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Dine Condemns Efforts to Intimidate RFE/RL

(Washington, DC--January 12, 2001) RFE/RL President Thomas A. Dine today condemned efforts by people representing themselves as officials of Ukrainian intelligence services to intimidate Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in order to influence its coverage of Ukraine.

"In recent days," Dine said, "people claiming to be Ukrainian intelligence officers have approached members of our Ukrainian Service and threatened reprisals against them and those who rebroadcast our programming in Ukraine if the service does not modify its coverage of Ukrainian political developments."

"Many governments in our broadcast region over the last 50 years have attempted to silence or intimidate us," Dine said, adding that "we have never been intimidated and will not be intimidated now from providing the kind of accurate and reliable information necessary to support the rise of a free society."

Dine said that the most recent attempt was especially disturbing because of the political scandal surrounding the death of a reporter in Ukraine last fall and suggestions that President Leonid Kuchma or his staff may somehow have been involved in that event.