The board of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has branded a series of attacks on its former governor Valeria Gontareva, her family and property as "no longer a series of incidents", but "terror".
"The board [...] publicly declares the unacceptability of these purposeful, systematic attacks on the ex-governor of the central bank [...] and, through her, all reformers who worked and work for the benefit of Ukraine," according to a statement published on September 17. "This is no longer a series of incidents, it is terror. Its purpose is to intimidate reformers, past and present, and to paralyse our activities, to silence us."
The NBU tweeted a similar statement out on its official Twitter account along with a black image embossed with the words “STOP TERROR” to drive the point home.
The NBU's board said it "will not be silent,” adding that, "This is a direct and undisguised threat to democracy and the reforms that Ukraine’s future and the wellbeing of its people depend on," the statement reads. "But it is not just a threat to the reforms. It is a threat to every citizen, and their constitutional rights and freedoms, which the state has committed to protect."
On September 17, Gontareva's family's house near Kyiv in which she and her family resided in 2014-2018, was burned down a result of an arson attack. The Ukrainian police opened criminal proceedings over intentional destruction or damage to property. Normally Central Banks are attacked by FX speculators, not Molotov cocktails.
The attacks against Gontareva and her family and interests have been rapidly escalating. Last week, Ukraine's law enforcers raided Gontareva apartment in Kyiv, although she said she has not lived there for more than a year, after she fled to London. The raid followed two incidents with Gontareva and her family - a car belonging to her daughter-in-law was doused in petrol and burned in front of her house in downtown Kyiv two weeks ago. A week earlier, the former governor of the central bank was hit by a car in London, which led to her hospitalisation with serious injurious.
"[The attacks on Gontareva] threaten the complete destruction of the moral values of a democratic society in favour of terror," the NBU added. "We call for action. Law enforcement authorities must promptly and impartially investigate this series of attacks, as well as offenses against the owners and shareholders of insolvent banks of which the NBU has previously informed these authorities."