Officers of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) together with the Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on Tuesday raided the Kyiv office of the agency RIA Novosti Ukraine.
The SBU press secretary Olena Gitlianska said in a Facebook release that Ukrainian law enforcers have discovered a whole network of media structures controlled by Russia.
“The aggressor country used [these media] in the context of a hybrid information warfare against Ukraine,” she said.
On the same day, Editor-in-Chief of the Russia Today television channel Margarita Simonyan says SBU have blocked the work of the channel’s Kyiv office.
She alleged that the raids were an act of revenge of Ukrainian authorities for the bridge from mainland Russia to the occupied Crimea.
“They broke into our office, there is no contact with the employees, our website is not updated, telephones are blocked,” she wrote on Twitter.
The actions [of the media outlets in question] fall under the article of the Criminal Code of Ukraine “State Treason,” Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said in a release.
Lutsenko described Russia Today as “the descendants of Goebbels” and said that the investigation has evidence that RIAN were carrying out well-paid information attacks on Ukraine. The staff of the Kyiv office are mostly citizens of Ukraine who have also acquired Russian citizenship.