the tent camp and suggested students to take part in the live TV
broadcast devoted to the problem of creation of Sumy National University
(SNU). Earlier, TV company "Vidicon" has conducted 3 live TV broadcasts
and has never invited the participants of resistance movement. Students
picketed the building of "Vidicon" and blamed the journalists for violation of
journalist ethics, as the journalists of "Vidicon" each time really threw
mud at the protesting students.
The students have agreed to phone to "Vidicon" before 14.00, June 15, and
declared the names of two participants: Prof. Leonid Melnik, a head of
department of SumSU, and Irina Merkun, the student rector of SumSU. (The
position of student rector is occupied by a student. In SumSU, student
rector is the head of student self-government and is elected by other
students. Irina Merkun is a student of fifth year of study.)
However, when at 21.00 the representatives of resistance movement have
appeared at "Vidicon", them were declared that only the following persons
will take part in the live TV broadcast: Irina Merkun, a slender little
girl, vs. two first vice-rectors of SNU, Ivaniy and Vasilyev. Concerning
the request to let one student more to come in or to leave Irina tete-a-tete
against Vasilyev, the general producer of "Vidicon" has made a rejection
and explained that it is the right of private company to decide who will
participate in the broadcast. Here is the limit of "Vidicon" - one our
participant against two opponents! An operator of "Vidicon" shooted the
discussion with a camera.
The students were forced to leave Irina in the studio alone. All the
others were asked to leave the room. The central entrance to the TV Company was
closed with armored doors.
Nevertheless, the arguments of first vice-rectors of SNU have appeared to
be weak against the opinion of the student rector. Neither biased style of
the presenter of live broadcast, constant attempts to interrupt Irina in her
speech, nor psychological pressure, neglect of her words, did not
prevented Irina from declaring her main idea: SNU is created not in the interests of
students, but in the interests of officials. It is the opinion of the
majority of teachers and students.
After finish of live broadcast, the inhabitants of neighboring buildings
near "Vidicon" went outside, greeted Irina, saluted her from the
balconies, named the representatives of SNU to be ridiculous and lying. The real
column of people was formed and directed to the tent camp.
The students, teachers and parents, participants of the conflict at the
"Vidicon", have composed a request to the committee of the freedom of
speech to evaluate the situation from the position of journalist ethics.
The students and community of other towns proceed to support us.
Thanks to everybody who is indifferent for our disaster. Odessa, Lutsk,
Khmelnitsky, Uzhgorod. Thus, 9 towns have already supported our protest
action. Stop the unleashed illegality! Tsarenko is not a rector! SNU is
not an educational institution!
Secret visit of Yanukovich
It was declared that Yanukovich will not come to Sumy, and suddenly, he
meets in the evening with the full assembly hall of students and staff of
SNAU. In the hall, only the people loyal for new authorities were gathered.
The declarations made by Yanukovich and Tsarenko at this meeting have
manifested explicitly that joining of the universities was organized
exclusively due to the President s Elections, in order the authorities have
the unlimited power to frighten the people.
today, the students of Kharkov, Rovno, Lviv, Lutsk and Kiev has
supported us. Thank you, friends! At the Independence Square in Sumy, there
were no people in the morning, though the Court has prohibited the
picketing of the regional state administration due to arrangements related
to reception of the relay of the Olympic Flame. The Olympic Flame has come,
however, no arrangements at the Independence Square in Sumy have occurred.
Once more, the authorities lie to our faces, more and more discrediting and
disgracing themselves in our opinion.
This night, again the chemical attack upon our camp. This time,
unknown guys threw the lamps and half-a-liter bottles with the same liquid
from behind the fence. The bottles were aimed at the tents. Those that have
not reached the aim were broken. The aggressive liquid was spilled at the
cloth covering the tents and started to deteriorate it. Two persons were
slightly injured. The liquid was spilled at the arm of a student, he has
felt bad and was taken away to the hospital with the emergency car. As for
another student, a bottle has stricken him to the head. Concerning this
gangster assault, the criminal case was registered. However, there is no
doubt, who is the leader of these scoundrels.
