Outspoken American Journalist Dies in Ukrainian Custody

By John Friend

One of the most eloquent critics of the Volodymyr Zelensky regime and the Western proxy war against Russia has died while in custody of Ukrainian authorities, his father and independent news outlets revealed.

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U.S. citizen Gonzalo Lira, a 55-year-old former Hollywood filmmaker, author, and popular YouTuber and political commentator, had long been a target of the Zelensky regime. Born in Burbank, Calif. to parents of Chilean descent, Lira moved to Ukraine in 2010 and married a local woman. He resided in Kharkov, one of the most populous cities in eastern Ukraine near the border with Russia, and quickly became one of the harshest critics of the Zelensky regime and the West’s provocation of the conflict with Russia.

Lira, who once maintained a popular YouTube channel called “Coach­RedPill” which offered lifestyle advice to men and other social and cultural commentaries, built a massive audience almost as soon as the Russians launched the special military operation against Ukraine in late February 2022.

Widely regarded as one of the most knowledgeable and erudite commentators on the conflict, Lira exposed the Western-promoted narratives about “Ukrainian democracy,” pointing out the Zelensky regime systematically targeted any political opposition in the country, shut down independent media outlets, and ruthlessly suppressed pro-Russian sentiment throughout the country.

Lira’s mysterious disappearance from social media and YouTube in April 2022, shortly after the conflict began, sparked much speculation about his whereabouts. It was later revealed he had been detained by Ukraine’s Security Service known as the SBU, who later released him after seizing his social media accounts.

Lira was again arrested in May 2023, but was again released after posting bail. He claimed to have been subjected to extortion, torture, and physical abuse and attempted to flee the country. He was arrested again in July after trying to escape Ukraine via Hungary on his motorcycle and had been in custody ever since.

Lira had been under investigation and in the crosshairs of the Zelensky regime for his criticism of the conflict as well as his outspoken critiques of rampant corruption in Kiev. According to Lira’s father, he received a hand-written note from his son in early January detailing the very serious health conditions he was facing.

“I have had double pneumonia (both lungs) as well as pneumothorax and a very severe case of edema (swelling of the body),” Lira revealed in the note. “All this started in mid-
October but was ignored by the prison. They only admitted I had pneumonia at a Dec. 22 hearing. I am about to have a procedure to reduce the edema pressure in my lungs, which is causing me extreme shortness of breath, to the point of passing out after minimal activity, or even just talking for two minutes.”

Lira succumbed to lack of treatment for his illnesses on the evening of Jan. 11, according to his father.  U.S. authorities did virtually nothing to come to the aid and assistance of this U.S. citizen.

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“I cannot accept the way my son has died,” Lira’s father said following his son’s death. “He was tortured, extorted, [held] incommunicado for eight months and 11 days and the U.S. Embassy did nothing to help my son. The responsibility of this tragedy is the dictator Zelensky with the concurrence of a senile American president, Joe Biden.”

Independent journalist Kim Iverson, who was in communication with Lira’s father, argued that the Biden administration “allowed an American You-Tuber to be arrested by Ukraine and neglected to the point of death for criticizing the war.”

“That was his only crime,” Iverson concluded. “He did what many of us do and paid the ultimate price.”