Chronology of journalists' harassment in Ukraine in 2014-2018


On March 17, Ukraine expelled journalist of the Russian TV channel Russia-24 Natalia Goncharova and banned her entry for three years. According to the intelligence service, in early March, the journalist produced four videos that "distorted the situation in Ukraine."


On November 21, it became known that the Security Service of Ukraine intended to expel Russian journalist Igor Petrashevich with a ban on entry into the country for three years.

On November 19, it became known that a journalist of the Georgian TV company Rustavi 2, Tamaz Shavshishvili, had been deported from Ukraine. Earlier, the former president of Georgia, ex-governor of the Odessa region Mikhail Saakashvili, announced the abduction of Shavshishvili. According to the journalist, he was detained by special forces who had broken into his apartment, and taken away in an unknown direction. Shavshishvili said that after numerous relocations and modal changes, he found himself in a helicopter, and then along with other citizens of Georgia – on the ferry, on which he returned to Georgia. According to Shavshishvili, he was banned from entering Ukraine for three years, although he had the right to live and work there. He is unaware of the reasons for his expulsion.

On November 7, RIA Novosti journalist Zakhar Vinogradov was made to get off the Moscow-Odessa train in Konotop during the inspection of identity documents. The Security Service of Ukraine banned him from entering the country for five years.

On October 4, NTV correspondent Vyacheslav Nemyshev was detained while making a report in Kiev. He was blocked by an unknown person, who got the local police to detain the NTV employee. Then the journalist was transferred to the SBU. On October 5, the Security Service of Ukraine expelled Vyacheslav Nemyshev from the country. The journalist was banned entry for three years.

On September 29, a court in the Zhytomyr region sentenced journalists Vasily Dmitriy and Yevgeny Timonin to nine years in prison, who had previously been detained on charges of separatism, in particular, the creation of the Novorossiya TV channel. Dmitry Vasilets and Yevgeny Timonin were arrested in November 2015.

On August 30, information appeared that a journalist of the First Channel, Anna Kurbatova, had been captured by unknown people in Kiev, who put her in a car and drove away. Later the Security Service of Ukraine reported that Kurbatova had been expelled from the country because of activities that "caused harm to the national interests" of Ukraine, she was banned from entering the country for three years.

On August 29, the Security Service of Ukraine expelled two Spanish journalists Antonio Pampliega and Manuel Angel Sastre from the country because of "anti-Ukrainian activities in publications." On October 13, these Spanish journalists were allowed to enter the country.

On August 15, Ukraine expelled a Russian journalist, VGTRK special correspondent Tamara Nersesyan.

On August 1, the Security Service of Ukraine in Zhitomyr detained journalist Vasily Muravitsky, who was suspected of treason, infringement of Ukraine's territorial integrity and inviolability, violation of citizens' equality, and the creation of a terrorist organization. According to the SBU, his articles were published on "websites that were administered from the Russian Federation and temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine." The prosecutor's office said that he faced up to 15 years of imprisonment with confiscation of property.

On July 26, it became known that a Russian journalist, an employee of Russia-1 and Russia-24 TV channels, Maria Knyazeva, had been expelled from Ukraine and was forbidden entry into the country for three years. According to the Security Service of Ukraine, Knyazeva led a "destructive activity under the pseudonym 'Saushkina'." It was alleged that the journalist, "using connections with pro-Russian representatives of Ukrainian media and experts," had collected information on the state of affairs in the country, the work of supreme authorities and law enforcement agencies. She then allegedly used the data "for biased coverage of the situation in Ukraine."

On July 14, the Ukrainian media holding Vesti announced that the security services had conducted searches in its office in the Gulliver shopping and entertainment center in the city-center of Kiev, and the editorial staff had been blocked. Later, the Chief Military Prosecutor of Ukraine Anatoly Matios said that law enforcement officers had carried out more than 180 searches in the premises located in the Gulliver, which belong to the former minister of revenues and charges, Alexander Klimenko, including the editorial staff of Radio Vesti. The head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine assured that the law enforcers' actions were not connected with the work of journalists. On July 20, the Ukrainian media holding Vesti wrote an open letter to the executive and legislative authorities demanding to protect the edition from the pressure put by the law enforcement agencies and to prevent a supposedly planned attempt to block the holding's work.

