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13.12.2001 | Olga Shvets, Cherkassy

A robust door saved Valentina Vasylchenko

   

Vladimir Mayakovsky, a classic of the Soviet poetry, once exclaimed with pride: ’My militia’s guarding me!’ Since those days militia guards us not so vigilantly. Here are two stories, when journalists were attacked, maybe not in the capacity of journalists.

On Sunday about 23:30 journalist Valentina Vasylchenko heard a buzz at her door. A woman’s voice asked: ’Please, open the door. I need to see Vlasik, Oksana I Yulia’. The sleepy Valentina, thinking that somebody confused the door, answered: ’You are mistaken. These people do not live here’. Yet the voice repeated the request to open the door, although Valentina told several times that it was a mistake. Valentina heard low voices on that side of the door... The disappeared only after Vasylchenko promised to call militia. It event could be taken for a irritating misunderstanding. Yet, 15 minutes later the buzz sounded again. It was followed by a crashing sound. Someone kicked the door all the time pressing the buzzer. Valentina asked: ’Who is there?’ A man’s voice commanded: ’Open the door! Militia!’ ’What do you want’, asked the Valentina. ’Open the door and then we shall tell you!’.

-- I heard several men voices on the landing, Valentina Vasylchenko told later. – The buzzer worked without stop. They kicked the door trying to break it. I understood that it was not a misunderstanding and dialed 㤊’. I gave my address and name to the militia officer and told on duty: ’Drive here! Somebody is breaking my door!’ ’Who?’, asked the militiaman on duty. How could I know? I said: ’They say that they are militia’. The man on duty advised: ’Ask them to give their names’. It was stupid, but I ran up to the door and asked: ’Militia is interested, who is breaking my door. Please, give your names’. They answered nothing and continued to break the door. I continued the dialog with the militiaman on duty. He appeared very curious and put me many other questions. I could not stay it any more and shouted: ’I bloody fool, call the patrol car!’ He answered: ’I will connect you with the officer on duty in the Sosnovskiy precinct’. It was a vicious circle. He asked, who was breaking the door, ask them to give their names, etc. Perhaps, they followed the same instruction. I wanted to break the telephone... In 20 minutes a patrol car did arrive at last. The attempts to break the door stopped ten minutes before. The arrived militiamen compiled the protocol, omitting my words that the breakers introduced themselves as militiamen. When I signed the protocol, I inserted this fact. What did the law-enforcers say to me? They advised to mend and strengthen the door and to turn to the department of the struggle with the organized crime when I come across with any difficulties. By the way, when the intruders were breaking my door, I phoned to this department too. It is 50 meters from my house. On the other end of the line I heard: ’Lady, do not bother us’. And the talk was cut short.

I believe that those, who tried to break my door, had one goal: to lure me out of the flat and then -- -- I am afraid to think of the consequences. Then militia would, as always, start the case according to Article 206, hooliganism. And if the strangers managed to break the door and rush into the flat, this would be Article 142, burglary and robbery, up to 15 years of incarceration’.

On 14 August 2000 at noon journalist Valentina Vasylchenko was attacked on the landing near the door of her flat. Two strangers wearing blazers and dark glasses brutally beat her on the head. Her life was incidentally saved by some people, who were walking downstairs. Almost a year passed. During this time militiamen did nothing, they even did not imitate an investigation. ’The file of my case contains only my complaints and applications to the General prosecutor’s office. What sort of investigation it is, if during all this time I was not permitted to read the forensic expertise results. I even stopped to come and ask, what is new in my case, since I understood that nothing is being done’, Vasylchenko said. It is interesting that the attempt at the journalist was committed after she made public at a press conference some materials about the ’Bull’s gang’, which is covered by top oblast authorities. The described attack at her door also happened after she wrote in the newspaper ’Antenna’ about the crimes of the same gang. By the way, several days ago ’Bull’ was released from the prison after a week imprisonment. So, militiamen certainly do not dare to interrogate such an ’revered person’ about petty journalist. It may be that ’Bull’ is not guilty here, and some other ’revered person’ just tries to frame him.

Horrible times for unprotected people!

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