Today in Kiev was the second day of the trial of the Odessa right-wing radical Sergei Sternenko. He was chosen as a preventive measure after the «fagot» in the premeditated murder of a person.
Sternenko’s lawyers dragged out the trial for two days, declaring endless challenges and motions, citing dozens of guarantors and witnesses. Meanwhile, under the walls of the court there was a real chaos — storming of the building, fights with the police and attacks on journalists.
The riots were staged by Sternenko’s supporters. Moreover, in normal judicial practice, they would be guaranteed to entail a deterioration in the situation of the suspect in terms of toughening the requirements as a measure of restraint — taking into custody instead of house arrest. Because this is undisguised pressure on the court.
But in reality, while everything is going in a different direction — the police at first generally expelled from under the courthouse the journalists who were attacked. And then, when, nevertheless, she detained the five outlaws, she soon released them, when a chorus of voices rose in support of them from the deputies and others.
«Strana» figured out what the «activists» had arranged during the trial of Sternenko and why the police reacted so sluggishly.
The first day. The storming of the court and the attack on journalists
On Friday, when they began to consider the measure of restraint for Sternenko, several dozen young people gathered under the walls of the Shevchenko court.
A little later, several VIPs appeared — deputies, ex-ministers. But this did not stop Sternenko’s supporters from taking radical action.
The formal reason was the non-admission of all willing “activists” to the trial of Sternenko. Note that now, during the period of coronavirus restrictions, the courts are half empty. However, Sternenko decided that his entire crowd should be in the conference room.
The police, realizing that this would turn the court into a booth, did not allow the protesters into the building. After that, Sternenko came out into the street and said that all those present were his «guarantors», and therefore they could be present at the meeting.
But the police didn’t let anyone in. Then the first riots began. Nationalist Aleksey Tsymbalyuk, who is now being held as a defendant in the attack on Strana journalist Vlad Bovtruk, threw a firecracker at the feet of the crowd, others lit fires.
Smoke bombs started popping. And all this accompanied by a background accompaniment with speakers, a siren and shouts of «Avakov devil», «Skip it, f@ck.»
At that moment, they tried to attack the journalists of the Shariy.net website, but the police took them out of the crowd.
Towards evening, the crowd, obeying Sternenko’s calls to the megaphone, rushed to the entrance, rushing to the police cordon. There was a scuffle with the police. When the police beat off the wave of attackers, bottles of water were thrown at it. One hit the head of the National Guard, who at that moment was without a helmet.
At the end of that day, no one was detained.
Second day. Detentions, beatings and blockade of the street
The meeting continued on Monday. And already in the morning, the Sternenko support group again attacked the journalists of Sharia.
After that, the police did not think of anything better how to take them outside the court. And then the Strana journalist was pushed out, as well as representatives of a number of other media outlets, who were later, however, allowed back with a certificate.
At the same time, at that time, the law enforcement officers did not detain any of the “activists” who rushed to beat the press. Which naturally gave rise to new excesses.
A little later, Sternenko’s supporters pounced on Zik TV journalist Alla Zhiznevskaya, who was broadcasting live. After that, the police intervened and a scuffle ensued.
The police outlined their vision of the skirmish. First, one of the «activists» provoked a conflict with journalists. When they tried to detain him, a scuffle began with other participants in the rally. As a result, five people were detained, as well as Sternenko’s girlfriend Natalya Usatenko (but she was released almost immediately).
На видео, которое опубликовала полиция, видно, что полицейских толкают и бьют представители группы поддержки Стерненко. Степень этих ударов оценить трудно, но факт активного сопротивления полиции — бесспорный.
Law enforcers were pushed in the back, kicked, clung to hands
True, according to Sternenko’s supporters, the police themselves allegedly attacked them without any reason and began to beat them. This is in particular said by the People’s Deputy from the «Golos»(Voice) Roman Lozinsky, whose T-shirt is torn. Although there are no traces of beating on it. And it is obvious that the scuffle began after the aggressive behavior of the «Sternenkovites» towards the ZIK journalist
The head of the Golos party, Kira Rudyk, says that Lozinsky was allegedly beaten by the police after he «stood up for a woman.» And he publishes a photo of him standing with his back to law enforcement officers. The very fact of the beating is not visible on it.
The only one who of the detainees clearly suffered from physical abuse was a graduate student of the history department and a former atoshnik Alexander Kiryakov. The network has already circulated a photo of how it is rigidly «packed» into a paddy wagon.
After that, the head of the metropolitan police Andrei Krishchenko said that those guilty of «violence against activists» were suspended from work, and an official investigation was being conducted. The State Bureau of Investigations of Ukraine also took over the case.
At the moment it is known that all five detainees were released. One of the freed is Kiryakov, mentioned above. This was reported by the people’s deputy from the «Voice» Olga Stefanishina.
