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Reporter Kurbatova, deported from Ukraine, says receives threats

August 31, 2017, 22:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian Channel One reporter added that one of the threats was that "they will keep beating me in Moscow"

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MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. Russian Channel One reporter Anna Kurbatova, who was detained on August 30 by the Ukrainian Security Service and deported to Russia, said she was receiving threats online and via social networking sites after returning to Moscow on Thursday.

"Threats have been coming. Today, only one of my web accounts was hacked three times. They wrote threats there," she said in a live Channel One broadcast, adding that one of the threats was that "they will keep beating me in Moscow."

In a conversation with TASS, Kurbatova said she spent three weeks in Ukraine, and the situation in the country reminded her of the "turbulent 1990-s," a period after the breakup of the Soviet Union in Russia and other ex-Soviet Union countries, plagued with widespread poverty and crime.

"I planned to stay there longer and learn more, there is a lot of things that I did not have the time to do. It feels like Kiev is back to the turbulent 1990s. Every morning begins with reports of criminal violence and shootings," the reporter said.

She added that Ukrainian journalists also complain about the lack of media freedom in the country. According to Kurbatova, many of them are unable to duly perform their professional duties, because they get blacklisted by the notorious Mirotvorets website and start receiving anonymous threats. The website, supervised by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and other government structures, discloses personal information of people, whom its organizers suspect "of crimes against the national security of Ukraine, peace, human security, and the international law".

"Ukrainian journalists complain that it is impossible for them to fulfill their professional duties, because once they are blacklisted by the Mirotvorets website, they start receiving anonymous threats. As we can see, this situation is typical for Ukraine. And many of my colleagues are receiving threats," she said.

On Wednesday, August 30, Russian television channels reported abduction of First Channel special correspondent Anna Kurbatova. It later emerged that she had been taken by the Ukrainian Security Service employees, because her reports "harmed national interests." She was expelled from the country in the evening with a three-year ban to enter it.

The official document says that the reporter poses "a threat to Ukraine’s national security and sovereignty," she said.

Kurbatova had prepared a report on pressure against reporters in the country ahead of her detention, and a few days prior to that the First Channel had released her report on military parade on the Day of Independence. In this report, the journalist called the parade "a march of dependence" and the date "a sad holiday." Kiev, in her opinion, has returned to the "turbulent 90s", and Ukraine is totally dependent on America and Europe.".

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