Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The Kiev district court of Kharkov on May 24th announced the verdict to the leader of the movement “South-East” Yury Apukhtin, who in the spring of 2014 was one of the leaders of the Kharkov “Anti-Maidan”. The 69-year-old candidate of technical Sciences, developer of the latest Soviet tanks, the former chief designer of Kharkov Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau, Professor of the tank academy was sentenced to 6 years in prison.
“Today, 23rd May, the Kiev district court of Kharkov sentenced the founder and leader of the movement ‘South-East’ Yury Apukhtin to 6 years in prison. He has been in jail already for more than 29 months. Given the ‘Savchenko law’ (one to two) Yury Apukhtin will spend behind bars more than a year (a little less than 14 months)”.
“The hearing just finished, during which Yury Apukhtin’s verdict was announced. The hearing, which was scheduled to begin at 11:00, began at 17:00. All this time the press and us were kept in the corridor, without disclosing the reasons for the delay. Result — 6 years with the use of the ‘Savchenko law’. In many instances there was acquittal. Court costs will be 97,000. Property is not confiscated,” reported the people of Kharkov on social networks.
In turn, the media quoted the sentence: “the Court found Apukhtin guilty of committing crimes under part 1 article 294 (mass riots) and part 3 of article 109 (appeals to overthrow the constitutional order) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine”, reports UNIAN.
The court, according to the Agency, acknowledged as proven that “Apukhtin on April 8th, 2014, publicly called for the destruction of buses with Ukrainian law enforcers inside, who carried out the defence of public order in the square of Freedom and in the building of Kharkov Regional State Administration, during several meetings urged not to recognize the current government and organized to fight against it, seeking federalization of the State and the creation of an administrative formation, in which the southern and Eastern regions of Ukraine should enter”.
Note that before the sentence comes into legal force, the court gave Yury Apukhtin a measure of restraint in the form of detention for two months, until July 22nd.
The lawyer of the accused said that the defense intends to appeal the verdict.
On the evening of the same day when he was sentenced, the appeal of Yury Apukhtin, which was transferred to the courtroom, appeared on the Internet. In it Yury Apukhtin says that they try to make “Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians irreconcilable enemies”.
“A wave of lawlessness, vandalism, lies, and wild Russophobia covered our land, but I have always believed and still believe in the wisdom of the people, they see everything and understand, the time will come, and it will evaluate the events of recent years and judge all the participants.
All this superficial foam will go away, the attempts of the West to make us faithful slaves on the margins of Europe will fail, we will inevitably return to our historical fold and with joint efforts we will defend our unity. This faith is unwavering, behind us is the historical truth of great people, who some vampires will never be able to defeat.
Despite the pressure and the flow of lies sent in my direction, I stayed true to my convictions. I stood, I am standing, and I will stand to the end for our Truth, no one and nothing can break me!..
Sincerely, Yury Apukhtin”.
“I’ll never forget Apukhtin’s response when the judge asked: ‘Why didn’t you name any names?’
The answer was: ‘I consider this to be dangerous for my adherents’.
He is like that, Yury. One of the best of us and a true hero! Hang in there, Yury!” answered the people of Kharkov to Apukhtin.
Well-known political analyst Vladimir Kornilov called the trial of the 69-year-old anti-fascist of Kharkov Yury M. Apukhtin a farce.
“6 years in prison for calling for the RESTORATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER (and this is what Apukhtin actively encouraged during the Kiev Maidan, and beyond)!!! Almost all of the ‘accusation’ was based on the testimony of one man who was then convicted and admitted that he had testified under pressure. Yes, also in the case materials there is the conclusion of a certain Lyudmila Pedchenko (head of department of the Russian language in Kharkov University), which saw in the calls of Apukhtin for federalism and the provision of State-status for language, which this Pedchenko teaches, ‘a very negative picture of the power that may indirectly serve as a call to overthrow the constitutional order’ (think about the wording!),” wrote Kornilov on Facebook.
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