Ukrainian authorities have faced major problems, despite promises given in a fit of temper during the “orange revolution.” The cabinet seems to be helpless in fighting corruption and guaranteeing fair judiciary.
A man briefly set his clothing on fire and several others threatened self-immolation Friday during an anti-corruption protest outside Ukraine's parliament.
Yury Dyashchenko, 50, set his shirt ablaze, but then quickly took it off and put out the fire, leaving his hair slightly singed. Police, who brought reinforcements along with two ambulances, had tried to negotiate with the group earlier but backed off after another man doused himself with gasoline, reports the AP.
The protesters accused President Viktor Yushchenko and his new government of failing to fulfill pledges to crack down on rampant corruption among state authorities.
Dyashchenko, a lawyer from eastern Ukraine, accused a local mayor of stealing his company in early 1990s. He said all his attempts to reclaim his property in the court have failed because of corruption. "Everything is corrupted and with new people in power it turned from bad to worse," he said.
Another man, Viktor Lavrynych, 42, said that "the courts are violating the laws in most of Ukraine.
"I supported Yushchenko but nothing has been changed," he said. Yushchenko came to power promising fight corruption and end the favoritism and cronyism that tainted the 10-year rule of his predecessor Leonid Kuchma.
The protest action started on May, 16. The protesters organized a tent township in front of the Ukrainian parliament. None of the parliament members came to discuss the situation with the protesters, the leader of the human rights movement against corrupt justice, Nikolay Gubenko said, reports Pravda.Ru in Russian. Several days ago President Viktor Yushchenko met with the protesters and promised to help, but nothing has been done yet, says Gubenko.