75-year-old teacher and actor Volodymyr Talashko from Kyiv National University of Theater, Film, and Television named after Karpenko-Kary, known for the film "Only "Old Men" Are Going Into Battle,” is accused of harassment that has been lasting in the university for twenty years. After a couple of stories on social networks, other victims also publicly announced the harassment. Among the victims are former students, schoolgirls, and journalists.
Accusations of female students and schoolgirls
The scandal began with the publication of the stories of the injured girls, which were published by screenwriter and film critic Bogdan Pankrukhin on Facebook. He was approached by the victims who shared their testimonies.
It turned out that Talashko allegedly repeatedly molested female students, underage applicants from small towns, who came to enroll in a university. There is a similar pattern in the stories: the teacher invited home "for a rehearsal" or promising to help with admission, poured alcohol, and took nude photographs.
The students say that they did not immediately understand the danger, because they were invited home by an elderly person, moreover, a people's artist.
Actress Victoria Mushtey was harassed at the age of 18 when she came to university for admission to admission. She says that Talashko specified how old she was, asked where she lived, and offered to "talk and rehearse the program at home." After the refusal, he insisted on giving her a lift to the metro, after another refusal, he still followed her in a car.
"I understood that this is a people's artist and teacher, he is unlikely to cause any harm to me, because he is an icon of the generation ... In the car, he asked what I was doing, about my city ... I saw that we had passed the metro, said about it. The answer is: "Wait, that's what I wanted to tell you. Your program is, in principle, not bad, and you are doing everything well, but you still need to work on the fable. Let us read it together, because the competition is large, there are many who wish, and I can help! Let's go rehearse. "I told him again that I could not, made an appointment, offered to work at the university another day. then go for a walk? This is how you want to become an artist! "... I offered to drink before the rehearsal. After a while, I asked to read the fable. I stood in front of the table, read it, he made some comments and said:" Now let's see how you look in the frame ... I'll take a picture of you on my phone. ”Then the story began:“ Get up, turn over there, then let it off the shoulder, and from the second. ”After that, he turned on the disc with his songs and offered to dance. He began stroking me with his hands, hugging me. It was unpleasant for me. But then I did not know how to defend my boundaries and stress blocked some rational thinking. He climbed to kiss. This was the last straw. I started to struggle, said that I urgently needed to leave, the dormitory is closing soon," says Mushtei ...
Victoria also says that she later found out that it was not only her that had such a story. Sometimes in pairs, he allowed himself to touch the girls. For example, he could ask: "Which of you knows how to stand on the bridge?" And he volunteered to hedge. This "insurance" was on the verge when he allowed himself to touch the wrong place.
Another victim, Yulia Birzul, complains of psychological trauma after she came to Kiev after school. She met Talashko at the age of 13 at a competition where he gave her his business card. After leaving school, she called, hoping he would help. As a result, Talashko came to meet Yulia at the station with a bouquet, invited to listen to the program.
"I was embarrassed and scared ... But there was no suspicion, except for inconvenience. Besides, in front of me was a hero from the film, almost a celestial ... At some point, he suggested to me:" After the train, you need to wash, take shower! "... He was sitting in a chair opposite me. Then Talashko took out a camera and offered to take a picture of me, said that it was his hobby. started to pester me. I was just shocked, I didn't know what to do in this situation, how to stop everything and run out of this apartment. I was in Kiev for the first time, I didn't understand where I was, I didn't have a mobile, I only had a ticket home for the evening. For these thoughts, I did not understand how we ended up in the bedroom, I was already lying on the bed, and he was kissing me. At that moment I remembered a girl from our team, constantly pretended to lose consciousness, attracting attention. And in this situation I also pretended to have lost consciousness ... Talashko och he got scared and started asking what was wrong with me. The fainting idea was salvation. I quickly got dressed and started pounding at the door," Yulia recalls.
Other girls also began to publish their stories.
Actress Anastasia Vergeles with her classmates applied to the dean's office and wrote a statement to Talashko.
"They explained to us that we are not the first and not the last, that this statement will not reach anywhere, because it has a" roof ", and that we will either have to put up with it, or look for other solutions, but Vladimir Talashko will remain our master," says Vergeles.
Commentary of Talashko and the dean's office
The teacher denies all charges and says that there was no harassment. Talashko told about this by telephone to the journalists of the channel, "TSN" reports.
"Did you undress? Kiss? This was not the case. I don't remember, I don't know. I don't know, there wasn't. There was no intimate communication," Talashko said.
Answering a journalist's question whether he really invited girls home, the teacher noted that sometimes this happened.
“Sometimes, as they say, during my studies I had rehearsals, but it was not one, two, not three, four - five (rehearsals, - ed.), But it was in the stages of work,” he summed up.
The university assures that they have not heard of such cases (although at least one student says that she wrote a statement). The university's website says that there were no complaints about harassment of female students.
"The university began to receive appeals regarding the widespread negative information, which mentions university teachers. At the same time, there have been no official appeals, inquiries, complaints, messages," the press service said.
They added that the university does not have an objective opportunity to provide an official commentary on the disseminated information.
"No official papers, no statements, no, even oral, messages have never been received. I have never even heard rumors about such a topic," says Halyna Milenkaya, Vice-Rector for Research.
Ministry of Culture will investigate
The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine will conduct an internal investigation. The department said that they are concerned about this situation and consider this behavior unacceptable.
"The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy is deeply alarmed by accusations of inappropriate behavior towards former students by one of the teachers. We will immediately initiate an internal investigation. We call on the university leadership to facilitate prompt and comprehensive verification of all the facts given by the alumni," the statement said.
While the checks are being carried out, in the comments under the sensational post of Pankrukhin, some users accuse the students of agreeing to go to the teacher's home, and the author is also criticized for publishing the post at a time when Talashko has health problems.
There has also been progressing in the formal handling of the incident. Now Facebook is urging to write an official statement to the Ministry of Culture. And the lawyer proposes to draw up a collective statement to the police so that the relevant authorities also begin their investigation and he could be brought to criminal responsibility.