Appeals from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to the Ukrainian authorities may help resolve the situation around Kirill Vyshinsky, editor-in-chief of the RIA Novosti Ukraine news agency, who was detained and accused of high treason in Ukraine, in a positive way, chairman of the Russian Union of Journalists Vladimir Solovyov said on Wednesday.
“What was said by [OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media] Harlem Desir and the OSCE yesterday morning is also very important,” he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel. “Yesterday, we appealed to our friends at the International Federation of Journalists. And, this statement was finally made public several hours ago: they expressed solidarity with our colleague and demanded the Kiev authorities release him.”
He noted that the Ukrainian government is ignoring all inquiries and demands form the Russian Union of Journalists. “But the statement from the OSCE and the International Federation of Journalists is very important for them. And such statements sometimes work,” since, in his words, Ukraine doesn’t want to lose its image in Europe.
According to Solovyov, Ukraine’s journalistic community is split over the Vyshinsky case. “I know that there are journalists who are against what is going on, who support our colleague Vyshinsky and support our position. But often, they cannot say it openly,” he said.
On May 15, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) carried out a large-scale operation against RIA Novosti Ukraine staff members, accusing them of high treason. The news agency’s editor-in-chief Kirill Vyshinsky was detained outside his home early on Tuesday. Soon after that, searches were conducted at the news agency’s Kiev office and press center, as well as at apartments of a number of journalists. At the same time, the SBU issued a statement claiming that “a network of media structures, which Moscow used for carrying out a hybrid war” against Kiev had been exposed.
On the same day, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir expressed concern over the searched at the RIA Novosti’s office. On May 16, the International Federation of Journalists called on the Ukrainian authorities to release Kirill Vyshinsky immediately and described Kiev’s actions as inadmissible