Conflagration of Ukraine’s pro-Russian channel: chain of the events

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21:10, 6 September 2016

Conflagration of Ukraine’s pro-Russian channel: chain of the events

Author :

The great scandal with Inter TV channel resulted in a great fire

21:10, 6 September 2016

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112 Agency

Ukraine’s "Inter" TV channel has been attacked again. September 4, in the evening in Kyiv, the fire was set to one of the offices of the TV channel. This is not the first attack "Inter," but this time the opponents of the broadcaster went too far.

During Maidan "Inter" was blamed in giving  violated picture of the political situation. Initially, the channel avoided the word "Euromaidan," calling the protesters "radicals."

In December 2013, in the midst of the events on the Maidan, Russian political technologist Igor Shuvalov, who was in charge of information policy of "Inter," has left the channel.Then, in fact, left the whole team of Serhiy Lyovochkin, Yanukovych’s successor. Shuvalov is credited with the introduction of the practice of "temniki" (in 2001-2004 the closed directive leadership Ukrainian media, which contained detailed instructions on how the news should cover political events in Ukraine).

Related: Building of "Inter" TV channel in Kyiv set on fire by protesters

Currently, the channel is fully owned by controversial billionaire Dmitry Firtash and Serhiy Lyovochkin. Firtash currently lives in Vienna, he was arrested on a request of the US, but later released on bail. The US is now seeking his extradition. The former head of the Presidential Administration Serhiy Lyovochkin is now MP from the "Opposition Bloc" (former party of Yanukovych).

In March 2014, " Lyovochkin’s team " still returned to the "Inter." At the same time, Crimea was annexed by Russia, and the situation in Donbas escalated into an armed conflict. At that moment, the channel called Russian-backed militants "fighters of Donetsk People’s Rupublic." March 27, Ukraine’s Security Service decided to expel Shuvalov from the country. However, this decision was reversed in a matter of days.

Related: Fire at Inter TV channel: Police expropriated footage from surveillance cameras

In April 2014, it was reported that Shuvalov officially became deputy director of the development company "National Information System" (NIS), which produces the news for "Inter" channel.

"Inter" can be called a leader in the number of protests under its walls. During Maidan, activists demanded that the "Inter" to show the truth about the revolution. Later picketed channel demanding to stop broadcasting Russian TV series. Then they threw smoke bombs into the building.

In the New Year's Eve, January 1, 2015, the channel broadcasted a record of New Year's program "Spark," showing Russian State Duma deputy, singer Iosif Kobzon, declared persona non grata in Ukraine. In the same program sounded songs performed by other Russian stars who have publicly expressed their support for the annexation of Crimea. Several days later, masked men threw bricks and stones at the front door of the office of "Inter."

Despite the barrage of criticism and accusations of Russian propaganda, "Inter" has successfully aired. In February 2016, the creative producer Maria Stolyarova (citizen of Russia) said obscene word in the air. She appealed to the employees of the studio with the words “finish broadcasting that f*** relatives of Heavenly hundreds heroes.”

Inter DM 4
Inna Zavoyura Facebook

The incident could result in a dismissal, if not for the juicy details of Stolyarova’s activities. In her accounts in the social networks there were her photos with the Russian-backed militants from so-called DPR. She wrote that she supported the annexation of Crimea, called Putin to send his troops to Ukraine. As a result Stolyarova was fired, and there was a decision to send her out of Ukraine. But no evidence of her crime was found.

Related: Poroshenko ordered Lutsenko to take investigations on Inter TV channel arson under his personal control

In early August, "Inter" was accused of collaboration with the Russian-backed militants. In 2015 Russian journalist Leonid Muraviev negotiated with the "Inter" concerning the position of the program editor, but he was expelled from Ukraine. Muraviev corresponded with Tatiana Egorova, a representative of the so-called Minister of State Security of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic."

"People’s Front" has actively investigated the activities of Stolyarova. MP from the National Federation Vitaly Korchik accused her discredit the project "The Wall". Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, who also represents the party, demanded that Igor Shuvalov to be sent out of the country.

Avakov even quarreled with Ukraine’s Security Service. The Minister pointed this is the direct obligation of the Security Service to check the published facts. The head of the Security Service Vasyl Hrycak said he knows about his obligations without "Avakov’s prompting."

In addition, the Service conducted linguistic and psychological research of the videos and other information sources with Stolyarova.

Everything ended with the great fire at "Inter’s" studio.

Some people set fire to tires near the office and threw a smoke bomb in the lobby. The studio of the "Details" program has been burned completely. Several employees were poisoned by carbon monoxide, and one employee broke her leg. In addition, "Inter" says that the attackers fired several shots.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said that former soldiers of the 30th Brigade of the Armed Forces rallied near the office of the channel. Only 9 people were detained on the fact of the fire, they are already released.

Related: Russia Foreign Ministry comments on Inter TV Channel protest

As at 15:00 on September 5, the protesters gathered near the building of the channel and started an indefinite protest. They accuse "Inter" in the pro-Russian positions.

"Inter" has called on the Prosecutor General, the Security Service of Ukraine, Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, and the National Police to conduct an objective investigation into the incident.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that the actions of the media should be evaluated in the framework of the law, and setting fire to the building is just unacceptable. The head of state pointed out that some of the media, which are financed by Russia, are trying to destabilize the political situation in the country.

Related: Rally near the building of Inter TV channel, employees are not allowed in the office

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