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Chernivtsi police blocked journalists and local residents due to visit of Foreign Ministers of Ukraine and Russia

15.01.2013, 11:50
On January 13, 2013, during the visit of Foreign Affairs Minister of Ukraine Leonid Kozhara and Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Chernivtsi, police guarded the whole area of the two Ministers’ meeting, without allowing people to get to their homes. Neither journalists nor lawmakers were allowed in the university where the meeting took place, Maidan reports.

In the Chernivtsi National University they held the seventh meeting of the Subcommittee for International Cooperation of the Ukrainian-Russian Intergovernmental Commission, and talked about the creation of appropriate conditions for the development of Ukrainian-Russian cooperation in all areas. A considerable attention was given to international problems, strengthening regional security cooperation between the two countries within the framework of international organizations, including in the context of Ukraine's chairmanship of the OSCE in 2013.

However, in about half an hour before the meeting, policemen and “people in black” encircled the territory of the university, and did not allow to pass neither journalists nor the regional council deputies, and even residents of neighboring houses that had went to the store and were returning to their dwellings.

“Chas” daily correspondent Vasily Vinogradov claims that up to ten people stood at every corner. According to him, to get to the building, one had to bypass the streets and climb over fences.

Police also tried to remove picketers of one of political parties. During the operation, they hit a journalist, and pushed him into to the crowd. The journalist explained that he was working on the scene, but nobody listened to his explanations, the edition writes.

Chas editor-in-chief Petro Kobevko also suffered during the protest action. He told that he was beaten by the police. According to him, the police also tried to twist arms of lawmaker Ruslan Zelik.

Chernivtsi Regional Police head Olexander Demydov commented to UNN on the situation as follows: "The court ruling forbade any public actions during January 13-14 due to the visit of foreign ministers delegation to Chernivtsi. However, despite the court ban, a number of political forces, including "Svoboda", attempted to block the traffic convoy of foreign ministers when they were moving to the Chernivtsi National University. Police did not apply any physical force or special devices against protesters."

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