“Stop exporting our forests!” – Chernivtsi artist Taras Polataiko protests on train station platform (VIDEO)

By CHV.TV Staff, Chernivtsi, Ukraine
09.09.2016
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

International artist Taras Polataiko (R) holding protest signs in an intense chat with the Head of the Police on the platform of Chernivtsi train station, Chernivtsi Ukraine on September 8, 2016. Photo:

International artist Taras Polataiko (R) holding protest signs in an intense chat with National Police patrol Paranyuk who explains that only accredited journalists are allowed on the platform of Chernivtsi train station, Chernivtsi, Ukraine on September 9, 2016. Photo: Oleg Tudan

Today, during the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first train from Lviv to Ivano-Frankivsk, local artist Taras Polataiko (Chernivtsi–Kolomyya) stood in a one-man picket protest against deforestation.

Taras Polataiko on Chernivtsi train station platform holding a "Don't kill the Carpathians" sign. Photo:

Taras Polataiko on Chernivtsi train station platform holding a “Don’t kill the Carpathians” sign.

According to the artist, every day 100 train cars pass through the [Chernivtsi] local station, carrying [illegally] logged wood from the Carpathian Mountains. Deforestation is resulting in loss of water in the mountains and an increase in landslides.

Taras Polataiko at Chernivtsi train platform holding up signs: "Stop killing the Carpathians" and "Stop exporting the forest!!" Photo:

Taras Polataiko at Chernivtsi train platform holding up signs that say: “Stop killing the Carpathians” and “Stop exporting the forest!!”

However, local law enforcement agencies did not like this protest. The activist says, “There were 10 policemen, who did not allow me to stand here because I was ‘holding some kind of rally.’ I’m not holding a rally, I’m just a regular person, a citizen of Ukraine, who is just standing here.” [Ed: Polataiko also writes on his Facebook page that the police told him he “had a suspicious backpack” and suggested to “go talk outside”].

However, as was noted by Ivan Hrunyk, the Acting Head of the regional branch of the “Lviv Railway” public joint-stock company Ukrainska Zaliznytsia [PJSC “Ukrzaliznytsia”], the railroad is not responsible for the parties engaged in logging: “We only provide transportation. The responsibility rests with the Customs authorities and the Forestry Service, who are actually carrying out the logging.”

To that, protestor Taras Polataiko said: then apparently, no one is responsible for the destruction of the forests, and so the logging of the Carpathians continues. “It’s the prosecutors’ job to find the perpetrators and prosecute them for this. But I care about the problem! I can clearly see [the timber], leaving on these trains. The railway company “Ukrzaliznytsia” is exporting the timber! I’m doing what’s logical – protesting against the fact that “Ukrzaliznytsya” is exporting the Carpathians,” said Polataiko.

International artist Taras Polataiko with Carpathian Mountain deforestation protest signs flanked by police on the Chernivtsi train station platform during the train's 150th Anniversary celebrations, September 8, 2016. Photo:

International artist Taras Polataiko with Carpathian Mountain deforestation protest signs under police presence on the Chernivtsi train station platform during the train’s 150th Anniversary celebrations, September 9, 2016.

The activist added that he was surprised by the actions of the railway station personnel, who, despite the fact that he showed his accreditation as a journalist, did not allow him to reach his colleagues and twisted his arms. [Ed: Polataiko also writes on his Facebook page that they unexpectedly roughed him up and beat him.]

International artist Taras Polataiko flanked by police holding Carpathian Mountain deforestation protest signs while the Head of the Lviv Railway speaks during their 150th Anniversary celebrations on the train station platform September 8, 2016. Photo:

International artist Taras Polataiko flanked by police holding Carpathian Mountain deforestation protest signs while Ivan Hrunyk, the Acting Head of the Lviv Railway (regional branch) speaks during their 150th Anniversary celebrations on the train station platform September 9, 2016. Photo:

Video (in Ukrainian) where Taras Polataiko talks about the deforestation and drying of the Carpathian mountains and the rationale of his protest (as written in above article).

Source: CHV.TV

Further Reference:
Video of illegal clear-cutting in historical Bukovina mountains done within a 2 month period, including the after-effects of flooding in the region. By “Kozak Victory,” posted by Mykola Petichenko (video):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gmjL5pl2eM

Creative Commons License

This translation work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The rights pertaining to the original work remain unaffected.

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One Response to “Stop exporting our forests!” – Chernivtsi artist Taras Polataiko protests on train station platform (VIDEO)

  1. padraeg says:

    “ILLEGALLY HARVESTING FOREST” means corruption: bribes are paid. The corruption is pervasive, meaning Putin and all oligarchs get their share. Is Poroshenko an oligarch? Such arrangement of “friends with benefits” is a factor in Putin’s failure to prosecute his invasion, & Ukraine can’t get lethal weapons to expel him. For such tragedy so many die!

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