Kirill Vyshinsky, director of the Ukrainian office of the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, talks to the media after a court ordered his release on bail, in Kyiv, Ukraine August 28, 2019. (Reuters/Serhii Nuzhnenko)

Ukraine authorities should drop charges against Russian journalist Kirill Vyshynsky

August 28, 2019 12:33 PM ET

Washington, D.C., August 28, 2019 -- A Kyiv court today ruled to release Russian journalist Kirill Vyshynsky on bail while he awaits trial, according to news reports. Vyshynsky, the Kyiv bureau chief for Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, had been detained since May 2018 on treason charges, according to those reports.

“We are relieved to hear that Kirill Vyshynky is out of prison, but he should be a free man, not on bail while awaiting trial. We call on Ukrainian authorities to drop the charges against him,” said CPJ’s program coordinator for Europe and Central Asia, Gulnoza Said, in New York. “We also call on Russian authorities to release Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko. Journalists should not be caught up in political disputes between Russia and Ukraine, and must be allowed to report freely and safely.”

Under the conditions of his release, Vyshynsky is barred from communicating with witnesses involved in his case and must inform authorities of any changes to his residence, according to a report by the U.S.-Congress funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

In 2016, Roman Sushchenko, a Paris-based correspondent of Ukrainian state news agency Ukrinform, was detained during a trip to Moscow and in 2018 was sentenced to 12 years in prison on espionage charges, according to CPJ reporting.