war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

Four abductions or disappearances of young Crimean Tatars in a week

Halya Coynash
The fact that 23-year-old Apselymov Eskender is the fourth young Crimean Tatar to have been abducted or gone missing in one week, can only heighten the suspicion that the Crimean puppet regime and those pulling its strings in Moscow want to intimidate the Crimean Tatars and force them to leave their homeland.


23-year-old Crimean Tatar Apselymov Eskender has not been seen since Oct 3 when he left his flat in Simferopol and headed for work.  He did not arrive, and there is no answer from his telephone.  Shevket Namatullayev, a Crimean journalist, has passed on details about how the young man was dressed and a request from his parents to phone if people have any information

This is the fourth abduction or disappearance in a week, and concern is high. 

In the early evening of Sept 27, two young Crimean Tatars were abducted from Sary-Su near Belogorsk in the Crimea.  19-year-old Islam Dzhepparov and his 23-year-old cousin Dzhevdet Islamov were forced into a dark blue Volkswagen Transporter and taken away in the direction of Feodosiya. 

The claims from the police and FSB [Russian security service] that they know nothing about the abduction have been met with scepticism, which is exacerbated by their failure to find the young men despite having all details, including the minivan’s registration number. 

Hundreds of Crimean Tatars gathered the next day outside Islam Dzhepparov’s home.  Islam’s father had a meeting with the head of the occupation government Sergei Aksyonov on Oct. 1.   Abdureshit Dzhepaparov  says that everything was done to provoke Crimean Tatars to make measures in retaliations. “On the roofs around the building where the meeting took place there were a lot of snipers, people saw jeeps with men carrying machine guns, and around the city there were a lot of soldiers.”

Two days after the abduction, on Monday Sept 29, 25-year-old Edem Asanov set off for work at the Prymorye sanatorium in Yevpatoriya.  He did not arrive, and all attempts by his family to contact him have been fruitless.

The civic initiative Mediazona reported on Oct 3  that four new names have appeared in the supposed ‘terrorist’ case in connection with which renowned film director Oleg Sentsov and three other Crimeans, all known for their opposition to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea, have been illegally taken to Moscow and held in detention since May.  According to the documents they have seen, the names N.S. Borkin; I.V. Zuykov, S.V. Tsyryl and E.N. Asanov appear as further suspects. 

The disappearance of Edem Asanov has highlighted attention to this report.  It should be said, however, that the patronymic or, at least, the middle initial is different so this may be pure coincidence. 

It is increasingly difficult to believe in any chance with these abductions or disappearances.  They coincide with a major offensive against the Mejlis, or representative-executive body of the Crimean Tatar people and Muslims in the Crimea.  Veteran Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemiliev has spoken of 18 disappearnces of Crimean Tatars since Russian invaded and annexed the Crimea in March this year. 

Head of the Mejlis, Refat Chubarov recalls chillingly relevant words written by Memorial about the Northern Caucuses.  “Abductions are carried out by staff both of the local, and the federal enforcement bodies. A number of the abductions take place according to the classic, “Chechen” scenario, when armed men in masks burst into a home and take the person they want away. However many abductions are carried out very ‘professionally’: a person leaves his home and doesn’t return, or later he’s found murdered.”

The fact that four young Crimean Tatars have gone missing in one week, against the background of all other repressive measures, can only heighten the suspicion that the Crimean puppet regime and those pulling its strings in Moscow want to intimidate the Crimean Tatars and force them to leave their homeland.


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