Ukrainian security officials raided the offices of a pro-Russian newspaper in the capital Kiev Sept. 11 in a move condemned by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
Security officials raided the office of the Vesti newspaper at about 11 a.m. that day, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Vesti's editorial offices were searched, as were those of the newspaper's printer. Vesti's computer servers were also taken and its website temporarily shutdown, according to Russia Today, a news outlet funded by the Russian government.
Ukrainian authorities need to “respect media,” said Dunja Mijatović, the OSCE representative on media freedom, said in a Sept. 12 statement. “I call on the Ukrainian authorities to refrain from any measures which could intimidate members of the media and impede the work of media outlets,” she said.
The Security Service of Ukraine conducted the search as a part of an investigation into Vesti’s news coverage, which it said violated Ukraine’s territorial integrity, according to CPJ.
This is the second time this year that Vesti's offices have been raided. The first raid occurred in May when the newspaper and affiliate Vesti Mass Media were accused of money laundering according to the Ukrainian Institute for Mass Information.
A reporter and an IT staffer for Vesti were killed in a Molotov cocktail attack in February during the wave of violence in Kiev that preceded the ouster of former president Viktor Yanukovych.