The protesters have declared about their intention to proceed the action.
Their requirements are the dismissing of A.Tsarenko from the work in the
SNU and acknowledgement of the status of juridical persons for the separate
universities in the SNU.
The representatives of students and committee of mothers have departed to
Kiev in order to meet Vladimir Litvin, the speaker of Verhovnaya Rada, or
the vice-speaker. In Kiev, the students picketed the Ministry of Education
M. Stepko has demonstrated the decree of the Education Ministry.
According to this decree, all the activity of the new authorities in SSU
and SSPU (relocation of departments and services, abolition of faculties,
firing and employment of staff) were ILLEGAL!
In any case, during next two months, the university staff should submit to
the Statutes of their universities. Don t comply with threats! Ask to
demonstrate the document that confirms the orders. In other case, you may
be found guilty of this illegal activity!
at night, unknown guys have posted along the central streets the
leaflet containing slanderous information concerning students and teachers
that protest against creation of SNU. In the morning, Vyacheslav Kirilenko
and Lilia Hrigorovich, the deputies of Ukrainian Parliament, have visited
the tent camp. V.Kirilenko has informed that he has submitted two official
request concerning situation in Sumy and threats to the leaders of student
resistance. V.Kirilenko has also said that today (i.e., at July 2) an open
letter of Viktor Yuschenko is published, where the leader of the block Our
Ukraine appeals to the President Kuchma to abolish the decree concerning
creation of SNU.
the members of commission created by Verhovnaya Rada for studying
situation in Sumy have visited the tent camp. The members of commission are
the deputy Mikhail Rodionov (Communist Party of Ukraine) and deputy
minister of education and science Mikhail Stepko. The commission has
started to compose report about the events in Sumy.
In spite of appeals of adult participants of the protest action,
businessman Gennadiy Minaev (director of the company KIT ) and professor
of SSU Leonid Melnik, the students have decided to proceed protest actions.
The number of tents has reached 23.
As is become known, the tax administration has started the unscheduled
inspection at the company KIT . The chief of the company considers that
this inspection is directly caused by his participation in the protest
In the evening, a caustic oily liquid was spilled around the camp. The
students have filled it up with sand and tried to deactivate by the acetic
acid. About this event, the police and emergency control bodies were
notified. The representatives of these structures have arrived to the site
and taken the substance for the analysis. The stench of the liquid was felt
at the camp during many hours.
We saw the unleashed democracy of Tsarenko, we heard it in words, now we
had the opportunity to smell it. It really stinks!
at night, unknown guys have broken the windows in the house of
Irina Merkun, the student rector, in the Stepanovka village. The
correspondent application was submitted to the law machinery. Some teachers
of Sumy State Pedagogical University support protesting students. The
students picket the TV-radio Company Vidikon disgraced by distribution of
lying information concerning protesting students and their demands.
shooting groups of TV channels Novy , 1+1 and ICTV have
visited the tent camp. The reports from Sumy have become of prime
importance in the national news. The number of tents in the camp has
A long meeting of teachers and students of SSU. Alexander
Tsarenko, the acting rector, was present at the meeting. He has promised
that excessive outrage will not occur any more and engaged himself to fire
the vice-rector who was guilty. Most of teachers express themselves against
SNU and support the protesting students.
About one thousands of citizens of Sumy took part at the meeting
of protest against joining up of Sumy Universities that took place at the
Shevchenko Square. After finish of meeting, the participants of the action
have started to set up the tent camp. They have claimed the citizens of
Sumy to come to the tent camp, to support the demands of students and teachers.
