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Shots fired at windows of newspaper office

(IMI/IFEX) - On 25 August 2010 at 9 a.m., unknown persons fired shots at the windows of the "Svitlytsa" newspaper office in the village of Novy Sanzhary (Poltava region), Telekrytyka reported.

The police believe it was an act of hooliganism. "No shots were made against the journalists, as no one was inside at that moment. The shots were fired with an air gun. The bullets did not break the second window-pane, remaining between the first and second pane", said Yuriy Sulaev, press officer of the police department in Poltava region.

The editor-in-chief, Oleksander Zinchenko, confirmed the report, but said the incident could also be related to his journalistic activity. His newspaper was critical of the local authorities, he said.

"Lately, the newspaper published several critical articles about the former head of district administration Mykola Dolyna who is suing the district council and demanding 50,000 hryvnias (approx. US$6,000) for moral damages. We also criticized the present director of the labour and social security department, Natalia Gomlya, who sued a member of the district council and our newspaper for non-pecuniary damage", Zinchenko said.

He added that no one had threatened him, but some of his journalists have been threatened during the last four years, directly or indirectly. In one such incident, at the end of 2009 the village mayor Andriy Reka threatened the deputy editor-in-chief Petro Zhabotibskiy.

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