The aggressor or rescuer: why Russia assists Ukrainians abroad

Author : Artur Rodivilov

Source : 112 Ukraine

Since the beginning of the military conflict in the Donbas, thousands of Ukrainians were captured, but the Russian Foreign Ministry continues to participate in solving problems of our compatriots abroad
20:47, 29 October 2015


Release of the Ukrainians, captive in the temporarily occupied territory of Donbas and in Russia is the main priority, as repeatedly emphasized President Poroshenko, in particular during the negotiations in Normandy format.

According to Poroshenko, during the time after adopting the Minsk Agreement, militants released 2911 Ukrainians from captivity, 148 are still in custody, including in the territory of Russia.

The fate of the abducted Ukrainians not only in Russia but also in other countries is still unknown, and within the context of efforts to free the hostages of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, information about Ukrainians prisoners in distant countries is to some extent lost in the general information flow.

112 International decided to find out how many of our citizens have been kidnapped and released in other countries, and why Russia, recognized as the aggressor country, participates in the rescue of the Ukrainians.

In a strange far land

As the Foreign Ministry stated, for October 7, 6 citizens of Ukraine are still held in captivity by illegal armed groups as prisoners - four in Libya and two more in the war-torn Syria.

During the last year, 20 our citizens were released from the captivity. Among them are 18 persons, who were held in Libya and freed in August 2014.

In August 2015, one Ukrainian became a victim of an armed attack on LeByblos hotel in Sevar, Mali. Then the gunmen attacked the hotel where foreigners lived. During the whole night they held people as hostages in the hotel, including members of the UN mission.

Four Ukrainians had been captured during the attack. One of them died, another managed to escape. In general, the attacks and the subsequent operation at least 13 people were killed.

Another Ukrainian citizen, who was kidnapped in Afghanistan, was released in late August of this year..

A story of release

Dmytro Bilyi was captured by one of the militant groups in Afghanistan. Thanks to the joint efforts of Russian and Afghan intelligence agencies, as well as Russian Foreign Minister - less than in a month Bilyi was rescued from captivity.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry addressed the information about Bilyi’s possible abduction to the Ukrainian Embassy in Tajikistan and Afghanistan due to the respond of 112 Agency.

Our editorial office in a few hours after publication a video on the YouTube channel in which Ukrainian citizen at gunpoint asks for help. After receiving the information, the Foreign Ministry promised to respond quickly.

The same day, a woman appealed to the Foreign Ministry regarding disappearance of her husband in Afghanistan, who worked as an engineer. The woman recognized her husband Dmytro Bilyi in the video.

Foreign Ministry addressed through diplomatic channels to the authorities of Afghanistan. Embassy of Ukraine in Tajikistan and Afghanistan liaised with Kabul police, which began investigation of the case.

As part of the response to the abduction of Dmytro Bilyi, Foreign Ministry also asked for help the USA, Britain, Iran, Russia, the Red Cross, the UN mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA.

On August 29, the Ukrainian side became aware of Bilyi’s release and his staying at the Russian Embassy to Afghanistan.

On September 2, a group of the Ukrainian side was sent to Afghanistan, accompanied by the Ukrainian military contingent from the NATO coalition forces, which met Bilyi in Kabul. September 9, he returned to Ukraine.

"I want to thank Russian side for my salvation", said the man at a meeting in the Russian Embassy in Kabul. There he lived for several days, before transferring to the Ukrainian side.

Moscow said it has joined the search for the kidnapped  at the request of Kyiv. Details of the operation of Bilyi’s release were not disclosed.

Under what conditions it was possible to release the Ukrainian citizen, it is not reported. Experts close to the secret services suggest that Bilyi was released as part of some larger operation and the kidnapping could become a "makeweight" to the main objectives of the operation.

According to the sources, it is possible that Bilyi cooperated with the secret services, so practical details of his release are not known.

Even after White was taken to the Russian embassy in Kabul, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that it possesses "no information on the fact of release of the hostage."

Evacuation of Ukrainians

Since the beginning of the Russian aggression in Ukraine,  Russian Emergency Situations Ministry continues evacuating our citizens from the "hot spots" of other countries.

So, on October 17, 56 people have been evacuated from Syria to the Russian Federation, including four Ukrainians. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported only about one Ukrainian.

There are cases of evacuation of our citizens from Nepal, when the long-suffering Ukrainian military aircraft in a few days could not be repaired for sending our citizens from the area of large-scale earthquake.

The Foreign Ministry stated that the evacuation of Ukrainian citizens in connection with the extraordinary events abroad involving transport capacity of other countries is a common international practice, taking into account the interaction of the humanitarian aspects of aid to victims. "Human life and health is the highest value, and our people are free to choose an affordable way to save themselves."

Despite the fact that the Ukrainian parliament officially recognized Russia as the aggressor country in connection with the military conflict, diplomatic relations between the countries were not broken, as it was in Georgian case. Russia continues participating in the liberation of Ukrainians abroad and refuses to release our citizens, prisoners on its territory.

In psychoanalysis, there is a model of the interaction between people called Karpman drama triangle – a typical bond the three main problematic roles in human relations.

According to this view, the diversity of roles that underlies the games that people play can be reduced to three main ones – the persecutor, the victim of harassment, and the rescuer. Triangle, which combined these roles, is a symbol of their relationship and constant change.

Karpman wrote, "Three dramatic roles of this game - the rescuer, the persecutor, and the victim - are actually melodramatic oversimplification of real life. We see ourselves as generous rescuers grateful or ungrateful, righteous persecutors, and victims of violent persecutors".

Perhaps it is the brilliant example of relationship between the two countries. At the same time Russia actively took over the role of rescuer and persecutor, and Ukraine, unfortunately, in some aspects, is still in the role of victim.

Related: 9 Ukrainians released from militants' captivity

Related: Agreement on exchange of 10 Ukrainian captives was reached in Minsk

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