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Ukraine Expels Second Russian Journalist In Recent Weeks


Russian journalist Vyacheslav Nemyshev (file photo)

Ukraine has expelled a Russian TV journalist whom the country's main security agency accused of delivering "deceitful, anti-Ukrainian" reports from areas in eastern Ukraine that are held by Russia-backed separatists.

NTV correspondent Vyacheslav Nemyshev, whose deportation was announced by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on October 5, is the second Russian reporter to be expelled in recent weeks for what Kyiv describes as "spreading Russian propaganda."

He is prohibited from entering Ukraine for three years, the SBU said.

In a statement, the security agency said Nemyshev was detained for a "minor legal violation" in Kyiv on October 4 and that police found accreditation documents issued by separatists in the Donetsk region.

It said that Nemyshev "damaged Ukraine's national interests" by working in 2016-2017 in separatist-held territory, where it said he prepared "a series of deceitful anti-Ukrainian [reports] for media on the orders of his Russian supervisors."

That may have been a reference to Nemyshev's superiors at NTV, a pro-Kremlin channel that broadcasts nationwide and is majority-owned by state-controlled Russian natural gas giant Gazprom.

Nemyshev's deportation came after Anna Kurbatova, a correspondent for Russia's state-run Channel One television, was expelled for similar reasons on August 30.

Her expulsion drew criticism from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) media freedom representative and other press freedom advocates.

Kyiv has banned more than a dozen Russian television channels since 2014, accusing them of spreading propaganda amid a continuing war between Kyiv's forces and the Russia-backed separatists.

On August 29, the SBU said it had barred two Spanish journalists over their coverage of the war in eastern Ukraine -- a move media groups decried as an attack on free speech.

Russian-Ukrainian relations soured badly after protesters angry over the Ukrainian government's abandonment of a landmark deal with the European Union pushed Moscow-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych from power in February 2014.

Russia seized control of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014, after sending in troops, and backs the separatists in the war that has killed more than 10,000 people in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.

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