Wednesday, July 18, 2012
War against independent news media declared [updated]
"State Tax Service: Criminal case opened against TVi director over evasion of payment of Hr 3 million in taxes"
"Prosecutor's office opens criminal case against LB.ua on violation based on Landik's claims"
[Announcement by Kyiv City Prosecutor's office here]
My previous blog on this topic here
The Lb.ua site has been erratic today - at time of posting all that is being displayed is 'temna makhorka' i.e. head of president's administration Lyovochkin - deputy prosecutor-general Kuzmin - vice PM Khoroshkovsky - presidential judicial system adviser Portnov..
cf: "Yanukovych calls on local authorities to ensure election campaign is fair"
p.s. The Akhmetov-owned 'Segodnya' have given the Lb.ua story prominence...
Khoroshkovsky has now publicly distanced himself from the attack on Lb.ua....But he has has certainly directed heavy fire onto TVi in the past.
Could this be just a sign of an internal feud inside the party of power... or are these two cases examples of simple personal vindictiveness, or part of a wider attack on the media?
Update: Prominent journalist Mustafa Nayem places the blame for this attack against press freedom firmly at Yanukovych's door. Lb.ua's chief editor Sonya Koshkina, in comments on her publication's site is more cautious and hints 'el presidente' may be above the fray - perhaps to provide some 'wiggle room' for an honourable backdown...but she does say: "The scale of the persecution means no one has any doubt: the joking has long finished, this war is a matter of life and death and they've gone for us seriously... I assume many would be pleased to see me on the scaffold..."
The mugshots above are of guys who tend to be associated with Firtash, RosUkrEnerho and the so-called gas lobby, rather than that of the Donbass 'metalbashers'
Update 2: "The president is concerned about the recent events around the Ukrainian media" including those surrounding LB.ua and TVi, according to the official presidential site..
Too late pal, these bully-boy tactics make you all look like a**holes.. The little guys have made you eat dirt....
p.s. 'K.P.' reports : "The prosecutor's office in Kyiv has denied reports on the opening of a criminal case against the LB.ua online news site, as claimed by the publication, citing its own sources." What bungling incompetent liars - see link to Kyiv City Prosecutor's office above...
But 'the evil empire' will already be plotting it's revenge for this humiliation..
p.p.s. CNN's report on Tvi here