We Will Not Forget And Will Not Stop: CrimeaSOS Organized a Protest in Support of Victims of Forced Disappearances in Crimea 

26 / 05 / 2021

 The goal of our demonstration is to remind Ukrainian society about forced disappearances in Crimea. 

For the last five years, CrimeaSOS organizes protests in front of the Russian embassy in Kyiv in order to remind Russia that as an occupying power, it must effectively investigate forced disappearances in Crimea. 

But Russia ignores our demands. 

This demonstration included a small performance. Members of the CrimeaSOS team walked in circles in front of the Russian embassy. They were holding signs with the names of victims of the forced disappearances in Crimea. 

According to Denys Savchenko, a coordinator of CrimeaSOS, this performance shows that our demonstrations and protests might seem an endless walk in circles of our demands and Russian absence of response. But we will continue organizing them until we know the fate of all victims of forced disappearances. 

“For the relatives of the victims of forced disappearances, our demonstrations are very important. We thank the media, who tell the society that the occupation of Crimea involves not just a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, not just political prisoners, but many other violations of human rights, including kidnappings. Even though our demonstrations do not get a response from Russia, we will continue talking about the forced disappearances. And we will demand Russia to provide information about those crimes and to investigate them,” – said Denys Savchenko. 

It is important to note that Russia is not interested in the effective investigation because the occupying authorities of Crimea were involved in those crimes. 

As Yevhen Iaroshenko, analyst of CrimeaSOS, said in his speech, kidnappings in Crimea are a method of intimidation of those who resist the Russian occupation of the peninsula. 

“Exactly seven years ago, on May 26th, 2014, roughly at this time, Timur Shaimardanov disappeared in Simferopol. One of his associatesSeiran Zinedinov, got involved in searches. But four days later, he disappeared as well. He was kidnapped near one of the gas stations of Simferopol. Back then, the Ukrainian law enforcement services discovered that signals from the phones of both victims came from the same place – near the sanatorium “Delphin” not far from Yevpatoria. Despite all the available information, Russian police did not investigate those cases. Moreover, this kind of passiveness demonstrates that this was a planned operation of the kidnapping of the pro-Ukrainian activists. Because after Shaimardanov and Zinedinov were kidnapped, the actives resistance to the occupation of Crimea stopped,” – said Yevhen Iaroshenko. 

As we informed earlier since 2014, 44 persons in Crimea became victims of forced disappearances. Nineteen of them were found alive. Three were located in places of detainment. One person was extradited abroad. Six were found dead. The fate of 15 persons remains unknown. 

Those persons are Timur ShaimardanovSeiran ZinedinovIsliam DzhepparovDzhevlet IsliamovEskander Apselimov, Mukhtar Arislanov, Ruslan Ganiev, Arlen Terekhov, Ervin Ibragimov, Eskander IbraimovVelerii Vashchuk, Ivan BondaretsVasyl ChernyshFedir Kostenko and Arsen Aliev. 


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