Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Pravda.Ru freelance correspondent arrested in Ukraine

Yesterday, it became known that editor-in-chief of the Luhansk Pravda, Oksana Lashchenova, who was a freelance correspondent of Pravda.Ru for ten years, was detained at a checkpoint in the village of Schastye in Ukraine.

We did not take the risk to write about it immediately, as we were afraid of harming Oksana by letting everyone know that she was cooperating with Russian mass media. However, it was said today on the website of the Ukrainian Pravda that Lashchenova was "a correspondent of a hideous Russian publication Pravda.Ru."

We know that our publication was included on the "stop list" of the Security Bureau of Ukraine, indicating, should any of our correspondents find themselves on the territory of Ukraine, they should be arrested "with no trial, no record."

All our attempts to find out some information about the fate of Oksana and her current whereabouts have not been successful. We could only see Bacchanalia on the part of some of our Ukrainian colleagues, who wanted to send her to the SBU, to basements, to shoot her, to punish her for "terrorism" and "aiding separatists." Although, in fairness, I must say that there are voices in her support; there are appeals to release the journalist.

Oksana was arrested on a signal from Vsevolod Filimonenko, who became known not for his literary creations, but for a photograph of him sitting in a toilet with his pants down and words "Putin d***head" written on his feeble chest. This "journalist" posted a video of the May Day Day rally in Luhansk from Oksana's phone, saying that this was the evidence of her association with terrorism and, in general, the anti-terrorist operation in the south-east of Ukraine started because of her.

Over many years of cooperation, Oksana has proven to be a balanced, responsible individual and a very professional journalist. Always, in 2005, and in 2014, Oksana was writing honestly about what she saw - without any slogans and appeals. For the current Ukrainian administration, it turned out to be horrible. The truth was horrible.

Now Ukraine has become a state, where even hints of dissent are persecuted, where journalists are kidnapped, "detained," thrown in jail and killed not only with impunity, but also with pleasure, against the backdrop of the howling crowd.

"Corpus delicti" - the availability of an opinion that differs from the only true official point of view of the current government, which remains under total control of politicians from overseas.

Oksana Lashchenova is not the only Ukrainian journalist, with whom Kiev is trying to fight with fire, sword and prison bunks.

Mariupol editor Sergey Dolgov was kidnapped and deliberately deprived of freedom through informers' "help."

Editor of Donetsk Municipal Newspaper, Elena Blokha, was thrown in jail on charges of creating a terrorist organization.

War correspondent and poet Yuri Yurchenko was kidnapped.

Photojournalist of International News Agency Russia Today Andrew Stenin and journalists Sergei Korenchenko and Andrei Vyachalo disappeared without a trace.

Photojournalist of AFP and INA Russia Today Maxim Vasilenko was "detained" along with a journalist on the Crimean Telegraph, Yevgenia Koroleva. Fortunately, the Crimean colleagues returned home to the Crimea today.

To date, nine journalists have been kidnapped and/or illegally detained. The fate of at least seven of them is unknown. Obtaining any comments from representatives of punitive troops is impossible.

These illegal armed groups (such as Aydar battalion) act single-handedly, without any orders or directions. They do not report anything to anyone.

There is no law in Ukraine at all. There is a man with a gun. This is the law.

Unfortunately, international human rights and media organizations maintain neutrality, which is a flagrant violation of charters and codes of all these, once reputable, organizations.

We appeal to the entire journalistic corpse to support our call to release Oksana and her colleagues. Stop the persecution of journalists! Mind such a great achievement of mankind as freedom of speech!

Inna Novikova

Pravda.Ru Editor-in-Chief

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