Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

RIA Novosti Ukraine chief suspected of high treason - SBU

RIA Novosti Ukraine chief suspected of high treason - SBU

The office of the Ukrainian Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which is investigating Vyshinsky's case, is located in Kherson, the Russian propagandist news agency RIA Novosti reported. Security agents also arrested a Ukrainian-born Russian journalist, accusing him of treason.

On her Facebook page, Gitlyanska said Russian-controlled media were being "used as tools in a hybrid war against Ukraine".

The journalist's arrest has added to already severe tension between Moscow and Kyiv, whose ties have been badly damaged since Russian Federation seized Crimea in 2014 and supported separatists in eastern Ukraine, helping start a war that has killed more than 10,300 people.

In Washington, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the United States shares Ukraine's concern about Russian propaganda, but said that Ukraine must ensure it abides by the law, including global human rights law.

RIA Novosti stated on Tuesday that Ukrainian intelligence officers stormed its workplace in Kiev and that it has been unable to get in contact with its correspondents there since.

Money found by the SBU during searches
Money found by the SBU during searches

According to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which condemned the SBU raid and Vyshynsky's detention, Vyshynsky is a Ukrainian citizen with a Russian passport. He has been accused of traveling to Crimea in 2014 to do "subversive" reporting to justify the peninsula's annexation and collaborating with separatist groups in eastern Ukraine. The SBU said he received ample funding to carry out his work in the region.

Deputy head of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine Viktor Kononenko said Vyshinsky had been paid Euro 53,000 every month for discrediting the Armed Forces of Ukraine. "The money was subsequently distributed to the groups and people involved".

A spokeswoman for the SBU, Elena Gitlyanskaya confirmed that the SBU conducted searches at the Kiev office of Russian news agency RIA Novosti today.

"We will act aggressively and protect the interests of Russian media to the fullest extent". You can sign up to receive it directly here.

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