Russian security services illegally hold Lviv student Yuriy Yatsenko for over 4 months now


Kyiv, August 23, 2014. Four FSB (Russian Federal Security Service) agents took the illegally detained Yuri Yatsenko into the woods where they were beating and torturing him for several hours, reported Petro Zaikin, the Russian lawyer of the Ukrainian student and political prisoner Yuri during the press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. The event was also attended by Bohdan Yarychevskyy and Serhiy Yatsenko, Yuri’s friend and father respectively.

On May 6th both Yuri Yatsenko and Bohdan Yarychevsky were detained by the Russian police in the city of Oboyan (Kursk region of the Russian Federation). According to Bohdan, the reason for this was the fact that they were the residents of Lviv, Ukraine. This is why the representatives of the Russian special services accused students of allegedly having relations with radical organizations and carrying out subversive activities in Russia. Despite the Russian court’s decision to expel both students back to Ukraine has entered into force on May 20, Bohdan had been illegally detained in Russia until August 9, and Yuri is still there.

Petro Zaikin, Yuri Yatsenko’s lawyer, said that during the investigation and trial, he witnessed a gross violation of Russian criminal procedural law. He gave evidence that the case against Yuri had been clearly rigged by the Russian FSB and aims to discredit the Ukrainian state and its leadership. The student’s attorney spoke about numerous instances of psychological pressure and torture that were performed by the special services against his client, which is why the political prisoner was forced to resort to self-injuring himself. Zaikin also noted that “the FSB plans to “investigate” the case for three or four months, and they are not in a hurry.”

Serhiy Yatsenko, the father of political prisoner, said that his son was repeatedly offered to give up his Ukrainian citizenship and ask for political asylum in Russia. This was later planned to be used for propaganda purpose. Failure of the student to cooperate has led to him being accused of smuggling explosives. Despite the assistance of Russian human rights activists, including Svetlana Gannushkina, and the absence of clear evidence of his guilt, Yuri continues to be detained in a special camp of the Federal Migration Service in the Russian Federation, and cannot leave.