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MOSCOW, January 2. /TASS/. International organizations should give proper assessment to Thursday’s assault on reporters of the Russian channel LifeNews in Kiev, Maria Zakharova, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s information department said on Friday.
“We’d like to hope that, in spite of New Year festivities, the international community of journalists, human rights activists and representatives of international organizations supervising freedom of speech will register and, on top of that, give proper assessment to an assault on our reporters,” she said in Facebook.
“It is also important for antifascist organizations to speak up on the occasion, too, as the case in hand is bigger than just a dangerous neo-Nazi tendency in the heart of Europe and it concerns concrete actions that replicate Nazi traditions in form and essence,” Zakharova said. “Silence in this case is tantamount to tacit consent.”
A reporter and cameraman working for LifeNews underwent an assault on Thursday during a march of Ukrainian ultra-far-right nationalists in downtown Kiev on the occasion of a yet another anniversary since the birthday of Stepan Bandera, the leader of Ukrainian pro-Nazi ‘liberation’ movement during the years of World War II.
The channel said earlier the neo-Nazis had attacked the crew in front of policemen’s eyes but the latter had preferred to refrain from interfering.
The assault on the Russian TV crew comes forwards as a yet another glaring fact of persecutions against the media people who engaged in their professional activities in Ukraine and a blatant violation of the fundamental principles of freedom of speech, Maria Zakharova said.
She pointed out the absence of reaction on the part of Ukrainian authorities who refrain from the measures to assure reporters’ security.
Western representatives claim regularly at talks and in public statements that the Russian side produces an overblown picture of the showings of neo-Nazism in Ukraine while they do not see any facts themselves, Zakharova said.
“Yet they don’t see any facts because Western channels don’t show torch-bearing processions in downtown Kiev and don’t report true facts from Stepan Bandera’s biography,” she said.
“That’s how a vicious circle forms,” Zakharova said. “The Kiev government doesn’t make it possible for the Russian reports to perform their duties as and the West - both political leaders and public quarters - don’t see these manifestations or encroachments in freedom in general. This is a really ominous tendency.”.