On July 7, journalist of the Ukrainian "1+1" TV channel Natalia Nagornaya accused the police of Ukraine of applying force to her for filming police work at a checkpoint near Maryinka in Donbass. According to the police, journalists refused to undergo a standard procedure of documents; inspection, in addition, the film crew allegedly did had no permission to video-tape the checkpoint. As the Nagornaya reported to the media, the car with the crew was traveling to make video-reports in Donbass by an agreement with the press officer of the Ukrainian force' military operation in Volnovakha, but police officers stopped them near Maryinka and took away their documents. At the same time, Natalia was thrown to the ground, face down, and an automatic weapon was recharged over her head. One of the "interlocutors" grabbed a phone from the journalists and threw it to the ground, trying to break it. After "communication" with the police, journalists took a record of bodily injuries at hospital.

On June 22, chief editor of the Ukrainian edition of Igor Guzhva was detained in Kiev on suspicion of extortion for not publishing compromising materials about an incumbent politician. Guzhva considered the case against him to be a planned provocation. His bail being posted, Guzhva went free. On July 3, he stated that the Security Service of Ukraine had launched another criminal case against journalists of the internet publication for the "interference in personal life" of Verkhovna Rada deputy Anton Gerashchenko. On August 9, Igor Guzhva stated the authorities' attempts to fabricate a new case against him. Employees of the Security Service of Ukraine conducted searches in the office of and apartments of some journalists within the case of state secrets’ disclosure. The editors said that the law enforcers had withdrawn from the office, and phones and tablets from journalists. According to the lawyer of the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Elena Lukash, the law-enforcers "failed to find something" during the search. Previously, the Ukrainian media reported that on a flash drive, withdrawn from Guzhva, the Security Service had found classified information belonging to the Defense Ministry.

On May 7, the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reported that two journalists of the edition, Maria Remizova and Elena Baudouin, accredited to the Eurovision Song Contest, had not been allowed to enter Ukraine. They were landed from the train by the Ukrainian border guards at the Konotop checkpoint.

On May 6, director of the joint photo-information department of the MIA Russia Today Alexander Shtol said that a photo correspondent of the agency, accredited for the Eurovision, Ramilya Sitdikova had not been allowed to Ukraine. The photo correspondent was issued a decision to refuse entry "due to an unconfirmed reason for arrival."


On December 22, the government of Ukraine refused to accredit RIA Novosti journalists for its sessions with regard to the implementation of the relevant Verkhovna Rada resolution. Irina Konopatko, a spokesperson for the press service, referred to a letter with a list of media outlets and stated that media with Russian registration could not attend the meetings. According to her, the only exception were Interfax-Ukraine and RBC-Ukraine, since they are registered in Ukraine.

In July, the press center of the Kiev’s military operation in Donbass appealed to the Security Service of Ukraine with a request to suspend the accreditation of the journalists of the Ukrainian TV channel Gromadske.TV Anastasia Stanko and Konstantin Revutsky because of a report, which had allegedly revealed the positions of the Ukrainian law enforcers. On August 29, Stanko and Revutsky were re-accredited as journalists.

On April 24, the Ukrainian border guards without any explanation banned entry into the country to a VGTRK special correspondent Daria Grigorova for a period of five years, informing her about this decision at the airport.

On April 30, German journalist Saadi Isakov, who came to Odessa, was not allowed to Ukraine, the SBU banned him from entering the country.

On April 26, TV host Savik Shuster was denied the right to work in Ukraine.

On April 14, four correspondents of MTRK Mir, citizens of Belarus, who planned to make a film in Pripyat to commemorate the anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe, were not allowed to enter Ukraine. Having spent 4,5 hours waiting at the border, they were given a document denying them entry to the country and were escorted to the Belarusian side.

On March 28, the Security Service of Ukraine banned Russian journalist Otar Kushanashvili from entering the country for a period of three years.


On October 2, journalist of Radio Svoboda Natalia Sedletskaya on her Facebook page reported the detention of journalist Mikhail Tkach and cameraman Kirill Lazarevich by the SBU officers near the office building in Kiev. According to a representative of the SBU, journalists were not detained, they were invited to a public reception office for identification, and the the issue was resolved after they presented their journalistic certificates.

On September 24, a correspondent of the Central Television Yekaterina Voronina was detained by a group of people who did not show any documents at the border of Ukraine and the Crimea in the area of ​​the town of Kalanchak. Together with the Ukrainian cameraman-stringer, she filmed a story on an editorial assignment about the blockade of the peninsula by the Right Sector. After many hours of interrogation in the SBU, the journalist was released.

On September 16, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko by his decree put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine on the application of personal sanctions.

