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Cameraman Detained in West Ukraine Amid Media Crackdown

A cameraman working for Novorossia TV, a news network established by rebel forces in Ukraine's turbulent east, was detained by Kiev-loyal law enforcement officers while vacationing in the west of the country, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) announced Sunday.

Though the announcement did not reveal the detainee's name, it noted that he had been a resident of western Ukraine's Khmelnitsky region before relocating to Donetsk in the fall of 2014 to take up a position with the rebel-run news station.

In connection with his work as a cameraman, the detainee stands accused of having helped engineer news stories that "not only promoted terrorism and justified the crimes of the insurgents of the terrorist organizations [the rebel-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics], but also called for violations of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, consciously contributed to fueling violence and discord in [Ukraine's] east and the destruction of the civilian population."

He was apprehended while vacationing in the Khmelnitsky region on March 13, though the SBU only revealed the news Sunday.

In February, Ukrainian journalist Ruslan Kotsaba was arrested on suspicions of espionage and treason.

The detentions come amid what appears to be a broad crackdown on pro-Russian media coverage in Kiev-controlled Ukraine. Markiyan Lubkivsky, a high-level SBU advisor, told local news channel 112 on Sunday that more than 100 Russian journalists have been deported from Ukraine. He was unclear about the time frame during which the deportations have been ordered and carried out.

The SBU also compiled in February a list of more than 100 Russian media outlets that will be stripped of their accreditations with Ukrainian government agencies. The list has not been made public.

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