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"Chesno" chief editor reports pressure by multiple online outlets and Telegram channels

04.04.2024, 15:50

The Chesno Movement chief editor Oleksandr Salizhenko reports that multiple online resources and anonymous Telegram channels are spreading misinformation about him, claiming that he was dodging the draft. He wrote about this on Facebook on April 2.

"Several online cesspits and anonymous Telegram channels remembered me recently, claiming that I was dodging the draft. At the same time, individuals whose style is remarkably similar to Medvedchuk's lawyers sent a request to the SBI, demanding they look into the work of the Vinnytsia Oblast TSC. They say the Center is not thorough enough, because I still haven't been drafted," he wrote.

He posted a photo of himself standing next to the enlistment office and added that he had visited the Department No. 4 of the Vinnytsia Oblast TSC and passed the physical exam of his own volition, without any notices.

Salizhenko also reminded that he was being treated for cancer and had repeatedly written about it. According to him, the medical board recommended declaring him unfit for military service and removing him from the conscription register, and his case files are still being reviewed by the Vinnytsia Oblast TSC.

"Starting 2020, I have been openly and repeatedly writing about my cancer treatment, giving interviews about it; I am an ambassador for the support of adult cancer patients. In 2020, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma with metastases in multiple lymph nodes and bones (stage IV). I am under supervision at the National Cancer Institute and have an official disability," he wrote.

He believes that the work of the Chesno Movement is "inconvenient for many pro-Russian politicians who are trying to smear public activists and the mobilization process."

The Chesno Movement leader Vita Dumanska notes in her column for "Ukrainian Pravda" that online scammers are exploiting the authorities, namely the State Bureau of Investigation, to put pressure on the public.

"Following a citizen's appeal, the SBI opened an investigation into the TSC's inaction regarding Salizhenko's mobilization. Moreover, the Bureau started working on this appeal immediately. Even though state bodies often respond with a non-reply or do not take any action," she wrote.

She also added that this is not the only case of draft threats being used to interfere with the work of NGOs. According to her, a similar appeal regarding Vitaliy Shabunin from the Anti-Corruption Action Center was filed by the head of the NGO "Public Integrity Council", the lawyer Rostyslav Kravets.

In his comment to "Detector Media", Oleksandr Salizhenko said that he noticed the online outlet "Law and Business" allege he and representatives of other organizations were dodging the draft in the Chesno media monitoring. The media campaign targeting him started a few weeks ago.

The media outlet noticed identical articles on the websites "Zakon i Media", "Komsomolska Pravda" (now "Korotko Pro"), and In addition to Oleksandr Salizhenko, the sources also mention the journalist investigator Yuriy Nikolov, the Anti-Corruption Action Center board chair Vitaliy Shabunin, the head of the DEJURE Foundation Mykhailo Zhernakov and other representatives of anti-corruption organizations.

"Anti-corruption activists are exploiting their ties with international partners to dodge the draft". Screenshot (by Detector Media) of an April 1, 2024 article on the "Komsomolska Pravda" (now "Korotko Pro") website

"Popular journalists and anti-corruption activists are dodging the draft thanks to their connections." Screenshot (by Detector Media) of an April 1, 2024 article on the website

Oleksandr Salizhenko said that it unclear who filed the statement with the SBI requesting an investigation into the TSC's "inaction" regarding its conscription. Chesno is working to identify the person.

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