Afanasyev and Soloshenko: First public statements upon returning to Ukraine

Source : 112 Ukraine

Both were hospitalized due to health issues they faced back in Russian prison
19:35, 14 June 2016

Facebook Petro Poroshenko

Former political prisoners Yuriy Soloshenko and Hennadiy Afanasyev said a couple of words for the press, immediately after their arrival in Ukraine. They spent 767 days in detention in Russia, charged with espionage and terrorism.

Yuriy Soloshenko

I’ve been waiting for this moment for a year and ten months. I’ve been waiting, hoping and believing it would happen. They threatened me, they told me my country left me for dead, they told me Ukrainian consul refused to see me; they told me I’d rather take Russian citizenship, and then they’d protect me – already as a witness, not as a defendant. On May 25, I found out that President said that Soloshenko and Afanasyev will get back to Ukraine. Some of my friends are there in Russia, but Russian state is now hostile to our country, and I guess it would stay that way until there’s Putin’s regime in Russia. So, we’ve got to do everything to release our compatriots from these cells where me and Gena (Afanasyev, - 112 International) served time.   

Hennadiy Afanasyev

Are there any foreign journalists in here? I’d like to turn to you. I faced tortures and pain, and I saw a lot of this stuff done to many people. I ask you to keep the sanctions in place and continue this policy, do not cancel any sanctions (against Russia, - 112 International). Thanks to western governments and your assistance, we’re here. Perhaps, Oleg Sentsov, Olexandr Kolchenko and other Ukrainian political prisoners will get back home – with your aid.  

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