Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Abducted Activists "Tortured" by Crimean Forces

Activists seized by the so-called self-defence forces in Crimea say they were tortured, and two of those released today [March 20] are in hospital with injuries caused by non-lethal firearms.

Members of the group whom the [Crimea-based] Centre for Investigative Journalism contacted by phone said all of them were tortured during interrogation, with the exception of Anatoly Kovalsky, perhaps because he is of pension age.

Two of those released, Andrey Schekun and Yury Shevchenko, were taken to hospital. As part of the torture, they were shot with non-lethal firearms and the bullets are lodged in their torsos and legs.

Schekun, Kovalsky, Shevchenko and the other captives were held in a basement of the military commandant’s office in Simferopol. They have confirmed that a special ops unit from [the Russian army in] Chechnya is now based there.

As reported earlier, seven activists and the Ukrainian navy’s commander, Rear-Admiral Sergei Gayduk, were released today. All of them have been taken out of Crimea, and some are in need of medical attention.

The fate of Babylon-13 cameramen Yaroslav Pilunsky and Yury Gruzinov remains unknown. Contact with them was lost on March 16 while they were in Simferopol.  

This article republished from with kind permission. 

Original report in Russian. 


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