Update on the situation in Crimea. 2 April

People continue to disappear in Crimea. On Wednesday, information was received regarding the abduction of head of a company. Peninsula authorities intend to ‘clean the media space of Crimea from harmful information’.

 

Ukrainian citizen Alexey Potapov, registered in Donetsk, was kidnapped in Crimea. Potapov is the head of the state enterprise "Vodenergoremnaladka", which performs installation and maintenance of wind power stations in Crimea. According to information provided by his father to Gazeta.ua, the kidnappers demand that tens of millions of hryvnia be transferred from the company's bank account. Alexey Potapov was abducted from his workplace in Simferopol on the 31th of March and has been kept for three days by 'Crimean self-defense forces”, who are using threats to force him to sign over the ownership of the enterprise. His father says that his son is being kept in the cardiology department of a local hospital. Representatives of the "Crimean self-defense" stated that Potapov is detained, but refused to allow a lawyer to meet with him.

There is still no contact with activists Ivan Bondarec and Valery Vaschuk who went missing in Crimea. However, 2nd Captain, Vyacheslav Dem'yanenko, was released from captivity. This information was made public by acting president Alexander Turchinov on the ‘Shuster live’ program broadcasted by the First National Channel of Ukraine. Vyacheslav Dem'yanenko was the commander of a military unit stationed in Sevastopol, and was captured during the assault on March 23rd.

 

Ethnic Ukrainians are in danger in Crimea, according to a Bishop of one of the Protestant churches in Crimea, Ruslan Zuev. He claims that the attitude towards Ukrainians has changed substantially after the Russian annexation of Crimea and that this will force many Ukrainians to leave Crimea.

 

EuromaidanSOS published a list of the “Top 5 questions that interest Crimean students as well as parents of schoolchildren and preschoolers in Crimea” - and the answers to them. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine website published a list of assembly points for soldiers who are willing to move from Crimea to Ukraine’s ‘mainland’.

 

Crimea’s media should be re-registered as Russian legal entities within 10 months, according to the Head of the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Communications, Alexander Zharov in Simferopol. According to him, during the transition period, Ukrainian licenses will still be counted as legitimate for the Crimean media. ‘Ten months - is more than enough to register a Russian legal entity. From the Roskomnadzor side, I can promise that the registration procedure will be as quick and as comfortable as possible’ - said Zharov.

However, the head of the Russian department promised to ‘clean up Crimea’s media space from harmful information’. In particular, we plan to ‘block extremists’ sites’ and ‘stop the activity of sites that distribute dangerous content’.

According to the Institute of Mass Information, 96 cases of attacks on journalists were noted during the conflict in Crimea, as were numerous obstacles to the work of the media and the prevention of reporters’ from performing their professional duties.

 

The update is prepared by EuromaidanSOS initiative, International Group of Human Right Defenders on Ukraine and The Civic Solidarity Platform