ZIK reported threats to Vlashchenko after the interview with Portnov
On January 22, ZIK broadcasted, as program “Hard with Vlashchenko”, an interview of the channel producer with the former vice-head of Presidential Administration of Viktor Yanukovych, Andriy Portnov. This very fact, the tone of the interview, and the fact that the broadcast was on the day when Serhiy Nigoyan and Mykhailo Zhyznevskyi were killed in 2014, was the factor that caused public outrage. The administration of ZIK TV channel reported about threats against the chief producer and anchor of ZIK, Natasha Vlashchenko, and also about the actions near the TV studio in Zhovtnevy Palace, planned for today, January 24. They claim that the actions “can be dangerous for health and life of the channel's employees”. This was the content of the statement released by TV channel ZIK, “Detector media” reports. “Professional work of the chief producer and anchor of ZIK, Natasha Vlashchenko, in particular, her recent interview as a part of the author project HARD with the notorious official of Yanukovych times, Andriy Portnov, sparked more than just a vigorous discussion in media community. This interview caused personal threats against the anchor, and, also, today (Wednesday, January 24), near studio of the TV channel ZIK in Zhovtnevyi Palace, provocations are planned in form of boycott action, which can be dangerous for life and health of ZIK employees, and be construed as an offence as described in Article 171 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine on intentional impediment to lawful performance of professional duties of journalists”, the statement reads. The staff of ZIK considers accusations a direct threat to freedom of press, and requests public support of those who “shares the opinion that journalism must stay journalism”. The scandalous interview with Portnov, according to the authors of the address, “should become one more marker of complete fiasco of the General Prosecutor's office to arrest and send to prison the former officials of Yanukovych times”. “The interview with Portnikov was a video conference, and did not require any special efforts... he spoke from Austria …”, the release emphasized. “Yesterday, in 10 minutes before the broadcast, I received a call from MP from “People's Front”and openly threatened me...”, commented Natasha Vlashchenko on the scandal, adding that Portnikov was absolved of all official charges, so interviewing him could not possibly break any laws. ZIK also addressed foreign embassies and international organizations asking to protect the channel and the freedom of press.
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