Crusading Ukrainian journalist beaten

06:56, Dec 27 2013
Tetyana Chornovil
Opposition activist and journalist Tetyana Chornovil sits in a wheelchair at a hospital in Kiev on December 25.

Ukrainian opposition activist and journalist known for her investigations into corruption among senior state officials has been beaten up by unknown attackers.

Tetyana Chornovil was assaulted Wednesday near the capital Kiev hours after an article she wrote on the assets of top government officials was published.

The 34-year-old, a prominent activist who has given speeches at recent anti-government protests, told police her car was stopped by a vehicle just after midnight. A group of unidentified men got out and broke the rear window of her car.

kievstand
Protesters hold a picture of journalist Tetyana Chornovil during a protest rally in front of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kiev yesterday.

"They then pulled her from the car, beat her and left her in a ditch," police said in a statement. The statement did not say whether she had been robbed.

In a video posted on the Ukrainska Pravda website, Chornovil described the attack, her face bruised and swollen.

"I started running, they began pursuing me," she said, according to AFP. "They were hitting me on the head, they were not saying anything, they were just hitting."

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The freelance journalist was left with a broken nose, concussion and numerous bruises, online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda reported. Opposition activists said she was in intensive care in hospital.

Kiev has been gripped by street protests since late November when President Viktor Yanukovich's government refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union. Weekend rallies have sometimes drawing hundreds of thousands people.

Ukraine struck a deal with Russia last week to receive a $15 billion bailout and lower gas prices under a deal that keeps the cash-strapped country in Moscow's orbit.

Yanukovich has urged police to find those responsible for Chornovil's beating, his office said.

Christmas in the Ukraine will not be celebrated until January 7, the Orthodox date.

Reuters