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Ukrainian police opens hooliganism case over attack on Russian-language newspaper office

July 06, 2014, 21:11 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, July 06. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian police are investigating into Saturday’s attack on the editorial office of the Kiev-based newspaper Vesti, the Kiev police department said on Sunday, adding that a criminal case had been opened on hooliganism charges.

On Saturday, about 50 masked men attacked the Vesti office. One of its employees, Grigory Grin, said the attack had happened at about 11:00 local time (12:00 Moscow time). “At first I heard several gunshots, fired most likely from automatic weapons. Then rocks and Molotov cocktails came crashing through the windowpanes of the first and second floors. After that tear gas was poured into the building, spreading quickly around, and it’s still hard to breath there. One of the security personnel who tried to stop the bandits was beaten up,” Grin said.

The newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Igor Guzhva, said that some of the attackers had already been identified. He said that the editorial staff of the newspaper considered this attack as “act of terror and intimidation.”

“Those who today are seeking to destroy us will see no moral problem tomorrow in destroying any “wrong” publication of any “wrong” television channel this way. And any mass media body which covers news not the way behind-the-scenes contractors want them to do can be labeled as “wrong,”” the newspaper staff said in an appeal to the country’s leaders.

Despite the mess after the Saturday attack, the newspaper will continue its work and its next issue will come out in due time - on July 7, Guzhva said. “The next issue will come out on Monday. I don’t think they can intimidate us with such actions. We will be coming out and every morning our readers will see our newspaper at newsstands throughout the city,” he told the 112 Ukraine television channel.

“The problem is not with us or our guards, the problem is whether the country has the authorities capable of establishing order, of putting an end to such outrageous things,” he added.

Founded in May 2013, Vesti is a Russian-language daily. It is published in 350,000 copies and circulated mostly free of charge.

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