How do Vinnytsia activists make a living?

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In the following journalistic investigation we will talk about public activists. At once, we want to emphasize that, in our opinion, an overwhelming majority of active public figures in Vinnytsia region are mostly decent people with a patriotic position. Many of them, as well as the people indicated in the text, participated in the Revolution of Dignity, fought for Ukraine’s right to truth and justice. But society has become ripe for making all, even very unpleasant and uncomfortable topics, public. Including the inability of the country to provide its best representatives with decent work, to direct the activities of the active part of society in a constructive way. As a result, civil society representatives chose the way they considered to be right. Someone continues volunteering, someone has returned to a peaceful life and welfare improvement; others continue to work in the public sector and are looking for grant funding for their social projects. But there still remain a very small percentage of activists who decided to become those against whom they had fought.

According to the resonant statement of the famous Ukrainian writer, journalist and former deputy governor of the Odesa region, Zoya Kazanzhy, who literally exploded the information space, the Ternopil Internet portal “Chasopys” made an interesting review about how the “professional activists” made a living then.

Zoya Kazanzhy is positioning herself as a true public activist. However, she publicly asked a question that the thousands of the so-called activists were so afraid of. How do they make their living?

“Today I have one easy question: where do they get money, how do a large number of people engaged for 24 hours in the so-called Ukrainian activism make living? Those whom you see all the time in all protest actions and read their hourly reactions with photos and streams on the Facebook?”- stated Zoya Kazanzhy. It turns out that she cannot make it work the same. She needs to work to survive in this world.

Thus, according to the Ternopil edition “professional activists” are species that arose before the Revolution of Dignity, but flourished in times when the law temporarily hid in the shadow of the “will of the community”. No matter that only two dozen paid people represented that will, and the interests they defended concerned not so much the community but the conflict of business interests of commercial structures, the fact remains as follows: those “activists” became the subject of regional political processes.

So, the Ternopil media investigate in a comprehensive manner the specifics of “work”, or rather of income of a “dozen” of “activists”, who, as it turned out, were engaged in the following:

1) erasing competitors (for example, developers);

2) blackmailing businessmen, finding out controversial moments in permit documents and demanding to cancel one or another decision – it is especially relevant for the allocation of land plots;

3) extortion of “tribute” for “useful affairs” (by and large there is Article 189 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine “Extortion”, but there are differences as the so-called activists collect money for ATO / orphanages / regrouped persons, and it’s extremely difficult to control the movement of these funds);

4) “sale of compromising material” – specific pressure on a specific official with the requirement of dismissal;

5) political order – the discredit of one or another politician or political force.

It is clear that the activists are not limited to only these five options. They are actively involved in one-time political pickets, belong to campaign headquarters, and so on. However, the abovementioned five options are for them the most profitable”, – a Ternopil observer summarizes.

What is it with the citizens of Vinnytsia?

In many Ukrainian cities the business of the so-called activists functions as the mass production. In Vinnytsia it became possible to avoid that in large scale. But has this phenomenon passed our city in general?

By and large, it became possible to press down this “business” already in 2014. The absurd commerce on the verge of extortion ended almost without beginning. The bright representatives of such a business have already left Vinnytsia.

First of all, it is about Yanuariy Shostak (an active participant in the assault on the Regional State Administration on December 6), who demanded to coordinate with him the appointment of officials and leaders of security structures, and in case of refusal (and he was always refused) he began shouting through a megaphone during the sessions of the regional council. Currently Shostak, after an unsuccessful assault on the regional council, traveled abroad and is in Rostov-on-Don, according to unofficial information. Bur that, however, did not prevent him from running from “Batkivshchyna” to the Vinnytsia City Council in 2015.

After the assault on the Regional State Administration on December 6 and the public destroying of the portrait of Petro Poroshenko, the activist Yuriy Pavlenko (Hort) has become known throughout the country. At one time, he appeared in the public space under the slogan of the struggle against the “communal mafia” (see Clause 2 of the classification). Finally with the assistance of a lawyer Valeriy Paliy, Yuriy Pavlenko spent a year and a half in jail and moved to Kyiv where he was also looking for a place under the activist sun, taking part in various protest actions.

