Guardian (to Ms. Alison Flood)
Die Welt (to the office)
New York Times (to Mr. Andrew Kramer)
Spiegel (to the office)
Focus (to the office)
Appeal to journalists
The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union has to appeal to you for help in an attempt to save the lake Kachyne which is located in Kyiv. Despite the public opinion and the law, a developer has been trying to destroy the lake, constructing a residential building on the drained land.
Which laws are violated in this case
Ukrainian legislation, in particular, Article 88 of the Water code and Article 60 of the Land Code of Ukraine set forth riparian water protection zones along lakes and other water bodies, while Article 89 of the Water code and Article 61 of the Land Code prohibit construction of any facilities (except for hydrotechnical, hydrometric, and navigation ones), including buildings, within such riparian protection zones along water bodies. In addition, the lake Kachyne is the only habitat of a duck population (the name Kachyne means populated by ducks in Ukrainian). Therefore, the local residents, civic activists, and human rights defenders immediately filed a lawsuit in court.
Unlawful acts of the authorities and the developers
However, the developer – the Municipal Enterprise “Zhytlobudinvest-UKB” (Residence Construction), which is supported by the Kyiv City State Administration, including the Mayor of Kiev Vitali Klitschko, has first managed to receive an expert opinion stating that Kachyne is not a lake. When this excuse was disproved due to another scientific expert opinion, the developer started to procrastinate the hearings, while burying the lake with trash, and pumping out water, i.e., destroying the lake and, actually, continuing the construction. At the same time, the developer has been using unlawful pressure against the defenders of the Kachyne lake, which is, unfortunately, possible in Ukraine. At the very beginning they were beaten by, probably, hired by the developer individuals, so called “titushki.” Then, the developer filed a lawsuit against the defenders of Kachyne for allegedly causing damage to the developer, hindering to bury the lake with trash. The latter is also prohibited by the law, in particular by Article 61 of the Land code as well as Articles 89, 99, and 110 of the Water Code of Ukraine.
The current situation in the court
Now, the hearings concerning the lake Kachyne case in the court have been renewed. The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union has undertaken the legal support both to the lake , and to its defenders, and now is trying to draw attention of the international community in an attempt to reach fair and impartial consideration of this case in the court.
We are ready to submit all available supporting documents and detailed explanations, and plead to provide an informational support for our actions.
the Executive Director of UHHRU