SBU exposes anti-Ukrainian activity of RIA Novosti Ukraine Director - Viktor Kononenko, SBU Deputy Head (video)
SBU officers in cooperation with the Prosecutor's Office of Crimean Autonomy exposed and documented the facts of the aggressor state using domestic and Russian journalists for subversive information operations against our country. This was announced at a briefing by Viktor Kononenko, SBU Deputy Head. Law enforcers found that Kirill Vyshinsky, citizen of Ukraine, was appointed to the position of head of the agency’s Ukrainian representation office in 2014 on the instructions of Dmitry Kyselyov, General Director of the MIA “Russia Today”. He founded by a number of legal entities, including “Interselekt”, which operates under the brand “RIA Novosti Ukraina”. “This form of organisation was used, first of all, in order to conceal Russian channels of financing the resource and the links of the said structure with the Moscow office of MIA “Russia Today”, Viktor Kononenko said. In spring of 2014, Vyshinsky visited Crimea, where, tasked by top managers of the MIA “Russia Today”, personally joined propaganda actions aimed at supporting the annexation and movement to the Russian Federation, SBU operatives documented. For these actions in favor of the aggressor country, in May 2014, K. Vyshynsky was awarded a medal “For Merits to the Fatherland”, by a restricted-access Decree of the President of the Russian Federation.
After returning to Kiev, Vyshinsky engaged subordinate journalists to production of materials favouring “L/DNR” terrorist organizations. “Many believe that anti-Ukrainian propaganda is created exclusively in Russia or in temporarily occupied territories. But as we see, a large amount of propaganda content is published from Ukraine itself,” said SBU Deputy Head.
To cover its activities, the management of MIA “Russia Today” used the scheme of signing a cooperation agreement between the “Interselekt” and a company located in Belgrade (capital of Serbia). “Each month, the said company, which has the signs of being a bogus entity, remitted almost 53,000 Euros (of Russian origin) to the accounts of Ukrainian companies controlled by Vyshinsky,” Victor Kononenko noted.
Data available from the financial statements in the materials of the case confirm that the money was used for the needs of “RIA Novosti Ukraine”, with its paycheck being approved directly in the central office of “Russia Today”. “I understand that we have the information war, but we need to create at least a visibility of unbiased coverage,” instructed Kyryl Vyshynsky his subordinate propagandists. Officers of the Security Service of Ukraine together with the Crimean Prosecutor's Office conducted five searches at the offices used by the said media resource and places of residence of some of its functionaries. Law enforcers seized documents confirming the materials of the pre-trial investigation regarding the organization of subversive information actions within the framework of the hybrid war against our state, by representatives of Russia’s International News Agency “Russia today” who used a network of media resources in Ukraine under their control. Investigations are ongoing. “After the procedural actions have been completed, a decision will be made on the legal status of Vyshinsky K.V.,” said Igor Ponochevny, head of the criminal prosecution department of the Prosecutor's Office of Crimean Autonomy. Victor Kononenko briefly noted the instant reaction of Russian officials and the media to the procedural actions of the SBU. “This confirms that we have hit the ‘target’”, he cited Vasyl Hrytsak, the head of the SBU.
SBU Press Centre
For the Attention of the SBU Head