Ukraine raids Kyiv office of Russian news agency

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Soon after that, searches were conducted in the news agency's Kiev office and press center, as well as in some journalists' apartments.

New York, May 15, 2018-The Committee to Protect Journalists today expressed concern over the Ukraine Security Service's (SBU) search of the Kiev office of the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti and detention of the office director, Kirill Vyshynsky.

"The Security Service of Ukraine reports that the head of the anti-Ukrainian propaganda information outlet RIA Novosti Ukraine, Kyrylo Vyshynsky, has been declared a suspect in a crime and detained in accordance with Article 208 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine", the statement reads. "It is something that includes worldwide human rights law", Nauert added.

Lutsenko added that the Ukrainian investigation into those activities "has evidence of carrying out well-paid anti-Ukrainian attacks" by RIA Novosti-Ukraine.

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The SBU claimed in an official statement that in the spring of 2014, Vyshynsky traveled to Crimea, where he personally took part in "propaganda campaigns aimed at supporting annexation and joining the peninsula to the Russian Federation" while working for the state-run RT news outlet, formerly Russia Today.

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. I reiterate my call on the authorities to refrain from imposing unnecessary limitations on the work of foreign journalists, which affects the free flow of information and freedom of the media', the message said.

The Ukrainian prosecutor general's spokesperson Larisa Sargan said that the prosecution would insist Vyshinsky be arrested. "We have taken note of the escalation in the Ukrainian authorities' repressive activities in the information space, ranging from attacks on and deportation of Russian and foreign journalists from Ukraine to provocations against Russian diplomats on global media platforms". The law enforcement bodies held the investigative actions at the office of RIA News-Ukraine. The SBU and prosecutors had uncovered the illegal activity of a Russian-controlled media chain in Ukraine.

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