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.
Russian-backed Donbas militants are keeping 5 teenagers imprisoned on ‘sabotage’ charges
Five teenagers, as young as 15 when seized, have been held in captivity in the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ [DPR] for well over a year. Both the DPR militants and Russia made propaganda uses out of forced ‘confessions’ from the young lads immediately after their seizure, but appear to be simply holding them imprisoned
Ukrainian judge blocks pension for severely disabled son of religious scholar held hostage in Donbas
Almost two years after renowned academic Ihor Kozlovskyy was seized by militants from the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk people’s republic’, a judge in Kyiv has demanded that he be summoned to court before agreeing to reinstate his paralyzed son Slava’s pension. The fact that his family is seeking to make Slava’s mother a second guardian because his father is in captivity was “of no interest” to judge Lyudmila Kizyun..
Ukrainian political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh released under ‘insane’ house arrest
After being jailed in Russian-occupied Crimea for almost a year on flagrantly falsified charges, Ukrainian activist and farmer Volodymyr Balukh has been placed under house arrest. While Balukh’s elderly mother is, of course, overjoyed, Balukh himself called the ruling ‘insane’, since it prohibits him from leaving the house (or using the Internet). “Can you imagine it? My mother will be spreading manure, looking after the farm, while I sit at home.
Russia jails four respected Crimean Tatars and spreads lies about ‘machine guns & drugs’ to discredit the Mejlis
Any doubt that the FSB arrests in Russian-occupied Crimea on November 23 which caused the death of Vedzhie Kashka, 83-year-old veteran of the Crimean Tatar national movement, were a special operation aimed at discrediting Crimean Tatars and theMejlis have been dispelled. Russian and Kremlin-loyal Crimean media have come out with lies about supposed “ammunition, drugs and material of an extremist nature” found during the searches “of Mejlis” members.
Another Crimean Tatar taken away ‘voluntarily’ after armed search
The whereabouts are unknown of Mustafa Mustafaev who was taken away by the armed and masked men who burst into the home he shares with his wife, a teacher of Crimean Tatar, and their sons. Crimean Tatar activists also report the worrying shots fired at a Crimean Tatar man’s home and view it as another form of intimidation.
Putin ‘supports’ large-scale exchange of hostages held in Donbas
It remains to be seen whether reports from Moscow of ‘support’ for an exchange of prisoners signify movement or imitation of progress. Families who have been waiting 1,000 days or longer for the men’s return have had their hopes dashed too often before and many of the hostages are facing their second or third cold and hungry winter in captivity
Donetsk man gets 10-year sentence for Twitter photos of Russian military equipment
A ‘military tribunal’ in the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ [DPR] has passed a 10-year sentence on a 43-year-old Ukrainian for what it calls ‘spying’. Although few details are given, it seems possible that the person is Valery Nedosekin, a college director at the Donetsk Academy of Motor Transport. If so, then the sentence would be for tweeting photos which show Russian military technology where it has no right to be,