Ukraine’s ban of foreign journalists ignites international ire

Prominent foreign journalists briefly found themselves in the company of Kremlin cheerleader and Chechen strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov in Ukraine’s recently released list of sanctioned individuals.

The move ignited such a furor that President Petro Poroshenko immediately reversed the decision.
The nearly 400 sanctioned individuals, announced on Sept. 16 by the presidential administration, face travel and financial restrictions for one year. Those on the list were said to represent an “actual or potential threat to national interests, national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” according to the decree.

While figures like Kadyrov and separatist leaders Denis Pushilin and Igor Plotnitsky are justifiably on the list along with top Russian officials, several well-respected foreign journalists were inexplicably singled out.

Many expressed shock and anger that BBC journalists Emma Wells, Steven Rosenberg and Anton Chicherov were categorized as a threat to Ukraine’s national security – especially considering that Rosenberg had been attacked in Russia last year for investigating the deaths of Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian authorities quickly switched to damage-control mode.

Ukraine’s Minister of Information Policy Yuriy Stets issued a statement acknowledging that the list “needs changes” and saying a working group had been set up to rectify the situation by repealing sanctions against certain journalists.

For the full story, please visit The Kyiv Post.