RIA Novosti Russia demands Kiev free arrested journalist

RIA Novosti Russia demands Kiev free arrested journalist

Ukraine's state security service searched the Kiev offices of Russia's state-run RIA Novosti news agency and TV channel RT on Tuesday after detaining one journalist near his home, officials said.

The court in the southern city of Kherson, where Vyshynsky was expected to be transferred, said it had not yet received his case and a hearing may not take place until Thursday.

On her Facebook page, Gitlyanska said Russian-controlled media were being "used as tools in a hybrid war against Ukraine".

The SBU press secretary Olena Gitlianska said in a Facebook release that Ukrainian law enforcers have discovered a whole network of media structures controlled by Russian Federation.

Ukraine's state security agency has raided the offices of a Russian state-owned media outlet in Kyiv. Lutsenko added that the Ukrainian investigation into those activities "has evidence of carrying out well-paid anti-Ukrainian attacks" by RIA Novosti-Ukraine.

Up to 15 journalists work for RIA Novosti in Ukraine, some of whom transmit information to its headquarters in Moscow while others, led by Vyshynsky, are in charge of the ria.com.ua website for the Ukrainian audience.

Vyshinsky was sent to Kherson, which borders Crimea, because of what Ukrainian authorities say was his involvement in Russia's takeover of the Black Sea peninsula in March 2014, which came after huge pro-European protests known as the Euromaidan pushed Moscow-friendly Ukrainian President Viktor Yanuovych from power in Kyiv.

Later, the OSCE representative on freedom of the media, Harlem Desir, voiced "serious concern" and called on Ukrainian authorities to "refrain from imposing unnecessary limitations on the work of foreign journalists".

The Kyiv government has long accused Russian state news agencies of stirring up conflict in the region.

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