Maidan activist suspected of espionage detained in eastern Ukraine
SLAVYANSK (Donetsk Region, Ukraine), April 22 (RAPSI) – Irma Krat, a journalist from Kiev who was earlier detained in the troubled Ukrainian region of Donetsk on suspicion of espionage, appeared at a media conference in Slavyansk on Monday.
Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, commander of the self-defense forces in Slavyansk, said they suspect the woman, who was an active participant in the Maidan protests in Kiev, of spying for the ultranationalist Right Sector movement and of involvement in the torture of pro-Russian people during the Kiev riots.
Krat, 29, claims to be a journalist who has come to the region to cover local developments. But the Donbass self-defense forces pointed out that her press card expired in December 2013.
The self-defense forces say they are not holding her forcefully. “She is a guest, and we are protecting her,” a man in a balaclava said.
At the news conference, there were no signs on the woman’s face that she had been beaten.
Irma Krat said she received meals and was otherwise “treated well.” She said she had come to Slavyansk to cover the shootout at the city entrance at 1:00 am on April 20 (22:00 GMT Saturday).
She also told the media in Slavyansk that she was disappointed with the Maidan protests and what the overthrow of the government had brought down on Ukraine.
The Kiev government is carrying out special military operations against the pro-federalists in southeastern Ukraine. Moscow believes that the Kiev decision to use force against civilians could lead to dangerous consequences.
Confrontation has been especially acute in Slavyansk, a city in the north of the Donetsk Region that is controlled by the self-defense forces. The self-defense forces said that several people were killed in the armed clash at the roadblock and that they found the attackers’ cars containing weapons, satellite maps and Right Sector business cards.
They also detained one of the suspected attackers and claim that he is a Right Sector activist.