#Commentary of Vladislav Berdichevsky on searches in offices of Ukrainian media and detention of head of RIA Novosti Ukraine
Today in Kiev the SBU (the Security Service of Ukraine) broke into the offices of the TV channel Russia Today and the news agency RIA Novosti Ukraine. In addition, the head of RIA Novosti Ukraine Kirill Vyshinsky was detained. Apparently, Ukraine has decided that since the World Press Freedom Day has passed, it is quite possible to start full-scale persecutions against the press and journalists.
The news of the searches and detention of Kirill Vyshinsky resemble a scene in the theater of the absurd. So, the Ukrainian tabloids one after another report that the SBU together with the “Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea” have allegedly disclosed the activities of a network of media structures controlled by the Russian Federation.
Having read this information on the third resource in a row, you are starting to understand that this is reported with all possible officiality, and in Ukraine there is indeed the Prosecutor’s Office of the Crimea, that is, the Crimea is not part of Ukraine, but its prosecutor’s office is there.
But the SBU does not stop there and continues to share the details of the ‘case’: it turns out that during the search Kirill Vyshinsky was found with a medal of the Russian Federation “For the Return of the Crimea”. I would like to add that, unfortunately, the KGB colonel’s certificate on him has not been found yet, but the search continues.
We have long been accustomed to the news from Ukraine that journalists have again been attacked or representatives of some incomprehensible formations have captured another TV channel. Moreover, the Western partners of Kiev have also started to notice problems with freedom of speech in the ‘independent’.
Thus, in April this year a report was published by the US State Department, in which all the facts mentioned by us are noted. The same statement was made in March by head of the United Nations Monitoring Mission on Human Rights in Ukraine, Fiona Frazer, who noted the danger on the part of nationalists for freedom of speech in the country.
One can say a lot that this is unacceptable, resent that press harassment has become a state policy, that a corresponding legislative base is being prepared for this, that a number of decrees and laws are already in effect which actually censor the media space of Ukraine.
But this is not the most important thing. Another thing is important: the first reaction of the Ukrainian media to today’s events is the unanimous publication of information in pro-government formulations, this is zero support from industry peers, no one tried to raise their voice against the outrage of the Ukrainian authorities, all obediently wrote “about the disclosure of the network of media structures controlled by the Russian Federation “.
It is truly frightening that the authorities over several years have been able to kill the decent in human beings, down to a simple sense of self-preservation. After all, it is clear that tomorrow they can come for any of the representatives of the journalistic brotherhood. And if the media keep silent today, there will be no one to stand up for the next ones out favour tomorrow.
Vladislav Berdichevsky, the DPR People’s Council deputy