Russia illegally detains at least 181 Kremlin prisoners

Russia illegally detains at least 181 Kremlin prisoners

According to the Mission of the President of Ukraine in ARC, this is the number of Ukrainian citizens illegally detained by Russians in occupied Crimea or taken to the peninsula. Forty of them are arrested, one hundred and twenty-two are imprisoned, eighteen have no procedural status, and two have been released but are still in the centre for the temporary detention of foreign nationals. About 60% of the illegally detained are Qırımtatarlar (Crimean Tatars).

Russians also illegally detain Ukrainians in other occupied regions. However, there is less public information about their fates, as Russia denies these illegal detentions.

1. On March 23, occupation forces came to the house of the Kurultai delegate, Mustafa Mustafayev, with an illegal search

After that, Mustafayev and Ergashev were taken to the occupation department of the FSB but later released — activist Elmaz Kirimli. 

At the same time, an illegal search took place in the house of Shevket Ergashev, who lives next door to Mustafayev. Ergashev was also taken to the occupation department of the FSB and then released. 

The occupation security forces motivated their actions by investigating an illegal case of damage to the railway near the temporarily occupied Poshtove. 

The railway was damaged on February 23. The Ateş military partisan movement claims they carried out this operation. Since then, the occupation forces have conducted a series of illegal searches in the homes of Qırımtatarlar.

2. The health condition of the Ukrainian citizen Oleksandr Sizikov, persecuted by Russia, deteriorates 

On the night of March 24, he was hospitalised in occupied Bağçasaray. Despite this, Russian security forces still took him to the occupation "court" for a hearing — the Crimean Solidarity.

Sizikov has a first-grade disability, as he lost his eyesight in an accident. In March, he fell ill with severe headaches, which led to his hospitalisation. 

Lawyer Safie Shabanova provided the occupation 'court' with documents about his hospitalisation. The occupation 'court' still ordered the security forces to bring Sizikov to the hearing. Upon his arrival, it became known that unknown persons had added to the hospital documents a phrase stating that the Kremlin's prisoner could participate in the hearing. When this was discovered, the occupation 'court' postponed the hearing.

The occupation security forces are prosecuting Sizikov in the falsified case of the 'Bağçasaray Fourth Group of Hizb ut-Tahrir'.

3. Ukrainian citizen Iryna Danylovych, illegally detained by Russia, may lose her hearing

Doctor and civil activist Olha Mazurova claims Danylovych needs urgent surgery. Instead, she is being held in a detention centre without medical care. 

Crimean Solidarity published Mazurova's appeal.

As a reminder, Iryna Danylovych is a nurse and civil activist from Teodosiia who worked with the INzhyr media and the Crimean Process human rights project.

The occupation forces abducted Danylovych in April 2022. In December of the same year, the occupation "court" in Teodosiia sentenced the woman to seven years in prison in a trumped-up case of explosives possession. The defence filed an appeal against this decision. Now Danylovych is studying the materials of the falsified case, after which the occupation "court" will transfer the case to the appellate instance. However, she cannot listen to the audio materials from the case due to her hearing impairment.

The occupation forces do not provide her with the necessary medical care. So on March 22, Danylyovych went on a dry hunger strike until she begins treatment or dies. 

Doctor Olha Mazurova reported that Danylyovych suffers from purulent otitis media, which requires surgery. Mazurova asked Russian ombudsman Tatyana Maskalkova to facilitate Danylyovych's treatment.

4.  On March 24, the occupation forces falsified another charge against a resident of occupied Simferopol, Dmytro Naukhatskyі

In addition to the previously opened case of "organising an extremist group", they brought charges of "financing an extremist group" — the report of the occupation forces. 

Naukhatskyi supports the Christian denomination of Jehovah's Witnesses persecuted by the occupation forces in occupied Crimea. 

In December 2022, the occupation forces opened the first case against him for "organising an extremist group". As a result, the man was placed under house arrest.

5. The occupation "courts" of the illegal armed groups of the " l/DPR" announced "verdicts" in the falsified cases of four Ukrainian prisoners of war  

They were imprisoned for terms ranging from 15 to 25 years - the reports of the occupation forces. 

The occupation "court" of the "DPR" illegally imprisoned prisoners of war Andrii Naiden and Danylo Kolenov for 25 years and Dmytro Smitii for 20 years. 

Instead, the occupation "court" of the "LPR" sent Artem Bublyk to prison for 15 years.

6. The occupation "prosecutor's office" demands ten years in prison for 20-year-old Qırımtatarlar Apaz Kurtametov 

They falsified "financing an illegal armed group" charges against the Crimean Tatar. In fact, he lent his friend UAH 500 — the Crimean Human Rights Group. 

Before the full-scale invasion, Kurametov lived in Novooleksiyivka in the Kherson region and taught the Qırımtatar Tili language. 

On 23 July 2022, he was on his way to visit his relatives in Crimea but disappeared. In October 2022, it became known that the occupation forces had illegally detained him. They accused Kurtametov of transferring 500 UAH to his friend, who allegedly served in the volunteer battalion 'Crimea'.

Instead, the Crimean Tatar explained that he had lent the money to his friend. 

The occupation 'court' will continue considering Kurtametov's case in April.