The Ukrainian prosecutor’s office opened a criminal case on the arrest of a citizen of Ukraine, a freelance journalist of Radio Liberty, Vladislav Esipenko by the FSB of the Russian Federation on Tuesday in Crimea.
This was announced on Wednesday by the press secretary of the “Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol” [the structure of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine] Yekaterina Didenko.
“Criminal proceedings have begun on the fact of the illegal imprisonment of an employee of Radio Liberty (the Crimea.Realii project) on the territory of the temporarily occupied peninsula,” she wrote on Facebook.
According to her, the actions of law enforcement officers are qualified as “illegal imprisonment”, which entails punishment in the form of restriction of freedom for up to five years or imprisonment for the same period.
In turn, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine protested against the actions of the Russian special services and demands the release of the journalist.
According to the operational information of the FSB of the Russian Federation, Esipenko took photographs and videos of life support objects and crowded places on the peninsula. The detainee himself, according to the FSB, admitted that he worked for the special services of Ukraine, an improvised explosive device was found in his car.
The information site “Crimea.Realii” is a project of the Ukrainian service “Radio Liberty”, which began work in March 2014. At one time it was blocked on the territory of Crimea due to the publication of materials justifying extremism and sabotage against Crimea. In 2017, the Russian Ministry of Justice entered Crimea.Realii and a number of other Radio Liberty projects into the register of foreign media agents.