MOSCOW, April 24. /TASS/. Russian journalists have sent an open letter to Ukrainian President-Elect Vladimir Zelensky asking him to free the detained Russian journalist Kirill Vyshinsky.
"You say that the media must be as free as possible. Yet what happens to Kirill is a violation of the basic freedom of speech norms, a violation of journalist and human rights," the letter states. "We urge you to take note of the situation with Kirill and do everything in your power so that he goes free as soon as possible."
Several prominent Russian reporters have signed the letter, including TASS Director General Sergei Mikhailov, Director General of Rossiya Segodnya, RT and Sputnik Margarita Simonyan, TASS Editor-in-Chief Maxim Filimonov and others.
"If you are a reporter and wish to support Kirill, you can do it by sending an email from your official work email to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org," the letter informs.
The Ukrainian Security Service detained Vyshinsky on May 15, 2018, charging him with treason and illegal gun trafficking. The Kherson city court arrested him for two months on May 17, after which the arrest was prolonged several times. Up until March 14, the journalist was held in the Kherson pre-trial detention center. If convicted, he faces a jail term of up to 15 years. On January 14, the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s General Office announced that the pre-trial investigation had been completed and provided the defense with access to the case materials.