Senator J.D. Vance’s Unfounded Accusation: Ukraine’s Involvement in American Journalist’s Execution

Opinion custom – screenshots: Fox Business and EU debates YouTube videos Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) accused Ukraine of executing American citizen Gonzalo Lira, a Chilean-American journalist and blogger, while he was in custody in a Ukrainian prison. Lira was arrested in Ukraine in May of 2023 for allegedly spreading pro-Russian propaganda during the ongoing conflict. He was charged under Article 436-2 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code, which deals with wartime propaganda. Lira was released on bail but was later re-arrested in 2023 while attempting to flee the country. Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson posted that Lira’s father had informed him that his son had died while in prison. Several public figures, including Carlson, Vance, and X CEO Elon Musk, have called on the United States government to do something about the imprisonment of Gonzalo Lira in Ukraine. Critics have accused the Joe Biden administration of not doing enough to intervene in Lira’s case. Lira’s father argued that the “conspicuous lack of response” from the Biden administration demonstrated a level of complicity on their part to allow Ukraine to continue to detain an American citizen. Vance took to X to share his thoughts that an American should never die in the prison of a country that contends to be an ally while happily taking taxpayer dollars. Senator Vance has previously blasted the imprisonment of Gonzalo Lira as a “disgrace” and openly wondered, “Why is the Biden admin opening up the checkbook without any accountability?” Lira’s father claims that his son was tortured in prison for criticizing Zelensky. X’s fact-checking feature Community Notes, however, disputes that assertion, saying that he “has not been tortured, neither is he in prison for the crime of criticizing Zelensky.” The United States Department of State did confirm Lira’s death, but further details on the circumstances on what happened are not yet available.