Cases of "Ukrainian terrorists"

After the annexation of Crimea, the Russian authorities charged four Ukrainian citizens (Oleksiy Chyrniy, Hennadii Afanasiev, Oleksandr Kolchenko, and Oleg Sentsov) with the crimes qualified as ‘terrorist activities.’ Those allegations included the arson of the doors of the ‘United Russia’ party office in occupied Crimea, as well as the preparation for blasting of the Lenin monument and the Eternal Flame memorial in Simferopol. Under the Russian law, however, such activities (had they really taken place) should be qualified as hooliganism rather than terrorism.

According to the investigation, the Crimean ‘terrorist group,’ apart of the four convicts, supposedly included also Mykyta Borkin, Illya Zuikov, Enver Asanov, and Stepan Tsyryl. The investigative authorities state that the ‘group leader’ was Oleg Sentsov, who supposedly gave orders to organize arsons and explosions in Simferopol. Those actions are said to have been aimed at “destabilizing the situation on the Crimean peninsula and influencing the authorities to make them adopt a resolution about the Crimea’s exit from the Russian Federation” (!)

All the four Ukrainians were illegally ascribed the Russian citizenship, which they have persistently refused to admit. Hence, Ukrainian consuls were repeatedly denied visits to them.

Russian enforcement officers used the unlawful methods of investigation to pressure on each of the four victims. In particular, Oleksiy Chyrniy was forcibly held in a mental hospital. Brutal physical force was applied to Oleksandr Kolchenko, and Hennadii Afanasiev and Oleg Sentsov survived various kinds of barbaric torture. Physical and psychological humiliation continued in the facilities where they were transported to serve their sentences.



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