Ukrainian Orthodox journalist charged with treason escapes to Russia—media reports

Lugansk, May 25, 2023

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Yan Taksiur, the 71-year-old Ukrainian Orthodox journalist who was charged with treason and held for months in pre-trial detention in Kiev while suffering from cancer, has reportedly made it into Russian territory.

“Yan is already in Lugansk, and he’ll be in Moscow soon,” a source close to the situation told RIA-Novosti, without specifying any details.

Taksiur was arrested by the Security Service of Ukraine in March 2022 and charged with treason. He is the founder of the First Cossack outlet and known as an outspoken critic of the Kiev authorities and a staunch defender of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Though suffering from cancer, Taksiur was denied medical treatment throughout the five months he was held in pre-trial detention, and was subjected to tortures and mockery by SBU, the Ukrainian heir to the KGB. He was finally released in August on $33,495 (1.24 million hryvnia) bail.

The Telegram channel PolitNavigator provides more detail, reporting that Taksiur made it to Russia as part of an exchange, with reference to a source on the demarcation line.

Just before the exchange, a Kiev court sentenced the journalist to 12 years in prison and ordered the confiscation of half his personal property on changes of subversive work against Ukraine. In his verdict, the judge noted several works by Taksiur, including: “Fascism Will Not Stand, or the Banner of Victory in the Darkness of Enslavement,” “Heirs of Shame, or Shadows of the Third Reich Come to Life at Midnight,” “The House that the State Department Built,” and several others.

The judge concluded that such materials harm the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of Ukraine, and undermined the morale of the population and army.

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