Kirill Vyshinsky, head of RIA Novosti Ukraine news website, who on Monday was detained in the Ukrainian capital Kiev on charges of "treason", is accused of supporting the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic in Ukraine's southeast.
Speaking to Sputnik, Andreas Maurer, representative of Germany's Left Party (Die Linke), described Vyshinsky's arrest as "a gross violation of all democratic norms."
"Ukraine shows that it stands far aside from all those democratic principles that are used in Western countries. […]. It doesn’t surprise me that this step was taken now when there is such a difficult and tense situation in Kiev," Maurer said.
He pointed out that during a pre-election race, "Kiev is doing its best to stifle the information flow."
"So these actions can be seen as an indicator of Kiev's [political] impotence. They try to take control of the situation by notably intimidating other journalists in the country," Maurer noted, also referencing Nazi Germany where he said journalists were arrested and then put behind bars as well.
He was echoed by Frank Creyelman, honorary Belgian MP and former chairman to the Committee on Foreign Policy, European Affairs and International Cooperation, who branded Vyshinsky's detention as "a move against freedom of speech", which he said aims to either sabotage the implementation of the Minsk peace accords on Ukraine or tarnish the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Ulrich Heyden, Russia-Ukraine correspondent for German Media "Der Freitag" and "Telepolis," for his part, called Vyshinsky's arrest a "symbolic action against Russia."
"The accusation of treason shows that the Ukrainian government wants to make it more and more impossible for Russian journalists to work in Ukraine," Heyden said.
He also suggested that the reason for this "political pressure" and "anti-Russian hysteria" is the 2018 FIFA World Cup which opens in Russia in June and remains one of Kiev's main headaches.
On the other hand, Kiev is planning a massive attack against Donetsk and Luhansk and they don't need any Russian or foreign journalists covering the events, according to Heyden.
Dragana Trifkovic, head of the Belgrade-based Center for Geostrategic Studies, in turn, underlined that when it comes to Vyshinsky's detention, "it is difficult to evaluate the steps taken by the Ukrainian government, because there is no rationality in them at all."
"I think that their motive is some kind of frustration and anger, and they wrongly blame others. The Ukrainian reality has changed a lot and I'm afraid that they cannot achieve any success until they return to the real world. It seems to me that Ukraine, in their inability to get out of the vicious circle of auto-destruction and corruption, sees the exit in further confrontation," Trifkovic added.
Earlier this week, Vyshinsky's lawyer said that the authorities began the prison transfer of the journalist from Kiev to Kherson, where they will determine a measure of restraint for him.
Editor-in-chief of Rossiya Segodnya and RT broadcaster Margarita Simonyan, in turn, has called the latest developments in Ukraine Kiev's "revenge" for the recently opened Crimea Bridge in Russia. She added that RIA Novosti Ukraine was not legally linked to Rossiya Segodnya, but was its media partner.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.