KERCH, May 16. /TASS/. Moscow will do everything it can to make sure that the journalist being held in custody in Ukraine is released and other media workers are not treated the same way, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.
"We are expressing a strong protest over the raid by Ukrainian security agents against the Rossiya Segodnya news service," she noted. "Russia will do everything it can to make sure that the Russian citizen is released and that there are no further actions of this kind against other media outlets."
Zakharova noted that the Russian Foreign Ministry urged international agencies to clearly express their condemnation of Ukraine’s actions and demand that the journalist be released and that no similar actions against other journalists be taken in the future.
The diplomat added that the press in Ukraine is weathering a genuine storm. "The Ukrainian authorities adhere to a policy of completely suppressing dissent, and restricting the freedom of expressing (one’s) opinions, which run counter to Kiev’s official line," she added.
Zakharova noted that the West continues to turn a blind eye to this situation, trotting out platitudes that "the human rights situation in Ukraine is improving." "These are lies, and everyone, primarily journalists, are aware of that," she said.
On May 15, The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) conducted a large-scale operation against employees of RIA Novosti Ukraine accusing them of high treason. Its Editor-in-Chief Kirill Vyshinsky was apprehended near his house early in the morning. Shortly after that, searches began at the news agency’s central office in Kiev, in its press center and in some journalists’ apartments, which lasted several hours. The SBU also issued a statement saying that it uncovered the activities of "a network of media structures controlled by the Russian Federation," which were used by "the aggressor state as part of a hybrid information war against Ukraine."