37-year-old Yuriy Ilchenko, accused of extremism on the occupied peninsula, escaped from home arrest to mainland Ukraine
Russian occupant authorities in Crimea force Ukrainian political prisoners to confess to numerous crimes against the Russian state. This is according to Yuriy Ilchenko, a blogger from the city of Sevastopol, who managed to escape from Russia-occupied peninsula two months ago.
37-year-old Ilchenko was arrested in summer 2015. Russian Federal Security Service charged him with extremism and terrorism after he called upon Crimean economic blockade on his Facebook account. Ilchenko spent 11 months in remand prison. In June, he was placed under home arrest.
Ilchenko reports the penitentiary officials ordered other detained criminals to torture Ukrainian political prisoners, provoking them and beating constantly. Now the escaped blogger is reluctant to unveil how he managed to reach Ukraine mainland. Currently, he is living in Lviv in western Ukraine with his parents.
Yuriy Ilchenko, former Crimean political prisoner:
I was beaten regularly. Russian servicemen beat me, other criminals also attacked regularly, since it was their task to torture me and other political prisoners. They were promised to leave prison sooner. Being there, I have decided I would prefer to be killed on the battlefield rather than return to a Russian prison.