Brazilian Donbass Volunteer Betrayed by His Own Government

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The Brazilian Donbass veteran Rafael Marques Lusvarghi, who was taken hostage by Ukrainian fascists and handed over to the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), remains in Ukrainian custody awaiting trial. Lusvarghi’s lawyer has revealed the details of Lusvarghi’s situation and what has happened to his kidnappers.

In early May, Rafael Marques Lusvarghi was assaulted and violent kidnapped by members of the Ukrainian fascist group S14 from the monastery where he was taking refuge and given to the SBU.

A Kiev court later has since demanded that the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) open a case against the leader of the radical Ukrainian group, Yevgeny Karas, for acts of terrorism and illegal deprivation of liberty, referring to the aggression against Lusvarghi.

The fact that a case was opened against Karas is rather surprising, since the S14 leader admitted to having cooperated with the SBU. This whole case is a testimony to the lawlessness prevailing in post-Maidan Ukraine. 

Speaking about the capture of Lusvarghi, Brazilian lawyer Valentin Rybin reiterated to the opinion he has expressed on Facebook, blaming the Brazilian embassy.

According to Rybin, the Brazilian Embassy in Kiev, in particular the consul, sent an official letter to the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, stating that Lusvarghi was taking refuge in a monastery outside of Kiev.

“I spoke to them, I saw their loyalty to the new Ukrainian course, and I think this was a motivation to provide information to the consul so that he would inform everyone of Rafael,” Rybin said.

The lawyer recalled that both he and his client asked the consul to issue return documents, but the embassy never did.

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Rafael is currently awaiting trial and the lawyer believes that this will not be delayed, with a sentence to be made in July most likely.

Between September 2014 and November 2015, Lusvarghi fought in the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic and was subsequently arrested in the Ukrainian capital in October 2016.

In January 2017, the Brazilian was sentenced to 13 years in prison for “acts of terrorism” against the Ukrainian state. However, after some time he was released for possible irregularities in the process and took refuge in a monastery where he was detained by the nationalists in May .supposedly for the purpose of exchanging him for a Ukrainian prisoner of war.

“On December 18, 2017, Rafael Lusvarghi was released from prison precisely in preparation for the exchange [of prisoners] that took place on December 27, 2017…on the condition that Rafael Lusvarghi also received freedom,” said the lawyer.

However, according to Rybin, the Brazilian did not return to the DPR because he had no documents. So he made the decision to go to Brazil from Ukraine after receiving a passport. According to his lawyer, the Ukrainian side made it possible for the Brazilian to return home, but the Brazilian Embassy did not want him to return home.

The lawyer highlighted that cases of this type are time-consuming and difficult to overcome. He also explained that he receives constant threats for defending his client.

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