The Mediarukh community is demanding that a criminal case be opened against employees of the Security Service of Ukraine and the Solomyanskyi District Recruitment and Social Support Center over the incident with Slidstvo.Info journalist Yevhen Shulhat. In this way, the special services wanted to punish the investigative journalist who exposed the elite property of the head of the SBU cybersecurity department, Illya Vitiuk, according to the Slidstvo.Info investigation.  

On Monday, April 1, the Slidstvo.Info journalist Yevhen Shulhat was approached by employees of the Solomyanskyi military registration and enlistment office who tried to hand him a draft summons, in a supermarket in the Obolonskyi district of Kyiv.

Thanks to the video from surveillance cameras, Slidstvo.Info found that the instructions to the military registration and enlistment office employees were given by an SBU employee, namely, the Department of Counterintelligence Protection of the State’s Interests in the Field of Information Security. This is the same SBU department whose head, General Illya Vitiuk, was probed by Yevhen Shulhat a few days earlier.  

“On the eve of the publication of the journalistic investigation, the team faced repeated hints that it was inappropriate to publish the article. This circumstance, against the background of further events with the intention of handing over a personal draft summons to the investigative journalist by representatives of the military registration and enlistment office, is perceived by us as targeted intimidation for refusing to obey these warnings, as well as a possible order carried out by the military agencies. In addition, the video from the surveillance cameras published by clearly indicates that the SBU was illegally surveilling the journalist,” the statement reads.

Mediarukh sent an appeal to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, SBU Head Vasyl Malyuk, Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, and Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi.

“We, Ukrainian journalists and media organizations, members of the Mediarukh movement, are appealing to you to establish justice and protect the rights of journalists in Ukraine. The current situation with the persecution of investigative journalist Yevhen Shulhat raises serious concerns about possible abuse of office and obstruction of journalistic activity by the SBU, as well as the use of the military as a tool to stop journalistic investigations,” the statement reads.

Later, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Syrskyi, instructed the Commander of the Ground Forces to conduct an internal investigation into the information published by regarding attempts to serve a draft summons to their journalist after an exposé investigation of a special service officer.

“The professional activity of journalists is respected by the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and protected by the legislation of Ukraine. The Armed Forces of Ukraine condemn any cases of violations by military officials. Based on the materials published by the public organization, I have assigned the commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to conduct an internal inspection. Based on the results of the official inspection, appropriate decisions will be made,” Syrskyi wrote.

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