Pro-Russian blogger Anatolii Sharii and Anton Shevtsov, former chief of the National Police in Vinnytsia Oblast, will be tried in absentia on charges of treason for cooperating with Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB).
Details: Prosecutors of the Vinnytsia Oblast Prosecutor's Office have sent to court an indictment against a Ukrainian blogger and the former chief of the National Police in Vinnytsia Oblast. They are charged with high treason committed by prior conspiracy by a group of persons (Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 2 of Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).
Both defendants are at large: the blogger is in Spain, and the former police chief is in Russia-occupied Crimea.
The investigation established that the defendants carried out "subversive activities against Ukraine on behalf of the Russian FSB".
The investigation established that since 2018, the former law enforcement officer, while in temporarily occupied Crimea, had been cooperating with a Russian secret service officer. He provided the handler with information about Ukrainian politicians, heads of fuel and energy companies, and owners of Internet resources that could be used against Ukraine. To do this, the man used personal connections and information from his previous jobs.
The other defendant is the leader of Sharii's Party, a pro-Russian political force banned in Ukraine and the owner of a YouTube channel. The Office of the Prosecutor General noted that since 2019, he has actually been living in the Kingdom of Spain. From there, he organises pro-Russian PR campaigns, creates and disseminates politically biased anti-Ukrainian content.
The former chief of the National Police in Vinnytsia Oblast engaged a pro-Russian blogger in cooperation with the Russian FSB.
Quote from the Prosecutor’s Office: "The blogger, knowing for a fact that the activities of his ‘accomplice’ were handled by representatives of the Russian secret services with the aim of harming the sovereignty, state and information security of Ukraine, agreed to create politically biased trending anti-Ukrainian stories.
Thus, in May 2022, the blogger, using the materials provided by the ex-police officer, made a video called Are Enemies of the People from the Armed Forces of Ukraine? He filled the video with Kremlin narratives and distributed it on the Internet through his YouTube channel. The defendants reported their work to their handler in the FSB."
Details: The court imposed on both defendants a pre-trial restraint in the form of detention and granted permission to conduct a special pre-trial investigation (in absentia).
This crime is punishable by 15 years or life imprisonment with confiscation of property.
The special pre-trial investigation was conducted by investigators of the Security Service of Ukraine in Vinnytsia Oblast.
- On 5 May 2022, blogger Anatolii Sharii was detained in Spain, suspected by the Security Service of Ukraine of treason.
- In February 2021, the Supreme Court reinstated Anton Shevtsov, former chief of the National Police in Vinnytsia Oblast, who was suspected of treason.
- On 1 March 2023, law enforcement officials reported that Anton Shevtsov was suspected of treason.