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Bodyguard service says has nothing to do with anti-protest action during Yanukovych speech

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Sept. 3, 2012, 8:01 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukraine's service that provides bodyguards for the president and other top officials, has denied having anything to do with those who tried to stop anti-censorship protests during a speech by President Viktor Yanukovych to the current World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum in Kyiv.
© Photo from facebook of Mustafa Nayyem

Ukraine's service that provides bodyguards for the president and other top officials, has denied having anything to do with those who tried to stop anti-censorship protests during a speech by President Viktor Yanukovych to the current World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum in Kyiv.

"The Ukrainian State Guard Department has verified information in some mass media about its personnel preventing a peaceful protest at the opening ceremony of the 64th World Newspaper Congress and the 19th World Editors Forum. It has been discovered via the official investigation that the persons who are named in the media are not members of the personnel of the Ukrainian State Protection Department or the security service of the president of Ukraine," the State Guard Department said in a statement on Monday.

"The Ukrainian State Protection Department is always open to constructive cooperation with journalists and gives them maximum assistance during mass events."

Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda said earlier that presidential bodyguards had stopped the paper's editor, Olena Prytula, and the deputy editor of Ukrainian English-language newspaper Kyiv Post, Kateryna Horchynska, from protesting during Yanukovych's opening speech at the Newspaper Congress and Editors Forum on Monday.

A video posted on Ukrayinska Pravda's Web site shows a man trying to wrench a poster saying "Stop censorship" from Horchynska, who has tried to raise it above her head during the presidential address. However, Horchynska hands the poster over to Prytula, from whom it is eventually torn by force.

During Yanukovych's speech about 10 people stood up in the audience holding posters in English and Ukrainian claiming that critics of the government risk arrest on defamation charges, that authorities bug journalists' phones, that voters are barred from listening to criticisms of the government, and that "media oligarchs" are in the service of those in authority.

The protesters were time and again crying out "Stop censorship," words that were written on T-shirts some of them were wearing.

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Harry Yellando Sept. 3, 2012, 8:41 p.m.    

ALL the world has seen what happened.....about time the State protection dept and ALL departments understand their lies do not fool the world and the camea tell the truth...

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CHRIS BABEOUF Sept. 3, 2012, 9:14 p.m.    

The world is about seven or eight billion people. Most of these don't think about Ukraine from the beginning of any year to its end. Will the demonstration be picked up by the Western media, probably since Ukraine has a President that spoils the Western narrative on democracy (but if it happened in Bahrain they probably wouldn't for the same reason). Its real impact ,if any, will be in Ukraine's elections. So everyone will soon know if the populace at large really care. In the West (in Germany and the US) politicians demand final oversight on any interviews they give(see Deutsche Welle). Does anybody care about the resulting journalistic self censorship ? Apparently not. The views expressed in this publication are frequently based on some quaint notion of the West fabricated by some Walt Disney enthusiast in the 1950's and not meant for adult consumption

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Leonard Kuchma Sept. 3, 2012, 10:38 p.m.    

Chris: Why should the "populace at large" care about Ukraine when they witnessed the election of a convicted criminal who already tried to steal the election once before and will probably do so again? The West can't believe that the Ukrainian citizens could have been so dumb? Secondly this was not an"interview". This was the World Newspaper Congress Yanuk was addressing , not a Party of Regions congress.

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