Pervomaysk blogger says the city's Mayor threatened to maim him
Blogger who runs local Telegram channel "Pervomaysk City" (Mykolaiv oblast), Dmytro Ivanytsky, said that Pervomaysk Mayor, Oleh Demchenko, threatened to maim him.
This is stated in the video address posted by Dmytro Ivanytsky on March 5 on the "Pervomaysk City" Facebook page.
"My name is Dmytro Ivanytsky, I am the administrator of the Pervomaysk City channel." In view of the recent events around the mayor getting a salary raise, the Pervomaysk City Council chief accountant embezzling funds, I have received personal threats about physical violence from Mayor Oleh Demchenko. These threats occurred repeatedly. The last time I managed to record the conversation... Your allegations about me breaking something or whatnot are baseless. I am ready for any inspections. This recording has been passed on to other people, I am concerned for my own safety. Therefore, if anything happens to me or the channel, people should know why that is," said Dmytro Ivanytsky.
The day before, the Pervomaysk City Council's decision to grant a alary raise to Mayor Oleh Demchenko, namely a bonus in the amount of 180% of his salary, had caused a notable public outcry.
On March 6, the Telegram channel "Multilichnosti" posted an audio recording of a conversation between two people whose voices are similar to those of Dmytro Ivanytsky and Oleh Demchenko.
"Listen to me, you fag, you little Jewish scum, I'm telling you, if this article doesn't go now, I'll f***ing tear you apart, b****... Do you hear me, fag? You f***ing bastard, you're the only one who had the password... I'll f*** your every hole, then you'll know... I'm telling you this for the last time, fag, I'll rip you apart like a dog rips a jacket," said a person whose voice is similar to Oleh Demchenko's.
Later on the same day, a post appeared on Oleh Demchenko's personal Facebook page, wherein Pervomaisk Mayor effectively confirmed that he had threatened Dmytro Ivanytsky, a former employee of the Pervomaisk City Council's press office, in the audio recording.
"This person, thanks to his former position, had access to all data, including my personal data. He was the one creating social media pages and he had all the access codes to them. Thus, even after his dismissal, he has repeatedly abused his position and 'rummaged around' these pages to obtain information to which he should no longer have access. I have talked to him about this several times, but he kept ignoring my requests to relinquish access to both my personal page and that of the executive committee, to which he had full access," Demchenko wrote.
According to the Mayor, the last conversation, an excerpt from which was posted by Dmytro Ivanytsky, who "used it for personal PR and to smear my reputation, was my 'outcry from the heart.'"
"I'm sorry, but really, we're all human and I think if anyone were in my place, they would also snap at the person who had been repeatedly asked to give up access to all the social media pages he should no longer have anything to do with, but he decided to have a different opinion," Oleh Demchenko wrote.
He went on to say that the threats were "taken out of the context" of their full phone conversation, but they in no way related to Ivanetsky's journalistic work: "These threats were taken out of the context our full phone conversation, where I repeatedly insisted on his giving away all the data to my personal page, to which he still had full access, but these threats were in no way related to the issues that he mentions in his video address, namely, the embezzlement of funds by the chief accountant of the City Council's culture department."
He noted that the internal inspection and investigation of this matter has been initiated by him personally, as soon as the chief accountant of a City Council department was exposed for illegally appropriating budget money.
Oleh Demchenko also stressed that he had no intentions to commit any illegal actions. "Everything said by me was emotional talk, and I also want to apologize to the community for using obscene language. All this dirt is intended for other political forces to distabilize my personal political standing as the Mayor," the Mayor wrote.
In his comment to an IMI representative, Dmytro Ivanytsky said that he used to work at the Pervomaysk City Council executive committee as the head of the press office. His duties included, among other things, running the official page of the city's executive committee and Oleh Demchenko's personal Facebook page. According to him, he resigned from his position about six months ago due to the tensions in the team.
According to the "Pervomaisk City" admin, he never had the password to the Mayor's page, and he used to make all the posts on Demchenko's Facebook in the Mayor's presence from his personal phone.
"When I worked as the head of the press office, I had to post addresses or other publications on his page. He used to give me his phone to just post them because he had a hard time with it. I didn't have any passwords," said Dmytro Ivanytsky.
Regarding access to the page of the Executive Committee of the Pervomaysk City Council, Dmytro Ivanytsky says that after being dismissed, he lost the admin rights to that Facebook page.
He also said that the conflict flared up after his media outlet's reports regarding the Mayor's salary raise. As a blogger, he has also been making posts on "Pervomaysk City" social media pages, and he does not understand why exactly Oleh Demchenko called to threaten him following these reports.
"There is a political war going on here in Pervomaysk. In February, there was an uproar over the salaries, the politicians opposed to the city's government were the first to speak up, and the local media were writing about it. As a blogger, I simply shared the information that others had already reported before me. But for some reason, my publications were perceived as a commissioned campaign. I don't understand why he called me, I'm curious myself. Maybe his surroundings set him up that way. When I worked at the Mayor's office, in the eyes of Demchenko, I was always guilty for all the bad Facebook comments about the Mayor. Apparently, he thinks that I run the entire Internet," says Dmytro Ivanytsky.
He said that he had spoken with the law enforcers about this incident, but decided against filing a statement about the threats he received.
"I talked to them, I realized that it will not go anywhere far, that is true, it will more likely be a burden for me than yield any result. My goal was to record this drivel, because it was not the first time. He (Oleh Demchenko – Ed.) just wanted to scare me into not writing about him anymore. This is his communication style, it's par for the course for him," said Dmytro Ivanytsky.
He reported that after he posted an address about the threats on Facebook, he no longer received any calls from the Mayor.
In the comment to an IMI representative, Tetyana Martynenko, head of the press office of the Pervomaysk City Council executive committee, said that she was not aware of any conversations about threats to journalists.
"I don't know about the Mayor threatening journalists. I do not know about any informational material about him threatening, I do not know. And if I knew anything, you understand, it is tactless, since your journalists do not follow the ethics... I cannot talk about these things. And I know that this is a provocation, I will now report to the head about the provocations that you are pushing me into. I'm recording everything, I'm not alone in the office... I don't know who you are, don't call again. All requests must be in writing. I do not know any information about the Mayor threateing journalists. I know that journalists give unreliable information, and we document everything about it," said Tetyana Martynenko.
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