KIEV, May 22 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s Security Service has handed over RT contributing journalist Graham Phillips to the consul of the British embassy in Kiev, a spokesperson for the service said Thursday.
“Yes, he has been released and handed over to the consul,” spokesperson Marina Ostapenko said.
The Security Service claimed the journalist was detained “during illegal filming of classified facilities” in breach of Ukraine’s anti-terror legislation.
A day after the British journalist was detained by the National Guard in the eastern city of Mariupol earlier this week, the British Foreign Office officially confirmed the incident saying it is “in contact with the Ukrainian authorities.”
Phillips wrote on his Twitter account that pro-Kiev forces had placed a $10,000 bounty on his head.
After 36 hours of detention and questioning by law enforcement, who alleged he was spying for Russia, Phillips was released early Thursday without being charged, RT reported.
Phillips said he faced no deportation from Ukraine and said he was detained as he had a bulletproof vest on, and “that for some reason triggered some sort of a response.”
“They were telling me that I needed to have some license for this bulletproof vest and this helmet. They basically confiscated my bulletproof vest,” Phillips told RT.
Over the past two months, reporters of Russia’s leading channels have been kidnapped, beaten, threatened and denied access to Ukraine. Broadcasting of Russian media has also been banned across the country.