Ukrainian journalist, Kremlin prisoner Roman Sushchenko became the winner of the National Award for the Protection of Freedom of speech, named after Igor Lubchenko, the head of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) Sergey Tomilenko, announced today, October 2, at a press conference in Kyiv.

The award was received by the daughter of a journalist Julia. She noted that Roman Sushchenko would be informed about the award as soon as his whereabouts known.

Meanwhile, the Russian authorities stated that they did not intend to exchange Roman Sushchenko for  of the Chief Editor of RIA Novosti Ukraine, Kirill Vyshinsky suspected of treason in Ukraine.

“We believe that Vyshinsky must be immediately released. This is not a topic for any exchanges. This is a violation of all international rules, a violation of the principle of freedom of the press, because in fact he was arrested for his journalistic activities,” said the press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov.

Peskov compared the activities of Vyshinsky in Ukraine with the work of a UNIAN correspondent in Moscow.

Reference. The National Journalist Prize for the Protection of Freedom of Speech named after Igor Lubchenko was founded in 2012 by the NUJU to encourage and reward individuals and organizations who have achieved success and public recognition in the field of upholding the right to freedom of speech, fighting for high professional journalistic standards.

The vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Irina Gerashchenko, said that Ukraine is ready to include Kirill Vyshinsky on the exchange list, if such an offer comes from Russia. However, the Russian side did not request the extradition of Vyshinsky in exchange for Ukrainian political prisoners. SBU detained  the Chief Editor of Ria Novosti Ukraina, Kirill Vyshinsky, in Kyiv on May 15.

On September 12, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation recognized as legitimate the verdict of the Moscow City Court on the terms of imprisonment for Sushchenko. The political prisoner noted that he does not agree with the decision of the court and will continue to fight for his release, including filing a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights.

Lawyer Mark Feygin said that Sushchenko is ready to write a request for pardon to Russian President Vladimir Putin if Moscow and Kyiv agree on his exchange. Feygin noted that Sushchenko never admitted the accusations made against him.

On October 8, Sushchenko was convoyed from the Moscow detention center.

A special correspondent for the Ukrainian news agency "Ukrinform" in France, Roman Sushchenko, was arrested in Moscow on September 30, 2016 on charges of spying for Ukraine.

Source: UNIAN, Ukrinform