Ukrainian journalists in the occupied territories are being searched and interrogated by the Russian Federal Security Service. 

This is described in the documentary film Occupation: the price of a word by Slidstvo.Info. The video has English subtitles.

Journalists from the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts say that during the occupation, they were contacted by FSB officers. In particular, Oleh Baturin, a journalist with the Novyi Den newspaper, says that he was forced to sign a document on cooperation with the FSB during interrogation.

Oleh Baturin, journalist of the Novyi Den newspaper

“The interrogation lasted for about six hours, during which I was forced to sign a piece of paper: ‘I, Oleh Baturin, undertake to cooperate with the federal authorities of the Russian Federation, O. Baturin and signature,” recalls Oleh.

Other media professionals also talk about interrogations and searches by the FSB. Svitlana Zalizetska, a journalist from Zaporizhzhia Oblast, says that FSB officers came to her parents’ house, searched it and abducted her father.

Svitlana Zalizetska, a journalist from Zaporizhzhia Oblast

“They looked at albums, photos, and asked: ‘who is this, what does he do, where does he study, where is my daughter, where is my husband’. There was not a single corner where they did not rummage. The search was carried out by the military, and the FSB officer talked to the parents,” says Zalizetska.

According to Oleksandr Gunko, a journalist from Nova Kakhovka, the FSB interrogated him while he was in captivity.

Oleksandr Gunko, a journalist from Nova Kakhovka

“They took my laptop, my smartphones, looked through my flash drives and said they were arresting me. One of the soldiers who was standing next to me, he was an FSB officer, not in the same uniform as the National Guard, I immediately noticed that he had a different uniform,” says Oleksandr Gunko.

Oleh Baturin also recalls that the interrogator did not know the geography of Ukraine and was probably from Russia, not the occupied Ukrainian regions.

“The soldier who interrogated me in the Kherson Regional State Administration was definitely from Russia. Because he asked such strange questions: “What is Dzharylgach, is there a sea in Kherson Oblast, and so on,” Baturin said.

Earlier, Slidstvo.Info released a film about the persecution of journalists by Russians in the occupied territories. Media workers say that this phenomenon is widespread and has signs of systematic nature. Journalists in the occupied territories were searched for using lists compiled by the FSB and local collaborators. After thorough searches of their homes, Russians arrested and imprisoned journalists, coercing them to cooperate or forcing them to give up their work.

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