After a clash with the police, the «activists» in protest blocked the road on Degtyarevskaya street near the court. They began to continually walk up and down the pedestrian crossing, the police looked at it calmly.
In parallel, a fire show was going on near the court.
And at the end of the day, another journalist was attacked — Bogdan Aminov from the NewsOne TV channel. He wrote about this on Facebook and posted a video of the skirmish.
Bogdan was attacked after the question asked by Sternenko.
“I asked:“ Sergei, why do you actively comment on the use of police force against the protesters, but keep silent about the attack by your supporters on journalists? ” Then a crowd of aggressive people started pushing and surrounding my film crew. I had a live broadcast scheduled to talk about the situation. But it was ripped off. The crowd started pushing, spitting, tripping and pouring water on me, ”the journalist said and added that the police had to take him in a ring to prevent the protesters from attacking him.
“For half an hour I could not leave the courtyard, because they didn’t let me pass under the shouts of“ gang ”. In addition to numerous accusations, people have repeatedly tried to snatch me out of the police ring … Amid the screams of the brutal crowd, I had to leave the shooting location for my safety. Some of the protesters whispered in my ear: «They are already waiting for you at the gate, let’s beat off your head so that we don’t f@ck too much.» They threatened that ATO officers would come and “tell you how to love Ukraine,” the journalist wrote on the social network.
Thus, journalists of at least three media outlets suffered from the actions of the radicals during the two days of the trial against Sternenko, and the Strana journalist also suffered indirectly.
Responding to holding sway on trial
A wave of indignation over the events on trial arose in the morning, after the police brutally pushed out a number of journalists who were attacked by Sternenko’s supporters.
This behavior was condemned by the National Union of Journalists.
“The removal of journalists from the courtroom, the harassment and attacks at protest actions are outrageous! The Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Expression should immediately publicly consider the situation with the aggression against journalists under the building of the Shevchenko District Court. The leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Police must provide explanations; there is another strategy for protecting the professional rights of media workers besides their physical removal from the scene.
This post is not about the guilt or innocence of Mr. Sternenko. This post is about the right of Ukrainian journalists of Ukrainian media to work in Ukraine, ”said the head of the National Union of Journalists Serhiy Tomilenko.
The Strana editor-in-chief Igor Guzhva also commented on what was happening.
“Today, under the building of the Shevchenko District Court, where a measure of restraint is being taken for Sergei Sternenko (who killed a man in Odessa), his support group attacked a journalist of the Shariy.net publication and threatened other journalists.
What are the police doing? She took the journalist Shariy out, and then pushed the journalist of Strana and a number of other publications out from under the courthouse without any explanation.
I would like to emphasize once again that the police are removing the journalists who are being attacked from under the courthouse, and not those who are being attacked.
Although it should be exactly the opposite. Those who attack journalists should be prosecuted.
And now there is a direct obstruction of journalistic activities by the police. And, even worse, direct connivance with the lawless people who attack journalists.
«The speaker of the Rada, Dmitry Razumkov, also gave his comment, who said that a committee on freedom of speech would be convened on this matter.
At the same time, the police did not comment on the expulsion of the journalists, who did not violate anything. But they immediately repented of beating up the «activists» and promised to punish those responsible. The priorities of law enforcement officers are obvious.
Journalist Yuriy Tkachev is sure that such a Sternenko trial will discredit Ukraine much more than Russian TV.
“During the last two meetings on the Sternenko case, activists have done more to discredit Ukraine as a state than all the talk shows on Russian channels over the past year.
Take, for example, the absolutely enchanting story about the detention of journalists who were attacked by activists. Or today’s story about the removal of police officers who did the opposite (i.e., according to the law).
And here’s what’s interesting: in words, activists are great patriots. But over the past six years, none of them had the idea to tell their friends: guys, you don’t need to destroy the authority of the state in the person of justice and law enforcement for my sake.
Patriotism is patriotism, and one’s own embroidered shirt is closer to the body. «
“What happened under the Shevchenko court in relation to judges, journalists, individual police officers is NOT a weakness of the authorities.
This is complicity. Participation of the authorities in crimes, ”says lawyer Olena Lukash.
The Telegram channel «Politics of the Country» draws conclusions from this situation:
“The country has created a whole infrastructure for the protection of outrageous radicals. These are the people’s deputies, the media, and all kinds of grant organizations. And as soon as the police begin to behave according to the law, and not like a patient, they immediately begin to nightmare her.
Therefore, there is only one way to fundamentally solve the problem of street lawlessness — by destroying this infrastructure. Or, to induce the police not to pay attention to her, but to act as it should be in the legal field. And those who break the law go to jail. «
Vladislav Bovtruk, «Strana»