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MOSCOW, January 31. /TASS/. Two Russian LifeNews TV channel journalists have been released and expelled from Ukraine after being detained in Kiev, LifeNews said in a statement on its website.
A correspondent and a camera operator of the LifeNews television channel, Elizaveta Khramtsova and Natalia Kalysheva, were detained by Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) officers in Kiev on Friday.
Both are currently on the Russian territory, some 300 kilometers from Bryansk, to the southwest of Moscow. They have been banned from visiting Ukraine over the next five years.
After an interrogation, which lasted for around four hours, the journalists were made aware of deportation and then were taken to the border with Russia by the SBU officers.
"They read out loud a notification that we are being expelled from Ukraine. They told us that we have to leave the country’s territory today," Khramtsova told her colleagues by phone.
She said the SBU officers refused to explain why the journalists were being expelled. The SBU notification paper stated that the activity of the journalists "threatens the state security and territorial integrity of Ukraine."
The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier called on Kiev to immediately release the LifeNews reporters and stop media intimidation, which it said comes as Ukraine seeks to protect its information space from unbiased views on what is happening in the country.