Guzhva: I was asked not to publish film Onishchenko

Гужва: Меня просили не публиковать пленки Онищенко

Chief editor of “Country” Igor Guzhva

Chief editor of “Country” – about who can be a customer of his arrest and prospects of the sweeps in the Ukrainian media.

A criminal case against the head of the newspaper “the Country” of the Igor Guzhva was another Wake-up call for freedom of speech– or what was left of it in Ukraine, says the magazine Reporter in No. 23 (767) dated 6 July. One of the most successful media managers suspected of extortion. However, even the authorities do not hide that the recent arrest of Guzhva is a consequence of the editorial policy of the publication. And online video published by the Prosecutor General’s office in violation of secrecy of the investigation, only confirmed the version of political violence: it is the facilitator had invited the chief editor of “Country” to remove the material for money, and not Vice versa. But Guzhva still sent under arrest.

“Disloyal” media in Ukraine do not feel better Guzhva, who recently left the walls Lukyanovka jail. In March, the national Council on broadcasting was left without a license most popular talk radio country, Radio News (by the way, in his time, by the same Guzhva). And in September of 2016 under midst a Facebook applause of the first persons of the Ministry of interior burning Studio of TV channel “inter”, close to Serhiy Lyovochkin , the former head of the presidential administration of Viktor Yanukovych.

Two points of view and criticism of the existing order without regard to the “temniki”– the reason for the wrath of the new government in recent years become in General a standard journalistic approach. But, despite the loud accusations of “separatism” and “Pro-Russian policy,” none of the media has become the object of public hearing on the “treasonable” articles. Instead, the objectionable publications intimidated, deprived of work permits, and if it is impossible to initiate proceedings on purely criminal charges.

“Customers are at the very top”

– Your case has become a precedent: you – the first major media Manager Ukraine, which is so clumsily trying to lock up. And even in the camp of your opponents is the loss of methods of investigation. What do you think, is it really our bodies are so incompetent? Or is the purpose to observe the legal rules was not raised at all?

– It’s not so much of incompetence or unprofessionalism. But rather that to those who took me, rough and tough task was to fabricate a criminal case against me. By the way, this is not the first time. First there were cases of tax evasion, then they thought it was a little, I tried to sew separatism, interrogating dozens of current and former employees of magazine “News. Reporter” and newspaper “Vesti”, which I once headed. But also to no avail. Then someone upstairs, banged his fist on the table – say, you really do not know how? And they came up with just such a classic setup with extortion when posilaetsya the man offering the money – and if I took them, I would have taken red-handed.

16 may I had the conversation, which is demonstrated in abbreviated form, the General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko. Anton Filipkowski [the second defendant in the video with Guzhva – Reporter] offered money to remove mateial. But I refused. The next day, may 17, to I again asked Anton with the same proposal for $ 20,000 to remove material about the MP molting. And he said that in the evening, I can come for the money. Persistently tried to persuade. I said no again. After a couple of days I uznala their sources that may 17 evening I planned to delay, if I took the money. But I refused and that fell through. Moreover, when my words came out Anton, I told him categorically forbidden to me on such occasions to appeal. Naturally, this is even theoretically impossible to imagine that I agreed to take the money from molting for the removal of material. I just knew that it was a provocation. That is, in mid-may, the security forces, which were prepared against me, this “special operation” in March, reached an impasse. So, apparently, they re-entered the order in any way my “package”. And they just gave me the money and detained. All this was done so crudely, not because they wanted but because it is hard to form was ordered to kill from both “Country” and with me.

– And what is the role of this Radical party, which acted in this case as the main instigator?

– Radical party, as it is all fabricated on a fairly high level, played the role of bait. MP Dmitry Linko, who himself may become a defendant in criminal cases, where it passes together with Igor Mosiychuk and Andrei Lozovoi, rather, said that we should do certain things for me. At Linko it is clear that he is not particularly aware of the materials fabricated against me Affairs. He first says that he’s not that stupid to give money for the removal of some kind of publication. And that, on the contrary, he extorted money for not publishing. And then the Prosecutor’s office publishes the video from the restaurant, which says that the money given to it for the removal of material. Linko was actually the contractor who was ordered to write a statement against me.

