Minister of Internal Affair of Ukraine Arsen Avakov has informed the public about this fact. Thus, Shevchenkivskyi Court in Chernivtsi took a decision to bring the students of Chernivtsi National University to responsibility on 9 November. The students were convicted under Article 160 of the Criminal Code (voter bribery) to three years of imprisonment with a probation period of one year. The sentence has not entered into force yet, as long as it may be appealed against.

First Deputy Head of Chairman of the MIAU Department in Chernivtsi oblast Oleksandr Chubai has informed that one of these criminal proceedings concerns these three students and has already been considered in the court. The other proceeding is related to a candidate for member of Chernivtsi City Council Rostyslav Bilyk, nominated by the Ridne Misto party, who is suspected in organization of voter bribery schemes.  OPORA has already informed that Rostyslav Bilyk is now wanted.

According to the MIA representative, the convicted students have cooperated with the investigation. As it became known in the process of pre-court investigation, they received 100 UAH for every student whom they involved into the bribery scheme. Law-enforcement officers have questioned over 100 witnesses and reproduced the voter bribery scheme.

It should be mentioned that OPORA's observers have noticed many incidents at polling station #730506 when students living in dormitories were taking pictures of their ballots on 25 October 2015. The ballot had a mark in support of #14 in the list of parties to Chernivtsi City Council (Ridne Misto party, first candidate – Vitalii Mykhailishyn, second – Rostyslav Bilyk). According to the students, they took pictures of ballots to receive promised money.


On Tuesday, 27 October, militia searched the apartment of candidate for city council Rostyslav Bilyk, who is a lecturer in Chernivtsi National University. MIAU Department in Chernivtsi oblast had informed that the search was made under a criminal proceeding (article 160 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, particularly voter bribery), initiated on the basis of OPORA's statement.

OPORA had reported about the problems at student polling stations yet in 2010 local elections. In particular, we detected carousel voting and voters taking pictures of their ballots. Rostyslav Bilyk was also nominated in that district in 2010. As for 2012 parliamentary elections, we detected a scheme when marks for Vitalii Mykhalchyshyn were made with red ink pens.

On 15 November 2015, the second round of mayoral election will be held in Chernivtsi. You may learn about punishments waiting for those who violate electoral legislation in new social video advertising made by OPORA.

For details, please contact:
Electoral Programs Coordinator at Civil Network OPORA in Chernivtsi oblast
Taras Prokop, phone: +380954900504, [email protected]
Nadiia Virna, phone: +380502104847, [email protected]
Civil Network OPORA conducts citizen observation of local elections in Ukraine, scheduled for 25 October 2015. Civic monitoring conducted by OPORA - is a type of network activity, aimed at impartial assessment of the preparation and conduct of elections, as well as preventing electoral violations through comprehensive civic action. 144 long-term observers were deployed to all Ukrainian regions on 5 September, and 3000 short-term observers will join them on the election day. Follow the latest news on OPORA's website andMap of Violations “2015 Local Elections”. We recommend that every observer, journalist and active citizen download application “Local Elections” for Android.