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Ukraine's Security Service denied any involvement in the detention and expulsion of a Russian newspaper reporter from the Crimea Friday
Ukraine's Security Service denied any involvement in the detention and expulsion of a Russian newspaper reporter from the Crimea Friday. The service rebuffed an earlier report from a Russian Komsomolskaya Pravda political editor that Ukraine's security bodies intended to expel newspaper reporter Alexander Kots from the peninsula for allegedly taking part in anti-NATO protests. Kots was in the largely Russian-speaking Crimea, which is home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet, to report on the rallies and the blockade of a U.S. cargo vessel at the port of Feodosia since late May. It had arrived ahead of military exercises, Sea Breeze 2006, slated for late July that are seen by many as part of Ukraine's bid to join NATO. "The Security Service has nothing to do with the incident involving Russian journalist Alexander Kots," a Security Service representative said in a telephone interview, adding that Kots could protest against the Ukrainian authorities' actions in a court of law. The security bodies were also reported to have seized the reporter's mobile phone with an incorporated camera and notebook. Although Kots received them back, some of his photographs, including one showing a Russian flag hoisted in the area allotted for a NATO base, had been deleted, the editor said.
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