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Ukraine investigates attack on TV station
Journal Staff Report

KYIV, July 13 - Ukrainian authorities say they are investigating a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack on a building that houses the Kyiv office of Ukrainian television Channel 112, RFE/RL reported.

Kyiv police said there were no injuries but classified the attack on July 13 as a terrorist act.

Police said in a statement they arrived at the scene in Kyiv's Shevchenkivsky district after neighbors reported hearing an explosion around 3:40 a.m. local time.

A spokesman for Ukraine's Interior Ministry told RFE/RL that police had no suspects but were actively investigating the case.

Police said they discovered a spent tube used to fire an RPG and cordoned off the area.
Photographs published by police showed damage to the office building's exterior.

Channel 112 issued a statement just a day before the attack, calling on "law enforcement agencies to protect us from the arbitrariness of national radicals, who by intimidation and threats try to influence the editorial policy of the channel [and] force us to abandon world-wide broadcasting standards in favor of certain political interests."

Immediately after the attack, Channel 112 CEO Yehor Benkendorf appealed to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to condemn the incident.

"You must state clearly and decisively that no one should use force against media in Ukraine," Benkendorf said.

Channel 112 has come under pressure from nationalist groups since it was purchased last year by Taras Kozak, who is a close ally of controversial Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk.

Kozak also owns the NewsOne and ZIK channels.

Medvedchuk told RFE/RL in a 2016 interview that he enjoys a close friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is the godfather of his daughter. That relationship has irked critics, who say Medvedchuk is pro-Russian.

Since Kozak's purchase of Channel 112, Medvedchuk has appeared regularly on the channel, leading observers to believe that he is its ultimate controller. Medvedchuk's spokesman has denied this to RFE/RL.

Channel 112 received a warning earlier this week from prosecutors over its plans to broadcast a documentary called Revealing Ukraine by U.S. filmmaker Oliver Stone, which includes an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In the documentary, Putin and Medvedchuk discuss the situation in Ukraine.

The channel says it has cancelled plans to show the film to avoid possible legal consequences. (rfe/ez)




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