Ukrainian intelligence is investigating Iryna Farion, a former member of the right-wing Svoboda party, who, by publicly posting a screenshot of a freshman college student’s private e-mail exposed his pro-Ukrainian views to Russian occupation officials in Crimea.
The first-year university student, Maxim Hlebov, who studied philology in occupied Sevastopol, sent an email to Farion, who’s a Ukrainian-language philologist, where he expressed his pro-Ukrainian views.
Farion then posted an image of the student’s e-mail with his private information to her Telegram page.
Dmytro Lubinets the Commissioner for Human Rights in Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, said that since Farion outed the student, the Russian Interior Ministry’s “Center for Combating Extremism” has been “dealing with” the young man.
“Therefore, in connection with the fact of disclosure of confidential information, I appealed to the Security Service of Ukraine for a proper response! I want the actions of the Ukrainian citizen to be properly analyzed and given a legal assessment,” Lubinets wrote on Telegram Tuesday.
And on Wednesday, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) posted that it was investigating Farion’s statements for:
▪️ Violation of equality of citizens based on their race, nationality, region, religious beliefs, disability and other grounds
▪️ Insulting the honor and dignity of a serviceman, threats to a serviceman
▪️ Violation of the secrecy of correspondence, telephone conversations, telegraphic or other correspondence transmitted by means of communication or via computer
▪️ Violation of privacy
Meanwhile, before Farion revealed the freshman student’s pro-Ukrainian position to Russian-occupation authorities, she’d already been accused of being a Russian agent both by world-champion Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk and by Maxim Zhorin, the former commander of Ukraine’s largely Russian-speaking Azov Brigade.
In an interview on Nov. 5, Farion, who lectures on the Ukrainian language at Lviv Polytechnic University, accused the military, particularly soldiers from its mostly Russian-speaking Azov Brigade – which defended the city of Mariupol and the Azovstal steelworks against relentless Russian attacks – of being unpatriotic, due to their use of the Russian language.
“I cannot call them Ukrainians. If they don't speak Ukrainian, let them call themselves ‘Russians.’ Why are they so crazy? If they are such great patriots, show your patriotism,” Farion said.
Usyk, who is also a Russian-speaking Ukrainian, composed a poem about Farion, describing her as a Russian agent.
And the brigade’s former commander also reacted sharply.
“No one gave you the right to open your mouth towards Azov, the Third Assault or any other unit of the Ukrainian army. So just go f**k yourself!” Zhorin wrote on Telegram.
Zhorin publicly called on Ukrainian police to investigate Farion, saying that she, “splits Ukrainian society according to FSB (Russia’s successor to the KGB) methods.”
In response to Zhorin, Farion wrote a letter to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zaluzhny, and Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, asking that measures be taken against Azov’s former commander, who she said “defamed the honor of a Ukrainian officer.”
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