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Attack on journalists of the TV program Schemes: US and UK are outraged, Metzger has resigned

The head of Ukreximbank, Yevhen Metzger, has resigned. So far, temporarily. Photo: UNIAN

The head of Ukreximbank, Yevhen Metzger, has resigned. So far, temporarily. Photo: UNIAN

The attack on the journalists of the TV program Schemes (Skhemy in Ukrainian) that had taken place on October 4 at the premises of Ukreximbank during the recording of an interview with its head Yevhen Metzger stirred up not only Ukraine, but also caused concern in the world community.

What is said in the USA

The US Embassy in Ukraine expressed concern over the incident at Ukreximbank.

"We are concerned about the reports of inappropriate behavior towards Radio Liberty journalists at Ukreximbank. Free media play a vital role in democracy and reporters must be able to do their work without harassment or intimidation. We look forward to a thorough and transparent investigation of this event," the statement said.

How the UK responded

British Ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons noted that such behavior towards media representatives was unacceptable.

"I am concerned about reports of inappropriate behavior towards Radio Liberty journalists on the part of representatives of the state-owned Ukreximbank. Any attacks on the media are unacceptable. I'm glad to hear that the police have launched an investigation," she noted.

What Metzger decided

The key person of the scandal—the head of Ukreximbank Yevhen Metzger—decided to temporarily withdraw from his duties. But only for the period of the investigation.

"There is no excuse for my overly emotional reaction and unreined behavior towards journalists. I am fully aware of my responsibility," the head of the financial institution said in a statement.

Context. Recall: on the eve it became known that during the recording of an interview with the head of the state-owned Ukreximbank Yevhen Metzger, the journalists of the TV program Schemes were attacked. Metzger allegedly did not like one of the questions posed, and after that the bank employees forcibly grabbed the equipment from the journalists and erased all the records.

Subsequently, the Schemes team managed to recover all the deleted video recordings.

The Schemes journalists called the police and filed a report. The police launched criminal proceedings in respect of obstructing the work of journalists.

Ukreximbank did not leave the situation unanswered. The financial institution stated that the journalists had been interested in information that "is a bank secrecy that banks must keep." Taking this into account, "the bank's press service was forced to stop the further conduct of the said interview; further conversation took place in the format of an off-record meeting," the bank claims. Ukreximbank does not exclude the possibility that they will turn to law enforcement agencies because of this incident.

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