– How you consider, who is the final customer of the case against you?

– In April I went through our mutual friends, the representatives of the inner circle of Petro Poroshenko, the legs are growing from the Bank. Either it was Poroshenko, or his inner circle. Or was it the representatives of power structures who tried before him [the President – Correspondent] to curry favor. In any case, bussaglia President of this provocation would not be.

– That offered “mutual friends”?

They tried to offer different options for agreements. They all revolved around the fact that we did not publish “films Onishchenko” and did not address other topics that are not popular with the President. When I refused, I was warned about the trouble. Like, I was given the chance to avoid them, and since I have not used this chance, you have to be ready for anything. Then began implementation of the plan according to my discredit. The finale was supposed to be my detention on may 17, which in the end did not take place due to the fact that I refused to take the money.

– This is not the first attempt to discredit you or put. What is it – a personal dislike or systemic contradictions along the lines of “Guzhva – power”?

– To be honest, I Peter spoke personally once in a lifetime. It was the end of 2011, we met in the office of Yurii Stets on 5-m the channel[Kum Poroshenko, who led after the Euromaidan, the Ministry of information policy Correspondent]. Then there was a conflict in the newspaper “Today” [Guzhva headed “Today” from 2003 to 2012 – Correspondent] between the staff and the CEO and Poroshenko we, the staff of “Today”, is supported. After that personal meetings we had. Personal conflicts with him either. The episode is about the rejection of information policy of those mass media, which I led.

I note that we, the Country, are not an opposition publication. We have no purpose to discredit the government or “wet” personalno Poroshenko. We try as much objectively show what is happening in Ukraine. The same film Onishchenko, we publish not intended to do something unpleasant, but because it is important for society information that shed light on what is happening in Ukrainian politics. But apparently even this question is for our government to be unacceptable. They want the whole information picture, even on the Internet was similar to the one that demonstrates most of the leading TV channels. Where criticism of the President is slightly more than one percent.

Now, after arrest, were you offered any options transaction, a compromise?

Now no contact no. Now they are obviously trying to deal with us “lawlessness”. Let’s see what happens.

– What are the sensations: the case goes to court? Pagelli power for your arrest?

– If in previous cases open against me, were at least attempts to fit them into more or less palatable version, it is the case for soliciting just trying to take unceremoniously. Came in, threw the money, took a picture, threw in Facebook, showed some video, in full, by the way, refuting their charges, and that’s it. I think they just are now in the process of understanding what to do with this story, which is not glued. Likely to be trying to find at least some clues. Or, do you consider the option they will go for it to freeze, and then will be looking for against me something else.

“After the independence of journalists rarely stood up”

– The Committee on freedom of speech Glad to have any contact with you? Helped?

– Me personally, no one contacted. And I know that someone from the Committee addressed to the editorial staff.

– Why such a cool attitude to the international human rights organizations to “case Guzhva”? No harsh statements, requirements. At the time of Yanukovych they were working here much more. You had a fight with them?

– If in the days of Viktor Yanukovych’s international human rights organisations took it that the authorities do, in arms, and they acted the presumption of guilt and the slightest problems the journalists evoked a very strong reaction after Maidan began to act on the presumption of innocence. It is believed that with freedom of speech we have everything in order. And therefore react immediately. Right now we are in dialogue with them, sent their arguments that they consider. After that, they will probably make the decision. However, if you remember, it is rare when an international organization after the Maidan stood up for certain journalists. If it was, then very carefully.Now it is much harder to convey information about human rights violations in Ukraine than it was before the Maidan.

– “Country” openly published “rough copies” for TV channels, and bloggers. About them in General knows the entire market of Ukrainian mass media – and this is unlikely to are not aware of the “reporters without borders”, which in the spring raised the Ukraine in the rating of freedom of speech. How do you assess this rating meets reality?

– International human rights organization and our Western partners now the position is – Yes, in Ukraine there are problems with rights and freedoms, but the country is generally going in the right direction, so do not speak too harshly of the authorities and to subject them to harsh criticism. Criticism, if need be, affectionate. They say, no need to disturb them to build a “European state”. But with these approaches we are not a European state will build soon, and North Korea, or Somalia. Overly loyal attitude of the West and international organizations to the Ukrainian authorities is one of the key reasons for the deterioration of the situation with freedom of speech in our country.There is no one to give a hand. This carries over to this situation as me. In my example and the example of “Countries” authorities are trying to intimidate journalists, to show them – that there are red flags that can not go.

