Breitbart: State Dept. Admits American Citizen Journalist Jailed in Ukraine

Nick Kangadis | September 20, 2023
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What if there were no “good guy” in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia? You have to at least entertain the possibility that Ukraine, who is the establishment media darling of the world, isn’t the spotless bastion of democracy that establishment politicians and the media they own purport it to be. So suspend your disbelief if you “Slava Ukrainy,” especially considering this story.

On Tuesday, the State Department acknowledged that they “are aware” of the Ukrainian incarceration of American citizen journalist Gonzalo Lira, according to Breitbart.

“We are aware of the detention of Mr. Lira in Ukraine. We take our role in assisting U.S. citizens abroad seriously and are providing all appropriate assistance,” the State Department told the outlet in a statement. “We are monitoring the situation but have no further comment at this time. We reiterate our message that U.S. citizens should not travel to Ukraine due to the active armed conflict.”

So basically, ‘Sorry, dude. We told you not to go. You’re on your own.’

Breitbart reported the following about Lira’s situation:

Lira, a dual citizen of the United States and Chile who was living in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv at the time of the Russian invasion, is reportedly facing between five to eight years in prison under Ukraine’s wartime propaganda laws.

The American citizen journalist was initially arrested in May of this year on suspicion of producing pro-Russian propaganda on his YouTube channel, where he questioned the narratives around the war presented in the legacy media and from the Zelensky government, including suggesting that Moscow was provoked into invading by the Ukrainian government and the expansion east of the American-led NATO military alliance.

Related: NYT Admits Ukrainian Corruption has 'Emerged as a Rare Area of Criticism' in Zelensky Era

Essentially, Lira wasn’t reporting the pre-approved narratives that the powers that be allow in Ukraine, so they jailed him for reporting what he believes to be true about the conflict.

He apparently attempted to cross the Ukrainian border into Hungary in order to seek asylum, but noted that if no one hears from him “after his attempt to cross the border, it would mean that he had been arrested again by the Ukrainian authorities.”

Now, some might say that Lira shouldn’t have expected the same free speech and journalistic leeway that the U.S. Constitution affords him, particularly because — whether they were “pro-Russian” or not — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did shut down opposition media in Ukraine.

But, this isn’t about “picking sides” between Ukraine and Russia. This is about right and wrong. And whether Lira painted a rosy picture of Zelensky or Ukraine, he’s still been jailed for reporting what he allegedly believes based on what he’s seen.


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