KIEV, May 17. /TASS/. The Ukrainian prosecution has accused Chief Editor of the RIA Novosti Ukraine news agency Kirill Vyshinsky of high treason at the Kherson City Court’s hearing on Thursday. According to the prosecution, the journalist "assisted another state’s activities aimed against Ukraine."
The prosecution also said that Vyshinsky "spoke out in favor of changing Ukraine’s borders and called for creating a state named Novorossiya on Ukraine’s territory with a capital in Donetsk that could be united with Russia."
The charge is particularly based on a number of the journalist’s articles dedicated to the 2014 events in Crimea.
On May 15, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) carried out a large-scale operation against RIA Novosti Ukraine staff members, accusing them of high treason. Vyshinsky was detained outside his home early on Tuesday. Soon after that, searches were conducted in the news agency’s Kiev office and press center, as well as in some journalists’ apartments. At the same time, the SBU issued a statement claiming that "a network of media structures, which Moscow used for carrying out a hybrid war" against Kiev had been exposed.
The Russian embassy in Kiev demanded that the Ukrainian authorities take all the necessary measures to stop violence against media workers, immediately release the detained journalist, launch an impartial investigation into the incident and punish those abusing power. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said on Wednesday that Moscow had sent two notes of protest to Kiev over Vyshinsky’s case.
On Wednesday, Vyshinsky was taken to the city of Kherson and put into the Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s pre-trial detention center. According to spokesperson for the so-called ‘Crimean’ Prosecutor’s Office [part of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office, based in Kherson - TASS] Tatyana Tikhonchik, the prosecution requests the court arrest Vyshinksy for two months.