The Russian Supreme Court issued a final verdict to journalist Roman Sushchenko: a Ukrainian must spend 12 years in a colony of strict regime. Sushchenko is accused of alleged espionage and gathering the intelligence on the Russian armed forces. At court, Roman himself has said that he doesn’t agree with the decision and will continue the struggle for his release. More details – in reactions from Opinion.
The President of Ukraine assured that the case of Roman Sushchenko from the very beginning was a farce, and the absurdity of so-called trials of the journalist is obvious for the entire civilized world. Petro Poroshenko stressed that Russia is still in 1937. He promised to continue raising the awareness of the world community and work for the prompt release of Roman and other Ukrainians from the dungeons of the aggressor state.
The decision of the Russian court was also condemned by the chairman of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine Serhiy Tomilenko. He emphasized that Moscow had fabricated the case, and the Supreme Court of Russia with its own actions has blessed this “spy” scenario of FSB. Tomilenko has also expressed the hope that one day there finally will be the moment when the website, where the journalist was working, will publish the news “Sushchenko is free”.
The verdict to the Ukrainian journalist was also commented on at the webpage of the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine. They have brutally condemned the decision of the Russian court. In particular, the Minister of Information Policy Yuriy Stets admitted that it was hard to expect a fair decision from the highest court in a state that a long time ago had forgotten what is the truth, freedom, and respect for human rights.
Instead, the first deputy chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Iryna Gerashchenko, focused on the latest statement by the spokeswoman of the Russian president, who stressed that the liberation of Sushchenko should be handled by a humanitarian group in Minsk. Gerashchenko promised to print this statement out and demonstrate it at the upcoming meeting in Minsk, to those who try to avoid resolving this issue. At the same time, the author of the post reminded that Ukraine is still ready to convey to Russia all its citizens convicted of terrorism in Ukraine in exchange for political prisoners of Kremlin.
However, according to Deputy Minister of Justice Ivan Lishchyna, the decision of the Russian court is a cynical continuation of the aggressor state’s policy regarding the persecution of Ukrainian citizens on political grounds for fake accusations. In short, people don’t change their traditions and habits, nothing new.
Oksana Romaniuk, executive director of the Institute of Mass Media, also stressed that the Putin system has proved once again that it was impossible to withdraw sanctions from its “tentacles and clamps”. Besides this, it’s worth remembering: Sentsov, Sushchenko and dozens of other Ukrainians are still in Russian prisons. This can’t be forgotten.
MP Yegor Sobolev, in his turn, decided just to wish Roman Sushchenko to hold the line tight. Also, he wished Roman to be free, in all the meanings of this word, however, all of us should be free, in order to build a state that will return its captives as soon as possible. Sobolev also recalled the history of Valadyslav Popovych, who during the Yanukovych reign also received 12 years, but after EuroMaydan he was released as an unjustly repressed person. The European Court, also confirmed that the conviction was illegal.
Volodymyr Ariev, the head of the Ukrainian delegation to the PACE, has said that the leadership of the Council of Europe had said… nothing, there were no statements regarding the final sentence to Roman Sushchenko. The same applies to the Russian children beaten on the streets of Moscow by OMON. It’s quite possible that if not a Ukrainian delegation, Oleg Sentsov could have been ignored in this European institution.
Reactions were collected by Stepan the Goat