“In Lviv was 610 thousand of the Russian population. After the first Maidan, the number very rapidly declined. Many of them left. Now the city is home to 68 thousand. People are afraid to call themselves Russian,” – said the newspaper LOOK the head of “Russian society of a name of Pushkin” albert Astakhov, commenting on the decision of the authorities of the city to stand outside Russian cultural center.
Lviv has been simmering scandal over the Economic decisions of the regional court to evict the Russian cultural centre from rented premises in the city centre, on the street Korolenko. On Wednesday, the employees of the center held a meeting at which they agreed their next steps, including plans to appeal to a higher authority. In any case, they are not going to retreat and leave the building.
“We have only one in Western Ukraine a library with books in Russian. Therefore, it is Russophobia. They want to destroy everything Russian”
The decision of the court became known in the end of last week. The Deputy Chairman of the Lviv regional Council Volodymyr Hirniak, citing the eviction, accused of Ukrainophobia the newspaper “Russian Gazette”, which is placed along with others in the center. The Russian cultural society and its fraternal organizations “may slowly packing things,” said Hirniak. He also announced plans competition for new tenant.
In October, the Lviv regional Council was instructed to return to communal ownership of the building after the repair to lease public organizations. According to media reports, the building is since 1990, leased by the public organization “Society of friends of Russian and Ukrainian culture of a name of Pushkin”. One of the reasons for the eviction was the claim that space is in poor condition. Another reason was the fact that the documents in the building should be a cinema. However, the center pointed to a number of political reasons – lately it has been more than 40 attacks.
How now can the fate of the Russian cultural centre, the VZGLYAD newspaper said the head of one placed in the building of organizations “of Russian society. A. Pushkin” Albert Astakhov.
OPINION: albert V., the verdict of eviction is not effective until, until it is appealed. Are you going to appeal?
Albert Astakhov: Will appeal. We will file in the Supreme court of Ukraine. If there is not we win, we’ll appeal to the European court. It’s all pure Russophobia, and inciting ethnic hatred in Ukraine, as I said during my speech in court. But the court did not take this into account because he is responsible only for economic issues. I insist that the whole trial was political.
Russian centre (photo: Vodnik/Wikipedia)
OPINION: the Authorities say that the building has not been repaired and is in poor condition.
AA: They’re lying. We have spent enormous money on building maintenance. After a fire that occurred two years ago, cut off the roof to save the building. Authorities also far-fetched claim that we illegally occupied the building. They once “beat” a number of documents – in 2008 – recorded at this location (Korolenko, 1A) cinema Korolenko. On what basis? And now you say we are there illegally.
In early may 2014, we set fire to the building. Firefighters quickly extinguished, but the troubles have done much, the roof destroyed, filled the ceiling. After the fire was a lot of work. On recovery roof, we spent 350 thousand UAH (about 14 thousand dollars).
OPINION: you had no debts on utility bills?
AA: No problem. According to Ukrainian law, we have long had to become owners of this building. All the 26 years we’ve been paying utility bills to a single payment. With regard to the rights of ownership of the building, the history is very long. In Soviet times, when the government passed the building of the public organization free use, it was considered a donation. Then no one was given the certificate on the property. And the leaders that came before me, lost everything, have not issued documents. Now I personally have to take the rap.
The situation is that to take away property from public organizations is possible only through court. According to Ukrainian law, public authorities are forbidden to interfere in the activities of public organizations. And regional Rada climbed! There is absolute disregard for the laws.
AA: Hirniak, by the way, is a person who live Russian insulted, told that they are the shit… He gave SBU a complaint to the security forces closed the newspaper. As far as I know, SBU investigators nothing anti-Ukrainian in this paper have not found. The miners were sent an appropriate message. “Russian Gazette” is published once a month with a circulation of 500 copies. I do not have any relation to it. This newspaper is not our “society” and the Russian community. For correspondence the newspaper was given legally.
But that’s not the only reason. Russophobia in this case fueled by greed. We are all leaders of the regional Council of businessmen. The second reason is at the same time they need that building. They wanted to put it up for auction and sell. But then I realized that we are not giving up, so I decided to transfer the building of the Patriotic youth organization. But also failed. Then decided to rent it out to veterans of ATO.
These people need to take a room to sell and build in this area something else. They say that the building is in disrepair. And the fool is clear that they want to demolish it. It’s the centre of the city. Here land is expensive, not the building. The whole system is built on lies.
OPINION: IN the case of eviction what will happen to the property?
AA: It’s two Grand pianos, piano. Eight thousand volumes. We have only the library with books in Russian language. Therefore, it is Russophobia. They want to destroy everything Russian. Again, according to Ukrainian laws, we need to provide another room, but it is not even a question.
OPINION: Ukrainian media write that the size of the Russian community in Lviv is reduced. Is it really so?
AA: In Lviv was 610 thousand of the Russian population. After the first Maidan, the number very rapidly declined. Many of them left. Now the city is home to 68 thousand. All this is purely political activity. People are afraid to call themselves Russian. An example of an Elder proves what they’re capable of. Here Oles Buzina was a true Ukrainian patriot.
OPINION: How big is the pressure from radical nationalists? Can we now openly speak Russian on the street in the centre of Lviv?
AA: If you ask, I’m only in Russian to explain everything like where to go. We are now in Lviv, a lot calmer, the whole shushval – in Kiev. All these fascist marches are all there. We have in Lviv almost can not see them. They moved or in the South-East, these battalions, or sitting in Kiev to arrange all sorts of processions. So we sit and wait for 20 January, hope that then our situation will become easier, the pressure will weaken. This day will be the inauguration of Donald trump. Here, in Lviv, have already phonologie full pants for this reason.