Ukraine’s SBU searches Kiev offices of Russia Today and RIA Novosti

Ukraine’s SBU searches Kiev offices of Russia Today and RIA Novosti

Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) broke into the office of RIA Novosti Ukraine news agency in Kiev today, a journalist who was inside building dropped out of contact.

A spokeswoman for the SBU, Elena Gitlyanskaya confirmed that the SBU conducted searches at the Kiev office of Russian news agency RIA Novosti today.

"Yes, the searches are conducted," Gitlyanskaya wrote on Facebook page.

According to RIA Novosti, journalist Kirill Vyshinsky was detained near his house in Kiev. The journalist and his colleagues in Kiev stopped answering phone calls. The news agency’s website is not being updated.

The SBU issued a statement announcing that "a network of media structures, which Moscow used for carrying out a hybrid war" against Kiev has been uncovered.

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. "This is not the first time when the Kiev regime tramples on fundamental rights and freedoms, persecutes journalists… We will address international structures, including those related to journalism, in the OSCE, in order to stop the persecution of journalists in Ukraine," Kiselev stressed.

Russia Today TV channel's editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said on Twitter that its office phones in Kiev appeared to be blocked and that its Ukrainian website is down after security officers raided the building.

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