Pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk have taken over the website of an independent journalist's union, announcing a separatist-friendly "action group" will create a new trade association in its place.
In a statement posted online, the group that has taken over the website said the hosting contract held by the Ukrainian Union of Journalists' Donetsk branch had expired at the end of last year, and that the association no longer owned its website and domain name.
The website is now managed by an "action group of journalists who are engaged in creating a Union of Journalists of the Donetsk People's Republic," the statement said. It was signed by an anonymous "group of journalists."
Last week, the separatist government in Donetsk gave local media and newsstand operators 10 days to "legalize" their activity by securing "registration" from the rebel authorities, according to a statement posted on the Donetsk journalists' website.
The statement added that materials published by the media "must not contain calls to seize power or enact forceful change to the territorial integrity [of the republic], nor should they propagandize war, violence, ethnic or religious hatred."