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Fake American blogger Gonzalo Lira was allegedly arrested “for criticizing Zelenskyi” and is being “tortured” in a Ukrainian pre-trial detention center

Propagandists are spreading information on social networks and media about blogger Gonzalo Lira, who is allegedly illegally detained in a Ukrainian pre-trial detention center. They say that Lira was detained because of “criticism of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi”. However, this is fake.

The specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that this information was first published on his X page by American presenter Tucker Carlson, who is a supporter of Donald Trump and criticizes any assistance to Ukraine. Detector Media has already written about dangerous narratives in his author’s program. After Carlson’s statements, American billionaire and head of X (Twitter) Elon Musk demanded an explanation from the Ukrainian side in connection with the arrest of an “American citizen” on Ukrainian territory. Musk also accused Ukraine of torturing Gonzalo Lira.

There is no evidence that Gonzalo Lira was subjected to torture. In addition, in Ukraine there is no criminal liability for criticizing the president. The American blogger was arrested on May 1, 2023 in Kharkiv for violating Article 436-2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (justifying Russian aggression against Ukraine). In a commentary for the Ukrainian publication NV.ua, representatives of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) stated that the actions of Ukrainian law enforcement officers to arrest the pro-Russian blogger Gonzalo Lira occurred exclusively in accordance with the law. In particular, Gonzalo Lira argued that Ukraine seems to be shelling its own territory, and that the country is led by a neo-Nazi regime.

The SBU documented Lira's activities and handed the blogger a suspicion. In May 2023, the court chose a measure of restraint for him in the form of detention with the possibility of bail. He was initially released under house arrest after posting bail, but in July Lira was arrested again while trying to cross the border into Hungary on a motorcycle. Lira is in a pre-trial detention center in Kharkiv. Court hearings in his case are scheduled for December 12 and 21, 2023.

It should also be noted that Gonzalo Lira denied the facts of the massacre of civilians in Bucha and other Ukrainian cities, disclosed the location of Western journalists and Ukrainian military personnel, and also disseminated their personal information. In addition, Lira defended Putin's motives, arguing that the Russians allegedly take special care to avoid destroying civilian infrastructure or harming civilians. On his social media accounts, the blogger spread a number of previously debunked conspiracy theories, including Russia's claim that there are American laboratories in Ukraine for the production of biological weapons. The Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications, in its article “What’s wrong with the pro-Russian blogger Gonzalo Lira, for whom Carlson and Musk stood up”, spoke in detail about Gonzalo Lira’s months-long anti-Ukrainian activities. Detector Media previously wrote about other ways Russia uses the opinion of foreigners in the media field.

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