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Ukrainian reporter arrested for espionage in Russia files appeal

According to Roman Sushchenko's lawyer, his client, a reporter of the Ukrinform news agency in France, was detained while he came to Moscow on vacation to visit his relatives

MOSCOW, October 4. /TASS/. Ukrainian reporter Roman Sushchenko suspected of spying in Russia, has filed an appeal against his arrest, Moscow’s Lefortovo District court spokesperson Yekaterina Krasnova told TASS.

"The attorney has filed an appeal against the court’s ruling on Sushchenko’s arrest as a measure of restraint. The attorney has requested to cancel the ruling and impose a lighter penalty on his client," she said.

The court had earlier authorized Sushchenko’s detention until November 30 on suspicion of espionage.

Meanwhile, Sushchenko’s attorney Mark Feygin noted that neither he, nor Ukraine’s Consul have been able to meet his client at the pretrial detention center for the second straight day as the investigator failed to give them the relevant permission.

As the Center for Public Relations of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said, Roman Sushchenko, allegedly a staff member of the main intelligence department of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, had been detained while conducting an espionage operation. According to the center, "the Ukrainian national was purposefully collecting information on the Russian Armed Forces and National Guard, constituting state secrets, the disclosure of which could have undermined Russia’s defense capabilities."

However, Sushchenko has pleaded not guilty. According to Feygin, his client is a reporter of the Ukrinform news agency in France while he came to Moscow on vacation to visit his relatives. The Ukrainian news agency confirmed this information saying that Sushchenko had been a staff member since 2002 and was "a journalist with a long-term impeccable professional reputation."

The FSB launched a criminal case against Sushchenko over espionage charges.