Chief editor of Odesa media outlet “Hromadske” Hryhoriy Kozma complains about threats and attack by city council members on February 27, at the exit from Kyiv to Odesa. He reported this in his Facebook entry, and confirmed the same to IMI.
Hryhoriy Kozma, together with other journalists, and with a group of Odesa activists, were coming back to Odesa from Kyiv, where they visited the session of Solomyanskyi court of Kyiv city on the case of Odesa city mayor Hennadiy Trukhanov.
The incident took place at the gas station SOCAR Energy Ukraine (village of Hatne, Kyivska oblast). In particular, member of Odesa city council, head of standing commission on ethics Denys Balukh threw a glass of hot beverage at the journalist. The latter was not injured, but he thinks that this attack was related to his journalist investigations about abuse of power by officials of Odesa city council, both in the aspect of communal property machinations, and violations related to national security.
After Balukh threw glass at the journalist, he was led out of the cafe by people he was with. The journalist also claims that the city council member was likely intoxicated.
Right after this, another Odesa city council member, Oleh Kyktenko, threatened Kozma that he will not be able to make it back to Odesa. These threats confirmed that it was not a random act of aggression, but there was an intention of the mentioned city council members to intimidate the journalists and activists. The city council member also said that journalists and activists were under surveillance.
The journalist pointed out that many investigations of his media outlet were the basis of court claims against Odesa officials, and the basis for stories published on local and central mass media, including investigation of National Anti-Corruption Bureau about the plant “Krayan”, which is now being considered in Solomyanskyi district court of Kyiv city. He considers the mentioned activities the reason he was attacked and threatened.