November 5, 2009
Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko has all but declared martial law in the country as he announced yesterday that the National Security and Defense Council will become the supreme ruling authority in the wake of a mystery epidemic sweeping the country.
Yushchenko has made high ranking health ministers members of the NSDC, a government body consisting of the president himself, the chairman of parliament, the prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko (pictured), the head of the Security Service of Ukraine and other high ranking ministers.
Yushchenko told reporters Wednesday night that “the non-fulfillment of its decisions will be prosecuted,” adding “We need to change the system. We need to change the whole system of the state power organization in Ukraine. We have no time for remonstrance no time for waiting”.
The President reiterated his statements in an official address to the Ukrainian people yesterday, in which he states: “Failure to comply with [NSDC] orders will immediately result in application to the law enforcement authorities.”
“I instruct the Government and the Ministry of Health to immediately start preventive and promotional work in areas where there is no epidemic, targeting primarily the special risk groups,” the address reads.
The address also announced orders for the arrest of public health officials who have allowed public gatherings to continue and failed to ban the movement of people, calling it “a display of criminal irresponsibility”.
“I have addressed the Prosecutor General of Ukraine with the request to institute criminal charges of negligence committed by first of all the Chief Sanitary Inspector, Kyiv City Sanitarian and the officials, who, despite having daily information on the epidemic situation in the country, neglected it in pursuit of political dividends and ambition,” the statement reads.
A further report from Interfax Ukrainia Agency says the Ukrainian Health Minister Wasilij Kniazevicz has asked the country’s top prosecutor to open criminal proceedings against those who are opposed to the implementation of the mass flu vaccination campaign.
Yushchenko’s address also issued a ban on all flu medicines not recognized by the Ukrainian government or by the World Health Organization:
“I demand the Government to immediately cancel the existing order of registration of medical supplies, including vaccines.” the address reads.
The address also implores Ukrainian citizens who have shunned the officially approved vaccinations to reconsider:
“It is generally known that the only way to prevent any infection is vaccination,” the address reads, “As the President I ask you, dear fellow citizens, to reconsider your attitude to vaccination and do it if necessary, but only, I emphasize it – only after consultation with the doctor.”
“People are dying. The epidemic is killing doctors. This is absolutely unprecedented and inconceivable in the XXI century.” the address continues.
“All the limits have been exceeded – even those under the Constitution that determine my actions as the President.” Yushchenko states.
Yushchenko asserts that there are three types of influenza currently spreading throughout the country, two kinds of seasonal flu and the H1N1 strain.
The President states that this “may lead to the emergence of an even more aggressive new virus”.
However, WHO has said that the H1N1 virus in Ukraine appears “no different there than anywhere else” and that any surge there may be due to a more susceptible population.
Other mainstream reports suggest that British scientists are examining samples of the H1N1 strain from Ukraine to determine whether the virus has mutated.
According to the write up at Chechen news outlet Kavkaz Center, the Ukrainian News Agency Fraza, has reported “it has been confirmed 100% Pneumonic Plague in Ukraine” and that in order to quell panic only talk of swine flu has been sanctioned by the authorities. However, Kavkaz is a questionable source on this matter, given that Ukraine is a tactical and military ally of Russia.
Other reports have suggested that the epidemic is pure hype being played out as part of a political struggle between opposition politicians in Ukraine.
Prime Minister Tymoshenko has attempted to reverse the panic by announcing that there is no swine flu pandemic in the country at all, and that it is down to “media hysteria” and “politicians’ populist statements” in the run up to January elections.
As this article in The Scotsman highlights, Tymoshenko and Yushchenko, once allies in the so called “Orange Revolution”, are now bitter rivals that are set to fight it out in next year’s elections.
“… there is growing suspicion in the country that the H1N1 virus has also succumbed to a bitter battle for political power that now poisons all aspects of political life and threatens to wreak serious damage on the former Soviet state.” Matthew Day writes.
Around 80 people have died in Ukraine from respiratory related illnesses, it has yet to be confirmed how many were as a result of H1N1 influenza.
Whatever is really going on in Ukraine, the news has sparked a flurry of reports from conspiracy based websites that are citing a warning made in August by a man called Joseph Moshe, who claimed to be a former Mossad microbiologist.
Moshe hit the headlines when he was arrested after a long standoff with police in LA because he had supposedly made threats against the White House.
Shortly after his arrest, hundreds of comments and reports began to circulate stating that Moshe had called into a radio show to warn people about a biological weapon that was being prepared by Baxter International’s Ukraine plant that would be spread via a flu vaccine and would cause a plague upon it’s release.
Moshe’s identity as a microbiologist does seem to be verifiable, and Baxter certainly does have a presence in the Ukraine, as this page with Baxter’s contact information for it’s Ukraine office confirms.
Whether Moshe’s claims have any basis in truth is up for debate, however, it now seems an incredible coincidence that he fingered Ukraine as the location for a specific outbreak.
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