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Ukraine’s Security Service: Russian journalist expelled for ‘damage to national interests’

August 15, 15:02 UTC+3 KIEV

Tamara Nersesyan told Rossiya-24 TV Channel she had been denied the right to enter Ukraine for three years

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Tamara Nersesyan

Tamara Nersesyan

©  vesti.ru

KIEV, August 15. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) alleged on Tuesday it had expelled Russia’s VGTRK Media Group journalist Tamara Nersesyan for causing "damage to the country’s national interests."

"Today the SBU forcefully returned propagandist Tamara Nersesyan to the territory of the Russian Federation and banned her entry into the country for three years. I hope no one will have any doubts that this person acted to the detriment of Ukraine’s national interests," SBU spokeswoman Yelena Gitlyanskaya wrote on her Facebook page.

According to the Ukrainian media, Nersesyan was expelled for her report on the all-Ukrainian festival called Bandershtat and held for the first time in 2007. In 2009, the event was devoted to the centenary of the birth of Stepan Bandera, the leader of Ukrainian nationalists. This year, the festival was devoted to the anniversary of the creation of Ukraine’s Insurgent Army (UPA).

Russia’s Rossiya-24 TV Channel reported earlier on Tuesday that VGTRK Media Group journalist Nersesyan had been expelled from Ukraine.

"VGTRK special correspondent Tamara Nersesyan has been expelled from Kiev. She is already on her way to her editorial board. As soon as she can, she will tell in detail about everything that has happened to her and also about the claims the Ukrainian authorities have made to her," the TV Channel said.

In July 2017, under the pretext of "countering the interference of the ‘aggressor country’ into the domestic media space and localizing threats in the information sphere," Ukraine’s Security Service expelled journalist of Rossiya-1 and Rossiya-24 TV Channels Mariya Knyazeva who is working for TV under the pseudo-name of Savushkina.

VGTRK correspondent Tamara Nersesyan told Rossiya-24 TV Channel she had been denied the right to enter Ukraine for three years.

"I was detained in the street and immediately taken to the main office of the Security Service [of Ukraine] where I was questioned for three hours," the VGTRK journalist said.

"They immediately seized my phone and did this very rudely with the twisting of my arms. After the questioning, they read out a decision by Ukraine’s Security Service that I would be deported and would be denied the possibility of entering Ukraine for a period of three years," Nersesyan said.

According to the journalist, she was taken into a car and brought to the border with Russia. After that, Nersesyan was told that she should walk on her own to the Russian border check-point deep at night.

As the VGTRK journalist said, she drove for about eight hours to Moscow in a car, which the Russian border guard service had given to her.

According to Nersesyan, she was deported for her reports, which allegedly "posed a threat to security and the territorial integrity of Ukraine."

The VGTRK journalist added that the TV Company’s operator "continues to stay in Kiev and the issue of his further fate there is now being decided."

Sanctions against journalists

Ukraine has banned most of Russian television channels: Channel One, NTV, TV Tsentr, Rossiya-1, Rossiya-24, TNT, Peterburg 5, Zvezda, Ren TV, LifeNews, Russia Today, RBC-TV, RTR Planeta and Mir 24. Ukraine has also slapped sanctions against the Russian television channels Dom kino, Russian Illuzion, Usadba-TV, Domashniye Zhivotniye (Domestic Animals), Voprosy I Otvety (Questions and Answers), Oruzhiye (Arms) and Istoriya (History).

A ban is also in effect on the entry into Ukraine by the heads of the Russian media outlets: editor-in-chief of Komsomolskaya Pravda Vladimir Sungorkin, VGTRK Director General Oleg Dobrodeyev, Director General of Russia Today international news agency Dmitry Kiselyov, Director General of TASS news agency Sergei Mikhailov, Editor-in-Chief of Russia Today TV Channel Margarita Simonyan, Editor-in-Chief of Expert magazine Valery Fadeyev, Editor-in-Chief of Russian Reporter magazine Vitaly Leibin and others.

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