Ukraine deports and bans Russian journalist, causing outrage

By Jessica Jacques

Anna Kurbatova, a reporter for Russia’s Channel 1 news who was working in Ukraine, was detained and quickly deported to Russia by the Ukranian Security Service (SBU). She is accused of anti-Ukrainian propaganda and a ‘smear campaign’ against the country.

Anna Kurbatova, russian journalist Russian journalist Anna Kurbatova, who was deported and banned from entering Ukraine (photo: Screenshot from Youtube)

SBU spokesperson, Olena Gitlyanska wrote on Facebook, “Russian propagandist Anna Kurbatova will be forcibly returned to Russia. Ukraine is a law-governed state, and its law enforcement bodies act exclusively in line with the current legislation. The necessary documents are currently being drafted for her official expulsion.“ Gitlyanska warned that, “The same will happen to anyone who dares to disgrace Ukraine.” 

According to UKRINFORM, the Ukranian official government news agency, “Kurbatova provided distorted and untrue information in her reports from Ukraine.“ Russian media based on reports from the official Russian government news agency TASS, initially reported on Wednesday that Kurbatova had been abducted in Kiev. She had received several threats relating to her reporting on the situation in Ukraine. Later news came that she had been deported and barred from the country for three years as she had “damaged national interests.“

"Journalists have to be free to do their job, even if they're coming from a hostile country"

ECPMF Chairman, Henrik Kaufholz was in Ukraine when the Meydan revolution took place and regularly reports on Ukrainian affairs, travelling to the country to support investigative journalism. He denounces the expulsion of the Russian journalist: “Journalists have to be free to do their job – even if the reporter in question is coming from a hostile country. Ukraine over the lasts months has, on several occasions, violated the principles laid down in documents from both the OSCE, The Council of Europe and the United Nations and this is certainly not the way to become a fully functioning democracy.”

 OSCE Representative on Freedom on Media, Harlem Désir, has called on Ukraine not to arrest and deport journalists from other OSCE states.

The Russian Foreign Ministry stated, that, “The abduction of the Channel 1 journalist Anna Kurbatova in Kiev on August 30 and her compulsory deportation to Russia is clearly not an accidental occurrence, but a deliberate provocation launched by the Ukrainian law enforcement and nationalist radicals.” 

Despite an enquiry from Reuters, the SBU declined to give details on Kurbatova’s situation. 




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