Russian state-run TV channel Russia Today is organizing a trip for foreign journalists to visit the annexed Crimea. The visit is scheduled for the 16 of July. This was reported by a representative of the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (from 2011 to 2016) Yuriy Lukanov, in his blog for the online edition of Detector Medіa.
Lukanov says he has a list of journalists who are planning to visit the occupied peninsula. It consists of 15 names. Among them are representatives of Radio Zones (France), Independant Newspaper Group (USA), Televisa Monterrey (Mexico), Radio Métropole (Haiti), Globo News and Correio do Brasil (Brazil), Governance Now and Deccan Herald (India), ExpressoLisbonne (Portugal), Le Temps (Switzerland), as well as representatives from the Russian Switzerland magazine. According to Lukanov, Radio France Internationale and Deutsche Welle are also mentioned, but the names of the journalists of these two media outlets are not specified.
He also said that he informed the International Federation of Journalists as well as the Commissioner for Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, about the situation, and also wrote letters to the editorial boards of the newspapers that are involved in the trip.
"By traveling to the Crimea under the aegis of RT, your reporters will be controlled by the main propaganda tool of the Kremlin, and will not be able to collect objective information. You can still inform objectively, even in these conditions, but only if the reporters are aware that they will be shown only what the RT - and, therefore, the Russian government - would like them to see. Otherwise, your publication will be another stone in the propaganda war of the Kremlin," the journalist said.
Yuriy Lukanov is a Ukrainian journalist and a public figure. In 2011 he became head of the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (NMPU). On June 4, 2016, the NMPU Council removed him from this position. The issue of early termination of Lukanov's authority will be considered at the upcoming VI Extraordinary Congress of the NMPU on August 6, according to the organization's website. Lukanov believes that the NMPU Council's decision is illegitimate and still calls himself the head of the NMPU.
In early July, the Kremlin-controlled Crimean government released a list of news outlets whose representatives had visited the Peninsula and met with the Russian head of the Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov.
According to the decision of the Ukrainian government, the entry to the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea for foreign citizens has to be approved by the Ukrainian government.