Russian Investigative Committee (IC) responded to Ukraine’s detention of RIA Novosti Ukraine’s editor-in-chief, Kirill Vyshinsky. The IC opened a criminal case for obstruction of the journalists’ work and the criminal persecution of a person known to be innocent, as reported by IC’s press service on Wednesday, May 16.
Vyshinsky obtained Russian citizenship in September 2015. The IC insists that his prosecution in Ukraine is aimed at "preventing him from carrying out his journalistic work." Russian authorities believe that Vyshinsky has been forced "to refuse to disseminate objective information about events in the territory of the Russian Federation and Ukraine" related to the annexation of the Crimea.
Vyshinsky was detained near his house on May 15 and officers of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) searched the office of RIA Novosti Ukraine. The Ukrainian government suspected Vyshinsky and other journalists of high treason. The SBU stated that RIA Novosti Ukraine media portal was "a propagandistic anti-Ukrainian information outlet."
Vyshinsky was transferred to Kherson, where the Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea will decide on his sentence.