16:19 Sep. 5, 2016
Ukraine's president warns that aggressor-state is trying to destabilize the country
Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, condemned an arson attack on Ukrainian Inter TV station as an attempt to destabilize the country, and ordered the Prosecutor General's Office to conduct a thorough probe into the incident.
On September 4, TV Inter's news department office was set on fire, nobody was seriously hurt but several people were treated for smoke inhalation and another one suffered a broken leg.
"It is unacceptable that somebody breaks into the building and commits an arson attack. I am confident that this situation has nothing to do with patriots. Today, it is even more harmful for Ukraine than any contacts with provocateurs," Poroshenko noted.
US diplomatic mission in Ukraine has also condemned the attack, urging authorities to conduct a thorough investigation:
Any physical attack on a media outlet is unacceptable. We support thorough investigation into arson at Inter, are following closely.— U.S. Embassy Kyiv (@USEmbassyKyiv) September 5, 2016
The president has also instructed the Interior Minister to make every effort to ensure law and order on the streets of Kyiv and throughout Ukraine.
"At the same time, a scenario of the aggressor-state when certain media funded by Russia are trying to destabilize the domestic political situation in Ukraine is also unacceptable. However, the response to that must be absolutely legal," the president said.
On Monday several dozens of protesters gathered outside the channel's head office to rally against its activities.
Police presence was high as demonstrators labelled Inter's staff "Kremlin's agents."
The station is widely regarded by many Ukrainians as being pro-Russian. Posters reading "Burn, Inter, Burn" and "Inter Out" were seen on the protective fencing, set by police.