construction worker (painter-plasterer), worked in Crimea and Russia
preparation to subversive activities (Article 30 and clause “a” of Part Two of Article 281 of the Russian Criminal Code). According to the allegations of Russian investigators, Andriy Zakhtey was a member of a “subversive group,” which entered Crimea from mainland Ukraine over the Syvash Lake. Two Russian officers were allegedly killed during the arrest of Ukrainians near the village of Suvorove, where a cache of weapons was supposedly discovered
August 7, 2016
up to 20 years in jail
Address of imprisonment:
SIZO#1, 4 Lenina Ave., Simferopol 295006, Crimea
Intermediate mailing address:
Andrey Zakhtey, Center for Civil Liberties, 9-G Baseina Str., Apt. 25, Kyiv, 01004, Ukraine
days in custody
On the night of August 7–8, 2016, Andriy Zakhtey was arrested upon his arrival to the village of Suvorove. Zakhtey had been asked to come to Suvorove by a friend from Kyiv, Yuriy Flyunt. Flyunt had asked to pick up a group of people in north Crimea and, possibly, to help them to obtain Russian passports.
“At midnight or so, I arrived at the given address and began to wait for clients. Some time later a truck drove to me and armed men in military uniforms got out if it. They got in my car, introduced themselves as FSB officers, and began to ask what I was doing there and who I was waiting for. Having received the call and found out the exact address, we (three FSB officers in uniforms, one in civilian clothes, who took the wheel, and me) drove to the village of Suvorove.
As soon as we got there, a firefight began. I hid between the seats of the car. After 2 or 3 minutes, the firefight stopped. As I understood, one of the FSB officers was killed, and those who had fired at the FSB officers disappeared,” the prisoner says.
On August 12, Russia 24 TV Channel showed a video featuring Zakhtey’s confession. He said he had been “recruited” by the Ukrainian Defense Intelligence and become a member of a “subversive group”. In the autumn of 2016, he, along with another Ukrainian prisoner, Yevhen Panov, was transported to the Lefortovo remand jail in Moscow. There he finally met with his lawyers under the agreement and told them about the torture he had been subject to after the arrest.
In February 2017, the two “saboteurs” were transported back to Crimea. Now both are held in a remand jail of Simferopol. They complain about overcrowded prison cells and other terrible conditions.
As of today, Zakhtey is accused of illegal acquiring of a Russian passport (Article 324 of the Russian Criminal Code). The passport was recognized invalid and Zakhtey was deprived of Russian citizenship. Thus he remains a Ukrainian citizen.
DNA molecular analysis and other forensic examinations of the objects discovered in the cache in Suvorove revealed no biological signs or fingertips of Andriy Zakhtey.
The lawyers emphasize that the only thing the “new Crimean saboteurs” have in common only is the year of birth and the time spent in military schools in Ukraine. Perhaps, they knew each other but to construct a “Ukrainian sabotage and terrorist group” out of them is the absurdity.
Torture and pressure
There have been several reports from the arrested regarding the use of torture in the cases of “Crimean saboteurs.” According to the prisoner, he was tortured with electricity over two days into making a confession:
“At first, they attached battery terminals to his legs and buttocks, forcing me to admit my guilt. I said I was an ordinary taxi driver, I had come to the place of the firefight on the call of a client, but I was tortured nonetheless. Then they attached the terminals to the genitals, and I lost consciousness a few times.”