Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

OSCE is concerned about searches at RIA-News Ukraine

Sergei Savostianov  TASS Sergei Savostianov TASS
Kenny Thornton | 16 May, 2018, 12:58

A spokeswoman for the SBU, Elena Gitlyanskaya confirmed that the SBU conducted searches at the Kiev office of Russian news agency RIA Novosti today. Washington, however, embraced it, invoking the traditional Russophobic mantra of fighting Kremlin's "propaganda". "Goodness, when we talk with a lot of our allies and partners overseas, they certainly have fallen victim and understand the influence and the reach of Russian propaganda".

"I Express serious concern about the morning RAID at the Russian mediafish in Kiev, the arrest of journalists and the searches of the house of journalists", said Harlem Desir. "It is something that includes global human rights law", Nauert added.

RIA Novosti Ukraine chief Kyrylo Vyshynsky was detained. The news agency's website is not being updated.

According to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which condemned the SBU raid and Vyshynsky's detention, Vyshynsky is a Ukrainian citizen with a Russian passport.

However, OSCE and CPJ disagreed with the narrative from Kiev and the State Department, calling on Ukrainian authorities to stop their witch hunt against Russian journalists.

The OSCE official added that within the framework of the Helsinki Final Act, the OSCE member states had committed to ensure proper working conditions for foreign reporters working on the territories of such countries.

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The Ukrainian prosecutor general's spokesperson Larisa Sargan said that the prosecution would insist Vyshinsky be arrested. The SBU and prosecutors had uncovered the illegal activity of a Russian-controlled media chain in Ukraine. "The criminalization of alternative news and views has no place in a democratic Ukraine".

"If it is the case that the actions of Ukrainian law enforcement bodies are somehow connected with the professional work of these media organizations, that would be outrageous and scandalous", said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

"Kiev authorities have any respect for the global media whose position does not suit Kiev", spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a statement.

Up to 15 journalists work for RIA Novosti in Ukraine, some of whom transmit information to its headquarters in Moscow while others, led by Vyshynsky, are in charge of the ria.com.ua website for the Ukrainian audience.

Zakharova criticized the situation, when the Western states and global organizations did not pay enough attention to these developments.

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