war crimes in Ukraine

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Tyurma na Lonskoho Museum no longer under Security Service

The National Memorial Museum of Victims of the Occupation Regimes “Tyurma na Lonskoho” in Lviv and its Director, Ruslan Zabily have received unwanted attention from the SBU who accused Zabily of divulging state secrets over historical archive material


The Cabinet of Ministers  has transferred the National Memorial Museum of Victims of the Occupation Regimes “Tyurma na Lonskoho” in Lviv from the Security Service to under the management of the Ministry of Culture.

The relevant instruction is posted on the Cabinet of Ministers’ official website. 

The Museum “Tyurma na Lonskoho”, located in what was once both a KGB and Gestapo prison, is one of only two in Eastern Europe (the other is in Vilnius). It was opened, at the initiative of the Lviv public on 28 June 2009. on 14 October it received national museum status.

On 8 September 2010 in Kyiv, the Director of the Museum, Ruslan Zabily was detained for 14 and a half hours by SBU officers who unlawfully, without any court sanction, and with numerous infringements of the law, removed a laptop and two external hard memory drives.  As well as the historian’s own academic work, the hard drives also contained copies of historical material and archival documents.

This extraordinary behaviour by the SBU led to outcry both in Ukraine and abroad, with a large number of prominent historians from many countries writing a letter of protest. 

The information removed included a 1940 version of the UkrSSR Criminal Code; numerous documents from the Second Polish Republic of the 1930s (orders, reports from woewoda departments of the State police; criminal files against members of UVO [Ukrainian Military Organization] and OUN [Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists], etc; recordings from 2009-2010 with recollections of UPA [Ukrainian Resistance Army] fighters and Ukrainian dissidents made by staff of the Museum.

The confiscated material was not returned, a criminal investigation was initiated and the Head of the SBU continued to assert that Ruslan Zabily had “secrets” on him. 

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