SBU broke into a blog over criticism of Yanukovych


The SBU [Security Service] have taken a written undertaking from blogger Oleh Shynkarenko to not criticize the authorities “in strong form” on his Live Journal blog. “Since no specific demands were put, I should understand that any criticism of the authorities on the Live Journal can lead to new persecution.”

Oleh explains that on 29 July some person who identified themselves as SBU officers arrived at the Cinema Club “Smoloskyp” where he is the moderator. They asked him to come for a conversation with an investigator over writing in his blog, then turned up the next day at his home with a summons.

The summons spoke of a possible threat to a State figure. Oleh says that the texts that worried the SBU were more emotional parody than anything else. Talking about the 16 second clip about how Yanukovych was going to talk with Azarov,, he wrote in the tags to it “kill the reptile”. “I was obviously not going to kill Yanukovych, I had no such plans.”

The SBU also paid attention to another note where Oleh commented on the video clip of a wreath falling on Yanukovych. “It’s interesting whether anywhere they’re such forces, like Ukrainian nationalists, who could kill Yanukovych, Anna Herman and the whole group of them.” He says that this was clearly a joke.

Oleh says that the investigator gave him two options: either they arrest him for a long time or I write an explanation that I didn’t plan to make a threat, that I apologize and that I won’t do anything like it again”.
Oleh wrote it, but stresses that he doesn’t know whether he’s not supposed to make critical statements about Yanukovych at all, or specific ones. He says that the investigator expressed dissatisfaction with other statements about Yanukovych but didn’t specify which.

He considers such behaviour to be an intrusion into his private life. He says that the SBU must be looking for people who are unhappy with the regime and seeking ways to put pressure on them. He reports on his blog that the material disappeared from his blog, although he himself did not remove it.

Telekritika Lawyer, Oleksandr Zarutsky stresses that you can only investigate or initiate criminal proceedings over Live Journal postings if the threats expressed are deemed by the person against whom they’re directed to be real. He says that the President would have had to made an official complaint, otherwise there was no element of a crime since the blogger did not do anything else.

On the other hand the Head of t he Press Service of the SBU Marina Ostapenko stated that the Service was in the first instance carrying out work on preventing crimes. She said that notes on Live Journal cannot be considered a personal diary, and that the Internet is a means of mass communication.
From a report at

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