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Journalist Bohdan Butkevych reports threats

06.07.2023, 14:50

Censor.Net and Radio Kyiv journalist, Bohdan Butkevych, reports being threatened with physical assault on social media. Butkevych told IMI about this.

According to him, the conflict arose in the neighborhood community "New Rusanivka", where locals were discussing unwanted construction.

"I live in the Rusanivka neighborhood (Kyiv). We have a community page 'New Rusanivka' where we discuss the issues of our neighborhood. We're having a conflict with somebody who wants to develop our Rusanivska Spit, pretending they're going to build a boat station there. And some character named Vyacheslav Hrybachev barged into the discussion under that post," the journalist said.

According to Butkevych, the user started by parroting Russian propaganda narratives at him and alleging that Butkevych had previously suggested killing one and a half million Donbas residents. Butkevych says that that moment was when he realized that the person he was talking to was addressing him as a journalist, and decided to make this situation public.

The journalist also added that the person did not support any of the parties to the conflic in question – neither the residents of the district nor the potential developer.

"Word for word. It got to the point when he wrote to me: 'That's it, consider these few weeks to be your last. I will find you!'" said Butkevych.

Facebook screenshot provided by Bohdan Butkevych

He noted that he was outraged that someone with a private profile was publicly threatening a journalist. Butkevych plans to file a statement with the police and report the threats.

"I'm not entirely sure if he's a living person. Maybe he's a bot, but not likely. If it was some kind of debate in an open community, then I would not have paid it any mind at all. But the problem is that it was happening in a neighborhood group, which is unlikely to have many people who do not live in the neighborhood," Butkevych added.

It should be noted that on July 31, 2014, the Russian TV channel LifeNews showed an excerpt of a video from the Ukrainian channel It alleged that Ukrainian journalist Bohdan Butkevych had said: "The Donbas is not merely a depressed region. It poses a large complex of issues. One of the biggest such issues is that there is a whole lot of people we don't need. I am talking about this deliberately. If we take Donetsk oblast alone, there are about 4 million people and at least 1.5 million extra. I want to say that we do not need to understand the Donbas. We just need to understand the Ukrainian national interest. The Donbas should be used as a resource, I think. I don't have a ready recipe for what needs to be done quickly, but what matters is that it needs to be done now; however brutal it may sound, there is a certain group of people in the Donbas who simply need to be killed off."

Stopfake found out what exactly the Ukrainian journalist did say on and why host Nastya Stanko was not put off by his remarks about "extra people".

The Russian channels were drawing from a 49-second video called "Bohdan Butkevich. It's simple, we just need to kill 1.5 million of Donbas people".

The fact-checkers noted that the video has three edit cuts that can be seen with a naked eye. "They show that this is not a full monologue, but four different fragments of it. We get the following formula: excerpt 1 – cut 1 – excerpt 2 – cut 2 – excerpt 3 – cut 3 – excerpt 4”, the journalists note.

They also noted that there is an original video that lasts 31 minutes and 52 seconds. If we even remove the seven-minute Skype call with another journalist (1:40 – 8:40), which is featured in the original report, we can see that the interview with Butkevych lasts 20 times longer than the edited down 49-second video.

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