KIEV, June 1. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Kherson Region Court of Appeal has rejected on Friday an appeal against the two-month arrest of Kirill Vyshinskly, the chief editor of the RIA Novosti Ukraine news agency, filed by his defense.
"The appeal is hereby rejected," the court’s judge said.
According to the court, the investigating judge came to a right conclusion about the need to keep Vyshinsky under arrest, while the defense’s arguments were not taken into consideration. The decision has entered into force and is not subject to further appeal.
Before the verdict was announced, Vyshinsky addressed Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko from the courtroom, renouncing his Ukrainian citizenship and saying he considered himself to be only a Russian national. He also addressed Russian President Vladimir Putin, asking for legal assistance in his release.
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. The news agency’s Chief Editor Kirill Vyshinsky was detained. Searches were conducted in the news agency’s Kiev office and press center, as well as in some journalists’ apartments. The SBU also 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, release the detained journalist, launch an impartial investigation into the incident and punish those abusing power. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said that Moscow had sent two notes of protest to Kiev over Vyshinsky’s case.
The journalist was taken to the city of Kherson, where the city court arrested him for 60 days. The high treason charge against him is particularly based on a number of the journalist’s articles dedicated to the 2014 events in Crimea.