Saturday, September 13, 2014

Detained, Beaten and Tortured by Separatists in Donetsk Ordeal

SEPT. 12, 2014

DONETSK, Ukraine — FOR months as this region slipped deeper into war, with armed gunmen on patrol and artillery shells slamming into the regional capital daily, Aleksandr and his wife, Olga, had learned to take precautions. With people disappearing from the streets every week, they usually went everywhere together, and when apart kept in constant touch by cellphone.

But Aleksandr never thought he would run into trouble. A trained electronic engineer, at 49 he had lived in the Donetsk region for 40 years and had worked for the last 20 as a small-time merchant with his wife at the city’s open-air market. A slight man with a wiry strength, he looks like an ordinary worker in casual clothes. Luckily for him, he was fit.

“He does not drink or smoke,” said Olga, who like her husband would not give her last name out of fear for her safety.

He was on his way home from the market on Aug. 10, and had just changed buses and taken out his cellphone to call Olga so she could meet the bus. The fighting around the city had intensified and there were few people out. It was midafternoon and there was just one other passenger on the bus, a young woman.

(More here.)


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