The lawyer of Kirill Vyshinsky, the Chief Editor of the RIA Novosti Ukraine news outlet arrested in Ukraine, is not involved in talks on the possible exchange of his client for Ukrainian nationals jailed in Russia, as the lawyer, Andrei Domansky, told the Izvestia daily.
The lawyer pointed out that on August 20, a court hearing on an appeal against Vyshinsky’s arrest had failed to take place due to a judge’s illness and a date for a new hearing hadn’t been set, TASS reports.
Russian and Ukrainian media said earlier, citing sources, that Moscow and Kiev could conduct an exchange of detained persons in the coming weeks. On Thursday, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that consultations on the matter were underway.
On May 15, 2018, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) carried out a large-scale operation against RIA Novosti Ukraine staff members, accusing them of high treason. The news outlet’s Chief Editor Kirill Vyshinsky was arrested. The SBU issued a statement claiming that "a network of media structures, which Moscow used for carrying out a hybrid war" against Kiev had been exposed.
Charges against Vyshinsky are particularly based on a number of the journalist’s articles dedicated to the 2014 events in Crimea. If found guilty, the journalist may face up to 15 years.