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Kherson court arrests RIA Novosti Ukraine editor for two months

May 17, 18:09 UTC+3

Kirill Vyshinsky described the trial as pressure on freedom of speech

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Kirill Vyshinsky

Kirill Vyshinsky

© AP Photo/Victor Platov

KIEV, May 17. /TASS/. The Kherson city court has arrested Editor-in-Chief of RIA Novosti Ukraine news agency, Kirill Vyshinsky, charged with high treason for two months. The ruling was pronounced by Judge Yaroslav Musulevsky.

"[The court hereby rules] to satisfy the motion and remand [him] in custody until July 13," the judge said.

Vyshinsky’s Defense Attorney Andrey Domansky said after the court session that the ruling would be challenged.

"There is every reason to challenge and revoke it. My client believes this is a political decision rather than legal," he said.

Vyshinsky described the trial as pressure on freedom of speech. "I believe that the case opened against me by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) is a direct pressure on the freedom of speech in the country," he said at a session of the Kherson city court.

He also refuted the prosecutor’s allegations who asserted that RIA Novosti news agency has not been registered. "It has been registered, there is an appropriate certificate carrying an official seal and giving the name of head of the [Ukraine-based] office, Andrei Borodin. And I have been the edition’s editor-in-chief for four years," Vyshinsky said.

On May 15, The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) conducted a large-scale operation against employees of the RIA Novosti Ukraine accusing them of high treason. Its Editor-in-Chief Kirill Vyshinsky was apprehended near his house early in the morning. Shortly after that, searches began at the news agency’s central office in Kiev, in its press center and in some journalists’ apartments, which lasted several houses. The SBU also issued a statement saying that it uncovered the activities of "a network of media structures controlled by the Russian Federation," which were used by "the aggressor state as part of a hybrid information war against Ukraine."

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