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Correspondent for Bukvy beaten in Kyiv. Assailant demanded to delete photos of a rally

16.08.2021, 13:07
Olekssander Kuzhelny. Photo credit: Hromadske
Olekssander Kuzhelny. Photo credit: Hromadske

On Saturday, August 14, in the center of Kyiv, some unknown persons severely beat Oleksander Kuzhelny, a photo correspondent for the Bukvy newspaper, as Bukvy reported, as well as this was confirmed by his colleagues.

This happened after a protest outside the President's Office, which Oleksander Kuzhelny was covering. 

During the rally, as Oleksander Kuzhelny said, an unknown man wearing balaclava approached him, asked what he was doing there, an  speaking aggressively told him to leave.

After this incident, the correspondent decided to be more careful and quickly leave the place after the action was over. However, after the rally, a group of people caught up with him and  demanded to delete the photos he had taken. Then they attacked the reporter.

“I didn't have time to walk a hundred meters, I was called. I turned toward, some guy caught up with me. He asked me what I had photographed, (he demanded that – n/tr) to delete those pictures. Then other guys came up, they surrounded me. I tried to walk away, they followed me. They demanded that I take out my phone and delete the photos. I said I was a journalist, I came to film it. They asked from which edition, I showed my "sheepskin". But they did not get rid of me, they began to say that I was an “imposter". I invited them to approach Andriy Biletsky (the leader of the National Corps, who was among the organizers of the action - ed.), he would confirm that I was a journalist. They  were not willing to go anywhere. One started hitting me on the leg, the other hit me somewhere in the head, and I fell, ” Oleksander Kuzhelny said.

He got numerous bruises and scratches.

Oleksander Kuzhelny also noted that before using force against him, one of the attackers mentioned an attack on July 21 in court, where the case of anarchist Alexei Bolenkov and Russian neo-Nazi attacker Mikhail Shalankevich, nicknamed "Hans".

When it all started, more guys pulled up, and one of them exclaimed: "Oh, this is the one to whom Hans gave a kick****!". From the photo one could see that the same person kicks me on the head, ”Oleksander Kuzhelny said 

The attack, he said, was over, as other journalists present at the rally began to approach the scene.

A photojournalist filed  complaint with the police, an ambulance was called to the scene to record the injuries. Oleksander Kuzhelnyi said his condition was satisfactory.

After the action, Andriy Biletsky approached Olekssander Kuzhelny. He condemned the attack and promised to help identify those involved.

The protesters demanded the authorities to "publicly renounce agreements that betray the national interests of our state." Activists brought tires and smoke bombs. Police officers proposed protesters to undergo a superficial check-up of personal belongings, but they refused and began to throw tires in the security forces. The clashes began. As Kyiv police reported, 7 policemen, a National Guard serviceman and several citizens were injured in the clash.

The event was organized by the Patriots of Ukraine page on the social network, which the day before published a statement by veterans' movements of Ukraine against reprisals targeting Ukrainian nationalists, veterans and patriots. Among the signatories of the statement are the National Corps, the Svoboda All-Ukrainian Union, the Conservative Movement Tradition and Order, the Yarosh State Initiative, the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, the OUN Volunteer Movement, the Carpathian Sich Nationalist Movement, and Avtomaidan. and many others.

As IMI reported, in Kyiv on July 21, some persons from right-wing organizations assaulted the journalist for Bukvy online edition Oleksander Kuzhelny. The incident occurred before the courthouse, where they considered the issue of deportation of Belarusian activist Aleksei Bolenkov, Alexander Kuzhelnyy at his Facebook page said that he was hit in the face, they spat in his face, pushed and threatened him.

According to the edition, the assailants were Oleksiy Svinarenko, leader of the right-wing radical organization “National Resistance” (known in the network under the pseudonym Stalker) and Mykhailo Shalankevych, (on the video one could see him trying to hit the correspondent). 

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