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47-year-old Roman Sushchenko after arrest was placed in the infamous Russian jail "Lefortovo", where at one time was kept Nadiya Savchenko. The whereabouts of the Ukrainian journalist became known only two days after the arrest. Only on Sunday, October 2 his wife Angela, who lives in France, has learned from relatives that happened.
Sushchenko has been working in Ukrinform since 2002, and as a correspondent in France - since 2010. The agency noted that Sushchenko has many years of impeccable reputation, and charging him with espionage by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation - this is a provocation.
The agency also said that at the time of arrest Sushchenko was on vacation and arrived in Moscow for private purposes and has no editorial assignments.
FSB insists that he was detained allegedly while "conducting espionage action", and calls the journalist "Personnel Officer Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine." Sushchenko allegedly was interested in data about "the armed forces and troops of the National Guard of Russian Federation." Ukrainian Defense Ministry refuted the statement of the FSB that Sushchenko worked as intelligence officer.
As it turned out, it’s the members of the Russian Public Monitoring Commission found Sushchenko in jail.
"We accidentally met in the chamber of the quarantine department of the Lefortovo prison 47-year-old citizen of Ukraine Roman Sushchenko. He told me that he is a journalist, who is accused of spying. The etails of his detention and the accusations which he faced with, Sushchenko could not tell us, "- said a member of the PMC Moscow Zoya Svetova. According to her, the detention center staff prohibited to ask him about the criminal case.
The journalist told human rights activists that during the arrest law enforcers exerted psychological pressure on him and the investigator did not allow him to call home and tell wife about his arrest. Later they received information that Lefortovo court of Moscow on October 1 arrested the journalist for two months. The lawyer Mark Feygin said he is already preparing a complaint for the arrest.
On the operational FSB video, which appeared on the web, you can see how Sushchenko in handcuffs is leading by two men in civilian clothes.
No further details about the arrest are yet known. It is expected that the FSB will make an official statement about Sushchenko.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine demanded the immediate release of Sushchenko. The Foreign Ministry noted that "this is another step in a purposeful policy of the Russian Federation to use the Ukrainians, who are in the hands of its authorities, as political hostages in their hybrid aggression."
An Ukrinform correspondent in the Baltics and Russia Oleg Kudrin called the detention of colleague "a wild situation."
"The situation is wild and strange, no evidence has been submitted. You already can imagine the reaction in France and in the world on this incident. I talked with local Ministries of Foreign Affairs, I hope, during the day we’ll receive the reaction of the Baltic countries ", - he said.
Note that in the Russian Federation is also held a citizen of Ukraine Valentyn Vygovskyy accused of "spying". In December 2015, a Russian court sentenced him to 11 years' imprisonment in a strict regime colony. In addition, the FSB accused of spying 74-year-old former director of the Ukrainian military plant Yuriy Soloshenko. In June, he was returned to Ukraine for the exchange of persons involved in the affairs of the "People's Republic of Bessarabia."