Vladivostok (Russia) – The government in Kyiv is an illegitimate regime that came to power after a coup in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said today at an economic forum in Vladivostok. According to Russian agencies, he also rejected accusations that Russia was violating international law.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, but calls the large-scale invasion a special military operation. The West responded by imposing numerous anti-Russian sanctions.
Putin refused to assess whether the amount of punishment for journalist Safronov is fair
Russian President Vladimir Putin today refused to assess whether the amount of the fine for journalist Ivan Safronov is fair. The head of the Kremlin said that he did not know enough details about the case to comment. On Monday, a court in Moscow sent Safronov, who was indicted for alleged cooperation with Czech intelligence, to 22 years in a high-security prison for treason. The Interfax agency reported on Putin’s speech at the economic forum in Vladivostok.
Safronov has denied any guilt from the beginning, he appealed the verdict. He emphasizes that although he was also an adviser to the Russian space agency Roskosmos, he was only engaged in journalism and did not have access to state secrets. The court also fined him 500,000 rubles (about 204,000 crowns). Human rights organizations described the amount of the sentence as “unprecedented”.
“I don’t know if it’s fair in terms of the punishment he received for what he did. If it seems that the punishment is disproportionate and too severe, the prosecutor can always object, and the lawyers of the convicted person can always present the relevant documents to a higher court, Putin said today according to Interfax.
Safronov’s high sentence – higher than Russian courts usually hand down for murder – is seen as a blow to Russian media amid the Kremlin’s intensified crackdown on free speech since the February invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported.
Safronov was arrested in July 2020 by the Russian FSB secret service and charged with treason. The Secret Service claims that the journalist was recruited by Czech intelligence in 2012. According to the FSB, Safronov passed on secret information about the supply of Russian weapons to post-Soviet states, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans, and this information could be used by NATO states against Russia’s security.
According to Putin, Truss’s victory is far from democratic
The way Britain chooses its leaders is far from democratic. At the economic forum in Vladivostok today, according to Reuters, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted this in connection with the election of Liz Truss to the head of the Conservative Party and her subsequent ascension to the head of the British government on Tuesday.
The current foreign minister replaced Boris Johnson as the head of the government, who was among the most prominent supporters of Ukraine facing Russian military aggression in February. Moscow has already indicated that it does not expect an improvement in British-Russian relations from the new head of government and resents Truss’ alleged anti-Russian attitudes.
The new Prime Minister emerged from an internal vote of the Conservatives, who preferred her to the second finalist, ex-finance minister Rishi Sunak.
In his first public comments today on the appointment of the new British Prime Minister, Putin pointed to the fact that she was chosen by the votes of members of the Conservative Party, not the entire country. “The people of Great Britain are not participating in the change of government in this case. The ruling elites have their agreements,” said the long-time head of the Kremlin.
“We know the position of the Tories (conservatives) on these issues, including relations with Russia. It is their business how they want to build relations with the Russian Federation,” Putin answered today when asked about the perspective of relations with Britain.
“Our business is to defend our interests and we will do that consistently, let no one doubt that,” the Russian president emphasized, according to Reuters.
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