“Vechirny Kyiv” again warns of censorship in the Kyiv media
On 24 May representatives of the staff of the newspaper “Vechirny Kyiv” [“Evening Kyiv”] Ruslan Malashenko and Viktoria Bevzo spoke out publicly at a press conference run by Verkhovna Rada Deputy Andriy Shevchenko.
They alleged pressure from the Kyiv City State Administration, interference in editorial policy and virtual lawlessness in what was taking place. The newspaper has been issued now for three days without the involvement of the staff. They cited cases of censorship and spoke of mailings from the KCSA on what material should or shouldnt be published.
They assert that the conflict began on 17 May when the acting Chief Editor Ruslan Malashenko refused to publish two commissioned reports against Yury Lutsenko and Vitaly Klichko. He himself was replaced the following day and the commissioned reports were published without the editorial staffs involvement. There has also been a move to new premises and it would appear that at least Ruslan Malashenko and Viktoria Bevzo may have been dismissed by the new acting Chief Editor Roman Kostrytsa.
On Thursday “Vechirny Kyiv” staff brought a symbolic coffin with the words that freedom of speech has ended in Ukraine to the Kyiv City Council building.
Andriy Shevchenko supports the staff of the newspaper and says that such cases of interference in editorial policy occur not only in Kyiv, but in other cities also. He believes that they should oppose the creation of a capital media holding.
He also spoke of a sense of déjà vu since the pressure and temnyki [instructions on what to publish and how, and what to ignore] were returning. The media was being controlled by one centre which issued detailed instructions on what material and photographs to publish. In addition, those who refuse to comply with such orders are being removed.
Based on material from