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Pervomaysk journalist reports pressure from the Mayor following an article about his salary raise

16.03.2023, 15:46
Photo: Natalia Klymenko on Facebook
Photo: Natalia Klymenko on Facebook

Gard.City journalist Natalia Klymenko reported pressure from the Mayor of Pervomaisk (Mykolaiv oblast), Oleh Demchenko, following her report from a City Council session that raised his salary.

Natalia Klymenko informed the IMI representative in Mykolaiv oblast about this.

According to her, on February 23, she reported on a Pervomaysk City Council session where the deputies duscussed the issue of Mayor Oleh Demchenko's salary. It was this issue out of over 60 that triggered the most debate. In particular, the session announced that now the Pervomaysk Mayor will effectively receive a UAH 170,000 salary. The next day, Oleh Demchenko called Natalia Klymenko. She noted that the conversation was happening in an elevated tone and that the Mayor accused her of spreading false information.

"He didn't threaten me, he was accusing me, not threatening. He accused me of being on someone's payroll, not clear whose, that I had written lies about the salaries. To which I replied that I was just reporting from the City Council session, where all the words spoken were spoken by the deputies. I was citing direct quotes. It was merely a report, there could not have been any lies on my part," Natalia Klymenko said.

The journalist views the Mayor's actions as pressure and believes that she was doing her job honestly and objectively.

"I regard it as pressure and accusations of working on someone's payroll. It was a report. The conversation was in a raised voice. He wasn't threatening me, but he did accuse me," the journalist noted.

Natalia Klymenko also pointed out the city authorities' poor communication with journalists.

"Since this government came to power, I have been trying to communicate with them as a journalist. The communication was very poor, we hardly interacted at all. One could draw two conclusions from this: either the authorities have no need for us, or the authorities are hiding something from us. So, yes, as you see our efforts were in vain," she added.

IMI tried to contact the Pervomaysk Mayor, Oleh Demchenko, for a comment on communication with journalists. However, upon hearing this question, he hung up and turned off the phone.

It will be recalled that earlier the editor-in-chief of the "Gard.City" publication, Halyna Davydova, complained about the work of the press service of the Pervomaiska city council (Mykolaiv region), noting that it does not support the work of journalists.

Blogger who runs local Telegram channel "Pervomaysk City" (Mykolaiv oblast), Dmytro Ivanytsky, said that Pervomaysk Mayor, Oleh Demchenko, threatened to maim him.

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