Valery Heletei

Kyiv Post - - Opinion P - – Oleg Sukhov

Em­ploy­ees of the State Se­cu­rity De­part­ment, headed by Valery Heletei, as­saulted jour­nal­ists of the Schemes in­ves­tiga­tive project, ac­cord­ing to video footage in Ra­dio Lib­erty’s Schemes tele­vi­sion pro­gram aired on Sept. 21.

Heletei and his sub­or­di­nates de­nied there had been an as­sault, but their claim is contradicted by the video footage. The as­sault re­sulted in a cam­era­man suf­fer­ing from con­cus­sion and other in­juries.

State Se­cu­rity De­part­ment em­ploy­ees re­peat­edly tried to pre­vent the jour­nal­ists from film­ing state of­fi­cials, de­spite the jour­nal­ists be­ing in a pub­lic area. The at­tack took place dur­ing the wed­ding of Pros­e­cu­tor Gen­eral Yuriy Lut­senko’s son in the wealthy Kon­cha Zaspa district south of Kyiv. Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko and many other top of­fi­cials at­tended the wed­ding. Schemes jour­nal­ists ar­gued that the use of the State Se­cu­rity De­part­ment for of­fi­cials’ pri­vate pur­poses was an abuse of power.

Heletei, who was de­fense min­is­ter in 2014, has also faced ac­cu­sa­tions of neg­li­gence that re­sulted in the killing of hun­dreds of Ukrainian troops by the Rus­sian army dur­ing the bat­tle of Ilo­vaisk in Au­gust 2014. No top Ukrainian of­fi­cials have faced charges as a re­sult of the dis­as­trous de­feat at Ilo­vaisk.

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