Russian Federation sends notes of protest to Ukraine over situation with journalists

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According to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which condemned the SBU raid and Vyshynsky's detention, Vyshynsky is a Ukrainian citizen with a Russian passport.

Earlier on May 15, the Security Service of Ukraine announced that it had exposed a media network run by Russian Federation and carried out searches at the RIA Novosti's Kyiv office. Security agents also arrested a Ukrainian-born Russian journalist, accusing him of treason. At the same time, the SBU issued a statement claiming that "a network of media structures, which Moscow used for carrying out a hybrid war" against Kiev had been exposed.

RIA Novosti stated on Tuesday that Ukrainian intelligence officers stormed its workplace in Kiev and that it has been unable to get in contact with its correspondents there since.

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The Interfax-Ukraine news agency quoted Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko as saying that the media activities of the news agency and Vyshynsky are anti-Ukrainian and amount to "state treason".

Moscow has been accused of fuelling a rebel conflict in eastern Ukraine that broke out after the annexation of Crimea that has cost the lives of some 10,000 people.

Ukrainian authorities have previously detained or deported several journalists for spreading anti-Ukrainian propaganda and supporting the separatists' cause.

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"Today we can say that he received €53,000 ($62,000) a month for such activities", SBU deputy chief Viktor Kononenko said. "That was the reason for the searches".

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, who called the SBU's actions against RIA Novosti-Ukraine and Vyshynsky "disgraceful and scandalous", (RFE/RL) reported. The law enforcement bodies held the investigative actions at the office of RIA News-Ukraine. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

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