A corresponding decree and annexes were published on the official presidential website with a full lists of individuals to whom sanctions and other restrictive measures had been applied for a period of one year. The list included 400 individuals and 90 legal entities. Among them there were 34 journalists and seven bloggers from Russia, Kazakhstan, Germany, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, Great Britain and other countries.

On May 27, 2016, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko approved the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, which abolishes the ban on entry to the country for 29 Russian and foreign journalists, including employees of the Russia Today agency and six representatives of Russian media: chief RIA Novosti representative in Kazakhstan Olga Kovalenko, head of the representative office of MIA "Russia Today" in Turkey Elena Palazhchenko, employee of the news agency Russia Today (Poland) Yakub Koreiba, correspondent of South African TASS bureau Alexander Nechayev, TASS correspondent in Washington Andrey Suzhansky and head of the TASS bureau in Washington Andrei Shitov.

Amendments were made to the Annex to the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine of September 2, 2015 "On the application of personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions)." At the same time, Poroshenko imposed sanctions on the editor-in-chief of RT TV channel and the international agency Russia Today, Margarita Simonyan, VGTRK director general Oleg Dobrodeyev, director general of Pervy Kanal (First Channel) Konstantin Ernst, former head of LifeNews television channel and Izvestia newspaper Alexander Potapov, director general of TASS news agency Sergei Mikhailov, the editor-in-chief of the Russkaya Gazeta ("Russian newspaper") Vladislav Fronin, former director general of NTV Vladimir Kulistikov, and TV presenter of the Sunday edition of the Vremya ("Time") program on the Pervy Kanal (First Channel), Irada Zeynalova.

On May 16, 2017, it became known that Kiev had expanded the sanctions list against foreign companies and citizens, which had been published in the annex to the decree of President Pyotr Poroshenko. The expanded version of the sanctions list includes 1,228 individuals and 468 legal entities. In particular, Ukraine imposed sanctions on a number of Russian media outlets, banned access to social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, Yandex and The list also includes a journalist from Bulgaria Tashev Labov, Polish bloggers David Berezitsky and David Hudziec, as well as Israeli political technologists Avigdor Eskin and David Adelman, who were banned from entering Ukraine for a year.

On July 1, a Pervy Kanal correspondent Alexandra Tcherepnina stopped contacting the editorial staff. Cameraman of the TV channel did not find in her apartment either herself or her things. Later Tcherepnina contacted the channel and told that she had been detained by the SBU, she had been accused of falsifying one of her videos. Later, the SBU said that Tcherepnina had been banned from entering Ukraine for three years. According to them, the Russian journalist "tried to shoot a staged video that would discredit the Ukrainian authorities."

On June 2, journalists of the Russia 24 TV channel were detained in the Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti). Cameraman Maxim Grinevich and journalist Ksenia Kolchina were transferred to the SBU. After being checked by the Security Service of Ukraine, the detainees were released.

On March 19, it became known that a correspondent of the Russian Pyaty Kanal (“Fifth Channel”), Leonid Muravyov, had been deported by the Security Service of Ukraine for propaganda materials about the conflict in Donbass. It was also reported that he had allegedly planned to take the post of the editor of the program "Details of the Week" on the Ukrainian Inter TV channel. The journalist was banned from entering Ukraine for five years.

On February 26, it became known that journalists of the Russian LifeNews TV channel Zhanna Karpenko and Alexander Ulyanov were not let out from the transit zone of the Borispol airport in Kiev, forbidden to use phones and Skype.

On February 25, journalists of the Pervy Kanal Elena Makarova and Sergey Korenev, and a correspondent of the NTV television company Andrei Grigoriev were detained by the SBU without explanation. On February 26, it became known that all the detainees had returned to Moscow.

On February 25, a correspondent of the "Today" program of the Russian NTV channel, Inna Osipova, was not allowed to enter Ukraine. The journalist arrived by flight from Moscow to the Kiev Zhulyany airport, but immediately faced problems while passing control. The staff began to take an active interest in Inna Osipova's personality and as a result simply did not let her out from the airport, saying that she "can not prove the purpose of her planned stay in the territory of Ukraine."

On February 12, it became known that the Security Service of Ukraine had detained in Nikolayev a Russian journalist holding Ukrainian citizenship Andrei Zakharchuk who had been collaborating with the news agency Nevskiye Novosti. According to Nevskiye Vesti, Zakharchuk arrived in Ukraine on February 2, and on February 10 he was arrested by the Security Service because he "incorrectly covered the events in Ukraine." On February 21, Andrei Zakharchuk was released during the exchange of prisoners in the territory of the Lugansk People's Republic.