June 27 - In the evening, A.Vasilyev, the former vice-rector and now the
temporary rector of SSU, has collected the teachers, declared them the
decision of the Court, and asked to prevent appearance of students at the
meeting. He gives orders to the deans of faculties to call to parents of
students, and at the morning, to set the teachers at the approaches to the
June 26 - Alexander Tsarenko, the rector of SNU, has visited SSU. Among
others, he has met representatives of protesting students. Tsarenko has
said that 200 hours of forced labor and dismounting of the Emblem from the
Building of SSU was not his initiative, and he will punish his people who
were guilty. The rector of SNU has also expressed his willing that
students should refuse to organize the meeting planned at the June 28. The same
day, the Court of Sumy has prohibited to conduct the meeting, having satisfied
a claim of Sumy authorities.
soon after midday, a car equipped with a hoisting crane has
approached the Central Building of Sumy State University (SSU), and
unknown workers start to dismount the signboard "Sumy State University", as well
as the National Emblem of Ukraine. At 16.00, above 400 lecturers and
collaborators of SSU, together with students, have gathered in the
assembly hall. The alarmed lecturers create the organizational committee on the
basis of trade union, which is to be converted, if necessary, to the strike
committee. The representatives of students declare about their intention
to organize the meeting of protest and put up the tents at June, 28, at the
Independence Square (the central square of Sumy). The teachers support
students and promise to come to the square.
At the same time, in the assembly hall of the former Sumy Pedagogical
State University, a concert devoted to joining of Sumy universities into SNU has
occurred. In the concert, the collectives of each of three universities
took part, as well as the authorities of SNU, including A.Tsarenko, who has
come accompanied by guests from Poland. When it was the turn of the former Sumy
National Agricultural University (SNAU), the students of SSU, clothed in
black, have stalked out of the meeting. Each of them has thrown down two
carnations, like at the funeral ceremony, grieving over the perished Sumy
Sate University. At the exit of the assembly hall, some skirmish with
university guards has occurred (the guards tried to keep the intractable
students inside). Then, these several hundred students have walked to the
center of the town, claiming protests against joining of universities. The
column has followed along the Sobornaya street (the central street of
Sumy) and has stopped near the building of Sumy Regional Administration. After
half-an-hour-meeting, the students have dispersed.
June 23 and 24
the lecturers and collaborators of liquidated
universities are informed that in two months each of them will be fired due to
liquidation. The old door-plates are taken away from the doors. The
collaborators of Agricultural University appear and begin to give orders.
The students are informed that now they should work during summer labor
practice at land improvement 200 hours instead of 40. Most of students
have refused to fulfil these requirements. Some faculties and departments are
informed to be relocated.
In the building of Sumy Regional Administration, the ceremony of
introduction of the new rector occurs. The participants are Vladimir
Scherban, the governor of Sumy Region, Mikhail Stepko, the vice-minister
of education, and representatives of each of three universities. The acting
rector A. Tsarenko proposes to vote for the temporary statute of SNU, in
order the Sumy State University could start to work. Some professors say
that they are not empowered to vote by their colleagues. Besides, nobody
has seen the temporary statute of SNU. One of professors has voted against the
document. The rector Tsarenko has plainly hinted him that he will hardly
be engaged to work in the new university. Under pressure of Tsarenko and
Scherban, the document is accepted. Most of professors were feared to
refuse their jobs. The citation of Tsarenko at that meeting: "When these people
will not vote for the document, we will bring other people, who will
Vasiliy Kremin, the minister of Education and Science of
Ukraine, has appointed Alexander Tsarenko, the deputy of Verhovnaya Rada (i.e.,
Ukrainian Parliament), to become the acting rector of SNU (though,
according to Ukrainian laws, a deputy of Verhovnaya Rada can not simultaneously
occupy another position).
Viktor Yanukovich, the prime minister of Ukraine, has signed a
decree concerning creation of the SNU on the basis of three universities,
which are to be liquidated.
Leonid Kuchma, the president of Ukraine, has signed a decree
concerning creation of Sumy National University (SNU) on the basis of
three Sumy Universities (though such resolution can be made only by the Ministry