MOSCOW, May 31. /TASS/. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir’s response to the faked murder of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko in Ukraine creates a precedent for condemning Kiev’s information policy based on fake news, Head of Global Media Issues Section at the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Press and Information Department Maksim Buyakevich said on Thursday.
"OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir gave a prompt response," Buyakevich said at a meeting of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Temporary Commission on Information Policy and Media Relations dubbed "Violations of Rights of Russian Journalists and Russian-Speaking Community in Ukraine and Baltic States: Information and Political Opposition." "Desir officially condemned the Ukrainian authorities for spreading fake news about Babchenko’s murder. Thus, he created a precedent for directly condemning Ukraine’s appalling information policy aimed at making up fake news, which is what they have been accusing us of," he added.
The diplomat pointed out that Russia’s Foreign Ministry would continue working "with Desir to inform him about other incidents involving violations of rights, particularly of the Russian media in Ukraine."
Buyakevich also noted that major journalist non-governmental organizations, including Reporters Without Borders, also responded to Kiev’s move.
According to him, the Reporters Without Borders chairman "even was mobbed" by Ukrainian "trolls" on the Internet, who "vehemently scolded him for his alleged pro-Russian stance though he had just condemned the use of journalism as a dirty tool for waging an information war against Russia."
Kiev police reported on Tuesday night about a fatal attack on Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, in which he had been allegedly gunned down. However, Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) stated on Wednesday that it had prevented an attempt on his life through a sting operation. SBU chief Vasily Gritsak said at a briefing that the reporter was safe, after which Babchenko himself appeared before his fellow reporters.