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    Journalist Kirill Vyshinsky, the director of Russian state news agency RIA Novosti Ukraine, attends a preliminary court hearing in Kherson, Ukraine May 17, 2018

    Vyshinsky's Arrest is 'Gross Abuse of All Democratic Norms' – German Politician

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    Russian Journalist Kirill Vyshinsky Detained in Kiev (36)
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    Addressing a recent detention of RIA Novosti Ukraine bureau chief Kirill Vyshinsky by the country's security services on "treason" charges, Andreas Maurer, representative of the German party Die Linke , told Sputnik that Vyshinsky's arrest indicates Kiev's political impotence.

    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."

    READ MORE: Custody for RIA Novosti's Vyshinsky to Be Determined on Thursday — Ukraine

    "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.

    READ MORE: Kiev Should Clarify Evidence Behind Accusations Against Vyshinsky – HRW

    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."

    READ MORE: Journalists Worldwide Mark Solidarity With RIA Novosti Journo Detained in Kiev

    "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.

    READ MORE: RIA Novosti Ukraine Head Vyshinsky Cannot Manage Without Medication – Wife

    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.

    Rossiya Segodnya news agency Director General Dmitry Kiselev, for his part, has demanded an immediate release of Vyshinsky, urging Ukrainian authorities to end their persecution of the media outlet.

    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.

    Russian Journalist Kirill Vyshinsky Detained in Kiev (36)


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