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Finnish reporter beaten up in Ukraine for impartiality

A well-known Finnish reporter Antero Eerola was beaten up by the Ukrainian military after witnessing a ceasefire breach by Ukraine’s troops in the south of the country, Vantaan Sanomat writes citing Ukrainian and Russia media.

In February, the journalist together with his photographer was in the Ukraine-controlled town of Svetlodarsk, Donetsk region, where he witnessed and registered Ukraine artillery shelling at the self-defense forces in 12 hours after the ceasefire announcement.

On the same day in the evening, he was attacked in a café by a group of unknown men speaking in Ukrainian in an aggressive tone.  Eerola got his lip torn in a brawl, after trying to talk to them in Russian. The reporter supposed from what he could understand from the men’s words that journalists were not allowed in the given territory.

Eerola was hospitalized after the attack. Ukrainian police refused to inquire into the incident. After ten days of his stay in the territory of Ukraine, the journalist arrived at a conclusion that the Western press distorts the facts when reporting on Ukraine. Unlike the Western media and politicians who blame Russia for the situation in Ukraine, the Finnish reporter believes that the reasons of Ukraine’s problems are inside the country. Even the Maidan activists are disappointed at the revolution results, Eerola said.

The reporter said he is preparing a book telling about the fight for the country “torn in two”.

In addition, the journalist slammed Ukraine for oppressing opposition. Eerola said he was present at a trial where the Justice Ministry, the Security Council and two right-wing parties tried to get the Ukrainian Communist Party prohibited.

“I have never seen such a circus in the courtroom: complete chaos, name calling and threats,” Eerola said.

To recap, activity of all the Russian media is banned in Ukraine. Furthermore, Ukrainian journalists cooperating with their Russian colleagues may face 5-10 years in prison for what Ukraine qualifies as “high treason”. Earlier, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry stopped accreditation of Russian media representative at events in Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry called it an absurd decision.

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