KIEV – On August 29, the release of the Russian journalist Kirill Vyshinsky was welcomed in the Kremlin. This was announced by Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov. Later, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Desir, called on the Kiev court to withdraw all charges against the journalist at the next hearing. Other instances also gave approving responses to the decision in the Vyshinsky case. The German Foreign Ministry called this decision “a step towards freedom of speech.” The European Federation of Journalists, although it approved the release of Kirill, noted that they don’t understand why was he detained for so long in the first place.
Kirill Vyshinsky is a Ukrainian-born Russian journalist. He was the director of RIA Novosti’s Ukraine branch. Vyshinsky was arrested on trumped-up charges in May 2018 and faces up to 15 years in prison if found “guilty”. His arrest came amid accusations in Kiev that RIA Novosti Ukraine was participating in a “hybrid information war” against Ukraine. No evidence was provided to support the indictment, and thus, his arrest could only be interpreted as a political decision with the goal of silencing opposition media in Ukraine.