Ukrainian president floats prisoner exchange: Ukrainian filmmaker Sentsov for Russian RIA journalist
The presidential administration of Ukraine has proposed Russia a prisoner exchange: Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, convicted in Russia for terrorism and recognized by a number of human rights organizations as a political prisoner, for Kirill Vyshinsky, editor-in-chief of RIA Novosti-Ukraine, who is being tried for treason in Ukraine.
Hromadske writes that in doing so, Kyiv has responded to Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s call for a “step of goodwill.”
“We fully support the policy of goodwill steps and invite Russia to take a step towards the release of Oleg Sentsov. And for the sake of mutual confidence in common goodwill, we suggest doing it at the same time”, Yulia Mendel, press secretary to the president of Ukraine, wrote on Facebook.
On July 19, a court in Kyiv extended Kirill Vyshinsky’s detention until September 19.
Vyshinsky was detained in Kyiv on May 15, 2018 after searches in the RIA Novosti-Ukraine office. He is suspected of treason. According to the security service of Ukraine, Vyshinsky worked for the “aggressor country in a hybrid information war against Ukraine.”
Investigators say Vyshinsky received 53 thousand euros a month “to conduct subversive information activities.” Money was transferred from Russia not directly to Vyshinsky, but to Serbia and then to Ukraine.
The journalist himself does not plead guilty. As he stated in court, he should not be exchanged, but released, since he is innocent.