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Russian envoy urges OSCE reaction to Ukraine’s banning European reporters from the country

Earlier in May, Italian journalist Giorgio Bianchi and Czech journalist Jan Rychetsky were denied entry to Ukraine

VIENNA, May 3. /TASS/. Russia draws the OSCE attention to the recent incidents in which Ukraine banned two European journalists from the country, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday. 

"Enough has already been said about media freedom in Ukraine. The most recent incident to which we draw attention of the chairmanship and the representative on freedom of the media is the detention at Kiev’s Borispol airport on May 1 of Italian journalist Giorgio Bianchi, who had been planning to attend remembrance events in Odessa," Lukashevich told a session of the European security agency’s Permanent Council. 

"On the same day, Ukrainian border guards banned one more journalist - Jan Rychetsky from the Prague internet edition Parlamentni Listy - from entering the country. He was denied entry until 2020," he added.

On May 1, Italian journalist Giorgio Bianchi, who planned to attend remembrance events for the Odessa massacre on May 2, 2014, was not permitted entry into Ukraine. The journalist had to board a return plane. Later, news came about an entry ban for Czech journalist Jan Rychetsky.

On May 2, 2014, radicals of Ukraine’s Right Sector organization (outlawed in Russia) and the so-called Maidan self-defense units burnt up a tent camp on Kulikovo Field where Odessa residents were collecting signatures in support of a referendum on the country’s federalization and the status of Russian as a state language. People sought shelter in the Trade Union House in downtown Odessa, while radicals encircled the building and set it ablaze, assaulting those who tried to escape from the fire.

As many as 48 people died and over 200 were injured in the massacre.