Everyone knows how class struggle in the country manifested in the 1930es: kulaks with sawn-off guns were on the watch for collective farm activists. But, according to liberal propaganda, collective farms were disbanded without a shot. In the Enakievo penal colony I was convinced it was not so.
Once the inmate Vladimir Anatolievich Ermolov, born in 1967, was a sailor and sailed over Caspian sea. But when Russians began to be dismissed from their jobs in “independent” Azerbaidjan he returned to his native village Novodanilovka where his parents and twin brother Valery lived. He found out that a lot had changed for the elapsed time.
The land of Zaporozhye is famous by its freedom-loving traditions. In the times of Sech the chiftain Sirko’s cossacks wrote their famous letter to the Sultan. Later local grasslands shuddered under hooves of Makhno’s cavalry. But these parts of the world have never seen such lawlessness of authorities as Vladimir found after his return.
Before there were two collective farms in Novodanilovka: “Named after Shevchenko” and “Tavria”. The collective farms’ land was shared into ownerships in 1996 in Ukraine but collective farms continued to exist. But on the eve of 1999 elections Kuchma’s oligarchs frightened by possible raise of communists back to power have decided to make this possible irreversible and to create their support in the country after the manner of Stolypin. The law “About collective farms reforming” was accepted in a great hurry. New chairmen - Mogilchak and Danilyuk - appeared in both collective farms. Their activities were coincidentally similar: both farms were devastated within a year but the chairmen enriched themselves enormously. Along with the collective farm Mogilchak registered a private agro-industrial enterprise with the same name “Named after Shevchenko” appointing his wife the head of it. The collective farmers being not very juridically literate did not realize at once that all the collective farm machinery was working for an “uncle” without any lease payment. The land was shared to farmers according to the principle “who puts more in the chairman’s pocket”; animal breeding was crushed down by butchering for meet, and the funds acquired were shared between Mogilchak and his assistants. The collective farm’s debt has grown for more than two million hryvnas by that time. Mogilchak appropriated to himself boldly the resort base at the seaside of Azov sea belonging to the collective farm; he bought out a café for collective farm money, and the profit flew in his personal pocket.
The collective farmers got only what Mogilchak strained at stealing of the share property, and their salary was not paid out at the collective farm. They all had to go as “hired men” to the private farm of Mogilchak’s wife whom he had divorced formally but continued to cohabit by civil marriage. Mogilchak paid a few pennies underestimating quantity and grade of quality of farm production. But he never forgot to share with the Akimovka district administration and “law-enforcing” authorities, moreover, his son worked in the local prosecutor office. Among Mogilchak’s friends were the head of administration Evchenko and the court chairman Fomin. But his main patron was the former Security Service of Ukraine officer V.Krutov: while he was standing for a deputy’s seat in Melitopol Mogilchak backed his electorial campaign not letting the chance slip to boast to collective farmers - for they knew it and were afraid. The collective farm “Tavria” (where the brothers Ermolov’s mother worked) chairman Danilyuk who later became a deputy of the district council from the Agrarian party acted in a similar wat. Danilyuk devastated animal breeding, too, sold all the collective farm machinery for metal scrap and thus earned a great capital. All his property and trade network were drawn on assumed names and his wife whom he had divorced after the manner of his colleague but continued to cohabit.
