Some 2,000 Ukrainians Gather To Complain

KIEV, Ukraine -- The Ukrainian capital's new mayor was taken aback when an estimated 2,000 people turned up at his office Saturday after he announced that he would be available to personally hear complaints.

Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky

Standing amid the pressing crowd at the building's front entrance, Leonid Chernovetsky promised he would make this a weekly event but expressed hope that in coming weeks, it would be more orderly. The start of the event was delayed due to the huge and demanding crowds.

"I now fully understand that you want to live in a democracy,'' Chernovetsky said, according to Ukraine's Unian news agency.

Tables were set up to help residents put their complaints in writing, and Chernovetsky's staff said some 3,000 petitions had been submitted. Residents took turns at a microphone to publicly address the mayor.

The concerns included development and property issues, as well as criminal matters in the capital of the former Soviet republic, city officials said.

Chernovetsky, a wealthy businessman, won the March 26 mayoral election, defeating two-term Mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko. Since his surprise victory, he has been making waves with his unorthodox style, which included proposing a special compensation to Kiev residents who live near millionaires.

Source: AP


Aussiegirl said…
What a marvelous blog! How can I have missed it? I'll be a regular visitor and link to you as well. I often write about Ukrainian politics, culture and history as I am a Ukrainian American living in the U.S. My parents left Ukraine during WWII. Thanks for the wonderful inside information. Keep up the wonderful work!