Government Had Secret Police Take Down Popular Blogger

( At Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) request, the country’s FBI and Spanish police apprehended prominent blogger Anatoly Shariy last Wednesday for “committing treason.”

Shariy was briefly detained and released, but he had to forfeit his passport and appear in court twice a month. He can’t leave the country until a Ukrainian extradition hearing.

In addition to “treason,” the SBU charges Shariy with “illegal information-related operations” SBU believes Shariy acted for foreign organizations.

Ukrainian and Spanish police reportedly coordinated Shariy’s arrest. The involvement of a NATO member means Shariy’s extradition case will result in his forced return to Ukraine and swift incarceration.

The arrest, which took place outside of Ukraine, escalates the government’s targeting of political opponents.

Right-wing thugs have protested and harassed Shariy since the war began. Shariy’s address and personal details have been published on Ukraine’s Myrotvorets (Peacemaker) internet database of “state enemies,” indicating that the SBU led the effort against him.

The SBU has links to the far-right and sets itself in the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) lineage, which cooperated with the Nazis in World War II and massacred tens of thousands of Jews and Poles.
Shariy said just before his detention that he thought the SBU was trying to kill him after receiving a faked email from a friend asking about Shariy’s daily movements.

Fascists in Ukraine hailed Shariy’s arrest online. Serhii Sternenko, head of the Nazi Right Sector and significant social media personality, gloated over Shariy’s incarceration overseas.

He said that Shariy had been arrested; now, all other players in the information war would be arrested. A photograph of Ukrainian nationalist hero and WWII Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera was deliberately placed in the background of Sternenko’s video blogging.

Shariy fled Ukraine for Lithuania in 2012 after being charged with investigating government corruption under pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych. After the US-backed coup in February 2014, he became a target of the Ukrainian far-right. Shariy immediately garnered popularity among Ukrainians wary about the war and the apparently “democratic” pro-NATO administration.

While Shariy has shown signs of political disorientation, including homophobic and chauvinistic statements, he has produced critical investigations on corruption, antisemitism, and far-right violent Ukrainian nationalism.

Notably, Shariy revealed that the murders of anti-corruption activist Kateryna Handziuk in 2018 were members of the Right Sector unit, one of them brazenly displayed neo-Nazi tattoos.

All of the assassins received modest sentences of 3-6 years.

After the full-scale war with Russia began in February, Kyiv despicably freed Handziuk’s murderer, Sergey Torbin, and let him choose other far-right convicts with military expertise to join the NATO-provoked war against Russia.

Such disclosures made Shariy famous on social media and a target of the Poroshenko regime, whose own political popularity plummeted to approximately 20% owing to corruption, poverty, and the never-ending civil conflict in Donbas, which had killed over 13,000 Ukrainians at the time.

Shariy created his own “center-right libertarian” political party in June 2019, favoring a negotiated settlement to halt the current civil war between Kyiv and pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine.