01:08 GMT11 April 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Kirill Vyshinsky, the head of RIA Novosti Ukraine portal, who has been detained in Ukraine for almost 200 days, suggested that his arrest had been planned and orchestrated by high-ranked political leaders in Ukraine.

    "Everything was conceived and organized in Kiev at the level of the highest political leadership. It seems that they are currently in a deadlock [because the operation] did not work out ‘quickly’ so this needs to be somehow be settled and they do not quite understand how [to resolve the situation]," Vyshinsky told the news outlet Ukraina.ru.

    The journalist reiterated that the charges brought against him were "absurd" and criminally slanderous. Vyshinsky said that he had repeatedly told this to the Ukrainian judges during the hearings on the prolongation of his pre-trial detention.

    However, after Vyshinsky was detained in May, the court has repeatedly ruled that he must remain in custody as a preventative measure. In the most recent case on November 1, the court ruled that Vyshinsky must remain in jail until December 28.

    READ MORE: Kirill Vyshinsky Says Trial in Ukraine Resembles 'Torture,' Asks Putin for Help

    "There can be no trust in the victory of the Ukrainian justice system given this trend, especially on the eve of the elections, when the anti-Russian hysteria is being fuelled," the journalist lamented, noting that Ukrainian lawmakers wanted to shut down two more Russian TV channels and the treason section of the Ukrainian Criminal Code had been widely used recently.

    Vyshinsky said he felt "more or less" fine in custody. The journalist recalled he had experienced the symptoms of heart disease, noting that the medics in the Ukrainian prison, where he was detained, had attempted to help him, although their capabilities had been limited due to the ongoing Ukrainian healthcare reform. The healthcare system overhaul includes medical staff and medicine cuts.

    There are around 400-450 inmates in the prison where Vyshinsky is detained but it lacks an in-house physician, according to the journalist.

    Vyshinsky said a visiting doctor worked in the prison in summer but in autumn the jail administration failed to conclude a new contract with him due to the reform.

    Vyshinsky was arrested in Ukraine on May 16 and charged with treason, as well as supporting the self-proclaimed people's republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine's embattled Donbas region. The journalist has suggested that his arrest was a part of the Ukrainian authorities’ campaign to gain the support of voters ahead of the 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections.

    READ MORE: Ukraine's Court Sends Vyshinsky to Hospital for Urgent Treatment — Lawyer

    The detention of Vyshinsky has prompted widespread criticism among journalists' rights groups, which said that such moves were unacceptable in a democratic society.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Vyshinsky's arrest was politically motivated, adding that the incident reflected the Ukrainian authorities' unprecedented and unacceptable targeting of journalists who were just doing their jobs.


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    officials, investigation, plot, arrest, detention, RIA Novosti Ukraine, Kirill Vyshinsky, Ukraine
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