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A volunteer from Kharkov was tortured by the military after trying to leave Ukraine

category russia / ukraine / belarus | imperialism / war | news report author Wednesday October 11, 2023 22:55author by Assembly Report this post to the editors

Full original version: https://assembly.org.ua/ustalost-rozhdaet-zlost-pytki-harkovskogo-volontera-v-tczk-i-chto-o-nem-izvestno/
First published on Libcom: https://libcom.org/article/volunteer-kharkov-was-tortured-military-after-trying-leave-ukraine
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News about the latest militaristic and repressive measures has been flowing in such a stream for weeks that it sometimes interrupts attention to events at the front. There is an increasing impression that the Kremlin and the Office of Zelensky are starting to fight not so much with each other, but with those who do not want to fulfill their “duty to their homeland.” The Ukrainian parliament will soon consider bill No. 10062 on a unified electronic register of conscripts and those liable for military service – modeled on the neighboring chamber, where summons will now be considered served from the moment they appear in it. The Ministry of Defense allowed to draft into the Armed Forces of Ukraine those who are of limited fitness due to hepatitis, cured tuberculosis, asymptomatic HIV, mental problems, etc. Bill No. 9672 proposes to cancel the deferment from the army for recipients of the second higher education, post-graduate students and those who first attended the university after 30 years. Doctors are being stormed with large-scale checks for trading in disability documents. Women from among medical staff and pharmacists will be registered with the military from October 1st, and those who have a military record will have to update their data; after the launch of the e-register, they can be screened out when trying to leave Ukraine. Threats of extradition and punishment to men who went abroad, deceiving the authorities (as the authorities themselves did to them all their lives). The Border Guard Service of Ukraine has already begun to publicly show “educational work” with violators of the western border, forcing them to listen to the anthem and the priest’s sermon, after which they are handed over to the enlistment officers. To detect such citizens in the bushes, the border patrols began using drones with thermal imaging cameras, supposedly so necessary for the front. Then, presumably, they will start to drop grenades or hunting nets on the migrants. In turn, the deputy head of the Russian Guard in Donetsk, former separatist field commander Alexander Khodakovsky called for the creation of barrier detachments for Russian soldiers – because “many are ready to wait from prison for their loved one, who threw away their weapons and refused to fight, just so as not to die.”

Against such an informational background, the story of a Kharkov resident at the military recruitment office of Staryi Sambir in the Lviv region received a huge resonance. This is not the first time that they tried to send into the army those captured trying to escape from the “country of dreams”, this time the mobilizers just did a little less work and video records were transferred to bloggers, instantly exploding social networks with anger. The inmate was kept there from September 12th to 19th, beaten on the head with a pistol, starved, not provided with medical care, threatened with death and that “the police would not look for him.” Even before this video, hardly many people doubted that the cops act in conjunction with the enlistment kidnappers, while the State Bureau of Investigation reported on the 19th that the deputy chief of one of the departments in the Sambir districtal recruitment center and its driver are detained. They face up to 10 years in prison under Part 3 of Art. 406 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (violation of statutory rules, relationships by military personnel using weapons). The Bureau requested that both be taken into custody without bail; the court in Lviv sent them under round-the-clock house arrest for 2 months. The National Agency on Corruption Prevention has found suspicious property worth 4.4 million hryvnias owned by the chief of the same facility. Of course, even if they are found guilty and imprisoned, it will not change anything systemically – power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The investigation established that the suspects illegally detained at least two men – residents of Kharkov and Krivoy Rog. After being detained by border guards during unauthorized crossing the border with Poland, they were taken to the enlistment office, where the servicemen tried to force them to go through the medical examination. One of these refusers was kept for 10 days, another one for 7 days.

The resident of Krivoy Rog says that his name is Roman Kuzmenko, born November 12, 1985. Our compatriot is 43 years old and he was hospitalized with a concussion; he introduces himself as Vadim Spokoynyi (Ukrainian spelling – Vadym Spokiynyi). “Vadym is an animator. His stage name is Max. The first weeks Vadym was in Kharkiv – he volunteered a lot, helped people, tried to entertain children in bomb shelters so that they would not be so sad and scared. Later, he moved to Staryi Sambir with his acquaintance Dina. They didn't have a home here, so they temporarily lived in a van near the river. I helped them find accommodation. Later, his father also moved in with Vadym, he has a disability, does not walk much, is practically bedridden. His father somehow found the strength to come to the Military Commissariat. But they didn't let him in. They didn't even let me see each other. It's terrible. He is not a criminal and is not in a pre-trial detention center”, his local comrade Sofia Ryzhenko told the LMN newsletter. She does not know whether Vadim has official guardianship over his father. “Can you imagine what it's like to be an animator and work with children? He is very kind, harmless. Well, how can you force a person to sign that he will go to war, if he is afraid of it or cannot?”, the girl asks a rhetorical question. The fact that he, with such a peaceful character, showed an iron will and managed to withstand many days of attempts to break him is what is most shocking in this situation.

Those living in Staryi Sambir note that this is not the first case of such imprisonment of citizens by the enlistment officers. And, as a Kharkov resident named Ivan shared with us on September 20th, hell was going on there long before the full-scale Russian aggression:

“I got into this recruitment center in 2016. I almost got beaten there too. Barely escaped. They even wanted to send me then to the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation, the official name for hostilities in Donbass], despite the fact that I had a referral for a surgery in Kharkov. They said I didn't need surgery. I was registered there, went to sign up through the enlistment office, I had documents that I was undergoing surgery, and receipts for payment. Two drunk doctors came (like a medical commission). They said I didn't need surgery. They decided so without practically examining it. They said that the ATO would be just right for me, since I go to the gym and am in good physical shape. I said that I would probably refuse and am informed a little about my rights. They fucked my brain for a very long time and didn’t hand over the documents, and I also communicated in Russian. This really threw them up. Military commissars generally communicated as with cattle. Like you're pissing to go to the ATO, etc., etc. Although they themselves saw this ATO only on television. Something like this, in short.”

The Ukrainian public is more and more asking the question: how does this state with such everyday practices differ from the Russian one? In particular, Yevgenia, the wife of the Russian mobilized Yevgeniy P. from military unit 61899, turned to the Russian liberal pacifists ASTRA. For refusing to go to the assault with injuries, he and other soldiers were sent to the basement in Zaytsevo (a village controlled by the so-called “Lugansk People’s Republic” near the Kharkov region), where they are threatened and forced to continue fighting. The detainee told his wife about this on September 18th by phone, after which contact with him disappeared. In May, in Bakhmut, he received a fragment wound in the leg, due to which he was sent to the hospital. However, Yevgeniy was not given aid there; the fragment was not removed, his wife says. He was sent home for rehabilitation for a month. A month later, the commander changed, the new one sent a unit to Naro-Fominsk near Moscow. The entire company with wounds was locked in the barracks and kept there for a week. The surgeon then concluded that they could all continue to fight despite their injuries. They were taken in the direction of Svatovo and abandoned in the forest without any means of subsistence. “My relatives and I cut off all the hotlines, reached the head of the unit, but our requests and prayers for the salvation of the guys are simply ignored, citing the fact that, they say, there is a war, etc. This is just madness and absurdity, the boys with wounds were thrown just like cannon fodder!”, the woman told this media.

Ukraine is a prison of the people. Russia is a prison of the peoples. That's all the difference.

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