Law enforcers established that media entities had been used by the aggressor country as part of a hybrid information war against Ukraine.
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. A passport of a Russian citizen was found during the search of his office.
The journalist's arrest has added to already severe tension between Moscow and Kyiv, whose ties have been badly damaged since Russian Federation seized Crimea in 2014 and supported separatists in eastern Ukraine, helping start a war that has killed more than 10,300 people. The SBU and prosecutors had uncovered the illegal activity of a Russian-controlled media chain in Ukraine. Lutsenko added that the Ukrainian investigation into those activities "has evidence of carrying out well-paid anti-Ukrainian attacks" by RIA Novosti-Ukraine.
In connection with these events, the Russian Embassy wrote to the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Ukraine protest note.
Moscow called Wednesday for a Russian journalist detained in Ukraine for treason to be freed, condemning Kiev authorities for what it said was a repressive policy against the media. He said that Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded Vyshinsky a medal for his role in the takeover.
"If it is the case that the actions of Ukrainian law enforcement bodies are somehow connected with the professional work of these media organisations, that would be outrageous and scandalous", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists. "This is not the first time when the Kiev regime tramples on fundamental rights and freedoms, persecutes journalists..."
The Kyiv government has long accused Russian state news agencies of stirring up conflict in the region.