Farewell of a future dead man Or incredible adventure of Pole in Ukraine (Ukraine Business) - Oleg Spornykov
Now, at the beginning of 2004, reading lines of this letter one might feel a shiver. It is hard even to believe that the story happened in the independent European state in the 21 century. The letter was written by “foreign investor, progress-minded economist and patriot of Ukraine, till recently the owner of flourishing firm “Marketing” in Kremenchuk and luxury sailing ship “Robinson”, Mechislav Gumulinsky. “For a whole year – says mister Mechislav in his last letter, – mafia of Kremenchuk, in its primitive level, fights me. …It turned out, that the Law of Ukraine is empty words for them while theft, slander, terrorism and torturing are their usual practice, not only towards me but also against the townsfolk”.
I would not advise those readers of “Ukraine Business” who is too sensitive to read the Investor’s “farewell letter” further: “While I am still alive I ask for only thing – to bury me as it befits the human being, at the expense of the State…”.
What abyss detaches the successful Polish businessman from that beaten pitiful cripple with a strong accent who was sitting beside me that day! Worldly-wise knapsack filled with "compromat" on the Kremenchuk’s butchers” and a couple of dirty shirts – that was all Mechislav’s good and chattels taken along in his “quest of justice”. Going to Kyiv Gumulinsky counted upon assistance of his friends from The Consulate of Poland, partners in business and, of course, the State. But what he had gained instead were procrastination of the officials and silent indifference of the “competent authorities” that in full substituted the Kremenchuk horror to him.
HOW SWEET IT BEGAN...
Far back in the romantic years of Polish-Ukrainian, so called “cruise”, friendship mister Gumulinsky, sportsman, youth leader and, furthermore, smart operator, keenly felt the opportunities of giant Ukrainian market. Being already married to a Kremenchuk wife, he bravely set out towards our shores, as they would say at those times, for quick and easy money. One should admit, he was lucky enough. Gumulinsky was one of first pioneers in Ukraine who specialized in “exotic”, at that time, business – office security systems, Xerox printing services and electronics.
From bad to worse: mister Mechislav established several business structures in Kremenchuk and became a VIP person in town. It was regular fees from his firm “Marketing” owing to what The Association of Assistance for International Business and Development (registered in Kremenchuk 23 June, 1999), existed. Gumulinsky evaluates total volume of his investment as
$ 150 000. But the best flower in his bunch mister Mechislav, and not without a ground, considered sailing ship that he designed and build himself, at own costs. The oceanic yacht was able to be out of shore for three months. It was equipped with satellite navigation, water distilling system, leather furniture – in one word, full-optioned. He gave eight years to build up his Beauty. One would think: live on and be happy. Alas! “Big Ukrainian frog” made an obstacle in his path. Probably, someone felt an urge to get such one. The more so, as the owner was not a citizen of Ukraine and thus, did not have any rights here. Finally, so it happened.
HORROR IN KREMENCHUK MANNER
To frame up somebody is quite simple in our country. Now there are lots of suggestions as to when did bad luck stripe in Mechislav’s and his wife’s living begin. Some actors of that drama mention certain sums that the Pole borrowed, but the fact has never been proved, though. There was not a legal verdict as for illegality of Gumulinsky’s actions. There also are no claims from local fiscal police as to his way of making businesses. The only evident thing is that he became an object of attack, slaughter, robbery and tyranny of militia, while his wife was attempted to ripe. As loyal European, the citizen of Poland Gumulinsky repeatedly applied to authorities, in particular, the Head of Kryukovskiy Local Militia Office, Lieutenant-colonel Serhiy Shapovalov. He also asked Town Prosecutor Oleksandr Mihaylik for legal help. In his application dated March 14, 2003, Gumulinsky’s stated that some persons with criminal past (in particular, someone Я., unemployed, unregistered and being on criminal investigation list) constantly terrorized him, forcing to leave his residence. In another application Gumulinsky informs authorities that he has been assaulted by four persons, one of them was identified as the same Я.: "On March 31, this year, about 10 pm I was walking down Shkilna street, when then they attacked me” – complains mister Mechislav in his application, – they started beat and threatened to kill me. They also tried to cut fingers from my palm, saying that I am not dweller of Kremenchuk and Ukraine anymore. All the four were in the condition of severe alcoholic intoxication”.
