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Yanukovych's staff accuses Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc of provocations

RIA Novosti


KIEV, January 18 (RIA Novosti) - The Ukrainian opposition Party of Regions led by Viktor Yanukovych was "surprised" by a claim of a Georgian female journalist who said she had been beaten by Yanukovych's bodyguards while trying to ask him a question, a party spokeswoman said on Monday.

The Georgian journalist claimed she was beaten on Monday while trying to approach Yanukovych, the leading candidate in the Ukrainian presidential race, to ask him a question during a briefing which followed the closure of polling stations. A statement was published by the press center of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT).

"We were surprised by the claim of the journalist who was not accredited in Yanukovych's press center," Anna Herman said in a statement.

"We have received no official request for an exclusive interview for the Georgian journalist, and Viktor Yanukovych did not meet with her. The claim by the BYuT's press center about the alleged beating of the Georgian journalist in Yanukovych's press center is a failed provocation attempt," she said.

Witnesses said Yanukovych's bodyguards just pushed the journalist aside from him.

Yanukovych is leading with 36.38% of the vote in the Sunday's election, after 60% of the ballots have been counted. Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko trails with 24.41% and ex-National Bank head Serhiy Tyhypko is third, with 13.22%.