A journalist from the Ukrinform news agency, Roman Sushchenko, was arrested by order of the Lefortovo court of Moscow on charges of espionage. Sushchenko is being held in the Lefortovo detention center. On Sunday, October 2, the Open Russia initiative reported this on its website, quoting human rights activist Zoya Svetova from the Moscow Public Oversight Commission (POC).
According to Svetova, Sushchenko is being held “in a cell in the quarantine department of Lefortovo prison.” The journalist himself said he had been accused of espionage. The journalist from Ukrinform could not provide details of his detention or case. “The employees of Lefortovo forbade us to ask him about the criminal case,” the activist explained.
According to RBC-Ukraine, the Ukrainian consul in Moscow has already confirmed the arrest of the journalist.
According to Roman Sushchenko, during the arrest psychological pressure was exerted on him; the investigator did not allow him to call home or tell his family about his arrest.
Ukrinform wrote that Roman Sushchenko worked as the agency’s correspondent in Paris. “Ukrinform believes that Sushchenko, who has worked in our agency since 2002 and as our correspondent in France since 2010, was detained as a planned provocation. We emphasize that at the time of the arrest Roman was on vacation and arrived in Moscow on a private visit,” the agency’s statement says. According to the agency, the journalist was detained on arrival in Moscow on September 30. Ukrinform and Sushchenko’s wife entered a contract with lawyer Mark Feygin to provide the defense for the journalists.
Meanwhile, the Russian FSB claims that Roman Sushchenko is a Ukrainian intelligence officer with the rank of colonel, who was collecting “state secret information about the activities of the Armed Forces and troops of the National Guard.”