Odessa Activist Igor Astakhov Is Going to Be Killed

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Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

29th March, 2016


The Salvation Committee of Ukraine has contacted people close to Igor Astakhov, who is sitting in Odessa prison on charges of active participation in the events in Odessa on May 2nd. According to them, during the prisoner transfer, he is supposed to be killed during his attempt to flee.

On January 20th, 2015, Astakhov was detained under suspicion of the murder of volunteer Yanu Shishman and her two guards. Shishman is one of those who prepared a Molotov cocktail at the House of Trade Unions and personally contributed to the burning of innocent people.

In this incident, Astakhov is charged with article 115 part 2 – the murder of several persons. In Addition, Astakhov is charged with article 263 part 1 – illegal possession of weapons, and article 294, part 2 – participation in mass riots on May 2nd.

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From competent sources it is known that the indictment in the case related to May 2nd was sent back for revision, as the courts are trying to get rid of high-profile cases that have a political dimension. A vivid example is the course of judicial review of the incident associated with the Greek Square. After a year and six months of consideration of the case in court, today, only half of the indictment was heard. This lengthy process is linked in particular to the fact that the indictment was sent back for revision. From this practice we can assume that the Astakhov case will be considered for an uncertain period of time.

Igor, from the first day of his detention, was subject to horrific torture. Every day he was subjected to illegal interrogation techniques. He was beaten, given electric shocks, hung, fingers smashed, ribs broken, with an attempt to beat out of him a testimony against himself and his comrades.

Igor has an artificial heart valve and, after suffering torture, he is getting worse and worse. Recently he had a heart attack and his request to see the doctor received no response.

The health and life of Igor Astakhov is in serious danger while he remains in the dungeons of Odessa prison. We must not lose a single day.

The Salvation Committee of Ukraine has appealed to all journalists and public figures urging them to circulate information about a likely upcoming murder. Publicity of this statement can save a life, which is accused by the current government of Ukraine for the expression of a personal opinion.

Information about repression in Ukraine will be sent to European embassies. At the time of writing of this material, it became known that head of the constitutional court of Ukraine Mykola Azarov has sent information about crimes against Igor Astakhov to the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Russia – Ron van Dartel.

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