– Russian journalists being banned entry to Ukraine to cover presidential election (RT, May 24, 2014):
A range of Russian news journalists from different outlets, including RT’s Spanish and Arabic news crews, accredited to cover the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine on May 25, were denied entry to the country without explanation.
RT Spanish cameraman Aleksandr Serichenko and his assistant, Andrey Peleshok, were refused entry at Odessa Airport, southern Ukraine. The journalists have accreditation from Ukraine’s Central Election Commission.
“Without explaining the reason for refusal, the members of [Ukrainian] border service forced the RT crew to buy return tickets at their own expense,” said the statement from RT’s press service.
This is not the first time RT journalists have been denied entry to Ukraine. On May 20, journalists from RT Arabic were also refused entry by Ukrainian border police after arriving in Kiev to cover the election. Like the Spanish news crew, journalists from RT Arabic were also accredited by the Ukrainian Central Election Commission.
RT correspondent Anna Knishenko, and her colleagues Elderra Khaled and Konstantin Bolshakov arrived from Moscow in Kiev’s Borispol International Airport.
“At the border control they immediately took our passports. An hour later, we – one by one – were invited to a special room for an interview,” RT’s Anna Knishenko said at the time.
Following individual interviews, border guards gave the journalists papers in Ukrainian and said that they were denied entry since they could not properly explain the purpose of their visit.
On Friday, a correspondent of Echo of Moscow radio station, Ilya Azar, said on his Twitter that he was also denied entrance to Ukraine. He added that he was refused because he “couldn’t confirm the purpose of his trip.”