Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 20.08.2018
Stanislav Aseyev is a journalist who chose to remain in Russian-occupied Donetsk after Russia invaded in 2014. He published in Ukrainian media outlets under the pen name Stanislav Vasin, reporting on day-to-day life in the occupied zone. On 2 June 2017 he went missing. Later it emerged that he had been abducted by Russia’s terrorist organization, the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic.”
On 8 September 2017, the Russian terrorists of the so-called “DPR” confirmed that Stanislav Aseyev was their hostage, and they included him on the prisoner exchange list that is being maintained by the humanitarian sub-group of the Tripartite Contact Group working under the Minsk Agreement. In the prisoner exchange which occurred on 26 December 2017, the Russian terrorists held back Stanislav Aseyev, kept him captive, and did not proceed with the “all-for-all” prisoner swap as agreed.
Russia’s terrorist group, the so-called “DPR,” imprisons Stanislav Aseyev in a dungeon somewhere in Donetsk. A friend of Stanislav Aseyev, Yehor Firsov heard news in July that the “DPR” hostage was being “kept in a damp room, sick, but does not receive necessary medication.”
On August 17, the Russian hate propaganda channel “Rossiya 24” put out a video of Stanislav Aseyev ‘confessing’ to working for Ukrainian intelligence services. There is no reason to believe this so-called ‘confession’ is genuine. Prisoners who have been forced into these televised appearances have later recanted, saying the ‘confessions’ were given after torture and abuse in custody by the FSB in Russian-occupied Ukrainian Crimea and by the so-called “DPR” and “LPR” in Russian-occupied Ukrainian Donbas.
Russia’s terrorist group, the so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic,” did exactly the same thing to Eduard Nedyayev and Vladislav Ovcharenko. These two young men were abducted by the “LPR” because they displayed the Ukrainian flag and they wrote about day-to-day life in the Russian-occupied city of Luhansk, Ukraine. Eduard was charged with “espionage against the LPR”; Vladislav Ovcharenko was charged with “treason.” Both spent a year and a half in an “LPR” dungeon.
Eduard Nedyayev and Vladislav Ovcharenko were exchanged in the 26 December 2017 prisoner swap. When they were at liberty in free Ukraine, they recanted their ‘confessions’ and told about the horrors of life as a captive in Putin’s dungeons in Donbas.
There are many more people believed to be held hostage by the “LPR” and “DPR” terrorist organizations in Russian occupied Donbas. Many civilians and soldiers are missing with no information where they might be or if they are alive.
Western governments must increase diplomatic pressure on Russia, particularly sanctions, until all Ukrainian hostages like Stanislav Aseyev are released. Russia’s propaganda outlet “Rossiya 24” must never be treated as an organ of the press, and its so-called reporters must always be treated as the information warriors and supporters of Russian terrorism that they are.
Free Stanislav Aseyev.