Police filed charges against 2 men involved in beating of ‘Bukvy’ reporter. ‘The violators first harassed [the reporter] and then inflicted bodily injuries’, the police statement says.
A 20-years old and a 17-year old Lviv residents are facing charges under Art. 345-1 (threat or violence against a journalist) of Ukraine’s Criminal Code.
Police stresses that an early staged ‘public apology’ recorded Sunday, ‘does not release offenders from responsibility’.
‘Repentance and material compensation for the costs of medical treatment may be taken into account by the court during sentencing. Membership in any public or political organizations does not release from responsibility for committing an offense’, the National Police states.
Police said they are now seeking to identify other individuals allegedly involved in the attack.
The attackers earlier refuted claims they were members of the ‘National Corps’ or ‘Azov’.
According to ‘Bukvy’ information, the leader of the ‘National Corps’, Andriy Biletsky, persuaded the attackers to come to the police.
In the wake of the incident, ‘Bukvy’ called on the leader of the National Corps, Andriy Biletsky, to investigate the situation. The politician arrived at the scene, provided assistance to the ambulance and police, asssuring the attackers were not members of his organization and promising the perpetrators would be found and punished.
Later, the attackers apologized to Kuzhelnyi under the close supervision of Biletsky. They claimed they had beaten the reporter because of ‘false information’.
What happened to Oleskand Kuzhelnii
On Saturday, August 14, ‘Bukvy’ journalist Oleksandr Kuzhelnyi was reporting from a rally ‘Stop the capitulation’, which brought together different nationalist groups to protest against recent repressions targeting Ukrainian nationalists and betrayal of Ukraine’s interests. When the rally ended, Kuzhelnyi was surrounded and assaulted by a group of angry protesters who demanded the ‘Bukvy’ reporter to delete all the photos he had taken at the event.
Oleksandr Kuzhelnyi noted that one of the attackers, before using force against him, mentioned the attack that took place on July 21 near the court.
Threats to ‘Bukvy’ reporters
This is not the first case of threats against ‘Bukvy’ journalists.
In the autumn of 2019, during a sitting of the Verkhovna Rada, ‘Bukvy’ reporter filmed Bohdan Yaremenko, the then chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada’s foreign policy committee. The MP corresponded with the prostitute on a dating website. Yaremenko first declared provocation, and then threatened ‘Bukvy’ with a criminal case.
In September 2020, Yevhen Shevchenko, a former ‘Servant of the People’ representative, threatened ‘Bukvy’ reporter because of the photo taken at a parliamentary session.
Viktor Medvedchuk, a leader of ‘OPZZh’ party, is also suing ‘Bukvy’ and personally the owners of the outlet – Kateryna Roshuk and Petro Terentyev. The lawsuit was filed in May 2019 on a scene from the film about Vasyl Stus.
‘Bukvy’ is an independent media outlet that belongs to the list of online media with the highest level of adherence to professional journalistic standards. In addition, ‘Bukvy’ is among the top media that do not place paid publications.
‘Bukvy’ study in detail the activities of the Ukrainian authorities, record every violation of the laws of Ukraine by the current President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in a separate section and focus their activities on the fight against fakes.
In particular, ‘Bukvy’ published an investigation in which they analyzed the activities of bots on Facebook, working in the interests of former Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.
Following the publication, the Facebook administration exposed a network of bots linked to MP Andriy Derkach and ex-PM Volodymyr Groysman.
In addition, ‘Bukvy’ told how the authorities’ bot farms support President Volodymyr Zelensky and destroy his opponents. This material became the basis for the investigation of Facebook administrators. They later discovered a network of bots (105 Facebook accounts, 24 pages and 5 Instagram accounts).
‘Bukvy’ covers Russian aggression in Ukraine, which has repeatedly led to threats of blocking by Russia’s authorities. Eventually the outlet was added to a list of ‘information resources prohibited in the Russian Federation’.