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People visit an art installation of Easter eggs, in Kiev, Ukraine on April 10, 2018. Vladislav Pleshakov, a journalist from the privately owned television channel 1+1, was assaulted in an upscale neighborhood near Kiev on April 21, 2018, while filming for an investigative report, according to reports. (AP/Efrem Lukatsky)

In Ukraine, journalists harassed, 1 attacked while filming investigative report

May 10, 2018 5:34 PM ET

Vladislav Pleshakov, a journalist from the privately owned television channel 1+1, was assaulted in an upscale neighborhood near Kiev on April 21, 2018, while filming for an investigative report about real estate allegedly owned by Ukraine's finance minister, Oleksandr Danyliuk, according to the Kiev-based media monitoring organization Detector Media, which cites 1+1's press service.

When Pleshakov and his colleague Igor Koltunov began filming the neighborhood on their phones, men the journalists said were neighborhood security guards approached Koltunov and Pleshakov and demanded the pair stop filming, according to a video of the altercation that was included in the final investigative report that aired April 23, 2018, on 1+1's program "Groshi" (Money).

A man in an SUV then drove up and identified himself as the neighborhood committee head Oleksandr Shurupov. He also asked that the journalists stop filming and instructed Pleshakov to hand over his cellphone. When Pleshakov refused, Shurupov grabbed him by the throat, according to the video recording.

CPJ was unable to determine if Pleshakov was injured.

According to Detector Media, Koltunov and Pleshakov filed a police report under Article 171 of Ukraine's Criminal Code, protesting the obstruction of their journalistic work.

National Police spokesperson Yaroslav Trakalo told Detector Media that the journalists had called police but they refused to give a statement. The spokesperson said that police "are ready to react and investigate this incident," provided the journalists give them a statement.

The channel 1+1 did not reply to CPJ's request for comment.

In an April 23 Facebook post, Danyliuk accused 1+1 of trying to tarnish his reputation.

The "Groshi" report alleged that the minister secretly owned a pricey property in London. He denied owning or renting any apartment in London in his Facebook post.

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