Appendix to CPJ Letter Press climate improves, but attacks continue

February 10, 2006

Alexander Orlov, Pravoe Delo and Ukrainian South
Igor Stolyarov, REFL/RL

Security guards at the Odesaoblenergo energy company in the southern city of Odessa attacked two journalists covering a protest against local power outages, according to local and international press reports.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist Igor Stolyarov and Aleksandr Orlov, a correspondent for Pravoe Delo and Ukrainian South, followed a group of protesters who went to Odesaoblenergo headquarters and demanded to speak with the management. Orlov and Stolyarov presented press credentials to the security guards, who beat the journalists and damaged Orlov’s camera, according to the Russian news Web site Vlasti. Police pulled the security guards away from the journalists when they arrived.

FEBRUARY 17, 2006

Vgolos, Press-time ATTACKED

Arsonists set fire to an office building in the western city of Lviv on the evening of February 17, according to local and international press reports. The offices of the independent Internet newspaper Vgolos (Aloud) and the local news agency Press-time were destroyed. Firefighters found evidence of accelerants.

Vgolos Editor-in-Chief Igor Tanchin told CPJ that the newspaper had recently criticized local politicians and a February 2 article had reported environmental problems at the Chervonogradska industrial plant. Tanchin said that police did not open an investigation into the fire until February 27, after the newspaper filed a complaint with the Interior Ministry.

MARCH 1, 2006

Lilia Budjurova, STB and Pervaya Krymskaya

Unidentified individuals set a fire in the basement of Budjurova’s home in the Crimean city of Simferopol, according to local press reports and CPJ interviews. The journalist was at work, and her family doused the blaze before it spread.

Budjurova works for the state broadcasting company Crimea and the local TV channel STB. She is also the editor of the weekly Pervaya Krymskaya, which published a list of parliamentary candidates who have criminal records in its February 24 edition, according to local press reports.

In a telephone interview with CPJ, Budjurova said she believed that someone from the list was responsible for the fire.

Alexander Dombrovsky, an Interior Ministry spokesman, told CPJ that Simferopol police opened a criminal case and are considering several motives. Dombrovsky told Kommersant that police found accelerant at the crime scene.

MARCH 2006


Staffers for Pyramida in the western city of Stryisk were threatened in March after the newspaper published articles about the finances of the opposition Party of Regions and the criminal record of one of the party’s local candidates, according to the news Web site Obkom.

Pyramida Editor-in-Chief Vasily Deinega told CPJ that staffers received several anonymous threatening telephone calls. Threatening statements were also made in fliers and Web postings, he said. The Party of Regions sought a court order to close Pyramida on March 3, but the motion was rejected.

MARCH 10, 2006
Irina Ovsy, Sotsialisticheskaya KharkovshchinaATTACKED

Two unidentified men attacked Ovsy, editor of Sotsialisticheskaya Kharkovshchina, weekly newspaper of the For Union political coalition, at the entrance to her apartment building, according to local press reports. Ovsy was leaving for work at around 10 a.m. when the assailants pushed her against a wall, told her to stop publishing the newspaper, and threatened to hurt the editor and her family.

Ovsy filed a complaint with Dzerjinsky district police in Kharkiv, according to local press reports. Vitalina Masterova, head of the For Union press department, told CPJ that police promised to investigate.

Sotsialisticheskaya Kharkovshchina reported that Osvy didn’t know the attackers but suspected that they were hired by opponents of the For Union political bloc. The editor said that she had received anonymous threats by phone and e-mail before the attack. Vadim Goncharov, the head of local For Union branch, told reporters that Ovsy would take a leave.

Vladimir Goshovsky, For Union leader and the head of Social Ukraine party, sent a formal request for help to the Kharkiv region’s Interior Affairs Department on March 13, according to press reports.

MARCH 15, 2006
Natalya Bogomolova, KRTATTACKED

Two unidentified men in the eastern city of Donetsk attacked Natalya Bogomolova, a journalist with the opposition television channel KRT, according to local press reports. Bogomolova was on her way home from work that night when attackers came up from behind, hit her on the head, kicked her several times, and left the scene. The attackers also took her purse, which contained documents and notes.

The attack came after Bogomolova had criticized the central government in Kyiv for public health policies, unpaid salaries, and rights abuses. KRT Director Ramil Zamdykhanov told CPJ that Bogomolova filed a complaint with the police, who opened a criminal case.

MARCH 16, 2006


The Babushkinsky civil district court in the eastern city of Dnepropetrovsk suspended the broadcasting license of Privat TV Dnepr from March 16 until the end of the March 26 parliamentary election campaign, according to local press reports.

The court shuttered that television station in retaliation for a February 26 broadcast in which political talk show host Boris Filatov criticized the Veche political party and called it a “disposable product,” the Ukrainian Web news site Okbom reported.

Veche leader Inna Boguslavskaya filed a civil lawsuit against Privat TV Dnepr on March 2, seeking the closing of the television company until March 26. The suit claimed the broadcaster violated the media provision of a restrictive election law passed in July, according to local press reports.