Don't say anything negative about Zelensky or you too will be 'disappeared'.
An independent journalist who criticised President Zelensky has been arrested in Spain at the behest of the Ukrainian government on charges of 'treason' and faces extradition.
The Anatoly Shariy YouTuber, who has also condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on his podcast, was detained on an international arrest warrant in a joint operation by Spanish and Ukrainian police, as well as international “partners,” according to the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU).
They claim that Shariy has been acting on behalf of “foreign” forces by infringing Ukraine’s national security via his media commentary on the war and engaging in “incitement of hatred.”
Shariy’s arrest “is more proof that every traitor of Ukraine will sooner or later receive his well-deserved punishment. It is inevitable,” the SBU asserted.
If it had been President Putin snatching critics off the streets of foreign soil to face and uncertain fate, you can be sure that the mainstream media would have reported the fact at every opportunity.
This is by no means the first Zelensky critic have been 'silenced'. Three TV stations that were openly criticising him and his policies. In February 2021, Zelenskiy signed a decree banning the three television stations who were openly criticising him. At the stroke of a pen Zelensky silenced his critics from speaking out against him, ensuring that only those stations loyal to him remained on air. The Kiev stations targeted were ZIK, NewsOne, and 112 Ukraine who all had their licences revoked and ordered to stay off air for the next five years.
Zelensky also imprisoned the head of the political opposition rather than debate him in parliament. He had the leader of the largest opposition party placed under house arrest rather than battle him in the Ukrainian parliament. Viktor Medvedchuk, the freely elected political party leader who opposed Zelenskiy, was arrested following a long feud with Ukrainian president. Zelenskiy placed several of party's shadow cabinet under arrest effectively removing any opposition from political debate.
Medvedchuk, the leader of Opposition party – For Life, the second-largest party in the country’s parliament, was detained by security officials on charges of "conspiring with Moscow to disrupt coal supplies to Ukraine from South Africa in 2014". He argued that this was a purely political move, calling the case “absurd” and saying that Ukrainian authorities had absolutely no evidence for the alleged crime.
Anatoly Shariy is very likely to face the same type of punishment. The blogger had previously been granted asylum by the EU in 2012 after fleeing persecution by the government of Viktor Yanukovich, who was pro-Russian. None of this will help his case though, he will most likely be given a long prison sentence for daring to criticise the narcissistic dictator.
Despite condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Shariy’s criticism of Zelensky’s response was apparently enough for him to be targeted by Ukrainian authorities. Having had his passport seized, Shariy is now in Barcelona under a travel ban until a decision on his extradition to Ukraine is made. President Zelensky’s representative at the Constitutional Court said Shariy will “face a Ukrainian court and will be held liable in line with Ukrainian laws.”
Being given political asylum from Ukraine by the Spanish government appears to have be time-limited. Political asylum from Ukraine should mean exactly that, that you are safe in the country you are given asylum in. It's hardly asylum if you then held said country to track down the person you're supposed to be protecting and help secret services cart him off back to the country he claimed asylum from in the first place.