When the land was shared in 1996 the “Tavria” collective farmers received certificates which states that 10,3 ha accounts for each of them. But three years later Danilyuk began to take the certificates off and to correct the share size to 7,8 ha by a ball-point pen. He motivated that approximately 40 new shareholders had appeared during the time elapsed and he had distributed approximately 7 ha to them. By cutting off shares Danilyuk cut out 495 ha of land 200 ha of which fell to him. When this question was raised at the collective farm meeting Danilyuk answered: “It was a gift”. It is to be read - a gift from “dead souls” included by him as shareholders. Ermolovs’ mother and other collective farmers applied on Danilyuk’s machinations to different instances up to the Supreme Rada and the Prime Minister. Violations were found out but the authorities didn’t undertake anything and later sent a common run-around that the “facts had not been confirmed”. In spring 2002 Vladimir and Valery Ermolovs and several other former collective farmers decided to create a farmers’ cooperative according to the principles of collective labour and fair distribution of production and profit. In fact it meant renaissance of the collective farm. Having learned about it almost all former collective farmers with their shares began to ask into the cooperative. The Ermolovs answered that they were going to begin with a farm limited to 200 ha but if the business goes well they would admit all comers. Among the cooperative participants was Ermolovs’ cousin Esin - the former chief agriculturer of the collective farm “Named after Shevchenko”. Having two higher educations (graduated from the Timiryazev Academy in Moscow) Esin passed for a literate man, that’s why when the collective farmers robbed by Mogilchak decided to sue out return of their share property they drew a letter of attorney to him for conduct of the case. That’s why Mogilchak particularly hated Esin talking: “I have a bone to pick with this wretch”. The former collective farmer Alexey Efremov, born in 1969, who had once worked as a bodyguard in Melitopol was elected the cooperative chairman. A plan of agroindustrial complex development with further extension was worked out. More than twenty shareholders terminated contracts with Mogilchak and joined the cooperative. Having realized that a year later he would run out of farmhand manpower Mogilchak became nervous. Talking to Vladimir he made a brake that “nothing would come of the cooperative registration”. Taking into consideration all Mogilchak’s contacts in the district administration it was not difficult for him to fulfil his threat. Functionaries permanently pointed at wrong execution of papers. While walking over offices Vladimir heard a rather frank statement of the head of administration Evchenko: “First you should have asked the director of the enterprise “Named after Shevchenko” if he liked this self-activity”. The tax inspection joined the hunt. Later the Zaporozhye regional prosecutor office found a motive to “murder” Mogilchak by “Ermolovs’ gang members” in this creation of obstacles to the cooperative registration. Didn’t he have any other guilt against the collective farmers?
It is necessary to make an immediate slip that both brothers Ermolov denied their implication in alleged events at pre-trial investigation (in spite of brutal tortures) and at judicial proceedings. That’s why the official version will be given below. Whose version is it? First it was the version of Zaporozhye regional prosecutor office, then the Zaporozhye regional apellation court considered it proved. The Supreme Court of Ukraine upheld the sentence. And the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg rejected Vladimir Ermolov’s claim as unacceptable. Thus, below is the version of all the so-called “civilized community”. Although it is a strange version. It includes two murders but there are no corpses. It is also necessary to note that brothers Ermolov had no reason to murder anybody because in spite of the local administration’s intrigues the cooperative “Mercury” was easily registered in the regional centre Zaporozhye on October, 25, 2002. As well as Mogilchak was “pressed” by quite a legal way: the financial audit of the enterprise “Named after Shevchenko” executive board initiated by Esin by collective farmers’ letters of attorney has found that Mogilchak had stolen not less than 600,000 hryvnas from his home-folks even on cursory examination. According to the commission chief, a deep examination could easily double this number. A criminal case was initiated and came to trial for once, so on January, 31, 2003 Mogilchak had to appear before the court...
On the watch for the trial Mogilchak phoned Valery Efremov, whispered only one phrase: “The Security Service of Ukraine will have to do with you” and hung up. Certainly, now Mogilchak is prosperous as if nothing had happened. But the cooperative “Mercury” is not, four of its members are behind the bars.
The official version is given. In July 2002 Ermolov brothers buy a pistol “Frommer” of 9 mm calibre with a reserve barrel and a muffler in the village Partizanskoe in Crimea. But they disliked it for some reason - maybe the self-made muffler impeded aimed shooting - and in August they bought a submachine-gun “AK-74”.
According to the court’s opinion, even before the described events the brothers tried to murder Mogilchak with self-made poison put insensibly on his skin. But concerning this crazy version we can’t believe even “civilized community”, not to mention Zaporozhye detectives.
Early in the morning September, 3 the chairman of the might-have-been cooperative Alexey Efremov lays an ambush at the garbage heap in Novodanilovka which Mogilchak passes by on his car “UAZ” every day. The investigation and the court assert that Ermolovs ordered him to kill Mogilchak. Another collective farmer, Vladimir Glazunov, born in 1956, is waiting with a motorcycle in the nearest forest belt to whirl the murderer away from the locus delicti. As soon as “UAZ” appears at the road Efremov opens heavy fire on it at the distance of 15-20 metres putting 28 bullets. But Mogilchak escapes having his head only cushily cut by glass fragments.
