01:11 GMT07 April 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Head of the RIA Novosti Ukraine portal Kirill Vyshinsky, who is currently being detained in Ukraine, sent to journalists a letter wishing his colleagues a Happy New Year and stating that he believed he would be released at some point.

    "I thank everyone for their care, support and massive efforts aimed at changing my current status and achieving my release … 'The heavy chains will fall apart,' sooner, or later… Hopefully, next year we will see each other! Happy New Year", Vyshinsky said in the letter, citing the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

    Vyshinsky pointed out that he was in good spirits and wished his colleagues good health, success and happiness in their families.

    Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Vyshinsky's arrest was politically motivated, adding that the incident demonstrated an unprecedented and unacceptable policy of Ukrainian authorities targeting journalists doing their jobs. The Russian Foreign Ministry has protested to Kiev, calling on the incumbent authorities to stop the crackdown on media.

    Harlem Desir, the representative on freedom of the media at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), has also expressed his concern over Ukraine's actions toward Vyshinsky and called for the journalist's release. Commenting on the situation, OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger has said that all OSCE member states should comply with international standards and avoid interfering in the media's work.

    READ MORE: Russia Demands Ukraine to Stop Legal Arbitrariness Toward Vyshinsky — Moscow

    The Russian journalist was detained in Kiev on May 15 on suspicion of supporting the breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine and treason. Given the charges, the journalist may face up to 15 years in prison.

    On May 17, the Kherson court ruled to remand Vyshinsky in custody. The defence appealed the arrest, but the court dismissed the appeal. During a court hearing, Vyshinsky asked for help from Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also said that he would give up his Ukrainian citizenship.


    Keeping Vyshinsky in Custody is 'Violation of Media Freedom' - EU Journo Group
    Berlin Demands Kiev Speed Up Vyshinsky Court Process - German Foreign Ministry
    Vyshinsky's Defense Appeals Extension of Journalist’s Arrest in Ukraine – Lawyer
    journalist, arrest, Kirill Vyshinsky, Ukraine, Russia
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