The threats come in wake of reports of far-right assault on Bukvy reporter Oleksandr Kuzhelnii who was covering events at Kyiv court hearing a case of Belarus activist Oleksiy Bolenkov now facing deportation to Minsk.
‘Bukvy’ Thursday report identified two assailants as the members of far-right groups, which staged a rally at the Kyiv court calling for Bolenkov’s deportation.
Those two men were nationalist group ‘Natsionalny Suprotyv’ leader Oleskii Svynarenko who goes online by the name ‘Stalker’ and Russian national Mykhail Shalankevich known as ‘Gans’ who was earlier convicted in Russia for his involvement with Maksym ‘Tesak’ Martsynkevych far-right group.
Yevhen Karas, a nationalist ‘S14’ group leader who was allegedly among the organizers of the rally at the Kyiv court, was also captured on video the moment the assault took place. In the video he is heard using slurs abusing Bukvy owner Petro Terentyev.
Soon after the incident, Yevhen Karas threatened Petro Terentyev in his direct messages.
S14 leader threatened that ‘project’ (‘Bukvy’) was going to ‘get it’ adding that S14 ‘stood aside [at the assault scene], but now we are not going to’. More threats followed when Bukvy owner said he was going to report to police.
Petro Terentyev shared the screenshots of menacing messages from ‘S14’ leader on Facebook, but they were soon removed following numerous complaints, which is a common manipulation used by bots to silence criticism.
The former Ukrainian MP Ihor Lutsenko confirmed that the mobile phone number the threats came from belongs to Yevhen Karas.
To bring to light the disturbing development in Oleskandr Kuzhelnii assault story, ‘Bukvy’ are set to file an official report to police and are seeking support from international human rights organizations.
The nationalist group S14 was allegedly involved in 2018 attacks on Roma camp settlements in Kyiv and one of its leaders Serhiy Mazur faced charges of assault. His court case was marked by another incident that saw Yevhen Karas slapping a reporter and starting a brawl outside the court. In 2013, according to Zahid.net report, the future ‘S14’ leader was seen attending a ultra-right event in Lviv and later worked in ‘Svoboda’ MP office of Andriy Illyenko.
In 2020, Yevhen Karas who is known as a founder of several public groups sat on public council at National Anticorruption Bureau.