Russia wages major offensive against Crimean Tatar civic activists in occupied Crimea
One Crimean Tatar activist has been jailed for a legal solitary picket last month, another fined and several subjected to armed searches and interrogation in a new offensive against the civic initiative Crimean Solidarity and all those trying to publicize rights abuses in Russian-occupied Crimea.
Russia uses isolation, threats & closed trial to hide the one ’state secret’ of its Crimea sabotage plot
The trial of at least one of the Sevastopol Ukrainians whom Russia has accused of a ‘sabotage plot’ could be held behind closed doors. The excuse given is that the case allegedly involves material containing state secrets. Scepticism is inevitable given the heavy pressure placed on the men to reject independent lawyers and admit ‘guilt’ and the fact that one of the men has already been sentenced on charges that bore no relation to the ‘confession on video’ that he gave, when showing obvious signs of having been beaten.
New surreal confessions from Ukrainian ‘SBU agent’ seized by Russia backed Donbas militants
Oleksandr Polishchuk’s ‘confessions’ on video would elicit humour were it not for the regular reports of unnamed ‘spies’ and ‘saboteurs’ being sentenced to up to 22 years’’ imprisonment. DPR leader Oleksandr Zakharchenko has also recently suggested that people he called ‘spies’ might simply be shot.
Russian ‘Donetsk republic’ propagandist seized – or killed - in Donbas after speaking too freely
While media reports of Roman Manekin’s brutal murder remain unconfirmed, there seems no doubt that the prominent Russian journalist and propagandist for the so-called ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ [DPR] was taken prisoner shortly after strong criticism of at least one of the ‘DPR’ leaders. There are also reports that the reason for his disappearance may lie in his denial of the official militant line on the killing of Russian warlord Arseny Pavlov, more notorious as ‘Motorola’.
Luhansk militants sentence 2 young football fans to 17 & 13 years for ’spying for Ukraine’
Two young football fans seized by militants from the self-proclaimed ‘Luhansk people’s republic’ [LPR] in October 2016 have been ‘sentenced’ to 17 and 13 years. 21-year-old Vlad Ovcharenko and 20-year-old Artem Akhmerov were accused of spying for Ukraine over protests against the ‘LPR flag’, photos with the national flag of Ukraine and following Ovcharenko’s criticism of the militants to a German correspondent
Mass detention for reporting armed searches and arrests in Russian occupied Crimea
Armed searches began early in the morning of October 11 in a number of Crimean Tatar homes in Bakhchysarai. This was a clear attempt at intimidation, with the six Crimean Tatars primarily people who have taken a firm civic stand and demonstrated solidarity where others faced searches and arrests
Russia abducts and ’arrests’ two Ukrainian border guards
There seems no let-up in Russian abductions of Ukrainian citizens of late, however the seizure of two border guards on October 3 stands apart, both because this is a brazen abduction of state officials, and because of the fairly obvious motive.
