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Nikopol police detains blogger Victor Artemenko following the search of his office

26.05.2023, 12:22

On May 25, the police of Nikopol (Dnipropetrovsk oblast) detained blogger Victor Artemenko following a search of his office. Artemenko's colleague, Oksana Zelenyak, reported this to an IMI representative.

Victor Artemenko runs the Telegram channel "Good evening, we are from Nikopol". The channel has over 12 thousand subscribers. According to Oksana Zelenyak, Artemenko's home doubles as their media outlet's office. The police came to Victor Artemenko with a court order and started the search. According to Oksana Zelenyak, she did see the reason for the search listen in the order, but she is not yet ready to disclose it.

"They shook all the things out of the wardrobes. We do volunteering, we have a lot of boxes – it is impossible to walk through the apartment now. A packed parcel that was supposed to go to the boys on the frontline was turned inside out, they unpacked it, too," Oksana Zelenyak told IMI.

She is 99% sure that the search and Victor's detention have to do with his journalistic work.

“This is most likely related to journalistic work, and maybe someone is not happy that he is helping our soldiers. Recently, Victor has been working quite thoroughly on one official's case, so there's also politics," Oksana Zelenyak said.

Later, Oksana Zelenyak recorded a video saying that the police had detained Artemenko after discovering "an object similar to ammunition, one item" during the search. She added that it was the basis for Artemenko's detention.

"A search warrant was issued as part of a criminal investigation related to the storage of prohibited types of information, which could be traced to Victor Artemenko's IP address, registered at the address of our editorial office," Zelenyak said in the video.

The website of the Main Office of the National Police in Dnipropetrovsk oblast reported that Nikopol police had discovered cases of child pornography storage, conducted six searches on May 25, and seized the equipment used to access the pornographic content. They also had seized a grenade from a man aged 56.

As the police noted, four locals aged 27 to 58 may have been using file-sharing networks to access child pornography. The examinations are ongoing, and the law enforcers will issue suspicion notices under Part 1 of Art. 301-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (accessing, acquisition, storage, importation, transportation or other kinds of transfer, production, sale and distribution of child pornography) after their completion.

A local man has been detained following the discocvery of ammunition in his apartment, with a case being opened under Art. 263 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

The police report does not specify the names of the detainees, but the interiors in the police photos match those that can be seen in Victor Artemenko's video.

Victor Artemenko is a member of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, as confirmed to IMI representatives by the head of the regional branch, Oleksiy Kovalchuk. According to "Your Control", Victor Artemenko is the head of five companies. Two companies are registered in Nikopol, two in Lviv, one in Sumy. One of such firms is the Charity Foundation "Mega Inform".

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