Forum press centre
To the Chairman
Of Kyiv Municipal Administration
36 Khreschatyk Str., Kyiv, 01044
Dear Oleksandr Pavlovych,
On November 29, 2012 Kyiv Municipal State Administration announced the appointment of Yevhen Mykolaiovych Kyryliuk on the position of the Director of Kyiv City State Zoological Park.
In our opinion this appointment is unacceptable due to following reasons:
1. Yevhen Kyryliuk is involved in the illegal financial schemes with the Kyiv Zoo land plot.
He had been the General Director of the Communal Organization «Kyiv City State Zoological Park» in 1998–2006. In 2005 the General Prosecution Office of Ukraine initiated a criminal case against the activities of Yevhen Kyryliuk and the officials of Kyiv State Municipal Administration who were charged with illegal land plot lease of the territory of Kyiv City State Zoological Park . The Director of the Zoo had been illegally leasing its land and the Chairman of the Kyiv Municipal State Administration had approved the unlawful land lease contract.
In 1999 the Kyiv Zoo, the Cyprus company Snowdonia Enterprises Limited and Ukrainian company Yava-Capital have signed an agreement of creating the Krayina Mriy (“the Dreamland”) consortium. Snowdonia Enterprises Limited had to invest USD 1.5 million in the consortium, Yava-capital undertook to carry out all economic and commercial activities, and Kyiv Zoo provided the territory for entertainment facilities. The Zoo partners failed to fulfill their obligations. Thus, the Cyprus company had invested only USD 580 thousand in the Zoo.
Yevhen Kyryliuk is charged with having transferred the right to free use of the Zoo territories for 49 years, with the abuse of power and without the consent of the land owner – Kyiv Municipal Administration, as a contribution to the joint investment activities of the International consortium Krayina Mriy. Upon this the contract was illegally approved by the Chairman of the Kyiv Municipal Administration Oleksandr Omelchenko. These facts were found during the Zoo inspection performed by the State Service on Economic Crimes of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. In the course of inspection the Service employees found that the state had incurred lost profit represented by the land tax.
2. Yevhen Kyryliuk supports the construction of an oceanarium where the Red Book animals (dolphins) will be held, on the Kyiv Zoo territory. In the interview to the Segodnya newspaper dated November 30, 2012, when asked, «Do you support the construction of an oceanarium on the Zoo territory?» he replied the following: «I would suggest constructing the entrance to the oceanarium from the Zoo. As I was told, the entrance now is planned to be from the street, they want to open a restaurant and a small hotel there».
The Civil Society Campaign «Kyiv Rescue Forum» and other civil organizations advocate against oceanarium construction in Kyiv Zoo, as Kyiv Municipal Administration plans to locate dolphins there. These Red Book animals will be held in captivity, in the conditions unnatural for them. Kyiv is located 400 km from the seashore, the dolphins will be held in fake water disinfected with chlorine. These unique animals whose intelligence and socialization level are very close to the human one will be forced to subsist in a confined space, impoverished environment, be subject to cruel training based on hunger and isolation, thus equal to tortures, partake in shows, the training system for which is based on the sense of hunger.
Dolphins are included in the Red Book of Ukraine, Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, are protected with Berne and Bonn Conventions, АССОВАМS Treaty, CITES Convention. In Ukraine the moratorium is in force on the dolphins’ taking out from the natural environment for any purpose, and they barely breed in captivity.
Also the decision of the Kyiv Municipal Council No. 732/8069 dated July 12, 2012 regarding the construction of the oceanarium was not approved by the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine and contains a paragraph on the Zoo property alienation in favor of a private enterprise. It is related to the transfer of the right to partial ownership of the oceanarium building to the Podyh Pryrody LLC. This is prohibited by the Law of Ukraine “On Natural Reserve Fund” which stipulates that the existing zoological parks are not subject to privatization.
We would like to emphasize that there is the Project of Zoo Territory Organization approved by the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine and the Kyiv Municipal Administration according to which the oceanarium construction is not stipulated. This construction is also contrary to the Kyiv Zoo Charter which states that the Zoo is the natural reserve fund object and a scientific and research facility.
3. Yevhen Kyryliuk in the interview for Segodnya newspaper told about the plans he is going to implement after appointment to the Director position: «To build a rope way to watch animals and birds from above. Another idea is to order a cab with horses so that the visitors can take a ride around the Zoo. I will surely make a fodder selling outlets near every cage. The visitors want to feed an animal every time they see its bowl is empty. This causes negative rumours that the animals starve and get poisoned».
These plans are utterly unacceptable as the animals in the zoo are fed according to a special schedule developed by scientists, which must not be breached by occasional feeding given by the visitors. Rope way and cab rides are a significant source of noise and stress for animals held in the Zoo.
Such statements of Yevhen Kyryliuk mean that he does not have any professional knowledge of animal keeping rules in the Zoo. This means that he is not eligible as a manager.
3. As the Zoo employees told us, a number of department managers who have proven to be professionals on their positions are going to resign in connection with Yevhen Kyryliuk appointment to the General Director position. In our opinion this is going to undermine the stability of situation in the animal keeping and nature protection fields in the Zoo.
Based on the above we hereby ask you to decline the approval of Yevhen Mykolaiovych Kyryliuk on the position of Director of Kyiv City State Zoological Park.
of the Civil Society Campaign «Kyiv Rescue Forum»