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    Action in support of Kirill Vyshinsky in Moscow

    Rally in Support of Journalist Vyshinsky Held Near Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow

    © Sputnik / Alexey Kudenko
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Several dozen people gathered near the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow on 15 May to express solidarity with the head of the RIA Novosti Ukraine news portal, Kirill Vyshinsky, who has now spent exactly one year in a Ukrainian prison on charges of treason, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

    Rally-goers held banners appealing to Ukrainian president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy, which read "Zelenskiy! Release Kirill!" They also chanted "Freedom for Kirill Vyshinsky!"

    "These rallies are very important. We send him [Vyshinsky] information about all such rallies and everything that's going on around his situation… He appreciates your support. We will not rest until Kirill goes free", Dmitry Kiselev, the director general of Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, said at the rally, thanking everybody who had joined.

    He also expressed confidence that the incoming Ukrainian administration would give a fresh start to relations with Moscow and release Vyshinsky.

    "I am sure that the new Ukrainian authorities, President-elect Zelenskiy, will start a new relationship with Russia from scratch and put forward the initiative to exchange 'all for all.' And Kirill Vyshinsky must be among the 'all' from the Ukrainian side", Kiselev added.

    READ MORE: Lawyer for RIA Novosti Ukraine Journalist Vyshinsky Appeals Pre-Trial Detention

    Putin has reacted on the matter, saying that Vyshinsky's arrest is politically motivated and that the incident demonstrates an unprecedented and unacceptable policy of Ukrainian authorities targeting journalists doing their jobs. The Russian Foreign Ministry has protested to Kiev and called on the incumbent authorities to stop its crackdown on media.

    Harlem Desir, the representative on freedom of the media at the Organisation 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. In turn, the organisations's secretary general, Thomas Greminger, has said that all member states should comply with international standards and avoid interfering in the media's work.

    Vyshinsky was detained in Kiev on 15 May 2018, on suspicion of supporting the breakaway republics of Donbass and treason. He faces up to 15 years in prison. During a court hearing, Vyshinsky appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin for help and even said that he was willing to give up his Ukrainian citizenship.


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    journalist, rally, arrest, Kirill Vyshinsky, Ukraine, Russia
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