Today dozens of Ukrainian citizens of various political, religious, ethnic, and professional backgrounds are illegally imprisoned by Russia on political motives. Over the last months, their number exceeded fifty. Together they constitute the #LetMyPeopleGo list of Ukrainian Kremlin’s hostages.
Why are these people called “the Ukrainian hostages of the Kremlin”?
Most of them were involuntarily turned into instruments of Putin’s aggressive policy towards Ukraine. Being portrayed as Ukrainian “war criminals,” “saboteurs,” and “terrorists” on Russian television, they are a “living proof” that Russia is allegedly at danger from attacks of malevolent Ukrainians or Crimean Tatars.
Propaganda tells such kinds of stories to reinforce the negative image of Ukraine, the country that ousted its pro-Russian president in the Euromaidan revolution and buried the plans for the restoration of Moscow’s Eurasian empire. Many of these people describe how they were tortured into “confessing” to the most wicked plans in front of Russian TV cameras. And these media operations are arguably the most important aspect of the Kremlin’s hybrid war against Ukraine. The Crimean Tatars, representatives of Crimea’s indigenous nation, constitute the major group of the prisoners. As they are the main resistance force to Russia’s occupation of Crimea, the Kremlin is arresting them en masse on fictitious “terrorism” and “extremism” charges.
#LetMyPeopleGo List (A—Z)
How can I help the Kremlin’s hostages?
- Follow the #LetMyPeopleGo social media pages on Facebook and Twitter and share the information;
- Send letters and postcards to show your support to the prisoners;
- Demand Russia release illegally jailed Ukrainians at public actions;
- Draw the attention of statesmen and opinion makers to the issue of political prisoners and call on them to put pressure on the Kremlin.
The #LetMyPeopleGo campaign advocates for the Ukrainians imprisoned in Russia and occupied Crimea on political motives. It aims to release all the prisoners from the #LetMyPeopleGo list and controls the observance of fundamental human rights, among which are freedom from torture, the right to a lawyer, the right to medical care etc.
The campaign was started by Euromaidan SOS and is supported by a number of organizations and institutions in Ukraine and abroad: Center for Civil Liberties, the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, People in Need, the Open Dialogue Foundation, Euromaidan Press, Euromaidan-Warsaw, the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Office of Ukraine’s Ombudsman.