The Ukrainian government is not able to give an honest assessment of the facts of nationalists attacking media representatives. Numerous threats made by “National Corpus“ to journalists are all the more ignored. However, these egregious facts are increasingly drawing the attention of international organisations.
In June, “National Corpus” publicly announced a hunt for representatives of the “Shary Party” (PPSH), as well as employees of its media. Earlier, journalists from “Strana”, “Vesti”, “sharij.net”, “Klymenko-Time”, the “ZIK” TV channel, and other websites were also attacked and threatened for honestly covering the trial of the killer Sternenko.
Recently, the stormtroopers of “National Corpus” pasted the door of the Zaporozhye office of PPSH with leaflets saying “enemies of the people”. One of the leaflets had a photo of the journalist Pavel Volkov and his wife. Recall that in 2017, Pavel Volkov was arrested for “dissent”, which is now prohibited in Ukraine, subjected to repression, spent a year in jail, then fully acquitted in court. The journalist considers the appearance of “National Corpus” leaflets to be a threat to his life.
Pavel Volkov commented on his current situation in an interview with the author of the “Kharkov” news agency. He believes that the starting point was June 17th, when in response to the ongoing lawlessness, the “Shary Party” decided to hold a peaceful rally against violence against journalists in Kiev outside the office of the President.
“About 2000 people gathered from Kiev, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Nikolaev, and other cities. Well-known journalists, lawyers, and human rights defenders joined the rally. I also attended the event from beginning to end. And now, since June 18th, I have received daily threats for my ‘incorrect’ coverage of the above-mentioned events as a journalist. Given the reality of the attacks, I have to move around my hometown with caution,” says Volkov.
The journalist reminded that neither President Zelensky nor interior Minister Avakov wanted to communicate with the protesters that day. But representatives of the neo-Nazi groups “C14“, “Democratic Axe”, and “National Corpus” started to cling to them.
A group of radicals attacked people outside the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The police responded and detained 15 people. But under pressure from the nationalists, they were released a few hours later. After the rally, people went to the metro to get to buses parked on the outskirts of Kiev. At this moment, Pavel Volkov witnessed the neo-Nazi attacks on the participants of the rally.
“I was one of the first to publish information and photos about who exactly attacked and what response the victims gave. After that, threats started to be made on the Internet,” said the journalist.
On that day, neo-Nazis on their social networks called for “revenge” and declared a “hunt” for supporters and journalists of Shary who cover events “incorrectly”. In the evening of June 17th, they attacked a bus with protesters inside that had returned to Kharkov, smashed windows with stones, and several people were injured.
“At about 1am on June 18th, I, along with a group of PPSH, returned by bus to Zaporozhye. At the intersection of Gagarin Street and Soborny Avenue, we were attacked by a group of 15-20 radicals armed with sticks, stones, and gas canisters. As a result, 3 people received facial burns, one – rib injuries, and another – a traumatic brain injury. The police launched an investigation. I, of course, wrote about it, and then a new wave of threats started,” Volkov said.
Radicals pasted a leaflet with a photo of the journalist and his wife with the caption “enemies of Ukraine” on the door of the office of PPSH during the march of “National Corpus”. Pavel Volkov emphasises that neither he nor his wife are members of PPSH. I.e., the terrorists of “National Corpus” have blurred criteria for choosing an enemy: it can be either an undesirable party, or just a journalist with views that do not match neo-Nazi standards.
Pavel Volkov recalled that within 5 days after the PPSH rally outside the office of the President, “National Corpus” moved from threats to actions. On June 22nd, the neo-Nazi from “Azov“ Roman Borovik (call sign Satan) with accomplices broke into the office of PPSH in Zhytomyr and beat up the head of the city’s party organisation under a surveillance camera.
On June 23rd, 4 radicals from “National Corpus” in Cherkasssy, led by their leader Kukharchuk, beat up servicemen with hammers, confusing them for members of PPSH. The bandits were detained, but not placed in custody. The court limited itself to a mild measure – house arrest.
On June 24th, Nikita Rozhenko, the coordinator of PPSH in Kharkov, wrote to the police about threats made to his life by the head of the central HQ of “National Corpus” Maksim Zhorin and the leader of Kharkov “National Corpus” Konstantin Nemichev. A few hours later, Nikita was met at the entrance of his house by a group of radicals. He was hit several times on the head by bats. Miraculously surviving, he was put in intensive care.
The Nazis declared on their Internet resources that they would capture and kill other PPSH supporters, similar to what they did with Nikita Rozhenko, even announcing a monetary reward for videotaping such attacks:
“Since we are law-abiding people and do not recognise any other methods other than legal ones, and we need to protect ourselves and others, we started contacting various international organisations and found a response. The issue of right-wing terror unleashed on the streets of Ukrainian cities was taken up by the inter-parliamentary Commission on Human Rights, created last year by Bundestag Deputy Waldemar Herdt. At the moment, the Commission is negotiating with the parliaments of a number of countries, including Ukraine, as well as the European Parliament.
“All information about what is happening is promptly transmitted to the UN OHCHR, which also prepares a corresponding statement. The Russian PEN Center, which, unlike the Ukrainian branch of this organisation, never refuses to help, did not stand aside. Of course, this is not all. We are preparing an appeal to the OSCE and a number of other organisations. A number of European journalists are also interested in this problem,” summed up Pavel Volkov.
However, given the other crimes of Ukraine that completely violate human rights, we are not even talking about the war in Donbass, which the entire collective west turns a blind eye to, we do not have much hope for justice. Especially since everyone already knows who they obey, and what dirty work the nationalists of Ukraine do. We will continue to follow the development of “democracy” and the situation in the country together with you, and we will also expect actions from international organisations, not empty and unnecessary statements.
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