Sunday, 10 September 2017 10:02


Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 10.09.2017 


What is the price of patriotism for Ukrainians when Russia invades? What is the cost to speak one’s love of country when the enemy is over the ramparts? For some Ukrainians the price is to be kidnapped by Russian intelligence services. 


On August 24, 19-year-old Ukrainian citizen Pavlo Hryb travelled to Homel, Belarus. He thought he had met a girl online, and that he was going to meet her in person in Homel. What happened instead was that he was abducted by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), spirited out of Belarus, and taken to Krasnodar, in the south of Russia, as a captive. Pavlo’s father, Ihor Hryb, believes that his son was targeted, tricked online, lured to Belarus, and kidnapped by the FSB because Pavlo strongly expressed his patriotic views on social media. 


Russia always puts a flimsy veneer of legal formalism on its crimes. Hinting at how long they may hold Pavlo Hryb captive, the Moscow regime charged him with abetting “an act of terrorism.” They did not say what that act of terrorism was. The penalty for conviction under the statute cited by the Russians is up to 10 years imprisonment. 


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine protested in the strongest terms. They demanded consular access to Pavlo Hryb, that he be given needed medication, and condemned Russia’s “persecution of Ukrainian citizens in Russia and elsewhere, groundless detentions of Ukrainians, violation of their rights to have fair trials, and their convictions on fabricated and politically motivated charges.” Spokesperson Mariana Betsa said on social media that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine does not exclude the possibility that Pavlo Hryb is being subjected to psychological pressure by the Russians. 


In a TV interview on September 3, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Vasyl Hrytsak took the unusual step of calling out his Russian FSB counterpart, Aleksandr Bortnikov. Hrytsak said: “I appeal to you as an officer. There are rules even in war which should not be broken by secret service agents. You have transgressed all these rules.” He also warned: “Do you realize that you will be forced to answer for your actions? It is in your power to stop it. So, stop it now.” There are rules of war, even when it’s spy versus spy. Appalling war crimes committed by Russia since its invasion of Ukraine started in February 2014 shows that the Moscow regime does not respect the rules of war. 


Invading Europe in Crimea and Donbas, Russia is not yet fighting total war on the battlefield. But Russia’s intelligence services are fighting total war with spies, saboteurs, car-bombers, assassins, “titushky” thugs, cyber warriors – and kidnappers. The FSB tricked and kidnapped 19-year-old Pavlo Hryb simply because he is a patriot of Ukraine. Russia respects no limits, no moral constraints, when it comes to attacking Ukrainians. But whatever may be the intent of striking at vocal or prominent Ukrainian patriots, the effect of FSB kidnappings is to stir up anger and even hatred for Russia among most Ukrainians. FSB viscousness is short-sighted, backfires on Russia’s war aims, and has united Ukraine. Ukrainians are steadfast in defence of the homeland, and now see Russia as an enemy that must be defeated. 


Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov was kidnapped 3 years and 4 months ago. The Russians took away his Ukrainian citizenship, sneaked him out of his home in Crimea, Ukraine, and have kept him captive in Russian Siberia ever since. Pavlo Hryb, like every Ukrainian, knows about Sentsov as a symbol of Ukrainian patriotism and Russian brutality. The psychological pressure on Pavlo Hryb, that Mariana Betsa warned of, must be severe. Every civilized nation must condemn the kidnapping of Ukrainians by Russia, and demand that Pavlo Hryb and Oleg Sentsov and all Ukrainian captives be released immediately.

Схоже в даній категорії: « PREVIOUS Статті NEXT »



Archive of articles