Russia abducts activist from Ukraine, charges him with involvement in Ukrainian organization
Oleksandr Shumkov has become the latest Ukrainian to be abducted to Russia and imprisoned. There is a major question mark over how the 28-year-old civic activist came to be in Russia, but it would be difficult to dispute the surreal nature of the charges. The Ukrainian is accused of involvement in a Ukrainian organization that only Russia calls ‘extremist’, and that is entirely legal in Ukraine
Moscow Patriarchate refuses to help Ukrainian academic & advocate of religious dialogue jailed by Donbas militants
World-renowned Ukrainian academic and advocate for inter-faith dialogue, Ihor Kozlovskyy has been imprisoned in the so-called ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ since January 2016 because he remained in Donetsk to care for his disabled son. This is hardly a proper reason, but then neither are the absurd charges that the militants came up with after holding the retired university lecturer incommunicado for a month
Prisoners of war captured defending Ukraine abandoned & in danger of fake ’trials’
There is an urgent need for Ukraine to formally recognize the soldiers who were taken prisoner by Russian or Russian-backed fighters as prisoners of war, yet Ukraine’s parliament is procrastinating on this, and on other measures to coordinate efforts to bring the men back home
Crimean Tatar abducted after ‘search’ by masked men in Russian-occupied Crimea
Renat Paralamov has not been seen since masked men carried out what they claimed to be an ‘inspection’ of his home in Nizhnegorsk, in Russian-occupied Crimea. Even if, as seems likely, the Russian FSB is behind this latest seizure, there is every reason to consider that their treatment of the young Crimean Tatar should be viewed as an abduction
Luhansk man arrested by Russia-backed militants for organizing a protest on social media
A young Luhansk resident has been taken prisoner by the Kremlin-backed militants of the self-proclaimed ‘Luhansk people’s republic’ [LPR] for proposing a protest action on his VKontakte social network page
Fears for the life of young Ukrainian abducted by Donbas militants
There is still no information about the whereabouts of 22-year-old Mykola Petukhov who was seized by armed militants of the so-called ‘Luhansk people’s republic’ in the early morning of August 31. The abduction is of immense concern since Mykola’s mother reports that a young man, identified only as Oleksiy, was seized just a week ago, and his body found a few days later
European Court asked to intervene over suspected Russian abduction of 19-year-old Ukrainian
There is still no information about the whereabouts of 19-year-old Pavlo Hryb, ten days after he entered Belarus and vanished. Given the strong grounds for fearing that the young man has been abducted by Russia’s FSB, and that his life could be in danger without badly needed medication, his family and lawyer have asked the European Court of Human Rights to apply urgent measures under Article 39
Release of seized Donetsk journalist negotiated with people close to Russia
Kremlin-backed Donbas militants are refusing to let international monitors see Donetsk journalist Stanislav Aseyev whom they have been holding prisoner since early June. There has been no movement on securing his release and a volunteer group believes that the militants may have gone silent to try to ‘raise his price’, possibly so that he can be exchanged for a Russian
Ukrainian political prisoner in occupied Crimea charged with assault after complaining of ill-treatment
It seems a three and a half year sentence against Volodymyr Balukh for his Ukrainian flag in Russian-occupied Crimea was not enough. He is now facing new criminal proceedings brought after he complained about anti-Ukrainian abuse and physical violence from the head of the Razdolne detention centre Captain Valery Tkachenko
19-year-old Ukrainian feared to have been lured to Belarus and abducted to Russia by the FSB
19-year-old Pavlo Hryb has not been seen since he arrived in Gomel, Belarus on August 24 and his father has ominous grounds for believing that his son may have been tricked by a young woman into entering Belarus and then abducted in what was a Russian FSB operation
Horrifically tortured and murdered, or imprisoned in Crimea and Donbas for the Ukrainian Flag
Ukraine marked National Flag Day on August 23, remembering Volodymyr Rybak who was tortured and murdered for his defence of the Flag, and with at least three Ukrainians imprisoned in Russian-occupied Crimea or by the Russian-backed militants in Donbas for the same reason
Cowardly final brutality as Russia releases jailed 76-year-old Crimean Tatar Server Karametov
Server Karametov, the frail, seriously ill, and courageous pensioner whom a court in Russian-occupied Crimea jailed for peaceful protest, was released on Saturday evening after 10 days’ imprisonment. It had seemed that the occupation regime could sink no lower, yet it found a way.
Donbas Militants and Russian FSB Coordinate Fake ‘Ukrainian Saboteur’ Arrests
A day after Russia’s FSB produced a video of a Ukrainian ‘confessing’ to his part in an SBU plot to commit acts of sabotage in Crimea, Donbas and Russia, Kremlin-backed militants have come up with their own videoed arrest. The alleged saboteur is seen supposedly being seized in the middle of summer wearing a jersey, leather jacket and cap pointing the wrong way, not to mention boots without laces.