Mykhailo Tkach / Facebook

Presidential press secretary Yulia Mendel has issued a comment after a car used by RFE/RL's Skhemy [Schemes] investigative project was set ablaze in Kyiv overnight Monday, August 17.

Via Facebook, Mendel noted that such an attack is "completely unacceptable", and that Ukraine must do everything to protect freedom of speech.

Read alsoZelensky "concerned and upset" over torching of anti-graft activist's home (Photo)"Investigative journalism has always been a dangerous job. But the situation with the Schemes is completely unacceptable. Obviously, over the years of work, the program had earned enemies, who were targets of investigations. Into the fact of arson, criminal proceedings have been launched and investigative actions are underway. I'm glad that no one was hurt – this is the main thing. The legislation provides for the protection of participants in criminal proceedings, including victims. Ukraine must do everything to defend freedom of speech, which is the base of a democratic state," Mendel wrote.

Latest incidents targeting the Skhemy project

  • RFE/RL's Skhemy [Schemes] investigative project chief Mykhailo Tkach on August 17 said the car journalists had been using to film their reports was burned down in Kyiv overnight Monday.
  • Earlier this month, Mykhailo Tkach had discovered a hole drilled through his apartment's ceiling, presumably for a wiretapping device, according to RFE/RL.
  • Last year, ex-deputy head of the disgraced ex-president Viktor Yanukovych's Administration, Andriy Portnov, made public personal data of all Skhemy drivers – their passports, car plates, and addresses, as well as threatened the team. Last Friday, Portnov posted on a social network: "Marginal Radio Liberty, I continue the package of educational measures."