On February 8, Ukrainian journalist Ruslan Kotsaba was arrested for calling for a boycott of the next mobilization wave in Ukraine, which was held in connection with the conflict in Donbass. The court sentenced Kotzaba to 3,5 years in prison, having found him guilty of obstructing the activities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. At the same time, the court acquitted the journalist under another article he was charged with – "high treason". In the summer of 2016, the Appeals Court of the Ivano-Frankovsk region recognized Kotsaba as innocent and released him from custody. On June 1, 2017, the Supreme Specialized Court of Ukraine appointed a new criminal trial on the article "treason to the Motherland."

On January 30, journalists of the LifeNews TV channel correspondent Yelizaveta Khramtsova and Natalia Kalysheva were detained by members of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) in Kiev. According to the channel, the special services officers said they wanted to ask journalists "a few questions." On the night of January 31, thd LifeNews journalists were forcibly returned from the territory of Ukraine via the Sinkovka checkpoint on the Ukrainian-Russian border in the Chernigov region. A ban on entering the territory of Ukraine for the next five years followed.


On November 19, a film crew of the Russian TV channel REN TV was not allowed to Ukraine. The reason for deportation from the Kiev Borispol airport became the fact that, according to the Ukrainian customs officials, journalists who came to the country as tourists could not prove that they would spend the entire trip in Kiev.

On November 3, an employee of the LifeNews channel Evgeniya Zmanovskaya, who was covering the Slavic march by the instructions of the editorial board, was detained in Kiev. During her work Zmanovskaya was surrounded by Ukrainian journalists and a police officer was called to check her documents. She had only a journalistic certificate, but not a passport, which gave the reason for her detention. Later it became known that a cameraman of the TV channel had brought the documents of the detained colleague and the latter had been released.

On October 23, Russian journalist Yevgeny Kiselyov, who hosted political shows on the Ukrainian Inter TV channel for several years, told about his deportation from Ukraine. According to Kiselyov, he was not allowed to cross the border at the Kiev international airport Borispol and a deportation order was issued. Later, the State Border Service of Ukraine allowed Evgeny Kiselyov to enter the territory of Ukraine.

On August 28, Novaya Gazeta photojournalist Yevgeny Feldman was detained, but after a while he was released by representatives of the Ukrainian National Guard in Maryinka (the Donetsk region).

On August 25, a freelance photojournalist of the MIA Russia Today and French agency France Press Maxim Vasilenko, as well as his colleague and correspondent of the Crimean Telegraph Yevgeny Korolyov, were detained by militants of the Ukrainian Right Sector in the Donetsk region. On August 26, it became known that the journalists had been released.

On August 1, the RT TV channel reported that ф journalist of the RT Ruptly video agency Alina Yeprymyan had been deported from Ukraine, having all her materials deleted. The official reason for the expulsion was the absence of journalistic accreditation.

On the night of 22 to 23 July, four journalists, including a Russia Today freelance correspondent, British national Graham Phillips and cameraman of the Anna-News agency Vadim Aksyonov, disappeared in the fighting zone in Donbass. Later, the Security Service of Ukraine stated that she it had detained Phillips in Donetsk and after the interrogation had announced to him the decision on compulsory expulsion with a ban on entry for three years. On July 24, Aksyonov was released.

On June 14, the Zvezda TV channel reported on the detention of its journalists in Ukraine. Correspondent Yevgeny Davydov and sound engineer Nikita Konashenkov were detained in Dnepropetrovsk, they were detained by employees of the Security Service of Ukraine. On June 16, the journalists were released and flew to Moscow.

On June 6, journalists of the Zvezda television channel Andrey Sushenkov and Anton Malyshev were detained at a checkpoint near Slavyansk. They were accused of monitoring the Ukrainian forces’ checkpoint and collecting information about it. The media representatives were transferred to the SBU. On the night of June 9, the journalists were released and transferred to the Russian side.

On May 20, in Mariupol, the Ukrainian forces detained British journalist Graham Phillips, who collaborated with the Russian TV channel RT. On the night of May 22, it became known that the journalist had been released.

On May 18, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported on the detention of Russian LifeNews journalists Oleg Sidyakin and Marat Saychenko in the Kramatorsk district. The Ukrainian authorities accused them of promoting "terrorism" in Donbass. On May 25, the journalists were released, flew to Grozny, from where they later returned to Moscow.

On April 16, a crew of the TV channel Russia 24, correspondent Yevgeny Reshetnev, cameraman Sergei Truskov and engineer Vadim Klivanov, were detained near the town of Izyum without any explanation. On April 17, the group was released.

DONi News Agency