Activists stage ‘zombie’ protest against Vesti newspaper

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Around 30 activists rallied in Kyiv on June 21 wearing zombie make-ups and cloth painted with red paint. Holding Vesti daily in their hands, they marched from the National Opera House to the headquarters of Security Service of Ukraine to demand the closure of the newspaper, which, to their mind, has nontransparent sources of funding and supports Russian propaganda.

newspaper turns Ukrainian readers into zombies,” explained Kateryna Chepura, one of the
organizers of the event and a member of the non-governmental organization Vidsich.

Protesters formed a column which was headed by two female activists wearing kokoshnik, a traditional Russian female head-dresses,
to symbolize a country, where propaganda comes from. They were followed by a paper rocker launcher made of Vesti newspaper, meaning that the newspaper is an
informational weapon.

Criminal proceeding
against Vesti was initiated in April, 2014, on charges in fictitious business,
money laundering and tax evasion by the State Fiscal Service. Later the case was
handed to the Security Service of Ukraine for several months, which added new
charges such as
threatening the
territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine.

Law enforcement
authorities have searched the office of the newspaper three times already but did
not provide any findings. The last search of the Vesti’s office by tax police took place on
June 18.

Despite more than a year
has passed since the beginning of the investigation against Vesti it came to no result yet.

Igor Guzhva, Vesti’s
editor-in-chief and official owner of the media holding to which it belongs, denied all wrongdoing. He called searches and criminal
proceeding against Vesti a direct government pressure on independent media.

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