Journalists working for American state media outlet RFERL have accused Ukraine’s state financial institution of violently lashing out at their group after an interview with a prime government turned bitter, and safety demanded they erase their tapes.
On Tuesday, the American government-controlled Ukrainian-language service printed a video of the dramatic encounter with workers of Ukreximbank, which is wholly owned by the nation’s authorities and acts as Kiev’s monetary agent in securing loans from the West.
“The editorial board appealed to technical specialists who were able to recover the video deleted by Ukreximbank staff during the attack on the film crew filming a program featuring the head of the state bank, Yevgeny Metzger,” RFERL mentioned in an announcement. “The video was recovered on both cards from both cameras to which the interview was recorded.”
According to the outlet, the highest banker took umbrage on the route of the dialog. “Metzger’s instructions were recorded, asking for the journalists’ equipment to be confiscated, saying ‘take away the cassettes’ and ‘clean all this sh*t.’”
“It is also clear from the video that the journalists were locked inside and not allowed to leave. The moment of the attack is also recorded when a bank employee twisted and overpowered [RFERL reporter] Alexander Mazur and forcibly snatched a card in his hand from a second camera.”
The footage of the confrontation has since sparked outrage on-line. Christopher Miller, who previously labored in Kiev for the American state-run outlet, wrote on Twitter that “at one point here, a security guard for a Ukrainian state bank chief throws an RFERL journalist over a chair, pins him down and goes through his stuff. You can hear the journalist moan in pain.”
Since then, a bunch of media employees has reportedly attended a protest outdoors Ukreximbank’s headquarters in Kiev, holding indicators calling for Metzger’s resignation.
In one other dramatic twist, footage from the scene reveals a damaged pot plant that purportedly ‘fell’ from the constructing and narrowly missed the group of individuals under.
According to the Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper, Metzger has now handed in his resignation, regardless of an announcement from the financial institution accusing RFERL’s reporters of making an attempt to steal confidential info. However, a press convention set to be held to announce the choice and apologize for the incident has since been postponed.
RFERL is registered as a ‘foreign agent’ by Russia’s Ministry of Justice over hyperlinks to overseas funding.
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