Mogilchak himself stated at the trial that he had survived because he had fallen to the floor in time and had continued driving his car lying at the floor: had switched gears, stepped on the gaz and maneuvered. It is impossible to believe: he would go topsyturvy at an unmetalled road at once.
Efremov broken-down by tortures did not deny the very fact of firing. (He had spent all the seven months before the trial not in a detention facility but in the local temporary isolation ward where he was subjected to torture; local policemen arrested his wife, too, threatening to spifflicate her and her children). However, according to Efremov, he wanted only to frighten Mogilchak. The backsight of “AK-74” is 1000 metres while in fact fire was delivered at 10 metres. Even during his army sevice Efremov had awards and diplomas for excellent shhoting, if he wanted to kill he would kill.
The turn of the second blood-sucker Danilyuk came on November, 6. According to the prosecution version, near 3 a.m. Ermolov brothers arrived to Danilyuk’s house situated in Novodanilovka, Kochergina str., 11a, by the motorcycle “Vostok”. Valery switched on the light in the transformer house, and Vladimir jumped over the fence, broke the window and threw the explosive device inside. It was a trimming of a steel tube filled with ammonal, with disks and screws as splinter element. Afterwards he came back and shorted wire at the battery. Danilyuk’s house was completely destroyed by the explosion as well as all his property - two TV sets, a bedroom suite, air conditioner, music centre, etc. The damage is estimated as 85 780 hryvnas. But unfortunately Danilyuk and his wife were not in. Danilyuk’s minor son was the only to be trivially injured. Ermolovs’ motives are described in the sentence: “dissatisfied with unjust sharing (7,5 in stead of 10,5) among holders by the enterprise director Danilyuk during the collective farm reforming and intentional understatement of their mother’s share they decided to kill him by explosion of his house”.
But Ermolovs affirm that Danilyuk exploded his house himself. Something like he had been intending to build two luxurious villas according to euronorms, engaging famous architects, but he was ashamed of his home-folks. So he decided to pretend a “fire victim”.
It is up to readers to make conclusions who tells the truth - the brothers or the court. But it is worth to note that we haven’t any slight compassion to both complainants - former chairmen of collective farms. They belong to a new class of village blood-suckers, even “kulaks” is too gentle name for them. Rather they are new-sprung landowners who created their estates by robbing their home-folks.
Policemen seized brothers Ermolov, Efremov and Esin on the same day in December 2002 in different locations. During the detainment their pockets were filled with drugs which they had never used (Vladimir had even never smoked). Glazunov was arrested within several days. Later the protocols of drugs expunging disappeared from the criminal case. The detainees were subjected to torture for a long time in order to strive for confessionary statements. Generally they were tortured by electric current at nights. Within two months in the isolation ward Vladimir has lost all his teeth and baldened. The former main agriculturer Esin testified in 18 days against his associated, was released and turned into a rank of a witness. The Zaporozhye regional prosecutor office which had taken the case (at the first stage local policemen and Security Service of Ukrane were engaged in it) and discarded all the culprits’ claims on tortures.
Although in the beginning the firing of Mogilchak’s car was qualified as “hooliganism using weapons”, finally both episodes were qualified by the court as “intended killing” although within an “attempt”. (The dragged in article “Banditry” did not live to see the trial). Vladimir and Valery Ermolov were sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, Alexey Efremov to 10 years and Vladimir Glazunov to 6 years imprisonment.
While going to appeal to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Vladimir has doubts about authenticity of the refusal received from the European Court. According to his mother she got this refusal in a “common envelope” and on a common sheet of paper while before all the papers from the Court had been written on forms. Local authorities’ mafia opens up any interesting letters at the post office without any difficulties, so the letter might have been replaced.
However, it is easy to show even by the example of this case that bourgeois democracy (which the European Court is called to guard) is in fact dictatorship of bourgeoisie. Using demagogy, sophistication and chicanery whoever has stolen enough to bribe prosecutor office, court and authorities would be found right in any case. It will be so until a rifle begins to give birth to power.