SBU expels Russia-24 journalist day before Russian presidential vote

Employees of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) detained and deported to Russia a journalist of the Russia-24 TV channel Natalia Goncharova, the press service of the SBU reported on Saturday, March 17.

"Employees of the Security Service of Ukraine halted the destructive activities of the Russia-24 TV channel's employee Natalia Goncharova, who had been preparing anti-Ukrainian video content for the benefit of the aggressor country," the statement says. Goncharova was deported from Ukraine to Russia, she was banned from entering the country for three years.

The SBU accused the journalist, saying that the four video materials she had made "had caused damage to the international image of Ukraine." It was separately noted that she had planned to cover the events in Ukraine on the Russian presidential elections day on March 18. The special services ahead of time called these actions "tendentious."

On March 16, Head of the Internal Affairs' Ministry of Ukraine Arseny Avakov said that citizens of the Russian Federation would not be allowed to the diplomatic missions to cast their votes in the Russian presidential elections on March 18. Only the persons holding diplomatic status will be let in. According to Avakov, the position of the Ukrainian side has been conveyed to the temporary Charge d'affaires of the Russian Federation in Ukraine. In this regard, the Russian embassy in Kiev sent a note of protest to the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In addition, shortly before the elections, the Ukrainian nationalists and members of extremist organizations had distributed on their Internet resources threats to residents of the country who would want to vote on March 18.

DONi News Agency