Police who refused to help journalists under attack get warnings and reprimands
The Newspaper Kommersant Ukraine reports that the Kyiv Police have initiated disciplinary measures against 15 police officers over inaction during the disturbances which arose on 18 May in the centre of Kyiv. These included the assault by hired thugs on Channel 5’s Olha Snitsarchuk and Kommersant photographer Vladislav Sodel. Journalist unions call the reprimands and warnings inadequate punishment.
As reported, on 18 May an “antifascist” rally was organized by the ruling party to counter the planned opposition rally “Rise Ukraine”. While the two demonstrations passed peacefully, there were obvious attempts by hired thugs to provoke trouble.
During the afternoon Olha Snitsarchuk and her husband, Vlad Sodel approached a group of VO Svoboda supporters coming under attack from around 50 athletic looking thugs. Some of the latter first turned on Vlad Sodel when they saw him taking photographs then one began attacking Olha Snitsarchuk. The police just stood and watched, ignoring requests for help (and the very obvious need to intervene).