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Two Russian television journalists arrested in Ukraine

January 30, 2015

Two Russian television journalists working for the pro-Kremlin Life News channel have been arrested in Ukraine and will be expelled, Ukraine’s security service (SBU) spokesman Markiyan Lubkivskiy said on Friday.

“The SBU arrested two Russian citizens working as journalists for Life News. Their residency permits have been cancelled and they will be expelled from our country and barred from returning to Ukraine for three years,” Lubkivskiy wrote on his Facebook page.

“These Russian citizens’ work has nothing to do with journalism and harms Ukraine’s security and interests,” he wrote.

Life News said that the two journalists, Yelizaveta Khramtsova and Natalia Kalysheva, had been arrested on the “false pretext” of having filmed the Ukrainian security services’ headquarters in Kiev.

Ukrainian troops arrested two other Life News journalists in the east of the country in May, angering Moscow, which is accused of backing separatist rebels in the bloody conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saichenko medals following their release a week later.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.