OSCE is concerned about searches at RIA-News Ukraine

Sergei Savostianov  TASS

"We understand that Ukraine, like a lot of other countries, has been concerned about intense propaganda", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told journalists on Tuesday.

Ukraine's domestic security agency, the SBU, on Tuesday raided the Kyiv offices of RIA Novosti, a Russian state-owned news outlet.

"The Security Service of Ukraine reports that the head of the anti-Ukrainian propaganda information outlet RIA Novosti Ukraine, Kyrylo Vyshynsky, has been declared a suspect in a crime and detained in accordance with Article 208 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine", the statement reads.

Lutsenko added that the Ukrainian investigation into those activities "has evidence of carrying out well-paid anti-Ukrainian attacks" by RIA Novosti-Ukraine. In a Facebook post, he accused the news agency of being the "descendants of Goebbels" that are engaged in "disinformation war".

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Vyshinski is a Ukrainian national who received a Russian passport in 2015 by presidential decree.

"I express serious concern about this morning's raid on Russian media offices in Kyiv, the arrest of journalists, and the search of journalists" homes. The SBU and prosecutors had uncovered the illegal activity of a Russian-controlled media chain in Ukraine.

The diplomat added that support of the media freedom across the world was very important for Germany.

He recalled that "under the Helsinki Final Act, the OSCE participating States have committed to facilitating the conditions under which journalists from one participating State exercise their profession in another participating State". "The criminalization of alternative news and views has no place in a democratic Ukraine".

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The law enforcement actions on May 15 drew a swift and angry response from Russian Federation, with President Vladimir Putin's spokesman saying journalist Kirill Vyshinky's detention was "disgraceful and scandalous" if it was related to his work.

Director General of Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency Dmitry Kiselev urged the Ukrainian authorities to immediately release the detained journalist and stop persecution of media.

"We believe that this forbearance directly threatens the future of the common European space because it is promoting the suppression of dissent in the worst totalitarian traditions".

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