Updated at 11:58,06-08-2020

Belarus deports Russian journalist


Belarus deports Russian journalist
The First Channel's correspondent was ordered out of the country after a report on the COVID19 crisis in Belarus / pixabay.com
Russian TV First Channel's correspondent Alexey Kruchunin was ordered out of Belarus, reports 1tv.ru. The move followed yesterday's decision of Belarusian Foreign Ministry to cancel accreditation for the whole Belarus team after a report on the COVID19 situation in Belarus was broadcast by the channel in the evening news program.

The report, clearly criticizing the Belarusian authorities' handling of the pandemic, infuriated President Aliaksandr Lukashenka. On the evening of 6 May, Belarusian state TV channel Belarus 1 broadcast a special program titled "Information Attack on Belarus. 7 fakes in just one report of Russian federal TV channel."

The Russian First Channel says "the Belarusian MFA offered no explanation" and describes the move by Belarus as "absolutely groundless.".

Kruchinin received no official notice on paper, his passport was not marked or stamped either. He was only ordered to leave the territory of Belarus before midnight of 6 May what the journalist did.

TUT.by points out that cameraman Siarhei Panasyuk who worked with the Russian journalist is a Belarus national. First Channel might have mistakenly reported that he was deported from Belarus too.