69-Year-Old Political Prisoner Yury Apukhtin Was Released by the Kharkov Court

Translated by Ollie Richardson



In Kharkov the participant of the Russian spring — the public figure Yury Apukhtin was released. The relevant decision was made by the Court of Appeal of the Kharkov region on December 20th.

The appeal complaint of the prosecutor, in which he demanded an increase in the term of imprisonment, was left without satisfaction, the appeal complaints of the accused and the defence were partiallysatisfied.

According to the resolution of the regional court, the 69-year-old Apukhtin was condemned only according to Part 1 of Article 294 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (organisation of mass riots with cases of violence) for five years of imprisonment. The court also decided that Apukhtin completely served his sentence according the known “Savchenko’s law”, and decided to release him from custody in the courtroom immediately.

Events in the hall didn’t pass without incidents. One bearded type with a “Right Sector” flag shouting “Death to enemies!” tried to grab Yury.

The charge was “sewed” with rotten threads in the court – that Apukhtin was the organiser of mass riots in April, 2014, at the building of the Kharkov Regional State Administration. He allegedly repeatedly publicly called for a change to the constitutional system, the non-recognition of the current government, and the creation of the “Kharkov People’s Republic”. Yury didn’t call for any “KPR”, but in his speeches he recognised the illegality of the overthrow of the legitimate government in Ukraine. To return the situation in the country to the legal framework existing at the time, Apukhtin called to hold a referendum in Kharkov (advisory poll) on federalisation. But this demand wasn’t in any way undermining a State system that had already been undermined at the time by Turchynov & Co, and can be recognised only as a proposal to improve it.

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Yes, the release of the political prisoner can be considered as a victory of common sense. But it’s a partial victory, after all, under one article the charge wasn’t cancelled.

Yuri has always been distinguished by the thoughtfulness of his statements, and called only for constitutional reform and the transformation of Ukraine into a federation. He couldn’t participate in the organisation of mass riots in any way, at least because at the time Apukhtin participated in a peaceful gathering of citizens that took place somewhere else. There are enough witnesses. They were interrogated on the prosecutor’s call. The witnesses chosen is interesting: those who couldn’t have been there at all, for objective reasons, or those who for sure would get confused when giving a testimony, for deeply personal reasons.

This process also revealed those who were ready to give false expert opinions. These are the conclusions of expert No. 3/2014 and No. 2/2014 (without a date). They were carried out by the specialist philologist Lyudmila Pedchenko. The head of the Russian language department at the Karazin Kharkov National University and Candidate of Philology found the following in the statements of the candidate of technical and economic science Yury Apukhtin: “applying labels; demonising the enemy; an extremely negative picture of the authorities, which can indirectly serve as an appeal to overthrow the constitutional system”.

I.e. indirectly! Also this is a teacher specialised in Russian philology! So she voluntary makes a noose that the nationalists will strangle the department run by her with.

In the case of Apukhtin the local media also shamefully disgraced themselves. Well, fine, if they said nothing (which many of them did), then they broadcasted the public prosecutor’s formulations without quotes and never stated sympathy for the destiny of the 69-year-old prisoner. Vultures, in a word.

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Yury was released from the torture chambers. We wish him good health and freedom.

P.S. Currently communication with Apukhtin is absent. According to law enforcement bodies, he is being taken for an exchange. Information is being verified.

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