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Living a new life

Ten days. This is how long I have been learning to live "a new life", that is under the watchful eye of my guards. 

As you know, last Tuesday I received the following private Facebook message: "The next target after Okuyeva is you. Prepare to die and wait for your death. Acid in the face. " 

I must admit that if it happened at any other time, I would not pay attention. There are scores of online lunatics, let alone fanatical pro-Russian bots. From time to time, all journalists and public figures find themselves in the focus of their "increased attention". As a rule, they stop at verbal attacks. But there are exceptions to every rule. The fact that I am involved in at least one open conflict, [that of a controversial development project] on the Sinnyy market, is an unequivocal reason for concerns. 

Make your own conclusions. Beginning with the end of April (when Olha Balytska discovered a coffin under her windows, in which there was a doll with her face) - incessant threats, dirty media campaigns using "dump sites"; in May – my parents' apartment was "robbed" (in fact, they just broke into it to intimidate us); in the summer - four consecutive hacking attacks on (exactly when we published the Union of Architects' conclusions on the Sinnyy market ); on my birthday - a hacker attack on my phone, which made it ring for three days in a row. Then again, several media campaigns. Well, and so on.

Finally, the murder threat, which was made immediately after the attack on the car of Adam Osmayev and Amina Okuyeva, in which Amina was killed. 

Tell me honestly: if you were in my shoes, would you be worried? 

I guess the answer is obvious. 

Now to the point. The direct author of the threats, the person who wrote them, has been identified by the investigation. This is a very real person, with a full name, a residence permit, up-to-date contact information, etc. However, an analysis of his activities in recent years clearly indicates that he is just acting on someone's orders. The mastermind remains unknown, and this is what worries me the most. When the source of the threat is clear, it is easy to live with it, take it into account, take preventive measures, etc. When it is incomprehensible, you are fighting a shadow: you are prepared to be attacked anytime, but you do not understand where it is going to come from. And, most importantly, why.

Do I link the threats to my professional activities? 

Certainly. None other. There are no other reasons (personal, etc.).

Do I see a connection between these developments and the situation around the Sinnyy market? An unambiguous answer is up to investigators (and they are busy with this right now), but I am inclined to believe that the following is the case. "Intimidation", "setting the flanks on fire" are the traditional tactics of a "British investor" [the developer]. It is quite possible that the mastermind is not planning to bring the threats to life but a murder threat is a criminal act, which carries a practical punishment under the Criminal Code. And if we factor in the prevention of journalistic activities, the situation does not look good at all. 

Either way, it is not ordinary and requires an appropriate response.

Proceeding from this, the investigator decided that I need protection at least for the duration of the proceedings. And now I'm learning to live with it. Getting used to the fact that real struggle is not only about loud statements and beautiful poses, but about real risks and unpredictable consequences. 

Sonya KoshkinaSonya Koshkina, editor in chief
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