MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. The Kiev regime has been given free rein to do whatever it wants by the West, an utter catastrophe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
"Kiev has unbridled freedom, and this permissiveness is manifested in everything it does. <...> This free rein only leads to disaster. And this disaster has already reached the minds of the current Ukrainian regime, and they are leading their entire country there," the top Russian diplomat said at his annual news conference devoted to reviewing Moscow’s main foreign policy achievements in 2023.
Lavrov, recalling the incident where American journalist and blogger Gonzalo Lira died in a Ukrainian prison, pointed out that the Kiev regime "is even allowed to torture and kill Americans." "And everyone keeps their mouths shut. <...> They are allowed to do anything. Look at the fuss they make when their citizens are arrested. Here, not a word, not even a whisper. Draw your own conclusions," the top diplomat pointed out.
Earlier, the US State Department confirmed reports that reporter and blogger Gonzalo Lira had died in a Ukrainian prison. In October 2023, Lira fell ill with bilateral pneumonia while in jail. This follows from a note the journalist wrote, provided by his father Gonzalo Lira Sr. to the American news outlet The Grayzone. Lira Sr. previously published a photo of the note. According to the journalist’s father, the prison administration ignored the fact of his son’s illness and tried to hide it from the journalist's family and lawyers. Lira Sr. demanded that the American Embassy in Kiev intervene in the situation. However, according to him, the diplomatic mission made no efforts in this direction.
Last spring, Russia urged the global journalistic community to come to the defense of Lira, who was abducted by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), and demand his immediate release. The SBU detained the blogger in Kharkov in May 2023 for supporting Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.