Independent Ukrainian Journalist Ruslan Kotsaba is Being Pursued by SBU Agents and “C14” Nazis

The oppositional Ukrainian journalist Ruslan Kotsaba on September 25th, in his personal video blog, reported that representatives of the ultra-right organisation “C14“, among who there was an employee of the SBU, carried out a provocation against him.

According to him, the representative and leader of “C14” Sergey Bondar, who occupies a completely legal position as the head of the district department of the municipal guard, suggested that he “come out to talk”. Bondar than spat at the journalist’s face, after which he was also spat at, and then they both went their separate ways.

Kotsaba himself said that the events were a planned provocation and revenge for the fact that during yesterday’s airing of his program “I Think So” on the “NewsOne” TV channel he sharply criticised the organisation. The publication asked the journalist to comment on these events.

Ruslan, you say that among the attackers there was an employee of the SBU, who earlier externally observed you. When was the last time you saw him?

“When I had just been released from prison and worked in Kiev, then I was put on surveillance to record my meetings, who I had contact with, and so on. But I was more or less tolerant of it: they have their work, I have mine, and I had to settle down.

I tried to shake them once when they were watching me on the metro. And when you break away from the ‘tail’, there are moments that you can see the person watching you at close range, and he can make sure that you see him.

They usually work in pairs, and in this case one passes you on to the other. And it was at that moment that I remembered this employee in person.

And that alerted me near ‘Golden Gate’ today, that he was with them. After all, ‘C14’ are slaves of the system that they are involved in. They will do what they are told.

Perhaps he appeared there by chance, because near the metro, on 33 Vladimirsky Street, there is a SBU building — he just approached and started talking to them. But something tells me that these ‘mouflons’, who stood there and waited for a provocation, are not used just as extras.

Usually guys aged 18-20 who are made to believe that they defend Ukraine against the enemies wanting to enslave it are involved. Just there were no guys there. In this group they were all about 35-40, serious guys.

In addition, I was concerned that they were dressed not in sandy light municipal guard uniforms (except Bondar, who was in a camouflage jacket), but in ordinary casual grey-black clothes.

You can find recordings from the surveillance cameras directly above the entrance to the metro, and Bondar defiantly filmed our conversation with his phone as he needed to record that he spat at me.

I already had a skirmish with Bondar at the station on my way to court. He told me back then that now my curator will come, they will detain me for three hours, and will punish me for the fact that I won’t be in time for the meeting.

Just imagine what level of awareness he has if I booked a ticket through the Internet, and Bondar knew exactly which platform I would stand on and via which train I would leave. I just remembered that one of the weirdos who terrorised me on the platform was also here today.

The second time there was a skirmish with Bondar was outside the building of the Supreme Court during a hearing on the case of Kolmogorov, when Bondar attacked me in the presence of those ‘stoners’. At the time I was filming a report, and they started to shout ‘go away, separatist’, spat at me, stamped their feet, and so on.

Then even the court security guard said: ‘What are you doing, you have a salary, this is hooliganism’.

You say that it was a planned provocation, but what exactly did they hope to achieve?

“I think that it is connected to yesterday’s airing of my program on ‘NewsOne’, where I roughly criticised their leader Evgeny Karas. I was initially told: ‘Let’s go, we need to talk’. And I think that they wanted to take me away to a place where there are no webcams and just simply indicatively humiliate me. I didn’t succumb to the provocation.

You see, I am 53-years-old, they’re old enough to be my kids. Why should I wave my fists. Wha if I suddenly injure them? It is ugly. Especially since they have the IDs of law enforcement officers, it is something like the vigilantes that were in the Soviet Union.

If I injure them, I would be guilty. And I’ve already got two articles [of the Criminal Code – ed] hanging around my neck: treason and obstructing the lawful activity of the armed forces. The trial is supposed to be soon.”

If I correctly understand, you haven’t yet been cleared of the previous charges?

“Nothing was cleared, it was postponed for another two months. The same for Dmitry Vasilets, who we worked together with. There is no political will to close politically-ordered cases.”

You understand that politically motivated cases are closed only through political methods. If they are approached from the legal side, then they just drag on.”

And why, in your opinion, can’t the president Zelensky bring order with these groups?

“Zelensky just hinges on the fact that he is terrorised by Petro Poroshenko, who brings together the aggrieved representatives of ‘National Corpus‘, ‘National Druzhina‘, and ‘Right Sector‘ and allegedly prepares a coup. At least that’s what is rumoured.

They organised some rally on September 19th, brought together several hundreds of people, although it was declared that there were several thousand. But the king is defined by his suite. I think that Zelensky is getting annoyed, that everyone wants to remove him in an illegal way, and accordingly he cannot carry out any attacks against the radicals.”

Kirill Kurbatov

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