Mr. Tretyak meets California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis

Ukrainian politician-racist, homophobe and sexist in California and, he meets with local government officials, including Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis. Do Californian authorities support racism, homophobia and sexism?

Читать на русском

The mayor of the Ukrainian city of Rivne, the former rector of the biblical seminary of the Union of Christians of the Evangelical Faith of Ukraine, Oleksandr Tretyak visited the capital of California – Sacramento. Prior to the California visit, Tretyak met up with the mayor of the city of Federal Way, Washington.

The visit of the scandalous Ukrainian mayor is organized by the Ukrainian American House, the founders of which are no less ambiguous business missionaries from the Bethany Slavic Missionary Church – the Skots brothers. (It is known, for example, that one of the brothers, pastor Roman Skots, left the United States in 2009 shortly after a federal money-laundering case had been opened against his family. His shipping company USKO Shipping had to pay $35,000 to the United States in this case).

The current mayor of Rivne, Oleksandr Tretyak, recently spoke in favor of the deportation of the Romani population (colloquially known as Roma) from the territory of Rivne, which caused a storm of criticism throughout Ukraine.

“Pack them on buses and take them to their native Transcarpathia!” Tretyak said, speaking about the Romani on the air of a local radio station.

Despite the indistinct apologies that Tretyak made shortly after the outbreak of the scandal, the local prosecutor’s office opened a criminal case against him for incitement to ethnic hatred.

On the Internet, anyone can find numerous photographs of Tretyak with Evangelical Bishop Mykhailo Panochko (Pentecostal bishop) blessing him for political activities, with Ukrainian politician Pavlo Unguryan (conservative Ukrainian political and evangelical leader, who served as a Member of the Ukrainian Parliament until 2019) and with former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, who was accused of large-scale corruption.

Tretyak got the position of the mayor through the party “European Solidarity”, a political party in Ukraine, its activities are supported by former President Petro Poroshenko (the leader of the party), Oleksandr Turchynov (Baptist Minister, social networks have nicknamed him the “Bloody Pastor”, former Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, was one of the managers of the headquarters of European Solidarity) and a number of religious leaders of Ukraine.

Moreover, the Rivne Mayor Tretyak has been repeatedly accused by local politicians and activists of sexism and intolerance towards the LGBTQ community. 

In his posts on Facebook, Tretyak does not hesitate to call Ukrainian politicians supporting members of LGBTQ-community “homofascists.”

Speaking recently at one of the meetings of the local council, according to the deputies present, Tretyak also made a disrespectful remark about the political party of women. He was immediately accused of sexism.

When Slavic Sacramento asked the mayor’s office of Federal Way, its representative replied that Tretyak was one of the initiators of building bridges of friendship between the Ukrainian city of Rivne and Federal Way. In particular, with the participation of Tretyak, an initiative was discussed to give Rivne the status of a sister city with Federal Way, as well as to interact with entrepreneurs of the Rivne region.

Tretyak, according to the Ukrainian American House proclamations, took part in a joint business meeting with local Californian politicians. In particular, in posts published on Facebook and promoting the event, Tretyak’s photograph is positioned next to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department official, the county supervisor, and the California National Guard.

At the time of this writing, a representative of the Voice of America contacted Slavic Sacramento and said that Myroslava Gongadze*, whose participation was being advertised by representatives of the Ukrainian American House, refused to participate in the banquet. As well as a California Assemblymember Kevin Kiley, who was also declared as a participant of the banquet. “Slavic Sacramento” was told this by the office of the Californian politician.

As the joint event was expected to involve American politicians and officials, we asked local government officials to clarify their position on racism, sexism and homophobia.

By this time, neither the Governor’s office, nor Sacramento Sheriff’s Office, nor the California National Guard have responded to our requests.

*Myroslava Gongadze is a Ukrainian journalist and political activist currently living in the US. Her husband, journalist Georgiy Gongadze, was abducted and murdered in 2000. Since then, she has been a prominent advocate for freedom of the press and protection of the safety of reporters in Ukraine

Ruslan Gurzhiy,