The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) broke into the office of RIA Novosti Ukraine news agency in Kiev on Tuesday, a journalist who was inside building dropped out of contact.
On Tuesday morning, people wearing a uniform with the SBU insignia came to the office. Eyewitnesses saw people, who were carrying a jack, entering the building, where the office was located. After that, the journalist who was in the office at the time stopped communicating.
Earlier in the day, RIA Novosti journalist Kirill Vyshinsky was detained by Ukrainian law enforcement officers next to his house in Kiev.
The journalist was detained on Tuesday morning next to his house in Kiev.
“Kirill Vyshinsky was detained in Kiev by law enforcement agencies, investigative actions in his respect are underway,” the lawyer said.
“The Ukrainian authorities should immediately release detained RIA Novosti journalist Kirill Vyshinsky, stop persecution of media. This is not the first time when the Kiev regime tramples on fundamental rights and freedoms, persecutes journalists… We will address international structures, including those related to journalism, in the OSCE, in order to stop the persecution of journalists in Ukraine,” Director General of Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency Dmitry Kiselev said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier called on OSCE countries and the Council of Europe, as well as international organizations, to condemn Kiev’s policy against the media. In December 2017, the UNHCHR noted the alarming trend of the expulsion of foreign journalists from Ukraine, with the label of “propagandists,” being the reason for their deportation, and called for more careful consideration of such restrictive measures.
Kiev has repeatedly restricted the work of Russian media in the country, including regularly barring Russian journalists from entering Ukraine. In March 2015, 115 Russian media outlets were suspended accreditation by Ukrainian authorities. In Ukraine, broadcasts by major Russian TV channels are also banned. The Russian Foreign Ministry has called the disconnection of Russian TV channels an attack on media freedom and called on the OSCE, the EU and the US to react toughly to this ban, as well as to the deportation of Russian journalists from Ukraine, saying that double standards in this area practiced by the West are unacceptable.