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    Ukrainian Journalist Arrested on Treason Suspicions Prompting Moscow's Criticism

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    The court in the Ukrainian city of Zhytomyr arrested journalist Vasily Muravitsky for two months on suspicion of high treason, the press service of the Security Service of Ukraine told Sputnik on Thursday.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, the Security Service of Ukraine announced that a journalist was detained in the country's southwestern city of Zhytomyr over suspicion of treason. The local media reported that the detained journalist was Muravitsky, who used to work in the Journal Zhytomyr online media outlet. According to the Security Service of Ukraine, the articles, written by the journalist, were published on six websites "administrated from Russia and temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine."

    "The court's decision — arrest. According to the law, [the arrest duration should be] two months," the press service said.

    According to the regional prosecutors' website, the decision was made on Wednesday. The prosecutor's press release said, without providing a name, that "an individual suspected of high treason" was to be arrested without bail.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that the detention of the journalist was part of Kiev's campaign to suppress opposition journalists.

    "Unfortunately, it is yet another example of Kiev-led campaign to forcefully and violently suppress the opposition journalists, to totally sweep Ukraine's media scene for the needs of the ruling regime under the pretext of fighting 'aggressor's propaganda.' There are dozens of such cases with the persecution of Strana.ua media outlet's editor-in-chief Igor Guzhva among the latest cases," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in comment.

    In late June, Guzhva was arrested over allegations of blackmailing Dmitry Linko, a member of the Ukraine’s Radical Party, for not disclosing materials that would compromise the party. Earlier in July, a Ukrainian court ruled to keep Guzhva in custody for 60 days and on bail of 544,000 Ukrainian hryvnias ($20,900). Guzhva denied the charges and was later released after the bail was paid.

    In July, Sergey Tomilenko, the head of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, said that the Ukrainian authorities appear to be purposefully discrediting journalists who criticize Kiev, branding them as "agents of Moscow." The statement followed massive searches in the media outlets' offices by the Ukrainian security forces.


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