Today, dozens of Ukrainians are illegally imprisoned by Russia on political motives. They are part of the LetMyPeopleGo list, and over the last months, their number has increased from 36 to 44. We prepared a brief overview on each prisoner so you could know the people who need your support, as well as told the stories of the ones who went through the Russian captivity and were released. Click on the dots to read about them.
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 ‘punishers,’ ‘saboteurs,’ ‘terrorists,’ ‘criminals’ on Russian TV, they are the ‘living proof’ that Russia is allegedly at danger from attacks of malevolent Ukrainians or Crimean Tatars. The Russian state media tell such kinds of stories to reinforce the negative image of Ukraine, the country that ousted its pro-Russian president in the Euromaidan revolution. Many of these people describe how they were tortured to ‘confess’ to the most wicked plans for the Russian media. And these media operations are arguably the most important aspect of the Kremlin’s hybrid war against Ukraine. The Crimean Tatars, Crimea’s indigenous population, constitute the majority of the prisoners right now. As they are the main resistance force to Russia’s occupation of Crimea, the Kremlin is arresting them en masse on fictitious terrorism charges.