driver, electrician at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, veteran of the war in Donbas, founder of an organization to support Ukrainian war veterans
Article 30, Part Two (Clause “a”) of Article 281 of the Russian Criminal Code (preparation to subversive activities)
7 Aug. 2016
12 to 20 year-imprisonment
Address of imprisonment:
Remand prison #1, 4 Lenina Ave., Simferopol 295006, Crimea
Intermediate mailing address:
Yevhen Panov, Center for Civil Liberties, 9-G Baseina Str., Apt. 25, Kyiv, 01004, Ukraine
days in custody
The driver and volunteer Yevhen Panov was captured while entering Crimea in August 2016. He had been reportedly asked to evacuate a Ukrainian family from the occupied territory to mainland Ukraine. Yet that was a trap: the agents of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) were waiting for him in the frontier zone. Having got off the car at the Russian-controlled checkpoint, Yevhen was suddenly struck at his head. “I fell down and felt I was lying in a pool of my own blood,” he would recall later.
The FSB charged Yevhen and a few other Ukrainian citizens with the involvement in a “sabotage and reconnaissance group,” which allegedly had to organize terrorist attacks in Crimea on the instructions of the Ukrainian military intelligence.
As the lawyers emphasize, “what the “new Crimean saboteurs” have in common is only the year of birth and the time of studying at military schools in Ukraine. Perhaps they could know each other but it is the absurdity to unite them in a “Ukrainian saboteur and terrorist group.”
Russian propaganda media routinely broadcasted Panov’s “confession” like it was with some other Ukrainians who had gone through the crucible of torture. His wounded face betrayed the nature of a “welcome” he had received in occupied Crimea. When allowed to talk to independent lawyers, Panov and his co-defendant Andriy Zakhtey renounced their false testimonies.
It seems to be no coincidence that the arrest of the so-called “Ukrainian saboteurs” took place on the eve of the G20 summit, where the leaders of Russia, Germany, France, and Ukraine were to discuss the war and peace in Donbas. Some observers pointed out that through the new Crimean provocation, Russian President Putin tried to raise bids just before the wrangle.
In December 2016, Panov revealed the details of savage violence used against him during the investigation. According to his complaint to Russia’s Investigative Committee, he was beaten with an iron pipe on the head, kidneys, arms, and legs, and hung in the air by handcuffs. Security officers electrocuted the prisoner, squeezed his genitals with a collar, and simulated his execution with the only aim: to make him admit the “guilt.”