Ukrainian authorities refused to issue press credentials to Anton Skyba, a Ukrainian journalist and photographer who has worked for the Globe and Mail in the country since 2014.
When Skyba’s previous press credentials expired on May 1, 2023, officials with the SBU, Ukraine’s security service, summoned him for an interview. During the interview, officials asked Skyba – who was born in Donbas, Ukraine, which Russian forces occupied during the war – about his background, and about family members who had been issued Russian passports by the occupying forces.
During the interview, security officials also asked Skyba about help he had provided in 2014 to a Russian magazine editor. The Globe and Mail reported that Skyba had not contributed to the magazine but had helped the editor find a driver in the area, “in exchange for accreditation with that publication, which he used to pass checkpoints in the area.”
Skyba was called to a second SBU interview, which the Globe and Mail described as “more aggressive.” Officials said there was a problem with Skyba’s tax filings, and alleged that he had a Russian passport and had recently travelled to Belarus, an ally of Russia – both false claims, the Globe reported.
A follow-up letter from the SBU to Globe and Mail editor-in-chief David Walmsley asked further questions about Skyba’s background and suggested that the Globe consider employing another journalist in Ukraine instead of Skyba – a suggestion the paper rejected.
On June 13, 2023, Ukrainian authorities issued Skyba new press credentials, Globe and Mail journalist Mark MacKinnon reported.