Popular Ukrainian journalist Anatoly Shariy briefly arrested in Spain

Ukrainian journalist Anatoly Shariy has been arrested in his home in Spain yesterday. An international arrest warrant had been issued by the Ukranian Security Services or SBU. One would look for this news in Western mainstream media in vain though.

After the arrest, Mr Shariy was taken to the National Court, Spain’s top criminal court, in Madrid.He has already been released. His extradition case in Spain continues.

Anatoly Shariy is been living in Spain since 2016. Mr Shariy‘s passport has been withheld and he has temporarily been prohibited from leaving Spain. He is meant to appear before his nearest court every two weeks.

Ukrainian authorities have accused Mr Shariy of high treason and hate speech. Anatoly Shariy has been one of the most popular faces of Ukrainian journalism since 2014.

Mr Shariy‘s widely popular YouTube has been accused of being pro-Russia by his Ukrainian critics. Some have even accused him of “supporting Putin‘s aggression”, a patently false accusation. None of the things Mr Shariy have written or said since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February could be used to prove that.

Mr Shariy‘s political party, which had been operating in Ukraine since 2018, has been banned in Ukraine after the Russian invasion, like all Ukrainian opposition parties, which have been regarded as pro-Russian by the Ukrainian authorities.

Over the past two months the general narration has been that Ukraine was and is a free and democratic state and that it was attacked by Russia exactly because it wanted to be free and democratic.

Meanwhile, a number of Ukrainian media had been closed already one year before the invasion, accused of spreading Russian propaganda, a claim that could hardly be proved. In Ukraine, the term “Russian propaganda” has been used to dismiss and defame anything that slightly criticise the radical anti-Russian and nationalistic course that Ukraine decisively took after the 2014 so called “Revolution of Dignity”.

Some poorly researched mainstream reports have erroneously called Mr Shariy a “Russian” blogger, even alleging that Putin was furious because of his arrest and linking him to Russian disinformation.

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