Hit on the legs by an unknown man – Channel 5 correspondent on working at the Lavra
While working on the premises of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, the Channel 5 filming crew faced obstruction by people calling themselves parishioners three times. This was reported to IMI by the channel's correspondent Vitaliy Zalevsky.
"One of such cases was when a crowd of believers surrounded an activist. Then I tried to get to the 'eye' of the scandal. They tried to push me out, and when I passed by, some man hit me on the legs," Zalevsky said.
The second incident, he said, happened when an unknown man tried to knock the phone out of his hands. "This excerpt is in the livestream (the camera's battery died, I was streaming from my phone)," Vitaliy Zalevsky clarified.
The third time, the filming crew was obstructed as it was filming police officers monitoring what was being taken out of the reserve. Then unknown men stood close to the camera's lens.
"There were also cases when someone would cover the lens with an umbrella during an interview. One of such vivid pictures was: I was interviewing an OCU parishioner who demanded the eviction of the UOC MP representatives. Then the believers surrounded us and started singing prayers loudly," he added.
When asked if he had contacted the police, Vitaliy Zalevsky replied: "Honestly, when you are in a whirlwind like this, you don't think about the police, you just keep recording all the moments."
As the IMI reported, on March 30, Metropolitan of the UOC MP Pavlo Lebid tried to knock the microphone out of the hand of "Espreso" correspondent Valeria Pashko while speaking to journalists at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.
Also, a UOC MP priest shoved Suspilne correspondent Daria Nematian Zolbin as she tried to ask Metropolitan Pavlo a question, and broke the camera mount of cameraman Viktor Mozgovy.
A person in a cassock damaged the phone charger cable of "Telegraf" photoreporter Yan Dobronosov in the jostling at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, involving UOC MP Metropolitan Pavlo Lebid.
On the same day, March 30, 2023, Kyiv police opened a criminal case for obstructing journalistic work on the territory of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.
Ukrainian media organizations called on law enforcement bodies to objectively and impartially investigate the bullying of journalists that occurred near the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra on March 30 and bring the perpetrators to justice.
On April 3, 2023, the Kyiv police notified the UOC MP priest who had damaged the equipment of a media crew at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra of suspicion.
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