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Reporter hassled by Kiev says expulsion due to ‘incorrectly’ labeling Donbass crisis

August 30, 23:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW

She was told "that it is because in my report about Ukraine’s Independence Day the developments in Donbass were called a civil war and not a Russian aggression"

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© Mikhail Sokolov/TASS

MOSCOW, August 30. /TASS/. Journalist Anna Kurbatova has told Channel 1 television that she was expelled for incorrect in the eyes of the Ukrainian authorities name for the conflict in the east of the country.

Channel 1 reported earlier in the day that its journalist Anna Kurbatova was abducted in Kiev on Wednesday. News came later that she had been abducted by officers of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) as her reports "damaged national interests". Late on Wednesday she was expelled from the country with an entry ban for three years and currently stays at a border crossing point in the Bryansk region from where her report is aired.

"It was written in the official paper that I jeopardize national security of Ukraine and its sovereignty," she said, adding that informally she was told "that it is because in my report about Ukraine’s Independence Day the developments in Donbass were called a civil war and not a Russian aggression".

"They explained that Russian aggression and whatever other synonyms connected with Russia - this is possible, but ‘a civil war’ - this is not allowed. This was the main reason as they explained," she said.

The journalist said that SBU officers told her that some of the topics she covered, including law-and-order in the country’s capital city - is domestic affairs of Ukraine and she ‘should not speak about it on a Russian channel’.

On the eve of her detention, Anna Kurbatova filmed a report on the persecution of journalists in Ukraine. Several days before that Channel 1 broadcasted her report about the military parade held on Ukraine’s Independence Day. In the report, she called the parade "the march of dependence" adding that the date was "a sad holiday". According to the journalist, Kiev has returned "to the turbulent 90s," while Ukraine "is absolutely dependent on America and Europe".

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