The businessman’s wife, Mrs. Borodina claims in her application to the Town Prosecutor: “I ask you to take measures to my protection. On March 19, 2003, about 3 pm, two men tried breaking trough into my house. To my question “Who’s there?” they answered: “Open, you bitch, here is militia!”, but refused to tell their names and positions. Their attempts to break down the door were quite persistent. Frightened away by neighbors that crowded around the house, bandits said to somebody: “Tell those bastards they are dead”, took a red car VAZ21-10 and finally went away. Then my husband dressed up and ran to militia.
Then Mechislav’s living in Kremenchuk became entirely intolerable. His apartment and yacht were robbed. Now, after already third assault and endless applications to the authorities for protection, Mechislav Gumulinsky suffers from inadequate condition. In summer the physicians diagnosed a hard head injury. Visits of Leh Vdovsky, The Consul of Poland from Kharkiv Consulate to Kremenchuk became usual in the town’s life. In his latest coming the diplomat brought along one thousand hrivnas for medical help to the citizen of his state. Having returned to Kharkiv he submitted a note on occasion of the barbarous incident. But main question today is not even why the Pole has been beaten and robbed, but how to settle the problem in civilized way. It is not discussed how to save reputation of our state, – it would be merely unethical. The matter is how on legal grounds to help the man?
NO WAY OUT?
There are lots of things about this case that are still not clear. Why Gumulinsky and his wife Borodina were denied legal protection from the militia and the prosecutors? Were it really militia officers who had “visited” their apartment or it was assaulted by should-strapped werewolves? Where are examinations of witnesses, confrontation, gaining evidences, other investigatory actions? According to the Head of Kremenchuk Local Militia Office A. Kononenko, as far back, as in spring this year, the criminal proceedings were brought upon all the mentioned causes. Nevertheless, the militia’s and the prosecutor’s formal replies are striking – such heartless and inactive they are. As early, as on 13 November, last year, the Head of Internal Affairs Regional Office in Poltava O.I. Shevchenko in his official reply № 6/4 – 1001295 stated that “Militia officers guilty of delayed consideration of your complaint have been disciplinary punished. Administration of Kryukovskiy Local Office is given proper instructions as to rapid investigatory actions”. Nearly same promises were given to Gumulinsky by A.M. Tkachenko, Deputy Head of Regional Prosecutor: “The criminal action against Б. incriminated of inflicting you hard bodily injuries… was forwarded to Kryukov Local Court”. But things are not moving. Now mister Gumulinsky wanders around our great city, seeking home truth at high cabinets. He tried his best – at The President Administration, numerous committees of The Supreme Rada, Prosecutor-General Office, Ministry of Justice, and then in EU, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Polish Embassy. In one place they passed him around as a ball, in other fed up with promises, in third advised to heal his brain while compatriots offered “take him away to Poland with all belongings left in the barbarous country”. As ever attentive was attitude in Human Rights Plenipotentiary Secretary Office, – they took the cause under control. Then it was taken by rights-protecting organizations: Rule of Law Foundation and Amnesty International’s Kremenchuk local office. But one should eat; sleep – in a word live – not tomorrow but today, however. Today Mister Mechislav Gumulinsky, polish businessman, yacht designer, economist, journalist and incorrigible European, does not believe to anybody. “Ukraine is Bermuda triangle in the law of Europe. To spit into human’s soul instead of thankfulness is normal here” – he said and went further along dark corridor, to search justice and shelter. I will not pretend: to hear such words about my country was scaring, but even more painful was to think that first in my career of journalist I write about a man who probably is no more alive...
Oleg Loshkarev (translate)
Публікація від 10 лютого, 2004 р.