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Financial Times: Attacks on prominent Ukrainian journalists spoil Zelensky’s reputation

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Harassment and attacks on independent Ukrainian journalists tarnish the reputation of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Such methods are reminiscent of the times of Yanukovych. This is stated in the material of the famous British newspaper Financial Times, “Ukrainian media became the target of the pro-Green “information army” released on January 19.”

A publication in the Financial Times was published under the title “Ukrainian media became the target of the pro-Green “information army””

“A series of attacks and smear campaigns targeting prominent Ukrainian journalists has tarnished Volodymyr Zelensky’s reputation for defending media freedom. While journalists have been subject to online intimidation and smear campaigns in the past, this has escalated into real-life harassment over the past few days.” – writes the Financial Times.

The reason for the publication was attacks on investigative journalist, editor of the publication “Our Money” Yuri Nikolov and the Bihus.info group.

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Investigative journalist Yuri Nikolov, who exposed corruption in the Defense Ministry, was targeted on Sunday by several men who knocked on his door, shouted that he would be sent to the front lines and posted signs calling him a “traitor” and a “provocateur.” The incident against Nikolov was followed by a coordinated campaign to discredit Bihus.info, a Kyiv-based investigative reporting service that has been exposing government corruption for years.” – writes the publication.

The Financial Times notes that the methods that pro-government media used to discredit, in particular Bihus.info, are reminiscent of the methods that the Yanukovych authorities used to fight independent journalists.

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“Video (according to Bihus.info staff. – Red.) was uploaded to a YouTube channel called Narodnaya Pravda, which, according to Ukrainian fact checkers, is headed by a woman whose image was generated by artificial intelligence. In appearance and tactics, “People’s Truth” is similar to the 2013 project called “Ukrainian Resentment,” which was directed against prominent journalists and human rights activists who criticized the then pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych,” – writes the Financial Times.

The publication quotes the head of the parliamentary committee on freedom of speech Yaroslav Yurchishin and the mayor of Kyiv Vitaliy Klitschko. Yurchyshyn said the failure to identify those responsible would confirm suspicions that law enforcement agencies were acting on behalf of certain government officials. Klitschko believes that “What is happening today is destroying the unity in the state, destroying democratic principles and damaging the image of Ukraine.”

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The Financial Times emphasizes that “Media freedom in Ukraine has been limited in part due to what authorities called national security concerns following the Russian invasion.”. And recalls the warning from Reporters Without Borders about “Threat to the survival of Ukrainian media.”

Previously, FACTS repeatedly reported on Bihus.info’s investigation into abuses in law enforcement agencies and the economy.

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Author: Vladimir DOBROV, specially for FACTS

Source: Fakty

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