The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) opened a criminal case against former Verkhovna Rada deputy Irina Farion. The proceedings were opened because of Ms. Farion’s words that she cannot call the Russian-speaking military forces of Ukraine Ukrainians. In addition, the ex-deputy is charged with publishing the personal data of a student living in Crimea who adheres to a pro-Ukrainian position, the SBU reported on the Telegram channel.
The department clarified that criminal proceedings against Ms. Farion have been opened under articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine on violation of equal rights of citizens (Article 161), insult to the honor and dignity of a military personnel (Article 435-1), violation of the secrecy of correspondence (Article 163) and violation of inviolability private life (Article 182). The SBU initiated a psychological and linguistic examination of the ex-deputy’s statements.
As Strana.ua reports, in early November, Irina Farion said on Ukrainian television that she does not consider the military from the Azov regiment (recognized as terrorist and banned in the Russian Federation) who speak Russian to be Ukrainians.
Later, the ex-deputy published in her Telegram channel a screenshot of a letter from Maxim Glebov, a student of the Faculty of Philology of the Vernadsky KFU, in which he expressed support for her position on banning the Russian language. However, the student’s first and last name were not hidden in the image. The post was noticed by social activists from the organization “Crimean SMERSH” and employees of the department for countering extremism of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan. On November 13, Maxim Glebov apologized on camera.
Irina Farion was a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in 2012–2014. She has repeatedly entered into public conflicts over the use of the Russian language in Ukraine. In particular, she called for a Russian-speaking taxi driver who dropped off passengers in Kiev and refused to speak Ukrainian to be sent “for disposal” and to a “penal battalion,” and also said that her grandson “beats Russian-speaking children in kindergarten.”
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