April 18, 2021

Just a few days ago human rights organizations of Russia and the West were alerted by two news informing of tortures in Russian Federation. The most known Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, who is kept in penal colony now, is tortured through sleep deprivation – the man is being waken each hour per night. In addition, he is deliberately rejected in the supply of medicines necessary for the treatment of his leg which is practically does not work.

In another case the journalist of Radio Free Europe V.Yesypenko is being tortured by electric power – the man was arrested in Crimea on March 10, 2021, and accused of spying for the benefit of Ukraine. As people who were recently released from pretrial detention centre of the city of Simferopol told, they met V.Yesypenko while they were detained and he said that two days ago he was tortured: a particular subject was put on his head and wired to the electricity supply – as Yesypenko became accustomed to the pain, they gradually increased the power. It was followed by strange confession made by the journalist in an interview with a representative of state Russian media outlet.

In this obviously well-prepared interview one can see V. Yesypenko’s slow body reaction, expressionless gaze (devoid of emotions), inarticulate speech, and clothes that does not belong to him (as his wife stated). All these facts confirm the information that the journalist was physically assaulted.

However, in the following days, V.Yesypenko did not sign any confessions prepared for him by the Russian investigation, which would have been the basis for the charges in court. For that reason, for three weeks, he has been forbidden from meeting with independent attorneys (experienced in the defence of pro-Ukrainian and Crimean-Tatar activists) and forced to cooperate with a defence lawyer given by Russia (who, in fact, cooperates with Russian security services).

As always, the prosecution has no evidence to prove V.Yesypenko’s guilt of being involved in spying activity, except homemade explosive allegedly ‘found’ in journalist’s car – more likely, it was put there on purpose. Ukrainian filmmaker from Crimea Oleg Sentsov was also blamed by Russian security services of illegal storage of explosives (allegedly he aimed to organize the explosion of the monument of communist leader V.Lenin). Yet, while the fate of O.Sentsov was paid careful attention, and the fate of A.Navalny is in spotlight of lawyers and Western politicians, an unknown journalist will unlikely matter the world agenda.

V.Yesypenko worked in Crimea legally, he had never hidden his pro-Ukrainian position – apparently, he is paying a price for this! Actually, the Crimean peninsula has turned into the territory of kidnapping, tortures, permanent psychological pressure, unsubstantiated accusations, illegal seizure of lands and total violation of human rights.

In 2014, the main argument for the annexation of Crimea that Russia broadcast to its own citizens and residents of the peninsula was the prediction of a ninth wave of violence coming from mainland Ukraine. The Kremlin insisted that Ukrainian ultraradical nationalists were going to wipe off the face of the earth everything barely related to ‘Russkiy mir’. Naturally, it was blatant propaganda, however, the escalation of fear and panic has helped Russian military to occupy the peninsula.

Today, with the ‘Russkiy mir’ reigning in Crimea and in the conscious of its citizens eighth year in a row, the constant feeling of anxiety and the permanent fear of military actions have not disappeared. The policy of confrontation with the West has only been added. Crimean citizens were enriched by Moscow with Russkiy mir’, but at the same time people appeared to be surrounded by enemies who only dream of destroying Russia and Crimea. Instead of the ephemeral threat of violence from Ukrainian patriots, the Kremlin brought real violence to the peninsula, manifested in a variety of forms, even as savage as tortures are!

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