In Donbas, Gunmen Abduct People for Ransom, says Volynets  

Gunmen have started abducting people for ransom in Donbas, Federation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine President Mykhailo Volynets told Channel 112 on May 31.

According to him, recently in Antracyt (Lyhansk Oblast) gunmen have kidnapped an employee of the State Automobile Inspectorate, 27-year-old Volodymyr Davydenko, and are now demanding one million UAH for his release. Volynets has said that the father of the kidnapped employee was a well-known manager of the state’s haulage company in the past and also owns his own vehicle fleet.

 “The separatists in this region have put together a dossier of every citizen who is skilled and intelligent, and can set up his own business. I think any kind of business, be it small, medium, or large, is under threat by the separatists’ actions,” stated the head of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine.

Volynets highlighted that the most active figure amongst the abductors is a citizen of Rostov-On-Don Oblast in Russia, a cossack. He often appears on local television, telling the local population that “they will reach Kyiv and go even further.”

“And when the miners were abducted in Donetsk Oblast, their pocket money was taken away from them. Murza [a Chechen] tore a golden chain off Oleksandr Gukov’s [a miner] neck and took it away together with a cross, cut a ring off his finger, as well as that of Kostya Museika, damaging their fingers as a result,” he told. According to Volynets, the looters often weren’t even wearing masks, since “they have no fear.” The families of the kidnapped are often trying to negotiate with the abductors.

“Right now we are trying to create a database of everyone who has been kidnapped, to identify the damages caused to them, both physical and mental. We are trying to find out who exactly has kidnapped them.

Unfortunately, there is no specific cooperation with the state agencies over here,” summed up Volynets.


Translated by Dasha Darchuk, edited by Alya Shandra  

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Another journalist missing in Luhansk


Volodymyr Startsev

A journalist for the weekly “Nedelya Plus” Volodymyr Startsev has disappeared in Luhansk, reports Ukrainska Pravda, citing Channel 5, May 17. According to the TV channel, Startsev left the house of his friends, but never made it home. He is not responding to phone calls. Colleagues suspect his disappearance is connected to his professional activities. They say police are searching for him.

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Local cultural leader killed by Donetsk militants


Kranyy Lyman coat of arms

Kharkiv Oblast police discovered the body of the missing pro-Ukrainian activist Valeriy Salo in the Hrekivskyy woods in the Luhansk Oblast, reports Radio Svoboda, May 8. Salo was the chairman of the Prosvita (Ukrainian cultural society — Ed.) center in Krasnyy Lyman in the Donetsk Oblast.

The burned car with the burned body of Valeriy Salo was found Thursday, May 8. He had been kidnapped the previous day by militants of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic.” The Deputy head of the Prosvita chapter of the Donetsk Oblast, Maria Oliynyk, described the event to Radio Svoboda: Continue reading

Renowned theater director disappears in Slovyansk

Pavlo Yurov

Two residents of Donetsk and Luhansk have disappeared for almost a day: the theater director Pavlo Yurov, winner of the Kyiv Pectoral award, and Denys Hryshchuk, a volunteer in the arts, reports Ukrainska Pravda, after being contacted by friends of the two men.

According to friends, theater director Pavlo Yurov, born in 1982, and volunteer Denys Hryshchuk, born in 1985, have disappeared and have not responded to phone calls for almost a day. One is from Luhansk, the other from Donetsk. They were in Slovyansk for the day and were supposed to return to Kyiv from Slovyansk by train on April 26 at night. As of 18:00, April 25, the phones of the two men stopped responding. “Parents of the two men are looking for them, but in vain.” the friends say.

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