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In Ukraine, RFE/RL’s Schemes Journalists Roughed Up By Presidential Guard

Ukrainian Security Officers Confront, Injure RFE/RL Journalists (Clean)
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Ukrainian Security Officers Confront, Injure RFE/RL Journalists (Clean)

The head of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s security guard has apologized to journalists with RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service’s investigative program, Schemes, for a dust-up with guard members on September 16.

Security chief Valery Heletey on September 18 phoned investigative journalist Mykhailo Tkach who, along with cameraman Borys Trotsenko, was attacked by members of the guard near a restaurant in an upscale area near Kyiv where the president, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, Vice-Speaker of the Parliament Irina Gerashchenko, and other politicians were attending the wedding celebration of the Ukrainian attorney general’s son.

On Facebook, Heletey also announced an internal investigation and invited Tkach for a personal meeting “at his convenience.”

Tkach had described the attack on Facebook, writing, “We were 5 meters away from the road, near the forest,” when members of the State Guard attacked the Schemes crew…and threw the [camera] operator to the ground.”

Tkach said the journalists were roughed up a second time when they sought to summon the police.

Trotsenko’s hand was hurt during the confrontation, and he has since been diagnosed with a concussion.