Photo from UNIAN, by Andriy Krymskyi

Editor-in-chief of the project Anna Babinets says the Verkhovna Rada's Committee on Freedom of Speech has revoked the accreditation of all journalists with the investigative project.

"We've received a letter from the press service [of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament] saying that all journalists with our agency were deprived of accreditation since we failed to comprehensively cover the work of the Verkhovna Rada," she wrote on Facebook on October 28.

Read alsoMedvedchuk travels to occupied Crimea, accompanied by three Ukrainian policemen – mediaHowever, Babinets reminded that journalists periodically cover corruption schemes of Members of Parliament, and listed the highest-profile pieces.

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"We, as journalists of, see in such a decision of the Verkhovna Rada an attack on freedom of speech and pressure on independent media by the authorities. We'll be challenging it and informing all influential international organizations of the move," she added.

Rada on the situation

  • Head of the Verkhovna Rada's press service Iryna Karmeliuk, in her comments, accused the journalists of their failure to provide her with materials related to "the coverage of the parliament activities."
  • "I think that within a year they [] would have been able to collect their publications and send them to the press service. I suggest that those media outlets that are on the list for accreditation lift send in their materials, if any," she said.
  • In turn, Committee member Oleksandr Sanchenko said that on the eve of the Committee meeting they were presented with a list of journalists "who produce no reports about the Rada," with a request to deprive them of accreditation and vacate the parliamentary lodge for those media outlets that do such work.
  • At the same time, he clarified that the Rada staff presented no list of specific media outlets that should be banned from entering the parliament building. Sanchenko promised to arrange a meeting with representatives of the Rada's press service and journalists.
  • "Because, it seems to me, someone has misled us, which makes me angry," he said.
  • In October 2019, Nestor Shufrych from the pro-Russian Opposition Platform – Za Zhyttya (For Life) Party took the lead of the Committee on Freedom of Speech. His appointment trigged a row in the Rada back then.