Kidnapped Ukrainian Warns Russians In Defiant Speech
20 August, 2015

"[Kremlin] regime wants to make itself last longer, but by doing all of that they just bring their own collapse closer. And people who believed in reforms and order yesterday, they observe processes like ours today and losing faith in authorities, so tomorrow these 86% of people will overthrow the ruling authoritarian regime", told OIeksandr Kolchenko to the court.

Kolchenko is Crimean anti-fascist and social activist. After the arrest he was brought to Moscow and granted Russian citizenship automatically so he could become a subject to Russian laws. Kolchenko has been given no chance to consult or contact Ukrainian consulate in Russia.

Russian prosecutors accuse him of taking part in organising terrorist acts on the Crimean territory. "We've heard a lot about torture and threatening Sentsov and Afanasiev by Russian FSB officers. It's interesting that people that use methods like this accuse us of terrorism", said Kolchenko.

Russian officials used torture and  psychological pressure against Gennady Afanasiev, a main witness in a high-profile case of kidnapped Ukrainians. According to Afanasiev's lawyer Oleksandr Popkov after his client confessed  that his testimony against Oleh Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko was given under pressure.

The internationally recognised Ukrainian territory of Crimea was annexed by Russia in March 2014. Back then Russian masked troops invaded and occupied key Crimean locations, including Ukrainian airports and military bases, following President Putin's orders.

// Video by Anton Naumliuk, RFE/RL. Filmed 08.19.2015.