Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
16th June, 2016
The Kremlin said that a mediator in the liberation of the Odessa journalists Elena Glishchinskaya and Vitaly Didenko was Viktor Medvedchuk – special envoy of the Ukrainian President on humanitarian issues in the Trilateral Contact group, reports “Interfax”.
The freed Ukrainian journalists thanked the Russian authorities for assistance in releasing them from prison in Ukraine. Upon arrival in Russia, Didenko admitted that “it was a certain surprise”. Elena Glishchinskaya noted she had learnt about the release only a day before.
According to Didenko, the conditions of detention in Ukrainian prisons is very bad: human rights are violated, it’s very stuffy, crowded, you can catch a lot of sores.
Ukrainian journalists were also told that during detention they were subjected to pressure to force them to incriminate themselves.
Glishchinskaya came to Russia with a two-month old child, born after her arrest. She said that the child needs treatment, the condition of the baby is now moderate. According to her, during her incarceration she often was not allowed to see the child, reports RIA Novosti.
Journalists Glishchinskaya and Didenko believe that they were convicted for political reasons, as the current Ukrainian authorities do not accept an alternative point of view on what is happening in the country.
Elena Glishchinskaya said that they were arrested as activists of the movement “People’s Republic of Bessarabia” — a national-cultural movement not connected with politics, but the government felt that it was not consistent with the general political line. According to the journalist, they were accused of separatism and attempts to split Ukraine into parts. However, “it has nothing to do with reality,” she said.