Ukrainian blogger suspected of high treason
Officers of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) branch in the Zhytomyr region say they have suppressed activities of a local blogger and journalist who was allegedly preparing and disseminating materials that the special service believes were anti-Ukrainian and produced 'as directed by Russian handlers'.
The journalist was updated on the scope and desirable content of the materials he should prepare by mail or via an online messaging service, the SBU press center said on Wednesday. Sometimes he was allowed to pick up a topic by himself, the SBU said. He received the money for his publications via international systems of online payments, it said.
The journalist published his articles on six websites which were administered from Russia and those Ukrainian territories not controlled by Kyiv, the SBU said.
The experts that studied the texts by the Zhytomyr journalist have "exposed their manipulative influence on the consciousness of readers and the fact that they incited the audience to commit specific actions to the detriment of the sovereignty and independence of the Ukrainian state", it said.
SBU officers searched the blogger's home, where they seized copies of some contracts on the fabrication of articles, alongside acts of acceptance of the works in exchange for the agreed remuneration and the bank cards to which the money was transmitted, the SBU said.
"The blogger-journalist was told that he is suspected of committing the crimes specified in Article 111 Part 1, Article 110 Part 2, Article 161 Part 2, and Article 258-3 Part 1 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code. The question of selecting the measure of restraint against him is under consideration. The pretrial inquiry is ongoing," the SBU said.