– At the current pace of the crackdown of the opposition press in General will remain in the country?

– It is necessary to divide the media and politics. Let’s say “Country” not an opposition publication. We always give all points of view. And we are not fighting with the opposition, and as with the media, which gives an objective picture of what is happening. As for the political opposition. Almost all forces that provesthat authorities, as we have seen, there is pressure. Starting from the Opposition bloc and ending the Garden and Tymoshenko. Authorities are trying to limit political competition. And this is an obvious problem that the media needs to pay attention to. Because only in the presence of political competition possible freedom of expression in the country. Where there is no competition, where there is no opposition, there cannot be freedom of speech.

If nuts are “dissenting” media will spin where they can move? In Facebook, abroad?

– How can you tighten the screws? Well this is not radio and not a TV channel, which can block the signal and capture the Studio. And not even newspaper that you can prevent pectate printers. The website must not be closed. Its servers can be placed abroad, to register domain names outside the Ukrainian zone. And everything will work.

– Today the team of “Country” feel any pressure, threats?

Now fabricated a case of interference in the private life of Anton Gerashchenko. Although there may be private life of the MP? His right to privacy is severely restricted by the public interest. The threats to privately come out all the time. Enough to open comments on FB at the moment when I was detained.

“Rumors about money from the Kremlin – stupidity”

– The project “the Country” looks expensive in production: daily investigation, rapid growth dynamics. In General this is what irritates the authorities who claim that “Country” subsidizes the Kremlin. How do you feel about these statements?

Something that our site, the Kremlin subsidizes stupidity. Don’t know who our edition gives the impression of expensive. In fact, of those projects that I run, it is the most inexpensive. Before I discovered “the Country,” I was the head of the holding “Vesti”, where he worked about 700 people. And before that I headed the “Today” where only in the edition of the 100 people worked. Our website is a small startup that demonstrated the successful growth of the audience and the rating solely due to the quality of journalists ‘ work. Due to the fact that we are not afraid to raise the topics unpleasant for the authorities.

– Can the media, in principle, be financed from abroad in the current situation? After all, Ukraine is increasingly becoming a testing ground for different technologies of the information war.

Media shall be financed in accordance with Ukrainian legislation. If Ukrainian law allows financing from abroad, it means that there is nothing wrong. In the markets of Eastern European countries occupy leading positions in media corporations, who came from Western and Northern Europe. And it does not bother anyone.

– Isn’t it time our media and TV channels to publish lists of their owners?

– TV and radio they publish. It is a legal requirement. As for the “Country” that I am the founder and owner. On other sites – is the question the good will of their owners, to publish information about themselves or not. If this is not required by law, they have the right to do as they want.

The country today earns more or spends?

– If nothing bad happens – let’s knock on wood – that by the end of the year we will reach self-sufficiency.

Interviewed By Olga Buividovich


TOP 5 questions for the “case Guzhva”

Chief editor of “Country” is accused of extortion. However, in a video released by the Prosecutor General, the Guzhva persuaded to take the money for the removal of the publication.

In the investigation included two different amounts: 20 and 10 thousand dollars. While at the operational photos taken of money – only $8400.

The head of national police Vadim Transaval about the detention of “intermediaries Guzhva”on the transfer of money. Then why are they found in the office of “Country” and supposedly in the portfolio Guzhva?

Why searched the offices of “Country” was conducted without a court order?

No one still knows what kind of dirt is in the Deputy radical, Dmitry Linko, for the removal of which would be worth to pay 10 or even 20 thousand dollars.


File. Igor Guzhva

Born in Slavyansk, Donetsk region

2001 – 2003 worked in Moscow

2003 – 2012 he headed the newspaper “Today”

2013 – 2015 – publisher of the newspaper “Vesti”, radio “Vesti” and the magazine “News-Reporter”

2015 – present – owner and chief editor of “Country”

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