Ukrainian disappears after mystery detention in Russian-occupied Crimea
27-year-old Oleksandr Steshenko from Kharkiv has become the latest Ukrainian to suffer the cost of visiting Crimea under Russian occupation. Steshenko first disappeared on 11 April, with the story he was still able to give his mother by phone radically different from the occupation authorities’ version. He has now disappeared again, after being held in administrative arrest, and lawyer Aider Azermatov believes that this must be viewed as an abduction.
Russia seeks secret trial of tortured Ukrainian accused of Crimea ‘sabotage plot’
‘Secret documents’ have been cited in Russian-occupied Crimea to justify holding the trial of Yevhen Panov behind closed doors. Since no secret material was ever mentioned to either Panov, or his lawyer, this may well simply be the latest attempt to conceal the lack of any substance to the charges against the Ukrainian
Defend Ukraine and face ‘terrorist’ charges in Russian-occupied Crimea
The identity remains unclear of a 24-year-old Crimean arrested on 20 March for alleged involvement in non-existent military action by a Crimean Tatar volunteer battalion. It seems likely, however, that there will be more such arrests, with Russia openly targeting Crimeans involved in defending Ukraine in Donbas, and mentioning other charges earlier used in propaganda against exiled Crimean Tatar leaders and Crimean Muslims.
“I can’t afford to show cowardice” - Ukrainian jailed for not betraying Ukraine in Russian-occupied Crimea resists pressure to end hunger strike
Almost two weeks after political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh went on hunger strike in Russian-occupied Crimea, his lawyer has only just been able to see him. She reports that he is looking thin and gaunt, and that the SIZO [remand prison] staff are putting pressure on him to end his hunger strike.
Ukrainian pensioner seized by Kremlin-backed militants in Ukraine, tortured & jailed for 12 years in Russia
61-year-old Oleksiy Sizonovych from Krasnodon in the Luhansk oblast was, as feared, brutally tortured before ending up sentenced by a Russian ‘court’ to 12 years’ imprisonment. Neither the surreal nature of the charges against him, nor the use of torture are, unfortunately anything new, however this case does stand out because of Sizonovych’s age and the fact that he was first seized by Kremlin-backed militants from the self-proclaimed ‘Luhansk people’s republic’ [LPR] before being illegally abducted to Russia where the torture took place
Kremlin-backed Donbas militants hold imprisoned journalist in ‘real concentration camp’
It is almost a year since Stanyslav [Stas] Aseyev was taken prisoner by Kremlin-backed Donbas militants. There are real concerns about his health, and there remains no sign that the Russian-controlled militants are planning to release him or around 100 other hostages.
Crimean political prisoner declares hunger strike amid unrelenting persecution for pro-Ukrainian stand
Volodymyr Balukh has declared an indefinite hunger strike in protest at the three and a half year sentence on grossly falsified charges imposed by a ‘court’ in Russian-occupied Crimea
Arrests with torture of ‘witnesses’ in Russian-occupied Crimea
A number of searches and arrests were carried out in Simferopol and Sevastopol on March 2, with at least the measures against left-wing activist Alexei Shestakovych reported to have been with the use of torture. This is not the first time that Shestakovych has faced repressive measures under Russian occupation, although he and another four or five men were allegedly targeted as ‘witnesses’ in the politically motivated prosecution of Yevpatoria activist Yevhen Karakashev.
Russia-backed Luhansk militants seize pensioner for posting pro-Ukraine leaflets
69-year-old Anastasia Mukhina (or Mushnina) was seized on 8 February in the self-proclaimed ‘Luhansk people’s republic’ [‘LPR’] seemingly for posting leaflets saying: “Rise up, Donbas. Russia has betrayed you”
Six and a half-year sentence for fictitious ‘Ukrainian sabotage plot’ in Russian-occupied Crimea
A ‘court’ in Russian-occupied Crimea has sentenced Andriy Zakhtei to six and a half years’ imprisonment after he was effectively tricked into ‘cooperating’ with the investigators
Activist who defended Crimean political prisoners arrested and facing 7-year sentence
Yevhen Karakashev, an anarchist activist from Yevpatoria who has taken part in pickets calling for the release of Oleksandr Kolchenko, Oleg Sentsov and other political prisoners, has himself been remanded in custody, after almost certainly being brutally beaten by the police.
