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Four Ukrainian Nationals Abducted in Donetsk Region

By Novosti Donbassa

As of the morning of April 21, Novosti Donbassa journalists were aware of four Ukrainian nationals abducted in Donetsk region.

At 19:00 on April 13, Artem Deynegu was abducted in Slavyansk. He was filming events at the barricades from the balcony of an apartment facing the Security Service building in the town. He posted the video on the internet, and as the Vostochny Proekt media outlet reports, the people who seized the Security Service building can be seen on the footage.

Some time later, a man came to the apartment and asked Artem to go with him. Both Artem and his mother objected, but they took him away anyway. His whereabouts are unknown, and he is not answering phone calls. An acquaintance says he rang her earlier saying he wanted to produce live footage of what was going on outside.

On Wednesday April 16, Sergei Lefter was abducted by persons unknown in Slavyansk. Lefter is a journalist for the Open Dialogue foundation, which is conducting an observer mission in eastern Ukraine. He went to Slavyansk on April 14 to report from the scene. His abductors may suspect him of espionage or of belonging to the Right Sector group. The latest information indicates that Lefter is currently in a basement in the city’s Security Service building on Karl Marx Street, He was taken there from the city council building.

At about six in the evening of April 17, Vladimir Rybak, a town councillor in Horlivka [Gorlovka] was abducted by persons unknown. He was walking along Victory Avenue when a car stopped, the occupants got out and made him get in, and drove him away to an unknown location. His mobile phone is not working. A criminal investigation for the offence of “abduction or unlawful deprivation of freedom” has been launched (Article 146 of the criminal code). Before he was abducted, Rybak had attempted to remove a “Donetsk Republic” flag from Horlivka city council.

On April 18, Slavyansk mayor Nelya Shtepa disappeared after trying to met separatist leader Vyacheslav Ponomarev. Municipality staff said many of them saw her going into the municipal building and waiting in the hall for a meeting with Ponomarev. No one has been able to contact her since then. A rally in her support was going to be held on the square outside on April 19, but it was dispersed by armed fighters. Novosti Donbassa understands that Shtepa is currently being held inside the municipality building.

Euromaidan activist Irma Krat was abducted in Slavyansk on April 20. She was accused of “torturing anti-Maidanists and shooting Berkut police”. Krat says she came to Slavyansk as a journalist and denies speaking out against a referendum. Simon Shuster, a reporter currently in Slavyansk, posted a short video of Krat on Twitter and asked people to contact her family and friends. Krat was blindfolded with a polythene bag and taken to the Security Service building in Slavyansk.

At 11 in the morning of April 21, Italian journalists Paul Gogo and Cosimo Attanasio, and Dmitry Galko, a Belarussian reporter for the Novy Chas newspaper, were seized by the separatists in Slavkansk. Their documents, money and camera equipment were taken and they were detained. This information is from them – they were subsequently released.

This article republished from Novosti Donbassa with kind permission.

Original article in Russian.