All in a days work for Russkies.
Russian journalists detained for spying in Ukraine – claimed to be Finnish media employees
Russian journalists claiming to be representatives of Finnish MTV media company’s television channel MTV3 were detained on charges of spying and intelligence gathering near the city of Uzhhorod, says Ukraine’s interior minister.
Ukrainian authorities have arrested a number of Russian journalists whom they accuse of spying and intelligence gathering for Russia. The detention took place outside the city of Uzhhorod in western Ukraine, near the Slovakian border.
During the arrest the Russian journalists claimed to be Finnish reporters from the MTV3 television channel. In an interior ministry release from Friday, the journalists are reported to have even presented press passes from MTV3 to the authorities.
According to information from Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, the journalists were actually employees of Russia’s leading television channel Pervy Kanal or Channel One, the Russian Federation’s state-owned news source. The names of the reporters that were detained have not been released and have since been sent back to Russia from Ukraine.
A complete surprise for MTV
Media company MTV’s Head of News and Current Affairs Merja Ylä-Anttila says the company will investigate the case with the Ukrainian authorities and Russia’s Channel One personnel. She says news of the journalists’ claims came as a complete surprise to her.
“This is entirely new and strange to me. I don’t remember that we have ever been faced with something like this. If this really did occur, it demonstrates very unfortunate and unacceptable conduct. We intend to get to the bottom of the matter with the Ukrainian authorities and the television organisation in question,” she says.
Ylä-Anttila also says that the supposed MTV3 press passes shown to the authorities could not have been issued by MTV.
“I don’t believe that many such authorizations have been issued at all, let alone sent abroad. I doubt the papers shown really were from MTV, even if they were written in our name,” she says.