Ukraine bars 17 Russian journalists from entering country

New York, June 2, 2016 – The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by Ukraine’s decision to bar 17 Russian journalists from entering the country until December 31, 2017.

The decree, signed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on May 27, says the journalists –who all work with media outlets that are either owned or controlled by the Russian government — “create real and/or potential threats to the national interests, national security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine.” The decree also claims the journalists “contribute to terrorist activity” among other negative actions.

“We call on Ukraine to immediately rescind the decree banning Russian journalists from the country and to resist the urge to fight propaganda with censorship,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. “Barring journalists from entering the country is counterproductive, and Ukraine would do better to set an example of freely flowing information and public debate.”

The list of journalists sanctioned from entering Ukraine through the end of 2017 includes media executives, editors-in-chief, news anchors, and prominent reporters with Russia’s main national television channels and print and online publications including the Russian state newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta, daily newspapers Moskovsky Komsomolets and Komsomolsaya Pravda, Kremlin-founded international news agency Rossiya Segodnya; and the online broadcaster Life News. A full list of the banned journalists is available here.