14:27 GMT04 August 2020
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    After the Security Service of Ukraine abducted and reported a Russian major TV channel reporter, the Russian Foreign Ministry called the move a deliberate provocation and called international organizations to react to the incident.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the abduction in Kiev and forcible deportation of Russian journalist Anna Kurbatova is a "deliberate provocation."

    "The detention in Kiev on August 30 of Channel One journalist Anna Kurbatova and her forcible deportation to Russia is clearly not an accidental incident, but a deliberate provocation initiated by the Ukrainian law enforcement and national radicals," the ministry said in a statement.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed hope that international human rights organizations and other bodies protecting journalists’ interests would react to the incident with Kurbatova.

    "We are directing the attention of international human rights organizations and other agencies which are supposed to protect freedom and independence of the media to the continuing outrage in Ukraine. We hope for their reaction and practical steps with regard to the excesses of the Kiev authorities."

    According to the statement, the Russian embassy in Kiev undertook all necessary measures to clarify the circumstances of the incident and to protect Kurbatova’s interests.

    Earlier in the day, the Russian journalist was kidnapped in Kiev, later the Ukrainian Security Service said she will be forcibly deported from the country. She is reportedly accused of "manipulating publicly important information and participation in anti-Ukrainian propaganda" when reporting from a military parade in Kiev, dedicated to Ukraine's Independence Day last week.

    Later in the day, the Ukrainian Security Service said that Kurbatova will be banned from entering to the country for three years over allegedly "harming Ukraine's national interests."

    "Anna Kurbatova, who was forcibly expelled from Ukraine, has crossed the Ukrainian-Russian border, her entry into the territory of our state has been banned for three years," SBU spokeswoman Olena Gitlyanska said.

    The Russian reporter's abduction and upcoming deportation comes just a day after the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) expelled two Spanish journalists it accuses of having anti-Kiev bias.

    Kiev has repeatedly limited the activities of foreign and even some local opposition media outlets in Ukraine. As an example, Kiev, in March 2015 issued a list of 115 Russian media outlets which could be denied or temporarily suspended accreditation by Ukrainian authorities as the outlets "posed threats" to Ukrainian state security. As the regulation came into force, a number of Russian journalists and television reporters were denied entry to Ukraine or deported to Russia.

    Moreover, earlier this year, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko approved the decision to expand the list of sanctioned Russian individuals and legal entities. In particular, Ukraine has imposed sanctions on a number of Russian media outlets, as well as popular Russia-based social networks in a move criticized by major media freedom watchdogs and advocacy groups. The Kremlin said that the decision is another manifestation of an unfriendly and short-sighted policy against Russia.


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