by the Collective of Investigative Journalists, August 20, 2017
The Russians treated Nadiya Savchenko like a lady; the Ukrainians beat up women.
August 13-14th,2017: Darya Mastikasheva the civil partner of our colleague the famous Russian investigative reporter Sergey Sokolov is visiting her mother and son at their dacha outside the city of Dnepro, Ukraine.
She receives a call from Alexander, a friend, asking her to meet him that evening, they agreed on a venue in Dnepro. Darya drove to the venue, whilst parking her car she was suddenly blocked in by two black cars, four armed and masked men jumped out and ordered her out of her vehicle. They took hold of her, put a bag over her head, handcuffed her and bundled her into a car. She had been kidnapped.
She was driven to what appeared to be an empty building and thrown into a locked basement room. Some hours later, two masked men came in and proceeded to beat her up.
They demanded that she must make an on-camera statement that she is acting on the orders of her partner Sergey Sokolov, that he has instructed her to find three specific men, ex-soldiers of the Ukrainian anti-terrorist unit in Donetsk and Lughansk regions. She must tell them that they are to travel to Moscow with some bags containing clothing, a notebook and documents that she has and take photos and video of some specific areas of the Moscow Metro and a government building. They must then prepare to commit a terrorist act in the Metro. She must make it clear that she is working on the instructions of Sergey Sokolov.
Darya refuses to make such a statement, knowing that it is a complete fabrication, Sergey is a journalist, not a terrorist.
Three masked men then proceeded to strip her naked and tortured her for at least an hour, beating her on the head, kicking her, and throttling her with their hands.
It was only when they threatened to go and collect her mother and son and give them the same treatment that Darya agreed to do what they asked.
They dressed her and took her to an adjacent room where a chair and a camcorder were already set up, they gave her a pre-written statement which she read on camera.
Some time later Darya was taken to hospital by SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) agents where it was found that she was deaf in one ear and had suffered a severe injury to one eye. She managed to briefly meet her mother nearby who took the photograph of her injuries and hear her story. Darya was then taken away again by the agents. She is now in an SBU prison, where she has been told she will stay for at least two months.
The video was shown soon after on the main Ukraine TV channel in the programme “Today”, it was described as clear evidence that Sokolov is a terrorist.
We can assume that as she is in an SBU prison that it is the government of Ukraine that planned and performed this illegal kidnap, torture and imprisonment of a completely innocent woman in order to frame her partner Sergey Sokolov, who’s work as an investigative journalist, we can also assume, must have worried the Ukrainian authorities to the extent that they were prepared to act illegally in an attempt to silence him.
Please help Darya and Sergey, who is at his wits end, reblog this article and photograph, spread this story as widely as possible, the only thing that the SBU and the government of Ukraine are scared of is that the truth becomes widely known.