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Moscow urges OSCE media envoy to respond to persecution of journalists in Ukraine

Russia’s OSCE envoy Alexander Lukashevich recalled the case of Kirill Vyshinsky, the head of the agency’s online news platform, who "has been languishing in Ukrainian jail for over a year"

VIENNA, April 11. /TASS/. Russia calls on the representative for media freedom at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to keep responding to journalists’ persecution in Ukraine, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

The Russian envoy told the OSCE Permanent Council that the Ukrainian special services had not stopped persecuting undesirable media representatives. For instance, on April 9, Ukraine’s Security Service put on a wanted list the opposition journalist Vladimir Skachko, whose flat had been searched a month before.

"He is accused of some complicity with the RIA Novosti-Ukraine news agency in 2014. The head of the agency’s online news platform, Kirill Vyshinsky, has been languishing in Ukrainian jail for over a year," he said.

"We call on the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Desir, to continue responding to persecution of reporters in Ukraine - both Ukrainian and foreign ones," Lukashevich stressed.

On March 7, Ukraine notified Austria’s embassy in Kiev that Christian Wehrsch·tz, head of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ORF) office in Kiev, was denied entry for one year. Kiev accused the journalist of crossing illegally the state border, of justifying Crimea’s reunification with Russia and of anti-Ukraine propaganda. Later, Ukraine denied entry to the correspondent of Italy’s RAI broadcasting company, Marc Innaro, who planned to cover Ukraine’s presidential election.