Russian Minister of Foreign affairs Sergey Lavrov reiterated Moscow demands of respect of his human rights and immediate liberation of journalist Kirill Vyshinky (pictured) arrested in Ukraine.
“The trial in the case of the RIA Novosti Ukraine chief editor resembles the theater of the absurd. There is no doubt that the journalist was arrested illegally, only because he worked for a Russian media outlet and honestly covered current developments. Ukrainian prosecutors seem to understand it as they have been postponing hearings, citing the need to study the case files,” Lavrov said to Aif newspaper.
“Our diplomats maintain contacts with his lawyers as Ukraine failed to provide us with access to the journalist himself. We are doing our best, working with foreign partners, particularly on international platforms, encouraging them to influence Kiev so that a positive solution can be found” Lavrov concluded.
Kiev’s Podolsky District Court postponed the hearing of the Vyshinsky case to July 19.
Vyshinsky was arrested in Kiev by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) on 15 May 2018. Being under arrest, on On 1 June 2018, he said in court: “I declare my withdrawal from my Ukrainian citizenship — from this moment I consider myself only a citizen of Russia.”
Fighting continued around Ghazni city just south of Kabul during weekend a day after Taliban fighters stormed its center in a brutal show of force, with at least 25 police and one journalist killed, officials said.
Defense ministry officials said Ghazni was under complete control of the security forces but at the same time indicated clearance operations were continuing and additional troops were being sent to boost the city’s defense.
“Afghan National Army reinforcements are making their way to Ghazni city to help the Afghan National Police search and clear the city of insurgents that may still be hiding in the city,” said Major Mohammad Farooq, Afghan army 203rd Corps spokesman.
There is no update of information on casualties, but Najib Danish, a spokesman for the interior ministry, said that 25 policemen had been killed, along with one Afghan journalist, whom he did not identify.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the distressing simulation of Russian exile journalist Arkady Babchenko’s murder, which was done with the aim of unmasking those who wanted to kill him, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) claimed today.
A day after he was reportedly gunned down at the entrance to his Kiev apartment building, Babchenko was very much alive when he appeared at a press conference organized by the SBU today in Kiev.
He said he was told a month ago that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) was planning to kill him and he had no choice but to cooperate in the SBU’s simulation of his death. He apologized to members of his family who were not in the know.
SBU chief Vasil Gritsak said that, thanks to this operation, they were able to arrest the Ukrainian citizen who was recruited by the FSB to organize Babchenko’s murder, and to prevent the deaths of 30 other persons who were in the sights of the Russian authorities.
“This journalist’s reappearance is a great relief but it was distressing and regrettable that the Security Service of Ukraine played with the truth,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “Was such a scheme really necessary? There can be no grounds for faking a journalist’s death.”
According to reports confirmed yesterday by the Ukrainian police, the 41-year-old journalist died while being rushed to hospital from the injuries he received when he was shot three times in the back as he was returning to his Kiev apartment.
An outspoken critic of the Russian government since its annexation of Crimea in 2014, Babchenko has often received death threats on social networks. Fearing for his safety after Russian state TV channels launched a campaign against him, he fled to Prague in February 2017 but moved to Kiev a few months later and has been hosting a programme there on the Tatar TV channel ATR since last October.
Ukraine is ranked 101st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index.
Two suicide blast at rush hour in Kabul claimed lives of more than 20 people, and left many injured. In a first explosion, a suicide bomber detonated himself close to the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the main Afghan intelligence agency, TOLOnews reported quoting official sources.
In another explosion that followed 20 minutes later, a second suicide bomber targeted emergency medical workers and journalists who had arrived at the scene.
Reporting from Kabul, Afghan medid said ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.
The bomber disguised himself as a journalist and detonated himself among the crowd of press, rushing to the place of the first attack.
AFP chief photographer Shah Marai (pictured) three other journalists were among 21 killed in two suicide blasts in Kabul.