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Constantin von Hoffmeister discusses the sinister arrest of journalist Gonzalo Lira, as announced by an American trans spokesman for the Ukrainian government.

In a bizarre video, an American trans spokesman for the Ukrainian government, Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, announced the capture of essayist and vlogger Gonzalo Lira by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) today:

The recent ordeal of Chilean-American blogger Gonzalo Lira serves as a frightening testament to the dangers faced by those who dare to voice dissenting opinions. In May, the SBU took Lira into custody, alleging pro-Russian sentiments. Lira’s return online this Monday and his subsequent revelations underscore the escalating threats to freedom of expression in different parts of the world.

Lira highlighted his arrest on May 1, ostensibly due to his YouTube videos and specifically for “making videos critical of the West and their proxy regime in Kiev” and shedding light on “how they are destroying Ukraine.”

Regarding his charges, he stated, “My indictment explicitly states that all I did was discuss publicly known facts about the war – the epitome of free speech in a democracy.” He further commented on the political climate, asserting, “But Zelensky’s Ukraine is no democracy – it is a thieving, corrupt, murderous gangster regime PRETENDING to be a polite ‘western’ democracy.”

Lira detailed in his online communication that, while detained, he faced abhorrent treatment by fellow inmates in two out of the four cells he was confined to. Alarmingly, it was implied that such torture within SIZO prison was not just tacitly permitted but effectively outsourced to the inmates.

He recounted several horrifying episodes, such as sustaining a broken rib — a physical scar among many. A particularly harrowing experience in another cell saw inmates inflicting psychological terror, threatening his ability to see by scratching at the white of his left eye, thus invoking fear of losing his vision.

Highlighting the systemic issues further, it came to light that one of those inflicting harm on Lira faced reprimand, not for the act of violence itself, but for leaving visible evidence of the brutality – a testament to the calculated nature of these egregious actions.

Lira, utilizing the very platforms for which he was targeted, showcased documents indicating his detention’s purported reasons. Seemingly, his detention was rooted in his online presence, particularly a video titled Ukraine: An Introduction. In it, Lira objectively discussed the ongoing conflict with Russia, but the mere act of suggesting Kiev might have played a provocative role seems to have stirred the hornet’s nest.

Disturbingly, Lira’s treatment appeared to be an attempt by the SBU to extort him for around $100,000 when considering the confiscated devices (computers, cell phone, etc.).

In the shadow of an impending trial where a verdict and a year-long imprisonment in a labor camp seemed predetermined, Lira chose the path of escape, seeking the sanctuary of Hungary. As he approached the final barrier to what he hoped would be freedom, he shared his plight, signaling that silence might indicate his re-capture.

“Right now, I’m about to try to get out of Ukraine, and seek political asylum in Hungary,” Lira tweeted. “Either I’ll cross the border and make it to safety, or I’ll be disappeared by the Kiev regime.”

While Lira expressed gratitude towards the Chilean embassy for their intervention, the response of the US embassy was less than satisfactory. Sparse communication and seeming inaction, coupled with suspicions of potential extradition back to Ukraine, paint a disheartening picture.

As Lira himself tweeted, “And the US State Department would return me too. I’m not a black lesbian druggie, or a transgender grifter. Besides, Victoria Nuland hates my guts, or so I’m told. I’m hoping the Hungarians will read my indictment and say, ‘This is bullshit—we’re not sending him back.’”

To cap the saga, Lira’s initial detention in April 2022 by the SBU, and his subsequent release after a week seemingly due to public pressure, stands as a stark reminder: the struggle for free speech is an ongoing battle, and the world must remain vigilant.

You can access the complete Twitter thread in which Lira narrates his ordeal here.


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Constantin von Hoffmeister

Constantin von Hoffmeister studied English Literature and Political Science in New Orleans. He has worked as an author, journalist, translator, editor and business trainer in India, Uzbekistan and Russia. You can subscribe to his newsletter here:

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Robert Theemes - Golding
Robert Theemes - Golding
6 months ago

Thank you for getting this out there. Quick correction: it wasn’t his life’s savings, the extortion figure was $70K (approx. 50% of the $143K he had in a paypal account) which is all he had potential access to. Lira is a rich man.

Alexander Wolfheze
6 months ago

There are very rare now, but they still exist: ‘journalists’. For those born post-1984 and wonder about this word: it refers to a profession that became inverted under the New Speak regime and is now more commonly known as ‘whorenalist’. Without boring the reader with more convoluted etymologies (just mentioning Luegenpresse as historical antecedent), it is important to protect this highly endangered ‘journalist’ species because the remaining specimens are highly priced on the menu-card of the highly carnivorous ‘Chez Zelensky’ restaurant (there served with a little adrenochrome spice). Thanks to von Hoffmeister for an ad hoc red alert on the case of Gonzalo Lira, who endeavoured to be neutral but is about to be devoured nevertheless. Failing the Hungarian armed forces retracing there steps to the rescue in the general direction of the Don, all the alarms must be sounded.

Last edited 6 months ago by Alexander Wolfheze
6 months ago

I am cautious about the whole GL story. Back in May he was (allegedly) arrested by Ukrainian SBU and we did not hear from GL until Monday. His arrest was “documented” by a video clip. WHO VIDEO-RECORDED HIS ARREST? Why would the arresting cops/soldiers allowed video recording of GL’s arrest? The Ukrainians never confirmed nor denied his arrest.

Fast forward to last Monday. GL shows up on-line announcing to the whole world he’s about to do something illegal by attempting to cross the Ukrainian-Hungarian border. First off, since it is illegal, one does not advertise his actions on-line for everyone to see, including Ukrainian SBU. Crossing that border entails facing the Ukrainian border control, passing it first and then facing the Hungarian border control. It is not like in America, you cross the border and you face only one border control either Canadian or Mexican. Since, according to GL, he was already a fugitive, how did he expect to pass by the Ukrainian border control? Impossible! Unless he decided to cross the border outside the so called legal border crossings.

Hungary has its own issues connected to the current Russian-Ukrainian conflict. If GL crossed that border and received asylum in Hungary, that would increase tensions between Ukraine and Hungary. I don’t think GL is important enough that Hungary would risk more tensions with Ukraine.

6 months ago
Reply to  Carmine

I think Lira is for real as I’ve been following his videos. I wondered about him doing putting out the videos. I think he put out the videos of his story to put pressure on the U.S government ( as he is an American citizen) to take steps to help him. He commited no crime. The Zelensky regime is criminal and anti- free speech among other illegalities that they commit.

6 months ago
Reply to  John

Well so what happened? Did he make it to Hungary?
Hopefully he’s back in jail where he belongs.
The guy is a grade A douchebag.

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