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Former MP Farion criticizes law enforcement over Russian language use

Iryna Farion
Iryna Farion

Linguist and former Ukrainian MP Iryna Farion has criticized the conduct of State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) operatives during the arrest of Roman Hrynkevych, the son of Lviv businessman Ihor Hrynkevych, on Jan. 22.

In a video released by the SBI, an officer addresses Hrynkevych in Russian.

"Why the hell is the person who is detaining Hrynkevych speaking the enemy language?" Farion wrote in a Telegram post.

“Was he detained by [the Russians]? Or does the law not apply to the police?”

State Language Protection Commissioner Taras Kremin also reacted to the incident. In a comment to news outlet Hromadske, he said that he was awaiting a response from the SBI.

"We are collecting additional materials, and in the meantime, we hope for an official comment from the Bureau," he said.

Read also: Roman Hrynkevych arrested while attempting to illegally cross the border

“I think they should also explain this—as a matter of priority.”

The commissioner’s website states that, according to current legislation, law enforcement officials must use Ukrainian when carrying out official duties.

Farion was previously involved in a scandal when she said she couldn’t describe AFU troops who speak Russian as Ukrainian soldiers. These comments provoked a wave of criticism from the public and the military. On Nov. 15, 2023, Farion was dismissed from her position as a professor at Lviv Polytechnic National University.

Read also: Video of Roman Hrynkevych arrest in Odesa for trying to flee capture was released by SBI

The SBI reported that Roman Hrynkevych was detained in Odesa during an attempt to illegally cross the border.

Hrynkevych Jr. was put on the wanted list on Jan. 18, suspected of involvement in the supply of low-quality goods to the Ukrainian military. His father, Ihor Hrynkevych, was detained in December 2023 and later charged with corruption in supplying the Defense Ministry with substandard clothing and uniforms. Roman Hrynkevych is the registered owner of one of the companies involved in the case.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine