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Friday, June 13, 2008

Back to Barbaric Construction


With the election honeymoon over, there comes a payback time for the buckwits who voted for a pack of buckwheat.

Unfortunately, other people will suffer, too, as they
stand up for their rights. Watch a scene of struggle at Berezniaky, a left-bank Kyiv neighborhood.

In a literal tug of war, local residents overpowered the construction workers who landed on their doorstep. Will they succeed next time?

Video uploaded from:


Anonymous said...

The developers and government officials in Ukraine have got to be the goddamndest stupid, clumsy morons in the world.

In other countries, a zoning change or a new construction permit is publicly announced and published in the newspaper. The city planning and zoning commission holds public meetings, that anyone can attend, to voice their concerns.

Most developers, in the interest of good business and common sense, go out of their way to hold community meetings, to let people know what they are going to do, and to find out in advance whether there are any concerns on the part of residents, and if so, what kind of concerns the residents have.

Then, most developers, in the interest of good business and common sense, try to accommodate at least some of the concerns of the people, and try to win them over.

Here, it looks like there is no mechanism - just show up at the site, bulldoze everything down without any advance notice, and naturally, what you get is seriously pissed off residents.

I don't know how many of them are "buckwheat voters" - but isn't there someone in Ukraine who can figure out that it's best to sit down and talk, in a community meeting?

I heard one guy say that the construction permits are falsified.

Such a meeting would be an opportunity for any developer to show what construction permits he has, and for people to be able to double-check those at city hall. And for people to ask questions, and to voice their concerns, for the developer to listen, and to explain the benefits, if there are any, to the community.

Are people really that seriously stupid in Ukraine? Is the sovok era not finally over?

Michelle said...

Wow.....that clip is really amazing.....

Anonymous said...

Further clarification -

When government bulldozes over people like that, it is bound to lead to conflict and resentment.

It is appalling to see government beating up its own citizens.

cherno promised "humanitarian" action on the part of city government - here's his chance.

A community meeting with the developer, where the residents have a chance to voice their concerns, and to hear the developer, is something that is common in other countries.

After all, the residents of the area are affected, one way or another.

Even better is the mechanism whereby residents in a surrounding area have the opportunity to voice their concerns in a public meeting to the city zoning and planning commission, during the planning stages, BEFORE permits are issued.

Otherwise, what you have is more sovok government - bulldozers mowing people down, and government beating its own citizens.

A smart developer would do all this voluntarily, as a matter of good business and common sense.

Taras said...

Thank you for linking to this story at your blog, Michelle. The scene looks horrifying, especially if we take a look at what happened here last summer.

Elmer, as the company representative proudly put it, they came here to build “a big beautiful 24-storied building.” In other words, they came to make “everyone happy.”

Not according to the rest of this footage.

You can find no smart developers in Kyiv. The corrupt system we have kills whatever good-citizen smarts developers should have. Our developers go on a safari, hunting parks and playgrounds, historical landscapes and recreation zones. They smell triple-digit profit margins. They enjoy the power of lawlessness. Meanwhile, our ordinary citizens keep crawling at the bottom of the food chains, too weak and depressed to say no.

Our developers build whatever they want, wherever they want. The people of Berezniaky said no. That’s how their place became a bloody battleground.

By protocol, developers do hold community meetings. Local residents do voice their concerns. It’s just that nobody listens to those concerns. Nobody cares. They secure land permits long before they hold those meetings.

The housing market in Kyiv ranks among the most expensive not only in Eastern Europe but also in many other parts of the world. A square meter of real estate in the primary market costs upwards of $4,000, while the median monthly take-home pay does not exceed $600.

The way our authorities behave, they are clearly asking for trouble. Kyivites who face similar situations should organize and give these greedy and violent developers a little taste of their own medicine.

And by the way, according to some sources, Кроун (Crown), the construction company that wants to do "business" in Berezniaky, has secured a spot in the Klychko Bloc.

Anonymous said...

Even the Romans had the concept of "vox populi" - the voice of the people, which should be heard - and which should be accommodated.

A "beautiful building" is not much of a justification, nor does it do much to convince people whose lives are drastically affected that their voices have been heard.

Construction permits are required to be put on display at the construction site, so that ANYONE who wants to can verify them in public government records which are kept in orderly and easily accessible fashion.

Taras, you are exactly right - if government continues to bulldoze over people for the sake of a few developers tied into government, clearly there will be trouble.

In many countries, especially in cities, citizens have the right of recall. :-)

That is, they have the ability to organize a removal from office of officials who are not carrying out their duty of responding to the people.

What was it that cherno the space cadet Martian said? Government should perform "humanitarian functions"

So, I guess that beating up citizens and bulldozing over citizens is a 'humanitarian" function?

And, Taras, you are exactly right, going through the motions, issuing permits in advance of town hall meetings - well, that's just papering the deal, and people know it.

"We stole it fair and square" - the motto of Ukrainian government.

"We're building a beautiful building" - FOR WHOM?

How about building a better government?

Anonymous said...

Well, here's an interesting story.

It seems that 2 government official in Crimea were caught in a bribe scandal, for a record bribe - $5 million.

The bribe was for 2 plots of land.

It seems that a Kyiv "businessman" was the source of the bribe.

It looks like Ukraine finally has a Minister of the Interior who is actually fighting corruption!

Taras said...

You know the answer, Elmer.

They’re building that thing to make their lives beautiful and other people’s lives miserable. With rare exceptions, our government operates on this notion.

I think $5M is far from being a record bribe in Crimea, much less in Kyiv.

Until proven otherwise, I presume these guys have nothing to fear except for the fear of sharing some of that money. If they are willing to share, they can always find a court that will prove them innocent. That’s the way it is.

In Ukraine, fighting corruption involves four steps:

(1) you catch them;
(2) you keep them;
(3) they share;
(4) they walk.