Kalashnikov insists on his innocence
State Deputy from the Party of the Regions faction Oleh Kalashnikov denies having been involved in obstructing the activities of STB journalists near the Verkhovna Rada on 12 July. He declared this to parliament today, 19 December.
“I am in full solidarity with the President, the Prime Minister and Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada who are condemning these shameful actions, however the point is that I dont commit them”, Kalashnikov stated.
In his opinion, freedom of speech is not an autonomous element of democratic society, but must safeguard the observance of civil rights. “When freedom of speech is an instrument for carrying out genocide of an individual, I have spoken out and now also speak out against it”.
Kalashnikov called the accusations made against him unchecked, untrue and defamatory information. He said that he hoped that other citizens could not be accused without grounds.
Kalashnikov said that he took responsibility for the incident and was ready to do this again and again if this would serve to consolidate Ukraine.
After the Deputys speech, the journalists present in the press area, began chanting “Shame!”.
The Vice Speaker, Adam Martynyuk, called on them to remember that they were not at a political rally.
The Verkhovna Rada on 19 December condemned Kalashnikovs actions and said that they carried elements of obstruction of journalists work.
Hanna German from the Party of the Regions said that she was going to demand that her faction take a harsher line with Kalashnikov.
When reminded by another Deputy of her promise many months ago to resign if Kalashnikov was not stripped of his mandate, she said that she did not withdraw her words.