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Ukraine’s mooted ‘blacklist’ on Russian journalists ‘absurd’ - lawmaker

August 28, 2014, 22:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, August 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Kiev’s mooted ‘blacklist’ aimed at banning entry for Russian journalists and media management is “absurd and hysterical,” a senior lawmaker from the Russian parliament’s lower house said on Thursday.

Earlier in the day the Ukrainian National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting presented a list of 49 people representing Russian media, who would be possible banned from entering Ukraine.

“I am not intending to go to Ukraine and consider the measure as absurd and hysterical,” Alexei Pushkov, the head of the State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Pushkov, who is also a host of the ‘Postcriptum’ television show in Russia, is one of the 49 persons proposed by the Ukrainian broadcasting authorities to be banned from traveling to Ukraine.

Yury Artemenko, a member the Ukrainian National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting, said the drafted blacklisted would be forwarded to the Ukrainian Security and Defense Council for approval.

The list in particular includes journalists and management of Russian television channels Channel One, RTR-Planeta, VGTRK, NTV-Mir, TVCI, Rossiya, Rossiya-1, Rossiya-24, NTV, Peterburg-5, REN-TV, Russia Today, TVC, LifeNews, Zvezda.

Work of Russian journalists in Ukraine’s war-torn southeastern regions repeatedly raised international concerns in terms of their security, particularly following a series killings of Russian and international journalists over the two months.

Russian television journalist Anatoly Klyan was killed in late June after a bus he was riding in with other journalists came under fire in the Donetsk Region. The 68-year-old journalist worked as a cameraman for state-run television broadcaster Channel One and had 40 years of television work experience.

Two correspondents from Russian central television and radio broadcasting company VGTRK, special correspondent Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin, were killed near the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on June 17.

They came under mortar fire near a roadblock of militia as they were filming a TV report about people’s militias helping to evacuate refugees from the combat zone. Journalists bore clearly visible media insignia at the moment of the attack. According to eyewitnesses, a mortar shell exploded near the Russian filming crew. Sound engineer Voloshin died at the scene and Kornelyuk died later at a local hospital.

On May 24, Italian photo correspondent Andrea Rocchelli and his Russian interpreter Andrey Mironov were killed in mortar fire near the city of Slavyansk.

Pro-Kiev troops and local militias in Donetsk and Lugansk regions are involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.

During the military operation, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled Southeast.

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