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RIA Novosti Ukraine Head Vyshinsky Explains Illegality of His Arrest

© Sputnik / Go to the mediabankRIA Novosti Ukraine head Kirill Vyshinsky detained in Ukraine
RIA Novosti Ukraine head Kirill Vyshinsky detained in Ukraine - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - RIA Novosti Ukraine portal head Kirill Vyshinsky explained in a letter obtained by Sputnik as to why he considered his arrest to be illegal.

According to Vyshinsky, his arrest was unlawful because "it was based on absurd and false accusations" put forward by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) against him.

The journalist recalled the arguments of the SBU, which noted that on 15 May 2018, on the day of his arrest, Vyshinsky organised the publication of an article entitled "Attack on the UOC [Ukrainian Orthodox Church]. Who is to blame for the failure of autocephaly" on RIA Novosti Ukraine portal.

READ MORE: Rally in Support of Journalist Vyshinsky Held Near Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow

According to the SBU, the publication "was placed in the interests of Russia… in order to provide assistance in… countering the obtaining of autocephaly of the local Ukrainian church."

"If you put the same thing in simple words, the SBU claims that it caught me 'on hot' at the time of publishing a ' subversive article' on our website. With the help of this article, I, as 'the hand of Moscow,' tried to thwart the receipt of the tomos of autocephaly by the Ukrainian local church", the journalist said.

Vyshinsky stated that these were the charges on which he had been detained.

"SBU officers took away the keys to my apartment (that is, they conducted a personal search, for which they also didn't have a decision or permission of the court) and it all went on further", Vyshinsky pointed out.

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As the journalist specified, the material was a news report and was prepared by editors from open sources, with two different points of view being expressed in the text. In particular, Ukrainian expert Dmitry Korneychuk expressed scepticism about receiving autocephaly, saying that the authorities were already preparing an explanation for the refusal.

The synod of the Ukrainian non-canonical structure insisted that there was external interference in this process, Vyshinsky noted.


In his letter, Vyshinsky cited the forensic examination of the article, which was conducted by the Ukrainian Research Institute of Special Technology and Forensic Expertise of the SBU.

According to the experts, the article did not contain anything seditious or unlawful.

READ MORE: Greek Patriarch: Granting Autocephaly to Ukrainian Church Will Not Lead to Peace

An excerpt from an expert's conclusion given by Vyshinsky says that the article neither contains "statements about the expediency (possibility, necessity) of changing the borders of the territories or the state border of Ukraine", nor it provides "suggestions about changing the form of government from unitary to federal."

According to the experts, there are also no statements in it, "which, by their semantic understanding, are a public justification for extremist, separatist or terrorist acts." The publication does not contain "signs of anti-Ukrainian propaganda of the communist, national-socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes".

"Thus, the SBU illegally detained me on 15 May", Vyshinsky concludes.

Vyshinsky was detained in Kiev last May on charges of treason and supporting the eastern Ukrainian breakaway republics, for which he faces up to 15 years in prison. His arrest has been extended until July 22.

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Harlem Desir, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe representative on freedom of the media, has repeatedly expressed his concern over Ukraine's actions toward Vyshinsky and called for the journalist's release. The organization's secretary general, Thomas Greminger, has also said that all member states should comply with international standards and avoid interfering in media's work.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Vyshinsky's arrest is politically motivated and that the incident demonstrates an unprecedented and unacceptable policy of Ukrainian authorities targeting journalists doing their jobs.

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