The Ukrainian art community unite against corruption in protest

Ukraine has and always will exhibit a special brand of energy that can be found in most of their underground music venues. From the DJs that spin the tracks to the people on the dancefloor creating the vibes parties in the former Soviet country are a must for ravers and creatives alike. However, this special atmosphere was completely shattered when on May 15th 50 armed police burst through gates of the huge Podil art cluster at 31 Nyzhnoyurkivska Street that houses Closer, Otel’, 2c1b, Mezzanine, and a number of arts and nightlife venues.

This raid is part of a continued and prolonged assault by the Ukrainian police in which the artistic community has been the victim of beatings, humiliation, illegal detentions, property damage, and extortion. There have been several cases in the recent past where excessive use of violence, intimidation, and unlawful use of power has threatened to ruin the hard work of its organiser and it has gone on long enough. The before mentioned energy that the Ukrainian music and arts scene emits also extends to its ability to draw together like-minded people.

Many feel that this outburst from the authorities is a knee-jerk reaction to these art venues and promoters that choose not to bow down to the corruption that feeds the pockets of the Ukrainian police. A manifesto has been drawn up to address these unlawful practices and shine a light on the plight of the creative community. As well as addressing the treatment of the art community there are a number of point –

  • To dismiss Pavlo Vasylenko, the Head of the Podil Department of the National Police.
  • Bring to justice the law enforcement officers responsible for the illegal raid on May 15 at 31 Nyzhnoyurkivska Street, which was accompanied by the use of force in excess of authority.
  • Punish the special forces who beat the artist Dmytro Bugaychuk on May 19.
  • Immediately stop illegal raids, illegal searches with “throwing” drugs, unjustified use of force, and damage to property in Podolsk institutions.

Directly quoting music journalist Maksim Komlev he offers this poignant closing statement, “In this and similar stories, I am more shocked by the nature of the actions of the police. Even if we assume that the concerts could not take place legally, and the police have a document confirming this, why not just come and show it? Why is this ostentatiousness and aggression? It should not be.”

For our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, there will be a protest taking place and you can find out more at the link below.


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