Ukrinform correspondent in France, Roman Sushchenko, was detained in violation of international legislation on September 30, 2016 in Moscow, where he arrived on a private visit.
On October 7, 2016, Sushchenko was charged with “espionage”.” Russia’s FSB claimed that Sushchenko was a member of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, which in turn denied this allegation.
The Moscow City Court recently extended Sushchenko’s arrest until September 16. His lawyer, Mark Feygin, says that he himself is under extreme pressure for defending Sushchenko:
“…We are now talking why the Sushchenko case is so special. It is special because, along with [Ukrainian film director Oleh] Sentsov, Ukrainian political prisoner [Sushchenko] did not acknowledge his guilt, despite charges of “espionage”. That is why very serious pressure has been exerted on me, as a lawyer who supports the position of his client, for over one-and-a-half years.”
Sushchenko continues to draw in his prison cell. To date, he has made eight sketches and sent them to his family: a spring landscape, views of Paris and Saint-Malo, the Swiss city of Geneva and the Italian city of Perugia, as well as a view of Ukrainian Ros River.
President Petro Poroshenko posted Sushchenko’s drawings on Twitter and thanked him for his strength and resilience:
“These are drawings by Roman Sushchenko, which he created in the Moscow cell and sent in letters to his daughter Yulia. Thank you, Roman, for not losing heart despite the desire of the Kremlin regime to break your will.”