ATO veteran threatens to shoot "Chetverta Vlada" journalist in the knees
ATO veteran Anatoliy Fateyev threatened to shoot "Chetverta Vlada" journalist Dmytro Domashchuk "in the knees". The veteran's response was effectively triggered by a post by Victoria Shinkarenko, volunteer and the director of the Rivne communal entity "House of Veterans".
On January 22, the "Chetverta Vlada" chief editor, Volodymyr Torbich, reported this in a blog post on the agency's website.
Journalist Dmytro Domashchuk is investigating allegedly non-transparent fundraising by a Rivne charity. Namely, he was looking into the ways the NGO "Army Aid Rivne", which is run by Victoria Shynkarenko, collects donations in shopping malls and whether it posts receipts.
Volodymyr Torbich notes that the editors started working on the topic after a letter from a veteran, who sent them a photo of a donation jar in a Rivne mall with an "Army Aid Rivne" logo and a "House of Veterans" logo. According to the veteran, the donations are not overseen by anyone and are not spent transparently.
Since neither of Shynkarenko's organizations provided the editors with receits or any other information about the use of the money, journalists contacted the malls where boxes and jars for donations were installed. Journalist Dmytro Domaschuk started paying visits to these malls to gather information. "Chetverta Vlada" promises to report their findings in their investigation.
Victoria Shynkarenko responded to the journalists' actions with a Facebook post where she described Domaschuk's behavior as aggressive. She also added a screenshot from Dmytro Domaschuk's Facebook page.
Screenshots of Dmytro Domashchuk's page attached to Victoria Shynkarenko's post. Source: "Chetverta Vlada"
In fact, this screenshot, posted without context, outraged users, because it featured an image of Russian symbols and a "February 23" greeting. If you find this post on Dmytro Domashchuk's Facebook, you can see that what he posted was screenshots of "February 23" greetings to Russians by a Japanese company, and the post's intent was to call on the company to stop working with Russia.
Instead, some users who saw Shynkarenko's post got the impression that the journalist had posted greeting cards on his Facebook and started writing offensive comments, and in some cases private messages, to the Dmytro Domashchuk.
Namely, ATO veteran and combatant Anatoliy Fateyev texted the following to the journalist in Facebook messenger: "If I ever catch you, I will shoot your knees." When the journalist asked what the problem was, he replied: "See the photo above, February 23 lover."
Screenshot of Anatoliy Fadeyev's chat with Dmytro Domashchuk. Source: "Chetverta Vlada"
The editor-in-chief, Volodymyr Torbich, believes that the veteran's threats may be considered "Death threats, threatening violence, destruction or damage to property upon a journalist, their close relatives or family memers due to the journalist's legal professional work" (Part 1 of Article 345-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, up to three years of imprisonment). "And Vita Shynkarenko, an official of the Rivne City Council's communal company, is instigating this," writes Torbich.
He also notes that the editors will not contact the police if the veteran apologizes for the threats.
Victoria Shynkarenko has already responded to Volodymyr Torbich's post on Facebook. "Anything you write about a 'Chetverta Vlada' journalist will be called libel, bullying, threats and misleading," her post reads.
In turn, Volodymyr Torbich noted in his blog that "Chetverta Vlada" is still waiting for a reply to their request for an explanation from Vita Shynkarenko as to why she refuses to provide copies of documents on the money taken from the donation jars.
Updated at 14:16. As Volodymyr Torbich told the regional representative of the IMI, the ATO veteran apologized for his words.
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