Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

“Task for Vlad Is to Stand Firm, to Survive”: Fight for Returning Vladyslav Yesypenko Has Been Lasting for 3 Years Already

Three years ago, on March 10, 2021, the FSB detained Vladyslav Yesypenko, a freelance journalist of the Krym.Realiyi project, in the occupied Crimea on the charge of “connections with Ukrainian intelligence services” and “storage and transportation of ammunition”. Vladyslav was put to torture and pressure to make him “confess”. In February 2022, he was convicted. It is three years already that his family, human rights defenders, and the public have been fighting for his release.

According to his spouse, Mrs. Kateryna Yesypenko, since September 1, 2022, Mr. Vladyslav Yesypenko has been held in Penal Colony no 2, city of Kerch.

“This is a general security regime colony with more or less acceptable conditions. Speaking with me, Vlad has never showed any weakness, has never complained. But it is necessary to get used to the new conditions, not to resist them, in order to save more internal energy for the maximum long distance. Vladyslav has noticed many times that some people, among the prisoners, are keeping an eye on him. They are spying on his circle of contacts, topics of conversation, what he is prone to, etc. They may be looking for situations to provoke him. We also know that the FSB has been still monitoring the case, that is not a very good sign.

This makes chances of parole or at least changing the regime to a more lenient one absolutely null.

Unfortunately, I can’t buy him a ticket home. The task for Vlad is to stand firm, to survive. Mine is to do everything for his release”, Mrs. Yesypenko said.

The fight for returning Vladyslav Yesypenko has been lasting for three years. Mrs.Yesypenko says that since the start of the full-scale armed Russian invasion of Ukraine the number of civil captives held by Russia in violation of all current international norms, has increased thousandfold.

“Thus, it is difficult to keep a specific case of a prisoner highlighted, focused on. However, I believe that all governmental bodies of Ukraine involved in the process of exchange and negotiations, do everything they may. And we all also understand well how Russia fulfills its obligations. It is difficult to predict anything. We do not know what external international decisions could impact on the return of civilians, how well the Ukrainian military may be equipped to get advantage on the battlefield that may have a direct impact on our advantage in the negotiation process. We hope”, Kateryna says.

To remind,

  • On March 10, 2021, Vladyslav Yesypenko born in Kryvyi Rih was detained at Angarsky Pass. In the peninsula he was on the editorial assignment of KRYM.REALII media. For example, on the eve of his detention, he filmed laying flowers at a monument to Shevchenko in Simferopol’.
  • The FSB stated that he allegedly worked for the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine, and “an explosive device was found” in his car.
  • The journalist told the details of how Russian security agents had tortured him after his arrest on March 10 to extract a confession that he was allegedly working for Ukrainian intelligence service. He, for instance, informed that the security agents had put a bag on his head and prevented him from breathing to obtain a guilty plea.
  • On February 16, 2022, “judge” Dliaver Berberov found Yesypenko guilty of possessing and processing an explosive device, sentenced him to 6 years in the general security regime penal colony and fined him RUR110,000.
  • On May 26, 2022, the “Supreme Court of Crimea” was to consider an appeal against the Vladyslav Yesypenko’s verdict, but dropped the case and returned it to the “court” of first instance to rectify the violations: to present the court session protocol to the defence. The court judgement was not cancelled, with only a technical issue to be resolved.

On August 18, 2022, the appeal against the sentence of Mr.Yesypenko was considered, with the sentence term reduced by a year: the “Supreme Court of Crimea” made a decision on a 5-years’ sentence to be served in the general security regime penal colony, and a fine of RUR105,000.

Scroll to Top