Independent News from Alternative Sources
Two Russian journalists working for Life News TV channel have been detained in Kiev by Ukraine’s intelligence agency, which says the crew will be expelled from the country and denied entry for five years.
Life News journalists Elizaveta Khramtsova (Photo from vk.com/hramtsova_liza) and Natalia Kalysheva (Photo from Facebook page).
The news of the journalists’ detention was first tweeted by Director General of NewsMedia group Aram Gabrelyanov.
“Life News journalists have been detained in Kiev by SBU [Ukraine’s intelligence],” he posted. “They’ve been taken away in an unknown direction. They claim they are investigating some subway bomb planting.”
The detention was later confirmed by the SBU’s senior adviser, Markian Lubkovsky.
“I’d like to confirm that SBU in Kiev detained two citizens of the Russian Federation, Life News journalists,” he wrote on Facebook, adding that the journalists will “in the near future be expelled” from Ukraine and denied entry for five years.
“These Russian citizens’ activity has nothing in common with journalism and can be described as harmful to Ukraine’s security and national interests,” Lubkovsky’s post reads.
Life News identified the detained as correspondent Elizaveta Khramtsova and photographer Natalia Kalysheva.
The channel says Khramtsova managed to make a phone call to the office, before connection with the filming crew was lost.
The two women were getting into a taxi to go to film an interview, when two other people got into the same vehicle and showed their SBU (Ukrainian Intelligence Agency) IDs.
Khramtsova and Kalysheva were apparently told they were being taken for questioning over a phone call warning of a bomb planted at Leo Tolstoy Square in central Kiev. That’s where the two had been waiting for their taxi.
“They asked us to be witnesses,” Khramtsova said by phone. “We said we did not see anything, but they said we needed to go to the main SBU building to answer a few questions. They promised to show us a video recording with us, which proved we could see something.”