More than twenty people have been abducted and at least four killed in areas of Ukraine occupied by Russian troops, including local political leaders and journalists trying to report on the invasion, the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) denounced today.
Among those extrajudicially executed was Yuri Prilipko, head of the self-government of Gostomel, a town in the Kyiv region, who was shot dead along with two local volunteers while delivering food and medicine to local residents on March 7, the NGO said in a statement.
Another local politician, Oleksandr Kononov, was shot dead on March 13 near his home in the town of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
Among those kidnapped are journalist Oleg Baturin, whose case was already reported earlier this week, but also his colleague Serhiy Tsihipa, activist Olga Haisumova and three leaders of localities occupied by the Russian army on Ukrainian soil, the NGO said in a statement.
Tsihipa disappeared on March 12 in the occupied locality of Nova Kakhova, Kherson region, while walking his dog (which was found alone and tied up in the street), while Haisumova was abducted after organizing a protest march against Russia in the locality of Melitopol, Zaporiya region.
The mayor of the same town, Ivan Fedorov, was abducted by soldiers who entered the local government building and took him away with his head covered by a bag, and the head of the town’s District Council, Serhiy Prima, disappeared after eight Russian army personnel raided his apartment.
The six abducted by the Russian army could be joined by more than a score of Ukrainian activists detained in the locality of Volnovaja, in the eastern Donetsk region, whose identities have not been confirmed, stressed OMCT, who denounced that similar attacks have taken place in Crimea and the Dombash since the Russian occupation of those areas in 2014.