By the way, some words about Paliy. That “eternal revolutionary” has joined one more “eternal revolutionary” Viktor Malynovskyi with his company of “grandmothers”, but all the pensioners can do is just a boring cosplay with a coffin and symbolic “burials”.

Another bright character of the first post-revolutionary months is Vika Zaviriukha, who with her Nazi salute harassed the local firms that seemed to her Russian. She was on the outside not for a long time as she got to the remand centre accused of involvement in the murder. She was released from the remand centre, and today she is also hanging around the capital, attacking other “activists” and getting a backlash in the fight for activist funds.

The supporter of Liashko Anatoliy Banakh laid low and avoided problems, although he could gain them. In December 2014 he was also spotted in the crowd that was attacking the Vinnytsia Regional State Administration. And he became the first “activist” who went into the smashed door of the regional administration, but later he was able to get a job as a coach of the patrol police. It is not known what he, having never been an official of the Ministry of Internal Affairs structures, could have taught his students, but he was no longer involved in big scandals.

The public “activist” Stanislav Nyzhnyk-Oskolskyi being an inconspicuous collector of compromising material on the leadership of the region has managed to make the best career. It is not certainly known what horrendous facts from the life and activities of the leadership of the region became known to the “Bulgarian spy”, but the fact remains. The public activist, who at the time served his sentences for crimes in Eastern Europe, became a member of several land commissions of the regional state administration and an advisor to the first deputy chairman of the Vinnytsia Regional State Administration.

“Breaking Bad”

Another “activist” Tayisa Haida seems to have tried all the items indicated by the Ternopil media, due to which professional “activists” could make a living. And even a bit more.

After the scandal with colleagues for the volunteer money, she tried all the available schemes of earnings in the “public” field: she fought for the land, collected tribute from the judges, tried to get several land plots near the Vyshenske lake, and on receiving the refusal she is still continuing to manipulate the issue of “the destruction of the floodplain” and the “criminal embezzlement of the land in Vinnytsia”.

The page of Haida is full of a thorough check of all land and property decisions of the city council, although Vinnytsia activists in comparison to Ternopil ones do not deal with small cases such as ones regarding kiosks. They focus on large developers. The constant activity of the “public activist” concerning the city council, her looking for any clue to create informational fuss around the city authorities, shows the position of the city: we do not conduct negotiations with blackmailers. However the usual flow of charges in one direction from the page of Tayisa Haida has long been not perceived, so recently the Vinnytsia activist has involved some local commentators on Facebook, who claimed to be public opinion leaders, in bargaining with the city authorities. But this “extraordinary trolling” more often turns against the seekers of betrayal themselves, and for sure they are no match for public opinion leaders.

During that time, the activist managed to make a quick flip of about 90 thousand hryvnias invested in unlawful rent. Subsequently, her debt of more than 120 thousand hryvnias was satisfied. How and who made it possible is known within the regional administration and the Security Service of Ukraine.

She also tried to intervene in the process of distribution of the budget allocated for the construction of a fence around the park and smashed private property.

She arranged scandals around appointments to responsible positions (by the way, she lost in courts in the long run).

Once the activist decided to put skin in the game and… carried out a public inspection of the regional state administration.

The regional authorities immediately understood how to get rid of her. And they found a worthy place where she could use her ambitions – in the historical field. Now the “People’s Maidan of Vinnychchyna” of Tayisa Haida annually receives huge grants from the regional budget for conducting historical research.

There are no obvious researches, but a regular “activist” has received a permanent, official source of funding and is no longer causing scandals.

Judging by the complete absence or even the slightest hint of criticism of the regional authorities, the budget financing in 2018 won’t become an exception either.

Our edition does not pretend to be the biographies of these activists, and, of course, we will not list all known by us financial and property deals of individual representatives of civil society. However, we are convinced that the facts presented by us will encourage the Vinnytsia Community to reflect on the true nature and motives of many recent public scandals.



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