: Ukrainian Afanasyev and Soloshenko exchanged for other two Ukrainians wished in Moscow
Society18:30 Jun. 21, 2016

Ukrainian Afanasyev and Soloshenko exchanged for other two Ukrainians wished in Moscow

Accused of separatism, Hlyschynska and Didenko were preparing Donbas scenario in Odesa region

The plane with Hennadiy Afanasyev and Yuriy Soloshenko on board landed in Ukraine's capital, at the Boryspil airport, in a special zone on June 14.

Both Ukrainians were immediately sent to the hospital.

Hennadiy Afanasyev was captured in Russia-occupied Crimea two years ago. He reports of having been tortured and forced to witness in the case against Ukrainians Oleh Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko. On having refused, Henndaiy was himself accused of conspiring to commit terrorism in Russia and sentenced to seven years behind bars.

73-year-old Yuriy Soloshenko, a former director of Poltava-based defence plant "Znamya" was arrested in Moscow and later accused of purchasing goods for constructing anti-aircraft warfare for the Ukrainian army. Russian court sentenced him to six years in high-security prison.

Read also Soloshenko: "I met Russian army officers imprisoned for supporting Ukraine"

Both Ukrainians were exchanged for two pro-Russian supporters Olena Hlyschynska and Valeriy Didenko involved in the tragic events that occurred in Odesa on May 2nd in 2014. This is when their story started.

Russia failed to develop the separatist movement "Kulykove pole" launching instead a new project named "People's Council of Besarabia". Its top management is situated in Moscow, headed by the Kremlin official Inal Ardzimba. Recruited by Russian secret service, a local Odesa journalist Olena Hlyschynska was supposed to organize informational support for the newly established separatist wing. 

Read also Odesa. May 2: What Really Happened - Watch on Ukraine Today

Vadym Labas, representative of organiszation Oberig: "Hlyschynska was responsible for organizing the first gathering of the People's Council of Besarabia. By that time we had already known their goals and were strictly controlling their deeds, following every step."

Both Hlyschynska and Didenko were arrested after the first meeting. A video recorded earlier shows the organizers paying money for the actors supposed to launch a mass crowd, seemingly willing to separate from Ukrainian state. After arriving in Moscow Hlyschynska confirms to have been an activist of People's Council of Besarabia, though claiming it was a cultural project.

Watch also Soloshenko and Afanasyev released from hospital

Olena Hlyschynska, journalist: "We were arrested as the participants of People's Council of Besarabia. This is national cultural movement, having nothing in common with politics. However, the authorities chose to call it a separatist movement, since we did not follow their official vector."

Recruited by Kremlin, the local activists were supposed to capture the main state buildings during the state holidays of May 2nd and May 9th. In order to prevent Kyiv from military assistance the terrorists were going to damage two main bridges uniting the region of Besarabia with the rest of Ukraine. Kremlin military help was anticipated to arrive from pro-Russian self-proclaimed Transnistria and neigbouring autonomous Gagauzia.

Though having failed to launch one more separatist unit in southern Ukraine, Russia currently is preoccupied with another idea, that is promoting the status of porto franco for Odesa meaning free port and free economic zone for the city.


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