Mayor of Aleksandrovsk, Aidar soldier, Nikolay Grekov: “I was and I am a member of Party of Regions and I am proud of that…” continued to talk to Nikolay Grekov, the mayor of currently occupied Aleksandrovsk city of Lugansk Region who is now a soldier of Ukrainian Army. In the second part of the interview we talked about lustration, social problems of demobilized soldiers, Party of Regions, political will and ways to solve problems that Ukraine faces now.

– What other problems besides the war the government should solve first of all?

– There is a problem of IDPs. There are also other problems. Has anyone raised a question of social security for Ukrainian soldiers who joined the army from occupied territories of Krasnodon, Rovenki, Lugansk? I want to say that until now nobody was working to solve that problem. Today there are thousands of demobilized who have no status, nothing. They got spit in the face from the government and they can’t realize their rights. Today they are begging and have to live anywhere. Where is the work of deputies? Where is a law that compensates property and where is accommodation for them? Where are jobs for them? Where is psychological rehabilitation of participants of military operations? We only hear about millions that are allocated and spent. As long as we don’t have that our country is worthless.

– How do you think, how many people from occupied territories were affected by that problem?

– As far as I know there are about 100 people like that in “Aidar” battalion. Now we are creating NGO. That NGO will be dealing with questions of protection of people from Lugansk, Donetsk and Crimea, those who take part in military activities and members of their families. Until now nobody in the country was taking care of that problem.

Out demobilized guys face several problems in Lugansk Region, there is no social policy to protect them. They are just waiting demobilized of the 3rd wave. What demobilized of the 1st wave should do now? A man went to the hospital and gets to general queue, he’s told to do tomography (just in case) that costs 1.5 thousand UAH. I am asking why those officials who are responsible for social protection in Lugansk Region are not fired yet? I talked to the head of State Service that works with veterans and ATO participants. There are money, the region is fully financed. So why our guys can’t make tomography, can’t get sanatorium treatment? Why officials still don’t want to do anything?

We will find out a lot of interesting if we study corruption in police, prosecutor’s office and so on, check those who left and who moved out. Nobody looted houses of policemen, prosecutors, Security Service in Lugansk. Members of their families cross the contact line without problems, they transport money and property. Do we have ATO or tourism? War or business? Peoples just solve the problems talking on the phone. Security Service of Ukraine has all technical capabilities to monitor that, they are listening to me, you and everybody else. How legal that is, that’s another question.

– Who should work with demobilized men, what do you think?

 That’s responsibility of local authorities and government. A man got demobilized, so where should he go? He should go home.

When Moskal was a governor we worked on a program with him. There were businessmen who help, like Kisilyov, Shakhov. Demobilized person should come home and get something. Today a person from Lugansk arrived to Severodonetsk, where should he live, what to do? What is he going to do? Rob and kill? Every day I have phone calles from people who live now in Kiev at dachas of their friends and associates. But everything comes to the point when it’s not possible to continue living like that, it’s not possible t live at dacha in winter, neighbors get tired of each other, and you can’t always stay with your relatives for a long time. And what a retired person from Stakhanov should do, who was on a war for a year and who has no place to live. He can’t get a job, has no place to live, he has no money. What people like that should do? Get in gangs, rob and kill? Or the government should take responsibility for them?

All those problems should be solved together. But we need political will for that. It’s always easy to criticize government. It’s hard to help and nobody wants to take responsibility today. People just used to blame. But I think we live in civilized European country, even if we have a lot of people who vote for food packages.

We need to create normal service to take care of displaced people, we need to count them to have real picture. There must be a program that will provide housing and compensate lost property.


– Do you think that our government doesn’t have enough political will to solve those problems?

 No, you will be laughing but we too much of political will. When humans body has too much of something, do you know what happens? The body gets rid of extra. Today there is too much in our country, we need to remove old politicians, old officials, as it was in Georgia. And only after that something will start to change for better.

– You say that we need to change officials. How does it coordinate with your idea that professionals should work as officials?

 Unfortunately bureaucracy and social-political structures are always monolith. First thing that we need to do is to ban millionaires to take part in political life of the country, military and officials of any level.  There is a enough young specialists, officials of the middle level that really support power vertical. Do you think that the laws are written by Parliament Deputies? You are wrong. There are advisers and officials in the committees of the Parliament who are 70 years old. But there are young men also. So the pensioners should be sent to well-deserved rest, and we need young men to grow.

– What do you know about business of Medyanik, Golenko, Prystyuk in “LPR” and in Ukraine?

 I don’t know about Prystyuk’s business on the liberated territory, but I have information that in Lugansk he still owns “Druzhba” hotel and gets profit from that. He has grain elevator or flour mill in the region that also makes profit for him. “Lugansk-City-center”, “Rossiya” (shopping centers own by Vladimir Medyanik, former deputy from Party of Regions) still work in Lugansk as before.

– How Prystyuk, Medyanik, Golenko are responsible for organizing separatist referendum and to separatism in general?

 There was information in the media that Medyanik offered 1 mln UAH for information about Ukrainian pilot who as she said “attacked” Lugansk Regional administration building. I don’t know if that’s true or not, police should find out.

Ex-Deputy of Parliament from Party of Region, resident of Lugansk, Vladimir Medyanik

Ex-Deputy of Parliament from Party of Region, resident of Lugansk, Vladimir Medyanik

Golenko is the chairman of Regional Council. If you check the Internet you will find his appeal to someone you know who. Let’s remember the words of Prystyuk who was saying “Don’t come to us, we break your teeth!” That is not a secret for anyone. Today all that is registered, but I haven’t heard that any of Lugansk officials was sentenced for separatism, organizing riots and calls to divide Ukraine.

Chairman of Lugansk Regional Council Valeriy Golenko

Chairman of Lugansk Regional Council Valeriy Golenko

– Are there any other facts except those that are available in open sources?

 I am sure there are. But you need to interrogate teachers for that for example. Here they try to interrogate Kravchenko or Prystyuk. But they should interrogate a teacher of a school from Lugansk, so he can say when and which school director was giving certain orders. School director will tell you when and how the head of District Education Department was giving orders to him. And the last one will tell you when, how and what orders h was given orders by the head of Regional Education Department. He will tell you how Prystyuk, Kravchenko and others were giving instructions to them on how to organize “referendum”, where to take bulletins and so on. All those men, Akimov, Naden, Streltsov and others are members of NGOs of so called LPR. Akimov is the deputy of Regional Council, Naden is the deputy of City Council, Streltsov is adviser of Lugansk city mayor Sergey Kravchenko. He organized “referendum” in Aleksandrovsk and was openly talking about that everywhere.

– The idea of lustration is close to you? As you are the member of Party of Regions….

 Yes, recently I read in the Internet that “Activists started to search for those who were members of Party of Regions in the lists of those who are going for elections”. They have nothing to do? Yes, I also was and I am a member of Party of Regions and I am proud of that. You can’t accuse million members of party of being rascals. Not regular members did all that. Many of them are normal, honest people. Unfortunately, there are opportunists. Teachers, doctors, social workers, officials, those who “migrate” from party to party. And who is guilty in that? The State. And it’s wrong to offend them today. Let’s see who was not a member of Party of Regions among those who are in power now? And I want to say again that not all members of the party are bad people. And not all leaders of the party were bad. You also need to check what parties they were members of before joining Party of Regions…

Konstantin Reutsky and Aleksey Chernov