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Russian diplomat compares clampdown on journalists in Ukraine with totalitarian regimes

May 15, 14:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Maria Zakharova noted that the West and respective international organizations have not responded to Kiev’s arbitrary actions

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MOSCOW, May 15. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry’s Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Tuesday compared the clampdown on Russian and foreign journalists in Ukraine with the traditions of totalitarian regimes.

"We see the escalation of repressive steps by Ukraine’s authorities in the media field ranging from attacks and deportations of Russian and foreign journalists to provocations against Russian diplomats at international media platforms," Zakharova said. "Over the past two weeks, the official Kiev has taken a whole number of illegal steps against Russian journalists covering the events in Ukraine," she said.

The diplomat noted that the West and respective international organizations have not responded to Kiev’s arbitrary actions.

"We believe that this connivance directly threatens the fate of the entire European space, contributing to quashing dissidence in the worst traditions of totalitarian regimes," she stressed. "We will continue seeking an adequate assessment of the incident by the respective international bodies."

Earlier on Tuesday, Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) conducted searches at the Kiev office of Russian news agency RIA Novosti, a spokeswoman for the SBU, Elena Gitlyanskaya said. She also confirmed that the chief of the news agency’s office, Kirill Vyshinsky, was detained. The SBU issued a statement announcing that "a network of media structures, which Moscow used for carrying out a hybrid war" against Kiev has been uncovered.

Russian TV correspondents of Rossiya and Channel One were detained by the SBU on May 9 and deported to Russia. They are barred from entering Ukraine in the next three years over alleged plans to "discredit Ukraine before the world community and disseminate fake news among the citizens."

On May 2, a journalist of Czech media outlet Parlamentni Listy, Jan Rychetsky, was barred from entering Ukraine over alleged plans to cover the anniversary of the 2014 deadly fire at the trade union in Odessa.

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