Tortured Ukrainian spoils Russia’s most absurd ‘Crimea Saboteur’ case by refusing to ‘cooperate’
A Russian-controlled ‘court’ has again extended the detention of Yevhen Panov, the 40-year-old Ukrainian who is single-handedly obstructing the Russian FSB’s first ‘Crimean sabotage plot’ He is currently being offered better conditions and a shorter ‘sentence’ if he agrees to take on Russian citizenship. He rejects them all and is adamant that he a citizen only of Ukraine.
Arrested in occupied Crimea to prove ‘threat from Ukraine’ on eve of illegal elections?
Russia’s FSB [Security Service] has reported the arrest of another Ukrainian for alleged ‘spying’, with the only deviation of the FSB’s pattern being the claim that the ‘secret information’ supposedly passed to Ukraine’s Security Service was about the FSB itself.
Independent probe into arrest & death of 83-year-old Crimean Tatar veteran amid persecution of men who were helping her
When a case that began with the arrest and death of an 83-year-old veteran of the Crimean Tatar national movement seems to have hit rock bottom, Russia’s FSB proves it can sink even lower.
Another chilling abduction by Kremlin-backed Luhansk militants
News has emerged of another woman abducted in the self-proclaimed ‘Luhansk people’s republic’ [‘LPR’] , and probably now held by its sinister ‘ministry of state security’. The information cannot be verified, but the official denials have been heard too many times before to have any credibility, whereas those reporting such enforced disappearances are taking a risk in doing so.
Crimean Tatar activist jailed after new armed searches ‘for a video posted in 2012’
27-year-old Crimean Tatar activist Girai Kulametov was sentenced to ten days’ imprisonment on January 18 after he and his family were subjected to an early morning armed search. The pretext for this latest act of intimidation against a young man who was involved in the single-person pickets on October 14 proved to be a video posted on a social media page two years before Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea.
73 Ukrainian hostages welcomed home – over 160 still held in Donbas, Crimea & Russia
63-year-old Ihor Kozlovskyy and many other hostages whose insane ‘trials’ have been reported here are free at last, and returning to their families. The joy and relief that this first exchange of prisoners in 15 months was really taking place was tinged with sadness for all those who remain imprisoned – at least 103 in the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics’ [DPR, LPR] and over 60 held in Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea.
No end to waiting for the families of 2 Ukrainian soldiers captured in Putin’s Minsk II Debaltseve Deceit
Among the prisoners not released on Wednesday were two spetsnaz officers captured during the siege of Debaltseve by Russian soldiers and pro-Russian fighters. Serhiy Glondar and Oleksandr Korinkov will soon have been imprisoned for two years, and seem to be viewed as ’trophy hostages’ for hard negotiating
Chilling details of how Russia-backed Donbas ‘republic’ instills terror
The Kremlin-backed ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ [DPR] has finally admitted to holding a Donetsk doctor and her husband prisoner almost two months after their disappearance led to a major search campaign. Now those who took part in looking for the couple are feeling terrified that they too could be seized and face 12-20-year ‘sentences’ on surreal spying charges.
17 years for pro-Ukraine photo & burning the flag of an unrecognized Russian-backed ‘republic’
Vlad [Vladyslav] Ovcharenko spent his 21st birthday on November 24 in a Luhansk SIZO [remand prison]. He had only recently been allowed a brief visit from his parents for the first time since he was ‘arrested’ over 13 months ago for a flash-mob with the Ukrainian flag and for burning the flag of the self-proclaimed ‘Luhansk people’s republic’ [LPR]. This the Russian-backed LPR ‘ministry of state security’ termed ‘spying’, sentencing the young man to 17 years’ imprisonment. His friend and fellow football fan Artem Akhmerov got 13 years.