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“Yakut's” case: Why and how a volunteer is tried in Donbas Video

“Yakut's” case: Why and how a volunteer is tried in Donbas Video

April 8: Kramatorsk court extended for 60 days the arrest of “Donbas” battalion volunteer Yuriy Korostelyov (callname “Yakut”). As it was informed earlier, he is suspected of committing a crime against the Borisovs' family from the town of Hirnyak. The military prosecutor's office claims that on November 11, 2014, Korostelyov illegally took their property worth 22 thousand Hryvnyas.



“Donbas” battalion volunteer will stay in jail for 2 more months.

As a pauluskp blogger informs in his Live Journal, Korostelyov is accused of committing the following. He, together with two other volunteers, detained a man, then he released the man, but without the court sanction, he searched the man's flat and car, took away binoculars, a disk drive, a camera, a “Polyot” watch, and bank cards. The volunteers were in camouflage, with guns, and in balaclavas. The man whose flat was searched recognized Korostelyov using a Xerox copy of the passport photograph. He said that the face oval and the form of the eye shape were the same.

The man detained by Korostelyov and the volunteers was said to be suspected by the Security Service of Ukraine of collaboration with “DPR” militants. A year after the incident the man perished. However, his death is not connected with Korostelyov.

The last evidence against Korostelyov was presented by the man's son who was in the car when the father was detained and he was in the flat during the search.

“In fact, Korostelyov was detained because in 2014-2015 he was a serviceman and as an intelligence service military detained separatists. He did not do it because he himself suspected some people. He did it due to the orders of the Security Service officers. He and his group never did it without orders. And now, because he violated the rights of “peaceful separatists”, the military prosecutor's office prosecutes him”, Korostelyov's lawyer Korobko comments on the situation in an interview to a Donbas Public TV correspondent.

At the hearing in Kramatorsk court, the judge read the decision even without making sure that all the trial participants were present in the courtroom. Simultaneously with that, Korosteluov started reading his appeal, and the judge even did not pay attention to it. The appeal was not accepted. The judge read the decision, and Korostelyov was taken out of the courtroom.



Korostelyov's case: The judge is reading the decision, without all the trial participants being present

“Inadequacy and haste of the judges is easily explained: If Korostelyov's detention had not been extended, they would have had to release him on Monday, April 10, as his previous 60-day detention had expired,” the journalist explained.

Korostelyov himself is sure that he was arrested because he prevented railway transport of coal from occupied territories. He has complained about the conditions in the jail several times.



Korostelyov fainted in the courtroom because of an old wound


Several court hearings concerning the prolongation of Korostelyov's detention have been held. In order to get to the courtroom, one had to pass by armed guards outside the court building. There were armed people in camouflage inside the courtroom too. The armed guards are present at the court hearing too, as it was demanded by the judges.



Battalion “Donbas” volunteer is being tried in Bakhmut


Lawyer Korobko thinks there are a lot of mistakes in the case.



“Yakut's” trial in Bakhmut: The court building cordoned off by armed guards

At first, judge Anastasiya Mikhalchenko considered the restrained for Korostelyov. She had been transferred to Kramatorsk from Hornyatskiy court in Makiivka which is now occupied by “DPR”. The lawyers demanded the withdrawal of Mikhalchenko.

The second judge was Andriy Lutay from Kramatorsk. He gave the permission to detain Korostelyov this January. Due to that, the defense demanded his withdrawal, and the corresponding decision was made by local judge Yuliya Fomina.

At the hearing on March 7, the military prosecution office insisted on the prolongation of the detention of the suspect for a month as, being free, the suspect may have influenced witnesses. Besides, the military prosecutor thinks that the suspect is guilty in 30 more episodes of felony and he may be sentences to 7-12 years of imprisonment. Verkhovna Rada people's deputy Yaroslav Markevych wanted to bail Yuriy Korostelyov, but the court decided to prolong the arrest. The defendant did not agree with the court decision and started a non-dry hunger strike. However, the workers of the jail refused to take water for the defendant from volunteers.

“As far as I know, he wanted to start a non-dry hunger strike, but there is no opportunity to transfer water for him. Activists from Artemivsk “The Right Sector” tried to do that. But the jail guards say that Korostelyov is not on a hunger strike and does not need water. There, in jail, they create such conditions that he cannot be on a hunger strike”, says Korobko.

As pauluskp blogger informs, there were more than 20 policemen in civilian clothes in the courtroom at the last hearing, when the extension of the arrest was announced.



Dialogue with cops at Korostelyov's trial

“They were sitting at the front rows for the activists not to be able to sit there, They stayed there even during the breaks and the activists were teasing them asking whether their bosses provided diapers for them. There were policemen back in the rear too”, the blogger wrote.

The appeal against this decision will be considered in Bakhmut soon.

New service "Explain Ukraine". This is a daily mailout of three articles which were written about the situation in the Donbas by Donbas journalists and translated into English. Honest vision of people who work in the field is unbiased and fresh which is crucial in the world which is full of desinformation and propaganda. We try to share this vision in out daily mailout.  You can subscribe here.

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