US Welcomes Ukrainian Crackdown On Russian News Agencies Despite International Criticism

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US Welcomes Ukrainian Crackdown On Russian News Agencies Despite International Criticism

ILLUSTRATIVE IMAGEL EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY

On May 15, a spokeswoman for the US Department of State Heather Nauert described Kiev’s raids on offices of Russian news agencies as a legitimate fight against “Russian propaganda.”

“We understand that Ukraine, like a lot of other countries, has been concerned about intense propaganda,” Nauert told journalists during the press briefing. “Goodness, when we talk with a lot of our allies and partners overseas, they certainly have fallen victim and understand the influence and the reach of Russian propaganda. So we do understand Ukraine’s concerns about that.”

On May 15, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) raided the offices of Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novosti and TV channel RT and detained Kirill Vyshynsky, who heads the Ukrainian bureau of RIA Novosti, and some other journalists, whom are now being questioned by security forces.

General Prosecutor of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko justified the raids calling the editorial policy of RIA Novosti “anti-Ukrainian” amounting to the “state treason.”

Прокуратура АР Крим і СБУ сьогодні перейшли до активної фази знешкодження антиукраїнської діяльності чергової російської…

Posted by Юрій Луценко on Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) endorsed Russia’s stance in the issue. OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir called on Ukrainian authorities to stop their “unnecessary limitations” against Russian journalists. Désir recalled that Ukraine being under the Helsinki Final Act is obliged to provide safe conditions for journalists in the country.

 “I recall 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,” Désir stressed. “This applies to the accreditation of journalists and correspondents of foreign media.”

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) also expressed concerns over the Ukrainian measures against Russian news agencies. Coordinator of the Europe and Central Asia Program of the CPJ Nina Ognianova called on “Ukrainian authorities to stop harassing and obstructing Russian media operating in Ukraine”.

“The criminalization of alternative news and views has no place in a democratic Ukraine,” pointed out Ognianova.

Russia slammed the actions of Ukrainian authorities stressing that the Ukrainian government has repeatedly “put pressure on freedom of speech” in the country.

A spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova stated that Ukraine “made extremely provocative steps on international platforms”:

“We have taken note of the escalation in the Ukrainian authorities’ repressive activities in the information space, ranging from attacks on and deportation of Russian and foreign journalists from Ukraine to provocations against Russian diplomats on international media platforms,” Zakharova said. “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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  • Pave Way IV

    Silly Ukrainians… You fell for western puppets and their bastardized version of democracy, and now you got it – in spades. Taste the freedom.

    Access to privileged information, secrecy, withholding uncomfortable facts from the little people, deceit, propaganda and outright censorship are inalienable rights of the State.

    It’s all for your security and protection.

    • George King

      Well it may be done in the name of “your security and protection” which is Orwellian for protection of the fascist state for their security and protection from citizens.

  • billothinks

    Oh great, and now the US is flooding the Kiev Nazi puppet regime they installed in a bloody coup that killed hundreds with America’s cutting edge hi-tech weapons, kinda like giving AK-47s to every kid in some 4 y.o. nursery school, — except, of course theose tikes would probably use them far more reasonably! — The Nazis are even getting the new latest super Javelin manpads, a much more lethal version of the old stingers they gave the taliban to defeat the Russians. Nothing is too foolish and reckless to keep provoking the ever demonized evil and “aggressive” empire into striking back and thereby setting off the evidently much desired — by them and no one else! — WWIII, Armageddon war!!

    • frankly

      The Ukrainians will probably sell the Javelins to someone like the North Koreans and pocket the cash. Wasn’t there a story that the greater range of the Koreans ICBMs was due to acquiring Ukraine tech? What a trustworthy ally for the F.uk.us.

  • Tudor Miron

    What a farce.

  • JEinCA

    So the very liberal values the West supposedly holds as almost a religious creed means absolutely nothing in the halls of Washington. Of course we knew this already but it’s always nice to have a reminder of how the supposed leader of the so called “Free World” embodies the very definition of hypocrisy.

  • frankly

    I have read several times that Russia does not suppress US expression in Russia. It in fact has the opposite desired affect as the Russian people clearly do not see their reality reflected in US news/lies. The view US news as a kind of comedy.
    I am sure there are those who know the story better than my telling. Would be interested to hear.
    Here is the US actively promoting suppression of the freedom of press and no one bats on eye. Terrifying really. It’s like they know how incredibly powerful the affects of their own propaganda are and transpose that power onto Russian truth. Brazen.
    To ban the use of the Russian language in schools and media as the Ukraine has done, would be like the US banning Spanish, or the Canadian’s banning French. In fact users of Russian language in Ukraine probably exceed those countries Spanish and French, as a percentage of the populace.
    Seems they will go for a Ukraine escalation at the same time they turn up the heat in Syria. Gotta ruin the World Cup. Well if ever there was a good time for Divine intervention it’s now.

  • Smaug

    FWI in Russia the government can outlaw any news article, movie, or website if it deems it necessary. While this is a step down from Soviet practices the whole ‘freedom of speech’ rhetoric is obviously just more propaganda.
    The reason for the US support is that we have had to deal with Russian ‘troll farms’ ourselves, and we are naturally biased in favor of our existing allies. That said I personally consider the US official support to be a mistake, because if an equally harsh crackdown occurred in the US it would be scandalous and frankly the Ukrainians are not any different from the Russians (morally speaking).

    • Mortal

      And you are a complete idiot, literally speaking.

      • Winnie Eldrup

        eXACTLY

  • Mikronos

    So Putin gets a bridge and Ukrainians round up the usual suspects. If it wasn’t deadly serious it would be a horse opera.

  • goingbrokes

    Anyone thinking that in USA there is a freedom of speech is living in a dream world. There are many topics that can’t be aired without risking your life, liberty, career, or health.

  • as

    This time journalist. Next Diplomats. Then any citizens with Russian connection. Then any citizens with connection that connected with Russian. Then inanimate object that have Russia in it.

  • George King

    “suppression of dissent in the worst totalitarian traditions”, says it all.

  • grandel

    I guess a raid on the offices of CNN and the NYT is in order.