"Titushki" of Poroshenko attacked a journalist at a rally in Ivano-Frankovsk

"Titushki" of Poroshenko attacked a journalist at a rally in Ivano-Frankovsk

Before the beginning of the campaign meeting of the presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko with voters, which took place on the central square of Ivano-Frankovsk on March 19h, there was a clash. Representatives of the "National Druzhina" organization made an attempt to enter the square, and they tried to push a group of unknown guys. The police intervened in the conflict.

On the way to the place of the pre-election rally, representatives of "National Druzhina" and members of "National Corpus" carried posters bearing the words: "Svinarchuk behind bars" and shouted the slogan "Together to the end!". The passage to the stage was blocked by a group of young men. The group grabbed the hands of “National Druzhina” members and tried to push them aside, and then between them there was a skirmish.

The police separated the participants of the conflict and pushed the “National Druzhina” members a safe distance away from the scene – behind the line of service buses.

According to the head of the National Union of Journalists Sergey Tomilenko, during this incident there was an attack on the journalist from the local information website "GOROD" Andrey Shkvarlo, who was preparing a report on the arrival of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. An aggressive man in the crowd, noticing that he was being filmed on a phone, rushed towards the journalist. At the second attempt, the attacker knocked the equipment from his hands, and then broke the phone with his feet.

Andrey Shkvarlo immediately went to the police and explained what happened. According to the communications department of the Ivano-Frankovsk regional police, criminal proceedings under article 194 (Intentional destruction or damage to property) of the Criminal Code were initiated due to the damage caused to the journalist's mobile device. Verification is ongoing. The identity of the attacker is wanted by the police, and the phone was confiscated. According to the interpretation of the police, proceedings due to the obstruction of journalistic activity (article 171 of the Criminal Code) were not initiated because the journalist had no identification marks and did not indicate that he was from the media. Although the attacker acted intentionally, he did not know that he was attacking a journalist.

The National Union of journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) noted that in general, Ukraine has a high level of physical aggression against journalists, but of particular concern is the radicalization on the eve of the election. "However, the ‘titushki’ have to understand that no matter what political headquarters hired them, punishment for beating a journalist is inevitable," said the Chairman of the NUJU Sergey Tomilenko.

As was previously reported by "Uspishna Varta", incidents where people who try to ask Poroshenko uncomfortable questions are forcefully taken away from his rally by police representatives and even beaten by unknown people have already been recorded. The police do not interfere in what is happening.

Over the past 10 days, the current President and presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko has conducted several campaign visits to regions, despite the fact that under the law candidates are prohibited from using their official position and powers for the electoral campaign. In particular, Poroshenko visited Zhytomyr (March 11), Chernigov (March 13), the Volyn region (March 14), Transcarpathia (March 15), Poltava (March 16), and held a campaign rally in Kiev (March 17). In addition, on March 19th President Poroshenko also visited Rovno and Khmelnitsky on electoral trips.

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