Staff at Ukrainian newspaper the Kyiv Post are striking over the alleged sacking of editor-in-chief Brian Bonner, adding they were today prevented from entering the title's offices.

The entire editorial staff of 30, which produce the English-language newspaper and its two websites, are striking over Bonner's departure on Friday, calling for the withdrawal of his dismissal.

It is understood the title's journalists were planning on continuing their work, in so far as contacting sources and producing reports, but without publication until their demands are met.

In a report today Reporters Without Borders claimed the editor of the newspaper was fired on Friday "for disregarding the owner's instructions to kill an interview with the agriculture minister".

But in a statement on the Kyiv Post's website, which reopened to UK traffic earlier this year after a libel claim was thrown out by the High Court in London, the newspaper's owner Istil Group said this is based on "speculative questioning".

"There were no calls from government officials to remove the interview.

"The interview was published in the last edition of the newspaper and remains on the newspaper site for all to read.

"If the publisher was intent on killing the story he could have stopped the press run from being distributed and would have pulled the story off the site. That did not occur.

"The difference of opinion between the publisher and chief editor of the Kyiv Post that led to Mr Bonner's departure from the newspaper lay in the editorial content and competitiveness of the Ukrainian/Russian language edition of the Kyiv Post site.

"The publisher's goal is for the Ukrainian/Russian language site to be as editorially interesting and captivating as the English-language edition."

In an open letter journalists and editors working in partnership with the Kyiv Post call for Bonner to be reinstated.

"As publisher of the Kyiv Post, you have lost an editor and the support of staff – staff that represents some of the finest journalists in Ukraine.

"We encourage you to reconsider your decision and to do the right thing. You have the power to remedy this situation. The health of one of Ukraine's important papers is at stake."

Instil Group declined to comment when approached by

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