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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Prominent Ukrainian journalist and activist Tatyana Chornovol was savagely beaten close to Kyiv

Tetyana Chornovol, prominent Ukrainian journalist
(Image: I-Press)
Prominent anti-government activist and journalist Tatyana Chornovol was stopped on the highway close to Kyiv and brutally beaten by unknown men in early hours of Wednesday, 25 December 2013.

Tatyana was coming to visit her parents, who live outside of Kyiv, close to Boryspil city. While she was driving she noticed that she was being followed by the car. Several maneuvers on the road didn’t save Tatyana from her followers, who have hit her car several times, trying to stop it right on the road, what is caught by the recording of video registration device installed in Tatyana’s car. The car of young journalist was crashed several times, the rear window was broken. Tatyana tried to escape the followers, but they’ve caught her and have brutally beaten. According to Tatyana’s testimonies, the attackers haven’t said anything; they’ve just beaten her, mostly on the head and in face. There were at least two men beating her.

Tatyana was found by the policemen, who have noticed first her crashed car on the road. They transported Tatyana to Boryspil hospital. Relatives of Tatyana, journalists and oppositional MPs arrived in the hospital.

Tatyana is currently in the stable but bad condition, she was transferred to one of the Kyiv hospitals, but there are no details about it as relatives of the young journalists are afraid for her life. Tatyana has concussion of the brain, numerous bruises, broken nose, hematoma, according to the reports of doctors. She underwent the first surgery and will need at least three such surgeries, if the situation will develop positively, claim the doctors.

Tetyana Chronovol in Boryspil hospital, after
she was brutally beaten by unknown men
(Image: TSN)
Beating of Tatyana Chornovol, happened on the wave of the recent attacks against the activists of Euromaidan all over Ukraine, sparked anger of people. More than 500 protesters have gathered early in the morning on Wednesday in front of the building of Ministry of Interior demanding resignation of Minister of Interior Vitaly Zakharchenko and immediate investigation of the beating.

Ukrainian oppositional leaders stated that this attack was clearly connected to Tatyana’s professional activities and could be an attempt of her murder. Meanwhile several representatives of the ruling Party of Regions claimed this attack was a provocation against Victor Yanukovich and his government, while Ministry of Interior started investigation in the case of “hooliganism” and claimed Tatyana could be attacked as she provoked accident on the road. Protesters and activists are outraged by such cynical and absurd conclusions made by the authorities and demand resignation of Minister of Interior, Cabinet of Ministers and personal responsibility of Ukrainian current President Victor Yanukovich for this incident and for other brutal attacks against Ukrainian citizens during the recent events as well.

Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich has denounced the attack against Ukrainian 34-year old journalist and called for the fast investigation claiming that all those responsible for it should be held accountable.

Meanwhile oppositional politicians have sent the copies of records from video registering device in Tatyana’s car to Ministry of Interior and to Ukrainian Prosecutor General Mr. Pshonka. Video from the device went viral in internet, the numbers of the car attacked Tatyana are clearly visible.

Video from registering dvice in Tatyana's car (video posted by Dmitriy Chigrin):
Tatyana was attacked by the people in the black Porsche Cayenne Turbo, 2004. Person of its owner is already identified. It is Kyiv resident Oleksander Khramtsov, 1982, who is affiliated to the Party of Regions. Mr. Khramtsov is already arrested by the police, according to the official reports of Ministry of Interior, and he is being questioned. Though he might be not involved in the attack, as he claimed he has recently sold his car and didn’t cancel its registration. The ad for selling this Porsche was really found by journalists in internet, but it was published just one day before the attack against Tatyana Chronovol.

There have been at least three men attacking Tatyana, they are also identified by the police and being on the wanted list.

Ukrainian journalists are also outraged by the beating of activist and journalist and declared actions of protests of the media and press workers. Hundreds of journalists have gathered on Wednesday in several cities of Ukraine to support Tatyana Chronovol. International journalists have also expressed their solidarity and strongly condemned the attack. In addition to that, journalists announced they will have their own investigation of the brutal beating of Tatyana Chornovol. Organization Journalists Without Borders stated they will investigate the case.
European, US and other Western leaders and politicians have also strongly condemned the attack against Tatyana Chornovol and recent attacks against other activists of Euromaidan and stated they are following closely situation in Ukraine, which becomes more and more tense and escalated.

People protesting in front of the building of Ministry of Interior
(Image: Kyiv Post)
Tatyana Chronovol is much known for her journalist’s investigations regarding Ukrainian high officials and their assets and corruption. She was the first journalist who managed to get on the closed territory of the residence of Victor Yanukovich in Mezhygirya and to make photos published lately in several media and demonstrating the level of living of Ukrainian head of state. Tatyana Chornovol has also delivered many speeches during the anti-government protests and was one of the activists and organizers of the so called Automaidan initiative aimed to march to the residence of Yanukovich. On the evening of her beating, just several hours before it, Tatyana has posted in her blog materials and pictures about residence of Minister of Interior Vitaly Zakharchenko.

Thus opposition leaders are sure the attack is connected to her journalist’s investigations, and Arseny Yatsenyuk stated that all of the persons mentioned in her investigations should be questioned during the investigation.

Opposition and activists of Euromaidan are protesting now in Kyiv downtown and in front of the building of Ministry of Interior of Ukraine. Massive rally is planned to be held on Sunday, 29 December, with the initiative to march to Yanukovich residence and to protests there.