Villagers defying an oligarch who poisoned their land endured and beating
"One day, there came Ryaba, the golden egg," and traditional Slavic folk story tells. "But the elders weren't happy, they couldn't boil the egg and couldn't eat it," they said. Though it may seem unrelated, this story is surprisingly similar to the villagers of Ukraine. It describes very well their current situation in the fight against the exploitation of nature and the power of money.
In 2010, the largest industrial chicken production company in Ukraine, Myronivsky Hliboprodukt (MHP), started construction of a massive poultry farm near the village of Chetvertynivka. “They've made a steady and well-paid job for everyone,” is how Sukhopara explains the very beginning of the whole story. The new jobs and high wages helped to get public support for building two complexes on an area of 37 ha (91 acres).
When the mistake becomes clear
Soon enough, they are out of the MHP's production-- soil and water pollution, and water level in the Pivdennyi Buh River, an awful smell, and an enormous increase in traffic passing through the village.
Not even the quality of life promises were kept. "In 2010, MHP had been employing a percentage of us, around 90 people, but nobody stayed there for a long time since the working conditions are not acceptable," is how Sukhopara explains the reason that changed people's minds. When MHP came up with the suggestion of expanding the local community, it began to raise concerns about the growing negative impact of the factory.
"And the local farmer who had leased land from the villagers signed under the
contract with MHP for their use of 120 ha of our fields."
Even though the majority of the village voted against the expansion during the public hearing in October 2015, the secret contract allowed to start construction as soon as the construction machinery started to excavate the fertile black soil (chernozem) of Chetvertynivka.
Swift protest and bloody retribution
Suchopara quickly organized, protested, and informed all the concerned parties (the mayor and the MHP representatives). Together with another 300 residents of Chetvertynivka, they started the blockade of the original two units from November 2, 2015,. After four days, MHP manager, Maxim Pisarev, arrived promptly to make an agreement. MHP would stop the illegal construction, return all excavated soil, and not persecute the participants in the blockade, Pisarev promised.
Two weeks after signing the memorandum on November 21, Volodymyr Suchopara and his wife went to market in Ladyzhyn to sell their produce.
"I was sitting in the car, with two men, two men tapped on my window, saying
something was wrong with my rear wheel." When I stepped out there
Were iron bars and brass knuckles in Their Hands ... "
It was still dark in the morning when the two thugs attacked Sukhopara. Volodymyr's Wife Rushed Out From The Car And Started At The Men. Volodymyr ended up with a cut eyebrow, beaten and bruised. “It only happened two weeks after our blockade. I'm 52 years old and I've never had any problems like that. I think the men were hired by MHP, ”Sukhopara expresses his opinion.
If you think this is an exceptional incident, think again. The same two men attacked local civil society activist, Andriy Skakodub, and later that same year, and mayor in Cherkasy region, Vasyl Tkachenko . Mrs. Sukhopara even recognized the men from Tkachenko.
Next destination: Europe
MHP is not admitted any involvement in the whole case. Instead, the company, which has been accused of soil exploitation, breaking ecological limits, causing environmental pollution, and violation of civil rights, has expanded to the Netherlands and Slovakia to spread many other European Union countries.
“In the traditional fairy-tale of Ryaba, the chicken people couldn't eat golden eggs.
We also want to breathe fresh air and eat regular unpoisoned food. ”
ENG Lost in transition: 25 Years of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (CEE Bankwatch Network)
ENG 30.07.2015 Ukraine agribusiness firms in 'quiet land grab' with development finance (Claire Provost Matt Kennard and Bertha Fellows The Guardian)
UKR 11.05.2015 The people from Chetvertynivka are blocking roads to the poultry bridages for already five days (Anastasia Jakovichina, 33kanal.com)
UKR 21/11/2015 VIDEO: Participant of protest against the henniks in Vinnitsa region was beaten beat (Pravona.org on YouTube)
UKR 24/11/2015 The activist form Ladyzhyn was beaten with brass knuckles because of "Kurochka Rjaba" (Viktor Skripnik on vn.20minut.ua)
UKR 24/11/2015 The man from Vinnytsja suffered because of the poultry farm (Tetjana Sherbatjuk, Vlasno.info)
UKR 25/11/2015 The activist and participant of the protest against the construction of the houses in Vinnitsa region has been beaten (lad.vn.ua)
UKR 25/11/2015 In Ukraine, and the public figure was beaten by the action of protest against the construction of chicken brigades (Pravona.org)
UKR 02/12/2015 The operation “Antibroyler”. The End of the Armed Forces (Young Ukraine)