Realities of occupied territories

Author : Valentyn Torba

Source : Day

After crossing Russian border posts in social nets can get you in the basement,- Volodymyr Ruban
20:10, 13 November 2016

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After crossing the border or a boundary line with Russia even social network posts or information in cell phones can bring you "in the basement," says Volodymyr Ruban.

While the world and Ukraine in particular was anxiously following the elections in America, the Ukrainian ethnocide was occurring in the geographical center of the Europe for the whole world to see. And it’s not only about Russian military forces aggression against the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This can be called a war. And it’s about systematic annihilation of all Ukrainian things on Donbass leaving no traces of national identification.

Human souls in this context became so called exchange funds. During direct military clashes the source of this "fund" are soldiers. And it’s worth clarifying that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are even ahead of the occupant in this matter because cannon fodder made of “military Buryats” thrown on the embrasure  (as it was in Debaltseve for example) fell into captivity in bundles. But when military clashes happen and there are periodic shooting within some relatively set demarcation line, Russian bandits have nothing else to do except to catch “saboteurs” among civil people. Russian bandits do it on the occupied territories in the exactly same way as the official Kremlin does.

Against Roman Sushchenko’s situation, a man who crossed the Russian border and found himself in Kremlin’s casemates, all other stories of young people - fans of Luhansk FC "Zorya" - naively taking photos with Ukrainian flag in Lugansk, take back seat. Patriots from all Ukraine were happily sharing these photos in social networks but not so many people advised them to be more careful. It seemed that you can easily unfold Ukrainian flag in the middle of the occupied territory. And it’s a dangerous illusion which has already ruined many destinies. These four young men were seized by the occupation forces representatives who did not even stop to make up a world-old fairy tale about espionage. The reason for detaining these young men "in the basement" is the fact of taking photos with Ukrainian symbolics in Luhansk. Proofs? Printed in black and white pictures with symbols of “Azov” regiment, stickers and the book of Vasyl Shkliar “Chorne Sontse”.

Two years ago Ukrainians had their hands cut off for holding a trident and today we have a precedent of imprisonment for taking photos with Ukrainian flag. And there are thousands of Ukrainians killed and territories taken in between these events. So isn’t that a basis for raising an issue about Russian aggression against Ukraine having not only territorial but also ethnic character? It was reported earlier that at the beginning of November occupants detained an ordinary Ukrainian language teacher from Pervomaisk city of Luhanks region for continuing teaching according to the program established before the occupation. "After monitoring the internet resources and social networks (!) Perevalsk district Prosecutor's Office employees found alarming reports about a teacher of school #12 teaching Ukrainian language using anti-patriotic educational materials on the pages of some Odnoklassniki social network users of Perevalsk city in September this year," "Prosecutor" of Russian bandits David Kats announced.

"During investigations Perevalsk district Prosecutor's Office confirmed that at school #12 pupils of the 11th grade learn Ukrainian language according to the outline plans for Russian language schools that are not recommended by educational center of "LPR"," he added.

That’s how the teacher from Pervomaisk got into clutches of satraps for the thoughts expressed in social nets. So the question is: “Has anyone raised a question of ethnocide in a free Ukraine on official level, along with the political statements about aggression based on described situations?” We must underline that all we get from our authorities so far are political statements, but not legal front development.

Recently, the media reported about the detention of a judge of the Court of Appeal of Lugansk region, who was forced to go to the occupied area to Krasnodon city of Luhansk region to his father's the funeral.

By the way, his trip was organised with guaranteed security conditions, nevertheless violated by militants, according to the Security Service Adviser Yuriy Tandit. As a result - the judge, Vitaly Rudenko, was detained by militants. We got information about him being tortured and he is on the exchange list, according to the official information. Such cases are numerous. Information about some of the detentions appears in the Internet and media, others are covered in mystery. Russian gangsters do not hesitate to post the evidence of their crimes on sites. For example, a married couple in Luhansk was killed by occupants in summer 2014 (radio broadcaster Olena Koroliova (Kulish) and her husband), and they were marked as “eliminated” on their sites.

But of course, "voyages" of former prisoners, now deputies to Moscow create illusion of security even more. Like, if you must, you can go to the aggressor. For people's deputy Savchenko a tour to aggressor's capital ended with a dinner in a restaurant. For above-mentioned Sushchenko - with casemates. So does the Ukrainian side articulate clearly enough the dangers of contacts with Russia and their polizeis in the occupied territories? And finally, how can people forced to return to their native land stay safe?

“About crossing of the Russian border by Ukrainian citizens, we have to understand that we have mutual dislike rhetoric. Russia does not admit its complicity to the military conflict on Donbas. Officially they maintain the position of Minsk negotiators. But we realize that now, in conditions of hybrid policy, the Special Forces of both countries are not really functioning according to Minsk agreements. And of course the Special Forces that represent Donetsk and Luhansk also do not obey Minsk agreements. For instance, when I was crossing the border of Crimea I was detained for seven hours. Crossing the border or a boundary or being in the occupied territory may be dangerous as well. If you are sure that you didn’t write any extreme statements or participated in any squads, you can try to rely on this. But you have to understand that you can have your mobile phone checked on the border or they can look through your social network page to see your posts. And that can get you “into the basement” for several month. There can be situations when relatives of people who expressed their pro-Ukrainian position get in trouble. At the same time even if you did not write anything anywhere and you don’t have “a Yarosh business card” in your cell phone, your neighbors can always write a denunciation on you. There were some casualties," the Director of the Center for liberation of prisoners and the leader of the party “Officers corpus” Volodymyr Ruban comments.

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