Pavlo Hryb




Andrei Sabinin


inclining a person to terrorist activity (Part One of Article 205.1 of the Russian Criminal Code)


24 Aug. 2017

Prospective sentence:

5- to 10-year imprisonment

Mailing address:

Grib Pavel Igorevich (born 1998), SIZO-5, 22 Krasnoarmeyskaya Str., Krasnodar 350063, Russia

days in custody

19-y.o. Ukrainian blogger and son of an ex-Ukrainian Border Service officer Pavlo Hryb was abducted by the Russian secret police (FSB) in the territory of a third state, Belarus, on 24 August 2017. He was transported to Russia and charged with incitement to blowing up a Russian school based on his chatting with a female friend on Skype. He faces 5 to 10-years in jail.

Hryb’s life is at risk as he has a disability related to the work of his blood circulatory system. After the intervention of the European Court of Human Rights, Russia reported that he is overall healthy. Pavlo’s doctors, on the contrary, say that his medical condition is “grave,” as evidenced by the ulcers on his face, red eyes, and weakness, which his lawyer reported after seeing him in prison.

Since his illegal arrest, the prisoner has not been allowed to take necessary medication, and Ukrainian physicians are denied access to him. In the city where Pavlo is held, there are no local specialists who can save him in case of internal bleeding. This may happen anytime, Ukrainian doctors stress.

Several other Ukrainian citizens imprisoned by the Kremlin regime on political grounds have been accused of plotting explosions, including the filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, anarchist Oleksandr Kolchenko, historian Oleksiy Chyrniy, and pensioner Oleksiy Syzonovych. None of the “terrorist” charges against them seems plausible. In the case of Hryb, however, Russian investigators transcended themselves as Hryb was seized neither in the Russian Federation nor in occupied Crimea; moreover, he had never been to Russia until he was transported there by force.

According to the version of Russian investigation, in spring 2017, the FSB allegedly noticed a mention of “school blasting” in Pavlo’s Skype correspondence with his female friend, a final year school student from Russia’s Krasnodar Krai. In view of the FSB, this amounts to the involvement of another person in terrorist activities. It remains unclear whether such a facetious mention took place indeed or was completely concocted by Russian “law enforcers” as no records or transcripts of those conversations were presented.

According to the chronology drawn up by the prisoner’s father, in mid-summer 2017, after the girl successfully graduated from her school (while no blasting had happened), the regional FSB branch instituted a criminal case against her. The security officers searched her apartment and forced her into self-incrimination based on the misinterpreted words. Then they made her participate in a special transborder operation aimed at luring Hryb to Belarus at the end of August.

“The specter of a terrorist threat was liquidated just as successfully as it was created two months before,” sarcastically writes the father. “The FSB eat their bread not in vain.”