A Ukrainian journalist and blogger, Anatoly Anatoliyevich Shariy, was arrested in Spain at the behest of the Ukrainian government and faces charges of treason.
Shariy, who has almost 3 million YouTube subscribers, is a prominent critic of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and has spoken out against Russia’s invasion of the country.
Despite his position on the conflict, Shariy, who has been referred to as “pro-Russian” by the Ukrainian media, was arrested on an international arrest warrant in a joint operation by Spanish and Ukrainian police. According to the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), other international “partners” facilitated his arrest.
The YouTuber faces extradition to Ukraine from Spain, and is accused of acting on behalf of “foreign” forces by endangering Ukraine’s national security for his criticism of Zelensky and commentary on the war. He is accused of the “incitement of hatred.”
As reported by Summit News, Shariy’s arrest “is more proof that every traitor of Ukraine will sooner or later receive his well-deserved punishment. It is inevitable,” the SBU stated.
Shariy was granted asylum in the European Union by Lithuania in 2012 after fleeing prosecution by the government of Ukraine’s pro-Russian leader Viktor Yanukovich, who was later deposed during the Maidan coup in 2014. Shariy remained a constant thorn in the side of Ukrainian politics and criticized its new leadership, including Yanokovich’s successor Petro Poroshenko, and Zelensky.
According to Summit News, Spanish police seized the blogger's passport and released him from custody, where he now remains in Barcelona under a travel ban pending a decision to extradite him to Ukraine.
The Ukrainian announcement was confirmed by Russian state media, who were informed by the Spanish police that Shariy was detained in the coastal city of Tarragona on May 4.
Zelensky’s representative at the Constitutional Court voiced confidence that the Ukrainian critic will “face a Ukrainian court and will be held liable in line with Ukrainian laws.” He is described as a “sh*t-stirring blogger”
Shariy’s arrest follows a Reuters report in April, which showed journalists accompanying members of the Ukrainian SBU kidnapping and arresting dissidents from their homes for speaking out against the Ukrainian regime.