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New Line: UNIAN Brussels correspondent sacked for absence from Kyiv office


The Independent Media Union reports that the UNIAN Information Agency’s management are trying to dismiss their correspondent in Brussels. Serhiy Voropaev. The reason cited: absence without good reason.

The union explains that the UNIAN General Director Vadym Osadchy phoned Voropaev on 3 September who was returning that day to Brussels. Osadchy said that they were closing the office in Brussels and asked him to be in Kyiv on 5 September, the first day after Voropaev’s holiday.  During the ensuing email exchange Voropayev was told they were transferring him to another job.

The Media Union points out that this is breach of labour legislation which demands 2 months notice of major changes.

On 5 September Osadchy sent Voropaev an email demanding to know why he wasn’t at the office in Kyiv and threatening him with dismissal.

The Independent Media Union considers the treatment of Voropaev to be continuing the regrettable measures aimed against journalists who are not afraid to stand up for their right to act in accordance with their profession and professional standards.

As reported, on 28 August four site editors who had previously complained of censorship by UNIAN management were moved to a newly-created department far from the centre. The editors considered this to be revenge for their earlier stand and an attempt to prevent them having impact on the site’s content.  The four journalists had earlier signed a statement accusing UNIAN of censorship (the four were L. Zhalovaha; V. Romanenko; R. Romanyuk and O. Volynsky (see At that time the Independent Media Trade Union agreed that the move was a reprisal and spoke of flagrant infringements of specific articles of labour legislation.  It suggested that the ultimate aim is to create an agency serving one political party, and warned that the UNIAN management under Osadchy “is destroying the reputation of one of the oldest information agencies in the country.”   

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