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Russian diplomat blames White House for reporter Gonzalo Lira’s death in Ukrainian jail

Not a single commentary, not a single statement, not a single action, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says

MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. The White House bears the responsibility for the death of US reporter Gonzalo Lira in a Ukrainian prison as it could not but be aware of the situation, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

"I was asked whether the Zelensky regime will be held accountable for the murder, for the torture that resulted in the death of this man. The Zelensky regime will be called to account for its neo-Nazi nature, for everything," she said in an interview with the Voskresny Vecher (Sunday Evening) with Vladimir Soloviov program on the Rossiya-1 television channel.

"And as for this particular case, responsibility should be placed not on the Zelensky regime - it will get what it deserves and this case will be taken into account, but in global terms, it is the White House who is responsible for this. Is it possible that neither the White House nor the Department of State nor Congress were aware of the situation with their citizen and journalist? It is not because leading American public activists had been drawing attention go this case for weeks <…> - everything was in vain," she said.

"Not a single commentary, not a single statement, not a single action. Was the White House unable to do anything in this situation? No. They knew this and they farmed put the American national and journalist as disposable," she said.

According to available data, in October 2023, Lira caught bilateral pneumonia. It comes from his short letter provided by his father, Gonzalo Lira Sr, to the Grayzone portal, which posted a photo of this document on Friday. According to Lira Sr, the prison’s administration ignored the man’s complaints and tried to conceal his illness from his family and attorneys. The father demanded the US embassy in Kiev interfere into the situation but, in his words, it did nothing for that.

In the spring, Russia urged the global journalist community to speak out in defense of Lira, who was abducted by the SBU, and demand his immediate release. The blogger was detained by the SBU in Kharkov in May. He was accused of supporting Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.

The SBU insists that the journalist was arrested and given bail but after paying it Lira violated the law and purportedly attempted to flee the country on his own motorcycle via a checkpoint on the border with Hungary. According to the latest data, Lira was at a pre-trial detention facility in the city of Kharkov awaiting trial.