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5 Jun, 2024 19:34

Kiev regime tortured US journalist to death – Putin

The Russian president has chided Washington for ignoring the incarceration and killing of American blogger Gonzalo Lira
Kiev regime tortured US journalist to death – Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called out the US government for neglecting to even ask questions after an American journalist was tortured to death in a Ukrainian jail earlier this year.

Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday in St Petersburg, Putin was asked whether Russian officials would help facilitate an investigation of a French journalist who was reportedly killed last month in a missile strike west of Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine). He offered to help enable the probe, but he also contrasted the response to the Frenchman’s death to how the administration of US President Joe Biden reacted when American blogger Gonzalo Lira died in Ukraine earlier this year.

“They tortured an American journalist to death in a Ukrainian prison, and the US is not even asking what happened to him,” Putin said. “No one went to the trouble of asking what actually happened.”

Lira, a dual US-Chilean citizen who moved to Ukraine in 2010, died in the Kiev regime’s custody in January, reportedly after suffering from pneumonia and a collapsed lung. He had been jailed since May 2023 on accusations that he justified Moscow’s military operation against Ukraine.

The US State Department confirmed Lira’s death, but it declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding his incarceration. The journalist’s father, Gonzalo Lira Sr, said his son was tortured by Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky’s government, and US officials “did nothing” to help him. He added that the journalist may have sealed his fate when he criticized not only Zelensky’s government, but also Biden and US Vice President Kamala Harris.

Putin also noted that at least 30 Russian journalists had been killed in the combat zone since the conflict with Ukraine began in February 2022. “No one is giving us the opportunity to investigate and to learn what happened to them.”

Arman Soldin, who worked for Agence France-Presse as a video coordinator, was reportedly killed on May 7 amid heavy fighting near Chasiv Yar. The White House, which remained silent on Lira’s death, honored the 32-year-old Soldin by saying that the world was “indebted” to journalists who perished while exposing “the horrors of Russia’s invasion.”