: Human Rights in Ukraine: Arrested in Ukraine for being Russian?

15:13 Apr. 10, 2016

Human Rights in Ukraine: Arrested in Ukraine for being Russian?

Anastasia Leonova posing for a photo in mid-July, while volunteering in Ukraine's east. Photo by Facebook/AnastasiaLeonova

Kremlin critic Anastasia Leonova is suspected of planning terrorist activities

4 months have passed since Anastasia Leonova was arrested in Kyiv and concern is mounting that the 33-year-old Kremlin critic is in detention because Ukraine's SBU [Security Service] needed a Russian.  Not just one, with the grounds for detaining two other Russians - Olga Shevelyova and Pavel Pyatakov – seeming questionable.    

Leonova is from Moscow where she is reported to have taken part in various demonstrations against the Vladimir Putin regime, and in support of Ukraine. 

She came to Ukraine in April 2015 and worked on a voluntary basis, teaching first aid skills, to Ukrainian volunteers, first in a Right Sector training camp outside Kharkiv, then later in an Azov Civic Corps training camp.  Her mother says that she became disillusioned towards the end of the summer and moved to Kyiv where she found work as a wine steward. 

Read also Russia holds secret drills on potential 'Moscow Maidan' suppression (video)

Four months have passed since  Anastasia Leonova was arrested.

Her phone number was found on the mobile phone of Oleh Muzhchil [known as Lesnik] who was killed during a shootout with SBU Alpha special unit officers on Dec 9, 2015, a few hours before 7 people including Leonova were arrested.   

If the SBU has any evidence unrelated to Muzhchil against Leonova, they have successfully concealed this from her and her lawyer.  On those grounds alone it would be important to understand who Muzhchil was, however there are other more disturbing reasons as well.

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