Translated by Ollie Richardson
Kiev will block access to the websites of MIA “Russia Segodnya” and RIA Novosti Ukraine.
Ukraine has included both agencies on the sanctions list for three years, the document was published on the website of the President of the country Petro Poroshenko.
The assets of the agency in the country will be blocked. It is proposed to Ukrainian providers to also limit access to the websites Россиясегодня.рф, Sputniknews.com, Ria.ru, Rsport.ria.ru, 1prime.ru, Realty.ria.ru, and rian.com.ua.
The CEO of MIA “Russia Sogodnya” Dmitry Kiselev said that the actions of the Ukrainian authorities are an indicator of the powerlessness of the Kiev regime, “which came to power as a result of a bloody coup and failed to cope with the adjustment to normal life based on democratic modern canons”.
“He has no other choice than to pursue his own citizens, to pursue no-one else but journalists, to pursue freedom of speech, to forbid respected publications, and probably to lead a criminal case to cleanse the media space on the eve of the so-called presidential elections,” added Kiselev.
The State Duma called the step made by Kiev “an act of censorship”, having emphasised that this topic will be raised with international organisations.
“As you see, Europeans are not in a hurry to react and exercise influence over Ukraine, proceeding from the practice that we see, which followed after the arrest of the head of this outlet in Ukraine. I think that this shouldn’t stop us all the same,” said the head of the committee on affairs of the CIS Leonid Kalashnikov.
As the member of the committee of the State Duma on international affairs Anton Morozov noted, blocking MIA “Russia Segodnya” and the RIA Novosti news agency Ukraine can become the basis for the imposition of sanctions concerning Kiev.
According to him, “this is a new violation of the conventional world norm – that the media must enjoy freedom in their work, in their professional activity”.
The Federation Council said that Moscow must file a petition in all international structures concerning the inadmissibility of the pressure being put on Russian media by Kiev.
As the deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Science, Education and Culture Igor Morozov emphasised, the actions of Ukraine are a violation of the European charter on defending human rights and freedom of information.
Vyshinsky’s arrest and searches
Last week the SBU detained the head of RIA Novosti Ukraine Kirill Vyshinsky. Hours-long searches took place in the office of the representative branch of RIA Novosti in Kiev and at the homes of some employees. 47 people were called in for questioning concerning the case.
In two days the Kherson city court decided to take Vyshinsky into custody for 60 days without the right to bail. His defence intends to protest this decision.
On the 18th of May at the building of Embassy of Ukraine in Moscow a rally in support of Vyshinsky took place. The editor-in-chief of MIA “Russia Segodnya” and the RT TV channel Margarita Simonyan, the CEO of the agency Dmitry Kiselev, well-known journalists, members of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, and representatives of All-Russia People’s Front took part in it.
In total about two hundred people came to the diplomatic mission.
Vladimir Putin called the situation with Vyshinsky’s detention “unprecedented”. The Embassy of Russia sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine two notes of protest with the demand to stop the violence vis-a-vis members of the media. The President’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin expects a tough reaction from international organisations towards the actions of the SBU.
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