Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) officials have accused the special forces of Ukraine of conducting mass kidnappings against relatives of the Donbas and pro-Russian activists and politicians since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. DPR Human Rights Commissioner Daria Morozova made the allegation during a briefing today, in which she stated that the daughter of a DPR people’s militia officer had been abducted by Ukrainian Special Operation Forces in Kharkiv.
According to the ombudsman, on April 16, Aleksandr Demchenko, the officer, was contacted by an unknown group of people who offered him “cooperation in exchange for cooperation,” warning him that if he refused then “anything could happen to his daughter.”
At the same time, citizens of the Russian republic of Chechnya are reporting that they are being kidnapped against their will and forced to fight as “volunteers” in Russia’s war in Ukraine, according to several human rights organizations. Hundreds of Chechen people are being rounded up for “mass abductions,” 1Adat, a human rights group that advocates against corruption in Chechnya and Russian propaganda, reported.
But Demchenko says that the people, who claimed they were members of the Ukrainian Special Operation Forces, demanded that he become a traitor and provide them with lists of captured soldiers, prisoner exchange plans, and other documents with which the officer says he has nothing to do with.
An investigation into the matter has reportedly revealed there was no official arrest of Demchenko’s daughter Ekaterina, and that she was abducted along with her husband by Ukrainian special forces and is currently being held at a secret prison.
Ekaterina has since sent her father a video saying she is being treated fairly. She asked him to cooperate with the abductors in “a calm fashion”. The ombudsman said that the only way to save the lives of the woman and her husband was to bring this situation to public attention, since any country in the world defines such actions as kidnapping and the illegal detention of people, and is punishable by law.
Morozova noted that such actions by Kyiv have become more widespread since Russia launched its military offensive against Ukraine and are being carried out under guidelines coming from the US and the UK. She claims there are currently dozens of confirmed cases of people, including children, being abducted by Ukrainian special forces and subsequently being held in secret prisons, tortured both physically and mentally, and stripped of their human dignity.
Vasily Prozorov, the head of the UkrLeaks research project and a former member of Ukraine’s Security Service, noted that such practices by Kyiv’s special services, intelligence service, and the Ministry of Defense are part of the methodology the US and UK have been implanting in Kyiv since the mid-2000s. He said that Kyiv’s secret services, with the tacit consent of the West, have been playing by the methodology used by terrorist organizations. “Kidnapping, torture, murder – for all this they are given carte blanche by their visiting curators. There are dozens of secret prisons all over Ukraine, where the people they kidnapped have been kept for years.”
The DPR Prosecutor General’s office has officially launched several criminal investigations into the kidnappings, promising all the perpetrators will be found, identified, and put before a tribunal after the military operation is completed.
In a contrasting development, a senior Russian lawmaker suggested kidnapping a Nato defence minister in Ukraine three days ago and bringing them to Moscow for questioning about what “orders” the West has been giving to Kyiv. Oleg Morozov, first elected to the Russian parliament in 1993 and a member of the dominant United Russia party, said the supply of Western arms to Ukraine posed a direct threat to Russia and might require Moscow to review its military aims.
“You know, perhaps it is a fantastical plot that I have brewing … that in the near future, at some stage, a war minister of some Nato country will go by train to Kyiv to talk with (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelenskiy,” Morozov told the “60 Minutes” talk show on Rossiya-1 state TV late on Monday.