Anatoly Shariy, a popular Ukrainian journalist and YouTuber who is wanted by Ukrainian authorities for treason, was detained on Wednesday in the Spanish city of Tarragona.
He was provisionally released on Thursday, as the judge decides on his extradition to Ukraine, according to local daily El Publico.
Shariy has been an outspoken critic of the post-Maidan (wave of protests starting in 2013) Ukraine government, but has denied allegations that he is pro-Russian.
In February, Ukrainian authorities officially accused Shariy of treason and inciting ethnic hatred for “carrying out illegal activities that undermine the national security of Ukraine in the information sphere.”
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) says it has investigated Shariy and believes he is working on behalf of foreign entities.
In 2012, Shariy received EU asylum in Lithuania, asserting that he was being prosecuted for his journalism. In 2021, however, Lithuania revoked his political asylum and declared him a persona non-grata.
He has been living in Spain since 2019, according to Spanish media.
“This detention is more evidence that every traitor of Ukraine will sooner or later receive their deserved punishment,” said an SBU statement.
On May 3, the day before his arrest, Shariy tweeted: “The adviser to the Minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine decided to threaten me today. He told me that Ukrainian intelligence would find me in Europe and... Thief, corrupt official and idiot. My only crime is that I have exposed you thieves too little.”
Shariy hosts a popular YouTube channel with nearly 3 million subscribers.