Ukrainian citizen Pavlo Hryb disappeared on August 24 in Belarus. His whereabouts and the cause of the disappearance are still unknown. The Belarusian side officially confirmed that Pavlo had crossed the Belarusian border, but Belarusian law-enforcement agencies deny the detention of a 19-year-old Ukrainian in their territory. This was announced by Ihor Hryb, the father of the missing Pavlo Hryb, during a press briefing at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
His father said that the reason of disappearance of his son could be a pronounced pro-Ukrainian position of the boy in the posts in Vkontakte social network. “When events on the Maidan and military aggression began, he took them painfully and took a patriotic position. I think that some posts in the social network ‘Vkontakte’ have shown the interest of the relevant special services of the Russian Federation”, – said Ihor Hryb.
Pavlo Hryb was supposed to meet his friend, a citizen of the Russian Federation, on August 24 in the Belarusian city of Gomel.They maintained relations only via social media. The boy had to return home the same day, but that did not happen. The next day, his father went to Gomel in order to find a son. “In Gomel, near the bus station, I saw policemen and told them that I was looking for a son Pavlo,” Ihor Hryb said. During the conversation, a representative of the Belarusian law enforcement agency checked Pavlo’s record in their database. The father says he saw with his own eyes on the tablet of the policeman the information that his son was wanted in accordance with Article 205 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The initiator of the search is the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation in Krasnodar. The father notes that, if such information was available, the border guards should have removed Pavlo from the bus, detained and transferred to the initiator of the search. According to verified data, at the border, no one was detained or taken off the bus. “Belarusian border guards let him in. If border guards let somebody in, it means they have received an appropriate command from the border guard leadership. And who gave the leadership a command – I cannot say for sure,” said Pavlo’s father.
The family has an official confirmation from border authorities of Belarus and Ukraine on Pavlo crossing the state borders. There is no official confirmation from the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation about the arrest of Pavlo or about other actions by Russian law-enforcement agencies. “The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation has initiated, organized and executed this abduction,” said Yevhenia Zakrevska, a lawyer and representative of the Hryb family.
The situation is aggravated because Pavlo has a disability. When he was a child, doctors have diagnosed a congenital developmental anomaly. “His body fails to properly provide the blood supply to all internal organs. Because of this, he developed chronic diseases and a number of other pathologies “, said his sister Olha. The family has already sent numerous statements to various authorities in the Russian Federation, the European Court of Human Rights on the application of urgent measures, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and other institutions. The family calls on the international community, the UN, the OSCE, the EU, and the US to demand from Russia to provide comprehensive information on the place of detention of Pavlo, the accusations made against him and to provide access to medical care and treatment. Pavlo’s lawyer and relatives request Belarus to ensure proper investigation of the abduction and ensure cooperation with Ukrainian law-enforcement agencies. “He needs to be released right now because the threat to his life is direct and very severe”, emphasized the lawyer of the family Mrs. Zakrevskaya.